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Anise Smith Marketing

Social Media Professor | Digital Marketing Technologist | Mobile Web | Digital Webinar Developer | Analytics

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QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?
QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

QR Codes: Because Why NOT?

 

Three years ago on September 13, 2010, I uploaded a video about QR codes and I got a lot of confused questions that pretty much translated to, “What The Heck!!” At the time I was still learning about this technology, because it was still new to the United States.  I would consume as much information as I could, with the goal of learning more about this cool “new” technology.  In some circles I became the “GoTo” person for QR Code technology.

 

As my excitement grew I started to notice more and more of this technology out there. QR codes were on everything, people had them on their websites, online catalogs and more. I was guilty of this as well, until I though “Hey, wait a minute….” This is all wrong. That is when I started to understand that this technology is being utilized in the “hey new shiny object sort of way” but it was not being used as effectively as it could have been.  That’s when I realized that the usage of QR codes might not ever reach its full potential because in some instances they were being used incorrectly.

 

My findings:

  • There is no reason to add a QR Code to your website because people are usually on your mobile or traditional website when they are viewing the QR Code.  So if you had plans of using the QR code to direct them to your website, they are already there, there’s not need. Don’t use QR codes on a website to direct them to your website.
  • QR Codes that are geared to open to a website should ALWAYS open to a mobile website, not a traditional website. We all know by now that a traditional website may not display properly on a mobile device.  There ARE NO exceptions to this rule.
  • QR Codes should NOT scan to “Download my catalog” because most of the time people have scanned a QR code with their phone. Absolutely NO one wants to use all of their data to download your HUGE PDF catalog to their phone.

 

QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile
QR Codes Should Scan To Mobile

 

The BEST and most practical use of QR Codes are to tie traditional print media to digital media.  As digital marketers we can sometimes not grasp that everyone is NOT so enamored with the growth of technology as we are. However it is true!  There are still many people that are very print-oriented and QR codes are a great option for that population of folks.

 

So as marketers we must recognize that although we are focused on digital media there is still an opportunity to tie traditional print to digital for clients that still utilize this form of marketing.  QR codes are the perfect vehicle to get this done. As a matter of fact, this is the primary reason that QR Codes should NOT be discounted and should be revisited.  There has not been an equivalent and cost effective medium introduced that is capable of tying together these two media as QR codes can, if executed properly.

 

Although it was once thought that NFC could bridge the gap between traditional print media and digital, it has not materialized as we originally thought that it would. This is primarily due to the cost and complexity of this technology for mainstream populations. Since the need to bridge traditional and digital, QR Codes remain the logical and least expensive way to go, as long as traditional marketing remains even a little relevant.

 

At one time we exclusively used traditional marketing, but we all know that things have change. In spite of this, there has not been a total elimination of traditional print media. So, we can still utilize traditional media to drive traffic to digital channels, creating a bit of a fusion between the older traditional marketing strategies and the new emerging digital marketing strategies.

 

Until the total discontinuation of traditional print media, as marketers we must find a way to tie together traditional and digital mediums for ourselves on occasion and for our clients. QR codes can be a very cost effective way to do this.

 

So lets give some thought to revisiting QR codes, if you’ve worked with them before or venture into something new if you haven’t.

 

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So follow me me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+ and let’s start a QR code discussion!

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Stop Sending That LAME Automated Generic Twitter DM When You’re Followed

Twitter

Ok, I’ve followed you on Twitter and you may have followed me back. I love that, this is social media after all and its all about following the content of people that you like.  You like them because they have amazing content, you have something in common, you may want to do business with them or any number of reasons that you select to follow a person.

Do you hear a BUT coming?  Well I won’t disappoint. I’m sure that I really love the content of the person that I just followed and that just followed me.  I’m pretty sure that I am totally interested in reading the tweets and I could very well be interested in following that person outside of just Twitter.

What I DON’T really like is the automated Twitter DM that I receive exactly 30 seconds after I follow…. ” Thank you For Following my Tweets, I LOVE your content, YOU Are great, I want to breath your air, I want to name my first born after you, I want to wallow in your essence, I want to tattoo your name on my face Mike Tyson style and I want to absorb your aura. Did You know that my dogs name is Anise??  I love that name.  Do you love me too??…Can you follow me on Facebook..Download my ebook, Scan my QR code maybe.”  Doh! Homer Simpson look. I’m sorry but this is super LAME!  I’m sure I speak for the masses.

Everyone loves your tweets or they wouldn’t be following you. So, stop the lame automated blathering Twitter DM’s, really.

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2012 Is Here: Time to Rock Your Job Search with Social Media

SocialMediaJobSearch

 

We are all living in a very technology driven and social media oriented world. It seemed as one minute we were typing a way and the next we’re all on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. This happened in a very short span of time and we are all reeling from how different everything is. It is a very new and exciting time to be involved with technology and to be in a position to take advantage of all that it has to offer.   Some are really going with technology and some are like WTH!  Both responses are very understandable. 🙂

One of the areas that we have not adapted to using Social Media is in our job search, beyond Linkedin of course. I think this is primarily because some of the cool tools out there are not as mainstream and popular. Again this is because there are so many new platforms out there that its hard to keep up, but there are some really cool platforms that will add a new spin to your hunt for that next consult or employment opportunity.

New technologies and social media used in this very tough job market could allow you to stand apart from the brutal competition that we are all going up against to gain the next consulting or job opportunity.  What better way to do that than to add a few cool social elements to your job search.

A few Tips:

Traditional resumes are great and the have really served the purpose for many years, they still do but there are are a few options available that can be used as a compliment to a traditional resume.

  • Zerply:  Is an online resume format that allows you to create a wonderful display of your employment accomplishments for all to see in a beautiful and easy to use online format.
  • Vizualizeme:  Is still in Beta so you will have to request an invite. This format is also an online resume format and it allows you to create and infographic styled resume. You can customize the look and totally make it your own.
  • Re.Vu: Is another online format that I really love. I just created an online resume using this format and it is a bit of a combination of all of the above AND it creates a QR Code for your online resume. You can then add the QR code to your business cards, traditional resume and all other marketing materials.

You can also go one step further by adding a social element to your email. After all an email is the first thing that will be noticed when you send your resume. So why not add a few social elements to that as well.

  • Wisestamp: Allows you to create a simple email signature with all of your social media platforms.
  • BrandMyMail: Is amazing! I just started using it and it allows you add video, blog posts, an email signature and more to your email.

A few more things:

  • Clean up your social media presence
  • Update your traditional resume
  • Update your LinkedIn profile

Good Luck!  Happy consulting & job hunting in 2012!

 

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@Kred Beyond Influence: What You NEED To Know @PBrowsrJoshua

AniseSmithGlobalKred

Everyone that knows me really REALLY knows that my attention span when listening to webinars, during meetings and attending class is negative 100, if not lower.  I must really have a strong interest if I sign up and a stronger interest if I actually DO NOT multitask through the entire experience.  So when I was asked to meet with Joshua at PeopleBrowsr for a demo of Kred, I was initially like WTH and why would I need a demo. Then I took a look at the platform, realized that there was way more to it than I originally thought and scheduled the demo.

The first thing that I learned about Kred was that they are a part of PeopleBrowsr which is a very powerful Social Analytics Platform. I soon realized how much they rocked as the presentation went on.  Another very important thing that I learned was that they are REALLY TRANSPARENT, not the blowing smoke up your ( cough cough) as some other platforms claim.

TransparentScoring

Kred demonstrates your social influence and displays exactly how the scores were compiled, how the numbers were calculated and all in real time.  Kred has areas of focus, Communities in which a person can have influence, this is based on Twitter profiles.  This area of influence is NOT necessarily based on YOUR Twitter profile but the profile, and keywords of your followers profile. For instance one of my influence areas is Sailing ( everyone that knows me is laughing Def Comedy Jam hard now because I have an extreme water phobia ) but this category is NOT what my interests are but the interests of a LOT of the people that I am engaged with.

KredTopCommunities

So on a side money making note, this is HUGE for business because if there were companies interested in marketing to a Sailing demographic I would be the person that could be used to get to this audience.

Kred Scores are based on an Influence Score and an Outreach Score and focused in different Communities or areas of influence as stated above. So as I describe above I have an area of influence in Sailing so I would have an Influence and Outreach Score for this category.

KredInfluenceOutreach

The Influence Score:

Influence

Kred Influence is the measure of what others do because of you. Influence increases when others take action because of your content. Your Influence score increases when someone retweets, @replies or follows you.

The Outreach Score:

Outreach

Kred Outreach is the measure of your generosity. Outreach increases when you retweet, @reply, or follow a new person. As you accumulate Outreach Points, you move to a higher Outreach Level. Because Outreach Points are a reward for being active and benevolent, your Outreach Level never goes down.

Outreach Points are earned anytime you do something generous for someone else. Outreach can never go down because we believe that the capacity for generosity is infinite.

To read more about Influence and Outreach check out the rules

The above is just a small portion of what PeopleBrowser and Kred has to offer. I suggest you try to get an invite to Kred because, THIS is HUGE for individuals and businesses. Most importantly this is why Kred is going to rock the world of Influence in regard to Social Media, Social Analytics and More.

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A Blog is NOT Optional: Whatcha’ waiting for? Start #Blogging.

Blog

At one time it was enough to have a website, and in actuality that was not so long ago.  The goal of a traditional website was to provide an avenue in which customers and potential customers could visit to get a feel for your company. It is a bit of a ” Let me check them out…” but on a business level.  So mostly everyone now has a website although I recently discovered a company or two that DID not have a website. I can’t even imagine, however that is totally another blog post.

 

The first wave of internet, Web 1.0  had everyone create websites, however we are now way past just having a website because we are now in a much more socially engaged world.   Web 2.0, or the social web is an era that is much more social, engaged  and very interested in fresh new content, which surpasses the capabilities of traditional websites.  This has pushed us away from a static website which usually is not regularly updated to provide content fresh enough for the new more engaged Web 2.0 users.  So the need for a blog which provides new, fresh and more engaging content to readers sometimes on a daily basis is not optional but really almost required at this point.

 

The demand of the more socially engaged readers are more in tuned to companies and organizations that they select to do business with. Not only do they want to check out a company Facebook page but they also want to check out the company blog. They want to feel as if they are getting to know the people behind the company that they are doing business with. This is one of the reasons that blogs are so popular and are a necessity anymore.

 

In addition to providing content for readers, blogs allow companies to supply an ongoing source of fresh content to Google by way of blog post. This makes the Google Bots happy, feeds the new Google Panda, acts to increase search ranking and provides ongoing brand recognition to customers.  This is a Win – Win scenario for companies! So I say businesses, start blogging because it is no longer optional it is a necessity. Trust me, your competitors are blogging!

 

As usual, I welcome comments or questions, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So feel free to leave a comment here, catch me on Twitter, My Facbook Page  or Google+ page.

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Your #SocialMedia Sucks Because Your Intern Would Rather Play #BeerPong

Social Media Intern

Woot, woot, you just hired yourself an Intern for nothing and you saved a bunch of money.  This is the first indication that you really don’t GET Social Media. I am not going to spout off my status of  guru, maven or whatever the hell the so called experts are calling themselves these days, because I really don’t consider myself that at all.  Anyone that takes themselves even remotely serious would never consider themselves as such either.  However, my point here is that your perception of the importance of social media is non-existent if you hired a, pimply 20 year old to market your company from his/her fancy computer.  Remember when you were a young pimply 20 year old college kid, as a guy it was beer pong, chicks and being cool. As a girl its beer pong,  guys and being beautiful. Oh yeah and on a side note “I need a few dollars, so let go spam some crap on Twitter and Facebook for this old guys business so I can buy some more beer for, oh yeah..more beer pong tonight…”   My point is, as a business owner you should understand that the value you place on your business and marketing strategies will not be the same as your friendly neighborhood pimply intern  would place on your business. Its really a no brainer.

So ultimately either a person really does not care about their business or they do not really understand the importance of social media/Internet Marketing, the importance that it will play to their business in the present and very very near future.   Social Media will replace at worse and evolve  at best what you currently utilize as your marketing strategy.  YES I said it.  Think about what traditional marketing involved ( yes past tense ) and think about how many of those duties you or others participate in now.  Marketing by way of print has evolved, flyers are not as effective, magazines are going online, yellow pages are scrambling to keep up and what the hell is a newspaper anymore.  Websites are still somewhat relevant, but have been  mostly replaced by blogs. So now that you KNOW your marketing options has, at best changed a tad ( major exaggeration ) you STILL think wow, let me grab pimply intern to rock my marketing world. Ummm FAIL.

It is time to really think about the importance of social media as it pertains to your business, how to create a strategy as you did with your played out traditional marketing campaign and act accordingly.  I know personally, there is not a beer pong playing pimply college intern that I would trust with the future of my business, you shouldn’t either. I really REALLY wonder why anyone would.

So the future of your business could depend on how hung over your intern is when he pushes the spammy tweets while chucking Jello shots. Keep in mind that pimply intern may not be exactly focused on your brand, your company focus or your company message.  How about this for a novel idea, how about you start to get real with social media marketing strategy. First gain an understanding of social media, figure out your goals and implement a plan that doesn’t include, beer pong, jello shots and pushing spammy tweets, by previously referenced pimply intern.

In parting I am going to leave you with a video and quote that made an amazing impact on my view of social media. The video is below and the quote is as follows:

We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it

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#SocialMedia The Route To Your Next Gig [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social Media being used to prescreen: Be aware of what you post
Social Media has pretty much replaced most forms of traditional print media so it is totally understandable that the hunt for a job has been also effected by social Media.  I have seen lots of social media channels advertising jobs and even some channels that have even created a company job board.

Take a look at the infographic below to give you an idea of how much the job market has been changed by Social Media

Social Job Search
Created by: MBA Online

 

 

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#SocialMedia Tools #Oprah Style Favorite Things: Prepare To Scream Like a Girl

Picture 3

Social Media is evolving every day, or maybe even every minute of every day.  It seems that new platforms are popping up all the time, so much so that it can actually be a tad overwhelming to say the least.  I find that I am constantly tweaking the platforms that I use and honestly it has been an ongoing process.  However I am so excited to say that I have found an amazing cocktail of social media tools recently that has really been working wonderfully for me.

Traditional Social Media allows an amazing avenue to share content. I consider it the vehicle to drive the content and can be a powerful thing if used properly. These channels are used to drive content based on particular demographics and I use each channel differently. The cocktail that I have compiled of traditional social media and the following channels has created the ultimate rocking social media tool kit for me!

Content  Sharing

  • Facebook Personal: The new Timeline layout allow me to share different content with different segments of followers/friends.  I use my lists to allow different content to circulate to different demographics. The subscribe option allows me to share information that I find of value to people that have selected to subscribe to my updates and that are not on my friends list. I supply a wide range of content to subscribers and friends using a combination of lists and the underrated subscribe function.
  • Facebook Pages: Allows me to share information that is business related  to people following my business page. I am very in tuned to this page and constantly monitoring my insights to make sure I provide information that is of value to all friends and followers. I discovered early on that I have a HUGE foodie demographic on my Facebook Page so I also provide Recipes with QR codes which is a very popular segment.
  • Google+ Profile: Offers an new but amazingly engaging platform to share your content.
  • Google+ Pages:  Is a growing avenue to share content and I’m sure will become as important to social media as Google is to Search. It has the makings of a very powerful social media tool.
  • Stumble Upon: One of the most powerful, yet overlook social media tools available. I just started stumbling more although I’ve had an account for quite a while.  UTILIZE this Tool!
Blogging Formats
  • WordPress: At one time I was a bit of a WordPress basher but I am a total convert and I am embracing this very power format. I utilize WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I have 2 additional blogs with specific QR Code content, which I utilize WordPress, these two blogs allow me to focus on providing great content on QR Codes and Using QR Codes for Food. Gotta love anything that merges technology and food. For the Win for sure.
  • Tumblr: I absolutely LOVE, LOVE Tumblr and I use it often. Tumblr is a great format to use for providing anything from little bits of information to full blown blog posts. I use my Tumblr blogs to push my curated content by way of Tech Blog and curated Food blog. Yes I love food, don’t judge me people.
Content Curation
  • Scoop.it:  I am very familiar with a few different tools used to curate content and I have used practically ALL of them, until recently. After the trial run of all of the curating tools that I’ve used I have really found that Scoop.it has every possible feature that I need in a Curation tool. Scoop.it allows you to create a variety of topics, the platform pulls data from all over the net based on your topic and compiles it in one area for your use. When you log in to your account, you find many many articles and posts for you to Scoop, by adding it to your Scoopit topic.  You can share this content on Tumblr (which I do often) Twitter, WordPress, Linkedin and Facebook. After you Scoop the article a website of your topics is created based on these articles. Can you say AWESOME!  The team at Scoop.it are constantly upgrading the site , they’ve recently added G+, the ability to re-scoop and the option to upgrade to Business Level which has analytics and additional powerful tools.  I have divorced similar curation tools once I started using the bookmarklet which allows me to add even more content . Have you started screaming “Oprah Audience” style yet?
  • Percolate:  This is also a platform that is curation based but very different than Scoop.it. Percolate compiles a “Brew” of topics that are hot on the net from people that you are following, provides links that you can share on Twitter.  Percolate is in Beta but I have invites, grab, grab , grab because I only have a few left. Invites are by email only, I have a few left so if you want in, contact me. I promise not to spam your inbox.
Leads & Professional Reputation Management
  • ProSkore: After my  amicable parting with Empire Avenue and nasty break up with Klout, I was honestly quite put off by any platform that assigned a numerical rating to anything I did online. Especially when it spit out a random Klout calculated arbitrary numbers that minimized my work ethic and business strategy. I’m not bitter. LOL. Anywayzzz, That was until I found ProSkore. What I really like about ProSkore is that it presents an opportunity to connect with Leads. Which means more business, which means more Cha-Ching. Did I make you scream yet?
Twitter Management & Lead Generation
  • Commune.it: I will tell you, this platform is AWESOME Sauce! I am a bit against anything managing my Tweets but this is not really a tweet management platform.  It is, however a very powerful tool that allows you to connect with the people that are most in tuned to you and your brand. Say WHAT?  Oh yeah, that’s exactly what I said. Commun.it provides you a list of your most engaged members, supporters, influencers, and starred members to help you build better relationships with those people.  Additionally it points out your new followers, who unfollowed you and who you should unfollow based on lack of engagement with you.   The Commun.it team is on the move with improvements constantly. They just added an avenue to discover leads. Commun.it is still in Beta but I have invites, so get them while they’re hot.
One More….I just found this one yesterday as I was planning this blog post. 
  • Zemanta: I am Loving it so far because  is one of the most rocking tools I’ve ever found to help you rock your blog. Zemanta is a Chrome Plug in ( they have other browser plugins as well) that is used to make it easier to write that blog post, which can sometimes be a struggle. I am using it now, I’ve spread the word but I needed a bigger platform in which to spread the word, hence the inclusion in this favorite social media things blog.  Zemanta adds a content recommendations plugin to your blogging platform that is used to help you easily add images, in-text links and related articles to your blog. What’s awesome about this is that you can use YOUR OWN CONTENT for the add ins. After you set up your preferences, the plugins will display your content from previous blog posts, Flickr and additional sources that you select.  Zemanta literally just ROCKED THIS DAMN BLOG!!!
These are my Favorite Social Media Things!!
If you are NOT screaming like a girl on the Oprah Favorite Things Giveaway Show,  I am doing it for you right this moment!! Don’t lie, I know you’re screaming 🙂 
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