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Adding Group SMS text messages to your marketing or communications plans

 Finding ways to leverage SMS or Text marketing is always a challenge on how to do carefully selected text messages to targeted audiences.  Messages like getting a key message out to your sales force or you need to change a location or time for an event and to grow customer engagement. Broadcasting text alerts to your subscribers and have it also push to your Twitter, Facebook and website visitors in one stroke is a valuable tool to consider. Mashable recently covered this subject.

” Christina Warren  from Mashable blog has done a very good outline of a way to easily do this.

This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.
 

Name: TextMarks

 Quick Pitch: TextMarks group text messaging services turn any mobile phone into a powerful marketing tool.

 Genius Idea: TextMarks makes it easy to create SMS marketing campaigns by letting users send a text message with a custom keyword of your choice to 41411. You can also use TextMarks auto-post service to send out SMS messages to subscribers and also update Facebook() and Twitter().

As the Red Cross’s efforts in raising money for Haiti proved, text messages can be a powerful way to engage others and to spread information. It’s not just about joke-of-the-day subscriptions or other nonsense that you see at 2AM on TV — real money and real causes can be publicized through text.

 

TextMarks is a service that makes it really easy to set-up a mobile campaign to broadcast messages or updates to users that opt-in to your service by first texting a keyword. 

What we like about TextMarks is that the service is easy to set-up and affordable. You can try out the service for free and send unlimited ad-supported messages each month, and ad-free plans start at $9.95 a month. For small businesses or small groups like churches or clubs, that’s a really nice option. 

We also like that you can update Twitter and Facebook with the same messages you send out to other users. That way, if you’re using messages to keep people updated with scheduling information or other time-sensitive info, the message can go out across all of your social channels.”

Advertisements

Do free promotion offers work? Follow the line to Dennys

Here is a photo that I took of the Denny’s Free breakfast crowd from the road as I was leaving today.

By the looks of things at my local Denny’s the Free Breakfast  promotion announced during the Superbowl was a sell out.  I drove into the parking lot to go to another business and could not find a place to park in three parking lots!  The crowds were pouring out of their cars, like they were going to the state fair.  The line was out the door and around the building.

 So give them credit for gaining trial.  Customer Engagement at it’s finest.  Customers using texts, blogs and emails all about the promotion is a social media strategists dream.   What about retention, I am not so sure.  Quality service, is in the hands of the wait staff and cooks.  Will people stand in line for free food? Yes… they will.  Will they come back and pay?… Denny’s will need to report of that.  ROI… priceless…

Smart POS marketing or desperation marketing, does deep discounting work?

It has been a very difficult year in retail to say the least.  I was mused by the signs of the times I found at a local high-end mall near me, so much that I had to take some photos, since I could not believe what I was seeing .  Have retail marketers lost their minds, so desperate or perhaps they laid off  their marketing staff?  Is the merchandising or sales team now doing marketing too, with no focus on the future?  This is what was on my mind, instead of shopping, after seeing these POS signs. The merchants are either brilliant at getting you to stop and go into the store or so desperate that anything goes.

Here is the first cell photo I took of a  deep discount sign example of : Almost Free Clothes…Details inside…what does this sign mean!!!  Almost Free Clothes.???.. in a store when nothing is under $250?

The next photo I took  was from a store that had desperation written all over it, but what does it mean when the discounts are promoted as 15% to 80% Off ??  Confusion   How credible is the discounts promoted when they are so wide. Looks more like a going out of business sale.

So is desperation marketing the new flag needed to get people to open up their wallets? It will drive sales no doubt, but what about the next sale or lifetime

value of these value price focused customers.  It may work today, but will not create a pipe line of future sales or customers who profile to an ongoing relationship with you.

If you have more photos you find like these, please send them and I will post them .

Merry 1% to 100% off and an Almost Free Happy New Year.

Where to find the women consumers in social media.

Mashable again has a knock out recap of info from Information is Beautiful on demographics by site.  This is really valuable to CMO’s in evaluating your teams plans or the agencies next proposal.  It also says to me that if you are targeting men, Digg is one not to overlook. This also gives you a good check list to be sure you are represented on all the main social media platforms.

Here is the Link: http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/women-rule-the-social-web/

Here is a recap: “Women rule social media at least according to an infographic by Information is Beautiful. The stats, compiled by Brian Solis from Google Ad Plannerdata, show that equal numbers of men and women use sites like LinkedIn, DeviantArt and YouTube.

When it comes to sites like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, MySpace and Bebo, however, women outnumber men. In fact, there’s only one major holdout for men on the social web: social news site Digg, where 64% of users are male.

womensocialweb

Finding the color shade for your website is now an easy match.

The designer comes in with a comp and you are looking and saying this is not our brand color and they say it is.  Or you see the perfect color for a new campaign, but cannot tell them what it is?  Here is the easy tool to fix your Hex code problem.  First those little blocks of color are tied to a Hex code that has unlimited choices. There are not just the sample colors or color wheel you see, you can choose any color by the Hex code number.

Designers and web masters know they need in most cases to match to a Hex code.  Fine if you know how, frustrating if you do not and only think the colors they are showing you are the only ones you can choose.

I started using a little tool called www.colorcop.net.  It allows you to down load an application which sits on your desk top and when you find a color you want to match or like, open the tool, take the little dropper and move it to the color and it will give you the exact color code match.  Yes it is that easy…

Have a bar of color that does not seem to match the header?  You can check it out.  Don’t like color and want a different shade?  Done.  Colorcop is your new best friend as a CMO, now you really have a good eye for color.

Adding video to your social media efforts.

Yes, you should be adding video to all of your social media efforts.  You need to have your various teams from marketing, corporate communications, sales, training and operations be gathering up all those old videos and b roll and repurposing them for the digital age. Thus creating a digital dam of video from which to repurpose.

If you do not have the inhouse expertise,  there are many video companies who do that very economically.  I like Mantis Media for my video shoots and edit repurposing.  I also like Burst Marketing for podcasting.  There are hundreds of companies doing this work, so just ask your team who they use. If they tell you it is going to be expensive, then call my guys and get a bid.  The cost is very affordable, so don’t let your teams lack of excitement about harvesting the old stuff give way to the rush of doing all new stuff, but be sure that either way it includes digital use rights.  Review your talent/model release forms and your video contracts to be sure that you have the rights on past work and even more important that it is included for any new shoots.

Buy a HD flip camera for fast video capture which is under $200. It has a USB plug in and is so easy to use and capture…store openings, customer testimonials.  You can also record YouTube style videos with a web cam.  If it does not come on your lap top, for under $100 you can get a HD web cam with a USB.

This should not wait to be part of the 2010 plans, this needs to be done now!… so get video shot, edited and most important uploaded to website, blogs, twitters, Facebook and other sites that will take your video like Flickr, Vimeo, Vodpod and others.

TEI- Total Economic Impact and ROI in Social Media for Customer Service

Many of you have emailed me looking for the link to the Forrester information that I discussed at the BMA conference. Dr Natalie Petouhoff,  has done a great job of  proofing the model for customer service ROI, when it comes to social media.

 Here is her deck, that she sent to me and agreed to let me use and put on my blog.

 http://www.slideshare.net/drnatalie/dr-natalie-petouhoff-roi-of-social-media-social-media-club-presentation-forrester-research