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Using social media to help your franchise

Technology is constantly changing, and one can argue that the rate of change is increasing in areas such as social media. The options that people have for communicating with social media keep increasing, as does the audience.

Sophistication or even capability doesn’t translate into instant success. For example, Facebook may be one of the most popular social media platform currently in existence, but it was not the first. Others, like MySpace, came before it, and someday something better may knock Facebook off its pedestal.

No matter how simple or how sophisticated, for the entrepreneur, the key question is how it should be used and whether it should be used at all. Take for example an ice cream related business opportunity like a Cold Stone Franchise. While the parent company may have a range of social media channels to generate customer interest, the franchisee wants to have specific customer interest in that owners particular location.

It wouldn’t help the franchisee to simply copy the parent company’s strategy since that strategy is not going to be customized for that franchisee’s needs. For example, if the location is near a university with a lot of foot traffic, the franchisee may want to develop a Twitter strategy that uses a pair of hashtags in the tweet. One of them may be related to a university event, and the second related to the franchisee’s business. If someone sees the tweet and is encouraged to eat ice cream, they are also encouraged to do so at that franchisee’s location.

The gold rush over big data

Often in the online world, a new set of buzzwords like ‘big data’ goes from being something known only in the technology world to something that is mentioned frequently in mainstream media. Like many other technology buzzwords, the reality of big data was happening long before the media hype, and long before the technology world even gave it a name.

A short definition of big data is the analysis of sets of data that are so large or so complex that it is difficult for conventional data analysis tools and techniques to make sense of it all. Because tools and technologies change, what may have been a difficult big data challenge during the era of Apollo missions to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s becomes a middle school science fair project in 2012.

Modern big data problems included weather forecasting and designing search engines. Much of the media hype revolves around big data issues that could result in big profits for private companies. Some, like Michael Fertik of the company Reputation.com, are quite keen on the idea that individuals and companies can benefit from using big data related technology to manage their online reputations.

While the concept of using a third party to manage online reputations may be validated by the marketplace, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person or a company must pay a third party in order to benefit from big data related technology.

Many of the basic tools of big data are widely available to the public at no charge. The key to making the technology useful and valuable is the skills that are applied when using those tools.

Perhaps the most common example is the search engine. The largest search engines such as Google and Bing cost billions to develop and many millions per month to operate, yet they can be used without charge by anyone 24 hours a day for whatever purposes they have in mind.

Over time, most people who use search engines regularly come up with ways to use search engines to improve their lives or their businesses, and in most cases without paying for an expert or a company to do so on their behalf.

The rush by companies to capitalize on big data related business opportunities has many of the elements that existed in previous booms and busts related to gold, oil, and in the 1990s version of the Internet. Like the gold rushes of the past, some companies will likely become fabulously rich from the gold, many more may become as rich or even richer from activities that support the gold rush, but the vast majority won’t find a fortune and will likely not survive until the next gold rush.

The Power of Money, Endorsement and Identity Theft: Jeremy Schoemaker vs. Google Money Tree Case

IdentityJeremy Schoemaker, known for his Shoemoney.com is one of the authoritative bloggers on the Net today. His company and personal branding is so powerful, that every marketer wants to capitalise on them – even doing it illegally.

This is a classic case of identity theft for the purpose of making more money through the power of endorsement.

The case study

One of Jeremy Schoemaker’s favourite photos is him holding a cheque of a large sum – thanks to his successful make money online business ventures.

Unfortunately for him, this photo is allegedly used by an advertiser to promote Google Money Tree, a ‘system’ to make money online through Google, which later found to be a scam.

Stolen identity to promote a scam program

That’s where the problem lies: Unauthorised use of images to endorse a product without any permissions is already considered illegal and unethical. In this case, the image is used to scam people.

The impact toward Jeremy’s brand images is devastating: People assume he endorses the Google Money Tree, so that many people join the program simply due to the fact that Jeremy, the Shoemoney, ‘endorses’ the system. When the system is deemed to be a scam, so does Jeremy!

He is, of course, not happy with the stolen identity and false endorsement.

Endorsement and mind game: Why advertisers pay big bucks (some steal endorsees’ property as freebies) to get ‘celebrities’ to endorse their products.

Although Jeremy Schoemaker is not your typical celebrities – he is one of the blogging celebrities that is made famous for his financial achievement through blogging and building businesses surrounding it.

The main reason advertisers splash a large sum of money on endorsers that always are public figure is this: to get into prospects’ mind.

Jeremy is a public figure – he build his business and personal branding relentlessly. In blogging world, Jeremy Schoemaker means make money online, blogging celebrity, and branding powerhouse.

Many advertisers want to touch the corner of Jeremy’s robe so that Jeremy’s positive attributes, such as charisma, authority, mindset, and knowledge, are transferred to their products, or at least related to their products.

This way, advertisers get into prospects mind, by saying “Jeremy uses this system to make money,” “Jeremy believe this product is excellent,” and any other assumption.

Obviously, the more authoritative your endorsees are, the stronger visual and emotional bait your product has.

How would this affect the endorsee? He/she could be related to the product, and as the product is successful, his/her image and personal branding will be enhanced, too. Of course, this also applies to the contrary.

Stolen identity that is used to scam: a devastating negative ripple effect

In his Shoemoney.com blog, Jeremy wrote a clarification post that clearly stated that he has nothing to do with the Google Money Tree scam, and indicated that he will pursue a lawsuit against the owner of Google Money Tree system.

Jeremy did the clarification to stop the negative ripple effect that could bring his businesses down altoghether. Clearing his name will take a lot of resources, including money and time.

I respect Jeremy Schoemaker and would like to look forward for a positive outcome of this.

Image by fotologic.

Internet Marketing Neurofinance

Internet marketing in make money online industry is inseparable. The following are some common question marks that every Internet marketer and website owner have in mind in considering financial decisions to adopt Internet marketing strategies and tactics.

What is Internet marketing is all about?

Basically, people making money online are trying to make more money by selling more. And selling more is possible if their websites are visited by many. And to be visited by many, the websites need to be placed better in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Why would people do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay for such service?

People want to rank better in the SERPs – SEO help this becoming a reality. Learning about SEO from authority sources, such as SEOmoz.org, allows you to have better understanding about SEO and make sense the SEO service and its fees.

What $1000 SEO company fee different from those that offer $100 for the same SEO service? Money get results. Business-wise, you can calculate the investment and its return by hiring an SEO company.

I believe that $1000 has more reach and better tactics than the $100 counterparts. Whenever your budget allows, hiring the top SEO service provider, such as Chicago Search Engine Optimization, will eventually paid off.

Can you Do-It-Yourself SEO?

Yes you can. However, from my experience with this site, DIY SEO will only take you to site optimization, nothing more, as the real SEO for SERPs needs you to spend a lot of time and effort to take your site to rank better.

Here is another reason for you to hire an SEO service provider, such as Search Engine Optimization Chicago: How does submitting this article to hundreds or directories and social media sound to you? If you think it is a hard work, the I definitely suggest you to hire an SEO service provider.

Suggestions

I suggest you not to seek the cheapest SEO service offers, as everybody claiming to be the cheapest SEO service is often translated into ‘incompetent’.

Seek SEO partner that offer you value for money and excellent support – beware of those SEO companies that use illegal tactics, as they might damage your website reputation and position in SERPs.

Corporate Advertising Cartoon for Branding and Viral Marketing through Social Media

Corporate, most notably financial institution, are slow in incorporating new mediums and techniques to communicate their messages to their target audience.

With the premise to create a better hook in audience minds through cartoon advertising, companies are encouraged to use the new way to brand and market better.

Advertising Cartoon Creates a Hook in Audience Mind

Human minds are known to understand image better than text. The use of images to communicate and transmit ideas has been amplified by the ever presence of social media.

Social media main benefit is that it often amplifies buzz – this is achievable through the use of cartoon in adversiting.

New media advertising is typically aim to create buzz through the use of social media. One of the new media advertising ways is custom cartoons for corporate advertising purposes.

Companies, such as Vantage Internet, try to break the barrier and insist for corporate to follow the ‘trend’ of viral marketing, especially in social media.

How advertising cartoon works well to create buzz

Corporate advertising cartoon are typically smart and attract discussion among audiences.

Smart, catchy, cartoon will be bookmarked by site visitors and might end up on the first page, which means more exposure and buzz. This is what every business hope for – viral effect and leveraged branding.

Example of smart advertising cartoon is as follow:

Cartoon advertising

Advertising cartoon is cost-effective

Money-wise, advertising cartoon is cost-effective. You don’t have to endorse anything and anybody but your own brand name, and you can stand above the rest in a cost-effective way.

If you are keen to have your brand name sink and hooked in your audience mind, consider the different approach advertising cartoon offers you.

Decoy marketing

This intriguing article discusses decoy marketing, a tactic marketers use to make their products look better by comparing them to inferior ones offered for a similar price. The author, Roger Dooley, discusses falling prey to this when shopping for shaving cream. First he stares at the shelf, trying to decide between dizzying numbers of options; then he sees that one variety has in its midst taller cans of the same product, but with 20% more for the same price. Instantly he buys, not one, but two of the bigger can, and goes on his way.

What happened? Essentially, his brain was tricked into redefining the situation. Instead of comparing several different products, his mind zeroed in on the very simple decision between products A and B, where they were identical except for the amount of product. This made the decision quick and easy: “B is the much better value!” and once the decision had been made, the other competitors had been eliminated without really considering their merits.

The key element here is that products A and B–the “real” product and the decoy–are almost identical except for the key difference that clinches the sale, in this case amount of product. Gentner and Markman (2006, Psychological Science) explain this forced easy decision this way:

[Comparing items] involves an alignment of structured representations yielding commonalities, differences related to the commonalities, and differences unrelated to the commonalities. One counterintuitive prediction of this view is that it should be easier to find the differences between pairs of similar items than to find the differences between pairs of dissimilar items. This prediction is particularly strong for differences that are related to the commonalities.

In other words, if two items are identical except for a couple of key points, it’s much easier to compare them (and thereby pick the non-decoy). And our brains are lazy. This laziness–among other things–is ripe for marketers to exploit to get us to buy their product. Decoy marketing works by exploiting one of the many shortcuts our brains like to take.