Just a Good Ol’ Fashioned Sensible Lesson in Social Media

BabyonPhone

Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics, where it all started. Getting all caught up in the hype of the “thing” can be overwhelming at times. Social media has become a monster and is gobbling up as much attention as it can. Maybe you feel as though it’s too much to deal with. Look no further. Let’s take it a step at a time; in fact, we even have a giant picture (infograph) at the end that will explain it all.

The top social media that will make your business more accessible, in touch with your market and marketable are (whether you do it or hire someone else to do it):

wordpressBlogs—tell your story and connect with your market at least once a week then connect that blog to your social media. Use blogging to make a personal touch with people and let them see the “everyday” in what you do.

FBFacebook—you should be on Facebook every day in some way, posting interesting articles related to your business, posting interesting pictures that connect with your market, and engaging while asking people to comment, like or share your posts.

TwitTwitter—Tweets are fleeting and quick so there should be more of them, at least three a day—make them varied between business, fun and promotional, always using hashtags to keep your posts trending.

LInLinkedIn—Keep it professional, only posting business related articles and blogs. When you are connected to groups that relate to your business, don’t forget to post to those groups and become more interactive with them.

G+Google+–This combines LinkedIn and Facebook where you can gather people together to hang out but with a purpose toward your business or industry. The key is get connected and get more people in your circles.

PinPinterest—Show off what you do visually—pictures will grab people before words ever do.

YTubeYouTube—Video is fast becoming a real powerhouse–it can be anything that represents your business or even interviews of significance to your industry. It’s ok to throw in some fun as well. This keeps it personable to your audience.

If you’re just starting out, take a few of these social connectors and start connecting or, in hiring someone else to do it, make sure you are well represented across the board. The infograph below will help you with a schedule of sorts to know how often to post as well as some other great information to keep your social media posting organized and effective.

Are you well-connected or are there some takeaways to make your social media stronger? You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Tumblr, and YouTube. www.kromamarketing.com

wbg_sensible_socialmediachecklist_v2(1)bethrose11

Social Signals—You Can’t Miss Them

socialsignalsI used to think that my “let’s go” signals to my husband at parties (which were agreed upon prior to said party) were obvious. There were times when the signals had to be so grossly over performed that if one had been looking at me, they might have thought I was having a spasm. If I was close enough I would definitely have kicked him, but my husband had learned early on to stay at least a kick length away in those situations.

Social signals are increasingly becoming more important in the social media world so much so that in the last few months there have been an increase in the number of articles written about it. It is a hot button in terms of SEO because Google is now paying more attention to this dynamic, and basically Google is the “godfather” of SEO, with its mysterious algorithm formulas.

Gabriel Gervelis of Search Engine Journal said in the February 2013 edition, “In the evolution of SEO best practices, we’re likely to see movement toward increasing value socialsignalmapplaced on the quantity and quality of social signals contained within any particular domain,” whereby social signals may replace links for SEO.

“The reality is that, based upon extensive testing that we’ve been running (not to mention some of the things that Google has said over the last couple of years), social signals have a significant impact on the overall SEO of websites,” says JD Rucker of Soshable. “As pointed out by Search Engine Watch last month, Google is paying attention to social signals through Google Analytics. When Google says something with their actions, it behooves those in SEO to listen.” (March 2013)

So, if Google is paying attention so should we all. Social signals can help a business change the way it deals with social responses to its products and services. This infographic link shows how a business can use those signals to create responses more efficiently and effectively.

What do the social signals mean to you in your business? We’re paying attention—you won’ t have to flag us down.

bethrose14

Why We-Blog

blog6blog1The term “weblog” was devised by Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997 and the shortened form, “blog,” was then coined by Peter Merholz, who broke the word “weblog” into the phrase “we blog” in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.

It is estimated that there are now over 175 million blogs active on the WWW and that 20,000 bloggers join those ranks every day! If you were hoping that blogging was just a fad, I’m afraid you are somewhat in denial. Blogging isn’t going away—it is only getting stronger and more important.

Why? Have you noticed that art mimicks reality or reality mimicks art? There are practically more reality TV shows than there are sitcoms in existence. As my son says 20 times a day (no lie), “It’s like they don’t know.” And people want to know. People want the details; they want to know what’s going on in people’s lives and their opinions.blog3

So, as a business, you can capitalize on that. You can connect people with your opinions and what matters to you in your business. The infographic below explains it: your blog gives a sense of activity and information of brand significance, probably some of the most important aspects of blogging.

I was talking with a colleague yesterday and he said a marketing company he had heard about had dissolved. So, guess where we went to check it out: to their website blog and their social media postings. They hadn’t posted since December, obviously not in action any longer since social media was one of the ways they connected with their client base. Dead, gone. I was even a little depressed thinking about it, and I didn’t even know these people! But it’s a sad day when a company goes by the wayside and when you see it exist, especially a marketing company, in their outdated blog.

blog4The upside to this blog is that there are differentiators between the company that went under and our company. We have not only survived in a downturned economy but thrived! Why? Not just because we blog but because we grow alongside our customers; we have an ROI attached to our services offered, and we have exceptional customer service—all and more that we blog about to not only our clients but anyone who will listen!

Get significant—get blogging.

What are your thoughts? Do you blog or have someone blogging for you? What ways have you connected with your audience through your blog? What response are you getting? Even more important, how have have seen an ROI on blogging and how have you grown your followers?

bethrose1blog5

You Will Be Judged . . . Or Ignored

Judge-and-JuryAs marketers, we are inclined to take risks. We have to step out of the routine and ordinary in order to help our brand become extraordinary.

Simple right?

…A concept that has been taught, written, and lectured about in our digital marketing age…

But, we forget about the risk that we take so we pursue the safe and comfortable marketing rout. We are afraid we will be judged… or ignored.

Those are pretty much the only two choices.Jim's Plumbing

Being judged is uncomfortable. Snap judgments, prejudices, misinformation… all of these, combined with not enough time (how could there be) to truly know you, means that you will inevitably be misjudged, underestimated (or overestimated) and unfairly rejected if you take bold marketing approaches.

The alternative, of course, is much safer. To be ignored.

Up to you.

Tell us what has worked for your business. We want your comments at Kroma Marketing.

colespriggs

The Chick Who Laid the Golden Egg—Amex and Twitter Make Beautiful Money Together

golden eggsThere was a boy named “Jack” . . . you know how the story goes—he sows the seeds, grows the bean stock, climbs it, grabs the gold-producing goose, and the rest is a movie coming near you. We could call Jack an opportunist i.e. somebody who takes advantage of something, an entrepreneur, a trailblazer if you will.

Well, there’s a “golden egg snatching” opportunist in real life—American Express. amextwitter2Although Amex has partnered with Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare already, starting just last Monday, this is the first time the company has used the partnership in social network purchasing, in particular Twitter using #hashtags. Jennifer Booten of Fox Business states, “It marks the first widespread monetization of the microblogging site since its inception.” This makes e-commerce as easy as 1-2-3. Literally, it only takes about that many steps to use Twitter to buy a wide range of products with Amex as the buying tool and even have it sent to your door.

amextwitter1“We wanted to bring [purchasing] to Twitter first,” according to Brad Minor of American Express. “This is the most dramatic manifestation of what our tech can do because it’s all happening in 140 characters or less and showcased in a hashtag. That said, it would be possible to transfer the underlying capability to other platforms.” You can check out American Express on YouTube to see how it all works at http://youtu.be/CUXQYrn8zds. It couldn’t be easier. Congratulations to American Express for jumping on the bandwagon and making it look easy.

So, what can we learn from this major move—a “Jack” = American Express, moving into “giant” territory = social media, and taking the goose that continues to produce those “golden eggs” = making money.  I think it’s simple:  use social media to your advantage in any way possible to increase revenue. Be creative, go forth and claim your “goose”.

What ways do you use social media to increase revenue for your company? We would love to hear from you! Kroma Marketing.

bethrose11

Super Bowl Commercials—What Can We Learn From This Social Experiment?

beyoncehttp://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/02/3-super-bowl-commercials-to-watch-out-for/

Overheard “water cooler conversation”:  “So, you excited about the big game on Sunday?” “My team isn’t playing, so, no. How about you?” “Nah, I’m really looking more forward to the commercials.”

You may have heard this kind of conversation before or even been in one like it. Statistics show that “nine in 10 viewers are as interested in the commercials as the game.” (Bruce Horovitz, USA Today) So for more than 100 million people watching the Super Bowl this year, that’s a lot of advertising and advertising dollars. That means the ads for the Super Bowl are considered the “Super Bowl of advertising”. What makes them so great and what can we learn from their social experiments?

betty whiteFor 15 years, Charles Tomkovick, a marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, has tracked companies who advertise in the Super Bowl. He says popular ads use dramatic sound, motion, celebrities as well as humor and surprise endings to get the audience’s attention quickly. “You also want to throw in some animals, if you can find a way to tie in animals with your brand,” Tomkovick says. “About 20 to 25 percent of Super Bowl commercials have animals. It’s like going to the zoo.”  http://youtu.be/RP9dmF7WFl8 (Denny’s screaming chickens, 2012) Tomkovick also says to avoid too much discussion of the product or service advertised.

“The more you talk about your product, the less people like it.” (Tomkovick)

There are controversial perspectives about the ads for the Super Bowl as well.  Bruce baby and dogstronautHorovitz of USA Today says, “The commercials for Super Bowl 2013 are so overloaded with eye candy — sexy models, too-cute kids, wacky animals, magical happenings and effects — that by the time folks take them all in, many viewers will feel like they just swallowed the entire bag of Halloween candy in one sitting. No room for the chips and dip.”

doritosIn fact, some of the ads have been more and more controversial as the years go on. This year, one particular ad was pulled from the lineup, namely, Sodastream, for using competitor branding without permission (http://youtu.be/68al-o2XSpE), which continues to show the ad online, instigating more interest and attention than if there hadn’t been the controversy. So, the question is:  with social media and online marketing at our finger tips, is it worth it to push the envelope, riding that thin line between interest and offensiveness?

“The debates have prompted millions of online views, thousands of social media comments and headlines questioning whether the pitches were offensive – all this before the full audience of 100 million viewers who will watch the San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens have seen the ads,” according to Lisa Richwine and Sue Zeidler of etradeReuters. “That degree of attention can boost the value for ads beyond the $4 million-plus that agencies pay for some of the 30-second spots. Advance buzz gets people talking and, better yet from a marketer’s perspective, searching for the promotions online.”

Mae Anderson of the Associated Press reported that “Last year, Super Bowl ads released early were watched 600 percent more times — with 9.1 million average views,” clearly outweighing the skeptics who believe in a purist perspective, revealing the ads only on game day.

So what can we learn from the Super Bowl advertisers and their marketing maneuvers? Mix dashes of excitement and surprise with a few splashes of kids, animals, and celebrities and throw in some humor without talking about your product, possibly with some controversy, and you have the magic. Now, somebody pass me the buffalo wings, I’m ready for some Super Bowl commercials! By the way, we’d love to hear which ones are your favorites @ Kroma Marketing.

bethrose11

SOTB (State of the Business) Address

Kroma SOTBNew. It is a word that excites some and causes others angst.  When I hear the word “new” it fills me with excitement. My mind immediately goes to possibilities to come. I look forward to new things, new seasons, a new year, a new perspective.

A business needs to have a new challenge brought to it each year. Sustainability is not to be celebrated as a goal; it is to be a marker along the journey of building a business. It is necessary to review our past, without allowing it to define our projections for the upcoming months and years. It is these perspectives to which I pause to have a look at Kroma.

My journey into marketing began in the 1990s.  I gave it up to make more dollars on the sales side of corporate America and was moderately successful. As I moved into deciding the next phase of my career goals, I felt led to quit my job, yes quit, and begin a new business. It is out of this decision that Kroma Marketing came into being.

A new business has many seasons of change. Some come and go quickly while other seasons last months and even years. Kroma was birthed out of hope… a hope of providing a “new” perspective to marketing and design. We want to come alongside our clients and partner with them. We feel our success is measured by our clients’ ongoing growth and success. We believe that each client deserves excellence in design and measured results of our marketing efforts. I firmly believe there is an ROI (return on investment) to every dollar spent. There is accountability to the client for each dollar they spend with Kroma.

With that, we are brought to our assessment of last year. It was a season of change once again.

  • We added staff as we saw others move on to other states, other jobs, and other seasons in their lives.
  • We increased our expertise in many services.
  • Originating in web design and traditional marketing, Kroma quickly became strategists in the last few years with online marketing.
  • Kroma increased our services to our clients by adding several acronyms to our expertise: SEO, PPC, SEM, along with the growing trend of social media.  This allowed our new team to bring excellence beyond design in traditional marketing, to excellence through research and development in the new frontier of online marketing.

Our corporate culture continues to morph. The employees we hire come with fresh and innovative ideas and design. They come ready to be pushed to excellence in what they do. It’s a win to see them begin pushing one another in concepts and executables to achieve excellence for the clients we serve. They get it.

Ordinary is not welcomed here.

Finally, we are becoming sustainable! We have growth projections that stretch our budget, but are worth investing towards the betterment of our client services. We were able to review our pricing and keep cost of services the same as last year. We are able to do this by keeping cost down and quarterly projections conservative. We are doing as our website says:  “Thriving in a down-turned economy”…we are honored to do that for the clients we serve.

If you are looking for something new, we’d love to partner with you in growing your business. Contact us @ KROMA.

Richard Rose, CEO/Owner, Kroma Marketing

Richard Rose, CEO, Kroma Marketing

Save the Fonts! Save the World!

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Most people won’t notice a good typeface when they see one, but, most of the time, THAT IS THE POINT! If a website is designed well, the font will portray a feeling to the site that gives your entire site the vibe it deserves. First off, there is no perfect font. Every designer has their favorites, but no designer uses their favorite on even half of their work. So how do we pick the right one? Well, start with not picking a bad one!

Sure there are tons of “fun looking” looking fonts out there that you may think fit exactly what you want to say, but, more often than not, it really is just “fun looking”. The question is: will someone actually read it? In today’s world, it is much too easy to add any font you want to any medium that calls for it.

Here is what to stay away from and why you should stay away from them.

comic-sans

Even though you might love it, this font is bad, bad, bad, bad, baaaad for your site. The appeal is the hand-drawn nature of the font, which may give it that “fun” aspect you are going for. In reality, this font was designed to do just that. Unfortunately, on today’s web, hand written fonts don’t fit in the clean cut digital world. This font is over used and is unappealing to every audience older than 5 years old. What is easier to read: a hand-written three page paper or a typed three page paper with Times New Roman?

Copperplate--Gothic

This font was a poor attempt of modernizing a block print typeface. Lesson on modern typefaces: they are made to be “modern” and we all know “modern” things always expire. This font was created in 1901. Needless to say, it is outdated. Please refrain from old, “modern” fonts.

Brush-Script

NO, NO, NO, NO . . . it does not look like a brush stroke. Once again this is another font that was created to mimic a handwritten feel but with a “50’s large letter” effect. Dated? Yes.

Arial

Maybe Arial is not that bad of a font, but only in a few scenarios. Let’s say you own a sleep therapy company, this is the font for you. Maybe you only want the viewers to look at pictures instead of reading your important information. Either way, this font is BORING. People WILL be uninterested in most everything you have to say, because this font generates no interest at all for your important information.

Papyrus

Ah yes, we almost left out the worst font in the world. This is the third replica of a hand-generated font, and once again, it is over used, hard to read, and just doesn’t look right. Nearly every designer will name this font as one of the top five fonts in the entire world. This font is not only hated, it is loathed entirely.

Do your end user a favor and don’t choose these fonts for paragraph text. They are all very hard to read and are unappealing for your over-all website. Every decision is important for your site. However, if it’s amazing but nobody can read it then what is the point of having a site in the first place? A recent statistic shows that any site that has these five fonts anywhere on it, Google then deletes the site from its search results . . . ok maybe that’s not a real statistic, but it is funny. Don’t get me wrong, any font can be used correctly, but do the web world a favor and use a good font. Save the fonts, save the world!

What are your thoughts on fonts? We would love to know! Kroma Marketing

lukecoselmon

STUPID

sunglassesSo… your difficult boss, customer, prospect is… probably not stupid–just uniformed. There’s a huge difference.

I have been on a Seth Godin kick recently, and he outlines the difference very well; so well, in fact, that I have to share it with you.

He states, “Every person makes decisions based on their worldview and the data at hand. If two people have the same worldview and the same data, they’ll make the same decision, every time (unless they’re stupid)”.

So, there are plenty of times where a lack of information leads to a bad decision; plenty of times where an out of sync worldview leads to an out of sync decision. Basic, eh?

When the board of directors embraces a fading old media model instead of embracing a strategy that leads to rapid growth, it’s probably because each of them started with a worldview about the way things worked and were going to work. Add to that little direct experience, and it’s no wonder they decided what they did. You would, too, if you were given the same resources to begin with.

Changing worldviews is very difficult and requires quite a bit of will. Changing the data at hand is a lot easier, and that’s where marketing can really help. If you, as a marketer, can package data in a way that people with a certain worldview can accept, you move the conversation forward far more quickly than if you merely dismiss the non-customers or the doubters as stupid.

In my experience, a closed-minded worldview is the most difficult hurdle to overcome. But a closed-minded worldview doesn’t mean you’re stupid; it means that you are selling yourself and your colleagues and your community short.

The easiest way to grow is to sell to people who share a worldview that endorses your position. The most effective way to grow bigger than that is to inform those that disagree with your position–more data in a palatable form. It turns out that the best way to change the world is to open the closed-minded.

I welcome your thoughts and insights—what do you think? Kroma Marketing

colespriggs

In Denial

“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” —C. Northcote Parkinson 

De · ni · al:  a river in Egypt; refusal to admit the truth or reality. (Merriam-Webster)

Probably one of the biggest examples of denial in recent history is the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, the denial of terrorism “poster child”. It’s denial at its worst, albeit. There isn’t any upside to denial at all other than blissful apathy until the realization of what the denial has wrought. It really is bad news all around.

In business, denial will most likely lead to financial failure. Yet businesses are still in denial regarding not only the need but the necessity of social media on a daily basis. Harvard Business Review Analytics Services report “The New Conversation: Taking Social Media from Talk to Action” [Report PDF; sponsored by SAS] discovered that most of the commitment to social is future-oriented. The report went on to say, “Although 79% of the 2,100 companies surveyed are either using or planning to use social media channels, a measly 12% of those firms feel that they are using them effectively.” Only 12%. Pitiful, when you think about how brands are being represented on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, to name a few.

But is it just the non-use of social media that makes business efforts ineffective or the fact that there is still not an “all in” belief in the necessity of social? Rob Ployhart, a professor of business administration at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, believes there is a “skepticism” in social media because companies haven’t seen the data showing the return on investment from social media. Ployhart says the ROI data will most likely be available within the next three to five years, making social media more credible in the eyes of some businesses.

Until then, what does a company have to do to engage in the social impact of business? Believe. They have to put their faith in it and engage in it daily or they’ll be left standing on the sidelines in their cynicism.

The facts are all there. Businesses engaged in social media are investing in their own future. Ployhart says, “In today’s world, we are all interconnected. Companies that are thinking about this proactively are the ones that are probably going to have an advantage in leveraging this technology. I’d be surprised if the first few companies that get in there don’t have a lasting competitive advantage.”

The experts are all saying the same thing:  businesses that are engaging in social media have the upper hand.

It’s almost 2013. What’s on the horizon, then, for engaging in social media in business?

According to Simon Mainwaring, New York Times bestseller We First and social branding consultant to Fortune 100 brands, “Every company or institution must now function as a social brand due to the mass adoption and penetration of social media in our lives as citizen and customers (and by social brand I mean an organization that uses and engages in a real time dialogue with its customers using mobile, social and gaming technologies to build its reputation, profits and social impact.)”

So, if you are in business and you are in denial of the social media bull breathing down your neck, don’t turn around. Just get on the social media train and ride it all the way into the station. That’s where you’ll find relevant business being done. Welcome to the new world.

Are you in denial or are you using social media in business? We would love to hear from you. Kroma Marketing.