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Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Topic for this week: QR-Codes

Posted by TeamITI on October 25, 2010

This week we at the ITI Marketing Team worked a lot with QR-Codes.

But what exactly are QR-Codes ? Why and what for do we use them?

Wikipedia teaches us that:  “A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.”

Good to know! But why should we use this little square and how does it help us?

This is quit simple answered: The QR Code makes it easier for us to enter a certain website.  You don’t have to enter a long URL anymore, just take a picture of this matrix barcode and you will be forwarded to the website you want to go to. You don’t believe it? Try to take a picture of this  QR Code and see where it takes you!

If you want to find out more about the who to’s read this article: “How To Use QR Codes In Social Media”

Still not certain about OR Codes and their usage?

Read the whole article Tech Corner: QR-Codes

Let us know what you think of QR Codes  and your experience!

Corina Melzer
Marketing Project Manager
ITI Marketing

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Posted in About us, Facts, Figures & Trends, ITI Products & News, Mobile Marketing, Products & Solutions, Social Media | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How To Use Social Media Monitoring Tools For Outreach Marketing

Posted by TeamITI on September 29, 2010

Social media is all about engagement. Because of this, it is the perfect tool for outreach marketing efforts. Outreach marketing is the practice of seeking out individuals or organizations that have a shared interest in what you or your company has to offer. Sometimes, it is used in conjunction with direct sales, but often times it is used for more larger goals such as branding.

Generally speaking, when planning an outreach marketing campaign online there are two main areas that are important to define before you begin; your target audience, and your method of engagement. Picking the right audience is vital to successful outreach marketing. Engagement is at the core of  outreach marketing, the right type of engagement can make or break a campaign.

Defining keywords & audiences

When using social media monitoring tools for any marketing effort choosing the right keywords is an important step. When using social media monitoring tools to aid outreach marketing, choosing your keywords and targeting the right audience goes hand in hand. I like to break my keywords down into two sets, primary keywords and secondary keywords.

Primary keywords are terms that are directly related to the industry that you are in. For example, if you sell cat food, then you would use “cat food” as a primary keyword. You can expand on primary keywords by adding adjectives, such as, “dry cat food”, or “canned cat food”.

When choosing primary keywords, remember not to use your specific brand name. The point of outreach marketing is to target users that have never heard of your company before. Primary keywords are vital to finding the broadest base of audience. However, if you operate in a large ambiguous market, then you may need to refine your monitoring with secondary keywords.

Secondary keywords are still related to your market, but may not include your exact product descriptions. Back to the cat food example – you might want to refine your monitoring to “hungry cat” or “feeding the cats”. Using secondary keywords are useful at targeting your audience.

Engagement strategies

Targeting your audience with the right keywords is only half the battle. Now, we need to find an effective strategy for engaging each user. Responding to users with, “Hey awesome! You like cat food? Visit our web site!” isn’t going to cut it. Proper engagement needs to contain either one of two things a “click” factor or a “response” factor.

A click factor is an incentive for the user to click through a link. Some click factors might be pointing the user to a specific product that could solve a problem. “Oh whats that your kitty is overweight? Try some of our diet cat food.” Another click factor is combining contest marketing with your response. “Tired of buying cat food? Enter our contest to win a year supply!”

A response factor is an incentive for the user to respond and engage in dialog. This strategy is perfect for putting a personal touch on a brand. One of the easiest ways that you can utilize a response factor is to ask a question. “Whats your cat’s favorite thing to eat?” Utilizing the response factor is perfect for branding; however, it can require more time and engagement because the goal is having a valued dialog.

When executing outreach marketing in social media, social media monitoring tools can be very helpful. Defining your target audience and keywords is the first step. Breaking your keywords down into primary and secondary keywords can help refine and target your audience. Developing a strategy for engagement is vital. Combining both “click” and “response” incentives are important when engaging. So the next time you are looking for a new branding or buzz building strategy, consider combining outreach marketing with social media monitoring tools.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

This article is published by Search Engine Land, click here to read the original article.

Posted in Social Media, Tools & Tutorials | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

10 Reasons Apple Ping Won’t Beat Facebook Anytime Soon

Posted by TeamITI on September 29, 2010

You Can’t Import Friends

Right now, while there is ongoing debate about whether or not Ping was previously enabling the ability to import friend from Facebook, the reality is that at this point, you can’t import friends from anywhere. There isn’t even an email import functionality, which was the key tool that made most social networks go viral in the first place.

Ping Isn’t Global

Right now it isn’t possible to connect to Ping in the majority of countries. Instead, the service is currently limite to 23 countries. Given that most of my friends are in the U.S., it’s not a deal breaker for me personally, however it’s definitely going to be an issue if Apple wants global domination. Additionally, Ping only functions on Apple products! If Apple doesn’t open up their product to other companies, there’s no chance they’ll be able to kill Facebook.

Yes, iTunes doesn’t just run on Apple computers, however there are no other mobile devices that have iTunes or Ping available to them. Apple will need a more open strategy if they were to compete with Facebook in the long-term.

Uploading Photos Has Issues

I couldn’t get my profile photo uploading, and more significant is that photos must go through an approval process! That’s like an online dating site or something. Facebook thankfully has automated filtering systems. With all the software engineers over at Apple, you’d imagine the company would be able to come up with a more efficient system which doesn’t require the manual approval of all images.

Certain Areas Freeze

After trying to watch one of Lady Gaga’s videos within the service, I couldn’t figure out how to exit out of watching the video. This wasn’t the only area where I ran into minor user experience bugs that should have been resolved before pushing out the product. Then again, perhaps Apple has accepted the model in which products that don’t work are rolled out first and then the bugs are fixed afterwards.

Did I Mention No Friend Import?

This is seriously a deal breaker for any social network. It blows my mind that Apple would release a product that is missing some of the core features that are necessary for any successful social network. Then again, they released a phone that doesn’t work as a phone, so that’s not too surprising I guess.

Managing Another Social Network Is Annoying

I think Facebook may have been the social network which survived to the point where people aren’t willing to switch to another social network. Additionally, there is a large number of people who don’t use iTunes and they won’t install the software just to find out what music their family and friends are listening to. While many of us grew up on music, there are plenty of people for who music and computers don’t go together (GASP! Yes, those people exist).

I Need To Live In Apple’s World

Do you want to live under the control of Steve Jobs? Many have chosen to let Steve Jobs make their technology consumer decisions on behalf of them, however many people hate this. Just read yesterday’s comments on our Ping blog post if you had any question about whether or not people would make the shift. Even more significant was the numerous comments from our Page fans who said they had no interest in making the jump.

Outlandish Statements

Remember when Apple claimed that the iPad was a magical and revolutionary device? Try to find 100 people who own the device and say they love it. I own it but the only thing I use it for is reading books, and if that’s all I wanted to do on it in the first place, I should have just used my Amazon Kindle. While there are new forms of applications like Flipboard and Pulse, I’m not quite sure what’s magical about the device. Similarly, Apple claims that “Everyone who loves music is on Ping.” That’s a flat out lie. How are they able to make a statement like that?

The fact that Apple makes statements like this frustrates the hell out of me.

Nobody Is On Ping

Most of my friends aren’t on Ping as of right now. While I’ve found about 10 people to follow, every name I search for shows up with nobody, or some random person who I don’t know. Apple has a huge market potential, but just one day after the product launched, a very small percentage of that market has used the service.

Apple Manipulates Consumers

The last thing I hate about Apple has nothing to do with their social network. It’s that they don’t roll out features in certain products for fear of cannibalizing other product lines. For example, right now I have a Mac Mini running my home entertainment center. Yesterday’s Apple TV launched without the ability to browse the internet, simply because they don’t want to stop people from buying Mac Minis.

They clearly have the ability to add a DVD player and internet browsing functionality but they just chose not to. It’s a model that values exploiting the consumer over accelerating the pace of technology.

In Apple’s Favor

While there are plenty of reasons that Apple Ping won’t be as successful as Facebook, there are a few things that Apple has to its advantage. The first is that Apple has access to the largest set of digital savvy consumers. These individuals are likely to make online purchases, and more importantly, they make many of those purchases directly within iTunes. While a large percentage of the world is cut off from Apple, the company has access to the most influential consumers (those who spend the most on digital goods).

There are plenty of factors working against Apple’s social network right now, however the company has a lot of things that make it a competitive threat to Facebook: their payments platform, their large device-based distribution network, and a number of other things. Additionally, the battle to be the leading mobile social network has not been won yet. Facebook is clearly in the lead, however Apple just made their service compatible with the more than 150 million iOS compatible devices worldwide.

The bottom line is this: the battle to become the reigning social network is not over yet.

This article is published by AllFacebook, click here to read the original article.

Posted in Articles & Research, Facts, Figures & Trends, Social Media | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Media: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Audience Doesn’t Like You

Posted by TeamITI on September 29, 2010

Are you struggling with social media engagement? Struggling with building your audience? You have thousands of Twitter followers, maybe even 50 or 100 people who have clicked “like” on your Facebook page.

However, even with this early success you’ve seen in social media, people just simply aren’t engaging with your brand? You are not feeling the social media love that others talk about.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Audience Doesn’t Like You

1. You are not engaging. You spend all day listening or retweeting. You are not genuinely engaging with your existing network. You are on the sidelines watching the game go on.
Tip: Engage. Have a conversation. Get in the game.

2. You are not providing value. Your website may lack content that resonates with your audience. Your tweets are well let’s say, tweets. They look, smell and act like everyone else.  There are more than 10 Billion Tweets sent  in a year.  Tweeting a simple tweet that looks and smells like every other tweeter will get you no where.
Tip: Provide value. Inspire and connect with your audience. Get in their head and learn who they are and what they need.  Provide content that helps them solve real business problems. Provide tips that help them move their business forward with new skills.

3. You are not following people back. If you have people following you and you are sitting on your arrogant Twitter mountain thinking you don’t have to follow them you might want to think again. This thinking drives me nuts. Show the love. Be a good friend.
Tip: Develop a follow-back strategy. There are different schools of thought on this. My personal recommendation is at minimum make an effort to follow people back. Don’t sit high on your Twitter mountain with the expectation everyone owes you something. They don’t.

4. You are not a good social media friend. You don’t retweet. You don’t thank people who show you love. You never follow back. You don’t comment on other blogs in a genuine way. You don’t thank people who comment on your blog.
Tip: Show the social love. Genuinely engage and make your audience and network know that you care about them. At minimum let them know you know they are there! Often times if I don’t have time to thank all of my retweeters or send a series of #FF follow friday recommendations on Twitter I will send a couple tweets during the day thanking my network.  I let them know I appreciate them and all the social love they gave me!

5. You are boring. Sorry folks but it could be you are just boring. I am seeing many people who have a boring profile picture, boring content. They are the same ones who sit all day and retweet news feeds of mortgage rates or market news. They are providing no value and not engaging.
Tip: Brand yourself.  Understand your audience. Who are they and what do they need. Who are you and what can you offer them. Give your business and brand a personality. Dare to stand above the norm.  If you shoot for status quo that is exactly what you will receive, if you’re lucky. It may be less.

6. Your website stinks. If you are boring, your content  is boring and your website stinks you have three strikes and you’re probably already out of the social media game.
Tip: Social media is about conversation. Engage in conversation with interesting content, design and brand.   Hire a web developer and freshen up your website.  If you don’t have the funds to do such then find a self-help site or teach yourself WordPress blog at minimum.

7. Your social profiles stink. If your Twitter background is the default and your Facebook Fan Page has no customization you once again are shooting for status quo.
Tip: Hire a consultant or an agency to spice up your profiles. If you don’t have the funds the leverage an off the shelf service. There are several Facebook Fan Page engines you can use yourself that are affordable.

8. Your Facebook Fan Page is all about you. What are you doing to engage your audience?
Tip: Engage your Facebook audience.  Have fun.  Ask them questions? Do some research. Ask them what they need, what they want.  Leverage the discussion tab to invite people to introduce themselves.

9. People don’t know the real you. You are hiding behind an avatar (social media profile photo). You are not sharing the real you. You are using corporate speak. You aren’t using video, no interesting blogs.
Tip: Let yourself shine. Try out video.  Come out behind the avatar and let people get to know you.  Don’t be afraid of video.  If you use video you will attract people who like you, people who want to business with you.

10. You are afraid. Because of what I said above you are afraid to come out and play in social media.  You have been intimidated by the mean blog posts that are surfacing the net on social media gurus, wannabe gurus etc.
Tip: Don’t let the bullies scare you! Be confident. Have fun. If you don’t you are never going to make it in social media, business or life.

This article is published by socialmediatoday.com, click here to read the original article.

Posted in Articles & Research, Social Media, Tools & Tutorials, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »