All posts in April 2012

  • Is Your Website Damaging Your Credibility?

    Your website reflects your brand and philosophy, and is the greatest online marketing tool you will ever have. Well, it can be the greatest online marketing tool you’ll ever have – if you’re doing it right. If you’re doing it wrong, you could be presenting an image of yourself or your company that differs greatly from how you’d like people to see you. What does that mean? If you have an awful website, you’re going to lose customers. How do you know if your website is awful? If one or more of the following applies to you, you may be in trouble: Your content is riddled with really obvious grammatical errors. Some English teachers out there may cringe to read this (cover your eyes if you must): a cornerstone of interesting blogging is writing in a conversational, relatable style – which may occasionally mean bending the rules of grammar a little bit. Like using sentence fragments, for example. However, there are some mistakes that are just plain unforgivable, and may even cause you to forfeit some customers. These include, but are certainly not limited to: Confusing “you’re/your,” “there/their/they’re,” or “to/too/two” Misuse of apostrophes Capitalizing words For No Good Reason Misspelled…

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  • The Five Commandments of Mobile Marketing

    Even if you don’t own an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry, chances are at least one person in your home or office does – after all, 35 percent of American mobile phone owners possess one with smartphone capabilities. Beyond their normal calling and texting functions, most smartphone users consume data on a daily basis – through gaming, app downloads, and Internet browsing. If you haven’t started marketing to mobile users, you’re missing a major market segment. Following are five of our dos and don’ts of mobile marketing. Make your website mobile-friendly. You don’t want to make a smartphone user struggle to make your site appear in the right dimensions on their screen, especially when many other sites are already optimized for mobile viewing. Effective mobile sites take into consideration the average smartphone screen size, don’t overload the user with graphics and information, and don’t require horizontal scrolling or zooming. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, the user will quickly move on – potentially to one of your competitors with a more user-friendly mobile site. Keep it simple. Remember that whatever you’re asking your audience to do, they will be doing on a very small screen. You want them to…

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  • Social Media Recommendations for the Creative Marketer

    We’re currently experiencing a start-up boom – you may have noticed that every time you get on the Internet, there’s another story about a new social media this or an up-and-coming mobile that – many with a focus on fashion, photography, or other forms of creative expression. There are only so many waking hours in the day, so how do you decide which sites and apps are worth checking out? Take a deep breath, and then read our list of four sites and apps we consider worth your time. Instagram Even if you don’t personally use Instagram you’ve probably heard of the smartphone photo application, which Facebook recently bought for a mere $1 billion (yes, that’s “billion” with a B). The popular app was limited to the iPhone platform from its launch in late 2010 until earlier this month, when an Android version was introduced. Many brands, particularly in ecommerce and fashion, have embraced the platform as a way to visually communicate with their audiences. Remember: a picture’s worth 1000 words, which can come in handy when you’re trying to submit to Twitter’s character constraints. PinView You must know what Pinterest is by now – even we’ve extolled the virtues…

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  • How to Use Social Media to Annoy Your Customers

    “But why would I want to annoy my customers?” you ask. You wouldn’t. Unfortunately, even the most successful brands have been known to send fans running when they decide to adopt one of the following tactics: Make your customers feel ignored. Imagine the following scenario: you’ve been a business’s loyal customer for a number of years, but you recently had some pretty lousy service. You send them an email or call them up to lodge a complaint and let them know about the incident, but nobody answers the phone during business hours or your email doesn’t receive a response. Odds are, your loyalty would wane at least a little bit. This is what happens when customers post on your Facebook wall or tweet at you, only for their words to fall on deaf ears. As of October 2011, a study found that 70 percent of companies on Twitter weren’t responding to customer complaints. Imagine if 70 percent of companies just didn’t answer the phone — ever. With more and more communication happening via social media, that’s basically what you’re doing by ignoring tweets and comments. Respond defensively to criticism. Remember our cautionary tale about Yelp, featuring a restauranteur from Scottsdale¬†with…well…let’s…

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