Thursday, December 9, 2010

KissMetrics Offers Great Tips for Creating Your Social Media Profile

The folks at KissMetrics write an excellent blog post on the 10 Elements of a Successful Social Media Profile. They make great points about consistency across profiles and authenticity in posting (like use a photo of yourself  for your personal profiles, not an avatar or object).

Creating a successful social media profile for your company is as important as doing it for yourself. Using these points as a guideline for your company can help you create a clear, unified voice that customers will recognize no matter where they find your business - on Facebook, your website, on Twitter or LinkedIn.

We can help you create this identity. With our background in brand marketing and social media, we can help you define your company's personality and then establish a social media strategy for on-going engagement and listening. Let's us know how we can help.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Three (Social Media) Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Brand

If social media scares you - and based on a new study this isn't a bad assumption - you don't have to jump in with both feet. In fact, there are three easy ways you can get your feet wet without making a huge commitment.

And you can help your brand.

This isn't size specific and these small things will help you stay on top of what's being said about your brand (or business - or you!) and that is the first step in getting involved with social media. These are easy, easy things. So there's no excuse for not getting started.

1. Set up Google Alerts.
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. In this case, set one up for your brand - and don't forget to do one for your name! When you do, add quotes around the search to make sure you get a focused report (for example, for me I use "Jennifer Carole" as the search term).

2. Set up a Twitter Search.
You can do a simple search to find conversations surrounding your brand. You can make it even better by adding and advanced search to find comments that are local, timely or include sentiment.

3. Use your "brand" name whenever you post.
If you post to LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or comment on a blog, be sure to work in your brand name as part of the post. These properties are indexed by Google and the better you are about promoting your brand, the better chance you have of improving your search results.

Do you have other "low hanging fruit" ideas to share? Let us know - add your comment to this blog! And don't ever forget the importance of promoting your personal brand (your name) along the way!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Value of Youth as an Emerging Market: Key Requirements for Online Services

We just wrapped a study with a proprietary panel looking at an online tool that would normally be considered a "business product" focusing on the user experience and new features. But we did something a little bit different. We threw our teen panel into the mix.

This younger audience really shifted the results.

As it turns out, the youngest person on the proprietary panel was 28 years old. The our teen panel members who participated were roughly 17 to 22. Almost a decade in age difference and if we looked at mean age, roughly a generation.

We called the teens the "emerging market."

What we found is this emerging market shared a few characteristics that may not surprise you - but could influence how you are developing products. Here's a quick list:
  1. Make it social. No kidding. You might know that but you may not have embraced it. They want to share, share, share and anything you develop needs hooks into their social world from Facebook to YouTube.

  2. Let them integrate SMS (texting) and IM. These are the tools they use to "spread the word" and take things viral. Include them in your specs.

  3. They will put up with clunkyness. You don't have to get it perfectly perfect. Younger people have a much higher tolerance for clicking around to find what they need. That doesn't mean your service shouldn't work well, it should, but if you don't get the user experience right at first, they will help you figure out the right way to do it based on their user patterns.
Want to know more about what we can do for you? Let us know. We can set up a proprietary panel for you using your customers and/or you can tap our youth panel .

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Apple iPad: Quinn Provides a Teen's Point of View

Guest Blog: Quinn is an avid Apple fan and an active member of our teen panel. When the news of Apple's iPad hit last week, she was all over it. Quinn lives in the Midwest and is 13 years old. As a teenager, she offers us a unique perspective on how young people received the product announcement.


"iPad isn't just the best device of its kind. It's a whole new kind of device."
 - Apple Computer

The new Apple iPad has now filled my dreams.

When I found out the rumors were true, after refreshing Twitter repeatedly while driving to get my hair cut, I almost died. I literally leaped through the car and bounced off the windows, I mean LITERALLY. It's as thin and light as a Vogue magazine!

Some people DOUBTED the power of the tablet. For example, the day BEFORE they released whether or not the tablet was real, US News and World Report published an article on: Five Reasons Why the Apple Tablet will Flop. Here is what they wrote, and how the Apple tablet beat them.

US News: "Too big. A tablet PC is meant by design to be portable."

Me: Ha ha, well you were wrong. The screen is 9.7 inches, measured diagonally. So overall, it's slightly smaller than a magazine. And at just 1.5 lbs and 0.5 inches thin.

US News: "E-mail is more efficient with a cheaper net book."

Me: You see, on this tablet, you have easy access to your email, just with a click of a button. Also, the internet is much faster, and it is just as easy to type with.

US News: Too hungry. Apple can work miracles with software, services, and marketing. But even CEO Steve Jobs can't change chemistry, which has kept battery life from meeting ever growing demands.

Me: It has up to 10 hours battery life. To maximize battery life, Apple engineers took the same lithium polymer battery technology they developed for our notebook computers and applied it to the iPad. As a result, you can use iPad for up to 10 hours while surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching videos, or listening to music.

US News: Too pricey. Reports have put the price between $500 and $1,000.

Me: It starts at $499 and yes, it DOES come with wireless; and for a higher price it comes with 3G! So yes, I must say normally Apple can get a little pricey but these prices are pretty amazing. Also, a not too high monthly fee. Not to bad I must say.

US News: Too clumsy. From all reports, the Apple tablet will not have a hardware keyboard and will depend on its touch-sensitive screen.

Me: Okay, so even the biggest fans were a little worried about that, I must admit. I was too. But no worries, because somehow Apple always makes it through!

There are lots of great accessories that have been specifically designed for iPad. The Keyboard Dock, for instance, is a dock with a full-size keyboard. There's also a standalone Dock. And because iPad has built-in Bluetooth 2.1, it'll work with an Apple Wireless Keyboard, too. Also it's on screen keyboard is almost as large as a regular keyboard. The keys are very wide too.

From my point of view, the new Apple iPad rocks!

Comments for Quinn? Leave them here!  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Don't Let This Happen to You! Online Meeting Embarassing Moments

Listen2Youth works with Cisco WebEx on social media and we just published a fun two-part blog on the unintended consequences of not paying attention during an online meeting.

We thought you might enjoy reading the articles! Part One is here and you can catch Part Two here. Let's us know what you think!

If you use WebEx, join them on Facebook - become a fan!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's still all about the user experience: think shoes!

When you think about it, nearly everything comes down to the user experience. Which phone you choose, which software packages you end up keeping, which car you drive - hmmm, maybe even which person you chose for your partner!?

How well something works for you really matters. If you still don't believe me, go look in your closet or your garage and I bet you will find a pile of things that you ditched because the user experience sucked (for women, it's often a pile of shoes!).

At Listen2Youth, we pay attention to the user experience. Our end user panels help us do that and help our clients make important changes to their services based on the feedback we get from those panels.

In these economic times, getting close to your customers makes more sense than ever. Panels are not very expensive and the value you get from hearing first hand what is and isn't working is nearly priceless. In addition to helping you influence your internal teams, it also provides valuable information for sales and marketing as they go out to attract and retain customers.

Give us a call or drop us a note if you are interested in learning more about using our teen panel or starting a proprietary panel for your company. We look forward to talking to you!