Freezy Friday ShareDay


Bryant Park Fountain Freeze

IT’S COLD HERE IN NEW YORK.

I know, there are lots of places in the world that are colder, and have been for longer. So sorry to sound like a whiner. But it’s REALLY cold. (That’s the fountain in Bryant Park at the left. It’s frozen, ‘kay?)

And there’s nothing that can send warm toasties into my toes like the thought of the weekend! So here we are at Friday – and restarting a tradition that we haven’t engaged in for a while: Friday ShareDay!

For those of you new to the blog, on Fridays I try to share a piece of interesting content I have found elsewhere, and give a shout out and props as due. I encourage you loyal readers to share ideas in the comments and even send along pieces of content YOU’D like me to post on Friday ShareDay too!

So here’s a great article from Public Relations Society of America (via Erica Lamb at Cision; thanks Erica!) about how to get back to our roots in 2013 with “story marketing.

Happy Friday!

Sunny Friday ShareDay


sunshine

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In New York City, we’ve declared winter officially over, less because of the official start of spring and more because of the amazing weather we have been having! (You all can thank me, by the way. This year I acquired my first gas-powered snowblower, thus ensuring a snow-free winter.)

Also in 2012, my family started our conversion to Apple devices – we picked up a pair of iPhones and an iPad so far and we are instant fans (see last week’s Friday ShareDay post). MacBooks are next on the list.

All that data consumption on our wireless devices has us becoming more and more mindful of our data plans and on what seems like a constant quest for wifi.

The first time I got an iPhone in my hands, I understood (and frankly, changed my mind) on the need for free wifi hotspots in major traffic areas, incluing downtowns, at train stations and in commercial buildings. The wireless companies are making huge investments in their high speed networks, mostly to cash in on expensive data plans that power social media, streaming entertainment and texting. But even the best 4G/LTE infrastructure can’t measure up to a robust wifi hotspot.

So this article on a wifi usage study from TechCrunch comes along almost serendipitously, showing that we’re not only not alone in our mania, but quite normal. What do you think?

Happy Weekend!

Snowed In, but Not Under


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There’s a report out today that says the mammoth snows that have been crippling wide swaths of the country have been having a serious impact on retail and restaurant sales, as people hunker indoors and don’t go out and spend.

And while Ben Bernanke may be blaming Mother Nature for his problems, the rest of us know that people haven’t stopped living, and by definition, it means they’re still buying, somewhere. If they’re not going to the store, it means they’re doing it online. And that points out the absolute necessity for any serious business to have its act together for people buying from their computers and mobile devices.

Take a look at your business: is your website optimized for search, and does it come up at or near the top of a Google results? Do you have buyer-friendly way to purchase on your website? Do you have a mobile site that displays properly on handheld devices? (In my experience, there’s no faster way to discourage mobile purchases than driving people to a site that’s not optimized for handhelds; webpages don’t display properly, take too much time to load and are typically clunky on a 2-inch-screen)

Do you allow people to pay through paypal and other widely accepted digital methods? How’s your facebook page? Are you active on social media and engaged in the conversations that are happening among your customers and within your industry or niche?

Mashable has a great list of resources for small businesses that tackle many of these issues.

I’m not saying the corner grocery store needs a mobile site to sell milk (even though big chains like Stop&Shop have online ordering sites and free same-day delivery). But if you’re a small business looking to capture an audience stuck in their houses and in front of their computers, make sure your online presence is robust and ready. Because it’s only February, and there’s plenty of winter left.