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Five tips for small business to jump start their marketing efforts.

Running a small business is tough, and marketing for a small business can be even tougher. Business owners wear a lot of hats, focusing on growing the business, attending to customer service issues or even managing the team.  It’s often hard to find time to enhance your marketing efforts and execute those great ideas when you are busy with the day to day duties as a business owner.

The good news is there are some basic blocking and tackling moves that can make your job a little easier.  The infographic below outlines five small business tips to help you reach your marketing goals.

Remember, at the end of the day, if you’re thinking like your customers, you’re more likely to be successful at each and every one of these elements.

Here they are via text:

  1. Get their email. And make sure you give them a reason to sign up.
  2. Ask for reviews. Over 20% of reviews have local intent.
  3. Give back. Find a local cause that you can get behind.
  4. Change it up. Rotate your message or your creative.
  5. Learn from your customers. They’re smarter than you are about what they want.

Videographic: The World of Social Media

In need of some good stats and figures as we finish up 2011? Here is a nice video put together by the folks at Videoinfographs. Not a huge fan of the music, but the transitions are nice and it provide some good statistical updates from other infographics and videos released earlier this year.

More Facebook updates, more haters.

If you haven’t heard by now Facebook has rolled out a series of new updates and there are more to come. With each update comes a ridiculous amount of uproar and hate. I came across a graphic from a friend’s post and couldn’t help myself from creating a response. Below are my visual thoughts.

Click here or on the photo to enlarge

Interested in the original? Check it out here.

My Klout Journey, 30 points in 30 days: Week 1 recap

Klout has quickly become the defining metric of online influence. In the last year, Klout has been adopted by thousands of Twitter, Facebook, and now LinkedIn users to identify their online reach and influence. Today, businesses and organizations are recording scores to offer special incentives to those influencers of their brand or product category. Beyond using the score on a consumer lever, I also see future employers including your score as another credential for evaluating you on a job, especially in social media. Acknowledging that your Klout score is becoming more useful than just a fun number to brag about to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, I wanted to take a step in the right direction by seriously evaluating myself online today and where I hope to be in the future.

I set out on a 30 day journey to ultimately grow my online network, enhance my digital personal brand and increase my online influence (Klout score). Like with any success, it comes with the expense of an investment. Being as busy as I am, I knew this wouldn’t come easy, so I laid out a few ground rules that I’d hope to keep in mind each week to help me reach my goal.

  • Don’t just broadcast, engage: I’m not going to simply import an RSS feed to my accounts. I want to have a conversation about the information I’m sharing.
  • Join the conversation: Start or participate in at least one chat or group discussion a week. This is a great way to build your network and easily be recognized as an influencer in the areas of interest you hope to tackle.
  • Share relevant content: I need to not only publish relevant content on the topics that I would like to be known for, but retweet and share valuable content as well.
  • Maintain follower to following ratio: Don’t just go out and follow everyone in the world. Maintain a consistent and well-balanced ratio. From what I hear, staying as close to 1:1 is best.
  • Be myself: At the end of the day it is me and I want my personality to show through. I think this is one of the most important things you can instill into anything you do.
  • Prioritize my channels: Each channel has different capabilities, so it is not only important to prioritize them, but also strategize how you will use each one.

By the numbers

After the first week I think I’m on the right track! Here is a look at my progress from June 21st – June 28th

It is exciting to watch Klout unfold into this new standard of online influence. Unfortunately, there is no practice test or golden set of steps to follow to attain a high desired score. I will continue to evaluate my performance and share any best practices that I come across. In the meantime, if there is anything I’ve missed, please let me know, it is still early in the game!

To figure out your Klout score visit http://klout.com and sign in with Facebook or Twitter. Next connect your accounts and your off and running. Log in each day to re-evaluate your score and help others by giving them +K on topics they influence. As you gain topics, encourage users to do the same.

Goal

By July 30th, I have hope to achieve:

  • Klout score: 59
  • klout Style: Specialist
  • Twitter followers: 500
  • Topics: marketing, social media, graphic design, branding, web design

Mobile Marketing and Usage: Statistics and Facts for 2011

Technology looks to trump technology once again. It’s hard to believe that less than 5 years ago we were beeping friends in public with our Nextel phones to let them know we wanted to talk. The beeping soon went to texting where we had to click in upwards of 4 times on the same key to get the character we wanted. Remarkably, the Qwerty keyboard showed its face making texting and multi-tasking that much easier and quicker. Today, we are using touch technologies, streaming movies, mapping workouts with our GPS, listening to music, scanning our social environments and looking up the latest review at the restaurant you’ll be eating at this evening. The crazy part about it is that you are probably doing at least 3 of those things all at once! Mobile technology has changed more in the past two years than I could have ever imagined. At this point the smartphone seems like it can do just about anything and it wont be long until it holds a dear place in our lives as our main device of choice.

Now, lets take a look at where things are heading. Below is an infographic from Microsoft Tag that highlights some key statistics on how people are using mobile phones in 2011. Heres a quick breakdown: Over 1 billion of the worlds 4+ billion mobiles phones are now smartphones, and 3 billion are SMS enabled (weirdly, 950 million mobile phones still don’t have SMS capabilities). In 2014, mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage and already in 2011, more than 50% of all “local” searches are done from a mobile device. 86% of mobile users are watching TV while using a mobile phone, 200+ million (1/3 of all users) access Facebook from a mobile device and 91% of all mobile internet use is “social” related.

It will be interesting to see how marketers react to the growth of mobile. How are you adopting to the new technology and including it in your marketing mix?

Facebook 101: Social Media Club Follow-Up

What a fantastic evening! Thanks to everyone who made it out to join Alison Buckley and I at the Social Media Club Great Lakes Bay event. You reaffirmed my love for new media and marketing and why I do what I do, so thank you. It was a pleasure to meet all the new faces and look forward to seeing you all more. Apologies for the tight space tonight. We will be sure to have some more room next time and perhaps a screen to help display some of the steps.

Below you will find the linked document we mentioned in our roundtable tonight. It features some more details as well as a few steps to walk you through some of the processes. We didn’t get a chance to cover the location based services on the document, so maybe we can roll that into a discussion next time. I also added a video below from Traffic 3.0 that sums up the steps and process of setting up a page nicely.

Click here to download PDF

Great tutorial on making a Facebook Page:

If you have any additional comments, please leave us a note below or send me an email at rtbattishill@thinkmarketing.org.

Obsessed with Facebook: Statistics & Facts for 2011

It seems like just yesterday that I registered for my exclusive Facebook account for my school. In actuality, that was over 6 years ago! In that 6 years time, Facebook went from a dorm room idea to a multi-billion dollar company that has fundamentally changed the way we communicate today. The social network continues to impact the lives of others and now more than ever, help businesses foster relationships with consumers in ways that were unheard of before. The growth of Facebook has been truly astonishing, but where do they stand today?

Heres a little something extra by Alex Trimpe, a student at Columbus College of Art & Design. His piece, The World is Obsessed with Facebook, shows some interesting stats about Facebook use in 2011 and goes great with the infographic below.

The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.

Lets take a look at a beautiful infographic thanks toOnline Schools. Heres a breakdown the data. With over 500 million users, Facebook is now used by 1 in every 13 people on earth, with over 250 million of them (over 50%) who log in every day. The average user still has about 130 friends, but that should expand in 2011. 48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, with 28% doing so before even getting out of bed. The 35+ demographic is growing rapidly, now with over 30% of the entire Facebook user base. The core 18-24 year old segment is now growing the fastest at 74% year on year. Almost 72% of all US internet users are on now Facebook, while 70% of the entire user base is located outside of the US.

 

Where will the social network be 5 years from now? Or for that matter, simply a year?

Pay it forward. Introducing The RAOK Project.


Recently we were contacted by an organization looking to spread acts of kindness in other’s lives. It has always been a goal of ours to help businesses succeed and establish a strong foundation, especially those starting with nothing. In lue of the holiday season and being truly inspired by this movement, what not a better opportunity to start pro bono work for deserving non-profits. We understand that non-profits need clients just like big businesses do. An excellent website is a great way to get the word out to the public about your organization and your cause. However, we know that faced with a choice between putting money into much needed supplies and services or finally being able to start or overhaul a website, the choice is clear and the website definitely loses out. By donating our time and expertise to give you a great website, we hope to help you get the most out of yours.

The RAOK Project has one mission, “To make a difference in people’s lives. Through random acts of kindness we want to bring smiles and happiness to as many people as possible.” There will be a number of different acts committed by The RAOK Project. The main focus will be one-for-one, coined by “TOM’S Shoes.” For every shirt bought from The RAOK Project, one will be one given to an underprivileged child or person in need. From the sales of the shirts and other merchandise the company hopes to raise money to donate to other causes during the time that a series of shirts are being sold.

Check them out at the raokproject.com or check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/raokproject

It was an honor to work with them and we hope their success inspires others to perform random acts of kindness in their lives. From opening the door for someone on the street to helping a stranger stranded with a flat tire. Acts of random kindness can come in many shapes and sizes, how will you make a difference in someones life?

For those who would like to recommend an organization or business for a pro bono consultation, please send us a note at thinkmarketing.org/contact stating why they should be next.

Provided services: Branding, web design and development, e-commerce solution, merchandise design, social media

Precious Children Make Precious Preschoolers



Precious Preschoolers is an innovative, warm and nurturing child development program located in Clinton Township, Michigan. With a philosophy that play and social interaction are vital to a child’s development, Precious Preschoolers offers an age-appropriate curriculum that encourages each child to advance at their own pace. The result is a fun, exciting and educational program that allows students structure, freedom of expression, and a great opportunity to succeed. Think Marketing and Design launched the website for this program to highlight the unique education opportunity, as well as provide a platform for promotion and processes.


The Precious Preschoolers website includes capabilities such as:

  • Online enrollment
  • An event calendar
  • Online course materials
  • Newsletter
  • Electronic forms
  • Field trip information
  • and more…

Visit them today at http://precious preschoolers.com

My Foursquare Adventure: Satchel & Bullwhip Not Included

It’s only fair to actually try out a service for yourself before offering your opinion on it. So that is what I set out to do on one of the fastest growing topics in the social media world, geo-location. After reading articles on this subject, primarily focused on Foursquare and Gowala it was time to give it a try. So on Monday, April 26th the journey was started…and ready to be tracked.

Courtesy of Foursquare

I decided to go with Foursquare primarily being the larger of the two (based on an article I found on mashable.com). Setup was simple (since we have short attention spans) with entering basic user info and connecting through FB or Twitter. The program set itself up to recognize which of my friends were already using the application (a whole 4 of my 302 friends, just recognized the influencers in my peer network!). Then it had me invite up to four other friends if I felt it was necessary, so I did. Once my profiles were synched together (FB, Twitter and LinkedIN) I was ready to start. Well once I decided to leave the house.

It was only fair to document my Foursquare usage to properly give my opinion on it. The one glaring point is that I am a boring person that really does nothing important (besides work/gym) during the weekdays. It wasn’t until Saturday and Sunday, that I got to use Foursquare for its true potential; to let my three friends who use the program (and all the FB friends-until I turned that feature off) my exact whereabouts for a point in time. I have to admit I can see how it can become rather addicting since it turns the most mundane tasks into a much needed trip. I was unlocking new destinations left and right, mostly because I was not visiting your normal hangouts for the program’s base demographic.

I’m still waiting to see the true marketing potential, such as geolocation coupons and deals, but I also need to get out more…The journey continues