Local Franchises Lag in the Social Media Market

Over the years, my husband has spent thousands of dollars on tools from Snap-on, but his connection to the company was always through a local franchise owner and not with the corporate office. But if you look for Snap-on on Facebook, you’ll find only a few dealers have pages. Of those, most are out of date and one is friends locked. That’s no way to do business.

According to comScore’s Local Search Usage Study, (as reported by Clickz) “69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information on a social networking site.” 22% contacted a business after finding them on a social network and 67% of those consumers went on to make a purchase.

A Triple Grande Latte with a Side of iTunes: Starbucks Launches Their Digital Network

The last time I was in a Starbucks, I was surprised to see a large number of patrons hunched over laptops and iphones as they silently sipped their trendy drinks, completely ignoring the actual human sitting across from them. I imagine it’s this need to be virtually connected at all hours of the day and night that has led Starbucks to launch their own digital network.

Working in partnership with Yahoo! the Starbucks Digital Network offers in-store Wi-Fi users a taste of new music, local news and events and the low down on the latest lifestyle must haves.

In a company press release, Stephen Gillett, Starbucks executive vice president, chief information officer and Digital Ventures general manager (and geez, by the time you finish calling him, he’s late for dinner) had this to say:

Congress Has a Few Questions for Facebook

When if comes to privacy, Facebook doesn’t have any. This week, we all got a look at a letter from Congress that was sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding answers.

Maybe demanding is too strong a word, but the letter, which came from two members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, made it clear that they expected a full response by next week.

Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Joe Barton of Texas make reference to the recent Wall Street Journal article where it was stated that third-party Facebook apps were selling off user information. They follow this with 18 questions which include:

— Did you notify users of this series of breaches, including the specific nature of the information shared without their consent? If not, why not?

Competitor Gone Out of Business: Their Loss is Your Gain?

Mike Michalowicz, has an article in the small business section of today’s Wall Street Journal that talks about ways of siphoning off the clients from a competitor who has gone out of business. The concept is based on the idea that the world is full of ads that lead to dead phone numbers or defunct websites. It happens because companies don’t anticipate going out of business when they buy that phone book ad or drop 10,000 postcards with their web address from a hot air balloon. So Michalowicz says you should claim old phone numbers and web addresses and redirect them to your own active business.

Eloqua Report Offers Tips on Lead Generation & Email Marketing

Marketing automation has made it possible for a small sales staff to contact and monitor 1,000 of customers with just a few key strokes, but such ease of use has its downside. Just because you can send out mass mailings, doesn’t mean you should. 1,000 randomly targeted emails might bring in a couple of dollars, but Eloqua, a provider of marketing automation solutions says that proper lead scoring and nurturing are more likely to pay off in the long run.

As part of their Eloqua Experience user conference, Eloqua collected data from more than 700 B2B and B2C companies to come up with their new report: How Do You Stack Up? Marketing Automation Trends, Benchmarks, & Best Practices.

Social Media is Good, Trust Me

In light of  the recent privacy breech on Facebook, it’s no wonder most internet users don’t trust social media. Only 16% have faith, says a study by Vision Critical with forums and blogs scoring even lower.

Who do we trust? The only online source is news, I’m assuming they mean from a known source such as CNN or the New York Times. TV, radio and print all came in much higher on the trustworthy scale.

Seeing as most of us are using social media for marketing, how do you get over the trust hurdle? The key is responsiveness. Says Professor Judy Olson,

“In e-mail, Linkedin and Facebook messages, much of the traditional markers of trust, such as voice intonation and body language, are hidden. . .  when only text is available, participants judge trustworthiness based on how quickly others respond.”

Bing Foots the Bill for Interactive Book Campaign

People love a good treasure hunt, and that’s what Bing is banking on with its interactive marketing campaign for Jay-Z “Decoded.”

The complex ad campaign involves book pages hidden all over both the real world and the virtual one. The object is to use the combined forces of the world’s population to uncover and ‘decode” all of the pages before the book comes out in print on November 16. Random House is publishing the memoir but word is that Bing is paying for the campaign which couldn’t have been cheap.

Here’s how it works. You go online to Decode Jay-Z with Bing and get a clue which pops up over a Bing map. The first clue is this:

“Find your first page in the NYC district where Jay and Leo saw Wale at the Highline.”