The Ideas Of March

Caesar's assassination aside, the Ides of March typically heralded the coming of spring and a free parade for all Romans. As befits this epic recession, here is a parade of free ideas that just might spring you into action.

Count your Clicks with Bodacious

Sharing links is a cornerstone of social media interaction, yet few take the time to figure out which links generate the most interest. Set yourself up on and you'll see how easy it is to track the response to links you share in emails, newsletters, articles, PDFs (yes, you can embed links), blogs, Web sites and of course, Twitter. You can also drop your "API key" into Tweetdeck for easy tracking of the same link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo. And finally, has a Sidebar you can add to your browser to make the process of sharing/tracking links even easier.

Go Gaga over Google Analytics

This is such a ubiquitous tool that I hesitated to remind you of its potency. Then I remembered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's quote: "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." The obvious fact is that Google Analytics can help you monitor the performance of your Web sites quickly, easily and for FREE. For example, we recently used Google Analytics to help cut the bounce rate on one of our client's landing pages to half the industry norm. Sure, there are a lot more robust Web site measurement tools out there, but none that are as easy to set up and or as cost effective.



Monitor the Mayhem with Tweetbeep

Even it you don't tweet or spend time tracking "tweeple," you may still want to know what others are saying about you, your brand, your competitors and/or your category. Tweetbeep makes this easy allowing you to track up to 10 topics being talked about on Twitter for free on an hourly or daily basis. (Note: some prefer SocialOomph, which can provide the same kind of free tracking.) You could also use or (which are both free) to track the same topics on a real-time basis but these are both a bit more labor intensive.

Trend Tracking and Topical Techies

With info overload commonplace, the need for insightful editors and trustworthy aggregators is more important than ever. For daily trend watching, I recommend TrendHunter on the cultural side and recent Emmy winner Shelly Palmer on technology. SocialMediaInsider and Mashable will keep you in tune on social media. And trust the folks at Trendwatching for a monthly dose of eye-opening insight, including the just-posted 6 Trend Videos for March.

Freebie Fridays in Your Future?

Our agency had a few spare hours the other day and decided to surprise a client with a little extra service at no charge to them. We labeled it "Freebie Friday" and have elected to make this an ongoing benefit of working with us. So far, our clients have taken this in the spirit in which it was offered, and haven't sought to add freebie Mondays and Wednesdays. In the continual battle to maintain happy clients and healthy margins, sometimes you simply have to put one ahead of the other. Is there something you could do to surprise your customers with a little free love? For inspiration, check out how Tropicana did just that by erecting a "sun" over a light-deprived town in the Arctic Circle.

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