Foursquare & QR Codes….YUCK [M3]

To be honest before I started reading M3 I believed Foursquare and QR Codes to be a complete waste of flyer space when designing posters for work. I have had countless debates with friends and co – workers about how “in the past” QR Codes are, how no one ever uses foursquare but after reading lets see if my mind has been changed.

First up…

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Yup that is Foursquare’s logo, not the lid of a pizza dipping sauce.

Anyways, I had the chance to finally explore the Location Base Service (LBS) website/app over the past week. In the past (2012 maybe) I would receive notifications of old friends checking into places and it didn’t interest me, DELETE. Now in 2014 I was typing in different areas of the city and using the activity search bar to scan through the restaurants, read reviews, see the location on a map and 2nd most important to me is seeing people’s pictures of the place (picturing sharing aka Instagram will take over the future,* EVIL LAUGH*). While scanning my options I was reading reviews, why? Because it shows the date when comments were made. I was noticing not a lot of current updates, comments from 2010, 2011 and 2012. I figured maybe it was the places I was searching since I can have a niche taste. So I decided to search the Air Canada Centre, a pretty popular place right? Apparently not since 2009? Yup, that was the last comment made by a regular individual.

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Who is posting on behalf of Madonna, the NHL, WWE, Maple Leafs, ESPN and the National Post? These of course are the most recent posts on the Air Canada Centre page. So I can see how Public Relations used Foursquare along with promoting coupons, special give aways and things to engage users. I went to a FourSquare party and got a free beer if I signed up and then I never engaged again. To me Foursquare is like YELP  minus the LBS which I guess is a big part of the draw but still similar. On Foursquare you see all the same content in terms of reviews, pictures and users rate of the establishment which I think is cool. But what makes that different from using BlogTo in searching for something to do in a specific area of Toronto or even Google? LBS!

Overall I think Foursquare could use some work on there brand and marketing. Yes, the dipping sauce logo is all over establishments windows  but know one wants to use it because it seems creepy and kind of lame. But really it’s not lame (kind of creepy), you can use it all over the world and it connects to your Facebook and Twitter if you want to share with your friends or followers where you are or what cool little coffee shop just opened up! But then again you can do the same with your Facebook or Twitter minus the Foursquuare community’s reviews, photos and the business perks.

2nd overall, I think it can work and can be a great tool for public relations once changes have been made and if it gets integrated with Augmented Reality .

Example A. This not so interesting video

Example B. Creepy LBS

Up next on the chopping block is the QR CODE!

photo-2 P.s I took this in 2012 #TBT

Okay here we go. While reading different articles I have come to the same conclusion every time. QR Codes have a bad rep because they are being used in all the wrong ways.

This is what they are suppose to do, direct you to a mobile friendly site to watch a video, go to a website or review a product.

What I am still trying to figure out is what makes this different then searching on an app or just searching the item in the web browser? One example I saw is on a Best Buy product. The main goal is to scan then read the specs. But if I am in the store already why would I scan vs asking a sales person? But wait, I don’t have a scanner app and I don’t want to use my 3G to download it! Then what? My world is OVER!

Okay let’s back track just a little. When I had a blackberry I would scan others QR Codes to get their contact information and BAM it was easy.  The phone had a scanner for that purpose and it worked great. If all phones could do this then I truly believe QR Codes would of had a different journey. Having to scan QR Codes on the go was a mission because it wasn’t fast or didn’t work. So now most smart phones come without a scanner but do you really need one? After reading 5 articles I see the most common mistakes such as placing QR Codes in the most strangest places such as subways, on busses and foods. To top it off when you try to scan the ones in reachable places they go no where! “Error Found” yea, thanks. Now I don’t care what your event is all about because  I am annoyed. Most people I know just take a photo of something they want to look up later or want to buy the next time they are at the store.

This is why I am excited about mobile visual search (MVS)!

Using MVS while shopping in a store might be a little problematic since most retail outlets deny you of taking any photos in stores but just think how easy it will be while you are on the go. Taking a photo underground and saved for a better time to connect to the web.  Just think of the fun a public relations and marketing team can have with this. Creating special soup labels for an example and having shoppers snap a photo and direct the buyer to a recipe that they can share with there Instagram followers!

I do believe QR Codes were off to a good start and are now becoming a fab with new technology such as MVS making waves in the scene.

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10 Commandments Of Social Media For Business

IKONIK Social Media Agency

Social Media can be confusing if you’re new to it, and you may slip back right into your old traditional marketing behavior which won’t get you the results you want on this medium that’s based off conversations and relationships as oppose to who can yell their marketing message the loudest. So here are a few best practices in the form of 10 commandments!

  1. Thou Shalt Not Broadcast Sales Messages: Social media isn’t another broadcast medium where you bombard your followers and fans with sales messages every half hour, social media is a conversational medium and no one wants to have a conversation with a narcissistic self promoter. So keep the sales messages to a minimum and when you do send such messages make sure it’s done in a social and tasteful manner.

  2. Thou Shalt Not Have 10 Different Accounts: I get it, you’ve just seen the light that social media is a great…

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Justin Bieber puts Facebook’s new trending feature to the test

Facebook has jumped on the trending wheel. But I agree with one statement, ” if the algorithms used can be customized in the future to provide trends in your chosen topics” then that would be cool! Since Facebook doesn’t show you all of the posts a page makes anyways!

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Yet again Facebook have added an update that has mixed reactions. While Justin Bieber hits the top spot on the social media giant’s new trending feature, reports are coming in that many are angry at what they call “a cheap Twitter knockoff”.

Once again I reiterate. For you, the user, Facebook is free, get over it. The web developers employed to make Zuckerberg richer than Scrooge McDuck, are going to employ new methods of attracting businesses who want to advertise with them. This new trending feed, Twitter rip off or not, is just that.

Personally, I don’t think it’s too bad. It sits on the side bar quite innocently enough and actually pushes some of those annoying ads for 24hour Abs and lingerie shops (yeah, I’ve no idea why I get those either) a bit further down.

The real test will be if the algorithms used can be customised in the…

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The Value of Promoted Anything on Twitter! (M2)

Having promoted tweets, accounts and trends costs money. The range is from 5 cents to $10, 000. I was taken back by the $10,000. Don’t know what those are? Lets explore!

What is a promoted tweet?

A promoted tweet is when a company pays to have a special 140 characters appear in a non- followers timeline to help create conversation or some sort of engagement. They also appear in the search bar and are found by a key #Hashtag.

Cost: 20 cents – $5

How does it work? Cost per Engagement (CPE) = every time someone clicks, retweets  or reply’s.

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 What is a promoted account?

Fist off an account is a business, organization, school or an individual. Most individuals do not pay for a promoted account unless they are trying to start a business or develop their professional career. When you pay for a promoted account it goes under the “who follows who” list when someone likes an account of a similar interest.

Cost:  50 cents – $5

How does it work? CPE = Every time someone clicks follow

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What is a promoted trend?

A trend is something that a large majority of people are tweeting about and #Hashtagging. The top trends appear on the left hand side of the twitter page. Some trends happen organically like ThrowBackThursday (#TBT) and others are paid for.

Cost: $1,000 – $10,000+

How does it work? You pay for that trend. You own it! It shows up in the trending section and hope for the best.

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So is paying for a tweet, account and trend effective in public relations? I think it is when done right. When promoted items are tied into a campaign it will be more effective.  When your favorite show is on TV and you go to follow them on twitter and next thing you know you can follow the whole cast because it suggests who you should follow (promoted accounts) them. And you do because you love the characters and want to know everything about them and the show! Would you normally search for them on Twitter? Personally no but if it’s in my face I will follow!

When there is any sort of event trends are extremely important. You want your trend (hashtag) to be on the top list because the more people talking about it the more awareness for your brand or cause. Being on the trending list is cool. It also helps people know what hashtag to use when tweeting about a topic and it also makes your paid trend on people radar. If they didn’t see it up there they wouldn’t know to tweet about.

Anything promoted on Twitter will only be effective if it is tied into a campaign, event or crisis. It helps create awareness and has the audience engaged. If you promote a tweet, account or a trend standing alone it will not be effective, engagement will low and so will your ROI.

See how TV & promoted tweets are proving to be effective! Click Me! & 5 Twitter Strategies on Mashable!

Check out Twitters View.

P.s sorry for the pixulated photos. Everything I googled looked like this.

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M1: What is Social Web?

Everyone is using it, some people get it and others don’t. Is it young vs. old? What is social web all about and what can it do for you as a Public Relations practitioner? Let’s see. The public is using social media to share their experiences about products, services, opinions on different topics or what they ate for dinner. The list can really go on but one thing is for sure that a relationship is being built with other users. For example people follow YouTube Stars and are influenced by the products/ services they talk about and in return viewers will go out and buy that product or try the service recommended.

This video tutorial video demonstrates how people build relationships online and how there are influencers on the web. In some cases companies send products to Youtube stars so they can influence purchase. 

Business are having a difficult time understanding what the social web is all about because they do not see a direct profit increases from having a Facebook page. Having a brand presence online helps consumers create a relationship, express their concerns or a way of showing how much they love a product/ service. When the consumer is engaging with a brand/ company online it is in turn being shared with their own networks and helping create awareness  and influencing  their networks. But how do you get the targeted demographic talk/ engaging with your product?  

It is the public relations team’s job to create a strategy that will know what content will connect with the targets and create conversation. Using social media platforms does not mean you have to give up on traditional media. It is using an advertising campaign on the sidewalk and bringing the conversation over to the web using different platforms.

There are three assets to help build a brand, 1. engaging content 2. what platforms is the target using to build relationships 3. engage your employees they are the connection to the public

Working in Public Relations along side the social web you must be ready to monitor, respond, debate, know when to interact and understand your audience.

The public are know longer the “people” yet participants in sharing information for different sectors in the community, city, country and the world.

Here is a cool short video on the way newer companies are thinking about the social web.

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