Archive for April, 2011

“Mocial” Marketing: 10 Things You Need to Know

April 27th, 2011

By Steve Jarrett, Chief Executive Officer of MePlease

To help retailers seize the opportunity afforded by mobile marketing and social networking—or “mocial” marketing—we have come up with the top 10 tips that we believe need to be worked through to position your brand effectively for your new generation of customers.

1. Mobile marketing goes way beyond text. The first tip is that mobile and social media are meshing, and so should you. There is tremendous power in the integration of social networking and mobile, and we think this marketing sweet spot is the place to be.

2. Why mobile matters—stats don’t lie. A recent study showed that UK consumers send 11 million text messages per hour (MDA Report, 2009). Text usage remains dominant. Facebook’s 500 million customers follow at least one brand or company, while at the same time, nearly 50% of Twitter’s 190 million unique users do exactly the same (ExactTarget Research). A Harris Interactive poll recently showed that of consumers who received some form of permission-based text marketing from a company, 34% said the messages have made them more likely to visit the venue and 27% more likely to make a purchase.

3. In search of the holy grail. Moving from one-to-many to one-to-one communication is the holy grail of marketing.

4. Reach everyone (not just smartphone users). iPhone apps are this season’s must have. Or are they? Focusing on just mobile applications for certain devices like iPhone or Android smartphones automatically pushes you into a corner and limits a retailer’s ability to reach its target market.

5. Voucher promiscuity—how to discourage it. There’s a number of high-profile companies—such as Groupon and Vouchercloud—that are driving high-volume customer acquisition. Don’t get it wrong—new customer acquisition is good, but only if a significant number of those customers visit your business again.

6. Mocial is the new buzzword. Many people think of mobile marketing as a 160-character version of e-mail. Wrong! The very nature of mobile marketing offers retailers the opportunity to reach people at key decision-making moments of the day.

7. Make mobile social marketing cost effective. We think the trend is moving away from one-off mobile marketing campaigns (which can be costly) toward mobile marketing platforms that let any business engage with opted-in customers. Look for companies that offer you long-term value and social media integration.

8. Trust. Seek mobile and social networking partners that have strict privacy policies and will not pass on customer information or send out spam messages just to drive their own short-term revenue.

9. Set goals early. Before even approaching a mobile marketing service provider or platform, be sure to outline the key goals for your mocial strategy. Whether it is to gain more loyal customers, influence their friends, or just get more people into your shop, make your objectives clear to the provider. If they cannot tell you explicitly how they intend to help you to accomplish these goals, keep looking.

10. Don’t wait. Start now. Carpe diem! Those Romans knew a thing or two about communication…

Twitterviews: A New Medium for an Interview

April 13th, 2011

By John Foley, Jr., Chief Marketing Officer at Grow Socially

What is a Twitterview? It is where people have a live interview on Twitter.

So how does it work? The first step to making your Twitterview a successful promotional tool is to create its hashtag. A hashtag is simply the pound symbol (#), followed by the name of the Twitterview. The name cannot have any spaces or punctuation in it. An example of a Twitterview name with its hashtag would be “#FoleyOnSocialMedia.” You would use “#FoleyOnSocialMedia” in order to search for it on Twitter as well. Once the hashtag is created, the best way to promote your Twitterview to your audience is by announcing it in all of your social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Web site, etc.).

While the interview is happening, you must always include the designated hashtag for that specific interview in each tweet. This way, every tweet that is exchanged during the Twitterview will show up when your audience searches its hashtag.

I recently participated in a Twitterview with the topic of “QR Codes and Video Tags in Tourism.” By taking part in this hour-long discussion, I was able to interact with tourism marketers from all over the country, including Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, and Montana. These were just the people who were actively participating in the discussion; however, I was probably promoting myself to many others who were just following along.

Throughout the Twitterview, we all discussed where QR codes can appear, where the codes can direct a person to, and why they would be useful and beneficial for the user. I was able to promote myself, QR codes, and QReateandTrack, a QR code service that one of my businesses provides. Using the Twitterview, I was able to promote myself in a variety of ways. The first way was by introducing myself with: “Hi, I’m @JohnFoleyJr from @interlinkONE. #TourismChat.” Here, I attached my Twitter handle, “@JohnFoleyJr,” my business’ Twitter handle, “@interlinkONE,” and the Twitterview hashtag, “#TourismChat.” In that one little tweet, I shared links to my personal Twitter profile and interlinkONE’s Twitter profile.

Further into the discussion, someone asked where he could learn more information about QR codes. I responded to this inquiry by including the person’s Twitter handle in the tweet followed with: “If interested, whitepaper here: #QRCodes ‘Using QR Codes to Reach the Busy, Mobile Consumer:’ http://ilnk.me/5058. #TourismChat.“ Here, I not only acknowledged a participant’s request for more information, but I also shared the link with everyone who was following the Twitterview.

Meanwhile, a representative from interlinkONE joined the Twitterview as well by using QReateandTrack’s Twitter handle, “@QReateandTrack.” While using this, she was able to answer questions and promote QReateandTrack on behalf of interlinkONE. Some of the ways she was able to give great tips, answer questions, and share links were by tweeting:

  • “@QReateandTrack: QReateAndTrack.com. There you can create the QR code and also track it. You can see where and when it was scanned. #TourismChat”
  • “@QReateandTrack: You could go about finding more info by setting up a landing page and asking people for more info. That would work. #TourismChat”
  • “@QReateandTrack: We created this poster: http://ilnk.me/5065. Each time it is scanned, the QR code changes its response. Try it out! #TourismChat”

Remember, Twitter only allows your tweets to contain a maximum of 140 characters, so that is why the tweets have to be very blunt and straightforward.

When the Twitterview was close to conclusion, I gave a few final suggestions and tips by tweeting:

  • “@JohnFoleyJr: Tracking needs to go beyond a scan to a page. Metrics are important. #TourismChat”
  • “@JohnFoleyJr: Don’t think big brother! Think reaching the mobile audience. #TourismChat”

Lastly, I thanked all of the attendees for joining the Twitterview and gave one last promotion of myself and the representatives from interlinkONE: “@JohnFoleyJr: Thanks! Any questions, ask me PLEASE! Or follow @QReateandTrack or @JasonPinto. #TourismChat.”

Twitterviews can be extremely useful when you are trying to market to a new group of people or industry. By participating in these online discussions, you are able to make a lot of connections in a short amount of time, and you can learn a lot as well. Take the time to do some searches on your favorite hashtags, and if you want to conduct your own Twitterview, ask some of your favorite tweeters to join in. Good luck!