3 Common Mobile Marketing Terms You Should Know… But Just In Case You Don’t

3 Common Mobile Marketing Terms You Should Know…  But Just In Case You Don’t

Although most of us do it now, no not that, I’m referring to texting. Not all of us know how texting works and some of the capabilities of mobile phone technology. So I decided to pick what I think are the 3 most important terms related to mobile texting and marketing to define.  After all, what’s a better way to learn about something than to understand its terminology.

The first term is Short Message Service (SMS).  It is plain and simple, the service that allows you to send texts between mobile phones and handheld devices.  It is commonly interchanged with the word texting.  Short messages can be up to 160 characters and have almost evolved into a language of their own.  Can you guess what this means? 2BZ4UQT. Give up? (Too busy for you cutie). For some reason I like that one!  For a complete list check out net lingo’s site here: http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php

The next term is short code.  One of the first times I noticed and used a short code was after the earthquakes in Haiti.  Wyclef Jean’s organization used this technology to raise funds through his Yéle Haiti Foundation.  Short codes are basically short phone numbers (ex. 45456) used by an individual or organization to carry out various interactive functions, like voting (think American Idol), coupons, mobile payment, making donations or ordering ring tones.  Short codes can be used from mobile or fixed phones and are usually unique to the operator.  Short code essentially allows for interacting between the sender and end user.  Short codes can be purchased for various lengths of time through the CSCA here: http://www.usshortcodes.com/

Keywords are actual words or numbers keyed in by the end user for specific campaigns and used in conjunction with short codes.  Multiple keywords can be used on a single short code which is active for specific periods of time. For some great tips on picking key words see this Tatango Blog: http://www.tatango.com/blog/5-tips-selecting-a-mobile-keyword/

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SOPA, PIPA Protests

Today is the day to voice your opposition to the controversial anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA. Many major sites are voicing their opposition to the bills. From Google: “Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.” This is from a landing page accessed through Google’s home page image, which features a black censorship box. Other sites like Reddit, Imgur, WordPress and Wikipedia are taking it a step further and are dedicating their entire sites to the cause for the day.

A great explanation of the SOPA and PIPA controversy come from CNNMoney, a Time Warner subsidiary and SOPA supporter:

The bill’s supporters dismiss accusations of censorship, saying that the legislation is meant to revamp a broken system that doesn’t adequately prevent criminal behavior. 

But SOPA’s critics say the bill’s backers don’t understand the Internet’s architecture, and therefore don’t appreciate the implications of the legislation they’re considering.

The bills are about protecting content, mostly from oversees sites. From the CNNMoney article:

Both sides say they agree that protecting content is a worthy goal. But opponents say that the way SOPA is written effectively promotes censorship and is rife with the potential for unintended consequences.

“Imagine a world without free knowledge,” Wikipedia asks us. According to social news giant Reddit, “These bills provide overly broad mechanisms for enforcement of copyright which would restrict innovation and threaten the existence of websites with user-submitted content, such as reddit.” From photo sharing site Imgur: “The internet is on strike.” Hundred of  additional sites are participating in the protests with blackouts including giants, Mozilla, Boing Boing, WordPress and Major League Gaming.

Reaction is obviously strong. Supporters see it as money being stolen from their pockets. Opposers are considering the effect these bills may have on our future. Are we creating a world where information is governed? The priority here seems to benefit a few giant companies at the expense free internet for the rest of us.

We invite you to read more on these bills and others by following these links.

SOPA: Stop Online Piracy Act

Reddit’s SOPA FAQs

PIPA: Protect IP (intellectual property) Act

OPEN: Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act

Building upon 2011

Another year has passed and truly the seasons are getting shorter and shorter. Simply said I am getting older and hopefully wiser. Each New Year I take a hard look back and analyze that year’s business plan and create a new one. I realize it is still is a tough economic time we are facing both from a business standpoint and most importantly how it has impacted people on a personal level. Lost jobs, homes and delayed retirements. Fortunately for Strategis we saw a solid double digit growth in revenues coming off a solid 2010. I truly have to attribute two years of growth to our strategic planning and dedicated team.

“Follow the numbers and they will determine tactics to prosperity/” George H. Irish Jr. – My Dad (And I used to think he didn’t know anything.)

A few things to keep in mind when planning for 2012:

  1. Create a plan – It sounds obvious, but if I had to guess a good 30% of organizations don’t even have a simple one page plan.
  2. Work on the business not in it – Allow yourself time to step back and think. I find we have the mentality that progress is defined in just moving the process.
  3. Set goals high – I have always found it easier to achieve a high level of success when I am chasing a goal that might seem to most unachievable. 2012 – 100% growth in revenues.
  4. Get granular – Create strategies to attain those goals and constantly measure. I can see at least 4 key areas to grow revenues 100%.
  5. Plan your work and work your plan – You just have to be doggedly persistent and understand failure will not be an option.

I hope this helps and please add to my list.

Ridiculous Action Figures Part III

File under: Really?

For the full story please see this post on the Dos Equis guy action figure or follow up on Ridiculous Action Figures Part II: Anthony Weiner.

Lots of people loved Steve Jobs for many different reasons: iPhone, Pixar,  the rise in sales of the Black Mock Turtleneck… but a posthumous action figure of the Apple CEO? At just $99.99 you too can enjoy hours of fun imagining adventures with your very own Steve Jobs Doll. Could he hang with a Plastic Mark Zuckerburg? Too bad that Facebook put the squash on that one.

I’m looking forward to Ridiculous Action Figures Part IV – who knew this would be a trend.

Instagram

Instagram is evolving into a social network from a smartphone application. With over 12 million users and 400 million photos uploaded, Instagram may be one of the most popular photo sharing websites that exist—and it was named iPhone App of the Year by Apple. Instagram allows its users to take a photo, edit it and apply “retro” filters, and share it to other social networking websites (Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr). Within the app, users can follow their own Facebook and Twitter friends, and also search for others and follow one of the many brands that are on Instagram.

Many brands and businesses have seized the Instagram opportunity- it provides these businesses with yet another platform to present their brand and gain consumer interaction. What I like about Instagram for brands is that it is a way to interact with consumers and customers without trying to push your product on them. It’s not salesy like Facebook and Twitter posts can sometimes be. Instagram is all about sharing, viewing, and commenting on pictures of things that people are passionate about.

Some of my favorite brands and companies that are #doingitright:

  • Starbucks (starbucks): Starbucks has over 16,000 followers on Instagram, and they have been tagged over 100,000 times. The popular Frappuccino drink itself has over 1,000 followers. Starbucks has even linked their Instagram account to http://www.starbucks.com/coffeehouse – a smart move.
  • ABC World News (abcworldnews): ABC World News uses Instagram to visualize their news stream and engage with over 92,000 followers in the comments.
  • Diet Coke (dietcoke): I’m admittedly addicted to both coffee and diet coke. So maybe I’m biased with listing Diet Coke under one of my favorite brands on Instagram, but I can’t help it- and neither can their other 1,700 followers. Diet Coke’s instagram is filled with quirky graphics all related to DC.
  • The Boston Celtics (celtics): Sports Social Media Marketing can also go beyond the habitual mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, believe it or not. The Boston Celtic’s Instagram has over 50,000 users following. The Celtics are using Instagram to connect with its passionate fans.
  • Mashable (mashable): As everyone’s most frequented source for social and digital media, it’s no surprise that Mashable is on Instagram- and even less of a surprise that they have almost 33,000 followers. Mashable has uploaded photos of social media events, employees, and puppies. It’s no wonder they have such a following.

If you’re an avid Instragram user such as myself, feel free to leave your username in the comments, and I’ll gladly follow you.

Gifts for Social Media Addicts

Chances are, you know one or two social media addicts. You may even be the addict yourself. In time for the holidays, I’d like to share some of my favorite social media-related gifts that I  came across while browsing online this past weekend.

  1. Instagram Wall Art–  CanvasPop allows you to print your photos onto canvas. If you’re savvy with your iPhone camera and have some great shots, this is an awesome gift idea.
  2. +Follow Pillow– Tweet…er…sweet dreams.
  3. Social Media Magnets– Magnetic poetry with social media buzzwords? We may have to get some for our refrigerator here at Strategis!
  4. Like Coffee Mug– Rather self explanatory for the coffee and Facebook lover. You can be one of 500,000+ people if you actually like coffee on Facebook
  5. TweetBookz–  TweetBookz allows anyone to print high quality books composed of tweets from any Twitter account.

And while we’re on the subject of shopping, #CyberMonday sales last year topped $1 billion in the United States. It will be interesting to see how many people participated in Cyber Monday today. Even on Black Friday, online sales were up 24.3%. Did you spend time waiting in line at midnight on Black Friday, or did you wait for your lunch hour today to shop for#CyberMonday? We’d love to hear about your best finds or Black Friday stories.

Facebook is like your kid’s troublemaking friend…

OK, maybe that’s a little harsh… I don’t know your kid’s troublemaking friend – but we all had one – -or were one.

This is just a quick thought but…

I was just scrolling my Facebook page and saw the following headlines and thought: Bully! Instigator!

Neighbors Facebook Fight Leads To Arrests: Police in Manchester, N.H., say some angry Facebook postings between two neighbors led to a confrontation and a burglary arrest.

Facebook Passwords Must Be Shared in Divorce Case: ” The judge issued the order in response to the husband’s revelation his wife wrote incriminating posts on Facebook about her feelings towards the children and her ability to care for them on the couple’s shared computer. “

And this very literal translation:

Bullies use anonymity provided by Facebook and social networking sites to torment their victims. But social networking websites are being used by children and teenagers to bully each other on a disturbing scale, new research has warned. Not only are they “posting” hostile and threatening messages, some are even using the technology to send anonymous abusive messages.

I”m sure everyone has a Facebook drama to share – downside of being connected to people you barely know and seeing what they are doing/thinking/saying all the time. Pre-Facebook you would never have expected to know what the girl that sat next to you in the third grade was serving her kids for lunch yesterday…you may never have known that your neighbor was a Jersey Shore freak,  or that your ex-boyfriend joined a drum circle and moved to Alaska, or that the girl from the third grade feeding her kids cheese sandwiches legally changed her name to “L’il Miss Sunshine”.

With great knowledge comes great responsibility.

You were not intended to know so much. Use your knowledge wisely, like these guys:

Erlanger police use Facebook to fight crime. “Starting Tuesday Erlanger police will be using Facebook to get the community’s help identifying suspects. They will use Facebook posts to ask for information to help solve open cases in the Erlanger Criminal Investigations Division.”

Facebook plays role in store robbery arrests. “Local police have formally charged a Beverly man in connection with the September and October robberies at Skip’s Country Store on Route 133, and a Facebook posting has led to even more charges against him and his girlfriend.”

How A Sheriff Uses His 10,000 Facebook Fans To Solve Crimes. “When a rash of air conditioning thefts hit the county, where they can go for $500 a pop resale, Sheriff Al posted about it on his Facebook wall. His over 10,000 Facebook fans saw a description of the suspects and the make of their car. Within two days, a homeowner called up 911 and said, “I think they’re at the house next door.” Police swooped in and made four arrests.”

OK –  I’m not saying that Facebook should be hailed as a crime-fighting superhero either. I’m sure there are some other ways we can use our Facebook knowledge for good… Like selling Balsamic Vinegar Ketchup

… Right?

Couch Potatoes..

TV Guide seems to think we’re all couch potatoes.  In their Fall TV survey, they found that 32% of users surveyed (up 14% from 2010) say they watch more than 30 hours of TV a week. That’s a huge number for marketers and advertisers, but when reminded of all the existing television platforms (live, on demand, DVR, and many online websites), this number can have less significance than we think.

For advertisers, DVR can add up to a lot of missed advertising. With television users fast-forwarding through commercials, we can guess that approximately sixteen minutes of every hour watched are missed advertisements. That’s about eight hours per week wasted on fast-forwarding. It’s a recurring question these days- how do we reach our audiences with marketing efforts if they are fast forwarding through our opportunities?

The survey says 55% of TV fans tune into their shows online; 62% watch more online content than they did a year ago; 15% say they watch six hours of online video a week. With the convenience of online streaming through YouTube, Hulu and Hulu Plus, and Netflix, it’s not surprising that more people are getting their TV fix through the internet. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to advertise commercials through YouTube and Hulu.

Personally, I definitely don’t fall into the 32% that watch more than 30 hours of TV a week. That’s more than a whole day wasted! I’m not completely innocent; I do watch a good amount of TV, and I DVR mostly everything I want to watch. I still pay for Netflix Instant (no longer paying for the DVD subscription- but that’s a story for another time), and watch it every once in a while when insomnia strikes.

Do you watch more than 30 hours of TV a week? How do you watch it? Live, on demand, DVR, online? It all adds up!

How’s Your Klout?

Have you ever wondered how much “social currency” you have? There’s an online service called Klout that will let you know how much your posts on social media impact others. The Klout score is based on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most influential. Klout uses data from your social networks in order to measure how many people you influence, how much you influence them, and how influential they are. My Klout score is currently at 45. According to Klout, I am a networker: I know how to connect to the right people and share what’s important to my audience.

But back to that social currency thing…did you know that you can leverage your social influence to get free things?

Until recently, I didn’t really care about Klout. I’d read people tweeting about it and I would kind of filter it out. I have had an account for months, but I rarely signed in. Then I heard about @KloutPerks– which are exclusive products or experiences that you earn based on your influence. In the past, influencers have earned perks like laptops and airline tickets. Suddenly, I have been checking my score a lot more often, hoping I can get my hands on some of these perks.

When I found out about the Klout Perk with Chevy, I was instantly jealous of those influencers that redeemed it! A Klout user redeemed a perk to get a free Chevy Volt for a weekend. He tweeted to his followers asking them what he should do with his free car for the weekend- definitely influencing others to talk about the Volt. Check out the Wall Street Journal’s video about this Klout user. What a great move! Brands should definitely take advantage of Klout- people trust their peers and influencers.

What do you think about Klout? What’s your score?

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

‎”Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
Stanford University commencement address, June 2005. Steve Jobs