Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Online Marketing for Brian Barneclo’s “Systems Mural Project”

February 1st, 2012

Client: Brian Barneclo

Challenge: Brian’s passion project called “Systems Mural Project” is slated to be the largest mural in San Francisco. To become reality, Brian needed our assistance to raise funds from sponsors and investors.

Switchblade Solution: We optimized the Systems Mural Project website for social media networking, produced the marketing/sponsorship presentation, and continue to support fundraising events. Brian is roughly 50% closer to his fundraising goal, and is confident that he will be painting his 600 ft wall in July 2011. Switchblade continues to drum up sponsorships and awareness in the community and across San Francisco. We will continue to support Brian and provide online marketing support, and will manage press coverage throughout his mural painting dream.

UPDATE: Brian’s Systems Mural was officially completed in September 2011.  Read our blog article.

Also, check out this article about Brian Barnecilo and Systems Mural in SFGate.

And visit the new site at

Switchblade Creative Studios’ Marie Macaspac joins team of social network for animal lovers, Sharingpet, as Leadership and Outreach Advisor

October 17th, 2011

Switchblade Creative Studios founder, Marie Macaspac, has been dedicated to saving animals for the last 5 years as a volunteer, foster mom, and Marketing leader for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue and San Francisco Animal Care & Control, and has now been given a great honor to be  part of the Sharingpet team as their Leadership and Outreach Advisor. is a new social network for “pets and the people who love them”. We’ve been excitedly preparing for the big announcement of its launch date, October 20th at the Best Friends Society’s “No More Homeless Pets” Conference, an annual event where over 50 animal rescue organizations gather in Las Vegas, NV to discuss the animal rescue cause and find new ways to ban together to save more animals. Marie will be there along with Muttville founder Sherri Franklin and 3 fellow team leaders, Anne Lauck, Ellen Lazarus, and Patty Stanton.

Perfect for Sharingpet’s site launch, Sharingpet has also spawned this challenge: Save 1 million more pets in one year, with the help of their social network and their tools, Virtual Adoption and the Buy & Give Shop. Virtual Adoption hopes to change how the world sees animal rescue and adoption, allowing anyone to help homeless pets. The Buy & Give Shop is Sharingpet’s tool that hopes to give rescues a new substantial way of raising money for their organization. Sharingpet coined this phrase, “AdoptiON Movement” to describe what they are confident will change the world for animal rescue in the United States.

This video beautifully demonstrates the Sharingpet mission. Marie was very glad and honored to be the narrator:

The “Save 1Million More Pets” challenge, inspired by Sharingpet from Sharingpet on Vimeo.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue Reaches 2000 Facebook Likes in Less Than 4 Months

September 16th, 2011
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue  Facebook

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue on Facebook:

Congrats to Muttville! A pretty awesome achievement. How was it done? Read on….

Back in May, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue had the unfortunate task of replacing a Facebook GROUP page and building a brand new Facebook Business Page. In May, Facebook announced that Group pages were changing in a way that would limit the way Muttville communicates with its members. Another misfortune was the timing. Muttville had just launched its “1000th Senior Dog Rescue” Celebration with several media, press and new online and website material. Alot of marketing and on top of that they had to start a brand new Facebook page starting with 0 Likes!

Muttville actually wished they originally started their Facebook presence with a Business page, but after accumulating almost 2000 members on the Group page, it seemed like a daunting task. Group pages are limited in the level of customization that can be done, so in reality Muttville was missing out on opportunities to reach out to Facebook users as a result of being “stuck” in a Group page. Facebook was not going to accommodate requests from hundreds of Group page owners requesting to change Group pages into Business Pages.

The good news was that the creation of the new Muttville Facebook Business Page could be tied in with the ongoing campaign celebrating Muttville’s 1000th. Switchblade was up for the challenge! We were already a driving force behind the 1000th dog campaign and were already well-tuned with the high level customization tools available for Facebook Business pages.

Switchblade created several custom tabs for the new Muttville Facebook page upon launch:

  • Welcome Page with different message for Fans vs Non-Fans that linked to
  • 1000th Rescue Celebration with several links back to
  • Become A Mutt Guardian: a sign up drive was part of the celebration. It led back to a main page on
  • Our First 1000 Dogs: A fun new interactive page showcasing all 1000 dogs rescued to date that lived on
  • Our Mutts; Adopt Me!: Muttville’s RSS Feed of each adoptable dog’s profile was instantly posted on the Wall, and also a custom tab listed the latest 40 dogs for adoption.
  • Join the Muttville Family: Muttville is always looking for volunteers, donations,  fosters, and adopters. Here was special page that quickly and easily directed folks to the right page to learn more info and sign up.
  • Youtube: Videos increase the chances of our dogs getting adopted, and Muttville has a steadily growing library of videos.
  • Muttville Merchandise: Muttville’s brand has always been quite popular so Switchblade manages an online store with every possible clothing item imaginable, from human gear (undies, sweats, tees) and doggy clothing and bandanas. Again, it is a feed that directs them straight to the store.
  • Muttville “Woofs” You guessed it, here are tweets fed onto a custom tab. Muttville consistently tweets every day, from dog profiles, upcoming events, and sharing informative tweets from its following.
  • Check-In: We also merged the “Places” page with the Business Page so that folks could “check in” when dropping by Muttville Manor.

Muttville steadily and consistently grew their Likes on average 10 new Likes per day. At that rate, you can see that they easily would reach at minimum 400 new Likes per month. From June through mid-July, Switchblade managed Muttville’s social media campaign to promote “Moolah For Mutt”, their annual fundraiser. In that time span, numbers were above average with multiple marketing strategies in progress and at that time there was a special custom tab to promote the fundraiser and sell tickets on the event’s webpage.

Interestingly, the 2000th Like arrived at 12:30am of the 16th of September from a fan in Kentucky!  That impressive number didn’t stay very long. New fans keep coming every hour. Muttville fans are very active on the page. For  new post, interaction occurs within the first 5 minutes, and it is very common to receive at least 10 likes or comments. But Muttville not only shares, they also regularly interact and comment too with their fellow rescues, supporters and fans outside of their page. Muttville engages and interacts with comments, photos and links, and shows their gratitude as often as possible to retailers hosting adoption events, folks who donate, volunteers, fosters, and publications with articles about Muttville.  Aside from online activity, Muttville is very active with monthly outreach events every weekend and countless “citizen marketers” who distribute Muttville cards and flyers everywhere they go.

How did Muttville reach 2000 Likes in less than four months? I guess it’s no secret with all this flurry of activity. What about adoption rates, one may ask? Google Analytics for the past week (Sept. 5-11) showed traffic of 17,000 visitors to The previous week was slightly higher at 22,000 visitors. Muttville publicist Patty Stanton informed us that Muttville receives an average of 3 adoption application per day. A weekly blog post congratulating the “Adopted Mutts of the Week” reports an average of 6 dogs with new homes per week.

Congrats to Muttville! Now on to the next achievement!!



“Nine Things Successful People Do Differently” by Heidi Grant Halvorson

September 12th, 2011

Originally published in Harvard Business Review at

We love this list of advice, and thought it was a great way to start the week. You may be in for a stressful week, like me, with deferred tax returns and mortgage or rent due. Let’s start out on the right foot! Get more get advice from Heidi on her blog, The Science of Success at Also follow her on Twitter @md311.phpwebhosting.comhghalvorson

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist, and author of the new book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). She is also an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for Fast Company and Psychology Today. Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at Follow her on Twitter @md311.phpwebhosting.comhghalvorson

Switchblade’s “What Did We Tweet This Week?”

September 4th, 2011

Social Media Marketing or Traditional Marketing…or a Little of Both? What Works for You?

August 12th, 2011

I get alot of potential clients who find me because they are fans or followers of my existing clients, and they commonly say things like “I need to get my business on Twitter!!” or “How in the world do you do all those things on Facebook?”

My first response to the majority of these inquiries is, “Why?”
Why do you want to get your business started on Twitter?

If your answer is “Because everyone else is using it”, you may be surprised by my advice. Here are a few tips I’d like to share to help you decide what are the best marketing strategies for you and your business.

Choose a Marketing activity because you know you will enjoy doing it. If you were never interested in tweeting for fun, then you most likely won’t be effectively tweeting for your business. There are dozens of other marketing strategies that you are likely not doing, why not choose one that is appealing to you. Do you like to read magazines, newspapers, or blogs? Try starting a Digg or Delicious account where you can share articles you’ve read, as well as find articles and learn of new sources. Unless you are enlisting the services of a consultant like Switchblade Creative Studios, if you plan on managing your own social networks, it is best to select the ones that won’t feel like a “chore”.

Social networking doesn’t have to be online. Before there was the Internet, the term social networking already existed! Don’t forget that everyone can be a potential client. If you are a parent, get to know other parents through your child’s activities, participate in school volunteer activities, or join PTA type groups. We also strongly recommend volunteering with local non-profit organizations. Not only are you donating your time and services to a worthy cause, but it is also a great opportunity to meet new people who may become or recommend potential clients. The online resource has also helped revive “offline” social networking. Find interests groups that meet in person for regular meetings, outings, and social activities. And lastly, professional network groups, like BNI, are still proven to be a very effective way to grow your business’ clientele. Remember, everyone can be a potential client.

Social networking goes both ways. Whether you are socializing with online or offline networks, remember to give as well as receive. Imagine if everyone was only broadcasting: writing blogs, sending tweets, writing Facebook posts, passing out business cards….then nobody would be reading, commenting, responding, or sharing. If you want others to be a fan of your Facebook page, then be sure to Like other Facebook pages, share their wall posts, comment! If you want someone to recommend your business, it should be just as important to you to recommend clients to your network colleagues.

Don’t Try To Do Everything Yourself. Regardless of which marketing activities you choose to engage in, trying to do too many can end up being a waste of time. Thinly spreading your time ineffectively means that every effort appears half-a$$. Choose a few marketing activities and do them well. Or better yet, leave the marketing to experts. A complete marketing strategy that incorporates both offline and online strategies can be a key factor in the growth of your company.

5 Ways To Be A Socially Responsible Business

August 8th, 2011

It is easier than you think! Here are a few ways that any business can start contributing in positive ways with non-profit organizations:

1. Donate a few hours of your time as a volunteer. Non-profits always value a few hours a week from individuals interested in assisting at fundraiser events, administrative tasks, or even distributing marketing materials like postcards and flyers to local businesses. Its a great way to meet others and learn more about an organization’s needs

2. If you have a storefront, let local charity organizations know that you welcome their posters, flyers, handout materials, etc. This is a very easy way to show your support and/or affiliation with an organization. And while you are at it, let customers know about the organizations and encourage them to take a handout or check out an announcement.

3. Offer your services or products pro bono or as a donation. We think this is one of the most rewarding marketing activities a business can participate in. If you sell products, non-profits are grateful to receive samples, returns, or defective items that can not be sold to customers. If you provide a service, it gives your business an opportunity to demonstrate your skills to a new audience. The volunteers you may be working with could be employees for companies that can be potential clients. Additionally, if you are in creative services, like design or photography, here is a great way to fill up your portfolio!

4. Donate a Gift Certificate or Products. Most fundraisers include silent auctions or raffles as a way to raise money at events. Donating a gift certificate or products not only helps the organization raise money, you may also end up finding new customers and clients.

5. Promote organizations you support on your blog or social media pages. Let your colleagues, customers, and clients know who you support. Talk about how you or your business supports them, why you support their cause, and share ways that others can help. You can also promote a campaign that co-markets a charity. “Like our page/website and we’ll donate $1 for each new Like is  a popular promotion. When executed properly, it can be an effective way to promote your business while bringing awareness to a cause you support.

There are so many more ways to help. Your own customers may have suggestions for you, too! Did you notice we didn’t even include on our list the idea in the graphic above? FitnessSF put open barrels at two of their locations and requested much needed household items for the local dog rescue organization, Muttville. Great idea, FitnessSF!

Do you have a great idea t oshare of how to help out a local charity? Please share with us by posting a comment below.

What Determines a Person’s “Generosity” Level?

August 1st, 2011
Muttville Senior Dog Rescue's Django

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue's Django

What determine’s how generous a person will become? Is it genetics? Is it experience?

According to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it could be in the genes. Read more about the study done at UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Evolutionary Psychology.

For a summary of the study (paraphrased in this article published in Fast Company written by, read below or click here.)


Is Generosity An Evolutionary Trait?
BY EARTHSKY.ORGWed Jul 27, 2011
Despite the assumptions of some economists and biologists, new experiments prove that natural selection favors treating others as if the relationship will continue–even when it’s rational to believe it will not.

According to evolutionary psychologists at the University of California at Santa Barbara, generosity–acting to help others in the absence of foreseeable gain–emerges naturally from the evolution of cooperation. This means that human generosity is likely to rest on more than social pressure; it is built in to human nature. Their findings appear in the July 25, 2011 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Imagine dining at a restaurant in a city you’re visiting for the first time–and, most likely, the last. Chances are slim to none that you’ll ever see your server again, so if you wanted to shave a few dollars off the tab by not leaving a good tip, you could do so. And yet, if you’re like most people, you will leave a nice tip anyway.
These commonplace acts of generosity–where no future return is likely–have long posed a scientific puzzle to evolutionary biologists and economists. In acting generously, the donor incurs a cost to benefit someone else. But choosing to incur a cost with no prospect of a compensating benefit is seen as maladaptive by biologists and irrational by economists. If traditional theories in these fields are true, such behaviors should have been weeded out long ago by evolution or by self-interest. According to these theories, human nature is fundamentally self-serving, with any “excess” generosity the result of social pressure or cultural conformity.
As Max Krasnow, UCSB Center for Evolutionary Psychology and one of the paper’s lead authors, says: “When past researchers carefully measured people’s choices, they found that people all over the world were more generous than the reigning theories of economics and biology predicted they should be. Even when people believe the interaction to be one-time only, they are often generous to the person they are interacting with.”
The UC Santa Barbara team used computer simulations to test whether it was really true that evolution would select against generosity in situations where there is no future payoff. Andrew Delton, the paper’s other lead author, says:
“Our simulations explain that the reason people are more generous than economic and biological theory would predict is due to the inherent uncertainty of social life. Specifically, you can never know for certain whether an interaction you are having right now will be one-time only–like interacting with a server in a distant city–or continue on indefinitely–like interacting with a server at your favorite hometown diner.”
Leda Cosmides, co-director of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, adds:
“There are two errors a cooperating animal can make, and one is more costly than the other. Believing that you will never meet this individual again, you might choose to benefit yourself at his expense–only to find out later that the relationship could have been open-ended. If you make this error, you lose out on all the benefits you might have had from a long-term, perhaps life-long, cooperative relationship. This is an extraordinarily costly error to make.”
The other error is to mistakenly assume that you will have additional interactions with the other individual and therefore cooperate with him, only to find out later that it wasn’t necessary. Although you were ‘unnecessarily’ nice in that one interaction, the cost of this error is relatively small. Without knowing why, the mind is skewed to be generous to make sure we find and cement all those valuable, long-term relationships.”
The simulations, which are mathematical tools for studying how natural selection would have shaped our ancestors’ decision making, show that–over a wide range of conditions–natural selection favors treating others as if the relationship will continue–even when it is rational to believe the interaction is one-time only.
According to John Tooby, co-director of the Center for Evolutionary Psychology, economic and evolutionary models both predict that humans should be selfish in one time only situations. Yet, experimental work–and everyday experience–shows that humans are often surprisingly generous: “People who help only when they can see a gain do worse than those who are motivated to be generous without always looking ahead to see what they might get in return.”

Social Media Campaign for Muttville’s Moolah For Mutts; “Night of 1000 Mutts”

July 21st, 2011

Moolah For Mutts: Night of 1000 Mutts

Client: Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Challenge: Client holds an annual fundraiser gala with a new theme each year. In 2011, the event was in a new, larger venue. Also, it was important to tie in the campaign to their year long celebration of their 1000th dog rescue. We were instrumental in the development of this celebration’s marketing materials so we were familiar with what we could work with.

Switchblade Solution: We already had been brainstorming ways to utilize the amazing display of all 1000 dogs rescued that currently existed as an interactive webpage on We crafted a well-received social media campaign and event interior design based on the theme “1000 mutts”. We also knew it would be show-stopping in print as well. Read the fun details (and see some pictures) here.

Logo and Brand Identity for “Moolah For Mutts 2011: Night of 1000 Mutts”

July 21st, 2011

Moolah For Mutts: Night of 1000 Mutts

Client: Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

Challenge: Client holds an annual fundraiser gala with a new theme each year. This year, the event was in a new, larger venue. Also, it was important to tie in the campaign to their year long celebration of their 1000th dog rescue. We were instrumental in the development of this celebration’s marketing materials so we were familiar with what we could work with.

Switchblade Solution: We already had been brainstorming ways to utilize the amazing display of all 1000 dog rescued that currently existed as an interactive webpage on We knew it would be show-stopping in print as well. We also crafted a well-received social media campaign and event interior design based on the theme “1000 mutts”. Read the fun details (and see some pictures) here.