Daehn's Hierarchy of Digital Marketing


I am an expert in digital marketing. An important skill for experts is to be able to take a lot of information and boil it down to the essential must know components for success.

We live in an age of information overload. Learning about digital marketing is but a Google search away. What I present here are the four areas that are foundational to a successful digital marketing strategy.

They are chronological and should be built out in order.

1st Website

Your website is your most important digital asset. Everything you do should be built on driving traffic to your website. Your site should be built for conversion and turning visitors into customers. Content is key to creating a well converting website.

2nd Email

Email is the primary form of digital communication. Your website should be built to obtain email addresses so that you can continue to talk and market to your site’s visitors and customers. Automated campaigns, confirmations, onboarding, triggers, reminders, customer service and newsletters are all important components of your email strategy. Email should be used to distribute content from your site, and drive people back to your website for conversion.

3rd Social Media

The best social media builds a community around your product or service. This requires interacting and building relationships. Social media should also be used to distribute content from your site, and drive people back to your website for conversion.

4th Paid Ads

If the first 3 areas are in place and you still have a budget and/or need to generate leads, you are ready for paid ads. Ads should drive traffic to specific areas of your website and/or landing pages that directly relate to the content of the ad.

Need help with your digital marketing strategy? Let me know.

CSUF Presentation - HOW TO: Effectively Integrate Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy


I had the pleasure of speaking to the Entrepreneurial students at California State University in Fullerton. I met some bright young minds with some great ideas.

My message for them was that while social media is popular, it is only a part of a good overall marketing strategy.

Download the Presentation (PDF)
Download the Presentation (PPT)


HOW TO: Use Facebook Apps Privately

If you are like me, you like to check out Facebook apps, but get a little nervous about letting them post on your behalf. I have inadvertently spammed my own wall with posts from apps.

If you don't want others to see these posts, but still want to use the app you simply need to adjust your settings. 

When you first use the app, a screen will appear that lets you customize what the app posts. Simply click on the dropdown and set to "Only Me" and only you will see posts from this app. 

Don't let posting permissions keep you from trying out some cool apps on Facebook.

Set Up Custom Twitter Landing Pages with Twylah

I recently set up Twylah, a way to create custom pages based on my tweets. Twylah helps you:

  • Own Your Brand by showcasing your trending topics for maximum engagement and value
  • Get Discovered Beyond Twitter with built-in search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Give Your Audience What They Want with your very own "tweet landing pages"

They just added another feature called "Power Tweets" that let create a custom landing page. When someone clicks through to the page, it sits along side your other Twitter posts. A great way to drive engagement and traffic to your content.

On the traffic side, I have seen some referrals coming from my Twylah page at Tweets.MichaelDaehn.com.

Anything that builds traffic and helps SEO is a keeper. I look forward to seeing what else I can do with this cool tool.

Thanks to @twylah for getting me set up in the Beta. 

Is Anybody Home? Managing Your Social Media Accounts

I talk with businesses all the time about setting up social media accounts. The truth is, setting up accounts is easy. Doing something with them is the hard part.
If you want to jump in to the social media mix be prepared to listen. Don't just broadcast your message. Social Media is two way communication.
If you have a presence on Twitter and/or Facebook you are inviting people to contact you via those platforms.
Having a social media account and not listening to people is like having an 800 number and no one to answer the phone.
When I create proposals the bulk of the work is in managing accounts. Not in setting them up. To get the most out of social media, you need a community manager. Either you do it, or you hire someone to do it.
If you don't know how to manage them get training. If you don't have time, hire someone who knows what they are doing. If you need help, give me a call. I'll take care of you, or find someone who can.

Social Media is Like Email - a Metaphor for Understanding

What is social media? That can be a tough question to answer. Lately I have been using the metaphor of email to describe it.

Not all email is the same. Some examples:

  • Messages from friends
  • SPAM/Unsolicited
  • Newsletters
  • Professional 

In each context the tone, subject and your willingness to read and interact depend on the type of email it is.

The same is true for social media:

  • Tweets about lunch
  • Check-in by your friend at the bar you are sitting in
  • Invitations to Farmville
  • @reply from a spammer
  • Killer cat blog post

Social media is a communication tool. As in email, think about your audience and the best way to communicate with them. 

If you are not sure what to do, then sign up and listen for a while. When you feel comfortable start talking. 

Be sincere. Care about your audience. Be passionate about what you are sharing. 

When email started it was hard to explain. Now it is so common that I use it to explain other technologies. One day social media will be as common as email.

But then you will need to explain the purpose of augmented reality toasters. 

Scan These People at Social Media Club #SMCSTL

I've been copying and pasting my fingertips off for hours. I thought more people would have wanted a QR Code name tag. I'm glad only a handful took me up on the offer. It was not fun to make all of these suckers.

These folks will proudly wear them to the SMCSTL meetup this week:


Don't make me look like a fool. Give them a scan.

Get a QR Code Nametag for SMCSTL at the Stable

Are you going to the Social Media Club Saint Louis event May 26th? 

If you are and you want a QR Code nametag, send me your information using this form.

Please provide:

  • Name
  • Twitter handle
  • Desired URL for the QR Code (i.e. website, Twitter page, LinkedIn page, etc.)

I will make nametags for the first 25 people that send me their information.

They are self adhesive and will look something like this:

Not sure what QR Codes are, or how to use them for marketing? Check out this post:

How To: Use QR Codes to Boost Your Marketing

Here's the official description from SMCSTL:

"It’s time for another happy hour, Social Media Club of St. Louis style. This month we’re taking it to The Stable in Benton Park, where you can enjoy delicious German lagers that are brewed on site, as well as a variety of craft beers from around the world.

The Stable is a brewpub and micro-distillery located in the Benton Park Neighborhood of St. Louis on the northeast corner of Cherokee and Lemp. The building was where the draft horses for the historic Lemp Brewery were kept, thus the name.

So pony up, and come out to enjoy delicious craft beers and appetizers while experiencing a bit of #STL history with your friends from #SMCSTL.

Be sure to check in on Foursquare at The Stable (@AmalgamatedBrew) and tweet about the event using the #SMCSTL hashtag.

Oh and one more thing... Bacon. Wrapped. Dates.

The event is free to attend but space is limited so RSVP now! Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to find out about future events first!"

Hope to see you there.

HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 4 - Social Networks

(This is an excerpt from the book Internet Marketing for Newbies - read the whole book for FREE)

Social networks are a great way to engage with your customers and drive traffic back to your website. The nice thing is that most of these sites are free. Be sure to set up a profile for yourself, or your company, and post links back to your main website. It’s handy to have some profile information set up that you can copy and paste onto the various social media sites where you register.
Facebook and MySpace Traffic 1/2008-1/2009
Trends in social networking
MySpace used to be the King, but Facebook has now surpassed MySpace with number of users. However, MySpace is still a hotspot for music and artist pages. Micro blogging/messaging tools like Twitter and FrienFeed are gaining momentum too. 
Twitter and FriendFeed Traffic 1/2008-1/2009
Social media
Most people lump social networks and social media together, but for web traffic I view them as distinct. Social networks require interaction and communication. Social media sites allow you to upload content that other people can comment upon and share with their communities. Social media sites have a social networking component, and it is beneficial to cultivate that element, but not required.
So if you have videos, images, white papers, articles or other media items get them uploaded to these sites. Even if it is only your company brochure, be sure to post a copy to the free file sharing sites. You never know when someone will come across it, and having links back to your site associated with this content helps your search results.
YouTube is the most popular video site, but there are many more out there. By using a service like TubeMogul, you can post your same video to many sites at one time. Flickr is the largest photo sharing site and Scribd has a nice interface for sharing your documents with the world. Think about where you audience is and what content you have, then pick a few of the top social media sites to show your stuff.
YouTube, Flickr and Scribd Traffic 1/2008-1/2009
A word of caution when using social networks and media, you need to be yourself and not just hock your website. If you get labeled as inauthentic or a spammer, you will get rejected by the community. Better to not get involved than to get a negative reputation.


Next HOW TO: Get Traffic to Your Website Part 4 - Microsites and Subsites

Don't Be Stupid - Use Pros for Your Social Media

If you are smart you will not hand the keys to your company/organization's reputation 
over to inxeperienced people.

I heard this tidbit of advice on the radio today:
"Hire a college kid or intern to do all your social media for you. They're on there anyway and you don't have to pay them much to get the job done."
Oh boy. Who in their right mind would hire an intern or inexperienced person to handle their Public Relations campaign? Today's social media is yesterday's Public Relations. 
Do you really want what the public thinks about you to depend on what some kid off the street thinks is fun to post?
Don't get me wrong, it's fine to hire young people if you spend the time to train them and make sure they are representing you right. But if you think they are qualified because they have a Twitter account, think again.

Rise Lunch: The Place to be for Entrepreneurs in Saint Louis

I finally made it to a Rise Lunch today. I had a great time and learned a thing or two in the process. If you are a small biz owner in the STL, you should check it out sometime.
The event is hosted by Rise to the Top founder David Siteman Garland. He is a witty and inspirational character, definitely the friend of small business owners and entrepreneurs.
The first speaker was Sam Silverstein, author of No More Excuses. Sam focused on a few key ways to take responsibility and be accountable to your own values. 
I liked this quote:
"If you delegate responsibility, also delegate authority. Otherwise you are micromanaging and you might as well do it yourself."
I have tried to say the same things in other ways, but this is a great succint way to get the point across.
Sam has 5 key points about acountability:
1. Do the 'right things' consistently
2. Manage your space
3. Manage the process
4. Establish the right expectations
5. Contribute to your relationships
If that piques your curiosity, check out his site for more details or pick up the book.
We were then treated to a panel discussion on social media with Erin Steinbruegge, Chris Reimer and David Siteman Garland.
Here are some choice nuggets:
"SEO is not a standalone thing, it should be integrated into your whole marketing plan. Your site should meet the needs of your visitors, and then you can focus on the SEO." Erin Steinbruegge
"Follow the 2+1 rule for social media. Focus on 2 sites that are important to you, like Twitter and Facebook, and spend most of your energy there. Follow that up by giving away free content on a regular basis." David Siteman Garland
"Buy my t-shirts." Chris Reimer 
Also by Chris: "Everyone knows the family in the Tide commercial is not real. By the same token, not all brands use social media personally, but use professionals to talk about their product for them."
Verdict: Very cool atmosphere, nice lunch, cool peeps and good info.
See you at the next Rise Lunch.
*All quotes are from my notes/memory

Three Ways Blues Fans Can Help the Team this Season - Interview with Beth Schwartz

I had a chance to meet the Senior Director of Digital Media for the Saint Louis Blues Hockey Club, Beth Schwartz, and asked her a few questions about how fans can help support the team.

- As a Blues fan, what can I do to help the team?

Beth- There are lots of ways you can show you support the team, but three ways that make a great impact are to participate, share and to keep it positive.

Michael- Can you give some examples of what you mean?

Beth-  We have created several venues both at the rink and online where fans can participate. Obviously coming to the games is huge, but you can also attend some of the other events we put on. For instance we had a lot of fun at the draft party. Several fans attended and got to meet some of the alumni and broadcasters in person. We will continue to schedule other opportunities to get up close and personal with the fans.

Michael- I heard the draft party was great and you gave away some nice prizes. What do you mean by sharing?

Beth- I know you are big into Social Media Michael so you understand the role it has in sharing and communicating with others. My job is to be a resource for fans like you and help create places where you can share your enthusiasm for the team.

Michael- So you mean like sharing stories and pictures on the Facebook page?

Beth- Yes, on Facebook, Twitter, their own blogs, they are all great.  We love when the fans add their own perspective on the team.

Michael- It's kind of like you are adding several thousand staff members to your marketing department and they are all excited and motivated to seem the team succeed.

Beth- That's one way to look at it. We also realize that the Blues belong to the community so we want to hear what the fans have to say.

Michael- It's brave of you and the team to put themselves out there to engage. Are there ever problems with people being too honest?

Beth- That leads into the third thing which is to keep it positive. We will always be honest and truthful with our fans, but obviously there are times in a season when things don't go the way you want.

Michael- Yes, I wish we could win every game, but that's not realistic.

Beth- Exactly, and it is better for the team, and the fans to stay positive in good times and bad.

Michael- Sure, when the Pee Wee team I coached was losing 6-0 going into the third period I told them to try to win the period. Everybody understands the situation, but you are better off doing something positive about it.

What is the best way to know about what is going on with the Blues?

Beth- Well besides Facebook and Twitter as I mentioned, we have a comprehensive website with just about everything a fan could want. I also recommend signing up for Hotwire, the Blues bi-weekly email newsletter.

Michael- I read every edition of the newsletter. It does keep me up to date on what's happening if I don't know already from Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for sharing with me and the other Blues fans out there.

Beth- It's my pleasure. I'm only one person, so the more fans like you who get involved the better. Please keep sharing your ideas with me and the team. We all want to see the Blues do well.

Michael- Go Blues!

Connect with the Blues:
Twitter- @st_louis_blues
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/St.LouisBlues
Youtube- http://www.youtube.com/stlouisbluesnhl
Website- http://www.stlouisblues.com
Tickets- http://blues.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=34546
Newsletter- http://blues.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=48375

Jeff Pulver Tweets Up with The Social Media Club of Saint Louis #SMCSTL


Last night I attended the monthly Tweetup of the Social Media Club of Saint Louis (SMCSTL) at Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves. The excitement for the night was the arrival of 140 Characters Conference (#140conf) founder Jeff Pulver. Jeff has been driving from city to city, live streaming from his car, to promote the conference.

Jeff took a corner of the bar and addressed the 100 or so folks that showed up. Jeff's passion for communication, and using technology to facilitate, was evident. He spoke of converting your Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) into a Chief Listening Officer (CLO). Smart businesses will learn to listen to their customers and with the new social media tools available they are all talking. 

Jeff also touched on the power of new media to do social good. The Haiti disaster is a prime example of people using these tools to give support and to coordinate relief efforts on a scale never seen before.

He capped off his short speech with a gift of a digital video camera from Kodak and gift cards from GM. Jeff asked "who can do some good with this camera?" I gentleman that works with college kids said he could use the camera in his work. He was handed the brand new device without question. Very cool.

I had never been to Robust Wine Bar before. It's a great place with an excellent selection of wine and beer. It's the first place I have been that had a real reward for checking in on Foursquare - a free Tin Mill beer. I plan on bringing my wife back on our next date night.

SMCSTL is a lot of fun. I have been to a ton of networking events and I don't usually like them. Too much work. SMCSTL is a very laid back environment. Sure people talk business, but usually the people showing up love social media and there's more to talk about than buying insurance. If you are thinking about checking it out then you'll want to attend next month for sure. It will be held at Busch Stadium before the game. See you there.

PS- I had a lot of people check out the QR Code on my name tag. People were interested in how it worked and how to get one for themselves. I'm working on a "HOW TO" that I will be sharing soon.

Video #SMCSTL August Tweetup @robustwinebar

How To: Use Facebook to Promote Your Cause


At the end of May 2009, the California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) was facing a budget crises and many parks were slated for closing or cuts to their services. In two weeks they were able to go from 517 to 33,000 Facebook Fans (Likes) and gain some press coverage in the process. This put pressure on the legislature to reduce the cuts to the parks.

Often times people want to help your cause, but they lack the time or money. Becoming a Fan (or liking your page) is an easy and convenient way for people to support you without spending much of either.

Read the full details of the campaign and the lessons learned on Marketing Experiments.

Facebook and the Illusion of Privacy

The Facebook Backlash

There has been a lot of negative press for Facebook lately over privacy concerns. This is not the first time Facebook has made changes that have resulted in people throwing a fit, and/or starting petitions for Facebook to undo their changes.

This time it is different. Facebook's changes to how you set your privacy are a lot more important than simple tweaks to the user interface. The problem for Facebook is that their brand was built on the ability to post things privately and/or share content with a limited number of your friends.

It is still possible to share with a limited network of people and keep things private, the problem is that it is an especially difficult process to understand for most.

I listen to and read a lot of tech pundits like Leo Laporte, Jon Dvorak and Jason Calacanis. This is the first time I have heard them be this concerned about the gravity of the changes that Facebook has made. Laporte is deleting his Facebook account even though he has thousands of friends and fans through the service. Calacanis sent out a scathing email about the underhanded practices of Facebook and it's founder Mark Zuckerberg. He even warns his readers not to get "Zucked" by the founder.

The Options

Facebook is simultaneously making moves to cement itself as the social network of choice, while at the same time opening up cracks to competitiors.

The problem is that there are no real comptitors to Facebook. MySpace just announced they are making their members' data more private, but they have the branding problem of being yesterday's social network. The only way Facebook will truly lose members is if there is a viable competitor that offers the functionality and connectedness of Facebook along with legitimate privacy functions.

Or you can go nuclear and delete your account alltogether.

Why Did Facebook Do This?

Some postulate that Zuckerberg is an egomaniac who likes to tinker with his creation. Others say he is jealous of Twitter and wants to be like them. But I argue for the simplest explanation: it makes Facebook more money. The more data that is available publicly and to Facebook the more they can sell this information to advertisers.

Privacy on the Web

So is it safe to be on Facebook? It depends. I think you have to understand that anything you post on Facebook could be seen publicly.

But is this just an issue with Facebook?

You are naive if you think anything you post will only and ever be seen by your intended audience. You have to assume anything you write can be seen publicly.

Think of the scandals that have broken over leaked internal emails and IM messages:.Enron, Microsoft and Facebook have all had internal communications leaked to the public.

Before that paper memos were released. The tobacco industries paid billions of dollars in damages based on leaked internal documents.

I worked at a company where several people were suspended for using Instant Messenger to send personal messages. Every email, and everything you do at work can be monitored to the pixel.

Little Brother is Watching

While big brother may be watching you at work, little brother is watching you everywhere else. The majority of the people around you have camera phones and are capable of taking pictures and/or videos of you at any time with or without your knowledge.

You think Michael Richards gave permission for his outburst to be posted on YouTube?

Everyone around you can watch you and broadcast your actions to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and any other outlet they choose without your permission.

The Google Goggles mobile application allows the user to point at any object and do a visual search. It comes in pretty handy when you are at the bookstore and want to compare prices. Just snap a picture of the cover and Google goes to work telling you all there is to know about the product and the best price available.

Oh by the way it can also recognize faces. Anyone with this application can snap a picture of you and pull up all sorts of juicy tidbits about you. Technically the feature has been disabled in fear of people freaking out, but it has the capability and it is only a matter of time before it is activated.

Don't Assume Anything is Private

I am not too concerned with Facebook's privacy changes. I always assume that what I post is/or could be made public. In fact I purposely make my Facebook profile public so I know not to post private things there.

I'm not the typical user. I try to get my name and content found in search results. But I do think it is the right mindset to have for any user. You never know when Facebook is going to flip a switch, you forget to flip a switch, or a bug in the system makes everything public.

Facebook's Contribution

Facebook has actually done us a service by shining a light on the privacy issue. This is not a Facebook issue, this is something our society has to deal with today. Facebook is calling a serious issue to the attention of the mainstream public.

Personal Responsibility

I had a friend who was complaining on her Facebook wall that the people she worked with were stupid. I asked if anyone at her office had a Facebook account because she might not want to post such comments. She thanked me and said she had not thought about it.

I agree it is unfair for a service to promise privacy and then make your content public, but at some point we have to take responsibility for our actions and understand the world we live in.

Do you see yourself altering your behavior on Facebook or any other medium based on what's been happening?

Facebook's Foibles in the News (courtesy of Jason Calacanis)

Facebook's Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline

Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook

Yet another Facebook privacy risk: emails Facebook sends leak user IP address

A Stunning Infographic on Facebook's scary privacy evolution

Facebook’s “Posts By Everyone” Feature: Do People Realize They’re
Sharing To The World?

Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative | Epicenter |

Senators Call Out Facebook On ‘Instant Personalization’, Other Privacy Issues

Facebook's email days: "I'm CEO bith@#$%!"

Facebook's new features secretly add apps to your profile

The Day Facebook Stole My Page

Facebook is Dying - Social is Not

Facebook's "Evil Interfaces" | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Facebook

Facebook: What You Probably Didn't Know
[Source: Online PhD Programs for MashableMashableMashable.com]