Sign up for the 7-Day Email Marketing Challenge Here!
HomeResourcesArticles&NewsInteractiveLinksAbout UsContact Us
 Home > Interactive Content > Biz Plan Help Blog

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Are Mobile Barcode Tags Ready for Primetime?

When I opened my Crutchfield catalog I new I was destined to write about mobile barcode tags. The subject has been coming up more and more lately. Then this afternoon I am listening to the No Agenda Podcast, where barcodes are mentioned, then I open up the Crutchfield catalog and bam, on page five a barcode.

Sorry about the quality but I snapped this with a Blackberry Storm and then increased the brightness. The good news is the quality is good enough for the App, which means you can take a picture of the screen to try it yourself.

I ended up loading the App on the site in the above image, http://gettag.mobi, which is a Microsoft App simply called Tag. I tried loading an App from the Blackberry App store, but the App that seemed to be the right one had a half star rating. I won't mention the App by name, but all 56 reviewers said it did not work. I did not even bother to try it, but wonder why is this App even in the store?

It took only a few minutes to download, install, and setup Tag. I then clicked the scan button in the App which took me to the built in camera App. I took the picture and was redirect back to the App, which took 10 seconds to process before opening the browser and directing it to the Crutchfield article.

There is definitely a cool factor with this technology and I can think of a lot of uses. In this sample I was directed to a static web page, but one could also be directed to audio or video. This opens up the options. Add a barcode to a piece of art at a park and someone can be directed to an audio file on the background on the artist. Include a barcode on a coupon that opens a mobile web page with directions. Definitely a cool factor but I question how many of your customers are using or will use vs. What it takes to setup.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. Follow me on Twitter @SMBStrategy

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Optimizing Your Twitter Profile and Adding Your Twitter to Directories

Before spending time on directories review your profile. Most directories show your profile in search results and allow one to search on a profile. The same care should be taken when writing your Twitter profile as any web site Search Engine Optimization (SEO) exercise. A good correlation is comparing your Twitter profile to the meta description tag on a web site. Your profile should include your keywords but at the same time look like real English.

Here is what the search results on Twellow look like for my Twitter account - @SMBStrategy. The description is the bio from my twitter account and it includes my full company name, web address, as well as some of my keywords like new jersey, management consulting, and small business.

Most of these directories are pulling data from Twitter so chances are you are already in a directory. My own Twitter account as well as those of my clients were in the directories I tried. In the case of Twellow, it only takes a few minutes to claim your Twitter account and be able to edit the profile. The stress is that some of these directories including Twellow require you to submit your Twitter user/password.

Once you have signed up for a directory there are options to update your profile to improve how your Twitter shows up in search results. Some options include a long profile and adding categories. Just like your Twitter profile, you should treat this as an SEO exercise. What are your most important keywords and is it possible to link back to your site using these keywords. In the long profile for Twellow, I linked back to my site using the management consulting keywords. For WeFollow I choose tags that included my keywords like managementconsulting and businessplan.

For more information on Twitter directories you can view the list i setup in Twitter @SMBStrategy/twitter-directories. Also check out the article "5 Most Popular Twitter Directories That Will Grow Your Personal Brand". The article includes links to the directories and their registration pages.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 02, 2010

Should You Include Foursquare as Part of Your Social Network Marketing

From local small businesses to global corporations, more companies are turning to social networks as a way to get their message heard. I have been working with clients over the last couple years to navigate setting up LinkedIn or including Twitter and Facebook in marketing strategies. Now I am working on tying foursquare into a marketing program for a client.

What is foursquare? Well it is a location based social networking site that allows users to sign in at places that are included in their database like the nearby Starbucks or local pizza place. When a user signs in at a location they get points toward virtual awards and has the option to "Shout", which is sending out a short message to their friends. Where the service gets interesting from a business stand point is a location owner can push info to a user that signs in. For example the local pizza shop can offer a free soda when someone signs in. If this short description is confusing or you want more background on foursquare check out this article that I tweeted about a couple days ago "Whats Foursquare All About? Simple Guide From A Power User July"

Getting started with foursquare is simple and it is free for businesses - just go to www.foursquare.com and sign up. If your location is already indexed it can be claimed, if not setting up a new location is easy. It does take a couple days to confirm a location but during that time you can learn the ropes and start planning how to include foursquare in your marketing plan.

Foursquare is a nice marketing fit for anyone running a retail outlet whether it is a restaurant, corner store, clothing retailer, book store or a bar. You can push promotions to those checking in and see reports showing key metrics including who is checking in and when. You can also integrate foursquare into your Twitter and Facebook accounts to insure you are delivering a uniform marketing message. According to the foursquare blog they hit 1.8 million users in June, so if you are a retailer or restauranteur, you should start using foursquare now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad