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Archive for July, 2010

Got Press? 5 Ways to Create News

As a new business owner, it’s easy to rush through publicity efforts in order to concentrate or core business activities and priorities. But before you contact the media or post a press release, ask yourself if the information you’re about to send is really newsworthy. Will a reporter really care about what you have to [...]

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Video Surveillance: Should You Have One?

Security…is it important? All and all, I guess it depends. If you have children and are a single mother, I’d say it’s more important than if you are a single 26-year-old man who is 300 pounds of pure muscle. But, that’s just me (being a female and all). For businesses, same rule applies (not the [...]

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Want Free Publicity? Pick up the Phone!

  As a small business owner, getting the media attention you deserve is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, it’s just a matter of picking up the phone and being a good sales person!   Here are five tips to help you get started.   1.      Research.   Before you contact reporters, [...]

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5 Ways to Use Foursquare to Market Your Location-Based Business

I’ve been mulling this around since posting the last Foursquare article and thought that there were more practical tips could be added.

Foursquare is a hugely untapped and powerful little tool for business marketing, especially if you own a business that requires customers to physically visit your location to make a purchase.  Unfortunately most businesses don’t understand just exactly how they can use Foursquare and are missing out on a fantastic and inexpensive marketing opportunity!!

So here are five very practical tips on how to use Foursquare to market your location-based business.

1.            Use Foursquare like a customer loyalty card

The cool thing about Foursquare is it shows the user how many times they have been at each location, so you could offer customers a freebie after so many check ins.  Make sure you set clear rules about how to redeem the offer including: check ins more than once per day do not count towards redemption of the free offer; or free offer value at $5.00, may not be accumulated or transferred, may not be redeemed for cash, etc.

The women’s clothing store Ann Taylor recently launched a Foursquare promotion like this in New York City giving shoppers 15% off at the store after their 5th check in and giving the person with the most check ins at one location (called the Mayor) 25% off their purchase at that visit.

Another company, Tasti D-Lite, offers frequent shoppers a branded Foursquare badge, as well as additional loyalty points on their physical loyalty card, plus freebies and other perks.

2.            Organize a real-time treasure hunt.

Now this could get really fun.  Leave a clue of the day on the “Tips” section of your Foursquare page with the answer to each clue being a different special of the day.  The customers who come in and guess the special, get the special, plus they are eligible to win a bigger prize at the end of the contest.

Another company, Jimmy Choo, a high-end designer footwear brand, runs this contest by having a pair of Jimmy Choo sneakers check in at various hot spots around town.  The person who is able to guess the next hot spot and arrive there before the Jimmy Choo shoes arrive will win a pair of very expensive shoes.

3.            Use Foursquare to entice new customers to come into your store by offering a 1st Timers check in discount or freebie.

“Show us your check-in and your dessert is on us!”  Again, make sure you communicate clearly in your offer what the rules are; i.e., free dessert is only for first check in, and must be redeemed with purchase of a meal; etc.”

4.            Leverage word of mouth marketing.

One of the benefits of Foursquare is that friends can “follow” each other and thus can see each other’s check in’s on Foursquare.  Note:  The check in’s are also posted on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp, if they’ve enabled the function.   This is huge for your business because every check in at your location is a tacit recommendation from the person checking in there.    Leverage this exposure by inviting people to check in via Foursquare.  Providing special offers for those who check in via Foursquare will invite people to check in more often.

Also, make sure you pay attention to what people are saying on Foursquare about your business, because whether you use it or not, people are using it, and chance are, they are talking about your business.  Personally reply back to people who leave tips or make positive comments and thank them.  Likewise, it’s just as important to respond to negative comments as well and to remedy the issue as soon as possible.    Don’t be negative; just say something like, “I’m sorry that you had a bad experience.  Let’s get it touch and discuss how we can make it up to you.”

5.            Tie in text message marketing with Foursquare.

Invite people to take photos of them having fun or otherwise enjoying your location and text the photos to a special text message phone number.  Once they do this they will have opted into your text message marketing program and you will be able to send them additional specials and discounts via text.

What other ways can you use Foursquare to market your high traffic location based business?    I would love to hear your comments.  Next post, how to market your non-location based business on Foursquare.

Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.  She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.

Wendy just released her new book called How to Build Buzz for Your Biz- Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips and is available on Amazon.com.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

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I’ve been mulling this around since posting the last Foursquare article and thought that there were more practical tips could be added. Foursquare is a hugely untapped and powerful little tool for business marketing, especially if you own a business that requires customers to physically visit your location to make a purchase.  Unfortunately most businesses [...]

Continue Reading

Are You Ready to Send Out That Release?

You have your business up and running and are ready to announce it to the world. Hold on! Before you send out that press release letting everyone know about your services, there are three things to keep in mind:   1.      Is your site ready?   If people see your press release and visit your [...]

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Ladies: Getting Your Legal Foundation in Place is Sexy!

This one is especially for the ladies, because I think this is an epidemic issue with us.  But men, you are warmly welcome here!  I hope everyone gets something from this post….read on! There are so many programs out there that talk about marketing, sales, Social Media, finding your bliss, etc….  All of these things [...]

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Get More Customers with Foursquare

Note:  This is a guest post by Social Media DIY Foursquare is currently one of the most popular services that combines social networking and location-based social media. Launched in spring 2009, it includes businesses in more than 100 cities across the United States with more than 300,000 users. Foursquare allows customers to check-in when they arrive [...]

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8 Tips for Fast and Free Publicity

After optimizing your site for the search engines and pursuing other marketing-efforts, it’s time to use the “power of the press” to boost sales, awareness and credibility cost-effectively.   But how do you pitch your story to a reporter?   Here are eight quick-tips to help you through the media process:   1. Know Your [...]

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Google Caffeine Means This Marketing Strategy is More Important Than Ever

Just last month Google announced the completion of their new web indexing system called Caffeine.

According to Google,

“Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.”

This change means that having fresh content is more important to your business than ever before.  How do you do that?  According to Google’s Matt Cutts,

“Blogging is a great way to show people the human side of your company and provide information to customers and visitors. Blogging is also much lighter-weight than a press release. The only time I’d refrain from blogging is if you don’t anticipate updating your blog very often. If you only do a blog post every year or so, it makes your site look more like a ghost town than a vibrant community.

I’m assuming that you already know what a blog is, so I won’t go into that here.  But suffice it to say, a blog can be a very powerful marketing strategy.  But before you get started, here’s what you need to know.

1.         Blogging is free!

You can use free blog platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Typepad.com or Tumblr.com to get started.  The great thing about all of these platforms is that you don’t need to know coding or design.  Once you set up your account, you’re ready to publish.  For many of these websites you can even purchase a custom domain name for your account if you don’t want to have the platform name such as WordPress.com in your website URL.

2.         Blogging is easier than you think!

Come on admit it, your website was built 5 years ago and is ready for an upgrade, but your wallet is not.  Fortunately, you can use your blog as your new website!  It has all the functionality of a website and then some.  Plus you can update it as you need to as often as you like without having to pay a programmer.  This keeps your blog fresh and timely-search engine friendly!

3.         A blog doesn’t have to be wordy.

The beauty of a blog is that it can be as short or as long as you like.  You don’t have to write a new chapter of War and Peace every time you write a post.  Sometimes a sentence is all you need!  And if you don’t want to write, try posting photos or videos instead.  What about “before and after” photos of work you’ve done or virtual tours of your product, facility, office, or process.

4.         Your website is like a yellow pages ad, but your blog is like a journal.

Which would you rather read?  A blog invites people to read it because it is reveals the inner thoughts of the writer.  Don’t worry if you start a blog and the only one who reads it is your mom.   That will change as you keep at it and word spreads.   The key is to update your blog regularly.  The rule of thumb is that the more you update your blog, the more traffic you have.  At minimum you should update your blog once a week with articles of 500 words or less.  But blogging twice a week is optimal.

5.         Blogging establishes you as an expert.

With so much competition out there, it can be difficult for consumers to make decisions, however a blog sets you apart from your competition as an expert.  This increases your credibility to your potential buyers which translates to increased sales.  An added benefit is that the media also rely on bloggers as experts.  Case in point, the blog “Get Rich Slowly” is frequently referred to by Money Magazine.  The blog, The Pioneer Woman.com, led to a New York Times best selling cookbook.

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to get started!  Have a blog?  Feel free to post it here, but business appropriate only please.

Wendy Kenney is a nationally known Buzz Building Expert and the Founder and CEO of 23 Kazoos, a marketing firm specializing in inexpensive and creative small business marketing strategies.  She has honed her marketing skills through over 26 years of entrepreneurship and business management.

Wendy just released her new book called How to Build Buzz for Your Biz- Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business” based on her knowledge of what works and what does not work in small business marketing.  This book features practical and low cost marketing strategies, such as “How to Grow Your Business Using Social Media,” as well as valuable links, resources, and tips.

Wendy frequently speaks to organizations about marketing for small business.  To get more information or to schedule Wendy to speak go to:  Business Marketing Speaker

Claim your free download (no email necessary) on Wendy’s website:  23 Kazoos

How to Build Buzz for your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed

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Just last month Google announced the completion of their new web indexing system called Caffeine. According to Google, “Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now [...]

Continue Reading

Our Franchise eBook – Your guide to becoming a franchisee

We’ve been working hard in collaboration with the country’s leading experts on crafting a Franchising Guide eBook that helps you walk through the key considerations and action steps to pursue your own franchise of interest and embark on the life of an entrepreneur. http://www.startupnation.com/franchising/ is where you can find out more. Use this downloadable workbook to: [...]

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