Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

I came across this video and thought that it was very interesting and addressed some great points such as:

What will the future of mobile payments look like?

Will NFC ever become a major player in the world of technology?

Will Google be the next big bank?

What do you think?


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If you check-in more than once a week, you need Checkin King.
With one app check-in to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, and Gowalla with Checkin King. Here is what the press is saying about Checkin King:
“Checkin King makes checking in to any or all of those services as easy as one click.” – Phandroid
“How to check in to multiple location services with one click” – CNET
“43 Best New Android Apps” – AndroidPolice.com
Another great way to encourage fans to check in at your establishment is to post a QR Code sticker on your business entrance.  You can order stickers for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Plus, Yelp and more by clicking here

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Thanks to the appearance of more and more smart phones, social media is becoming accessible to us at all hours of the day. Below are some social media stats about mobile social media.  The statistics may surprise you. This new way to access social media is growing rapidly.

1. On average mobile users are more active in social media than non-mobile users.

Minutes spent on social networking per day accessed by mobile device or desktop
Social Network Mobile Internet PC Internet
Facebook 45.2 32.4
Bebo (AOL) 39.6 22
MySpace 8.2 7.5
Twitter 19.6 7.2
Source: GSMA/ComScore, January 2010 via: mobiThinking

2. In the U.S. Facebook and Twitter are in the top ten most visited mobile destinations.

3. Ages 35-54 are the most likely to be using social media via mobile device.

4. The average mobile social media user is on 2.7 hours a day.

5.  In 2010 30% of smart phone users accessed social media via their phone browsers.

6.  That’s 22.5% up from the previous year.

7. Total social network access from mobile phones rose to 11.1%. This is a 6.5% rise from 2009

8. In the past year, twitter via mobile browser has increased 347%

9. Facebook has also seen a significant increase in traffic via mobile phones.  The total percent increase is 112%

10. This means that over 150 million Facebook users are using their phones to view their profile.

11. An average of 30% of tweets come from mobile devices

12.  Even by the end of 2009, 11% of the mobile social media users switched to smart phones.

13. Consumers download 2.4 billion mobile applications from app stores via their phones.

Looking Ahead…

1. This year companies plan to increase social media spending on mobile by  10%.

2. Touchscreens will be included in over 60 percent of mobile devices shipped in Western Europe and North America in 2011.

3. It is estimated that total spending on mobile advertising will reach $11-$20 billion. This is up from $6.5 billion in 2010.

4. In 2011, mobile photo sharing will become even more popular.

5. Facebook will dominate the mobile traffic in 2011.

6.  31% of US mobile phone owners have a smartphone as of December 2010, and you can expect smartphones to become the majority by the end of 2011.

7. US sales of smartphones to grow from 67 million in 2010 to 95 million in 2011

8. Mobile Phones will overtake PCs as the number one way to access social networks by 2013.

9.  It’s estimated that the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will surpass 1.82 billion units by 2013

10. What consumers and advertisers spend on mobile media will rise from just under $75 billion at the end of 2010 to just over $138.7 billion by 2015.

11. Mobile data traffic is expected to grow 40-fold over the next five years!

Source: bootcampdigital.com

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If having a website establishes credibility and provides information to potential customers, integrating social media into your online mix is all about building strong relationships with your customers, other businesses, and building loyalty, brand awareness and establishing your online “voice” as an expert in your field.

Social Media Ingredients

Social Media Ingredients

Think carefully about how you’re going to use Social Media, what for and how you’re going to carve out time to dedicate to it before you dive in, because it’s not a “miracle”, it won’t drive traffic to your business unless you engage with your fans and followers in a way that is fun, informative, continual. Similar to having a website, you can’t set up and forget and expect people to beat a path to your door.

6 Essential Elements to begin your Social Media Strategy

1. Define your goal

Will you be offering customer services, information, hint and tips, focusing on customer acquisition, brand awareness or public relations, offering expert advice? It can’t be everything because it will produce unfocused results.

2. Listening

How are you going to measure the results? Monitoring can give you detailed information about what people are saying about your brand, who is saying it, details of the demographics of your social media following and even what people are saying about your competition. The right data allows you to capitalise on the conversation and focus your messages.

3. Choose your communication platforms

Each platform is focused on a different demographic. Will it be Facebook, Twitter, a blog, Linked in, a Google profile?  How will they inter-connect without spreading duplicate content across the internet?

Understand there is a connection between social media on a local level (on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), your local listings (Google Places), and SEO. Social results are now fully integrated within the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) on both Google and Bing, and Google is using this data as one of its many ranking factors. Encourage people to review and comment on your Google Places listing as well as the other platforms you end up using.

4. Define a voice

Will you be informative, humorous or serious? What language will your market respond to? Making the correct choice and implementing it well will draw in and engage your followers.

5. Your time

It takes much more of a commitment than setup and forget it. Customers come to expect timely responses to their posts and queries. Keeping the conversation going and fully engaging with your followers will be a significant opportunity to learn and respond to the views and preferences of your customers. Do you have the time to dedicate to updating and monitoring your pages constantly?

6. Make your information SHARABLE

Offer value each and every time you post. Reward loyalty with discounts and special offers, run competitions (read the rules on Facebook before you set anything up or risk Facebook removing your content), promote and share content which is likely to be of interest to your followers  (“Top 10 X’ or ‘How to Y’ are both good formats that work well). Use Question Polls and start conversations, offer expert advice instead of being seen as pushy selling or self-promotion.

The foremost mistake I see repeated everywhere is seeing the emphasis on self-promotion. Broadcasting how great you are instead of providing useful and fun content and engaging with your fans/followers is a no-no, they’ll ditch you!

You need to give your audience compelling (and fun) reasons to visit your website, blog or Facebook pages.

Source: bonzamobilecomputerrepairs.com

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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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