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Instructional Blogs

21October

The QR Code, Examples of Business Use

Last week, I released a blog giving a brief overview of the possibilities that QR Codes hold for business. There are a lot of ways that they can be used to benefit any small business.



However, depending upon the business there are some ways that are far more effective. What I want to accomplish with this blog is to show positive uses for QR codes in different industries such as: Marketing/Networking, Realty, and Weddings.

qr code ywm

  • Marketing/Networking

The first stop on our journey is the world of Marketing and Networking. QR Codes aside, one of the most traditional ways to go about networking is through the use of business cards. They have always been quick, easy, and portable ways to make your name travel with potential clients. However, business cards have always lacked the extra information that may sway a purchase. It left one option open to receive information, calling the name on the card. Then one day someone had the brilliant idea to add a QR code on their business card. Not only now is the person able to access whatever information you want them to via QR scanner, but it also is a fancy way to make your business look ahead of the curve. There are many creative ways you can use this idea, but the ability to provide more information on your business card is invaluable for anyone looking to increase sales.

  • Real Estate

Our next stop is going to be the real estate business. Real Estate companies have constantly been caught in a struggle to create some form of eye-catching, yet professional, advertising for selling a home. Just like with business cards, real estate signs are really only able to redirect the potential customer to the real estate agent. However, with the addition of a QR Code on the sign, curiosity most times will overcome the customer and the appeal of this up and coming technology will shed the agency in a better light. Most of the time these codes redirect the customer to online listings for the house with extensive information that a sign can’t hold. In addition, this eliminates the need for tedious pamphlets that accompany the sign. Some agencies are now using signs that only have a QR code on them. The creativity available in this technology is seemingly endless.

  • Wedding/Events Planning

Our last stop on this quest for creative QR uses, we will look at the wedding industry. The wedding industry and even events planning as a whole have a lot of responsibilities to the customer. Because of this the customer is very particular about who they want to hire for their services. So some creative uses for QR Codes, with weddings being an example, are links to mailing lists that can give updates on events. Another use could be a link to a video that highlights a wedding that your company planned. It could show a picture, or simply lead to a Facebook page. How to display this QR code is entirely up to you. The business card formula is always useful, placing one on your Facebook page is a must, and having one on pamphlets and websites is also useful. Some companies have gotten so creative that they have even made a QR code on a wedding cake. What that has done has transformed your product into an edible piece of 21st century technology, which to the consumer is incredibly cool.

  • Wrap Up

Whatever business you may have, whether it be real estate, events planning, sales, QR codes are a great way to get a technological gain on your opponent. It supplies extra information to your customer surrounded by high tech wrapping paper. If you have yet to utilize this technology, do so today.

Posted in Instructional Blogs

14October

The QR Code and the Many Uses it Fulfills

The QR code is one of the latest technologies to make a splash in the business world. It’s a tool that has many positive uses for both customer and business. However, before explaining its many uses, some of you may be wondering, what in the world is a QR code?


qr code

Like it's older brother, the bar code, the QR code stands in for some form of information. It could be anything from a link to new products, a link to Facebook, or even coupons. The QR code works as a portal between customer and business, a small information highway. Customers use their smart phones to scan the QR code and once scanned, it links them to some page about the business. QR codes are effective in that the curiosity of what is at the other end is what makes many people scan. The fact that a coupon or a possible money-saving deal could be awaiting is a tipping point in whether or not someone scans. In fact, the possibility of coupons is the number one reason people use QR codes. This is one of the factors responsible in why shopping mothers are the number one users of QR codes.

So now that you understand what QR codes can do, I'll bet you're wondering, "How can this help my business?" The following lists several possible uses:

  • Coupons
  • Company Website
  • Facebook, Twitter, Etc.
  • Product Info
  • Newsletter Sign Up
  • Sweepstakes

The list goes on, and the possibilities only end when your creativity does. You may be saying, "Wow! QR codes sound pretty cool. But how do I see one in action?"

The first step is to download a QR code reader for your smart phone. Below are links to the most effective QR code scanners on iPhone and Android.

Android: https://market.android.com/details?id=la.droid.qr&hl=en

iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qr-reader-for-iphone/id368494609?mt=8

For this example I am going to use my iPhone to scan the QR code on the YellowWebMonkey homepage. This QR code is located at the bottom right of the homepage.

Open your QR code scanner and hold it over the code. Then follow the instructions of your app to scan the code. NOTE: Some apps automatically scan and some tell you to act as if you're taking a picture of the code.

qr code 1

Now that I have scanned the QR code for YellowWebMonkey, my phone has linked me to a YellowWebMonkey portal! This link provides several alternate links to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and can even direct you back to the website.

qr code 3

The QR code is a quick and easy way to inform your customer about anything your business has to offer. Now that you have the necessary information on how a QR code is used, why not try making one for your business? YellowWebMonkey has our own QR code generator that can make a code for your business, or provide practice at making one. In fact, we highly suggest that you make one for your business, as this technology is growing faster and faster.

QR Code Generator: http://www.yellowwebmonkey.com/Bottom/qr-code-generator.html

Statistical information: http://visual.ly/rise-qr-codes

Posted in Instructional Blogs

07October

How to Clean up Your News Feed Using Facebook Subscribe

Do you ever get tired of scouring your Facebook news feed for updates from friends or fan pages? Sometimes it can seem like you’re drowning in a sea of useless information. If you’re one of the many who scroll past several updates from people you don’t know that well, then Facebook has a fun new tool just for you.


The Facebook Subscription system is a tool that is used to pick out the most relevant updates from your closest friends. Now if you hover over any update on your news feed you can see a drop down menu that will let you customize how many (or how few) updates you get from a particular Facebook friend.

fb subscribe 1

Most, if not all of your friends, were added to your subscription list when this update came out. So initially you will still see updates that aren’t a priority. However, if every time you log on you spend time subscribing or unsubscribing to certain posts, your news feed will be optimized to your pleasure quite quickly.

While the subscribe system has yet to be released for Facebook Pages, the Top Story system works essentially the same way. If you want to get more updates from a certain page, (say a band you like, or local business), when you see one of their posts you can mark it as a Top Story, and Facebook will make these posts appear more often.

fb subscribe 2

This system is a great way to make your Facebook more intelligent at tracking your interests and it takes almost no effort. In addition, it’s a good way to get updates to those closest to you. Whether it is announcing news to family and friends, or introducing a new product for your small business, the Facebook subscriber system is a solid tool that helps optimize your social media experience.

Posted in Instructional Blogs

14July

5 "Do"s and "Don't"s for Running Your Company's Twitter

Running a corporate Twitter account can seem like a daunting task. Have no fear, just use this guide to avoid some common Twitter faux pas.


ywmtwitter

  1. Do follow accounts that you are interested in and are relevant to your company. When you follow accounts that are similar to yours they are more likely to follow you in return. As your number of followers grows so will the popularity of your company.
    Don’t follow random accounts just to gain followers. You should be interested in the people you follow so when they view your account it is obvious why you followed them.
    Example: If you run a plumbing company and someone in your area tweets about their malfunctioning shower, it would be acceptable to follow that person. They are a potential costumer and following them will let them know of your company.
  2. Do tweet regularly. Twitter can be used as a method of building relationships with current and future costumers. When you tweet more often your followers will become familiar with your company.
    Don’t tweet excessively. Spamming will lose you followers and can annoy the ones that don’t unfollow you.
    Example: As a general rule tweet at least once a day, but not more than once an hour. You can even queue your tweets by using a third-party plug-in like Tweue.
  3. Do abbreviate if necessary. When you only have 140 characters to communicate a message you have to make every letter count.
    Don’t abbreviate your entire tweet. Your followers need to be able to discern what you are trying to say, so try to avoid shorthand unless the text won’t fit otherwise.
    Example: Say you wanted to tweet the message “Stop by our store today to receive a 20 percent discount on any item of your choice! This is a One-Day-Only offer, so take advantage of it while you can!” This is seven characters too long. You could shorten it by changing One-Day-Only to 1Day-Only and 20 percent to 20%.
  4. Do interact with your followers. Try to check your replies, mentions and direct messages at least once a day to see what people are saying about your company.
    Don’t use bot services to retweet. In fact, don’t use bot services at all. You will end up spamming and losing followers, and you might even get your account suspended.
    Example: If you see a tweet that mentions your company and links to good review, this is something that is acceptable to retweet to your followers.
  5. Do take advantage of hashtags. By creating a hashtag that people want to use in their own tweets, you are attracting attention to your company.
    Don’t hashtag everything. Make sure if you use a hash tag that it is directly related to your company and your followers.
    Example: If your company’s tag line is “I’m lovin’ it,” add the hashtag #ImLovinIt to a tweet. Your followers might post something similar and use the same hashtag. If enough people use your hashtag it could even end up being a Trending Topic.

Posted in Instructional Blogs

12July

How to Write an Instructional Blog: New Battle of the Interns

This week it is Intern Brett vs. Intern Scout as they create an instructional blog. Read on to learn more about instructional blogs. Then watch for our next Intern posts and vote for your favorite.


An instructional blog can range from just simple tips to a step by step tutorial.

 

How to Choose a Topic for an Instructional Blog:

- Choose a topic that people are interested in

- Best topics: something people didn't know they COULD do

- Google the topic first to see if other tutorials already exist. Find a topic without any tutorials or very poor quality ones

WRITING

- State the objective (ie by the end of this post you will have ____)

- State anything/information they need at the beginning (like ingredients of recipe)

- Mention WHY they would want to do this (ie save time, better marketing, look cool, whatever)

- Number your steps (If someone is already in the process, clearly tell them if ___, then skip to Step #)

- Use Multimedia, screenshots or video are great

- Put in hyperlinks to make it easy for them to do each step as they are reading

- Put a "Other Resources" at the bottom and 3-5 links to related tools/blogs that might be helpful

REVIEW

- Give the blog to a friend with no experience and make sure they can complete the task or reach the end state

- At the end of the blog, ask for comments ("Let me know if I missed any steps," "Let me know if this was helpful", "post the link/picture of your completed ____ in the comments"

SHARE

- Tutorials are popular on content sharing sites

- Post to Delicious, Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon

Blogging is fun, creative and a great way to gain new fans or customers. Watch for more info on how to write a better blog....and see what Brett and Scout create. Remember, retweet and "Like" your favorite.

Let the battle continue!

Posted in Instructional Blogs

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