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Archive for ‘Foursquare’

July 18th, 2012

Foursquare Introduces Local Updates for Businesses That Want to Use Mobile to Attract New Customers

By Jamie Turner, Founder, 60 Second Marketer

In Go Mobile (affiliate link), the book I co-authored with Jeanne Hopkins, one of the many mobile marketing tools we discussed was foursquare, which is a mobile app that businesses can use to attract new customers to their locations.

It’s one of many tools that fall under the Location-Based Marketing category and it’s also one of the most well-known. If you’re in business — particularly in the retail business — you should be all over foursquare since it’s an easy-to-use service that can help you attract new customers.

On Wednesday, I was contacted by a representative for foursquare who let me know about some of their new features. They sounded pretty interesting, so I thought I’d share what she said to me.

“Starting today, we’re rolling out Local Updates, a new tool that will allow you to see all of the latest news from the places where you’re a loyal customer when you’re nearby. It’s a great way to keep up with things like new specials, pictures of the latest shipment of shoes at your favorite boutique, or a serendipitous food truck appearance.

Here’s how Local Updates will work:

Easy: If you check in at a place frequently or you’ve liked a place on foursquare, you’ll start getting updates from them automatically when you’re in the same city. If you want to stop receiving updates from a particular business, you can easily do so with one tap.
Personalized: Your favorite places can share their latest news with you, so you know when your favorite restaurant is offering a special, or a nearby bookstore is hosting a reading with a famous author. Updates can include new specials, photos, and any other information your favorite places want to share with you.
Local: You’ll only see updates from businesses in your city, when you’re close enough to stop by. There are several nationwide businesses (H&M, Togo’s Sandwiches, Outback Steakhouse, and Wolfgang Puck restaurants, among others) and NYC-based businesses (Luke’s Lobster, Northern Spy Food Company, New York Public Library, and NYC Parks Department) that will be starting to use Local Updates right after the tool becomes available today.”

The bottom line is that foursquare continues to upgrade their service as a way to improve their offering. It’s a terrific tool and one of many that you should check out, particularly if you’re in retail. (Other similar tools include LivingSocial, SCVNGR and WHERE.)

Oh, and by the way, if you enjoyed learning about foursquare in this post, you might also enjoy “How To Attract Local Customers Using Mobile” which has more cool tips and tricks for people who want to get into mobile.

Posted by Jamie Turner, Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.
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Archive for ‘Foursquare’

May 18th, 2011

New Research on the Effectiveness of “Follow Me,” “Like Me” and “Friend Me.”

Are Social Asks such as “Follow me,” “Like me” and “Friend me” overused?

Sarah Evans, the Founder of Sevans Strategy, partnered with Alterian, the marketing technology and solutions provider, to find the answer to that question.

In March of 2011, Sarah led research to track down the metrics behind all of the requests we receive from social media platforms. “Will you be my Facebook friend?” “Would you like to check-in?” and “Follow me on Twitter?” are just some of the actions we are asked to do on a daily basis in our online social lives.

According to the study, more than 3.4 million “social ask” mentions were recorded in a one-month period on social media channels. That’s a monster number.  So, let’s break it down.

For starters, 91.9% of social asks were on Twitter, 2.2% on Facebook and only .03% on Foursquare.

So what’s up with Twitter’s “Follow me” being the most popular request? According to Mashable, the online social media guide, the popularity in “social asks” via Twitter over Facebook could be due to the fact that Facebook is a more personal medium and private Facebook pages were left out of their study. That skews the research a bit, but it certainly puts to rest any thoughts that Twitter is a second-class citizen in the social wars.

Additionally, the study shows that on Twitter, slightly more women initiate the social ask than men. However, more men than women make the social ask on Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

So, let’s go 1:1. The “ask” is what initiates the online relationship. It starts the process. It’s a courtship. It is not a one-night stand. The goal in social media is to move beyond the initial stage of a passive friend who simply is a “fan” or “likes” your Facebook page and into an active participant engaged in an ongoing conversation.

Key Take-Aways:
Expand your relationship beyond the initial “ask.” Think about it. After asking someone  out on a date, would you follow up for a second night out if the first one was a success? Yes. In fact, you might even leave a message on their VM before they got home.

Same thing in the social sphere … it’s  about the chase and building long-term relationships. So, are you a Follow-Me Flirter or a Follow-Me Forever kind of marketer? If you want one-night stands, build your treasury of Likes  and Follows but be prepared for them to leave. If you want an enduring relationships, here are five tips to go beyond the first date:

1. Skin In The Game: if your audience is valuable, reward them with service and incentives to  encourage participation with your brand
2. Put a Matchmaker in Charge: companies are dedicating resources to these efforts … put  your best customer service expert in charge of connecting with your customers
3. Get Personal: No more “Hey You” marketing.  Using the same one-liners for everyone is lame  and is a consumer connection turn-off. You know what I mean.
4. Reinforce Value: Content rules here … video, information, connections, polls,  insider information … all should flow into your marketing calendar.
5. Get Feedback: Consider this your online therapist. Want to know how you are doing?  Ask, and you will get real-time information.

So, enough of the relationship metaphor. We get it. We have to “do stuff.” But aren’t some people more “special” than others? A quality vs. quantity issue?

According to Mashable, it’s not about how many followers or fans you have, it’s who they are that really matters. Meteor Solutions collected data from over 20 brand marketer clients and found that 1% of a site’s audience accounts for 20% of all it’s traffic. This means your top 1% of fans, friends and followers influence the other 20% that go to your site. Through social media analytic tools such as Raidan6 and ObjectiveMarketer you can find out who’s in your top 1% and how they influence others.

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Posted by Rebecca Wilson, Marketing Analyst at the 60 Second Marketer.

Archive for ‘Foursquare’

March 28th, 2011

DIY Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses

After a brief hiatus, we are very excited to resume our discussion on mobile media. It feels like in just a couple of weeks time since our last mobile media post, a lot has changed in the world of mobile and we have been scrambling to keep up.

This is most likely the result of the tremendous buzz that comes out of SXSW every year around this time; so before we move forward here today, we thought it would help to know where we have been. In our previous posts on the topic of mobile marketing we have — provided an overview to familiarize our readers (and ourselves) with the basics of mobile media, looked at some very solid examples of big name companies who are using this new technology in powerful and exciting ways, discussed how mobile paid search can, and should, be used to drive traffic to your mobile website and then followed that up with a companion guide on how to ensure your mobile website is ready to handle all of the new traffic you’ll be sending its way.

With today’s post we wanted to get beyond some of the “shiny new toy” topics that you always hear about mobile media over the Friday morning box of bagels. Instead, we would like to take this opportunity to present some mobile marketing initiatives that small business owners can accomplish on their own without the help of an agency. While we will only be looking at two initiatives that could be pursued, we hope that the depth that we go into on each topic will make up for the breadth of this week’s post.

Reaching Your Customers With Text Messaging

The first type of mobile marketing tactic that a small business should consider using is text messaging (SMS). It is widely considered to be the simplest type of mobile marketing campaign to setup and launch and because text messages can be sent and received on any type of mobile phone, you can reach a very wide audience very quickly. Remember, only about 20-25% (depending on the source you consult) of mobile devices sold in the US in 2010 were smartphones. So while it might sound impressive when someone tells you that they just got a fancy new smartphone app custom designed for their company, you can impress them with the fact that you can reach fives times as many people as they can with your SMS campaign.

Some more food for thought on the effectiveness of SMS is that a recent e-Marketer report indicated that SMS is the second most accepted type of mobile advertising, coming very closely behind coupons and vouchers. Which is even better news, because SMS marketing is a fantastic way to distribute a mobile coupon to your customers, notify them of a promotion or let them know about a new product you just got in stock, but more on that in a minute. The following are a couple of the SMS vendors you can use to get up and running in a very short amount of time — EZ Texting; TextHub; Involve Mobile and Mobile Storm.

Text Message Campaign Considerations

While the particulars of the SMS campaign you end up launching will differ depending on your type of business or what action you are trying to elicit from your audience, it is vital that you incorporate the following best practices into your work. Take a minute and think about all of the SMS marketing messages you have unwittingly received…annoying huh? The more effort you put into making sure that people are happy to receive your text messages the better off your company will be.

  1. Customers Come First – No matter the media type, you’ve always got to put the needs and wants of the customer before your own. Your SMS messaging must provide the customer with something of value or some level of convenience if you ever want to see or hear from them again. A good place to start is to consider how you originally attained the customer and how you normally interact with them. If you’re trying to generate repeat sales, you may consider SMS marketing that gives access to exclusive deals or mobile only coupons. If you’re a professional service firm, a follow up SMS is a nice way to show a customer you appreciate their business. Similarly, you can use SMS to contact clients to confirm a scheduled appointment or reservation or give patients an easy way to schedule their yearly physical.
  2. Clear, Concise and Charming – Since we are talking about SMS marketing, always be aware that you have a limited amount of real estate to work with (typically 160 characters max) to get your point across. Use it wisely. A friendly, personalized text that says, “Hi Bill this is Dr. Smith reminding you it’s been 6 months since your last visit. Call us to schedule an appointment. 555-555-1234″, is just what the doctor ordered. Trying to get in touch with a loyal shopper? Why not let them know about an exclusive sale with something like, “Hi Amy! Come out for our private sale this Saturday from 11am-2pm. We got in some great new styles for Spring. Show this text to get 20% off your purchase”. The action you want the customer to take needs to be clearly defined and must be easily accomplished. Trying to get someone to file their tax returns via SMS will never happen, but letting them schedule an appointment from their mobile device to come into your offices and do so, is an easier win. Also note that we are recommending to personalize your text messages where available; and here’s why. Which letter is more likely to go directly from your mailbox into the trash, one addressed to “Current Tenant” or one addressed to “Mr. Bill Jones”?
  3. Clearly Marked Entrance and Exit – In order to keep your SMS campaign moving and relevant, you will need to give existing and new customers a way to opt in to receive text messages. If you have a website that customers visit often this can be accomplished with a simple sign up form that says, “Enter your mobile number here to get our members only coupons” or “Sign up here to receive specials offers directly to your mobile device”. Or if you don’t have a website, you can simply start asking at the point of sale if a customer would like to opt in to receive offers via text messages. More important than a way to opt in, is way to opt out. Continuously sending someone annoying text messages they do not want to receive is much worse for your company than not sending them anything at all. Simply including a “Reply ‘STOP’ to unsubscribe” will accomplish this very necessary part of SMS marketing.

Reaching Your Customers with Location-based Services

Another very simple, yet very powerful, mobile marketing tactic that small businesses should consider testing out is some sort of location-based service (LBS). Foursquare is the most popular and widely used LBS but other vendors that are growing and should be considered are — Whrrl, Gowalla, Loopt and SCVNGR. Each of the LBS vendors mentioned, function somewhat differently from each other where the details are concerned, but the overall idea is the same. People with GPS enable mobile devices can use an LBS to identify businesses in their immediate vicinity, how many other LBS users are at that location and what they think of it as well as see what kind of benefit they might get by visiting and becoming a customer of that particular shop. Once someone physically visits the store that is participating on Loopt, for example, they can Check-In on their mobile device and receive rewards in the form of virtual points and if the store decides to do so, real world discounts. Location-based services, because of the way they are designed, are ideal for driving foot traffic into your store or restaurant by getting in touch with a potential customer at their point of decision. In this case, the decision of which store in the mall to visit or what restaurant to take the family to for dinner over a competitor’s establishment.

Location-based Services Campaign Considerations

Because the use of LBS for mobile marketing purposes is relatively new in comparison to SMS marketing, the rules on campaign development are changing even as you read this. From our own experience and the little bit of research available on this topic, we recommend doing some critical thinking around the following before launching your LBS campaign. Remember, the size of the audience using LBS is small, but the consumers who are taking the time to check-in are most likely very engaged consumers whose opinions carry weight in their own social networks.

  1. Customers Come First – Don’t worry, we meant to put this here again for a reason. Before you decide to use location-based services for marketing you business, make sure that your customers are using LBS, or at least have given you some indication that they will in the near future. If LBS, or any new initiative, doesn’t ring true with your customer its not worth implementing. With that said, while the fun, game-like aspect of checking-in to a place drives a lot of people to use services like Foursquare and Loopt, you’ve got to go beyond virtual rewards if you want to impact your business. To keep from losing the interest of your audience and get more people talking about your business within these programs, a real world reward that is tied to an action in a location-based service is a must. Consider our SMS recommendations from above around how to reward desired actions from your customers.
  2. Time It Right – If you are incorporating some sort of real world reward into your LBS campaign make sure its timing is relevant. If you are running a holiday-specific offer, people checking-in to your store location on June 1st, shouldn’t see your Memorial Day coupon. Similarly, if you’re a restaurant owner, a coupon for a dozen bagels will likely perform much better in the morning and then around 11am you can go ahead and change your LBS offer to something like, “Check-in to get 15% off your lunch” to lure in the mid-day crowd.
  3. Consider Non-Monetary Rewards – In Noah Elkin’s great new e-Marketer report on location-based services, “Beyond the Check-In: Best Practices for Location-Based Marketing”, he puts forth a compelling argument that consumers can be motivated by other incentives beyond just discounts and deals. He gives the example of a nonprofit law firm that generated donations to help protect endangered wildlife species every time someone checked-in to their Foursquare location. Think about the passions that you and your consumers might share beyond saving a dollar and consider using that as your LBS reward. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out your customers care more about doing good than saving money.

Parting Thoughts

Our intent with today’s post was to provide some thorough best practices around two simple to use mobile marketing tactics that small businesses can accomplish on their own. But, this is not an excuse to get out performing the necessary due diligence on the companies we have mentioned and just hand them your company’s AmEx and think that people will arrive at your door droves. Do your homework and figure out what might work best for your company. A good idea might be to test out two of the LBS side by side and compare results. Your marketing initiatives should be in a perpetual cycle of: Testing New Campaign→ Evaluating Results→ Making Adjustments→ Testing New Campaign. Also, it’s probably a very good idea for you yourself to start using some of these programs as a consumer to get familiar with how they work and what the user experience will or could be like for your own customers. Good luck and safe texting.


Posted by Matt Luber, Mobile Media Manager at the 60 Second Marketer and MBA candidate at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School