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The Cost of Social Media in 2012

Posted by on Jun 13, 2012 in Trends | 0 comments

The Cost of Social Media in 2012

Before I get to the prices, I wanted to talk a bit about how the area of Social Media Consulting has changed over the last few years.  In 2008 and 2009, Social Media Consultants were in fairly high demand, especially the more well-known and established ones.  Companies were realizing that they needed to start using Social Media as a way to listen to and connect with their customers, yet they had little to no idea how to do so.  Enter the Social Media Consultant.  A shift in marketing philosophy by many companies created a real demand for professionals that could create and execute social media strategies for companies.

By 2010 and 2011, most companies began to understand that Social Media wasn’t simply a fad, and it was a business necessity that they needed to address via hiring.  Many companies, especially larger brands, hired Social Media Managers, and then entire Social Media Marketing teams.  This shift had a profound impact on the area of Social Media Consulting in two ways:

1 – Many of these companies hired existing Social Media Consultants to be their Social Media Managers and fill their Social Media Marketing teams.  Companies like Radian 6 and Edelman PR aggressively hired independent consultants as well as professionals at other agencies to build and compliment their own Social Media Marketing teams.

2 – Many of these companies stopped (or slowed in) hiring Social Media Consultants for execution work, instead giving that to their in-house team.  The successful consultants and agencies today are usually the ones that adapted the quickest to this change.

As a result, the average Social Media Consultant today is doing less execution work, and is spending more time actually consulting with and training companies on how to use Social Media properly.  Diversification is a good thing.

Now, on with the prices.  As with last year’s post, for every service I am providing a range, as well as a Most Charge distinction.  In general, the fees associated with setup of basic social media tools like a company blog, Twitter or Facebook pagehave gone down.  On the other hand, rates for comprehensive Social Media Strategy auditing, creation and training services have generally increased.

In general, smaller businesses and non-profits can expect to pay prices that are closer to the low end of the price range, while large companies and organizations will probably see their quoted rates closer to the top end of the range.

Also, when looking at rates for monthly content curation and management of individual social media tools, remember that the more content the consultant/agency has to curate and create/edit for you, the higher the rates.  Likewise, if you can handle the content creation and just need training and some light editing, then your rates will usually be lower.

Here’s the prices:

Blog

Custom design and template creation – $1,000 – $5,000

Most Charge – $1,000-$3,000 

Writing/Editing Content for the blog plus ongoing training – $500-$4,000 a month (Assume 1-2 posts a week at this rate)

Most Charge – $1,000-$3,000

Ghostwriting blog posts – $50-$500 per

Most Charge – $75-$200 per

 

Twitter

Account Setup - $500-$2,000

Most Charge – $500-$1,000 

Ongoing Account Management and Training – $500-$3,000 a month (For this service, the more content you need provided for you, the higher the fees)

Most Charge – $500-$1,500 a month

 

Facebook

Initial Page Setup – $500-$2,500

Most Charge – $500-$1,500

Monthly Content Management and Curation – $500-$3,000 a month 

Most Charge – $1,000-$2,000 a month

Facebook Promotion Creation

Short-Term (1-3 months) Contest, including branding for the app, limited promotion on other channels such as Facebook and Twitter to promote the contest.  Fee doesn’t include prize and Facebook Ads to promote – $1,500-$20,000

Long-Term (3-6 months) Contest, including above, more elaborate promotion based on client’s needs – $25,000-$75,000

Note: These are the ‘Big Three’ tools when it comes to Social Media for business, and many consultants and agencies will offer companies a package deal on setting up and maintaining all three.  For other tools such as Google Plus, Pinterest, MySpace (yes many entertainment and music-related businesses especially still use it) and others, assume that rates in general will be consistent for what you could expect to pay for similar services with Facebook or Twitter.

 

Video

Total to shoot, produce and edit video – $500 – $30,000 (Note:  Obviously, the complexity and length of the video plays a huge role in the final cost.  If you want custom animation, several scenes and a 30-minute video, obviously that’s going to cost far more than a simple, 2-minute one-on-one video.  One expert told me that they charge $1,000 per minute of finished product.)

 

Social Media Strategy 

Social Media Monitoring (Note – Number of keywords/phrases tracked here has a big impact on fees.  More costs more.):

Setup – $500-$5,000

Most Charge – $1,000-$2,000

Ongoing Reports and Advisement – $500-$7,500 a month

Most Charge – $1,000-$2,000

Social Media Strategy Audit (Examine existing Social Media Strategy and give detailed recommendations on what strategy should look like moving forward, with instructions on how to measure results) – $2,000-$25,000

Most Charge – $5,000-$10,000

Social Media Strategy Creation and Integration with Existing Marketing Efforts (Note – Most consultants and agencies will require that this service be married to a Social Media Strategy Audit, as they will then create the strategy recommended in the audit) – $10,000-$30,000

Most Charge – $10,000-$15,000

 

Social Media Training and Consulting

Hourly Training/Consulting – $50-$500 an hour

Most Charge – $100-$250 an hour

Note: These rates are for 1 hour of work.  If you can commit to a certain number of hours a month, for example, consultants and agencies will almost always give you a discount.

Social Media Workshops(All fees exclude travel and are for ON-SITE Workshops, not online):

Half-Day (Up to 4 hours): $500-$7,500

Most Charge – $2,000-$3,500

Full-Day (6-8 hours): $1,000-$15,000

Most Charge – $4,000-$6,000

Note: Keep in mind that these rates represent a significant amount of training and content creation time.  So if you pay a consultant $5,000 for a day-long workshop, that consultant might have spent 20 or 30 hours creating that workshop.  So the prep time has to be considered in addition to the actual time delivering the workshop when looking at fees.

 

Rates to Hire a Social Media Speaker

Individual session (Up to 90 minutes, usually 1 hour): $1,000-$5,000

Most Charge: $2,000-$3,000

Keynote: $1,000-$15,000

Most Charge: $5,000-$10,000

All rates exclude travel.

Finally, I wanted to close with some advice on choosing a Social Media Consultant.  First, before you begin the process of hiring a Social Media Consultant, you need to address a few areas:

  • Figure out what you want to accomplish via Social Media.  Do you want to generate sales?  Increase brand awareness?  Establish thought leadership for your CEO or company?  Connect with donors?  Giving some thought to what you want to accomplish via your social media efforts will make the rest of the process smoother.
  • What are your human resources?  How many people can work on your social media efforts?  If you have a team of 10 at the ready, then the amount of assistance you will need is far less than if you are the only person for your company that will be handling your social media efforts.  Know how many people can work on your social media efforts and how much time they can devote, because if you plan on executing a Social Media Strategy that will require a team of 5, and you only have 2, that shortcoming will have to be addressed either through hiring, or outsourcing to the agency/consultant.  Either way, it costs you money.
  • How long is your project going to be?  You probably can’t pin this down exactly without talking to the consultant first, but it helps to give some thought to this.

When you contact a consultant or agency, they should be asking you questions as well.  They should want to know why you want to use social media, what are you trying to accomplish.  If they try to give you prices or push you toward using a particular tool without asking you questions, that is a red flag.  They really can’t give you prices until they know more about your company, your resources, and what you are wanting to accomplish.  Even if you contact them and tell them you need prices on creating and launching a blog, they should still ask you some questions to determine if you do need a blog to reach your intended business goals for your social media strategy.

As always, I hope this helps you in creating your Social Media budgets for 2012.  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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Top Tips to Integrate Social Media with E-Commerce

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Trends | 0 comments

Top Tips to Integrate Social Media with E-Commerce

With shoppers spending more time looking for and sharing retailer information through their social networks, brands are rapidly adopting a social commerce model. But more is needed than links to a storefront.

“Consumers are embracing authentic, compelling and contextually relevant social shopping experiences,” said Greg Links, Vice President of Business Development, Want. “Social experiences are at the heart of all contemporary digital experiences. In today’s world, a user experience without a social dimension will appear to a consumer to be about as dated as a fanny pack and a Walkman.”

But there are pitfalls to a bad social strategy – namely that consumers won’t engage. And perhaps worse, that the mis-steps could push a shopper to a competitor’s brand. So, how to compete? Here are Greg’s top social commerce tips.

First, make the experience contextually relevant to both shopping and buying.

Second, integrate the experience into a community where the shopper is spending the most time. If they’re place to play is Facebook, create a Facebook profile and active page. “Look for opportunities to integrate into Facebook’s Timeline,” Links suggests.

Third, don’t over analyze Favor action over analysis and start learning now.

‘Want’ is a universal button which retailers can add to their websites, giving customers the ability to create lists of the products they want. Retailers Acer Computers, Calico Corners, Ritz Camera and Tommy Bahama have recently signed on with the platform. Want allows products to be instantly shared on Facebook’s Timeline as well as the ability to send targeted messages to customers.

Article written by Kristina Knight

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YouTube Tips to Maximize Your Presence

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Trends | 0 comments

YouTube Tips to Maximize Your Presence

Creating an account on YouTube is simple, and building a channel for your brand is quick and easy. But at a time when most brand managers know the potential of this video-hosting medium, it’s not enough to simply have a presence. A brand must stand out to viewers by turning its channel into a destination. Otherwise, it runs the risk of getting lost among the more than 3 billion videos already viewed on YouTube each day.

1. Create a Schedule

While every brand may not have the resources to churn out new videos every week, laying out a schedule and adhering to it will force you to create fresh content. That will draw people back to the channel, which is what you want. One way to make sure you’re creating regular video content is to develop a recurring series with a theme. This will make it easier to come up with ideas when you are stuck. DirecTV, for instance, has a playlist on their official channel devoted to how-to videos that provide users valuable information on their dish product.

Using an activity calendar like the one shown above, you can remind your social networks about the type of content you’re publishing. You can create one yourself by syncing your YouTube content schedule with your other social networks to map out a strategy for cross-promotion.

2. Keep It Short!!!

YouTube generally caps videos at 15 minutes, but the closer you get to that limit, the less likely you are to keep viewers engaged. Consider that those watching may not have that kind of time. Telling a story in one or two minutes will help ensure that anyone watching sees your entire message. Many brands upload their television ads, which are usually under five minutes, to YouTube. A good example is Acura’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Jerry Seinfeld, which has received more than 18 million views.

3. Promote

One of the great things about YouTube is its sharing functionality. On the other hand, with 48 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, there is a lot of competition for eyeballs on the site. This is why you must use existing digital assets to promote your channel and its content.

Start by posting your videos across social networks to increase viewership, but remember that this will not necessarily drive traffic. You must also make sure you are posting links to the channel itself and actively encouraging users to subscribe. Earning subscribers will increase the chance that people will see new videos as soon as they log in to the YouTube homepage.

It is also critical to optimize videos by entering a title with targeted keywords, a detailed description (the more the better!), and relevant keywords in the tags field. Filling in the important textual details will make it easier for users to find your videos because Google displays YouTube videos on the first page of search results.

4. Pay Attention to Analytics

YouTube provides free analytics for your channel. This means you have access to performance data (views, subscribers); engagement data (likes, comments, shares, etc.); demographic data (location and gender of viewers); and per-video metrics. By reviewing this information you can better gauge how effectively you are utilizing the content on your channel and how you can fine-tune it to create an even better experience for your viewers and subscribers.

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Does Google’s +1 Button Affect SEO?

Posted by on Feb 23, 2012 in Trends | 0 comments

Does Google’s +1 Button Affect SEO?

Since the days of Google Buzz, the +1 button has been a mystery to users and content producers alike. It’s different from Facebook’s “Like” button, in that it doesn’t directly share content to a user’s social stream. But the cultivation of a social graph has long been the goal of Google, and its connection to search was likely inevitable.

Google defines the +1 as a feature to help people discover and share relevant content from the people they already know and trust. Users can +1 different types of content, including Google search results, websites, and advertisements. Once users +1 a piece of content, it can be seen on the +1 tab in their Google+ profile, in Google search results, and on websites with a +1 button.

The plot thickened last month when Google launched Search plus Your World. Jack Menzel, director of product management for Google Search, explained that now Google+ users would be able to “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.” According to Ian Lurie from the blogConversation Marketing, in Search plus Your World, search results that received a lot of +1s tend to show up higher in results.

Google has come out and described the purpose of a +1, but hasn’t necessarily explained the direct effect a +1 has on search ranking. Here’s a breakdown of what we currently know.

The +1 has an indirect effect on your site’s search rank. This does not mean the more +1’s a link has, the higher rank it achieves in traditional search results. Take this scenario:

When a Google+ user +1’s a piece of content, he gives it his “stamp of approval.” Then, say one of his connections from Google+ searches for the same or related topic. Because of Search plus Your World, his friend is more likely to click on the same link the original user +1’d (when a signed-in user searches, his Google results may include snippets annotated with the names of connections who have +1′d the content). This is because content recommended by friends and acquaintances is often more relevant than content from strangers, according to Google.

How Does This Relate to SEO?

Since the +1′d link has a chance at a higher Click-Through-Rate (CTR), there is a greater potential the link will be shared, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any social network. An experiment by Rand Fishkin, CEO and co-founder of SEOmoz, tested the relationship between Twitter and Facebook shares and search results in Google. He found a positive correlation between the number of retweets and shares a link received and its search ranking. This means, the more the link was passed around on Twitter and Facebook, the higher the search rank of the page. This in turn led to better SEO.

For more on this article…go to Mashable and read How Google’s +1 Button Affects SEO

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Workshop on SEO and Facebook for Business – Atlanta

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Trends | 0 comments

UPDATE: This Workshop has been completed.

New Workshop begins on January 31st at 10:00 AM. We will have two workshops.

First Workshop will be:  How to Market your Website on a Budget using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Second Workshop will be: Marketing your Business on Facebook Business Page. Facebook has changed…..Everything.  1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Cost for each Workshop is $25.00 a person. OR $45.00 for both Workshops.  We break an hour for Lunch.

This research-based social media workshop is designed to help key employees, and business owners, to leverage online social networking for new revenue generation, customer retention, employee education, and expansion into new markets. Individuals will learn how social media increases brand awareness, improves customer relationships, and complements PR and marketing efforts. Workshop attendees will come away with a deeper understanding of social media strategy, know the best tools for online networking, and learn how best to implement social media tactics into a marketing mix. This session will also provide research results on what the most successful socially networked organizations have in common. One more thing: Bring your laptop for hands on demonstration. You may even have homework

In this Workshop, you will learn how to market your website on a budget using SEO, and Marketing your business page on Facebook. 

The Educator Experience Counts: Engaging: Our trainers are high energy, entertaining (that means funny), likable, very clear, and on point. We know that if your people don’t connect to the presenter, learning and implementation can be very low. Making sure we have the right fit for your group is our passion and promise.
KEY OBJECTIVES:

  • Learn the changes Facebook has made to business pages and how to exploit it.
  • How can you increase your Google Ranking simply by Blogging.
  • What is SEO and how can I use it?
  • What is the best platform I should be using for my website?
  • How much time a day should I be engaging the Social Networking World?
  • Should I be thinking about Google +?.
  • Discover new business opportunities for your company.
  • What tools can I use to better build my Social Networking Strategy
  • How do I measure my Social Networking Success?
  • Get more results for your company.

 

Have fun!

OPTIONAL SERVICES

Update Performance Measuring Tools
In addition to training, we can partner with youto incorporate the skills learned in training with performance measurement tools such as monitoring and feedback forms. This will provide you with a mechanism to capitalize on your investment in the training while continuing to drive performance improvement outside the classroom.

Monthly Consulting Options
Designed to help you with the continual changes in social networking platforms and keep your tools and skills up to date.

To Register for the Atlanta workshop please select which workshop you want to attend. Each workshop is $25.00 per person. To attend both workshops get a discount and attend for $45.00.  It will be held at 659 Auburn Ave. NE #205 Atlanta, GA 30312. Limited seating, so please hurry and register. The workshop will held on January 31 , 2012 from 10:00 am -3:00 pm.

For more information on where the Workshop is going to take place, please visit www.rentmystudioatl.com Great place to have a workshop.

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5 Reasons No One’s Following You On Twitter

Posted by on Nov 17, 2011 in Trends | 0 comments

I get asked a lot about how to attract Twitter followers and why should I even care? First, if you are trying to penetrate the internet market, you should give it some hard thought to using Twitter. I mean, there are only like 300 million people using it. I’m pretty sure, some where out there, your potential customer is out there using Twitter.

So now what? I have my Twitter account. How the hec to I get people to follow me.  The answer is easy. You simply ask them to. So now that I have just told you how to get them. Here is why they may not follow. 5 reasons no one is following you on Twitter.

1. Your profile info isn’t complete.

If I don’t know have a bio which explains who you are and what you do, I won’t follow you.  I’m also much more likely to follow people who have a link to some sort of website, blog or – at the very least – a LinkedIn profile.

2. You’ve only tweeted one or two times…EVER

How will I know whether or not I should follow you unless I know what kind of stuff you tweet about? Some one that hardly tweets, is hardly someone I want to follow. I mean, isn’t that the point? I want to engage in what you have to say, share, link to, blog, opinion, and my favorite: witty sarcasm.

3. No photo! Seriously, only spammers and newbies leave their Twitter avatar as the generic image.

There’s an interesting graph on Fresh Networks showing that users with a photo have around 10 times as many followers as those without. In my personal opinion (which is in no way based on fact), photos should be photos of YOU. Not of your dog, or a cartoon image of yourself.  If you put a logo up, great! Just make sure it’s uniform and can be found on your website.

4. An inappropriate follower ratio.

If you follow hundreds of people at once without having any followers yourself, you start to look like a spammer. First, follow a few people you know personally and who will most likely follow you back. That way you can build up a little following so it doesn’t look like you’re a TOTAL newbie ;-)

Also, be sincere at who you try and follow first. Marketing is all about you, and your product. On Twitter, more often than not, you are the product. So at first, follow people that you have an interest in, and in return, they will have an interest in you. :-)

5. Your bio says absolutely nothing useful.

I know I mentioned an incomplete profile, but I wanted to put this separate in case you added a famous quote or, perhaps, “Total Bears Fan” to your bio. Irrelevant facts can be witty when called for, but you’ve got 160 characters.  Use it well.

Hope this gives you some basics on Twitter. Now tweet my friends, tweet like the wind.

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Social Networking Workshop – Atlanta

Posted by on Oct 26, 2011 in Trends | 0 comments

New Workshop begins on January 31st at 10:00 AM. We will have two workshops.

First Workshop will be:  How to Market your Website on a Budget using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Second Workshop will be: Marketing your Business on Facebook Business Page. Facebook has changed…..Everything.  1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Cost for each Workshop is $25.00 a person. OR $45.00 for both Workshops.  We break an hour for Lunch.

This research-based social media workshop is designed to help key employees, and business owners, to leverage online social networking for new revenue generation, customer retention, employee education, and expansion into new markets. Individuals will learn how social media increases brand awareness, improves customer relationships, and complements PR and marketing efforts. Workshop attendees will come away with a deeper understanding of social media strategy, know the best tools for online networking, and learn how best to implement social media tactics into a marketing mix. This session will also provide research results on what the most successful socially networked organizations have in common. One more thing: Bring your laptop for hands on demonstration. You may even have homework

In this Workshop, you will learn how to market your website on a budget using SEO, and Marketing your business page on Facebook. 

The Educator Experience Counts: Engaging: Our trainers are high energy, entertaining (that means funny), likable, very clear, and on point. We know that if your people don’t connect to the presenter, learning and implementation can be very low. Making sure we have the right fit for your group is our passion and promise.
KEY OBJECTIVES:

  • Learn the changes Facebook has made to business pages and how to exploit it.
  • How can you increase your Google Ranking simply by Blogging.
  • What is SEO and how can I use it?
  • What is the best platform I should be using for my website?
  • How much time a day should I be engaging the Social Networking World?
  • Should I be thinking about Google +?.
  • Discover new business opportunities for your company.
  • What tools can I use to better build my Social Networking Strategy
  • How do I measure my Social Networking Success?
  • Get more results for your company.

 

Have fun!

OPTIONAL SERVICES

Update Performance Measuring Tools
In addition to training, we can partner with youto incorporate the skills learned in training with performance measurement tools such as monitoring and feedback forms. This will provide you with a mechanism to capitalize on your investment in the training while continuing to drive performance improvement outside the classroom.

Monthly Consulting Options
Designed to help you with the continual changes in social networking platforms and keep your tools and skills up to date.

To Register for the Atlanta workshop please select which workshop you want to attend. Each workshop is $25.00 per person. To attend both workshops get a discount and attend for $45.00.  It will be held at 659 Auburn Ave. NE #205 Atlanta, GA 30312. Limited seating, so please hurry and register. The workshop will held on January 31 , 2012 from 10:00 am -3:00 pm.
[paid-downloads id="6"]Both Workshops – (Discounted Price)
[paid-downloads id="4"]Workshop One – Learning SEO on a Budget
[paid-downloads id="5"]Workshop Two – Learn how to use Facebook for Business

For more information on where the Workshop is going to take place, please visit www.rentmystudioatl.com Great place to have a workshop.

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Marketing Tips for Your Small Business Digital Footprint

Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 in Trends | 0 comments

Marketing Tips for Your Small Business Digital Footprint

One of the most important elements for an effective online marketing strategy is an optimized website. It needs to be structured correctly so that the search engines and humans can easily find it. Make sure your website navigation makes sense where people can easily find what they’re looking for on your site. Create compelling content that attracts and pleases your visitors. Keyword research on the types of content your target market is looking for and then creating and uploading good content to your site that satisfies their search is a must! Many small business owners have no idea what types of content to create for their website.

The results of keyword research can often be used as content ideas. For example, my client does orthopedic massage which is actually the technical term for “massage for injuries”. When we finally drilled down to this keyword search result, we ended up with content ideas such as “massage for neck pain”, “back pain relief” and “carpal tunnel massage”. My client saw how easy it was for her to create content that would answer all these keyword searches and position her service as a solution to their problem.

Once your website is ready, then you need to promote using the various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and social bookmarking sites like digg and del.ici.ous.com. Post good content to your fan page regularly so that people will be engaged with your shop’s events and offerings. Adding Twitter to the mix is a good idea and make sure you’re following people who are part of your industry. You should also have some mechanism to gather names for a list building campaign. You can do this at your store by offering your customers freebies or discounts if they sign up. Also, offer those freebies or discounts to your online customers as well to get their names and email addresses. Email marketing is an important part of your online promotion strategy. You should establish a regular schedule( monthly is a good start) where you send out useful and valuable content in the form of a newsletter to your list as well as incentives to get them to come back to your site. You don’t have to make this a long newsletter. Simply tell them what’s new and provide a link back to your site to read more about it. Did you notice that, other than creating a website, all these strategies are free?

You don’t need to spend money on banners or other online advertising to have an effective online strategy. You will want to invest money in a paid advertising campaign eventually but establish all these other elements first.

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Quick Marketing Tips for Twitter

Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 in Trends | 0 comments

Quick Marketing Tips for Twitter

One of the quickest growing applications available on the web is Twitter. Yes, the Internet highway is jammed with traffic on their way to visit this friendly neighborhood. Twitter is not just another fad, and that means as a marketer, this is a great opportunity to gain the edge in a new market.

Your target market is most likely using Twitter as well. And Twitter can be a highly effective aid to your marketing program, too, when you learn how to make use of its capabilities to guide some of that crowd your way. But in order to succeed you have to take notice of a few major focuses. Also, you need a firm plan that you can follow step by step.

Twitter marketing like any other form of marketing depends on your approach and your speed of execution. Throughout this article, we’ll outline a couple of methods for utilizing Twitter to further enhance your marketing thus driving more traffic to your site. The first thing you want to focus on if you’ve chosen to market on Twitter is growing your base of followers. Even though this will happen any way, it’s important to keep in mind how you go about it. Everyone on Twitter has follows who will be kept up to date on everything that person posts, or “tweets”. Twitter users post to keep their followers updated on news, opinion or just things that are happening in their own life at the moment. As an online marketer your goals needs to be adding followers to the list who are watching your updates and are quite active on their own. But just taking any random follower is not always going to be helpful. Your goal should be to add followers who are interested in your niche so you’ll have a good return for all your efforts. Besides all this, you will want to be promoting your activities on Twitter as much as you can. If you are a business entity or professional, it’s especially important to inform the people who are following you about what’s going on. It’s all about educating people on how they can follow you on Twitter and stay updated about your activity. You can’t expect everyone to be perfectly versed in keeping up with the process. When using Twitter as an internet marketing tool it is important to keep expanding your network of followers and contacts.

You’ll want to make as many professional connections through Twitter as you can. You want to keep people coming back. Through doing so, you can allow them to learn just how many benefits they can gain through using Twitter. They will learn that it is even capable of establishing a brand name. The more Twitterers you add to your network, the better things will work out for you. One of the reasons for the explosion of Twitter marketing is that it sounds complex but is actually simple. But still, a large number of people who want to use Twitter for marketing keep struggling to find new ways to gain some good, targeted following. Twitter can be an excellent way to bring traffic to your website as well as raising your profile with the search engines, but you must be willing to take the time to build your Twitter strategy.

Remember to look to others if you are having trouble; many have been in your shoes and are out there to help, even if it’s just by example. While paying attention to others successes it is like that you will find the technique that is a winner for you.

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What the hec are QR Codes?

Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 in Trends | 0 comments

What the hec are QR Codes?

As Smart Phones and Smart Phone Apps increase in usage we’re seeing a lot more interest in how to use QR codes (also known as 2D barcodes or mobile tagging) as a part of the marketing mix. Late last year Nielsen predicted that smart phones will be the dominant device by the end of 2011, so there’s certainly a reason to be taking this area more seriously.
What are QR codes?
Firstly, in case you’re not 100% clear on what QR codes are – QR – ‘Quick Response‘, originally invented in Japan for tracking components in factories. In short, they offer a method of effectively adding web based content, a URL really, to real-world messages, objects or locations. So they’re great for integrated campaigns to offer a digital offer and drive engagement with a brand, ultimately leading to interactions on a website, social site through the mobile. The novelty is the way your phone scans and “clicks” to access the content, so they’re inherently tied to smart phone usage. Any user with a smartphone will need to do a one-time download a free application which makes use of the phone’s camera, but other than that you’re away. Note that there are several variations of code too, so choose a widely adopted one like Jumpscan, EZ code (big in the US) or the original QR Code by Denso in Japan. Different code types require a different reader.
Marketing applications of QR codes
The applications for marketing are quite vast and pretty obvious when you think about it – you can even create your own QR codes easily enough, as explained by this this post last year on Mashable. So to get started, we suggest asking the right questions as for any campaign rather than jumping onto QR for the sake of it:
Who are the audience – are they even using smart phones that way, what’s missing that QR codes could add?
Amongst the many touch-points the consumer has with your brand – which could favour QR codes, why and any obvious quick wins to test that?
What are your campaign goals – Don’t forget the real functional uses of QR codes, post-purchase or on the product itself – might that be the best place to test?
What are they going to do at the end of the QR code – shiny technologies don’t mask awful content – please remember to make sure that the page you take the user too works well on a smart phone – obvious, but…!
How powerful is your offer – Can you provide enough reward for using – something really helpful, valuable or rewarding?
Is the offer relevant to the audience and related to the service or product your promoting – the example above doesn’t get this right.
Remember to assist users with what to do, QR codes or 2D barcodes are still new enough that people will likely need a little direction as well as a good enough reason to give it a try.
Our top 7 applications for QR codes

There many decent blog posts (just Google “QR code examples”) that illustrate a lot of uses of codes and will give you to food for thought, some are not so creative, but sometimes the simple functional campaigns are most effective – think QR codes on business cards, sorry that’s really mundane! Here’s a list of the top applications that I feel have the best combination of practicality, cost and impact:
Maps and signage – “point and find” or “you are here” – this can work well at events, theme parks are large complexes – where someone might need specific guidance to get to something, quickly. You can even create forms of engagement for virtual treasure hunts, or “find your nearest”
Coupons and special deals – obvious and likely to become the most exploited, allow users to redeem offers in specific locations, ideally with a time limited offer so they act now
In-store drive to web – when retail experiences can be so bland, imagine bringing content into that space that offers a richer experience (not a hard sell), check out the PUMA case study at the foot of this post for a great example of this one
How-to advice – Rich advice based content in the form of “How to” video or maybe audio – great for DIY or interior design, even recipes and cooking advice, maybe a bottle of wine at a restaurant
After sales care – ever struggled to assemble flat packed furniture or wondered where the specific help area is for the product you have, maybe you just want to add to the “new purchase” experience by having a value-add waiting online for that new consumer or use it for activating a guarantee with data capture.
Direct response mechanic on any advertising (press, TV, outdoor media, direct mail or brochures) – do ensure the landing page appreciates where I’ve come from, that’s a wasted opportunity and can be limiting for the user
E-ticketing – with the ease of creating QR codes, you can issue e-tickets easily enough and have that scanned from your phone to enable access
The common theme here is that QR codes make rich and relevant interactions possible, and they do it, well, quickly! You (the brand) get the opportunity to add value to the consumer or prospective consumer, they’re not only about exploiting the opportunity of a “great offer” that you might want to make Could be worth trailing something soon since the time maybe now for the best combination of novelty factor and consumer awareness as to what they are

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