ClearVerve Marketing, LLC

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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

What content is right for you?


Content marketing has become the newest gotta have it thing in marketing. And just like many marketers were told to “get us up on Facebook” for no other reason than someone had heard of this new Facebook thing and it sounded cool, content generation is now a jump in with both feet and no thought thing.

But the problem is that creating all this content is WORK. A lot of work. And there are a ton of platforms you can use. For example:

  • You can write a whitepaper and post it to your website, or create a microsite, or post it to Facebook, or Tweet it, write a press release about it, or…
  • Work with a videographer create a video and post it in a bunch of places (see above)
  • You can create a short-form video, such as a Vine, for your website, YouTube, or Facebook
  • Try uploading a presentation or e-book to Slideshare
  • Write and post information to your LinkedIn account
  • Create your own magazine on Flipboard
  • Tweet
  • Blog
  • Set up a Facebook page or a Google + profile
  • Maintain an online press room
  • Publish an e-newsletter
  • Don’t forget about Instagram, Pinterest, and a thousand other platforms I can’t think of off the top of my head
  • And on and on and on…

Who has time for all this? Even large companies struggle to keep up with it all. And there’s nothing worse than setting up an online profile and then abandoning it. In fact, a recent study showed that 70 percent of buyers are relying on content more than they did just a year ago to make buying decisions.

So take your time. Think about what you actually can do. Pat yourself on the back for what you accomplish. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities, but remember that just because something exists, that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Playing with Vines


Have you heard of Vine? It’s a fun new app that you can use to make the equivalent of a video “tweet.” You use your smartphone to make a six-second video, which you can then post to Facebook or Twitter. Once your video is posted, you can get an embed code that will allow you embed the video anywhere.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “How great can a six-second video be anyway?” Well, they can be pretty great! In fact, the Tribeca Film Festival invited people to submit Vines for judging and got some amazing super short videos. Check them out here.

So, what can you do with a vine? Lots! Obviously, vine isn’t great for explaining complicated topics or if you need to impress someone with a high quality video, but it can be used to create a fun, simple message. Check out two we quickly made at Clear Verve.

2013 is the year of content marketing


According to a recent survey, 79 percent of marketers are now reporting that their companies are shifting into branded content either at a moderate or aggressive pace. The portion of the marketing budget dedicated to creating content is up 13 percent over the past two years.

Content marketing is using the creation of content as a marketing tool. It can take the form of blogs, social media, or website content. It can be video or email. It also includes traditional forms of content such as books, printed newsletters, or whitepapers. Anything your organization does to inform and educate your audience, with the exception of advertising, can be considered content marketing.

In the professional services world, content marketing is something that has always been done. Most accounting firms, insurance companies, health care organizations, and law firms have been producing newsletters for years. However, the number of mediums for distribution and the speed at which content must now be created is new. This poses a challenge for many organizations, as evidenced by the fact that 56 percent of brands are now outsourcing content creation. It is a necessity, but is outside the skill set of many professionals. If your organization can afford to outsource content, it provides many advantages. Content is created consistently and is of higher quality. However, if you can’t afford outside help, you can still participate. Here’s how:

  • Set realistic goals. You don’t have to blog every day. Shoot for once a week or twice a month. Just be consistent.
  • Produce the best content you can. Better to produce a smaller amount of high quality content than hundreds of gobbledygook posts nobody will read.
  • Remember, it’s not advertising. Inform, don’t sell. Your goal is not to make a sale, it is to educate your audience and demonstrate your knowledge.

Get multiple people at your organization involved. If everyone only needs to write one or two articles per year, it can get done.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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The Social Olympics Challenge


Social media has changed the way we live, and true to form, stands to change the way we experience the Olympics. For many athletes, especially those in sports that don’t tend to get a lot of traditional media coverage, the Olympics are their once-every-four-years chance to connect with the world in a way that can help them earn a living for many years to come. Because of its ability to help people connect on a more personal level, social media will certainly be a huge part of most Olympians’ Summer Games experience.

Of course, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is dealing with many of the same challenges that everday companies face when it comes to dealing with the use of social media. They need to provide guidelines that will help the athletes make good decisions, decide what to do when they don’t, and preserve their relationships with the high-paying media outlets that cover the games. It doesn’t always work. Several athletes have already come under scrutiny for their use of social media, most notably a Greek triple jumper who was expelled from the games for posting a racist tweet. Maybe that’s because having rules, and the IOC does, doesn’t prevent people from saying or doing stupid things. Experience does. And so does guidance. It’s important to remember that most athletes are young, and young people don’t always think things through all the way to their logical conclusion. Many businesses face this same problem when turning their social media accounts over to their youngest staff member because they know the platforms so well. But they fail to provide them with guidance, which puts the company at risk.

Maybe in addition to providing rules about how athletes should tweet, the IOC should include statements reminding athletes to think about their overall goals. Any good marketing plan is tied to goals and if anyone on earth knows about setting goals, these athletes do. My guess is that if more people (not just athletes) asked themselves if what they are posting fits into their plan for their life and their career, there would be a lot fewer people tripping over their words and landing virtual face plants.

Wondering how to deal with this challenge in your company? Check out two documents we created to help: the Social Media Guidelines or Policy Template and the Reacting to Social Media Flowchart. Both can be found here.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Thoughts on the PR & Social Media Summit

Friday, October 14, 2011 — 


I don’t think I realized the brilliance of the PR & Social Media Summit presented in Milwaukee until the next day, when I found myself missing the energy of the conference. Being a part of a community on several different levels was extremely enriching.

We all got to take a day to navigate the social media landscape as a group, with very few outside disturbances. This was my first conference with a smart phone and tweet screens and I really enjoyed it for two main reasons:

1) It was great to SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WERE THINKING as the presentations were taking place (even in the other session) and even see how people outside of the summit were responding.

2) I really enjoyed the FREEDOM to feel like I could be on a phone or computer without insulting people around me for once. We are taught from a young age that paying attention means looking at the speaker, actively listening and nodding (not off to sleep, obviously). But multi-listening opened things up in an amazing social media savvy way!

2.25) It was my birthday and somebody not at the summit figured out they could wish me a big screen happy birthday tweet all the way from Africa.

Being in sessions with people who were into social media (or wanted to learn more about social media) was helpful, and the summit set us all up to communicate successfully. Presenters wanted to interact with both in-person and Twitter questions/comments, and audience members shared information about social media tools, planning, influencing influencers, videos and driving engagement as fast as they learned it.

Did you attend # PRSMS in Milwaukee? If so did you feel this same connectedness? Or have you attended another conference where you felt similarly? I know that one day later, I was still inclined to tweet about what I was experiencing to others and missed being in that type of environment.

BONUS! Some one-liner takeaways that I found quality enough to write down on actual paper:

• Seek what people are seeking, not what they already have. (@georgegsmithjr)
• Social media is less about the moment more about the movement (@georgegsmithjr)
• Technology changes but remember it’s about consumer’s behavior and how they interact with the changing technology that matters (@georgegsmithjr)
• Liking something means something in the real world, but not on Facebook (@augieray)
• ROI tools are different for everyone depending on what you’re trying to accomplish (@sarameaney)
• Foster a narrative with your consumers (@alkrueger)
• You can’t influence an influencer unless you ARE an influencer (@the_spinmd)
• People don’t sign up on Facebook to be marketed to (@the_spinmd)
• “The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.” – Abe Lincoln, re one’s character (@JennyMcTighe)

Erica Gordon is a Marketing Associate at Clear Verve and also works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. Follow Erica on Twitter: @erica_g.

Can social media exist without competition?

Thursday, September 1, 2011 — 


I get it. We’re a competitive society. I want to win my fantasy football league (again). I’m working to become a faster runner. I want my idea in a brainstorming session to be the one that sticks. But I also watched that episode of Donahue about how our society is obsessed with competition. And I remember identifying with the kids on the show who were awesome AND interesting, but weren’t exceptional athletes, gifted artists, brilliant mathematicians, or talented musicians. Because I remember thinking, it’s okay not to be the best at something.

In the here and now (because really, what good is it to reminisce about Donahue shows?) I enjoy learning about new ways to form communities online for nonprofits and organizations and people in general. The best way for me to explore that interest is to be active and experiment on multiple social media platforms. And I was thoroughly enjoying myself, especially on Twitter, until I began realizing it was hard not to subconsciously compete and not just interact.

Case in point: “I’ll join Twitter. It will be fun.” “My company will join Twitter. It will be beneficial and a great way to connect with people.” It IS fun. It IS beneficial. But it also quickly becomes all about keeping track of how many followers you have, if you get retweeted, how many people mention you, what level of Klout you have and what topics you are influencing others about.

Since when did EVERYTHING become a competition? I always try my best to offer solutions when I bring up problems but I’m dumbfounded with this competition thing.

Do you feel pressure to compete against coworkers, friends, businesses in social media? Does it drive you to be better? Or make you feel like you’re talking just to talk?

Erica Gordon is a Marketing Associate at Clear Verve and also works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. Follow Erica on Twitter:  @erica_g.

Facebook vs. Twitter ?

Friday, July 29, 2011 — 


I came across a great infographic yesterday that illustrates the 2010 demographics of Facebook and Twitter. There is a lot of information in these two pie charts. Here is what I found most interesting:

Number of users
• Facebook – 500 million
• Twitter – 108 million
Clearly, Facebook is this winner here. And with the ability for advertisers to target their messages by location, age, gender, and interests, Facebook offers a lot more opportunities for businesses to promote themselves.

Usage patterns
• 41% of Facebook users log in every day
• 27% of Twitter users log in every day
If you are marketing a business, this is an important distinction because you will either need to adjust the frequency of your posts depending on the network or adjust your expectations regarding the timeline of your campaign.

It is also worth noting that only 12% of people who log in update their status on Facebook, while 52% of Twitter users update their status every time they log in. While this statistic can mean a number of things, I think it shows that Facebook users are more consumers of content, while Twitter users are more generators of content. Facebook users may be more likely to be receptive to your messages, provided they are appropriate for the social network setting, while Twitter users may be too busy talking about themselves to care about anyone else. Or not. The statistics are true, the rest is just a hypothesis from me.

Age of users
• Facebook – approximately 60% of users are ages 13 – 34
• Twitter – approximately 60% of users are ages 26 – 44
Twitter users are also more educated. 76% of Twitter users are in college or are college graduates. Only 50% of Facebook users are either in college or are college graduates. This might make you think that if you are targeting educated individuals, you should choose Twitter. Don’t be so hasty! It is important to convert these percentages into a head count. 50% of Facebook users = 250 million users. 76% of Twitter users = 80.5 million.

I hope you will take a minute to look at the infographic. What does it tell you? We’d love to get your insights!

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

The UNfollow challenge – did you miss me?

Thursday, July 14, 2011 — 


As an organization or business, we all want people to like us. That’s a gimme.

And now in the social media world, it’s become the norm to want people to like us and follow us. But what if we start challenging people to UNlike us? Or UNfollow us?

By doing this, we are showing a sense of confidence that we know you really like us. Right now, all people see is “Follow us!” “Like us!” “Join us!” “If you do this for us, we’ll give you this!” So do something different. Posing this UNfollow challenge does make people take extra steps, but it will engage them to think about if they really need you.

Should you expect some people not to come back if they unfollow you? Of course! Should you worry? Of course not!

They way I see it there are five possible reactions to the challenge. People will:

1)  Do nothing but respect what you’re doing (and what you do) even more
2) Do nothing because they’re not engaged
3) Accept the challenge and come back to you
4) Accept the challenge and not come back because they decide they don’t            really need you
5) Accept the challenge and not come back because they think you’re crazy           and tell their friends

Only one of these reactions is not good for you, and even then it’s not that bad. Which one do you think it is?

I’ll wait.




(insert your own waiting music here)



Number two (although I could be guilted into admitting other ones are also not great, depending on your situation). Why is only number two not good? If you don’t have people actively engaged in what you are all about, they’re just a number to you. And that’s not the kind of audience anybody craves. Creating a community with 100 engaged audience members is far better than 2,000 people who couldn’t care less!

What do you think? Does this have the potential to massively backfire? Explode into flames? Or is this something that you would consider trying? I’d love to hear what you think! Or unread what you just read, I challenge you! ;)

Erica Gordon is a Marketing Associate at Clear Verve and also works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. Follow Erica on Twitter:  @erica_g.

The Twitter Triangle

Thursday, March 31, 2011 — 


It’s just like the Bermuda Triangle, and possibly worse. The path to the Twitter Triangle starts out seemingly innocent:

Oh I know. I’ll go take a quick peek on Twitter and get a few updates. That will help me re-focus on the project I’m working on.

Twenty minutes later…

Crap, I’ve been sucked in.

Sucked in usually means doing one or all of the following:

  • Clicking on one story and then reading two or five.
  • Following an interesting tweet by someone you don’t know and checking out that person’s recent tweets. And then maybe another.
  • Vowing to look at ten-ish tweets and then seeing one more beneath those tweets that interests you. And then one more.
  • Finding it hard to stop clicking on the inviting “X New Tweets” box
  • Thinking that you’ll just scroll all the way down the page once before remembering (or pretending to remember) that TWITTER NEVER STOPS SCROLLING.

Twitter makes it hard to stop and easy to keep clicking and scrolling. It gives you everything you want. It’s like those State Farm commercials where you can just say what you want and it magically appears. The only difference is that Twitter doesn’t even make you say anything.

Now, the time you spend in the Twitter Triangle isn’t necessarily WASTED time. But it’s time you didn’t plan on spending doing…that. That. (My definition of “that” is professional development and staying up-to-date on issues that have to do with what you do, and fun.)

Is the solution to just not go on Twitter until you have large chunks of free time? Well that doesn’t seem to make sense because Twitter is there as a feed. If you don’t check it for a whole day, you’re really not using it for what it’s there for.

So then how do you limit yourself to a balanced amount of time on Twitter a day? I try to keep my Twitter time constant but brief during the day and use the starring option as more of a bookmark system. If I know I want to read it later, I favorite the funnier tweets and then spend some time on those later. How do you keep yourself from slipping into the Twitter Triangle (or maybe the Facebook Fog)?

Erica Gordon is a Marketing Associate at Clear Verve and also works part-time at a Milwaukee area nonprofit. She recently received her Communication MA from Marquette University. Follow Erica on Twitter @erica_g.

Fundraising with Twitter


This week, we will launch a first for Milwaukee. On Friday, April 16, in conjunction with A Day for Meta House, Clear Verve has organized the first ever Milwaukee-area twitter-based fundraiser. Thanks to the generosity of Manpower and the vision of the people at Meta House, we hope to raise $1500 through retweets of the hashtag #Day4MH. Here’s how it will work:

During the tweetathon, Meta House will be using twitter to send out messages about their mission, the activities that will be happening at the breakfast and lunch events, and Manpower’s support for retweeted messages. Tweets will also be sent following the theme for the day – the ripple effect of addiction and recovery and how one person’s life affects many other’s – and asking people to share their messages of inspiration and the people who have impacted their lives.

Then, Milwaukee-area tweetathon participants are invited to attend a tweetup at iPic at Bayshore from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Admission is free, but freewill donations will be accepted to benefit Meta House. Attendees can RSVP for the tweetup by clicking here.

If you don’t know much about Meta House, be sure to follow #Day4MH on twitter, you will learn a lot. They are an amazing organization, a nationally recognized treatment center that has been providing alcohol and other drug abuse treatment services designed specifically for women since 1963. Meta House helps women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction reclaim their lives and rebuild their families. Its model program meets the unique needs of women and their children, ending the generational cycle of substance abuse. Meta House knows that women are likely to have become addicted in response to the pain of traumatic life experiences. They also know that women succeed in treatment when they have a healing environment that understands the importance of their roles in society. For more information, visit

So, how can you help?

We hope you’ll participate in this great experiment and help a wonderful organization make a difference in Milwaukee. Be sure to follow #Day4MH on twitter and take a moment to retweet a few times. Then, show up at iPic to meet the other Milwaukee-area tweeps who will help us raise up to $1500 for Meta House. We’re confident we’ll reach our goal and we hope you’ll be a part of it!