Archive | 一月, 2012

3 Tools to Measure Social Media Engagement & Referrers on Your Blog

30 一月

While it is great to add social media sharing buttons and toolbars to your blog or website, it is even better to know how they are actually helping with your social engagement. The following free tools will help you learn just how well your site is doing on the social engagement front.

1. Topsy Analytics

Topsy Analytics - Tweet Mentions If you want to see information about how many tweets your site is getting, you can start with Topsy Analytics. Simply enter your to see the tweets for your site for the past day, week, two weeks, or month. Beneath the graph, you can also see the top links in the past 24 hours at a glance with the number of tweets each. Use this tool to see your own site’s activity, or enter two other competitors to see how their site is trending compared to yours and what their most popular posts & pages are.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics Social Traffic Have you ever wondered about how visitors from social media sites compare to the rest of your visitors? If so, don’t just look at your traffic sources to find your social media referrers. Add an Advanced Segment to your Google Analytics instead. To create one, click on the Advanced Segments dropdown and then the + New Custom Segment button. Google Analytics Advanced Segments Name your Advanced Segment Social Media (or similar). Then start adding in referral traffic sources by changing the dropdowns to Include > Source > Containing > Click the Add ‘OR’ statement to include more than just one traffic source. Google Analytics Advanced Segment Social Media Social media traffic sources and related tools / shorteners include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • – Includes traffic from the main site and the mobile site ( Consider adding the Like button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – Includes traffic from the main site and the mobile site ( Consider adding the official retweet button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – Google’s own social network. Consider adding the +1 button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – Top professional social network. Consider adding the LinkedIn share button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – Top video social network. Consider adding video networks like and others if you use them.
  • – Twitter management tool.
  • – Service that allows users to create a custom or automated “newspaper” with the latest tweets from their followers, hashtags, or Twitter lists.
  • – Service that allows users to automatically update their social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) with the latest blog posts from an RSS feed.
  • – Twitter’s official link service – one of the few shorteners that is trackable in Google Analytics.

You can continue on to add social bookmarking sites like the following to your Social Media segment, or create a separate segment for them”

  • – This social bookmarking network can lead to more visits in one than all other social media sites combined if you’re lucky. Consider adding the StumbleUpon badge for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – While traffic is down, it’s still a great social bookmarking network to get featured on. Consider adding the Digg button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – Delicious has changed a lot since it’s Yahoo days. Consider adding a Save this link for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – Reddit took over the social bookmarking scene when Digg dropped off. Consider adding the Reddit button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – If your content is focused on business related topics, this is the perfect community for you. Consider adding the BizSugar voting button for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – This bookmarking community is dedicated to blogging. Consider adding the Blog Engage vote buttons for more traffic and sharing on this network.
  • – This is the new bookmarking community on the scene for SEO lovers and Internet marketers.

When you’ve finished adding social media referrers, click the Save Segment button. You will now be able to see all of your Google Analytics data based on visitors from social media and bookmarking sites. Select multiple segments (including All Visits) from Advanced Segments to compare social media visitors with all of your traffic to learn more. Google Analytics Comparing Advanced Segments Creating other segments for your search-related traffic, direct traffic, and traffic from other sources can help you determine which area of online marketing is working the best towards bring traffic to your site. Add goals in Google Analytics to further determine what traffic sources (including social media) are driving the right kind of visitors to your site as well.

3. Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools +1 Metrics Want to find out how much impact Google’s +1 button (the equivalent of the Facebook like button for their social network) has on your rankings and click through in search results? Find out in Google Webmaster Tools. If you have Google Analytics set up, then add your site to Google Webmaster Tools and verify it using the Google Analytics tracking code. Wait a few days, then start looking under the +1 Metrics section. Under Search impact, you will see a graph of the times people saw your website in search results with the +1 count annotated. Below that, you will see statistics about the click through rates of impressions with the +1 count annotated vs. those without. Google Webmaster Tools +1 Metrics Under the Activity section of your +1 Metrics, you can see the number of +1’s you have attained on your website and its content. Google Webmaster Tools +1 Activity Beneath that, you will see details of specific pages on your site and the +1’s they have received. Google Webmaster Tools +1 Activity Details Under the Audience section (if you have enough +1’s), you will be able to see some demographics about the people who are socially engaging with your site via the +1 button. This is a screenshot from Distilled showing the types of demographics you’ll see. Google Webmaster Tools +1 Audience

This will give you a better feel for the type of audience that is socially engaged on your site and help you to see what type of content gets the most interest by your targeted demographic.


QR Codes Getting More Use in Magazines

29 一月

Interactive bar codes have been popping up more in magazines—Meredith Corp. has just announced it had selected Microsoft Tag as the 2-D bar code standard across its magazines—but some questions still remain about its impact as an advertising tool.

Mobile bar codes link ads or content in magazines to digital editorial and advertising content when a reader swipes the page with a mobile device. Meredith has already used Microsoft tags in its publications like Better Homes and Gardens, Traditional Home, and Family Circle, and for its part, it claims that of people who snap on the ads, 10 percent to 20 percent view or use the ad in some way. Meredith wouldn’t reveal what percentage actually snap on its ads, though.

GfK MRI Starch recently released data confirming that QR codes, or snap tags, are showing up more in magazine ads.

From January to August, MRI measured more than 72,000 ads. Five percent of them contained QR or snap codes, up from 1.3 percent in the second half of 2010. And the mere presence of the codes seems to get readers more involved with the ads containing them—of those who saw an ad with a mobile bar code, 5 percent took a picture of it with their cell phones.

By comparison, 14 percent who saw an ad visited the advertiser’s website, and 20 percent of readers who saw an ad with a scent strip tried the strip. However, websites and scent strips have been around a long time and people are used to them, whereas QR codes are relatively new and may require the user to download software to access the code.

The tags don’t bring additional consumer attention to ads, though. An average of 52 percent of readers read or saw an ad with a mobile bar code—just below the 54 percent who saw any ad.


Which Mags Were Biggest Users of QR Codes in 2011?

29 一月

Mobile action codes are getting harder to miss in magazines. That trend is documented by Nellymoser, a mobile marketing firm that supports brands and publishers’ QR campaigns. The firm has a new report out that says that in all of 2011, nearly 4,500 codes appeared in ad and editorial pages in the top 100 titles.

Women’s magazines were the biggest users of QR codes in 2011. The biggest was InStyle at No. 1 with 141 codes. It was followed by ESPN The Magazine (136), People (136), Self (126) and Entertainment Weekly (123).

occurrence of such quick-response codes (a broad term encompassing QR codes, Microsoft Tags, SnapTags and others) grew sharply over the year, mostly driven by ad pages. Put another way, 8 percent of magazine ad pages in December contained codes, up from 3.6 percent of magazine ad pages containing codes in January.

Among brands, nearly 40 percent of the codes came from the beauty, home and fashion industries, led by John Frieda (82), L’Oréal (79), Cuisinart (74), Garnier (72) and Revlon (67).

Earlier research into 2-D barcodes in magazines has shown this relatively new technology is starting to catch on with readers. Still, there’s room for improvement among its users. While readers increasingly understand what the funny interactive symbols are for, the codes get better results when they describe what benefit the user gets after scanning them, whether it be free content or a coupon, according to Roger Matus, executive vp of Nellymoser. Still, one-third of those that ran in 2011 didn’t include that information.

Nellymoser has also found that the more codes an individual magazine issue contains, the higher the response rate. Yet, one-fifth of the magazines it studied accounted for nearly half the QR codes that ran in the fourth quarter, suggesting there might be an opportunity for others to step up their frequency.

“The more codes that are in a single publication, the higher the scan rate for the single publication,” Matus said. “We have found this again and again. People get trained once, and they have their phones out, and it becomes part of the process.”

For the survey, the firm looked at all print-to-mobile action codes that were printed in the pages of the top 100 magazines by circulation, excluding membership-based and regional titles.


8 Mobile Trends For Small Businesses To Watch In 2012

29 一月

A small business can get overwhelmed trying to figure out which social networks or new types of communication should be added to their communication toolbox. First it was Facebook. Then Twitter. Now, things like Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest are all the rage.

As a business owner myself, I try to take a two-pronged approach, focusing on tools that help us: 1) Improve communication with customers and partners; 2) Grow the business by reaching current or prospective users/customers in a new, better way.

And, that’s exactly why small businesses can’t ignore mobile opportunities. Over the holidays, the number of tablet/e-reader owners doubled. Very soon, people will access the Internet on their phones more frequently than on their PCs. So what trends do you need to be paying attention to – and acting on – in 2012? Here are eight trends that I foresee impacting small businesses.

1. Explosive Tablet Growth

In 2011, the tablet market experienced explosive growth, thanks to the iPad 2, Kindle Fire, the now-defunct HP Touchpad and a dozen other tablet PCs. Tablet adoption has dwarfed prior technology shifts. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if tablet ownership doubles in 2012.

How will this impact your company? The acceleration of tablet adoption will significantly increase many aspects of business, including content consumption, customer touch points and mobile commerce. Just look at all the apps, publications, websites, social media and other digital content that’s readily available with the swipe of a finger. How will you leverage mobile opportunities to cut through the noise and foster more productive relationships with customers and prospects?

2. Mobile Search Explosion

While tablets support our “always on, always connected" way of life, nothing feeds the beast quite like mobile phones. Smartphones help us navigate the day in ways we never could have imagined. Beyond apps, consumers are now searching the web from their phones. In fact, Google sees 4 billion local searches each month, with 61% of those resulting in a purchase. Did you know 55% of consumers report using their mobile device to buy a local service or product?

How will this impact your company? Think about your sales funnel. Every business is a little different, but this much is becoming clear: At some point in that sales cycle, people are turning to the Internet for more information. It’s mission-critical for your company to understand the basics of local, mobile search optimization and put these skills to work. By ignoring mobile search, you’re willingly sacrificing business to the competitors. And in this hyper-competitive economic climate, that’s just not smart business.

3. Mobile Marketing Becomes a Must

Initially, I wasn’t so sure about mobile marketing. But, then reality set in. Mobile marketing isn’t an option. Ecommerce and online properties are leading the way as early adapters, but we’ll see more “bricks and mortar" and traditional businesses take the leap of faith.

How will this impact your company? Start with the low-hanging fruit. For example, optimize your website for mobile viewing, monitor your reputation on Yelp and Angie’s List, and leverage customer-acquisition tools like Foursquare and Zaarly.

4. The App Debate Continues

Do you need a mobile app? Or should you invest in a mobile website? Your guess is as good as mine. While “experts" want to declare one or the other’s demise, the truth is that no one knows which will prevail. Instead, we may end up in a world of apps, mobile-optimized sites, even apps that incorporate mobile websites (yes, I’m looking at you Facebook). Apps continue to offer superior performance to mobile sites on the whole, but technology is catching up to enable a much better experience on the mobile web.

How will this impact your company? You know your business and your consumer best, so I can’t in good conscience tell you if you should opt for a mobile app or a website. But, that’s not the point. Consumers are longing for a better mobile experience – and it’s your job to deliver. Think about this: Usability Science puts the mobile user experience on par with web usability circa 1999. No wonder customers want more!

5. Less “Black Box." More “Data-Driven."

Mobile advertising and mobile SEO are in their infancy, which means tracking results and outcomes is also relatively primitive. As I’ve spoken with business owners, agencies and brand marketers who are exploring mobile ad opportunities, I’ve come to realize that they’re (understandably!) confused, which makes it hard to justify ROI. However, the mobile sector knows that the data must improve before businesses will invest major dollars in mobile campaigns.

How will this impact your company? We won’t get all the answers in 2012, but expect ad networks to begin to provide more accurate statistics. By opening the proverbial kimono, you’ll be better equipped to make data-driven decisions – ensuring you’re maximizing your marketing resources.

6. The Maturation of Mobile Payments

Doesn’t it feel like we’ve been predicting mobile payments since Michael Douglas sported an early cell phone in Wall Street? People longed for the days when we could pay through our phones, eliminating the need for wallets and credit cards. While mobile payments are increasing, we’re not quite there yet. In 2011, Paypal facilitated $4 billion in mobile payments, up from $750 million in 2010; however, that represents a small fraction of the entire Paypal transaction volume. We’re still a long way away from mobile payment ubiquity.

How will this impact your company? You may not need to start accepting mobile payments yet, but it needs to be on your radar. Expect mobile payments to increase — and customers to begin asking for mobile options – thanks in part to continued pressure from major players like Amex, Visa, Intuit and Google. Plus, startups like Square and Dwolla are forcing the issue. But, don’t leave your wallet home quite yet.

7. More Watching… on Mobile

Newsflash: People like to watch video. (If you spend any time on YouTube, you already know that’s true!) In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine, behind only the behemoth, Google. And, we don’t mind watching video on our phones’ tiny screens. As Hulu, Netflix and YouTube apps continue to provide quality mobile content at low cost, consumers will become even more used to watching video on the go.

How will this impact your company? There’s an entire part of our population who turns to YouTube to search (like how many of us automatically start looking on Google). We’re all vying for customers’ attention. Don’t lose out just because you weren’t willing to create a few videos. As you begin to develop a content strategy for sites like Facebook, Twitter or a blog, give equal attention to YouTube. (And, in certain industries, give even more attention to video than those other channels!) Not quite ready to start producing videos? That’s ok. Instead, look at mobile video advertising opportunities.

8. Facebook + Mobile Advertising

What would an article about 2012 trends be without mentioning Facebook? This year will be huge for the dominant social network, thanks to the impending IPO and the “unlocking" of the mobile platform for advertising. In the not too distant future, we’ll have a captivated 300-million-person audience, ready to receive targeted mobile ads.

How will this impact your company? Facebook hasn’t yet revealed how they’re going to inject advertising into the mobile experience, but this much is certain: If you’ve built a loyal Facebook following – or hope to do so – Facebook is about to give you access to 300 million people on their phones. That’s a number – and a major shift – that you can’t ignore.


6 Startups to Watch in 2012

25 一月

An Olympic games, a U.S. presidential election and the end of the world are already planned for 2012, but we’re more excited about the startups.

Here are six of them (in no particular order) that we expect to help define the coming year. We chose companies based on the momentum they gained in 2011, promising new takes on old problems and, in one case, the possibility of an IPO.

Did we look at every startup in the world before compiling this list? Nope. Did we overlook some of the startups speeding toward 2012 definition-dom? Yep. Which is where you come in. Let us know in the comments which startups are on your list to watch in 2012.

1. Skillshare




Skillshare is an online marketplace for offline classes. When we spoke to the startup in May, a month after it launched, more than 100 users had posted classes about everything from crocheted jewelery to how to invest your first $10,000. Eight months later, thousands of teachers have used Skillshare to teach more than 15,000 hours of classes. A few have even quit their jobs to teach Skillshare classes full-time.

While the startup began with classes clustered in New York City, it now has budding communities in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and elsewhere. Its site interface is already set up to accommodate more than 70 U.S. and International cities. There are no or few classes offered in most of them, but by the end of 2012, we’re betting there will be.

2. Zaarly, Taskrabbit or Something Similar




We’re pretty sure that the mobile, local version of Craigslist will gain traction in 2012. We’re just not settled on which one yet. Zaarly and TaskRabbit both allow users to find someone nearby to complete odd jobs. Zaarly also lets people request items like a reverse eBay. Both are liable to gain traction in 2012.

3. LevelUp/SCVNGR




While solutions such as Google Wallet try to introduce mobile payments through NFC technology at a time when there are few devices on the market that supports it, SCVNGR has launched a solution called LevelUp that works with any phone and any bank account. The app gives any merchant the ability to run a loyalty program that works similarly to the Starbucks App, which allows users to pay using a code displayed on their phone and collect reward points.

LevelUp users link any credit or debit card to their LevelUp accounts the same way that Starbucks links a gift card to its app. When they get to a LevelUp merchant, the app generates a unique QR code at the register that can be scanned with a merchant app to pay. Merchants can add rewards to LevelUp that are already waiting for customers the first time that they use the app, and customers earn free credit at that merchant every time they spend money there using the app.

Since launching in October, the app has signed up more than 100,000 users and has about 1,000 businesses. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has helped deploy more than 2,500 docking stations that stand in for the merchant app as a scanning mechanism at checkout counters. It’s a modest start, but LevelUp has all of the ingredients to become more widespread than competing mobile payment options.

4. Dwolla




Let’s be frank: transferring money through social networks sounds shady. Which is what makes it impressive that Dwolla, a payments startup that makes transfers through Twitter, Facebook, SMS and other virtual channels, was processing $1 million per day less than a year after launch.

Dwolla’s 70,000 users make payments through Twitter, Facebook, SMS and other virtual channels by connecting their bank accounts to their Dwolla accounts. The service integrates with social networks to alert payment recipients there is money waiting for them in their own Dwolla accounts that can be transferred to their bank account. Payments of up to $10 are free and anything larger costs $0.25 — which is cheaper than paying a credit card fee.

In December, the company launched a new feature called Instant that lets users pay on up to $500 of credit while waiting for bank transfers from their accounts, making this process instant.

5. Eventbrite




Eventbrite is the oddball on our list of companies to watch in 2012 because the ticketing platform launched five years ago. But here are some reasons we think that 2012 is a good time to keep an eye on the startup:

  • It’s on a growth streak. Last year it sold about 11 million tickets. This year it sold about 21 million.
  • It’s being taken seriously by big events. This summer, for instance, it handled tickets for a Black Eyed Peas concert in New York City’s Central Park in addition to 458,000 other events (more than twice as many as last year).
  • It’s expanding internationally. Eventbrite opened a London office in October and launched localized versions of its platform in Ireland and Canada in December.
  • It’s offline. A new iPad app lets event organizer sell tickets through Eventbrite at the door.
  • It could IPO. In a ZURB podcast this summer, Eventbrite CEO Kevin Hartz said that Eventbrite could file as early as 2012. “We have to continue to perform to very lofty expectations to do that,” he said.

6. Codecademy




Codecademy took something that scared people, learning JavaScript, and turned it into a game. And when it’s not intimidating, it turns out that learning how to code is something that a lot of people want to do. In its first 72 hours after launching this summer, Codecademy signed up 200,000 people for coding lessons. When it launched a New Years resolution class on Jan. 1, Code Year, it signed up 97,000 people in less than 48 hours to receive emails with weekly coding lessons. By the end of the week, more than 170,000 people had signed up for the class, including the Mayor.

What’s interesting about Codecademy’s traction is that its product is still quite limited. Lessons are restricted to JavaScript, and there isn’t a clear pathway for working through the lessons. In 2012, Codecademy will expand to other coding languages, and as it does so, it will also expand its potential userbase. Thanks to Code Year, the startup will for the first time have thousands of students working on specific lessons around the same time, which could present an opportunity to add social features to the platform or create curriculum.


Smartphone user study shows mobile movement under way

21 一月

71% of smartphone users search because of an ad they’ve seen either online or offline; 82% of smartphone users notice mobile ads, 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones to help with shopping, and 88% of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day.

These are some of the key findings from “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” a study from Google and conducted by Ipsos OTX, an independent market research firm, among 5,013 US adult smartphone Internet users at the end of 2010. Join us in tomorrow’s webinar where we’ll present the full research findings. In the meantime, enjoy this research highlights video and read on for a summary of our main section findings:
General Smartphone Usage: Smartphones have become an integral part of users’ daily lives. Consumers use smartphones as an extension of their desktop computers and use it as they multi-task and consume other media.
  • 81% browse the Internet, 77% search, 68% use an app, and 48% watch videos on their smartphone
  • 72% use their smartphones while consuming other media, with a third while watching TV
  • 93% of smartphone owners use their smartphones while at home
Action-Oriented Searchers: Mobile search is heavily used to find a wide variety of information and to navigate the mobile Internet.
  • Search engine websites are the most visited websites with 77% of smartphone users citing this, followed by social networking, retail and video sharing websites
  • Nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.)
  • 24% recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search
Local Information Seekers: Looking for local information is done by virtually all smartphone users and consumers are ready to act on the information they find.
  • 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information
  • 88% of these users take action within a day, indicating these are immediate information needs
  • 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business
Purchase-driven Shoppers: Smartphones have become an indispensable shopping tool and are used across channels and throughout the research and decision-making process.
  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer
  • 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones
  • 70% use their smartphones while in the store, reflecting varied purchase paths that often begin online or on their phones and brings consumers to the store
Reaching Mobile Consumers: Cross-media exposure influences smartphone user behavior and a majority notice mobile ads which leads to taking action on it.
  • 71% search on their phones because of an ad exposure, whether from traditional media (68%) to online ads (18%) to mobile ads (27%)
  • 82% notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and a third notice mobile search ads
  • Half of those who see a mobile ad take action, with 35% visiting a website and 49% making a purchase
The findings of the study have strong implications for businesses and mobile advertisers. Make sure you can be found via mobile search as consumers regularly use their phones to find and act on information. Incorporate location based products and services and make it easy for mobile customers to reach you because local information seeking is common among smartphone users. Develop a comprehensive cross-channel strategy as mobile shoppers use their phones in-store, online and via mobile website and apps to research and make purchase decisions. Last, implement an integrated marketing strategy with mobile advertising that takes advantage of the knowledge that people are using their smartphones while consuming other media and are influenced by it.

What’s next to Digital Coupons?

21 一月

Jeff Hudson is co-founder of Grocery Coupon Network, one of the leading coupon communities on the web. By aggregating the best digital grocery coupons and special offers from local and national brands, the company provides a reliable source for those looking to save money and time.

Couponing had seen unprecedented growth in the past decade due to a combination of factors — one of which was the economic recession in the U.S., combined with an increased consumer interest in mobile technology and devices.

Because of this, marketers began to heavily fund digital platforms. The coupon industry, specifically, saw record growth within the digital realm, and by 2010, SavingStar estimated that “49 million people used printable or digital coupons.”

SEE ALSO: HOW TO: Create and Distribute Effective Online CouponsThe benefits digital interactions offer coupon companies are vast. For starters, online couponing allows for great promotion and wider distribution for brands. It also provides companies with better reach and the ability to track consumer preferences and patterns. Data from Leo J. Shapiro and Associates determined that the digital coupon consumer base was primarily comprised of young married couples with disposable income. Groupon has targeted this demographic, lending digital couponing a social reputation.

Daily deal couponing continues to be a popular tool among consumers and marketers, and many major companies have implemented their own version of the trend.

What Business Owners Need to Know About Daily Deal Couponing

Although intriguing for consumers, daily deal platforms like Groupon have not always been beneficial for business owners, who often see a spike in business but little customer retention.

A Rice University study found that 66% of the 150 businesses surveyed reported that Groupon promotions were profitable. However, more than 40% of the organizations said that they wouldn’t run a Groupon offer again.

Daily deal platforms have revealed the social nature of contemporary couponing. For example, Cornell University reported that many Groupon users see themselves as “marketing mavens,” and “on the front edge of market trends and price information.”

Additionally, users claimed in the survey that they would not have tried a restaurant or store without a coupon offer. Contemporary couponing has highly influenced social branding, greatly increasing the popularity of daily deals.

1. Social Leads to Social Sharing

The social, daily deal strategies made popular by sites such as Groupon and Living Social have certainly spawned many copycat initiatives within the digital couponing realm.

One such example is SocialTwist, a platform that states it “allows users to share in order to receive a better bargain.” Basically, consumers can turn a $1 coupon into a $4 coupon simply by sharing it with four other people.

This method will likely continue to increase in popularity in 2012 — we already saw evidence late November 2011, when Foursquare announced it would incorporate a new “social sharing” button on its site.

2. Getting Mobile-Ready

Given these newer strategies, companies are mobilizing their virtual and physical platforms to better reach and retain these social, mobile customers. Most companies are aware that their mobile presences have to be dynamic and user friendly. With roughly 91% of the population using mobile devices and 26.3% accessing the Internet, it is important to have a mobile site for on-the-go reading and utilization.

Additionally Google reported that 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information, proving that location-based, deal searching is vital to digital couponing.

The same study found 38% would use a mobile device to find a store location, 34% to compare prices, 28% to research deals and coupons, and 27% to find a product review.

3. Resolving Mobile Couponing’s Redemption Pitfalls

Mobile couponing, an obvious extension and result of digital distribution, has been popular despite its “mechanical” issues. With the rise of digital coupons, there was also a surge in consumers who used their mobile devices to reference coupons visually on their smartphones. Unprepared for this development, the redemption process, such as the scanning of digital coupons on mobile devices, has proven difficult until recently.

“Mobile coupon redemption has always struggled with ensuring a seamless experience at the point of sale,” says reporter Steve Smith. So, business giants like Walgreens are “retraining salespeople to handle the process and equipping stores with hardware that can recognize 2D codes on LCD displays.” This nationwide initiative was just launched and underwent testing during the 2011 holiday season.

Walgreens released an app for iOS, BlackBerry and Android, which includes a new coupons section that issues up two to three new exclusive weekly deals for customers using the mobile apps.

Rich Lesperance, head of digital marketing and merging media for Walgreens, told Media Post that “the program is the largest deployment of in-store mobile coupon scanning of which he is aware.”

Looking Ahead to the SoLoMo Strategy

In short, the “social-local-mobile” trend is the next cutting edge move for digital businesses, and a necessary consideration for coupon brands. SoLoMo gets specific when it comes to targeting your ideal market and allows your ideal consumer to find you. The combination is a win for both parties, as well as the logical next step for consumer activity based on current digital engagement.


5 Proven Ways to Generate Revenue From Facebook

14 一月

Facebook, with its 800+ million users, presents a huge opportunity for business. But the first question people ask is, “Can it really generate money?”

If you’ve read any of the Facebook marketing case studies over the last year, you’ve seen examples of small business profits and boosts in ecommerce sales via Facebook sharing.

If your business is ready to move toward Facebook profits, your next question should be: “What distinguishes profitable and unprofitable Facebook marketing campaigns?”

First, consider your revenue model. What steps will get your users to buy? How do you attract their attention in the first place? What does the conversion funnel look like? And how does Facebook fit with the marketing channels that already work for you, like email, text messages and affiliate revenue?

There are a number of strategies companies use to do Facebook business effectively. Let’s look at five of them.

1. Advertising-Based Ecommerce

Marketers can leverage the massive reach and highly customizable targeting of Facebook’s ad platform. They can create ads that take clickers straight to an ecommerce site, bypassing fan marketing entirely. The ads-direct-to-websites option is often overlooked, but can be immediately profitable. If you’re not 100% sure about committing to the time and creativity required for fan marketing, then test direct-to-site ad traffic first.




For example,, which sells plush vampire baby dolls, achieved a 300% ROI on ecommerce sales in its first month of advertising directly to the ecommerce site, according to a company representative.

2. Fan Marketing Ecommerce

Fan marketing is selling to fans by posting from your page into their news feeds.

Fans appear to be more responsive when acquired through ads than through contests, content or legacy. Data analysis in 2011 from companies like PageLever revealed that many multimillion-fan brand pages were reaching 7% or fewer of their fans. Some pages have hundreds of thousands of fans who never liked or commented on a post, and have not seen the page’s posts for years.

Success with fan marketing requires that you be as visible as possible to your fans, and EdgeRank has a time decay factor. New fans may be required in some cases. Some businesses have taken the radical step to start entirely new pages and use Facebook ads to grow a new and more targeted fan base. With their more sophisticated and up-to-date understanding of how to engage fans, they achieve better results than they had with their old page.




Some profitable examples include Baseball Roses, Rosehall Kennel, WUSLU and SuperHeroStuff.

Baseball Roses sells artificial roses made from real baseballs. Founder of the company, Mark Ellingson, explained that they were unsuccessful with Google AdWords because no one was searching for their innovative product. They achieved a 473% ROI from their spend on fan acquisition via Facebook ads.

Rosehall Kennel breeds and sells German Shepherds, and has achieved more than 4,000% ROI on its fan acquisition spend, according to owner Eliot Roberts. What’s more, they have seen fewer requests for discounts and a shorter sales cycle.

WUSLU is a Woot-like site for home decor. While the company would not release exact profitability numbers, they are excited about their Facebook marketing results and have no plans to stop.’s founder Ronando Long told me that when the company began to use Facebook in 2011, it was the only new thing they were doing, and their revenues increased 150%.

3. Facebook Ads and Email

Many companies already have email dialed in. They know how much the average email subscriber is worth to their company, and they have an email marketing process that’s profitable.

For these companies, whether they initiate fan marketing or not, it makes sense to use Facebook ads to acquire even more subscribers, as long as those subscribers are qualified. Facebook advertising can be targeted according to 16 different criteria, including age, gender, interests, location, relationship status, connection to pages you admin, workplace, education level, majors in college and more. Add to that some ad copy that calls out the people you want to target, and you can ensure these new subscribers are qualified.




By sending contest-based email campaigns integrated with social networking, one Fortune 500 company achieved a 400% increase in email open rate, click rates of 14%, and one-fifth of their email subscribers also became fans, according to Steve Gaither, president of JB Chicago, the marketing agency that worked with the company.

4. Facebook Ads and Text Messaging

Businesses haven’t rushed to adopt SMS marketing, but 24% of mobile marketers have found their campaign ROI met or exceeded their expectations, and 4% of all mobile users have responded to a coupon for a product or service.




One local store (from a popular fast food franchise I’m not allowed to name) boosted revenue with this approach. It posted information about free text message coupons to its Facebook fans. Fans who opted in received an SMS coupon every day for 30 days. The result was $65,000 additional store revenue.

5. Generating Traffic to Your Ad-Supported Site

If you’re a publisher or blogger, content is your stock in trade, and advertising is usually your bread and butter. Why not create a Facebook page for your site, grow that fan base, then post a link to every new article? This boosts traffic to your website. Since your advertising revenue is tied to pageviews, more traffic from new readers and repeat traffic from fans mean more advertising revenues for your website.




Proud Single Moms, which created a Facebook page, grew about 98,000 fans via Facebook ads for less than $5,000, according to the site’s creator. Since the website uses AdSense ads, they chose to blog on topics that not only were interesting to moms, but which also had Google keywords generating high click fees. You can use a combination of the Facebook advertising platform and AdWords’ Keyword Tool to find interesting and profitable topics. Then they posted links to their blog posts on Facebook each day. Proud Single Moms was on track to break even on its initial ad investment within six months, and was privately sold to another party.

Which Revenue Model Should You Choose?

If one of these models isn’t an obvious match for your business, I’d recommend you first test direct Facebook ads to whatever is already working for your business. Do you have products or services that already sell well? Use Facebook ads to send more traffic to them.

Fans can also be affordably acquired through Facebook ads, but make sure you understand the amount of time and creativity required for fan marketing before you start. Companies that jump into fan marketing without that understanding and a good plan usually post in a way that doesn’t lead to much interaction. Then, EdgeRank reduces the reach and value of your Facebook page. Overall, the ROI of your efforts becomes low or negative. But when you get the right fans from Facebook ads and engage them with interesting content, profits often follow.