Category Archives: #RLTM Blog

Updates about The Realtime Report, Conferences and other #RLTM products.

10 Signs Your Company Needs a Website Redesign

10 Signs Your Company Needs a Website Redesign
By Michelle Hummel

When do you know that your company needs a website redesign? In many cases, it’s not just because of a single factor. Instead, it’s the result of a combination of factors. And if you’re wondering what factors most often lead to businesses deciding to look for redesign services, that’s exactly what we’re going to cover right now:

1. Not Responsive
Responsive design refers to a design style that allows a website to automatically resize to any screen. Since so many Internet users are now getting online with their phones and tablets, a responsive design is vital for ensuring they all have a consistent experience.

2. Difficult to Update
Regardless of what someone may have told you in the past, in 2015, there’s no reason for a site to be difficult to update. If you’re comfortable checking your email and using Microsoft Word, you have all the skills needed to update your site whenever you want. However if your site is out of date, you’re going to need professional redesign services to bring your site up to date and ensure it’s actually easy to use.

3. Unnecessary Clutter
Are there multiple buttons, badges and other elements on your site that don’t serve a real purpose? If so, enlisting website redesign services to remove them will increase your site’s conversion rate by preventing your visitors from being distracted or annoyed.

4. Slow
When it comes to really compelling reasons to opt for a website redesign, a slow site is a big one. Having a site that takes forever to load means you’re regularly losing visitors. There’s also a good chance you’re not ranking as well as you could in Google with a faster site.

5. High Bounce Rate
If your analytics show that a significant number of visitors are hitting the back button before visiting a second page, you need the assistance of website redesign services to identify what’s going wrong and how it can be fixed.

6. Erosion of Traffic
A healthy website is one that sees a steady increase in traffic. If your traffic is moving in the other direction, redesigning it may be exactly what’s need to turn that negative trend around.

7. Looks Outdated
If it looks like it’s been five or even ten years since your site was updated, a redesign can give it a facelift so visitors won’t ever assume your site’s been abandoned.

8. Not Working Correctly
Online users don’t have patience for sites that don’t work correctly. So if there are one or more features on your site that are currently malfunctioning, it’s time to deal with them through a redesign.

9. Search Engine Issues
Are there multiple error messages when you log into your Google Webmaster Tools account? If so, there’s a good chance a website redesign will be the best way to tackle them.

10. Links from Old Designers
If there are links on your site from professionals you’ve enlisted in the past but no longer work with, an overhaul can remove them as well as address any of the other issues we covered above.

Although deciding that you are going to have your site redesigned is a big decision, as long as you enlist the website redesign services of proven professionals you’ll find that the process goes smoothly and the end result is exactly the type of website that you want.

Michelle Hummel is a passionate internet marketer with over 10 years of successful online business development, sales and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable internet marketing degree; however, with the ever-changing world of web marketing, she strives to learn something new every day. Michelle travels nationwide to share her wisdom and provide social media keynotes with in-depth training. She is writing a book titled: “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Cu

Thoughtful Social Media Strategy and Why You Should Avoid Interrupting Your Customers

Thoughtful Social Media Strategy And Why You Should Avoid Interrupting Your Customers

According to a study done at Carnegie Mellon University, interruptive advertising can have a negative impact on a consumer’s impression of a brand as well as their willingness to pay for the brands products. This is an important factor to consider in social media marketing. With the growth in mobile and the expansion of social media networks, consumers have more and more outlets and opportunities to consume information.This is good and bad for brands and retailers. They need to focus on thoughtful social media strategy to continue to attract and engage consumers.


In one respect it gives brands and retailers more mediums through which to reach their customers. However, the flip side of it is customers have more ways to ignore advertising which is commonly known as “banner blindness”.

For many marketers, native advertising on social media appears to be a good solution to the issue of banner blindness. However, the study by Carnegie Mellon raises the question: can blanket native advertising backfire?

In the Carnegie Mellon study “Do Interruptions Pay Off? Effects of Interruptive Ads on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay,” one group of participants were shown ads while playing an online game, and then asked to give a price they would be willing to pay for a coffee mug with the branding of the ad they were shown. The control group was allowed to play the game uninterrupted and then asked the same question.

The results showed, the price participants were willing to pay for the mug dropped when they were interrupted during the game. The study went further, demonstrating interruption can also negatively impact overall brand image. Open ended questions showed participants had more overwhelmingly negative feelings towards the brand responsible for interrupting their game than the control brand that did not interrupt their game.

This study shows us the importance of thoughtful advertising. Social networks provide a great opportunity to reach your target market and tailor your ads to their needs. However, you have to make the ads seamless within the user experience in order to avoid interrupting your customers. The consumer’s use of a social media network should drive the kind of advertising your brand displays.

Consider the following: Facebook is used to connect and stay in touch with friends, Pinterest is used for inspiration, and Twitter is for staying up to date with news and events.

• Facebook provides a great opportunity to connect with loyal customers, people who willingly engage and see your brand as a “friend”.

• Pinterest is a great place for more traditional product advertising, use editorial images of your products to inspire your customer.

• Twitter is a great platform for announcements, including; sales, contests, and events.

Let each social media’s strength, content style and usage drive your advertising strategy to avoid interruption and potentially damaging your brand’s image.

The Realtime Report: A New Home, Bigger Opportunities

The Realtime Report + The Social Media Monthly

As many of you know, The Realtime Report has been on sabbatical for the last few months. Much of that had to do with the fact that I have been going through some exciting changes: last November, I started a new position managing intellectual property for Edelman, working with wicked smart people on projects like the Trust Barometer and other cool data-driven views of the latest industry trends.

But many of you also know how much I have personally vested in The Realtime Report, which originated back in May 2009 as the first-ever Twitter for business conference, and eventually grew into a robust community of PR, marketing, and digital professionals using realtime platforms to engage customers and prospects, and connect online and real-world experiences in exciting new ways.

So I am beyond thrilled to announce that we’ve found a great new home for The Realtime Report. Effective today, #RLTM will be part of The Social Media Monthly family of online and event products, and will soon start publishing again on a regular basis.

I have known Bob Fine, the founder and leader of The Social Media Monthly, for many years, and couldn’t be leaving this community in better hands. He and I have been colleagues–and competitors–since back in the day. I organized the first social media conference on the west coast, but he organized the first one on the east coast, in June 2009. His book, The Big Book of Social Media Case Studies, Stories and Perspectives, has now been used as a textbook at over 10 universities—and he gave me the opportunity of contributing the closing chapter. He continues to be a connector and contributor to the community, sharing best practices, case studies, and organizing events to highlight best practices, solutions, and case studies on a regular basis.

So what happens next?

The Realtime Report website is currently undergoing a makeover and will soon be integrated into The Social Media Monthly from a navigation standpoint. More exciting, Bob and his team will very soon start adding fresh content to The Realtime Report blog again, covering case studies and cool stats you can use.

Even more exciting – you know I love events — Bob is running with the Realtime Marketing Lab concept that we pioneered in October 2013, and has just recently announced the Realtime Marketing Lab Tour, taking it to 9 cities this Spring. (Want an early invite or more details on sponsorships? Hit him up with an email!)

And if you are a subscriber to The Realtime Report, you will be joining a community of over 21,000 readers strong, and will start to receive newsletters from The Social Media Monthly. Of course you can unsubscribe at any time, but wait for the first new edition ‘cause I’ll bet you won’t want to.

Best part, Bob is just as committed to getting you the best access to the info, community, and content you need to be great at your job. Let him know about the types of content and issues you’d like to see covered. Tweet him at @bobfine or send him an email.

Goodbye, Not Farewell

I’m not going anywhere. Yes, I have a fancy new job with a big title that is giving me an opportunity to work on some very cool big projects with some of the smartest people in the business at Edelman. But I will be around: Bob has asked me to stay involved in an advisory role; I hope to write the occasional blog post; and you may even see me at the occasional Realtime Marketing Lab event. Want to keep in touch? Tweet me at @tonia_ries.

And I can’t wait to start reading The Realtime Report again!

This is a guest post by Rupa Ganata, co-founder of men’s grooming online retailer Yes Sir,  and of Brand us Social (BUS).

Social Media Pop Up Shops

From fashion to food, an increasing number of businesses are exchanging goods and services for tweets and Instagram posts in the form of modern day Social Media pop-up shops.

Pop-up shops have become a regular and vital part of high streets around the world—but the latest trend is the exchange of free goods and services in return for tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram posts: the “Social Media” pop-up. At, a men’s grooming company, we will be collaborating with Man Made London to launch London’s first Social Media Barber shop: from September 18 to 20, the & Man Made London Social Media barber shop in Marylebone, London will allow you to pay for a free wet shave or beard trim via a Tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post using our dedicated hash tag #ShaveMeSir.

Other brands have already explored the concept of the Social Media Pop-up. A recent success story was Marc Jacobs, who launched a pop-up store in London’s Covent Garden. The idea was to enhance and magnify customer engagement by exchanging fragrances and manicures for tweets and videos. Shoppers received the chance to pick up their favourite pieces and pay with social media. The pop-up shop was laid out with creative photography and video in mind, with different areas where visitors could go to create that unique image to earn them some freebies. The more creative the posts with the #MJDaisyChain hash tag, the more amazing the prizes. For example, a Tweet and a Vine video won you a Marc Jacobs key ring and a free manicure at the in-store Nail Bar.

Some brands have also incorporated a ‘pay with picture’ strategy that encompasses the rising trend of visual social media in 2014. For example, frozen food brand Bird’s Eye turned interactive image posts into free meals in a London pop-up. And Nokia celebrated the Lumia 630 by launching the #100aires Pop-up in East London in June, where one-off art pieces were up for sale using social currency.

Let us know if your brand has plans to experiment with a social media pop-up concept!

About the Author

Rupa GanatraRupa is co-founder of Yes Sir, one of Europe’s leading men’s grooming online retailers and co-founder of Brand us Social (BUS), a forward-looking Social Media and Digital intelligence and events company providing news, data and conferences. She was recently featured as the Top 35 under 35 Women in the UK in Management Today and the Sunday Times.

Weibo Users Embrace ALS #IceBucketChallenge in China; Raise $400,000 To Date

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has generated a fair amount of debate. Rich Becker sums up the arguments in support and against #IceBucketChallenge here. Whatever your perspective, you can’t argue with the windfall of $88.5 million and 1.9 million new donors that the campaign has raised to date.

Today I received an email from a PR firm answering one of the questions I’ve had about the campaign: has the #IceBucketChallenge made a splash outside North America? I am connected to a lot of people around the world, but haven’t really seen anyone outside of my American and some Canadian friends posting about the campaign.

Well it turns out there’s at least one other region where #IceBucketChallenge has caught on: China.

On China’s Weibo platform, over 1.58 million users have talked about #IceBucketChallenge, and a total of 1.43 billion people have viewed posts about the topic. Chinese internet users, from tech billionaires to celebrities have taken the icy bath in support of the charity.  In comparison, people have shared 1.2 million videos on Facebook and mentioned the phenomenon 2.2 million times on Twitter.

More importantly, Weibo’s users are also contributing to the cause and have donated almost $400,000–a fraction of the total collected so far, but I would guess that the ALS Association does not typically see very many donations from China.

Is #IceBucketChallenge a hit in your country, as well? Let us know!

Realtime Marketing: How To Plan For The Moment

This is a guest post by Matthew Yeoman of the Social Media Marketing blog.
Photo credit: Gerd Altmann realtime marketing works, it’s because you have something much bigger than you doing your marketing for you. It’s simple: if many people are already interested in a particular event, and you create a realtime marketing campaign that is centered around that event, the public awareness associated with the event benefits your marketing efforts.

This concept plays off an idea presented by Stephen McIntyre, the Managing Director of Twitter Europe, at the Dublin Web Summit last year. His quote, borrowed from Rory Sutherland, was about social media marketing in general, but applies directly to realtime marketing: “Brands don’t have target markets, they have target moments.”

How Does the “Moment” Do Your Realtime Marketing For You?

People use social media to post something random about their lives – which you can’t plan for. But they also use social media to check up on key events, and to share content related to these events – this you can easily plan for. Those who take the time to plan for key moments will have text, video, images, and GIFs that speak to these moments. When the time is right, they are shared on social media and the moment does the marketing for them.

If you want to see success from your realtime marketing campaigns, with minimal effort, this is what you will want to do. Here’s a Gif that captures this concept in a silly way:

The example above was for a big marketing moment that you should still have fresh on your mind, the FIFA World Cup. It shaped up to be the largest sporting event on social media ever. A number of brands that created World Cup content for this key moment had the hype around the tournament doing their marketing for them as people were interested in the sporting spectacle already – these brands just had content ready for it. The Realtime Report has already covered a number of World Cup marketing examples; and here’s my personal favorite:

But what if your product or service doesn’t fit into a sporting event? Let’s look at examples of other ways you can let the moment do the marketing for your brand.

What moments can you plan ahead for?

Realtime campaigns and viral marketing are all about eliciting strong reactions from large events by using brief messages. Social media users are starved for the latest gossip, and new ways to share their interests with people. The content that you provide needs to speak to this. Here are some examples of how you can let an event do your marketing for you by tying in with a moment:

  • A museum can create an original ad campaign in preparation for the Game of Thrones season finale. Highlight the best of your historical collection and how it ties in with the violent drama.
  • If there’s a celebrity wedding taking place, an event management company could join the conversation on relevant hashtags on Twitter. A well prepared event management team will get a few photos ready ahead of time for the day of the wedding and tweet them out in congratulations. Those may be the easiest retweets you ever get.
  • Controversial trials are a great time for those in the law industry to work up an analysis of the legal precedent and send it out over social media channels. People want to be better informed about the issues, so this can also go a long way towards further establishing you as an authority in your field.
  • On a more local scale: a flower company could deliver some flowers to a local politician upon their most recent win and document what happened with a video. A music store can have an employee taking photos at local concerts. Putting these moments on Instagram, Twitter, and Vine with connected hashtags will get you local mentions and retweets.

Once you have tried one of these tactics, it is time to sit down and look at your analytics and see how well they performed. Most realtime marketing moments occur over and over again – celebrities will continue to get married, controversial trials will happen, exciting TV shows have a finale every year. Your analytics will show you what your audience is responding to, and you can be better prepared for the next time one of these moments comes around.

What is the danger of not preparing for viral marketing moments?

Many businesses that are new to social media use them as reactive, rather than proactive, marketing opportunities. They login once they see something going on, have their 140 character say, or post something inconsequential to their Facebook, and all too often they’re ignored. Think about your Twitter feed right now. It likely contains maybe the last hour’s worth of tweets unless you start scrolling down. With Twitter users only paying attention to the last hour of their tweets, do you have time to see a real time marketing moment, create content worth sharing, and get it in time? Likely not – the moment will pass you by and you’ll be just another ignored piece of content from what social media now considers “old news” – a time frame that could be as short as an hour!


About the Author:

Matthew YeomanMatthew Yeoman is the blogger/writer/creator over on the Social Media Marketing blog. You can find him there every Friday with the latest news on Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Google, and Vimeo marketing developments, and find useful tips on how to use these social platforms.

Social Media News Ticker: Instagram Launches Bolt, Foursquare Debuts New Logo, Facebook Drops Gifts

Check out all the latest social media news from the last two weeks, including changes and new features for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Foursquare:
Facebook Messenger


  • Facebook forces users worldwide to download Messenger for mobile chat – Facebook is no longer allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps; now users worldwide must download its standalone Messenger app. Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites like before. (TechCrunch)
  • Facebook gives up on Gifts – Facebook is shutting down the remainder of its Gifts service, which allowed users to send digital gift cards to friends; the shutdown is effective August 12th (re/code)
  • Bet you didn’t notice this tiny but revealing Facebook design change – the globe notification icon at the top of Facebook’s navigation bar now looks different depending on where users are logging in; Americans see North and South America, while users in Asia, Africa and Europe see an icon of the Eastern Hemisphere (Quartz)


  •  Twitter testing easier-to-use hashtags – Twitter is testing a feature that will better organize hashtags; it adds an expanded label to some hashtag searches, giving the hashtags “a sense of legitimacy and order as related to a certain event or subject” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Twitter acquires password startup Mitro – Twitter acquired small password security startup Mitro, with plans to keep the team but not the product; Mitro’s product will live on as an open source project (TechCrunch)
  • Twitter joins the deep learning party – Twitter acquired MadBits, a New York startup using “deep learning” to help computers “understand” images, an approach to artificial intelligence (re/code)



  •  Instagram launches one-touch photo and video messaging app Bolt outside the US – last week Instagram officially released its Snapchat competitor, standalone app Bolt, but only in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand; the app is designed for lightning-fast, ephemeral one-to-one video and photo messaging” and came into the public eye after banner ads for the product were accidentally leaked on Instagram (TechCrunch)

new Foursquare logo


Any social media updates that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Media Fragmentation: 3 Strategies For How Business Marketers Can Keep Up

This is a guest post written by Lisa Smith, Director of Media and Markets Research/Mindwave Research.

Maybe you remember when media research was just about capturing TV viewership and print readership? Even when we first began analyzing web site traffic we had a manageable set of properties to measure.

But today, the pervasiveness of social media, the continued digitization of content, and the fragmentation of media platforms have given consumers and business decision makers a bewilderingly broad array of offline and online sources—creating significant challenges for marketers when it comes to measuring audiences and effectively targeting prospects throughout a decision-making process.

Welcome to the Era of Media Sprawl

  • Social media, blogs, and discussion boards mean that users generate as much online content as brands do.
  • Online searches deliver instant sources on virtually any topic you can imagine.
  • TV and print digitization makes news and entertainment available anywhere, anytime.

Your customers are now getting their information from an ever-growing number of sources. For example, research shows that B2B decision makers today use an average of 10 different sources when making purchase decisions about complex, enterprise-wide technology solutions.

More Access to Information = More Collaborative Decision Makers

This media fragmentation has also affected business buying behavior. Easier access to more information brings new decision-making functions into focus and adds layers to the buying process.

Our experience with research tracking media consumption and buying behaviors in the B2B tech markets shows significant shifts in who is involved:

20 years ago:

B2B tech buying largely done in IT departments with CIOs and IT managers unilaterally driving purchase decisions.
Past 20 years: Internet becomes prevalent means for tech brands to connect and engage directly with customers, from end users to IT decision makers.
Today:  B2B buying decision model is highly collaborative where corporate and management are active participants in needs determination and evaluation.

Shifting the B2B Media Research Model

The challenge for marketers: how to track real business prospects through all the various online and offline touch points. Looking to create an effective integrated media plan, with optimized exposure to the right audience at the right time? Here are three strategies that will get you there:

1. Find true B2B decision makers who are actively involved in the buying journey.

The ubiquitous access to information turns many employees into instant business influencers. They may make requests based on seeing a Facebook post, or alert others about interesting content by re-sharing information via a tweet, but they don’t necessarily direct specific buying decisions. Influencers can provide needed input at certain stages of a purchase cycle, but they are a difficult and inefficient target when nearly everyone is an influencer. The solution? Make sure you have identified your true decision-making customers who are actively involved in the purchase decision. And we emphasize “active” because there is a difference in content engagement with decision makers who are waiting for the next purchase cycle versus those who are currently in it.

2. Create product-specific content based on how decision makers consume information.

Unless you’re dealing with a very homogeneous B2B product or service portfolio, research shows that the type of solution you are selling absolutely matters in establishing your content strategy. Our tech-industry clients develop, manufacture, and sell hardware, software, and services that range from end-user devices and applications to enterprise network solutions and management tools. And who their customers are, as well as their content usage for purchase decisions, varies widely depending on the product or service in question.

Here’s one example from the Tap research comparing decision makers involved in buying mobile products to those involved in the buying process for unified communications devices. As you can see, the former are far more likely to turn to search engines or mobile apps for information, while the latter are looking at entirely different types and sources of content.

Media fragmentation in IT buying

 3. Drive specific content known to have greater weight at certain decision points.

We know that the B2B purchase process is a non-linear buying journey – much more than a progression of steps from “determining the need” to “approving the purchase”. As we think about the process as a journey, we see that simply analyzing content consumption in aggregate for a purchase decision is not enough to help marketers and media planners think about an integrated media strategy. That approach misses subtleties such as when a particular source is no longer useful, but the decision is still active. Advertisers need more flexibility in tailoring optimal content to deliver messages that drive critical decision points. As brands create more of their own content for demand gen efforts, recognizing how and when the content is used in the decision journey enables a better balance of the overall marketing and media strategy.

So What’s Next?

Will content and access methods continue to fragment further, creating additional challenges for media research? Or will we hit an over-exposure point that forces a consolidation of information, making it difficult to separate and measure one type of content versus another?

Either way, it’s critical for our measurement strategies and tracking studies to evolve in order to stay connected to business customers throughout these changing dynamics.

About the Author

Lisa Smith brings a fully integrated global market perspective to her understanding of these challenges through 20 years of experience working with B2B Media research. Her views come from 13 years in IT publishing at United Business Media/TechWeb/CMP Media, 6 years on the agency side at T3, working in strategy and planning roles, and 2 years on the research vendor side managing the Tap tech industry media study. More information regarding her work/experience and data to support this post can be found at

Social Networking Stats: Twitter’s User Growth Exceeds Expectations, #RLTM Scoreboard

The #RLTM Scoreboard: Social Networking Stats for the Week

Facebook: 1.32 billion monthly active users via Facebook
YouTube over 1 billion monthly unique users via YouTube
Twitter: 271 million monthly active users via Twitter
Qzone: 599 million monthly active users via TechCrunch
Sina Weibo: over 500 million users via The Next Web
Renren: over 170 million users via iResearch iUser Tracker
VK: over 230 million registered accounts via VK
LinkedIn: 300 million members via LinkedIn
Google Plus: 343 million monthly active users via GlobalWebIndex
Tumblr: 197 million blogs via Tumblr
Instagram: 200 million monthly active users via Instagram
Vine: 40 million registered users via Vine
Tagged: 11 million unique monthly users via Tagged
Foursquare: 50 million users via Foursquare
Pinterest: 70 million users via The Next Web
Reddit: 114 million monthly unique visitors via Reddit
WhatsApp: 500 million users via WhatsApp
Messenger: 200 million users via re/code
SnapChat:  ???? via TechCrunch

Please email if you have additional updates, or a social network that you feel should be on the list.  

Twitter’s Q2 User Growth Exceeds Expectations, Tops 271 Million

Twitter Q2 results exceed expectationsTwitter recently announced its second quarter results for 2014, with both revenue and user growth surpassing analyst expectations. After two quarters in a row showing decelerating user growth, this quarter’s results offered great news for Twitter.

The number of Twitter’s monthly active users topped 271 million (higher than the 267 million expected by analysts), for a year-over-year growth of 24%. Mobile monthly active users rose 29% to reach 211 million.

Timeline views were also on the rise, with 173 billion views, up from 157 billion in Q1.

Twitter’s sales more than doubled, reaching $312.2 million (earlier projections expected this number to be only around $282.8 million.)

What helped boost revenue and increase user growth? According to Twitter, new tools (including several centered around the World Cup) and new user profiles helped to engage users, as well as added capabilities for advertisers both in the U.S. and internationally.

Mobile advertising was responsible for a significant chunk of advertising revenue (81%), and international revenue more than doubled.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said Twitter’s reach is even larger than the number of monthly active users: “The size of our audience on our owned and operated properties is two to three times that of just our monthly active user base, which we believe ranks us among the top 10 largest digitally connected audiences in the world.” (Bloomberg)

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