Articles written in August, 2010

August 27 2010

Claim Your Business on Facebook Places

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Last week’s launch of Facebook Places now provides local companies with a new way to reach and engage consumers through social media. Users can now go beyond a generic “happy hour” status update and can notify their connections of their specific location by checking-in from their mobile device.

Once a user checks into a location (it must be a physical address), they can tag their connections and even comment on how great their “half-off appetizer” was.

The Places page currently exists independent of a company’s fan page, which makes it a separate marketing tool that a business can use to interact with customers. Facebook Places will map the location of the business, show a list of your connections that are currently checked in and display a feed of who has visited the location lately.

Facebook Places

Facebook Places

Both a description and additional information regarding the business are only available when the location is claimed. Claiming your Facebook Place page is important as it allows you to manage the address, contact information, hours of operations, profile picture and other administrative settings.

At the bottom left hand side of your Facebook Place there is a link that says “Is this your business?” Click on the link and you will be prompted to begin the verification process, which will involve submitting documentation. Once your claim is confirmed, you will own your Place on Facebook.

Facebook Places creates more ways for you to promote and grow your business on Facebook. By giving your potential customers the ability to check in at your business, you give them the power to tell their friends about your business and virally spread the word about your business and all it has to offer.

Posted in: Facebook

August 18 2010

Who Doesn’t Like To Be Rewarded?

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Everyone likes to get incentives for following through on an action. Think about it, how many times have you signed up for a newsletter or given a company your e-mail address in order to get a discount or a particular item in return. The world of social media is no different. Many companies lure in customers with special offers on social media sites.

Social media sites are the new place to hand out incentives in order to reach more potential customers. In fact, many companies offer incentives that can only be accessed through social media sites. Take the Cheesecake Factory for example. July 30th was National Cheesecake day and every slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory was being sold for half price. However, The Cheesecake Factory decided to sweeten the pot even more. On July 29th only, if a Facebooker clicked the Cheesecake Factory “like” button they would receive a coupon to buy a slice of cheesecake for $1.50.

This was a great incentive for consumers, but the Cheesecake Factory also benefitted. When a Facebooker clicked the “like” button on the Cheesecake Factory Facebook page, they were notified that their information would be accessible by the Cheesecake Factory. They were asked if they consented to their information being captured. If they said yes, they were taken to $1.50 coupon. In return for the $1.50 coupon, the Cheesecake Factory received a lot of fan “likes” that day, but they also were given access to information about the people who “liked” their page.  For those who clicked the “like” button, they’ll continually receive notifications and updates from the Cheesecake Factory in their status section.

The Cheesecake Factory is not the only company to capitalize on the friendliness of the “Facebook” network. Einstein and others have run promotions that encourage Facebookers to fan or “like” a page in order to receive an incentive. If a company creates the right strategy, then they too can benefit from offering potential customers incentives on Facebook.

August 16 2010

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, Book Review

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“Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead” is an engaging, quick read that sheds light on the phenomenal success the Grateful Dead achieved on a number of levels. Written by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan, this out of the box treatise focuses on the brilliance of the music itself, the Deadhead community and the unprecedented bond they created with their fans.

The book pinpoints several themes that are similarly noteworthy attributes for businesses in today’s competitive environment and thereby sage accomplishments given that they occurred three and four decades ago by the band.

Lessons include:

  • Take extraordinary steps to connect with your customers….The Grateful Dead sold tickets to fans through their own ticketing service, thereby greatly reducing the second hand ticket market and ensuring that premium seats went directly to their dedicated fans at face value. What incentive can you give your most loyal customers?
  • Give away content for free and encourage others to share it. Check out: Internet Archive’s Grateful Dead Collection for 3500 plus audience recordings. The philosophy of allowing everyone to enjoy the music (free of charge) was the precursor to today’s endless stream of free webinars on every imaginable subject.  This tactic was instrumental to the Dead’s viral growth as it left people wanting more, more, more and dropping whatever was on their plate to see the band the next time they came through town. In similar fashion, companies who are willing to give before they take stand a much better chance of developing credibility today.
  • Invest in your product…. “Rolled out for the first time in 1974, the Wall of Sound took eight years of experimentation (and) $350,000 to create.” “It was so far ahead of any other rock band’s concert sound system, it catapulted the Grateful Dead into a different music-technology solar system.” What can your business do that is unique and will prove to be a valuable differentiator?

The book is available through Amazon.

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