Archive | April, 2009

Debunking some social media myths

21 Apr

 

social_media

Came across this article which empahsies that as with any marketing tool, there needs to be a framework in place for social media.

It needs a team, a plan and a budget. As it relies on a user base, you already have to have a large following in order to get an immediate effect, if not, time needs to be invested in building this base in the first place.

The article also mentions some sites that can help to measure social media campaigns; Google Trends, Twitter search, Google Analytics, BackType and Compete.

All change

15 Apr

We’ve recently undergone a big change so I thought I’d make a few notes on how we went about it.

The Motley Fool used to comprise a mixture of personal finance and investing content. It was decided to separate this content into two specific sites – investing would be the main area of focus for The Fool and personal finance would be the main offering from the other site.

Initially, the challenge for us was to develop a new name and brand for the new site – I’ve written some details about how we did this here.

We also needed to communicate the change to our users and here is how we did it.

By the time we needed to begin communication, we had already put up a temporary site in order to build link equity and it looked like this:

lovemoney-temp-homepage1

As you can see, it was pretty basic, but featured comparison tables – Lena’s speciality, which are key to the site in terms of revenue and article churn, which contributed to the freshly updated content that Google loves. Carl also started a blog which added a nice human touch to the site.

On The Fool site, meanwhile, the messaging was done through the About Us section:

transition-about-us1

Emails also went out to our customers explaining the change.

A few weeks later, we moved to the second phase of the change. This involved changing some areas on The Fool site to incorporate the lovemoney.com site and make it clear to customers that lovemoney.com is the new offering from The Fool, whilst emphasising the differences in focus.

Here’s what the homepage looked like before:

fool-homepage-before5

…and here’s what the homepage looked like once the details about the new site had been added:

transition-homepage

As you can see the homepage gives significant focus to the new site, which is all part of the signposting and managing user expectations. There were also tool tips, written by Sara, which floated above the article titles on hover over, explaining that they were being sent to a different site.

The About Us page was also updated to outline the forthcoming changes:

transition-about-us2

Then the next step was the launch of lovemoney.com. For this, we built a new site in the background which featured all the bits from the original lovemoney.com site plus a registration box for people interested to learn more about the new features, new navigation including a top bar for comparing products and extra bits like home and car insurance. This is what it looked like:

lovemoneyhomepage1

Then, on April 1st, it blossomed into the current green and luscious looking site. Profiling details, comments on articles and Q&A were also added to this release:

lovemoney-homepage2

Of course the grass/growing concept is related to the ‘nurturing’ philosphy behind lovemoney.com.

I think a nice ‘paradise’ background would also look good as paradise is probably quite a nurturing place.

Love lovemoney.com!

7 Apr

lovemoney-homepage1

Ta da! lovemoney.com, our sparkling new site went live recently.

And it’s not just a pretty site.

It’s designed to help users grow richer and offers useful tools  which aim to motivate and support users to get their finances in order.  With personalised content and tools like Q&A, the idea is that users will be able to get access to  relevant content that will help them get to where they want to be financially.

As it will be a site that people use as a tool, the challenge is to make sure that it’s easy to use, with logical user journeys and clear messaging.

This is still very much a work in progress with new bits being added regularly and I think that will keep it looking and feeling fresh as the grass in the background.

Carl has been tweeting about the site and we’ve had some positive feedback from users. What do you think?

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