Contract for Metro transit patrols up for grabs

first_imgCompetition for the $62.5 million annual contract to police the city’s mass transit system is heating up among some law enforcement agencies, months before bidding wars begin. Metro’s five-year agreement with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will expire June 30, 2008, and officials do not yet know if they will renew it. The transit agency is reviewing other security options that could dismantle the sheriff’s grip on the mass transit system and save about $4.7 million. Roger Snoble, Metro’s chief executive officer, said at a recent workshop that the security-program review should not be considered a criticism of the Sheriff’s Department and its staff assigned to the transit agency. “We are very happy with the Sheriff’s Department,” said Snoble. “But we are always looking for the best fit.” “We are definitely interested in the contract,” said Tanaka. “We believe it is a good contract for the Sheriff’s Department. We believe it is a good contract for the people we provide service to: the Metro authority and its ridership.” Metro security work was shared from 1998 to 2003 by its own officers; by the Sheriff’s Department, which patrolled unincorporated Los Angeles; and by the Los Angeles Police Department, which covered the city of Los Angeles. The job involves security on five rail lines, a dedicated busway and 2,250 buses. But in 2003, the Sheriff’s Department beat out the LAPD for a five-year contract to police the mass transit system, after submitting a proposal that was $7 million cheaper in its first year than if the LAPD had continued sharing duties. Although the stage could be set for another tug of war between the two law enforcement agencies, LAPD officials on Friday were not aware of any plans to bid on the impending contract. “There is no tug,” said LAPD Lt. Roger Mora. “There isn’t even a pull.” Ultimately, a decision will come from Metro’s board, which will hash out the direction for its security program and then solicit bids. It could involve a variety of competing interests. Among the 13 Metro board members are all five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which oversees the Sheriff’s Department’s budgeting, as well as L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his three Metro appointees, including Councilman Bernard Parks, former chief of the LAPD. Others on the Metro board include Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, Santa Monica Councilwoman Pam O’Connor and Long Beach Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal. A Duarte councilman also serves. Security would be fractured if multiple police agencies handled it for the transit agency, said Dan Finkelstein, Metro transit police chief and a Sheriff’s Department commander. “Having an entity that can cross all the geographic boundaries makes sense,” Finkelstein said. At a recent workshop to review security, Parks warned the board that reducing the number of armed deputies and replacing them with lower-level security officers, just to save some money, puts all security at risk. “It could be a ticket they (passengers) show them,” said Parks. “Or it could be a gun.” sue.doyle@dailynews.com (818) 713-3746160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Metro is considering fattening up its own staff from 94 to 350 security officers who can conduct more of the lower-level activities that some deputies are performing now, such as checking passengers’ fares. In addition, Metro would contract with a law enforcement agency to act as the central core of its operations, as the Sheriff’s Department now does and could bid to continue doing. But Metro is considering paring down sworn officers from the 387 working today to about 100, said Jack Eckles, Metro deputy executive officer for systems, safety and security. The transit agency could then negotiate contracts with other local police departments getting paid overtime to patrol buses and rails passing through their jurisdictions. Already, police agencies from Pasadena, Long Beach, Glendale and Santa Monica are interested in the shot to patrol the bus and rail lines running through their jurisdictions, Eckles said. The county Sheriff’s Department is interested in pursuing the contract again, as long as the Metro board believes the agency is providing the appropriate level of service, said Paul Tanaka, assistant sheriff. last_img read more

WIN 2 VIP PASSES TO SEE WOLF TONES AND BRENDAN GRACE AT EARTHCORE FESTIVAL

first_imgFéile Earthcore 2012 promises to be a superb weekend – and one lucky reader will  win VIP passes to its top events.Gaoth Dobhair is bracing itself for its second annual Summer festival, Féile Earthcore, which will take place this year from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July. This year’s event comes after a successful event last year.The festival has something for everyone with live concerts, 3 discos, family orientated activities throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday and a food and crafts market on Saturday 14th from 1-6pm. Legendary folk music group, The Wolfe Tones, will take to the Earthcore stage on Saturday 14th July live in the purpose built festival marquee with tickets only €15 and includes admission to the festival disco afterwards.On Sunday 15Th July top Irish comedian, Brendan Grace, will perform live in the marquee with tickets from €27.50 (Includes admission to Festival Disco after).We’ve teamed up with Earthcore to offer VIP passes for:* The Wolf Tones, with a reserved table at the front * Brendan Grace, with two reserved seats at the front* Free entry to festival discos on both nights.To win these passes simply answer the following question:True or False: The Wolf Tones rendition of ‘A Nation Once Again’ was voted the world’s most popular song in a BBC Radio World Service vote.Email your answer to info@donegaldaily.com by next Monday, July 9th, at 12 noon. Simply give us your name, where you are from and a contact telephone number. No cash alternative. Editor’s decision is final. Winner drawn from all correct entries. Good luck. Don’t want to risk it? Then get your tickets now>For more information about this event visit www.earthcore.ie or contact 074 9531159. Tickets on sale from hotel reception or Link 2 Letterkenny shopping centre.WIN 2 VIP PASSES TO SEE WOLF TONES AND BRENDAN GRACE AT EARTHCORE FESTIVAL was last modified: July 4th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:WIN 2 VIP PASSES TO SEE WOLF TONES AND BRENDAN GRACE AT EARTHCORE FESTIVALlast_img read more

Warriors report: When will Stephen Curry visit with NASA?

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table bookOAKLAND — Warriors guard Stephen Curry expressed excitement for agreeing to take a tour of the Johnson Space Center in Houston at an unspecified date. Curry also offered some contrition for joking in a recent podcast that the moonlanding in 1969 didn’t happen.“I had an opportunity to talk to somebody that’s very well knowledgeable in that industry,” Curry said. “One to …last_img

Halakasha! Football scores for art

first_img4 June 2010 The Halakasha! exhibition, on at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery, focuses on everything visual that represents football in Africa, from memorabilia to old photographs, from barber shop signs to Fifa posters. “Halakasha!” is a traditional South African celebratory cry shouted by fans when a goal is scored. “The exhibition – which brings together two complementary components of Standard Bank’s sponsorship programme, football and arts – is a visual feast to be enjoyed by those with an interest in sporting and visual culture,” says Fred Phaswana, chairman of the Standard Bank Group, in the foreword to the exhibition catalogue. There’s something for everyone is this visual feast – two walls full of dazzling makarapas, almost dancing on the recreated stands where they are arranged. There’s the famous vuvuzela, represented as if it is a relic from the past. And there’s clothing and bumper stickers and other football merchandise. There are wonderful wooden sculptures of football players; photographs of fans in stadiums across Africa; videos and projections, one showing a group of players playing the game over a set of railways tracks. There are Fifa posters by world-renowned artists, on sale at galleries; there are barber shop signs by Ghanaian and Congolese artists, each with a football player; and there’s the 1998 Bafana Bafana Salon banner, with a lookalike Lucas Radebe image.Robben Island Robben Island political prisoners are represented in the form of documents and handmade badges. Prisoners played football with great enthusiasm on the island. There are images from Drum magazine depicting soccer during apartheid. Photographs of two struggle leaders – one of Oliver Tambo, another of Dr Yusuf Dadoo, with the caption “November 1953 – Political Football – Nimble Attorney (with the ball) Oliver Tambo of the firm Mandela and Tambo, guides the ball through the proper channels”. Dadoo is described as treating the ball “very gingerly”. The game was played at “Mai’s farm near Johannesburg”, and the veterans beat the youth 1-0 in the half-hour game. There are costumes, drums and masks from Angola, Cameroon and Ghana. There’s a collection of soccer balls and boots, and a whole team standing hands on hearts, carved in wood, singing the anthem in the 1996 Bafana jersey. And then there’s Johannes “Mzion” Mofokeng, Orlando Pirates’ number one supporter. He has a shrine to the club in his house where he prays to his ancestors every time his club is to play. His bedroom is bursting with club memorabilia, including an Orlando Pirates guitar, several makarapas, a skeleton outfit and linen adorned with the Orlando Pirates shield. He is also a Bafana Bafana fan. “The exhibition is framed mainly around the theme of local and African football supporters, imaging the politics and nationalist sentiment associated with football during and after the apartheid era,” says the exhibition curator, Fiona Rankin-Smith, in the catalogue introduction.Art collection Artworks are drawn from the Standard Bank African Art Collection and from other South African collections, as well as loans from international sources; there are also several specifically commissioned works. Artists represented include Jackson Hlungwane, William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Gerard Bhengu, Johannes Maswanganyi, Mary Wafer, Durant Sihlali, Kay Hassan, Joachim Schonfeldt and Pieter Hugo. It was only in 1991, after the unbanning of the ANC and the PAC, that the first racially integrated soccer league was formed in South Africa. This paved the way for South Africa to enter the African and World cups, explains historian Philip Bonner in the catalogue. “Hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ represents the long-awaited final fruition of a dream extending back 100 years,” he concludes. The exhibition runs until 17 July. Halakasha! Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Aputure Releases the 300D II — with Lantern Attachment

first_imgThe much-anticipated successor to the highly successful 300d LED light fixture, the 300d II comes jam-packed with all of the new features we were looking for in a powerful on-set light package.If you saw our post covering the announcement of both the 300d II and the lantern attachment during NAB week, you might know how excited we were to check it out in person. It checked off all of the items on our wishlist: more brightness, an attachable ballast, and even app control from their new Sidus app. The 300d II is available for purchase now, but before you go off and buy it, take a look at some of the new features.All-New Redesigned Control BoxOne of our biggest gripes with the original 300d was its convoluted power ballast system. There were two separate boxes — one for power, and one for the controls — and they were constantly just . . . in the way on set. But we have nothing to gripe about anymore. Aputure’s all-new control box is a marvel in the lighting world. There’s really nothing else like it out there right now. It uses a fanless design that utilizes heatsinks, which renders the box completely silent. The control box can also attach directly to a C-stand using the new quick-release tool, which makes organization a whole lot easier on set. If you’re shooting in an area without access to power, you’re in luck: you can power the 300d II with two V-Mount or Gold Mount batteries — or even with just one battery at half output. That’s pretty useful if you don’t have access to a generator.On top of all the other crazy-good ballast features, there are now built-in lighting FX that we’ve seen on Aputure’s other products, like the AL-MW, that include useful on-set effects such as “Paparazzi,” “Fireworks,” “Lightning,” “Faulty Bulb,” “TV,” “Pulse,” ” Strobe,” and “Explosion.”Sidus Link ControlWe’ve been absolutely psyched to find out more about Aputure’s new light-linking app Sidus, and it’s looking like we’ve got our first product that will feature connectivity to the software. Here’s what Aputure says about the connectivity features with the 300d II:Featuring all-new Bluetooth SIG mesh network technology, the 300d Mark II will also the first app-controllable Aputure lighting fixture. This technology will allow you to control a 300d Mark II from up to 400 meters away, by linking multiple lights up to 80 meters apart. Using the Sidus Link app, you’ll be able to access all of the functions of the control box, in addition to being able to save presets, finely tune and trigger additional lighting FX, as well as install firmware updates, all from your smartphone or tablet.Aputure has said that it will be making backwards-compatible attachments that can connect to your non-Sidus Aputure lighting gear to the app, but we’re just going to have to wait on that release.More Power and EfficiencyHaving more available power on set is always a good thing. The 300d II is 20 percent brighter than its predecessor. It also comes with Aputure’s brand-new, hyper-efficient, 55-degree reflector. After redesigning the shape and coating of the inside of the reflector, Aputure increased the output by more than three times, compared to the original 300d.Bonus: The Aputure LanternNow I’m not going to lie: I’ve been excited about this for a long time. I am a huge fan of using china balls on set, but they can be a nightmare to work with. The paper rips constantly, and they have the penchant to accidentally catch fire if exposed to too much light. The Aputure Lantern fixes that problem by providing ample soft lighting with just a quick attachment to your 300d II. It’s also a tension-based system that can fit in a small carrying case, which makes it incredibly portable and easy to access for run-and-gun filmmakers.One of the coolest features of the Lantern is the skirt attachment. It’s a black cloth that can direct and block your soft light toward your desired target. It’s great for lighting a table scene — or a single person in a crowd.Both the Aputure 300d II and the Lantern attachment are available for purchase on the Aputure website.All images via Aputure.Looking for more on film and video gear? Check out these articles.Sony Announces The A7R IV with a 61-megapixel SensorThe 5 Best Sliders to Pair with Mirrorless Video CamerasCanon Announces an Affordable Full-Frame 24-240mm All-in-one Zoom LensBuilding A Low Budget Handheld Rig For The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4KViltrox vs. Metabones: Speed Booster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameralast_img read more

Did You Graduate From Link Building High School Yet?

first_img Topics: Link Building Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Sep 30, 2008 9:15:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 In a recent blog post discussing the importance of link building for search engine optimization, I asked people to share how they build links to their website. I recommend you go read the responses. I also recommend you read that article so you know how to construct inbound links so your business can rank higher in search engines for your target keywords.Link building is not easy. And it’s not that intuitive until you do it. There are also many different techniques and methods that will have varied results. Below is how I recommend clients start and master link building. I tell people that there are 4 Levels of Link Building Excellence. And it usually takes 4 years to master it – just like high school:9th Grade: Links You Can Build Yourself That Require Little Time InvestmentBefore I get into this, I’d like to stress that you should have a really good keyword strategy and make sure you’ve optimized each page on your site around a different keyword phrase. Any link you’re building should be designed to help a specific page rank high in the search engines for a specific keyword.That said, the first set of links that every business should get are the ones that don’t require anyone else’s help. There are lots of business directories out there where you can just submit your URL, company name, and a description of your business. Some of them require approval. Some of them require a fee. Yahoo’s directory, Joe Ant, Aboutus.org are some of the ones you should do right away.In this class of Level I links, there are also many social media sites where you can simply build links to your site. Most of these no longer pass SEO credit, but they’re still good links to get, assuming your target audience visits the site or these sites rank high for your keywords already. It’s arguable that you should hire someone to do (or start) this stuff for you. It’s low level work that generates low level returns. Just make sure that you don’t hire a firm that will get you 1,000 links for < $1,000 dollars. If it's too good to be true, it is.10th Grade: Links You Build Yourself that Require EffortBefore I get into this level, I'd like to stress that launching a business blog should be done before doing this. Without having a blog on your site with lots of good, well-optimized content, you don't really have anything to link to. That said, there are two very common link building techniques that work well that don't require you to be a "thought leader". Yet. These activities require a bit more time investment and a small financial investment. They are article marketing and press release optimization. With both of these methods, you have to create relevant content that will appeal to your market. So, it requires more time than Level I. Also, the process of getting your articles syndicated and your press releases submitted and picked up - takes effort. You might consider hiring a wired pr firm or a strong SEO firm to do some of this stuff for you. If done correctly, both of these methods can significantly increase the links to your site. Also, if you write your articles and press releases with a keyword strategy in mind, and with links that support your keyword strategy, it can significantly increase your rankings for specific keyword terms. Run your press releases and your articles through press release grader to determine whether they're going to help.11th Grade: Links You Network For that Require a Significant Time Investment This part of link building is kind of like sales. Cold calling can be done effectively with persistence. But, networking, getting referrals, giving first, the law of attraction, etc is a better way of getting new clients.Link building is the same way.  If you're more of a cold caller type, and there are lots of potential places you can get a link, you might consider just creating a list of webmasters and asking them for a link. If you're a natural networker and you're in this for the long haul, I'd recommend being a bit more patient. Apply your persistence and spend your time building relationships.No matter what route you take, the goal of this level is to make yourself visible among people interested in the same topics as you. This process is a bit self promotional. But, you must promote yourself in a way that you're adding value. You master this level by acting like a resource for people in your industry. How do you do this? It's all about networking and building meaningful relationships. The first step is reading other people's blogs. Then, commenting on them. Then, eventually starting a relationship where you're communicating 1-on-1 with them. I recommend you take the leap from reader to 1:1 with a blogger, by pointing them in the direction of other people's content that might be interesting to them.  In the non-marketing world, this usually happens through email. In the marketing world, this usually happens through Twitter. If you're techy, this might happen through Delicious. If you use StumbleUpon or Digg, those are great platforms to share things with peers. Even google reader lets you do this kind of networking. But, it can certainly happen through any social networking platform or system that enables 1:1 communication. From a link building perspective, the ultimate goal of this level is to get invited to write a guest article for other people's blogs or website. For example, I wrote an article about inbound lead generation for Aaron Ross not too long ago. In the article, I linked to relevant resources on my blog and the HubSpot blog and site. These are great links from an authoritative  source. Aaron reaches our target market sending relevant traffic. These links also help us rank for our target keywords.During this process, you're also building up a group of people that will most likely begin following you...Seniors Rule! (12th Grade): Links Other People Give You Because You Create Remarkable Content.  This level is like the last month or two in high school when you've already passed midterms and you've been accepted to the college of your choice. You've done the hard work already. Now, it's time to go to parties and enjoy being the carefree big man on campus.You don't necessarily halt the activities above. But, you spend more of your time just creating remarkable content.  (And some link bait.)At HubSpot, we do some guest articles once in a while and we optimize our press releases. But, mostly we just put time into churning out content on our blog and producing other online marketing resources like webinars and white papers. Some of you seem to think this stuff is pretty remarkable. As a result, it generally creates great conversations in our comments, strong attendance at our webinars and lots of white paper downloads. And regularly, people link to our webinar announcements and blog articles of their own accord. This doesn't start happening overnight, unless you're already famous. We have a lot of advantages at HubSpot. Website Grader's success, funding in the bank, successful clients, smart founders who started blogging before they had a product and now... a lot of employees who contributor to the blog, a strong social media following, etc. But, we did it in < 2 years. If you're a small business and you follow the path above, there's no reason why you can't stake your claim on the web. Link building is an important part of that. Hopefully, this post demystifies the process a bit and gives you a roadmap to get started. The biggest mistake that newbie internet marketers make is thinking that creating great content on their blog will be all it takes to be successful internet marketers. My biggest frustration is when newbie bloggers pack up shop after just a month of writing because the blog doesn't have an immediate impact on their search traffic and lead volume. At the end of the day, if you publish great content on the web AND connect, relate and build relationships with other humans, really good links will come naturally. Until then, put in some homework and earn your way through link building high school. Photo by CarbonNYClast_img read more

5 Ways Sales People Can Use Twitter

first_img 5 Ways Sales People Can Use Twitter brand building While email and phone might be your most common means of communicating with your customers, these become useless when your contacts change jobs. Using social networks like Twitter is a great way to stay in touch as your contacts move to new companies. And, new jobs can present new business opportunities for additional sales from your existing contact. We’ve experienced this a number of times, with a few repeat HubSpot customers who purchased the software each time they moved to a new company. Stay aware of big (or small) changes in your lead’s industry by checking into Twitter! For example, hear that your lead’s  competitor made an announcement but don’t know the details? Calling every day at 9 am might not be the most effective way of reaching your lead. If they’re on Twitter, you can get the inside scoop of when they’re traveling on business, or in meetings, or actually at their desk available to take a call. Not that this guarantees your lead will answer the phone, but you can bet that your chances go up if they’re actually at their desk. lead generation doug88888 We can – and do – go on and on about ,  how marketers can use Twitter 3. Find the Best Time to Contact Your Lead Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Originally published Oct 21, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 for the competitor’s name to find out if anything is indeed going on. Twitter’s real time updates are great for getting wind of big news before it’s even published across the web. Before calling up your lead, do some research – both on their website and on Twitter. Find out what their employees and their customers are saying about them so that you can start off a warmer call and show that you better understand their company and their needs. 4. Get Feedback on Your Pitch Topics: Download the free webinar used that feedback to actually improve our pitch going forward. 2. Stay Plugged in to Industry News for PR, thought leadership and  Twitter Marketing , and more. But a recent conversation I had with one of our very own awesome sales people made me realize all the ways sales people can use Twitter as part of their jobs as well. 5. Stay Connected When Customers Change Jobs Search on Twitter The best way to get honest feedback about your pitch is to find out what your lead says about you after they get off the phone with you. What do they say when they turn around to their friends and colleagues? Twitter gives you the opportunity to “listen in” on this conversation. In fact, we did just that recently and for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. 1. Research Companies Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Photo by Have any other ideas or experiences of sales people using Twitter? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Social Media Is Not an Eating Contest

first_img , ? Isn’t it something smart marketers should be experimenting with and embracing? of Twitter. Alerts Grader Social Media can be highly efficient new marketing channels for your company, but they shouldn’t be your company’s only marketing channel. Businesses also need to Twitter The way people talk about social media these days, you might think it’s an eating contest — to succeed you need to gorge yourself, to be become the If you’re a marketer or business owner dubious of this dynamic, don’t worry. Social media is not an eating contest. Most people get sick when they eat too many hot dogs, and most businesses lose money when they spend too much time on Twitter. — Don’t try to do too much. But, wait — isn’t social media a foundational element of LinkedIn create content Want to learn more about monitoring social media? Facebook search engine optimization , do , live webinar (3) Pick Worthwhile Interactions So what’s the right balance? Here are four simple ways to find the right balance for your business: inbound marketing and Time-box this Wednesday, March 10 at 1 pm, ET.center_img 10 minutes every day to check the community sites that are important to your business. That isn’t enough time to make a huge impact, but it is enough time to listen and see what’s going on in your industry. Twitter Grader Photo: (1) Start With 10 Minutes of Monitoring a Day Topics: Originally published Mar 8, 2010 8:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Takeru Kobayashi Feastoffun.com , nurture leads — and analyze the volume and conversion rates through your marketing and sales funnel. — Make sure you pick the right people to interact with. Reach out to the specific people who are likely to help your business. That means the people connected to the communities you want to reach, the people with the most reach themselves, and the people who are most likely to become customers. Use tools like — Which channels are working best? Where are you getting the most volume? Where are you getting the best conversion rates? At HubSpot, we get the most out of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You need to know which channels are driving conversions for your business. to do this. collect leads (2) Monitor Your Brand — When you finish your 10 minutes of listening, respond to the people who have specifically reached out to you. For most businesses, this should be quick. If the volume builds, you’ll have a community, so consider ways of empowering it to help answer questions. (4) Pick the Right Social Media Channels . , How do you find the right balance? Are you stuck in a social media eating contest or do you have a healthy diet? Let us know in the comments? I’ll be speaking about some of the ideas in this article and more during a Sign up here Yes! And, yes! But that doesn’t mean you need to over-do it. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Best Practices for eCommerce Abandoned Cart Nurturing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Aug 3, 2011 11:10:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Of all the buyer behaviors that can indicate a consumer’s position in the buying cycle , few are as obvious or compelling as an abandoned cart. According to a 2010  Marketing Experiments study, over half (56.2%) of all shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes the checkout process. An optimized e-mail campaign that re-engages consumers after they’ve abandoned a cart has been shown to more than double eCommerce conversions.Here are 5 ways to improve your eCommerce conversion rate by using optimized Abandoned Cart Nurturing: Do the Two-Step:  Any conversions are directly affected by the complexity – or “resistance” – in the conversion event. The more information that you ask for and the greater complexity the checkout process, the less visitors will actually convert on any form. This holds equally true for eCommerce. Although we do need to collect critical information such as billing and shipping information in order to complete an order, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the first step in the checkout process. Make the first page ask just for “First name” and “E-mail Address” and use that information to initiate an abandoned cart nurturing campaign if they don’t convert on the second page. Make Your Message Immediate: The longer that you wait to re-engage with a prospect, the less likely they are to recall the informational and emotional justifications that they had for beginning the checkout process to begin with. You should re-engage with a customer that has abandoned a cart within no more than 24 hours. Express Concern: The primary reason behind a customer abandoning a cart is not always the price – nor should it be framed as such in the initial e-mail. In your first e-mail after the customer has abandoned the cart, express concern that a technical or functional error prevented them from completing their order. In many cases, this might actually be the reason the customer abandoned. Many times users simply forget that they started the cart, and need a reminder. You can also use this as an opportunity to emphasize additional competitive advantages, such as your amazing customer service. Offer Incentives: In your second e-mail, include an incentive offer. The same Marketing Experiments study showed that including an incentive to complete the purchase can increase your eCommerce conversion rate by up to 263%. Get Them to Take Another Action: If they’ve abandoned the cart and not reconverted within your first few e-mails, try to reconvert them on an informational offer that engages them with a lead nurturing campaign. Although an abandoned cart may be a very strong indicator of intent, it’s possible that they’re looking for more information about your company or the product before they complete their purchase.There are a number of reasons that a customer can abandon a cart, such as lack or trust in the store, uncertainty in price advantage, feature confusion, shipping concerns, and more. Your automated abandoned cart nurturing campaign should address as many of them as possible. Topics:last_img read more

How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing Like the Pros

first_imgFace it: you’ve heard words like “engagement” and “transparency” used to describe social media so much that they’re more played out than a Lady Gaga song. Whatever adjectives you use to describe it, letting your personality shine through your brand’s social media account is crucial to its success. But there’s a dichotomy in social media–a ubiquitous cloud looming over our online relationships and interactions. The evolution of technology has forced nameless corporations to become human and empowered small organizations to reach audiences on social media like never before. However, as soon as “human business tools” like Twitter and Facebook emerged, we found ways to automate our humanity.Just like you can’t send a robot to a networking event to represent you, humanity can’t be automated, right? Well despite the importance of a personal approach to business, not all automation is sacrilegious . When used appropriately, it’s actually quite good for the health of your business, brand, and online community. Let’s take a look at what your social media automation strategy should include to ensure you’re doing it the right way and not sacrificing the personal element that got your brand the social media success it’s currently enjoying. Use the Right Tools There are some great tools out there that will help you automate your social media marketing, and HubSpot is one of them . Among the free tools available, HootSuite allows you to schedule your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ updates in advance. If you’re using their paid platform, updates can also be scheduled in bulk. Regardless of the tool you choose, practice before you go hog wild drafting and scheduling your posts. The last thing you want is to make a silly mistake, like scheduling a month’s worth of posts all in one day. Once you get the hang of the tool, set aside time at regular intervals to keep the social media content machine fed by responding to comments and engaging with fans and followers using a human voice. Schedule Content at the Right Times When are your fans and followers primarily active and interacting with you on their social networks? Monitor what times of day people read your content and interact with your brand on social media, and schedule your content for those days and times for maximum exposure .That being said, you have to make sure it’s also a good time for you. Only schedule posts when you can respond to the comments, replies, and mentions in a reasonable amount of time. This is imperative. Scott Stratten ( @UnMarketing ) often tells the story of a friend who scheduled a tweet that garnered a great deal of reaction and response from his audience. Replies on Twitter flooded in, and his audience waited with bated breath for his response. Unfortunately, his response wasn’t coming any time soon, because he was on a cruise without internet access for nearly a week. As a social media community manager , this could be devastating to your brand. Diversify Content Across Social Media Sites Many of your followers are probably connected with you on more than one social media network. So don’t bore them by auto-pushing the exact same content on every network! Instead, leverage what each network is particularly excellent at.For example, Facebook allows more lengthy explanations surrounding content you’ve linked to. Use that space to give some insightful commentary that elicits more click-throughs and comments. Google+ is particularly great for sharing images; leverage that format for your visual content. LinkedIn is a stellar lead generation mechanism , so give people an ebook that only the very niche audience on your LinkedIn group would be interested in. While a little overlap is natural and a-okay, the scheduling mechanisms in social media automation tools makes it so you can and should personalize all of your posts. Stay True to Your Social Media Roots Those who find success in social media do so because they’ve dedicated some serious time to interacting with their community . Using automation to carefully and respectfully supplement your social media activities can pose some obstacles and even result in negative backlash; people don’t want to feel like they’ve been duped by a “fake” you. Set up alerts to notify you when you’ve received a comment, reply, or message. That way, not only is the content you push out from the “real” you, but so is your timely response. Not all automation is bad . Using it in moderation and when appropriate can increase your productivity and offer even more valuable content to your audience. Ensure that no matter when you post, you (or someone on your team) will be at the ready and able to address any responses in a timely manner. Do you use schedule posts on your social media accounts? What are the pros and cons you’ve seen for your social media strategy ? Image credit: Tachimetro Social Media Marketing Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 28, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more