McDonalds Tweets Back at Taco Bell

The Inbox Diaries is a new series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

This Week’s Stories:

The Best Offense Is A Good Defense: McDonald’s vs. Taco Bell
When Taco Bell launched its breakfast menu on March 27th, it fired the first shot in the Fast Food Breakfast War against the industry leader, McDonald’s. After watching the launch commercial in which Taco Bell showed dozens of real men named Ronald McDonald chowing down on Waffle Tacos, the world waited with baited breath to see how McDonald’s would respond. For a brand whose mascot is a clown, I found the two-pronged response to be nicely understated. First, McDonald’s announced that for the next 2 weeks they will be giving away their much-praised McCafe coffee free during breakfast hours. This costs the company almost nothing, but provides an incentive for diners to choose their brand while all the hype around Taco Bell fades to the background.  They also shared a classy but pointed tweet that patronizes Taco Bell to just the right extent:




If you currently have a company page on LinkedIn, you might have gotten a little note in your email from the social network yesterday announcing that they will be phasing out their Products & Services Tab from all company pages by April 14th.

While this will likely elicit groans from busy small business owners who are tired of having to revamp their social media profiles to keep up with the constant updates, I promise this one is actually worthwhile. The Products & Services tab may be going away, but it’s being replaced by something much, much better, which we actually talked about a few months ago here on the blog: Showcase Pages!



Sometimes when a well-established company decides to take a new direction, the change is so natural that you almost can remember what it was like before. Sometimes, however, the change can feel disjointed, and loyal customers almost feel offended by the departure. The difference between these two scenarios? Good brand management.

When I first read a case study about Starbucks’ decision to test beer, wine, and dinner foods in certain markets, I was skeptical…for about 2 minutes. But once I took a beat to think about the Starbucks brand – instead of its product offerings – I was sold. That was sometime last year, so I was really happy to hear the announcement recently that they’ve decided to release Starbucks Evenings in several wider metro areas.



The Inbox Diaries is a new series designed to help busy entrepreneurs keep up with all the latest news in small business, marketing, and social media. I’m scouring my inbox every day for interesting tidbits – so you don’t have to.

1. Find your first tweet (or someone else’s).
Last week in celebration of it’s 8th birthday, Twitter released a fun tool to locate the very first tweet sent out from your Twitter account. You can use it to see what you said when you first began your Twitter journey, or to see the auspicious (or inauspicious) beginnings of a famous tweeter. Once you find your first tweet, you can join the conversation by tweeting it out along with the hashtag, #FirstTweet. Read more on Twitter >>



It’s an overcast Friday afternoon just after lunch, so this seems like an appropriate time to talk about boosting your productivity. It’s also a great time to scour the web for great infographics, like the one you’ll find below from Middlesex University in London. Many of the university’s graduates go on to start small businesses, so to lend them a helping hand, the school created a collection of their favorite (sorry,
favourite, this is from London) apps that can make life simpler for small businesses.




It’s a pretty gloomy day here in Silver Spring, MD, but what better way to brighten things up than to check out a website full of puppies! Today’s Webs user example site comes from BehaviorWorks Dog Training & Behavior Specialists, which has 5 locations around Wisconsin.

This polished and energetic website has a lot going for it. First, there’s a great header that clearly brands the business and offers contact information right up front. Next is the navigation, which is robust and user-friendly.



We’ve talked about the concept of
Content Marketing a lot lately. How creating and sharing relevant content can boost your web traffic, what kinds of content you can put out onto the web, and some examples of brands that are doing a great job. Today we’re going to look at a few companies that have taken content marketing to a whole new place – with branded mobile apps.

How does this apply to your small business? While it is certainly true that highly complex, flashy mobile apps can require a bit of an investment, the DIY mobile app scene has come a long way, and today there are a number of great options for small businesses.




Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked on the Pagemodo blog about how to build a social media brand that matches your business and how to optimize your social media strategy to gain the most followers, shares, likes, and ultimately the most customers.

Once you’ve built a strong foundation of followers on Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to take a look at who these people are:

  • Do they match your typical customer profile (Gender, Age, and Location)?
  • Or, do these social media followers look much different?

Wouldn’t it be great to know which of these followers are the most valuable or has the most influence over other prospect customers just like them?  Thanks to simple-to-use tools from Social Rank and Klout, you can!



When we talk about what makes a successful website, one of the themes we always come back to is fresh, up-to-date content. It keeps your visitors engaged, helps your site constantly improve, and signals to search engines that your site it active and should be ranked more highly.

But knowing you need to update your site regularly and actually making the time to sit down and do it are very different things.

Maybe you’re a procrastinator, or maybe you’re just incredibly busy running your small business. Either way, it’s easy to take the littlest excuse to put off a website refresh. But knowing how important freshness is, we wanted to make it just that much easier and more enjoyable when you log in to update your site’s content and copy.



Today’s article comes from Deanna Zaucha, Webs Retention Marketing Coordinator. 

In business, we are bombarded by the importance of “Big Data”. How we must strive to collect, analyze, and use it to make strategic business decisions. Amazon paved the way with predicting our purchase desires in the email inbox, and now we see it in production in a relative newcomer, Netflix.

Netflix, for those who may not be up to date on this whole “Internet” thing, is an on-demand Internet streaming service available with your $7.99 subscription and addiction to any TV series or movie. It even helped coined the term binge-watching – “The practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual, usually of a single television show” –



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