Tweeting for Both Sides of the Brain

Everybody knows a little bit about the left side/right side theory of the brain: one side handles creativity and feelings, while the other side deals in logic, strategy, and rational thought. If you’re like me, you can’t go much further than this without struggling to remember which side is which ‒ so I looked it up just to make sure. According to funderstanding.com (a great website, by the way!) the left hemisphere of the brain is the logical side, and the right hemisphere is the intuitive side. And right now I’m intuiting that you’re wondering what this has to do with Twitter, so I’ll get down to business. The challenge of creating striking, meaningful Tweets We talk all the time about how important it is to avoid the hard sell in our social channels. Our Twitter interactions aim to inspire conversation, to attract followers, and eventually, to get folks interested in our products or services ‒ in 140 characters or less. This can get tricky, especially if you’re a Twitter novice. So here’s a neat little suggestion: use the theory of the two brain hemispheres to guide you in crafting effective, high-impact Tweets. Right brain Tweets You’re making an appeal …

Supercharge Your Email Marketing With Social Media

Email is one of the most important pieces of digital real estate in existence — and just because it’s been around for more than a year or two doesn’t reduce its value. For those of you who think email marketing is dead, I’ve got a question: how many times have you checked your email today? Even better, how many times do you think you check it in a week? Those numbers get big in a hurry. So let’s not talk about how email marketing is a thing of the past. Let’s focus instead on integrating social media into your email marketing, and how that can promote your brand and boost your business. The nuts and bolts Make sure you’re scattering share icons throughout your email newsletter or promotion. Your readers should be able to post your content on Facebook or LinkedIn without any fuss. It may not be enough to simply add a few icons; encourage readers to share your materials with a direct invitation. You might even consider offering a discount to those who do so. Work the process from other direction too. Give your Facebook fans the chance to subscribe to your email publications with a signup form …

How to Fail at Social Media in 3 Easy Steps

Sometimes I wonder how much small business owners really want to succeed with their social media marketing. So for those of you who are interested in achieving quick and abject failure, here are a few helpful tips: Who needs evidence? Your clients and prospects already know how great your product or service is. So what’s the point of proving it with recommendations, videos of work in process, or useful information that shows you know what you’re talking about? Nobody wants to know who you or your employees are – they only want to know what’s on sale this week. And forget about the way you solved problems for past clients. Hey, if your company didn’t provide decent service, you’d be out of business, right? Make all the assumptions you want! You’ve been around the block more than a few times – so your assumptions are golden. If you think your marketing base is too old for social media, you’re probably right. And by all means, keep total control over every aspect of your social content. It’s perfectly safe to assume that none of your employees could do a better job with your social media than you can. If you want …

Going Mobile: The Lowdown on Responsive Design

Responsive design is the buzzword of the year. Suddenly everybody’s telling you that your small business website is out of date and it needs to be “optimized.” Is the fuss for real? Let’s take a look: What is responsive design? At its most basic level, responsive website design was developed as a solution to the problem presented by tiny smartphone and tablet screens. A responsive, or mobile optimized website sends out a query to determine what sort of device is accessing your page, then sizes the page to fit the viewing screen. This is a nice trick. Using coordinates and percentages instead of fixed measurements, it creates a fluid page that easily adapts to various devices. And it looks just as good on a big-screen desktop computer just as it does on the smallest smartphone screen – so one size really does fit all. Why do you need an optimized website? It’s a no-brainer. You need a mobile optimized website because your clients and prospects are using mobile devices. The numbers are pretty mindblowing. The most recent studies show that 76% of Americans own and use a mobile device – and more than half of these devices are smartphones. In …

hipscan qr marketing

As QR Code Usage Evolves, So Do Business Trends

In today’s fast paced world of social media and mobile marketing strategies, it can be dizzying to try to keep up with all of the evolving trends. Just when you think you have the knack for a certain app or social media platform, another one comes along. And of course, if we believe what we read everything we read on the internet (editor’s note: don’t), every new tool is vital to our online marketing success. One thing that is true is that the evolution of QR codes and how they are used has many small business owners excited about mobile marketing. There is endless potential in the ways QR codes can be used; from business cards to bricks (yes, bricks) an assortment of industries are finding unique uses for these handy tools. If you’re new to the QR code game, consider some of these basic tips and tricks for optimum QR code usage: QR codes on business cards are almost standard fare these days. If you’re going to include a QR code on your business cards or promotional material, get creative. Have your code connect to a landing page with more than just contact information; provide a bio, interest, hobbies,  …

Don’t Get Slapped Around by Facebook!

You know that running a contest via Facebook is a great way to promote your brand and your product. You know it’s a dandy way to build numbers and greater engagement in your fan base. But did you know it’s also a really excellent way to get your Facebook page shut down? Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to spot Facebook contests that violate Facebook rules. I see them all the time. But honestly, why run the risk of getting disappeared by the Facebook gods when it’s so dead simple to follow the rules? Check it out: 1. “Like” to enter  This is a common mistake. Facebook specifically prohibits you from asking participants to enter your contest by liking or commenting on a feature of your page. 2. Share to enter  Same thing. You can’t ask users to share a photo or a post as part of your contest entry process. 3. “Like” to vote  Once again, Facebook won’t let you use their stuff – the Like button, specifically – to register a vote in your promotion. 4. 3rd party apps  Friends, this is what makes following Facebook’s rules for hosting contests so easy. You are required …

Make the Most of Your Resources With a Social Hub

Do you want an easy way to tell your brand story and keep web content fresh and engaging? You can do this – and more – with a social hub. What a social hub does A social hub gives you an easy way to collect all your social media activities and publish them in a good-looking addition to your business website, Facebook page, or mobile app. Once you set up your social hub, it just keeps humming away, updating itself. Why you want a social hub There are lots of reasons why it might be a good idea to pull your content together with a social hub. A hub gives you the chance to bring all your social feeds into one place, where your best audience – the people who view your website or Facebook page – can find out exactly what your brand is up to. Once there, your audience can interact with all your social channels in one spot. And because your hub is always updating itself based on your latest social feeds, it provides fresh content that encourages conversation, increases traffic and makes visitors want to come back. A social hub is a great way to tell …

3 Great Apps to Keep You Healthy

As entrepreneurs we spend our time working, planning, conferencing, troubleshooting, and stressing over everything. Listen, folks – with the schedules we keep, good health isn’t a luxury, it’s a requirement. These three apps will make you a stronger, healthier, more resilient person, so use them. Your business is depending on you. Nike Training Club Free for Android and iOS The Nike Training Club gets rave reviews for its high quality, flexible workouts. I also love the idea of having personal sessions with famous professional athletes. Using the app, you can work out with Serena Williams, Carmelita Jeter, and other champions. Choose drills from 15 to 45 minutes long and target your workout for cardio fitness, overall strength training, intervals, or core strength. And since all you need is your smartphone, you can work out any time you’ve got half an hour. Relax & Rest Guided Meditations 99 cents for Android and iOS Nothing busts stress better than a 5-minute meditation with the Relax and Rest app. Learn to go with the flow in 5, 13, or 24-minute meditation sessions. It can be hard to meditate when your mind keeps jolting back to the crisis du jour. But this app makes …

Fast Food Fiasco: McDonald’s Fights to Stay Relevant

McDonald’s has been behind the eight ball on and off since the 1980s. They’ve been accused of serving bad beef, promoting the destruction of rainforests, and filling the world with toxic non-biodegradable waste.  Not particularly good for their corporate reputation. Now the heat is on McDonald’s once again – and this time, the mammoth company may be hard pressed to overcome it. What’s the beef? Critics ranging from public interest activists, to moms, to pediatricians, to a 9 year old girl (who lectured McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting) accuse McDonald’s of targeting their marketing directly at kids and minorities. They charge McDonald’s with using their targeted ads to promote unhealthy, obesity-causing foods while bypassing concerned parents. A coalition of health care providers is pushing to remove McDonald’s franchises from hospitals, and a few hospitals have already done so. The American Academy of Pediatrics and four federal agencies have recommended that junk food not be marketed to children. Of course, McDonald’s is deeply concerned about these criticisms and has promised to take immediate action to address them, right? Not exactly. What’s the reaction? CEO Thompson insists that McDonald’s doesn’t serve junk food. He points to yogurt, …