Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

As a SEO Organic Specialist, which sounds more like a Whole Foods distributor than a digital marketer, you never know where or when you will get your next link. This was the case for this SEO professional after meeting Michael “Sugar” Ray Richardson – a former NBA All-Star – at a cocktail party for an at-risk children’s basketball camp. One of the sponsors, Inspirations for Youth and Families, is the company where I work in the digital marketing department.

ImageThis SEO specialist drove nearly 200 miles for the mere chance of securing an inbound link

To give you the 411 on Michael Ray – at the peak of his glorious playing days in the late 70’s and 80’s – he appeared to be a shoe-in to enter the NBA Hall-of-Fame. Unfortunately, he hit a dead end and started abusing drugs. In 1986, Richardson was banned from the NBA for failing his third drug test – which is also referred to as the death sentence. On his downward spiral, he would often disappear for days from his NBA team, the New Jersey Nets.

Fast-forward to June, 2014, when a SEO guy thought he scored the best link of his digital marketing career by convincing Michael Ray to be interviewed for a guest blog post in a prominent and high authority online basketball publication. An interview time, date, and location was established between the SEO practitioner and Richardson.


The link deal would go down at 9 a.m. at the Double Tree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens. Florida. Despite the fact that it was almost a two-hour drive from the initial destination in downtown Miami and fell on a beautiful South Florida summer day; there was no doubt that this interview and potential link was a no-brainer for the journey-man link-builder.

Well upon arrival to Palm Beach Gardens, firm plans started becoming murky. And murky plans turned into plan B’s and then C’s. The final result was another disappearing act from the master – Michael “Sugar Ray” Richardson – ala 1986.

ImageMichael Ray Richardson (left) and Scott Brand (right) Apparently, I was not number one on his list for an interview

When it was all said and done, the link builder retreated in defeat and went back home southbound on I95 to Miami. While feeling disappointed, when asked if the opportunity presented itself one more time, he un-hesitantly replied that he would do the same thing all over again.

About Scott Brand

ImageScott Brand is a digital marketer – specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – for both teen and adult alcohol and drug rehabs. He has been published in a number of noted publications including Slam Magazine and Social Media Today. Scott holds the following certifications: PMP®, Online Marketing, PPC, SEO, and Web Analytics. He is currently working on a book entitled Triple Threat which instructs project managers on how to integrate social media and digital marketing into their project for optimization.


At first blush the above Infiniti At Your Service Sweepstakes Car Giveaway promotion looks like it connects on all cylinders:

  • There is a call-to-action asking potential entrants to provide their highly coveted contact information
  • There is a compelling Grand Prize – An Infiniti jX, M, or G convertible
  • It is targeted efficiently to owners or past owners of Infinitis as well as prospects
  • The Web site features a stunning and clever 3D Design
  • The contest is multi-dimensional – offering varied levels of prizes, such as a VIP trip for two to a Formula One race in the city of your choice
  • There is a Direct Mail campaign, where an eye-catching brochure with two discount service cards, is sent out to Infiniti nation

The promotional home page is inviting with a gorgeous design and innovative theme

So what is missing from this masterpiece promotion.

The inclusion of the number one Social Media site in the universe – Facebook – now 955 million strong.

Infiniti should have required that each contestant LIKE Infinit’s Facebook page in order to enter the contest.

Infiniti’s Facebook page could have played an integral role in the promotion

We all know that when someone likes your Facebook page all their glorious posts stream through your newsfeed for the life of your friendship.

By overlooking the power of Facebook, Infiniti’s missing out on tons of free publicity that can potentially continue long after the promotion. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if Infiniti’s Facebook page is starving for likes with an impressive 522K following, but the more the merrier is always the case.

And Infiniti should also have considered slapping on a QR Code for Smartphone owners to automatically enter the contest when they receive the Dmail piece.

To sum everything up. Just like a salesman should always ask for the order, an Internet marketer should always ask for the Facebook Like.