We all use them. But who thinks about the old-school marketing essentials like business cards, PowerPoint slides, everyday emails, and social media avatars? But the truth is that if we dont pay attention to these little details, were overlooking one of the most powerful tools in our marketing arsenal.
Social Media Avatars that Attract Followers
Were not talking about those photos of scantily-clad young women that spammers use to get gullible Twitter users to click on links. Were talking about avatars that make you or your brand seem likable, trustworthy, and competent.
The poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. But consistency is the hallmark of a great social media avatar use the same one on all your profiles, and dont change it too often. When you do change it, make sure the changes arent too drastic. You want people to recognize you, after all.
If youre a start-up company, or youre an official spokesman for a brand, use a photograph of yourself not the company logo or a product image, and certainly not a photo of your pet as your social media avatar. Why? Because on social media, people want to connect with other people. Profiles that use images of human beings draw followers faster than profiles with a company logo as an avatar photo
You want your business social media avatar to make you look likable, professional, and trustworthy. You dont have to be a supermodel to create such an image. Start by showing your face only. Why? So people will recognize you if they meet you at a trade show or networking event.
Asymmetric photos that are primarily headshots work best. Here are some examples of really good social media avatars we spotted among people we follow on Twitter. Notice that theyre all front-lit, and give the illusion that they are casual snapshots. Nothing in the photo not even the skyline behind journalist Larry Magid, overwhelms the persons face.
|Each of these social media users picked an avatar photo designed to make them seem approachable and friendly. Social media avatars, top row, from left: marketing guru Guy Kawasaki, Vizion staffers Deb McAlister-Holland and Josh McCoy, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, Tech Wildcatters founder Gabriella Drainey. Second row, from left: Boston Globe technology correspondent Hiawatha Bray, UN deputy chief Helen Clark, venture capitalist Mark Andreesen, filmmaker Noemi Gonzalez, and syndicated columnist Larry Magid.|
Like your avatar, your social media cover that large photo on your Facebook page or Twitter profile should let people know what is interesting about you. This is the place to pick an image that shows what your brand stands for, what youre passionate about. If youre a floral delivery service, you might pick a cover photo of your workroom, with buckets of bright flowers and a single beautiful arrangement.
One of the trickiest parts of great social media avatars and cover photos is making them the right size. Facebook and Twitter, for example, measure the images in pixels not inches. Here are the dimensions for cover photos and profile pictures on the two big social media sites:
- Facebook cover photo size: 851 X 315 pixels
- Twitter header image photo size: 1252 X 626 pixels
- Facebook and Twitter profile pictures: 500 X 500 pixels
You can resize your photo to fit the required dimensions using a number of free, online tools like the Tiporama image size converter, and both Facebook and Twitter offer online tutorials on sizing photos to fit. Just remember that youll have to cut out nearly half of a standard 6 X 4 photo to size it correctly for a Facebook cover, so select your images accordingly.
Use Your Business Card as a Billboard
If you think of a business card as a miniature billboard for your company and yourself, youll avoid most of the most annoying business card design problems. Those problems include cards that cant be scanned into a database easily, hard-to-read or too-small fonts, or cards that make it hard for someone to reach you.
When youre ordering new business cards, readability is the most important issue. Use large fonts 10 points is the minimum size for type on your card. Avoid design elements that overwhelm the information. Your name, phone number, and email address are the most important elements not the designers swirls, loops, and colorful icons.
A good test is to see whether or not a popular application like Evernote can OCR scan your business card and get all of the information.
Email Business Card Information with Every Message
Make sure that your email signature is included in every email message and that everything on your business card (including your email address) is in your email signature file. Set your email client to include your signature file on every message.
Why? Because doing so protects you from forwarded emails that might strip an earlier senders email address from the thread, and insures that your contacts can reach you.
Consider including your cell phone number in personal email signature files. No, this doesnt encourage strangers to call you at all hours. But it does make it easy for important contacts to reach you when they need to.
Perfect Your Pitch Deck
If you work in marketing or sales, or youre the CEO of a start-up, the ability to give polished presentations is essential. So why do we all suffer from so many bad pitches?
In large part, its because people focus more on turning every presentation into a leave-behind with all the information in it instead of creating a memorable presentation that serves as a backdrop to a good speaker.
SlideShare.net offers these tips for optimizing presentations, and theyre critical to perfecting any pitch deck.
- 10 slides is the magic number for a 20-minute pitch
- A 30 point font is readable from the back row
- Design each slide to be 16 x 9, and it will still look good later if viewed on a 4X3 cell phone screen
- Use a black background. Orange may be the new black on TV, but a jewel-tone bright background is hard to read when its projected on a big screen.
Remember that what people want to know is what you do. Then, they want to know what problem you plan to solve for them, or what the opportunity is in working with you or investing in your company. From there, move immediately into a demonstration of your product, or a short video that shows your product or service in action.