Tag Archives: twitter

Use QR codes to connect with college students

Cell phone ownership among the college market is nearly ubiquitous. And Smartphone usage is on the rising with the majority of college kids already owning one, or planning to buy one for their next phone. As data plans continue to decrease in cost and more students being to go online with their devices, it is important that you are ready to interact with them with the latest technology.

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Great stats on reaching the mobile shopper can be found here.

Ways to use QR codes to connect with college students:

1. Generate a code for your site and include it on your college newspapers ads, student targeted emails, campus posters, and other campus advertising. This will give students a way to bookmark your site on their phone, or view a spash page for a promotion right then and there.

2. Use QR codes to drive social media interaction on sites like Yelp, Linked In, Twitter, Foursquare check-ins, and even automatically “like” a brand on Facebook.

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3. Create a scavenger hunt! By using Facebook updates and Tweets, you can broadcast clues on where to scan a barcode that might be hidden on campus. Once scanned, that code could unveil the next location of a clue and ultimately lead students to a final destination to redeem a prize. These interactive games on the ground are great for events and help bring ultimate interaction with your brand. Here are some examples here and here.

4. Use QR codes for daily, weekly, or monthly coupons. These coupons can be changed out whenever you want, displayed in your advertising, marketing collateral, or on an in-store shelf edge or POP display. Check out this example.

5. QR Code SMS Messaging and calling. This can be implemented by creating custom codes that tell a phone what to do when they are scanned. For example, you can have a student scan a code that will invoke their phone to call a 1-800 number or send you a text message.

QR code generating sites I like are http://jumpscan.com/ and http://www.youscan.me and http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

What is your favorite?

How are you using QR codes to interact with students?

If you want to work with us on a college effort using QR codes, contact us today.

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New Year’s resolutions for small local businesses in 2011:

1. I promise to hire a real designer to revamp my website, logo, and sell sheets.

2. I promise to rethink Facebook and ask if it’s really right for my business.

3. I promise to pick one social media channel and use it to build my reputation as an expert in what I do for a living.

4. I promise to collect information and feedback from my customers and ask their permission before sending them things.

5. I promise to not use Copperplate Gothic or Comic Sans for any reason whatsoever.

6. I promise to befriend two members of the local media and tell them a story about my business.

7. I promise to take one day off per week and do anything BUT work.

8. I promise to attend chamber of commerce meetings in the city where my business is located.

9. I promise to reward my best employees for their hard work. Even in a bad economy, good help is hard to find.

10. I promise to ask 20 people what the biggest problem with my business is and then do something to fix it.

11. I promise to find someone to help me with SEO and SEM and track my website traffic with Google analytics.

12. I promise to explore and test a way for my customers to use their phones to interact with my business before the year is over.

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Marketing With Geotagging Is Where It’s At

College Marketing Tactics

For the past few weeks, this guy has been standing at a busy intersection I pass on my way home from work holding a picket sign announcing the closing of the K-Mart store just down the road. “Discounts of 70%-80%!” “Final Days!”  Each year around tax time, without fail, there is a different man dressed up in a Statue of Liberty costume that waves like a maniac to passing cars while pointing to the small Liberty Tax office nestled in the strip mall behind him.  These are examples of proximity marketing in its most rudimentary form. And believe it or not, it works.

New geotagging capabilities with Twitter essentially allow marketers to put a person on the corner wearing a sandwich board all day. When Twitter announced that its geotagging API was available, my head started spinning with the possibilities this would have for marketing. This technology is also hitting at a perfect time. More retailers are testing deals and coupon codes through social media, holiday shopping is in full swing, and more people are using smart phones than ever before.

Recent statistics published by Deloitte Services and the National Retail Federation show that 60 percent of consumers will use social media to locate coupons and discounts, and 59 percent of retailers will boost Twitter use.

Small businesses and franchisees will capitalize on geotagging first. By following local Twitter conversations, neighborhood shops will likely get people following them as well. As “tweepstakes” and offers are shared, a crop of local followers is cultivated through real-time discussions and custom offers built on the fly from trending topics.

Youth marketers should also be taking notice of the recent research from Pew Internet & American Life Project showing that the 18- to 24 year-old-demographic now accounts for 37% of Twitter users. That figure is up considerably from 2008. Instead of analyzing if this is an anomaly, wouldn’t you rather spend time cutting your teeth now on strategies for connecting with this demographic using Tweets?

Geolocation of tweets are just the beginning. Soon, I expect everything to have geotagging capabilities and tie back into social media. That means the GPS unit on your dash will tweet where you are driving, and fast-food chains or gas stations will tweet deals to lure you in. Facebook will follow suit, opening the door for marketers to deliver coupons and real-time offers while you update your status from your phone. Smartphone usage with youth will become ubiquitous in short order as data plans get cheaper and cell phone carriers start playing nice with each other. This has already led to more app development with a prerequisite that they include social media and geolocation utility. Target has an iPhone app that allows shoppers to check store inventory based on their location, get a store map, and even pinpoint the aisle in which the item is located.

How will you use geotagging in your marketing? Will youth notice and respond to offers from brands using this technology?

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Illinois State Lottery works the campus crowd at tailgating events

illinois,lottoThroughout September and October, we’ve been working to promote theIllinois Lottery’s Bags & Bucks scratch off game at a number of different college campuses in Illinois. The idea was to promote the Bags n Bucks card through a series of tailgating events prior to college football games.

We targeted major D1 football teams in Illinois such as, Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Western Illinois University. The event displayed a large, branded van that provided the power for the Wii game “Target Toss Pro – Bags” contest that the students could play. There was a physical bags game on site as well, in case the lines for the videogame were too long.  The highest scorer received various Bags & Bucks premiums. Other players would receive smaller Lottery premiums as well. Actual lottery tickets were not handed out, due to the university restrictions, but a series of campus bar events were also executed with live contests to win tickets or other Lottery merchandise.

Because of the complexity of the event and the fact that the Lottery wanted to be present at the on-campus tailgate areas, it was necessary to get permission from the campuses to secure the locations. While there were a couple schools that would not allow the Lottery to be on campus due to policies against gambling, most of the schools did not take issue with it.

We implemented media promotion of the events on each campus with multiple newspaper ads, campus posters, and vinyl sidewalk graphics. Street teams also handed out flyers the day of the event to drive student traffic while The Lottery Twitter page buzzed with event updates.

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