News This Week: Postal Rates, Facebook Posts, Ads and Economy

What should you be paying attention to this week?

Mailbox. From Flickr user Pocius.
The United States Postal Service has announced a postal rate increase, effective January 22, 2012. The average increase is 2.1% - it will be more for some types of mail and less for others. (Multichannel Merchant)

Your takeaway: If direct mail is part of your strategy, your marketing just got more expensive. If you ship products to your customers via USPS, that just got more expensive too. Crunch the numbers carefully to figure out what this might cost you, and look for creative ways to save - there are lower increases on certain sizes of mail, and you might evaluate different carriers for your customer shipments and see if you can lock in some lower pricing now.

The average lifetime of a Facebook post is 22 hours and 51 minutes for comments and likes, according to researcher Jeff Widman of PageLever. See more information on his study at Entrepreneur.

Your takeaway: You need to post on Facebook daily or you run the risk of being forgotten. If this sounds overwhelming, tools like Hootsuite help you schedule posts ahead of time so you don't forget. I like to do a social calendar on a weekly basis - for my clients, I sit down each Friday and plan out the posts for the following week, mapping them to inventory needs and what else is going on in the marketing calendar at large. If things change, I can always reschedule or change posts as needed.

Advertisers trying to connect with consumers are referencing the poor economy more often in their messaging these days - a tactic they dropped when the economy started to improve a bit last year. This is a risk, as consumers don't want to be reminded of bad news, but do connect to ads referencing bail-outs and Wall Street fat cats. (Marketplace)

Your takeaway: A great deal always resonates, whether you reference current events or not. Connect with customers with a great deal, attentive service, and quality products. Be prepared to be nimble - the changing landscape out there means that an ad that takes six months to produce might be outdated by the time it's ready if it's based on this week's news.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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