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Should brands trust social media platforms and other suppliers?

Should brands trust social media platforms and other suppliers?

TrustWe all know that brands are switching on to social media in a big way but with the latest problems that can and have beset these platforms lately are they the safe bet we think they are?

As we all know not so long ago some people and businesses awoke to find their Twitter accounts empty, no followers and no tweets. Now in the grand scheme of things this isn’t the worst thing that can happen but let’s face it if you have spent time building up your list of followers and nurturing potential clients then this can be terrible blow. For Twitter it was only a matter of hours before the problem was rectified but it was a problem for some none the less.

We had a similar problem in our neck of the woods with our major broadband and telephone supplier being ‘off line’ for the best part of 48 hours which caused some of us major problems, I am lucky that if I have to I can work from home but I don’t know about you but for me it’s a different ‘vibe’ working from home and I really like the office environment and not to be there was somehow unsettling.

So with all this power, knowledge and our ‘lives’ in their control should we trust and put our faith in them on a daily basis and more importantly do we have a choice? A while back a client said “what will we ever do if Google decide to charge for all their services”? A puzzling and thought provoking question if ever there was one, what would we all do?

I have a little netbook which I find invaluable, I am writing this post on it, and I use it as a diary and I can carry it with me in my bag, but I do back it up, I find Dropbox [link to site] a god send, give it a try if you haven’t already. This goes with me everywhere, but then again I am trusting my documents to Dropbox [link to site], and an external hard drive, that when I switch on my netbook everything will function as it should. It is astonishing how many people sit and stare at the machine for a few moments when something happens that we don’t expect.

So what do you think are we placing too much faith in on line suppliers and platforms and do we have a choice, I am sure this will rumble on for a while yet, maybe even for ever and as in my last post should we expect everything for free? [link to post]

photo credit: Kid Mercury

Social Media, Content, Advertising and the future?

Social Media, Content, Advertising and the future?

Looking over the big three, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn it’s really surprising just how many adverts, and I don’t mean paid for advertising, are starting to creep in.

Do you want to buy this and have you heard of that it’s not worrying at the moment but I have to say it’s not the direction I thought it would take. Now don’t get me wrong I have a business, as do most of my friends on the big three, but I always advocate that you restrict the “we sell the best widgets” approach to a minimum and the reason for this is that most people don’t want the ‘hard sell’ or do they maybe that’s the way all this will go and become one big advertising space?

I worked in the newspaper industry for a number of years and advertising was, quite rightly, at the top of the agenda at nearly every senior managers meeting as that brought in the pennies but are they getting it right now as the world changes? I can understand small business using social media to promote their business as its fast and cheap and they, for this reason, can be forgiven in the current climate.

Looking at websites as they currently stand I read a quite interesting piece over the weekend, [ link to site ] and where it was more biased towards website design and its future it got me thinking about how we use content and how it will change in the future.

Now following on from the article I think there is a place, and always will be, for good layout and design but I do understand what the writer means as mobiles become mini computers they are full of different themes for the content to ‘sit in’, now that’s not such a bad thing and it has been used in web design for years but there will always be room for good website design whether its a theme or not I think the word of the future will be flexibility.

So where does this leave not just the newspaper industry but the future of advertising as a whole? Well in my opinion I think it’s a great time to be in advertising as new opportunities are everywhere. The aggregators of ‘content’ will be the major suppliers in the future and around this advertising will be wrapped. At the moment Facebook, Twitter and Google are the main global suppliers and it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon but what about specialised local ‘content’ that will always be required as people move around more now than they ever did and with them goes either a laptop, netbook or more often than not a smart phone and on them we can get just about all the information we could ever need so its up to the content aggregators to have everything in place to provide the content but it has to be provided in a pleasing and thoughtful way or it won’t work.

Let me know how you receive and consume your content and what you think the future is and how that will affect your ‘content’?

This is a rather large subject and I have lots to talk about so for now this is…’end of part one’

photo credit: Alejandrooo

Are we still on track and getting it right?

Are we still on track and getting it right?

I wrote a post a while ago asking if Cumbrian businesses were getting it right when using social networking / marketing tools? So I thought “let’s open it out to the wider world”. Has this process help you win any new business or anything you could say that all your efforts are worth it?

From my own point of view I love these new tools and will continue to use them at every opportunity but here’s a short list what I found works for me and my company:

  • I only use the tools when I have the time or something worthwhile to say.
  • I don’t let it interfere with the day to day running of the business like I did in the early days.
  • I listen a lot more, that might be because of the above?
  • I am careful who I connect with, I want quality not quantity.
  • I nurture all connections not just a few who I think will bring in work.

A short list I know but when you really think about who you connect with regularly and why then it all becomes clear why you are using these tools in the first place.

I have been spending a bit of time on Facebook recently to find out more about how it can impact not only on the business but on me personally, the results were interesting, but that’s for another post!

Anyway let me know what you think and how being part of the ‘community’ has changed you and your business?

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

It’s been a little while since my last post but things have been busy.

My good friend Mike Stuart @Lucifermyk and @j8myk named Workington’s newest Café Lounge establishment Lucifer’s, which seemed to anger some folk, not least our friend’s across the pond.

So how do you choose a name, and the right one, for your business and not cause a stir, or maybe you want to it’s up to you? It can be difficult and in Mike’s case the name really suits the café but one thing we both know it’s put the café on the map and Mike being a marketing specialist, he is a partner in Black Phase, I have a sneaking feeling he knew this might happen.

But what do you do when people offer to either save you or something a little more sinister, do you change your name or carry on regardless, my advice is to carry on and the reason for that is, like Mike, if the name suits what you do and projects the correct image for you business why should you change it.

Here are a few tips when choosing a name:

  • You may be tempted to get really creative with this, which is all very well, but it’s important to keep to your main objective.
  • What do you want to say about your business? It may be good to go for something witty, with an amusing angle, though probably not if you’re starting a serious business service.
  • Don’t choose a business name based on a current fad or trend because in 10 years no one will get or remember it.
  • Choose a business name that is memorable so that current and prospective clients and customers can remember your name to refer their friends to you.
  • Make sure that the name is easy to spell in case they have to look up your number in the phone book.
  • Don’t go geographical when naming your business. If you live in Whitehaven, you may want to avoid names like Whitehaven Electrical Appliances. You don’t want people to think that you only service Whitehaven.

Anyway that’s enough from me, let me know how you arrived at your business name?

Are Cumbrian businesses doing it?

Are Cumbrian businesses doing it?

I was thinking the other day just how many Cumbrian businesses are using Twitter, LinkedIn and maybe to a lesser extent Facebook as part of their marketing strategy?

If you are a Cumbrian based business and use social marketing / networking daily or even weekly in your business how do you find, or more importantly, measure the following:

  • Are the people who follow or connected to you brand advocators for your business or do they just follow you for followings sake with no or little interaction at all?
  • Do you follow people / businesses just to get a larger following or do you have a plan in mind to expand or strengthen your business?
  • What do you think is the greatest benefit of social marketing?

Now I know this is a broad brush and the reason for these questions is I was in Manchester a few weeks ago and talking with two guys who have their fingers on the pulse of that areas business, they said a high percentage of businesses in the area use or plan to use in the very near future social marketing as part of their marketing mix.

That got me thinking, is that the same for our area, I hope it is but then again…who knows?

I would also like to find out from anyone else is this the case in your area?

photo credtit: KMiDigital

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