Tag Archives: blog

Engage Your Audience With Infographics

In the past few years, infographics have been taking the internet by storm, turning seemingly innocuous blog posts into viral sensations. Beautiful, funny, and charming works of art, they turn boring statistics and information – like “50% of all smartphone owners drink coffee between 7 and 10 a.m.” – into something that’s not only informative, but also easy on the eyes. 

Great news: You don’t need to be a statistical genius or a brilliant artist to dazzle your audience. 

Here are a few simple steps towards making them great.  

1. Find a Viral Topic

Whether you’re trying to detail something as expansive as the history of the internet, or something as simple as the latest Kindle, relevance is important. If you’re creating a comparison chart between the Kindle and Nook, but you completely leave out the fact that the iPad Mini was just released, you’ll be missing out on a huge opportunity to create something that people might want to share with everyone they know – and that’s the point, right?

So think about relevant current events, topics, products, crises, scandals – anything. If people are talking about it, creating an infographic that’s reflective of those events is a simple way will make people far more likely to share that infographic.

2. Keep it Simple

Perhaps the best element about infographics is that, like Twitter, they force us to be concise.

Chances are that if you’re reading a lengthy report or a case study, there’s a lot of unnecessary information.

So focus on the things that matter – the differentiators, the key takeaways, the glaring discrepancies, whatever they may be.

With that in mind, just because you’re focusing on the essentials doesn’t necessarily mean that the infographic has to be short. It can be small, like this one from Hubspot or huge, like this one from Pop Chart Lab.

Just don’t fill it up with tone of useless information. This Kindle vs. Nook chart below is a great example, as it focuses on one thing  the price of books in their respective e-book stores  and keeps it as straightforward as possible.

3. Just Build It

Creating an infographic is extremely difficult and expensive, right?

No, not really. In fact, there are a few free – that’s right, 
free – resources that enable anyone with a few minutes of time, some interesting statistics, and a handful of unique ideas to create things that are as pretty as they are shareable.

One simple (and free) resource for doing so is called Easelly, which lets users create infographics like this and this with minimal effort.

Beyond that, sites like Infogr.am allow users to easily import statistics into a wide (and constantly expanding) range of infographics. Want more? Infogr.am allows you to make those infographics interactive. It’s magic!

Those not your dig? Here are a few alternatives. Still not doing it? Hire an agency.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: A Look Back

About a year ago, I wrote about Facebook overtaking and eventually replacing LinkedIn. Since both social networks have been in the news recently, I thought now would be a good time to look back on that prediction — and how the social media recruiting landscape has changed since then.

In the past few weeks, LinkedIn has announced a doubling of revenueacquired SlideShare, and crossed the 100-million-user mark. Facebook, meanwhile, had its much-anticipated IPO, which fell far short of optimistic expectations.

image from pammarketingnut.com

When I wrote the famous blog post back in August, Google+ wasn’t a factor, and no one had heard of Pinterest. But now both sites are being used by big names, from Michael Kors to BWM to Fresh and Easy, for recruiting and employer branding. This means that LinkedIn is facing competition — but not necessarily from Facebook.

In my original article, I pointed to LinkedIn’s lack of innovation, calling their clean layout “bordering on empty.” But now the site offers dozens of premium packages for recruiters, agencies, and organizations, and has launched a special initiative to reach out to nonprofits. The acquisition of SlideShare, which businesses (including mine) use all the time to share presentations, has shown that LinkedIn is indeed innovating. At the same time, BranchOut and BeKnown, the two Facebook apps competing with LinkedIn, have grown more slowly than predicted.

image from Global Knowledge Blog

So will Facebook still destroy LinkedIn? Examine the evidence and decide for yourself:

The blog that started it all: Why Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn.

I revisited the topic a week later, aggregating all the responses from other blogs.

The Recruiting Animal put Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding, through his usual interrogation.

And before I forget — thanks to Joe Light for writing the original Wall Street Journal article that showed some companies were finding more success recruiting on Facebook than on LinkedIn. Will other companies follow? Stay tuned…

Why Moleskine is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my presentations and webinars, I’m always looking for brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” PepsiCo, with its brilliant social recruitment marketing, was the most recent winner.

Today I’d like to recognize another company that’s interacting with consumers in exciting new ways: Moleskine, the Italy-based maker of fine notebooks and journals. Rather than seeing its products as simply blank books, the company brands itself as embodying creativity, bringing tools to artists, writers, and travelers. To further this branding, Moleskine has created a number of social media channels that celebrate painting, drawing, writing, poetry, and scrapbooking, and encourages users to post their work. The result is a remarkably loyal fan base that consistently uploads and shares new content. In fact, BrandChannel recently declared that “If any brand name seems to be loved by all who come in contact with it, it is Moleskine.”


Here are the three superstar strategies that Moleskine uses to engage with its audience in a branded way:

* Moleskine has profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Tumblr, each with active communities and lots of user-generated content, from artwork to fiction to videos.

* For “old-fashioned” content, the company runs a blog, Moleskinerie, that integrates many of its social efforts while also providing unique content.

* Moleskine has just launched a mobile app that allows users to write or draw on their iPhone or iPad as they would in an actual notebook.

As the New York Times recently reported, Moleskine’s social efforts are immensely successful. 91,000 people are fans of the company’s Facebook page, while 12,000 people follow the company on Twitter. On both Facebook and Flickr, Moleksine encourages its fans to post their sketches, paintings, and collages, creating a community of user-generated content and supportive feedback.

Moleskine’s YouTube channel has 3,800 subscribers and more than 235 videos, both from fans and the company itself. The videos range from actual footage of artists drawing in the books to short films that celebrate the company’s creative spirit. The company also posts videos of its traveling art exhibitions and its workshops, which allow fans to meet and collaborate, making the Moleskine customer base feel even more like a community.

Most companies have a blog, but the Moleskine blog stands out by serving as a companion to its Facebook and Twitter accounts, rather than simply duplicating them. “Tweet” and “Like” buttons atop each post make it easy to share the content on users’ social networks. Moleskine also made the bold decision to stay distinct from the company’s website, giving the brand a platform to focus solely on its community. The blog includes a link to a very cool beta application, myMoleskine, which allows users to upload their own written or visual content, or images from a gallery, and create a virtual notebook, complete with turnable pages.

Even while it embraces its product’s low-tech charm, Moleskine is moving into the modern era with a clever new mobile app. Users choose a Moleskine notebook paper style, create a new “thought,” and then type or draw, using different colors and sizes. These “thoughts” can be geo-tagged, catalogued in different categories, and shared with others through social networks or email.

Art by Jinho Jung

In speaking to the New York Times, Moleskine America president Marco Beghin said “We let our fans speak for themselves. We wanted to create a relay of stories to become the ambassadors, interpreting the message.” Moleskine knows that its customers are creative and gives them an outlet for them to express themselves.

What can you learn from Moleskine? First, find the positive and compelling aspects of your brand, company, or product. Then learn who your market is and how they relate to those aspects. Finally, find ways of connecting with that market that utilize your strengths and are on-brand.

For fostering creativity in creative ways, I’ve dipped my quill and inscribed Moleskine in the honored list of genuine SoMe Superstars!

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Expert

A quick search of the phrase “Social Media” on Indeed.com just now served up 1,923 jobs with that phrase in the title. Actual opportunities range from Social Media Managers, Coordinators, Strategists and Specialists to Social Media Community Managers. Ever wonder what these people actually do? Great news, today you’re in luck. I’m Jason Ginsburg, the Director of Digital Branding at BRANDEMiX and this is my story.

At BRANDEMiX, we teach companies how to go from Social Media Starters to Social Media Superstars, and you might say that I’m the guy that puts the star in Superstar. I’m a social media strategist and addict, plugged in to cyber conversations 24/7 and continuously working to find new ways of keeping those dialogues going, for us and for our clients.

Half of my day involves listening. I track what people are saying about the brand or company, and monitor where they’re saying them. Then I respond.

I comment on whatever is happening in the industry or region, or refer to world events, or even just the weather – sometimes just to prove that a real person is running the show. I retweet and re-post anything interesting from the incoming stream, and I’ve set up special news feeds just for relevant keywords. I express sympathy towards someone who experienced poor customer service and show encouragement if someone wants to share a video. I engage with the audience wherever its mood leads.

The conversation can be quite lively and always keeps me on my toes. When a matter gets serious, I make sure to pass it along to the client for immediate attention.

I also run the social sites for BRANDEMiX, where I discuss online branding and marketing with other professionals.

All this time, automated posts that I scheduled earlier in the week have been going out.  That’s when I go into research mode. I scour the web for the latest online trends and tools that can help connect our clients’ and employer brands with their desired audience.

This week I discovered Roost before the New York Times did. I got my Google+ invitation weeks ago. Today I’m following developments in augmented reality and watching how Chatter and Yammer are changing companies’ internal communications. I also take this time to read the smartest, most innovative blogs for inspiration.

Hold on a second- it’s time for another quick check of the livestream – I never want to let a question or complaint sit for too long.

Let’s move on to the multimedia part of my day. Some contests (we call them Sweeps) and campaigns require photos or videos, or even PowerPoint presentations. I upload media to multiple sites, tag them for the best SEO, and respond to any comments on the existing photos and videos. This week I was stymied by the inability to do a bulk upload of some pics. I expressed my frustration in the form of a tweet to the company, and in 5 minutes, I had a reply tweet that said the bulk uploader is in development. Things like that make my day.

OK- time for blogging. I create content for our clients, either consumer-facing or internal, such as an employee newsletter. After writing, it’s back to – you guessed it – the social sites, to make some final posts, follow some last links, and schedule some content for the coming days.

Despite what you’ve just read, the mercurial nature of social media ensures that no two days are the same. My success is measured in business results and I am constantly refining my strategies and tactics based on desired outcomes and pre-established objectives, whether that’s friends, fans or followers.

What else is on the horizon? Well, I can’t reveal all my secrets!

Want to know more about my exciting social media life? Connect with me at @BRANDEMiX or our Facebook page.