Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hello Everyone :)
My name is Lauren DeMarco and I am a link builder/copywriter here at Tandem-Interactive but I am also blessed to be the Aunt to Lena and Joe Laratro's two amazing little sons, Joey and Giovanni. I am very honored to hold both of these titles, and watching these little boys grow has changed my life forever!
One of our favorite things to do is to have movie nights with popcorn and oreos! Toy Story 3 seems to always win!
 We also enjoy walking to dinner, our most recent walk was to Burgerfy..it was delicious! Joey and Giovanni LOVE Star Wars just like their daddy, so it was a necessity that they brought their light sabers!
Here is Joe and Giovanni at Toy Story on Ice for Gio's third birthday! Do you see the resemblance?
And here are just a few more of my favorite pictures of them:

What can I say, I am a very proud Aunt :) I hope you all enjoyed this! Take care and best wishes!
-Lauren DeMarco

Monday, January 21, 2013

Helping Customers Help People

Casey Portner of Portner Counseling Group is a long time customer and friend. Casey has dedicated his life to helping young people who suffer from the disease of addiction, alcoholism and mental illness. Casey came to me when he first opened his practice in Pompano Beach and was looking for ways to drive traffic to his new website, and to grow his new business. I took a look at the site and was immediately impressed with the work he had done. I was excited about getting his campaigns setup and went right to work. Casey does everything from drug and alcohol evaluations to individual and group counseling to interventions. Based on the wide variety of services offered we came up with several different adgroups and ads for Casey as well as a multitude of keywords and keyword phrases.

As soon as the campaigns went live Casey saw increased traffic to his website as well as an increase in phone calls asking for more information on the different counseling services he offered. Over the years this traffic has continued to increase and his practice has grown from just a handful of clients to a robust practice. Casey runs several therapy groups during the week as well as a large contingent of individuals that look for his guidance on a weekly basis. It is a wonderful feeling for me to know that I in some small way am helping people in need find the help and support they are so desperately seeking.

It is always a pleasure to help customers grow and succeed, but in Casey's case it is extra special to know that it's not just him that's succeeding it is the clients that are getting better one day at a time!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Manti Te'o: Innocent Athlete or Guilty Publicity Stunt

Last night, an article written by Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey caused a national up rise with the emergence of a story no one thought was possible. In September of 2012, Notre Dame's Senior Captain Linebacker Manti Te'o suffered from the loss of his grandmother, Annette Santiago, then the death of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.

One of the NCAA's top 15 draft picks is now America's top story: "Manti Te'o's Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking and Inspiration Story of the College Football Season, is a Hoax". The story was released January 16th at 4:10pm on Dead Spin and has surfaced all over the sports world within 2 hours with the help of Social Media Marvels Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Te'o was dating this woman by the name of Lennay Kekua, a Stanford Grad, that he met back in 2009, and she passed away from Leukemia hours after his grandmothers death on September 11, 2012. The inspiration came from his statement saying that "she didn't want me to go to the funeral because she wanted me to stay here and play the game". Te'o lead the Irish to victory against Michigan State and Michigan, giving Notre Dame a 4-0 record start for the first time in 10 years. Notre Dame's head coach Brian Kelly awarded the Game Ball to Manti Te'o in name of Lennay Kekua on Sept. 22, 2012 following the win over Michigan.

As you read the story by Burke and Dickey you will see the truth unravel on Manti Te'o and his so called girlfriend Lennay Kekua. The story provides proof and evidence through Tweets and Instagram of how Lennay Kekua never died and never met Manti Te'o. Was Te'o just the victim of a horrible internet hoax (like his and Notre Dame's alleged statements say?) or what Te'o using the dead of his girlfriend as a publicity stunt to gain fame? Until the story appeared yesterday, Te'o never said anything about a hoax or that he found out she was not real. ESPN Mike and Mike reports that if these allegations are true, and Te'o was involved in this immoral hoax for publicity, there could be a drop of interest in the draft. How can teams trust a player, A CAPTAIN and leader of their team, when he is a liar and involved in such deceptive acts. This is definitely a big hit for Te'o (alleged of being a top 15 draft pick) to be bumped to a 6th round pick. With Pro-Day and the Combine around the corner (in March) this was not a story that Te'o would have wanted leaked. The uprising of the hoax has caused a new trend on Twitter and Instagram with the creation of the hashtag #TEOING and a growth in popularity with the word #catfish. We will see what happens as the story continues to unfold.

Find the article by Burke and Dickey here and decide for yourself:
Manti Te'o's Dead Girlfriend: the Most Heartbreaking and Inspirational Story of the College Football Season is a Hoax

Internet Users Actively Shop on Tablets: A Study

A recent article shared data collected that found mobile Internet users find tablets to be key in e-commerce. In a study conducted by Adobe Systems, 55% of tablet owners confirmed that they use their tablets to shop online, where only 28% of smart phone users reported using their phones for m-commerce. Additionally, 44% of tablet users said shopping on their tablet was normal and recurring behavior, where only 20% of smartphone owners regularly used their phone to make purchases.

The study surveyed 1,003 adults in the United States who own a tablet and/or smartphone of any brand. The screen size of a tablet is more conducive to scanning products, comparing prices and products. Last year, tablets were the source of over half of the mobile commerce sales last year, with the tablet share of sales projected to rise in 2013. Surfing the web on a tablet isn't the only way people are buying either, they are also shopping with a preference for app-enabled purchases. Almost half of mobile shoppers are interested in switching from mobile web options to shopping through an app.

So what does this mean for you? Make sure you have a mobile-friendly site and explore the creation of an app. Tailor to each buyer as well: tablet users like more images of products, where smartphone users are often more interested in proximity--who is selling what they want nearby.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Paypal and Ebay Robbed My Wife

My Wife sold her Iphone 4s on Ebay and used Paypal for the transaction. Two months later she finds out that Paypal was a victim on fraud and they take the money out of her account. Notice I said Paypal was the victim, not my Wife. So what did they do? The robbed my Wife! They stole money from her. I am not exaggerating here either. I am going to be very clear about the story here and explain why not only does Paypal suck, but this storyline leads to the demise of Ebay and Paypal.

Iphone 4s sold on Ebay to an Ebay registered user.
A Paypal registered user pays for the Ebay transaction.
Funds are deposited in the account.
The item is mailed through the USPS.
The buyer notifies my Wife through an Ebay message that the item was received.

Over a month later, it appears that someone fraudulently used a credit card for the transaction and the funds are withdrawn from the account. We are asked to provide shipping information. The shipping number is sent to Paypal as well as an email receipt from the buyer. Not Good enough according to Paypal. Then my Wife spends an hour in the USPS office and gets a stamped copy of the delivery receipt for Paypal. Not Good enough according to Paypal.

What? Seriously? So, Paypal is a victim because they let a fraudulent transaction through their system and they pass the buck. Then we meet all of their burdens of proof and it is not good enough.

And where is Ebay and their Seller's Protection? Oh... sorry that does not exist if Paypal says no.

This whole thing is a joke. In the "real" world if someone goes to a store and buys an item with a stolen credit card and leaves with that item, the store doesn't "not" get paid. The credit card companies have insurance against fraud.

At this point I feel like if I do not personally deliver the person that committed the crime to Paypal, we are not getting the money back.

I do not even care about the money at this point. It is principle. How can an ecommerce system survive when there is no protection for the sellers? Where is Ebay in protecting the seller?

I have heard from several friends that they have given up selling on Ebay and will not use Paypal because of stories very similar to this.

I know I am not done. I am going to be very loud about this story. I am going to continue posting the correspondence with Paypal and the "proof" that we help our part of the transaction and delivered the item.

Paypal - Good Luck

Joe Laratro

Friday, January 11, 2013

Google Shopping: Promote Your Inventory

If you're a retailer, Google Shopping may be beneficial for you this year. Towards the end of 2012, Google announced the new Google Shopping model built on Product Listing Ads. Google Shopping allows you to promote your products by including price, image and more. Google shopping is enhancing user experience and creating new opportunities for merchants of all sizes. You'll need an AdWords account and Merchant Center Account to get started.

If you're interested in learning more or would like assistance in managing your Google Shopping account, please feel free to reach out to your Tandem Team. :)


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pinterest and SEO

By now, you've probably heard the name Pinterest come up in social network discussions. While it's been recognized as a great resource for DIY projects, home decor, fashion, and other itemized categories, there is also a way to look at Pinterest from an SEO perspective. Look at Pinterest from an angle of product marketing and branding, and you'll see a site that can have a tremendous impact on your SEO. As a pinning addict (you can view my profile here) and someone who has personally seen substantial blog traffic increases from Pinterest, I believe Pinterest has the power to expose your company, your products, and your message to a large audience. Here are some key points to remember and use to your benefit:

-The target (and key) demographic of Pinterest is women, who make up 87 percent of the users.

-Users spend, on average, anywhere from 17 minutes-1 hour on the site at a time, where the average Twitter user spends 36 minutes, and the average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes. People staying longer is likely to increase sharing and "repinning," which is where the business value comes in.

-One pin can be endlessly repinned by users, exposing each of their individual audiences to the pin. Hashtags can also be used to have pins show up in Pinterest searches.

-Pinterest is visually driven, so think in terms of eye-catching, interesting, and aesthetically appealing images. Infographics can succeed here very well.

-On the account settings end, make sure your profile (which hosts your pins) is able to be viewed by search engines. Optimize your profile with keywords, and don't forget to include your location!

-Follow people in similar industries. Follow boards you like and that you would like to be included on. For example, if you sell a tech product, repin pins under the Geek, Product, or Technology categories to try and reach your target users.

-Be sure to tell everyone (via other social profiles, e-mails, and newsletters, for example) that you are on Pinterest. Get the word out!

If you have any questions about Pinterest, feel free to reach out to me: