Are you Linked In to what’s happening in the Twitterverse today? Let’s face it, communication has never been faster, easier or more affordable. With the click of a mouse or th flick of a finger you are immersed in a constant stream of information. That space that you once had to yourself is now shared with millions, worldwide. People who freely blog about your product or service. Some see this as a scary thing, but you see this as an opportunity to get the word out and turn strangers into FANS and fans into loyal customers.
YourSocialMedia.com is an initiative by Wilson Monnig Creative to help businesses understand the effectiveness of the different social media tools available to them, and integrate them into their marketing plans.
You may have been hearing about a new technology called QR codes. It’s a scannable barcode of sorts that can contain all sorts of information within the code. The codes can be scanned with a number of different applications on all major smartphone platforms, to pull information to the user’s phone. Recently, the code is most often used alongside print ads to lead the user to an online deal, or a mobile app of some kind that is associated with the print media. When a user scans the code, they can either view the contact information or the text within the code, or they have the option of following a link to an application for purchase on their phone, or a regular website.
According to Nielsen Wire, smartphones are 25% of the U.S. mobile market, and that number continues to grow. This means that mobile technology, as well as advertising through this form of medium is only going to grow over the coming years. The codes are small, simple, and easy to create. They are simple black and white, and can be used very easily with all forms of print media, and even online. They are free to create, and the apps that smartphones use to scan are often free so it does not cost consumers to pull information from the codes.
How to Use Them
Make sure that whoever handles your online/social media and marketing is aware of this technology and will use it. Ensure that where it’s feasible, your print ads contain a QR code to your website, or an online deal. Don’t post the code without any explanation of what it is for. Most people don’t know what they’re for, and won’t know what to do with the image itself. It doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact even a bit of text as simple as “scan this code with your smartphone to visit our website” will work. Just so your consumers know what to do with it. Be prepared to answer some simple questions about the codes and what they’re used for. Have someone on hand who is knowledgeable with the technology to answer questions, and direct people in the right path.
Some Top Apps for Barcodes
ScanLife has a popular barcode scanner for all the major smartphone platforms, and is free.
RedLaser is predominately built for the popular iPhone platform by Apple.
In a Nutshell
Having a wonderful product, service or idea is just the beginning; the real trick is getting your message out to the world. Slideshare.net allows users to upload fully functional versions of presentations and other professional documents and distribute or share them with anyone around the globe. Hlideshare.net offers both free accounts and a variety of paid accounts; each different account type provides the user with several different options and levels of content. Slideshare.net offers its users a variety of analytical tools and other utilities to increase or measure the popularity of their presentations or documents.
Why Is It Useful
Presentation sharing sites like Slideshare.net can be extremely helpful when comes to delivering media rich content to anyone necessary around the globe. You can demonstrate the bells and whistles of your latest products or deliver high-quality technical support or troubleshooting instantaneously. This allows for tremendous increase in efficiency.
In a Nutshell
Imagine how fantastic it would be if you no longer had to wait for someone to visit your website to see the wonderful content you posted to your website or blog. If you’re like most business owners your website and your blog play a vital role in the success of your organization, an RSS feed is just what you need to get the most out of your business. Despite what most people think RSS feeds are relatively simple. The basic principle of a RSS feed is that users can sign up to have your updated content from either a website or a blog delivered right to them. Users can join a Webpage known as a RSS reader. This website checks for updates to blogs and websites that the user is interested in and delivers all of the content to the user in one place. This allows anyone to make sure they never miss out on an update from their favorite website.
Why Is It Useful?
Even a blog that is packed with the best and most meaningful information is useless if your customers aren’t coming to your website to read it. If you offer a RSS feed your customers can have new information from your website or blog sent directly to them. This is great news for you because no longer do you have to worry about your important news and announcements being missed because your customers have not yet visited your website. Once you incorporate RSS feeds into your website you never have to worry again about your valued customers missing out on special sales, promotions or new products. RSS feeds can also help you generate buzz and extend the reach of a marketing campaign. Even without visiting your website your customers or potential customers help your message to spread like wildfire across the web. RSS feeds are useful for more than just reaching your customers that also a fantastic way to keep up on trends and industry news.
Facebook users are represented on the social network as either a Page, Profile, or Group. The three options offer different opportunities and restrictions, which can impact what you are trying to accomplish on the social network. A little research can help you decide which format is best for your business.
A Facebook profile is the login mechanism representing an individual to connect with his or her friends via their profiles. This personal file affords the opportunity for individuals to share their interests, hobbies, links, videos, pictures and games. An easy way to share interests is by clicking the LIKE button on Facebook Pages. By its nature, a Facebook profile is to personally connect with friends that are also on Facebook.
• Security options may be edited to private, semi-private or public
• You can easily change your display name
• You can comment on others posts
• Only one user per profile
• Tabs and Box items are no longer available
A Facebook Page is a useful marketing tool within Facebook’s community. Acting as a brand profile, the Page offers many advantages to companies not afforded by the Profile. Pages are advertised, linked to, recommended or shared to friends in the hopes the friend will LIKE the page. When individuals LIKE a page they essentially opt in for real time updates to be shown in their Newsfeed.
• A Page may have multiple administrators to manage the content of the page
• Facebook Pages are now searchable by Google, Yahoo and Bing
• Pages can still have customizable tabs
• Pages may have programmed landing pages for coupons, promotions, or welcome messages
• Advertising on Facebook for Pages or external Websites rivals Google AdWords
• Unable to revise your display name
• Login is required from a profile name
• A page cannot interact with individual profiles
What’s right for you?
We recommend every business subscribe to a Page vs. a Profile. In the economic environment of Do Not Call lists and Anti SPAM laws a Page offers businesses a marketing shield. The benefits of advertising, customizing tabs and pages is why many Franchisers and Corporations now rely on Facebook instead of their websites for sweepstakes, contests, and charity events. Finally, the HR headache of reassigning the passwords with each employee’s promotion, intern, or management change are relieved with the ability to allow and remove individual profiles from editing pages.
Here’s the weekend wrap with a few stories that business owners will find interesting when it comes to social media.
49% of Small Business Owners Use Smartphones [STATS]
Firstly, some interesting facts about smartphone usage of small business owners. More reasons to make sure that your business optimized for the mobile platform.
5 Common LinkedIn Fallacies and Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them
If you’re in the professional world at all, chances are you’re on Linked In. And if you are, here are some common pitfalls to avoid, and some helpful tips as well.
6 Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines
If you have a blog, whether it’s a personal blog or a professional one, here are six things that you should do, or make sure your webmaster is doing for you. It’s important for your online content to t be optimized for search engines.
Well social media folks, here comes the end of another week. Here’s a rundown of some important stuff that happened this past week in the world of social media.
Gap Asks Facebook Fans for Alternative Designs to Derided New Logo
Did anyone hear about this incident this past week? Popular clothing maker Gap decided to change their logo for what they called a “a more contemporary, modern expression.” Well, contemporary and modern aside, the social media community exploded with backlash over the new logo. When the company saw how terribly the new logo was received, they’ve opened up Facebook as a means for finding a new one. A great story on how social media affects businesses every day.
7 Resources for Handling Digital Life After Death
So you’ve got your Facebook page running smoothly as well as your Twitter, Linked In, and other social media sites. Well what happens when you die? Does the content simply sit… forever? These 7 tools aim to answer this question.
Build the Perfect Blog Audience for You
If you’re a business and you have a blog, you should be keeping it fresh, updated, and relevant to your clients/readers. Here’s some tips that are often easily forgotten when it comes to blogging.
Here’s some stuff from this past week you might have missed from this past week:
Foursquare had a big downtime this past week, providing the details, the Foursquare team tweeted that they worked most of the night to fix the errors.
Foursquare Explains Yesterday’s 11 Hour Outage: An Overloading Of Database Shards
Also in the social media category, Facebook made some big changes in a press conference this week, including changes to privacy settings, and a revamp of Facebook’s “Groups.”
Facebook Tweaks Allow Friends To Sort Who They Really ‘Like’
via The Wall Street Journal
And finally, #NewTwitter get’s a new search engine.
New Twitter Gets New Search Engine
Remember the old saying, “Location, location, location?” The familiar adage reminds us that a location of an entity has so much to do with that entity, and how it is perceived. If you’re running your own business of any kind, having your location made known on Google Places is a must. Google Places is a tool for business users to publish their business information based on their location for free. Consider it a yellow pages of sorts, only categorized by location instead of alphanumerically.
When you Google something like “Pizza”, Google automatically assumes your zip code based on your ISP, and displays local results for businesses that pertain to your query. These listings are based on their address, and contain the location, as well as a phone number, website, business hours, a short description, as well as up to five categories and a business photo. As a business owner, it’s important that you have your business listed in these results. When you list your business with Google Places, Google uses the address you provide to relevantly display your business with search results, as well as it’s location in Google Maps, free of charge. As a business owner, using Google’s unique method of returning localized search results along with listings on it’s popular map service should definitely be a part of your online marketing plan.
As business owners take their marketing plans to the Internet, a viable component of those plans is the commercial email. This type of advertising works, brings potential consumers to your site and generates sales. But, there are very specific rules that you should follow to avoid being in the spam category.
Enter the CAN-SPAM Act. This law sets requirements for commercial messages and gives your recipients the right to have you stop emailing them. This law is also applicable to business-to-business email, including messages to former customers announcing a new product line.
False or misleading header information is unacceptable. The “From,” “To,” “Reply-To” and routing information must be real and identify you or your business as the initiator.
Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately identify the content of the message.
Tell recipients where you are. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This could be a street address, a USPS post office box or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency.
An opt-out feature is required. Recipients must be able to stop receiving your emails. This is called an opt-out. Design the opt-out so it can be easily located with a clear explanation. Usually this a return e-mail address at the bottom of your message.
Honor opt-out requests promptly. You must process opt-out requests within 10 business days and any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process these requests for at least 30 days after you send your commercial e-mail.
Selling or transferring opt-out requests is illegal. Once people have told you they don’t want your e-mails any longer, you may not sell or transfer this information.
Pay attention to what others are doing for you. Even if you hire a company to manage your e-mail marketing, you are still responsible for any mistakes or non-compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.
Penalties for violating these rules can be very stiff–up to $16,000 per violation for both you and the company that managed your commercial e-mail.
Think that Facebook is a passing fad and there’s no need to be on it as an individual, let alone a business? Think again. Mashable cites new research data this morning putting Facebook in the number one spot when it comes to time spent online. Google and Yahoo are close followers, as well as YouTube.
In today’s content and connection-driven world, Facebook is more infiltrating into our lives than ever more. It’s important that as a business or even an individual you have a Facebook profile and that it’s kept updated.