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 > 17 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 > 12 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.

Facebook pages keep on giving

By: > September 17th, 2009 > 4 comments

A day or two after writing my previous post about the upload trick for a Facebook page, Facebook’s recently updated iPhone app’s newest feature gives page admins the ability to update from their iPhone and even post pictures. I had been investigating that problem for a few days and had no success finding any other blog or forum that had an answer.

I consider myself a novice blogger, a little too ADD to concentrate long enough to establish my point in writing. Combine my creative randomness with my perfectionist nature, and it’s nearly impossible to write. With practice, I can only get better.

Facebook pages are like nesting dolls. Everytime I think I figured it out, there is something new. My latest interests are polls, the new @ mentions in updates and SMS (texting) with Facebook.

SMS with Facebook

Did you know that someone on Facebook can become a fan of your page without internet access? I didn’t until I started investigating the page’s customization features. To become a fan of my company’s Facebook page just text ‘fan serifgroup’ to FBOOK (32665) – standard text rates apply, but the service via Facebook is free. Status updates from our ‘serifgroup’ page will then come to your phone as SMS messages. Of course you can always opt out of this feature, but you will still be a fan until you reply ‘unsub’ to FBOOK.

I find this extremely appealing for companies who want to capture a younger crowd who use text as a key communication platform. Build your fan base and nurture those fans into another channel whether it be email or an existing text campaign.

I noticed that you need to have activated the mobile feature on your Facebook preferences to have it reconcile who wants to ‘fan’ a page, but if someone is in the ‘texting’ target, they have probably already done this.

Polls

As a design and marketing firm, we like to do a little informal research on what people think about projects we’re working on. Since we have a handful of fans on our Serif Group Facebook page we thought we would ask their opinion. We looked into a few polling apps for our page and found two different apps that had what we wanted, but only if we could combine them. We want to be able to add a Poll tab or even a url link to a poll that has the ability to use images in the questions. The one we found has the ability to use images, but it is only available as a box in the boxes tab. The other one is limited to text only, but integrates well into a page. If I could develop a poll app that could combine the two, it would be a great tool for any fan page.

Facebook @ mentions

There has been a lot of talk about how Facebook has copied Twitter by using the @ feature to mention people. I don’t get it. Although Facebook did use the Twitter @ symbol, does Twitter own exclusive rights to that symbol? Didn’t email own that first? The most common element of the new feature is the ability to reference others and have it appear in their stream. Although this was an inevitable maturation of the product, I’m not convinced the Facebook developers got this idea from Twitter–but that’s just my opinion.

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