Stay in Control of Your Online Assets


These days, there’s an awful lot of you out there.

Your message has grown beyond the website, beyond the content you approve and produce. Your company name now lives on new media such as Facebook, Twitter, and your blog. But it doesn’t end there—there are vehicles in place to spread the reach and awareness of you through a variety of new vectors, such as discussions of your services on forums, postings on customer review sites, YouTube videos, and the list goes on. This is a good thing because your brand can grow along with your business without overwhelming effort on your part. This is a bad thing because once the message gets out of your control, it could damage your reputation.

The first step to controlling your content is to get to these sites first. The more presence you have in specific Internet locales, the easier it is to monitor and produce content of your own. For instance, by starting a YouTube site of your own, your company can produce and release videos that promote your brand—instead of the only entry on that site being an unmoderated opinion of your organization. Likewise, produce dynamic content, such as the aforementioned blog, so customers have a forum of their own to ask questions and correspond with you. Otherwise, your proactive customers could take things into their own hands—a detriment to companies wishing to delete or modify objectionable material.

As in all things online, it isn’t a matter of large investment, it’s a matter of time and resource investment. By starting out with a proactive approach, you’re securing room to grow and take advantage of the online world, while keeping your brand neat and orderly. Smart move.

Signing off for now,

Buyer Advertising

3 No-No’s for Social Media


Establishing a foothold in social media represents a big investment for your company—not because doing so is overly complicated or expensive, but because it takes a lot of time to maintain your presence. In terms of man-hours, you’ll need to set up appropriately-branded Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, and organize a schedule for regular updates. Before you get started, here are a few common items of misuse and abuse. Avoid the following at all cost!

Letting things languish. You can’t count the number of corporate Facebook sites that lie fallow, unproductive for the company that created it. You’ll want to update regularly to reap the benefits: increased exposure for SEO and a dialog between you and your customers. On the flip-side, you don’t want to be posting every few hours, either—nothing sends fans running away faster than spamming their news feeds with clutter. Aim for updating a few times a week.

Being predictable. When you’re updating your new media sites, remember that you’re talking to people, not to consumers. Speak in a language that a real person would enjoy reading, and entertain rather than preach. Come off too advertise-y, and people are sure to click away.

Not posting job opportunities. Facebook and Twitter is personal, and there aren’t a lot of things more personal than your career. Posting your openings is a great way to draw on a pool of non-conventional applicants. Of course, there’s a big reason you may not be posting career openings in the first place: you have a dedicated Facebook site specifically for that purpose.

No matter how you go about using new media, getting yourself out there puts you ahead of the competition, and pushes you in the right direction to more customers and greater interest from the population at large. Good luck!
Signing off for now,
Buyer Advertising

Earning “Likes” on Facebook Is About Knowing Your Audience.


Not too long ago, CNN posted an article describing the effect of Facebook followers and businesses. You can read it here, if that’s what you’re after: But the long and short of it is that “liking a page” (the new “become a fan” of organizations) is big business. Over a billion “likes” have gone out since April of 2010. What’s more, the gurus behind Facebook also offer some interesting insight into the types of people that follow interests, groups, and yes, companies.

The key for the any-size business looking to build an online following is to target the appropriate demographic. Most interestingly, per the Facebook developers, the typical person who “likes” organizations has over twice the number of friends than the average Facebook user. These are the folks who utilize Facebook as a hobby, and not simply as a networking tool. They willingly spend their free time on Facebook, which means that to earn their interest, you need to pay out in terms of entertainment value. Provide links and talk about your business, but do so in a way that’s interesting, engaging, and for goodness sakes, write about things people want to actually read! There’s no captive audience when it comes to social media.

Another key demographic you’ll want to court is the to 25-39 age range. Why? The average Facebook “liker” is aged 34. That means no matter what your typical customer base is comprised of, spend some time preparing content that’s of value people who fit in this range. Above all else, be proactive about your social media strategy, and entertain while illustrating your services.

Until next time,

Striking Back Against Facebook Spam


Once a ripe garden of opportunity, Facebook has become a haven for spammers who would cloud your walls with offers of weight loss products, cheap online colleges, and, ahem, various pills and medicines for those of the male persuasion. And with some clever solicitors enjoying social media conversion rates as high as 47%, it’s no wonder they’re camping your site and peddling their electronic wares. Don’t let it happen! Here are a couple of tips to keep your messages clear and you boards spam free.

Should you encounter an advertisement on your company’s Facebook wall, the important thing is to take immediate action. You could simply delete the message from your wall, but many spammers will test a site’s responsiveness with a single message before unleashing a wave of spam that could clutter things up. Even a few hours exposure can be effective for a spammer—not to mention the possibility of “friending” your fan base for some one-on-one spamming at a later date. Block the user. Facebook makes it simple under your company’s account preferences.

A distant, much more virulent relative to Facebook spam, solicitations using your blog as a platform have become rampant. Typically, a poster will address a theme in your article before listing a service with associated website, but many don’t even take the time to include that level of detail. On an unmoderated blog, this can get out of hand—fast. One sure-fire solution is to turn on moderation, and only allow comments that an administer approves his or herself. If you’re on WordPress, spend some time learning about plug-ins that allow you to block commentors by IP, shrugging off habitual spammers and sending them back to the untamed, unnoticed wilds of the Internet where they belong.

Thanks for reading,
Buyer Advertising

Augmented Reality Advertising—and Your Business


With constant updates and new releases of mobile devices such as the iPhone and the growing popularity of the Droid smart phone, augmented reality advertising is becoming more prevalent—and more immediately, more profitable. A wide range of real-world navigation applications make it possible. But what does it look like? How does it work?

It starts with something as simple as a map, or a real-world representation of an environment. It can be as simple as a Google map overlay, or as complicated as the iPhone’s new series of apps that allow a user to hold up their device in a physical space to receive real-time information on their screens. Advertising enters the picture as interspersed messages alongside data. Think of a customer, holding her phone up to a restaurant to read the menu—and receiving that restaurant’s pitch at the same time. And a coupon. And a link to their website.

Of course, like any emerging technology, there are drawbacks. As it stands now, augmented reality advertising is almost exclusively the domain of brick and mortar shops. To work, there has to be a physical location that a customer either has already traveled to, or who knows enough about the terrain that they can find it on a map. But as virtual reality becomes more actual, expect to see augmented reality solutions and even new outlets for your brand, your message, and your marketing.

Entertainment Meets Advertising: A Love Story


Fusions give rise to terrific innovation and success: just look at peanut M&M’s, cockerpoos, and the smoothie. Today, the latest combination that’s stirring things up in the social media world is mixing games and advertising venues. Mobile media is making it all possible.

MyTown, a game for your iPhone, lets you scan barcodes of stuff you having lying around your house in order to to build up your player score and obtain titles such as “The King of Rum” (for owning the most rum-related paraphernalia, of course). You share your rankings with friends for fame and bragging rights. The marketer’s swing on this, of course, is integrating special offers into the application itself. The guts of the software tracks the amount and types of the items you own, shares that information with participating companies. From there, based off of your own profile, companies craft marketing plans targeted for individual players. Today, 3.1 million users are already scanning to their hearts’ content.

It’s important to keep up with these trends. As younger consumers grow up hard-wired into social media and applications such as these, ignoring new media means opportunity lost. Instead, take stock of what mobile marketing, games, and new applications can do for your business, and play the game to win.

Until next time,

Make Way for Mobile Recruitment


It’s more than Facebook: the upcoming trend known as mobile recruitment allows both you and employees-to-be access to send and receive information about job openings. Simply stated, mobile recruitment uses mobile phone technology to update a variety of social networks and involve potential recruits in a much more personal way, including the ability to ask and receive answers of their own.

One essential element of mobile recruitment is the job seekers’ ability to learn about your company. Smart phone technology is a must. Oftentimes, mobile job recruiters will advertise open positions, and include a link or a way to access special, mobile-optimized landing sites where they can learn about the position in detail through prose, pictures, and multi-media.

Another role mobile recruitment satisfies is the desire for affordability. Instead of job boards, billboards, and costly—through expansive—campaigns, reaching out and responding using mobile devices is an effective, soft-spoken way to reach results. Through mobile technology, recruiters are already seeing results at a much lower cost-per-hire. Get involved!
Until next time,

Beyond the Job Board


It was the 20th century, and job boards were all the rage. Sites like sprung into being, linking beleaguered career-seekers with more opportunities than the classified section of their Sunday newspaper could provide. Since then, aggregators and site scrappers have snagged and deposited job listings and descriptions in centralized locations site for complete ease of access.

Of course, times change. What seemed like the pinnacle of online recruitment is changing as employees-to-be spend less time on traditional websites, and more time on social networking webpages.

Facebook remains the go-to source for social networking, and combined with the raw mass of human beings logging in every day, and excellent way to talk about jobs. And that’s the trick with social media: it isn’t simply listing positions your company needs to fill—it’s just as important to start a dialog with people. Friends recommending friends for open positions. Answering questions about your work environment. Sites like Twitter offer quick, popcorn glimpses into your workplace, while LinkedIn perfects the art of connecting people with positions in a way that’s more personal than “click-n-apply”.

The switch to social media is exciting, but it can also be confusing. Sometimes it takes months to plan the right strategy. Agencies like Buyer Advertising help.

Mobile Coupons Are Here


These days, it seems like everything is going online. Advertising campaigns, genealogy trees, even farming (we’re looking at you, Facebook). And now: coupons. Designed for touch-enabled smartphones like the Droid and iPhone, mobile coupons work work at the app level by displaying a coupon with a specific code that can be either scanned or entered into an online ordering system. And if the coupon out of date or expired? Too bad—it won’t display anymore.

Mobile coupons seem like a cute idea, but they make a lot of sense, too. It brings chronic coupon clippers up to date with new technology, and leads the bargain-savvy into logging on daily for the latest deals—meaning you’ve got an audience just itching to learn about your products. Mobile coupons are green, too. No paper needed.

Of course, there’s a ways to go before you can shelf your zip-lock bag full of Shaw’s coupons. You won’t find many storefronts (especially in mom and pop operations) that are happy to accept a coupon in the form of a picture on your phone. But the technology is both catchy and catching on: two ingredients needed for future growth. Keep an ear to the rails (and your hand on your smartphone).

Are You a Good Brand Steward?


It’s a war of two worlds: the flash, fun, and razzle-dazzle of your brand and its advertisements, versus the reality of workers within the walls of your business. While the big players of a company can plan out a fantastic marketing campaign, oftentimes it takes longer for the employees themselves to catch up with the hype (if they ever do at all). When employee engagement lags behind, opportunities are lost.

There’s the story of a customer who wrote an email to the makers of Axe Body Spray with the single subject line, “HELP!” followed by an energetic, creative appeal. Apparently, this ppor soul had used their product, and just like Axe’s commercials, had been immediately accosted by hordes of lustful women. Instead of rolling her eyes and hitting “delete”, the rep at Axe HQ responded to this gentleman’s message instead played along, offering suggestions over the course of several emails such as where the hunted homme could hide out, and how to scrub off man musk off his body in the most effective way possible. At the end of the parlay, the rep wished the customer well and sent along a gift basket … as well as asking for his phone number. The quick-witted and engaged employee played into Axe’s brand strength—and likely earned themselves a customer for life.

Take the time to build brand appeal not just for customers, but for your employee base themselves. When your brand becomes a vessel for your promotions and lives in the minds of your employees, magic happens.