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Mark Smiciklas

The Best Practice Paradox

by · September 4, 2012

Best practices are defined as methods or techniques that consistently garner results superior to those achieved using other means and/or a process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use (Wikipedia).

When it comes to social media there are a plethora of standards, guidelines and case studies aimed at benchmarking the best way to do things across various digital channels. These best practices can be very effective in building a strategic and tactical foundation for your organization’s social media plan. Also, in a larger context, they serve an important role in documenting information in the ever-evolving field of social media marketing and communications. That being said, there are a number of things that your organization should take into consideration before simply adopting industry best practices as your own.

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The ROI of Infographics

by · August 1, 2012

Defining the best way to measure the value of your infographic content can be an adventure in semantics. Your objectives, the organizational culture you operate in, and your definition of return on investment (ROI) all contribute to how, or even if, you measure the business performance of infographics.

ROI is calculated as follows: (Gain from an investment – Cost of the investment) / Cost of the investment

The formula is simple enough. So why do ROI discussions always seem to have the potential to become acrimonious? Like a good political debate, how you approach the measurement of your content marketing and communication initiatives can depend on your perspective.

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Infographics Inside the Organization

by · July 25, 2012

In many ways, using infographics to communicate with internal stakeholders serves the same purpose as using them in a content marketing capacity with external audiences. They get people’s attention, help simplify complex ideas, and embed understanding.

Infographics are becoming a mainstream marketing communication tool, thanks in part to the exposure they have gained across social media channels. But has this digital exposure increased adoption of information design as a tool for internal communication, education, and decision-making?

INTERNAL ADOPTION OF INFOGRAPHICS

Although not as popular as content marketing infographics targeted at external audiences, data visuals and information designs created to communicate with employees are slowly being adopted by organizations.

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The Importance of Setting Infographic Objectives

by · July 12, 2012

The Internet is full of infographics that lack fundamental direction or purpose. These types of information designs can be ineffective as a communication tool as well as a time and labor drain on your organization.

Before jumping into the design phase there are a couple of important questions you should ask yourself: What is the purpose of your infographics? What goals does your organization hope to accomplish by using infographics as a communication tool?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCES’ INFORMATION NEEDS

To help shape your infographic objectives, it’s important to understand:

• The audience you are creating infographics for AND

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Infographics and the Science of Visual Communication

by · July 3, 2012

One of the primary reasons infographics work well as a communication tool can be linked to eyesight and the neurological connection of our eyes and brain.

The dynamics of sight and how we use our eyes to process information present some compelling reasons to consider using infographics to share information and ideas in order to connect with your internal and external audiences.

Hard wired for infographics

Vision directly or indirectly accounts for about 50% of our brain’s real estate.

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How to Get Content Marketing “Buy-In”

by · June 13, 2012

The success of any plan often depends on gaining buy-in from the stakeholders that are ultimately responsible for implementing it. This concept is often associated with organizational change initiatives but it is also very relevant when it comes to the development of your content strategy. It’s amazing how a great content idea can struggle to get executed effectively (or at all) when the people responsible for bringing it to life don’t stand behind it.

Coming up with content ideas is the easy part of the content marketing equation. The challenge lies is recognizing the level of commitment required to convert those ideas into tangible forms of content and developing a process to make implementation a reality.

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Social Media Measurement Model [Infographic]

by · May 24, 2012

As social media becomes more widely accepted as a business tool, organizations embracing the medium are slowly becoming more adept at creating content and engaging with their audiences. The next step for organizations that are comfortable with the content side of things is the development of a strategy and tactics to measure the performance of their social media activity.

The following model is a work in progress that aims to build on a social media measurement framework developed by John Lovett and Jeremiah Owyang. Here are some notes about the model components:

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HootSuite Workaround: See (and Respond to) Retweets You May be Missing

by · May 2, 2012

When Twitter first baked the new retweet style into their web platform there was no way for HootSuite users to see who retweeted them. Subsequently, HootSuite introduced the “My Tweets, Retweeted” stream to address this. However, this function still doesn’t allow for an easy way to see and respond to the actual person who retweets your content.

One hack to find the source of a web RT on Twitter involves clicking the date stamp of a message in HootSuite:

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Plan on a #SocialMediaFail

by · April 10, 2012

Web 2.0 users seem to have an obsession with sharing news about the digital misfortunes of people and brands.

Nowhere do the mistakes, poor practices and questionable judgement of individuals, organizations and brands get exposed with such glee as they do in the sphere of the social web. It’s no wonder some CEOs or senior decision-makers entrusted with the stewardship of brands break out in a cold sweat at the simple mention of the words “social media.”

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About Mark Smiciklas

Mark Smiciklas

Mark Smiciklas is a Digital Strategist, author and President of Intersection Consulting; a Vancouver based digital marketing agency that teaches organizations how to leverage the dynamics of the web to achieve business goals. Mark is also the managing editor at Solopreneur.ca and is an established marketing and social media practitioner recognized for his visual thinking and practical strategic approach. You can connect with him on Google+.

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