J's Page

Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


Text messaging turns 19: A timeline from Tatango

Tatango, a Seattle-based SMS marketing company, has put together a nifty timeline that looks at key moments in the history of text messaging. Of particular note: texting’s role in American Idol season 2 in 2003 and lewd texts that Brett Favre admitted sending to reporter Jenn Sterger.

 

History of Text Messaging Timeline
Source: Tatango SMS Marketing


Twitter by the numbers: An eMarketer report

Research firm eMarketer gives us a peek at its new report on Twitter usage, which offers some juicy predictions for marketers.

Among findings shared in the report summary:

  • 14% of all U.S. adult Internet users will be using Twitter in 2013
  • Twitter usage rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is double that of the 30-to-49 group
  • A revised 2012 forecast that says 24.1 million U.S. adult Internet users will be on Twitter. The previous forecast had predicted Twitter would reach 36 million.

The whole report will cost you $695, but the summary itself includes some not-insignificant numbers. It’s definitely worth checking out.


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The 10 Most-Buzzed-About Brands at SXSW

I hate that I missed this yesterday! Better late than never, I suppose.

Mashable reports that Ad Age and People Browsr joined forces to determine the the 10 most-buzzed-about brands at SXSW.

The top 10 with no surprises:

  1. Mashable
  2. Twitter
  3. Google
  4. FourSquare
  5. Facebook
  6. CNN
  7. GroupMe
  8. Tumblr
  9. Microsoft
  10. Instagram


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More 411 on foursquare 3.0

I actually got to leave the house last night after spending two days spring cleaning, and as I checked in I was pleasantly surprised to see foursquare 3.0’s revamped specials listing includes an expanded radius! The specials weren’t limited to a one or two blocks  — specials as far away as 4 miles were listed. Even better: There were more listings! At one check-in, I had 19 specials pop up.

It seems more area businesses are taking advantage of the foursquare Merchant Platform — and they’re getting more creative with the offers. A nearby auto repair shop was offering a Check-In Special for foursquare check-ins that are linked to Facebook. (Way to expand your reach, folks.) RadioShack is offering a Newbie Special (20% off for first-time check-ins), as well as a Check-in Special that promotes a Mayor’s Special. (The improved analytics will tell them if this two-pronged approach works.)

Among the new deals spotted on foursquare in the Fairfax, Va., area:

 
ABOUT THIS SERIES: As a marketing student interested in social media’s role in promotion, I record specials that I see when I check in on foursquare. For me, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers, which merchants are catching on — and which ones aren’t. This project is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line and foursquare offer, here’s the post.


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@foursquare revamps Merchant Platform with 3.0

As foursquare continues to expand and upgrade, the location-based social network is stepping up efforts to court businesses and their customers with an overhaul of the foursquare Merchant Platform

According to the company’s blog, businesses will find that foursquare 3.0 offers improved analytics, and a variety of new “Specials” — Friends, Flash, Swarm, Newbie — that are aimed at attracting new customers.

The Friends and Swarm specials find strength in numbers, mining the “more the merrier” sentiment: Customers can check in with friends or a large group and get a deal. Playing to the “me first” instinct are the Flash Specials, offers for the first players checking in after a certain time. The seemingly standard Newbie Specials are for first-time check-ins, and then there’s the plain-vanilla Check-In Special that may not be limited to first-time check-ins. For businesses looking to reward existing customers, merchants can still offer Mayor Specials, as well as Loyalty Specials (e.g. “Free coffee after 10th visit!”).

The post announcing the new specials has some very cool examples of what businesses are doing, as well as a sneak peek of the new dashboard. At the time of this writing, the post had 13 comments, including one that succinctly declares the platform upgrades as “cool.” Foursquare’s leaders at can rest easy now.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: As a marketing student interested in social media’s role in promotion, I record specials that I see when I check in on foursquare. For me, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers, which merchants are catching on — and which ones aren’t. This project is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line and foursquare offer, here’s the post.


Business Insider chart: Foursquare vs. Facebook Places

A foursquare post claims 7.5 million users now, and as Business Insider points out, that’s more than double their number of users when Facebook’s Places launched in August.

What location-based platform are you using?


At the movies with @foursquare

foursquare at the movies!

This cool foursquare graphic looks at 2010’s opening-weekend movie check-ins, breaking down the data by title, gender preferences and overlap, and regional interest. Of note: Mississippians dug Gulliver’s Travels and Toy Story 3, while Utahns preferred Edge of Darkness and Tooth Fairy.

Among my opening-weekend check-ins: The Town and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  I slept like a baby during both. Not among my opening-weekend check-ins: Sex and the City: 2. I write this proudly.

In other foursquare news, the location-based social network is now distinguishing between friends and followers. This will allow marketers to determine the users with a large reach. The HubSpot blog has details in their Feb. 28 post that I missed because I was researching strategies for Angry Birds or doing something equally important.

I also missed foursquare’s “Rudest Cities in the World” list posted Feb. 28 on the network’s engineering blog. While it is interesting to know that Manchester, England, has the most … colorful … check-ins in the world, the post more importantly details how the company will mine (explore) the data it collects to make decisions about venues, promotion and demographics. The post is heavy on the tech, but offers some insight into foursquare’s ambitions.

For those more interested in the rude cities themselves, AOL Travel has a roundup.

 




On the road with @foursquare

Although I’m opposed to texting and driving, I must confess that I will check in on foursquare when I’m at a stoplight. It’s not the best habit I’ve ever had, but I’ve had worse. As a result of these check-ins, I’m the mayor of at least three intersections in the D.C. metro area.

Watch me soar! Today, Tysons Corner! Tomorrow, the world!

I’m just kidding. I’m not destined to take over anything other than my 3-foot-by-3-foot faux cubicle at work. Perhaps this is why I play for mayorships on foursquare: I need a goal to boost my sense of self because I’m not finding the challenge anywhere else. So I’ll play foursquare when I’m stuck in traffic on the road to nowhere, and sometimes I see nearby deals that are nearly as odd as the check-ins themselves.

Most recently when I checked into “Behind this slow-ass Toyota,” I saw a nearby deal at The Metropolitan at Lorton Station. I had thought this was a restaurant, but upon further investigation — conducted in front of a computer, not in traffic — I found out it’s an apartment complex — one of a chain, in fact. Foursquare players who check in and leave a “gracious tip” can earn extra entries in a monthly gift-card giveaway. A few more searches and scrolls told me this special is available at several Kettler properties in the area, including the Fields at Merrifield, which I found during another poorly timed stoplight. This is a special obviously designed for residents who know what the properties are, not a particularly wide audience.

Another recent deal I spotted while stuck in traffic: 5% discount with the first check-in at Merrifield Oriental Rug on Dorr Avenue. Although I firmly believe small-business owners should avail themselves of all of social media’s marketing opportunities, I have to wonder whether foursquare would reach this store’s demographic. Maybe. I’ll hope so.

I’m also curious as to how many responses Inova Urgent Care Center in Vienna has received for its special. They’re offering a free “blood pressure tracker wallet card” for first check-ins. This is another special targeted to a very specific group — a much older group than those who would be psyched by the free music Old Navy is offering for check-ins.

In non-traffic-related-check-in news, a recent visit to Tysons Corner Center showed no new deals other than those I reported last time. The store managers there need to step-up their location-based marketing efforts. Wired-in kids with lots of Mom & Dad’s discretionary income run that mall and they’re checking in. If I were running a shop there, my store’s name would be all over foursquare. It’s easy, it’s free and you can’t afford not to do it.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: As a marketing student interested in social media’s role in promotion, I record specials that I see when I check in on foursquare. For me, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers, which stores are catching on — and which ones aren’t. This project is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line and foursquare offer, here’s the post.



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Music, fondue, discounts: Deals spotted on @foursquare

As I mentioned in an earlier post about foursquare, I’m recording the deals I see as I check in. For me, the marketing student, it’s fun to see how businesses are using it to court customers — and how more businesses are catching on.

This is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line and foursquare offer, here’s the post.

Some deals spotted on foursquare in the McLean, Va., area:

  • Old Navy offers a free music download “Lunatic” by Andy Grammer.
  • 15% off next purchase at American Eagle Outfitters.
  • 10% off regularly priced merchandise at Metropark; mayor receives a one-time 20% discount.
  • Ritz Camera and Image is offering five free 4×6 prints at its Tysons Corner location.
  • Wildfire, a most excellent eatery, will treat the mayor to a spinach and artichoke fondue.
  • At Harry & David, get $10 off a $50 purchase. From the offer: “Excludes wine (bummer) and gift cards.” Cute.
  • Spotted again: First-time check-ins can get $5 off any $25 purchase at Payless ShoeSource.

Noticeably absent: MAC cosmetics, which has its own foursquare campaign going on now.

I’ll update the list as I see more offers.

ED’S NOTE: This URL has been SEO’d to death.


Deals on @foursquare

In light of foursquare’s recent announcement detailing their 3400% growth in 2010 (also known as the Year of Suckage), I’ve decided to record the deals I see as I check in.

This is mostly to satisfy my intellectual curiosity as a marketing student, so stoppers-by might be bored. Googlers, if you’re looking for information about MAC’s Wonder Woman cosmetic line, here it is.

Among this weekend’s deals spotted on foursquare:

  • Buy one scoop, get one scoop free at Ben & Jerry’s.
  • 15% off next purchase at Aerie, American Eagle’s panty and bra shop.
  • Valentine’s Day Sale at Express: suit separates for her, BOGO 50% off; shirts and ties, BOGO $19.90. PLUS 30% off sweaters for him.
  • Get $10 off jeans $39.95 and up at H&M. Offer valid Feb. 10-21. Discount taken at register.
  • First-time check-ins can get $5 off any $25 purchase at Payless ShoeSource.

I’ll update the list as I see more offers.

ED’S NOTE: This URL has been SEO’d to death.