Wednesday, June 27, 2012

App This, App That...Why Do I Need Apps?

Has your business explored the world of adding apps to your Facebook Page yet? If not, you might be missing out on some great marketing exposure as well as customer engagement! At Big Red Printing, we currently have 2 custom apps added to our website, one where we post this newsletter and the other where we post our monthly coupon.  

The app portion of your Facebook Page is great real estate to engage your customers, whether it is with coupons, newsletters, email sign-ups, etc. Facebook pages allow you to use up to 12 apps at one time! Some of the 12 apps that you are allowed are “mandatory” such as Photos, Likes, Events and Maps.

There are millions, well maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, of apps out there, but I am going to explore a few of my favorites. (If you want to see what they look like in action, visit our Facebook page as we utilize them on our page:

App Bistro—
This is not an app, but it is my go to destination to discover new apps. App Bistro is full of suggested apps for many different categories. They will even email you weekly to tell you what apps they think you might be interested in based on your favorites.

Issuu-—issuu.comIssuu is an app that lets you publish and share your publications for free and embed them on websites, blogs, and social networks. This is a great place to store PDF documents and then use the code that issuu creates to embed on your Facebook Page. We use the Issuu app to post this newsletter on our page. 

Woobox is an awesome app that lets you create a wide variety of interactive things to add to your website such as: coupons, sweepstakes, polls, custom facebook tabs, photo contests, instant win games, Pinterest tabs, and Twitter tabs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why Video Marketing Makes Sense

Video marketing is one of the newest trends in the mix of marketing channels. Since 2007, the number of hours of video that are uploaded every minute has jumped from 8 hours to 48 hours (see the figure on the right). So why all the excitement about video?

1 word ­— YouTube: A video sharing service that allows users to watch videos posted by other users and upload videos of their own. The slogan of the YouTube website is “Broadcast Yourself.” 

Generally speaking, text articles don’t provide the same urgency as videos do. Videos offer a better, quality experience to the end user. In fact, once your videos start to create this urgency with end users, your videos will start becoming popular and end users will begin subscribing to your video channel so they don’t miss one.

Videos are one of the best ways to educate your customers on your products and services. It engages their senses, as well as utilizes technology that they already incorporate into their daily lives. Keep in mind that people are more likely to interact with your video if it is shorter - shorter sells.

4 Benefits of Adding Video Marketing to your Marketing Mix...
  1. Audience appeal - most people want to be entertained, they don’t want to read information
  2. Videos on demand - people can download your videos anytime and view them from anywhere (well almost anywhere!)
  3. Relatively inexpensive to produce
  4. Improve your rankings on Google’s search engine - Google allows videos to be searched and ranked
“Over 40% of people today watch online videos on a weekly basis with over 70% watching online videos at least 1 time per month!”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To Blog or Not To Blog

Narrative building, relationship building, experience demonstrating...if used correctly and consistently, a blog can be a very powerful tool for connecting with your customers. I recently read an article on Digital Brand Marketing’s blog entitled, “Do You Need a Blog? The Personal Branding Perspective,” and they explain perfectly about how powerful a blog can be, “Have you seen Amy Adams and Meryl Streep in the movie Julie & Julia?  The film demonstrates the power of blogging, and how it can impact an individual’s life or business.  I won’t give away the plot, but the main character played by Amy Adams follows her cooking passion and writes about her struggles and successes.  Her creativity, writing ability, emotion and content slowly began to resonate and attract a following, media attention and much more.”

Following are some reasons that you should blog:
  1. SEO - the more you post blog articles with relevant keywords, the better search engine results your page will get.
  2. Social Media Marketing - by posting blog posts to your website and linking them to social media pages, you will build excitement and more traffic to both your website and blog.
  3. Generating Leads and Sales - a blog is an open platform that gives everyone on the web access to learn more about the products and services that your company or organization offers.
  4. Lowering Costs - instead of buying expensive advertising space, you can utilize your blog to describe your products and services.
  5. Receiving Feedback - blogs are an open dialogue, your followers can leave comments in response to your blog posts.

You should not start a blog if:
  1. You will not be consistent about posting to your blog.
  2. You do not have someone in your company that will be dedicated and take ownership of the blog.

Consistency and timeliness are the two necessities you must have if you plan to start a blog. So go on, start creating a narrative for your brand. Remember to use the editorial calendar that I included in a previous post to schedule timely, informational, interesting and fun blog posts. If your company has a blog, I’d love to read it, so please email me a link to it: Check out our blog at:

Source:, “Top 10 Reasons Every Small Business Should Be Blogging.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is Your Direct Mail Social?

Why integrating your marketing efforts should be one of your top priorities. 

Did you know that research still shows that 60% of consumers prefer receiving physical marketing materials, such as direct mail postcards, versus emails. In fact, some of the most recognizable brands, such as Google, spend millions of dollars from their marketing budgets on the printing and mailing of direct mail pieces. Why? Just as I mentioned before, some audiences are more responsive to physical mail and therefore it is important to integrate your marketing efforts.

Integrating your marketing efforts means that if your company has gone social, it will be important for you to incorporate your social media into your traditional media campaigns. See DIAGRAM 1 for a comparison between types of traditional vs. new media. I’ve said it a million times and I will keep saying it, just because you build it, doesn’t mean that people are going to visit your social profiles. 

Ways You Can Integrate Social Media into Traditional Media Outlets

Add your social profile names and logos to your traditional media items
  • Be SPECIFIC - put the direct URL to the page. (i.e.
  • Add a social component to your traditional media (make your offer social!)
  • Offer a discount, offer a discount for sharing the discount on social media, offer a free whitepaper for liking your page
  • Post your offline campaigns to your social profiles
  • Create events to entice recipients to join you online

It is important to remember that as you plan your direct mail campaigns, you should simultaneously be also planning your email messages, Facebook status updates, blog posts and tweets so that they all complement each other. 


Friday, April 20, 2012

Tweet, Retweet...What’s all the Chirping About.

Twitter 101 exclaims, “Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Now, people are turing to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses too. From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter.”

Twitter will prove to be a valuable social network to most companies, you just have to give it a chance. Twitter is a platform where you can quickly connect with your customers.  For example, some of the marketing implications for businesses to use Twitter include the following: Improve Customer Service, Hold Inexpensive Focus Groups, Follow Customers, Manage Customer Expectations , Recruit Employees, and Perform Inexpensive Market Research.

Once you are on Twitter, it soon comes time for you to prove to your boss that your use of Twitter has been successful. Similar to Facebook likes, you can’t judge a Twitter account by the number of followers it has. If you have 75 followers that you are engaging and interacting with on a regular basis, you are in a better position than a company that has thousands of followers but doesn’t pay attention to anything they have to say. 

If your followers aren’t the most important metric for you to measure your Twitter success, then how should you be measuring your Twitter influence? Following are a few of the many available websites that you should explore, they will help you uncover just how influential you are on Twitter.

Klout— (understand and leverage your Twitter influence)
PeerIndex— (a snapshot of what you talk about on Twitter)
Tweriod – (best times to tweet to reach your audience) – (track your links, see who is reading them)
Tweet Stats — (graph your Twitter Stats)
Twitalyzer— (in depth information on your followers)
Retweetrank— (see how many retweets you get)
Twentyfeet­­— (all your online stats in one place!)
Tweetlevel— (Twitter measurement tool)

Happy Tweeting!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An Editorial Calendar Will Save Your Sanity!

Social media tasks, marketing tasks—an editorial calendar will save your sanity. Do you sit down at the beginning of each month and lay out your plan for your social media and marketing efforts? If not, I would HIGHLY recommend that you start. You will be organized and your social media and marketing will be streamlined. Below is a sample Social Media Editorial Calendar.  You can adapt this to your needs—marketing or social media. An excel spreadsheet would be a great tool to utilize when creating your calendar.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here, There and Everywhere...Where in the Social World Should You Be?

There are so many different social media platforms out there, that I thought I would summarize and suggest a few of my favorites. See the table below to see where in the social world you might fit in!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Facebook Interests - The Latest Change to Facebook

If you are familiar with Twitter, then chances are you are familiar with making lists to categorize people that you follow. Good news...if you are also an avid Facebook user, Facebook will be rolling out a similar feature entitled, "Interests." You can now organize all of the pages and people that you follow on Facebook.

Below is a glimpse at how the new Interests section on your Facebook profile will appear. (It will show up in your sidebar on the lefthand side of your profile). You can either create your own Interests lists or you can subscribe to lists that other users have created and made public.

Below is a screenshot of what will appear if you click on the word interests (in the screen shot above). Here you can organize, edit and delete your interests categories.

Do you want to learn more? Rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought instead I would share this great article from Digital Brand Marketing, which give an in-depth description about the new Interests capabilities on Facebook! Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Recommended Resource - Digital Brand Marketing

Digital Brand Marketing -

This is a new blog that we just discovered (Thanks to Social Media Examiners list of Finalists for the Top 10 Social Media Blogs 2012.) Digital Brand Marketing’s blog “serves as a continuing education tool in the ‘Read, Write & Share’ philosophy covering subject matter in digital branding, marketing, business and more.”

Some subjects they’ve covered on their blog, in the past month, are;
1. The Recipe for a Social Media Enhanced Resume
2. The Price of Social Media. It’s Not Free.
3. The Buzz About Pinterest

In addition, If you are so inspired, Digital Brand Marketing allows readers to submit their own articles for publication on their blog as long as they fit topics related to digital media, brand and/or marketing.

Visit their website to sign up to receive their daily blog post right to your email inbox. I look forward to receiving my daily email from Digital Brand Marketing and I know you will too!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Facebook Timeline Images [CHEAT SHEET]

As I mentioned in my blog post last week, starting March 30, 2012, whether you like it or not, Facebook will be converting all business Facebook Pages to the new Timeline layout. Here’s a quick checklist of things that you have the next 21 days to complete:
  1. Design an eye-catching cover photo (851 px wide x 315 px high)
  2. Correctly size your logo to fit in the new “profile picture” position (125 px wide x 125 px wide)
  3. Design custom pictures for your “favorite” apps that will show on your timeline (111 px wide x 74 px high)
  4. If you have created custom tabs, you’ll need to resize them to 810 pixels wide 
  5. Dig up old photos (or as Facebook refers to them, Milestones), upload them to Facebook and include in your timeline. This could include a picture of your original building, a product or service launch, when a new employee was hired, etc.

Now for your challenge: for the next 21 days, you will have the option to preview what your page will look like in the Timeline format before you take it live. This gives you a great chance to play around with different designs, photos and layouts. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Men or Women...Who is More Likely to Share on Social Media?

Have you ever thought about who might be more willing to share their opinions, reviews, etc. on social media?

Finally an answer....WOMEN are more likely to help your social media campaign go viral. A recent study was completed by uSamp, which found that 78% of women and 74% of men were happy to share what brand they prefer.  According to Gaelie Normand, MD of uSamp, “This is good news for retail brands trying to harness social media as a marketing tool. Those targeting a female audience are likely to see more success with viral campaigns, as women recommednd their favorite products to friends and followers more readily. Those brands with a male following might find it slightly harder to create a buzz through social channels.”

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Few Facebook Insights Defined

Have you ever looked at the Insights for your Facebook Fan Page and wondered how to use the metrics that you are given to better market through Facebook? Do you know what the metrics mean? Following are the definitions of two very important metrics when it comes to marketing your business on Facebook:

People Talking About This
  • The only Facebook metric that is visible to the public
  • Represents the total number of people who have engaged in your page in any way. over the past 7 days, (i.e. liking, commenting, sharing, answering questions, responding, etc.)

Track “engaged” users
  • Engaged users are unique people who have clicked any where on a post (during a 28 day time period)
  • You can click on the number to see a pie chart of how your audience interacted with a particular post 
    • The pie chart will also tell you if there has been "negative feedback" to a certain post. This usually means that someone has hidden your update

A screen shot of the engaged users box that shows how your fans have interacted with a specific post.

These are only a few of the important metrics that you should keep track of for your Facebook page. So, if you have 30 likes or more, head over to your Facebook page and start sorting out your insights!

Source: “FB Marketing All-In-One for Dummies” by Amy Porterfield

Monday, February 27, 2012

Are You LinkedIn?

Why Every Business Professional Should be LinkedIn: Be found • Find others • Demonstrate your expertise • Give a professional first impression • Join industry specific groups • Keep up with competitors • Research potential customers before your first meeting

What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a professional networking site where you can build your resume, add connections, join groups and contribute to conversations. According to their website the network currently has 135 million members. This includes approximately 43% of business people. 

A LinkedIn profile is something that everyone should have. Your profile will help you to connect with other professionals in your area or specialty. Having a presence on LinkedIn will help you network with these professionals by exchanging knowledge, ideas and opportunities. Similar to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn allows users the capability to follow status updates of professionals in their network.

HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: I challenge each and every one of you to visit the LinkedIn Learning Center ( to find out how LinkedIn can help you grow professionally and help your businesses grow. When you are done “learning,” create a profile and start networking!  

When you are finished creating your profile on Linked In, if you are serious about learning more about LinkedIn, the first person I suggest that you follow is Wayne Breitbarth, a Social Media Trainer, Speaker and Consultant. I first attended one of Wayne’s seminars when I was a member of SMPS (Society of Marketing Professionals) in Wisconsin. He opened my eyes to features of LinkedIn that I had not utilized and he can help you do the same. Wayne posts on his profile daily with useful articles and information on how to effectively use LinkedIn. If you would ever have the opportunity to attend one of his seminars, I would highly recommend it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

PINTEREST “Just a Fad or the Next Big Social Networking Site?”

Have you heard the buzz about the latest social networking application, Pinterest? Do you know what Pinterest is? Pinterest is a tool for people to organize and share images online. It is basically an online scrapbook of all of your favorite things on the internet, these images are then known as Pins.  Users can place their Pins on their own boards and they can label boards with specific themes if desired, such as: wish list, wedding, home decorating, recipes, etc.

Why is the buzz of Pinterest spreading so fast? Pinterest connects users based on shared tastes and interest. Users can browse pinboards created by others, which provides a means for connecting and sharing. This is word of mouth marketing at its best.

Currently Pinterest is still an invite only site (let me know if you would like an invite, While you are not allowed to blatantly promote your business, many businesses are finding creative ways to promote their businesses though the use of Pinterest. Check out Whole Foods and Nordstrom’s pin boards for real world examples of businesses effectively using Pinterest to market their business.

We recently started using Pinterest for one of our customers. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Social Media IS The New Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing has always been the most effective form of marketing because, naturally, we trust our friends opinions about products and services that they have used. Social Media has changed word of mouth marketing because now you are able to get opinions from more people than just your social circle. Did you know that product reviews posted by strangers are among the most trusted sources of information?

According to DP Dialogue, “14% of people trust ads, while 78% of people trust consumer recommendations. This means that 2/3 of the economy is influenced by personal recommendations.”  
Before today’s consumer visits a store, they grab their laptop, Ipad, tablet, smartphone, or any other wired device and visit social media sites, company websites, reviews sites,  and etc. to learn about a product or service. The following are some social actions that consumers take:

• Getting an online referral from a friend
• Becoming a friend or follower of a brand
• Reading blogs where products and services are discussed
• Writing reviews about products and services they have purchased
• Seeing a brand mentioned on a social networking site such as Facebook, Twitter, 
   or Google+

So, keep in mind that customers are talking about your brand right now, both online and offline. Word of mouth marketing is FREE, but it is your job to get out there and be responsive and interact with your customers. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Marketing in a Social World

“A fundamental shift in the way we communicate.”

Social media has evolved what used to be a message to consumers to conversations between consumers and marketers. Consumers no longer want to be told what product or service is good for them and their families. Therefore, today’s consumers are heading to the internet to figure out what products and services they should purchase. The Internet allows consumers to find incredible detail about products and services from every possible source, such as: blogs, search engines, social networks, review sites, etc.

Social networks provide marketers a platform to hold conversations and interact with their customers. Social media allows far more options than just loyalty cards for keeping in touch with consumers and driving them to make repeat purchases. Social networks allow marketers to develop awareness for their business, establish expertise, build relationships with customers, and improve customer service by being able to give immediate feedback. 

Having a social media presence is so important to marketers because today’s consumers are taking “social actions.” Consumers are getting online referrals from friends, becoming a friend or follower of a brand, reading blogs where products and services are discussed and seeing the brand mentioned on social networking sites. Consumers are spending more time online than ever before and to reach them and stay competitive, marketing online is not an option anymore, it is a requirement!

Your customers are already there, are you ready to go social?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We're Back!

Sorry! We got busy and took a small hiatus from our blog :( Sorry to our followers, but we're going to kick it back into high gear and provide you with the same great information that we promised when we started our blog!