Nicole LeePublic Relations and Social Media
A little mid-week inspiration from Good Fucking Design Advice. Just what we needed today!
There’s no way around it. We’re knee deep in the holiday season and the struggle to find the perfect gifts for all of our loved ones. Through the stress of it all, we thought it was important to take a moment and appreciate the gifts we’ve been receiving all year long. Those would be the gifts from the Internet: the funny, weird, and hilarious little gems that kept us going during all night creative sessions and marathon brainstorming meetings.
We’re delighted to present to you our top ten gifts from the Internet of 2012.
- Billy the Dog. The HSUS introduces us to Billy the dog. He promptly steals our hearts and empties our wallets.
- This Advertising Life. We learn that we’re not alone in this world, or in our insanity.
- Pinterest. Some people choose rock gardens for meditation. We choose rampant visual hoarding.
- Dogshaming. We adore our dogs. We adore seeing other people’s dogs misbehave.
- Cat/ Scream. This image from It’s Friday Everyday. There’s no rational explanation. It’s just makes us fall to the floor laughing.
- Google Doodles 2012 Summer Olympics Games. The office competition got pretty heated. Refs were contacted. Truces were called.
- Texts From Dog. That dog is real…right?
- Buckle Up, Bitches. Careful, this is intended for the 18 and up crowd. But it’s random, sassy, and hilarious.
- Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends. College Humor gets it right. So. Very. Right.
- Ryan Gosling. Really? Do we have to say anything else about this one?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this little exhibition of Internet presents. From the entire team at Julia Balfour, LLC, we wish you Happy Holidays and a great New Year!
If there’s one thing you need to know about developing a brand on social media, it’s that nothing is more important than knowing your audience and knowing them well.
Listen to your audience and learn their wants and needs. If you get to know what they find interesting and entertaining, you’ll be able to anticipate what interests them and incorporate it into your brand lifestyle.
Why are these users visiting your page? What are they here to talk about?
Get them talking! Prompt them to respond to photos and posts by asking questions and using action words such as SHARE, LIKE, or COMMENT.
Create an engaging community that reflects your brand. Connecting to your audience and creating relationships is one of the perks of social media brand building.
#23 Buy a New Office Decoration
Forget modern pieces of art, a fantastic sculpture, or a spankin’ new lamp, we’ve got new decorations in the form of awards!
As part of our summer bucket list we wanted to revamp the studio space and redecorate a little. So what better to hang as decorations than the accomplishments of the Julia Balfour team?
We’ve taken this year’s 21 CADC and Graphic Design USA awards and adorned our walls with their greatness. We’re so proud of all of our projects and we love bringing home awards for our clients.
Enhancing the office’s decor while displaying all of the Julia Balfour team’s hard work has allowed us to cross #23 off our list.
#3 Renovate the Studio
We wanted to give the office a fresh, new look this summer so we’ve decided to make some renovations. That’s why #3 on our summer bucket list was a no brainer: Renovate the studio.
First task, getting all employees out from under the stairs. Literally. We added a high, rather large oak table under the staircase but we couldn’t stop there. We moved employee’s computers around, as well as tables and lighting fixtures.
The last renovation of the day involved making coat and bag hooks next to our desks. This meant the days of putting our things on the floor were over.
We are very pleased with the new and improved studio and are excited to continue designing, programming, and marketing in our cozy space!
If you’ve spent any time with social media platforms of late, you’ve surely noticed one thing: Everyone is a photographer. With the explosion of smartphones that include cameras, it’s never been simpler to document your activities. Vacations, babies, pets, and dinners; we are all content creators. We photograph our daily lives and transform them into shareable mementos of personal experiences.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr have become our visual diaries, allowing our friends and family (Heck, even strangers) to participate and follow along regardless of physical distance.
Lucky for all of us who are not photo pros, there is an arsenal of apps to help us build our photography portfolio. Check out a few of our favorite free options:
A social network itself, this application allows you to place a filter on your photos for the perfect grainy, artsy, or vintage effect.
Stream just the photos from your Facebook newsfeed. Snap your own pics, edit them with a range of effects, and seamlessly post them to your profile.
This app turns your photos to black and white, allowing you to bring the color back in just the areas you specify. Then change the colors and contrasts for professional, or funky, results.
I’d Cap That
Have a little fun with Meme culture! Pick a photo from your phone and upload it to this application, which then randomly selects a witty caption for you.
Eat Oysters at Liv’s Oyster Bar
A bucket list should be full of all the fun, crazy, unusual things you plan to complete over the course of the summer.
While we have featured a few of our different accomplishments, we’ve also included what has become somewhat of a tradition around here: going to Liv’s Oyster Bar in Old Saybrook, CT.
Lets just say there are a few crazed oyster lovers in our office who also enjoy happy hours, a great atmosphere, and even better company.
Along with tuna tartar tacos, baskets of french fries, and fried calamari, there were, of course, the $1 happy hour oysters. Some at the table indulged in oysters and quickly knocked off #4 of our Summer Bucket List.
There’s a little magic that happens here at Julia Balfour, LLC. Well, it looks like magic if you’re not a Web Developer and Programming expert. The man behind the scenes here is known as Joe, our Chief Technical Officer. He makes sure that all of our websites come to life with the functionality and beauty we dreamed for them.In an effort to learn about the spell he casts on the Internet, I dragged Joe away from his computer just long enough to pry a little bit of info out of him.
1) So, in a nutshell, what do you do all day?
I program the websites. That means I write code that tells websites how to interact with and receive input from users.
2) How do you get started on something like that? What’s the first thing you do when you’re going to make a site?
For me, it starts with the content. I like to break down the entire site into blocks that fit together easily so I can reuse certain elements across the site.
3) How do you help a business decide on a platform for their site?
I help a business decide on a content management platform based on the specifications of their site. Most sites can be implemented using WordPress, but the really cutting-edge new ideas need a more custom and flexible framework, or an ecommerce platform.
4) I heard you chatting about responsive layouts earlier. Can you describe what that is?
They are layouts that reformat themselves to fit the various types of screen sizes such as smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.
5) What’s the biggest challenge of programming a site?
One of the biggest challenges is utilizing a platform such as WordPress, but then creating new features that it doesn’t typically perform. It’s a rewarding challenge. It’s great to make a site that can function in entirely new ways.
6) Which leads me to my next question: What’s your favorite part of programming?
I love the cool stuff, like when we do awesome things such as The Day Passport and
7) How do you keep up with the constant changes in web development?
Since I’m always on the Internet, I tend to change as it changes. I’m constantly watching for the next awesome thing. When something catches my eye, I reverse engineer it to see how it works.
8) What do you do when you’ve got a really tough programming challenge?
I whip up a good game of Starcraft II, a real time strategy game, and inspiration comes flowing. (Haha) But really, all it takes is time and persistence and there’s always a solution to the problem.
9) What’s the next trend in web development?
Remember those responsive layouts I mentioned earlier? We’ll be seeing that everywhere. Flash will become a thing of the past, and we’ll be using a lot more HTML5.
10) Do programmers have idols? Who is your programmer idol?
It’s not a “programming” idol, but I admire Steve Jobs and his team of visionaries. They always came out with life changing products involving software and hardware.
There’s one question we get all the time when it comes to social media. How do I sell my product? The answer is a simple one, though not always easy to swallow.
You don’t. Social media is not for selling.
Social media is for sharing your lifestyle as a brand. It’s for introducing others to your company through intrigue and entertainment.
New Media expert Brian Solis outlined the idea that social networking sites are now considered a form of entertainment. (Read his article on the subject here.) Think about that. You have music, TV, movies, and social media. What entertains you? Would you want to turn on a TV channel that’s all generic commercials, all the time?
No. But you do tune into shows, watch movies, and check out new bands that you feel represent parts of your personality. If you’re passionate about food, cars, or fitness, it’s reflected in your entertainment and lifestyle choices. It’s also reflected in the brands you choose to like on Facebook.
If that brand did nothing but try to sell you something, that would be annoying, right? On the other hand, if they share their ideas, what makes them tick, and a peek at their life, you’d be hooked. And you’d be willing to listen when they do have a marketing message for you.
So turn off the commercials. Create content that reflects your lifestyle, and turn strangers into brand addicts.
Our first Social Media Circus was such a blast! We had a fantastic time chatting with everyone and discussing how social media can be used as an incredible business tool.
Couldn’t join us for the event? Fear not! We’ve included our presentation from the evening:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PRESENTATION
Also check out our Top Tips for Brand Building through social media, and making the most of Facebook.