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True or false: Photographs that you find online without copyright attribution are free to use on your website, provided you credit the website where you found them. If you answered “false,” you’re in need of some Copyright 101 education so you don’t get stuck overpaying for your website photos too. What Do I Mean By Overpaying For Stock Photos? To put it into some perspective, would you pay $4000 for a $10 photo? I can just about see you now, looking at me as if I were crazy. Of course you wouldn’t, you think. Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you’re grabbing images from sources like Google images and throwing them up on your website, you’re likely infringing on someone’s copyright. That means you’re just waiting to have a lawyer send you a rather nasty “cease and desist” letter with terms of repayment for your violation of copyright law. And this is how you end up paying $4000 or more for even an innocent misuse of someone else’s images. Why This Shouldn’t Stop You From Using Images Now – before you decide to swear off using images on your website all together, let me remind you of some of the important reasons you want to use images correctly on your website. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual – and visual information is transmitted 60,000 times faster than text (source: http://blog.wishpond.com/post/70300587846/10-reasons-visual-content-will-dominate-2014) Images are just ready to be shared via social media and generate more… Read More
Did you hear the story about the hotel that fined its guests for negative Yelp reviews? You heard that right. A boutique hotel in New York actually included a clause in its wedding booking policies that stated that a fine of $500 would be withheld from clients’ deposits if their guests posted negative reviews on Yelp.com. Now, since then, the hotel has claimed it was a tongue-in-cheek jab at those who post negative reviews, especially when the reviews pertain to expecting an ultra modern hotel experience from a one-of-a-kind historic building. But in all honesty, it looked like a thinly veiled attempt to threaten people into not leaving honest reviews on Yelp about the hotel’s less than stellar customer service. They’ve since deleted the policy from their website. But I think it’s a great reason to talk about how social media (including negative customer reviews) can be used to enhance your customers’ experiences and help you deliver legendary customer service. How Social Media Can Help You Deliver A Top-Notch Customer Experience 1. Actively monitor and respond to feedback – If you aren’t monitoring feedback on your Facebook page or Twitter streams, for example, two things can happen. If you’re receiving great feedback, you run the risk of appearing aloof and isolated. On the other hand, if you’re receiving negative feedback and you don’t respond, you look downright disinterested in your customers’ experiences with your brand. Either way, you’re damaging the image of your brand. 2. Don’t squash negative feedback –… Read More
I’m a big fan of using social media in ways that promote your brand by providing great value and service to your customers and prospects. But I have to say – I’m an even bigger fan of using your social media presence to help you fulfill your mission in the world. And when you’re willing to be creative and dig deep to discover what really matters to you, amazing things can happen. I saw a story this week about a French supermarket that decided to tackle a common problem that most people have no idea even exists. It’s the problem of food waste. Have you ever noticed when you go to the store that the fruits and vegetables all look the same? Well – they don’t really all look the same coming off the plant, and the ones that look ugly are usually thrown away. Yep – even in places where there are people going hungry and other people can’t afford fresh produce, so-called ugly fruits and veggies get tossed out for the simple fact that it’s believed no one would buy them. The third largest supermarket chain in France, Intermarche, decided to buy the ugly produce and feature it in their stores, either as is or in soups and juices, where something like a carrot’s strange appearance doesn’t make a bit of difference. They gave the produce a hefty discount and used social media to publicize the campaign. The results were impressive. Average store sales were over 1 ton… Read More