Social Media

How Girl Day Spotlights the Issue with Engineering

Yesterday, we celebrated Girl Day. The mission is to attract more females to the engineering and automation world. It is also important to note that Girl Day is not just a one-off event… it is meant to spark momentum and awareness about the importance of a continued effort to support this mission. So, while yesterday focused on the immediate need (introducing girls in your community to engineering careers), it also provided the knowledge and tools to continue to educate women of all ages about the profession in the future.

NPR reported that close to 40% of women with engineering degrees either never use their degree or leave the profession for reasons like the glass ceiling, a lack of self-confidence or a lack of mentors. The same report points to getting more women interested in engineering as the biggest problem the profession faces.

Girl Day represents the push happening in society to interest more women in engineering. This push is meant to balance out the playing field among men and women so that there will not only be more women actually using their engineering degree, but there will be more young women saying that they want to be an engineer when they grow up.

That is why Girl Day is so important; it gets us talking about this issue.

Social media is a key player expertly used to spread the word of this movement by creating awareness for both the issue that makes Girl Day necessary and the event itself. A whole campaign launched for this special day uses the hash tag #BringItOut to highlight the idea that there is a little engineer in every girl to be discovered. A series of YouTube videos made for this campaign feature females discussing qualities of the profession that might interest girls such as curiosity, problem solving, innovation and design.

In addition to YouTube videos, the sponsor for this campaign, DiscoverE, is using Twitter to get some bigger companies involved.

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By getting companies like GoldieBlox involved through social media, the #BringItOut campaign is able to gain more clout and extend the reach of the message.

 

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We think Girl Day nailed it with this one. What do you think?

The Barn: Four News Reader Options to Help Get Your Team Organized, Educated in 2015

Here in the barn, we’re always testing out the latest and greatest apps and websites that help put technology to work for our clients and associates.  One subject that comes up this time of year is managing the seemingly endless flow of content we receive through emails, newsletters and websites. According to the popular website Quora.com, more than 94,000 news articles are posted to the web on a given day.   Throw in the free templates, ebooks, white papers and other content vehicles available, the process of categorizing and consuming worthy information is a major challenge. If you’re not on top of this stream, it can quickly become an out of control fire hose.

As you start out the New Year, we’ve listed below a few apps and websites we frequent to help corral the content monster here at Kleber & Associates.  Each offers their own advantages and approach – take a quick spin and see if one is right for you.  While the tried and true RSS feed remains a popular option, we enjoy the slick interface and “magazine” feel these programs offer. Using the same RSS technology, we find them easier to read, share and view on your mobile device.  As a marketing professional, think about using these readers across your entire team and with sales as well – if everyone is eating from the same tree, you’ll be amazed at the alignment.

What are some of your favorite readers? We love hearing from our readers.  Email jpeters@kleberandassociates.com

Happy Reading!

NewsBlur
NewsBlur may look familiar to old Google Reader users – the interface is a near carbon copy to the popular service Google shuttered in July of 2013. NewsBlur can categorize blogs, websites and other feeds with a simple filing system that doubles as your navigation menu. When Google Reader first closed, NewsBlur was inundated with new users and had to cap new users.  Free accounts are capped at a set number of follows but the paid service is more than reasonable for unlimited sites.  www.newsblur.com

Feedly
The demise of Google Reader sent a shockwave across the internet.  In its place, Feedly quickly rose to the top thanks to a simple navigation menu and powerful search function.  We are big fans of the Feedly browser extensions which make sharing and archiving articles a cinch.  www.feedly.com

FlipBoard
In terms of presentation, FlipBoard is our top pick with smooth animations and true magazine look/feel. Much like the other readers, FlipBoard offers a massive cross-section of topics where you can store personal and professional articles in one program. FlipBoard really shines on a tablet device.  www.flipboard.com

Pulse
Pulse is a little unique in that it uses a proprietary content engine to find and elevate news articles based on your given interests. Windows 8 users will find comfort in the program’s tile organization versus a running list – it’s a cool effect that looks amazing on a mobile device.   www.pulse.com

Black Friday: Extravaganza or a Holiday Compromise?

Many know the day after Thanksgiving to be an occasion of long lines, big shopping bags and incredibly large discounts. It’s “Black Friday”! “Black Friday” is a day many consumers wait for all year long to get a jump on their Christmas shopping and to Sale labels with red gift bowstake advantage of marked-down items. However, more retail stores have started a new marketing trend this year.  Instead of waiting until the Friday after Thanksgiving to roll out the deals, many stores have begun their “Black Friday” discounts as early as October.  Giving stores access to the increased revenue that comes with Christmas shopping, this also appeals to those shoppers hoping to derail “last-minute shopping” headaches. A new survey from Accenture reveals that 45 percent of consumers have plans to go shopping in some capacity on Thanksgiving Day or evening. Nearly half of these people will likely go to stores between 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

The Lowes Approach
Lowe’s is one of the stores capitalizing on an early Black Friday concept.  Many Lowe’s consumers purchase home improvement products as gifts, but many others take on mini-projects and quick fix-ups for their homes in anticipation of guests and holiday parties. Lowe’s used social media to roll out its Black Friday Sneak Peek.  The company’s website uploads new deals consumers can expect to see during the Black Friday sales, with the caveat while supplies lasts”.

There is a new development, however, this year — Forbes, ThinkProgress and Mental Floss have gained support from over twenty companies who say they refuse to open on Thanksgiving. This may seem like a poor business model given the enormity of Black Friday, but, for these companies its about not ruining Thanksgiving. By refusing to open for Thanksgiving, companies like Lowes, Home Depot and Costco subtly rebuke the “Black Thursday night” tycoons like Walmart. They probably lose out on revenue; but enhancing their brand with certain consumers while preserving the sanctity of Thanksgiving as a time for family to relax inside the warmth of their homes, rather than camping out for the best deals, is far more important, and beneficial to them. Read more…

The West Coast Swing – Kleber & Associates on the Streets of San Francisco for PCBC

It was an interesting blend on the streets of San Francisco June 25-26. On one end, thousands of IT developers crammed into the Moscone Center West for the annual Google I/O conference to hear “what’s next” from the web’s preeminent authority. One block over, thousands of building professionals and vendors filled the Moscone Center East to see the latest in home improvement and building materials at the 55th annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC).

While certainly two distinct audiences, a common theme emerged from both events – how the next frontier of technology will impact our daily lives. While Google went big with wearable devices, PCBC was the stage for a variety of innovative products that meld smart technology, manufacturing and materials with functionality in today’s home.

Founded in 1959, PCBC has been a must-attend event for the industry with direct linkage into the lucrative California/western United States home building industry. The Kleber team walked the halls and visited dozens of booths, one of our work tasks actually, and collected our favorite products on display. We didn’t set any conditions on what we deemed “worthy” for this recap – just the products we found innovative given the show’s overall theme of “New Directions”.  Here were our top three –   We can’t wait to see what PCBC has in store for 2015.

Creative Mines
With a striking booth, lined with Ansel Adams-quality black and white stills of the company’s natural and crafted stone veneer products, Creative Mines made an impression on our team. The company, founded by former executives of El Dorado Stone, uses a proprietary mix- composed of 70 percent post-industrial content- that eliminates the need for smokestack-produced fly ash used by other manufacturers. A high-purity, natural pumice  high density pozzolan helps enhances compressive strength and improves durability.

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The company also sources natural stone for applications but the crafted product, available in a variety of colors and textures, was as close to natural stone as we’ve found. The company prides itself on being independent from past inventory and outdated equipment so they can work directly with architects on cutting-edge design. The mix of modern production and expertise certainly shows – we struggled telling the difference between real and manufactured.

 

 Liftmaster

Seventy percent of homes in the United States have a Liftmaster garage door opener installed. Think about that – an amazing statistic we learned while visiting the company’s booth. While certainly no stranger to American homeowners, Liftmaster is not resting on its laurels. The company was touting their latest innovation which plays into the home automation movement. MyQ is a system that links your garage door opener with a intelligent communications solution accessible through your mobile phone and other linked accessories. With a home equipped with MyQ enabled devices, you can turn on lights, open the garage door remotely or even check to make sure it’s closed.  The company is now installing MyQ directly into four new models – meaning homeowners can purchase from the box solution versus piece milling an automation system. We found MyQ particularly interesting given the recent talk of Amazon’s use of drones for home delivery.  MyQ, linked with a camera, could conceivably open the garage door for delivery – all managed from your smart phone. The possibilities are intriguing to say the least.

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Zonda

Homebuilders all need land – you can’t pull up to a vacant lot and start throwing up a dwelling either. For decades, finding available land then planning out developments best suited for a particular demographic meant countless trips to the zoning and permits office of a particular county. Even then, the mainly paper-based system was rife with calculation errors and unclear information on the availability of a particular parcel and surrounding demographics.
Enter Zonda –  a truly game changing application for the iPad which harnesses the power of Meyers Research – a leading market research and advisory service for US Homebuilders- for canvassing,

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evaluating and ultimately selecting land parcels for new home construction. Using GPS functionality, Zonda offers end-users real-time data, indices and analysis at the swipe of a finger.  The app can hone in by zip code on bustling areas and mine trends that ensure you’re buying lots in desirable selling points including schools, crime rates and job market conditions.  The searches are fully customizable with more than 270 fields and can be exported into a comprehensive report for potential investors.

 

The application offered an amazing interface with precision zoom, call out boxes and HD quality maps.  Even though we don’t focus in this particular area ourselves, we were blown away by the presentation and marveled at its future applications.

Using Twitter to Reach Specific Target Audiences

In a society of innovation and constant information, Twitter has become the go-to venue for fast, real-time updates and consumer-based input. In merely 140 characters, Twitter gives everyone a voice.Untitled

Since its launch in 2006, the micro-blogging website has grown to over 200 million active users. With such a large user base, Twitter has become one of the prime social media venues for advertising.

Twitter advertising has been available since December 2011. Since then, advertising on Twitter has evolved into a system that makes advertising, and evaluating its results, easier than ever. Read more…

Pinterest Promotions: New Ad Avenue for Home and Building Products

Pinterest has started offering paid ads on their site and allowing companies to pay for promotions, or upgrades to visibility, on their posts, or “Pins”. Many brands have already been allowed to test promoted pins and are heavily invested in this new way of marketing. Notwithstanding, challenges remain to be overcome, such as user response and proof of profitability.256px-Pinterest_Shiny_Icon.svg

Pinterest is a tool used to share and save bookmarks visually instead of in list format. Its primary use is as a visual discovery tool that can be employed to manage ideas, interests and projects. Users upload, sort, save and manage pictures as well as other forms of content on “pinboards”, Pinterest’s name for user created collections of content. Launched in March 2010, Pinterest has grown to have over 70 million users worldwide as of July 2013. Pinterest’s userbase consists of 83% women and 17% men and thus caters strongly to its mostly female user base in terms of features and layouts.

Read more…

Ad Tracking: Consumer Service or Breach of Privacy?

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Source: http://www.adwordsguadalajara.com/

Have you ever felt as though advertisers are following you, as if they know what you’re interested in even before you do? As technology advances, so does the ability for companies to reach their consumers. This includes the sense that advertisers are looking over our shoulders. In a way it’s because they are, using Ad Tracking or the less frightening term “Interest Based Ads”.

For example, have you ever shopped for something on Amazon, then moved on to another webpage only to find ads similar to what you had just been shopping for? Google accumulates your search history and then using keywords identifies what ad opportunities may appeal to you. In this way they can attempt to predict what ads you will be most receptive to. This, in turn, benefits both the company (in this case Amazon) as well as Google, who Amazon pays to track and acquire your web history. However, Google then shares your data with other companies, as well. If you searched on Amazon for designer kitchen faucets, you can expect to see a few Delta faucet ad in the near future, in addition to other similar Amazon listings. In order to accomplish this, Delta Faucet has identified its keywords such as sink faucet, kitchen faucet, and other competitive words, which Google monitors along with your search history to help market ad-based products more effectively to you. So when you search on Amazon for a fancy faucet, you trigger both Amazon and Delta faucets keywords. Read more…

Use LinkedIn for Personal Public Relations

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Are you using LinkedIn for personal public relations?  If you are, here’s the latest.shutterstock_64192717


LinkedIn has been getting a lot of media attention lately. Most importantly, LinkedIn is quickly becoming a vehicle for personal public relations and professional networking. Networking has become somewhat of a buzz word lately in all industries – to get a job you need to network, to get a new customer you need to network, to maintain your existing customers… yep, you guessed it. And many companies are familiar with social networking websites, 44% of companies believe a Facebook page is important for their business and 38% believe a Twitter page is. Read more…

Why We Use Google+ for Digital Marketing

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Why We Use Google+ for Digital Marketing


I have watched Google+ very closely since it launched and joined the new social network as soon as my invitation arrived. Once the Google+ Brand pages were introduced and the previously marketing-free platform was open to all, I grew more Google_Plus_logo_wikimedia_commonsinterested in the opportunities available through the platform. However, marketers have not taken to Google+ as quickly as they have to Facebook and Twitter. Many feel that it’s simply one more task to add to their already full plates; one that doesn’t seem worthwhile because of the platform’s significantly smaller reach as compared to the more popular social networks.

Originally, the Kleber & Associates company held this view. We quietly observed the platform from the sidelines waiting for something worthwhile to come along to give us incentive to join, to invest our valuable time in yet another social platform. We waited for our audience to migrate there; to show an indication that our efforts won’t be wasted. Late in 2012 our viewpoint changed. We were no longer satisfied with standing on the sidelines waiting for engagement and audience to increase, we joined Google+. Why? Because, it’s Google, after all.

At the end of the day, you can’t ignore the elephant in the room that is Google. The world’s most popular search engine still accounts for approximately 68% of all online search traffic. Google is working every day to deliver better search results for its users. And a large part of that now includes social search and semantics, driven by Google+. Read more…

New Facebook Tool Makes Page Management a Breeze

With over 1.3 billion users, Facebook remains the global king of social media engagement. From the halls of Harvard, ramping to a cultural phenomenon in a mere decade, Facebook is viewed by some on the same level ofLike Button importance as was once reserved for the telephone and Internet. No matter your view of the importance of this community-builder, it’s hard to argue the site’s role in today’s society and its ability to influence a brand’s reputation. Whether leveraged as a marketing tool, customer service portal — or a blend of both — Facebook has grown into a complex matrix of interactions that requires the right blend of engagement and analysis for optimum results.

While certainly a powerful opportunity, the time and bandwidth needed for content developers to execute a successful Facebook program remains a growing capacity concern. Utilizing an external ad agency, a popular outsourcing option for companies strapped for resources and talent, is a sound option to ensure your brand is getting the proper direction and content. Realizing the need for a centralized hub for activities, Facebook developers began rolling out a new tool this week called Business Manager – aimed at remedying some of these issues. Read more…