Trusty & Company Blog

Recent news and events of interest... and occasionally some stuff just for fun.

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Build A Social Plan

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Many businesses have jumped on the social media bandwagon in the past year or so, and while some are pleased with the results, others are not. Social media platforms are actually not very useful tools for businesses unless you have a plan that meshes your company’s values, culture and business drivers with your customers’ personalities.

We have delved deeply into how to best use social media, and believe that it plays a significant role in marketing most companies. When advising our clients, we discuss benefits, obstacles, liabilities and best practices. As you develop your marketing plan for 2016, we offer these suggestions, tips and tools.

Social media must be a part of your overall marketing strategy.

Tip: As with all marketing, know your audience and understand what they find interesting and share worthy.

Develop a specific policy including damage control – what to do when negative comments are posted.

Tip: Never delete a negative post. Once posted, the comment never really goes away.

Determine who will be managing all social media campaigns.

Tip: This should not be an intern or temp but rather someone who has an understanding of your customer and company.

Understand which platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – will best connect with your customers. It’s okay to start with just one platform and add more later.

Tip: Research what key competitors are doing, especially larger companies that invest big dollars in social media, and learn from them.

Keep in mind that social media is just that…an interactive tool to connect with people. The rule of thumb is that 80% of posts should be of general interest to your audience and 20% specific to you and your business.

Tip: Share posts from online resources that are aligned with your company.

Take time to analyze the data collected by each platform and adjust your approach as needed.

Tip:  Look for posts that garner high shares, comments and likes to identify topics that your audience prefers and measure customer engagement.

Try the planning tool we use to help get organized, and we’ve offered a few how-to suggestions on a sample page, too.  And if you need more ideas, contact us!

Mobile Friendly. Is it Important?

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Is Your Website Mobile-friendly?

Mobile technologies have changed the way we use and think about the Internet. Today’s websites will be viewed on more devices, more input types, and more resolutions than ever before. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and according to Google, 94% of people using them in the United States will search for local information using their phones. Considering the fact that the number of smartphones has surpassed the number of personal computers, it’s obvious that having a mobile-friendly website is a crucial part of any online marketing strategy. The web has moved beyond the desktop, and it’s not turning back. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it should be as many visitors are likely to be using some form of mobile device.

What does Mobile-friendly Mean?

Simply put, a mobile-friendly website is one that displays well on small portable devices like smartphones and tablets, a site built to be easy to read and easy to navigate when viewed on a device with a small display. A site that is not mobile-friendly may still display and function, but visitors will be doing a lot of scrolling, zooming and pinching to interact with it—not a good user experience.

Mobile-friendly And Search Engines.

The bottom line—If your site is not mobile-friendly, there may be a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search, and whether you like it or not Google matters. Google is the #1 search engine on the web, and it got there because of its strong focus on delivering the best results for each search.Their mobile algorithms may affect some types of businesses more than others but in the long run it is going to be advantageous for a web site to be mobile friendly. Keep in mind that mobile doesn’t just mean smartphones. Tablets, phablets, e-readers, are also affected.

How Do You Know If Your Website is Mobile-friendly?

If your site website is three to five years old, or older, it’s likely that it is not mobile friendly, but if you’re not sure one of the quickest and easiest ways to find out is with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.

What To Do If Your Website Is Not Mobile-friendly.

There are several options for making a website mobile-friendly, and while we don’t always agree with Google—on this we do—responsive web design is the best approach to creating a mobile-friendly website. Responsive web design (RWD) is the ability of your website to automatically adjust to (and look great on) any screen size. Advances in coding have enable an approach to web development that’s focused on building sites that provide an optimal viewing and interactive experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices, from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.

Conclusion

As you’re planning a new website, or a redesign of an existing one, keep in mind that many of your visitors will be visiting your site from their mobile phones. Responsive web design is not an advantage; it’s an expectation. At Trusty and Company we’ve been creating responsive websites since the technology was introduced, and we know how to create a web presence that gives visitors an ideal experience no matter how they access your site.

Ready or Not, Here I Come

I love business. I love small business owners. I love working with them. I love seeing them succeed.  I love the way smaller businesses try new things, challenge the status quo, work hard for every buck. But I hate it when they make stupid mistakes that make it impossible, and I mean impossible, to buy their product.

At 10 a.m. one day I wanted coffee, so I went to a coffee shop…an independently owned boutique coffee shop in a not so convenient location (actually, a very inconvenient location). But I really wanted to support these owners, so I made the effort, and by effort I mean I had to find an on street parking space, walk a block, cross the street, go in to a store, ‘round the back and up the staircase to find the shop. Not exactly an impulse location. But I gladly did all that to buy from independent owners who had invested so much of themselves in their business.

I ordered two large decaf cappuccinos. The gal working didn’t know how to make them. Nope, couldn’t make the priciest drink on the menu, couldn’t make a coffee drink at a coffee shop. Not her fault really because, as she explained, she hadn’t gotten to decaf cappuccino in her training. And where was her trainer, the shop owner? Not there, of course. So I said wouldn’t it be the same as a regular cappuccino only with decaf coffee? Didn’t matter, she hadn’t learned how to make any type of cappuccino. Okay, cancel the fancy drinks.  How about 2 decafs, black, to go.  No, they didn’t have any decaf coffee ready…could I wait 15 minutes? Well, amazingly enough, I could not wait so they lost my business that day. Not a big deal, less than ten bucks in sales.

The question is, will I return? Maybe, maybe not…would you? The moral of this story: Don’t open the doors unless you are serious about doing business.

Why You Should Care About the 2016 Colors of the Year

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Pantone®, the king of all things color, has announced two colors as the 2016 colors of the year: Rose Quartz and Serenity. This is a big deal in the design world – it’s the first time two colors have been selected. But does this mean anything to you? Maybe not. But the color, or in this case colors, selected definitely influence what you wear, how you decorate and even what your customers’ product choices will be.

“Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®. “The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity also challenges traditional perceptions of color association. In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design.”

So why should you care? Design conscience customers will see these colors used on everything from fashion to paint colors, pens and pencils to automobiles. These colors, and those that work well with them, will influence food decoration, commercial interior design, home decor and even marketing design.

For retailers, look for these colors when you go to market and make your product selections. Based on the target audience, designers will incorporate the tones in ads, web design and brand identity. And for customers, be ready to add Rose Quartz and Serenity to your wardrobe and home.