Category Archives: Mobile

Foursquare Remembers and Appreciates Veterans 11.11.11

Foursquare Remembers and Appreciates Veterans 11.11.11


Foursquare is still relatively new when it comes to the social scene, although growing in popularity. It has over 10M users, growing over 1000% in a year.

Then engage their users and make the social network fun through the utilization of points and badges, leveraging the uptake of online gaming. Essentially, users compete with their friend network to try and have the most points, and to win the most badges, while simultaneously getting to see what everyone is up to – travelling, clubbing etc. (*note*). Badges are won by checking in at various venues either once (for special events) or a certain number of times.

A great example s the additional points received for checking in today 11.11.11. When you do you will receive a palindrome bonus, and at 11:11 you will receive a palindrome minute bonus if you check in… In addition, if you check in at a Veteran Memorial you will receive a specialty “service” badge.

Image showing the badge you win for Memorial check-ins on 11.11.11

It is fun activities that keep surprising users and keep people engaged. This coinciding with a strong social presence on Facebook, Twitter etc helps keep the huge momentum they have begun. It also is a great way to spread the “remembrance” with users checking-in at memorials, sharing their stories, telling their networks they stop to remember. Even giving special recognition to soldiers who have fought. Although in the large scheme of things, social media is a relatively trivial aspect of our lives (in comparison the those who fought for our freedom) – this is a nice way to link the two and use the trivial to remind us of the important.

Facebook places tried to take over the geolocation space; however, it lacked the luster Foursquare offered. The addition of Facebook’s proposed Interactive check-in map on the upcoming timeline wall replacement may help, but Foursquare seems to have a good foothold.

To expect 1000% grow annually would be foolish. However, I think we can expect continual growth, especially as they are rolling out new features, and keeping their users engaged in such innovative ways. The ways in which this social network has been utilized nearly completely by mobile as well will attribute to its success.

*note from above*some people find this voyeuristic, but all social media is. Like any network, you choose who can and cannot see your information and you are in control of when you do and do not check-in.  In the case of this new badge, Foursquare’s blog discussed how Foursquare allowed them to ‘participate’ or feel as though they were a part of the daily routine, of their families while across the world at war. This isn’t voyeuristic, it is like any other social network – when used appropriately it is a connecting and uniting force.

State of the Media: Nielsen Report Review

State of the Media: Nielsen Report Review

It’s becoming clearer and clearer to businesses that social media is a must. No longer can they keep their heads in the sand and pretend like conversations aren’t happening online about them, but instead need to participate.

However, it is also important to know social media is not a one-size fits all space. Depending on your goals, and how your different consumer segments use and share content, you need to customize where you go and what you share to fit your business’ (as well as consumers) needs.

Here is a great report from Neilson on the State of the Media for Q3 of 2011. This is a good place to start when identifying where you need to be in regards to where your consumer is online.

Key things to note:

  • Social media dominates people’s time online
  • The majority of internet users are on social networks
  • Facebook is still #1
  • 40% use mobile devices to access social networks
  • Social network apps are a hit – they are the 3rd most used apps. Games = #1, Weather = #2
  • 55+ are the quickest growing user segment
  • Both men and women view videos online, but men stream more and watch longer
  • 70% of users of social networks shop online
  • 53% of social network users follow brands
  • Social networks/blogs reach over 75% of internet users
  • Tumblr’s audience has tripled in a year

QR Codes, what’s the deal?

QR Codes, what’s the deal?

QR codes are the new ‘hip’ thing to include in marketing, but how effective are they really?

Let’s look at what they are first, as most people (58% according to a recent study) don’t even know what a QR code is. QR, stands for quick response, and QR codes are essentially bar codes, that can be read by a smartphone QR reader (example i-nigma, RedLazer etc). They are square  in shape, and when read on a smart phone can link to additional information  including URL links, geo coordinates, and text. Currently they are being used in many marketing initiatives such as print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads, billboards, business cards, and more. They typically contain:

      • Product details
      • Contact details
      • Offer details
      • Event details
      • Competition details
      • A coupon
      • Social media IDs
      • Link to YouTube videos

So here is what a QR Code looks like, but they can vary slightly depending on the type:

Here are some interesting stats to consider when thinking of implementing QR codes into your marketing initiatives. Keep in mind, you can generate QR code for free on sites like  (unless you want more sophisticated tracking), so including them for the 42% who know what they are can’t really hurt, and can showcase your company as being ‘hip’ and ‘in the know’ with the consumers who are social savvy. It’s a great way to share coupons, promote your website or social properties.

When deploying QR codes, keep in mind the most used forms are for discounts (coupons) and tickets. Its all about adding value for your consumer – either as a discount or through convenience. Even sharing important information about upcoming contests, sales etc in a more interactive way can help you stand out among your competitors.

Want to step it up a notch?  You can even develop designer QR codes! (original source)


QR Code Infographic courtesy of Lab42, found on Mashable.

5 Tips in the Movement to Mobile


It’s been about 2 years since I have had a home phone, and leaving the house without my cell phone never enters my mind. As a matter of fact, it tends to leave me feeling ‘naked’. I know I’m not alone in this either, most people are attached to their phones in this way – it keeps us connected and gives us a feeling of security.

This connectedness is becoming more encompassing as the social media revolution continues. As more and more people connect online via social networks the transition of this media to our mobile devices seems natural. More and more people access internet via their phones, and as companies realize this their mobile applications are making it easier than ever.

Some Interesting Stats

  • Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month
  • One in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month
  • One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking.
  • On the typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007.
  • That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys!
  • 50% say it is very important to them to have mobile access in order to stay in touch with other people.
  • 46% say they mobile access is very important for getting online information on the go.
  • 17% say mobile access is very important to them so they can share or post online content while away from home or work.

These Stats show how mobile media is becoming a fast growing trend in social media. As more and more people are valuing the ability to access information and stay connected on the go, doors are opening for companies to utilized mobile social marketing to effectively engage their consumers. Although social platforms are the most visited sites on mobile devices it is also important to realize, although this trend is growing rapidly not everyone is using a smart phone – YET.

Although the novelty of the mobile app is great, and people with smart phones appreciate the forward thinking nature of companies, the benefits of SMS cannot be denied. Approximately 23% of cell phone users have smart phones, so to rely on mobile applications alone would be to deny yourself of a whole segment of the population. Here are, in my opinion the top five ways to utilize mobile marketing effectively, reaching the greatest number of people. A combination of all five would probably be the most comprehensive and successful.

Top 5 ways to Utilize Mobile Marketing:

  • Develop Mobile Internet applications and sites
  • Attach advanced analytics to mobile internet applications to enhance knowledge of customer usage and migration patterns, as well as, how applications are performing across different handsets – this lets you identify issues and opportunities, create a more informed product roadmap, increase retention and grow your user base
  • Utilize SMS campaigns such as loyalty programs, couponing, polling, surveys, price comparisons at your customers fingertips
  • Text2Donate – Online donations and fundraising
  • Mobile Payments