Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Overwhelmed by Social Media? – Start by Blogging

July 9th, 2011 by Dan

We often get the question of where to start as a small business owner looking to address the elephant in the office, social media. Without a doubt, without a plan, social media management as a small business owner can be overwhelming. Although having a plan is a good idea there is no reason to overwhelm yourself with anything elaborate.

Our opinion is to pick a platform that works and that you are familiar with whether it be Twitter, blogging, Facebook or any of the other platforms out there. Regardless of what it is, make sure you are comfortable with the way it works, who is seeing your posts and how they are responding to them. When it comes to the plan, like I said, don’t make it too elaborate. One thing that you will probably read a lot is that you should post at least once a week etc. etc. It is a good idea to keep a regular readership and post on somewhat of a schedule but don’t just post to post; post content that people are going to want to read and will value.

What I like to suggest is to start blogging and to start blogging “in private” first. Blogging in private will allow you to find your voice and get into the “flow of things” before going public with your brilliant prose. Now, why start with blogging? The reason why I like to suggest blogging first is because offers the ultimate flexibility and allows for you to post content while at the same time broadcasting it via links to many of the other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook (through use of plugins or settings in most popular blog platforms). Once you think you are in the flow of things, understand how blogging works and what it is you are going to be talking about, go public and don’t abandon your blog. A blog can be a valuable place for you to share information about your industry, interact with clients and showcase your knowledge as a professional in your industry. Don’t pass up the opportunity to blog.

Recap: Take on blogging in private and see how it goes. If you think you got something, go public. If you are still feeling a bit overwhelmed with blogging jump into Twitter, learn how to use it right and start posting interesting content and interacting with you clients/customers.

Note: Although I wouldn’t consider it the most robust platform, check out Posterous as a blog platform. Anything you post (via e-mail no-less) gets sent to most other popular social media platform. You can see a post about Posterous here.

Starbucks teams up with Foursquare, should you?

March 11th, 2010 by Dan


foursquare_logo_boyFor those who haven’t already heard, there has been some exciting news from Starbucks and Foursquare today. As quoted from The New York Times Blog, Bits

Beginning Thursday, latte addicts who visit Starbucks outlets can get more than just a caffeine fix. They will also be rewarded on Foursquare with a barista badge.

For the location-based social network service, Foursquare, this is huge news but this can also prove to be an extremely successful strategy for Starbucks. Smaller brands than Starbucks have incorporated Foursquare into their marketing strategy before, especially in New York City where the service was born. However, with a large brand like Starbucks involved in what has become an addictive social network for many, it isn’t unlikely that we will start seeing many large brands take advantage of Starbuck’s innovative thinking.

On the other hand, this is also a great opportunity to incorporate your small business into the Foursquare craze. The decision by Foursquare founders to expand the service drastically beyond New York City has put even small towns into the Foursquare mix. If you own a retail location, a restaurant or even a dentist’s office, Foursquare is worth exploring and incorporating into your marketing strategy.

Take a restaurant for example. Can a restaurant owner afford to offer 10% off a check on Tuesdays while in return have patrons notify all of their friends when they visit that restaurant while at the same time raving about the great service and superb food on Foursquare? The answer needs to be yes!

Even in the social media driven world we live in, we continue to see businesses fail to take advantage of great marketing opportunities through services like Twitter and Facebook. We understand there are a lot of services on the web and that it can become overwhelming but what works just works and Twitter, Facebook and now Foursquare are dead winners in our book!

The best part about Foursquare is that your restaurant, store, etc. is probably already on Foursquare as added by your own patrons. All you have to do now is put a sign in your window that offers promotions to Foursquare users. Give Foursquare a peak and let us know what you think.

A New Channel for Marketing Your Brand – Google Buzz

February 11th, 2010 by Dan

Google Buzz

It is probably still too early to tell how big of a splash Google Buzz is going to make in regards to social media effectiveness. However, it is fair to say that it does create a new marketing channel for your business while expanding your brand’s web footprint.

Time and time again we hear of people overwhelmed by everything that is “out there” on the web and we completely understand. If you feel this way, but you are still interested in leveraging Google Buzz for your business, you can choose to simply link Buzz to your existing accounts. As with many new social media tools, Google Buzz allows you to connect to six of your already existing and managed accounts. Accounts include (to date) Twitter, Google Chat, Picasa, YouTube, Flickr and Google Reader. If you feel that managing Google Buzz is too much to manage then simply activate your Buzz account and connect the services and tools you already manage. This will save you time but at the same time open you up to additional marketing potential for your business via Google Buzz.

Although it is hard to say what tools will be effective when they first launch, it will always remain important to find new channels of marketing your brand, services and product. Never hesitate to use what you already manage to take advantage of these new channels without any additional time invested.

Blogging (in private)

February 11th, 2010 by Dan

lock

Quite often we hear about people who know about blogging but haven’t started doing it. Most of the time people are afraid that they don’t have enough to write about or simply can’t think of anything to write about. Even worse, people who get started blogging and then stop because they lose their “flow” or can’t work blogging into their daily schedule and routine.

For this we have a suggestion. Most (if not all) popular blogging software/platforms allow for “private posting” or “drafts”. Use these features as you get started and enter into a blogging routine! Many people make the mistake of jumping directly into blogging and immediately lose momentum. Instead of jumping right into it, take a few weeks to blog “behind closed doors” through the use of the “private posting” or “draft” features. This will give you time to review your posts and find the topics that best suit you and your brand.

Shameless Posterous plug

December 21st, 2009 by Dan

posterous-logoWe are all about Posterous at Debut Designs! (no, we aren’t getting paid to say this)

Posterous is a great way for ANYONE to start blogging quickly and easily. The best part about Posterous is that it is just as easy as sending an e-mail. When you open your Posterous account you will be able to make blog posts simply by sending an e-mail to post@posterous.com. Not only will this post go to your Posterous blog but it will also be available on popular social networks that you link to your Posterous account. For example, if you were to send a post via e-mail to post@posterous.com your friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. would also see a link to that post. This type of functionality built into Posterous makes it not only easy to start blogging but also promote your blog on your already established social networks.

Go to http://www.Posterous.com to learn more about the service and get started blogging today. This is by far the simplest and easiest way.

Lastly, implementing Posterous with your existing website can be done through the customizable CSS template. However, a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS would be required to make such customizations.

Manage Your Life (online) Anywhere

December 20th, 2009 by Dan

twitter-for-blackberry

Debut Designs understands the importance of social media applications like Twitter, Facebook etc. Many people who are using the web to communicate and reach out to their customers understands how powerful Twitter and Facebook can really be. On the other hand, many people who are just getting involved on Twitter and Facebook view each as a burden and have a hard time finding time to manage these applications.

A few months ago Debut Design sponsored a social media conference where many “newbies” to social media were in attendance. I noticed a consistent theme among all of these newbies; all were unable to find or take the time to manage their Facebook or Twitter accounts or even their blogs. It occurred to me at that point that instead of finding the time to sit down and manage these accounts it was ten times more effective to leverage mobile technology (cell phones) to manage these accounts.

The recurring theme that I realized when talking to people about using Twitter, Facebook or a blog is that they don’t have the time to sit down and do what needs to be done with each. Quite simply, my response is to take their Twitter, Facebook and blog with them. Smartphones have become more and more popular and Twitter and Facebook applications are available for every major smartphone today.

All of this being said, I encourage anyone who doubts their ability to find the time to manage their Twitter, Facebook or blog to invest in a smartphone this holiday season and start managing their accounts more effectively on the go. Another important note is that beyond the ability to manage these accounts on the go, it is those on-the-go Tweets and Facebook updates that make for interesting online conversation and dynamic.

For some information regarding smartphones, take a look at the Verizon Smartphone Resource Center: https://smartphones.verizonwireless.com/

OR check out the AT&T Smartphones and PDAs available: http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phones/pda-phones-smartphones.jsp

Check out iTookThisOnMyPhone

November 24th, 2009 by Dan

itookthisonmyphone

iTookThisOnMyPhone is an incredibly cool application for your phone that has been long-awaited. The application makes the process of getting your pictures uploaded to your social media pages not only easy but enjoyable. The greatest part about the whole thing is you can setup iTookThisOnMyPhone to upload pictures to social media pages automatically without you doing anything but taking the picture, no extra steps!

Here is a blurb from the iTookThisOnMyPhone website…

You can keep your photos private or share them with friends and family. Easily organize, email, print your photos, or send them to popular social networking sites. With iTookThisOnMyPhone, you can save a lifetime of photos and videos in one safe place.

At this point the best thing for you to do is head over to the iTookThisOnMyPhone website and try it for yourself. Comment back and let us know what you think of it.

Get out there. (On the web)

October 24th, 2009 by Dan

One of the number one suggestions Realtors get from business professionals and other Realtors is to “get out there”.  Visibility of your brand and the services you provide is true for not only Realtors but any business.  Being in the public eye through community events, advertisments, trade shows, networking events etc. is important.  The more you can do and the more people you can engage the better.

Now, as we all already know, there are a ton of people on the internet.  So, if your goal is to “get out there” and have your brand seen by as many people as possible, it would make perfect sense to “get out there” on the web!  There are so many ways to meet and engage people on the internet and it goes way beyond and old and boring static webpage.  If you haven’t already started to use social websites and tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and perhaps most important a blog, now is the time!

What we suggest…

Don’t hestiate to give it all a try.  Twitter and Facebook are quite possibly some of the easiest tools to use to promote yourself and ultimately your brand.  Most importantly, they are free to start using!  You need to find what works for you and what you are going to be commited to using.  The best thing to do is start!  Learn how to use these tools by simply using them.  Learn from your mistakes as you begin and soon you will be a social media/marketing pro!

Don’t continue to hope people are seeing your static website.  Engage your current and future customers not only where they are in town but also where they are on the web.  The relationships you build on the internet are just as powerful as those you build in-person.

Get out there today, on the web!