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Published by Nat Miller, April 24th, 2014
Social Networks
On the surface, social media appears simple. As an individual, connecting with family, friends, and colleagues online is relatively straightforward and requires very little forethought in terms of content generation or profile building. Yet when examined from a business perspective, social media’s simplicity can be deceiving.
 
Nearly anyone can create an online profile, throw up a few photos, and fill out the informational questionnaire to complete an “About Us” page on any one of the major social media sites that currently exist, but that doesn’t mean it will be effective. Thanks to a multitude of promotional and performance management tools that are now available, the process of creating an effective online social presence has become increasingly more complex. With this complexity comes the ability to promote brands and products, target specific users based on a variety of demographics, and monitor traffic and total reach of your content with just a few clicks of a mouse.
 
The Power of Social Media for Business
Social media has become a powerful marketing tool, and harnessing that power may seem daunting. OffWhite works with clients to develop effective social media marketing strategies and manage their tactical implementation across a variety of venues. Our approach involves a number of steps and in-depth market research, yet follows the general outline below:
  1. Set Goals: Before a company page or profile is even created, it is important to set specific goals on what you want your social media presence to accomplish for your organization. Do you want to perpetuate your brand? Be viewed as a subject matter expert? Connect with customers? Capture leads?
  2. Create a Strategy: Once your goals are set, OffWhite helps you devise a strategy to achieve those goals. We research your competitors, available social media avenues and industry best practices. We then develop a systematic plan that allows you to grow your social presence over time and capture measurable results incrementally. This process includes creating a posting schedule, developing a master content document, assigning responsibilities and reviewing your message to ensure all content is managed appropriately across mediums.
  3. Setup Profiles and Monitoring: Depending on your goals and strategy, our team works with you to focus on the social media venues that are most appropriate for your industry. We can then assist in developing profiles, populating content, uploading photos, and integrating the monitoring tools that will be used to measure the results of your campaigns.
  4. Education: A major factor in the effectiveness of your social media campaign is education for you and your employees. The OffWhite team will train you and your staff on managing social media, best practices as individuals, and how best to capitalize on resulting “buzz” from your posts. We can also help in managing all of these areas to ensure proper implementation and support.
  5. Measuring Results: As your social media program evolves, it is important to accurately measure results based on the goals originally set in the strategy document. A variety of powerful tracking tools are now available to help monitor clicks, shares, followers, reach, and even “clout” of your posts. Utilizing these tools and understanding the data they provide is critical to the success of any social media program. This data allows adjustments to messaging, timing, content, and targeted audience to be made in real time, ensuring a nimble, but disciplined social media campaign is maintained.
OffWhite manages social media with the same systematic, integrated approach that we use for print and online media, delivering proven results over time.
 
To learn more, contact Jane Cirigliano at 800.606.1610.
 
 
 
 
Published by Bill White , April 17th, 2014
2014 OffWhite Staff with Warren Offenberger
Photo Credit: Jasmine Rogers, Marietta Times
 
The Marietta Times recently published a story on OffWhite in which writer Jasmine Rogers explored the origins of our firm, and what makes us different. We’re grateful to Jasmine and Jenny Houtman, publisher, for their interest in our company and the impact we’re having on the local community.
 
To read the story online click one of the links below.
 
 
Marietta Times, April 12, 2014
 
Subscribers
 
Non-Subscribers (OffWhite Page, by Permission)
 
Reprinted here by permission. Story and photos by Jasmine Rogers, Marietta Times, Marietta, OH 45750.
 
 
 
 
Published by Jane Cirigliano , April 11th, 2014
Jane CiriglianoMobile devices have changed the way we approach website design and development. User experiences can be customized to the specific browsing and buying habits of tablet and smartphone users.
 
So how do you decide what experience will be best for your audience? We can review how different types of users browse websites and provide content in more relevant and helpful ways based on their choices. The two main options for mobile-friendly websites are responsive and adaptive design.
 
Why Use Responsive Design?
Responsive design lets you take the same website experience (text, images, etc.) and reformat the information on the fly based on the size of the device being used to browse the website. If a visitor is browsing on a smartphone or tablet, and flips the device, the website automatically responds and resizes. 
 
With a resonsive approach, all of the elements of your website are visible at every size, but they can be repositioned so that users see the items that are most important to mobile users at the top of the screen.  Menus and other functionality can be customized for smaller screen sizes to enhance the user experience.  Our website is a good example of responsive design in action.
 
This method is particularly useful if you update your website frequently (and you should) because you make the changes to your site once, and they are transferred to all sizes of your site.  In addition, responsive design lets you streamline efforts for search engine optimization by keeping all of your data in a single file system.
 
Why Use Adaptive Design?
Adaptive design, or what some people classify as a mobile website, results in a completely separate version of your website for mobile users.  You can even have multiple versions of your website for tablet and smartphone users.
 
When you have multiple versions of your website, you can target your audience more specifically. For example, if you know that your smartphone visitors use your website primarily for tools such as cost calculators and product data, those items should be prominent and easy to navigate on your mobile site.  Often, adaptive websites are abbreviated versions of the full desktop version of the site, giving users access to the information that mobile customers are typically seeking.
 
Adaptive websites often include links to "View the Full Website" at the bottom of the page for users who want to access more information or who want to browse the site in a way that is more familiar to them.
 
 
To learn more, contact Jane Cirigliano at 800.606.1610.
 
 
 
 
Published by Abby Spung , April 3rd, 2014
Abby SpungResponsive design is everywhere and comes up almost daily in our environment here at OffWhite. Nearly every one of our clients is asking about it, or for it, and we just applied it to our own website. We all interface with it daily on one of our multiple devices, but what exactly is the "responsive" in responsive design?
 
Responsive design is broadly defined as a programming technique which allows optimal display of a website on all types and sizes of device, be it a 21” iMac or the latest smart phone, from a single URL. In other words, the site responds to the device, not the user.

Responding to Audience
While from a technical standpoint, responding to a device is accurate, it is more important for your site to respond to accommodate your brand. The brand is not a logo, or a mark, it’s the opinion formed by your audience based on the collective of elements like the logo, collateral pieces, and language that make up your identity. Knowing what your audience prefers and uses most under what conditions and for what purpose should define how the site needs to respond in terms of brand presence.
 
Most developers focus on getting their site to scale down or up to fit either of two extreme viewing areas, sacrificing the integrity of the brand. As a result, there are a number of responsive design templates that do "cool" tricks to adapt to the device, with little consideration for truly adapting the content or message to the experience that brought about the need for responsive design to start with.  By focusing on the one site fits all, the temptation is to target the least common denominator or in this case the device with the smallest view space.  Currently, accommodating the smaller viewing platform is meeting the needs of the few and not the majority.  
 
The user experience at a desktop is exponentially different than the experience on a phone. Many sites that are responsive work really well on one platform but deliver only a mediocre experience on another. The mindset of the user when at their desktop computer is not the same as it is when they surf  or search from their phone, so the desktop interface experience of your site should not feel or act like the interface for the mobile site. In other words, developers and designers need to do a better job of accommodating the users, not just the device.
 
At OffWhite designing responsively means responding to our audience's desired experiences, not just their devices. It is important for sites to function properly on multiple devices from a single URL, but it is equally if not more important to deliver the experience that is optimized to the user and their mindset.
 
 
 
 
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Offenberger & White, Inc. (OffWhite) is an integrated marketing solutions company based in Marietta, Ohio, USA.
 
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P.O. Box 1012, 521 Fort Street, Marietta, OH 45750. 1-800-606-1610 or 1-800 OFFWHITE.