Barcodes to be read by mobile devices are popping-up everywhere – theme parks, “For Sale” signs on houses, DVDs, cereal boxes, and pretty much every other flat (or slightly curved) surface! Although, there is not a standard 2D barcode platform dominating the mobile tagging market, two types have gained recognition in the consumer market place: Microsoft Tags (made of triangles) and Quick Response (QR) Codes (made of squares). Have you seen a version of either of these two types of mobile barcodes?
Microsoft Tags have been used by companies around the world on their products and in their marketing campaigns. A few examples of companies using Microsoft Tags are Conde Nast Traveler, Dominos, Dr. Pepper, Ford, Fox Entertainment (for the movie Avatar), General Mills, Kraft, Porsche, Whole Foods and many more. QR Codes have been used by a variety of companies as well. For example, the QR Code maker ScanLife has worked with Target, Gap, UPS, Verizon, and Heineken.
Additional styles of codes that can be scanned include, but are not limited to, Universal Product Codes (used primarily in stores to track products), DataMatrix, EZcode, JagTag, SnapTag, Cool-Data-Matrix, Aztec, UPCODE, Trillcode, Quickmark, Shotcode (shaped like a bullseye), mCode, and Beetagg (made up of hexagons). Each of these barcodes has their own pros and cons. Readers (barcode scanners) are able to read some codes but not others. Microsoft Tags must be read by Microsoft Tag Reader. Some codes are free and some have an extra fee associated with customization or analytics.
Now that you are familiar with the variations in barcodes, you are probably curious as to what kind of information a barcode can share with those who scan it. Scanned barcodes can respond with various types information. Microsoft Tags can show a website, plain text, contact information, or result in a dialed number. ScanLife’s barcodes can respond with those options or additional responses such as sending a calendar entry, sending an instant win notice, displaying a menu of options, sending an email, or sending a tweet.
The first step for businesses is to choose which barcode you would like to create. The second step is to create the barcode. MoreVisibility has created barcodes for a number of clients and offers the service through our Mobile division. The third step is to publish the barcode electronically or physically print it on marketing materials. A barcode could also be printed on a sticker or insert to be mailed or included with a product. The last step, and possibly most important, is measuring the campaign through analytics.
Although QR Codes have been around since 1994 (and Microsoft Tags since 2006), the explosion of the smartphone marketplace has had a significant impact on mobile tagging technology. Companies small and large are testing putting barcodes on their products and marketing materials. We have many ideas for our clients on how to integrate barcodes with their marketing strategy and look forward to seeing this area grow.
The world held its breath the morning of April 29, 2011 as the royal wedding began. Catherine Middleton fulfilled the fantasy of becoming a princess as she married Prince William. Technically, according to the statement issued by the press secretary to The Queen, their official titles are His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, but princess she did look as she married her prince. Online, millions of people had something to say whether it was well wishes, fashion commentary, or comparisons to Grace Kelly or Princess Diana and many chose to share their thoughts through social media.
Wedding updates, news, and remarks skyrocketed online. What could have been an unorganized mess was streamlined by a well put together social media strategy. The Royal Wedding was broadcast live on the official YouTube Channel, which had a side bar showing tweets from @ClarenceHouse one of two official Twitter accounts belonging to The Royal Family (the other is @BritishMonarchy). In addition to official tweets, @ClarenceHouse shared images, such as a photograph of one of the carriages, via twitpic.
The official hashtag of the wedding was #rw2011, however #royalwedding was extremely popular as it was promoted through the media. Over 2.5 Million tweets used #royalwedding the day of the wedding. ABC News conducted Twitter polls by asking viewers to tweet using the hashtags #RoyalSuccess or #RoyalMess for a variety of questions such as opinions of Kate’s dress and the couple’s double kiss.
Additional tweets that trended well with The Royal Wedding were:
Having a social media strategy in place can help businesses, organizations, and even families keep track of the social conversation as it is happening. The Royal Wedding is a wonderful example of social media done right.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
Unlike in the 1989 Kevin Costner movie, Field of Dreams, where he builds a baseball diamond on the land he used to farm and people lined up for miles, building a Facebook Page won’t automatically attract people to know about and like your business. Businesses need a strategy before creating a Facebook Page and part of this strategy should address how they plan to attract visitors to their Page and how they plan to convert these visitors to “likes” and then, often considered the most important step is how to convert these “likes” into sales.
Facebook is only a tool to be used to socialize with potential new customers and to keep up a conversation with current customers; this fact is often forgotten or simply misunderstood. Just having a Facebook Page is not enough. You need to know what you plan to offer and how you will communicate your message. When building your page, keep in mind that you want your content to be of a nature that people will want to share. Is your proposed content something people will want to talk about? Does it have an interactive component? These are questions your strategy should be able to answer.
Have you thought of what the main goal is for your Facebook Page? If it was simply to “have a presence on Facebook” you may need to rethink your strategy. Much like a company’s mission statement, your Facebook Page should have a purpose (with additional calls-to-action for specific promotions, events, or products added in later). An example of a Page with a purpose is Starbucks (technically a family of Pages, Apps and Places). Starbucks’ Official Page (http://www.facebook.com/starbucks/) is in the Food/Beverages category and has the purpose of being a platform on which to talk about and share information about Starbucks’ products. Starbucks has gone one step further in their goal of sharing their products with everyone and created a minisite (http://www.mystarbuckssignature.com).
This minisite was created with the specific goal of introducing people to Starbucks’ extensive offerings in their products and giving them a way of sharing their favorite flavor combinations with their friends. The upper right hand section of the page includes an AddThis share button which with a few clicks allows a visitor to share the minisite across the web through their preferred social networks, a Facebook Like Button which allows the minisite to be shared on the wall and in the streams of the person who clicks the button, and a button that integrates the minisite with a Facebook App to help share the designed beverage made on MyStarBucksSignature.com. More information about the Facebook Like Button Plugin and how to add the Login Button to authenticate your Facebook account can be found here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/guides/web/.
The three buttons in the upper right of the minisite:
What will appear on a user’s Facebook Wall if that user clicks the Facebook Like Button:
These Wall posts not only build brand awareness, but they show a community around the brand’s products.
The minisite also appears in a user’s search of Facebook for the brand name “starbucks” amidst other Facebook properties even though it does not have its own minisite Facebook Page:
So, let’s recap. The wrong way to grow your Facebook presence is to jump in without a plan, start posting and commenting without a strategy or response model in place, and to sit idly after making a few sales-y sounding posts expecting people to flock to your site and shower you with “likes” and positive comments. The right way to grow “likes” of your Facebook Page is to have a strategy in place around the purpose of your company’s presence on Facebook, having a strategy in place that will address your plan to create engaging, shareable, and interesting content, and then creating this content and monitoring/joining the conversations that it sparks.
If you need help developing your social media marketing strategy, Morevisibility would love to set up a call to learn about your business. Feel free to learn more about MoreVisibility’s Social Media services and be sure to see our social media design portfolio.