Archive for July, 2009

Top Five Twitter Dos

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

When used properly, Twitter can be an effective tool for businesses to integrate themselves into the online community. But since Twitter is a sensitive medium, tweeting cluelessly can be dangerous.

Tweeting dangerously? Yes, it can happen. It happens all too often.

If you are constantly working to market and promote your business on Twitter, you may insult the Twitter community, and in effect, create a poor business image online. Twitter should not be used for sales pitches and for advertising—it should be used to build reciprocal connections with others in your industry, as well as your target market.

So, before actively participating in the Twitter community, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Sūmèr’s top five Twitter dos—because it might save you from Twitter rejection.

Top Five Twitter Dos:

1. Do have an account for both business and personal purposes: Twitter users like to feel that they’re interacting with a human being—not a company. Building personal connections on Twitter that also work as business connections is an excellent way to integrate yourself in the community and build working relationships. Just remember, don’t tweet about anything you don’t want known in the business and online community. Reputations can easily be tarnished if you aren’t careful.

2. Do let your personality shine through: One of the keys to success is expressing your distinct personality and showing a human side as opposed to just tweeting about your business. An effective tweet can share information, work to build relationships, or provide value to a conversation. Your personality should naturally flow out of your tweets.

3. Do follow people in your industry or those with the same interests: Following people in your industry is an excellent way to learn from each other and provide helpful feedback. For example, if you own a construction company that builds luxury custom homes, you may find it beneficial to build a relationship with several architects on Twitter. This, in turn, will increase your online exposure, boost site traffic, and possibly allow you to find an architect you’d love to work with.

4. Do listen: There is an abundance of valuable information circulating throughout Twitter, which is why listening to what others have to say is an important factor associated with successful tweeting. Listening also shows others that you aren’t simply using Twitter to post your own information—you’re interested in what others have to say.

5. Do actively participate in conversation: After you begin to get a feel for the personalities of the people you are following on Twitter, you can begin to participate in the conversation and lend constructive advice and comments. If you feel you have valuable information to share with your followers and those you follow, by all means, share the wealth. It’s a great way to illustrate you’re an active participant in industry news and updates, as well as someone who enjoys sharing helpful information with others.

Share your top Twitter dos with us. Or tell us if you agree or disagree with the above. We’d love to hear from you.

Networking: Be Aware Of Your Body Language

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

How many times have you had a meeting with someone who has made direct eye contact only 50 percent of the time?

Everyone is guilty of this at some point.

Body language is a great indicator of how a person feels about a conversation. Frowns and furrowed eyebrows can make the speaker feel as though his  message isn’t getting across or is being disagreed with. This isn’t always the case. Many times the nonverbal cues could be misinterpreted by the speaker.

Avoid body language that may discourage the person speaking with you. Make direct eye contact, keep a neutral facial expression, and give nonverbal cues, conveying that you understand what the speaker is saying, such as nodding with understanding.

Also, be aware of proper personal space. In America, a business conversation should happen about four to twelve feet apart. This space differs from country to country, so if you are planning to attend a business meeting with foreigners, it would be beneficial to observe their speaking distance before the actual meeting.

It’s A Bright and Exciting Future for Social Media Networking Sites

Monday, July 27th, 2009

In the video below, Jonathan Miller, Chief Digital Officer of News Corp., discusses the future of online social networking. Miller shares his insight into the future of MySpace, Hulu, and other social media sites, and provides tips for effective social media marketing and networking.

We’d love to hear from you about your social media marketing. Is it working for you? Do you know what you’re doing? Take a brief poll.

Are You Effectively Connecting With The Online Community?

Friday, July 24th, 2009

In the above video, web public relations expert Brian Solis shares his expertise on how to effectively build relationships on social media sites. You might be surprised to find out the truth behind building solid connections . . .

Are You Missing Out On Connecting With Potential Customers?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

In an exclusive interview with Shannon Chitayat, graphic designer and owner of inkportfolio, Shannon discusses the importance of sending the right message through effective marketing materials. inkportfolio, a full service graphic design and print management company, prides itself on its ability to portray an accurate business message for each client through effective design and business materials. inkportfolio thoroughly examines each business’s primary visions, target market, and competition before creating effective marketing materials and designs.  

Sūmèr: How do inkportfolio’s services benefit businesses?

inkportfolio: As a full service graphic design and print management company, our services are powerful tools for businesses—not only in helping businesses look great, but also in the success of a business. Our team has specialized design skills, techniques, and experiences that are used for the purpose of attracting people and increasing business activity.

It’s vital that the marketing materials used to promote a business look professional and send the right message. Every logo, brochure, advertisement, and business card that is seen plays an important role in establishing a company’s image.

It may not seem obvious, but design adds credibility. Think of the products you buy or the stores you shop at. Have you ever made a purchase choice because of the way something looked? I know I have.

inkportfolio’s services are not just about making a business look great. It’s also about consumers choosing one business over the other—we play a crucial role in that.

Sūmèr: What’s the number one thing you see businesses struggle with in regards to their graphic design?

inkportfolio: I think a lot of businesses consider graphic design as an expense rather than an investment in the potential growth of their company. This is a major problem since some of these businesses don’t invest the proper amount of research and time into the identity / brand of their company. When businesses neglect the brand image of their company, it often creates an unprofessional, inconsistent look on their website, sending the wrong message to perspective clients about their business.

Sūmèr: What are the top three benefits inkportfolio brings to companies?


1. Improves businesses’ images and strengthens their brands.
2. Makes their business stand out from their competitors.
3. Sells businesses’ messages to customers more convincingly.

Sūmèr: What steps go into creating graphics for companies?

inkportfolio: We first conduct an interview / questionnaire with the client to get a better feel for the project and their goals. We then research the company, the industry as a whole, and the competition in greater detail.

With the interview / questionnaire and research information in mind, we go to work on the design concept (or concepts depending on the project size and scope). Once we have a concept, we ask for feedback to ensure the idea is on target with the client’s vision.

After completion of the concept, inkportfolio presents it to the client and receives feedback. At this point we make final changes if needed and the files are off to final production!

Sūmèr: What makes inkportfolio unique to other graphic design companies?

inkportfolio: I have had the great fortune to experience all aspects of the design and print industries. From client services—as an art department manager—to a graphic designer to a business owner, I’ve seen it all. Having these experiences helps me approach design from many different perspectives.

Also, my years in the print industry, have shown me the ins and outs of the printing process—something many designers aren’t familiar with. I feel that for a designer to have this knowledge is priceless. This knowledge helps me make better choices for our clients, helps streamline the process, can help make more cost effective design decisions, and in the end, we create a result that everyone is happy with.

Visit inkportfolio’s website at and contact them via phone at 843.324.0931 or via email at .

Don’t Let Your Business Fall through the Cracks of a Market Shift

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Is your company seeing fewer results and lower conversion rates than ever before and you don’t know why? You spend all this time with your marketing message, but you’re not seeing the expected results. The question you must ask yourself is whether your website is speaking to the current market.

Recently, the market has shifted greatly from where it was a year ago, and even six months ago, to where it is now. Comparable to an earthquake when the ground cracks beneath your feet and you can either move with it or fall through the cracks, you must choose if your business wants to move with the market shift or fall.

People are still buying, but they’re buying for different reasons. An uncertain economy leads to uncertain buyers, and uncertain buyers need to know for sure they’re getting the most out of their dollar. In a nutshell, there’s no room for wasting money.

How can you apply result-driven marketing to your company? Simple. Your target market wants to feel a sense of security, knowing that your company is going to deliver the ideal product / service—and a product / service that’s worth their hard-earned money. The current market isn’t going to spend money on uncertain luxuries. This is where you shift your marketing strategies.

All it takes are some tweaks in your products / services and / or your company message. For example, if you own your own travel company, you might consider pushing more products and services that create a sense of security within the client.

Below is an example of products and services a travel company could implement in order to move with the market shift:

• Offer more all-inclusives: Promoting all-inclusives is an excellent way to cater to the current market’s needs. With all-inclusives, clients are certain about how much money they’re spending on their vacation before they even arrive at their destination. No surprises. No uncertainty.

• Offer more customized packages: Creating customized packages for your clients is an excellent way to ensure they do only the things they want to do. Packages ensure clients aren’t wasting money and precious time while on vacation. Clients can also rest easy knowing their vacation is planned out and prices have been written out for them ahead of time.

• Offer more promises: Making promises to your customers provides them with a sense of security. Promises that you know you can make will build trust in the client and allow them to feel relaxed and confident about their purchasing decision.

No matter what type of business you own, effective website copy that speaks to the market shift will help convert more website visitors into leads and sales.

Result-driven copy . . .

• Hits your target market’s sweet spot. People who were once buying certain products / services with a carefree attitude are now looking for security in their purchasing decisions. They want to know exactly how much it will cost, what the value of the product / service is, features of the product / service, and what benefits they’ll be receiving from the purchase. Your web copy needs to send a message to your target market that makes them feel secure. You are there for them and your promises are consistently met.

• Illustrates an accurate and clear business message. Well-written web copy will show your target audience that you’re a trustworthy and reliable company that offers valuable products / services. Providing your customers with accurate information, promises you can fulfill, and a sense of security is going to allow your target audience to feel confident with their purchase and with your company.

• Converts more website visitors to leads and sales. The goal of your website copy is to influence website visitors to take some kind of action. Whether that action is to call your company, or purchase online, your website copy needs to persuade viewers to take action. If you can build a sense of security and trustworthiness in the viewer before they even meet or speak with you, you’ve already made part of your sale.

Intel Reminds You to Mind Your Mobile Manners

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Learn your mobile manners here:

StoneLoc Selects Sūmèr to Write Web Copy for New Website

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

StoneLoc has chosen Sūmèr to write the web copy for their new website. StoneLoc is a manufacturer and distributor of superior and environmentally friendly sealers for concrete, stone, and wood substrates. We’re excited to be working on another website project with the awesome team at Zafari, Inc.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Twitter

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

More WebProNews Videos

The above video taken from WebProNews is a fantastic illustration of just how powerful Twitter is in real-time news. In this video, Brett Tabke founder of WebmasterWorld, shares his expert insight into the world of social media and Twitter, and provides useful Twitter statistics that support the rise in social media marketing.

Sūmèr to Speak at MPBPA: Harnessing Technology to Grow Your Business

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

For those of you in the Charleston area, you’ll want to come to this month’s Mount Pleasant Business & Professional Association meeting. Michelle Salater is  joining Christopher Cisneros, owner of Zafari, Inc., to discuss Getting More from the Internet: Harnessing Technology to Grow Your Business.

Don’t miss this exciting chance to learn about the latest in web technologies that can enhance your existing marketing efforts. You’ll learn about the importance of using website marketing techniques to drive traffic to your website:

  • Video [how it's valuable, why it makes sense]
  • Blogging
  • Social networking
  • PR [driving traffic, submitting online]

You’ll also learn about how to get your website on the first few pages of Google. Search engine optimization is a whole complex science but you can improve your website’s position by:

  • Ensuring your site is built in a way that’s friendly for the search engines
  • Making sure your content is not only meaningful and provides a strong message but is also seo-friendly

For more information or to register, please visit .

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