Lee's new-look Better Communication Results blog - 5 new articles
The growing popularity of mobile devices combined with the amount of web traffic that it has created have forced web developers to change their websites to reflect a more mobile friendly design. While some have gone the route of creating a separate website for their customers, a growing trend has seen sites go the route of responsive web designing to meet the needs of customers. Today I will look at responsive web design and why you should consider it for your marketing needs.
What is ‘Responsive Design’ and why is it important?
For those new to the concept of responsive web design, a responsive website will automatically adjust depending on the screen size of the device accessing the site. The content, menus, photos, banners, and everything on your site gets rearranged and resized to fit the screen of the mobile device.
Responsive designing eliminates several problems experienced by developers tasked with creating mobile sites. First, advertising gets presented in such a way that it does not dominate a user’s screen. Next, you can customize the design of the site to display information that is important to your customers and even customize it based on whether they are on a Smartphone, iPad, or Android device. Finally, this can all be done without having to update multiple sites which saves a business significant amounts on maintenance fees.
In addition, a responsive website also solves an issue experienced by some business owners. Google will sometimes penalize some websites if a third-party company hosts their website. This is essentially money down the drain. A responsive site is not viewed as a separate site by Google and your ranking will not change based on your mobile customizations.
Responsive Design is the future
If you are still not convinced that a responsive design is the way to go, keep in mind that Google has made it public that they favour a responsive design for web sites. Considering that their search engine and dynamics is what many webmasters design their sites around, it makes sense to go with a design that Google will look kindly upon.
Also, keep in mind that web traffic via mobile devices will do nothing but grow over the next few years. Over 10 percent of web traffic already comes from mobile devices and as devices become cheaper, more versatile, and data rates continue to fall, that number will continue to grow dramatically. If you want to reach these customers, you better have a website capable of being seen on most of these devices.
Lori Campbell is a part of PressTheWord, a WordPress tutorial channel. Visit their site for more tutorials.
Technorati Tags: lori campbell, responsive, responsive web design, web design, internet, google, search, accessibility, business communication, lee hopkins
Guest post by Simon Salt
When you read the words “social media” in the context of brands and companies, you likely think of Disney, Pepsi, Marvel or McDonald’s, or any number of other consumer brands that have a big presence on Twitter, Facebook and the other social networks.
Social media campaigns made for the business-to-consumer arena are abundant and sometimes newsworthy, but can the same be said for business-to-business brands? Can social media about construction equipment, yard tools or household appliances ever be notable to those outside the industry (or those in it, for that matter)? B2C brands benefit from being able to leverage existing brand passions among their audience. Disney, for example, released a Facebook page and garnered more than 1 million likes in 24 hours. Unfortunately, not all brands have that instant connection with their communities, and it can takes months and longer for an unsexy brand to gain just a toehold in a social network.
The key to social media success is to produce fun, informative and shareable content. That can be a hard target to hit for a company manufacturing something like heavy machinery. After all, how do you find the equivalent of a Disney princess in a machine shop?
Manufacturers Step it Up
It takes effort, time and above all, a solid strategy to develop a meaningful presence on social media platforms. Here are some examples of manufacturers that got it right:
Benefits for Manufacturers
Efforts like the ones above bring inspiration to other B2B manufacturers looking to increase awareness of their brands and products. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight, but the benefits can be enormous for committed companies. According to the Manufacturing Innovation Blog, there are four key benefits that manufacturers get when they increase their social media presence:
Besides the brands’ own content, a lot of content on social media sites is being created by the community members themselves. Crowdsourced solutions (aka user-generated product or marketing ideas) have become effective play for manufacturer brands; use fans who already like your brand to help suggest new markets and new product extensions. Without a strong social media presence, it’s practically impossible to achieve crowdsourced solutions effectively.
General Motors involved its community by inviting groups of high-profile online influencers to its plant. A “media” day was organized at a GM plant in Arlington, Texas, that brought in bloggers, video creators and photographers and introduced them to the manufacturing process. This outreach enabled the influencers to see first-hand how vehicles are made and assembled.
There was an enormous amount of fan-generated content created for the brand from that visit. This type of content will always resonate more with the community than something produced by a brand’s public relations department. Encouraging user-generated content is beneficial (especially if it goes viral), but brands need to learn from their users and manage this carefully. User-generated content can have insights that the average product marketing team might not push out on a regular basis.
Last year, Connecticut companies celebrating Manufacturers Month came together to produce a video to highlight the state’s manufacturing base. This could have been a dull, unappealing video that would have had very little appeal outside of the industry.
Instead, they saw an opportunity to co-opt a popular trend on social media at the time, videos that had groups of people signing along to a popular song. This has been done with dozens of different songs and dances. They chose the then-popular Carly Rae Jepsen song, “Call Me Maybe.” The result was not only a video that highlighted manufacturing in the state, but one that’s silly, cute and somewhat viral. The video has more than 10,000 views, no small feat for a video about manufacturing in Connecticut. They got their message across and in a way that was of interest beyond their target audience—and that is how social is done.
Simon Salt is an Author, Writer and Speaker (Creativity, Mobile & Digital Marketing). He has published two books – Social Location Marketing and the Amazon bestseller, The Shorty Guide to Mobile Marketing. When he isn’t working he is usually out on his Harley Davidson taking photos.
Technorati Tags: b2b, commerce, management, customer engagement, simon salt, business communication, lee hopkins
As you may know I am involved with TEDxAdelaide. TEDx events are idependently organised under the global TED philosophy of ‘ideas worth sharing’. Our next event is coming up and I thought you may be interested in coming along. Here is a brief outline of the event:
What :: TEDxAdelaide: Explore
When :: Saturday 4 May, 10.00am – 6.00pm
Where :: Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide
Cost :: $70 per head – get your tickets here
Outline :: Explore, what does it mean to explore? Is it a place? Is it technology? Is it ourselves? Or is it art? How do we explore, what do we explore and why?
Some of the brightest minds in the state will be discussing what it means to explore, what we explore and why. Join us for the full-day ideas festival where you can participate in a morning series of tours around Adelaide (think chocolate, coffee and tunnels) and an afternoon selection of thirteen local speakers and selected talks from TED 2013. You will be also able to explore the quiet spaces of Adelaide through the stereopublic project, one of the TED City2.0 Prize winners of 2012. Visit our website to see our full program and list of speakers.
This is the seventh TEDx event organised by the volunteer TEDxAdelaide team and the feedback we get from attendees is that they leave our events feeling inspired, motivated and full of great ideas to take back to their work and/or life!
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Guest post by Richard McMunn
In today’s competitive job market it’s important to use every method possible when it comes to finding, applying for and then securing a new job.
One such method is to use social media for job hunting, and this is because it is fundamentally reshaping the way that those people seeking employment engage with employers. Used correctly, social media can be just the thing to give an edge over other job applicants, but used incorrectly, it may do more harm than good.
Here are ten ways to use social media for job hunting, along with some of the mistakes that should be avoided along the way.
1 . The first thing to do, is to take a long, hard look at the various social media accounts that you may already own, and ask yourself the question “If an employer looked at this, what would they think?” If your latest tweet was about how drunk you got on Saturday night, or your latest Facebook update stated how much you hate work, then it’s time to either clean them up, or create newer, more professional social media accounts. In terms of job hunting, your social media accounts should be emphasising your positive aspects, and revealing how much of a valuable employee you would be.
2 . When the social media accounts are in order, the next step, is to announce to the world that you are looking for a job. Tweets such as “I have updated my resume and am looking for a job in the field of…” are a start, as is updating your LinkedIn profile to reflect this fact also. Letting your Facebook friends and contacts on other social media sites know that you are looking for new employment may also provide results, as this is what social networking is all about.
3 . Once the first two steps have been taken, it is time to start looking for jobs themselves on the various social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook. Many companies and employment agencies advertise available positions through them, and it is a simple matter of monitoring these feeds to keep up with the latest jobs on offer.
4 . If you find a job being advertised that seems appealing, it is then possible to use these same social media networks to do some research into the company advertising it. Most businesses nowadays have some form of social media presence, and doing some background homework on them may help later on in an interview.
5 . If by some chance the name of an actual person advertising a job has been made public, then the social media research can be taken a step further, by finding out more about them. They may also have a LinkedIn profile or Twitter account, and this will give you some indication as to what sort of person they are, and the sort of person they are likely to employ.
6 . It goes without saying that it is not possible to find every job online, and that also, most companies still require a resume to be sent to them. When sending in your resume, remember to add your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile URL so that an employer might be tempted to take that extra step and find out a little bit more about you.
7 . Whilst all this is going on, it is also important to continually build your social media networks. By following and befriending people who have similar interests or who work in the same field, you will be kept better informed on any changes and news in your given sector. Keeping abreast of current events is important if you want to stay at the front of the pack, and monitoring relevant news stories on social media is a great way to do this.
8 . As you increase your network, you will begin to notice that there are specialist groups and communities, and this is especially so on Facebook and LinkedIn. By joining these groups, you will have access to a greater pool of knowledge, some of which may be useful in either applying for a job or attending an interview.
9 . When thinking of social media networks, people tend to forget that YouTube can also be used in this manner. Making video resumes may not be for everyone, but there are a surprising number to be found on YouTube, and many people have used this as a tool in getting a job. If making a video, it is best to keep it as simple as possible, whilst using the best equipment to hand.
10 . Finally, it is important to remember that there is a difference between promoting yourself on social media sites, and spamming. The aim is to become someone who is knowledgeable in their field, and have their name remembered for the right reasons. Being thought of as a spammer who contributes nothing is definitely not the way to go about it!
Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become.com and the author of this article. Richard spent 17 years in the Fire Service and now provides insider recruitment training for those looking to join the fire service, police service and also the armed forces. You can also connect with How2become on Twitter
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