Facebook is not going places

By: > August 26th, 2010 > 4 comments

Facebook Places is going nowhere.

Facebook rolled out ‘Places’ to users last week and so far, mark me down as not very impressed. I’m not sure what I expected, but Facebook Places leaves a lot to be desired. I’m not sure I get why they added it, when it doesn’t really add any value to the user experience–if anything–it adds to the noise in my news feed.

I have used, some more than others, location-based services (LBS) by Yelp, Facebook, Gowalla, Whrrl, Foursquare, BrightKite, and Rally Up. SCVNGR and Loopt have found a way on to my phone, but I have not used them.

With that being said, what makes a good LBS experience?

  • I like the ability to check-in easily. (Partly because I am a freak when it comes to these LBS apps – using at least 4 of them for a while) After launching the app I don’t want to touch 5 screens to let people know where I am. I also would prefer not to “add’ a place, but as an early adopter I understand that comes with the territory. In my opinion, Whrrl has this down.
  • I want to be able to take a picture and post a comment easily. That’s truly sharing an experience, why else would I post my ‘check-in’ to Facebook or Twitter? Maybe this is the marketer in me coming out and not the end-user. Whrrl also has this down, making it more of a way to scrapbook your experience.
  • I want my other social friends to be using the platform. Foursquare almost has this down, but this is the only edge I give to Facebook in the LBS space. Unless they improve their other features quickly, most of the general public won’t see the point of why anyone would want to check-in anywhere.
  • As much as I cringe to see myself typing this–I want some sort of scoring system. I kinda like how Foursquare has the points thing going. I also love the idea of badges. It makes much more sense to me than Gowalla’s items. And the mayors? That’s fun. Even my two kids get into the mayor thing. Asking me “hey daddy, are you the mayor of this place?” when the see me checking in on my phone.

If you can’t tell already, I love Whrrl. If you haven’t tried it, please do. Foursquare will likely win out, since it has a lead with user adoption. But let’s hope Facebook starts going places with it’s attempt at a LBS, because if it doesn’t it may just kill the public confidence in why one can be helpful for both social consumers and social marketers.

Owners Featured in skirt! Lexington

By: > February 23rd, 2010

Don’t gag, but I have to share. We were so excited to be featured in the Valentine section of the February 2010 edition of the cool skirt! Lexington magazine. You can read the copy that accompanied the photo below:

Serif Group owners Jackie & Bill in skirt! Lexington magazine

Jackie and Bill, the marketing minds behind the Lexington agency Serif Group, have been wild about each other since their Wildcat days. The two met in 1994 as UK advertising students, married in 1997, and today share life, office space, two sons (ages five and nine) and a commitment to community, volunteering their time together at Lighthouse Ministries.

Jackie: “Bill is my knight in shining armor. His chivalry makes me feel special, and his interaction with our boys melts my heart. I’m so blessed to have found my perfect match.”

Bill: “Jackie is my best friend. I love spending time with her and I’m blessed that I get to work with her. I remember the first time I met her—it was love at first sight.”

And Kelli Patrick mentioned that first meeting in her From the Editor segment on page 10:

“Jackie Powell remembers the second time she met the man who’d become her husband and how she complimented his “photogenic” memory because he remembered her name (she was mortified the next morning to realize she’d meant “photographic”).”

Jump start your social media efforts for business

By: > January 25th, 2010 > 9 comments

Social Media Jumpstart

With a background and a passion for graphic design, I often share in the joke with other designers that knowing how to use the software doesn’t make you a designer. Sometimes you can pass as a designer because you pleased the person who hired you, but your design may not have worked effectively.

What’s a designer to do? Nothing, really. All we can do is educate our clients and the public on the value of good, professional graphic design. Although your customers may not ask for it, they react to it. And if done with good commercial sense, your business will benefit from it.

When it comes to social media, many of the arguments are similar. Using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for business does make you a social media marketer—but it doesn’t necessarily make you an effective one. Knowing the tools will help you be an effective social media marketer.

And while knowing the tools is an important aspect of social media marketing, using good engagement practices and solid marketing principles will go much further than knowing how to upload a link to your Facebook page. Fortune 500 companies and small mom-and-pop corner stores alike are using these social platforms to reach new and existing prospects. But are they doing it effectively?

Sales Pitch

So I had to be going somewhere with this, right? Yes, I admit this is a sales pitch, but my pitch won’t be for everyone. After all, my personalized session for social media consulting is an on-site session—here in Lexington. For those reading this who aren’t willing to travel in for the on-site session, I encourage you to look for a marketing agency in your area that can help you navigate the tools of social media, and educate you on the best practices. Or, contact me and we can organize a Skype session.

And for those of you who live here or are coming to Lexington, Kentucky in the near future I hope you would consider scheduling a time I can advise you on using the social media tools effectively and introduce you to best practices. Find out more information about my social media jumpstart session.

5 Quick and Sweet Email Tips to Kick Off the Season

By: > November 24th, 2009 > 9 comments

1.    Make it personal.

Start with a person’s name and add it within the email where applicable.

2.    Email early and consistently.

Create a schedule but be mindful to follow your subscribers preferences.  Your unsubscribe and open rate will let you know if you are sending too much.

3.    Add an incentive.

For example, “Purchase by Friday and shipping is on us.” However, be careful to avoid words that may get caught in spam filters such as “free” or text in ALL CAPS.

4.    Include a clear call to action.

Direct on how to take the next step.  For example, “Order Now” or “go here for more information.”

5.    Send a holiday greeting.

A non-threatening, simple email thanking your subscriber goes a long way and saves money on postage.