Archive for the 'Tools' Category

Promote your Facebook fan page

As with so many tactics, we too often take a “build it and they will come” attitude toward Facebook fan pages. Truth is, driving traffic to those pages is a lot tougher than launching them.

With that in mind, Justin Wise of Social Media Examiner shares 20 ways to promote your Facebook fan page.

It all starts, of course, with putting a link on your personal Facebook profile.

Then, add the fan page URL to your email signature, your business cards, your Twitter profile, your Keynote or PowerPoint slides, and anywhere else that’s relevant. Tag other popular fan pages in your updates. Place a widget on your blog and/or website. And tag your YouTube videos.

Invest in Facebook ads, which are easy and pretty cheap. And use targeted keywords in Google AdWords.

And finally, invite your friends. But as Justin points out: “Pester your friends only as the nuclear option. I’ve given you 19 other ways to let people know about your fan page. Give your friends a break!”


Online friends may not mean much in real world

While we marketers and brand architects are enthusiastically embracing all forms of social networking, it’s curious to see new studies that reveal some of its shortcomings.

Perhaps it’s no real surprise, but an international psychology journal recently found that an individual’s success in the virtual world doesn’t appear to carry over into the real world. In other words, spending a lot of time online through instant messaging and social network sites was not linked to having a larger number of “offline” friends.

“Moreover,” says an LA Times report on the study, ” the relationships of people who socialized online weren’t any closer or stronger than people who didn’t socialize online.”

Previous studies were mixed, with some suggesting that online networking had a negative effect on social life, while others believed it broadened social circles.

The idea that social media may have little effect on real-life relationships may prompt us to wonder about the effectiveness of our branding and marketing efforts that rely on Facebook, etc. to spread the word.

Sharing your core values

There’s so much to like about this. First off, they use video effectively rather than rely on text. It’s all delivered in plain language. They feature their own people creatively. And they take ownership of every single word.

Rackspace offers managed hosting, and cloud hosting, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s the human element that comes across.

Is anyone actually scanning QR codes?

With the proliferation of so many new marketing tactics and points of contact with our clients’ customers, we’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to link the various tools we’re designing and producing. That’s why the QR codes are perhaps the most exciting development in some time.

For those not yet familiar, a QR (or Quick Response) code is a matrix barcode of sorts that can be read by camera phones. The information encoded can ultimately be text or other data, but the movement seems to be toward linking to a specific URL for more information beyond the product or ad containing the code.

This graphic from JumpScan shares some data they’ve gathered about QR codes, including who’s scanning them, what kind of devices they’re using, and what brands are running QR code campaigns.

And, yes, the infographic itself contains QR codes, so have your iPhone ready!

I think this is an amazing tool, but there are rumblings that despite their ever-widening use, few people are actually taking the time to actually scan a QR code.  But that’s gonna change.


The case for the case study

In talking with design comrades, we often debate how best to present our capabilities in a way that makes sense to clients and prospects. Too often, we position our services in a vague or esoteric way, with terminology that requires further explanation.

We go through our creative process. We name the steps. We define the deliverables. And we preach about the value of a powerful brand. It’s our way of differentiating ourselves from others who may be competing for the work.

Yet so often the prospect is still a bit confused. Plus, of course, this approach is not always smart once we remind ourselves of the importance of talking about our client’s needs rather than our own internal processes.

In response to this challenge, Luke Mysse of Crossgrain is suggesting the use of a single case study as your presentation to a new prospect. We’re developing these now for our business-development efforts. But foremost in our minds are the following ideas:

  • Choose one — just one! — that’s relevant to your audience.
  • Make the presentation highly visual for impact.
  • Define the challenge, the tactics used, and the results. That’s it.
  • Trust that your designs are distinctive enough that you don’t have to emphasize their importance.
  • Instead, focus on the tangible business results that your efforts helped deliver for that client.
  • And finally, treat the case study as the start of meaningful dialogue, rather than as a call to action.

In a similar way, Fast Company magazine tells us that tech conferences have all but banned boring PowerPoint slide shows in favor of short, fast-paced product demos.

“It’s not about bullet points or the company, but what have they built?” says Finovate CEO Eric Mattson.

For those used to sharing portfolio samples and client lists, or walking prospects through a discussion of design methodology, etc. this can be quite a departure.

How effective can the single case study be as a presentation? Stay tuned.

No guts, no glory

In our age of Google AdWords and sophisticated web analytics, I can’t imagine suggesting that a client invest in TV, radio, billboards or other media where effectiveness cannot be measured. The direct-marketer approach has taught us that if you cannot measure the results, the almighty ROI … you shouldn’t do it.

But Seth Godin challenges this attitude, suggesting in a recent blog post that “Most businesses (including your competitors) are afraid of big investments in unmeasurable media. Therefore, if you have the resources and the guts, it’s a home run waiting to be hit.”

Seth goes on to name several big brands whose commitment to these media is huge. And they flourish as a result. But if you do want to stray from the “measure the results” school, make sure you don’t even try to gauge the results as the basis for smart decision-making. “It’s still an art,” he says, “not a science.”

More importantly, realize that small investments in unmeasurable media nearly always fail.  So, Seth suggests: “Go big or stay home.”

Clever marketing or cheap publicity?

We all know Lance Armstrong as much for his strong support of cancer research through his Livestrong foundation as we do for his unprecedented 7 victories in the Tour de France. So it should not have come as a surprise that he and his RadioShack team chose the final day of this year’s tour to build awareness for his favorite cause.

Lance and his teammates switched their red jerseys for black ones with a number 28 on the back in honor of the estimated 28 million people worldwide living with cancer.

French race officials freaked out — something about rules stating you have to finish the 3-week race in the same-colored jerseys you started with. The race had to stop temporarily while the cyclists were forced to switch back to their red jerseys.

Apparently, Armstrong and RadioShack had failed to work things out ahead of time with the Tour de France officials.

Or did they?

The resulting publicity was much greater than if arrangements had been made ahead of time.  Was the Tour de France just being stuffy?  Unsympathetic to cancer patients? Or was Lance Armstrong using a sporting event (packed with advertising, by the way) for his own publicity?

Either way, it worked. It grabbed attention in a clever, viral, get-the-people-talking way.

But it raises compelling questions regarding guerilla marketing (the heck with gaining permission), hijacking live events for brand awareness, and how to snag the attention of the worldwide media.

I’m not so sure the public would have been so sympathetic were Lance Armstrong promoting nutritional supplements.  But Lance + cancer research + Tour de France = perfect opportunity for a very clever marketing tactic.

Robert Hyndman

can be reached at his Laguna Beach studio, 949.497.3179, or by using the form on the Contact Me page.
October 2019
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