Monthly Archives: January 2012

Link Friday: The It-Felt-Like-It-Should-Have-Been-Friday-on-Thursday edition

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 by Alan

Long, busy, productive, successful week over here at P&B. I think I may sleep through the entire weekend.

Anyway, on to the things we liked this week:

  • Facebook rolled out its new Timeline look for all users this week. (I’ve had it for a while and like it, but don’t use as many of its features as I should/could.) Brand pages are still waiting for the new format, but PR Daily says Timeline could have a huge impact if it’s rolled out for businesses.
  • Sticking with social media, here’s a list of 11 deadly social media “sins” put together by the folks over at ClickZ. (I’d like to say I’ve never done any of these, but I like to be up front with my readers…)
  • Kindra put on her hipster glasses and let us know about this super-cool annual report from chic eyewear retailer Warby Parker.
  • Ericka (aka E2) shared this infographic — in handy periodic table form — breaking down the do’s and don’ts of SEO (search engine optimization).
  • And if you didn’t see it, we did a super-awesome infographic of our own this week.

That’s it from P&BHQ. Until next week!

The latest from the workshop

Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by Alan

The popular Porcupine Mountains Facebook page uses the visual splendor of the destination to engage and grow its fan base. Pilch & Barnet shares images from our photo library and encourages fans to share their own pictures of the region’s scenery.

Link Friday: The one-where-I-include-a-Sam-Cooke-song edition

Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012 by Alan

Welcome back to Link Friday! Here’s what grabbed our attention this week (plus a bonus Sam Cooke video just because):

Thanks for reading, everybody. Have a great weekend!


Why more businesses should ‘like’ Facebook ads

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Alan

If it seems like everybody and their mother is on Facebook these days, that’s probably because they are – as well as their brother, sister, cousin and first-grade teacher, too. With more than 800 million active users, Facebook is becoming a huge part of marketing plans for businesses of all sizes – from Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop corner stores.

But while setting up your business’ Facebook page is easy and free, one of the advantages of using Facebook promote your business is its unique and inexpensive advertising.

Recent studies have shown that Facebook ads tend to be more engaging than ads on other websites. And the social aspect of Facebook – seeing that your friend likes a business or a product – can be a huge boon to advertisers. For instance, IBM Interactive Marketing says 51 percent of fans of a Facebook brand page are more likely to purchase from that brand, and 60 percent of those fans are more likely to recommend the brand to others.

Facebook provides a good overview and guide to using Facebook ads, and there are plenty of other useful resources online outlining best practices to help you run a successful Facebook ad campaign.

Here are a few quick tips and tricks to making the most of your campaign:

  • Run a variety of ads. Facebook allows you to experiment with different types of ads, so take advantage of that. Experiment with Page Like ads (“Bill Smith likes Brand X”), Page Post ads (highlighting a timely or creative Wall post) or more traditional ads to see which one attracts the biggest audience.
  • Monitor your ads’ performance. Is one type of ad performing better than another? Set a threshold for your ads – click-through rate (the percentage of fans who interacted with your ad), reaching a certain number of fans or some other metric – and check back on it frequently. You can also look at your Page Insights to target ads to your page’s key demographics.
  • Keep your content creative. If you’re running a traditional ad, make sure you include eye-catching content. You’re trying to get people interested in your page, so use phrases that call people to action (For example, “Click here!” or “Book your flight today!”) Images attract people, but make sure your images are relevant to what you’re advertising.

Link Friday: The OK-We-Get-It-It’s-Winter Edition

Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 by Alan

Old Man Winter finally showed up here in Madison this week. Apparently, he was cranky from having to wait so long, so he made it extra snowy/windy/blah-y and reminded us Wisconsinites of the downside of winter. At least it looks and feels like January out there now; I was getting a little weirded out by 50-degree days.

Winter rant over. Time to move on to our favorite things from the last week.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the snow and cold (yeah, right), fellow Wisconsinites!

Winter Is Here—Now What?

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2012 by Tyler

In destination marketing, the term “shoulder season” stands for those times of the year when nobody seems to want to travel. Occupancy rates are down at lodging establishments, restaurants are below capacity, attendance at attractions is down and retailers see fewer customers walk through their doors.

In many places in the northern United States, winter is the shoulder season. In Wisconsin, the post holiday shopping phase of winter is the ultimate shoulder season. And springtime in Wisconsin, with its unpredictable weather, can also be excruciatingly slow for the state’s travel industry.

Shoulder seasons are a challenge. But as any business owner knows, the most constructive way to deal with a challenge is with thoughtful action. So, here are several tried-and-true methods for increasing business during Wisconsin’s often long, generally unpredictable winter travel shoulder season:

Create an event. Mid-winter festivals, open houses, trunk shows, live entertainment—nearly any out-of-the-ordinary happening can be used to drum up business during the long winter months. Though it’s hard to lure people out of their warm homes, there is such a thing as cabin fever. Give people exciting reasons to travel, promote it properly and you’re on your way to injecting some warmth into frozen winter sales numbers.

Target winter enthusiasts. Just who are these folks who love winter? Snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, ice anglers, geocachers and downhill skiers. Target these niche markets with products or services that are significant or timely to them and you might find a new area for sales growth during the winter. Targeting might be as simple as putting a sign outside your business that says, “Welcome Cross-Country Skiers.”

Be big and bold with your sales pitch. Winter is no time to be a shrinking violet. Use big signage and bold sales language. Big, Big, BIG and hot, hot, HOT is what we’re talking about. It takes a bit more muscle to move consumers during the mid-winter months.

Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day. Face it—winter can be very long in Wisconsin. You need to use any excuse possible to create some excitement and interest. Mid-winter holidays like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day—or any holiday, real or made up—can serve as the basis for some type of promotion.

Overnight packages. During late winter and early spring, travelers in Wisconsin tend to be short-term planners. Offering overnight packages or other special package deals can entice these last-minute trip takers.

Cross-promote and partner. Work with other businesses and local allies to help one another increase customers. Strategic partnerships between restaurants, lodging and retailers can help to boost everyone’s mid-winter sales numbers.

Thoughtful action is the only way to counteract the inevitable shoulder seasons that come around each year. Make plans this year to have your best winter ever.

Link Friday: The Mayan Apocalypse Edition

Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012 by Alan

Welcome to 2012, everybody! I hope you all get your affairs in order before December, when the Mayans say the world is going to end. I’ve read Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and seen “Waterworld,” so I’d like to think I’m pretty well prepared.

Here are some of the things we found this week that aren’t nearly as depressing as a global apocalypse:

That’s all from P&B this week. Have a great weekend, and we hope your 2012 has started out fabulously so far!