Bed Bath & Beyond: Their Facebook “Like” Ask And Why It Fails

I received an email from Bed Bath & Beyond this morning with the subject header – Like our FB page? Give it a thumbs up! I don’t know who is in charge of their social media strategy but I think they need some unsolicited advice.

1. As a national brand you should not assume everyone you are emailing inherently knows that FB is an abbreviation of the word, Facebook.  Don’t alienate potential customers by assuming their world is your world.

2. You are asking me like your page so “we” can be connected” and “join the conversation” and so I “don’t miss a thing” but the reason why many consumers flock to the social presences of companies is because they offer tangible benefits such as coupons and discounts. There is no incentive to participate other then to talk… about water filters? Bedding? Not a very tantalizing offer.

The findings of a survey recently conducted by Market Force – a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions queryied more than 12,000 consumers in the US and UK, they wanted to see how consumers engaged with varying industries – retail, restaurant, travel, entertainment and financial businesses to be specific, via the big dogs of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

The findings revealed that 78% of respondents said the posts by companies they follow on social media impact their purchases.

One can assume all of these brands who directly impacted the 12,000 respondents were offering a truckload of freebies, coupons and other various promotions in an attempt to directly influence purchase decisions. If Bed Bath and Beyond wants to run a successful social media campaign they need to give more per “like” and not just ask without anything in return.

Erika Kirsten Beck is the founder and president of Ryder Media Consultants which designs, develops and implements custom social media business strategies and campaigns that create awareness for an organization’s products or services. She specializes in social media strategy development. Follow her on twitter: @RyderMedia. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RyderMedia or  http://klout.com/#/RyderMedia.

Stuck on Pinterest? 8 Alternatives to Try

Don’t lock yourself into one platform. Here are 8 sitesImage to get your wares in front of more click-happy shoppers.

Have you pinned all of your marketing hopes on Pinterest? If so, it’s time to reconsider the law of working with new tech platforms: One day a platform is in, the next day it’s out—so don’t fall into the trap of pouring all of your time into the hottest one of the week.

You’re much better off spreading your efforts across multiple sites. Here are eight Pinterest-like services to check out. Sure, they might not have incredibly high page views (yet), but you never know when one of these might suddenly attract the attention of millions of new surfers looking for ideas.

1. Looqiloo

This brand new start-up, still in beta, is like Pinterest with video reviews. You can still browse through product categories and scan quickly through images, but other users post their thoughts about the product so you can decide if it is worth your time or not.

2. AllIReallyWant.me

The site All I Really Want (AIRW) claims to cut your clicks in half. Well, that’s true: With Pinterest, you click once to see an object of desire and then again to access the link for purchase. So, with AIRW, you can click once to see the purchase site for a new pair of glasses or a dress that catches your eye.

3. Postwire

Postwire is more like a private version of Pinterest. There are pages with links to products and services, and the same visual browsing slant. (The human eye can scan images faster than text.) But each page is a private link for articles, videos, and docs you send to potential customers.

“Instead of sending your client off to your website for a pricing page, your YouTube channel for customer testimonial, your Facebook page for a photo, and your blog for an article last week, we allow you to collect all of those disparate pieces of content into a simple, easy-to-view page where you can focus your client on the content that really matters,” explains co-founder Craig Daniel.

4. Pearltrees

This one might be a stretch, but there is a site discovery slant. Basically, Pearltrees lets you click on similar interest “trees” to find videos, links, and products. For a small business, there’s an interesting paradigm here: You can create an interest tree for whatever your product does. For example, here’s one tree for creating a website.

5. Main and Me

Pinterest is all about crafts and objects of desire. Main and Me offers a similar purview, but with a local feel. You can browse through items in your local area (or where you might be heading for a business trip). Geo-locating your business on a site like this might spur sales. The quick “nearby me” link can draw customers to your site, but the higher population areas will get the most traffic.

6. The Fancy

The Fancy is a pure-play Pinterest clone: It has thumbnails for unique products, including clothes, cars, and craft items. The big difference is that you can “fancy” something instead of using pins. End users let Facebook and Twitter friends know they have found an item-say, for a wedding. While that might not differentiate the site too much from Pinterest, it is another sales avenue.

7. StyleSays

I like the visual style of StyleSays, which has the same pinboards as Pinterest but the objects (with more of a home decor and personal style theme) are all sizes and shapes. There’s a clean white background, and instead of just pinning an item, you can “re say” something as a “first love” or “addiction.” For business owners, you have more control over the photo size of your product.

8. Knack Registry

It’s no secret that Pinterest has a primary user: those who are about to get married and want to let others know about gift ideas. Knack dispenses with the subtleties. Users look for gift registry ideas and share them with those who will be attending their wedding. In many ways, this makes the site like a wedding-centric version of Amazon, but the site is focused on smaller shops and artisans.

More from Inc.com:

Making Social Media ‘One Giant Hangout’ #smm #socialmedia

On a recent weekend afternoon, dozens of people showed up at the New York offices of Warby Parker, an online eyeglasses retailer. They were there to participate in a “photo walk” organized by the company. Every participant got a pair of novelty glasses to use in photos taken across the city. The company awarded prizes to images that received the most “likes” after being uploaded to Instagram, an online photo editing and sharing application.

“Up to that point, we had 700 photos on Instagram tagged with Warby Parker,” said Tim Riley, the company’s director of online experience. “Then the day of the photo walk, we had about 750 additional pictures tagged with our name. We also had 120 people in our offices and got to talk to all of them. It was a giant friendly hangout.”

As social media becomes an increasingly important part of retailers’ marketing and customer service efforts, it’s not just a matter of having the largest number of fans on Facebook or Twitter. Retailers also have to know how to engage users and how to turn those online conversations into positive offline interactions.

At a panel discussion on social media held this week as part of a conference organized by Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center, Riley and others from the industry discussed efforts to unlock the value in their online followings.

Read the full findings from KnowledgeToday

6 QR Code Mistakes You’re Making and How To Fix Them!

Over the past couple of months the folks at QRlicious had the privilege of watching and helping people create marvelous and intriguing QR code campaigns for everything from donation drives to enhanced product labels. Unfortunately, during this same time span they’ve also been victims and witnesses of the many poorly executed QR code campaigns that seem to be lurking around every street corner. You know the ones – small, black and white, scanning takes you to a full blown flash based website… Frankly, it’s embarrassing to the whole QR code industry. QRlicious has identified the 6 most common QR code  biggest mistakes you can make and how to avoid them!

Problem: Too small to scan!
Solution: Make it loud and show it proud! You want people to see and scan your QR code so don’t be afraid to amp up the size a little! Too many people are printing QR codes smaller then an inch or two and half centimeters. This can create many problems when trying to scan in low lighting and if your QR code has a lot of information (like a vCard) then it might not scan at all! Yikes! So make sure you are printing and displaying your QR codes as BIG as possible!

Problem: Ugly black and white QR code!
Solution: Chances are you know the solution to this and a good amount of you have probably already fixed this by getting yourself a custom branded QR code from us! Branded QR codes help you gain the trust of your audience and it gives them an idea of what they are in for when the scan your QR code. Customizing your QR code also helps you stand out from black and white QR crowd, which is going to become more and more important as adoption continues to rise among businesses and consumers.

Read the full article at Qrlicious.com

Five Tips for Marketers From MTV’s Study of Millennials’ Digital Habits

It’s Not Just a Medium, It’s an Ingrained Part of the Younger Generation’s Culture.

MTV was Facebook’s No. 1 fastest-growing brand last year. As they experienced this meteoric rise in social media, they were also madly studying their audience to understand their movements and behavior in the social space, or what we came to call their “digilife.”

The study that emerged from that work turned over a plethora of fresh insights into what makes this generation tick (or should I say what makes this generation click).

The insights lead to some provocative questions for the marketers attempting to connect with this elusive crowd in its native tongue and on its digital home turf.

Here are some findings from the study, posed as a few key questions that marketers might want to consider as they strategize about how to connect to the latest version of consumers.

Read the results of the study at AdAge

How Verizon Uses QR Codes For Marketing



8 Ideas for Using Custom QR Codes in Your Marketing

Now that we know how to use Google to make QR Codes, and how to share content on social networks with QR Codes, it’s time to talk application. Like any technology these strange looking images are worthless unless they have some meaningful application to your business, or in this case a marketing application. How can we engage our market more meaningfully? Here are a few ideas:

Add a QR Code to Email Signatures or Newsletter
Take them to an informational page, a bio page, LinkedIn profile, fan page on Facebook. If possible, take them to a piece of content not normally available to traditional web-surfers.

Thank You Page QR Code
After opting in, or making a purchase, present a QR Code to a welcome video or an unannounced bonus. Invite them to a second product at a reduced price. Affirm them that their purchase decision was a good one.

USE QR Code as Avatar for Company Page on Facebook for a Promotion
Change up the company image to a QR Code, this can promote anything in your business, a milestone, a special promotion. Sky is the limit.

Read more at Marketing Professor