Today I was inspired by this Social Media To Do list that is mainly for those working in Public Relations. Like most folks, I am guilty of letting things go way too long before I update them. This list gave me a nudge to get posting and updating on my various platforms. Hope you are inspired too!
1. Check your Twitter picture
On social media, people get fewer clues about us. No tone of voice. No facial expressions that shift and change during the conversation. So for goodness sakes, replace that egghead avatar on Twitter with a photo. Otherwise, why would anyone want to engage with you?
2. Write a better Twitter profile
Yes, with just 160 characters, you’ve got to carefully choose the words to use here. But just leaving it blank shouldn’t be one of those choices. Like a faceless follower, an account without a personable description is easy to block and hardly a reason to follow back.
3. Create and nurture your LinkedIn profile
Recent research showed that eight in 10 companies included LinkedIn when recruiting. (I wonder if the other 20 percent are still using mimeograph machines and manual typewriters.)
Regardless of whether you are actively looking for work, LinkedIn is now just an extension of your résumé. You need a profile there.
4. Start a blog or website
This is a smart way for people to give themselves a professional boost. With the software and tools available, it’s pretty easy to set up a website that gives a platform to show your skills, expertise, and volunteer work that differentiates you. So even if you don’t have your own business, setting up a landing page that is visually appealing is a great idea in a highly competitive job market.
5. Use Buffer
Staying up with all the tools for social sharing is almost impossible. But a few make it so much easier to share content that they’re worth exploring. Buffer is a fabulous tool that lets you choose what, when and where to share posts. In a few minutes you can pre-load some great stuff on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
6. Use HootSuite
Another tool to use for scheduled sharing is HootSuite, which lets you also select which tweets you want to see—such as a list of people you follow or tweets that use a certain hashtag or that mention your posts. Like Buffer, Hootsuite has a free version that works quite well.
7. Share images on an uber-visual site, such as Instagram or Pinterest
Sharing images and other visual content is one of the most magical aspects of social media. Either of these two sites makes that magic even easier.
8. Check your Klout score
This social site, which offers a score for people’s influence, has had—and still has—many critics. But I am not alone in believing that layering in this kind of social influence rating is here to stay. If you think about it, the concept is actually ancient and time-tested; it just seems new because it’s gone high tech. Social rank has existed since one caveman coldcocked another caveman for the last bite of wooly mammoth meat. No doubt, nearby cavewomen noticed that. And guess who found more influence among the group after that?
Thankfully, our species is more sophisticated these days. Yet Klout really just brings analytics and measurement to our age-old penchant for assessing influence.
9. Check your Kred
Kred is a social scoring tool with a different rating system. It is more detailed and transparent than Klout, telling you how many points you have, and why. Kred also has its critics. But it’s worthwhile to know about Klout and Kred.
10. Get to know Google Alerts
This handy tool lets you set up a search that updates as mentions occur on the Internet (at an interval you pick.) You can use any search term. For staying on top of your reputation online, it’s a good idea to set up a search that alerts you when your name appears.
This is an excerpt from a post by Becky Gaylord on Ragan’s PR Daily.
This post is from Lee Silber’s e-newsletter, which I highly recommend. It is always full of interesting nuggets of info and advice.
ARE WE REALLY PAYING ATTENTION?
Did you know that on average 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents . . . daily? Is the red light on a traffic signal on the top or bottom? I bring this up because you may be missing things as you rush through life. Here are a some more example of things you may not know or notice.
• The King of Hearts is the only king card without a mustache. (The King of Diamonds is the only king not carrying a sword.)
• In every episode of “Seinfeld” there is a Superman somewhere. Jerry also organized his cereals alphabetically on the shelf.
• The Amazon.com logo has a yellow arrow connecting the A and Z (they sell everything from a-z) and is in the shape of a smile (satisfied customers.)
• Have you ever noticed the nightly news often ends with an uplifting animal story to offset all the negative news?
It’s the little things that matter and many of us who are waiting for that big moment may be waiting a long time. The big idea could be buried in a small problem that needs solving. The fame and fortune we seek tomorrow may be the result of the little things we do today. That perfect life we so desire may be found in imperfect moments happening right now.
HERE IS A LINK TO THE INVISIBLE GORILLA: http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/gorilla_experiment.html
Marketers, economists and educators are trying very hard to understand the Youth and Young Adult market because of the the new world of technology and information.
The various labels for the ‘Next Generation’ can be very confusing. What defines the X,Y,Z age groups? Here are the definitions to clarify these terms.
1960s – early 1980s
Generation X: Is the generation born after the Western post–World War II baby boom ended. While there is no universally agreed upon time frame, the term generally includes people born from the mid 1960s through the early 1980s.
Ranging somewhere from the late-1970s or early 1980s to the late 1980s, early, mid, or late 1990s
Generation Y: AKA the Millennial Generation (or Millennials or the ME generation), are the demographic following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when Generation Y starts and ends, and commentators usually use birth dates ranging somewhere from the late-1970s or early 1980s to the late 1980s, early, mid, or late 1990s. Members of this generation are called Echo Boomers, due to the significant increase in birth rates through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and because many of them are children of baby boomers.
Second half of the 1990s through to the late 2000s or early 2010s
Generation Z: Is a common name for the group of people born after the Millenials. It refers to those born from the second half of the 1990s through to the late 2000s or early 2010s. This generation is currently growing up in the 2010s decade. The generation was born when the World Wide Web was already commonly used, as opposed to Gen Yers who were born before the beginning of the Internet boom in the mid 1990s.
The latest term coined in 2012
Generation V: A new online generation group called “Generation Virtual.” Coined by researchers at Gartner to describe the group of people whose online behavior, attitudes and interests are blending together online, cutting across generations and traditional demographics.
Optimizing your blog content is a challenge every blogger faces.
While optimization is a word most frequently associated with search, when it comes to blog content, it extends to getting your content found on social media and other content platforms as well.
11 Tactics to Optimize Your Blog
and customers want!
This post originally appeared on Heidi Cohen on May 6, 2012.
- Install theft protection software on all of the computers you use to access social media accounts. Make sure you update them regularly both at work and at home. Most experts suggest that this should be done at least weekly, especially with Windows operating systems (OS).
- Make sure never to click the box to save your password when you are on a public, work or laptop computer. Many social media sites automatically check this box under your sign in, so be vigilant about making sure it is never saved. If it saves, it may automatically bring up your account the next time someone else goes to that social media site.
- Use your real name whenever you sign up for social media accounts. Try to use your full name both in the username and in the profile columns, to prevent anyone else from taking that account and using it to impersonate you. Treat your name like it is your brand, and try to protect it from illegal usage whenever you can.
- Avoid giving out personal information on social media sites, such as address, phone number or your birth date. Identity thieves can open accounts and commit a number of financial crimes with just this information. You can decide if you want to use a profile picture, but try to make it a likeness that you can also use as a brand, and look for anyone else that tries to use it.
- Change your privacy settings on all your social media accounts, so that you have control of all the information that is posted. Set your profile to private, and make sure you have to approve any friend requests, comments, photo tags, links or posts that appear on your page. On Facebook allow only Friends or Friends of Friends to see your profile. For maximum security, set your sharing settings to “Friends Only.” Be very discerning about who you accept friend requests from. Some thieves create accounts in order to grab information off accounts. Make sure you know everyone you are friends with, and frequently delete friends who you have no further desire to have contact with.
- Type in the name of the social media site, or use a bookmark, instead of clicking on email links. New and successful social media scams create emails that are tailor made to look like they are directly from a social media provider. Always assume it is not, and go to the site directly to see if you have a message.
- Create complicated passwords when you sign up for social media accounts. Many experts suggest using a sentence that includes a number and only makes sense to you. Change your passwords to social media accounts every 1 to 3 months.
- Never discuss your travels plan and dates on social media. Do you really want people to know that you will be out of town and how long you will be gone? Never be specific about where you live or when you are out of the house.
- Avoid using online applications on social media sites, or the Internet in general, that require access to your personal or profile information. Unless you intend on reading through their entire terms and conditions policy, you do not know where your information is going. Many companies sell the information they take off people using their free application to businesses or private individuals.
- Use extreme caution when opening links on social media sites. Even your friends can have their identities stolen on social media sites and post links that lead thieves to retrieve your personal information or hack your computer.
Go through these social media guidelines with your children. Although many young people are more adept at navigating the Internet, they may not fully understand the implications of posting private information, photos or potentially offensive material on the Internet. They may have to face even more adept social media thieves in the future, so prepare them well for the task.
Manage Your Online Reputation
- Set up a free Google Alert for your name, and the name of your spouse or dependents. After setting up a Gmail account in your name, go to the “More” tab on the top Google toolbar, which lists all the options Google provides, including Google Alerts. Set it to search for everything related to your name once per week, or more often if you fear identity theft has recently taken place.
- Sign up for a free account with Steprep.com, a service that manages your online presence even better than Google Alerts. You can check your account, and then refer back to it to manage how you appear online. This can help you to see social media identity problems early on, as long as you refer back to it on a regular basis.
- Take the initiative and try to register accounts with all the major providers in your first and last name. You are reserving them, and you may want to retain a list of them in a well hidden place, but you can also use them in the future. You should include all the free email providers and social media websites that you can think of. If you don’t have time to do this, go to Knowem.com and pay $65 to have the service sign up for accounts at 120 top social media sites. This will take a small amount of time in the beginning, but save you time in the long term. You will have to supply some information. After that, knowem.com will manage your accounts.
- Boost your presence online, by actively taking part in an online forum, blog or social media account. You can control your reputation by being an active participant online, instead of waiting for someone to use your account. Try to show a positive, creative personality online, and avoid religious, political or offensive material.
- Report potential identity theft complaints to your federal government. If you are in the United States, go to www.ic3.gov to report Internet-based fraud.
- Some hackers use the “Forgot your Password” link in order to break into your account. Make sure your security question is not something that could be easily found, such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date or the city where you were born. Make up your own questions, or make up the answers so scams cannot use your personal information against you.
- Tell your friends directly, by phone or in person, if you believe their social media or email accounts have been hacked. They may not be aware of it, and they should report it immediately.
- If you have a WordPress website, be sure to keep it updated along with all the plugins that are used on the site. Also, be sure to back up your database regularly in case something does go wrong, or if you site gets ‘hacked’ you can be up and running again quickly.
While working on a Brand Platform today I came across this article on Core Values by Michel Hogan on the Brandology.com website. It resonated with me because I preach that a brand is just like a person. That person has a personality with strong values. And, that person’s family (management & employees) must have the same values. Furthermore, the true friends (customers/tribe) of the person (brand) usually have the same values. Really, it is a lot of common sense, and we marketers tend to make it complicated. So, when your marketing and branding starts to get complicated, think of your brand as your best friend and do what your friend would want you to do.
The following is a Excerpt from Michel Hogan’s post on Brandology.com
At the core, your organization’s Brand is a reflection of the actions and beliefs of the people who work there. Those actions and beliefs are shaped and directed by the core values they hold. So before you start trying to give your brand more sizzle, ask a question sure to generate some long-term results – “Do our core values and our Brand align?
Brand is not a subset of marketing, not merely a device for connecting with customers and shaping their perception, not a logo and tag line. While these are all useful and important aspects of a Brand they are just that – small pieces of the whole. To paraphrase author Margaret Wheatley, “Brand is both what we want to believe is true and what our actions show to be true about ourselves.”
Simply, employees cannot deliver on a brand promise that is not tied to their shared day-to-day beliefs and actions and in failing to do will negatively impact the expectations of customers drawn to that same promise. when the Brand is connected to the core values of the organization, consistent delivery of the Brand meshes seamlessly with the existing behavior and belief: no high profile internal “brand education” campaign needed; no change initiatives needed; what customers expect is what they get, strengthening perception; employees don’t feel they are being asked to deliver something they don’t believe, further reinforcing the values and creating a upward spiral of motivation and belief.
Resources for discovering and understanding Core Values:
Jim Collins article: Aligning Action with Values Jim Collins web site
From The Forum (originally published in The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management’s Leader to Leader, Premier Issue Summer 1996)
Excerpt: “You cannot “set” organizational values, you can only discover them. Nor can you “install” new core values into people. Core values are not something people “buy in” to. People must be predisposed to holding them. Executives often ask me, “How do we get people to share our core values?” You don’t. Instead, the task is to find people who are already predisposed to sharing your core values. You must attract and then retain these people and let those who aren’t predisposed to sharing your core values go elsewhere.”
Patrick Lencioni article: Make Your Values Mean Something
Harvard Business Review
Excerpt: “Take a look at this list of corporate values: Communication. Respect. Integrity. Excellence. They sound pretty good, don’t they? Maybe they even resemble your own company’s values. If so, you should be nervous. These are the corporate values of Enron, as claimed in its 2000 annual report. And they’re absolutely meaningless…”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Good Business – Leadership and the Making
Margaret Wheatley: Finding Our Way – Leadership for an Uncertain Time
Resources for discovering and understanding Brand:
Other articles by Brand Alignment Group and broader Brand resources, exploring the ideal of truth based branding.
I saw this quote while shopping at Coconut Point in Estero, Florida last week.
It is so true. The details are often what makes the DIFFERENCE in ones purchasing decision. It usually is NOT the price. If a detail makes a product better consumers WILL pay more. Differentiate your product, or yourself with details that the others don’t have. A simple concept, yet so powerful and effective when it comes to competing in the marketplace. Think of most high end products. They have amazing details. Be high-end with details.
Why should you be on the Social Media Bandwagon? These stats should tell you why.
That said, you don’t want to jump on the wagon without a plan and strategy. With this huge social media audience, you want to do it right.
1. eMarketer estimates there will be nearly 21 million Twitter users in the U.S. by the end of this year, and a sizable minority of those will use the service at least in part to follow brands. (eMarketer)
3. There are now more than 800 million active Facebook users, with more than 200 million added in 2011. (Social Media Examiner)
4. B2C Facebook results are 30% above average on Sundays. (Convince & Convert)
5. Tweets last up to 67 times longer for users with higher Klout scores. (Mashable)
6. Nearly every large charity and university in America is on Facebook. Less than 60% of the Fortune 500 are. (Grow)
7. B2B marketers are spending millions of dollars annually on social-marketing programs, though nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of social-media programs on lead generation and sales. (TechJournal/Pardot)
8. Thirty-four percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals using Twitter (AllTwitter)
9. Roughly two-thirds of social-media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies. (PEW Research)
10. The vast majority (95%) of the parents of 10-year-olds on Facebook were aware when their child signed up for the site, and 78% of those parents helped create the child’s account [despite rules that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site]. (CNN Tech)
11. One in three respondents (33%) said that they would prioritize social-media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer. (GigaOm)
12. One in three texters would rather text than talk. (NYTimes: Bits)
13. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said they interact with brands on Facebook primarily through reading posts and updates from the brands [....] 17% of respondents said they interact with brands by sharing experiences and news stories with others about the brand, and only 13% of respondents said they post updates about brands that they like. (Mashable)
14. The average Facebook user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, events and groups. (Social Media Examiner)
15. Seventy-three percent of people think employees overshare on social-media. (Marketing Pilgrim)
16. Forty-three percent of all online consumers are social media fans or followers. (HubSpot)
17. Netflix’s price hike caused 805,000 paid subscribers to jump ship in the most-recent quarter. (Mashable)
18. Sixty-four percent of Americans stream mobile video at work. (Tubefilter)
19. The Mobile Marketing Association of Asia stated that out of the 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile phone while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (60 Second Marketer)
20. According to ThreatMetrix survey of 722 active internet using consumers, 37% intend to make a purchase using their smartphone, nearly three times as many as those who plan to use their tablet. (Get Elastic)
21. A 2011 study by the National Restaurant Association confirms that consumers who use social media, including apps, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon and more, not only dine out more, but are more likely to become return customers. (ReadWriteWeb)
22. Ninety-five percent of Facebook Wall posts are not answered by brands. (All Facebook)
43. Twenty percent of searches on Google each day have never been searched for before. (HubSpot)
24. Tablet owners tend to consume a greater variety and volume of news on their devices, and tablets’ visual, interactive features encourage in-depth exploration, according to a joint study from Starcom MediaVest and the online division of the BBC. (Mashable)
25. Auto-posting to Facebook decreases likes and comments by 70%. (Inside Facebook)
26. LinkedIn has 64 million users in North America alone. (All Twitter)
27. Twitter updates that include verbs have a 2% higher shareability than the average tweet. (HubSpot)
28. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are now considered cornerstones of most social-media strategies in larger companies. Ninety-four percent of respondents said Facebook is one of their top three social media platform priorities. Twitter was second with 77%, and YouTube trailed with 42%. (Search Engine Watch)
29. SEO still dominates for marketers, with both B2B (57%) and B2C (41%) businesses stating it makes the biggest impact on their lead generation goals. (AllTwitter)
30. Overall, 57% of comments about U.S. airlines on social media in the past year were negative. But American Airlines — the world’s fourth-largest airline — stood out with only 12% of social-media opinions about the airline being positive. (The Realtime Report)
31. Fifty-six percent of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook. (Mashable)
32. Fifty-six percent of college students said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or would join and find a way to circumvent corporate policy. (GigaOm)
33. Johns Hopkins, Facebook’s birthplace Harvard, and Notre Dame are the top schools for social media. (Boston.com)
34. Only 15% of the average local business’s fans are in the city where the business is located. (WSJ)
35. More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products than purchasing them — 80.8% compared to 41.4%, according to BIGresearch — but attitudes vary quite a bit among different age groups. (eMarketer)
36. When you’re cruising around the internet, how much of your time is spent on a social network or blog? According to a new study published by Nielsen, those two categories eat up 23% of internet usage overall. This is double online gaming, which comes in at number two and after that, it takes 75 different categories to account for the remaining 35% of time spent. (Marketing Pilgrim)
37, When it comes to liking brands on Facebook, the reasons are varied, but for the most part, respondents said they “Like” a brand on Facebook because they are a customer (58%) or because they want to receive discounts and promotions (57%). (Mashable)
38. There are 245 million internet users in the US, according to Internet World Statistics. Nielsen estimates that social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all active U.S. internet users. (PR Week)
39. IT professionals see serious risks associated with enterprise social network use — and only 29% say they have adequate protection. (InformationWeek: The BrainYard)
40. There are now 100 million active [Twitter] users — users who log in at least once a month — with half of those users signing in at least once a day. Fifty-five percent of them access Twitter via mobile; 40% actually don’t Tweet but simply dip into their Timelines to keep tabs on what people are saying. (CNN/Fortune)
41. Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social-networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social-networking sites. (Wired PR Works)
42. The mean half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours, on Facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via “direct” sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on Facebook than if you post on Twitter. (bitly blog)
43. Social media is responsible for one-third the web traffic in Malaysia. (ReadWriteWeb)
44. There are more than 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) shared each week on Facebook. (HubSpot)
45. According to a survey of 1,897 senior executives conducted by Weber Shandwick in partnership with Forbes Insights, 84% of the execs believe their brand’s sociability is not up to world-class standards. (Mashable)
46. Beyonce’s pregnancy news at MTV’s VMAs birthed a new Twitter record of 8,868 Tweets per second. (TechCrunch)
47. Forty-four percent of companies track employees’ social-media use in and out of the office (TheNextWeb).
48. What makes people retweet? 92% interesting content. 84% humor. 66% personal connection. 21% celebrity status. 32% offered incentive (tangible or virtual). 26% “Please RT!” (WhiteFireSEO)
49. Among college students and young professionals, 24% experience three to five interruptions in a given hour, while 84% get interrupted at least once while trying to complete a project. (GigaOm)
50. All but 7% of social-media campaigns used Facebook. (All Facebook)
Marketing for an online school can present some challenges due to the highly regulated nature of the industry. Content marketing and link building may take longer and require additional oversight, not to mention the talent needed to stay up-to-date with trends and still be creative. But for those of us up for the challenge it’s also an incredibly rewarding industry to work in.
I thought I’d share with you a post from Kaila Strong at Vertical Measures. She created a list of her favorite higher education marketing blogs that can help keep you up-to-date with industry challenges via news, case studies, webinars, resource lists, interviews, and more. If you know of any blogs that were missed, feel free to give add your suggestions in the comments below.
On this industry blog, the folks at Stamats share insightful webinars, blog posts, host events, and provide resources and information on marketing in the education field.
Ph.D. student Karlyn studies the impact of social media on job performance. She’s a writer at dot edu guru and very in tune with higher education marketing. I highly suggest you read her musings both on her site and on DotEduGuru.com.
Another industry blog, the folks at For Profit Edu provide great information about news in the field and also share resources for marketing, networking, research and consulting in the higher education field.
Not only does MindJumpers.com provide you with information about social media and EDU marketing, they also share some pretty great Infographics. Check out this Infographic about how social media is changing the education industry.
As a digital marketing and communications professional, Patrick Powers has the experience and knowledge to help you learn about higher education marketing. On his blog he writes about a number of topics in the internet marketing industry including higher education.
A few writers maintain the Brandmanager’s Notebook, an open forum for marketing professionals. I’ve found a few good posts about higher education on this blog and continually check back for more tidbits.
Another great resource for information, one better known than the rest, is Inside Higher Ed. Look for news, career advice, technology and learning, and much more. This site is the ultimate when it comes to higher education marketing advice.
Marketing for Higher Education focuses on marketing trends, social media, Infographics and higher education. Higher education blogger and specialist Laura D is a former advertising agency account executive and provides a lot of great information, check it out.
This blog provides news and notes about higher education marketing and focuses mostly on online marketing. With regular newsletters, the site does a great job of summarizing some of the industry’s best news and posts in one place.
Contrary to the sites domain name, you won’t waste your time on this site that’s for sure. As a learning technologist, David Hopkins provides readers with great information about eLearning, mLearning, Web 2.0, blogging and general musings.
Don’t feel like looking around all over the internet for a good resource? BlogHighEd.org aggregates higher ed blogs from many sites across the Internet.
As an education marketing provider this site has the inside track on what’s what in the higher education marketing field. With posts ranging from video marketing to the evolution of search, you’ll find some great information on this blog.
These are just a few of the blogs dedicated to higher education marketing. Many other resources are available as well:
Market research reports are available on MarketResearch.com. Check out the education section for 2011 reports.
Attend #FAC Friday After Class sessions with Converge Consulting to ask questions and learn from experts.
This article originally appeared on Vertical Measures and has been republished with permission.
Yesterday I received this email marketing message from my alma mater, McMaster University. I was intrigued by their marketing strategy. They used a very simple story, with simple, yet engaging graphics to make the ask for my donation. I really liked how simple this message was, yet it is probably the strongest “pitch” I have felt to tug at my heartstrings . . . and my pocketbook. And the final line was so humble. It reminded me of Avis “We Try Harder”. That made me feel proud to be part of this group – this “Tribe”.
Congrats to McMaster University on a SIMPLE home run e-mail campaign. I hope it generates many donations!
If you have any interest in the latest trend in strategic advertising . . . or if you are a cat lover, you have to watch this. Brilliant!
Thanks to David Meerman Scott for Tweeting about this!
So, what maximizes a brand’s appeal? The same things that maximize a person’s appeal – authenticity, honesty, integrity (that is, a congruence between thoughts, words and deeds), charisma, warmth, assertiveness, approachability, passion, reliability, originality, etc. And here is the thing that makes people and brands the most interesting. Each possesses a different combination of qualities that appeals to different people at different times.
The best brands will challenge and comfort and inspire and draw out one’s best and help one grow, just as the best human relationships do.
Branding, at its best, transforms organizations so that they are capable of creating, nurturing and sustaining mutually profitable relationships with people. And that is a very good thing.
This is an excerpt from Branding Strategy Insider’s Post on November 11, 2011.
NARROW AGE RANGE: This demographic is almost exclusively 18-24 years old. That means you can craft your message to a degree that’s almost impossible with general marketing techniques. You can make a stronger connection through your copy and visuals. This age range is also key to building brand loyalty. After all, what’s better than a customer today? A customer that comes back tomorrow.
SPENDING POWER: Today’s college students have tremendous amount of disposable income. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, more than 18 million US college and university students spend well over $200 billion annually. Heck, seven billion is spent on beer alone!
COST EFFECTIVENESS: The most effective college marketing strategies don’t have to be the flashiest or most expensive. Social media can be a very cost effective way to reach them through their digital world. Students appreciate a simple, clear message that offers value. They are sharp consumers who will quickly spread the word to their friends when they are delighted with a product or service.
This post Branding Strategy Insider really captures how Steve Jobs became part of all of us. Aren’t we all a bit of a Steve Jobs wannabe? He was smart, creative, business savvy, humble and oh so cool in that black mock turtleneck. Steve had the courage to follow his intuitive creative spirit and his knack of knowing what people really want to develop the incredible tools and devices we have in our hands today that make our lives easier, more productive and way more fun.
There’s A Little Steve Jobs In Every One Of Us
In thinking about the passing of Steve Jobs, it’s inspiring to be reminded there’s a little Steve in every one of us. All it takes is a personal decision to pursue a vision that matters to you with his level of unbridled passion and belief. And once that decision is made, never accept the status quo. There is a great lesson and legacy gifted to us all by the life of Steve Jobs. No doubt, in the years to come, his incredible accomplishments will become mythic legend. But Steve Jobs was not special. He did not possess anything that is unavailable to any other human being. Perhaps even he would acknowledge this. There’s a Steve Jobs in each of us. To celebrate his example and his legacy, here are some lessons from his life most noteworthy for our own brands and businesses:
This mantra was the force that gathered all the necessary molecules that formed themselves into the greatest technology business the world has ever known. It’s more than an advertising slogan or a clever brand positioning idea. If you think like and follow the status quo, you’ll never discover the inner voice of your own true genius. More importantly, you must believe in your different thinking. Believing is seeing, not the other way around.
The key to innovation and business growth is curiosity. You have to appreciate and practice the discipline of being curious, asking questions, and questioning the answers that come up. To be innovative requires you bring things into the world that no one is asking for, but once realized, become the very things the world was waiting for. No one was asking for an iPad, now millions can’t live without it.
There is no such thing as failure. Failure is an idea you mentally buy into and then accept as a permanent circumstance. There are no permanent circumstances in the universe. There is only learning, growth and accomplishment. Everyone creates undesired results when they are creating anything. It is the nature of the creative process. Use your “failures” for your growth and expansion. Put your own “dent in the universe”. This now famous Jobs expression can apply to everyone. To do it, you have to care about something that is deeply important to you and makes a big difference to others. Thinking differently has the natural effect of making a difference. Doing what matters to you–really matters–is how you make a difference and dent the universe.
Don’t settle for good enough.
It’s easy to say something is good enough and then get it out the door. Lots of big and small brands and businesses operate with this mentality. Take the money and run. But you’ll never be able to command premium prices when you settle for good enough. Today everything is good enough. Good enough=the same!
Perfection is the enemy. At some point in time, you have to get it out there. This means you have to “release” it to the world and learn from the feedback of the marketplace guiding you to make your stuff better and better. Constant improvement, learning, tweaking and enhancing your products is how you grow. Nothing will be perfect–ever! Not even the iPhone.
Seek beauty and express it with simplicity.People love simple. Simple is always beautiful. Nothing simple is easy. It takes discernment to strip away the un-necessary and get to simplicity. If you make a product, make it beautiful, simple to understand and use. If you deliver a service, do so with humility, elegance and grace.
Command a premium price.
The key to premium pricing lies in this timeless principle: provide more “use value” than you receive in “cash value”. Think about this for a moment. When your customers value their experience with your brand, product, service more than they value the money they exchange, you will never become a commodity. Your products and services will be a badge of higher meaning and greater value. There must be a deep emotional connection between the product and the customer–far more important than its features or user benefits.
Of course, not everyone will become a Steve Jobs. For those who consider these ideas, it’s not impossible to create on the level of a Steve Jobs. His legacy may be the way he demonstrated just how possible the impossible really is. And for that, we should be grateful to him. Thank you Steve Jobs for lighting the way. Sponsored By: The Two-Day Brand Positioning Workshop
Posted by Thomson Dawson in Branding Bag at Branding Strategy Insider
When it comes to branding, I think taglines are more powerful than the name. Don’t get me wrong, the name is very important, however I find that many companies and organizations either don’t have a tagline, or they did not put much thought or effort into what their tagline says. Some names are very boring, abstract, or have no real meaning at all, for example, AT&T. That is more reason that the tagline is extremely important.
A tagline sums up your brand promise. It is the bottom line benefit your brand offers the customer. Ultimately, your tagline should evoke an emotional response that makes a connection. That is a pretty tall order. So take some time, spend some money and create a killer tagline that will stand the test of time.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Just do it.
- We try harder.
- Think different.
- Got milk?
- A diamond is forever.
Characteristics of a strong tagline:
- It is short
- It is differentiated from its competitors.
- It is unique.
- It captures the brand essence and positioning.
- It is easy to say and remember.
- It does not have any negative connotations.
- It is displayed in a small font.
- It can be protected and trademarked.
- It evokes an emotional response.
- It makes one think deeper into the meaning.
5 Tagline Strategies and Styles
Imperative: Commands action and usually starts with a verb.
Descriptive: Describes the service, product, or brand promise.
Superlative: Positions the company as best in class.
Provocative: Thought provoking, frequently a question
Specific: Establishes leadership of a category.
Here’s the good news—if your brand could use an update, it is much easier to change the tagline than it is to change a name. If your name is not a strong as you would like it to be, you can pump up your brand image with a tagline and insist that it always go with the name and logo. Just do it.
Source: Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler
College students are the coveted group marketers want to connect with not only because they set the rules for what is hot and what’s not, they also set the rules for what works in regards to marketing strategies and tactics. Today’s college students’ consumer behavior habits will set the standard in marketing for future years. Here are a few tips on how to reach these emerging consumers.
1. Definitely Use Social Media – You know these kids are always on their phones and their go-to place for any type of info is the web. In addition to a social media friendly website, preferably with a blog, be sure to have presence on the top 3 social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Yes, YouTube. If you are a retail enterprise you need to also be on FourSquare so these students can ‘Check In’ and hopefully, take advantage of your online promotion.
2. Be Brief – 140 characters has changed the world of reading and writing. Be concise. Yep, yep, yep. Got it. Short and snappy. End of story.
3. Test it with Real Students – The key reason for the test is to make sure your concept isn’t “not cool”. Neutral is better. Don’t try too hard or your brand will look like a fool. It is better to be authentic. Let you brand be itself. These kids like real, not phony.
4. Deliver on Your Promise – A college student’s viral message can kill you business just as quickly as they can help launch it into the stratosphere. If your product does not deliver as promised, it will be all over Twitter and Facebook within seconds. Get you product or service fine tuned and whatever you do, don’t over promise in your marketing message.
5. Don’t Forget Mom & Dad – If you have a higher ticket item it is likely the payment will be made with a parent’s credit card, or at least with their approval. Parents want the best for their kids, yet they will definitely have an opinion on the price point. Go for value and play up the feeling, whether it is cute, cool, sentimental, or super smart. Mom and dad will decide with their emotions and justify it with logical rational.
It has been a thrill to watch Ronnie Schneider grow over the years and work on his tennis game since he was just a youngster. For years I have seen him and one of his parents drive by our house off to practice or conditioning or another tournament. In fact, I had the pleasure of watching him play his very first tournament at Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center on Hilton Head Island. I think he was about 8. So glad I had my camera that day. I’m still waiting for him to sign the great shot of him doing his power backhand.
I don’t think there are many athletes who can say they work any harder than Ronnie Schnieder. He is incredibly disciplined with laser focus on improving every detail of his technique, strategy and physical condition. Read More
Some companies are too resistant to change their brand or logo. A brand must grow and mature, very much like a person. Look at Shell when it was a baby. I don’t think it would have survived if they had not done some rebranding over the years.Your logo should evolve with the times. Don’t let your logo get out of style.
Keep you brand message fresh. Coke is one of the oldest brands out there, yet is also considered one of the most cool and current. A fresh, new outfit for your logo with an updated slogan will get attention.
This post from Brad VanAuken at Branding Strategy Insider using the SHELL brand illustrates how a brand should mature over time. Read More
Today I met Chelsea Mitchell for an internship position and I am thrilled to welcome her to our team. Chelsea is a senior taking Graphic Design at Indiana University. She has a passion for graphic design and she is on a mission to learn more about the design business, and branding (woo hoo!) in the real world. I applaud her initiative and her drive to learn through an internship.
As part of the interview process I showed her how we like to make things happen fast by using the web and social media to get messages out, be interactive, and connect with consumers. We are using this blog post as example of how that happens. The interview started at 10:45, I took her picture just before she left and promised her that I would email her a link to the post so that she could share her news about her new position with her friends.
So, if you are reading this post, help me out and LIKE it, TWEET it, or make a comment to be part of this example. Many thanks in advance!
Watch our first commercial for Short Stop Food Mart. We shot this in the morning and uploaded it in the afternoon.
I have been kicking myself for procrastinating on several things this past month—or maybe even months. This little self-help blurb by Kate Stewart gave me a nudge, and reminded me that I am not alone with this nasty habit. Hmmmm, am I procrastinating while doing this blog post? Should I really be doing something else right now?
You’ve got a great idea for a business. You need to lose 10 lbs. You have a major report to write. But it’s not getting done.
You’re not alone and it’s not your fault.
For most people, the major challenge in life is not handling a crisis. No . . . it’s the daily demand to stay with the program. To accomplish your tasks day after day. To keep going in the face of drudgery, frustration, and boredom. Consistently choosing to do what needs to be done rather than what you want to do.
1. Don’t feel guilty—it’s not your fault.
Mark Twain said, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” 95% of people admit to procrastinating. A quarter of these say procrastination is a chronic characteristic. Is it laziness? Is it perfectionism? Only rarely. Instead, it’s evolution.
The limbic system, or “reptile brain”, evolved early in our primate history and is similar to that of most creatures. It is controlled by instinct and enables us to meet our immediate survival needs. The prefrontal cortex, or executive function, evolved much later. Its job is to analyze and plan future benefits. Usually the limbic system and prefrontal cortex work together effectively. But when the limbic system is stimulated by immediate sensations, procrastination results. The long horizon view of the prefrontal cortex is cast aside to satisfy immediate desires.
It’s not our fault but we have to deal with it. Read More
I confess, I am a Twitter junkie. It is my favorite social media tool because I can control the information coming in and I have control of what I send out to my followers. It is amazing how quickly you really feel connected to these people you only know through cyber space. Personalities shine and expertise comes through in razor sharp tweets.
By defining your topics and content you can connect to like-minded people creating your own tribe. (If you have not read Tribes, by Seth Godin, I recommend that you download it from Amazon after reading this post.) I have 2 twitter accounts: @kkbranddesign and @kellyking4kids. One focuses on marketing, design and social media and the other focuses on marketing to youth and trends in the youth market. My two virtual tribes help keep me on top of my game as a marketer, designer and specialist in the youth market. Those who simply use Twitter to journal the activities of their day are not really creating a tribe. Maybe this works for celebrities who have fans who really are fascinated to know that they are at Starbucks, but the I am sure my followers would unfollow me immediately if I started tweeting about my daily destinations around town. That is not value added content to my tribal community.
Twitter is incredibly efficient. I love the quick hit of info with a link to learn more, or to go back to later. The 140 character limit is just enough to get one key message or idea communicated to the world. Remember how we used to say “give me the Reader’s Digest version”? Well, soon we’ll be saying, “Give me the Twitter version.” I encourage my clients to be concise all the time. Forcing one to state their main idea in 140 characters helps spread the message fast and furiously via retweets. The link to supporting information gives those who want the details the opportunity to read on.
By using lists you can organize the information by topic, so you can build a “twitter library” of the content you may to refer back to later. I find these lists very valuable for gathering content for presentations. I also tag tweets I want to remember as a ‘favorite’ to be sure I can find it later. Your lists can also attract followers to you because they see you as a source of useful information.
So, tweet to your tribe daily with valuable content and enjoy the benefits of being strategically connected.
I am a huge fan of Seth Godin and today his blog was right on the money when it comes to the purpose of high school. If high schools used this list as their mission statement, they’d be all set. This is want kids, parents, and employers are looking for. This list is very powerful—if you are a high school administrator, print it and use it to focus your school on these priorities.
What’s high school for?
Perhaps we could endeavor to teach our future the following:
- How to focus intently on a problem until it’s solved.
- The benefit of postponing short-term satisfaction in exchange for long-term success.
- How to read critically.
- The power of being able to lead groups of peers without receiving clear delegated authority.
- An understanding of the extraordinary power of the scientific method, in just about any situation or endeavor.
- How to persuasively present ideas in multiple forms, especially in writing and before a group.
- Project management. Self-management and the management of ideas, projects and people.
- Personal finance. Understanding the truth about money and debt and leverage.
- An insatiable desire (and the ability) to learn more. Forever.
- Most of all, the self-reliance that comes from understanding that relentless hard work can be applied to solve problems worth solving. Read More
Just created this site automatically at www.paper.li. It is a summary of all the tweets from people I follow. It reads like a newspaper. Love it!
This powerful story on YouTube will certainly put Grapevine Faith Academy and the Gainesville State School on the map. A great example of the power of storytelling in marketing. We know that was not this coach’s intention, but it is going to build awareness of the kind of people at Grapevine Faith Academy better than most campaigns could ever accomplish.
Watch this video to see the facts of the our drastically new world.
To me, this has to be the best Super Bowl ad ever created. It is classic, emotion-based advertising. We all remember it, and we all connect with it. Watch it and get that warm, fuzzy feeling all over again.
I just read this article from the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz.
Essentially this is not real new news, but I need to keep reminding myself again and again on these common sense facts on what it takes to be excellent:
- We are what we repeatedly do.
- It is not inherited talent which determines how good we become
at something, but rather how hard we are willing to work.
- Push past your comfort zone to get really good.
Here are the six keys to achieving excellence from the article
I wish I could be so disciplined to follow this advice. I think they are forgetting to mention the obvious – invest your time. I think the hardest part is ‘getting out the door’ for whatever practice it is.
Source Article: Tony Schwartz.
I love this article posted by Martin Lindstrom on the Branding Strategy Insider. It is all about getting REAL. Let’s get REAL with our BRANDS. Make them authentic, let them make mistakes and react like a REAL person. Nobody likes a phony brand image and we all know what those look like. This goes for corporate brands, small business brands, service brands and personal brands. I love imperfect brands just like I love imperfect people — who are not afraid to admit it. Get REAL with your brand!
Is perfect branding really the best way of building brands? Up until recently this might have been true. Asking Martha Stewart fans they would have agreed with me. Year after year the ever-perfect Martha was dishing up one perfect decoration advice after another. And yes they were really perfect – but repeating this session decade after decade made one mistake look so much more dramatic than if the brand Martha would have conducted mistakes, purposely or not, through the years just like us “ordinary” human beings. Read More