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We all know that one of the keys to great SEO is making sure you keep your website updated, new and fresh. Whether you do this with a blog, or you change your homepage with new offers, coupons or new products, it serves to show Google that your site is “alive.” For many small businesses in particular, this is a real challenge.
So you already have great, fresh content on your site—what’s next? Do you know what is coming that may benefit your small business?
Have you heard of QR codes yet? Here is a quick introduction:
They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone. You may soon see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, a web page or even on someone’s t-shirt. Once it is in your cell phone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the t-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.
The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, many modern cell phones can scan them. The full Wikipedia description is here. How does the cell phone read the code?
The cell phone needs a QR code reader, like this one from Kaywa. It takes literally 1 minute for someone with an iPhone or Android phone to find and install the reader. How do you generate a code?
You can easily generate a QR code using a site like Kaywa.com or you can use the Open Source code to generate codes for you if you have a smart developer on hand. Google also has a tool — see our separate article about that:Close-Up With Google’s New QR Code Generator. How can you use QR codes to benefit search marketing?
We are only just scratching the surface of how they will be used. We have added one to every business listing in our directory. Here are a few examples of how others are using them.
A business card company showing how they are using them for businesses:
In print that links the user straight to a web site:
Skip to half way in this video to see some examples:
How will Google see them?
If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them. Will your customers use them?
Today, few may use them, but those that do will certainly appreciate your tech knowledge, and those that don’t will certainly be inquisitive, which may open the door for conversation and a potential sale. Those that do use QR codes will definitely have a high tech know-how and may be more receptive to your presence on the web, your Twitter presence, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube etc. How could you use a QR code?
Your business, no matter how small or large, could use QR codes in a number of ways. You might auto generate one next to every product on your web site containing all the product details, the number to call and the URL link to the page so they can show their friends on their cell phone. You could add one to your business card containing your contact details so its easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their cell phone.
Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads etc containing:
Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
A link to your YouTube video
Call Us TODAY so we can Help YOU with Your QR Code![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
Social Marketing Alert: “Facebook Timeline now fully rolled out!”
Facebook unveiled its new Timeline feature in September at its annual f8 conference. However, the feature, which streamlines the user profile, had not become available to users – until now. On Thursday, Facebook announced all users now have access to the feature and marketers should be prepared for the more visual, customized layout.
Since the launch of Facebook Timeline, some users have expressed concerns regarding the amount of information on the website. Facebook has also added tools aimed at allowing users to avoid content they do not want to see or select who can see the content they add. With this in mind, marketers should be aware of the fact that they need to offer compelling content or risk being tuned out by users.
However, Facebook announced on November 29 that it has adjusted its privacy controls to give users greater awareness of the information they’re sharing on the website. While the social media giant has added a series of new third-party applications that provide marketers with information, each application or feature a user adds comes with a prompt informing him or her of the effect the app will have on their privacy.
Social media marketing campaigns that rely solely on posting content and engaging users will be less affected than those using applications on the website.
As Timeline continues its roll out, social media marketing campaigns should begin their adjustments earlier to be fully prepared when all users have image-friendly Timelines. Moreover, visual content is an especially important element of social campaigns.
Social Marketing Alert: “Facebook Timeline now fully rolled out!”
A report from WebLiquidResearch found that images generate the most engagement on Facebook, which provides even further motivation for marketers to embrace Timeline. The study found that 0.37 percent of all images draw some form of action from Facebook users, which is the most of any media type.
Should You Hire a Social Media Consultant? – SmackTalk
Needless to say, it caused a stir and generated more than 400 comments, which was not surprising given his post featured provocative paragraphs like this one:
“No business in the world should want a “Social Media Expert” on their team. They shouldn’t want a guru, rock-star, or savant, either. If you have a “Social Media Expert” on your payroll, you’re wasting your money.”
As someone who offers some social media consulting services, Shankman’s post hit close to home and, after much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion he’s right and wrong. Yes, it’s a Switzerland-like assessment but hear me out.
In Shankman’s support, one of the biggest dangers in hiring a social media consultant is they’re focused and specialized on a particular niche. The problem is that creating a social media strategic plan means having knowledge and insight into all the areas that will have an impact on social media – sales, marketing and communications.
It is impossible to put together a social media plan with any shot of being successful if a holistic view of the corporate landscape isn’t taken. To simply focus on social media tactics is disaster because it doesn’t take into account the key elements of a company’s operations.
This is the mistake many companies make when they hire a social media consultant. They bring on someone who knows the tactics and mechanics of blogs, Twitter and Facebook inside out. But they’re not hiring someone who understands the big picture strategic goals, and how social media can support and complement them. As a result, your Twitter account may be well-run but it doesn’t matter if it’s not driving well-defined corporate goals.
For many clients, the most value I bring to social media consulting assignments is an appreciation of how businesses operate, an interest in what they want to achieve with social media, and a focus on creating great story that can be delivered via social media.
While tactical execution is important, tactics are more blocking and tackling that can only happen if a strategic plan has been put in place.
If you are going to hire a social media consultant, make sure they can bring more to the table than just in-depth knowledge of the tools. It is important they have the ability and insight to understand your business and your goals for social media. If they can then help you with tactical execution, that’s a bonus.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
11 months agoSmackwagon launches “Dr. David R Gotham, Jr, DO” Responsive website we invite you to take a look! Smackwagon is honored to be launching Dr. David R Gotham, Jr, DO responsive website for his orthopedic practice. I have gotten to know David Gotham through out the years because our girls have been playing soccer for the same team and coach for many years #smackwagon#smackwagondesign#DrDavidRGothamJrDO Dr. David R Gotham, Jr, DO Smackwagon Design Nicaragua Smackwagon Design