Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

Today, we celebrated two birthdays at Stone, and we are fortunate to have our own version of the "Ace of Cakes" on staff. It is a "house divided" cake in ACC country. What happens when you combine a UNC fan and an Eastern Michigan fan? Well, a flowerpot cake of course. Happy Birthday to two great employees, Liz and Kai. Let's all get prepared for the snow this weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Five Social Media Guidelines to Adhere to in 2010

Jan 12, 2010 1:34 PM, By Lisa Wehr

It’s no longer a question of whether or not your brand should go social—it’s an expectation these days. In fact, according to the Cone Study, a staggering 93% of social media users expect companies to have a social media presence. This represents your current and future consumers. Plain and simple, social media is here to stay. And your presence is required. But rather than make a hasty go of social media, it pays to have a strategy in place. Here’s a quick breakdown of five social media tips you should take into 2010 to ensure that your business harvests all of the benefits and opportunities that social media has to offer: Choose your site wisely. The number of social media sites currently available to companies is growing at an exponential rate, and it’s an important first step for your company to do some research about your audience so you know where to locate them within the vast social media realm. For instance, Nielson Online reports the largest growth on Facebook coming from the 35-49 age demographic. Is this the audience you’re trying to capture? What's more, Quantcast statistics show that Twitter’s U.S. audience is slightly more female than male. Perform a search to see where your brand is being talked about. You can do this directly from a major search engine or by using the search capabilities the social media outlets provide. Have a purpose going in. Determine what message your brand wants to communicate and who you’re trying to communicate with. Some other important aspects to consider include what you’re trying to gain from your social media presence and what your clients and prospects will be seeking within your profiles. It’s critical that your purpose conveys the same value that these clients and prospects seek from your business. Remember, your social profiles serve as a means to build trust and communicate the value of your business to your audience. Engage your followers. Don’t be boring or ego-centric. Social media is not a classroom, so there’s no need to lecture anyone. Conversation and engagement are vital components of successful social media campaigns, so be sure that the way you’re communicating allows for such interaction. And above all, don’t break the fundamental rule of social media marketing: Thou shall not forget to update profiles and include fresh content. Establish meaningful measurements. Let's say your business sets up a Facebook page, a Twitter account and posts an informational video to YouTube. One month later, you’ve amassed 100 Facebook fans, 300 Twitter followers and your video has received 1,200 views on YouTube. Have you reached your goals? If you decode the numbers, what this really means is that within one month, brand advocates asking to receive regular news and updates through your Facebook page increased 100%. With your Twitter account, you’ve increased your reach nearly 300%, with followers who view posts daily and (hopefully) retweet your news and messages to all of their connections just as often. And those views on YouTube translate to a 1,200% increase in the number of interactions consumers have had with your brand. Establish meaningful measurements and let the numbers do the talking. Unify your marketing message. Use each of your marketing channels to build on each other and strengthen your overall message. For example, let’s say your clothing company just started offering a line of children’s apparel. Unify your social media channels to strengthen the message. Tweet about it, include a tab on your Facebook page dedicated to this new line, post commercials advertising the children’s apparel on YouTube, and include a link in your company newsletter and e-mail signature to all of these social media channels. This provides consumers with quick and easy access to your social channels and increases the likelihood that they’ll check out your new fashion line.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Home Builders Association Chooses Stone
The Stone Agency named Agency of Record

For Immediate Release
(RALEIGH NC – January 11, 2010)—After years as the Triangle’s leading advertising agency for new Home Builders and Developers, the team at The Stone Agency announced that their Builder and Developer Marketing Group has been named Agency-of-Record for the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. The Raleigh-based agency serves a large number of builders and developers in the southeastern United States.

“Being named Agency of Record by the Home Builders Association is a huge honor,” said Jenny Martin, Business Development Director at The Stone Agency. “This industry has been our team’s passion for more than a decade, and we are excited to turn what has been a project relationship into a much deeper partnership”.

“We’re excited to formalize our relationship with The Stone Agency. They have spent countless hours promoting the building industry and are tireless in those efforts,” shares Tim Minton, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

“We believe that the in-depth level of understanding we have for our Builder and Developer clients is a natural catalyst for the HBA”, said Linda Dickert, Director of New Home Marketing for The Stone Agency’s Builder and Developer Marketing Group. In the existing economic climate, anyone associated with the building industry needs to be extremely strategic about how they utilize their marketing dollars. We pride ourselves on getting the most value from every endeavor.”

The Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County (HBA) began in 1959 when 25 builders saw a need to represent the interests of home builders on issues that affect their ability to provide affordable housing for citizens of Wake County. The membership, comprised of builders, remodelers, developers, and sales & marketing professionals throughout Wake County is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders, which represents over 200,000 member companies nationwide. As the voice of the home building industry, the HBA provides members opportunities for business development, education, professional growth and networking.

About The Stone Agency - We are Integration Strategists.

We deliver thinking that integrates your organization, brand and consumer by discovering what differentiates your company, align your team with the mission, and articulate your offering to the most compatible consumers, motivating them to action.
The result is interactive, integrated relationships with customers that result in transactions. We choose to work with people who share our integrity and who are prepared for significant and positive change in their business or organization.

We’ve been creating award-winning strategies since 1995 for client partners such as Coastal Federal Credit Union, Trane, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, CARQUEST, Ammons Development Group, and Trammell Crow Residential. To see how we drive integration strategies that result in transactions, visit or call 919-645-0799.