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How To Effectively Use QR Codes For Your Business

QR codes are a great marketing tool, however it is probably one of the most misused marketing tools out there. For those of you who don't know what a QR code (below) is, it is a bar code usually in the shape of a square that is now used as a link to websites or other useful information. Originally QR codes started off as a way for automobile manufactures to track cars during production. Now QR codes are being used everywhere as a marketing tool; many times in the wrong way.

 

How Companies Misuse QR Codes

-When Your QR Code Does Not Lead to a Mobile Friendly Website

The whole purpose of QR codes is so people who are out and about on the street can get to your website without having to remember a web address for when they get home. If your QR code does not lead to a mobile friendly website, then this defeats the purpose of having a QR code.

 

-Including QR Codes In Your Email

If someone is on their phone checking their email, it is impossible for them to scan the QR code. If the user is on their computer, there is no need for a QR code, a link will do just fine. After all a QR code is basically another way of saying “link”.

 

-QR Codes On Billboards

This is impractical, and dangerous. QR codes are pointless if it is impossible or dangerous for the user to scan the code. A tiny QR code on a billboard that is on a three story building is not of much help. Likewise a QR code on the side of the freeway is also dangerous. Mobile phone use and driving are not a good combination, don't create an advertisement that encourages this behavior.

 qr codes

-QR Codes In Areas Where Cell Service Is Not Possible

Placing QR codes in subway platforms, airplanes, or any other area out of cell reception once again defeats the purpose of using QR codes.

 qr code

QR codes have a purpose. However when companies misuse them committing the QR code crimes above it is no wonder they don't see a return on their inconveniently placed bar codes. Avoid the mistakes above and follow a few simple rules in order to ensure your QR codes are useful as well as physically possible to scan.

 

Make sure the link your QR code is paired with is a mobile friendly website

As mentioned earlier a link to a non-mobile site will only frustrate users

 

Use QR codes where it is practical to scan them

Think before you spend money on a big billboard, bus bench, or any location you want to put a QR code.

 qr codes

Make sure your QR code is in an area with WiFi or 3G

No WiFi = no scanning

 

When you create your QR code make sure it is big enough to scan

A QR code the size of a dime located on a bus bench is going to be pretty difficult to scan.

qr codes

Indicate which types of phones/operating systems the QR code is compatible with

Users will quickly get frustrated if they are trying to scan one of your codes and it's not working because you did not indicate which operating systems it was compatible with.

 

QR codes have potential, but only if used in the correct way.  Don't let your company spend money on ads featuring misused QR codes; they are bound to fail.

Facebook Status Turned Into A Science? – How To Get More Likes

All About The Likes

Only Facebook has the ability to cause the most humble users to stumble. We all know what I'm talking about. Whether you consider yourself a social media wizard or a casual user who only checks in every couple of days, the “like” button can have a tendency to dictate what you post. We've all wondered why nobody liked our clever (or so we thought) post, while other people are pulling in the likes in double digits for seemingly mundane posts. While I can't help you simply post better content, there are some tips you can follow to get more likes and interaction on Facebook.

Timing Is Of The Essence

Timing can be a big factor when trying to get more likes on Facebook. Obviously if you post content in the wee hours of the morning interaction is not going to be very high. Studies have shown that the ideal time to post a Facebook post is between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. Wednesday at 3 P.M is supposed to be the best window of time during the week. Unlike your followers on Twitter, your Facebook friends don't want the play-by-play of your daily activities. Depending on who your friends are, Facebook tends to be a 1-2 post kind of environment; keep them updated, but don't smother your friends.

Think Before You Post

It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and think things are Facebook worthy when in reality, they aren't. Think before you post, check for grammar, maybe even run it by a friend; this safety checklist is one way to get more likes. If you're going for like count, quality over quantity can't be stressed enough. People may find it hard to like a post that is riddled with grammar mistakes. Likewise don't post content that is too revealing. You may have close friends on Facebook, but you also probably have a number of acquaintances. Do you really want them seeing all of the drama in your life?

get more likes

Show People, Don't Just Tell Them

People respond very well to photos. When businesses post photos on their page, on average, they receive about 40% more interaction and get more likes than a normal text post (bufferapp.com). When scrolling through Facebook a gorgeous photo of your day at the beach is going to grab more people's attention (and get more likes) than your “havin' fun in the sun” post. Try it, you might be surprised at the reaction you get.

high-definition-beach-wallpapers-by-cool-b-o-ibackgroundz.com_

Don't Be A Debbie Downer

Keep things light and cheerful. People go on Facebook to escape their boring or depressing offices during the day, don't bring your sadness to their happy place. Share your achievements and joy, users respond well to optimism. Don't use social media as a place to vent, and definitely don't “subtweet” or talk about your Facebook friends in a negative way in your statuses (without telling them).

This isn't a formula to turn yourself into a social media celebrity, but by following these basic rules you should be able to increase your engagement online. Who knows? Maybe your positive vibes online will result in an engaging conversation or new client. The sky is the limit with social media!

Social Media Helps Your SEO Ranking

Think social media has nothing to do with SEO? Think again! The strategies that your company was using last year may no longer be relevant at all. People are starting to discover that social media helps your SEO ranking.

Backlinks Might Take A Backseat

Backlinks used to be the holy grail when it came to SEO, however social media is quickly changing that old idea. According to Searchmetrics, Google +1 and Facebook shares are currently the number 1 and 2 contributors to SEO rankings. Now that social media helps your SEO ranking, you may have to adjust your strategies when it comes to getting your website ranked.

How to get higher SEO ranking

Photo By Searchmetrics

 

Google +1 and Facebook Shares Help SEO Ranking

If Google +1 and Facebook shares are becoming big contributors to SEO ranking, then it is only a matter of time before other social signals start to become key players in the SEO world. I think it is safe to say we will start to see Instagram likes, Pinterest pins, and retweets start to have more of an impact on ranking websites. As everyone knows, when somebody mentions you on their website or blog, your SEO ranking increases. Mentions from external websites will continue to increase your ranking, however now mentions on social media will help your SEO ranking as well.

 searchmetrics graph

In Conclusion...

Social media is no longer just a fun way to express ourselves (it's much more than that). Social media helps your SEO ranking, and as a result you need to be more active when it comes to your social accounts. We are really going to see the importance of social media take off within the next few years. Special care and effort should go into everything you post on your social media accounts, it could be the difference between a future client finding your website or choosing to go with one of your competitors.

Multiple Social Media Accounts: What & Where To Post

So you're doing social media and you're doing it well. You've got multiple business social media accounts; you're on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. However, you're posting the same content on all of these different accounts. That's a problem. People often ask “do I need to post different content on all of my accounts?”.

Post Similar Yet Different Content

Yes and no. No, you don't need to post completely unique content on your multiple social media accounts, while that may be ideal, it is very time consuming. If you have the money to pay for a marketing company to do that for you I say by all means, post away! The content you post should be somewhat different across all of your platforms. By all means you can give the same message across multiple social media accounts. However, you should repackage what you say so that those who follow you on multiple platforms don't get the urge to unfollow you due to redundancy.

Ideally you want the content you post on social media to draw people in. You want your followers to feel like they are missing out if they aren't following you on all of your social media outlets.

Why Not Invest More Effort Into Just One Platform?

Quantity over quality has negative connotations, however when you invest all of your time and effort into just one social platform you end up missing out. It's also good to have multiple social media accounts because you never know when you will need a backup.

What If I get Shutdown?

We've all experienced the frustration when we try to get on a website, but can't due to maintenance or some other inconvenience. It's good to post on multiple social media accounts in the event of one of your sites being down, or worse your account being flagged as spam or deleted all together.

Facebook account disabled error message

Multiple Social Media Accounts = More Reach

The more platforms you are on, the greater impact you are going to have on people; it's as simple as that. There are users that only use Facebook and not Twitter, only Twitter and not Instagram, Instagram and Facebook, but not Twitter; I think you get the point. You want everyone to be able to see your content no matter what platform you are using.

access-facebook-insights

Time Of Day Is Key

Different social media platforms have different optimal posting time. For example, if you want your content to be seen by most people, 3PM seems to be the optimal time of day. Whereas if you want to post something on Pinterest and get the most exposure, the late hours of the night tend to be the best times. If you are on more than one social network, it is important to post your content throughout the day.

Best times of day to post on different social media sites

Social media is still relatively new. The more we learn about social media, the more we realize what kind of maintenance is associated with it. We realize we've only scratched the surface regarding posting content on social media, but hopefully this will serve as some sort of guide for you if you are just getting started or just want to improve your already existing campaign.

How To Get Yelp Reviews

 One of the biggest online assets that a small business owner can have is Yelp. If you own a restaurant, photography studio, store, or any other small business and you are not on Yelp, you should fix that (after you read this post of course). In this post we are going to give some of our tips for how to get Yelp reviews. Whether the reviews are good or bad depends on you.

Let People Know You Are On Yelp

This might sound like an obvious statement, but you would be surprised how many people don't advertise the fact that they are on Yelp. In order to get Yelp reviews, people need to know you're actually on Yelp. When I say advertise, I don't mean anything fancy; a simple sign in your restaurant will do just fine.

get yelp reviews

Display The Good Reviews

You see this a lot in restaurants that are known throughout the country. When the New York Times reviews their restaurant, they frame it and display it on the wall. While you may not be reviewed by large publications, you will be reviewed by your customers and that is equally important. Displaying former, good Yelp reviews on the wall gives customers peace of mind, and it is also a good way to get Yelp reviews in the future.

Treat The Mayor Like Royalty

Foursquare and Yelp are different. But chances are if a customer is on Yelp, they are also on other social networking sites. Reward those that continue to come back to your place of business by offering discounts or even free stuff. Rewarding regular customers is a great way to get yelp reviews that are positive.

Yelp Reviews

Perks For Reviews

Many times people don't want to bothered with the process of going online and leaving a review for your company. In some cases people are only going to review you if you are really good or really bad. So why not offer a little discount or coupon for those that take the time to review your company. Just have the customer show you the review and in return they get some sort of promotion or discount.

Use Emails To Spread The Word

Never use emails to directly ask for reviews; that's unprofessional. However, what you can do is put a link to your Yelp page along with your other social media buttons. This is a passive way to get Yelp reviews, and it works. All you really need to say is something along the lines of “Let us know what you think of us on Yelp!”. Maybe even mention how many reviews you have on Yelp or something along those lines.

yelp_logo2

Just using one of these strategies might not yield very strong results. However, if you combine all of these techniques to create a sort of system you should begin to see Yelp reviews come in slowly but surely.

Optimal Time To Post On Facebook

This is the first week in our series on Facebook engagement. Our goal is that after these two weeks you will get a better idea of how to find the optimal time to post on Facebook as well as what kind of content you should be posting.

A common question people ask is “what's the optimal time to post on Facebook”. The answer: there really isn't a magical time of the day when everyone is going to see your posts. The optimal time to post on Facebook is going to be different for everyone. However there are still a few somewhat universal strategies you can use in order to get more engagement on Facebook.

Engagement on Facebook is crucial if you want your posts to be seen by as many people as possible. When you post something to Facebook and no one engages it (comments & likes), it quickly falls down the ladder of other content being posted. However when you post engaging content, your posts continue to stay at the top of the feed. Your post will continue to stay towards the top as long as people are commenting and liking the post. This is why it is so important to put a lot of care and effort into what you post on Facebook.

 

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Know Your Audience

Location

In order to find the optimal time to post on Facebook, you first have to know who you are actually trying to entertain online. While it may be slightly different for everyone, it seems to be that most people are on Facebook from 1-3 PM. Wednesday at 3 PM being the most popular time and day to post content. This is where knowing your audience comes into play. If your company is based out of Los Angeles, but the majority of your fans are in New York that is going to affect the time of day you should be posting.

optimal time to post on Facebook

Age

You can get all of the information you need regarding your key demographic using the Facebook insight tool. Much like location, age is also going to play a key role in what time of day you should be posting the majority of your content. A college student is going to be online at different times than someone who works a 9-5 job.

 

Mixed Audiences

All of this information is great, but what if your company's audience covers a wide spectrum. This is another reason why there is not one perfect answer for what time you should be posting your content. Posting more than once a day is a great way to get more engagement on Facebook. According to Kissmetrics.com, users that post 1-2 times per day receive 40% more engagement and those that post 1-4 times per day receive 70% more engagement. Social media is one of those things in life where more is better. It's not enough to just post content in large quantities, you need to be posting content with quality as well.

Facebook posting frequency

Photo courtesy of www.kissmetrics.com

Facebook posting frequency

Photo courtesy of www.kissmetrics.com

 

 

The time of day that you post content is important, but it can take a little bit of experimentation in order to figure out the optimal time to post on Facebook. Even when you do find times where your audience is most likely to engage, never stop trying new things. Everyday you are gaining fans, and your fans are adding more friends (they can see your content as well). The optimal posting time may change over time and you want to make sure that you are always ensuring people will see y our content.

Free Social Media Management Trial

Does your company have a social media account? Do you update your social media account? If you are a business owner and have thought about signing up for a social media marketing company, but don't want to make a big commitment right away, you're in luck. Chronicle X Media is offering one month of free social media management.

Requirements

-You must be a business owner of some sort (Store owner, musician, actor, artists, CEO, etc...)

-Your business must have a social media account already set up

Rival companies charge up to $1200/Month for the same service we are offering. Chronicle X specializes in online marketing and social media management. Our free social media management trial includes:

-Daily Facebook posts

-Daily Tweets

-Daily interaction on Facebook and Twitter with your fans

-Free company analysis

-Competitor research

-Networking in order to find new clientele

How To Sign Up

-Share our Facebook or Twitter account on one of your accounts via a shout out

-Use the hashtag “#MakeMeSocial”

Free Social Media Management

You can say whatever you want in your tweet or Facebook post. Just make sure you use the hashtag #MakeMeSocial

Why Are We Doing This?

At Chronicle X, we believe social media is the future of business. Social media is still relatively new, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. Since social sites are so new, we want to give business owners a chance to see what social media can do for them, without having to put up money. Like virtually all businesses, Chronicle X began as a small start-up working out of a house, so we know how valuable your money is to owners.

Whether you are trying to sell a product or service, maintain an active web presence, or simply gain followers and brand awareness, we can help. We look forward to hearing from all of you business owners out there and we cant wait to see what our free social media management trial can do for you.

Instagram For Business: Turn “Likes” Into Profit

A picture is worth a thousand words, so naturally, Instagram should be a great marketing tool...right? Most companies that use social media are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and maybe one other platform such as Foursquare or Pinterest. However many companies are not taking advantage of Instagram, a service with over 100 million users.

Usually when companies are reluctant to start using a new social media platform, it is because they don't see how they can practically use it. Instagram has countless benefits, but here are our 5 benefits we believe are selling points for you to use Instagram for your business.

 

The Power Of The Pound Sign

Hashtags have been on Twitter for a while, and now Facebook has started implementing them as well. However hashtags and Instagram go together like bread and butter. Unlike Twitter, where you can search for phrases, Instagram only lets you search for photos by using hashtags. If you hashtag your photos with related topics and phrases, people will be sure to find your photos. If you don't think people go looking for other people's photos on Instagram, just look at the photos with the most likes. In many cases, the photos with the most “likes” are the ones that are riddled with hashtags. Never underestimate the power of hashtags. Hashtags help your current and future clientele find you. When you start to use Instagram for your business, think of all the related topics people might be searching for in order to get better publicity for your photos.

instagram4

Instagram Is An Effective Time Saving Device

There are times when it is appropriate to hire an expensive photographer and pay a graphic design team for an ad campaign; but for everything else, why not use Instagram? Adobe Photoshop costs $700, Instagram is free. While you can obviously do a lot more with Photoshop, if all you are doing is taking pictures of your products for people to see, why not go with the free alternative? Instagram is one of those things that any of your employees can use and it only takes a couple of seconds to post a photo. Use Instagram for business when you want to have great looking photos while saving time and money.

Use Instagram For Business

People Can Relate To Instagram

If there is anything that is going to turn people off from your company, it's customers not being able to relate to your brand. Instagram puts you on the same level as your customers; it also allows them to directly give you positive feedback and criticism. You can take your ability to relate with customers one step further. You can quickly take photos of your products being used in their natural environment to further communicate that your product is right for your customers.

 

Use Instagram As A Teaching Tool

We have said this before, people are only going to like what you post on social media if they like you. Posting helpful tutorials via Instagram is a great way to get people to warm up to you and start liking more of your stuff. No one knows your company better than you, the business owner. Chances are if you own a business, then you are pretty knowledgeable about your industry. Share your knowledge and people will see why they should choose your company over someone else.

 

100 Million Users And Counting

Like all social media platforms, the amount of users on Instagram is growing everyday. With 100 million potential customers using Instagram, why would you not want to use Instagram? The great benefit of using social media to advertise is the fact that it doesn't cost you any money. It's not like you need to get a certain number of clients from Instagram in order for it to pay for itself. If you gain 10 new customers via Instagram, great! If not, at least your brand has an online presence and that goes a long way in today's technological world.

Use Instagram For Business

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of how to use Instagram for your business. We feel that if you take advantage of these 5 benefits, there is no reason why Instagram won't be a huge success for your company.

Social Media Addiction Symptoms

With social media becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, it's easy to see how people can get carried away on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Pinterest all beg for our attention and it's no wonder why people get addicted to social media. This week the (social media) doctor is in the house, and we are going to show you how to self diagnose your social media addiction.

 

Your life experiences can be summed up in 140 characters or less

Twitter is informational, and fun. I can't tell you how many times I have received breaking news via Twitter before I heard about it on television. However if you find yourself tweeting your every move, or thinking about how you can fit your story from the day into a nice 140 character tweet...you might need to put a check mark next to this symptom. It also goes without saying if you live tweet sporting events, conferences, or movies and TV shows you test positive for this symptom. This symptom also includes those that butcher the English language in order to fit their tweet into 140 characters.

 Addicted to Twitter

You see a potential profile picture everywhere you go

 

Photos are a great way to remember events. But when you constantly take photos for the purpose of putting them on Facebook, doesn't that become counterproductive and actually take away from the enjoying the experience? If you have ever thought, or said: “take my photo here, I need a new Facebook profile picture” or anything along those lines, then give yourself a check mark for this social media addiction symptom.

Ryan Lochte Selfie

 

You use hashtags in emails

 

Or anywhere hashtags do not belong for that matter. Hashtags are useful, on Twitter. Hashtags can help us gain more insight into what people think about a subject. They also allow us to get news in a fast, efficient manner on the internet. However, hashtags have absolutely no functionality in your company emails...or God forbid your day-to-day conversations. Leave the hashtags in your Instagram photos of your dinner, which brings me to the next social media addiction symptom.

 social media addiction

People know your eating schedule and diet by checking Instagram

 

Unless you're eating unicorn meat, it's not really necessary to take a picture of your food for all of the internet to see; chances are they've already seen whatever food item you are eating. The World has billions of things to take pictures of, spread your wings and fly.

 Instagram food pic

You spend real money on Facebook items

 

I've seen Facebook gift cards in numerous places, most recently at the grocery store. Every time I see them I always think “surely, nobody buys those”. But the store sells them so there must be people paying money for them. Facebook offers hours of free entertainment already, I can't imagine what could possible cost money on their site.

Facebook gift card

 

So there you have it. This is Chronicle X's 5 symptoms to diagnose your social media addiction. If think an item on our list shouldn't be a symptom or think we left one out, let us know. We love hearing from our readers, so don't be a stranger.

 

What Your Company Should Post On Social Media

It's amazing how many companies are reluctant to create a company Facebook page and manage it simply because they are unsure of what kind of content they should be posting. This week we're going to give you some ideas for content you can post on your company's Facebook and Twitter pages. We'll give you good examples of companies using social media in the right way so you can apply those same techniques to your business.

What You Should Post On Social Media

-Special discounts and offers

People want to save money, especially if they can save money and stay loyal to the brands that they love. Nobody has time to clip coupons anymore, so why not offer electronic coupons via your social media sites.

Facebook Coupon Offer

Toys R Us has a tab on their Facebook page specifically for special offers.

-Company news and accomplishments

When it comes to brand loyalty, people don't just want to buy your products; they want to hear about what you're doing as well. Keep your clients updated on what you're company is a great way to build a strong customer base and build relationships.

-Post something special for holidays for important dates

When users follow/like brands online, they are more likely to follow brands that look human. Posting a happy holidays message or thanking all the hard working moms on Mothers Day shows that your company doesn't have their head in the sand. It also shows that you company has gratitude for the important things in life and acknowledges that the world doesn't revolve around their company.

Why not post an E card for  Father's Day?

Why not post an E card for Father's Day?

-Share the fun stuff that goes on in the workplace

This part goes right along with the previous example. People want to see the human element of your company. Posting a couple of pictures of your employees having fun during lunch, or during a meeting is another way you can show your customers that you are more than just a brand.

Fun office photo

Does your office play games? Take pictures of it and show your clients how fun your brand is.

What You Should Not Post On Social Media

-Nothing but business

While informing your customers of deals and events concerning your company is great. Social media allows you to do so much more than that. Don't bore your customers with nothing but business.

-It's not all fun and games

You need balance when it comes to social media. Your posts shouldn't be just about business, they also shouldn't be all fun and games either. People want to know that while your employees are having fun, they are also getting work done.

getting drunk at red cross

-Avoid controversial content

If your social media accounts are set up specifically for your business, then they should be free of controversy and vulgarity. Every year we see a company make the mistake of posting something that crosses the line and gets them loads of negative attention online. Keep in mind when you post content that it is very hard (maybe even impossible) to undo anything posted to the internet.

kenneth-cole

When it comes to social media, there really isn't a wrong way of doing business. If it's informative, funny, witty, and not offensive go ahead and post it. If you find it interesting, chances are your fans and customers will think it is too.

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