Is Pepsi building its own social network?

Last week, Pepsi announced, that for the first time in 23 years, it would not be purchasing advertising during the 2010 televised Super Bowl.  The reason:  “In 2010, each of our beverage brands has a strategy and marketing platform that will be less about a singular event and more about a movement,” Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley said.

This is a significant shift in the stratosphere of Social Media and brands.  Basically, Pepsi is through with throwing money into one-way, 30 second ads (view Pepsi’s 2009 Super Bowl commercial), even though those 30 seconds could potentially reach 95.4 million viewers (2009 Super Bowl audience).  I applaud Pepsi for making such a bold and wise move. Pepsi’s strategy is smart: “…be less about a singular event and more about a movement.”

That movement is happening with their “Refresh Everything” campaign. I believe Pepsi is building its own Social Network: The Pepsi Refresh Project. Launching in February of 2010, the site says “A new generation is refreshing the world. Check back soon to see how you can start tagging your best content and join the fray.” There’s a millennial flavor to the site, which is appealing to this age group.

Further evidence of Pepsi’s social networking is its Facebook fan page: check out the Pepsi Refresh Everything Facebook Fan page. Highly interactive, Pepsi asks fans to play Foursquare, submit videos, and other two-way activities with Pepsi donating to charities such as City Year, which is like the Peace Corps of cities (volunteers unite to give service to a city for a full year).

Imagine a world filled with brands that no longer talk one-way but instead,  help their “tribes” (communities of fans) by promoting them and interacting with them in highly visible platforms such as Facebook fan pages; interactive websites; YouTube videos; and many other ways, while at the same time, donating to charities that improve our world.

Now THAT’S a movement.

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Create Your Best Web Site Ever: Follow A 3-Step Plan

If you had a retail store, you’d make sure your store was sparkling clean; your products were stocked and easy-to-reach; and you’d make sure all the aisles were navigate through, right? You’d do all this preparation before you advertised your grand opening, right? You’d take care of the details that would make your customers happy, like having plenty of properly trained/friendly staff; an easy check-out process and you’d also heavily promote the thing you wanted people to buy the most of, right?

Are you applying this same type of strategy and planning for your Web site?

The same concept applies to your Web site: before you make start bringing in a lot of traffic from the Web, you want to make sure your Web site is in tip-top shape and can successfully convert that traffic from “looky-lou’s” and “tire-kickers” into paying customers and raving fans. Unfortunately, many Web site owners, from the entrepreneur to the huge corporation, fail to grasp this concept and end up wasting thousands of dollars on a pretty Web site that doesn’t work.

Think of your Web site as a digital salesperson, greeting, informing and directing visitors to the “point of purchase.” The point of “purchase” can be for something other than a product or service; it could be to contact you; make a donation; to subscribe to your newsletter; to fill out your survey; to download your E-book or some other “buy-in”.

Your Web site can work for you like a whole team of properly trained people, only instead of an 8 hour shift, your site can work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and doesn’t need a lunch break.

How can your Web site work for you and convert visitors into customers just like a real live team of well-trained employees would do? It’s all in the planning. The pretty stuff comes later. If you want your Web site to work for you, you need to cook the ingredients in a certain order: prioritize the information architecture and copy writing over the design of the look-and-feel. The design is important but all too often Web site owners want to begin with the way it will look rather than the way it will sell.

Here are three important steps to take toward building a Web site that works:
Step OneCreate a plan with strategy. Properly plan and execute how to help those potential customers coming into your Web site. Decide on who  your audience is and what calls-to-action they’ll need so you can make it simple for people to know what you want them to do. Decide on your strategy so you can get good results. Sounds simple but lots of people overlook this most important step. They rush the process instead of taking time to plan the most important part of their business.

Step Two Wireframes: Just like a sculptor would create the wireframe before adding the clay, you should create the wireframe of your Web site pages before adding words, color and detail, which will later be shaped (written, designed and programmed) into a final form. You can do this yourself on paper: map out the goal of every page before you get your copy professionally written by a Web-experienced writer. Decide who you’re talking to (Who are your markets? What information will they need in order to make a decision to buy now?) and organize your information accordingly. Be sure to include a call-to-action on every page and an easy purchase process or easy way to contact you.  Knowing how to create a Web site that’s a marketing tool and not just a pretty thing to look at is crucial if you want your business or organization to succeed online.

Step ThreeYour Web Design Must Avoid Clutter: empty space on the  Web page allows the visitor’s eyes to be drawn to what you really want them to see. If you clutter up your page, no one will know where to focus their eyes and mind. This includes your main navigation menu: try to have less than eight links to choose from and don’t make people figure out what your link names mean. Keep it simple.

Just as the retail store owner stocks her shelves and trains her staff before the grand opening of her store, you need to anticipate what your Web site visitors will need before they arrive at your site. Provide the information they need right away. Don’t rely on your navigation menu to guide them around your site–be sure to put text links in your copy to lead them, like taking them by the hand, up and down your “aisles” or in this case, your Web site pages. The thing you want them to buy or do or take action on should be featured so they can’t overlook it. Be authentic. Be trustworthy.

So there you have three important steps in creating your best Web site ever.  Leave me a comment if you have more questions about how to build effective Web sites and I’ll be happy to answer them.


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Measure Your Sentiment with PeopleBrowsr Analytics, the Social Media website that breaks hot news and keeps us all informed of Web-related topics, recently ran a post called How To Measure Social Media ROI .  The writer, Christina Warren, mentioned “Sentiment” as one of the things you should measure and analyze on your Social media. I wrote my post in response to theirs.

Measuring your “sentiment” with your Twitter friends is an interesting undertaking. Why would you want to measure such a thing? With a tracking and measuring tool, you can then improve your service and/or products you sell;  while, hand-in-hand, improve your Online Reputation. When people talk about you, in a positive way, that’s called “buzz.” When there’s “buzz” about you and your company, usually your business is doing well. How can it not? With so many conversations in the Twittersphere, Facebook and elsewhere about you, you must be doing something right–right? Yes.

Now you can easily measure the sentiment of tweets about you by using Peoplebrowsr’s Analytics. Disclosure: I am a Peoplebrowsr coach. I became one because I kept raving about how great it is for so many things in the world of Social Networking, that PB (as we affectionately call it) asked me if I’d like to be part of the team. So, yes, I evangelicize about PB quite a bit.

Here’s a screenshot of my sentiment in Twitter, for past 30 days, as measured by  Peoplebrowsr’s Analytics:


Compare mine to the almighty Queen of Social Networking: Mari Smith (@MariSmith) who has 51,467 followers and is one of the kindest people I know:


Here are two more comparisons…the top image shows  Mari Smith’s Sentiment Count  and below that, is my own:


Interesting how big the “neutrality” is:


Now get going and start measuring
Go there now and do your own comparisons so you can have a benchmark. Then determine what you need to do to improve and increase positive sentiment. Then use PeopleBrowsr’s Analytics to measure again, so you have a before and after measurement.   Please comment and tell me what you think of this tool and what you think of measuring such a thing as “sentiment.”

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Facebook: How To Control Who Shows Up In Your Live Feed

Don’t you just love it? Just as you were getting comfortable with Facebook, they go and change things on you.

Here’s what Facebook said about the new version of its Live Feed after clicked on “edit options” at bottom of Live Feed page:

Live Feed automatically determines which friends to include based on who Facebook thinks you want to hear from most. You can manually adjust this list below.— Facebook

I’ve written these instructions below on how you can show more friends and also hide friends.

How To Control Who Shows Up In Your Live Feed:

On the “Live Feed” page: Click on the “edit options” at the bottom of the page; then create a “Hide” these people list and a “Show more” list.

Another way you can customize your news feed and live feed is to create lists of friends:
Create a list of top favorite friends then go to the left menu; click “More” and drag that list to the top of the column, over “News Feed”. Those friends will show up at the top of your live feed first, as it comes in.


Mari Smith made a great video about the second solution I described above.

A lot of people find it annoying to be informed of when you join a group or become a fan of someone’s fan page but I guess that’s Facebook’s way of getting more friends to join in or become a fan, too. Hang in there, maybe Facebook will modify things if enough people complain. There’s already a Facebook page for that! It’s called “MEMBERS WANT THE OLD FACEBOOK BACK & OUR VOICES MATTER” and it has over 819,000 members already!

If you found this helpful or if you have a tip to share, please comment.


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“Latino In America” Not The Ratings Hit “Black In America” Was

When I first heard about CNN’s Latino In America, I was excited because I thought they would provide portraits of us, from all walks of life. Unfortunately, most of the stories on CNN’s Latino In America program portrayed and reinforced stereotypes. Where were the Latina and Latino business people, like me, who overcame hardships and built companies that are hugely successful? Lorena Garcia, a hardworking, successful Latina business woman was the only story I could somewhat identify with. What about our youth who have graduated high school and went on to college? I’d like to see their stories because they could really inspire our youth who are struggling to make it to high school graduation ceremony. Like all companies who want to reach the Hispanic/Latina(o) market: CNN should have hired a Hispanic marketing company to help them–one who knows how to reach the sub-cultures within our culture. That would have been the respectful and smart thing to do.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Lance Rios: Being Latino


I’m featuring leaders in the Latinos In Social Media ( movement  in my blog. It’s my honor to introduce you to Lance Rios, who organized and runs the Being Latino Facebook,  which is “a communication platform designed to educate and connect all peoples across the global Latino spectrum.” It’s one of the best places to put your finger on the pulse of Latina(o)s emotions, feelings, thoughts in reaction to interesting questions that Lance poses and in reaction to events that affect Latina(o)s. This interview was conducted in late September, 2009.

Where did you grow up and how did your upbringing and environment contribute to the person you are today?

I was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland, OH. Growing up in Cleveland definitely made me realize that no matter how small our numbers were, it is most important to maintain our identity and to always hold culture close. Had I not grown up in a city, where Latinos were accepted, I may not have taken the same pride in what I truly was.

Who were your role models as you were growing up and how did they affect you?

I grew up a HUGE baseball fan. Roberto Clemente was one guy that I always looked up to. On and off of the field Clemente was a class act and NEVER let go of his roots. Even through adversity and the challenges of being one of the first Latino players of color in the MLB, Clemente was able to overcome barriers and make his mark on the game. He died, trying to serve a people of a country in which he had no ties to. To me, Clemente was a legend.

My parents were also role models to me growing up. They taught me the benefits of hard work and kept reiterating that nothing in life would come easy. Through their  “don’t talk about it, be about it” mentality, I learned the ropes to success at very young age, which I still apply to my everyday life to date.

Have you ever faced racial discrimination? If so, what happened and how did you deal with it?

Yes, very much so. As stated, Latinos in Cleveland, OH are not in heavy numbers. Ontop of that, my parents made their only attempt to get out of an impoverished environment to give us the best chance of survival and success. With that said, I ended up attending predominantly Caucasian schools, where not only did I experience racism from my peers but also from teachers and parents. As a child, it was very hard to deal with, yet I learned that the best way to combat ignorance is through education and serving as an example that Latinos don’t have to cater to a stereotypical role.

At what point in life did you realize your inner strength and fortitude?

I realized that when I’m passionate about something, I can do anything. Passion is what drives me. Money is always a good thing to have, but passion is the only thing that has driven me to the amount of landmarks that I have achieved. After school and blindly moving to New York, not knowing anyone, without having a job, or friends, I was forced into a hustle mentality. NYC is a city that is notorious for chewing people up and spitting them back out. Fortunately I have been able to stay in the belly of the beast.

Given the recent study done on U.S. Latina high school students’ drop-out rate of 41% , what’s your advice for Latina(o)/Hispanic students who are in high school or college? New Report Addresses Reasons for 41 Percent Dropout Rate Among Latina High School Students

If I could give one piece of advice, I’d say don’t just stick to the classrooms to learn. YOU must take it upon yourself to find other routes to self educate. With social media taking that Latino community by storm, high school students have the opportunity to go to places where they already know well (facebook, youtube, twitter) and find groups and information that will not only entertain them, but stimulate their minds.

What’s your advice for those who may have already dropped out of high school or college?

There is always a chance to go back, but the longer you stay out, the less likely you are to go back. Don’t do yourself the disservice.. GO BACK!

Being Latino Logo

Being Latino Logo

What is your UVP (Uniqe Value Proposition)?

There has never been something to live in social networking that has been able to captivate the attn of the Latino community and educate at the same time. I feel that I have had a very delicate balance that just works.

Why did you form the organization or shall we call it: a cause?

Because it needed to be done. I cannot truly consider a Biz since I do not really profit from it. It’s a concept that flourished.

Describe your ideal client or project or give one or two case studies so that people can clearly understand how you’ve helped clients.

Anyone that is Being Latino (or interested in the culture) 😉

What other services does your company provide?

Education. Entertainment. Connection to the community.

How does your Latino/Hispanic heritage help you achieve your goals?

It’s part of everything that I do.

Lance, tell us your vision of BeingLatino as a movement and/or cause:

To me, Being Latino can serve as a Universal place (since it lives online) for Latinos to come to and connect with one another and share beliefs, culture a news affecting the community. Being Latino is a place that works towards breaking stereotypes and fosters community collectively.

What would you like to say to companies who are thinking of marketing to Latina(o)s/Hispanics but aren’t sure of what to do first?

Latinos are a very complex breed. Working in “Hispanic” advertisement currently, I have identified a common flaw attributed directly to the challenge of marketing to our people. NUMBERS DON’T MEAN EVERYTHING. Latinos are not all the same… when you realize that, you will be able to identify more successful routes of catering to the community.

What would you like people to remember about you after you’ve passed on (many, many years from now)?

I could care less about how rich and/or famous I was… to me that is not important. I would like to leave this earth having made a change that has impacted the entire community as a whole. I’d like to leave the earth knowing that I have done my part to create a better and more welcoming place for my people to strive and achieve their goals.


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Search Evolves: Google to include Twitter updates in search results

Search has evolved.

People want relevant search results and today, “relevant” means RIGHT NOW. We don’t want stale information that’s three-weeks old. We  use our cell phones to search for tweets to help us decide if a new movie is worth the admission ticket right now. If a breaking news story is happening, we already know about it because it’s being tweeted by the eyewitnesses, whom we’re connected to.

Google had to forge this deal with Twitter if Google wanted to stay competitive and relevant in the information-hunting grounds of the Web.

We’re spoiled by the access we have to human beings tweeting news as it happens; tweeting weather and road conditions as they’re being driven through and by the human “touch” in a tweet, rather than cold robotic regurgitation in bolded keywords in a SERP.

Combined with Microsoft’s announcement earlier today, of its deal with Twitter and Facebook, today was a historic day for the Web, for SEO and for everyone who’s using Google, but not necessarily using Twitter, to search for information.  Those people will see search results obviously written by a person who’s probably interjected an emotion into the tweet, er…search result (is it a tweet or is it a search result?).

Here’s the entire blog post from Google’s blog.

Social Search is added

As I was writing this blog post, Mashable just reported that Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Search, just announced, at the Web 2.0 Expo, that social networking information will show up at the bottoms of pages. For instance, when you or your friends update your FlickR photos,  you’ll see the update at the bottom of Google’s first page if you have your FlickR account listed as part of your Google profile.

– These are pulled from social networks connected to your Google Profile. The more that are connected, the more social information that will appear in search results.
– They have also improved searching for images using social networks. Images become more relevant using social networking data.

Be sure to keep your Google profile updated with all of your Social network links–and tell your friends, too– because your Google profile truly is your social network headquarters.

Mashable reported: “They [Google] have also improved searching for images using social networks. Images become more relevant using social networking data.”

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