Category: What’s New

After months of hard work, Exakt Marketing is pleased to announce the launch of their new website www.exaktmarketing.com! Since our merger in November 2012, we’ve been busy developing the overall message and experience we wanted to present to our users and we think we’ve got it “exaktly” right (well at least for the time being!)

The new site answers all of your burning questions including:

  • • What’s up with our name and why do we spell it funny?
  • • Which one of our “exes” has a dog with the nickname “Loco”?
  • • What is the real reason we like to work with the restaurant and hospitality industry?
  • • Are we giving anything away for free?

So what are you waiting for? Head over to www.exaktmarketing.com and check us out. After you’ve had a chance to explore through the site, be sure to shoot us a message to tell us what you think. Feedback will only help our site be extraordinary!

The social media train is nowhere near slowing, it is rapidly covering more ground and becoming smarter. Already, 2013 is providing updates and positive changes in your Facebook world and Twittersphere.

On Tuesday, January 15,  Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg announced the new feature, Graph Search. This new feature may not be immediately available to you, as only a small fraction of Facebook’s billion users will see it. The feature is taking the slow-roll path as most of their changes tend to do. Reminisce back to the time when everyone on your feed was complaining about the new layout, or cover photo. This new feature doesn’t seem to be posing any aesthetic problems, so there’s no need to be alarmed.

Graph Search Breakdown:

  • It’s a search tool
  • It is limited to your connections
  • It is designed to replicate the way you speak
  • As of now, it is limited to photos, interests, likes, people, and places (so, status updates are not included)

    Examples:

  • “Photos of my friends in Hong Kong”, “Music my friends like”, “Photos of my friends in 1993”, “Friends who live in my city”, and can even become as creative as “Movies liked by friends who like Coldplay and live in Seattle.”

Facebook seems to have diminished any privacy issues because you can only find what your friends have chosen to share. So, start going through your interests and likes if you’re not ready to share that information with your Facebook connections. Though, you already have been sharing, just in a less-searchable way.

Meanwhile, in the Twittersphere, look at the new update at work!

Yes, Twitter did previously notify you when you were exceeding your 140 character limit; it presented the “-5” as seen to the right. But now.. your lingering tweet is highlighted in red to let you know in a more obvious way that you are beyond capacity.

Along with that, if you’re about to tweet at someone or provide a link to your awesome blog, your link will appear blue as you’re typing. The benefit with these updates is that you will know that your link is going to work, you won’t ramble on excessively about the galaxy, and that Twitter is adjusting to make things easier for its users.

So what do you think about these updates? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section, on Facebook, and/or Twitter!

 

One thing I love about social media: it’s always changing.  As of January 2013, I have a handful of predictions that I consider to be “unavoidable” this year.  I write this post knowing that tomorrow could be a whole different story in this ever-changing social media world that we live in and I welcome any predictions or feedback you may have in the comments below!

  1.  It’s all about photos. This should come as a shock to no one. We learned early on in 2012 that people wanted to see pictures when photo-based sites like Instagram and Pinterest skyrocketed. It wasn’t long before businesses started to join users on the sites and now, more than ever, it’s important for brands to show rather than tell their story. After all, brands are competing with newsfeeds full of adorable babies and hilarious someecards – you’ve got to up the ante and great creative!
  2. Content is the whole damn castle.  You’ve heard the saying, “Content is king, links are queen and social media is the prince/princess” well, I think this year will be the year of content – not just any content though, engaging content. (Duh, right?) I predict that in 2013, if you’re just posting blogs for SEO purposes, your readers (if any) will begin to smell the BS. In order to stay relevant, you’ll need to first and foremost produce content that is interesting, unique and engaging. The more comments and distribution your blog gets, the more success it will have. The only way to get comments and distribution? Engaging, interesting content. You want that user to come back so don’t give them content that they can find everywhere else.
  3. The fall of Foursquare. Sorry Foursquare, but I’m predicting your extinction in 2013. As someone who was very much a Foursquare advocate a little over a year ago, upgrades to what used to be complementing social networks have stolen your thunder. Why go the extra step to check-in on Foursquare when you can accomplish the same on the sites that some of us check more than our own personal email – Facebook, Instagram. Not to mention, the two mentioned platforms allow for lots of  “likes” and “comments” resulting in one happy ego! Yes, the occasional free shot at the neighborhood bar was nice but you don’t need Foursquare to do that. If you want to offer a check-in special, I suggest going with Yelp. Reward those users who contribute to your online reputation on one of the biggest online review sites. Which leads me to my next point…
  4. All hail the Yelper. In 2013, there is no more hiding from it… Yelp is here and it’s here to stay. Some business owners automatically think Yelp (or any online review site) is nothing more than a forum for people to go complain. But the reality is the majority of Yelp is made up of potential brand advocates. So why wouldn’t you want to tap into that community? Of course, you’ll find the random Yelper here and there that has only left one horrible, awful review but you’ll also find a community full of potential customers and influencers. (Hint: the biggest influencers will have an “Elite” badge on their profile. Impressing them is definitely a great goal to set!) Jennifer recently wrote a great blog about responding to online reviews that I encourage you to check out when you have a minute.
  5. Survival of the fittest. People will begin to realize that social media does not follow that “if you build it, they will come” motto. Companies need to put time, effort and expertise into a social media campaign if they want it to be successful. The marketing strategy that you currently implement should absolutely transcend into the social realm and an effective way to do so would be to engage your social media company in more than just social media. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it forever – if social media is being operated in a silo, it will not work. Having a team of professionals who can cover all of your marketing ground (digital, traditional, print, etc.) creates a seamless experience for not only your company but your audience/customers as well.

What do you predict will happen in social media in 2013? Please share!

Did you know that the average person spends about 10 second on a webpage? With that said, your message should be communicated instantaneously, making an impact as soon as the page is viewed. Graphic design trends for 2013 are going to be bold, flashy, and designed to capture your audiences attention. Textual content, vibrant colors, and mobile marketing are big trends being used by graphic designers this year. Here’s a look into the future at the hottest trends that will be popular in 2013.

Colors

Pantone, who unveiled its Fashion Color Report for spring 2013, has forecasted some bright colors come 2013. Intense colors and shades of Emerald, Jade, and African violet are being used instead of neutral basic colors. Contrasting hues that captivate interest are a must in 2013. Playing with large blocks of color is a trend popping up in ads all over the place.

Typography

Carrying over from 2012, large printed text and a variety of font styles that grab a viewer’s attention will be the 2013 trend. Vintage and retro letterpress looks will also be pretty popular this year. Information presented in a visual medium not only looks great but also helps to effectively deliver your message. The trend of including informative graphics to present information in websites will be kicked into high gear in 2013.

Minimalist Designs with Vintage Accents

Minimalism is nothing new to graphic design. Simple graphics paired with striking composition always produces appealing results. Minimalist design has been very popular for the past couple of years. The key to a beautiful minimalist design is a solid and structured layout, as well as focus on stylish and well-designed typography.

Photos and Backgrounds

Since images are being viewed on small screens and touch-screen mobile devices, over-sized photos and bold backgrounds are used. In the past, the use of oversize buttons was less desirable and only used for aesthetic purposes. But in 2013, big and easy-to-tap buttons that save frustration and make identification much easier are definitely going to be a big trend. Images should have a high resolution and logos are increased in size for instant brand recognition.

So as we say goodbye to 2012 let’s get geared up for 2013 and start trending!

the new myspace cover imageWith Justin Timberlake heavily influencing this iteration of the new MySpace, it’s certainly a valiant attempt to make a comeback (or bring “sexyback” if you will).  And rather than rip it to shreds as I’ve seen done on numerous occasions already, I’ll review without bias – just the facts.  Sorry, I made myself LOL on that one…there’s definitely some ripping.

Love

  • The look of this website is a pretty big deal.  Aesthetically they nailed it.  The cover images for your own page are full screen.  And when media is shared between users, the image in the stream is just good looking – no questions asked.

the new myspace music playerSex(y)

  • The entire site is based around music.  If you’re a music junkie like me…yeah, comparable to sex.  The relationships with the music labels must still be in tact because the music library is pretty extensive.  There is a decent music player that goes with you no matter what part of the new MySpace you’re in.  You can make your own  “mixes” (playlists), launch a radio station based on an artist or song and listen to other mixes made by people that you’re connected with.

the new myspace streamMagic

  • Calling this next feature magic might really be pushing the envelope, but unlike typical websites, your stream, music queue, and other content scrolls from left to right.  It’s an interesting twist on the “below the fold” concept because nothing is ever below the fold.  And that makes it almost seem magical.
  • The search function is a visual show and well, just fun.

Dead

  • The whole MySpace concept is dead (or probably should be).  It doesn’t take very long to go through the new MySpace to realize that you just don’t know what the hell it is or what it’s for.  It just feels like they’re grasping at straws to be something…but what that something is…???…
  • From a music perspective (both player and music library selection), Spotify and Pandora give the user pretty much the same abilities as the new MySpace.
  • From a sharing perspective, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all provide the same or better functionality.  In fact, with the exception of Twitter, you can do a bit more with both Facebook and Google+ in terms of possibilities.
  • Now, in all fairness, the new MySpace is still in Beta so my connections have been with a bunch of people that I don’t know again (like Google+ when it launched); would my perception be different if my friends were on?  Perhaps, but it’s hard to forget the negative connotation associated with MySpace from before and every unsuccessful attempt thereafter.  My honest opinion?  Scrap the MySpace name and start with this new infrastructure as a completely different brand.

the new myspace affinity scoreGone (or what should be)

  • Affinity.  It should just be gone.  I don’t know what it means, how it’s valuable or the point, but with every person or piece of media that you connect with on the new MySpace, you get this affinity score that really proves useless in terms of overall experience.
  • Search.  As it currently stands, the search results are a jumbled mess of everything.  This needs to be cleaned up before it could ever be labeled as cutting edge.
  • Too many options with no clear purpose.  There will always be the die-hard “first responders” who will come to the rescue of any new platform release and defend its nuances.  In fact it could be argued that I’m one of those people.  But if I were a betting man, I would bet that the new MySpace is going to be a failure in terms of mass appeal – not a colossal failure, but a failure nonetheless.  There is no good reason that I could give anyone at this moment to use the new MySpace on the regular.  There are lots of pretty buttons on the road to nowhere.

P.S. – I’ve still got some invites, so if you are one of those “first responders” like me, you won’t be able to help yourself and will have to check it out.  Comment with your email and I’ll be happy to send you an invite.  Let’s compare notes.

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