social media marketing

ShopKick Location Based Shopping App

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August 15  |  Social Media Sites  |   Ryan Clark

I’ve been soaking in all the location based and real time marketing lately, for obvious reasons of course. On my digital travels I came across ShopKick while writing for an upcoming publication. I was talking with Scott Loader yesterday about his Foursquare rampage while shopping here in Vancouver. While Foursquare is no geared directly towards just stores, it still does an ok job of providing deals and fun through its games. I however really like the idea of a location based deals application just for shopping, and this is exactly what ShopKick is all about.

The amount of different deals and coupons that could be offered by this app makes it most intriguing to me, and my clients. While ShopKick is still in its infancy(private beta), you can get that stores are hungry to have this new revolution help bring back some lost business during these tough times. The app itself is set to bring up a stores real world “bounce rate” with features such as KickBucks. This form of currency can be collected by just walking into stores, and further more by scanning products in store with your phone! Once you’ve collected enough, well you guessed it, rewards can be had in real life with prizes such as iPads, phones and more! Check out the video to see a little bit of it in action.

 

 

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Starbucks + Foursquare = Win

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June 10  |  Local Business Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

So I’m sure you’ve all ready by now the success Starbucks has recently had with Foursquare…well let’s just say social media in general. While I believe the numbers don’t really match up, and they’re most likely over playing Foursquare’s role, but still there is a wake-you-up lesson to be learned here. The discounts they offered to the Mayor’s has affected me personally…why? Well I’ve been getting crazy discounts from not only my local Starbucks, but many other restaurants in the area. I’m seeing my non marketing friends embracing Foursquare just for the deals, so it’s safe to say you can no longer avoid Foursquare.

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Foursquare for Business Marketing & Local Search Domination

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May 18  |  Local Business Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

Foursquare is going to be the biggest force in the top 10 for businesses within the next year, so get ready for new marketing opportunities. Businesses are already scrambling to work with the Foursquare API, and I’m already seeing local business search domination in play. I wanted to showcase some ways you’ll be able to socially do business, and this is only with Foursquare. Imagine the reach you’ll get by dominating Gowalla as well, but that’s another post coming up within the next week. Foursquare is going to need to attract a lot of developers fast because Facebook is coming out with a location based check-in service, naturally, so time will tell who will dominate.

You can by all means add me as a friend on Foursquare as I`m quite active. I really love promoting my favorite local spots, and if user does it a bit it will all work out for the good. I don`t have any evil marketing intentions for Foursquare, so you`ll just see what I get up to on a daily basis. For the most part, prepare to be bored!

Foursquare has quickly been eating up the local search market, I`m sure you`ve all noticed. There`s no harm in getting your business active, think about this. How easily can you rank your boutique hotel venue listing, or local restaurant or real estate listings on Foursquare?

Foursquare gives you the ability to further brand yourself by linking up with Twitter and Facebook. While you don`t get a link to your homepage (yet), you do get followed links to your Facebook and Twitter page. That`s a plus in my books because that makes those profiles only stronger.

The Bad:

Some of the on-page optimization baffles me with foursquare, especially the URL and title formatting. I`m still not seeing Foursquare showing up very high in Google yet for local venues, perhaps this is why. They certainly have the link authority to rank for just about anything these days. I imagine this will eventually be changed to the slightly more SEO friendly setup, but for now this is what you get;

The Opus Hotel here in Vancouver is the coolest place I`ve had the pleasure of staying, and I never would have gone until I saw them socially online. The Opus Hotel does a damn fine job of not only SEO locally, but how they`ve branded themselves on Twitter, Facebook and of course Foursquare. This is a fine example of how you should be tackling online marketing from all angles. Their business listing on Foursquare is quite active and will most likely never be deindexed, and potentially will rank for some very competitive keywords in the near future.

The Good:

The promotion opportunities here are quite endless. The more check-ins your venue has, the more people will see your business. I`d highly recommend targeting active users within your city to get them involved with your Foursquare account. That`s the beauty of social networking!

Coupon marketing is currently offered for free through your Foursquare venue page. This obviously encourages users to come to your location, and hopefully the rise in business follows. I can tell you this, I routinely try and become mayor at my favorite restaurants just for the coupons and discounts. A local Vancouver restaurant chain called Earls has recently stepped up their Foursquare promotion as well as just Facebook and Twitter. You`d be amazed at what just these three sites can do for your local business. You can even see that I`m mayor of the Kingsway Earls near my condo….I even mustered up the strength to write a tip.

My favorite aspect of the features for businesses right now are the tools to create specials for users. These usually result in free drinks for birthdays, if the venue mayor checks in and really a whole bunch of ideas just waiting to be tried out. I’ve just recently learned that you can get Foursquare venue stickers for businesses to let customers know you’re a Foursquare friendly establishment. If you’re reading this now and own a local business, well then I hope you’re already ordering these as soon as you’re done RT’ing and stumbling this post.

Now I’m sure you’re sweating a little from the amount of new work I just created in your life, but don’t worry. Eventually the marketing will go viral within your local market, and you can as of right now track all sorts of amazing analytics for free. In fact, the developer team has stated they’re just going to make the best analytic software possible for free. I imagine at one point you’ll see some sort advanced, fee based business opportunities but that’s expected.

Here’s currently a chart they provide on their website describing the business analytic features;

What About The API?

Foursquare provides API access and it has already spawned some really interesting apps for both the user and businesses. So you can either code up something 3rd party to interact directly with your business and the Foursquare interface, or take advantage of other available apps. Within a year from now, there will be so many apps it will overload any businesses brand, no matter how large you are.

This also brings up another interesting question from the angle of a marketer. Which of my current social networks that I’m on are going to integrate with Foursquare? How many new niche business directories are we going to see implement Foursquare data? Who knows at this point, but this is something you’re going to want to keep in the back of your mind

Interesting Foursquare Apps:

Foursquare has recently redesigned their application directory so it’s easy to find all sorts of readily available tools to use. I’ve been digging around all evening, taking a look at what I thought would make for a great example of what’s possible with Foursquare applications. My favorite thing is dining out, I’m a little bit of a food nut, so let’s take a look at Snacksquare.

Local restaurants who take advantage of local coupon and discount sites like this will surely make a name for themselves. Snacksquare lets you find all the latest and greatest food and snack deals that are closest to you, brilliant! This app not only provides a method of free marketing for businesses, it provides a useful money saving device right at the tip of the consumers fingers.

4Squareoffers.com:

4squareoffers.com does pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It works in a similar fashion to Snacksquare except you can find deals on any type of product, not just food. It works with a simple to use Google Maps feature and you’ll have no problem finding local deals. Businesses will automatically get their data pulled as long as you’re marketing properly on Foursquare.

Love A Local Business:

The fine folks at Intuit coded up this neat little Foursquare and Facebook powered application for business all over the world. Basically it lets users vote and spread social love which in return should act exactly as an online, real time word of mouth marketing platform. I tried using the site a little more but sadly on the latest Firefox and Windows it would always hang my browser. Let me know if anyone else experiences this problem on a different platform as I don’t put much faith into Microsoft’s programming.

Wrapping Things Up:

I could go on and on about the 500+ other apps already out there right now, but I’ll spare you and I any more reading or writing here. The Foursquare train isn’t slowing down any time soon and has already dipped into Alexa’s top 1000 websites. I hope all of you learned something from this and take it and apply it to your business. If you’re looking for help in your local search marketing you can of course get in touch with me. We can kick start you local search marketing efforts with a bang.

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Vancouver Link Building & Social Media Marketing

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April 21  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

I just wanted to let anyone and everyone in my hometown of Vancouver BC Canada about my local services. I work with a few clients here and would love to work with more. I do travel on site out of town, but it would be nice to get the chance to help local businesses succeed in a tough marketplace. The marketplace here is booming, and with the 2010 Olympics come and gone the economy is still speeding along. I’ve done a lot of Hotel SEO for local clients and I cannot believe the global response, especially from China. I cannot tell you how hard it is to do SEO and link build for the Chinese language, that and of course Japanese. Those are just some of the strategies and borders we’ve had to hurdle for our clients.

We utilize advanced, high quality link building and social media marketing tactics to dominate the local search market. We also plan, adapt and attack the global search world to maximize your ROI. We can also help your business reach out to the local community and connect with your customers online and now in real time. With the ability to work within a meeting distance allows for a more fruitful experience. Our only goal is to make sure your business gets its voice heard within the Vancouver search area, or anywhere within beautiful British Columbia.

Get In Touch With Us Today!

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Connecting and Link Building With Screept.com

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February 24  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

One of my favorite aspects about building a business and connecting in a web 2.0 world is the ability to get links while doing so. There are so many niche social networks and web platforms that allow you to take advantage of this. I don’t like listing sites to the public that often mainly because the abuse that follows in the link building world. So my intentions here are to showcase how Screept is a great place to connect with fellow site owners and programmers. I couldn’t honestly tell you what my profession title actually is…webmaster, link builder, ecommerce manager….ugh.

I’ve just started playing around on Screept and one of the lead developers is very active on there and provided me with a nice and warm welcome. You can never really have enough programmer friends when you’re in the online marketing game, and connecting with on the ball developers is just a bonus. If you do fall under the category of a legit user and do sign up to Screept, make sure you find me on there and add me as a friend.

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Auto Find & Follow People On Twitter

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February 20  |  Twitter Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

I just found out about Twollow through some tweets on Twitter…now let’s never say that sentence again. I know a lot of you have no need for Twitter, but for some of us it can be one hell of a business tool. I’ve been somewhat growing my Twitter account but I just don’t seem to be moving fast enough. Some of you can hugely benefit from the networking aspect but may not have the time, so here’s something to help you folks out. Keep in mind I was not paid, or will be paid, for this post so it’s up to you for some feedback.

I’m not one who wants to waste much time on there so any help is good. If you’re trying to launch successful linkbait/viral campaigns, then this tool is also right up your alley. Once you have a decent Twitter following you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to snag links. A lot of sites, apps and widgets now a days are arching and indexing retweet’d content. So the more of an influence your account is, the more random links you’re going to pick up over time.

Give it a FREE 7 day trial right now!
Website: http://www.twollow.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/twollow

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Create Resources For Links In Your Industry

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May 7  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

For those of you in an industry that is a little behind the times when it comes to marketing online, then it’s time to take advantage. I’ve had a big client that unfortunately started to run out of quality places to get related links. This gave me the idea to plan out a long term strategy that would help grow his business as well as bring in quality links. Some of the options I’ve covered here but who doesn’t like a nice little list to go over?


So my client has his site and I’ve been link building on it for 5 months which has netted us just over 300 quality links from related sites, social media and through linkbait. This has proved to be effective enough to destroy the competition and make it tough for anyone coming up to catch up. My client didn’t want to stop there even though I reached the ranking goals, and me wanting to make more money I obliged.

His site was just a usual static html site with no social aspects, and defintely no blog. Since his industry was void of any sort of social media site, or industry resource, I suggested we create 4 seperate sites over the next 6 months. This would allow him to do a few things like have strong links back to his company, get more exposure and have assets that are worth something in the long run.

So a lot of this shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you, but it is something to think about. It requires a lot of work and then the waiting for things to kick off in the coming months. So how many of you have gone out and done something like this? Has it worked out to your benefit? If you’re still wondering what resources I’m talking about I was talking about these:

  • Social Video Site
  • Web/Business Directory
  • Blog
  • Industry Podcast
  • Industry Forum
  • Classifieds

These are just a few examples of seperate sites that can be created on a seperate IP or server. Obviously we wouldn’t put all this effort into it just for a link, but it gives you such an advantage over your industry, and you can control the links going to competitors because you’re the webmaster. So again, nothing ground breaking here but just something to think about if you’re in a quiet niche.

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Building Readers With Earnersclub.net

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December 31  |  Link Building, Social Bookmarking  |   Ryan Clark

Earnersclub is a great hub for the SEO/SEM/Webmaster community and provides a new source for traffic to your blog. The links are not dofollow, but I’m after the traffic that’s involved here and I’ve been using the site more and more lately. Not only does this dive into the realm of what Sphinn covers, but it also goes into the money making niche deeply with a vast section of great links to information I don’t normally come across….and it’s all about making money. They also have a vast array of buttons for your website, browser plugins to easily submit content on the go and of course a handy WordPress plugin to let your readers vote up your stories. I’m kind of in a toss up to switch it over from Sphinn, but for now I’ll try and get this added to my socialize this plugin for WordPress. I highly recommend all your folks out there in these niches to join up and start voting and submitting your good content.

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