Blog

NoFollow = NoCommunity

Sharing handsCustomer-centric

Community-a-holic

People-person

So many trendy titles, but the bottom line is do you care about people? Whether you “get” something from them or not?

Somewhere along the line I have almost grown a chip on my shoulder over businesses that don’t make their clients a priority. The lack of good, old-fashion service has been lost. It’s in the little things, really. That’s what makes the clients smile and feel just a bit more loyal to you.

At Boundless we try to focus on the little things that make a difference. Even something as small as turning off the nofollow attributes to this blog.

It became the norm to have nofollow as a part of your blogs makeup to put the kibosh on so many spammers trying to get linky love. Akismet has done a fabulous job on staying on top of it so we are turning the nofollow attributes off. We want to encourage discussion here and giving some Google love  never hurt anyone! 😉

I look forward to chatting with you all on here, Facebook or Twitter!

 

Photo credit

Social Media Myths

Marketing StrategyThere is a lot of bad information out there and just as many assumptions. I’m floored what social media “experts” are sharing with clients.  I somehow feel compelled to take them under my wing and lead them to the light…so to speak.

I’ve highlighted some of the most misunderstood aspects of using social media in business:

1. It’s free! While a lot of the tools are free, the act of engaging various social media platforms is time-intensive. This is not just a one-time campaign…it’s a process that should become another foundational part of your marketing strategy.

2. I don’t need it. You’re right…if you want your company to grow stagnant. There are plenty of other businesses that want to build a relationship with your customers through social media. Are you willing to give them up?

3. Once it’s set up, I’m good to go.  See #1. An inactive social media account is a dead social media account.

4. This is another great way to sell my product. Yes and no. What social media is not: big billboard in the sky for ads, megaphone for yelling deals, replacement for email marketing. What social media is: a great way to service your customers, listening devices to hear what is being said about your company, engagement tools.

5. I still think that Social Media is just a fad.

Facebook: launched February, 2004
Twitter: launched July, 2006
LinkedIn: launched May, 2003
YouTube: launched November, 2005

Most fads don’t last 5 years or longer.  Those are just some of the top social media sites.

If you’re not ready to jump in with both feet, I would suggest at least listening to what is being said about your company within social media realms. In 2011, your company’s reputation depends upon it.

iPad Hints and Tips

I am an iPad fanatic. There isn’t much I can’t do on an iPad that someone else can do with a laptop. Lately, I’ve been getting some of the same questions about iPad functionality that are definitely post-worthy.

1. Did you know you can take a screenshot of your iPad? Clicking the home (large button at the lower part of your screen) and sleep (top edge) button at the same time will give you a screenshot. You’ll know it ‘took’ when it gives a slight flash to the screen. It saves the pic in Photos for easy transition to a computer.

2.  I’m an app junkie. Organizing my apps into groups is the only thing keeping me sane. Most people know that if you hold your finger on an app it will allow you to move it from screen to screen.  If you grab the app and hover it over another app, it will group the two together. I have groups for Business, Organized, News, etc. Makes it super organized! (Kudos to my buddy, Kevin, for showing me this one!)

3. Keyboard shortcuts are a must. There are a lot of shortcuts that you can find online. Some of the ones I use the most are:

  • By double spacing at the end of the sentence, iPad will automatically add a period, space and capitalize the first letter to your next word.
  • When you’re using the built-in keyboard on the iPad, apostrophes can get cumbersome. Most of the time, you can leave the apostrophe out and auto-correct will fill in the blanks for you. When that function isn’t available, hold your finger on the !/’ key and the apostrophe will come up so you don’t have to go to the number screen to get it. (Most of the symbol keys have extra keys available if you hold that key down.)
  • On that note: keeping tweets down to minimal characters can be challenging when you’re a ellipsis user. (Guilty!) If you hold your finger on the period (number screen), on the iPad built-in keyboard, it will highlight an ellipsis key which only counts for one character vs. three.

    What must-have shortcuts do you use on your iPad?

     

    QR Codes – Don’t Forget Your Basics

    What’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive?

    It’s not SuperMan…it’s Digital Media!

    Everywhere you go people are scrambling to stay on top of the latest app, WordPress plugin (Jetpack!), or greatest marketing strategy.

    Unfortunately that means people are jumping in feet first and finding themselves up to their knees in digital quicksand. As simple as this list is, it’s worth keeping in mind as you research whether using QR codes is for you:

    1. Who is your audience? You will have a better success rate on your ROE (Return On Engagement) if you target a particular group of people. Don’t go so broad on your scope of reach. You want it scalable.

    2. What is your call of action? Don’t just put up a QR Code in your latest e-blast just to say you’ve done it. Give your call of action some meat. Instead of asking your audience to scan the code and check out your site, send them to a page that is a current campaign. When the campaign has reached it’s goal, that code can still be used for potential clients.

    3. Where are you putting the QR codes? If you put it on a t-shirt people will have trouble scanning it because of the material. If you’re putting it on a slide, make sure the screen is flat and not an old fashion pull down – it can distort your code. Hint: using a URL shortener will allow a visually smaller code. Extra Hint: Please test the code before you make it live.

    4. When should you use a QR code? Remember using a QR code is just another way to reach out to your audience and entice them to come to you. It’s a resource. Use them for campaigns, business cards, presentations, expo events, parties, etc. Be creative and fun!

    5. Why should you add QR codes to your strategy? According to IDC, the growth of smartphone usage is expected to increase by 49.2% during 2011. There are stats upon stats that are staggering when it comes to potentional customers using smartphones like laptops.  So do you want to reach them where they’re at or not? 😉

    I love hearing all the various ways that companies are starting to use QR codes. I’ve heard Real Estate firms that are putting them on the For Sale signs on properties. Clothing stores are encouraging their customers to scan in-store to save a percentage that day. Restaurants are are doing the same. I encourage you to be creative to stand out and get noticed!

     

    Successful Blog Post Formula

    Writing is My Hobby A well written post will bring the reader to the end of the post. There are so many styles of writing to choose from: creative, educational, journalistic. The list can go on and on. Whichever style suits you best can still incorporate the foundation that is proven to be successful: Hook, book, look and took.

    HOOK: Catch the reader’s interest with a brief story or shocking statement (“After last week, our company will never be the same.”)

    BOOK: State your key point with details (“There are several reasons why Company XYZ isn’t ready for social media. The first one being…”)

    LOOK: Present the overall idea with practical applications and tips (“Here are 5 steps on how to serve your company better.”)

    TOOK: Close with an action statement. Challenge them with the wrap up. (“Successful customer service starts from the top down. C-suites, does your employees know what customer service means to you? And is that part of the problem?”)

    When you leave just one of these out, the post tends to feel incomplete even if the information is outstanding and helpful. There are many bloggers that have this formula down pat: Tamara and Amber from Brass Tack Thinking and Margie Clayman are just a few.

    Try it for a few posts and see how it works for you. I think you’ll be much more satisfied with your writing.

    Photo credit

    Cowboys were the First Social Media Thinkers

    Cow I home-school my oldest son, who is in 5th grade. Right now, he is reading Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series for his reading section. This series is based on true facts of how the west was won. They were strong men that knew to survive out west they needed to approach their way of life a bit different.What they’ve known to always work was no longer the case. They needed to step outside the comfortable ‘known’ and relearn a new approach.

    1. The traditional way of handling their cattle wasn’t going to work…the terrain was very different. Social Media marketing is nothing like traditional marketing. The traditional approach almost always has the formula of A+B=C. With new media, you have to feel out the terrain at that moment. Your mental finger has to be on the pulse all the time in case the winds change.

    2. Cattle farmers had to be ready to withstand a long haul over time. The trends in SM are changing constantly and fast. Just about the time you think you’ve figured it all out, you’re wrong. Your customers might think Twitter is a waste of time one month and the next, they’re all over it.

    3. Cowboys who owned a ranch were usually ethical and hard working. They gave kudos when appropriate and used teachable moments when needed. In SM, everything is out in the open. You can’t sneeze sideways without everyone knowing about it. When you’re ethical and giving, you’re known for it. When you’re not…you’re also known for it. I love the 30/60/30 formula – 30% for listening, 60% for engaging and 30% for writing about your self/company. This formula tends to keep you honest and giving.

    History repeats itself. Usually it’s the mental or emotional approach that causes this, so why not repeat this in social media. Learning a new tactic can always be useful. I’m sure you could think of other people/leaders in history that would fit this.

    Photo credit

    The Art of Retweeting

    Retweeting on TwitterI have seen countless retweets (where you resend someone else’s tweet) that left me puzzled. Why did they retweet it? Did they think it was funny? Horrible? Do they agree? Disagree?

    Since Twitter is meant to be a social communication venue, I figured I would throw out the steps for a good retweet:

    1. Shorthand. Most savvy Tweeters know to use about 120 characters instead of the maximum 140. This way it makes it easier for others to retweet them. However, if you want to retweet a lengthy tweet, by all means shorten it.  You have to think like a teenager in texting mode.

    (If you have a little problem with this, NetLingo helps with all the texting lingo needed.
    Although I must ask…WHO COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF?! Who decided that 143 means ‘I love you’?)

    But don’t go crazy. Normal people need to understand what you’re saying.

    2. Your 2 cents. There is obviously a reason why you’re retweeting…so state it.

    Great thoughts…I highly rec to read

    Great picture! What equip was used?

    +1 (<- really short response but very cool)

    3. Use sparingly. Retweets are a great way of tweeting out something fast…and totally appropriate. However, if someone checks out your Twitter stream and it’s filled with nothing by RTs, it appears you don’t have a mind of your own. Shake it up! If you read a post that you dig, Tweet about it in first person vs. a retweet from someone else or send a tweet to the author commenting + a link to the post.

    I hope this helps. I think so many people get caught up in the dos and don’ts they forget the basics: it’s communicating with people.

    Photo credit

    Rights vs. Service

    Shaking handsThe full-serve marketing field can be a cut throat world. It’s full of marketers trying to pee on their bush and make their customers loyal through threats. I’ve heard countless firms say, “I’ve done so many things for these companies, they owe me.” Or even wondering where the “thank you’s” are at. Our industry is no better than any other. Marketers should be in the business of servicing the crap out their clients. If you’re that good, then your prices should show it. If you’re going to advertise that you know how to give a certain kind of service (ie: social media) then by golly, you better knock it out of the park.

    Unfortunately, “service” has turned into an overused word that has become lost in the power shuffle. During an economy where new customers were hard to find, we knew that keeping the clients we had demanded incredible service. Now that the economy is starting to turn and new customers are coming back, what happened to that great service?

    Have you called up a client just to see how they were doing? Not to see if you could sell them something.

    What about going above and beyond that retainer? Just because…

    WOM is a cinch if you just do the job you promised when you wooed that client in the beginning.

    Speaking of rights…your client also has that right to walk away from you and they will if you don’t make them your company’s priority.  Be pro-active and have systems in place to hand-hold your current clients. Whether you truly believe in karma or not: what goes around, comes around. It will always be worth the effort if your systems are running smooth and you treat your employees and clients like gold.

    Photo credit: Mel B.

    Controlling your News Feed on Facebook

    I love what Facebook can do for businesses. But it boggles me why they would limit the updates you see on this social platform. If you’ve noticed recently that you don’t see as many updates from some of your friends or pages, it’s because of the default settings Facebook has set for your News Feed. The default shows only those that you interact with often. This doesn’t help if you’re following a page that you get good info from but don’t necessarily interact with. Thankfully it’s easy as 1-2-3 to change that.

    1.  Go to your Home Page and scroll all the way to the bottom of the status updates/posts. You should see this:

    2. Click on the Edit Options Link. That will bring up this window:

    3. Click on the dropdown menu under ‘Show posts from’ and choose All of your Friends and Pages.

    Done

    Please be sure to share this with others so we all get a chance to stay on top of the latest news from our friends and favorite businesses!

    Enhanced by Zemanta
    Page 4 of 41234