Tuesday, November 30, 2010
This site has served us well since 2005. But, an upgrade is needed to continue to make your shopping experience and access to our products as easy as possible. We look forward to your feedback. Thank you.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
A certificate frame is an easy cost-effective way to show your customers all you do to support your business success and your community success. Create a quality program within your business or recognize your best employees each month. And let your customer know. They want to know and they will notice. Show them with a certificate program and be sure to "frame it."
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
*Today I’m sharing a guest post from Lyn Hoyt of Berkeley Tandem, Inc.
We are designers and manufacturers of framed corporate recognition. With two locations in TN and NJ, we have been manufacturing and shipping our unique frame products to training facilities and HR departments’ worldwide since 1995. My name is Lyn Hoyt. Also known as @designtwit on twitter. I am the Director of Product Design and Marketing as well as a co-owner of Berkeley Tandem, Inc. We have two online stock product brands: fusionframes.com and awardcertificateframes.com. I am a social media advocate.
CASE STUDY- FUSION FRAMES:
OUR SLOW MOVE ONLINE & Discovery of Social Media
Each year the number of customers shopping online continues to increase. And our recognition business continues to grow despite the bad economy. Millennial and Gen Y are now moving into buyer positions with corporations and they immediately turn to the internet to research their award programs. And we are there. Search is king. So you must be online writing about your product and creating content about your product to be found in search. I saw that as ANY way to be online. In 2008 I started on twitter and discovered Social Media. Initially I was only there to create product content for search: industry term SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I was tweeting about corporate recognition, framing, and certificates. I was blogging about these same subjects too. And it was really rather dull.
But, slowly something happened – I realized social media was a direct connection to conversing with my customer and the industries I sell to. Rather than pushing my agenda I started making conversation. My content evolved as a reflection of my business and my personality creating an online persona that is influential and engaging. I wanted my experience to be the online cocktail party where I go to find HR people and talk shop.
Social Media is a platform to reach out in a different way. There are so many in marketing that immediately jump on the “Who can I sell to?” strategy. And admittedly I was there over a year ago blogging and on twitter. But, as I started engaging, building interest, and learning about my customer online things changed; communities formed, conversations started and relationships blossomed. And just like any relationship, social networking takes time and commitment. It is not and immediate pay-out.
“The more trust you build, the more value you release, and the more wealth you create.” Says Shoshana Zuboff in a Business Weekly viewpoint. When online networking evolves from “What can I sell you?” to “Who are you? What do you need? How can I help?”, things change. It may never get past “Who are you?” You may find out “what they need” is not what you offer. And help may come in the form of content generation or advice rather than “selling” your product. If you love what you do it is easy to generate content about it. It is easy to talk to others with similar interests. Let your connections find out about you. Learn from them. You are putting out content that relates to your audience and your subject. They search and find you. They link to you. You link to them. Influence and message reach spreads. Building relationships, networking, content mining result in qualified people interested in your expertise or your product.
It took me over a year to build up my twitter following to over 3,000 people. I have met incredibly smart, talented people in the industries I sell to and I have formed relationships with customers and non-customers alike. The biggest bonus is the reach beyond business to personal and professional development. This is how I became involved with this fantastic group of HR professionals online. They were studying me. I was studying them through the content we were creating and communicating on Twitter and on our blogs. We were (and still are) learning how Social Media shapes our industries. Even taking networking to the next step with in-person tweet-ups and un-conferences like HRevolution, hoping to educate and bring more mainstream HR online to find and create information of value and quality.
WE HAVE ONLY JUST STARTED TO UNDERSTAND
Social Media is rather new. It is a cutting edge tool. There are all kinds of 3rd party tools that help me manage this ever-growing segment on the Internet and on our cell phones. (Hootsuite.com is my top tool right now, helping me categorize and track followers by subject.) I am stumbling through trying to figure out how it fits into my business and personal life. It is not black and white and it evolves. I am human, with typos, spelling errors and personal commentary. It makes my personal brand real.
People ask me how much time I spend on Social Media. It varies depending on what I read, how active my market is and what inspires me to write. But I spend at minimum 30 minutes a day. I could do it in 15. But, I am a people person so 15 can grow to 30 or even an hour. It is never in vain from a business point of view. It is personal selling. SEO is still of value to keep a high Google presence in organic search. It works well for small businesses because there are no barriers to putting a message out there or discovering online markets. The cost is in the value of my time.
My content continues to shape my business message and my personality gives it authenticity as a personal brand. Social Media is a slow, evolving experiment. And my goal is to still be there in a sustainable, almost pragmatic way that helps my business grow, helps me learn what my customer wants and helps me continue to discover this content-rich, people driven, ecommerce, electronic, virtual, digital frontier called the Internet.
“Who are you? What do you need? How can I help?” ~ Zuboff, Business Weekly
Yes, I’m on twitter @designtwit and @awardframes
My Other blog: http://www.hrbaconhut.com
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Courtesy WSMV Viewer posts
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Yes, the photos are crude customer snap-shots. But, think how good they must look in person! You rock Bay Graphics!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The more we give the more giving remains the same. The scalloped edge, the brush script all the acceptable layouts of a contrived award system we have come to fondly know as the certificate program. Everyone has them. That piece of paper that screams, “I’m a dinosaur, but people expect me to show up to the recognition party.”
I know change is hard. But, if you don’t analyze what content your certificate design presents that is personal for the recipient and reflects your culture it will end up in a drawer, or even worse, the garbage. It will be one notch above a handshake and a thank you. So why not just a handshake? Why not an electronic paperless email thank you certificate? I’d say there is a place for that.
But, I would also say there is a place for the tangible object that contains your name, that describes the achievement you accomplished, that gives you reflection on the quality job you do. But, if you give it… make it good. Give it real content and present it in real context. Make it reflect your culture. Design it. Brand it. Give it meaning. And drop the brush script!
Framed recognition does not have to be predictable. Culture is image and image is design. You can see how that works here.
Image courtesy of 123rf.com
Monday, March 01, 2010
I started blogging online two years ago because someone told me I should. There were a multitude of reasons. SEO value, more product content all really web 1.0 information goals that were... well, knuckle dragging for me. Was my customer really reading what I thought about certificate frames? Oh, there are those who do dig deep into understanding our products and us. I know some have appreciated my blogging about my business. But, I needed something MORE.
At about the time my knuckles were beginning to bleed I started connecting with HR professionals on twitter. Ah, real people with ideas and information were out there online! And so were designers and artists and foodies and… wait how can I blog about all this? How can I bring together what I love about my customer, the recognition industry, food, travel and yes… BACON!? How?
Wanna see how? Go check out my new blog “HR Bacon Hut.” It is HR Lite. a community building blog where my online HR friends and I share HR stories, tools and strategy along with a virtual beer and some bacon and BBQ recipes. It should be fun! They are pretty interesting folks.
I’ll still put my thoughts down over here about selling frames online. It does get exciting. I’ll always enjoy sharing. But, I see this blog going in more of a case study, product idea direction. It is what people want. They want recognition ideas and they want to see how others use our products.
I hope you will include my new blog on your reading list. And I will focus this blog to inspire you. I leave you today with this inspirational custom format we are using to help the Red Cross recognize Haiti relief donors. And when you get a chance check out HRBaconHut.com.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Last week we celebrated Valentines Day. The greeting card industries' manufactured holiday. Most everyone who has a significant other celebrated this with the obligatory card and candy and flowers. I could not help reflect on how that obligatory expression of appreciation relates to the recognition industry. Is your recognition program like Valentines? Do you find you are going through the pre-fab motions because everyone else does it or are you really doing something meaningful to show you care?
In my children's school every classmate brings cards and notes and candy to pass out. Different from my days in school where you thought about the card and who you gave it to for fear they might think you were crushed out on them. You may not even give everyone a card. The "party" was not so organized, just something you did for 20 or 30 minutes during the school day. But, it had big impact. Especially if you received a card from your crush. But, my kids' day involved punch and cookies and games. We did the stock cards, made for the occasion. My son chose dinosaurs. The girls did pets. And then they taped a chocolate to each one after addressing them to each classmate. Seemed like a lot to me at the time. Nobody was left out.
After school that day my 3rd grade son jumped in the car and started pouring through his Valentine goody bag. Out came the trinkets. Some parents go all out with little toys, tattoos, and stickers. Reminded me of a conference swag bag. "What you got there?"I asked. "Good stuff? What is your favorite? Anything special?" I said. "I think I like Lana's card best because she drew a boat on it." he said. I looked at the card, handmade from construction paper in all its glory. Boats, as of late, fascinate my son. It is his current passion. And Lana was thoughtful enough to pick up on that personal detail and express it in his card. That handmade card my son received cut through the clutter of those pre-fab cards and really connected with him.
So what are you doing with your recognition program's content to make those special connections? Are you just going through the pre-fab motions with what is expected? Or do you find a way to add to your program's content and make REAL, personal connections that tell your employees you know them and you recognize the good job they do and you care? Recognition does not have to be complicated or follow the pre-fab expectation. The point is to create a way to make it personal and cut through the clutter.
Wonder what Lana thought about her dinosaur card?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
As our certificate frame business continues to grow and evolve, social media is playing a bigger part in how we maintain presence in the marketplace. Online sales continue to grow and search is king. Here at Fusion Frames we are taking to heart this new transparent business strategy. Social Media is a platform to reach out in a different way. There are so many in marketing who immediately jump on the “Who can I sell to?” strategy. And admittedly I was there over a year ago blogging and on twitter. But, as I started engaging, building interest, and learning about my customer online things changed; communities formed, conversations started and relationships blossomed. And just like any relationship, social networking takes time and commitment.
“The more trust you build, the more value you release, and the more wealth you create.” Says Shoshana Zuboff in a Business Weekly viewpoint. This story really spoke to me via a @Victorio_M tweet. Thanks Victorio! Obviously it spoke to me enough to finally blog this year!
When online networking evolves from "What can I sell you?" to "Who are you? What do you need? How can I help?”, things change. It may never get past “Who are you?” You may find out “what they need” is not what you offer. And help may come in the form of content generation or advice rather than “selling” your product. Be ready for that. If you are not, then you don’t understand social networking. Trust is not built in one tweet or even one handshake. If you love what you do it is easy to generate content about it. It is easy to talk to others with similar interests. Let your connections find out about you. Learn from them. Put out content that relates to your audience and your products. What you sell is only a slice of the information pie. And if your audience sees how that slice can help them then you may get a sale. You will get SEO. And without a doubt, if you are a people person, you will meet incredibly smart, talented people in your industry and the industries you sell to.