Came across these great tips. If you don’t use hashtags or want to but aren’t sure exactly how to utilize them, these tips are for you.
While I’ve know about Pinterest for some time now I never really took the time to get into it and see if it was for me. On the suggestion of a friend I spent some time on there and I have to admit it – I’m hooked.
Unlike Delicious and StumbleUpon, which I use daily, Pinterest allows me to collect information in a more visual form. And isn’t visual what graphic design is all about? It’s really amazing how your boards start to take shape. At first you aren’t quite sure what type of things to post, but you pick it up quickly. I will always be looking for anything that relates to design or that I find inspiring in some way. But… Pinterest also lets me put a bit of myself on my boards. I get to save recipes, craft projects, and whatever else hits me at the moment.
I have decided to share my Pinterest boards with you all. Take them at face value, literally. They are all pinned because something about them interested me. Me. If you see something that connects with you, repin it or leave a comment.
One last suggestion. If you are already using Pinterest or decide to finally check it out, I recommend that you click on different user’s boards and view their profile as a whole. It’s amazing how you get a feel for the person based solely on the visual impact of their pins. Some people are drawn to design and color. Others have a very muted take on what they like. From a visual standpoint, I find this fascinating.
As they say on the site… Happy Pinning!
By now most everyone has been introduced to the world of social media. You know the players – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc – and most likely you’ve either done some research or signed up. Social media is an ever-changing playing field that continually offers new, revised, and expanded options. If you are paying close attention you soon realize that it can be a daunting task keeping up with what’s new and what works best. There is one thing that is a constant throughout all of social media, especially if you are a business, and that is your website.
It doesn’t matter how often or sporadically you post, your objective should be to direct viewers back to your website. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you say, you should be encouraging viewers to visit your site for more information. Under those circumstances your website is home base. Contained within its pages should be all the information needed to understand what your business or service offers, how to contact you, specific product info and photos, an option to purchase if that applies, and whatever other information is pertinent to allow a viewer to form an opinion, an interest, a need to contact you, and best of all the decision to purchase your product or service.
Now I know many of you already have a website up and running. You’ve had it for years and as far as you’re concerned it works just fine, thank you. But, does it?
When was the last time you reviewed your site?
Here are a few things to consider:
- Is all of the information accurate? Have you revised a product and not changed the info on your site? Did you add a product or service but did not add it to your site?
- Are all of the photos current? Sure you offer the same item, but is that a photo of the current item? Maybe you changed your packaging, logo, or colors.
- Are all of your links active? If you refer viewers to outside sites, are you sure those links still work? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a site, click a link and… nothing.
- And don’t forget about email addresses. Are you sure that all of the email addresses you have posted are current (and not for a former employee). I know of some sites that to this day have an email address posted that is for me at an old employer. I know I’m not receiving those messages and I doubt the company is either.
- Has your content undermined your navigation? If you’ve had a site up for a while most likely you’ve added to it. A page here, a photo there. A new sub-category with more pages. I bet you didn’t realize how much you’ve added to your site. Sit down with the eyes of a fresh viewer to your site and experience how well or how poorly your site navigates.
- Are your pages crowded with bits and pieces of information? Too many bits and pieces.
- Are your links intuitive? Meaning – are the placement of your links easy to find or do you have to hunt for what you’re looking for?
- Did you remember to cross-reference information?
- Are your pages very very long? Have you been adding and adding to your pages until they require scrolling and scrolling?
- Was your site created with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind? If the answer is yes, does it need a little tweaking? If the answer is no, what are you waiting for?
- Site analytics. What tools are you using to measure your website traffic?
I hope I’ve got you thinking about your website by now. How well is it performing? Can I make it better? And I hope your next step is to contact a design professional. BoyDog Design can assist you in a review of your current website. Let’s explore ways to update and improve your site. One of the benefits of web-based communication is that you don’t have to be local to BoyDog Design. Utilizing current technology it is easier than ever to work on projects together – even if you live across town, in another state, even another country. Think about it – is now the time to review, revise and reap the rewards?
I continue to be impressed with the willingness of the design community to share information. Links, tutorials, books, samples, templates, fonts – you name it and it can be found online. I’d like to contribute to this stash of information by making my www.delicious.com bookmarks available to anyone who browses my blog.
Delicious offers bookmarks collected by its members. The range of interests are vast. For me, you will find that my bookmarks coincide with my interest in graphic design, advertising, web design, marketing, industrial design, and the range of software used in those pursuits.
Please, feel free to browse the bookmarks. You just might find the information you need. I would also like to encourage you to add to my bookmark list via email, posting to my blog, or sharing via your delicious account.
The best thing about delicious bookmarks is that they are always available to you as long as you have access to a computer with an internet connection. I started using delicious because I wanted to have my bookmarks available to me wherever I was and on whichever computer I might be working on at the time.
Give delicious.com a try. Browse my bookmarks. I hope you find something of interest. Maybe you’ll find some answers for things that have you stumped. Enjoy!
We all know the importance of networking as a means to expand our business contacts and spark word of mouth recommendations and commentary about a service or product. One of the fastest growing networking outlets online today is LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn. Unlike other more social sites, like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn offers a professional environment to conduct your online networking activities. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with those you currently work with and re-establish or continue corresponding with professionals outside your workplace. I can see how it would be useful to students as they begin to establish themselves in their field and form alliances that will help them in the years to come. You can also create a listing for your business that people can follow. There are groups you can join and reap the benefits from having access to the discussions and comments of others in your industry. These groups can provide contacts, answer questions, provide insight, pass along job postings, and support you through the ups and downs you may experience.
So who uses LinkedIn? According to this Infographic:
- 61% are men
- High tech, financing, and manufacturing are the most represented
- Sales, academic and administrative functions are the most common job functions
That’s a small sampling of the information provided. It doesn’t really matter how predominantly your gender or your profession are represented on LinkedIn. Fact is LinkedIn is an established resource to connect with the people that you know and the people that you need to know. Give it try. And don’t forget to connect to me. I’m waiting to hear from you.
Okay, you’ve created an identity in social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like and now you want to give video a try. Most likely you’ll head over to YouTube to dip your toes into the video stream. Remember that viral campaigns are an added medium and not the be all end all in your marketing plan. Use video to complement and expand on your existing promotions.
Before engaging in any form of advertising and PR you should have already created a complete marketing plan. Know your market and how to communicate with them. Know how the public perceives your product or service and build on that perception or move to change it to your advantage. Introduce yourself to a new or expanding market. Be sure you know your goal and know how you will recognize when you’ve achieved it.
Keep the following concepts in mind as you put together your viral campaign:
Push for an emotional connection.
You need to engage your audience in a way that compels them to pay attention to your message. Whether you accomplish that via humor or a tug at the heart, you have but a few seconds to make that attachment. You want people to want to continue watching. Remember, they hold the controls – click on/click off.
Turn attention into interaction.
It’s one thing to post your video and hope for many viewings. If reaching a certain number of viewings is your only goal you have not utilized your viral campaign to its fullest potential. At the moment someone is watching and focused on your video you have their full attention. Offer them something. Tweak their curiosity or interest and link to a pertinent blog or another video related to your message. Offer a chance to acquire additional material such as ebooks, pdfs of articles, surveys, coupons. Link to an online store where they can purchase merchandise.
Keep your viral campaign open to everyone.
Share. Share. Share. In the same way that word of mouth can pass along your message to a large group of people, your viral campaign will benefit by allowing viewers to share your video with friends and family. Your exposure can multiply exponentially as it’s passed along from friend to friend to family to co-worker and on and on…
Posting a link to your viral campaign via social media outlets (think Twitter, Facebook, etc.) can also get the ball rolling. Retweets, shares, and likes are golden as your message spreads.
Get people talking.
Allow for comments. Be prepared for the good and the bad. Commentary lets you focus in on what your market thinks about that particular video. It also should enable you to gain a better understanding of how the public views your product or service. A carefully moderated conversation via comments can provide a wealth of useable information that you can use to continue to develop your marketing strategy.
Finally, be prepared to make adjustments.
It’s not uncommon to have to edit an existing viral campaign. You may find out that your message isn’t as clear as you thought. Adjust. You may find out that you’re receiving more negative feedback than you anticipated. Adjust. Maybe you’ve hit a homerun and you have the opportunity to expand on your message. Adjust.
I’m not ashamed to admit there was a time when I found it a bit daunting keeping pace with social media. How to do it. What to expect. The metrics of it all. Apparently I’m not alone. While we all know we need to have a presence in social media we are equally confused and stumped about how to measure our success.
According to this article by Kathy Crosett, “More Marketers to Seek Social CRM Systems,” http://bit.ly/eHttfg, we can expect new CRM services to be coming available this year. I look forward to this. Adding a reliable service to manage and analyse your data stream should result in a more profitable use of social media.
Update: Just received this pertinent email, “22 Hot New Social Media Tools Worth Exploring,” http://bit.ly/g4JW4T. Helpful tools.
Many businesses feel compelled to create a presence on Facebook. Most will create a Facebook page and promote it to their target market. Sounds like a simple process, but the expected results are not always that simple to achieve. It seems that most of us, business users of Facebook, don’t really have a grasp of why we’re there and how to utilize Facebook to communicate with our customers. In the rush to join the social media frenzy we’ve all been caught up in many of us have created a Facebook page without full consideration of our goals and expectations. And even worse, we haven’t communicated to people what they might expect in return for declaring that they “Like” us.
I never really thought about this lack of clarity until I read a recent article by Jay Baer, “Why You’re Pissing Off Half Your Facebook Fans,” http://bit.ly/eRgeRE. I came away understanding that if you don’t know your demographic and what they expect from you, there’s a good possibility that you will actually do more harm than good to your relationship with them. Take the time to define your market. Research until you understand their expectations of you. Finally, let your Facebook fans know what to expect from your page. A more knowledgeable approach to your Facebook identity should result in enhanced communication. Learn to use Facebook to establish a direct line of communication that meets everyone’s expectations.
This article is based on Altimeter Group’s recent research. Worth reading…
Good news for those of you who have struggled with the decision to add social media to your marketing mix. According to the Small Business Success Index small business adopted the use of social media at twice the rate of 2008 in 2009. These businesses are finding that social media offers them access to their market – enabling them to build their brand, engage their current customers, and attract new customers as well.
Here’s a link to useful information summarizing these finding: http://www.bit.ly/ceSbFP
It’s never too late to add social media to your marketing plan. BoyDog Design can assist you in sorting through the various social media sites, blogging options, directories, and more. Is it time to hone the social media persona of your business?