You’ve built your website, it’s been working well for a while, but it’s time for an update. Keeping your website the same for too long is like not updating the paint on your home. Eventually it starts to look outdated. Looking at your website as something that needs to be refreshed and updated is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your online presence.
March 24th, 2011 marked the 4th year for YVR Twestival, where Webnames.ca was a proud sponsor.
What is Twestival? Here is a brief history from the Twestival official website:
Twestival® (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good by connecting communities offline on a single day to highlight a great cause and have a fun event. Twestival is the largest global grassroots social media fundraising initiative to date. Since 2009, volunteers have raised close to $1.2 million for 137 nonprofits. All local events are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects.
Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities were able to collaborate on an international scale, but work from a local level, it could have a spectacular impact. Over 200 international cities from Buenos Aires to Bangalore, Seattle to Seoul and Hong Kong to Honolulu have participated in Twestival.
This year’s Twestival in Vancouver took place at the Vancouver Lookout on Friday March 24th, 2011. The purpose of the night was to raise funds in support of Beauty Night Society, a non-profit Canadian organization that builds self esteem and changes lives of women and youth living in poverty through three streams of programs: wellness, life skills development and makeovers.
The energy at The Vancouver Lookout was wonderful, as everyone was coming together for the great cause. There were many wonderful sponsors for the evening and Mayor Gregor Robertson even stopped in to make a speech and praised the organizers for such a great event.
Webnames was a proud sponsor of the night, supplying .tel cards for all the swag bags handed out at the end of the night to all attendees.
The event was a huge success, raising over $8,000 for Beauty Night! Globally the Twestivals raised over $300,000 for their respective charities! Great job to everyone involved.
Monitoring what people are saying about you or your business online is more important now than ever. Luckily, it’s also become easier than ever as more and more great Social Media monitoring tools are becoming available. There are many tools out there to choose from, but here are 5 free ones that you should be using to monitor your brand and keep tabs on your social media buzz.
Social Mention – http://socialmention.com
Social Mention is a search engine that offers real-time social media search and analysis of chosen keywords. It searches through a multitude of platforms including blogs, events, news, videos and more. It shows you the metrics around various keywords and the overall “sentiment” (positive, negative, neutral). It provides you with graphs outlining top keywords, top users, top hashtags, allowing you to monitor anything. This includes but is not limited to, your brand, the city you live in, products you use etc. You can also get code for a free keyword monitoring widget.
Plancast – http://plancast.com
Plancast lets you filter through events happening anywhere through keywords. You can subscribe to get an RSS alert on any new event that matches the keywords you select. Keep track and monitor events happening in your area, competitor events, or conferences and tweetups that you may want to attend. This is a great tool to stay ‘in the know’ in your specific field of expertise.
Watch That Page – http://watchthatpage.com
Watch That Page allows you to monitor your own page, Wikipedia, or any site for that matter. It lets you know when any new content (comments, forum posts etc.) has been posted. You’ll receive an alert the moment any changes are made. This tool will help you stay on top of all new posts to your site and react in a timely manner.
Twitaholic – http://twitaholic.com
Twitaholic is a tool that lets you see where and how you rank among the other twitter users in the world, and in your own city. It gives you your basic stats and let you see the other most popular users in your geographic area. A great way to quickly see who the tastemakers are in your geographic area or other parts of the world.
Woopra – http://www.woopra.com
Woopra is a Web analytics tool that gives you data about how your users are interacting with your website. It allows you to see where the visitor came from, their location, the actions performed and then where they go next. While there is a free version of Woopra it is very limited, there are two low cost paid versions (bronze and silver starting at $4.95 per month), which will allow you to segment your visitors, and track trends over time as well as offering some customized reports.
If you are looking for new ways to monitor what’s being said about you and your brand online, these are some great tools to get you started!
We haven’t talked about group coupons in a while and I thought it would be nice if we did, as there are some interesting things happening in that industry.
Many of us subscribe to many different deal sites: ethicaldeal.com, LivingSocial.com, Grooster.com etc. There are new entries in to the burgeoning Group Coupon industry all the time and it’s difficult to keep up with them all.
I own an LG pay-as- you-go “dumbphone”. It has a qwerty keyboard that I love with a passion that should only be reserved for animate objects.
I can’t get my pictures off my phone nor can I get on the web as it is pay-as-you-go.
Bill C-28, The Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (FISA) was passed by Canadian Parliament and received Royal Assent December 15, 2010. Prior to Bill C-28 passing, Canada was the only G8 country without specific spam legislation.
The Social Search. How it Works:
Recently, I wrote an article on group coupons that was posted on this blog. It was tweeted at 8:45am on November 17th. Then it got covered up by another tweet quite quickly which got me all bent out of shape.
For disclosure purposes, I subscribe to every group coupon program that is available in Vancouver. I do this, not because I am cheap, but because I like to keep an eye on what is happening in the group couponing industry.
There are some fast and easy things you can do that should garner you noticeable improvements in your search engine ranking.
There is a new game in town and the name of that game is Group Coupons.
Group Coupons is an email subscriber based system of offering deep discounts on a product to consumers ONLY if enough people purchase the coupon.
When I used to think about Foursquare, my mind would go to rubber balls or squares drawn on pavement. Now the first place my mind goes to when I hear that term is social media.
So What Is It?
Foursquare is a location-based social network that connects you with your friends and syncs with your other social media like Twitter and Facebook. However, unlike Twitter or Facebook, Foursquare is about sharing the places you visit (restaurants, clubs, venues, retail stores, etc.) and recommending them to other people..
The application allows you to share your physical location with friends. So, when you walk into a bar or restaurant or store, you “check-in” (Foursquare’s term) on your cellphone or mobile device, and your friends cansee where you are on a Foursquare map.
Foursquare engages a local audience by encouraging them to explore their neighbourhoods and cities and rewards them for doing so.
By combining friends and city guide elements with game-like technology, Foursquares’ members earn points leading to “Mayorships” and can uncover all kinds of bonuses for not only trying new places, but going back to old favorites.
Playing the Game
As a Foursquare user, you can earn points every time you check-in at a location, unless you check in to the same location repeatedly. Foursquare encourages its users to step outside the box, awarding more points for visiting new places, trying new things, or going to multiple venuesin one night. After the network has been built a user can earn points for giving recommendations and crossing off their “to-do” list ( a virtual “note to self” about what you should do or where you should go next).
The goal of the game however is not just to try new locations or revisit old ones, you need to claim these locations, and by doing so earn points towards a “Mayorship”. Becoming a mayor gives someone bragging rights for being the person who comes to a specific location the most and as businesses know, customers love being rewarded for visiting places they genuinely like.
(Congrats to @Yarbo on Twitter who became the new Mayor of Webnames.ca yesterday!)
For your mayorship, you’re not just competing against your friends; you’re competing with everyone in your location that week (because on Sunday at midnight, the scores are all reset to zero- Monday is always a new game). Are you beginning to see how this can be good for business?
Foursquare for Business
Take me as an example. I recently moved to Vancouver, a big-ish city in which most people stick to their neighborhoods – Kitsilano, Main Street, Gastown, Yaletown, North Van, West Van – you get the picture. I already have a circle of friends in Vancouver who are on Foursquare. As a user, I can add tips for other locals to know where go in a ‘hood and what not to bother with. Before I even check out a new place (which Foursquare encourages me to do … remember new places equal more points), I already will have an idea of what to expect from what other people are saying about it. A business can develop some serious word of mouth advertising through Foursquare these days.
As Foursquare continues to develop, so does the way businesses are using it to interact with customers and potential customers. Similar to Yelp, businesses can encourage their patrons to post reviews and also offer rewards to their customers. A café or shop can let its community know they are “in the game” by registering on Foursquare and adding their mailing information to the list for free Foursquare window decals. From there a business can promote itself by rewarding customers with discounts for checking in or even freebies like Starbucks, Sports Authority, Ben and Jerry’s and Whole Foods have done.
To cite a local example, Granville Entertainment Group recently did a promotion that saw them raffle off Canucks tickets to FourSquare mayors who visited the company’s Doolin’s Irish Pub on a specific evening.
For businesses, the simple act of recognizing customers as “regulars”
can better their relationship with them and encourage repeat
customers. Since joining Foursquare, some Starbucks have seen a 50% increase in check-ins at locations and AJ Bombers (a Milwaukee burger joint) has seen a 30% increase in menu item purchases (Foursquare Blog, 2010). How is this possible? Well, Foursquare isn’t exactly fringe anymore. This past spring it surpassed 1 million registered in April 2010, and since then has it has only picked up momentum!
So why not get in the game? Not only is Foursquare a good way to connect with new customers and reward returning ones, like Twitter it has become an important tool for monitoring your brand and keepting tabs on the competetion. Sign up and play a part in growing a community around your business.
Learn the lingo at Foursquare? An Introductory Guide by PublicRelationsblogger.com
Join in by visiting Foursquare’s Business Page
Visit the Foursquare Church for news and articles
Digital Influence Index identifies Canadians as social media savvy but cautious about information found online
Study by Fleishman-Hillard Study
Consumers across the globe are embracing the Internet as a primary source of information, but Canadians are unique in their use of digital and social media. The 2010 Digital Influence Index, released in Canada by Fleishman-Hillard in conjunction with Harris Interactive, reveals that Canadians have high online engagement but a lower level of trust in the Internet.
If you missed Malcolm Gladwell’s presentation at Vancouver’s F5 EXPO on April 7th, here’s a chance to participate in a second screening.
Many people disagreed with Gladwell’s perspective on social media. His mile wide and inch deep philosophy may be accurate, but he failed to look at the benefits of a mile wide network for business transactions. Stressing the need for deep relationships, Gladwell feels these are essential for revolutions. Are weak ties enough to drive your business forward?
On Thursday, April 29th social media enthusiasts and Gladwell fans will gather at Ceilis Irish Pub for a screening of Malcolm Gladwell’s presentation, followed by an interactive debate/discussion on the future of social media and what it means to business.