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Original post by http://mashable.com/2010/10/24/starbucks-card-mobile-new-york/

Starbucks has seen sufficient success with its Starbucks Card Mobile payment pilot program in select San Francisco, Seattle and Target stores that its ready to extend the program to nearly 300 company-operated stores in New York City and Long Island.

Starbucks Card Mobile for iPhone and BlackBerry lets users pay for their coffee by holding up the 2-D barcode on their smartphone to the scanner at the counter. The application allows customers to manage and reload their Starbucks Cards as well.

Customers have responded positively to the mobile payment option, Starbucks reports.

“We’re seeing more and more customers using their smartphones as their mobile wallets,” says Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Loyalty. “We’ve heard from our customers on My Starbucks Idea that they want a faster, more convenient way to pay.”

The ultimate goal of the program is to get customers to trade in their physical Starbucks Cards for the digital variety — it’s a time saving exchange for the customer and a cost saving exchange for the company. Already, one in five of all in-store transactions are paid for via Starbucks Card (mobile or physical), and more than $1 billion will have been loaded on to cards by year’s end.

The extension of the mobile payment pilot comes on the heels of the reveal of Starbucks Digital Network. Mobile is an increasingly important avenue for Starbucks. The company reports that more than 50% of all logons to its free in-store WiFi are made via mobile phone, and that of its smartphone-carrying customer base, 71% have an iPhone or BlackBerry device.

If you have your own business, then you probably know by now that, even if your business is a physical bricks-and-mortar establishment such as a Real Estate business or a Flower shop, establishing a well-known and well-branded Online Presence is one of the most important things for you to do.

And setting up a Facebook FanPage to communicate with your customers, advertise upcoming sales or promotions and attract new business or clientele is one of the most fun and effective ways to do so!

So…what are some of the top and most important Social Media Strategies for setting up a truly effective Facebook FanPage for your business?

Here are the Top 3 Facebook Fan Page Strategies that You should be Using Now to Build Your Brand and Attract More Fans!

1-  Be “Like-able”: First of all you need to understand that when it comes to Social Media one of the top rules is to actually connect and be Likeable!!  And if your Facebook Fan page doesn’t reflect the kind of atmosphere that your target audience is looking for then they probably won’t stick around for long!

2-  Stay Current and Update Your Facebook Fan Page Frequently: Another important Facebook Fan page strategy is to be sure to keep your page fresh and current with relevant and helpful tips and advice or news about your particular business or store.  Do you have any giveaways that you’re hosting? Let your fans know!  Did you recently write an amazing and helpful article full of amazing tips that your fans would want to hear about??  Post it on your fan page!!  If you let your page get old and stagnant and don’t update it regularly, your fans will get bored and stop following you, so be sure to stick with it and keep it fresh and exciting!

3-  Keep Your Facebook Fan Page Social & Make it Interactive: Now this is one of the Facebook Fan Page strategies that seems to be the most tricky for people, but remember, the key to being interactive is to remember that Facebook is a SOCIAL Media!  It is all about connecting, being social and cultivating relationships.  Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter how flashy or impressive your fan page is if you aren’t using it to truly connect with your friends and fans!

Join the Conversations!! Now, taking it just a step further…. if you really want to take your Facebook Fan Page Strategy to the next level, then something you CANNOT afford to overlook is the importance of YOU actually participating in the conversations and comments going on on your Fan page!
Stay in Control! Don’t just set up your page and then leave it for your fans to take over and create a bulletin board full of spam and links that do nothing to support your business or the purpose of your fan page.  Monitor your Facebook FanPage daily to be sure there is no spam or links that you don’t want to be a part of your page.
Talk and Listen! Don’t just use your page as a means for advertising for your business.  Your Facebook Fan Page can also be an excellent way to listen to your audience and find out their needs and wants.   Social Media, and Facebook specifically, provides a unique opportunity for businesses to really engage your customers and potential customers and then improve their services and products by getting to know even better what they want!  So be sure to have true, 2-way conversations on your fan page.  When your fans make a comment or ask questions, be sure to respond.  The more you can add value and connect with your fans, the more effective your fan page will be!

True, it can take a little extra effort on your part to take the time to engage the fans and clients on your page but going that extra mile is the most important part of a successful Facebook Fan Page Strategy that will help to encourage your fans and customers to keep coming back!  And ultimately, that’s the whole goal of setting up an Online Presence with a Facebook Fan Page.  You want to promote an exceptional brand right?  Well, following these tips will ensure that you do just that.  Cultivate relationships, add value and connect with your fans!

Next,  continue learning more about developing an effective Facebook Fan Page Strategywith the Top Online Internet Marketing Techniques of a Free Social Media Marketing Plan.

Emily Stoik is an Online Marketing Coach, Mentor and Corporate Trainer for what is arguably the World’s Largest Internet Marketing School available today, The  Internet Marketing Mentoring and Coaching Center.  Emily and her husband are dynamic team leaders that train both Total Beginners and Seasoned Entrepreneurs around the world to achieve Financial Freedom through proven business tactics and On-Going Education to stay ahead of the trends and remain competitive in the marketplace today.

Source: Visit Make1KaDay.com for more information

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Facebook has announced that its two mobile sites — m.facebook.com and touch.facebook.com — have been unified, bringing a simpler mobile experience to Facebook users. And there are a lot of those — a quarter billion, according to Facebook.

Smartphone users won’t be losing any functionality because of the consolidation. If your phone supported the enhacned features offered by touch.facebook.com, the new site will automatically flip the switch when you visit.

Rolling the sites together helps simplify things for Facebook’s developer team. Now changes can be pushed to a single site instead of two separate sites, which makes it easier to ensure that all mobile users receive a nearly identical experience regardless of the device they’re using.

The new Facebook mobile can also check to see if your phone supports geolocation. If it doesn’t, you won’t be seeing much of Facebook Places — which obviously relies heavily on geolocation. Images can also be optimized on the fly to keep page performance from suffering on less powerful devices. You can see the three different versions of the share button below, courtesy our friends at TechCrunch.

Source: downloadsquad.switched.com
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Posted by Lee Carpenter-Johnson on 4/4/2011 to Everything

QR (Quick Response) codes are much talked about at the moment, but will the adoption of such a simple yet powerful code change the landscape of digital marketing in 2011?

Here are ten ways that QR codes could be implemented into businesses, whether B2B or B2C. You will have heard of some of these, but i’m sure there are a few you haven’t…

A QR code is one of the easiest codes to set up, as in essence in it is a barcode with a URL attached. The QR code can link to any page the owner specifies, saving the need for manual entry of a URL.

Some brands have already starting adopting QR codes in their editorial and used it in very engaging ways, but 99% of brands haven’t. The potential is there for QR codes though, and their uses are almost unlimited.

Here are ten ways that QR codes could be implemented into business:

Till receipts

Placing a QR code on the bottom of a till receipt has not as far as I have noticed been implemented fully across retail. This is such a simple and cost effective way of engaging with a consumer especially for brands with a mobile savvy demographic.

Product labels

Whether on swing tickets or on the printed product information the QR code could link to a dedicated landing page that brings up all of the product information.

Consumer mailing

Why not place a QR code on the bottom of all printed and digital communication directing to the landing page showing further content or indeed encouraging readers to opt in to electronic mailing rather than postal.

In shop windows

Direct consumers to your store page for the location allowing them to bookmark the details including opening hours etc.

Public transport

How often do you look at the seat in front of you when on the train?  Why not put a QR code on the back of every seat and sell the advertising space, the great thing is the URL can be changed without the need to re-label the seats. Advertising opportunity also exists on the label.

At conferences

We all have badges scanned but using QR codes on stands allows potential clients to bookmark your chosen contact details, saving business cards and helping to engage the client.

On business cards

The humble business card could do with a face lift, why not QR the card and allow a landing page of detail about the business or individual.

Newspapers

On every offline ad, put the QR code to divert to a digital experience or Facebook page.

Prescriptions

Every drug sold comes with guidelines, place a QR code on the packaging allowing the patient to quickly view the instructions online.

Swimwear

This one is a little different and tongue in cheek but that’s no bad thing. Print a QR on the back of trunks or bikinis very similar to the year that Aussie Bum print on their swimwear linking to the wearers Facebook profile.

There are a few ideas that I have not put on here because they are probably beyond 2011, like projecting QR codes on buildings as well as placing them on billboards, or councils putting them on penalty notice charges, council tax bills etc, allowing us to go straight to the payment portal.

The above list contains practical uses in digital and offline marketing for QR codes, we’ll see if any come to fruition when I review this post in 2012.

Lee Carpenter-Johnson is Head of E-Commerce at Jane Norman and a guest blogger on Econsultancy.

Source: econsultancy.com

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If you live in Richmond, Va., – or know someone from here – it’s evident that the place has been caught up this week in a haze of excitement about Virginia Commonwealth University’s improbable berth in the NCAA Final Four.
Tuesday night, as I was watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he did a “Pros and Cons” bit about “playing basketball for VCU.” I immediately went to Facebook and posted a comment about the fact that Richmond has arrived because our team was mentioned on Late Night.
The clip also was posted on Late Night’s website, which has been passed around the Internet. That reminded me just how social media savvy Jimmy Fallon’s show is. Mashable proclaims Fallon as one of the first talk show hosts to take social media seriously.
Are there lessons that businesses can learn from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? Consider the following.
Engage stakeholders in online conversations.
Fallon is a master at starting a bit on his show, then involving the show’s audience via social media. Probably the best example of this is his weekly use of Twitter hashtags. He gives a topic on Tuesday night then asks the viewing audience to Tweet responses the following day. He then reads the best ones on the air Wednesday night. In honor of April Fool’s Day, this week’s hashtag was #bestprankever. Regularly, Fallon’s Twitter topics trend worldwide.
For businesses, the application is simple – use social media for what it was created for – to engage people in dialogue and build relationships. Too often, businesses merely throw out factoids on Twitter with links to news releases instead of using Twitter to really get to know their followers and engage with them.
Don’t stick all your eggs in one social media basket.
Businesses shouldn’t be afraid to try multiple social media outlets in concert. Fallon has mastered the art of using just about every social media avenue at his disposal.
“From Late Night hashtags to viral video mashups, to LNJF, a mobile app featuring clips and joke-apps, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has staked its ground as a tech-friendly kind of show,” according to Mashable.
Another great regular bit is “Remix-the-Clips,” a segment where Late Night band leader, Questlove from The Roots, mashes together viral videos to form a song.
Using Social Media for Social Good.
Smart businesses know that social media has become an important competent of cause-related marketing and corporate social responsibility. Late Night gets that too. Also this week, fellow late-night host Stephen Colbert, Jimmy’s BFFSM (best friend for six months), donated $26,000 to the DonorsChoose charity and also pledged that Fallon would do the same – supposedly without Fallon’s knowledge. So Fallon – claiming not to have the money to pay – once again enlisted the help of his audience to go online and help raise funds. Fans raised more than $50,000 and tonight, Colbert has to perform Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on Late Night with The Roots. It’s all good fun for a good cause.
So, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon may be in the business of comedy, but they take their social media seriously. The business world can learn a thing or two from them.
Source: livingstonbuzz.com
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QR codes are a kind of two dimensional matrix barcode that need special QR barcode readers, though the latest camera phones are also able to decode them. Though they were created some time ago, it is only very recently that they have started being more commonly used and are likely to become even more popular in the near future. This is because QR codes offer more advantages than linear barcodes and their capacity to store more data makes them more sought after. Some of the advantages include:

  1. QR codes can be read anytime, anywhere with mobile phones – This makes them so easy to decode and convenient since special scanners are not required and the camera of mobile phones can scan and present the information contained in the codes.
  2. Quick response through QR codes – Though developed a decade ago in Japan to meet the needs of businesses for inventory control, they are now making inroads into multiple other uses in Europe and are gradually catching on in the US as well.
  3. Multiple uses of these codes – Simplify access and without having to type anything, it is now possible to
  • Visit websites
  • See text and images
  • Send emails and messages
  • Dial telephone numbers

The present technology requires the downloading of an app to make this possible, but with new research these will come preloaded in mobile phones.

  1. Numerous apps available to read QR codes – There are tens of apps that help to read QR codes on mobile phones, with some specific ones available exclusively for the Blackberry, iPhone and other smart phones. Most of these apps can be downloaded free of cost.
  2. QR Codes on Social media sites – QR codes can be generated and linked to profiles on social networks like Facebook and this eases the sharing of identities. QR codes can be printed onbusiness cards as well.
  3. Advertising prospects with QR codes – It is possible to use the potential offered by QR codes to advertise in the fashion world, jewelry and other products. QR codes stored on customers’ phones will serve as a future reference and prove beneficial to both parties.
  4. QR codes used in the hospitality segment – Yields excellent results due to ease of accessibility. The codes are seen on many locations next to the name and these coded locations become easier to identify. Customer ratings become easier by just clicking on the QR code next to it. Even restaurants can place these codes on their menus and give details about ingredients etc to customers.
  5. QR codes prove most beneficial in retail – They facilitate purchases. Movie theatres allow phone bookings and the ticket is sent as a QR code which when scanned at the gate allows entry. Codes on product labels gives details of ingredients and other information.
  6. Real estate deals – These can also use QR codes on sale signs and get all the required details about the property.

QR codes hold promise of facilitating numerous services and make things easier for users.

About The Author

Neil JonesNeil Jones is head of marketing for eMobileScan, one of Europes leading providers to the data capture industry. Specializing in handheld computers like the Motorola LS2208 and Motorola MC70.

Source: slodive.com

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Posted by vindy.com on 4/3/2011

Google adds button to back search results, ads

SAN FRANCISCO

Google Inc. likes how Facebook gets people to share their recommendations so much that it’s adding its own option for endorsing search results and online ads.

The “+1” button announced last week represents the Internet search leader’s latest attempt to make it easier for its users to share their insights with their online contacts.

Someone who wants to endorse a particular search term or an ad simply hits the +1 button. When people in that person’s Internet circle uses the same search term or sees the same ad, they’ll see the person’s endorsement next to it.

The +1 button initially will begin appearing next to search results and ads for a relatively small number of Google users. Anyone who wants the +1 feature sooner can sign up at http://www.google.com/experimental.

IDC sees smartphone market growing

SAN FRANCISCO

With more and more consumers and business users clamoring for smartphones, the global market for these handsets is slated to grow nearly 50 percent this year, research firm IDC said.

IDC expects the market to grow 49.2 percent in 2011, with smartphone makers shipping more than 450 million smartphones, up from 303.4 million shipped in 2010.

Growth last year was “exceptional,” helped by many people buying smart phones that they’d held off on buying in 2009 due to the shaky economy, IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said in a statement. This year, growth will still be notable, but will taper off somewhat from last year, he said.

As for which smartphone operating system will reign, Framingham, Mass.-based IDC thinks Google Inc.’s Android software will wrestle the lead from Nokia Corp.’s Symbian software.

For 2011, IDC expects Android smartphones to make up 39.5 percent of the market, while smartphones running Symbian will account for 20.9 percent. Apple Inc.’s iPhone is expected to make up 15.7 percent of the market and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry software are expected to make up 14.9 percent.

Officials target apps for checkpoints

DOVER, Del.

The attorneys general for Delaware and Maryland have joined the call for companies to stop providing smartphone applications that let users know where drunken-driving checkpoints are.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said Monday they have sent letters to Google Inc. and Apple Inc., asking them to ban applications that can be downloaded onto the iPhone and Android phones.

The request is similar to one made by four U.S. senators in March. That letter prompted Research In Motion, maker of Blackberry phones, to pull a similar application from its online store.

Source: vindy.com

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