About David Hilton

I have recently graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Advertising. I currently live in Canton, MI and I also work for Canton Leisure Services. My aspirations for the future include becoming an art director and running my own agency. Although I graduated in the creative side, I have always been interested in digital advertising and marketing and hope to be heavily involved with that in my career. My interests include golfing, fishing, gaming, web browsing, exercising, and traveling. I will add an AIM account and other accounts to my profile so you may reach me more conveniently. Until then, check my out on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Twitter for Michigan Business

As Twitter consistently gains momentum, more and more Michigan businesses have decided to join the bandwagon of one of the hottest social networks around. Articles from websites and news media have gathered information that proves the marketing power of Twitter. However, some Michigan businesses are still hesitant to join the prolific social network and are still wasting money on other marketing ventures that will only secure them a small amount of new customers and interests. For larger turnouts, and at relatively no cost to your business, a Twitter page can come in handy, especially if it’s “pimped out” to show exactly what your Michigan business, or brand, is all about.

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Customizing a Twitter page isn’t hard; it just takes the creation of a background and a consistent selection of colors to make it work. The first thing you want to ask yourself is this: what is my company’s (or brand’s) identity? What colors or images represent my company and how will I continue this trend on the Twitter page? As long as you have a certain color or logo that represents your business, you won’t get lost. And don’t be afraid to get creative with this: if you’d like to put a new spin on your brand or business identity, go for it. Just remember to remain consistent with the overall identity so customers won’t confuse you for another brand or business! With your design selection set, it’s now time to create a Twitter page and decide on a profile picture.

Your profile picture can be anything that represents the business/brand, but a nice logo is the best choice in telling people exactly who you are. The logo is quite small, so it should be easy to see whether it is an image or text. You can change your logo in the “Settings” tab under “Picture”. This logo will be the starting point for the rest of your Twitter page. Now you can create a background to compliment your logo.

Just using one tiled image as your Twitter’s background will fly for a single user, but for a Michigan business/brand it just doesn’t cut it. A well thought out background will be crucial in showing your followers exactly what kind of business you are. Using a design program like Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Creative Suite (preferably CS3 or above) will help to create a premium background that’s been customized to fit your company’s identity. Like I explained before, use consistent colors, images, and fonts in your background to support your Michigan business/brand identity and make sure that they are arranged in a way where you will be able to see the background on the Twitter page.

There will always be a large white space in the middle of your page reserved for tweets, so you need to make sure that your background compliments this. Be sure to focus your design on the left and right columns of the page. Place your company’s logo, image, or products here and use a consistent font for text. Also make sure to add contact and other information (like links to your company’s website) in the columns as well. Also, be sure to use a specific resolution! 1280 x 800 or 1024 x 768 are the most common. When you’re ready to apply it, go to the “Settings” tab and click on “Design”. Then, near the bottom of the page, click “change background image” and upload it. The background takes a lot of trial and error to make it work, so be patient with the process: it’s worth it!

Now for the finishing touches. In the “Settings” tab under “Design” you’ll see “change design colors”. Make sure to change these colors to ones that compliment your background and profile picture. For instance, I used purple text, green links, and a white side-bar background for Ingenex’s Twitter page. This is how the final result looks:

ingenex_twitter

As you can see, I did add some images in the center, but this is purely for different resolutions. You’re free to do this too if you wish, although it does consume more time. I hope these tips will help your Michigan business or brand in creating a premium Twitter page. For more information on hiring a Michigan digital agency to help build your Twitter page, log on to ingenexdigital.com today.

Should Google and Search Engine Optimization be Regulated?

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I guess Google was getting so big, so uncontrollable lately, it was only a matter of time before we began hearing words of descent. On July 13th, an unknown poster whose been holding back their frustrations about Google, and SEO in general, spoke out about it.

I stumbled upon an article that was posted on TechCrunch.com about how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become so unregulated it’s now comparable to “free trade”; with the one controlling all exports and imports being the search engine itself (i.e. Google, Yahoo). The article, which is written by an author who wishes to remain anonymous (for fear of fallout with Google and the SEO industry), makes points about how Google has too much control over search engine results, and the rankings of websites for certain companies and points of interest. This power and control, the author believes, should be regulated by the government and that it’s about time it happens.

“Through an uncontrolled set of factors search engines determine which listings appear at the top and bottom of any individual query,” says the author. “If you happen to own an online business, unless you exist within those top three (search results), the amount of individual traffic you will obtain from organic listings is very, very low.”

He also goes on to explain that these search engines should be required to publicly disclose the rule-based algorithms that determine result sets. This sounds a little like releasing the source code of a program, which would result in Google changing from a unique search engine brand to a common one. His points are interesting and thought provoking, but is government control really the answer?

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A blog post has been made in retaliation to the article on Econsultancy.com by Chris Lake, where he declares that Google and SEO should NOT be regulated. He goes on to list 10 points about how this anonymous author is wrong and comes up with some good arguments.

Let’s say the government does decide to get involved with this, especially if this becomes a hot topic. What happens to the digital agency and digital marketing as we know it? It seems like there would be a lot less calls from people who would love to use SEO for their company, especially if search results were completely randomized. I would especially hate to see sites that contain spam and other junk at the top of Google search listings just because they contain a few words from a search query.

I urge you all to read both of these articles and leave a comment on where you stand on this issue.

The Time Has Come To Regulate Search Engine Marketing And SEO

10 reasons why Google and SEO should NOT be regulated

Facebook and Twitter: Coming to an Xbox 360 near you

Back in the good ol’ days (the 1990’s for me), video game consoles and computers were largely separated. However, that all changed in 1999 when Microsoft revealed they were creating the Xbox. Gamers and techno-enthusiasts all over the country were gushing about the possibilities of a half-computer, half-console. When the original Xbox was released in 2001, many were disappointed that it was just another game system; and Microsoft listened to their cries releasing the Xbox 360 in 2005. The 360 can connect seamlessly with another computer to share photos and video and even has the power to download movies and games. However, no browser software existed that could be used for the Xbox 360, so checking your Facebook and Twitter from the comfort of your HD television has been impossible. Until now…

At this years Electonic Entertainment Expo (or “E3”, as it’s most commonly known), Microsoft revealed that Xbox Live members will be able to use Facebook and Twitter through their Xbox 360’s. Both tools will be downloaded and used directly from the 360’s interface as opposed to a browser. To give you a glimpse of what this will look like, here’s an example:

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The new interface has been custom made for the Xbox 360 and seems to be very user friendly. Users will be able to view their friends, news feeds, photos, status updates, and wall-posts. They will also be able to add their own comments and updates, but I highly recommend investing in a keyboard that can be integrated with the Xbox 360, as using the contoller to type can be very frustrating and time consuming. It seems that the main feature Microsoft has been talking about is the Friend Linker which will allow players to link their Xbox Live profile with their Facebook; updating their gaming achievements directly to their Facebook profile. Also, if a player decides to go on Facebook through a taditional browser, they will be able to view which friends are playing online at that given moment.

And if Facebook isn’t enough for you, how about Twitter? Twitter for the Xbox 360 will be released the very same day Facebook is this Fall. This version of Twitter has been built from the ground-up to give users an experience like no other. Here is an example of what it will look like:

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Any updates you make on Twitter 360 will be updated instantly to all of your followers, and vice-versa. Anyone you are following can update their status, and it will instantly be posted on the Xbox’s interface.

Both of these services are in early stages of development and the only information so far has come from the E3 Expo. Is it too early to think that this may be helpful to digital marketing? Or is it just another excuse to have an Xbox 360 in every digital agency in America? I’ll tweet you when I have the answer (and it won’t be from my laptop).

— Dave

David Hilton finds a Social Tool in Twitter

Headshot for the ages...

Headshot for the ages...

Time to break the proverbial ice and introduce myself to those of you who may not know me. My name is David Hilton and I’m one of the new interns here at Ingenex Digital Marketing. This is my first blog post EVER, so don’t judge me too harshly if this reads a like a “noob” wrote it…because that is exactly what’s happening. My fellow interns and I were hired to learn and experience the world of digital advertising and so far so good. I’ve learned a lot in just one week by reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott and I’ve looked online at some of the marketing concepts mentioned in the book in order to gain a better understanding of how a digital agency like Ingenex helps their clients.

It’s interesting to me how easy it is to market a company efficiently using internet tools I usually take for granted. Like Facebook for example. I use it to connect with friends and family, share pictures, and find people I haven’t seen in a long time. Companies have taken advantage of Facebook by adding their businesses to the site through viewable profiles and creating applications for people to use that can result in a possible sale. Even CEO’s are creating Facebook accounts every day to better connect with customers. I used to hear about Facebook all the time on television and in the news. But, lately I haven’t heard anything about it. Not even a peep. No, lately I’ve been hearing a lot of tweets about a new and more popular social networking tool. And yes, pun intended.

Last night I was watching the Orlando Magic put the smack down on the Boston Celtics. During the broadcast I couldn’t help but notice that the commentators were constantly talking about Twitter. They must have mentioned it over 30 times. Even Charles Barkley was talking about how he had one. Also, as I finished the New Rules of Marketing book earlier yesterday I came across a section about social networking and how Twitter can help to keep customers updated with their favorite companies. Even earlier that day CNN was talking about how viewers can follow Wolf Blitzer’s Twitter to find out more on stories he will be covering or if he’s currently buying groceries. What have I been missing? Usually I adopt a social networking tool long before the media does! Not so with Twitter. They beat me to the punch.

twitterSo what exactly is Twitter? Twitter is a social networking tool that allows users to create tweets: micro-blogs that are limited to just 140 characters. Think of it as a constant Facebook status update, but without the clutter of wall posts, profile updates, etc. And did I mention it’s incredibly easy to sign up for it? I just did a few minutes ago and it only took me about 2 minutes. I even added people from my g-mail account to my new Twitter account instantly and I am also tracking some celebrities right now such as Kevin Smith.

So, maybe your still wondering just how the heck can this be used as an effective marketing tool? Well, let’s go back to Kevin Smith. Twenty-one hours ago Kevin Smith posted this: “ThatKevinSmith: One month from today I’m on Carnegie stage: http://www.tinyurl.com/carn… Hoping in tomorrow’s update, we’re under 1k left to sell.” Now, I had no idea that he would be at Carnegie doing a stand-up routine until I saw his tweet. He even mentions that there are only 1,000 tickets left to sell which establishes a call to action. And, to top it all off, the post is personal. Kevin Smith wrote it himself and didn’t have to pay a cent hiring an ad agency, PR person, or marketing firm to announce this information. And it’s not just his fans that will receive this information. News agencies, radio stations, blogs, podcasts, and anyone who is a follower of Kevin Smith on Twitter will receive this information and report it to people at NO COST. This is what marketing is all about now and this is why Twitter can be such an important tool. In 140 characters or less you can reach a wide audience and accomplish your goals for practically nothing. How cool is that?

So, I urge you to join Twitter and immerse yourself in this powerful tool. I’ve been a member for 20 minutes so far, and already I feel like telling the world about my goings on throughout the day. You can do this right from your phone as well, making it possible to update your status at any time, any where. This tool can also have the potential to allow business people to start writing their own blogs pertaining to their company and job.

As I get more acquainted with Twitter and other social networking tools, I will continue to blog about new and exciting things throughout my time here at Ingenex. This blog was more about “testing the waters” I guess, especially since most of you may already know about Twitter. I’m sure it’s fun to hear a newbie’s thoughts on the subject anyway, but as my experience grows so will these posts. I hope to meet a lot of you in the coming months and make sure to follow me on Facebook, Linkedin, and now Twitter. Thanks for reading!

David H.