Archive for April, 2010

Small Social Networks can be very useful.

Friday, April 30th, 2010

How important is the size of your social network? Do you have to go for the biggest numbers? One of the things we keep saying at Placemaking Group is that social media is a tool. You use it to achieve specific goals. If it’s strategically useful, then you implement it. If it isn’t, don’t waste your time, there are other tools. Max Kalehoff has written a well thought-out column today on the fact that small social groups for specific projects can be a lot more effective than large groups. Sometimes the additional complexity of a large group can be distracting from achieving your goal. It’s called Social Networks? Size Doesn’t Always Matter. Click through and read it!

Why you need a mobile version of your website.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

McRoskey Mattress realized that an increasing number of visitors were accessing using a mobile device.

This is particularly true for visitors clicking through from McRoskey’s monthly email. When accessing on their mobile phones,visitors saw small type and hard-to-read navigation (see image to the right).

To fix the problem, Placemaking Group added a mobile page to link to the featured promotion in McRoskey’s monthly email. iPhone users are automatically routed to the mobile version. Navigation is easy to see and with a quick scroll down, they can view photos and get pertinent details.

A mobile version was also made for the Contact Us page.

Read more about McRoskey Mattress Company.

Consider these 4 tips when adding mobile functionality to your website:

1. By 2013 more people will access the Internet via a mobile device than their computer. During Christmas 2009, 51% of consumers made buying decisions from mobile devices.

2. Check your website statistics. If more than 10% of your visitors are using a mobile device to access your site, determine what they are looking for and set up a mobile page that covers that information.

3. Mobile is different. Customizing content for the mobile user is more than just shrinking a website page. Mobile users want something different than computer users. They want something immediately actionable: a phone number, email address or a website search area. They don’t want to read a lot about the company or product. Keep it simple, both in content and design.

4. What works best in mobile? Special offers, coupons, a special event, new product announcement, a contact page or a search page.

To discuss adding mobile capabilities to your website, just email us.

Further reading about web development on our blog:

Subzero does Facebook right.

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I recently read a Facebook case study you might find interesting. The subject was the luxury kitchen appliance maker Sub-Zero and Wolf (same company) that are enjoying powerful results from a Facebook Page that has more than 90,000 fans since it was created in September of last year.

The company’s customer base is made up of older, affluent individuals. Its Facebook goal is not an immediate click-through sale but to focus on a smaller, exclusive audience and build passion for the product and the luxurious lifestyle Sub-Zero and Wolf customers enjoy.

Before Sub-Zero and Wolf developed its Facebook strategy, it studied Facebook’s demographics and found that users from 45-65 years of age make up about 20 percent of the social network’s population.

The company promotes its page through e-mails to customers encouraging them to join them on Facebook and Facebook ads targeted at their customers as well as their customers’ and customers’ Facebook fans. Once on Facebook, the company is finding these fans often click over to the main web sites after receiving information on new products, recipes and/or viewed or uploaded photos of Sub-Zero and Wolf kitchens.

What I find interesting is Sub-Zero and Wolf are finding new customers — not by jumping into social media but by following the basics:

  • Having clear goals and objectives
  • Doing the research to support those objectives
  • Implementing a sound strategy
  • Engaging in a conversation
  • Measuring the results

Thanks to Placemaking Group’s Sacramento PR  Vice President, Jan Burch for this post.

LinkedIn is Social Media.

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

“Can LinkedIn be considered Social Media?” Bogdan Enache, Project Manager at TELUS, asked this question.  “I know when people throw the social media term into discussions they usually refer to Tweeter and Facebook but LinkedIn with its groups and Q&As can be somewhat considered more than just a database of resumes, perhaps … the Facebook for professionals.”

LinkedIn is one of many social media tools. You have to know what you are trying to accomplish, what your goals are and who do you want to influence. Until you have those pieces of your marketing puzzle in place you can’t start implementing a plan.

LinkedIn is the social media tool for professionals who are trying to influence colleagues or prospects in a business environment. With our clients, once we know the answers to the questions listed above, if LinkedIn is an appropriate marketing tool we make sure they have a clear resume posted. That way someone who is reading your LinkedIn profile can easily understand what you do and what you’ve accomplished. Next we tell them to join groups in their field. An important additional piece of the puzzle is to answer questions in your field. That helps to establish credibility. Adding to one’s connections is also an important part of the plan. And, yes, Bogdan, it’s good to ask questions. That get’s your name out, as well!

I’ve included a few links about how to use social media from our blog. I hope this helps you!

Laura Good effectively uses social media for the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance.

How much time you should spend on Social Media.

Social Media…A Two Way Conversation.

Laura Good effectively uses social media for the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance.

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Is social media working? “We have new people coming to events all the time, people who are not members or on any of our mailing lists. All of our sectors are growing as is SARTA’s membership. We are expanding beyond the Sacramento region,” says Laura Good, director of operations for the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA).

One of Laura’s favorite stories illustrates her point. She recently tweeted about telemedicine. A CEO of a telemedicine start-up in Utah tweeted back. She and he began e-mailing. Laura introduced him to an angel investor. The angel investor put the CEO in touch with a telemedicine company in Sacramento and the two companies are now collaborating.

Laura Good is a textbook example of how to engage your company in social media. I needed to find out about SARTA. Finding SARTA’s website was no problem, but understanding the organization and its benefits to me was another matter. So I joined SARTA’s Facebook fan page and connected to SARTA on LinkedIn and Twitter. Within weeks, I became a member of SARTA, have attended numerous events, and made great connections. All because of  Laura Good.

Laura’s first involvement in social media was many years ago with MySpace, connecting with classmates for a high school reunion. Then came Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Like all nonprofits, SARTA has limited funds … which meant no staff or budget for marketing. So Laura decided to see what she could do. Many status updates, posts, discussions, connections and tweets later, Laura is an expert in this arena, keeping members (the medical, technology, business and venture capital community) engaged, and SARTA’s website refreshed and up-to-date. How much time does she spend? Laura said she tried a lot of strategies, and what works best is devoting a half hour a day to social media.

There you have it: the textbook explanation of how to engage in social media. Thanks to Placemaking Group’s Sacramento PR  Vice President, Jan Burch for this post.

Cities need to start planning on promoting themselves.

Monday, April 5th, 2010

How inviting is your town or city to attracting new businesses to move in? And how about keeping the businesses that are already located here?  As I talk with government officials, it is becoming very clear that financially-stressed municipalities have two choices for dealing with the future.

One is to cut back on services with the intent of bringing the cost of running the community down to a point where revenue will cover the cost of services.  That sounds like a fiscally valid approach.  But when they reduce the number of police on the force, cut back on firefighters and paramedics, discontinue after-school programs, and terminate senior activities, what does that do to the qualify of life?

The other approach is to actively attract business with the intent of attracting new businesses, as well as retaining the ones already there.  Doing so brings new jobs to the community.  It generates revenue from a variety of sources.  And it creates an aura of success rather than failure.

But how can you attract new business when the economy is in such terrible shape?  The first step is always to define the product.  What do you have to sell? Transportation access?  A trained workforce?  Close ties to the local community college?  Affordable housing.  Great weather?  Recreation and sports facilities?

The key is positive momentum.  Don’t wait until the economy improves.

There are always positive stories to be told.  Tell them.  Build positive images for your community now.  Generate positive stories, even if they seem insignificant.  In difficult times people respond to good news.

Take advantage of that opportunity. Thanks to Irv Hamilton, Placemaking Group’s Senior Vice President for this blog post.