loading

Will Facebook’s next-generation in messaging revolutionise the way we communicate?


Last week Facebook announced that it will roll out a new service that will wrap together email, SMS and instant messaging all from the one location – nice! Now everyone’s wondering whether the new technology, will revolutionise the way we communicate.

Mark Zuckerburg the Facebook founder naturally thinks so but he is also firm in maintaining that it’s not Facebook’s version of email – it’s a solution to the issues surrounding email and other current forms of communication. At a special event to launch the product held in San Francisco he said:

"We don't think a modern messaging system is going to be email.”

He also emphasized that the new service is: "… not email."

If you’re tired of communicating with the various people in your life using different mediums i.e. sms for Granny and some friends, then emailing some colleague and clients, then facebooking other clients, friends and family, this will bring your various communication channels together in the one convenient location.

The new service will involve Facebook handing out @facebook.com e-mail addresses to those who want one - mostly to make it easier to communicate with people who aren't on Facebook.

Naturally, some experts are sceptical as to whether the system, code-named "Project Titan", will take off among users and there is also the issue of putting even more eggs into Facebook’s basket security wise. But with over 500 million users globally, there’s no doubt that Facebook has an existing and captive audience.

Of course it is unlikely people are going to make a clean break i.e. close their Yahoo Mail or Gmail account to go all in on the new Facebook service. But I truly believe curiosity will get the better of most and if they play with it and find it easy, useful and time saving; over time they may gravitate towards Facebook more, and their traditional use of email will evolve into a new generation of communication.

This is welcome news to someone like me who has been ‘over’ email for the past two years (around the time Facebook came into play for me)! Personally I much prefer communicating dynamically with people via Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin and in the process checking out their profiles, associations and recent posts so I can pick up and where relevant, capitalise on conversations.

I also prefer communicating in ‘real time’ via live chat services like Skype, Google Chat and Facebook chat where an issue can easily be resolved with a quick answer. For example ‘where’s the accounts file?’ can be answered with an immediate and one line ‘in the black filing cabinet’. There’s certainly no need for email here yet people are now seriously in the habit of ‘dropping an email’ every time the moment takes them.

I even coach my staff, and where appropriate clients and other contacts, to communicate with me where ever possible using alternative means to email. It cuts straight to the chase and negates the need for formalities such as introducing yourself, addressing them correctly, superfluous lines such as ‘further to our recent discussions’ and the choice of sign off i.e ‘with warm regards’. And this is said by an ex journalist who can type as fast as she thinks, actually knows how to spell, and does have good manners. Even with the ability to communicate appropriately and at speed, email communication is just too labour intensive and slow for me.

I encourage you to start challenging yourself (and it will take discipline) to educate those around you to opt for different communication forms where possible to minimise the inbox clutter. And to check out the new Facebook service.

Currently the feature is available to those who get an invitation from the Facebook. To get an invitation visit this page and just click on “Request” button after logging in. You will receive an invitation to the new system.
Once you get the invitation the process is the same as any other Email service. Just accept the invitation and write your desired username@facebook.com and verify your SMS number.

For more info on the new service see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdzuFG6q63k Read More

Why I’m addicted to Foursquare (and you should be too)

Foursquare Read More

Get more IMPACT from your email marketing


 Read More

Setting up Google alerts – what are people saying about you?


 Read More

Google Maps – Put yourself ‘on the map’


 Read More

Setting up your Google Account and Google Profile


 Read More

Ten tips to top the search engines (Search Engine Optimisation)


 Read More

Reclaim your inbox!

Let’s face it. We all get a lot of email these days. If you feel like your email has become something of a gate crashed party what with all the viagara, enlarged penises and over-friendly Nigerians, you may well benefit from a few tips on how to get on top of your inbox again. So here’s some top tips…

 Read More

Web Wednesday- Put Your Money Where Your Market Is!

What would you say if we were to tell you that rather than throwing valuable marketing and advertising dollars out there month after month in the hope that the right people will see your advertisement or marketing and take some action, that THERE IS A WAY TO KNOW the right people will see your advertisement for sure, and that you won’t pay a dime unless they actually notice and click on your ad? Sound good? Welcome to the world of pay per click advertising! Read More

Web Wednesday - Harness the power of social media!

Through Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook you can reach literally millions of potential clients and retain your existing ones. It’s still a relatively new phenomenon but it is one as a business owner you definitely need to be aware of, and ideally get stuck into!  Read More

It’s not what you spend, it’s HOW you spend

Recently I was chuffed that a client who is an accomplished marketing manager in her own right emailed me to ask me for my opinion on how her company should allocate their marketing budget in the year ahead. Interestingly she gave me four possible budgets and asked for my professional expertise on how I would allocate them if I were her.

I thought I’d share my response with you, as I believe the issue of how much to spend and where to allocate it is something that is an issue for many businesses, particularly in the economic climate we find ourselves.

Ideally in doing this for any given client I would ask what objectives they had in mind, as this is key, but for this scenario I am presuming that the objective is to drive inquiries, leads and sales which is what the majority of businesses I deal with want.

Firstly, no matter what the budget, prior to going out and spending money on anything, I would invest in conducting some online market research to ascertain how many people are searching online for any given keywords and combinations of keywords with any of these. Whilst this may seem a strange suggestion, the results the research can give you can seriously drive your business direction and therefore marketing options. For instance let’s say you sell coffee. And from your searches you deduce that ‘vanilla coffee’ has a high number of searches and low competition. You may then say to yourself, ‘I can source vanilla coffee – that’s easy!’ And there is a business direction you would never have known to pursue, had you not done this initial research. In addition, the research will give you better insights into what spend will be appropriate and where, for instance in locations like Google Adwords or Facebook advertising, which are two very targeted marketing options which you can set defined budgets and get great results.

Using professional software, agencies such as us will tell you specifically what the search volumes are for any given keyword or combination of keywords (that is how many people are searching for it), versus how many competing websites there are. What we are looking for in this research is a high number of searches with a low number of competing sites.

Another thing to bare in mind when reviewing the possible scenarios below, is a lot of my suggestions have a strong focus on online mediums, simply because, across all the clients I work with, they consistently offer the best return on investment, are trackable and generally produce good results, if done right.

Note there is NO MENTION of display ads or Yellow Pages below purposely UNLESS the client can demonstrate a really good return on investment here. To do this, I would recommend tracking your inquiries for a set period, just as you do a log book for tax time (a minimum of a week period, ideally a month – 3 months) so you can see just where the inquiries are coming from. If they ARE coming from the display ads and yellow pages in significant numbers, don’t change a thing. But more often than not, they’re not performing well at all.

Anyway without further adieu, here are four very different budgets, and how, given the chance I would recommend spending your hard earned cash (!)


1. $2500-3500

· Online market research report - $750
· Initial on page search engine optimisation - $100 per page – allocate minimum of 10 pages - $1000
· Relevant online directories (paid) – approx $200 - $300 each. From Yahoo to trade specific ones you could research.
· You could also engage in a range of free marketing activities in addition to this that will just cost your time (article writing, submitting to article directories, brokering back links to the site, social media, emarketing, pr, awards submissions etc)

2. $5000-$7000
· Online market research report - $750
· Initial on page search engine optimisation - $100 per page – allocate minimum of 10 pages - $1000 (or maybe more)
· Relevant online directories (paid) – approx $200 - $300 each. From Yahoo to trade specific ones you could research.
· Google Adwords campaigns – budget for this could only be ascertained once the market research report had been completed. Could be from $200 per month net to google upwards, not factoring in campaign management if we assisted here (this also includes regular reporting on performance). Range - $2400 - $5000
· Facebook advertising – love it cause it’s so targeted. You could run geo-targetted campaigns to areas you know need this - budget for this could only be ascertained once the market research report had been completed. Could be from $5 a day net to facebook upwards, not factoring in campaign management if we assisted here (this also includes regular reporting on performance). Range - $1200 - $2500+
· Meet with us on regular basis (suggest monthly) at $150 per time x 10 months (figuring some months for holidays) = $1500 to analyse what’s working, get ideas, tips, links etc
· Database drops – sourcing relevant databases of target market and getting mentions in their email outs. This may be a free contra arrangement or require payment. Would have to be analysed on case by case basis. But if they had a good relevant database and numbers added up, that would be a good strategy i.e. if they charged $1000 to target 100,000 names, that’s good maths!
· You could also engage in a range of free marketing activities in addition to this that will just cost your time (article writing, submitting to article directories, brokering back links to the site, social media, emarketing, pr, awards submissions etc)

3. $10,000-15,000 (i’m starting to breathe in this bracket – others would be seriously stifling but we do say we work in any budgets!)
· Online market research report - $750
· Initial on page search engine optimisation - $100 per page – allocate minimum of 10 pages - $1000 (or maybe more)
· Relevant online directories (paid) – approx $200 - $300 each. From Yahoo to trade specific ones you could research.
· Google Adwords campaigns – budget for this could only be ascertained once the market research report had been completed. Could be from $200 per month net to google upwards, not factoring in campaign management if we assisted here (this also includes regular reporting on performance). Range – could increase from above
· Facebook advertising – love it cause it’s so targeted. You could run geo-targetted campaigns to areas you know need this - budget for this could only be ascertained once the market research report had been completed. Could be from $5 a day net to facebook upwards, not factoring in campaign management if we assisted here (this also includes regular reporting on performance). Range - $1200 - $2500+
· Database drops – sourcing relevant databases of target market and getting mentions in their email outs. This may be a free contra arrangement or require payment. Would have to be analysed on case by case basis. But if they had a good relevant database and numbers added up, that would be a good strategy i.e. if they charged $1000 to target 100,000 names, that’s good maths!
· Online advertising – there may be some money to play with for this in this bracket too.
· Meet with us on regular basis (suggest monthly) at $150 per time x 10 months (figuring some months for holidays) = $1500 to analyse what’s working, get ideas, tips, links etc
· You may have some left over to continue with relevant trade events IF (and big IF) you can demonstrate that these work well for you historically
· You could also engage in a range of free marketing activities in addition to this that will just cost your time (article writing, submitting to article directories, brokering back links to the site, social media, emarketing, pr, awards submissions etc)


4. $50k

All of the above but more budget allocation, more assistance from consultants i.e. us to make this work (i.e. we might help out on operational aspects rather than just consultancy so the stuff ACTUALLY GETS DONE. As you know it’s one thing to intend to do it, and another to actually do it, and do it effectively.

Yvette Adams is the director of The Creative Collective http://www.thecreativecollective.com.au, an award winning creative services agency based in Queensland, Australia offering the full range of creative services including PR, awards applications, websites, internet marketing, seo, graphic design, print production, photography and more. They won the 2008 Queensland Small Business Champions Specialised Small Business award and Yvette won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and has been a finalist in numerous other local, state, national and international business awards. Read More

Come to our next Web Wednesday event on E-marketing - What you Need to Know Before You Hit Send!

When we first started these Wed Wednesday events we surveyed you on what topics you wanted covered and this was as always a hot one. Read More

To Twitter or Not to Twitter – that is the question!

Worldwide traffic to Twitter.com reached 10 million visitors in February 2009, up a whopping 700 percent from the same time last year, according to comScore. Read More

A picture paints a thousand words

Are you trying to upload images to your website and having a few dramas? Time and time again we see our clients and others on the world wide web who are having a crack at updating images on their website upload HUMUNGOUS pictures. This is not a good idea for several reasons: Read More

Cool software that can help you track your accounts in 2009/10

With only a few weeks left in the Australian financial year, it’s a good time to analyse how we maintain our accounts and whether our current procedures and processes are working for us. Here’s some cool technology to check out that you might find handy in the new financial year: Read More

Entries Now Open for International Women in Business Awards

Entries are now open for the 2009 International Women in Business Awards, also known as ‘The Stevies’. The awards are open to all women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run - worldwide. The Stevie Awards are the world’s premier business awards competitions and feature four major awards programs in all – the American Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, The International Business Awards (the deadline for which is June 12) and the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Read More

Using Online Video Marketing to Build Your Business

Our next Web Wednesday event is one HOT topic – Marketing your Business online via Video!  Read More

Close encounters with online grocery shopping

Like many out there, I’m a busy working mother. And with a 2 year old and a 5 year, getting to the supermarket is a veritable nightmare between the ‘I wants’ and the ‘no you can’t haves’, the embarrassing potty training incidents in the aisles (think puddles) and the attempts at innocent stealing. Read More

International business awards now represented by Queensland woman

MEDIA RELEASE
 Read More

Is your website working? How would you know?

Award winning creative agency The Creative Collective has announced its latest topic for its monthly Web Wednesday event – How to Self-Diagnose Your Website. Read More

Proud owner of a brand new Blackberry Storm

Recently I became the proud new owner of a Blackberry Storm– my first foray into the world of 3G phones. Despite the fact that it makes complete sense for me as a business owner and power internet and email user to combine phone technology with electronic communication, I still waited until my two year contract was up before I eagerly jumped ship from a terrible Optus subsidary service provider (Soul Communications - do not GO there!!!) over to Vodafone. Read More

The importance of SEO (search engine optimisation)

Want to know why search engine optimisation is so important? Check out this video and listen to an exciting line-up of search engine optimisation (SEO) experts who attended a Web Wednesday event, a monthly internet and marketing related event run by award winning local creative agency, The Creative Collective.   Read More

Stevie Awards Best Asian Entrepreneur finalist Yvette Adams

Yvette Adams director of the Creative Collective, a creative agency from Queensland, Australia gives her speech at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business held in New York City, November 2009. Read More

Welcome to my Blog!

This is my first blog post on this website - this online business to be exact! Read More

10 things that you must do this year to stay in business

With all the scare-mongering that is going on in the media at the moment surrounding the downturn, recession, depression or basically badly blown out economy (or at least as they would have you believe), you could be forgiven for pulling down your blinds and hanging up the ‘out of business’ sign in your shop front. That is if you’ve even managed to hang on to your premises for this long or even have a physical store front since the advent of the internet.  Read More

Why I threw my Local Directory straight out with the trash this week

Today I ceremoniously placed my brand new 2008/09 Local Directory (equivalent local version of The Yellow Pages) into my wheelie bin (trash can/rubbish) much to my father-in-laws horror. Damn it felt good! Read More

Really Simple Syndication….RSS and you!

Yvette Adams, Director of The Creative Collective explores RSS feeds on her regular Tuesday afternoon slot on ABC Coast FM. Read More

The US is 2-3 years ahead when it comes to online marketing? I don’t think so…

So I’m fresh back from my first ever business trip to New York (with a little time for pleasure of course) who I had been reminded on several occasions prior to departure were ‘2-3 years ahead of Australia when it comes to online marketing’. But from my few days experience with the few people I did come into contact with, I was pleasantly surprised and reassured… Read More

Getting traffic to your website using video clips

In my continual quest as an internet guinea pig (read about last week’s social experiment with social networking here), this week my social experiment on myself was to see just how powerful placing video online can be for views of the actual footage and thereafter traffic to your website. Read More

Using social networking sites for international business networking

What do you do if you are about to go to a city on the other side of the world for a business event where you know nobody and have never been before? Network online prior to departure of course! Read More

2015 © The Creative Collective