11 Twitter Tools for 2011

Twitter applications are becoming essential for marketers that want to excel at creating value on twitter. Finding conversation opportunities, improving content timing & engagement penetration, and measuring value are all challenging, time-consuming tasks. There are some excellent twitter apps out there, but I’m still finding some big holes that have yet to be filled.

Finding Conversation Opportunities

Twitter is about relationship-building. The last thing you want to do is spam members of your target audience with @replies linking to your product. It’s a complete waste of time, it’ll get you kicked off twitter, and it gives your brand a terrible … [Read the rest »]

7 Improvements I Want from Facebook Marketing in 2011

Facebook sucks at making money. If you’ve ever used their advertising tools, you’ve been briefly amazed by how useful it is to be able target based on interests and fine-grained demographic detail, and soon, disgusted with how terrible Facebook’s implementation is. This post is not about bashing Facebook or their business model: socially-targetted advertising will be as big of a deal for marketers as search marketing (a $16.6 billion industry) is. This post is about how Facebook could do a much better job of providing marketers with effective tools, and serving users a more engaging and relevant advertising experience.

1) … [Read the rest »]

What’s Next? The Aftermath of Startup Failure.

Shutting down my startup has left me needing to fill three voids: goals, money, and credibility. I’m fortunate to have steady consulting work, a simple lifestyle with few expenses, and little danger of of not being able to fill my basic needs. But I was drawn to startups because I want to live a life that’s both fun and that makes a difference. So I’m trying to get back on track to doing both; here are the challenges that I face:

Setting New Goals & Making New Plans

The startup provided at least a rough framework for the next year … [Read the rest »]

Lessons Learned from Shutting Down My Second Startup

Two years ago, when I wrote a post-mortem for News Armada, I was an overly-ambitious first-time entrepreneur, chasing dreams of venture funding and changing the world on my first time up to bat. I learned two important lessons from that experience:

  1. Momentum is everything. Lost momentum isn’t just missed opportunity, it’s a weight that slows your startup down.
  2. Value before revenue. Don’t spend all your time working on a plan to generate revenue from a community / product before you’ve proven that it provides enough value to people that they’re willing to use / pay for it. Market traction first,
  3. [Read the rest »]

You Procrastinate Because You’re Scared

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as an entrepreneur is my own fear of rejection. With EasyImpress entering a sales phase, this has been my biggest priority for overcoming. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that many others with this same fear don’t even realize they have it. Many entrepreneurs have the bad habit of procrastination, but that’s all they think of it as. They’re not lazy people — they’re frequently some of the most active people you know. But some things they know they need to do, even some of the most important things, end up getting endlessly delayed.… [Read the rest »]

How to Add Value to a Discussion

Join the conversation!, the Cluetrain Manifesto said. And every year new businesses / bloggers / young professionals hop eagerly aboard, charging into your blog comments / presentations / conferences to say:

“Hi! Great post / talk / point. Could you answer a question you already answered in it? Here’s something you said, restated in a slightly different way. Now, could you do something for me? This task, or that task, that has no clear benefit to you, and by the way, visit my website at www.mywebsite.com. Thanks! Great post! Bye!”

Shilouettes of people in a discussion.A-wha? Clearly, this isn’t the way anyone wants to … [Read the rest »]

How to Hire a Good Marketer (for Startups)

It’s the question I hear second-most often, right after “How do I hire a good developer?”. Marketing is one of those skills a startup can’t do without, and realistically, probably shouldn’t be started without. Most founders have at least some marketing skills, and that works for a while. But they reach a point where they want to focus on what they’re great at, and don’t know how to determine if someone else is as good at marketing as the founder is at coding, business, etc. If you’re in that spot, or just in the unenviable position of trying to attract … [Read the rest »]

EasyImpress & Making Every Hour Count

Startup Stopwatch & HandOne of the realities of working on a startup part-time (boot-strapping with consulting & other work to pay the bills) is that you must chip away at things. The caffeine-fueled all-night development sprints you read about are the rare exceptions, that come at a heavy cost to your health and productivity over the next couple of days.

Be As Smart With Time as You Are With Money

One of the best time-management strategies I’ve learned is to divide projects into two categories: those I need long-term focus on, and those I can work on on-and-off. A free 6-hour chunk of … [Read the rest »]

Real Estate BarCamp Boston

Real Estate BarCamp Boston 2009 LogoToday I’m at Real Estate BarCamp Boston, connecting with industry techies, vendors, and agents. One presentation, one interview, and many introductions later, I’m done with the scheduled sessions and off to enjoy some pizza and networking. If video of the presentation or interview become available, I’ll link to it here. Thanks to everyone I met for great conversations; please check out my real estate marketing website service, EasyImpress.… [Read the rest »]

3 Ways to Find Anything Online

Friends and colleagues have given me a lot of praise for seemingly knowing about everything web-related. And while I can answer a good number of “How can I…”, “What are the…”, and “What’s the best…” questions off the top of my head, the biggest lesson I’ve learned about providing value to others is that it’s not about knowing everything, it’s about knowing how to find almost anything. Below are my top 3 resources for being able to find almost anything.

1) Delicious Bookmarks

The “biggest collection of bookmarks in the universe” is searchable & tag-browsable, making it an invaluable … [Read the rest »]

Contact

E-mails welcome at:
jay [.dot.] neely [@at@] socialstrategist [.dot.] com

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Projects

  • Boston Startups Guide - Directory of Boston startups sortable by location, industry, etc.
  • What To Do Boston - A collection of guides on living in Boston, and tales from my own explorations.