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.

Facebook pages keep on giving

By: > September 17th, 2009 > One comment

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.

Better Than Money Can Buy

By: > November 21st, 2008

We were so excited about having a story about us in last week’s issue of Business Lexington. We couldn’t believe it when we got our copy in the mail and saw that our photo was featured on the cover and the table of contents! Talking about exposure that money can’t buy. Bill and I are grateful for the opportunity to work and live in such a wonderful community. Thank you Smiley Pete Publishing, Kathie Stamps and Shaun Ring Photography. (BTW, the week before the story came out Shaun ran a very creative promotion using Twitter and Facebook which resulted in our professional photos. I highly recommend you check him out as his photography is just as outside-the-box as his marketing.)

Nacho average campaign

By: > October 9th, 2008

Barack Obama is a taco salad. Oh Yeah, well … John McCain is a nacho.

This according to a new web strategy by Qdoba. Tastebud politics is a great new viral tool by the folks at Qdoba. After seeing this, I wanted to send it to all my friends, because after all if you can talk to your friends about what’s going on in politics and not end up debating about healthcare or the economy its a good thing, right? Now Qdoba turns that debate into nachos and quesadillas.

Remember back in the day (1997) when we were all a little less net savvy and we would get the email telling us about how Bill Gates would give you $1000 for sending that email to as many people as possible. Even though I am proud to say that I didn’t bite on that one, enough people did to make it a classic example of how a message can spread virally.

Many people took notice of how effective this strategy would work in the land of the internet. Many others trying to duplicate this viral strategy sent out all sorts of bogus messages telling of great news or tall tales, and luckily today we have snopes.com to determine which of these is true.

Web powerhouses such as hotmail.com, myspace and facebook have grown dramatically from viral methods. Much like a virus spreads, one person tells two, those two tell two or three more and so on, before long without an FCC regulated medium, hundreds if not thousands (or millions in some cases) have heard the message.

Networking sites: Are they good for business?

By: > September 5th, 2008

 

Facebook image

 

I have recently been a Facebook and Linked In junkie. I love being able to keep up with my friends and what they’re up to. But does this have any practical use? Can it be good for business?

I ran across a good article on how you can use facebook for business, check it out here.