Tagged: Social-media

Social Media websites of the future

social-mediaIn the last ten years, social media platforms have seen an exponential growth. This is partly due to the increase in popularity of smart devices. People carry their smartphones and tablets everywhere, and can easily access their social media accounts on the go and from anywhere. In other words, more and more people are logging into social media sites constantly. There are now more than 2 billion active social media users worldwide, and we see a sharp growth of 25% to 30% each year.

Businesses haven’t failed to notice the roaring expansion of social media. 9 out of 10 U.S. companies are now active on social networks. Business that are on social media are also reporting increased exposure and better engagement, and more than half say their social media efforts are boosting sales and increasing revenue.

So as a business owner or marketer, what are the top social media sites that you need to get on and start using. Here is a list of the top five social media sites of the future according to the world economic forum:

The largest social media site, with well over a billion users, it is still the top runner when it comes to social media. While it remains a popular application to update friends on your activities, the network has also become a significant news source. No doubt that business can benefit from having a strong presence, the true value comes in understanding what people are talking about and sharing with their networks.

A big name in photo edits and sharing, Instagram allows users to take photos and alter them using numerous pre-installed filters before sharing them online. A rapidly-growing platform with an estimated 500 million active users. As the focus is on images, it’s especially useful if you are reaching a younger audience who responds to photos, graphics, memes, and short videos. If you want to succeed with Instagram, it’s important that you have a good eye for detail and have at least basic photography skills.

Pinterest has over 60 million active users and is a very powerful image-based social media website. The main competitor is Instagram, Pinterest is a photo collection and sharing network which allows users to upload their own photos or “pin” others into various collections or “boards’ on the network. The majority of Pinterest users are female, which is important to keep in mind for marketing purposes.

Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is THE premier B2B social networking site. LinkedIn is a social network aimed at professionals and businesses, and in addition to updates allows users to create content such as articles. In addition to being able to reach out to others in your industry, you can purchase paid posts and participate in groups.

Twitter has some unique advantages, such as the ability to connect with influencers and to build a following fairly quickly. With Twitter, you can share short (140 or fewer characters) text updates, along with videos, images, links, polls and more. Unlike Facebook, which uses a complex algorithm to show users content, Twitter updates chronologically. This is another site that everyone in digital media should be using.

Mind your language

Mind your languageIn the advertising and marketing world its important to be cautious about the kind of language and tone you use while communicating with your internal and external customers. Any company or enterprise, irrespective of the industry, has to be aware of the fact that they have to maintain a consistent brand image. The language and the tone of communication plays a very critical role in defining and maintaining that brand image. Brand language is the body of words, phrases, and terms that an organization uses to describe its purpose or in reference to its products or services.

While defining a brand language for a company it is important to be careful about the choice of words and the tone used. Here are the 5 benefits of choosing the right brand language for your company:

Its all about Keywords: Ask your customers this: What are the words that come into their minds when they think about your business or brand? For example over 80 percent of the world’s population directly associates “dreams,” “creativity, “fantasy,” “smiles,” “magic,” and “generation” with the Disney brand. So its important to carefully chose the words that you use while communicating with customers. Its like offering a visual cue i.e. the moment someone sees your brand or company, they should associate it with certain keywords.

Build Relationships: Your tone will clearly signify how good you are with your own company objectives and the brand. Many brands use formal language, and that directly reflects in the way they deal with their customers. A more relaxed, friendly or catchy tone should be used if the company actually lives those values. So if your tone does not reflect your company values and your personality, your communications will always appear awkward.

Be positive – The key to successful branding is to chose words and a tone that gives a positive effect in the minds of the customers. When positive words become strongly associated with particular brands, these words can become assets, to the extent that competing brands may find the words difficult to use. For example words used by brands such as Kellogg’s and Gillette i.e, healthy, masculine etc.

Make it simple yet sharp: It is important to use a language that is easily understood by the masses but it should have sharp edges that cut across the normal patter of communications. Take your language cues from your company values, your brand personality and most importantly your customers. Listen to what customers say about their experiences and use those as keywords. With the advent of the internet, companies and brands have become extremely involved in social media and online listening and are actively monitoring the  most searched words, hashtags that people are interested in, most popular categories under a business and industry etc.

– Build a Perspective: It is not about what a company says, its about what your customers here or perceive. Words used should build a perspective in the minds of the customers. For example when we think of Kellogg’s we think of words such Breakfast, Snacks, Recipes, Cereal etc, but the perspective it offers to its customers is healthy and uplifting. So its important to always keep the perspective in mind while choosing the words to be used to define a brand, because at the end of the day its all about your customers.

How important is “age” in Entrepreneurship?

The younger the betterOften the image of a modern day entrepreneur is someone who is a college dropout with a high inclination towards technology, social media and smartphones – typically a male in his 20s! However, recent study shows that over half of the upcoming entrepreneurs from last year were all 40 and older.

According to the study conducted by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit, entrepreneurs who were over 40, faced “age bias” on the part of investors and clients.

The reason: older entrepreneurs have a tough time getting the attention of investors, especially in the Internet and mobile industry. Many believe that older entrepreneurs—folks who really didn’t grow up with smartphones and social media—don’t have the zeal or intuition that is necessary to make the brilliant viral consumer-tech companies and apps of tomorrow.

The flip side: Younger entrepreneurs, who have never even had a job, find themselves sought after by investors, venture capitalists and all sorts of other sources of capital, apparently because in this new internet savvy economy, young founders make up for their lack of corporate and management experience with a mastery of the new world of technology, therefore attracting interest from investors.

How important is experience and reputation?

If experience and reputation are the foundation of an entrepreneur’s skill set, then age will eventually become a true advantage. One crucial advantage of age is the experience gained from years within one or more industries. Not to mention, building a solid reputation takes years, and older entrepreneurs are at an advantage as they have established reputations within their space.

Innovation has no age requirements!

As we all know that the key element of innovation is to challenge authority and break rules, so today’s youth doesn’t hesitate to question the norms, think outside the box and come up with unthinkable ideas, but such ideas are not the only foundation of a successful enterprise. Its more about translating these innovative ideas into successful ventures, for which you would need to manage teams, understand markets, collaborate and obtain financing, all of which can only be achieved with experience and time.

So the point is that young ideas go hand-in-hand with appropriate industry experience and market knowledge. In the coming years, we will see a shift in the age group of entrepreneurs. Early 30s seems to be the ideal age as it comes with experience, adequate industry knowledge and young mindset.

Digital Marketing 101

If you are the kind of person, who is good with the internet, likes to learn new technologies and gets the thrill by being in an ever changing environment, then Digital Marketing is what you need to get into.

Digital marketing is a vast domain and encompasses anything and everything that uses online distribution channels to reach out to potential customers. The three main elements that make Digital marketing different from traditional marketing or advertising are instant feedback, reporting and a “call to action”. Digital Marketing can be categorized under two broad sections i.e. the Pull technology (where the consumer is searching marketing information often through web search and has given permission to receive content) and the Push technology (where the marketer sends a message without the consent of the recipient).

Popular forms of digital marketing include: banner advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, pay per click (PPC), newsletters, text messages, mobile advertisement, website feeds (RSS), blogs and streaming media (audio and video). In the past few months, other mediums have been used to attract customers and manipulate online content such as: Online Reputation Management (ORM), online PR and Q&A.

Average consumers are constantly becoming more webs savvy and knowledgeable, and as a business owner or manager you would soon feel the need to join the digital marketing bandwagon. Starting with the basics is the right choice. Also, having a planned approach to a digital marketing campaign will help you streamline your marketing budget and achieve maximum ROI.

One of the most important things to remember in the digital marketing domain is to upgrade with change i.e. to keep trying and using different mediums to market online and learning with experience. Digital marketing is the way to the future and offers a huge marketing potential to businesses of all sizes and shapes.

Celebrating Creativity in Communication

The world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communication happens every year at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France. It is the most popular and prestigious festival and has become a prominent global meeting place for advertisers, brand marketers, advertising and communication professionals. Over 9,000 delegates from 90 different countries attend seven days of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, master classes and high-profile seminars by industry leaders. Every year there are over 28,000 entries showcased from all over the world and the winners receive the famous Lion trophy presented at award ceremonies throughout the week.

Last week, four agencies won two Grand Prix each: Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle; R/GA for Nike; and Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Digitas, who teamed up on American Express. The other winning campaigns focused on themes like the environment, tourism, politics, technology, packaged goods and the world’s most unlikely mosquito repellent.

Here are the 14 Ad campaigns judged to be the best:

# 1. 2012 Titanium Lions Grand Prix and 2012 Cyber Lions Grand Prix (1)

Agency: R/GA, New York — Client: Nike
Yet another triumph of product development for R/GA and Nike, the FuelBand accelerometer, worn on the wrist, tracks and translates one’s activity—whether walking up stairs or skateboarding—into “Nike Fuel” points as a way to motivate fitness.

#2. 2012 Film Lions Grand Prix and 2012 Branded Content & Entertainment Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles — Client: Chipotle
This stirring stop-motion environmental spot told the story of a farmer who builds his small operation into a giant industrial machine, then has a crisis of conscience. Its breathtaking visuals were transcended only by the gorgeous cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” by Willie Nelson.

#3. 2012 Promo & Activations Lions Grand Prix and 2012 Direct Lions Grand Prix

Agencies: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, Colo., and Digitas, New York — Client:American Express
In 2010, AmEx introduced Small Business Saturday, an effort to devote the day after Black Friday to driving sales at smaller companies. CP+B and Digitas won two Grand Prix awards for adding new tools and initiatives.

#4. 2012 Film Craft Lions Grand Prix

Agency: BETC, Paris — Client: Canal+
A bear starred as a hotshot Hollywood director—a bit of a diva, a complete control freak but an enormous talent nonetheless—in this hilarious ad for the French cable network. Turns out it was the daydream of a taxidermied bear rug who’d spent many hours lying on the living room floor watching Canal+.

#5. 2012 Press Lions Grand Prix

Agencies: Fabrica, Treviso, Italy, and 72andSunny, Amsterdam — Client: Benetton
The provocative “Unhate” campaign showed world leaders kissing on the lips. Three ads were honored: Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu, and Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy.

#6. 2012 Outdoor Lions Grand Prix (1)

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Shanghai — Client: Coca-Cola
Jonathan Mak Long, the 20-year-old Hong Kong design student whose logo tribute to Steve Jobs went viral last year, added a Cannes Grand Prix to his résumé for an Ogilvy-commissioned poster that turned Coke’s iconic white stripe into two hands holding a bottle.

#7. 2012 Outdoor Lions Grand Prix (2)

Agency: Jung von Matt, Hamburg — Client: Mercedes-Benz
The German agency won for “The Invisible Drive,” which used an animated LED cloak of invisibility to make a Mercedes-Benz seem to disappear into white clouds and blue sky, promoting the automaker’s zeroemissions fuel cell technology.

#8. 2012 Mobile Lions Grand Prix

Agencies: Grow Interactive, Norfolk, Va., and Johannes Leonardo, New York — Client: Google
This smartphone app let netizens send Coca-Colas to strangers around the globe via special vending machines, in a nod to the classic “Hilltop” ad (“I’d like to buy the world a Coke”). Now, people could.

#9. 2012 Cyber Lions Grand Prix (2)

Agency: Volontaire, Stockholm — Client: Swedish Institute/Visit Sweden
Sweden turned over its official Twitter account to everyday people in this campaign. Outcry after guest tweeter Sonja Abrahamsson went rogue with offensive posts doubled followers while attracting worldwide attention.

#10. 2012 Design Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Serviceplan, Munich — Client: Austria Solar
This Austrian solar company’s annual report was itself solar-powered, with text and graphics that could be seen only in sunlight—a seamless merging of form and function in a creative take on a typically boring document.

#11. 2012 Media Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD, London — Client: Google
This endearingly quirky London billboard campaign for Google Voice Search, produced with creative agency BBH, featured more than 150 site specific ads with phonetic spellings of nearby landmarks ranging from Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square.

#12. 2012 PR Lions Grand Prix

Agency: JWT, Puerto Rico — Client: Banco Popular
With half the local population on welfare, JWT hired legendary salsa band El Gran Combo to re-record its hit celebrating laziness, “I Do Nothing,” recast as a tribute to hard work. The revamp shot to the top of the charts.

#13.  2012 Creative Effectiveness Lions Grand Prix

Agency: BBH, London — Client: Axe
After a round of product flops, the men’s personal care brand hit the mark with its body spray deodorant Axe Excite. BBH’s “Angels Will Fall” series lifted sales with its calamitous yet crazy-sexy heavenly girlfriend campaign.

#14. 2012 Radio Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Talent, São Paolo, Brazil — Client: Go Outside magazine
This delightfully devious campaign turned local FM radio broadcasts into mosquito repellent with a 15 kHZ frequency played alongside music from 6 to 8 p.m. Inaudible to humans, the sound scares off mosquitos by resembling a dragonfly buzz.

ORM = SEO (You’re Being Googled)

Online reputation management (ORM) is all about analyzing, monitoring, and mitigating the content on SERPs i.e. search engine result pages. From a brand or business point of view, it primarily involves keeping an eye on what is written about a client or a customer on the Internet, then utilizing refined online and offline techniques in promoting positive content thereby enhancing the online reputation.

ORM is directly related to SEO (search engine optimization) and has become an important element for businesses and brands online. ORM techniques include online promotional activity through new content creation, participation in the social web sphere through forums discussions, blog articles and social networking. It also involves promotion of fresh and “positive” content, building highly social profiles and even creating personal domain names.

The first step towards ORM is to find where your brand or business stands online. The next step is to post positive content i.e. if you want to make negative webpages appear lower in search; you’ll need to create positive content of relevance to push the negative links down.

At Small Business Pool, we offer complete solutions for online reputation management, starting from social media discussion and commenting to forum posting and blog articles. Our consulting approach is unlike the automated methods that works on technology. We do in-depth online research of our business and brand and take necessary steps to enhance your online reputation.

Contact US for free consultation.

Using creative Infographics for your Business

Infographics are visual representations of knowledge, information and data that use the elements of design to display content. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly and express complex messages to viewers in a way that enhances their comprehension. Unlike simple images, Infographics convey a self-contained message or principle.

Modern Businesses use Infographics for the following reasons:

• To communicate a message,
• To present a lot of data or information in a way that is compact and easy to comprehend,
• To analyze data in order to discover cause-and-effect relationships,
• To periodically monitor the route of certain parameters.

Infographics are more effective than traditional presentations, as they give a quick, concise and comprehensive snap-shot of the information, data and knowledge. In day-to-day modern business practices, Infographics are becoming an important element of use in areas of Statistical Analysis, Business Operations, Digital Marketing and also Sales.

A typical Infographics would include the following three elements:

1. Visuals – Color coding, graphics, reference icons.
2. Content – Time frames, statistics and references.
3. Knowledge – facts.

With the appropriate combination of the elements, businesses can convey, analyze and present information in the most creative way. With the every changing digital age, Infographic are now becoming a part of everyday designing.