I was going to keep quiet about this. But I'm spilling the beans about mobile marketing instead.

The reason? Well, just as social media (Facebook & Twitter mostly) has become mainstream, so too will mobile marketing within a very short space of time.

You might already be using it for your business. If so, just say "Pah!" and move along to more important things now.

If you're not yet using mobile marketing – which can include QR codes – then I reckon your business will be missing out big time, not too far in the future from now.

Oh, by the way, if you're still not using Twitter & Facebook (AND YouTube in my opinion), then you should also stop reading now. Get on the phone and give me a call, and I'll show you how you can create a simple Facebook fanpage for free.

So, then, what's all the fuss about QR codes?

Well, about 6 months back, I was passing an Estate Agents (or Real Estate 'shop', if you're not from the UK & reading this!).

And it had a QR code attached to the shop window.

So why would a place advertising Real Estate do that then?

Well, if you have a smartphone (and in N America approx. 29% or so people now have one1), you are – at least at the present time – 72% likely to respond to the presence of a QR code in a newspaper, shop window, or some other form of advertising, according to a recent QR usage survey2.

So what does that mean for you, if you run a business?

Obviously, a big opportunity.

With smart phones rapidly becoming the norm within the next few years, you are at a big advantage if you can position your business at the head of the game.

And I haven't even begun to talk about ways to combine QR codes, SMS short codes and email marketing into a seamless sales funnel yet.

And how about combining all THAT with your Facebook Fan Page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel?

You have got those, right?

 

If not, maybe we should have a conversation, (or Tweet or text!).

I'll be detailing more ideas that you can steal from this site soon, so stay tuned!

Lastly, if you want to make one of those pretty patterns above, visit the QR Code Generator page now.

 

References

1. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/us-smartphone-battle-heats-up/

2. http://mghus.com/qr-code-survey-results

Dan Zarella from Hubspot recently presented a superb study he has completed on the Science of ReTweets, and how they can be usefully be applied in a marketing context. He gathered data from over 100,000,000 (yes, that really is 100 million!) tweets and found some interesting and startling patterns.

What follows is a pithy summary of his webinar – if you are busy, you can access his slides at the end of this article.

So, what is the Science of ReTweets, and why is it so important to know about it from a marketing perspective?

The simple answer is this: if you know how to maximize the reTweeting of your posts, then your message is far more likely to reach the widest possible audience. Dan is a marketer himself, however, and he shares more in the webinar about how you can take advantage of the knowledge he has gained to turn such a process into the raving fans your business needs as its lifeblood.

What follows  are some highlights from Dan’s webinar – but I highly recommend that you watch the webinar in full if you want to take things further, as I’m just giving you some of the cream of what Dan shared – and you should grab the milk as well, for a more complete “diet”.

I deliberately haven’t reproduced all 28 findings, as that wouldn’t be fair on Dan’s hard work, or HubSpot, who had to pay significantly to get this data.  Instead, you should watch the webinar, or at least look at the slides below.

Finally, when you’ve done that, I highly recommend that you download HubSpot’s free guide here: The Twitter for Business Marketing Kit. (That’s not an affiliate link by the way, though I really ought to become an affiliate, as they are a terrific company).

1) What is The Most ReTweeted Time?

3-7pm EST, with a peak at around 5pm EST.

2) Which is the most Re-Tweet Day?

Friday afternoons.

3) What is the Best Type of Content to ReTweet?

News!

4) What is the Most Popular URL Shortner?

Bit.ly

5) What are the 10 Most ReTweeted Words?

  1. you
  2. twitter
  3. please
  4. retweet
  5. post
  6. blog
  7. social
  8. free
  9. media
  10. help

(Dan produced data on the top 20 – you’ll have to flick through the slides below to see the rest!).

Top-Tips Summary of things you can do to encourage ReTweets

(you can read the original article here).

  • Run a contest If you have some sort of contest or incentive, you can help stimulate more retweets.
  • Use words like “Pls RT”, “Please RT” or “Please ReTweet” in your original tweet.
  • Tweet about Twitter Yes, this still works.
  • Include a Link. ReTweets contain links far more often than Tweets in general.
  • Create value, don’t chit chat.
  • Tweet headlines. Headline-type language seems to be ReTweeted more often.
  • Post in the afternoon.
  • Post on Fridays.
  • Dan Zarella’s webinar in slide format:

    If you’re a social media news watcher, you will know about the recent Yahoo Twitter Partnership. In essense, here’s what’s happening – either right now, or very soon:

        * People will be able to access their personal Twitter feeds across Yahoo!’s many products and properties, including the homepage, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Sports, and others, letting them check in more easily on what’s happening with the people and things they care about while on Yahoo!.
        *

          People will be able to update their Twitter status and share content from Yahoo! in their Twitter stream, so they can easily share their Yahoo! experiences with their friends and followers on Twitter.
        *

          Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! media properties like News, Finance, Entertainment, and Sports will include real-time public Twitter updates across a variety of topics. Yahoo! Search users will immediately see real-time Twitter results today; go to Yahoo! and try it out.

    The Yahoo press release goes on to say that the partnership:

    "…lets people bring together and unify their activity from their many social experiences across the Web. Because of these connections, anyone with a Yahoo! ID can update multiple social networks simultaneously and stay in touch with the people and information that matter most at every moment of the day."

    In other words, what you might already do with Posterous, PixelPipe, Ping.fm or many of the other communication mashup tools, as a Yahoo user, you can now do under the Yahoo umbrella instead.

    The REAL purpose behind this partnership, however is revealed here:

    "…This will drive deeper user engagement, and create new and compelling opportunities for developers, advertisers, and publishers."

    In other words, Yahoo is developing an integrated and demographically targeted advertising platform, which uses Twitter as part of the Social Media mix. If you’re thinking that this is beginning to sound a bit like FaceBook, then you’re right.

    No doubt Yahoo wants a slice of the revenue from the advertising cake which FaceBook currently dominates, and ultimately it would want to position itself at the top of the pile in terms of the go-to place for this kind of close integration between companies and clients.

    The major challenge for Yahoo will be to be roll this out across the complete "socialosphere" to the extent that their services become sufficiently embedded that they eventually become the natural place for businesses to gravitate towards.

    Yahoo is under no illusions that FaceBook and other big players present it with a challenge, but the partnership with Twitter is but one of many integrations Yahoo seeks to play its part in the communication revolution that is now in full swing.
     

    %CODE1%

    The message of the above video is surely that with the advent of the MIT (Media Interwoven Trio) of Facebook, YouTube & Twitter (not fogetting the hundreds of socialbookmarking sites!!), there has never been a time in history when the people of the planet are so inextricably interconnected.

    Socialnomicsaff link, subtitled " How social media transforms the way we live and do business" contains a message that every business needs to get hold of in this time of economic uncertainty.

    If you run a business, and you don’t yet have a Facebook Fan page, Twitter account or YouTube channel, then you are missing out on a huge swathe of potential customers. You owe it to yourself to get online as soon as possible. Your savvy competitors might just get there before you otherwise.

    Don’t believe that this is scaremongering hype either. Comcast, (US-based) after all, has seen a massive rise in popularity since it decided to meet customers on Twitter.

    If you run an offline business, you should be there too.

    Time to get a move on!

    If you’ve been hanging around the IT world for a while, you might know that at one point (and maybe they still do), Microsoft adopted the policy of "embrace and extend".

    Translation: take what others are doing, and make it waaaay better.

    Often this involves buying companies (and I’m not going to "Microsoft bash" in this post by the way) and working with their existing teams to rapidly move a research project forward to its commercial phase.

    Market place dominance becomes possible in an increasing number of meshed niches once a company establishes its brand (think of how many products Amazon now sells compared to 10 years ago).

    Is embrace and extend good news for the consumer?

    It all depends (of course).

    Ubiquity is probably the elixir of life that a company will chase, either to its ultimate ruin, or its universal success, depending on the wisdom and tenacity of its leaders. Becoming a household name on the lips and in the minds of billions of people is a rare accolade only achieved by a few hundred worldwide brands.

    In a sense, positioning your company to be some kind of service or infrastructural  backbone almost guarantees your immortality.

    I say almost because of course, the environment which sustains brand  dominance is ever-changing, and successful companies ignore the ever-shifting sands of their surroundings at their peril.

    So what about Google? Has it drank from this elixir, never to die?

    Nobody knows that – but the evidence looks in their favor. Today when Google announced Google Broadband the world almost forgot that just 24 hours ago, we were told about Google Buzz. So, that’s two major innovations within a day.

    Talk about ‘stacking’.

    I freely admit that the actual rollout of gigabit home broadband is ‘only’ for a pilot group of a maximum of 500,000 North Americans, but nevertheless, Google is clearly straining (perhaps "steam rolling" is more apt) its way into becoming as well known as Coca Cola.

    Think about this: less than ten years ago, the small startup had a cool idea about a new way to do to search.

    Now even my 3 year old daughter knows the verb "to Google". And every internet marketer around the globe who uses the ubiquitous search engines knows the phrase "Google slap".

    And we have the Google phone. And Google Mail. And Google video (aka YouTube). And now a Google Twitter/Facebook mashup that looks like it just might scratch in more places than Google Wave ever will.

    And global(?) Google broadband soon…

    And Google has its eyes on many other prizes that might well be within its grasp.

    Truly embrace and extend.

    Truly good for the world?

    It all depends, as always, on the character of the leadership of the company. Are they motivated to make the world a better place? It certainly seems so. Google is treading its way to lead ("drag"?) red-necked dollar-driven, hard-nosed multi-nationals into a new era of social capitalism in a way that no-one thought possible – like a Moon-landing-4-minute-mile-water-into-wine extravaganza of "unliklihoods" all rolled into one.

    On the other hand, how it all pans out depends, as always, on how Google copes with such universal acceptance. Will it remain able to hold to its open-handed philosophy of "do no evil" (as I alluded to in yesterday’s musings)?

    Let’s hope so. Now is a good time to foster the entrepreneurial and innovative mindset like nobody’s business.

    Or everybody’s business, perhaps.

    Dez.

    1:25:52 PM: Quotes to Feed the Soul: 1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

    1:26:14 PM: 2. If you want something different to happen, you have to do something different.

    1:26:29 PM: 3. When others slack off, you increase you game.

    1:26:47 PM: Blog update: / Quick Twitter Test…” http://tinyurl.com/ybq48gs

    1:26:58 PM: 4. Create your goals, then stay focused until you achieve them.

    1:27:18 PM: 5. Don’t just work alone, find others to share your vision.

    1:27:35 PM: 6. Find the biggest why that gets you out of bed every day.

    1:27:54 PM: 7. If you want to be *really* successful, double your rate of failure.

    1:28:38 PM: Check out http:/nowskip.to/365success for more quotes to feed your soul…

    If you’ve just started up in internet marketing, you might feel an adrenaline rush when you stumble across Twitter, or Facebook.

    The scenario goes something like this:

    “Hmmm, I could send loads of links to my offers using Twitter or Facebook. Hmmm, if I get 10,000 followers on Twitter in 90 days (or maybe 30) using an automated Twitter marketing software tool, then if only 0.1% of them buy my stuff, I’ll make loads of $$$$$”.

    OK, I admit, I’ve had that thought.

    But after a while, when you connect with others who are doing the same thing…the result is just lots of un-read Tweets (or worse, being banned from Twitter or Facebook).

    And nobody is really listening. To you. Or to each other.

    That’s not good for anyone.

    The whole point about social media is that it’s meant to be social..conversational.

    Does that mean that you shouldn’t send out scheduled comments at all?

    I’m not saying that. I am saying that you should interact with people. Get to know them. Talk to them via Facebook chat, or Skype, or even meet them in person if they live in the same town/city as you.

    Don’t just machine gun out endless affiliate links or opportunities.

    No-one’s listening.

    OK?

    For more information about the correct way to use social media, Google:

    “Perry Belcher Social Media”.

    Perry is funny, forthright, one of the biggest laughs I’ve bumped into on the internet & he’s genuine, loud, humble and not afraid to admit his mistakes.

    Perry understands how social media should be used. And how it shouldn’t be used.

    This is pretty big news: you can read the full article in the Search Engine Journal here:

    Here are my comments (which you can view here: http://bit.ly/BslrW ) on whether or not there’ll be a similar marriage between Google & Twitter:

    Interesting! I wonder if Twitter would allow themselves to be bought out by Google…Twitter is now a massive player in the social media/marketing world in its own right, and so far they’ve resisted requests from the Big G.

    Case in point: since Twitter took off in early 2009, I hardly do any active PPC marketing. I’m not saying they’re mutually exclusive..after all, you can get traffic incredibly quickly using PPC with Google (or Bing/Yahoo for that matter).

    What I’m trying to say is that Twitter offers an incredibly powerful platform for connecting people together on many levels…something that the Google team might well be very envious of. After all, Google’s primary business model up to now has been to ‘just’ provide information…and that’s only the tip of the iceberg in any social or business context.

    This probably explains why Google is launching it’s own social media platform (Google Wave) immanently…

    Dez Futak.
    http://twitter.com/dezfutak