Posts Tagged small business

foursquare Social Media Ignorance


Image representing Foursquare as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

So tell me what’s wrong with this picture.  I got this email today:

Hi Tim,

If you’ve opened up foursquare in the last couple weeks you’ve probably noticed that we made a ton of changes. We re-imagined the entire app, Extreme Makeover style, to make it even easier for you and your friends to share and save your experiences and find new places to go. We also gave it plenty of design love and under-the-hood tweaks, so it’s not only prettier but faster than ever – hurrah!

Usage Ignorance

Anyone who has me as a friend in foursquare or see’s my Facebook stream knows I use foursquare a lot.  The question is, why doesn’t foursquare know this?  How can I get an email making it seem like I need to be reminded that the screens have changed, the navigation is different, more map features added, and more?  So why is a social media company incapable of using their own data to enhance my relationship?  Why not make me feel special rather then a member of their junk mail list?

Lessons for  Small Business

Even the big boys don’t get it right.  So don’t ever think that you should not try because some major player in your space can always do it better and faster then you.  Often, small business has more chances to beat the larger players at their own game because small business can be more nimble.

So my advice, don’t count out social media in your marketing plan!

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Social Media Busyness Doesn’t Equal Business Value


Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

Lately, I  have been pounded with a theme of challenges around the question “Why take part in Social Media if it takes up so much time and has such poor tangible results?”  And my general response is, it should take as much time as needed to accomplish your business objectives which have been created to help you reach your goals.

I also have to explain that social media, executed poorly, is far more expensive then doing nothing at all.  The below article caught my:

Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes?

You know about all the wonderful things the blogosphere can do for your business. But how can you prevent the not-so-wonderful stuff?

Social media initiatives have become standard components of companiesmarketing and communications strategies. Large or small—from the local bakery to General Motors (GM)—businesses see the value of engaging in online conversations already taking place about their brands. While social media best practices have emerged, brands still struggle with how best to engage with their consumers. Here are five common mistakes:

1. Not (or Barely) Monitoring:

2. “Down-sourcing” to Interns or Junior Staff:

3. Fast Beats Perfect:

4. Faking It:

5. Having an “Off” Switch:

At the end of the day, brands must earn their “social currency.” There are no shortcuts or substitutes to authentic engagement in the realm of social media.

via Top Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes – BusinessWeek.

Busy-ness vs Business

Unfortunately, I see many small or medium sized companies try their luck with social media and treat it like some shiny new toy that consumes all their attention, as they forget about all the other things they could be doing.  I find they over tweet, over post, and over blog themselves to the point that they justify leaving the scene altogether because it’s not worth the effort for the little results they see.

This is where I come in.  I sit down with them and ask some simple questions.  What activities, events, promotions, or other marketing objectives are coming up in the near future?  After I have that list, I can then sit down with them and explain the role of each of the social media tools and how they can fit into the marketing plan for the upcoming several months.  We also start by setting up measurements so that they understand where their leads are coming from.  As a simple example, this may include a unique 800 number for each channel (print, tv, radio, and each site they are using – it’s not that expensive really)   I explain how their phone bill or on-line phone records can then be used to measure campaign success, if inbound calls are one of the means by which we will measure the campaign success.

Social media can be a valuable tool for small and medium sized companies.  It can level the playing field quickly for a company that is dealing with a regional or national player, especially if these companies have their marketing and advertising plans controlled by corporate.  Often these larger companies are incapable of adjusting to local pressure applied by small companies and their ideas.

I’d love to hear of examples in which small companies attack the larger companies by using social media.  Please share them in the comments.

Good Hunting.

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Affordable Video Phone for Home & Business


Affordable Video Phone

Small Business

I can’t remember if I have ever posted anything about hardware.  I often find myself contemplating process improvements,  marketing tactics, and internet tools which I assume will help small businesses improve their market share.

I know a version of this affordable video phone was on Donald Trump’s show “The Apprentice” and this launched the phone to new heights, but I can’t help but think that the video phone would be a great tool for a small business to improve it’s image.

Family Friendly

This phone in the hands of families across the US and world will enjoy video conversations with each other.  As more house holds have the phone the more fun each family will have in hold video calls with each other.  I can’t wait until all my family in Germany have these phones either.

Phone Information

ACN’s newest revolutionary video phone gives you enhanced features that you can only get here!

  • See the person you’re talking to
  • Unlimited calling to the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
  • Send and receive video mail messages
  • Project your conversations onto a larger screen
  • Bonus Feature: Display photos with the Digital Photo Frame

Added Benefits

  • Automatic Network Detection: easier for customers to set up their Video Phone
  • Enhanced Video Clarity: images/colors are sharper
  • Automatic Bandwidth Adjustment: automatically adjusts bandwidth setting to match available bandwidth speed
  • Enhanced Light Sensor Camera: camera offers higher pixels for improved A/V sync plus more clarity in the video
  • Dual Speakers: audio speakers offer stereo sound quality
  • New, Sleek Interface: user-friendly options for exceptional customer experience
  • Softkeys: allows user to make selections from the specific screen for easy navigation
  • Large 7″ screen: for face-to-face conversations

Plus traditional calling features you expect:

Caller ID • Call Forwarding • Call Waiting • Do Not Disturb • Speed Calling • Three-Way Calling
Call Return • Auto Redial • Voice/Video Mail

Phone Plans

Family Plans
$11.99 /month/ line

$159.99 per Video Phone

See your loved ones more often! Purchase additional Video Phones and add up to four lines to your account. Calls on Family Plan lines can only be made to other ACN Digital Phone Service customers.

Virtual Phone Numbers
$4.99 /month/ line
Stay local! Create a virtual phone number from any domestic area code – no matter where you live.

International Calling Plans
Bring your world a little closer. Take advantage of discounted rates on our 300-minute plans
European Plan $4.99/mo
Asia Pacific Plan $5.99/mo
Central & South America Plan $9.99/mo

See the Phone Here

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