November 14, 2010
The real world is often overlooked when small businesses try to raise awareness of their online efforts. But with a few clear exceptions, people still do most of their living offline. Physical space can be as good of a place as any to advertise your website, social media accounts and blogs.
There are a bevy of creative ways to get your online properties in peoples offline views, and weve got the photographic evidence to prove it. These seven strategies will help you kick-start your brainstorm for the perfect offline efforts for your online strategy.
If youve already dabbled in promoting your social media efforts offline, let us know which ways were successful in the comments below. Dont forget links to pictures!
1. Integrate Your Web Presence into Offline Advertising
The folks at Martin Flyer linked to their website with a QR code on their ad in InStyle Magazine. You can learn more about using QR codes for small business marketing here.
2. Make Traditional Business Cards Online-Friendly
Maria Todd, the CEO of Mercury Healthcare, frequently speaks to associations and healthcare professionals. She includes a special tracer code on her business cards and Facebook Fan Page that gives those who use the code a 25% discount on future webinars, seminars and speaking engagements. In order to view her schedule, you need to visit her Facebook Fan Page.
Social media-friendly business cards give others more options for connecting with you. At appbistro, employees add Twitter handles to their business cards. Its simple, but when people want to reconnect with you, its always there as a reminder, says Heath Black, the owner of this card.
3. Use Your Vehicle as a Billboard
BumperTwit will help you turn your car into a billboard for your Twitter account for $7.
Jay Ducote runs a blog called biteandbooze.com about food trucks in Baton Rouge. The Baton Rouge food truck scene is emerging, and [trucks] heavily use social media to promote where they are located at any given time, he says. In order to increase their social media following, they all promote their social media accounts on their trucks.
4. Integrate Online Components into Offline Events
H20 Audio took photos and short videos of people using its waterproof headphones at a promotional event. They posted the images in a FacebookFacebook gallery and then directed everyone at the event to the brands Facebook Page to vote for favorites. People who were out of town could also submit photos online.
5. Get Creative
To promote his reflective bike tape business, Brent Thomas sends postcards with a QR code that may link to videos, pictures or his website.
Thomas also organized a scavenger hunt to promote his product. He announced the hunt on his blog, hid free BikeWrappers all around the city, and disclosed their locations over Twitter. The first one was found 20 minutes after the first Tweet.
When Page.lyPage.ly hands out a T-shirt, it comes with a label that asks the recipient to add a Page.ly tag to photos that show the shirt on FlickrFlickr. T-shirt wearers photos then show up on the Page.ly website.
More Business Resources from Mashable:
– HOW TO: Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
– Social Media Marketing 101: In-House Team, Agency or Consultant?
– Why Social Media Is Perfect for Brand Ambassador Campaigns
– 4 Winning Strategies for Social Media Optimization
– Why Twitter Is a Big Win for Small Businesses
Article source: http://feeds.mashable.com/~r/Mashable/~3/4OwsUEFFoak/
November 14, 2010
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November 14, 2010
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November 14, 2010
Although we cant deny the pleasure of getting a real-life, hard copy card through good old-fashioned snail mail, e-cards offer a great alternative, especially for anyone short on time.
E-cards have grown up from the tacky offerings of the 1990s and are an environmentally friendly way to send a greeting especially nowadays, when youre more likely to have your friends e-mail address than postal address.
Greeting card apps in the App StoreApp Store are 10 a penny though, so to save you the hassle of shopping around for the best app, weve selected five fabulous options that will suit all tastes from minimalists to shutterbugs to lovers of vintage style.
Classy card company Cartolina has gone, in its words, pretty hi tech with this iPhone app, which offers a limited range of e-cards that you can text or e-mail out as many times as youd like.
The cards only offer space for three lines of text, so theyre perfect for when you want to send more than a text message, say, for a birthday greeting, announcement or even an event invite.
As well as the Cartograms, the app offers integration with the birthday field in your iPhones contacts, and provides a calendar you can flick through to see birthdays and other dates. The app even sends you a reminder so you can assure that your message gets sent off in time.
Developer: Cartolina Cards
fCards is a great all-around greeting card app. It offers a minimalist approach to design the cards are postcard-style and have an image on one side and an area to write a message on the other. You can use your own images and customize the look and placement of the text.
Categories are comprehensive and theres some really nice imagery on offer, including some beautifully simple photos that work really well for a variety of occasions.
A bonus feature for social networkers is that the app is FacebookFacebook-friendly. Sign in to the social networking site in-app and you can send e-cards to your Facebook friends, as well as via traditional e-mail.
Cerebral Itchs e-card app is the virtual greeting card solution for people who dont like greeting cards. In the developers words, our e-card app is what an e-card app would be if it were home-schooled, slightly kinky and thought is was better than the other e-card apps.
Funny, irreverent, non-traditional and in some cases downright rude, the card designs are modern, clever and knowing and should only be sent to those with a sense of humor.
Categories include those youd expect birthday, anniversary, thank you, get well, etc. and some you might not intervention, politics and breakup support. Besides sending the e-cards as e-mails, you can also send out invitations. The app lets you customize the date, time and location of the event, which will appear as a Google MapsGoogle Maps link in the e-mail.
At $2.99, this app isnt cheap (although its certainly cheaper than buying the equivalent cards and paying postage), so if you cant bring yourself to plunk down that kind of change, then try out the free version that offers a limited selection of designs.
Developer: Cerebral Itch
This very comprehensive app offers a huge variety of 350-plus themed templates that you can insert your own images and text into and send off as electronic postcards, letters, newsletters, cards and more.
Categories are wide ranging, including obvious ones like travel and Christmas, as well as more unusual options like fruit and food, sport and winter. Customization options are plentiful and include the ability to tweak layouts, edit photos, change the color and font of the text and, in some designs, even hand write your signature.
Your creations are e-mailed as image attachments, and they look good. If youre looking for a way to show off your own photos, then Lifecards is your app and well worth the $2 download cost.
Developer: Vivid Apps
Small View Media offers an entire range of vintage greetings cards apps that work for all occasions (Valentines, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and more), each with some period charm. In the words of the developers, the apps offer greetings from the past delivered using todays technology.
The downside is that each occasion is a separate app, priced at $1.99 a pop, which means collecting the set isnt cheap. If you do, however, youll have a library of lovely cards to use throughout the year.
In each app, you can browse the cards in a cover view-style flip layout and, when you see the one you want, you can save it to your photo roll and e-mail the image from there. This means less in-app personalization than other options weve featured here, but that simplicity might well suit some users. And with great galleries in each app, there will definitely be a design to suit everyone.
Developer: Small View Media
Cost: $1.99 each
BONUS: Mean Cards
If the Cerebral Itch e-cards are for people you know have a sense of humor, then Mean Cards are for the friends you have that are a little bit twisted. This rated 17+ app offers a laugh-out-loud selection of wildly inappropriate greetings that range from flippant to downright hostile.
If you want to tell a cousin his degree is uselessness, a work colleague that everyone thinks she is faking an illness, or a friend that if she has one more baby, shes white trash, then this is the app to do it with. Just dont be too mean.
Developer: Cerebral Itch
More iPhone Resources from Mashable:
- 10 Mobile Apps for Movie Addicts
– 3 Innovative iPad Games That Use the iPhone as a Controller
– 5 Stylish iPhone Alarm Clock Apps to Wake You Up On Time
– 10 Useful iPhone Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks
– 10 Useful iPhone Keyboard Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks
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