Posts Tagged ‘Generate’

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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At first glance, a QR code looks like some sort of abstract art.

The black and white squiggly lines don’t look like the next big thing in marketing and advertising.

But suddenly the symbols seem to be everywhere in the Triangle – in store windows, on printed advertisements, business cards and Realtors’ signs outside homes for sale.

They’re easy to overlook for those who don’t know what they are. But those in the know are using and exploring this next generation of bar codes.

Short for “quick response codes,” QR codes are meant to be scanned with a smart-phone camera rather than at a cash register. The squiggles connect your phone immediately to additional information about the business – a website, a video or an interactive map, for instance.

Scan the code on a movie poster, and it may take you to the movie trailer. Scan a code at the Gap, and you’re taken to a website about Gap jeans.


For the record: QR codes are not new. They date to the 1990s, but with the proliferation of smart phones, the use of QR codes has exploded.

As awareness spreads, businesses and marketers are racing to figure out how to use the codes to attract shoppers.

“We’re getting all the right things happening in the market right now,” said Mike Wehrs, president of Scanbuy, a N.Y. company that is one of the leading companies in QR code development and management. “It’s growing very rapidly. … It’s not something where you’d say people don’t know what’s going on. But it’s not 100 percent out there yet either.”

Scanbuy’s data shows that QR code generation and usage has increased by 700 percent since January, with the number of scans in the United States increasing from 1,000 to 1,500 a day to 35,000 to 40,000 a day.


Possibilities grow

Many users are just experimenting as they become aware of the codes and what they do.

Andretti Brown is a graphic designer from Raleigh and has just started dabbling in QR codes. He said he noticed them awhile ago but didn’t know what they were. Then he started researching them.

“I call myself a nerd, and I just kind of noticed,” said Brown, 33. “I just kind of wanted to be ahead of the curve. … A lot of my friends are confused about what it is. It’s so young that people don’t really understand what to do with it. But once it starts getting pushed more, then I think it’s going to be a lot better.”

That kind of interest has spurred Best Buy to invest heavily in increasing the availability of QR codes in its stores in time for Christmas shopping.

In May, the retailer ran a QR code in a weekly sales flier that linked to a promotional trailer for the new Super Mario Galaxy 2 video game. The company is now in the process of replacing all of the product tags in stores with tags that include a QR code.

Customers who scan the code are taken to a website where they’ll find consumer reviews and more information about the product. Best Buy began adding the QR codes to product tags in August and is now seeing about 3,000 scans per day from stores.

“The way we look at QR codes is, it kind of gives you a central connection for Best Buy between the physical world and all that’s possible in the digital world,” said Ben Hedrington, director of connected digital solutions for Best Buy.


Businesses branch out

Other companies and businesses are experimenting with QR codes in other ways.

Delta Airlines is using QR codes in conjunction with its iPhone app to let customers check in for flights in almost 30 airports by showing a QR code on their phone, rather than presenting a paper boarding pass.

The N.C. State Fair last month used QR codes to conduct a scavenger hunt.

And real-estate agents such as Cary Re/Max Realtor Beth McKinney are using QR codes to direct passers-by to listing information. McKinney has started placing QR codes on the signs outside homes she has listed for sale. She also has a QR code on her business card.

“Our Y generation is extremely techy, to the point that we’ve discovered that they don’t even pull fliers out of the boxes by houses anymore,” she said. “They just type it into Google or go right to the website. So each one of my listings has a QR code.”

QR code detractions

The biggest drawback to using QR codes is that they require a smart phone.

Estimates vary, but generally it is believed that 25 percent to 33 percent of the U.S. population owns a smart phone, said Michael Becker, North America Managing Director for the Mobile Marketing Association.

Depending on the phone, users may have to download a QR code reader or an app that will allow them to use the codes, though newer phones may have one pre-installed.

“The reality is that they require a scanning app on the phone and many consumers are now just getting used to the smart phone,” he said.

That said, the consumers already using smart phones and QR codes are the ones most valuable to companies: tech-savvy shoppers who have money to spend and don’t mind spending it.

Scott Bowen first noticed the codes on a trip to Manhattan with his wife a few weeks ago.

“We were downtown looking at all the billboards and there was a huge billboard for a video game, and it had a QR code on it,” he said. “That took you to a preview of the game. I thought of that as a very interesting way to get the word out. I’m a technology person, so anything like that I’m interested in.”

So Bowen, who co-founded the Cary group buying site Twongo.com, came home and made a QR code that links to twongo.com. But he’s not ready to deploy a QR code advertising campaign for Twongo yet.

“We’re honestly just playing around with it at this point,” he said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do. … I think the possibilities are ridiculously endless, but how you package it is going to be the demise or success of QR codes.”

Just the beginning

Though QR codes are taking the marketing world by storm at the moment, the possibilities run much deeper for QR codes and the broader category of 2D codes, said Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association.

There are actually almost 40 kinds of codes being used to enable all kinds of new technologies, and as more people buy smart phones, the number of shoppers using the codes will only increase.

Stores could use codes to offer coupons, put your loyalty card information on your smart phone and provide things like contact information and a map all with one scan.


Companies that offer Wi-Fi could embed the log-in and password information into a code that is scanned at the register to make sure the people using their network are actually patrons of their business.

QR codes could also be used to give information about events, sign people up for e-mail lists or trigger an automatic text message to a specified number.

There are even experiments that would make images of certain products behave like bar codes when scanned. For instance, scan a picture of a digital camera, and you would automatically be taken to the Amazon.com page where you could buy that camera.

Others are exploring other options in other fields. McKinney, the Cary real estate agent, made a QR code that takes the user to a page full of information about her husband’s heart condition. She attached the code to his driver’s license so that medical professionals can access his medical records in case he has an emergency.

“At some point this will be commonplace,” Becker said. “Put it on every single point of sale display and every single box in the world, and every consumer will understand what it is and how to use it.”

Source: newsobserver.com
sue.stock@newsobserver.com

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Just days after the INQ Cloud Touch, once called the first official Facebook phone, launched in the U.K., the device passes its first United States debut hurdle: the FCC. Rumors are swirling of a United States launch as soon as late summer, 2011.

While no official carrier has been announced, the Android Community speculates AT&T will carry the phone with a purchase price of around $500 without a contract, and $30 with a contract. AT&T has neither confirmed nor denied the speculation, but considering testing included GSM 850 and 1900 bands, as well as WCDMA Bands II and V, AT&T seems the logical carrier.

U.K. customers are reporting specs for the phone, which include the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system, with a  Qualcomm MSM7227 800MHz processor, 3.5” touch screen, 512MB of internal storage, GPS, WiFi, bluetooth,  5 MP camera and a sliding QWERTY keyboard.

While these are good specs for any smartphone, Facebook integration is at the heart of the phone’s marketing plan. As the pictures attest, the phone’s homepage is designed for easy Facebook tracking, and the QWERTY keyboard is ideal for quick status updates.

The phone is sure to be well received among American Facebook users, which is a broad market that encompasses a wide age range. But, the question remains: Will AT&T help or hurt the phone’s popularity?

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QR codes are fast becoming a powerful force in marketing, acting as a connector between the physical world and the web. People see a QR code, scan it, and are suddenly engaged in your message (when you do it right.)

There are plenty of creative ideas for how businesses, non-profits and municipalities can use QR codes to market and communicate themselves better to their stakeholders. Here are 50 that I came up with or stumbled upon.

QR Codes on bus stops, train stations and subway stations: A quick scan would give you real time information on when the next bus, train or subway would arrive.

Posted next to paintings and sculptures at museums. Great for visitors who want to learn more about the artist, the time period, and the reaction to the photo. Could also include links to other work by the artist, related artists, and even the ability to buy the image on a mug or poster at the museum shop.

As part of a personalized direct mail piece. Each QR code can go to a PURL (personalized URL (Uniform Resource Locator)).

On historical sites and on walking trails. Sure, a plaque is fine for grandma, but I’d like to delve deeper, whether with a wikipedia entry, or an video of a local historian explaining the significance of the site.

At video kiosks. QR codes can appear as people interact with your kiosk, whether it’s at the mall or your place of business.

On For Sale signs. Whether residential or commercial, for sale signs could include codes that had all the information a sell sheet includes, plus video walkthroughs.

Email newsletter signups. Build your subscriber base by having quick links to an email signup box.

E-learning. Have your QR code generate an email that starts an autoresponder, sending daily emails filled with lessons and related information.

Next to packaged food in groceries. Give shoppers quick access to recipes that include the ingredients they see on the shelf.

In a jigsaw puzzle. This would create some real engagement as the user would have to put together the puzzle before scanning the image.

On produce. You could include information about the farm, organic vs. conventional growing, best by dates, etc.

Buying coffee (or anything else.)Like Starbucks does.

On bottles of wine. It would be nice to be able to get info about the vineyard, and maybe buy a case of that bottle I enjoyed at the restaurant.

On tags for sustainable clothes. Is that piece of clothing really sustainable? Let’s quickly scan and see it’s story.

For conference signage. Next to the name of the upcoming sessions in each room would be the QR code so you could get the full description, speaker bios, and see if there’s any room left.

On conference name tags. SXSW has been doing this for at least a year or two. Why trade business cards when you can just scan them. Now, don’t you feel all TSA?


Click on the name tag to get yours now

Written in calamari ink on diners’ plates. You can’t make this stuff up.

On jewelry. Examples abound.

As part of interactive maps. Check out this example from Town Graphics.

At the bottom of all newspaper and magazine articles. Then you could quickly get to the online version and see the comments that other readers had left.

On liquor bottles. Linked to drink recipes; this would be especially good for new drinks you’re bringing to market.

On building permits. New York City is already doing this.

On the fliers that you find under your windshield wipers at the mall. One example might be an offer for a car wash; the URL would give you the discount code and directions to the car wash offering the deal.

On the safety bar ads on ski mountain chair lifts. These days, everyone on the mountain seems to have a smart phone, and they’re going to be a captive audience for 5 – 10 minutes, sitting on that chair going up the mountain.

Inside elevators. If I ran a dry cleaning service or something else that helped busy executives out I’d advertise inside elevators in tall buildings. Other good options might include flowers (for spouses left at home with the kids), discounts on take out food, etc.

In bar bathrooms. I often see Home Runners and cab companies advertising above the urinals in bars. (Hey, what can I say? I frequent classy places.) Why not make it easier for patrons to get a safe ride home, rather than drunk dial a wrong number?

Within a video game console to share avatars. Nintendo is already doing just that.

To get more people to sign a petition. Like the one for cleaning up the BP mess.

At bars, clubs and anywhere else music is playing. Sure, Shazam is a great tool for finding music, and often you can even buy the track you discovered at iTunes or Amazon. But in a loud club you may not be able to suss out the song. If a QR code appeared above the DJ’s head, you could quickly scan the code and purchase that new song.

On the backs of tractor trailers. Because “How’s My Driving?” with an 800 number is so last decade.

On wedding invitations instead of RSVP cards. Scan a QR, save a tree. And a stamp.

As a temporary tattoo. Link it to your Facebook profile or Twitter account.

On a laminated card for trade shows. Instead of dropping a business card in a fish bowl. Booths win because they’ll get all the pertinent info, and the event could give away prizes to the people who get scanned the most.

To encourage community feedback. The library in Groton, CT, does just that.

As wallpaper. Well, it’s better than the wallpaper in our bathroom when we moved in to our house.

On the bottom of flip flops. The imprint they make on the beach…until the tide comes in.

On coffee cups from your local coffee shop. Plenty of advertising opportunities here.

On posters linking to free books. 1st Bank is giving away free copies…of these out-of-copyrighted classics. They also have other boards that link to free sudoku.

On a ball field. Have you seen what the groundskeepers can mow into the outfield these days? They’re artists!

On a human billboard. Think “Eat at Joes.”

As wrapping paper. One company is already customizing this with unique videos attached to QR codes.

On trade show booths. Scan a picture, (be entered to) win a free iPod.

On recipes in magazines. Quick link to videos, reviews and feedback at the website.

For self-guided tours at factories. Scan a code, learn what that dohickey does.

Posted on car windows in dealerships. Perfect for after-hour shoppers.

Scratch and Win cards. It’s not enough to have them scratch off the card, make them scan that card to see if they’ve won.

On movie posters. QR code takes them to a preview of the movie.

On cocktail napkins. The code could take networkers to the sponsor’s site, the beverage’s site, or some networking site with photos, so you can connect with people after the event.

In TV ads to make them interactive.

Business cards. ‘Nuff said.

I’m sure this is just the beginning. If you’ve got a great idea for a QR code for marketing or communications, or if you’ve seen something in the wild, please feel free to share it below.

 

Some resources used for this list:

Source: flyteblog.com
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The phone is quickly becoming an ally to restaurateurs looking to build visibility and customer loyalty — and ultimately drive revenue. This was evident at this year NRA Show 2010, as panels of providers and practitioners shared the merits of our increasingly mobile world. Today, cell phones are used more for data than for calls, and restaurant consumers and employees are no different.
2-D barcodes – Robert Russell, Director, Industry Solutions, Consumer Goods, Retail and Hospitality at AT&T, spoke to NRA Show attendees about the growth in the mobile space — but also about the unique possibilities of 2-D barcodes. Now that most phones are equipped with cameras (read: scanners), adding a bar code to your menu or storefront could provide significant benefits to customers. Add a barcode to your menu and a customer can take the menu and restaurant information with them on their phone. Provide the 2-D barcode on your receipt and give a customer a quick, painless and innovative way to fill out a survey on service, quality, you name it. Exciting stuff — all made available by the innovations of today’s mobile phones.
Text (SMS) Marketing – In Internet years, text message marketing has been around for a while. As the demographics of your “typical texter” has shifted, utilization of this technology has grown significantly. According to Michael Lam, principal at the Mobile Marketing and Text Message Marketing firm Opt-It, the average age of “texter” is now 38 years old. Pair that with a staggering open rate,  97% (according to Lamb) and you’ve got a hyper-effective, opt-in marketing vehicle. With location-based SMS possibilities taking shape, expect a new reality for restaurant marketers. Are your customers nearby? Would they like a special offer delivered to them in real-time?
Apps – The life of the mobile party, applications, have had a particularly significant impact on the restaurant industry. And with good reason. First, they don’t require a browser experience, which is a timely and varied experience depending the phone, platform and connection. An app provides a more intuitive experience, and restaurants/service providers can tailor and update the product offering to the unique needs of the user. Scott Jampol, senior director of consumer marketing at OpenTable said that their mobile apps have generated 3 million dines — equaling $150 million in restaurant revenue. And it’s not just about the consumer. Apps play a role in employee communication and performance. HotSchedules developed mobile apps to manage restaurant labor scheduling, but the usage yielded even more demand. Today, said HotSchedules owner Ray Pawlikowski, they are enhancing the app’s tools to help managers better communicate with employees.
Is it ironic that I use my OpenTable app to make reservations instead of just making the phone call? Perhaps. But the new mobile era is here, and early adopters will reap the rewards. Have you heard of any other ways restaurants are using mobile technologies to find new customers, drive sales or create efficiencies? We’re eager to hear your experiences.
Source: smartblogs.com

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This guest post is by Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami at Network Solutions, a company that helps small businesses establish an online presence  and conduct online marketing. Learn moreabout Bellamkonda and his love for curry and for small business.

Smartphones are now more popular than ever. According to eMarketer estimates, there are 73.3 million U.S. smartphone users in 2011, and 44% of them use their phone to research products. Quick Response codes, QR codes, read like bar codes when scanned by a smartphone and return information back to the phone (you may need a bar code scanning app, which is usually free). This could be a URL or Web address or business-card information or even an offer. I have seen them being used on business cards, brochures, magazine ads, trade show booths, contests, fliers and more.

As restaurant owners, you probably have a lot of customers who use smartphones. You might actually find them checking in to your establishment on Foursquare or Gowalla, which are location-based phone apps. You can capture this fascination for apps and smartphones through the use of QR code technology several ways:

  • Carry-out menus: Print a QR code on your carry-out menu along with your phone number. As QR code scanning apps get easier to use, the code can take the user directly to dialing your restaurant.
  • Business cards: Add a QR code on the back of a business card so that the address and complete contact information for the restaurant can be stored on the user’s phone contact list.
  • Linking photos to recipes: When restaurants have pictures as part of menus or brochures they can add a QR code to link to a recipe on the Web.
  • Coupons: On discount coupons, use QR codes to make it even easier to use them.
  • Link to your Facebook page: In order to continue to engage your customers, encourage them to join your Facebook page by a QR code that takes them to your Facebook page.

As this technology gets more adaptable you may discover other ways to use this code. Here are places where you can generate your own QR code:

Also, see this useful infographic on QR codes from Brian Asner. As your customers go mobile, the best reason for you to embrace a mobile technology is to make it more convenient for your customers to do business with you. We have touched the surface, but you might have other exciting ideas on the use of QR codes. Tell us in the comments.

Source: smartblogs.com

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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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