Ashley Zeckman

Online Marketing News: What Drives Consumer Shopping Habits, Cathryn Sloane vs. Mark Story, Chick-Fil-A Gets Weird, Google Anti-Web Spamming Efforts

Ashley Zeckman     Online Marketing

U.S. Consumer Usage of Social Media to Make Shopping Decisions

The Empathica Consumer Insights Panel recently ran a survey of more than 6,500 U.S. consumers and found that mobile and social experiences are more important than ever for brands.  Survey highlights include:

  • 23% scanned a QR
  • 27% checked into a location using a mobile location
  • 10% followed a brand on Twitter
  • 37% visited a brand’s website on a mobile phone

Controversy Takes Center Stage This Week

Foursquare Pulls A Twitter With Promoted Updates For Select Merchants
It looks like Foursquare’s long-term business model has finally become a lot more clear.  Foursquare introduced “Local Updates” for merchants last week so that they could push updates to local customers.  Via Fast Company.

Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25 vs A Rebuttal From the Social Media Old Folks
A young woman named Cathryn Sloane recently wrote an article making a very bold, and very controversial statement.  In Cathryn’s opinion all Social Media Managers should be under 25.  Her argument was that because young people learned how to use social media personally before professionally they would have better insight into ways of being more social using online platforms.  Mark Story is the social media professional who wrote a rebuttal calling out Cathryn on her nieve approach to her article.  One of the high points was Mark calling Cathryn out for confusing familiarity with social media and the ability to turn that into offering actionable, solid communications advice for internal or external clients. Cathryn’s Article vs. Mark’s Article via Nextgen Journal.

Oh No They Didn’t! Chick-Fil-A vs. Jim Henson (vs. Fake Teenage Girls?!)
Chick-Fil-A has recently been under a lot of fire because of the anti-gay remarks made by their President, Dan Cathy.  Once the Jim Henson Company was notified of these comments they immediately severed their ties with Chick-Fil-A.  But then it gets weirder.  Many are claiming that Chick-Fil-A setup a fake Facebook account under the identify of a teenage girl to defend the company’s decisions.  Strange but true, read on to find out the whole story.  Via Epicurious and Huffington Post.

Find Out Who is Taking Instagram Photos At Your Business
There is a very simple way to tag your business in Instagram photos.  This short article provides a step by step guide for uploading and tagging your company.  Also, if you’re looking for some ideas to generate buzz and more photos be sure to check this article out.  Via Instagram.

TopRank Team News

Kodi Osmond – You Really Like Me (on Facebook)!  Now, Let’s Keep It That Way.
Businesses, no matter what channels they use to market to their audience, must always evaluate what and how often they’re marketing.  Too little and one can get left in the dust.  Too much or not relevant to the recipient?  On Facebook, it could  mean fans giving you the fickle finger of “unlike” fate .   Marketing directors and educators share insights on how businesses could keep fans in this article on The Brainyard.

Brian Larson – Google’s Latest Anti-Web Spamming Effort Confuses Many, Including Google
There are certain messages that you just don’t want to receive, at the top of that list is receiving a notice from Google that starts ‘[w]e’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.’ So when Web Master’s began receiving this message beginning this past Thursday, you can imagine their concern. Adding confusion to a sensitive situation, Matt Cutts’ essentially said don’t panic if you receive this message in a Google+ post published this past Friday.

So what does this latest round of notifications mean? Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land have the full story, including some key updates that bring a little clarity to a convoluted tale.  Via Search Engine Land.

Shawna Kenyon: Social Media Can Help You Land A Higher-Paying Job
Researchers at North Carolina State University show that social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn play an important role when it comes to finding a job. Furthermore data from a national survey reports that informal recruitment via social media is becoming more common place within businesses accounting for approximately 27% of job hires in the United States and 40% in Germany.  Via Mashable.

Time to Weigh In: Do you think that Foursquare’s new business model will dramatically increase the value of the company?  Cathryn vs. Mark – who do you think made a better argument? As I mentioned there was a lot of controversy this week and would love to hear your opinions.

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. Avatar Tommy Griffith says

    I’m glad you guys are covering Google’s recent webmaster messaging. It was really confusing, especially after the Matt Cutts tweet. I wrote about this more on my blog,