Tag: marketing

Marketing vs. Graphic Design

Marketing vs. Graphic Design

Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Graphic Designers…they’re pretty much all the same…right?

No. Not exactly.

While they may all do a lot of similar things, you cannot call yourself a Graphic Designer if you are a Marketing person. I cannot tell you how often I have heard, “I majored in Marketing so I know how to do Graphic Design!” No. No, you don’t. Just like I can’t say, “I majored in Graphic Design so I know all about Marketing!”

Each of us may know a little about both, but I cannot be considered a master Marketer if my focus is design. Yes, I took marketing courses and know how things work, but don’t ask me to produce statistics and send out proper surveys or manage accounts. I can recommend options to clients and talk to them about my perceptions, but if I ever need help or a professional opinion, I will search out resources so I know I’m offering the best information. (This is where having a great network comes into play.) Our job functions cross lines, but I do not pretend to know everything about everything.

My biggest pet peeve is when someone in Marketing or Advertising or Public Relations gets a copy of the Adobe Creative Suite and suddenly knows how to be the in-house designer. There are tricks and techniques that I spent four years of my college life learning. Just like I’m sure others spent their four years learning about their fields. You might be able to make an annual review in InDesign, but stop saying you know how to design. You know how to format a document so that it looks more presentable than one done in MS Word.

If I could go to college and spend thousands of dollars and come out knowing TWO professions just because one day I stumbled across Adobe Illustrator, why do we have design degrees? Why wouldn’t everyone go to college to major in ABC and purchase the Creative Suite? You could be a business person AND a designer! Look at how marketable you now are. Everyone will want to hire you to do BOTH jobs!

…Wait…what? Now I have to do two jobs and only get paid for one? …Uh…that’s not how I thought it would work…

See what happened there?

In today’s world, everyone is always looking to save money. If you claim to be a designer and an Account Coordinator, you now have two jobs for the price of one.┬áNo one wants that.

You may say that your company cannot hire an in-house designer because of the cost involved. Not true! You can contract projects out to designers. Find a freelancer/studio and ask them to send you a quote. You might be surprised. And with hiring a real designer, your finished product is going to be consistent with your brand, high quality, more creative, and worth the money. Then, your Account Coordinator can do their job 100% of the time and not be distracted with company design projects. Most often, the person that claims to be a designer will take twice as long to finish a project than a true designer. So, you’re saving money all around. The ROI is too great not to hire a designer!

Long story, short

Hire a designer. Stop calling yourself one if you’re in a related field. We all know what each other do, but we can’t claim to be masters across the board.

Just my 2 cents.


How social is Social Media?

How social is Social Media?

How many times should I post? What happens when people comment? Will they all be negative? How can I manage this?

I frequently talk to clients about social media and how to interact with their customers. Some do not want to take on the responsibility of managing a profile because they do not want to open the gates to all the negative Nancys out there. One of the things I am always asked is, “what if someone makes an awful comment on our page?” While this certainly is a possibility, please do not make it the only reason to NOT have social media profiles.

I manage 3-4 profiles on a daily basis across multiple social media pages. Here are a few tips I have learned during my time as a social media manager…

Do not remove comments

You may have something come up on your page that is inappropriate or an advertisement that just shouldn’t be there. Most people would hit the delete button. To that I say, STOP!

DO NOT REMOVE COMMENTS OR POSTS that are negative or not relevant. When you delete someone’s post on a page, you are removing their voice for no reason. This allows that user to create their own assumptions about your business or organization. Instead, take the time to comment back to them and explain your policy and why they prefer you either do not post certain things or to keep the language clean. This can also be an opportunity to help someone with an issue.

Commenting Example

For example: your business is a copy shop. You make copies of people’s resumes, print local banners and posters, and sometimes help with graphics. You promote specials and updates on your Facebook Page. Things are going well until you receive a notification that someone just commented on your latest post.

Your post: “Come see us today to receive 20% off resume printing!”
The comment: “Don’t go here! These guys messed up my simple color copies yesterday!”

The bad way to react

Remove the post and be angry the rest of the day that someone would say that about your business.

The better way to react

Post a reply to that person saying, “We are so sorry for the mistake! Please stop by and allow us to fix it, free of charge.” You not only recognized and accepted that there was an error on your part, but you made the customer feel like their voice was heard. You can offer a discount to fix the solution or offer to speak with them and come up with a solution. In replying to comments like these, you show the world how your customer service is and how much you care about your business and customers.

I know if I read a business reply like this, I would go to this copy shop because I know I would be taken care of. Social media opens up the doors to add a grass-roots approach to customer interactions. Embrace it!

Have a focus for your page

You cannot control how users will use your social media pages or what kind of users will visit. Some might follow you and interact all the time. Others might visit your page without being a follower. And some might only come to you when they need your services. Do not try to control your interactions or users. You will go insane trying.

What you can control is the focus of your page. Using the example from above, you’re a copy shop. You make copies just like anyone else can. But why do you have a social media presence? To promote your business, yes. But what else are you hoping to gain? Do you want to be known as the local, simple copy shop that gets things done? Or the extravagant copy shop that can do anything from simple copies to adding metallic sparkles on banners? Just as you would position your marketing materials, position your social media profiles.

Create posts that show your personality. Have a voice. Make your business a person. You’re on social media to connect with your customers so don’t be afraid to connect with them! You do not always have to be all business. They want to see your fun side. They want to see your business personality and culture. Ask them how their day is, or about their favorite thing to do in the winter. Make your professional business posts but do not be afraid to throw in something totally random every now and then.

Manage it regularly

If you are new to the social media scene, or want to try adding another profile to the mix, please make sure you have time to manage it! It is good to have a social media profile but it is not good to create one and let it sit for months on end without an update. You want people to see that you are doing things. You want people to see that your business is active and amazing! While you might be crazy busy and have a ton of business, your silent social media page does not reflect that. Make time for this form of marketing.

Yes, I will admit, I am the type that will search a business’s social media page and judge it based off of the number of posts and interactions. If you haven’t posted since last summer…chances are I probably won’t visit for awhile. You have to know that there are other people out there just like me. It may not be many…but it is a reality.

How often should I post?

This answer varies by program. Here are my suggestions for the major players:

  • Facebook: Post at least once a day and be aware of your notifications
  • Twitter: Post every few hours and manage @replies and RTs throughout the day
  • Instagram: Post once or twice a day
  • Pinterest: Pin at least once a week
  • Blog: Post once a week or at least once a month

Note for all social media mediums: Do not go overboard with posts! No one wants their feed full of your multiple posts. Do not fill my Instagram feed will millions of photos simply because this is the only time you have to post a full weeks worth of pics. Use programs like HootSuite and Tweetdeck to schedule posts. If you have a free moment and have great post ideas, schedule them to post throughout the week. This is a great thing to do when you’re on vacation or out of the office. You might have left for the day but your social media users have not.

Make sure you are managing your comments, replies, and reviews! If I tweet at you and you don’t reply until a few days later, that feels like years and I’ve already forgotten what I tweeted to you. If I make a comment or post on your page and you don’t reply until a week after, I either won’t care anymore or have found someone else. Social media is quick so make sure you have the time to keep up. This does not mean you need to be on Twitter and Facebook 24/7. At least be available on those mediums during normal business hours. People will be expecting replies in a reasonable timeframe. It is not like email…you have to act quick!

Have fun!

Don’t forget, social media is supposed to be fun! Its a great way to get your message out there and be noticed. Stop worrying so much and go for it. See what happens. Some people love data and numbers and ROI but until you start your page, you’re not going to get any of that.

Go for it and let me know how it goes! If you have any tips or things to share from your experience, leave a comment below.