Combining social media with location services and mobile phones represents the next generation of online marketing, according to speakers at the Search Marketing Expo in Seattle on Tuesday.

Combining the three tools is simply an evolution of how they are being used individually, said Mac Ling, director of mobile at digital marketing company iCrossing. “We’re just now starting to see, as with the Internet, a new medium, a new way of talking to customers. That’s happening now because of this beautiful little device in our hands,” he said, referring to a mobile phone.

Jennifer Grappone, a partner with Gravity Search Marketing, offered an example of a small company using social media for marketing. Cool Haus, which operates ice cream trucks in a few cities, uses what she called “geotargeted flattery.”

Cool Haus knows a few days in advance where it will park its truck in Los Angeles. It looks for a “social influencer,” or someone with a big presence in social networks, who lives near where the truck will be located. It then offers that person a coupon for its ice cream and asks them to tell their audience that the truck will be in the neighborhood.

Several ways to combine social and location-based tools are seen from Foursquare, which offers a host of promotions for merchants to use with people who “check in” to Foursquare, including coupons and loyalty programs.

Small business are in the best position to experiment with these methods to see what works, said Michael Martin, senior SEO strategist for Covario.

“A large retailer may struggle to do a simple test because it’s complex for them to [train] retail staff on how to handle a redemption,” he said. A smaller business can simply tell its 10 cashiers that a customer may walk in and ask to redeem a coupon on their mobile phone.

Businesses should keep an eye out for new types of services that are continually emerging in mobile and location-aware contexts, said Nicola Smith, vice president of business development for Performics. For instance, she’s been seeing services that let users “check in” to conversations about brands or products, rather than physical locations. “We’re seeing this phenomena evolve and expand to other places beyond location-specific check-ins,” she said.

With so many new services emerging, it can be hard for companies to keep up with what’s available. “You need to look at services that will help aggregate them,” Smith said. For instance, Local Response is a service that aggregates check-ins across different services.

One way that companies might combine social with local in the future is by offering targeted coupons to individuals who are part of a group, Ling said. For example, a person who just completed a running race might post a message to other runners suggesting they meet in a restaurant. A company could see that message and respond by offering a coupon to anyone from the race who comes to its restaurant.

That scenario could represent the evolution of group messaging, beyond how current services like Yahoo Groups are used, for example, he said.

All the speakers on a panel here agreed that the first step to integrating social, local and mobile is to have a mobile-optimized Web site. Nearly 80 percent of the top advertising brands don’t have a Web site optimized for mobile phones, Ling said. “That is absolutely tactic number one,” he said.

The speakers also encouraged companies to experiment. “If you look at this as a massive [undertaking], it’s going to be. But, especially if you’re a small company, just try it,” Martin said.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy’s e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

This is exactly what I’ve been telling clients – it’s not enough to just start up a business and expect customers to show up. You have to make it happen, and instead of being scared of new technology, embrace it. The marketing message hasn’t changed – but the media available to distribute that message has broadened. Even better, many of these new methods are cheaper!

Introducing the +1 Button

Google trying to compete with Facebook? It will be interesting to see if this takes off or falls flat on its face.

If you’ve used PayPal for any length of time you will be familiar with their service charges for sending and receiving payments;- These can be reduced by using PayPal Mass Payment drastically if you are sending large amounts!

Using the PayPal Mass Payment system will ensure that any payments you send to your outsourcers, clients, or affiliates will be received by the recipients without them paying a service charge fee.

You, as the sender, will not pay more than 1.00 USD even if you’re sending thousands of dollars, pounds or Euros! Fabulous news!  The rate for sending a PayPal Mass Payment  is actually 2% up to a limit of 1.00 USD . This is of course is much more attractive all round than the standard PayPal fee based on a percentage of the amount being for sent.

How to set up a PayPal Mass Payment

1. Login to PayPal

PayPal Mass Payment Login to PayPal

2. Select send money Tab

PayPal Mass Payment Send Money

 

3. Select Make a Mass Payment

PayPal Mass Payment Make a Mass Payment

 

4. Open a Notepad TXT file and enter the following 3 obligatory pieces of information

The recipient’s PayPal email address – sometimes referred to as the PayPal ID

The amount that you want to send without the currency sign;- just the amount.  NOTE;- that each different currency will require a separate Mass Payment

The Currency Type;- always given in CAPITAL letters, it can be any currency used by PayPal’s Mass Payment system.

PayPal Mass Payment Enter on a Note Pad

The space in between these 3 pieces of information above is gained by using the TAB key. Just hit the TAB key once between each of the 3 items of info. Keep one payment per line.

Tab Key

 

 

 

Additionally you may wish to add a 4th field for a customer reference and / or a 5th field for a short personalized message;- these are optional. If you chose to do so these fields might look something like this.

PayPal Mass Payment field txt example

These are the currencies currently available in PayPal’s Mass Payment system

PayPal Mass Payment Currencies Available 2011

 

5.  Save the TXT file

 

6.  Upload the TXT file in the PayPal Mass Payment screen

PayPal Mass Payment Uploading Page

 

7.  Review;- When the TXT file has finished uploading the ‘Upload’ button turns from orange to grey. Click the Review button.  On the next page you will see how your Mass Payment instructions look before pressing send.

PayPal Mass Payment Review

8. Happy Dance It’s a easy as that … you now know how you can save money when you’re using PayPal for making online payments!

PayPal Mass Payment Happy Dance

 

 

 

 

9. Remember

Tell your customers about the benefits of using  PayPal Mass Payment too, they’ll love you for it! It will ensure  that they too will only ever pay $1.00 to send payments to you even very large amounts of money using PayPal and you will not have to pay a service fee for receiving payments they send to you.

10. Share this information with anyone who will benefit from it.

Wow! Considering how much I use PayPal, I can’t believe I’d never heard of this. Definitely something to remember for the future.

As a small business owner, we’re consistently encouraged to set up a Facebook and Twitter profile, and given these social media sites are two of the most widely used social media networks, we don’t disagree. With 61% of respondents from a PEW Research Center 2010 study confirming they conduct some form of social networking online, business owners are wise to incorporate social media, a relatively cost-effective marketing tool, into their arsenal. However, ‘some form of social networking’ is a key phrase when looking at this stat as it implies there are different forms of social networking to choose from beyond Facebook and Twitter.

It’s easy to get caught up in the term ‘social media’ and link it primarily to sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. However, as a business owner, it’s important to realize there’s a lot more to social media than just these two interfaces. In fact, a June 2010 study by Leadforce1 showed that LinkedIn drives the most referrals to B2B sites with 17,618 leads. Many likely haven’t even heard of the #2 and #3 rankings with Reddit driving 11,968 and Dzone 8478 leads respectively. Twitter and Facebook came in a distant #4 and #5 with 6170 and 4465 B2B leads respectively. Stubleupon, Squidoo and Delicious (in order of ranking) were also included in the survey with a total B2B lead generation of 5,328.

In addition to leading the way with inbound leads, LinkedIn was also found to generate the most conversions for B2Bs at 61% in the Hub Spot State of Inbound Marketing 2011 Report, with the company blog coming in at 55%, Facebook at 41% and Twitter at 39%.

What can be deducted from these statistics? It proves a business should consider the best social media networks that will have the most impact for their business based on results vs. general audience popularity, which means it might not be Facebook or Twitter. That’s not to say sites such as Facebook and Twitter shouldn’t be used to generate B2B leads and conversions, because, after all, they do still bring in a fair number of both (and Facebook is a leader in B2C lead conversions), but they’re not the only, nor necessarily the best, social media networks to use across the board for all businesses.

Wow, I hadn’t realised that other social media sites could be so effective for business – I’ve at least heard of most of the ones in this article, but I admit Dzone had me scratching my head!
Article Author: Chris Marentis

Chris Marentis is the founder and CEO of GenNext Media LLC, and creator of the SureFire Social lead generation marketing system. With over 25 years experience leading traditional and interactive marketing businesses, Chris is a recognized leader helping …

Read more: http://technorati.com/business/small-business/article/social-media-why-its-im…


Will Price is CEO of Flite

By Will Price

The numbers continue to impress: smartphones, once found only in the holsters of businesspeople emailing on the go, made up 27 percent of the mobile phones in the United States in December 2010 – up from just 16.8 percent the year before.

That rapid shift has also led to a drastic change in the way we communicate and consume information. More than one-third of all mobile users use their devices to tap into the Web.

It is quite breathtaking to see how quickly consumers have embraced the capabilities and experience of mobile devices, from applications to Web browsing to video chat.

 

Equally surprising to me, however, has been the snail’s pace at which the advertising industry has delivered innovation and new ideas for how to best reach this burgeoning audience.

Put some muscle in
The status quo for mobile ads remains remarkably humdrum.

There is no longer any excuse for static, standalone marketing content delivered via text message, or via static ad images that link to a company homepage.

Once a month, 58 million people use their phones to tap into social networks, and location-based offerings such as Foursquare, SCVNGR and Yelp are enabling consumers to connect with the companies they patronize.

We, as consumers, deserve better.

The good news is that this offers mobile developers a significant opportunity to deliver engaging new advertising experiences for consumers.

Done right, new mobile marketing campaigns have the potential to become just as much a part of the conversation as great mobile apps.

What might these new programs look like and what should they be able to do?

Here are a few core elements of mobile campaigns that mobile marketers should be focusing on:

1. Get ahead of the story: The ability to quickly tweak content in response to breaking news helps mobile advertisers in ways they cannot afford to ignore.

Imagine an ad for a car recently went live, followed by an announcement that the same automobile just won a prestigious award.

Instead of creating a whole new ad to trumpet this achievement – which could take days, if not weeks – enhance the existing one with simple, but compelling modifications.

Do not fall victim to the idea that ads are static, finished products. Let the immediacy of the mobile space and the flexibility of new cloud ad platforms work for you.

2. Let an API do the heavy lifting: Add utility for the customer. Do not list a company’s address, link to it on Google Maps or use Yelp’s API to find products and reviews in a specific location.

A recent ad for the new Fox Show Bob’s Burgers integrated Yelp so that consumers could search for burgers in their ZIP code – an innovative tie-in to their real lives in an ad that worked simultaneously across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

3. Allow customers to tell the story: Advertisers can work smarter by allowing users to market products for them, including ads that include travel tips from Facebook users.

Ads that make it easiest to integrate the social networks people are already using have the best chance of earning credibility or even going viral, and these ads are easy to create because the customers create the content for you.

IGNORING THE ongoing innovation in mobile advertising is easy to do, but you risk losing out on a coveted audience.

Thirty-four percent of all smartphone users make $100,000-plus annually, including 40 percent of iPhone users.

Also, 49 percent of consumers who use the Web on their phones at least once a week have made a purchase on their mobile device in the past six months.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for creating engaging and useful mobile ad experiences, harnessing the power of APIs, incorporating social elements and hosting in the cloud will set you on the path to mobile ad success.

Will Price is CEO of Flite, San Francisco. Reach him at wprice@flite.com.

 

The landscape of mobile advertising is constantly changing, so as marketers we need to change too. But in the end it’s only the medium that is changing as technology advances – the message stays the same.
Some good, sound basics in this article. 8-)

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