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September 29 2009

Mobile App Considerations

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As social media marketing is becoming increasingly prominent for businesses, so is the development of applications, such as those that can be downloaded for the iPhone and other smartphones. If you are thinking about developing a mobile application, there are a few things that you should take into consideration.
 
First, think about what someone will do with the app.  Will it serve as a tool or will it be for entertainment? What is the value that users will receive from using the app?  In other words, what will entice them to come back?  If you have an iPhone, you probably know how it works. You download an app, use it three or four times, and then about a month later, you realize that you haven’t used it since the day it was downloaded.  So, from a marketer’s perspective, what will you do to entice downloaders to use the application more than once or twice?  Perhaps you’ll roll out a new and improved version after a few months. Or, maybe it will make sense to continuously add new content or features to the app.  Lastly, one of the most important considerations is whether or not a mobile app is appropriate for your company or business.  A lot of people have iPhones, but a large portion of your customers may not.  iPhone users are typically younger and more technically savvy. If you find that this is not your audience, consider waiting to build a mobile app and focus instead on creating a presence within established social channels, where your audience is already participating.

With the thousands of applications available for download, below are a few that are widely popular.

Kraft iFood Assistant
The Kraft iFood Assistant continuously builds brand awareness from the kitchen to the grocery store.  It offers how-to videos, easy recipes, tips and a built-in shopping list.

Chipotle Ordering
You can order favorite Chipotle burrito, pay for it from your iPhone, and then pick it up from your local Chipotle with this handy app.

B&N Bookstore by Barnes & Nobles
This app offers everything from book recommendations to finding events at your local store. It also allows you to use your camera to take a photo of a CD, book or DVD cover, and receive product details, reviews and ratings of that product.

SitOrSquat sponsored by Charmin
This app contains information on where to find bathrooms, changing tables, handicap access and other amenities that you may need on the go.

September 8 2009

Fan Pages and Text Messaging

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More companies and brands are on Facebook than ever before, and this number continues to grow daily.  The ways in which companies can interact with fans also increases continuously, making it difficult to say on top of the possibilities.

One feature that doesn’t seem to be widely known is that Facebook users can actually become fans of a company or brand page through a simple text message. If you are a Facebook page admin, you first need to edit the page to enable someone to successfully become a fan via text messaging. 

From a user’s perspective, to become a fan of one of your favorite pages (company, brand, musician, etc.), all that you need to do is simply text “fan PageName” to FBOOK (32665).  There is one catch… to successfully “fan” a page, a Facebook user must first activate their phone. This can be done through the Settings page shown below.

Does your company attend events or conferences? If so, this feature could be especially beneficial. You could promote your page during an event, and those interested could immediately become a fan of your page through a text message. It could also be a great way to integrate your social media marketing (SMM) efforts with other offline campaigns and promotions, such as TV and radio ads, to encourage page fans that way as well.

Posted in: Facebook

June 30 2009

Understanding Twitter

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Twitter is without a doubt one of the fastest growing social networking channels on the Internet today.  Nielsen reported that Twitter had a massive 1,382 percent growth rate from February 2008 to February 2009.

As people are jumping on Twitter to join the conversations, many are not only faced with the challenge of answering the question, “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less, but they are often overwhelmed by the terminology that is unique to Twitter.  To help ease some confusion, here’s a list of some of the most commonly used terms and communication shortcuts on Twitter:

Tweet
Starting with the basics, a tweet is a 140-character message or update sent via Twitter. Tweets can be sent by various means including your mobile phone, the Internet, or third party applications. Tweets are public and can be viewed by any Twitter user, with the exception of Direct Messages and Protected Tweets, both of which are mentioned below.

RT @username
Also known as “retweets”, RT @username is a way to re-send a tweet. Through retweets, you are able to send someone else’s message to other Twitterers who are following you.  Retweets are very similar to forwarding emails and out of courtesy, it’s best to credit the original creator with the @username.

@username
These can be used to reply to a tweet, mention another user, or direct a tweet to someone. When replying to a tweet, the @username typically appears at the beginning of the tweet and when using the @username in the middle or near the end of the tweet, it’s often used to mention or direct the tweet to another user. It’s important to note that these replies can be viewed by anyone on Twitter and the @username is a way for others to know who you are “talking” to. 

Direct Messages
Direct Messages are tweets that are sent to a specific user and are not viewable on the public timeline. They are similar to Messages on Facebook, for those who are more familiar with that social networking channel.

Favorites
Favorites are essentially bookmarked tweets.  They are a way for you to share your favorite tweets with Twitterers. In addition to the short bio that you can provide about yourself, favorites enable you to showcase the type of information that is most interesting to you.

#hashtags
#hashtags (where the topic or keyword is used in place of the word “hashtag”) are used to group tweets by topic or keyword. To have your tweets grouped with others about the same topic, include the #hashtag in your tweets.   For a look at the most popular hastags, visit http://hashtags.org/.

Now that you know the basics, you’re ready to jump in and start tweeting!

Posted in: Twitter

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