Friday, 23 March 2012

The social landscape guide for marketers (Infographic).

For all us marketers social media is a must and knowing which ones to use that give us the best ROI for our marketing spend can sometimes become a bit blurry. There are lots of new services coming online daily and many considered to be the next big thing, but keeping up and engaging with your existing networks can be a challenge in itself. Learning to use a new service is very time consuming and can be a total waste of time but if the site takes off the benefits can be huge.

There are still 8 networks from CMO's 2011 Guide to the social lanscape, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon and Flickr. This year for an unknown reason tumblr has been replaced by delicious but if you see last years guide tumblr still has it's benefits.

5 networks have been added to this years guide to the social networks from the good folks over at, they are in no particular order:
  • SlideShare - as the name suggests is a slide sharing service, share Powerpoint, PDF, Keynote or Open Office presentations in file format. Slideshare attracts around 58 million unique visitors a month.
  • Google+ - is Google's latest venture into social media and the search giants competitor to Facebook. They recently announced it has over 100 million registered users and growing faster than Facebook did in the same time period since its launch.
  • Quora - a question and answer service edited by its community of users. 
  • Instagram - a free photo sharing application currently only available on iOS, although the Android version is in private beta testing.
  • Pinterest - the biggest social network of 2012 thus far, Pinterest is a content sharing service allowing users to Pin images and videos to virtual pinboards.
So here we have an infographic of the 14 hottest social networking sites and their ratings in 4 categories, customer communication, brand exposure, traffic to your site and SEO.

CMO's Guide to the social landscape

Source: via Martin on Pinterest

What's your take? Which networks do you find work best for you or is it missing from this list, let us know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

PayPal making a big push in the mobile payments industry.

The mobile payments industry is on fire at the moment and PayPal has been working hard ramping up its mobile payments offerings. On Thursday it launched it's mobile credit card payment processing competitor to Square called "PayPal Here" currently only available in the US, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.

Square Credit Card Reader
Square founded by Jack Dorsey has until now been the leader in the mobile phone payment processing market, and currently processes up to $4 billion of transactions annually from over 1 million customers and is currently only available in 50 US states. The mobile payments industry is one of the fastest growing mobile markets and Juniper Research reports that the mobile payments industry will be worth a whopping $170 billion by 2015, up from $60 billion in 2011.

PayPal Here Credit Card Reader
PayPal launched in 1998 and in 2002 it was acquired by the online auction marketplace ebay, since then it has become the de facto in online payments with over 100 million customers in 190 countries. So it is a natural progression for PayPal wanting to be #1 in the mobile payments industry. Will it topple the current leader Square who have been processing credit card payments through mobile devices since 2009, (which is a long time considering the pace at which the mobile market is moving) only time will tell.

The mobile credit card reader makes it easier for sellers of services and goods to accept and process payments on the go through the Apple iOS and Android mobile devices, more devices will be added in the near future. PayPal and Square offer both their readers for free with no set up fees, but whereas Square charges 2.75% per transaction PayPal will charge 2.7% per transaction.

There are 3 things you will need to accept payments though: 1) a PayPal account 2) a card reader for your mobile device and 3) the PayPal Here app installed on your mobile device. Watch a brief demo video of the PayPal Here service below.

I should think PayPal will begin to roll out to other countries over the next few months and i'm looking forward to seeing it become available in the UK, i think it will become widely used here, if you'll pardon the pun. 
If your one of the lucky ones in one of the countries where it is available and you get a chance to use it, either as a seller or buyer please let me know in the comments below i would be keen to hear about your experience.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Google Plus for Business, reasons why your business should have a page. (Infographic)

Google+ (Google Plus or G+) is the new social media network from Google. It launched back in June 2011 and since then it has amassed over 90 million users and still growing at an astonishing rate.. Below is an infographic created by Blueglass for ChrisBrogan that outlines every reason why your business should have a page setup on the newest social network from the giant that is Google. Some fantastic information and a few marketing tips to get you started.

If this has helped you to make your mind up about Google+ please share, thanks :)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Is the town of Reading ready for the delights that NFC has to offer?

March 5th will see the launch of a 4 week mass NFC advertising trial in the town of Reading in the UK.

NFC is an abbreviation of Near Field Communication and is a form of contactless communication between an NFC tag and a device like a smartphone, tablet or point of sale payment system. An NFC tag is a wireless radio frequency electromagnetic field contactless system (based on the existing Radio-Frequency Identification or RFID tag) that transfers data between the tag and a wireless device.

JCDecaux the out-of-home advertising giant will bring NFC "touchpoint" tags to 325 bus stops and poster locations in and around the town, including the Oracle shopping centre.
Shoppers and public transport users will be able to interact with the posters through QR codes and NFC tags, enabling them to get exclusive access to content such as discount vouchers, preview video trailers of new DVD's or TV shows and can enter competitions. There are 12 brand participating in the trial, H&M, Vaseline, ITV2, EA Games, Lynx, Magnum, Lucozade Sport, Morrisons, Mercedes, Toni & Guy, Universal DVD and Universal Special Projects.David McEvoy marketing director of JCDecaux UK says  "Our research shows us that Reading is one of the most tech-savvy towns in the UK with a higher number of mobile phone and smartphone owners than the rest of the country. This puts Reading at the forefront of interactivity at bus shelters and so we really hope people will try it out and enjoy accessing the entertainment and special offers available through their smartphone". 

(Credit: Image from

Same as QR codes there are many uses for Near Field Communication technology and many believe that NFC will eventually kill off the QR code, personally i think the two can survive together. Smartphone makers are now shipping handsets that are already NFC enabled and for those with an older phone a SIM card that turns any phone into an NFC phone: Morpho and INSIDE Secure present "SIMply NFC-Revolution".

Recently at Mobile World Congress 2012 (MWC) in Barcelona, mobile phone makers Blackberry (RIM) showcased a Porsche 911 which had an NFC tag integrated into the vehicle. The users phone is then able to be paired automatically with the in-car system simply by touch. Watch the video below from RIM with their vision for cars of the future.

Other car manufacturers are looking into how they can use NFC technology, BMW's research and development team are looking into many ways they can integrate NFC with their cars.

Some Mc'Donalds fast food outlets are already using NFC for contactless payments, simply wave your credit card over the point of sale terminal to pay for your food.

There are some exciting things on the way for near field communication technology and i for one can't wait. Pop back here regularly for more posts on NFC developments and other news about new and emerging technologies. Get all new posts and updates to your inbox, follow my blog by entering your email address in the box at the top right hand corner.

Have you used NFC technology yet, what was it for and how was your experience? I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment below.