Celebrating a Win? Boost Customer Engagement With These 6 Tips

After a big company win, you’re ready to kick back and celebrate. And you should — but not before you spread the word and catapult your news into even more engagement for your brand.

These six entrepreneurs share the creative ways in which they announce company wins. The good news? Your customers are ready to celebrate with you as long as you keep it authentic.

Post a screenshot.

Nothing beats that feeling of genuine excitement when you first receive good news. And you can spread the joy to your audience by making them feel as if they were there, too. Kris Ruby, president of PR firm Ruby Media Group, broadcasts exciting news just as she receives it by sharing screenshots.

“If your company recently won an award or was inducted into an association, post a screenshot on Instagram and Facebook of the email you received with the news,” she says. “This is an authentic way of sharing and makes your audience feel like they are reading the news right alongside you. We have used this tactic with clients and the posts garnered extremely high engagement.”

Tie it to what’s trending.

Brandon Harris, founder of marketing agency NuMedia, knows that a simple way to get your news to trend is to piggyback off of topics that are already trending. In particular, relevant influencers who have a large following are a great resource for spreading the word.

“If you can be creative and tie your news to popular trends, you can win points with your base and trend with the news. If there’s a popular influencer who’s a great fit, have them announce it to their followers,” he says. “Use your news to offer something appealing to your base in celebration to see if you can get a surge in business without devaluing your brand.”

Host a press tour.

“An ‘if you build it, they will come’ strategy can work wonders,” says Aaron Schwartz, co-founder and COO of international shipping company Passport. Whether you travel to another city or stay local, creating a sense of urgency will draw in more press contacts.

“Plan a trip to New York or L.A., or even stay in your hometown. Send a personal email to all of the relevant press you want to target about the news you have to share and let them know that you’re free for one-to-one discussions over a two-day span,” he says. “They’ll be likely to engage given that your story sounds urgent and interesting.”

Create custom celebratory swag.

Your whole office deserves to celebrate after a big company win, and decking them out in commemorative swag is a fun reward. Dan Golden, president of digital marketing agency Be Found Online, finds that offering unique, branded gifts is win-win because it is also an opportunity for employees and followers to engage on social media.

“This year, to celebrate our sixth year in a row on the Inc. 5000 list, we created custom six packs of beer. Everyone in the office got a six pack, and we shared pictures on our social pages and blog,” he says. “It was a funny, engaging and useful way to casually spread the word, and one that reflected our fun culture.”

Have your customers announce it.

John Rampton, founder of scheduling tool Calendar, doesn’t save all the glory for himself — he asks customers to share news on behalf of the company. By empowering your customers as spokespeople, you can create authentic brand ambassadors.

“We’ve made different customers our spokespeople and had them announce it on their social media sites and online platforms,” he says. “We have found that our audience likes to hear what our customers have to say more than the company since that is what companies do all the time. This gets their attention.”

Go live.

“Social is everything these days,” says Suneera Madhani, co-founder and CEO of financial services company Fattmerchant. Take advantage of social media’s ever-growing presence in the lives of your audience by meeting them on a popular platform.

“Creating a live Facebook video or Instagram story allows you to reach your audience in new, innovative ways. Consumers are already spending a lot of time on these platforms,” she says. “Consumers respond to authenticity, so speak from the heart and you’re sure to make an impact. All you need is your iPhone and some genuine excitement.”

5 Things The World's Most Exceptional Thinkers Have in Common

Originals drive creativity, innovation and ultimately change the world. History’s best minds have a lot of things in common. Every great achievement you have heard about or probably used came from exceptional thinking. From Einstein to Jobs, and Musk, here are five things the world’s greatest minds have in common.

1. Exceptional thinkers start their day on purpose

Success can only be achieved by design. Without a plan, you can’t make progress. In as much as original and exceptional thinkers embrace the opportunity to defy convention, they maintain schedules that make it easy for them to get things done.

They do their best work on purpose. Their deliberate actions make the biggest difference in how they achieve their goals, visions, and purpose in life. They value improvement, hence the need to keep schedules that allow them to live in the reality of making progress. Exceptional innovators are constantly fixing and iterating. 

2. Great thinkers look for patterns and connect ideas

The ability to make meaning from unrelated ideas and information is unique. Most innovators are great at it. It’s called Apophenia, the tendency to attribute meaning to perceived connections or patterns between seemingly unrelated things. 

Original thinkers and creative people intentionally look for patterns within their industries and other unrelated industries to be able to spot relationships that others cannot.

After dropping out of school, Steve Jobs wandered into a calligraphy course. It seemed irrelevant at the time, but the design skills he learned were later useful when he built the first Mac Computer. You never know what will be useful ahead of time.

Steve once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

The best minds in the world are great bridging the gap between unrelated concepts and ideas.

3. They value learning 

Curiosity is a big driver of creativity and novelty. Creativity happens when you make the effort to learn or try something new every day. Original thinkers know and understand the importance of connecting ideas, even the most remote ones to create something truly unique. They learn new skills that complement what they do. 

At the age of 14, Leonardo da Vinci began a lengthy apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio, a well-known artist in Florence. He was exposed to a vast range of technical skills including, metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing, painting, and sculpting. He learned a wide breadth of skills. 

If you’re a writer, you could take up photography. Start enhancing your career with the skills that complement it. The connection between ideas doesn’t happen unless you explore it a little.

4. They are insanely curious

Nothing beats a curious mind! Great minds make room for different mental models. They don’t disregard other ideas. They look for meaning in every pursuit. The most innovative and exceptional thinkers in the world are also the most inquisitive among us.The best way to connect dots is to be intellectually curious about the world around you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, a great American novelist once said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” 

Einstein made a profound statement about questioning and staying curious. He once said:

“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.”

Maintain to curious mind to explore and discover amazing ideas, innovations, and products that could spark new concepts for your next big idea. To improve your sense of curiosity, all you have to do is to embrace new ideas and try new things to stimulate your mind and senses.

5. Exceptional minds take productive breaks

According to research, your brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant for too long. You lose your focus and your performance on the task declines.

Great thinkers make time on their calendars to think, wander and refresh the brain. You can’t benefit from focused attention for too long. Sustaining attention on a task for an extended period of time can deplete your ability to think and create.

 Successful innovators and original thinkers know the importance of stepping away from projects briefly to re-conceptualize the problem with new perspectives.

Take intentional breaks by going for long walks, meditating, exercise or indulge in daydreaming. It pays to connect with your subconscious.

Every Entrepreneur Should Think More Like a Scientist. Here's How.

Don’t be intimidated by experimentation. Sure, it sounds complicated — test tubes bubbling away in a perfect arrangement while people in lab coats jot down notes. And yes, it can sound expensive — hundreds of man hours, expensive equipment, possibly specialized consultants or labs.

In reality, experimenting isn’t expensive or difficult. Every product-based company and startup should embrace basic research principles, as there are a lot of good cues that businesses can take from researchers working in the hard sciences. Here are a few basic (and proven!) principles to start with:

1. Have a product hypothesis.

You may have learned it in elementary school, but having a working hypothesis is a bit harder than it seems. Say you’re a product developer and you have a technology for smarter, faster bluetooth connections. Your first instinct will be to explore all of the applications of that sweet new technology and look for the most useful and profitable ones.

But before you begin, bring a hypothesis to the table. Exploring a ton of information without a grounding research question or theory can make it difficult to know if you did a good job, or even when you should stop exploring.

A hypothesis is an essential rudder when looking for your best course of action. Make a statement that can be proven or disproven, and before you start your experiment – make sure either answer would provide valuable next steps for the team.

2. Search wide, then dive deep.

Before you invest a lot of time in a single area — say, heavily targeting a specific audience or adding a specific set of features — it’s critical to know you’re on the right path. One of the most common mistakes I see people make: Their intuition kicks in and they go with their first idea, then only explore that option.

Take a large set of options, be they design decisions or market strategies, then test them against some of the best criteria you can measure. Then, and only then, will you have the confidence that an experiment is working or not.

In our hypothetical super-bluetooth example, we would pick a criteria like potential market size, then consider different industries like medical devices and consumer electronics against each other. We may all emphatically believe that the applications for smartphones will make consumer electronics the true winner, but we won’t know until we explore how exactly how many pacemakers or hearing aids need our super-bluetooth.

After testing a broad set of options, you’ll be left with a smaller and more manageable set of categories to explore in order to move your project forward.

3. Fail hard and often.

If you’re approaching decisions and problems with a hypothesis, then doing a fair and rigorous job at testing them, at some point you should find yourself disproving an assumption — being wrong. This is essential to a good experiment; it proves you’re serious about finding the right answer and not validating your own assumptions into an echo chamber.

If you’re just dipping your toes, it won’t hurt to go with some relatively binary tests at first, looking at just X and Y. Eventually, a well-designed experiment will test a number of different hypothesis and variables at once, hopefully giving more invalidated assumptions than validated ones as the experiment goes on.

In these cases, being wrong is exceptionally valuable; it closes off a worthless course of action and frees you up to dive deeper on a more valuable one. Once we prove that our super-bluetooth is best suited for the consumer electronics industry, we should feel comfortable being wrong as often as possible when looking for the first devices and applications to pursue first.

There’s a classic quote from inventor-mogul Thomas Edison that gets referenced in these sort of lessons that I’d like to leave you with — here’s the most accurate version I could find, published in American Magazine:

“After we had conducted thousands of experiments on a certain project without solving the problem, one of my associates, after we had conducted the crowning experiment and it had proved a failure, expressed discouragement and disgust over our having failed to find out anything. I cheerily assured him that we had learned something. For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn’t be done that way, and that we would have to try some other way.”

Designers, app developers, marketers and business leaders — don’t be afraid to experiment more scientifically. You can apply these techniques to a massive portion of the decisions you make without a lab coat, without big data, and without a big budget.

Why Trump’s Latest Attack on the FDA Was Total Nonsense

Tuesday night, in his address to Congress, President Trump invited as his guest a college sophomore with a rare disease to illustrate why the Food and Drug Administration needs to be ripped to pieces. After 20-year-old Megan Crowley was diagnosed with the neuromuscular disorder Pompe disease as a young child, her…

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Sitecore Unlocks Content, Commerce Disconnect in Latest Release

Sitecore Unlocks Content, Commerce Disconnect in Latest Release

Digital experience provider Sitecore today released a new version of the ecommerce platform it acquired more than three years ago from commerceserver.net.  It includes updates in order management capabilities, support for digital products and goods and a developer experience based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET core framework.

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Top Trump cybersecurity advisor taken to task over his own insecure website


When it comes to Donald Trump, it’s getting harder by the day to be surprised. His latest mishap comes from a cabinet appointment, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. It’s Giuliani, now, that’s tasked with protecting our nation from the best and most sophisticated cyber criminals both foreign and domestic. And it’s Giuliani that today got schooled on the perils of not practicing what you preach. CNBC reported that Dan Tenter, founder of Phobos Group was able to pull up “read me” files — while using a tethered mobile device, on an airplane — removed by even the most novice of…

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The BBC sets up a taskforce to fight back against fake news

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The uphill battle against fake news (and correctly using the term “fake news” in the first place) continues. The latest effort to debunk made-up information is British broadcaster BBC.

On Thursday, The Guardian reported the BBC was forming a debunking team to tackle false stories that often start on Facebook and other social media outlets.

This means segments such as the outlet’s Reality Check will become more than an occasional feature, but a persistent effort with a team tackling incorrect stories, posts and information.

The amount the NHS in England is getting from the government is at the bottom end of the range that it asked forhttps://t.co/gyWvoK8YMn pic.twitter.com/PQbPi47cdp

— BBC Reality Check (@BBCRealityCheck) January 12, 2017 Read more…

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