Retail Me Not Mobile App

Retail Me Not, Mobile App, Smartphone, TabletIn a world where media messages are fighting for your attention, and everyone is always connected to their smartphones and tablets, companies are creating mobile apps to aid in their marketing efforts. My iPhone is filled with all sorts of different mobile apps, from Angry Birds to Google Maps. I recently downloaded the free Retail Me Not app, in order to see how businesses are utilizing mobile apps. The app’s description stated that it contained thousands of coupons and deals to the places you love to shop. 

After downloading Retail Me Not, you’re asked if you would like push notifications. I opted out of this option because I already have too much going on on my phone. However, from the standpoint of a business, I think it’s good to ask consumers if they’ll allow the push notifications. If they say yes, you can constantly keep them updated with what’s going on with your business, and you can always remain fresh in their minds.

Retail Me Not, Mobile App, Shopping, Tablet, Marketing

After denying push notifications, I was asked if I wanted to find deals nearby. If you allowed theapp to track your location, they could tell you all the deals within your local area. While I normally wouldn’t allow most apps to track me, for the sake of my research, I allowed the app to access my location. Upon my approval, a long list of stores appeared on my screen. It wasn’t just clothing stores, it was restaurants, auto supply stores, etc. Along with the store name, it showed the deal that was being offered. For example, Best Buy was offering 20 percent off small appliances, in store and online. If you find a deal that you like, you have the option of saving it on the app, that way you can access it when you’re in the store.

Retail Me Not, Mobile App, Shopping, Tablet, Marketing

If you want to access the deal right away, you can click on the image and either claim the offer or share it with friends. I clicked on share to see where Retail Me Not allowed consumers to tell their friends about the deal. App users can share deals viatext message, email, Facebook or Twitter. The share feature is great because it will help attract more people to the Retail Me Not App. If you see one of your Facebook friends sharing a deal, you’re more likely to access that deal because you know who they are and you have already established trust with that person.

If you want to go beyond local deals, you have the option of searching trending deals. You can choose to search in-store deals or online deals. I was impressed by the number of deals for national retailers within the app. If you’re looking for a specific item but don’t have a specific store in mind, Retail Me Not allows you to search from a list of categories including: Automotive, Beauty, Clothing, Furniture, among many others. There really is something for every shopper.

 

Retail Me Not, Mobile App, Shopping, Tablet, Marketing

Finally, if you’re out and about and you spot a good deal, the app allows you to snap a photo and share your savings with other shoppers. The app takes the shopping and saving experience full circle.

Overall, I think the Retail Me Not app is beneficial for mobile users. They no longer have to worry about carrying around or finding that coupon, because they have them right at their fingertips. I will definitely be saving the app on my phone and using it to score some deals the next time I’m at the mall or going out to dinner! 

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Pottery Barn and SEO

Picture 1One of my all-time favorite stores is Pottery Barn. If I could live inside a PotteryBarn store, I would! For anyone out there who doesn’t already know, Pottery Barn is a retail store that specializes in home decor and home furnishings.  According to the organization’s mission statement, the brand was built on the idea that home furnishings should be exceptional in comfort, quality, style and value.

With stores located across the United States and throughout Canada, as well as a website and an active presence on social media, I believe Pottery Barn will rank highly in search results.

Below are ten keywords that I believe are prominent in Pottery Barn’s branding. I conducted a Google Search on each term to see where Pottery Barn ranks according to each, and to discover where the brand could improve their SEO efforts.

1. Home decor: Page 1, Result 6

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2. Interior design: Beyond 2o pages

3. Home furnishings: Page 1, Result 5

4. Home entertaining: Beyond 20 pages

5. Table settings: Page 3, Result 3

6. Room ideas: Page 1, Result 10

7. Home accents: Page 1, Result 6

8. Dinnerware: Page 2, Result 8

9. Dream home: Beyond 20 pages

10. Wedding registry: Page 2, Result 2

As you can see, Pottery Barn appears within the top three pages on every keyword I searched except for three.

Next, I conducted a search on Pottery Barn’s website, to see how many times I could find the keywords on the brand’s home page, including in alt tags and html. This is what I discovered:

1. Home decor: Five times, but “home” was mentioned 35 times and “decor” was mentioned 55 times on the home page and tags.

2. Interior design: Five times, but “interior” was mentioned five times and “design” was mentioned 24 times.

3. Home furnishings: Four times, but a form of “furnishings” was mentioned 51 times.

4. Home entertaining: None, but a form of “entertaining” was used 37 times.

5. Table settings: None, but “table” was mentioned 12 times and a form of “setting” was mentioned seven times.

6. Room ideas: Eight times, but “room” was mentioned 51 times on the home page, meta tags and alt tags.

7. Home accents: Three times, but “accents” was mentioned five times.

8. Dinnerware: Six times.

9. Dream home: None, but “dream” was mentioned four times.

10. Wedding registry: None, but “wedding” was mentioned 12 times and “registry” was mentioned 23 times on the home page and tags.

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Pottery barn achieves SEO success by including these keywords not just on their home page, but throughout the meta and alt coding. Effectively using SEO helps Pottery Barn stay ahead of their competitors and at the top of the home decor game. It also ensures that when consumers turn to search for their home decor needs, Pottery Barn’s brand will rise to the top.

Journalism and Public Relations: Where does Social Media Fit?

As social media progresses and evolves, social media, journalism, public relationsmany professionals question its impact on public relations and journalism. Social media has helped each of the fields evolve and plays an essential role in each industry’s success.

Public Relations

Businesses should integrate social media and public relations to increase mentions, awareness and brand authority. It’s not all about creating buzz, it’s about delivering return.  Below are areas where social media can have an impact on public relations:

1. Media Relations: Social media allows businesses to build real relationships with members of the media. Public relations professionals can follow influential bloggers or reporters whose audiences are interested in their industry.

2. Consumer Outreach: Social media allows brands to talk directly to their audiences. As a consumer, I’d much prefer the personal touch of following a brand on Twitter, as opposed to reading about them in press releases. Social media allows brands to establish a real connection with brand enthusiasts.

3. Crisis Communication: Many crises are created or amplified by social media, so social media is the perfect way to respond to those crises. Public relations departments can also monitor what social media users are saying about their brand, so they can take almost immediate action, and nip the negativity in the bud.

4. Speaking Engagements and Events: Companies should let their social media followers know when an employee is speaking at an event or conference. Social media networks like SlideShare also allow speakers to post their presentations so those who were unable to attend, can keep engaged with what was said.

5. More Measurement: Social media analytics can help public relations professionals understand the value of conversations, placements that generate the most engagement and which writers have the strongest influence over readers.

Journalism

More and more people are turning to social media as their main source for news. Sixty percent of people use Facebook as a recurring news source. Social media allows users to get news in almost real time. As a newspaper editor, I’ve seen many “hardcore traditional journalist” dispute social media’s power. They appreciate the nostalgia of seeing newsprint on the page, and think of social media as a fad. While I also appreciate physically turning the pages of a newspaper, citizen journalists are shaping the news now, and the more traditional journalists resist social media, the more irrelevant they become.

Crowdsourcing is easier than ever for journalists using social media. Citizens are taking photos and videos every day, developing an endless archive of sourceable content. Journalists can find tipsters, sources and stories just by logging into their social media accounts.

As valuable as social media can be for journalism, it also has its pitfalls. Social media sometimes allows for the spreading of unchecked facts and site monitors don’t always stay on top of legal issues. After the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, I retweeted a photo that had gone viral of the chaos that ensued. The photo said that the man died as he prepared to propose to his girlfriend. Later I learned that this information was inaccurate. Social media helps stories and photos to go viral, but it’s important, especially as a journalist, that you’re verifying the content you post on social media. The Handbook of Journalism got it right when it said, “Journalism has many unsend buttons, but social media has none.”

Questions to consider:

1. In what way has social media helped your industry evolve?

2. What affect do you see social media having on journalism and public relations in the future?

3. What do you think are the biggest benefits and pitfalls of using social media in your profession?

Social Media and ROI

ROI, Social Media

The success of a business or a marketing campaign is often determined by how much revenue is generated. In this revenue-driven world, it’s difficult to determine a correlation between ROI and social media, but it’s not impossible. Chris Heuer suggests flows of attention, data, stories, labor and capital can provide a means for determining the value of social media. The flows can be identified, measured and converted into financial equivalents, enabling an organization to view returns in a more traditional manner.

Adam Popescu created a list for how businesses can use social media to increase their ROI:

  1. Engage – People want to have relationships with brands online.
  2. Be authentic – Your loyal followers will call you out if your putting out content that doesn’t reflect the brand. When in doubt, ask your followers what content they want.
  3. Provide quality content – Post consistently and make followers feel like their part of the brand.
  4. Integrate real-time apps – Incorporate social media into everything you do.
  5. Experiment – Text tone, style and content to see what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve never worked specifically with ROI, but I’ve already incorporated many of Popescu’s tactics into my social media strategy to increase followers and traffic, and improve my personal brand’s SEO.

For a brand that focusing on fundraising, social media can play a critical role. Social media enables businesses to drive awareness to their cause(s). Brands should use YouTube to create and share a video that shows their audience who and what will benefit from their donations. A good example of this is the “Kony 2012” video, (below). This video introduced social media users to Jacob, a man who survived the reign of Joseph Kony. The video went on to inform viewers of all the crimes Kony was committing, and at the very end it let viewers know how they’re donation could help make the world a better place. The video has been viewed over 98 million times.

Other ways brands can increase awareness for fundraising is creating identifiable hashtags and recruiting brand influencers to pass along your message.

Brands who ask social media followers to donate to a cause and promise to match a portion of the donations not only benefit from helping out a good cause, but they get free positive publicity. Brands that give to charity gain more exposure and have better connections with consumers.

Whether your trying to measure your brand’s ROI, or your fundraising via social media, there are many measurable business goals that social media can help a brand to achieve. These include:

  • Increase brand exposure
  • Increase traffic to website
  • Receive better marketplace insights
  • Development of brand advocates
  • Improved organic search traffic
  • New business partnerships
  • Reduced marketing expenses
  • Increased sales

Social media has changed the way consumers interact with each other and brands. Make sure your brand is a part of the conversation!

Questions to consider:

1. How does your brand measure your social media’s ROI?

2. What techniques have you used to increase your social media’s ROI?

3. Is a monetary value even important when measuring the value of social media?

Tracking Your Social Media Success

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Part of any successful social media marketing campaign, is evaluating how much of an impact your social media networks are making. If you don’t track your social media analytics, you won’t have a clear understanding of what your target audience is responding to. According to an infographic created by Araceli Perez, over 50 percent of businesses are unsure how to measure the value of their LinkedIn, Twitter or blogs.

If you work for a marketing company, it’s important to use social media analytics to gain new clients. When you’re trying to win over a potential client use social media analytics to answer these important questions:

  • Who’s buying the product and why?
  • What are the latest trends in the industry?
  • What topics are potential customers talking about and who is the most influential?
  • What marketing channels and messages are resonating with their consumers?
  • What triggers are causing customers to act?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to track industry trends, appear as an expert and land the client!

If you’re unsure of how to track your social media metrics, have no fear, there are plenty of programs that can help you measure your successes. Francisco Meza and Ian Barker have both come up with lists of the best social media analytics tools to use. I’ve compiled and compacted their lists into one super list of social analytic tools: 

  1. Hootsuite – Hootsuite is the leading social media dashboard, and it enhances yoursocial media management. You can send messages from HootSuite to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. The program allows you to measure campaign results, but it doesn’t provide robust analytics.
  2. Sprout Social – Sprout Social is a tool that helps businesses find new customers and grow their social media presence. Sprout Social integrates with Google Analytics, making it one of the best tools for tracking social media analytics.
  3. Klout – Klout measures your social media influence across a wide range of networks,and it’s based on how many people interact with your posts. Klout is my favorite tool for monitoring my personal brand because it’s easy to use, and it tracks all of the social networks that I use on a regular basis (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn).
  4. Viralheat – Viralheat aggregates all of your social media traffic into a single stream so it’s easy to maintain. The tool allows you to schedule posts, and there’s a dashboard to track analytics.
  5. Social Crawlytics – Identify your competitor’s most shared social media content and find out who is sharing their content with Social Crawlytics. 

If you’re looking to track how the links on social media are performing, try using Oktopost Integration with Bit.Ly and Google Analytics. I’ve always used Bit.Ly to shorten my URL links on Twitter, but the free site also shows you who has shared your links. 

Nils Mork Ulnes argues that brands need to go beyond using analytics to increase likes, comments and followers. He suggests that more brands should be using analytics to get into the minds of consumers. Ulnes makes a valid point. The more you know about your consumers and what messages they respond to and share, the more targeted you can make your social media content, which will ultimately lead to more sales. 

Questions to consider:

What social media analytic tools does your brand use, or do you use for your personal brand? What do you like about that tool?

Does your company use analytics to track engagement or to get into the minds of the customers? Which do you think is more important?

Creating Viral Content

When it comes to creating viral online content, marketing experts seem to be divided. However, there are recurring trends in viral content that seem to have a significant impact on whether or not a piece of content gets shared by millions.

Length of content

Carson Ward suggests longer content is more likely to be shared and go viral. Ward reasons that long pieces have the potential to be thorough in a way that is impossible for shorter pieces. Mark Smiciklas opposes Ward’s views, and says shorter content is more likely to go viral, because web users want small chunks of information that they can easily skim through.

When you’re writing content for your company, it’s important to think of your target audience and what they want to read. With so much information available to consumers online, their attention span is small. It’s important that you grab their attention and convey your message quickly. As a consumer, I wouldn’t spend 15 minutes of my time reading an article online; I want to read quick pieces of information that are easy to digest. When you’re creating content, keep it short to keep consumers’ attention.

Inspiring emotions

Marketing experts agree that content that inspires emotion is more likely to be shared, but there is some debate over which emotions have the biggest impact. Derek Halpern says positive content is more likely to go viral than negative content. Halpern says there are a lot of unhappy people in the world and uplifting content helps them to get out of their rut, if only temporarily. Ward says that anger elicits more shares. You see it all the time on Facebook, if a person is angry with what a company says or does, they’ll rant about why the company is wrong.

There’s no significant proof that one emotion is better than another, but it is evident that when you’re writing content, you should try and stir up some type of emotion. Consumers won’t waste their valuable time reading or watching something that has no emotional impact on them. Below is an example of one of my favorite videos that created impact by stirring up emotions.

Is creating viral content even important?

Now that you know several important factors in determining whether or not content goes viral, you might want to consider if viral content is even that important. Kelsey Libert says creating engagement is good, but viral content is best. Dorie Clark counters Libert’s statement and says you don’t need 10 million views to succeed, but building a loyal following of a longer period of time is more beneficial for a company.

Viral content can get you thousands of views in a short period of time, but marketing a brand is more about long-term success and creating a loyal customer base. Viral videos are great, but eventually people stop watching and stop talking about you. Have you heard anything from Antoine Dodson after he warned millions to hide their kids and wives? If you post quality content frequently, you will build trust and authority with consumers, and they’ll stick with you for longer than a fleeting second.

Whether you’re trying to create viral content, or content that builds brand loyalty over time, it’s important to include share buttons on all of your content. Your message will reach far more people if you include links for consumers to share on social media networks.

Questions to consider:

1. Is it better to create viral content that has an immediate, but short-lived impact on masses, or is it better to consistently produce quality content and attain a large following over a longer period of time?

2. What emotions does your favorite viral content stir up?