The Power of Business Cards

The Power of Business Cards
By Alfred Ardis January, 2016

business-Cards

 

It may come as a surprise that, in today’s highly digitized world, business cards are still highly useful networking tools. A good card is like a good suit or even an office: it’s not necessary in the strictest sense of the word, but it signals to other professionals that you’re the genuine article. Your business cards should be an extension of your professional persona, one that reminds the holder of why they got your information in the first place. When tailored to your personal brand, they can be a gateway for professional opportunities. For such small pieces of paper, business cards carry a lot of weight. Here are some tips to help you get the right print.

 

Don’t Skimp on the Stock

One of the easiest ways a print shop can make business cards more affordable is by reducing the thickness, or stock, of the paper used. While fiscal responsibility is always an important principle in business, this is one area where you shouldn’t cut corners. It’s more than a piece of paper; it’s a lasting reminder of that first impression. A flimsy piece of paper sends the signal that the professional it represents is flimsy, too. You want to convey success with your card, even if you’re just getting started.

 

Size Matters

The standard size is 2 inches by 3.5 inches-stick with that. A lot of people these days are trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to size and shape, making pieces that are bigger, smaller, circular, etc. While these might be memorable, they’re also likely to get cut if they don’t fit neatly into a wallet or holder.

 

Include a Visual Cue

Your card should remind the holder of who you are and link back to some memory of where and why they got your info. If you or your company has a pattern or color scheme, incorporate that. If you are in a business where you trade on your personality (salesmen, attorneys, realtors, etc.), it’s a good idea to include a photo of your smiling face in order to convey the winning personality that has made you a success!

 

Keep it Simple

Even with a photo or color scheme that serves as a visual cue, don’t over-complicate things. Your business cards represent you; they don’t speak for you. You don’t want something that requires people to search for the information they need. Ultimately, the information should be quick and accessible so that the holder can contact you, not get caught up in the paper.

 

Raised Text

This one is optional and, admittedly, a bit more expensive. But it’s worth it in certain contexts. If you attend networking events where people trade their info left and right, something that stands out sensually can make a huge difference. If a potential client has 20-plus cards, the feeling of that raised text as they leaf through could make the difference between a connection and the recycling bin.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Alfred_Ardis/663300

Zuckerberg Bonded With WhatsApp CEO Over Coffee and Dinners

Zuckerberg Bonded With WhatsApp CEO Over Coffee and Dinners | Success | Scoop.it

The relationship between Facebook Inc. and WhatsApp Inc. started in spring 2012 over coffee at a German bakery. It was consummated on Valentine’s Day with chocolate-covered strawberries, after just five days of talks.

Jayne Albiston’s insight:

Just goes to show the relationship between sharing food, a drink and genuine conversation and business success in terms of forming great partnerships and mutually beneficial deals!

Facebook – The Social Network King

11 Feb 2013 – Vince Ginsburg – Featured –

 

PoD_Facebook_King

It’s hard to dethrone the king. It’s not because the king is necessarily best, or even the most beloved. Sometimes the king was just the first on the scene, or maybe circumstances just fell that way.

Facebook is the current king of social networking and despite some faltering steps doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. It has many lessons to learn from its predecessor, MySpace. But so do its competitors.

 

A Noble Background

Facebook won’t last forever. MySpace certainly didn’t. But Facebook was designed to be a king of social networking. As was MySpace. And so will whatever comes next. All social networks are designed to be kings, provided they ever get the opportunity to rise to the top.

Other social networks took the more clever approach by filling a different niche, like Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. But what about those that are trying to battle Facebook on its own turf? There’s Google+, Ning, Path, and countless others that the mainstream public haven’t even heard of.

What set Facebook apart from the others? Really, just circumstance and precedence. You see every social network, by virtue of its design, is meant to secure its own dominance. Just whichever has the most dominance, wins.

 

Built to Win

The heart of the matter is this: all social networks are designed to be mutually exclusive; or in other words to be used at the expense of others. By using one social network, you shun the others; unless they occupy different spheres of influence, of course. Using Facebook and Twitter? No problem. But Facebook and Google+? Now there’s some awkwardness.

 

The question is why?

There is no question that some people don’t like Facebook, and would even go so far as to stop using it altogether. But they like the networking afforded to them by a social network. So for them, the quest becomes to find another social network that has the features and policies they like. Nowadays there are some alternatives, chief among them being Google+.

But there’s just one little problem, or rather potentially hundreds of them. Friends.

Why do you chiefly use a social network? To stay in touch and communicate with friends and contacts. So not having all those friends and contacts would essentially defeat the purpose of a social network, wouldn’t it? And therein lies the problem.

Even if you decide to hop ship and use another social network, the exercise becomes moot once you discover that none of your friends have too. Though you’ve left behind the frustrations of the mainstream social network for the liberties of another one, trying to convince your fellows to follow suit is usually no easy task. Why? Typically it’s because they don’t want to leave their own friends behind.

The price of leaving behind the king, or of being an early-adopter of a new social network, is loneliness and frustration. And inexorably, the king draws you back in to his kingdom, and remains the largest in the land.

 

To Dethrone A King

But we do have one glaring instance where a king was dethroned. MySpace was the first massively popular social network. It had secured its audience first, and therefore should have been able to keep it. Again, why leave to another social network since everyone you knew was already on MySpace?

And yet, people left. And Facebook took over. So again, the question is why?

The former king fell victim to poor business decisions, technical inflexibility, and bad press. A perfect storm of bad luck combined with the worst crippling blow of all, a worthy competitor watching from the sidelines. The users on MySpace were becoming increasingly frustrated with the website, and the allure of a cleaner, more feature-packed, more focused alternative was definitely appealing.

People started to migrate over to Facebook. But what sealed MySpace’s fate was the fact that people’s friends migrated as well. Individuals weren’t just leaving, entire social circles were. Soon enough, staying on MySpace became its own liability as the majority of a person’s friends were now found on Facebook, leaving the MySpace loyalists the deprived and isolated ones.

 

Repeating History?

So can history ever repeat itself? Certainly. All it would take is another perfect storm to dethrone Facebook: technical inflexibility due to business demands, increasingly cluttered and unfriendly user interface, bad press to scare away new potential users, and a worthy competitor as an appealing alternative. This concoction isn’t as rare as it would seem.

With Facebook now publicly owned its direction is dictated by its shareholders, not by what is technically sound or appealing. Its interface is constantly undergoing redesigns, and while many complain but eventually adjust to it, more intrusive ads and privacy worries easily mirror what happened on MySpace. Bad press can come from any direction, from any source; all it takes is a big enough scandal.

And as for worthy competitors? There are several. Right now they seem insignificant because there’s little reason for the masses to migrate from Facebook. But if Facebook’s ship begins to sufficiently list to one side, like MySpace once did, then the users will flee.

Once the mainstream user base wants to abandon Facebook, they’ll follow the trails blazed by the early-adopters who first explored other competing social networks. Once people find something they like, the word will spread and everyone will converge on that one social channel, thus making it the new king.

Long Live The King

Now that social networking exists as an mainstay of the Web, it isn’t going away anytime soon. Possibly never. The cat’s out of the bag; Pandora’s Box has been opened. Now that people have experienced social networking, they must always have it.

Consequently, this means there will always be demand for it. And by its own nature, whomever happens to be most dominant in filling that demand will be king, to the detriment of all others. But should that king falter, everyone will just flock to another, and then make that one the new dominant kingdom.

There can only be one king. But there must always be a king.

Do you think Facebook will ever lose the crown, and if so, how? Who do you think is likely to replace them, an existing competitor, or something we have yet to see? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook unveils new search engine

Jan 17- James Henderson – TechDay

PoD_Graph_Search

Facebook has revealed a new search engine called “Graph Search”, unveiled at the company’s eagerly anticipated press event this morning [16.01.2013].

Unveiled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the social media giant says the search engine will leverage their one billion members’ 240 billion photos and one trillion interpersonal connections.

Labelled as a new way to navigate these connections, Graph Search takes Facebook back to their roots, allowing users to use the graph to make new connections.

Zuckerberg was keen to stress that the company is still in the “very early” stage of development of the project however, which is currently only available in English.

“Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected,” Zuckerberg said.

“The main way we do this is by giving people the tools to map out their relationships with the people and things they care about. We call this map the graph.

“It’s big and constantly expanding with new people, content and connections. There are already more than a billion people, more than 240 billion photos and more than a trillion connections.

“When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections.

“Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.

“Graph Search will appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page.

“When you search for something, that search not only determines the set of results you get, but also serves as a title for the page.

“You can edit the title – and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook.

 

Graph Search v Web Search

But Facebook were keen to stress that Graph Search and web search are very different.

Web search is designed to take a set of keywords (for example: “hip hop”) and provide the best possible results that match those keywords.

While with Graph Search users can combine phrases (for example: “my friends in New York who like Jay-Z”) to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.

“We believe they have very different uses,” Zuckerberg said.

“Another big difference from web search is that every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most content isn’t public.

“We’ve built Graph Search from the start with privacy in mind, and it respects the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook.

“It makes finding new things much easier, but you can only see what you could already view elsewhere on Facebook.

 

Four main areas

The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas — people, photos, places, and interests.

People:

“friends who live in my city,” “people from my hometown who like hiking,” “friends of friends who have been to Yosemite National Park,” “software engineers who live in San Francisco and like skiing,” “people who like things I like,” “people who like tennis and live nearby”

Photos:

“photos I like,” “photos of my family,” “photos of my friends before 1999,” “photos of my friends taken in New York,” “photos of the Eiffel Tower”

Places:

“restaurants in San Francisco,” “cities visited by my family,” “Indian restaurants liked by my friends from India,” “tourist attractions in Italy visited by my friends,” “restaurants in New York liked by chefs,” “countries my friends have visited”

Interests:

“music my friends like,” “movies liked by people who like movies I like,” “languages my friends speak,” “strategy games played by friends of my friends,” “movies liked by people who are film directors,” “books read by CEOs”

The Graph Search beta starts today, go to www.facebook.com/graphsearch to get on the waitlist.

5 Minute Guide to Using Instagram for Business

Nell Terry – Featured

It seems like the world of social media has been awash with buzz over its latest darling – Instagram. The trendy photo editing and sharing site has taken hold of the 18 – 24 crowd, and it currently boasts more than 80 million users. That’s precisely the reason Facebook acquired the social network so greedily a few months back. Keeping their enemies closer, you know?

Any time a social networking site catches fire with such quickness, marketers scramble to follow the crowd in an attempt to capitalize on the fad before it fizzles out in favor of the next big thing.

Instagram is a social network that’s definitely hit, its stride. The company is in full-peak mode, which is why online businesses are desperately attempting to figure out how to harness the platform to promote their business. And, hey, in my opinion, as long as we’re not talking about spam, scams, or get-rich-quick schemes, what’s the harm in online mom-and-pop shops and the big guns alike getting in on the action to pad their bottom line?

If you fit this description and you want in on the action, then read on to uncover how you can use Instagram to boost your business before users flock to another edgy platform that you’ll need to learn how to use (yet again).

Set Up Your Account and Get Your Web Profile

To begin, you’ll need to install Instagram’s free app on your mobile device. Once you’ve done that, register a new account for your business. From there, you’ll be able to upload company photos and use a variety of filter effects to enhance the images you select.

Then, you can share your company’s pics with fans in their photo stream. But that’s only the beginning. Instagram has recently introduced what it calls “Profiles on the Web,” and they’re a dynamite way to show off your brand as well as the photos you share on the platform. These new profiles are slick indeed, and they come, complete with a rotating carousel of your company’s most recently shared pics located directly above your profile picture and company bio. Here’s a little sample of the format in action:

Image:

Source: Instagram Blog

When you set up your profile and create a web page for your account, you open the door to a fantastic tool for growth. For example, you can add a “Follow Me on Instagram” button to your company website or to your other social media accounts and link it all to your Instagram profile on the Web. Instagram users can surf through your content, leave comments, like your images, and start following your company right from their Web browser – no smartphone required (although they can use that too)!

Your profile will also include an easily memorable URL. To view your company’s spot on the Web, visit instagram.com/[username]. It’s that easy. The official Instagram blog gives the example of Nike. If you want to check out Nike’s profile, you’d type instagram.com/nike into your browser’s address bar and you’d land on Nike’s Instagram page on the ‘net.

In this era of online marketing, social media integration is vitally important. You must streamline your online persona and brand your business on the Web so people will recognize your company’s identity across platforms. Interlinking social media networks can be a real pain, but it’s worth it in the long run. Further, sharing your content across multiple platforms will maximize exposure exponentially.

Instagram has tried to ease this pain for companies recently. It has added a way for you to share your Instagram content on Twitter seamlessly. Even if your usernames are different for each site, you can now share content between them both. When you share your pics to Twitter, Instagram will now translate @mentions if your Twitter username and Instagram username are different.

You must make sure to connect the two platforms so each has the appropriate permissions set for sharing. Once you’ve done this, your Instagram username will show up in the photo caption of your tweet, and your Twitter username will, of course, still appear as the author of the tweet itself.

Tips for Using Instagram for Your Business

Once you’re properly set up for sharing and you’ve added some cool pictures of your company and products, it’s time to take things to the next level. If you are a product-based business, use Instagram to create a (free!) online catalog of sorts for your fans to browse through, and comment on at their leisure.

Another great use for Instagram is demonstrating how to use the products you sell. Sometimes people need a little help with visualization, and if you show your fans how they can improve some problem they’re facing by using your product, then it’s a win-win situation.

According to the official Instagram business blog, many bigger companies have launched full-scale campaigns in which they invite users to submit their own content. This has paid dividends as far as social shares and exposure goes – Tiffany & Co., the infamous jeweler, has launched a campaign inviting people to submit pictures of love situations and finish quotes the company starts to prompt user participation. Once you’ve gained enough fans, try out a similar tactic to increase engagement for your own brand.

Behind the scenes photo series sets are also a hot trend for businesses on Instagram these days. Think about reality shows – people like to see the inner workings, things they’re not privy to under normal circumstances. If you go public with interesting shots of people working at your company or allow a look into an industry event, for instance, you may gain shares from curious users who want to find out more.

Starting a dialogue is the best way to get fans fired up about your brand, simply because people like to be heard and have their opinions taken seriously. Use the platform to learn how to better your business through user feedback, and you’ll find fans come to you – and they’ll do it organically.