Friday, July 29, 2011

Facebook Makes It Easier to Build Your Page (But You Still Need a Strategy)

Score one for Facebook in its ongoing battle with Google, with the latest round focused on bringing businesses into the social networking fold.

This week, Zuckerberg et al. unveiled a tidy new how-to guide for businesses to create their own pages. Meanwhile, Google remains wishy-washy on how to integrate businesses into its new Google + network.

At first glance, Facebook for Business appears to be a helpful, straightforward resource (CNET’s take here). However, the site mostly covers the mechanics of setting up your page and maximizing its functionality.

To gain the biggest advantage with your Facebook presence, you still need clear objectives and a solid strategy to match.

So as you try out Facebook’s new guide, why not refer back to these key considerations for your company Facebook page.

Friday, July 22, 2011

You’d Think a Mega Media Mogul Would Have a Better Handle on Crisis Communications

But in the case of Rupert Murdoch, you’d be wrong.

Reviewers were unimpressed with Murdoch’s testimony this week before British Parliament in the rapidly expanding and deepening News Corp. phone hacking scandal.

Murdoch’s performance was yet another reminder of a lesson we pointed out recently: that executives need better crisis communications training.

It wasn’t exactly the notorious no-comment approach. But it was far from the transparent, accountable leadership that Parliament and the public were looking for. Is anyone buying Murdoch’s pleas of ignorance about what’s been happening at his news outlets?

It seems News Corp. has handled the phone hacking problem poorly going all the way back to its beginnings in 2006. Instead of tackling the issue head-on when they had a chance, Murdoch and his son James must now clean up a much bigger mess.

To do so, they’re going to have to be more open, responsible and direct than they’ve been to date. After all, you can’t make the story go away just by ignoring the scandal in your own media … or even by winning a little sympathy after a pie attack.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quick Response, Quick Death? Critics Question QR Codes’ Effectiveness

How many people, when they see a QR code, know what it is?

How many of them have a smartphone capable of doing anything with that little pixelated box?

How many of them have already downloaded the correct application for reading the code?

And when they take the time to have their phones read the code, where does it take them?

QR codes are an increasingly popular marketing tactic. But critics such as these columnists in Business Insider and AdAge are raising questions about whether all the fuss is really futility.

It’s healthy to have a sense of skepticism about the latest tech fad. And QR codes, which may prove to be transitional rather than transformative technology, fall into that category.

But we shouldn’t immediately dismiss them. QR codes, despite their shortcomings, offer a low-cost chance to engage customers and prospects in new ways. Just don’t let yourself believe that they’re some kind of magic potion.

Start with a smart strategy, incorporate a compelling offer, put it in a place where your target audience is most likely to use it … and a QR code might just bring a little something extra to your next campaign.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Having a Blast Thanks to U.S. Manufacturing

For a few weeks there, it looked like there wouldn’t be much to ooh and ah about this summer, economically speaking.

But now the U.S. manufacturing sector, perhaps inspired by the profound lyrics of Katy Perry, has gone and set off some beautiful economic fireworks heading into this Independence Day weekend.

Not that we had any doubts here about the strength of America’s manufacturers. But we’re pleased to see more strong data to back up our bullishness and help investors regain some optimism, too.

The news is well timed: As we get ready to celebrate our great nation, our spirits are boosted by one of our greatest assets—the vibrant manufacturing sector that has helped spur our economic growth for 235 years.

Happy Fourth of July!