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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

Counselor 2012 Hot List – Are You Hot Enough?

Filed under: Awards, contest

Counselor Hot ListCounselor magazine wants to know, how hot are you? Hot enough to make Counselor’s 2012 Hot List? If so, we want to hear from you!

But instead of soliciting an email or comment proclaiming why you think you belong on this year’s list, we took it a step further – we want you to send us a video response! Do something creative and fun, or something basic and simple … whatever you do, just do it on camera!

To enter, simply watch this YouTube video for more information, then click on the comments field (on the YouTube page) and add your own video response. It’s that easy.

So what are you waiting for, hot stuff? Get filming! (Check out previous Counselor Hot List winners.)

Tip of the Day – Get Started With Online Video

Filed under: Tip of the Day

YouTubeLooking to get started with online video? This month’s Counselor feature on company operations, titled “Tech Tune-Up,” not only contains great advice on how to make your company more efficient with technology, but a great sidebar on how to get started with online video. Check this article out by clicking here, and in the meantime here’s the sidebar:

Not sure how to get started with online video? Michael Miller, author of YouTube for Business, says business owners should have three pieces of equipment before creating an online video:

  1. A high-definition camcorder – available from Sony for $600. Yes, a Flip camera or other handheld can be used, but for sustainable use of video on your website, an investment here is worth it.
  2. An external microphone – available from Sony for $50-$100.
  3. A supplemental lighting kit – available from Sunpak or Smith Victor for $100-$200.

In terms of content, Miller says there are three types of videos that get watched by casual Internet users. “It can be something purely entertaining; it can be something that is informative, like if you’ve got the latest industry news; or it can be educational, like if you’re showing customers about new products,” he says. “These videos really do get watched.”

Miller recommends placing any online video on YouTube. “YouTube makes it very easy,” he says. “You can upload it in mpeg or Windows Media format. If you have a high-definition camera, you can do it in a 720p resolution.”

To place a video on YouTube:

  • Mouse over to the Upload button at the top right corner of www.youtube.com, and click Upload Video File.
  • Enter information about the video, including the title, a brief description and tag words that will allow YouTube users to find the video by typing in keywords.
  • Only stipulation: Videos must be one gigabyte or less.

“You can host videos on your own server and write in the HTML, but you might not have the bandwidth to handle the traffic,” Miller says. “You can have YouTube host the video that’s on your own website. YouTube supplies you with a little snippet of HTML code so you can embed it into your website. The video will look like it’s on your Web page, but it isn’t. The bandwidth isn’t coming to your site; it’s going to YouTube. So, you aren’t going to be overloaded.”

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 – Create Business Buzz on the Web

Filed under: Tip of the Day

FacebookHere are some tips for starting to develop your online marketing strategy via social networking tools.

1. Use your real voice. That means dispatching with the bland corporate-speak, often used by public relations departments and executives, and going instead with a real voice – your own. Even then, there’s a balancing act. It’s OK to comment on things beyond the scope of your business or the industry, but be wary about offending potential clients – for the sole reason that you may end up losing a customer.

2. Realize social media goes beyond the typed word. Various forms of social media support photos, video and audio. Whatever your preferred means of communication, chances are there’s a social media tool that works with it.

3. You can supplement your regular advertising efforts at little to no cost. Most commonly used social media tools are free, so that’s a benefit. Whatever you’re paying for advertising or marketing, this won’t add to it. Perhaps it won’t replace it, but it might accentuate other marketing efforts at no cost. Most have a learning curve, but It’s not too steep.

4. Maximize your exposure. There are ways to make different social media communicate with each other in an automated fashion. For example, when using a WordPress.org blog, you can install plug-ins that can automatically post to Twitter with your new blog post headline and Web page link. Photo-sharing sites such as Flickr.com can tie in similarly with some social media. “We use Facebook and Twitter to promote the blog, but we also use the blog to promote Facebook and Twitter,” Shreve says. “It’s like a round robin of sorts.” Again, a commonsense way to view the myriad social media is simply as different means for saying the same thing. People get news from television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet and their neighbors, friends and acquaintances. It’s just a question of which delivery method they choose.

From Education Adviser, vol. 32.

Poll Results – Does Your Company Block Social Network Sites?

Filed under: Poll Results, Uncategorized

A few months back a co-worker of mine — you might know him as the dapper Joe Haley from The Joe Show — asked me if I knew what percentage of companies blocked social networks from their employees. Since ASICentral had recently started using YouTube to store all its videos including The Joe Show, and Joe had been getting some complaints that users could no longer access his videos, it was a great question.

Could our video traffic be significantly affected because we were now storing videos in a social network like YouTube?

I pondered this and thought it might make a great poll question for ASICentral, so I posed the following question in mid-November:

Does your company block access to social networks like YouTube and Facebook?

With social networks taking on an important role in business these days, my initial reaction was that 75% of all respondents would answer “No”, and I wasn’t too far off the mark. Here are the results:

So a little over 70% of our respondents said that their companies did not block access to social networks. A little lower than I predicted, but I suspect that number will grow in 2010, which is not only good news for businesses, but great news for Joe and his vids.

— PollDaddy

ASICentral Video Now on YouTube

Filed under: site updates, Video

Hey, if Obama Girl, The Star Wars Kid and the band OK Go can do it, why not ASICentral?! I’m talking about putting video on YouTube and riding the wave to fame and fortune!

Well, maybe not fortune, but here at ASICentral we’re all about fame, taking advantage of the latest technology and trends and using them to market and spread the ASI love. The ASI TV love, that is!

Hoping to expand our horizons, we are now putting all our videos on YouTube. Check out our cool new YouTube video channel here and if you’d like to get updates on when we post new media, click the yellow “Subscribe” button in the upper-left corner of the page.

Now, for some of the benefits of YouTube:

  1. Exposure. By putting all our videos on the largest video sharing website on the planet we increase our potential audience exponentially. Through the very nature of surfing YouTube, there’s no telling who might stumble upon our videos … and love them (or hate them or both! as my college professor once said, “There’s no such thing as negative publicity!”)
  2. Community. Our new ASICentral YouTube channel is a breeding ground for community interaction. Watch videos, share ’em, comment on ’em, send them to friends, email us … it’s all here on our channel page!
  3. Playlists. Just interested in one specific type of video, like the Joe Show? All our videos are separated out in playlists and are accessible individually or in one video player.
  4. It’s a free service. OK, this one’s more a benefit to us, but what the hell right?
  5. Viral phenomena. By being on YouTube this is what could happen, the potential for our videos to gain widespread popularity through Internet sharing (see three examples above).

Best of all, we’ll eventually be implementing YouTube custom video players onto the site so that you can watch ASI TV without ever having to leave ASICentral. And who knows, if Joe Haley of The Joe Show fame ever decides to model a new line of promotional product speedos, we just might have our newest Internet sensation here at ASI.


ps — take a look at an example of a “viral phenomena” below. remember this video from a few years back? over 45,000,000 views! the song really wasn’t all that great but the band decided to film a catchy video for it and the next thing you know these guys are doing the treadmill dance on letterman! crazy. yeah, it’s like that.


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