Archive | August, 2011

QR Code Marketing: 5 Tips for a Successful Campaign

Mobile barcodes are turning up everywhere – buses, magazines, television, bar coasters. According to recent research from comScore, 14 million U.S. mobile phone users scanned QR or barcodes in June alone, mostly via newspapers, magazines and product packaging, both at home and in-store. My company’s own data reveals that barcodes that offer access to a discount or coupon or that allow the consumer to learn more about a product or service are the most popular.

Given that mobile barcodes are finally cracking the mainstream, they have enormous potential to present brands with brilliant results. Here are five mobile barcode best practices to help ensure a successful campaign.
1. Be Everywhere

Mobile barcodes should be incorporated into all digital and traditional media so the consumer has 360-degree exposure to the mobile marketing campaign. This will also ensure that consumer experience, dialogue and interactivity are at the heart of the campaign and not simply an afterthought.
2. Drive Value and Make it Easy

Giveaways, discounts, free tickets and exclusive access will compel consumers to interact with and scan your code. If your code simply offers the customer a chance to view a TV advertisement or link to a website, it’s best to try again. Scanning a barcode should provide the consumer with a brand experience that is exclusive, dynamic and interactive.

Take into account where a mobile barcode is located on the ad. Consumers must be able to find it easily and scan it quickly. For outdoor ads, place the code at eye or arm-level. In a print ad, the barcode should not fall over a fold as this will hamper scanning. Be sure to leave some white space around the mobile barcode, and use a minimum of 1 x 1-inch print specification. For TV or cinema, the code should to remain onscreen long enough for the viewer to launch the scanning application and scan the code.


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Google among firms bidding up to $2 billion for Hulu?

Video streaming service Hulu is accepting initial acquisition bids starting on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the Journal reported today that Google, Yahoo,, and DirecTV are among the companies interested in acquiring the video service. Although none of the companies has made an offer yet, the Journal’s sources said the bids are expected to range from $500 million to $2 billion.

Talks of Hulu being acquired began in June when reports claimed Yahoo had approached the company to inquire about a possible buy. Soon after, Hulu’s board reportedly engaged investment banks to help the company sell to the highest bidder. At the time, reports claimed that Hulu was courting suitors in a range of industries, including media, technology, and communications.

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On Social Media Strategy, Hooters Is No Boob

The first brand that comes to mind with the term “master of social media” is not Hooters. In fact, pretty much only one thing comes to mind with the brand Hooters. No, it’s not wings.

But, it turns out, Hooters is barnstorming the social media world, actively engaging Twitter users, making videos, and even genuinely having a good laugh at its own expense, all in the name of expanding its online presence and reach. It turns out, the brand is no boob when it comes to social media marketing.

Just having a Twitter account is no longer a anything to brand about for a brand manager. These days a corporate Twitter account must be savvy to succeed, and @Hooters is just that. Sure, it does the shout outs to meal deals and restaurant offers, but it also retweets fan tweets and, best of all, tells brand-appropriate jokes.

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How to start a Google+ Hangout on YouTube

A Google+ Hangout — a video chat with up to ten participants — can be a great way to watch YouTube videos together with friends who are spread across the world. But what if you don’t feel like heading to the Google+ website every time you want to start a chat like that? Can you kick things off directly from a YouTube clip?


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The Young Are Using Twitter. Are They Using Facebook Less?

There are 24 hours in a day. That’s an unchangeable fact, as far as I can tell (though admittedly, I never thought Pluto would lose its planet status, so I guess anything’s possible).

Should Facebook be worried about young people using Twitter more frequently? Share your thoughts.

As long as there is only a set amount of time in a day, there is only so much social networking an individual can participate in. Only so much time using the Internet. Meanwhile, more and more services are competing for our time.

Recently Google launched Google+ to cut into that time even more. If you use it, it’s taking away time from something. For some, it may be taking time away from their Facebook use. For some, it may be taking time away from their Twitter use.

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What Time Should I Post This?

The Raw, Standard Results

According to this infographic and this infographic from KISSmetrics, the optimal way to share is by:

  1. Posting to Twitter at noon, 5PM, and 6PM
  2. Posting to Twitter midweek, and on weekends
  3. Sharing information via Facebook on Saturday
  4. Sharing Facebook information around noon
  5. Posting to blogs in the mornings
  6. Posting to blogs on a Monday

Giving Life to the Numbers

After looking at the data for a bit, I began thinking about why noon seemed to be the overall winner for times to post. It hit me: that’s when people start getting into what I call, “lunch mode.” Think about it: you’ve put in a good half-day at work, at home, or at school, and the closer your lunch break gets, the more likely you are to stray from your duties over to your social networks. The same is true for 5PM and 6PM: the end of the work day for a large amount of people is at 5PM, and people are again likely to stray as they’re closing up shop. And 6PM? The standard time many corporate folks are getting home from their commutes.

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The Science of Social Timing Part 1: Social Networks

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7 Twitter Tools To Get More Engagement

Despite the advance of a lot of other Social Networks entering the scene recently, particularly Google+, Heello or Subjot, Twitter’s stickiness is still very prominent and growing fast.

Especially, the recent changes made to Twitter point to a very bright future. The activity stream in addition with the @username tab make the Twitter experience much more interactive I believe.

Twitter’s eco-system continues to thrive and Twitter announced recently that there are over 1 million Apps connected to the Twitter API. Most of these Apps greatly enhance our Twitter experience and here are my top 7 Tools to get more out of Twitter.

1.) Buffer – Get 200% more clicks on Tweets

It often happens that I read great posts late at night or early in the morning. Tweeting them then often puts my efforts to waste and no one sees my updates. By adding everything I find to Buffer, the App posts them at optimal times well spaced out over the day. Through optimal timing and higher frequency Buffer gives you over 200% more clicks, retweets and reach than non-buffered Tweets.

Top Tip: What I like best is that you can Buffer tweets right from the article you are reading with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

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Why Social Engagement Is Critical To Business Success

When was the last time you logged onto Facebook or Twitter?

If it didn’t already happen this morning, chances are good it will happen at some point today. Given its pervasiveness – Facebook alone reports a community of 750 million users – it’s not news that social media is now central to how we communicate, interact and shape mundane-to-major decisions on a daily basis.

While you may be immersed in social media as a consumer, how much thought have you given to the implications of this phenomenon from a business perspective? From client support to marketing to R&D and even keeping tabs on the competition, it’s hard not to be daunted by the implications of what this new era of social business means for the enterprise as a whole.

To date, social media has traditionally been utilized for marketing and branding as well as recruitment efforts across the enterprise. Rather than being a unique marketing tactic, consumers now expect to visit a company’s Web site and find prominent links or embedded content pulled from an associated Facebook page or Twitter profile. Simply put, social media is integrated into the way we do business, how we connect with our customers and ultimately how companies track engagements and sell products.

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Do Companies Need Social Media?

How should businesses balance security and transparency when engaging with the social web? A couple of days ago, SBF blogger Eileen Brown flagged a recent Robert Half survey which found that 31% of U.S. companies ban the use of social media at work. That’s down from 54% in 2009. The survey also found that 51% of companies allow employees to access social networks like Facebook and Twitter for business purposes, up from just 19% in 2009.

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Reputable QR Code Statistics At Last

The title of comScore’s press release on Friday “14 Million Americans Scanned QR or Bar Codes on their Mobile Phones in June 2011″ was slightly misleading in that “QR or Barcodes” means something other than just QR Codes. However comScore have now confirmed that the research was wholly and explicitly about QR Codes and respondents were even shown a sample QR Code to make sure they would not be confused. It’s good to see some reliable data from a reputable source unlike the normal fiction produced by a few companies which is based solely on their own experiences and only ever includes percentages.

Chart showing where the QR Codes were scanned


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