Archive for January, 2011

Jan 25 2011

Importance Of Client Testimonials For Online Branding

We all know that Word-Of-Mouth marketing is the most effective branding strategy. And the best and easiest way to establish your brand as a trustworthy one is by publishing client testimonials on your website. Publishing effective client testimonials on company websites is an extremely easy and cost-effective small business strategy.

However, in order to ensure that you achieve positive results and not negative results from publishing testimonials, you need to ensure the following:

Don’t write fake testimonials: Never underestimate your clients. People can usually tell when they’re reading a fake testimonial. Even if you don’t get caught, why risk it when you can easily get genuine testimonials from satisfied customers? If customers feel like you’re publishing fake testimonials, they will automatically lose trust in your brand. Sure, it’s much easier to write a fake testimonial yourself than to ask a client and wait for your client’s response but knowing your clients are truly satisfied with your work will be worth being patient for.

Ask at the right time: Don’t wait for weeks or months after you’ve met a client’s order to get a testimonial from him/her. Chances are your client may have forgotten just how great your service was or may not remember your customer rep’s name! It’s best to ask clients for testimonials right after you’ve completed their work. If they are truly pleased with your products and services, this will come across effectively in their testimonials. If your clients aren’t too enthusiastic about writing testimonials, you can ensure them that having their details on your website will increase their brand visibility and may lead to increased business for them too.

Make them visible: Now that you’ve gathered positive testimonials from your customers, you need to ensure that you benefit from their encouraging words. To do this, you need to position client testimonials on your website home page. Many websites have a separate page for testimonials but there’s a high chance that the entire testimonial page may get skipped by your website visitors. The best way to guarantee visibility is to place testimonials with the body of your content or in a sidebar on all your website pages.

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Jan 21 2011

3 reasons why ‘The Social Network’ won Golden Globe Awards

Published by under News,Social Media

The Social Network is certainly the flavor of the season, having won four awards at the 68th Golden Globe Awards. The awards for Best Drama, Best Director (David Fincher), Best Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) and Best Score (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) were all bagged by The Social Network.I won’t say I’m surprised. The movie doesn’t have one dull moment. Were it up to me, I’d add another award to the list; Best Inspirational Movie. Okay, I know such a category doesn’t exist at the Golden Globes. The point I’m trying to make is that there are many important lessons you can learn from the movie.Below are the top 3 lessons I learnt from ‘The Social Network’:Act now: How many times have you had a great idea but done nothing about it because ‘there’s always tomorrow’? Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to success. As the movie depicts, Zuckerberg wasted no time in executing his idea. Zuckerberg’s quick actions caught the Winklevii twins completely off guard but the movie shows you that if you don’t act on a great idea quickly, someone else will beat you to it.

Meet a major need: The reason Facebook is so popular is because it allows people to connect, know more about each other and essentially, get a peek into someone else’s life. It is said that ‘No man is an island’. All humans thrive on social contact. Facebook gives an opportunity to shy people who battle with face-to-face interactions to meet new people, in addition to connecting with old friends. What entrepreneurs can learn is to ensure that the product or service you offer meets the needs of your target audience. Meet unmet needs and solves problems through your offering and you are bound to succeed. This is the branding idea behind most successful companies. If your offering adds value to your users, your product or service will get sold through the most powerful manner; word of mouth.

Focus on growth: One of the main aspects that stand out when you watch the movie is Zuckerberg and Sean Parker’s foresight. While Mark’s business partner, Eduardo Saverin wanted to cash in on Facebook’s popularity by getting ad revenue back when Facebook was created, Zuckerberg and Parker didn’t want to sell out too quickly. Zuckerberg focused on content and increasing the number of users initially. He waited so he could target big fish instead of selling out to small fish too soon. This is an example of a great branding strategy. He worked to establish a trusted community of Facebook users and focused on earning revenue later.

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Jan 18 2011

You can now promote and advertise business on Twitter!

Published by under News,Social Media

Twitter has launched a new site known as “Twitter for Business”. The site looks like an expanded version of Twitter 101; an online business guide which was launched back in July of 2009. The site, which is available at /business.twitter.com, opens up its previously limited advertising products and lets anyone put in a request to buy ads on the service. At the same time, it also represents a significant step for the company in terms of offering a formal and organized set of products for the business community.

Essentially, Twitter is saying, “We’re open for business.”

Out of the many new additions, the most noteworthy is a Start Advertising form that lets anyone contact Twitter with an interest in advertising on the site.

Twitter’s ad products — Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends — have previously been limited to a small group of test advertisers. And Twitter has been especially cautious in rolling out those products widely across its platform. This move signals that Twitter is ready to take another step in opening up its ad products to a wider group of advertisers. Noteworthy form fields include one that asks for an estimated budget, and one that asks how soon you want to start advertising; choices include 1-4 weeks, 1-3 months, and 3+ months.

Also of note is the inclusion of Twitter’s first official reveal of its analytics dashboard, which the company says provides “in-depth insight into both paid and unpaid activity on Twitter.”

Overall, the new Twitter for Business is an impressive marketing addition. While the company has generally been somewhat guarded about its business-related services, this signifies a more serious approach to its advertising capabilities. It’s also a message to detractors who’ve always criticized Twitter for not having a business plan.

Follow @PromoDirect on Twitter to get updates on business, branding, advertising, promotional products, offers & services.

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Jan 14 2011

Could it be true? Could Facebook really shut down?

Published by under News,Social Media

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Facebook might be shutting down in March 2011. Like me, you were probably extremely shocked upon hearing the news. Indeed, for most people around the world now, imagining life without Facebook is simply impossible.According to a report on weeklyworldnews.com, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and President, Facebook, said in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office that, “Facebook has gotten out of control and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”Indeed, as the movie ‘The Social Network’ released in 2010 depicted, Facebook has affected his few true relationships and it appears that Facebook is all Zuckerberg really has in his life now.But owning Facebook is certainly a big deal. Facebook is currently ranked as one of the wealthiest businesses in the world, with economists estimating its value at around $ 41 billion. Facebook reportedly has more than 500 million active users around the world.With statistics like this it seems unbelievable that Zuckerberg would want to shut down Facebook. It comes as no surprise then that a day after weeklyworldnews.com published the story that Facebook was shutting down, mashable.com published a contradicting story that Facebook is most certainly not shutting down in the near future.The mashable.com story claims that Facebook Director of Corporate Communications, Larry Yu confirmed that the rumor is false. Yu said, “The answer is no, so please help us put an end to this silliness.” He added, “We didn’t get the memo about shutting down and there’s lots to do, so we’ll just keep cranking away like always.”

According to this story, Facebook had announced just a few days ago that it will be receiving funding consisting of $450 million from Goldman Sachs and $50 million from Russian investment firm Digital Sky Technologies.

Mashable.com concludes its story by wondering if people will believe anything?

As far as I’m concerned, both stories seem to have some truth to them. And with Mark Zuckerberg, you really never know. So what do you think; will Facebook shut down soon? And if it does, how would it impact your life and business?

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Jan 12 2011

Employee Management tips that requires you to be a leader

Published by under Business & Marketing

I always say that three things should instantly course through the mind of an employer before he ticks off an employee/s. (I know its too subjective to be small business advice, but it always works for me!)

  • You were once an employee too
  • Split second anger will cause staggering distance between employer-employee
  • Be a leader not an autocrat

Turns out that a whole bunch of managers agree with me too! According to a research on what leads to reduced business performance conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), 44 per cent cited a lack of leadership while 45 per cent pointed to poor staff morale.

I know its difficult being a boss – too many people to co-ordinate with and too many tasks to delegate. But just imagine, your employees are dissatisfied with their work but they need the job, they can’t share office troubles in detail with their families, neither can they discuss them with their bosses who are the cause of their misery in the first place. Thinking ‘stuck between the Devil and the deep blue sea’?  Exactly!

Its not a cakewalk but you can defuse the tension and make your office a happy place to work in if you heed my small business advice on how to generate a motivated bunch of employees.

Communicate
Talk to your employees. I am not saying that be a friend to them, but an occasional chat, a periodical review of their grievances can reassure them that their company cares for them. Giving them occasional business gifts can also convey what you want to say.
Co-operate
Running a business is all about team-work, and a feeling of mutual responsibility is necessary to make that happen. Discuss company goals with your employees and don’t announce them. After all they are the ones going to make it happen and they need to find it feasible.

Care
Your employees are people who work for you in exchange for money and you don’t own their life. Its harsh to put it this way I know, but be considerate with your employees. Give them flexible working hours or while giving them promotional gifts for X’mas or New Year’s, give promo items that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Just a small tip. A kind word can do wonders to your employees’ morale. For e.g. don’t make your promo items charity gifts for your employees. Adorn them with words straight from your heart!

To view a large variety of  promotional gifts for your employees, please visit our website at www.promodirect.com

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