Graphically Speaking blog

Successful Twitter Campaigns

Friday, July 8, 2011

A good read for a Friday afternoon—4 successful Twitter campaigns from small and large companies.

The key to campaign success according to "A company caring about its online community and pushing out unique and helpful information after listening to the needs of its audience."

We agree.

Beware ‘The Guru’

Thursday, June 16, 2011

There are NO gurus of social media. Social Media is simply TOO new for gurus. When it comes to social media marketing we’re all a newbie.

Finding out what works best for your company is going to require some tinkering and fiddling around. It will be a process of trial and error. Sadly many will simply give up before success or failure can even be measured.

Getting Off on The Right Foot

The dust will settle and we’ll look back at ‘social media’ as a buzzword. But from the hard learned lessons there will be best practices that we’ll continue to use. Here are a set of principles that can lay the foundation for a success social media initiative.

  • Social media is not a technology. It’s a way of leading and connecting with people. Focus more on connecting, contributing and building rapport than on sales. Keep focusing on contributing and you’ll never run out of marketing leverage.
  • An integrated marketing plan will include social media. Social media is more effective when incorporated into your marketing toolbox. Have goals and schedule your social media activities. Set up guidelines and establish training for staff to maximize results.
  • To improve ROI you must implement a social media listening strategy using it consistently and on an on-going basis. Monitoring social media allows you to build up a good idea of the general sentiment towards your brand. Remember, bad feedback can be a branding opportunity if handled in the right way.

Crawl, walk, run. Start with small achievable initiatives and follow through with them. Learn from each of your experience and take it to the next level.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Every visit to your website is an opportunity to gain another customer. To ensure a good user experience it’s important that the website content is accurate and up-to-date. Maintaining content for large websites is a complicated process. In the past this process of creating, publishing and managing content was very timely and costly. With today’s advances in technology content management systems have streamlined this process very efficiently.

What are content management systems?
A content management system (CMS) is a comprehensive solution for managing web content throughout its lifecycle. A CMS makes it simple and efficient for organizations to create, edit, publish and manage content from a single source and users don’t have to have knowledge of complex programming languages.

Benefits of using a CMS
  • Quickly and efficiently update website content.
  • Effectively manage accuracy and consistency of content across the complete network.
  • Reduce costs by eliminating the need for expensive personnel to maintain website.
  • Streamline workflow with functions like templates and automatic deployment of content.
Features of a CMS
Some of the main features of an effective CMS are:
  • Interactive Polls
  • Newsletters & Press Releases
  • File Management & Sharing
  • User Registration
If your website’s content needs updating frequently or you need to maintain a network of sites, a CMS will give you an automated workflow and approval process that allows you to create, publish and manage fresh content

Faster! Faster!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recently Google Analytics announced the new Site Speed report. The new report will help you measure and optimize page load times. A faster website helps to make for a better user experience. Here are some general rules to follow to help optimize page loading.

Minify the code. Reduce unnecessary characters from the code, like HTML comments. Smaller external scripts, like CSS makes a big difference on page load times. Merge all of your javascripts into one large file.

Spare the Bling. Use graphics and Flash sparingly. Make sure all rich media is compressed as much as possible to reduce file sizes.

Skinny is in. Try to keep your page file sizes under 250K including the images. This will vary depending on how graphic intensive your content is.

Most internet users spend less than a minute on the average website. If your webpage takes too long to load visitors will simply look somewhere else. At the end of the day a better web experience goes a long way to building a loyal visitor base and increasing conversions.

Why Do Social Media?

Monday, May 16, 2011

There's no doubt about it—social media has gone mainstream. A recent study by SocialMediaExaminer revealed that an overwhelming majority (93%) of marketers are integrating social media into their marketing efforts, but why?

For free advertising? Maybe. After all, how much does it cost to tweet? Make a status update on Facebook? Post a video up on YouTube? These services are all free to use.

But that's not what makes social media so valuable.

So what is the point of social media? How can it really benefit your business?

  • Build Relationships – Today's customers want more from a business. They don't want to be on the receiving end of a broadcast message; they want interaction and communication with brands. Social media provides your customers an opportunity to engage with you and your products. Find a way to get them involved with your brand, talking about it and talking with you. Whether it’s offering a contest, asking them for input, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to talk with your customers, but it can be very beneficial. When customers buy products, they want to buy the brand and the story behind that brand. Social media allows you to build that story.
  • Build Trust and Credibility - Social media allows businesses to build trust and brand equity that has future value. Customers trust the people they deem as authorities–their opinions and recommendations matter. More important than any tactic or strategy you develop in social media is your success in gaining the trust of your audience. If they don't think you are a credible source, it doesn't matter what you say or how well you say it. A presence in social media can help you develop this credibility.

The Bottom Line

The ultimate goal of marketing is to create a connection between your product or service and your customers that will motivate them to buy from you. That's where you can harness the power of social media. Social media involves a lot of time and effort, but for those who stick with it and commit themselves to providing value for their audience, the benefits can be significant.