5 signs you might have jumped into social media too soon.

5 signs you might have jumped into social media too soon.

When it became obvious that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn would be useful for business as well as for sharing funny cat videos and updates on weekend activities, we all dove right in.  Did you jump too soon? Here are some signs that you might have. 1. I’m drowning. So many places to post, and they all work differently. What should go on Facebook? What works best on Twitter? What the heck is GooglePlus? How come that video link doesn’t work? The boss wants me to “put everybody on LinkedIn.” My pictures are too big.  Help! 2. Some days, it’s just too shallow. No ideas. Nothing to write about. Need to do an email newsletter and a blog post, not to mention that old-school brochure staring at me from the corner of my desk. Total writer’s block. Maybe I’ll just post pictures of my dog. 3. The pool seems crowded. Somebody got the great Twitter handle I wanted, and the special Facebook URL, too!  Grrr. 4. There’s nobody around. Didn’t put social sharing links on my e-newsletter or my website, or links to my website on my social media posts, so nobody visits. Hello? 5. I’m treading water. The Facebook page I set up is just sitting there, and I haven’t written a blog post in six months. Help! It’s time to review your social media activities and come up with a social media plan for the new year that is strategic and supports your other communications....

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When it comes to social media, a steady drip beats a fire hose.

When it comes to social media, a steady drip beats a fire hose.

You check Facebook or Twitter, and BAM!  Some guy has made ten posts in fifteen minutes.  Or one of your friends has stayed up all night finding videos on YouTube and gifting you with a dozen of those to enjoy with your morning coffee.  So you scroll, scroll, scroll past all that just to escape the torrent of information.  Maybe you unfollow, unfriend or unsubscribe. I once suggested to a “social media guru” that maybe he’d want to space out those tweets a bit, to which he answered, “You just need to follow more people.”  Right.  So I can be barraged by other self-styled experts, most of whom aren’t creating any original content of their own but are simply reposting “cool” stuff they’ve found. Unleashing a fire hose of information is counter-productive.  Be considerate with the timing of your posts.  Feel free to share this one, of...

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Is your website content up-to-date?

Is your website content up-to-date?

Recently Google made changes to its search engine algorithm to reward websites for “freshness.” That means Google is looking harder at how often a website’s content is updated, in order to return the most relevant information for information seekers. Are your competitors updating their sites more often than you update yours? Creating new, fresh and compelling website content can seem like a daunting task, but the information your website visitors need is all around you. It just needs to be gathered, polished up a bit, and loaded to the site regularly. The first step is making a list of the types of information your customers–and potential customers–want to know…not the same as what you want them to know. Is it time to update your...

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This logo makes my head hurt.

This logo makes my head hurt.

The new logo for Brand USA, an organization that promotes travel to the United States, looks a wee bit like an eye test or perhaps a cross-stitch pattern designed by a slightly tipsy crafter.  What it doesn’t look is American.  It doesn’t impart any values or personality of the country; there’s nothing you can hang your hat on.  It’s not likely to make the rest of the world reach for their passports. What do you think of the...

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How much should a logo cost?

How much should a logo cost?

How much did you pay for your house, including the landscaping, paint and other curb appeal that welcomes visitors?  How much do you pay for haircuts, make-up, and facials to make yourself look nice?  How about clothes and jewelry?  What about the car you drive…whether it’s a minivan to get the kids to soccer practice or a two-seater to impress the ladies, it gives the world an idea of who you are.  These things are part of the infrastructure of your life.  What are those things worth to you, and what percentage of your income do you spend on them? Your logo is the public face of your business.  It’s the first impression, which is often the only impression.  It lets people know the personality of the business – who and what it really is – and helps them decide if they want to interact with it.  How much is that worth to you? Many years ago, I attended a design conference in Chicago, led by designer who had been cutting-edge back in the 1960s and 1970s.  A nationally known retailer hired him to do a new brand…logo, packaging, the lot.  As he sat down to start work on the job, the mailman delivered some nifty new paper samples in bold, shiny solid colors.  He cut the paper samples out of the book, typeset the company name in white, in a widely spaced, very light sans serif face, and slapped it on shopping bags, each one a different color of the new, spiffy paper.  It took about an hour.  The client went wild over it and happily paid the designer thousands of dollars when he delivered the mock-ups to them three weeks later. The same designer was hired by a municipality to do a new logo for the town.  About 15 minutes after they called him to give him the job, he sent them the logo (which they loved) and he charged them $750…probably $2,500 in today’s dollars.  When the client got the bill, they freaked.  “How long did it take you to do that?,” they asked.  To which he replied, “Thirty years.” An experienced brand designer knows the client, knows the business, asks the right questions, and can turn out an effective branding package:  sometimes in an hour or two, sometimes after days or weeks of work. The question isn’t “How much does a logo cost?” but rather “How much is a logo worth?” What is your logo worth to you?...

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