Is Avataritis Killing Your Brand?

Let’s face it. The first brand message you offer up in social media comes from that little square icon that represents you in cyberspace, your avatar. Whether you know it or not, everyone who sees your image forms an impression of you and/or your personal brand instantly. What do your brand images say about you?  Are you one of the millions afflicted with…Avataritis?  Take this yes or no test to find out:

  • Do you have half of your ex-girlfriend’s arm around your neck in your cropped down image?
  • Was your image snapped on a smart phone by your overserved BFF at last week’s big kegger?
  • Does you photo scream 1995?
  • You use the boilerplate Twitter birdy or Facebook silhouette.
  • Is there a greyish, orangeish, yellowish swishy backdrop and a contrived smile on your face?
  • Is it just your eyeball?
  • Do you looked even a little bit wasted?
  • Is your image actually not you but instead an image of your fluffy dog, porche carrera or new born babe?
  • Are you masquerading as a celebrity or Homer Simpson?

If you answered yes to any of the above you’re not alone. Say it with me… “Oh Crap!! I have Avataritis!”  Prognosis: your social media picture is crap.  Worry not. There is a remedy.

Know your brand. 
Take a critical minute to define your personal brand. This exercise it very important and is the first step to curing Avataritis if you have it. Many people find that their personal and professional selves have morphed into one, myself included, so only one brand is represented. You may represent your professional self differently and therefore may need to make two lists. Describe yourself in three words.  You avatar should say those three words about you.  If it doesn’t, scrap it and start anew with your three personal brand words in mind. While the majority of these avatars work and are impactful, can you see a few examples of the afflicted?

Be clear
. When creating your new avatar, opt for simple. Crisp, close-ups, black and white or vibrant color work very well.  Don’t worry if the top of your head is cropped off. (Bonus: maybe this is a way to fix a poofy hair day or thinning top.)  There are no points awarded for being within the bulls-eye in the small square.  Don’t be afraid to crop in closely. I prepare client’s avatars to 250 px by 250.  Many avatars include company logos bolstering company reach and brand cohesion. Others are graced with causes the person promotes like 12 for 12K, a charity near and dear to my heart.  Be careful not to overdo your logos/causes/political stances on your logo. Create a blog if you have that much to say.

Quick change. Don’t be afraid to change it up every now and then.  New avatars can generate some much needed buzz if your social media experience feels a little stale.

Heck, @armano has a revolving door of cool avatars which represents his highly relevant brand well.  

Hire a photographer
Your message is worth it really.  Brand Photography is growing but it’s still not a common term. Unlike portraits, brand images carry an intentional message about the subject that helps you understand it more clearly. A thousand words are not needed, but an immediate good impression is critical. I help individuals and businesses properly represent their brand in images clearly and succinctly knowing that with the speed of social networking their avatar has to grab someone tightly less than 10 seconds.

Savvy people are investing in professional photography for social media brand impact. 

So now that you know how to recognize Avataritis, don’t let it kill your brand. Remember that when choosing to follow or friend you, your audience has a fleeting few seconds to size you up.

Make yourself clear, brand aligned and marketable and do the same for your avatar photo.

Source: kylelacy.com

¿Los avatares estan matando a su marca?

Seamos sinceros. El primer mensaje de la marca que ofrece en los medios sociales proviene de ese pequeño icono cuadrado que representa en el ciberespacio, su avatar. Ya sea que lo sepa o no, todo el mundo que ve su imagen se forma una impresión de usted y / o su marca personal al instante. ¿Qué sus imágenes de marca dicen de ti? ¿Es usted uno de los millones de afectados con Avataritis …? Tome este sí o no prueba para saber:

¿Tiene la mitad del brazo de su ex-novia alrededor de su cuello en su imagen recortada hacia abajo?
Se rompió su imagen en un teléfono inteligente por su BFF overserved en gran kegger de la semana pasada?
¿Su foto gritas 1995?
Se utiliza el texto modelo birdy Twitter o Facebook silueta.
¿Hay un color grisáceo, orangeish, telón de fondo swishy amarillenta y una sonrisa artificial en la cara?
¿Es sólo el globo ocular?
¿Es usted parecía perdido aunque sea un poco?
Es su imagen en realidad no, pero en su lugar una imagen de su perro, carrera suave y esponjosa o porche bebé recién nacido?
Se le hace pasar por una celebridad o Homer Simpson?

Si su respuesta es sí a cualquiera de los anteriores que no está solo. Repite conmigo … “Oh mierda !! Tengo Avataritis “Real: su cuadro social media es una porquería. No se preocupe. Hay un remedio.

Conoce tu marca. Tome un minuto crucial para definir su marca personal. Este ejercicio es muy importante y es el primer paso para curar Avataritis si lo tiene. Muchas personas encuentran que sus seres personales y profesionales se han transformado en uno, incluido yo mismo, por lo que sólo una marca está representada. Puede representar su auto profesional de manera diferente y por lo tanto puede que tenga que hacer dos listas. Describir en tres palabras. Usted avatar debe decir esas tres palabras acerca de usted. Si no lo hace, chatarra y comenzar de nuevo con sus tres palabras de marca personal en mente. Mientras que la mayoría de estos avatares funcionan y son impactantes, se puede ver algunos ejemplos de los afligidos?

Sé claro
. Al crear su nuevo avatar, optar por simple. Nítidas y primeros planos, blanco y negro o en color vibrante trabajo muy bien. No se preocupe si la parte superior de la cabeza se recorta fuera. (Bonus: tal vez esta es una manera de fijar un día del pelo esponjado o superior adelgazamiento.) No hay puntos otorgados por estar dentro del ojo de buey en la pequeña plaza. No tenga miedo de recortar en cerca. Me preparo avatares del jugador a 250 píxeles por 250. Muchos avatares incluyen logotipos de la empresa reforzando alcance de la empresa y la cohesión de la marca. Otros son agraciados con causas la persona se promueve como 12 para 12K, una organización benéfica cercano y querido a mi corazón. Tenga cuidado de no excederse en sus logos / causas / posiciones políticas en su logotipo. Crear un blog si usted tiene mucho que decir.

Cambio rápido. No tenga miedo de cambiar de vez en cuando. Nuevos avatares pueden generar algo de ruido muy necesaria si su experiencia de medios de comunicación social se siente un poco rancio.

Heck, @armano tiene una puerta giratoria de los avatares fresco que representa muy bien su marca de gran relevancia. Contratar a un fotógrafo
Su mensaje es realmente vale la pena. Fotografía de marca está creciendo, pero todavía no es un término común. A diferencia de los retratos, imágenes de marca llevan un mensaje intencional sobre el tema que le ayuda a comprender con más claridad. Mil palabras no son necesarias, pero una buena impresión inmediata es crítica. Ayudo a individuos y negocios representan adecuadamente su marca en las imágenes conocer clara y sucinta que con la velocidad de las redes sociales su avatar tiene que agarrar a alguien con fuerza a menos de 10 segundos.

las personas inteligentes están invirtiendo en la fotografía profesional para el impacto de la marca en medios sociales. Así que ahora que sabe cómo reconocer Avataritis, no deje que matar a su marca. Recuerde que la hora de elegir seguir o amigo que, a su público tiene unas fugaces pocos segundos para que el tamaño de arriba.

Hazte clara, marca alineada y comercializable y hacer lo mismo para su foto de avatar.
Source: kylelacy.com

5 Ways For Small Businesses To Get In The Location Game

Location based check-in type services are this year’s overhyped topic – with good reason. While you may not understand why someone wants to be the mayor of their barber shop, you do need to recognize the behavior that social location services such as Gowalla,FoursquareYelp! and Facebook Places represents for the local business.

Shoppers these days are using the Internet to find everything locally and increasingly using mobile devices, services and apps to effectively bypass even the web to find a merchant. What that means is that local small businesses need to find ways to tap into the behavior and not necessarily try to ride the hype wave to Foursquare fame.

Below are five ways the local small businesses can capture their own personalized version of social location behavior and tap what may be the ultimate online to offline combo to produce sales.

Create virtual rewards programs – Rewards programs such as those offered by most coffee shop via punch cards or large retailers like Eddy Bauer have been around for years, but smart offerings by folks like PlacePop are making the punch card concept an easy virtual or online play. Merchants can offer their own version of a check in and capture rich data on their most loyal customers.

Ride the group buying craze – If you’re not familiar with group coupon buying services like Groupon, then you’re probably not reading this blog. Facebook app maker WildFire offers small businesses the ability to create their own group buying offers and take advantage of the viral and social nature of this play to create local Facebook engagement.

Google Places coupons – When local shoppers do turn to a search engine for local shopping they often uncover your Google Places Page (or at least you should be working to make sure they do) Google has a handy coupon tool that automatically creates mobile versions of your coupons and offer. Here’s more information on Google Places Mobile Coupons

Advertise on mobile coupon networks – You can also place your ads on Mobile coupon networks and get distribution of your coupons across many local sites.

Make your own game – The game playing aspect of many of social location biggies is an aspect that should not be overlooked when trying to develop your own strategy. The web app SCVNGRis a tool that allows you to create your own game and have it related to verified checkins for a specific QR code. This would be pretty cool for a merchant association to use to create their scavenger hunt check in game.

And, of course, make sure your business is listed with the major players – Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places

Source: Duct Tape Marketing

5 maneras para que las medianas empresas entren al juego de las locaciones

Servicios de tipo de facturación basados ​​en la localización son tema overhyped de este año – con buena razón. Si bien no puede entender por qué alguien quiere ser alcalde de su barbería, es necesario reconocer que el comportamiento de los servicios de localización sociales como Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp! Facebook Places y representa para la empresa local.

Los compradores en estos días están usando Internet para encontrar todo a nivel local y cada vez más el uso de dispositivos móviles, servicios y aplicaciones para omitir eficazmente incluso la web para encontrar un comerciante. Lo que esto significa es que las pequeñas empresas locales tienen que encontrar maneras de aprovechar el comportamiento y no necesariamente tratan de subirse a la ola bombo a la fama Foursquare.

A continuación se presentan cinco maneras las pequeñas empresas locales pueden capturar su propia versión personalizada de la conducta social y la ubicación aprovechar lo que puede ser la última línea a línea combinado para producir ventas.

Crear programas de recompensas virtuales – programas de recompensas tales como los ofrecidos por la mayoría tienda de café a través de tarjetas perforadas o grandes minoristas como Eddy Bauer han existido durante años, pero las ofertas inteligentes por la gente como PlacePop están haciendo el concepto de tarjetas perforadas un juego virtual o en línea fácil. Los comerciantes pueden ofrecer su propia versión de un proceso de registro y captura de datos ricos en sus clientes más fieles.

Montar la locura de las compras en grupo – Si no está familiarizado con los servicios del grupo de cupones de compra como Groupon, entonces probablemente no estás leyendo este blog. Aplicación de Facebook fabricante de Wildfire ofrece a las pequeñas empresas la posibilidad de crear sus propias ofertas de compras en grupo y tomar ventaja de la naturaleza viral y social de este juego para crear el compromiso local Facebook.

Google Places cupones – Cuando los compradores locales no recurren a un motor de búsqueda de compras locales que a menudo descubren que su página de Google Places (o al menos debería estar trabajando para asegurarse de que lo hacen) Google tiene una herramienta promocional que puede ser útil que crea automáticamente versiones móviles de su cupones y ofertas. Aquí hay más información sobre los lugares de Google Los cupones móviles

Publicidad en redes móviles de descuento – También puede colocar sus anuncios en las redes de cupones móviles y obtener la distribución de sus cupones a través de muchos sitios locales.

Hacer su propio juego – El aspecto de juego de juego de muchos de biggies la ubicación social es un aspecto que no debe pasarse por alto cuando se trata de desarrollar su propia estrategia. La aplicación web SCVNGRis una herramienta que le permite crear su propio juego y lo han relacionado con confirmaciones verificadas por un código QR específico. Esto sería bastante fresco para una asociación mercantil a utilizar para crear su caza del tesoro de verificación en el juego.

Y, por supuesto, asegúrese de que su negocio está en la lista con los principales actores – Foursquare, Gowalla y Facebook Places
Source: Duct Tape Marketing

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Choosing a Social Media Platform For Your Business

There are countless social media websites aimed at reaching a wide variety of customers. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. can all be useful in a social media strategy aimed at engagement. But with so many options, which ones will be most effective for your organization? Here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of a few of the major social sites and how they can work for you.

Facebook: Facebook is the largest social media site on the internet and it continues to grow. With new features such as edgerank the news feed is becoming more specialized and thus, more relevant. Facebook allows users to interact with your content whether they like, comment or post, this will pop up in the news feed, increasing visibility and allowing others to discover your organization too.

Pros

  • volume of users and posts

  • people check Facebook a lot, it is the most well known social platform

  • PPC ads available

Cons

  • time commitment

  • consistent posting is necessary

  • slower growth generally

Twitter: This fairly new social platform is transforming how businesses and users interact with one another. With only 140 characters, a tweet must get to the gist of it and fly. Twitter’s concise content may be easier to digest for users and therefore easier to interact with as well.

Pros

  • short and sweet

  • sent directly to followers

  • huge population that continues to grow

Cons

  • tweets can get lost in the feed

  • not great for posting photos (only links out to where the image is online)

  • 140 characters is confining

G+: Google’s attempt at social media created a site with a wide range of usability. From Hangouts to posted content to circles, G+ allows users to interact on a more personal level with their audience and creating lasting impressions.

Pros

  • Hangouts allow face to face interactions, building relationships and trust

  • circles segment your audience for better content management and targeting

  • a great place to connect with early adopters and the tech savvy

  • makes your business more searchable online

Cons

  • only one admin per page, created from a Google account

  • still functions on the fringe of social media

  • mobile functionality is not great

Pinterest: Photos and videos are fast becoming the key to engagement on social media which is why Pinterest is seeing so much success. Simple images linked out to more content allows users to browse without much thought until a photo catches their eye. By “pinning” a photo they can then save the link and find the information, recipe or design the next time they need it.

Pros

  • women love Pinterest, so it is a great place to reach them (between 85-97% of users are women)

  • visual appeal can have huge pull

  • very easy to create an attractive product or service pin to gain visibility

Cons

  • not the place to reach men

  • no way to control who sees your pin, only when a pin goes viral does it show up on a larger number of subject boards

  • some products are not visually appealing, this would make pinning less effective

Reddit: This new social platform hosts user generated content under hundreds of sub-reddit categories. The simple interface means greater usability and less clutter to sift through when searching for content.

Pros

  • categorization allows posts to be more targeted

  • ease of use

  • larger focus on fringe news and products as opposed to more mainstream

Cons

  • if a post is not voted up enough is it quickly buried

  • little monitoring, lots of spam-y/irrelevant content on various sub-reddits

  • almost to simple, boring to look at

YouTube: Facebook may have over 1 billion users total but YouTube boasts 1 billion individual users each month and these users are watching 6 billion hours of video on the site. Those numbers alone should tell you the opportunities in social video sharing. Like Pinterest, YouTube provides the visual aids to enhance any users experience and allows users to share this with their favorite social platform too.

Pros

  • visual is engaging

  • customizeable business channels and pages for content aggregation

  • ad opportunities and promoted videos

Cons

  • quality variance in videos (professional to camera phone)

  • suggested videos may not be applicable, easy to get lost

  • advertosing overlap is a possibilty ( competitors ads will show up with your content or as a suggestion on the right side bar)

Now that you have a little bit of information about each of these paltforms it is time to investigate and decide what combination will be best for your organization. Social media has the potential to grow your business exponentially. By entering the game on the right platforms with a strategy, you are one step closer to maximizing its potential. Just make sure that you are strategic in how you select and post content. Read more about this in our blog post Social Media is Like a Loaded Gun.

Already using social media sites? What made you choose the platforms you are on now? Do you use a site we did not list above? Why? As always, leave your comments below, we want to hear from you!