Ad Talk 101 Blog

Straight Talk about Advertising
September 27, 2010

Advertise for Free or Close To It – Part 3: Social Media

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips - Tags:

Everyone is talking about social media, but how many people are really working it? Although it is free to get on Facebook or Twitter, the problem with advertising through social media is time and making it work takes many man-hours. In fact, few small businesses have the time it takes to really make social media work.

When Facebook first started happening, one large company in the Harrisburg, PA area went on Facebook to start promoting and found their customers were posting negative comments about them. As the number of friends increased they found the need for a larger staff working full time to clean up the negative comments about their business.

Earlier this year a client we know began building a friends list. Within a very short time they had the maximum 5,000 friends and eventually as many as 200,000 fans.  It takes on person in the marketing department about two hours a day to work Facebook and a second person spends about an hour a day working Twitter. The time is spent first reviewing all the comments on their Facebook accounts. With 5,000 friends you may imagine, this can take some time. The next thing they do is post new comments talking about various things going on at the business, which are of interest to their friends and fan base. What do they get for all this work? Through Facebook they can get up to 200,000 impressions every two days. Not bad for working about ten hours a week.

There are over half a billion Facebook users and about 105 million Twitter users but Twitter is quickly growing and should become part of your social marketing strategy. News travels fast on Twitter and many of your customers use it to communicate daily. Download the Tweet Deck and start sorting and organizing your tweets!

Social Media - You need to be involved

Social Media - You need to be involved

Tell Your Employees to Stay Home

Author: Mark - Categories: Uncategorized

Over the past few months we have been talking about the advantages of working with our employees remotely from home. This may not be feasible for all businesses but some such as our advertising agency can work remotely because almost everything we do is on computers. Plus, with two talented IT people on staff we are easily able to employ other technologies such as video conferencing and PBX (private branch exchange) phone systems over IP to make working together over the Internet almost the same as working in the same room.

This is a big step, even for our small company, but the advantages are huge. Not only can working from home save money but also it could increase productivity. There are many studies proving the workspace employees work from directly effects productivity.

In addition to improving productivity by allowing the employee to work in a space they are comfortable in, they can save on the cost of time travel. I travel 15 miles a day to and from my office and at the end of the year that ads up to about $2,000 in gas and depreciation, as well as about two and a half hours of my time each week. One of our employees who travels forty three miles one way calculated staying at home would save him the equivalent of getting a 2.00 an hour raise. The company would save even more by closing our office in downtown Lewisburg when you consider utilities, taxes and insurance.

The problem many business owners will have to consider for this option is accountability. Sure, the employee may be more productive working from home, but they may also be distracted and shirk their duties because the boss isn’t there to watch over them. Accountability is a concern but the solution may be to set job performance standards based on goals rather than on time spent working.

Working from a virtual office is not for all business, but with a good working staff that has a good work ethic, today’s technology makes the virtual office a reality.

Print Advertising Marries Digital Advertising

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips

You may have seen them in you favorite magazine, they are called two dimensional bar codes and look something like this:

QR Code for smart phones

QR Code for smart phones

A great way to give your printed direct mail piece some extra punch or bring any type of printed material to life is by placing one or more of these images within your printed piece.

Here’s how it works. You would need a smart phone to download an application designed to run on your particular phone (iPhone, Black Berry, Android). This application would be able to recognize the code using its camera lens and get the instructions from the code such as get a coupon, go to a web site or play a video.

AIM applied this technology to a direct mail piece in September. Although smart phones are just starting to take off in our area, we expect this concept to become widely used in the near future. To demonstrate, download the application for your particular phone here (iTunes app store or Android market) and load the application. Then launch the application. You’ll see the camera on your phone come on. Hold the phone over the image above so the camera can see it and line it up until the phone reads the image. Then, it will take you to one of our videos. You can now use this application whenever you see it in your favorite magazine or many other soon to be seen places.

AIM Launches CAT Pilot

Author: Mark - Categories: Press Release

Aim Digital Visions has launched its first experimental digital signage on one of the Capital Area Transit (CAT) buses in Harrisburg, PA. In our first live run the system performed beautifully. We rode the bus for about 90 minutes and watched the weather information update along with other news and information. The content on the screens could easily be seen from almost every seat in the bus. During our brief trip we observed every rider watching the screens and most riders watched the screens the whole time they were on the bus. Many of the riders that day commented on how much they liked having information such as the latest news, sports, entertainment news and weather and were excited about our plans to eventually install screens on all the buses in the system.

AIM Digital Visions launches screens on CAT buses

AIM Digital Visions launches screens on CAT buses