web analytics

Mobile Sense and the Twenty Times Rule

In order for mobile device users to remember a product, they must be exposed to the marketing repeatedly, regularly and at least 20 times before they remember it. Though it’s more of a challenge than the consumer would think, it can also be easier than a marketer may perceive it to be, especially using mobile marketing.

Integration is the method used to expose mobile device users to a product enough times for them to remember the product. If a marketing tool is only placed in a single location, odds are not high that potential consumers will have enough exposure to remember the product.

A mobile device user typically uses more than 10 programs. These include operating systems apps, add-ons, social networking and games, and the Internet. Integration is the process of placing a marketing tool in a variety of locations so potential consumers come across it over and over.

With over 4.8 billion mobile device users, (only 4.2 billion people worldwide own a toothbrush) mobile device marketing is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. An important fact to remember is that most mobile devices users are within arms reach of their device 24 hours a day.

So, the driving question is, “how does a company expose their product to the maximum number of potential consumers at least 20 times?”

First, a company must know the mobile device marketing options. Then, the company must know what these fast-moving potential consumers spend the majority of their time doing on their device. For example, advertising on a genealogy site to a market niche that is 50 or older makes sense. Advertising for teenagers (typically more interested in music and movies) on the same site does not. Mobile marketing companies have found that combining marketing channels is a more valuable product for consumers because an integrated strategy is the only way to run a successful mobile campaign.

Rather than put the cart before the horse however, a company first needs to know its options.

Mobile Marketing Options

SMS, MMS, IM, and MoBlog

  • Text messaging, multimedia message service, instant messaging and mobile and blogging services are some of the fastest and most cost effective means of communicating on a mobile device and have potential for mobile device marketing.

Mobile Operating Systems and Applications

  • The OS of each mobile device and the applications associated with it can be used to promote a product if used correctly in a mobile device marketing strategy.

Social Network and Gaming

  • Social networking and gaming provide a large conduit through with a company can reach potential clients. From overt ads to discrete, unobtrusive marketing strategies that do not interfere with the user’s objective, social networking and gaming marketing is almost limitless.

Internet and Search Engines

  • Marketing directly through a website or using search engine keywords, AdWords and analytics to expose potential clients to a product may be the best promising mobile marketing strategy to date.

Integration

The notion that the more diverse your marketing strategy and the more marketing avenues you utilize, the greater the odds that the target audience meets the company is the key to mobile device marketing. Just like individuals, a company shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket. Integrate.

 

Alternatives in the Cloud: Knowledge is Power

All the cool kids at the water cooler seem to have one phrase on the tip of their tongue: the cloud. Everybody is talking about the cloud. However, thanks to various advances in cloud computing, not everyone is referring to the same thing when they reference the cloud.

Essentially, anytime someone mentions the cloud, they are referencing computing that exists as a service rather than as a product. Instead of a bulky disk that downloads a program onto their computer, cloud computing exists outside of their computer. The resources, software, or information that are provided as part of the cloud exist on a grid or network, which in most cases is the Internet. When companies use the cloud, they can expand their capacity and functions without having to add any extra infrastructure, hire any extra staff or purchase any software. For instance, if a company needs to engineer a large-scale project, they no longer have to waste weeks planning to buy new servers or other equipment. Instead, they can simply sign onto a cloud computing service that offers them this functionality without requiring them to spend piles of cash.

When many people think of cloud computing, they immediately think of the cloud services offered by Amazon or other big names in the industry; unfortunately, a relationship with any of these companies can be costly whereas a relationship with a smaller company may be just as effective or even more effective for less money.

Although most people are referencing the same set of advantages and the same general ideas when they refer to the cloud, there are several different forms of this emerging technology.

Six Types of Cloud Computing

  1. Web-based clouds. With the right web based service, business owners can avoid using expensive applications that may require a lot of space on their computers. Instead, they can perform the same functions from a web-based program. For example, they can use an API for something as ubiquitous as Google Maps, or they can use a mash-up of various programs so that they can perform routine tasks like payroll or payment processing easily and efficiently.
  2. SaaS (Software as a Service). This allows multiple users to access the same web based software from their own browsers.
  3. PaaS (Platform as a Service). This layer of cloud computing allows businesses to run a stack of tailored applications on the cloud’s infrastructure without purchasing the software or servers that would have been necessary to run these applications a few years ago.
  4. Utility cloud services. Instead of employing a host of geeks to add memory here and there, businesses can now safely and easily store heaps of data on the cloud using the cloud’s utility services.
  5. Managed services. Businesses have been using this version of cloud computing since years before the phrase was ever used commonly. In this version, the cloud provider rather than the business employees uses the application. Managed services are commonly used for things like anti-spam services that many business owners find useful to outsource.
  6. Service commerce. A combination of SaaS and Managed Services, service commerce cloud computing gives the end-user access to a number of services from a single application. These applications act like personal assistants, and they can do almost anything for a company from helping them to track their expenses to helping them to organize their payroll.

These six iterations of cloud computing are just fractions of what cloud computing is capable of. As the technology continues to emerge, new ideas will come into play, and the types of cloud services that providers can offer will continue to expand and evolve.

With so many cloud-computing options, more and more business owners are looking to the cloud for their particular needs, and they have many different providers that they can opt to work with. There are companies like Amazon that have massive, sprawling cloud servers for enterprise businesses. For companies and individuals looking for an Amazon alternative, there are many smaller cloud service providers that offer the same services for lower rates.

 

Future of Mobile Social Media

When Apple released the iPhone and effectively changed the entire mobile communications game forever, the price of entry was so high that only super savvy tech fans and the 1 percent could really partake. Now, the landscape looks much different. Increasing numbers of viable competing devices and falling data prices have opened the market to a larger segment of society. Since the debut of the modern smartphone, they have grown into a piece of society in a real way. When a band takes the stage at a show, how many phones do you see come out? Does anyone even look at another person on the train anymore, or are they glued to their 5 inch screens? Smartphones (and tablets) have become an extension of the body, and one of that function’s most important assets is its ability to connect with social media.

Most smartphones are filled with a stable of social media applications. As the hardware that runs those applications change and evolve, so too must those applications. The release of the iPad 3 this past weekend gives a little indication of what’s next for mobile: high definition and faster speeds. Compared to other advancements, though, that’s not very exciting. What we will see in terms of information sharing, cloud storage and mobile interaction in the next few years – all with regard to social media on mobile devices – is set to blow some socks off.

The Future of Social Media

Researchers at Stanford University envision a world where users can share data between two smartphones, as well as between a smartphone and a computer, with a single action.  Still confused?  Watch this video: Inventing an open-source mobile social media future at Stanford .

From the Stanford website:

They have formed MobiSocial to ask the most fundamental questions about this rapidly burgeoning field, questions that seem obvious now that mobile and social media are firmly entrenched, but which weren’t so obvious as the technologies were entrenching themselves: Can social be done better? Can it be even more social and more fun? Can it be more open? Can it be more secure? And, if so, how?

The idea is to find a way to synthesize the best parts of mobile and social, then streamline them so that switching between apps and connecting with multifarious networks is seamless, whereas now it’s all just collected in a device.

Another example of this new technology is Sparsh, which allows social media users to transfer data from one medium, such as a smartphone, to another medium using only their touch. That means that each person effectively becomes an organic vessel for information.

These new software systems will have to be powered by robust mobile application development platforms. Mobile application development platforms, such as Brew, will also shape the future of social media. Development platforms continue to incorporate new options for creators of mobile applications, which translates into more sophisticated social media apps in the future.

The Issue of Privacy

Social media claimed its coveted position in popular culture so quickly that many social media platforms were unable to keep up. Along with the widespread use of social media platforms came a lack of privacy and increased vulnerability to identity theft and other social crimes. As mobile social media applications move into the future, it’s likely that they will address these concerns as effectively as possible. For example, since new mobile social media applications will allow users to quickly transfer data from one medium to another, the applications handling the transfer will use encryption to prevent third parties from intercepting the data.

Consolidation

One of the common aims of future applications will be consolidation. There are already apps available that consolidate social media profiles into one location, but it is likely that these apps will become more sophisticated in the future. In addition, new mobile apps will consolidate personal data into an “individual cloud” that a person can use to make purchases, share video and photos with other individuals, and swap valuable information. However, in response to privacy concerns, these new apps will protect your data using more sophisticated security measures.

 

Social Media & Politics: Links to help launch your campaign

Social Media PoliticsToday I am giving a presentation to Emerge NM, an organization that teaches democratic women how to run successful political campaigns. My presentation will be on using social media for your political campaign. I will be focusing on Facebook and Twitter. Though I believe that Google+ is a very strong resource, currently the majority of a local constituency will be on either Facebook or Twitter, as G+ is still a new network and mainly being used by early adapters. . We will be talking about effectively using social media for your political campaign. As a part of the presentation I am providing a list of links that go into detail on how to set up your account, create a page, post, tweet, shorten link, etc.

Enjoy the resources.

Facebook

Twitter

Hootsuite

This is a social manager that will help you manage your Facebook and Twitter from one location. This is particularly useful for scheduling posts or for managing Twitter.

Website

  • WordPress.com
  • WordPress.org – for a self hosted blog. This site lets you have your custom domain like mysite.com or laurenmacewen.com and you run your site through the wordpress mainframe. This is what I recommend.
  • Blogger – run through Google
  • GoDaddy: Register your domain
  • Hostmonster – Register your domain and host your website

SOPA is Dead but Twitter Censors

SOPA might be dead but it seems that our favorite social networking known for not censoring is changing its policy. Twitter will now be censoring content in certain countries.

Twitter has always had the ability to remove content, which they did. People could report spam or abuse and then the content would be deleted or potentially the account owner would have their account shut down, depending on the severity of the offense. But generally they stayed out of the business of what people were tweeting.

Last year Twitter wrote a blog post called “The Tweets Must Flow” about freedom of expression on the network:

“The open exchange of information can have a positive global impact…Almost every country in the world agrees that freedom of expression is a human right. Many countries also agree that freedom of expression carries with it responsibilities and has limits.”

However Twitter has announced that the network will becoming available in Arabic. Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu. All languages known to come from countries with strict government restrictions for the media and concerning freedom of expression. Though there is some speculation that this new censoring ability is being driven from a recent investment of $300 million from Saudi Arabia.

Twitter says it will be “withholding tweets” according to the TOS and the country’s laws. Sounds fine and good, but that does pretty much put a stop to any civilian uprising, like Egypt, being coordinated on the social network. Likely planning an uprising to overturn a government via Twitter would count as a violation of the country’s laws. But that is the result of restricting freedom of expression.

Will this have a larger global impact on the network? Yes, possibly.

Google Plus Invites the Kids In

Welcome the 13 year olds! Google Plus is trying to make themselves more competitive with Facebook. Though the social network is turning out to be more like a Twitter/Facebook hybrid, Facebook is still it’s #1 competitor and Twitter will likely remain a complimentary social network.

Until recently Google+ has been for 18 years and older. They recognize that teenagers are the biggest demographic for social networks, despite massive growth in the 25-34 age group, especially when it comes to new technology. However, it does leave open the question of security. Right now Google+ seems to be a site for adults with adult content, and no I don’t just mean X rated. I mean real adult content where not everything people post is pictures of kittens. Because the site has been filled with the more tech savvy, in many way the content has mirrored this. Will opening up the site to the teens bring down the posting quality? Or will we have learned a lesson from Facebook and keep these circles separate.

The circle feature of Google+ does promote an easier separation. Despite their efforts to compete with Google Plus, Facebook has never been conducive to easy use of their list features. Google+ has made it a part of the site right off the bat. This separation of groups might give more value to the circles and help keep the quality of content on the network from sliding down to kittens and babies.

The network is taking stricter precautions when it comes to who the teens will be able to circle. They are planning to limit it to teenagers only being able to circle other teenagers. Seems like a good start. Now what keeps someone from putting up a fake profile (ahem..remember Myspace)? Well, nothing that we can tell. But it is likely that they will have learned from their irrelevant social network pal (Myspace), that you do need some safeguards.

Opening up the social network will be beneficial as it will bring a wider audience to the network. Many people adopt a network after their kid have played around on it, look at Facebook. So hopefully this will be a boon for the network and not a big hit for all of us who like to keep the kiddies in the kiddie pool.

Go Deep Young Jedi

YodaWhen you first get your business on social media it is important for you to build your community and your reach. This is called expanding your breadth. However, there comes a point when you have to expand your depth and start digging deep. This is where most brands fail.

Starting out in social media, you will be focusing on getting followers, talking to people, getting retweets and shares. You will be focused on driving clicks to your site and building your engagement. Those are things that will never shift focus. However the way in which you reach those goals will shift.

As your social media accounts grow, so does your audience. In the beginning, during the introduction phase, they might be ok with nominal communications, tweets that shared basic information and generally skimming the surface. Think of this as your cocktail party conversation. But once you get past the handshake and a quick chat over a drink they are going to want more from you. If you cannot deliver more then your engagement will decrease. Sure some new followers will still like your generic tweets. But the people who you have been developing relationships with will likely start turning away.

It is time to increase your depth. Don’t be afraid to dive into your topics. Don’t be afraid to open up discussion on the controversial topics. People want you to have opinions, and not everyone is going to agree with you and that is ok too. People like to have debates and discussions and as long as you keep them civil, they can be a very healthy thing.

Diving deeper into topics will encourage people to look to you for a formed opinion. They will turn to your information to be a source for in depth coverage. You will become a valuable contributor and resource.

Though this transition can be scary, what it means is that your account is maturing, so make sure you mature along with it.

Keeping Up Appearances: Buying Twitter Followers

Twitter Zombies

Maybe the Twitter Zombies can help

There has always been a lot of debate about weather it is good to buy followers or not. Generally the answer is no. Buying followers will not help you get clicks. It will not help you find your qualified audience. It will not help you build your community. It will not help you make a sale. …..directly.

However, buying followers might help you achieve all of these things faster. I read an interesting post about buying a Twitter Zombie Possie. She called them zombies because the followers she bought were just that. They were bots. Dummy accounts. They didnt tweet, or retweet. They didn’t engage with your. But what they did do was increase her Klout.

This, of course, raises issues with Klout’s rating system that it can so easily be influenced by purchasing fans. However, it does bring to question how important is keeping up appearances.

With clients I work towards landmarks. 100 followers is the first big landmark for any Twitter account. Once you have 100 followers your account starts being taken more seriously. More people will start following you and your influence will increase. 100 fans roughly says that you are no longer a newbie and you plan to stay on Twitter for a while. As your account grows so does everything else associated with it. Its like the old adage, it takes money to make money.

So does it take followers to make followers? Simply, yes.

Now buying followers will not get you any real time results. You will not get clicks to your website. You will not get sales. You will not make “connections”. You will not improve your brand awareness. But you might be able to get you over that “growing” hump that can take so long. If buying followers helps legitimize your account , ironically, then it might be a good tool to help you grow your legitimate followers that will help you reach your ROI goals.

Things to think about.

We Never Indexed You!

Some interesting things have been coming out since Twitter and Google started to fight. Since Google announced that they are including Google+ pages in their search results Twitter has been expressing extreme dislike with this new development. Twitter seems to be upset mainly because Google will not be giving as much weight to other social networks as they do to Google+. Ironically, Twitter was the one who chose not to renew their agreement with Google for real time search. But the fight is causing some interesting things to be revealed.

Google announced that they never indexed the @ symbol. This is the symbol that precedes the mention of a specific twitter handle in a tweet. This means that the @ symbol branding did not carry the SEO weight on Google that we all thought it did. So if you do a search for @mybrand on Google it will not turn up the brands twitter page. But if you do a search for +MyBrand it will turn up the Google+ page.

Though Google is not indexing the @ sign, Bing, Yahoo and and AOL are.

What is concerning though is that Twitter has a lot more relevancy and influence that Google+. So a Twitter account for a brand is much more important than a Google+ page for that same brand.

Despite Twitter and Facebook making it notoriously difficult for their networks to be indexed by Google, the shift to giving SEO weight to the Google+ pages over any other network does bring to question the validity of search results.

If Google is no longer indexing based on true relevancy will they make their search engine irrelevant?

 

 

Twitter Clips its Google Wings

Twitter GoogleIn 2009 Google and Twitter had a real time share agreement. This meant that Google was indexing your tweets and including them in what they called a “real time search”. In all honesty the search was not as influential as people thought. However, it did give a nice boost to SEO.  In July Twitter allowed the agreement to expire, so Google could no longer share tweets in their real time search.

Most people did not even notice. I know I didn’t, and I pay close attention to things like this. The reason we didn’t notice was because most of us didn’t really use it. Though Twitter is an incredibly valuable tool for live time information, when we want that we tend to go to Twitter directly and not look to Google to provide it for us.

How it Affects SEO

Though we did lose some of the SEO boost from Twitter because of the termination of this agreement, we did not lose all SEO benefit. Tweets are still being indexed. Links contextually tweeted still hold value. Though they do not carry the full weight they once did.

Of course the primary value in Twitter was not Google. The primary value was the network you create. The ability to reach influencers and your consumers. It is the ability to have a hands on influence on your brand, your customer service and participate in the conversation.

Does it Matter

No. Twitter is still a powerful tool even if they are no longer in cahoots with Google. Twitter and Google are publicly fighting because Google is now incorporating Google+ into their search results. This is definitely giving a SEO boost to the new network and Twitter is not particularly happy about it. But in their fight some interesting information about how Google has been indexing Twitter is surfacing. So keep your eyes and ears open. We are learning a lot about some of Google’s social network SEO practices.