Facebook Speeds up Mobile Messages

Facebook MessengerFacebook has made some improvements to its mobile messenger service. Now Facebook says, “you can see who’s online and who’s on mobile, and know when the other person is typing. It’s also easier to send messages to the people you message most.” Learn more and Watch a demo on their blog.


Choosing a Mobile Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business

[tweetmeme]By Blake Sanders

Mobile Broadband A business’s resourcefulness can be a determining factor of success in today’s market. More and more, businesses are recognizing the importance of social media in the marketing world. Facebook, Groupon, and Foursquare have each taken a different approach to marketing for small businesses. Consumers are benefiting from their mobile marketing efforts by receiving discounts. Businesses benefit by increasing revenue and gaining exposure from new customers. Each tool has changed the face of online marketing. Advancements in mobile broadband Internet have made all of this possible.

Mobile Broadband Marketing

Mobile broadband marketing is growing in popularity. Many consumers are using mobile internet to access information about businesses and discounts while on the go. People that use mobile internet may contact their friends to meet them at particular locations. Businesses benefit because the revenue increase is immediate. Friends contact their friends and, immediately, a small business has customers.

The usefulness of social media is endless. Consumers are truly benefiting from small businesses that desire to build clientele. As customers value the product and become loyal customers, the small business will grow and be required to spend fewer marketing dollars to retain current customers. Small businesses may reinvest the money into other areas of the company.


Facebook has partnered with businesses to help them gain more customers by improving customer service, offering promotional deals, and improving public relations online. After the introduction of Groupon, Facebook attempted to offer Facebook Deals to provide online incentives for users of its vast social network. The idea did not do as well as expected.

Instead, Facebook decided to focus on location-based marketing through the use of Facebook Places and “tagging” businesses that were offering deals in the user’s location. This tool allows consumers to find their friends in any location as well as earn discounts.

Facebook continues to excel in other areas and facilitate businesses by helping them offer deals to their customers. Facebook facilitates companies that offer promotional deals to consumers without formally starting their own discount coupon company. Discounts encourage people to shop more. Increased shopping builds brand loyalty. When friends refer friends, they receive more incentives than they would if they did not refer friends.


Groupon is a remarkable new marketing tool that helps companies gain exposure by offering discounted rates to people buying together at one time. Consumers may receive discounts on salons, massages, dinner or countless other items. These people redeem their coupons at the establishment by a given time period. This company may also offer incentives for customers that also invite their friends to participate. For instance, if three or more friends purchase a deal, the consumer will receive their deal free.


Foursquare mayorships allow its users to “check in” to businesses and receive promotional deals for “check ins.” For instance, a person may “check in” at a coffee shop 10 times and then receive a free coffee. The idea is to reward loyal customers that visit a location frequently. Companies increase revenue with repeat business. The mayorships also encourage large groups of people to gather in a location at a single time. People that can bring a crowd will be rewarded with a discount. Unfortunately, employees or managers cannot participate and receive discounts at their location.

Las Vegas Casinos, retail stores, and others are using this concept to lure customers into their establishments. The concept works. People must get accustomed to the idea of people locating them and flashing personalized advertisements.

Blake Sanders is a tech writer at Broadband Expert, the broadband comparison website. He specializes in writing on mobile broadband, mobile phones, and the latest in wireless internet provider news and information.

Note: Photo courtesy of pinksherbet via FlickR Creative Commons.


7 Reasons Your Business Should Embrace Foursquare

By Dwayne Kilbourne

When it comes to the location-based services (LBS) social networks, Foursquare has grown to become the de facto segment leader, but the landscape is getting quite diverse with new competitors arriving all the time. Luckily, Foursquare has continued to push the envelope in innovation and partnerships. As a result, the user base has continued to grow at an impressive pace, and more businesses and brands are jumping on board. But, many companies are unsure if Foursquare is worth the time and effort, so here are seven reasons why your organization should give foursquare a look or two.

Why Your Business Should Use Foursquare

1. Use Foursquare specials to reach new customers: If your organization offers a Foursquare special, it shows up on the mobile app screen of anybody who is checking in nearby, and many users will click on the option to view those specials that are nearby them, motivating many of them to stop in at your business establishment.

2. Claiming your venue gives you competitive advantage: Every time a customer uses Foursquare to check-in at your venue (so long as they are not checking in off-grid), you see them listed within your merchant management tools. If they have a Twitter profile linked to their Foursquare profile, you now have the capability to reach out and tweet them a thank you for stopping in; this enables your business to start engaging the customer and building that relationship. If they do not have a Twitter or Facebook profile linked, you could still friend request them from your branded account and use the comment feature within Foursquare to send along your gratitude. Cropping out and establishing your piece of this channel right now will allow you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

3. Data… Data… Data: Piggy-backing on the last note about how claiming your venue adds to your competitive edge, Foursquare also provides great data about your customers. Do you have more females or males checking in using Foursquare? Who was your most recent Foursquare user to check-in? Which Foursquare user frequents your venue the most within the past certain amount of days? When do most of your customers check-in each day? Seeing how this information is currently free to all businesses who claim their venue(s), giving Foursquare at least one try should be a no-brainer!

4. Foursquare Tips: Whether you know it or not, Foursquare users are leaving tips about your business as we speak. Even if you haven’t joined this party, people have created your venue, checked into your venue, and probably added tips and pictures. Engaging these customers by participating in the conversation helps you understand your customers’ perspectives and feedback.

5. Foursquare is popular: When it comes to location-based services, Foursquare is the top name in the game. Currently, the service has over 10 million registered users, and many of them are highly enthusiastic. You’d be surprised just how many people are using Foursquare to check into venues in your area.

6. Foursquare is customizable: Unlike many social media networks, Foursquare is excited to hear the enthusiasm from their user base. As a result, they have opened up their API to anybody who wants to build off of it. Hence, there are many new and interesting third-party apps that build off of the Foursquare platform. This means that your company has that option too. Foursquare continues to add new business-friendly features every few months, and that provides businesses, large and small, the chance to try out new things. Recently, the company announced that it is unveiling the Merchant API in an effort to allow brands to build on top of the Foursquare experience and help streamline it into their current systems.

7. The price – foursquare is free for everybody: Unless you are looking to really market using badges and the like (something that currently runs about $25,000 per month with a three month minimum commitment), the experience is free to try and use. This means that you can play around with this social network without worrying about losing a great deal of investment money.

Personally, I have over 10,000 foursquare check-ins, manage three venues for clients, am a superuser level 2 and part of the Foursquare Ambassador Program, and surprisingly met my girlfriend because of Foursquare, I admittedly am a little biased towards foursquare, but their continued success is hard to ignore, and they continue to be a really popular social network. Some will argue that there are worries about privacy, but the company has really done a great job of stepping up by offering all of their users a vast array of options and settings to select from, further creating a user-friendly and business-friendly network for all to enjoy. Again, the service is free, so I encourage you and your organization to give this growing network a try; I’m anxious to hear your thoughts about Foursquare and your Foursquare experiences!

If you would like to learn more about how Foursquare can help you business, feel free to check out the Foursquare presentation I gave about this topic with a local group of business professionals. Also, I encourage you to visit AboutFoursquare.com for anything and everything related to Foursquare, check out their weekly podcast, and engage with other Foursquare users on the weekly #4sqCHAT TweetChat that takes place every Monday evening at 9pm EST. Finally, claiming your venue is really easy; feel free to contact me if you have difficulty getting through the claim process!

Dwayne Kilbourne is President & CEO of Kilbourne & Associates, Inc.


BlackBerry Introduces New Mobile Phone App to Manage WordPress Blogs

[tweetmeme]BlackBerry has introduced a new mobile phone app that makes it easy to manage  WordPress.com and WordPress.org blogs right from its device. I’m currently in the market for a new mobile phone, and after watching the video below, I’m going to seriously consider choosing a BlackBerry.

This movie requires Adobe Flash for playback.

via Introducing WordPress for BlackBerry 1.0 « WordPress.tv.


Apple Preparing to Bite into Geolocation Social Networking

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=apple+iphone&iid=8064694″ src=”7/f/d/8/Deutsche_Telekom_To_af91.jpg?adImageId=11595359&imageId=8064694″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

I just read an article in Information Week that Apple has filed a patent for technology that would let it create a geolocation social network similar to Foursquare.

This is a pretty interesting development, since I just wrote about Foursquare yesterday, and what its service could mean for marketers.

According to the article, the patent application describes a service called iGroups that would enable people to share geographic location data in order to connect using an iPhone or other mobile device. People who agree to join the network would be able to broadcast information in real-time through text and instant messaging and also share files, such as pictures or video.

People who don’t have iPhones could still use the service too. It’s not mentioned in the patent application, but it’s possible Apple’s MobileMe service could be used to add mobile phones without GPS to a group.

The application says, “Concert attendees in a group can be sent coupons to purchase music or other items related to the concert or invited to join a fan club of the performer, etc.”

Just because Apple filed the patent, doesn’t mean it will launch iGroups, and the company has a strict policy about not commenting on future products. But, there are signs Apple means business with this product. Last year it bought a mapping company called Placebase. And it has thwarted rival Google’s attempts to leverage the iPhone for location-based services – refusing to let Google offer Latitude, a Google Maps location-sharing service, thru the iTunes App Store. As a result, users can only access Latitude thru iPhone’s Safari Web browser.



Mobile Coupons Deliver Big ROI for Advertisers

mobile couponsWhat would a 38% sales response rate to an advertising message mean for your company’s bottom line?

Or how about bringing in $1 million in incremental revenue in just 8 months?

Sound impossible?

Not for some companies who use mobile text messaging as an advertising strategy.

Text messaging has become a way of life for many Americans today – with more than 250 million mobile users in the U.S. alone. As such, the mobile phone is expected to become the most powerful marketing tool for brand owners, small businesses and professionals.

A study by JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan bears this out. He expects mobile advertising to grow by 45 percent this year, to $3.8 billion, with the majority of that spent on SMS (short message service) advertising.

One Central Florida based mobile marketing company is generating big responses for some of its clients. imediaReach offers fully trackable mobile coupons powered by its platform developer, Hipcricket.  According to imediaReach’s web site, 38% of respondents to a Nestle Waters campaign purchased an Arrowhead product as a direct result of their mobile marketing program.

And Cleveland radio station, KISS FM, brought in more than $1 million in incremental revenue in eight months – a 24 percent increase it says was directly related to its text messaging campaign.

Now, I’ve never been a fan of text messaging. It just doesn’t seem worth the extra expense on my phone bill. But after seeing a demonstration of the mobile coupon concept, I can appreciate how businesses can profit from this strategy. The concept relies on permission marketing and the ability to encourage customer loyalty.

Here’s how it works: A restaurant offers a 10% discount coupon to customers who text a series of numbers, ex. 12345. When the restaurant receives the text, they respond back to the customer with a request for an email address to send the 10% discount coupon.

Capturing the email address enables the restaurant to send the customer a new offer each week. By offering a reward for their patronage, the customer is much more likely to become a repeat visitor to the restaurant.

imediaReach says its customers pay about 5 to 10 cents per message. That’s far less than the cost for direct mail.  It costs 28 cents just to mail one postcard, not counting the other production costs on top of that. It’s easy to see how companies can generate a much bigger ROI from mobile messaging.

So, is mobile messaging the future of advertising?  Or will Apple’s new iPad change the playing field yet again?  That’s a discussion for another day.

Image courtesy: Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net



Social Media Revolution

You may have seen this video already on YouTube, but I thought it contained some amazing statistics about social media that I wanted to share here too.  Read carefully!  I’m convinced that social media is here to stay, and businesses need to pay attention to leverage it for their success.