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Snapchat with Scott Gombar

Snapchat is About to go BOOM | Is Your Business Ready?

By | content marketing, snapchat, Social Apps, Social Business, Social Media | No Comments

Using Snapchat For Business Branding And Growth

snapchat for brandingSnapchat is a way of sending messages to followers using videos or photos as the ‘snaps’. Snaps can be manipulated by using a range of filters and they are only available to be viewed for a short period of time, usually twenty-four hours.

Snapchat was launched in 2011. Statistics show that it has over one hundred million active daily users, sending out four hundred million snaps per day. In the United States, it is estimated that eighteen per cent of all social media users are using Snapchat. This figure jumps to thirty percent when only ‘millennials’ are taken into account. But, while over two thirds of Snapchat users fall into the eighteen to thirty-four age group, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before it, Snapchat is starting to be picked up by a wider demographic

In other words, this is a booming social network and marketers are beginning to latch on to Snapchat’s potential.

However, most marketers do not believe that buying advertising space on Snapchat is the way to go, at least not yet. Snapchat’s one drawback is a big one; according to many marketers is that it is impossible to target users in the way that you can with other social media platforms. And in digital marketing the ability to target and track is now taken as a given.

However; lack of ability to target customers does not mean anyone is dismissing Snapchat as a marketing option. There are other big opportunities for marketers with Snapchat, the biggest being that it is a great way to build and spread brand awareness. Rather than spend big dollars on buying advertising space, many brands are creating fun and innovative content for their customers and followers.

Snapchat and brand awareness

Brand AwarenessBrands are beginning to look at Snapchat as part of their social media marketing mix. It offers a different kind of brand awareness through the use of clever, fun and innovative content marketing campaigns.

Content marketers have found that they can use Snapchat to create engaging stories in a fun and innovative way. As mentioned above there is a range of filters and features available including: emojis, music and text– all available from within the Snapchat platform.

Because of the immediacy and self-imposed time-constraints, Snapchat has started to take off as an authentic social media platform that can make a strong impact and spread brand awareness in real-time.

Here are five ways you can use Snapchat to surprise and delight your audience/customers, while at the same time building and growing awareness for your brand.

  1. Real time access to live events

Why not give your social media audience access to your own live events as they happen?  Events such as unveiling a new product or service, announcements and even activities that your company supports or partners with are all prime examples of sharing opportunities. This is great for your audience, it is not seen as direct selling, but rather it is seen as inviting your friends to celebrate good news with you.

For example, do your partner with a local sports team? Why not Snapchat your team’s successes?

  1. Offer unique content

What if you offered your customers a sneak peek of your product or service before it became available on any other social media platform, or anywhere else for that matter?

One great example is fashion brands that have begun to use Snapchat to show their collections to followers before they hit the runway. This way they make their customers feel included in what is a very exclusive, secretive, even protective industry. This means that by the time the runway shows start their precious customers already have the inside running, like making them feel they are part of the team.

  1. Offer free stuff and other great customer benefits

Everyone loves a giveaway. As you probably already know, when you include a competition, promotion or giveaway in your newsletter, your customers are more likely to open the newsletters and engage with the content. So why not invite your customers to follow your Snapchat stories with the incentive of something free at the end?  It could be a straight giveaway, a two for one deal, or even a discount code for their next purchase. This is a great way to get your customers coming back for more.

  1. Take your customers ‘behind the scenes

share your story on snapchatShow your followers what goes on at the office – this will make them feel part of the family. Company milestones, warehouse tours, staff outings or even just profiling individual staff and their achievements – there are a million and one ways to do this and have fun with it. And best of all, it really adds personality to your brand.

  1. Snapchat gives influencers another way to spread the word about your brand

In the world of social media, influencers are the big guns who can help spread awareness of your brand beyond your traditional demographic. You may not be able to count famous celebrities amongst your influencers, but what about your partners? They will all have their own networks that you can tap into. What about complimentary brands—ones that you can work with to build awareness of both offerings?

Maybe your partners don’t yet have a Snapchat account but they can suggest that followers of their other social media networks—e.g. Facebook and Twitter—take a look at your Snapchats.

Your partners/influencers may in turn have some great idea for content that you can create together.

In conclusion

By using Snapchat for business branding and growth you will show your customers, and prospective customers that you are agile, friendly, approachable and innovative. You are playing in their space, not simply expecting them to come to yours.

At this point in time many marketers believe that Snapchat’s key marketing asset is about brand building and awareness as opposed to direct selling. Create great content, have fun with your customers and partners and above all, use Snapchat to build and spread awareness of your brand.

 

Why Businesses Need to Use GeoSocial Networking

By | GeoSocial, Social Apps, Social Business, Social Media | 2 Comments

GeoSocial Networking For Business

Geosocial NetworkingWith the continuous rapid advancement in communication technologies and the rate at which new techniques are introduced, geosocial networking is not in any way new. In fact, its popularity has been growing just as fast as the social media giants such as Facebook & Twitter. Many people actively use such networking feature remaining adamant about the positive results that the networks help them achieve.

There are many advantages of this type of social networking which is the reason many people use them. However, there are also some areas of concern which seem to get more attention from the news media.

As part of this blog post I will offer a potential use case, similar to what many who have adopted Geosocial Networking (including myself) have used it for.
Here is a detailed description of geosocial networking and everything it involves including benefits and risks.

What is GeoSocial networking?

This is basically an improved feature that compliments social networking by adding aspects of exact physical/geographical location. Geo-coding and geo-tagging are used to integrate various social networking dynamics and geographic services. It is facilitated by technologies that enable user-submitted data to be automatically included in updates, messages and even by mere online presence. Geo-networking can be achieved for social networks which are IP-based or hotspot trilateral and mobile networks in form of texted location information. In simple terms, this Local SEOtype of networking enables interaction of people within a given geographical location and connects service seekers with providers within the same region. The social networking allows location-based information to be sent or made public in chat platforms and accompanying messages and/or status updates. This type of networking relies on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and many other social media platforms.

There are a growing number of Geosocial specific apps/sites.  Some of them have experienced rapid growth (and negative media) recently.  Services such as YikYak, Tinder and Waze have become increasingly popular, and have also faced increasing levels of scrutiny.

The benefits of geosocial networking

Geosocial Networking for Local BusinessesThe advantages of this type of networking are quite straightforward and easy to identify. With geosocial networking, monitoring, tracking, information dissemination and control are all simplified. The benefits can be better defined in the use as follows:
• Linking people to places – With geosocial networking, web location mapping services are used in integration with geo-coding (for streets and buildings) and geo-tag details (concerts, events, meetings and hangouts) to link people to places. The information enables matching people to local social groups and places. Information from restaurant and nightclub reviews or any other description that includes specific geographical location can be used in this linking.

• Disaster scenario and control – Geosocial networking enable collaborative coordination of geo-tag information in social networks. This can help in creating situational awareness and informing other people about disasters, riots, fires and any other pandemic. As a result, the feature enables sorting of information and sharing ideas to quickly determine the closest and best aid, assistance and control measures. The current technology allows automatic tracking and detection of potential and frequent disasters. One good thing about this networking is that it filters the number of contributors from a specific location from other locations allowing easy identification of message credibility.

• Event planning – This type of social networking can be used to quickly organize and arrange events, meetings and even protests. Users in a geo-specific location can share event details and plan meetings using social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Usually, such events can be planned very swiftly.

There are many other benefits of this type of networking. The main advantages stem from ability to share information pertaining to those in a specific geographic location. Buyers can procure services and business such as gas stations, restaurants, clubs, salons and pharmacies can profit greatly from location-based networking. According to SEO experts, businesses that incorporate more location-specific tags are likely to enjoy higher rating in organic search results within that area.

Concerns of GeoSocial Networking

While geosocial networking has a huge upside for businesses and service providers, it also has a few areas of concern that users must be aware of. Exposure of location-specific data may not appeal to everybody. Some people’s job roles would require their locations not be revealed.  Waze has recently received some criticism regarding the location of speed traps.  Law enforcement is concerned that their safety may be jeopardized as a result. Relationships should Become a more social businessalso expect a certain level of privacy. Employees may not want their colleagues of employers to view location-specific details and track their movements. This type of networking makes it easy to track people provided they stay online and/or make comments, posts, updates and likes on social platforms. Even after shifting locations, the feature can still track. The main concern with geosocial networking often revolves around confidentiality and privacy. Fortunately, most features that allow geo-locating can be turned off.

Use Case Study

For this scenario I will use a very popular GeoSocial Network.  Foursquare has been around for a while now, and is easily one of the more popular apps of this type.  Foursquare is not just about checking in to your favorite gym or restaurant.  Businesses can also offer rewards for checking in at their location.  Coupons at restaurants or no initiation fee at a gym can go a long way to driving sales.

Swarm & FoursquareI get my oil changed at a Valvoline not too far from my home.  On more than one occasion I have used Swarm to check in only to be surprised with $7 off my oil change, or something along those lines.

The car wash I use offers similar deals from time to time.  Who doesn’t love an unexpected few dollars off a service you are going to use anyway?  Now what if people knew that the deal existed already?  That would definitely drive traffic to your location if a nearby check in triggered an offer at your business.

Conclusion

Social networking is evolving and features new technologies. Geo-locating is one of the available features that allow delivery of location specific services and dynamics. This type of communication is becoming very popular and the feature now comes as part of most networking tools and chat platforms. It is wise to take advantage of the many possibilities it presents while ensuring appropriate precautions to achieve privacy.

Want to get started marketing your business using GeoSocial Networking..tell me all about it.

6 Mobile Social Media Apps Your Restaurant Cannot Afford to Ignore

By | Mobile Apps, Social Apps, Social Media | No Comments

Mobile Apps for Restaurants

You own or manage a restaurant, chances are people are talking about it.  Let’s face it, everyone is a critic these days.  And with numerous outlets for the critics it’s easy for your restaurant to receive reviews (positive & negative).

Positive reviews will likely attract more people to your restaurant.  Speaking from personal experience I can tell you this is true.

Recently I was looking for a restaurant to take my wife out to for her birthday.   I wanted to go somewhere other than our usual choices of restaurants.  I asked some friends for ideas and got a different answer for every person asked.  My wife is a very picky eater and only likes certain types of food so making an educated choice is important, or she will not eat.  I used OpenTable to find a restaurant rated highly and with food she would eat.  I also used OpenTable to make the reservations.

Think about that for a minute.  I never interacted with the restaurant until arrival.  I used a 3rd party social media app to choose and reserve the table.  Is your restaurant taking advantage of these apps?

The Dirty Half Dozen

Yelp MobileYelp

Yelp allows users to search for anything…locally.  It lists businesses from restaurants to computer repair to chiropractors and everything in between.   Users can then rate the businesses they visit and provide a review.

Yelp is also more of a social site in that you can add friends, create a profile and share your reviews on Facebook.    Yelp also allows businesses to claim/create their profile, post specials and pictures and communicate with others.

Yelp is king of the hill right now when it comes to reviews of local businesses (other than Google, Yahoo, Bing).   You will want to ensure that your business is claimed and properly updated on Yelp, and address all reviews.

FourSquareFoursquare

If you’re not checking in on Foursquare then you weren’t really there, at least that’s what the people going to the gym believe.  Foursquare is an app used to check in to a location, typically a restaurant or retail establishment.  This allows your followers to see where you are.

Foursquare goes beyond just a simple check in though.  You are also able to leave feedback, take pictures and rate the check in experience.  Businesses can also partner with Foursquare to offer promotions whenever you check in.

Recently I took my car to have the oil changed at a Valvoline.  While waiting I checked in using Foursquare only to discover that they were offering a $5 off coupon just for checking in.

From a restaurant aspect having the ability to simultaneously offer discounts for checking in, and encouraging reviews and images of your establishment and the food can really help improve visibility of your restaurant..and ultimately your traffic.

InstagramInstagram

Instagram is a photo sharing site (and 15 second videos).  It is one of the fastest growing social media platforms today.  While typically people post selfies, family pics and other personal items, you can often find people posting pictures of a meal at a restaurant.

A restaurant could use Instragram to post pictures of menu items, daily specials and customers enjoying their food in the restaurant.   With the rapidly growing popularity of Instagram it would behoove any local restaurant to ignore it.   While Instagram may not be a traditional restaurant review forum it definitely get’s used by consumers to post their own reviews, which often get shared to their Twitter and Facebook accounts instantly.

Instagram has also added the ability to include 15 second video clips to their site, and in doing so has allowed businesses to create short commercials for their products or services.   Imagine the possibilities with a smart phone, an instagram account and a few seconds of your time.  You just might develop your own following and generate new business that was never before attainable.

 

Food SpottingFoodspotting

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well Foodspotting is counting on that.

Foodspotting defines itself as a visual guide to good food, and where to find it.  What separates it from other food review sites is you don’t necessarily review the restaurant but rather recommend an actual menu item..including images.

Users of Foodspotting can then see what others have photographed (and hopefully eaten) to help them decide on where they should go to eat.   And users of Foodspotting may discover a restaurant they never heard of and would love to try (as I did while researching for this post).

 

Trip AdvisorTripAdvisor

If you are traveling and want to plan out where to eat in advance then TripAdvisor is the way to go.  TripAdvisor is really the go to site for planning out a trip in advance.  TripAdvisor includes Rentals, Hotels and Attractions, and allows users of the site to leave reviews for all of the aforementioned categories.

As you can probably imagine TripAdvisor is a very powerful site given the ability to find out exactly what to expect in advance of a trip.

TripAdvisor includes a section for restaurants allowing you to search out restaurants in an area you anticipate visiting.   You can then see reviews and ratings for those restaurants, or add your own feedback.

You do not have to be on a trip to use TripAdvisors.  Many locals also use TripAdvisor making it even more important to pay attention to.   You might be surprised at the reviews being left for your establishment, especially if they are not as good as you believe your business to be.

 

Open TableOpenTable

How’s this for a claim?

Our diners have spent more than $20 billion at our partner restaurants.

Wouldn’t your restaurant want a piece of that pie (no pun intended…well maybe a little)?  In all seriousness can your restaurant afford not to use OpenTable (or any of these apps).

As I opened this post I told a story of how OpenTable was used for my wife’s birthday dinner.  OpenTable’s primary purpose is to simplify the reservation process but it goes well beyond that.

Users of OpenTable can review and rate restaurants.   Restaurants are sorted into categories thus allowing users of OpenTable to find restaurants ranked high that fall into a category of dining the user would be interested in.

Are you mobile?

We went over 6 mobile apps that are getting used quite a bit by diners looking to find the next great meal.  We didn’t discuss the obvious like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ because hopefully you already aware of and using those platforms.  Today’s consumer is savvy and has tons of options available to them at their fingertips..literally.  The question is not whether you can afford to invest in marketing on the internet and mobile, the question is can you afford not to.

We’d love to hear from you!  Did we leave out an app or a feature of one of the apps above?  Let us know.

Need help with your local internet marketing plan?  Contact us now!

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