You may have seen these strange little square boxes popping up in town, on name cards, magazines, shopping windows, product packaging, clothing tags, billboards, and even on T-shirts and stationeries.
These called QR codes short for Quick Response codes. Sometimes they are referred to as 2D Bar codes. They were first developed in 1994 by Denso- Wave Corporation in Japan.
These codes are readable by QR barcode readers and camera phones. Why do you need to know about QR codes? They can hold lots more information and marketers are using this tool reach prospects and consumers, to brand and provide information.
Japan, Korea and European countries have already been using these. US and the rest of Asia is now picking up in adoption rate. QR scanning is most definitely on the rise.
According to this info graph put together in Jumpscan, there is with a 1200 percent increase in scanning from July to December in 2010 alone. That is very healthy adoption rate.
Not only are the big brands are using them to assist with marketing efforts, small businesses and local businesses are also using them in all kinds of new ways to reach consumers.
This info graph is compiled by JumScan, more information at Mashable. You can scan the AR Codes here and see hos this works.
Most often these QR codes bring you to the company’s product websites or to user review pages that gives information that helps you decide whether or not to buy a particular product or not.
I have my QR code on my business cards so my contacts only need scan the code instead of having to type in long URLs on their tiny QWERT keyboards to get to my site. And once it is scanned, it remains in their phone – I don’t run the risk of them misplacing my business cards.
Offline groceries stores and food brands are also using these codes on the actual fruits and wrappers. One scan and you can see relevant nutritional and/or ingredient information about the product. Clients appreciate having more information before they make the purchase and these codes direct them to sources of data.
Business will display more QR Codes as there are more smartphone users. I saw it recently in a popular shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on the front panel window of the store. Having a QR code alone may not increase your marketing effort but incorporating it into your total marketing plan will certainly make a difference.
Do you have a QR scanning application installed on your smartphone? You can download your bar code reader here, and it’ll decode these QR codes when you scan them with your phone. Try it.
Looking for more traffic to boost sales? Are you using yellow pages or newspaper advertisements?
How are these media working for your?
I have just made a short 5-minute video that may be helpful to you if you are looking for more media coverage or branding.
Don’t worry, if you do not know “how” to do these. Learning about these can take time and it can get a little overwhelming sometimes. But I can show you how tap into these benefits by showing you the 20% work that gives you the 80% of the benefits. And better yet get them done for you.
Just see if this synergistic marketing mix is for you.
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Facebook just released a tool that helps you migrate your profile account to a Facebook Pages. Why would anyone want to do that?
Well, some people are using their Facebook Profile Accounts (meant for personal use for friends and family) for their businesses. And this is against Facebook’s terms and conditions (this video explains why).
You can see this as Facebook “helping” businesses make that transition by introducing this tool. More likely, Facebook is shifting users towards terms of service compliance, as representing a business or other non-human entity with a profile instead of a Page is prohibited.
With a Facebook Page businesses and public figures can run contests, promote your products or services and collect email addresses using email management systems. Using the Facebook migration tool, your personal friends instantly becomes fans of the new Facebook Page; so businesses do not have to start a Page from scratch with zero fans.
However, there are some issues you will want to note before migrating your profile account to a page. Among them, your vanity URL may no longer work, for example, if your personal account was www.Facebook.com/janedoe, once this converts to a page, you will not be able to use www.Facebook.com/janedoe for your personal account again. There are other implications and you want to get more information before making the migration.
Now, just when I was going to publish this post, I found out that Facebook has disabled the migration tool. This is about a day after the migration tool has been released.
What does this tell us? That things change very fast in the social media space, especially with Facebook. This tool has not yet been officially launched but many were already testing it and within the space of a day or two the migration tool is disabled.
Not because Facebook doesn’t want to encourage the use of Pages, more likely that they are fine tuning the tool with the feedback they received. You’ll want to stay on top of these changes. And one thing is clear though that Facebook is serious about enforcing their terms and conditions.
So if you are using your profile account for business use, if you are doing any sort of promotion using your personal account, you will want to start a page instead. I see more local businesses and public figures in Kuala Lumpur setting up Facebook pages as they begin to see the power of social marketing.
You can set up a page for your own business or have someone else do that for you. If you are interested to find out more or outsource this piece of work you can contact us for a free marketing consult. We can discuss your total marketing plan tapping into social media, local and mobile marketing plan. And if you like to receive updates on changes in the marketing space, you can sign up for our complimentary newsletter here.
If you are out with friends and would like to find a nice place to hang out or to have a meal, where could you get some recommendations?
Or you may have a sudden urgent need for a vet or the clinic and you are not sure who to call, what would you do?
You washer decides to stop working and oozes out water and you need a mechanic or technician around quick … And what about when you computer gets infected and you need it fixed quickly, who do you call?
Check out Google Local Places and check out Google Hot Pot. If you go to google and type in the word for whatever you are searching (it works on your mobile too) and click Places, Google will return you with a list of near by locations for the help you are looking for.
And if you want a more customized listing – one based on your previous visits or preference, try hot pot. This video shows you how you can do this.
View Original Video Here
The next time you want to hang out with friends or look for some urgent help, just refer to your google hot pot. The more you leave your reviews, the better google will understand your ‘taste’ and return you results that are relevant.
More on Google Places with Hot Pot for mobile phones here.
And if you like this post, feel free to share this with your friends – just click the share / like button at the top of this post and/or leave me a comment below! I appreciate that very much.
“Checking In” is a phrase that we will hear more often as Google Latitude joins Foursquare and Facebook Places in tapping into Location Based Social Media.
Let’s see. Facebook expanded its ‘Deals’ feature beyond the U.S. to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK on 31st Jan 2011. These ‘deals’ allows mobile users to find discounts at nearby stores.
Google Latitude which was introduced back in February of 2009 added ‘Check-Ins’ to its function on 1st Feb 2011. Hmmm, seems like the big players are intent on making local deals part of this location based game.
Here’s a video that shows how Latitude works
I think Google Latitude has quite a bt to catch up with Foursqare and Facebook Places in this aspect but some uniques features which differential Latitude from Facebook or Foursquare include a notification feature that reminds you to check-in, or even automatically check-in for you at designated places and an automatic check out program for commonly visited places.
And instead of getting badges or becoming a mayor (as is the case in Foursquare) you become a VIP or a Guru in if you use Latitude. By the way, Latitude taps into Google Places, Maps and Hot Pots making this a complete Google suite for LBS. It will be interesting to see how mobile users choose between these major players.
Whichever player you choose when you are on the go with your mobile device, one thing is clear. As more people use smartphones and get into the habit of using social local searches (hot pots and what nots), a new way of marketing is emerging.
Many local businesses are now seeing the importance of being found and seen on local searches. They are getting themselves ready to tap into this new wave of location based social media. Claiming your local place and setting up specials or deals is gaining importance. If you are a local business, my guess is that you will want to get ready for this new wave of marketing.
If you like to set yourself up on local searches and location based social media, you can grab a free copy of Mastering Social Media In 1 Hour A Week or join us at the Synergy Marketing Pro Facebook Page where we have regular updates, tips and resources. Traditional marketing works and (not but) you’ll also want to get ready for local, social and mobile marketing to promote your products and services. Drop by for a no obligation chat – all you have to do is set aside time.
And if you like this post, feel free to share this with your friends – just click the “Like” button and/or leave me a comment below! I appreciate that very much.
Facebook began rolling out the new Page* Design. Apart from some visual changes, some new features are now added.
The one I like includes being able to interact with others as my Page. That means I can like other Pages as my Page, leave comments or likes as my Page, cool.
The other new feature I like is notification. I used to have to go into individual pages and look for updates and comments that require response.
Now notifications are there to alert me when fans engage with me. i do’t have to go look out for it. This is something I have wanted for quite some time.
And if you choose the Everyone Filters, you will see the most relevant post coming up on top – this may not follow chronological order but will show you the most engaging post.
Facebook says there will be more changes coming. What do you like about the new page roll out?
Love to hear your thoughts on this one – leave me a comment below and feel free to share this with others.
* If you are a thought leader (Trainer, Speaker, Coach, Mentor, Author) or a business owner, you would use a Facebook Page for branding and promotional and keep your Facebook Profile account for friends and family. More information in this video which explains how Facebook only allows one Personal Profile account per person.
Ok, Facebook is phasing out the “Share” button on third party application and is making “Like” function like a “Share”.
Don’t worry if you know what I am saying here, I will show you what I mean in just a minute.
For a while now, Facebook has made available social buttons (“Share” and “Like”) that works with third party applications (much like the retweet button for twitter) facilitating sharing of quality information.
This enables readers to share information they find helpful to their friends – instead of having to email them the link or copy and share the link on the different social media platforms.
It used to be that when we click “Share” this will share the content of the post on your Facebook profile wall. And if you click “Like” there will be a feed on your Facebook profile that says you liked a certain post on some sites external to Facebook.
Now if you click on “Like” it is functioning like a “Share” and the “Share” button will soon fade. Here’s what I mean, if you see this “Like” buttons on websites (they are everywhere), you can click on them to show that this is a post you enjoy reading or that there is value to this content.
This post will now show up on your profile wall – if you are logged onto Facebook when you like this post.
I discovered this accidentally when I saw a new post on my my facebook profile wall. Then I saw the official update from facebook here. I hear different response to this recent change but essentially this is what is happening.
So what do you think? Do you like this change? My guess is that some will; some may not ...
Either way, if you want your friends and contacts to be aware of this change, feel free to click on the “Like” button either above this post or click the “Like” button just below this post. I like to be an informed user, and I am sure there are some out there who would like to keep tabs on changes too.
If you like to be kept informed of regular relevant updates, you are invited to sign up for my free newsletters here or to join me on Facebook – there is just so many changes and updates both from Google and Facebook just this past week that I have not written about them individually here. However, I have links to these updates and changes on the Facebook Page.