COM0011 – Blog 2 – Piktochart! An Online Program Review

These days there seems to an infographic for just about anything. Where does one create one? How does one create one? Well in my searches I found an online program that helps one do just that – create infographics.

“But I’m not a graphic designer.” Do you hear yourself saying that ever so quietly? Well one of the programs out there called PIKTOCHART helps you conquer any infographic task without needing to be a graphic designer, by the use of templates.

This program is subscription based. However, there is a free version of it. The difference between the two is the paid version allows you more access to different templates and each infographic you produce will have not have the PIKTOCHART banner at the bottom of it. The paid version also allows you to share privately whereas the free version allows you to share only publicly.

Depending on your needs and how often you use it the paid version just has a bit more flexibility with choices.

On a one year subscription it would come out to 14 dollars per month, on the monthly subscription it would come out to 29 dollars per month. Very affordable when you take in consideration the amount of use you would have with the program versus paying a graphic designer.

Pictured here is my first attempt at creating an infographic with PIKTOCHART. It took me about 30 minutes to do allowing for editing and proper placement of graphics. I found the program very user friendly.

algonquin piktochart review blog

Trying it out for free allowed me the opportunity to test and be an informed consumer. During the test I felt confident in taking the next step to purchase a subscription.

More details about getting started on PIKTOCHART can be found on their website at http://www.piktochart.com.

Hope you enjoyed my review on PIKTOCHART. Look forward to more reviews as I test other programs and apply them to my everyday needs!

COM0011-521: Social Media Use in my Profession

According to Hinge Marketing, www.hingemarketing.com, Accounting and Financial services have not been in the forefront of social media marketing. Accountants and financial professionals chose their career for a reason. If they were strongly inclined toward Marketing, they probably would have chosen a different career. These professions are, by tradition, fairly conservative. This environment did not often nurture and encourage the early use of social media. There are a host of regulatory and legal requirements that dictate what one might say or do online.

True, but accounting firms have been making up for lost ground and here are some of the ways in which they’re using social media.

  • Talent attraction
  • Profiling of professionals – i.e. articles in media, Partners on Boards, etc…
  • Promotion – of newsletters, events, testimonials, publications, community involvement…
  • Announcements – of new Partners, clients or wins
  • Information on service offerings
  • Driving future clients to specific content, websites or pages

As a social networking tool focused on business, LinkedIn is used extensively, although not exclusively for recruiting.  You Tube is used to provide insight into the professional services firm environment such as work-life balance and other values.

Twitter is used to promote events in advance to create some “buzz”, during the event to draw attention to a specific venue or speaker and post-event to continue brand building. LinkedIn is also used to promote events, typically during and post-event and links are included to direct recipients to specific content, either a publication, webpage or registration site.

Ultimately, social media tools are used in some combination as part of a Marketing Plan with the objective of moving the right people to action.

A mid-sized accounting firm, MNP, takes a very direct approach to talent recruitment.  It has a separate MNP Careers website, similar to the larger, global firms and it also employs Facebook and You Tube to deliver content to potential employees. MNP is one of the fastest growing accounting firms in Canada and has baffled some of the BIG 4 firms with its aggressive growth record.  Clearly, it is executing an effective Marketing strategy including the use of appropriate social media tools.

Another accounting firm launches a myriad of thought leadership.  Perhaps a more cautious approach, it has employed Twitter and LinkedIn for a few years for various promotional aspects of its Marketing plans, however, it is still too reliant on traditional media (online newspapers/articles) and advertising, including banner ads and limited inserts.  While it has very recently started using infographics and short videos, very little, if any, blogging is evident and Google+ remains a future tool. Recent campaigns didn’t effectively target influencers which could have amplified the messaging further. Listening to specific, relevant communities appeared limited. Content splitting is recommended as it could increase the “storytelling” to engage with its target audience(s), build relationships, and increase shareability of content. There are indications that future launch campaigns will improve the use of effective social media tools, including for example, slide share.

Professional Services firms, specifically accounting and finance, are making great strides in their use of social media to improve visibility and credibility, demonstrate expertise, and, connect with and understand client communities. Already in use by many prospective clients, Social Media can help Professional Services firms grow faster and become more profitable. Stay tuned!

Bob Giddings

http://www.twitter.com/giddingsbob