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Poll Results: Facebook Rules the Ad Specialty Business World

Filed under: Poll Results

When I posted the June poll “Which Social Network Do You Use Most For Business?” I figured most of our ad specialty friends would vote for Facebook, and they did. Over 50% of the total votes went to the social network that now boasts over 1.1 billion users and growing. This definitely did not shock me …

However, what did shock me was that Pinterest, the social network that really lends itself to imagery, received just one measly vote! Given that this is an industry rife with new and interesting products, I personally believe that companies should be looking a little more closely at Pinterest as a platform to promote their products. But I digress …

The following is the breakdown of votes for the question: “Which Social Network Do You Use Most For Business?” (191 total votes)

  • Facebook, 103 votes (54%)
  • Twitter, 13 votes (7%)
  • YouTube,  7 votes (4%)
  • LinkedIn, 67 votes (35%)
  • Pinterest, 1 vote (0.5%)

Social Media Use In Promo Products Industry


4 Tips On Improving Facebook Engagement

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Facebook Engagement TipsLooking to tune up your online efforts in 2013? Then look no further than Stitches magazine’s “Online Success Guide“!

In this tasty tutorial you’ll find tons of tips on everything from SEO and gaming to insider tools on the big three networking sites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

So what are you waiting for? Ramp up your online success knowledge now, and in the meantime here are 4 tips on how to improve Facebook engagement.

  1. Always post photos. Brian Carter, a brand advocate for PageLever, reports that Facebook pages generate more engagement from photos than videos, status updates or links. “In fact, photos get as much as twenty times more engagement,” he wrote recently on Mashable.com.  
  2. Create questions, contests and calls to action. Want people to comment on your posts? Ask them for their thoughts. Questions invite dialog, and are perhaps the easiest way to get responses. Similarly, posts with a specific call to action tend to ramp up engagement. This could be as simple as posting a humorous photo of a stereotypically exhausted office worker in a cubicle, with the caption, “Like and Share if you’re ready for the weekend.” 
  3. It’s about quality, not quantity. Research from Buddy Media, a social enterprise software solutions company, indicates that pages that are updated one or two times per day receive 40% higher user engagement than pages that post three or more times per day. Think of it this way: Over-posting is the equivalent of an annoying talk-a-holic who keeps jabbering at you; sooner than later, you tune out and ultimately ignore them altogether. 
  4. Get your timing right. Dan Zarrella, an award-winning social media scientist at HubSpot and author of three books, reports that the best times to post on Facebook are noon and a little after 7 p.m.; post shares spike at those hours. The best day to share on Facebook? Saturday. (Check out Zarrella’s webinar on the topic here: www.hubspot.com/the-science-of-timing.) In fact, the American Apparel post about the Halloween Costume Contest covered earlier was posted on a Saturday.

4 Tips to Build Your Business with Twitter

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Build Business with TwitterCan someone really get sales from tweeting?

That’s the question posed to one of our technology experts, Alan S. Horowitz, in this month’s SGR. The answer? No question about it!

Read his column, “Using Twitter to Build Your Business,” now for tips and case studies from industry people on how they use Twitter for work. And in the

meantime, here are 4 tips on how to use the microblogging social network to build business:

  • Start by forging relationships; don’t hard sell
  • Headlines are important
  • Learn about hashtags
  • Tweet something worthwhile

5 Tips to Get Better Press

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Uncategorized

Be Better At Everything GuideSalespeople, dontcha just wish you could be better at everything?

Well, now you can! Thanks to Advantages magazine’s June article titled “How To Do Everything Better Guide” now you can be all that you ever wanted to be, and more!

– Want to be a wine expert for you next client dinner?
– Need tips on how to create an effective product video?
– Looking to ramp up your return on investment (ROI)?
– Befuddled by that darned Twitter bird and want to know how to tame it?

It’s all in here, plus so much more! So what are you waiting for? Become better at everything now. And in the meantime, here’s a little teaser on how to get better press:

HOW TO GET BETTER PRESS

“More than ever, news releases have become tools used to communicate directly between your brand and your clients and prospects, as well as a way to captivate the interest of reporters and editors – the gatekeepers to traditional and online media outlets,” says Dick Pirozzolo, founder, Pirozzolo Company Public Relations.

  1. CHOOSE GOOD SEARCH WORDS. The people you are trying to reach likely have set up Google searches to receive e-mails alerting them to news that matters to them; include the search words prospective customers would use to find you on the Web in every release. Also, include your website URL and the URLs of any authorities quoted in the release, and post the release on your website. Pirozzolo says it’s also a good idea to create a virtual newsroom apart from your website as a go-to source for journalists to get any of your company news, access to experts, video clips and high-resolution photos.
  2. DON’T RUSH IT. Too many PR pros boast how quickly they can knock off a news release. Pirozzolo once spent a month on a single news release touting the health benefits of wild blueberries. “We wrote and rewrote and revised more times than I care to think about,” he says. Ultimately, that one release launched a campaign that generated coverage in Vogue, in Martha Stewart Living (magazine and TV), on the cover of Time magazine, and in hundreds of major daily newspapers. “The impact of that single release came from thinking about what we wanted to say, not how fast we could say it,” he says. 
  3. BE SPECIFIC. Read your press release about your new product, and replace the product name with the words “canned soup.” If the release still makes sense, then the language is too superficial and not specific enough to have much impact on journalists. Rewrite.
  4. WRITE HIGH-IMPACT SUBJECT LINES. Grab attention in the first four words of your subject line, or you have no chance, he says. Since the majority of news releases go out via e-mail, the subject line is the only shot to grab an editor. “Texting kills careers, study shows,” is a release subject line Pirozzolo’s firm used to generate press for a writing software company. 
  5. LOOK OUT THE WINDOW. Keep tabs on what’s going on outside of your organization that relates to your news. Tie your release into the latest current events, and watch your release readership increase.

Save the Date - Exclusive ASI Radio Interview with Biz Stone

Filed under: Fun, asi radio show

Biz StoneLISTEN UP! On Tuesday, January 10 at 10:30 a.m. EST, ASI Radio will be doing a live interview with Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of the enormously popular social network Twitter. Stone, who will be a keynote speaker at the ASI Show Dallas in February, has been developing large-scale systems that facilitate the open exchange of information for more than a decade and will be discussing everything from his vision for Twitter to the “Fail Whale”!

If you’re like me and have been “tweeting” updates in 140 characters or less for years, or are completely new to the technology, you simply cannot miss this show!

More about Stone from the ASI Show website:

“Biz Stone, an American entrepreneur and author, is best known for co-founding Twitter. Stone has been named Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc magazine, one of the most influential people in the world by TIME magazine, Nerd of the Year by GQ and one of Vanity Fair’s Top Ten Most Influential People of the Information Age.”

So in honor of Biz and his Twitter fame, here’s my 140-character Tweet about this show:

Save the date!! Twitter co-founder and author Biz Stone to be live on ASI Radio, Tuesday, January 10 at 10:30 a.m. EST. http://bit.ly/GHash


Poll Results - Social Network Usage Per Week

Filed under: Poll Results

So, just how much time do you dedicate to online social networking per week?

That’s the question we posed to our users in the latest ASI Central poll, and the results were a little shocking (well, at least to me!). Of the 365 total responses, over 40% (151 votes) said they spent less than 1 hour a week in the social networks. Considering the enormous popularity of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, not only with the new generation and Millennials, but with Gen X’ers and even Baby Boomers, I was a bit taken aback that this was the most popular answer. The next most popular answer, 2-5 hours a week, was selected over 20% of the time (74 votes). The most extreme answer, more than 10 hours a week, came in fourth at about 12%. Here’s the breakdown, along with the chart:

  • Less than an hour (151 votes, 41%)
  • 1-2 hours (68 votes, 19%)
  • 2-5 hours (74 votes, 20%)
  • 5-10 hours (30 votes, 8%)
  • More than 10 hours (42 votes, 12%)

How Much Time Per Week Do You Dedicate to Online Social Networking? (365 Responses)


5 Social Networking Tips

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Social Media TipsThis month’s Stitches magazine has a great article called “Social Media Smarts” that is rife with great online networking tips and marketing strategies that can help you find new leads and build your brand. What I find most helpful about this read is that it touches upon all the social networks, and not just the two big hitters Facebook and Twitter.

Advice on how to succeed with everything from LinkedIn and YouTube to Skype, blogs, QR codes and even mobile apps is included in the article. So do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to read this article — it’s definitely worth it especially if you’re just starting out with social media.

In the meantime, here are 5 quick social networking tips to whet your appettite:

  1. Update Twitter and Facebook regularly. “Once a day, or every other day, you should post new and interesting things,” says Dana Zezzo, vice president of sales and marketing at Pro Towels Etc. (asi/79750).
  2. Explore the social media pages of potential clients. Then, engage these people in discussions. Share information that would be useful to them. 
  3. Integrate your website. Use social media pages to direct traffic to your website by posting links back to your main site. Also, embed Twitter and Facebook feeds into your website. 
  4. Include photos and videos in your blog posts. This creates more interest and engagement. 
  5. Connect with remote customers. Use Skype to impress far-off clients by giving them a tour of your shop, demonstrating efficient production methods and the like.

Tip of the Day - Social Media Safety at Work

Filed under: Tip of the Day

FacebookI think we’re all starting to realize that social media is not a fad and is here to stay. Here are some great tips for any company when it comes to social media in the workplace. From Education Adviser newsletter, vol. 39.

The key for supervisors and executives is to recognize the uses and abuses facilitated by the innovation and what steps should be taken to control the relevant actions. Here are a few tips that you can implement in your enterprise today:

  1. Have Clear Policies. Very specific policies need to be in place, which govern the usage of the Internet and social networking sites. While some organizations may find it easier to just ban their access altogether, this is akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. 
  2. Educate Employees. Make sure that employees, as well as supervisors, understand what is expected of them as far as social networking conduct within and when referring to the workplace. While you’re at it, reinforce sexual harassment, related issues, and their relevant consequences even when they’re taking place within the virtual world. Take steps to assure them that such online networking etiquette expectations are in place to protect them, as well as the company.
  3. Take Technological Precautions. Be sure to keep one step ahead of the nefarious forces of the Internet. Continuously update your computers’ anti-virus programs, implement policies that mandate changing of passwords on a consistent basis, and put in strong firewall systems to ensure the safety of your data. 
  4. Monitor Usage. Be able to monitor Internet usage and, in particular, social networking within the workplace. Also, speak to employees so that you’re sure they understand that their computer interaction is being recorded. This oversight is vital, as the company may bear civil or criminal responsibility for some actions of their employees.

Tip of the Day - 4 Advanced Social Media Strategies

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Social MediaFrom Counselor’s May 2011 issue article Social Outing:

If you think you need to devote every waking moment to social media to be successful at it, Jay Wilkinson has news for you. “I will tell you, if you’re spending more than 15 minutes a day on social media, you’re wasting too much time,” says the founder and CEO of Firespring, a marketing consulting firm based in Lincoln, NE.

Wilkinson suggests that distributors should undoubtedly add social media to their marketing mix – but it shouldn’t be so much of a focus that it ends up taking more time than necessary. His message: Focus on a couple of social media sites, like LinkedIn and Twitter, and use keywords and search engine optimization to maximize your time and efforts.

Here, Wilkinson offers four advanced strategies (think 301 courses in college, not the 101 variety) for how distributors can succeed with social media.

  1. Become a HootSuiter. Since you ideally should spend no more than 15 minutes a day social networking for business, speed up your productivity by using HootSuite.com, a tool that allows you to connect to multiple social networks from one website. “By using HootSuite’s dashboard, you can schedule updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wordpress and other social networks in just a few clicks,” Wilkinson says. Plus, if you use HootSuite, you’re in good company – The White House, Martha Stewart Media and Zappos all use this handy tool.
  2. Use Google Wonder Wheel. To learn how people are searching for pens, mugs, decorated apparel or any other type of promotional product or service you offer, Google Wonder Wheel (www.googlewonderwheel.com) is a below-the-radar, free tool that you can use to see how people are actually searching for your wares. “Once you know how people are searching, you can embed those keywords on your company website to increase traffic to your site,” Wilkinson says.
  3. Collaborate in the cloud. If your distributorship has a very hands-on working relationship internally and with clients, try using project-management programs like Basecamp, iTeamwork or Mingle, which allow for collaborative work between employees, as well as between a firm and its clients. 
  4. Integrate your website. Drive traffic to your website from your social media pages, instead of making your Facebook or LinkedIn page an isolated destination. “It must start with your website,” Wilkinson says. Get a programmer to embed your Twitter and Facebook feeds onto your website to get double the impact.

7 Social Networking Missteps

Filed under: Tip of the Day

From Counselor’s May 2011 issue article Social Outing:

Social Networking MistakesThere are plenty of social marketing experts that have tips on how business owners can use social media to boost sales and visibility. Of course, there are also plenty of ways to go wrong with your online social networking efforts. Here are seven ways that businesses typically falter with social media, according to Susan Gunelius, CEO of KeySplash Creative Inc. and author of 30-Minute Social Media Marketing.

  1. Create a blog, Facebook page or Twitter handle – and never update it. “The biggest mistake is not being there at all, because that’s where your customers are, and you need to be there, too,” Gunelius says. “Don’t publish a blog post and then disappear. If your readers leave comments, you need to talk to them and cultivate those relationships.”
  2. Talk only about yourself. “The next biggest mistake is too much self-promotion,” she says. “It’s not about self-promotion; it’s about building relationships. Imagine you were in a room talking to someone, and all they did was talk about themselves. Use the 80/20 rule: Do 80% sharing useful content and engaging, and 20% self-promoting.” 
  3. Be self-absorbed. “Another big mistake is basically thinking that it’s all about you,” she says. “Social media marketing is so much about building relationships. You need to give instead of receive. Share your followers’ content more than you share your own, and be accessible.”
  4. Never explore anyone else’s pages. “If you just build it, they won’t come,” she says. “You can’t just hang out on your own Facebook page or Twitter profile. You need to find your target audience across the social Web, as well. It can’t just happen on your site.”
  5. Bite off more than you can chew. “Don’t overwhelm yourself by saying, ‘I must be on the Web for two hours a day,’ because that’s not realistic. You’re not going to keep up with it,” she says. “Start small. You might find out you like it and just organically spend more time on there because you enjoy interacting with people.”
  6. Post way too often. “Anytime you saturate the market, people are going to start ignoring you,” she says. “Every single thing you’re Tweeting is not going to be amazing, useful and helpful. Excessive posts are going to be seen as clutter. It’s like being in a room with someone who won’t stop talking. You need to be human and personable, and not just always be promoting or publishing info related to your business, or you’ll sound like a marketing brochure.” 
  7. Completely abandon traditional marketing. “Your online and offline efforts should feed off one another,” she says. “It doesn’t mean you should just give up traditional marketing entirely. You need to come up with an integrated plan to reach out to the most people.”

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