Is your site’s lack of mobile readiness hurting you?

Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Marketing, Website Design | 0 comments

Is your site’s lack of mobile readiness hurting you?

How many times have you visited a website on your phone or tablet and found out it wasn’t responsive* design? You couldn’t read it easily, got frustrated, and bounced out? Given that fully half of all web pages are viewed on mobile devices, the importance of a responsive site seems painfully obvious if only from the standpoint of readability. Now there’s another reason your website should be mobile-friendly: it matters in Google search results and is about to matter a lot more. Read more about Google’s algorithm update here. How does your site stack up in mobile-friendliness? Even if you have a responsive site, Google may not see it that way. Test your site here. In addition to the mobile friendly test, the page also has helpful articles about how to make your site more mobile-friendly. Bottom line: make sure your website is responsive (you could have a stand-alone mobile site, but why?) and that Google sees it that it is mobile friendly. *rewrites itself based on the device where it is being viewed If you found this post useful, share it with your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+   Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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How much is too much on Twitter?

Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Content management, Marketing, Social Media | 0 comments

How much is too much on Twitter?

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to post too often on Twitter, it sort of depends. If you’re a celebrity with a ton of fans, nothing seems to be too much. Even for businesses, it takes being really obnoxious for people to unfollow. It’s just the nature of Twitter; the tweets wash over you in a gentle stream, easy to ignore. That’s about to change. Twitter Inc. has struck a deal with Google Inc. to make its 140-character updates more searchable online. Any marketer paying any attention at all will up the ante on Twitter. There will likely be a torrent of tweets, and those tweeters had better make sure their tweets are strategic, relevant, well-tagged and creative. As the flow increases, the odds of your tweets getting noticed (on Twitter, at least) will decrease. You can use the “spray-and-pray” technique − sheer quantity − or you can actually be interesting. Read the Bloomberg article here. How will you up your Twitter game? If you found this post useful, share it with your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+   Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site....

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The Art of Social Media: Tips for Power Users – A Review

Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Content management, Marketing, Social Media | 0 comments

The Art of Social Media: Tips for Power Users – A Review

A Review of The Art of Social Media: Tips for Power Users By Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick The promotional copy for this new book about how to do social media right claims “no fluff,” and they mean it. The Art of Social Media gets right down to business with practical direction on how to feed the content monster, repurpose your content for maximum effect, and finesse your posts from blogs to Facebook, Google+, Twitter and more. I first encountered Peg Fitzpatrick a few years ago while writing for the 12Most.com blog she co-manages. Since that time, I have seen her everywhere—and I do mean everywhere—in social media. She is one of a handful of social media professionals I follow closely and absolutely trust. Guy Kawasaki, formerly of a little outfit called Apple, is the chief evangelist of Canva. Together, there isn’t much they don’t know about social media and content marketing. The terms “evangelist” and “guru” are so overused that they have actually become objects of derision by professional marketers, and deservedly so. Those labels don’t apply here, because they have overtones of blind devotion to some kind of religion that is entirely about personal belief. Peg and Guy  do have followers, but they earned them by being right. If you didn’t believe before that social media is a real marketing job, you’ll believe it now. If I had any wishes at all for The Art of Social Media, they would be these: a few more paragraphs about the power of professional groups in social media, particularly on LinkedIn and on (yes) Facebook, and more detailed instructions for encouraging connections you already have to connect with you on social media. As you read this book, you’ll notice how often the importance of email is mentioned. Social media hasn’t replaced it; in fact, email supports social media efforts and helps you increase followers very directly within each platform. Also, it would be helpful to situate social media in its rightful place among other marketing communication channels like Adwords or even old-school tactics like direct mail. That might be in the sequel. The Art of Social Media should be required reading for every social media professional or for any business owner who does his or her own social media. When you buy it, buy the Kindle version; it contains a wealth of links that take you straight to information in the examples. Like all good books, the reading is easy but it gives you a ton to think about. It may not take you two hours to read the text, but buckle your seatbelt and lay in a supply of coffee because it gives you lots to do. P.S. If you’re interested in how to put together the best landing page ever, click here. Disclaimer: This amount of gushing probably makes you wonder if I work for Peg or Guy; I don’t. If you found this post useful, share it with your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+   Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772...

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What makes a great social media manager?

Posted by on January 7, 2015 in Marketing, Social Media | 0 comments

What makes a great social media manager?

Resist the urge to hand off social media (i.e. marketing) to the intern or the youngest person on staff. Because social media is just one channel in a larger communications picture, it’s too important to give to someone simply because they grew up taking selfies and typing with their thumbs. Here’s what makes a great social media manager: Curiosity. About everything – what’s going on in the world, in the office, in the industry, with customers and donors, all of it. Big-Picture Perspective. Sees social media as one spoke in the very important marketing wheel. Experience. Because social media is so public, immediate, and irretrievable, good judgment is essential. One ill-advised tweet can take you down. Strategic Thinking. Knows the organization’s long- and short-term goals and plans content accordingly. Organization. Has tools in place to curate content on strategic subjects and to stay on task. Creativity. The ability to see the possibilities, to ask “What if?” A great social media manager will find what’s interesting to the audience, or make it so. Education. Nothing will kill a company’s image faster than bad grammar and spelling. Technical Skills. A good working knowledge of HTML and CSS is helpful. PhotoShop abilities, too. Images are king. What would you add to this list? If you found this post useful, share it with your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site....

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7 signs that mobile marketing has passed you by.

Posted by on November 13, 2014 in Marketing, Online Marketing | 0 comments

7 signs that mobile marketing has passed you by.

Over half of all web pages are now viewed on mobile devices, and the number is climbing. Sure, a lot of that traffic is checking email, goofing around on social media, and taking online quizzes like “What’s your hippie name?” But it’s also serious business. People aren’t just shopping online, they are buying online, and they are doing it from their phones and tablets. According to the Salesforce 2014 Mobile Behavior Report, 85% of all respondents said that mobile devices are a central part of everyday life. If your new mantra isn’t “mobile first” in all your marketing, you are likely missing a huge chunk of potential business. Here are some signs that mobile may have passed you by: 1. Your website was built in 2009. That would mean it wasn’t built on a platform with “responsive” design, allowing your website to adjust itself to the device on which it is viewed, giving the user a good experience. For a nice example of how responsive web design works, click here. If you’re looking at this blog post on mobile…mazel tov! 2. Your emails aren’t designed for mobile first. If you use a professional email platform like MailChimp, most of them are set up with responsive design, but that doesn’t mean that your headers and graphics look well on all devices. Look at your last e-newsletter on your smart phone, and adjust. 3. You’re not looking at your Google Analytics. This is where you see exactly how much traffic is coming to your site via mobile devices. It will be about half, unless your target market is age 85 or older. Even then, their kids may be researching what you’re selling. Google gives some weight to responsive sites in search results, so if your site isn’t, you are being penalized. Read more about how to fix that. 4. Your competition cares about mobile. When someone is looking for what you do on Google and find that your competitor’s site is easier to use, where will they go? 5. You don’t use mobile for business. You may be in the half of the world that doesn’t, and that’s okay. But if you want to experience your company the way a potential customer does, you have to go see your website where they see it. Push back from the desktop. 6. You think of your website as an online brochure. Websites that are static, never offer new content, or expect visitors to visit every page in the order of navigation don’t recognize how people take in information. Nobody is going to read your long, dry mission statement or product specs. Maybe your home page is a simple call-to-action landing page. Whatever the user will skip, you should skip. 7. You hate the internet. It happens. But you are not your customer. If your prospects are looking for something that might include you, and they are doing it on their phone and tablet and they can’t instantly find what they are looking for, they will bail. Have you seen what they see? These are seven signs that mobile marketing may have passed you by. C’mon, hop in… If you found this post useful, share it with your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their...

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Public Not Lovin’ McDonalds New Ad Campaign

Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Advertising, Branding, Marketing | 0 comments

Public Not Lovin’ McDonalds New Ad Campaign

I can see the team at the ad agency, working on the new McDonald’s ad campaign. Huddled with their grande lattes, the creative team is desperately trying to figure out something they can talk about besides food.  “What’s trending right now? Somebody look at their Twitter feed.” The new guy pipes up, “Bullying!” Withering looks around the table. “What, we’re going to show Ronald McDonald on a school bus, punching the bully in the nose?” Silence. “You know, that’s not half bad. The bullying thing, I mean.” The world loves to vilify the mac-daddy of fast-food purveyors, and the company keeps serving up reasons to: #4 in unhealthiest fast food chains, according to Consumer Reports, strikes by employees whose wages are so low they can’t afford to eat there, and, for investors, lower sales and profits.  In a well-timed “60 Minutes” interview, McDonald’s CEO, Don Thompson, seemed unperturbed. “If you attack McDonald’s, you’ll get press. And so, you know, just about any and everyone will attack McDonald’s for something,” he said. I got this, says he. He also says that McDonald’s is willing to invest in their employees if the employees are willing to invest in the company. Ask employee Nick Williams if he can invest in McDonald’s. We’ll wait while you mop up the super-sized beverage you just snorted through your nose. Can advertising change the facts? Can it change public perception? McDonald’s thinks so. It will unveil its “Lovin’ Beats Hatin” campaign during the Super Bowl. And the public is already not lovin’ it. Check the Twitter hashtag #lovinbeatshatin. McDonald’s will spend $1 billion on advertising next year, which is evidently cheaper than improving its food or paying its employees a living wage. Maybe the new campaign will be so awwwww-inspiring folks will race from the television or YouTube and stampede through the golden arches for a 1,950-calorie meal* of a double cheeseburger, large fries with one ketchup packet, and a hot fudge sundae. We can’t wait for McDonalds new ad campaign. *McDonald’s calorie counts from independent source If you found this post useful, share it your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site....

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The 30-day Facebook like fast: how it went.

Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Facebook, Marketing, Social Media | 0 comments

The 30-day Facebook like fast: how it went.

In mid-August, I read a post by a blogger who decided to give up “liking” things on Facebook for two weeks; she found it to be helpful on a number of levels and felt it changed the content of her Facebook news feed. I decided to do the same experiment for 30 days, a sort of Facebook “like” fast. (I’ve never done a food diet in my life for more than 10 days, but I digress.) Why I did the Facebook like fast. Because I manage social media for clients, I’m on all the major platforms a lot, as in all of them day six days a week. Of all the major social media sites, Facebook seems to be the most pervasive, in size, scope and emotionality. LinkedIn is all business, Twitter is constant stream of short blurbs that just wash over you, Pinterest is eye-candy. But Facebook is about people, pets, politics and a whole lot more. The opportunities for toxic, gullible, infuriating and disgusting posts are rampant, and people take those opportunities. It’s a lifestyle. When people show their butts – something I’ve done myself, many times – it’s really public. And, Facebook’s algorithm magnifies the effect. What “liking” does. Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, see something you agree with, hit “like” and keep moving. No biggie, right? Wrong. That “like” causes your friends to see whatever it was. They may not want to. And, many of the lurk-and-like types – people who never actually interact with Facebook friends but “like” every dad-gum thing they see – are filling up their friends’ feeds with their stuff. All the while, they get to feel that they have fulfilled some sort of social obligation. The other thing that “liking” on Facebook does is to let Facebook know that you want more of the things you are liking. Sounds good, right? Not necessarily. If you frequently “like” articles about cute dogs, Facebook’s algorithm will also feed you posts about animal rights, including animal abuse. You may not want images of maimed and starved puppies with your morning coffee. How I did the like fast. Not being one who “likes” everything, it was relatively easy to stop hitting the “like” button for everything I actually liked. I messed up and “liked” a few things due to lack of manual dexterity, especially on my phone, but only four or five times. Each time, I felt like someone in AA who took a drink without realizing it; shame and guilt washed over me. But I got over it and stayed on the “like” wagon. Instead of “liking” things, if I actually did appreciate a post, I’d make a comment, or share it. (PS. Facebook values those activities more than “likes.”) Commenting usually started a conversation (wha?) and sharing gave real “social proof” to the post. If the shared post was for a business, that meant they were doing it right, creating content I really did feel good about passing along to friends. True engagement ensued. What I learned. The first thing I noticed is that I started paying more attention to my newsfeed, to what appeared there and to the people whose posts appeared in my feed. As a result, I got a bit (okay, a whole lot) pickier about who I chose to follow. Unfriending is...

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At Urban Outfitters, who’s minding the store?

Posted by on September 9, 2014 in Branding, Marketing | 0 comments

At Urban Outfitters, who’s minding the store?

The old saying that there’s no such thing as bad press would seem to be true in the case of Urban Outfitters. They’ve been called out for cultural insensitivity (what? you don’t like the Holocaust clothes?), promoting an unhealthy lifestyle (see “Eat Less” t-shirt), and downright swiping of artists’ designs. There’s a nice list of Urban Outfitters controversies going here. With such a string of “what were you thinking?” products, you get the impression that the UO marketing department is comprised of toddlers who have been left to fend for themselves. Urban Outfitters knows exactly what it is doing. In an era of too many choices, a retailer can sell a gazillion of just about anything, regardless of who doesn’t like it. UO has carved out a niche that appeals to the hippest among us, who pride themselves on their edginess. If East Coast liberals, or parents who actually care what their kids are up to, or grannies in Des Moines are offended, it doesn’t matter. You can’t wreck a brand like Urban Outfitters because enough people like what they do. Could UO be just as successful without ostensibly promoting getting high and drunk, and starving oneself, to kids? Maybe. But they can be successful with it, too. It doesn’t take much of a philosopher to figure out that moral and cultural relativism, selfishness and apathy will always have an audience in the world of retailing because that’s what’s in the world. UO didn’t invent those concepts, they just reflect them back. Spend ten minutes on the internet and you’ll find out there is something for everyone; what is offensive to some will make a fortune for someone else. So, Urban Outfitters will go on selling $139 vintage t-shirts of which there are only one (okay) on the de rigeur starved-looking models, 8 oz. of vinegar as a hair rinse for $18, and hats that suggest you hipsters “play dirty.” Who’s minding the store? UO is, and very well. And what are they thinking? What they want you to think. If you need any further instructions for being a hipster, click here. If you found this post useful, share it your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this...

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TinyLetter: Email Marketing for Everybody

Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Email Marketing, Marketing | 0 comments

TinyLetter: Email Marketing for Everybody

The big, professional email platforms can be daunting, and most cost $30/month and up. MailChimp has a free option, but it can be more juice than some people want. Now, there’s a solution: TinyLetter, owned by MailChimp. It’s a very simple, easy-to-use email platform that turns out a professional look and keeps the sender from being marked as spam by blasting dozens of emails out of his or her own inbox. Now, there’s just no reason not to do some email marketing for your business. Features of TinyLetter sign up in seconds simple, elegant navigation add links easily upload your list quickly send yourself a preview off it goes! shares well with social media, like this: Limitations of TinyLetter TinyLetter doesn’t offer the analytics that platforms like Emma and MailChimp do, but let’s face it: most folks aren’t going to spend a tone of time analyzing the stats. If you have a good list of people with whom you have a relationship, and you give a clear and easy way to respond, you’ll know if it’s working. I got an order for my little art business within two minutes of sending out a TinyLetter flight, so the 15 minutes it took me to sign up, write it, and upload my list was certainly worth it. Those are all the stats I needed. A bigger limitation is that TinyLetter doesn’t host images. That means you can’t just insert an image directly into the post; you have to host it elsewhere online. If you don’t have a website where you can park images, you can upload them to TinyPic, Photobucket, or Flickr. That creates a URL you can copy into the image box in TinyLetter. If you keep all your images on Facebook (not a great idea, but it happens), you can right-click on an image and grab the URL to put into TinyLetter. Last but probably least, TinyLetter doesn’t have a scheduling feature, so you’ll need to sit down to your computer to send off an email at the best time for your readers. Try it, and paste the link to your first flight in the comments, and we’ll give you a free critique. Go tiny or go home. If you found this post useful, share it your audience. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the best it can be. Call us today at 615.829.0772 or click here to send an email. Copyright Notice: The contents of this site are copyrighted by Lucid Marketing, all rights reserved. Republication by permission only, with a link back and the source of the republication clearly noted. Excerpts, commentary, and fair use applications should be accompanied by a link back to the original content on this site.    ...

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Facebook to page managers: no more click-baiting.

Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Facebook, Marketing, Social Media | 0 comments

Facebook to page managers: no more click-baiting.

There’s been a little tempest in a teapot the last few days over an announcement by Facebook that it is changing the priority it gives to certain kinds of posts in the news feed for users. Zuckerberg and Friends has decided that big photos with shortlinks to websites constitutes click-baiting; sometimes it does. So, it is giving less priority in its algorithm* to those kinds of “made you look” posts. The chatter among social media mavens is that Facebook’s announcement is as clear as mud, so let’s break it down a little bit.   What does Facebook mean by click-baiting in this case? Here’s an example. Instead of copying the URL from the link where this content appears, the page posted a large photo with a shortlink: It looks nice and clean, but Facebook spank. Now let’s look at one done the way Facebook prefers. In this case, the page copied the URL from an article found elsewhere on the web and pasted it into a status, which brought up this nice preview that gives a bit of a clue as to what the article is actually about: (Note that the page thoughtfully removed the long, hairy URL before actually posting.) So what’s the big deal? The good, the bad, the ugly, and the creepy. Facebook says that they are trying to cut down on link-baiting and I believe them. How many times have you been suckered into clicking on a photo that takes you to something that is spammy? So, that’s the good part of this. This move encourages pages to create high-quality content on their own websites, which they should be doing anyway. Now for the bad part: some websites don’t fetch up (or even have) attractive imagery to send to Facebook with a link. Some social media managers, including yours truly, have worked around that by snagging the image that goes with the post — or, if there is no image, finding one — and pasting an attractive shortlink with it. The shortlink still leads to quality content, it just looks better. Time to stop that. If your website doesn’t send over great-looking images with its links, time to get a better website. Otherwise, when people post links to it, those posts will be ugly and they probably will simply choose to post something else. Also, be very careful what words you use for your meta-data (what Google sees) if that becomes the headline to the preview. Now for the creepy part. Facebook will also monitor how much time people spend at the other website, the one linked to in the Facebook post. Read that again. That’s right. Facebook knows how much time you spend at the other website. So, if you click on a post that sends you to an article you like, go make a sandwich before you read it. *For the 4 millionth time, fans don’t see every post; neither do your friends. If you found this post clearer than Facebook’s announcement, share it widely. Kim Phillips is a marketer, artist and teacher who helps companies of all sizes reach their audiences with creative branding, social media, websites, content management, email marketing, and direct mail. She is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Contact Me | Facebook | Twitter @LucidKim | LinkedIn  | Google+     this post Lucid Marketing can help you make your marketing the...

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