With the world becoming increasingly more open and connected, social media is a necessary tool for individuals and organizations to extend their brand to the world masses.
What is social media?
If you said, “Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and stuff”... you are close. Those are social media services, but really social media is all about creating conversations and interactions with people online.
Traditional marketing was more about a one-way conversation for the masses while social media is a two-way discussion targeted at specific users. To be successful at this, a brand needs to keep the following guidelines in mind:
Keep it real. Honesty is the best policy. The golden rule to social media success is to be transparent and honest with your customers. Now that conversations are two sided, customers can easily sniff out the “phony bologna” and publicly call a brand out on it.
Keep it interesting. Quality not quantity. Make sure the content you are posting is interesting or engaging. Much like real life conversations, the more interesting the topic or question, the more people want to engage in a conversation. A pitfall some brands find themselves in is they try to post what ever they can think of every few minutes. This leads to content overload and can be detrimental to your image.
Understand your audience. While you may have a broad target market, the users on Facebook may be entirely different from the ones on YouTube and adapting your approach to each network is key to success. Seeing a brands facebook wall filled with nothing but duplicates of their tweets is disappointing. Create value for each network by making them unique. Sure there can be some cross pollination, but it needs to be used sparingly. LinkedIn is a network for professionals, so content shared on this network should be a bit more professional than content shared on Facebook.
Establish your brand personality. Brand personality describes brands in terms of human characteristics. A brand should have an established tone of voice and style that customers can feel in every post or tweet. Once that is established, apply it to content that shows your expertise as much as possible.
Walk like a duck, talk like a duck. Walk like a duck Add branded visual elements to each of your social network pages. Make sure you keep consistency across all networks. Each network will have it’s own requirements for images but you should try and use the same imagery across all boards. Choose the right avatar, such as your brands logo so customers will recognize you instantly. Talk like a duck Once your brand personality and target audience is established it’s important to keep them in mind every time you interact on the social channel. Keep the same tone of voice and personality on all networks no matter what the message is. Consistency is king.
Sharing is caring. Make it easy for people to share your voice. If you have a blog, make sure that you have two mechanisms that allow people to share your content with 2 clicks or less. Install a Retweet and Facebook button that reduce the friction for anyone looking to spread your expertise to their social network with a couple clicks or finger taps.
The most successful brands using social media are ones that have fun and take the time to interact with their audience. When customers enjoy interacting with a brand on social media, it’s quickly apparent to the public and will elevate the brand above their competitors.
As of today, Adobe Flash will no longer install onto new Android phones or tablets, abandoning its failed attempt to take over mobile devices and leaving it as a niche tool for desktop PCs.
There's been a lot of passionate (even angry) debate over Adobe Flash — from Apple refusing to add it to iPhone, to chronic security problems, to performance issues on Linux and Mac, to causing horrible laptop battery life.
Flash had a long run. Flash started life as a pen computer drawing app in 1993. When the PenPoint OS failed, its developers turned it into a vector animation tool for Mac and Windows, and later a web animation tool. Over the years, it gained increasingly sophisticated scripting and media management, eventually becoming a full (if weird) application development tool for cross-platform apps and lightweight games.
Though I've been long frustrated by Flash's instability and performance issues, its wide acceptance in the late 90's through mid 00's provided a viable platform for agencies like iMarc to build rich media.
iMarc has used Flash for everything from XML-driven interactive timelines, to web games, to making racing tires smoke realistically. For more than a decade, it was the most reliable way to deliver audio, video, and reactive content.
Today, native web technologies (aka “HTML5”) are ascendent. HTML5 still doesn't offer everything Flash did a decade ago. But it offers enough that we can set Flash aside for most tasks, retire a power-hungry runtime engine and make interactive experiences that scale from phones to desktop PCs.
I am not a fan of Flash — but I must also acknolwedge its role in advancing the state of the art of the web.
Thanks, Flash. You gave us some truly great experiences.
It’s no secret that your website is your first introduction to your current and potential customers. So you’ve built the site and it’s working ok, but over time you are finding that the site is not working as great as it used to and you begin thinking about refreshing it or perhaps even contemplating a full redesign. But how do you know when it’s time to commit to this project and really put your best foot forward?
First and foremost, if you don’t have an easy-to-use content management system (CMS) in place, then it’s time to re-do your website. Content is king and it’s what keeps people coming back to your site. If you always have to rely on someone else to make updates to your website, then your hands are tied. How can you push timely content to your site quickly? Another key factor is that your CMS must be easy-to-use. We’ve had so many clients share with us their current systems in initial discovery meetings and it can be baffling. If your CMS isn’t easy-to-use, then how often are you going to want to update it with new content?
The other hot topic is mobile and you know it’s important for your business, but did you how important it really is to engage customers? According to .net;
“A pair of studies late last year  from Pew and from On Device Research showed that over 25 per cent of people in the US who browse the web on smartphones almost never use any other platform. That's north of 11 per cent of adults in the US, or about 25 million people, who only see the web on small screens.”
If your site is not optimized for mobile you are either invisible to these potential customers or you are providing a bad user experience for your users. Either way these customers will find your competitor and engage with them.
Another great indicator that it’s time to re-do your website is when the site has outgrown its current architecture. It’s a double-edged sword since you did an excellent job maintaining the content and you have nurtured it over the years; but now the content has simply outgrown the navigation and it’s difficult for users to find what they are looking for on your site. Make it easy for your customers to engage with your company and provide the relevant information that they are looking for when visiting your site.
Today’s business moves at the speed of light and often many companies need to shift their business focus and align with the market. You must ensure that your website is still providing focused and engaging content and that you know your audience. You need to provide relevant content that positions you as a thought leader in the industry and keeps your users coming back. If you are targeting a different audience, have changed your product offerings, or are garnering fewer leads then it’s time to take a serious look at your website and figure out ways to optimize it for your business needs.
If any of these signs have you concerned about your website, contact us and we’ll make it easy to upgrade, refresh, and redesign your new site!
The habanero chili is, per Wikipedia, "one of the most intensely piquant species of chili peppers." Typically they are rated between 100,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville scale. For comparison,
Chipotle and jalapeño peppers rate between 3,000 and 8,000.
Cayenne and tabasco peppers rate between 30,000 and 50,000.
Habanero peppers place here at 100,000 to 350,000.
There's a few kinds of peppers that are hotter that have been bread for the record such as the infinity chili and ghost pepper, which fall between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000. The current record however is held by the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili, which is rated around 2,000,000.
Law enforcement grade pepper spray usually falls between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000.
This all started when I felt that Dan was overestimating the spiciness of habanero chilis (in particular, in habanero pepper jelly.) Dan challenged me to prove that habaneros weren't that spicy, and I recruited some others willing to participate. Even Dan broke down and ate one.
Here at iMarc we are constantly thinking about how we can deliver even better results for our clients. This means staying ahead of the curve, being relentless in our craft, and guiding all of our clients towards best practices. As part of these initiatives, we are particularly focused on mobile development. In fact, a year ago this month I urged readers of my blog post to take a look at their website from an iPhone, Android, or other device [Make It Mobile]. No matter what kind of robust functionality or great design we incorporate into every site we build, how the site performs on mobile devices is critical to our clients’ success and return on investment.
Last week we exhibited at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, which focused on the best strategies and technologies for building social businesses. Mobile was a key topic of conversation with those who stopped by the iMarc booth. We enjoyed the conference and it provided a great opportunity for us to meet some new people, have some great conversations, and give away an iPad 3. Everyone was interested in mobile and the tools and techniques available for mobile optimization. It was great to hear that something that resonates so strongly with us is a key focus in the current marketplace.
Below is an excerpt of E2Conf conversation heard both at the iMarc booth and on the Twittersphere regarding mobile that really caught our attention:
As you look ahead and wonder how to develop or even evolve your business’ mobile strategy, don’t hesitate to contact iMarc’s mobile award-winning team. We can help you plan and make the best investment in your mobile presence!
iMarc is excited to be heading to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston tomorrow! We're packing up our booth materials, including the iPad 3 we will be giving away to one lucky conference attendee who comes by Booth #221 and enters to win.
We will be featuring our recent applications and designs, and demonstrating the powerful SiteManager content management system (CMS) platform. The iMarc business development team will also be available to chat, and are eager to meet with forward-thinking companies on how to take their brands to the next level.
If you are in the Boston area this Tuesday or Wednesday, use iMarc's Priority Code imarc2 to register for a FREE pass to the exhibit hall. Then swing by the iMarc booth and say hello on either day! We'll be ready to start planning your next website or mobile application project.
If you cannot make it to the conference, be sure to follow @imarcllc on Twitter and the Enterprise 2.0 Conference live feed #e2conf.