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 .