Your company finally approved social media!…NOW WHAT?

Good job, you showed your boss the stats for why your company should use social media. And even better, they took your advice! Now what?

  • Facebook. Get a corporate/fan page to discuss events and conferences coming up; mention white-papers; highlight industry news. Facebook is more about spending lots of time, so make it something to really engage your followers.
  • Twitter. Same as above, but keep it short. Followers are looking for small bits of information and want to consume it all at once. If you can keep your tweet under 10 words, you’re golden.  There’s not a lot of room for your own advertising, so check out this article of how to brand your Twitter page.
  • LinkedIn. If there’s any social networking site meant for the business world, it’s LinkedIn. Just look at your profile, it’s your resume. You can create a company page discussing your events and publications. You can also join industry-related groups to discuss the latest trends. Or even better, you can start a group and position yourself as an industry leader!
  • YouTube. How-to videos are one of the most common themes people look for on YouTube. I learned how to design Android apps and play the guitar on YouTube. My mom learned needlepoint stitches on YouTube. Create “how-to” or information videos for your industry, and surely you will be seen as a leader.

Your options are endless. Just make sure you keep up with it so you don’t leave your followers hanging!


Top-7 Ways Companies Can Use Social Media

So the VP of communications finally wants to get on the social media bus. Or maybe there’s a new intern who wants to push this social-thingiemajig. No matter what the case, small business or large, big budget or no budget, social media can work. And here are just a few ways to get started:

  1. Use the medium creatively. Create polls, contests, games…anything to keep people coming back to your page.
  2. Make your customers do all the work. Seriously. Give them a little bait, and let them tweet away about your new product, paper, conference, etc. People are more likely to listen to their friends than a company anyways, so you might as well encourage your followers to write on behalf of you.
  3. Do something that will go viral. OK, it’s hard to create a meme — not everyone can create the next LOLZ Cats or TextsFromHillary — but if you know your customers, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Start with a video, picture, or infographic, and let your followers take it from there.
  4. Toot your own horn. You’re great, and you want to make sure your followers know why you are so much better than everyone else.
  5. Integrate your marketing. Add your handles to your email and print pieces.
  6. Get your CEO involved. Customers enjoy feeling like they have access to powerful people, and your CEO tweeting is just one way to help.
  7. Just ask for “likes.” Mention it on your webpage or email; add a sign if you have a store; put it in a print piece. Besides, how will people know if you don’t tell them?

Converting a Print Magazine Into an App

My company has a magazine that comes out 6 times a year. It is available in print and online, but we would like to branch out to tablet. We want this to get away from print-costs, and to widen our reach. However, we are a small organization, with a database of roughly 30,000 individuals, about half of whom are members.

An app is appealing for the following reasons:

  • It puts us in the App store (Apple or Google-play), reaching out to more folks
  • People who don’t want to carry around magazines might download the magazine for reading on the train (our base is DC/NY/Chicago)
  • An app would make us seem more “with the times”
  • We might get a sponsor for the entire magazine-app
  • An app on the user’s screen is constant advertising for us
  • An app, as opposed to using the website, frees the user from needing an internet connection

I know how to program, however, dealing with Apple makes me want to drink. It takes up to 6 weeks to get an app approved; they change code every year; they are picky about what actually gets approved; if I need to edit something, I might have to wait yet another 6 weeks…it never ends.

So I have compared various platforms for putting a print magazine on tablets.

The overall number product is Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. It is widely used; there are ample resources; reputable brands use it. The main con is the price.

If you are not a publishing house and do not have the volume of Condé Nast, Mag+ is probably the next best option. They use many of the same features of Adobe DPS, reputable brands use them, but it is not as expensive.

While I am still filling this in, below is a guide of multiple options.

Product Pros Cons Used By Cost
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
  • Easy conversion from InDesign to mobile device
  • Can go on iOS, Android, BB
  • Widely used and supported
  • App-store
  • Newsstand (Apple)
  • In-app library of previous subscriptions
  • Stays on the device (don’t need to keep an internet connection)
  • Based off InDesign
  • Learning curve
  • Have to reflow the InDesign files
  • Condé Nast
  • $5,940 annually
  • $5,400 training (1-time)
  • $6,600 annual support (or $300 an hour)
  • $ 17 ,940 TOTAL 1st year
  • $12,540 following
  • App-store
  • In-app library of previous subscriptions
  • Stays on the device
  • Based off InDesign
  • HQ in Sweden
  • Mad Magazine
  • Bloomberg Markets+
  • Macworld
  • $399/month ONE device
  • +$99/month for ONE ADDITIONAL device
  • +$199/month for ALL devices
  • App-store
  • In-app library of previous subscriptions
  • Newsstand
  • No real reputable brand using it
  • Grapevine Digital
  • Hagerstown
  • Skidmark
  • $3,000 per platform (up to 4 issues a year)
  • $7,000 per platform (up to 12 issues a year)
Basic Apple app
  • In the app-store
  • No more research, I know how to do it
  • Stays on the device
  • No Newsstand
  • Takes as long as 6 weeks for approval
  • And modifications take up to 6 weeks
  • Apple only / no Android
  • Time-consuming
Nothing extra (but the time to develop it). I would do 100% of it.
  • Multi-platform
  • HQ in France
  • They provide NO contact number
Price includes 2-days of training and 5 support tickets, but they do not mention what the actual price is!
  • Seems to be PDF-based
Good Food
  • In Newsstand
  • iPad ONLY
  • Not much support
  • Not widely used
  • Bad reviews
  • Integrates with database
  • PDF based (like texterity)
  • No reflow of text
  • AAA Living
  • AOPA (Aviation from Berliand)
  • Uptime
  • North Carolina Travel
$15,000-ish setup


(based off AOPA costs)



*NOTE: While I state that foreign companies are a con, I am not against other countries. However, I have a responsibility to my members, and require immediate attention. If I cannot easily get a hold of the vendor, there will be problems.

Branding Your Twitter Page

From anarchist to business architect, Twitter provides a fast, easy way to get information across to your audience. News stations use Twitter, politicians use Twitter, and even teddy bears use Twitter. But wait, how do you make yourself seem legitimate on the same platform as teddy bears? Are you trying to connect to Paris Hilton’s followers, or are you trying to make sincere business connections?

Twitter allows a bit of branding. Now, you have to be big, like Coke for major branding and banner abilities. But there’s still some wiggle room. First off, you can upload your own background. Have your own webpage? No problem, use your web background as your Twitter background. This creates for consistency! Or use the extra space in the browser to advertise yourself or your company.

Extra space?…HUH? Twitter has a fixed width of 865px, leaving the rest of the screen for backgrounds. Twitter backgrounds are left aligned, which means you need to keep the important information to the left of the screen. The twitter feeds are automatically centered, so what’s visible on the right is random depending on the screen size.

Consider space for your extra information/images based on the following:

  • 99% of visitors have 1024px wide resolutions, leaving 66px left
  • 82% of visitors have 1280 wide resolutions, leaving 194px left
  • 56.1% of visitors have 194px, leaving 1366px wide resolutions left
  • 42.3% of visitors have resolutions wider than 1366px, leaving up to 520px left

With the additional 66+px of space, you can do any of the following:

  • Adding in your website
  • Adding your email address
  • Including personal information
  • Information about your company
  • Listing important dates for your company, such as conferences
  • Listing your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social network accounts
  • And even a picture
  • Have another idea?…please leave it in the comment section!

Here are a few examples:

Click the image to see the full view

Twitter branding exampleBarack Obama has a very aesthetically pleasing way to present the various Twitter handles.

I would show Mitt Romney’s page as well to prevent and political biases, but his does not utilize the extra space for marketing.

Twitter branding example 1CBOE includes a lot of text. However, it gives more information than the Twitter blurb allows, and uses the space wisely.

Twitter branding example 2OptionsCity provides information about the company, but is not overwhelming like CBOE. In addition to describing the company, they provide ways to contact them.

In a world where teenagers are controlling media trends, it is difficult for businesses to compete while keeping a professional feel. Branding Twitter pages is just one step to merging the two worlds.