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.

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.

Social: Southern Style

By: > August 20th, 2009

Today I am headed to SocialSouth, a social media conference in Birmingham, AL, and I am excited to learn a thing or two while I’m there:

  • How can a national brand’s social strategy translate to regional/local businesses?
  • How can traditional agencies make the transition to the social space?
  • Is Twitter here for the long-term? What’s their revenue model?
  • How can an employee of a business keep up with all of the latest in the social space but still be a productive asset. -OR- How can a business outsource their social strategy and implementation while also being authentic?

Follow me on Twitter for updates at the conference and let me know if there are any questions you want me to investigate while gathering with other leaders in social media.

Social in Lexington

Are you in the Central Kentucky area? Join me and Whitney Pannell at the Women Leading Kentucky September luncheon leading a discussion: Internet, Twitter, Facebook & More: A Waste of Time or Useful Business Tool?

Office Space

By: > March 5th, 2009

Guaranteed space for your red Swingline stapler.

Advertising & graphic design agency, Serif Group, has office space available. The office is located on the second floor of 207 East Reynolds Road, Suite 210—between Nicholasville Road and Lansdowne Drive.

Amenities include: conference room, contemporary décor, utilities included, convenient location, a spacious, free parking lot, lots of sunlight, kitchen area, and a private office space. See photos on our Facebook page.

It would be an ideal location for an independent professional looking to move out of their home. Rent is affordable and includes utilities. For more information, contact Jackie or call 859-271-0701.

“Eye-catching” spot got us to stop the fast forward

By: > February 23rd, 2009

I’m amazed at how my TV-viewing habits have changed over the years. Our first TiVo box opened up new life for us in a way that was more fulfilling than our current cable provider-issued DVR box, but that’s another story. We can now watch Survivor in 40 minutes instead of 1 hour. The Office in just over 20 minutes instead of 30. That’s a lot of extra minutes gained for housework, reading, or more realistically, surfing the web.

But what does this say about people who are supposed to watch TV for the commercials? We’re advertising agency owners, ferpetesake! However, the other night we spotted a commercial that was actually worth stopping for: the new H&R Block “Second Look” spot. The guy with one eye was too “eye-catching” to pass up.

Upon devoting 30 seconds of our lives to it, Bill and I agreed that it was great. Just what is needed these days to cut through the clutter of TV advertising. It’s not enough to sound intriguing, you must have intriguing visuals to get viewers to stop fast-forwarding.

What do you think about that spot? Disgusted like these folks? Or did it get your attention, too?