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This Week’s Top News: Turn Your TV Into A Smartphone; Facebook Testing a ‘Want’ Button

Every week we scour the news for the latest headlines in advertising, social media, and new products. Here are this week’s biggest stories for the week of July 2nd to 8th.

Turn Any TV Into A Smart One With This Gadget

A new gadget called the Pocket TV has the ability to convert your television into a giant Android tablet using a small microcomputer that plugs into your screen’s HDMI sport. It will retail for over $160 and production will likely start in July with shipping in October.

Facebook May Be Poised to Push the E-Commerce Button

Facebook is rumored to be testing a Want button that will function similarly to its Like button. This is likely to expand Facebook’s e-commerce presence allowing brands to target advertising options on Facebook more effectively.

Facebook Offers an “Offers” Tab

On somewhat of a limited basis, Facebook is unveiling their new ‘offers’ tab. Offers are free for administrators to create and share but are only available to a small number of local business pages. Offers are a great way to drive new people to your business and to engage your customers. They also encourage people to talk about your page when your offers are shared between friends.

With the new ‘offers’ option, businesses will have the ability to promote special deals to those who like their Facebook page.
Facebook gives you the ability to customize the offer any way you’d like:
• Upload a picture of product (FB recommends using people using the product as picture)
• Craft a headline specifying the deal (ex. Spend $50 and get $10 off)
• Decide number of claims (unlimited, first 500 people to claim, etc.)
• When the deal expires
• Craft precise terms & conditions (ex. Limit four per customer)

The ‘offers’ option for businesses will allow them to strategically drive traffic to their retail locations as well as increase that business’ social media presence.
To redeem the deals, Facebook users can either print out the e-mailed version of the deal or show they redeemed it to employees straight from their smart phone.

Facebook plans to launch offers more broadly soon.

The Ice Cream Truck, Brilliant Marketing, Brain-Washing or MAGIC!?

Written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

 Had an observation over the weekend…….

Very simple concept: A truck (that always needs a muffler, or it’s a creepy van, really an ice cream van?) PLUS ice cream (and not even good ice cream) PLUS a theme song = Emotional Connection

The driver doesn’t (to my knowledge) have a marketing plan, a website, Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn accounts – though I have received business cards, seriously – but more often than not, it’s just a person driving around and playing an annoying tune.

I bring this up because for two reasons:

 1. Music — how do songs get us to recognize brands? Chili’s (I want my baby back baby back…) Six Flags (dancing song), okay 1-800-54-GIANT has their name in the song, but still… and who hasn’t hit the falsetto and belted out, “I’m lovin’ it!”, just me?… or a little Snap, Crackle, Pop?

Anyway, my point is coming! Picture this: typical Saturday evening: house is calm, we have some Dora in one room, iCarly in the other and I’m (finally) sitting and reading (well, espn.com on the laptop) and my 2 year old, yes 2 year old sits up and says “Dora”. Now I know what you’re thinking, and it’s what I thought too, she’s watching Dora and that’s why she said it. Nooooooooo. It’s because she heard the ice cream truck music (which I haven’t heard yet) and you know what she gets at the Ice Cream truck? Bingo…a Dora ice cream.

 This leads me to my next point: the emotional connection.

 2. When you see your kids, nieces, nephews, etc…. all jumping up and down, so excited because they hear that delicious song, how can you say no when the truck finally takes your corner? You can’t. So what happens? You shell out $20 for sub-par, overpriced ice cream (but you still get one for yourself!). It’s like MAGIC!

So the point of the story (I think) is that sometimes using the darker color blue on your website isn’t as important as you think. It’s about keeping things simple and finding the right message (or music) to create the emotional connection. Or it’s magic, who knows!?

LinkedIn Groups—New and Improved

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

Who has two thumbs and likes the NEW LinkedIn Group interface and functionality? (Two thumbs thumping into my chest) “This guy” Yup, I’m that guy.

For those who haven’t noticed or have been ignoring LinkedIn lately, the Groups have changed and I’m loving it.

I’ll leave my favorite new feature that received my two thumbs held the highest until the end, just to create some blogging suspense. I’ll start with my one thumb up and a couple of head nods… it goes to…..

  • Latest Posts

I like what they did here. I’m a fan of the scrolling bar and being able to scan the groups discussions so you can easily read what’s happening now, in the past hour etc.. It’s much more user-friendly — you can easily comment on specific questions. You can even “like” a post (hmmm, where did they get that from? They probably could have consulted an online thesaurus so they weren’t completely ripping off Facebook… my choice would have been “fancy” as in “I fancy that discussion on the latest developments and implementation of social networking in the strawberry rhubarb pie industry”).

Next, two thumbs up – but not way up – goes to…

  • “Most Popular Discussions”

Instead of sifting through hundreds and hundreds of discussions, now LinkedIn highlights the most popular posts so you can see what the group really cares about and what’s creating all the buzz.

And now the number 1 reason….. (insert drum roll, I know, I know you can hardly wait…)

 NUMERO UNO (well actually two things that I’m giving two thumbs way up and a funny grin)

  • First, if you’re active in your group and participating, not just viewing/scanning, you will get a little PR for yourself and your company. There is a section called “Top Influencers This Week” (see below). If you’re involved, starting discussions and commenting, the group will recognize it.

AND……….

  • Second, you better get an even better profile picture. If you start a discussion or comment it seems they drastically increase the size of your picture! Here’s a tool you can use… and I swear this is my first attempt at it, but I think I’ll keep my untouched photo (but I was curious to see what I’d look like with blue eyes):

The Death of the Rolodex

Before social networking sites like Facebook, synchronized address books, and smartphones (iPhone) everyone had to memorize and organize thousands of contacts. Or have a Rolodex!

There were the people who stapled cards onto the Rolodex pages (that’s me! Storage for my business cards!) and people who hand wrote all the information. Cards could be added or tossed or shared with ease. It was a genius, efficient and highly personal way of staying in tough.

When the Rolodex first started selling in the 1950s, stationery shops were skeptical that anyone would want the spindly device on their desk. By the 1980s, however, the Rolodex had become such an icon that lawsuits where filed by companies who accused employees of taking them with them when they left – having a Rolodex filled with important names meant everything!

It’s amazing how technology alters the means by which we function. The use of social networks allow people to keep track of their contacts and even sync them to their smart phones. What ever happen to memorizing your important phone numbers? Or keeping a hand written address book?

How do you organize your contacts? Would you be cut-off from all your contacts if you lost your smartphone? Or do you still have a Rolodex?

Now you can Follow us on LinkedIn!!

written by: Rachel Lagesse

In case you haven’t heard or noticed yet, LinkedIn is now offering a new feature, “Follow Company.”  This new feature allows users to get notifications about activity happening from the companies they follow.

This new feature is along the lines of the Facebook fan page, but instead of receiving status updates from the companies you follow, you will instead get information such as recent hires and promotions, new job opportunities and company profile updates.

There are two ways to follow companies — either you can go to the company’s profile page to follow it or you can follow a company from a person’s profile — just click on a company name and the option to follow that company will appear.

Follow Strategis! http://www.linkedin.com/companies/strategis

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there…….will someone read your great PR write-up in the newspaper/magazine?

written by Adam Cupples (@ACupples)

I know what you’re thinking, did he just fall off a bull and hit his head?  Well, yes I did, but trust me on this… follow me for a minute.

My point (yes, I have one) is that everyone has heard the saying:     “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

My question (which will shed some light on my tree-falling intro) is: With declining newspaper/magazine readership , if your news/PR gets published and no one’s there to read it, does it really exist? does it matter? does it make an impact?

I bring this up (ding ding-Tip of the Day) as another reason to have a Social Networking profile(s).   Any questions?

Yes, from the gentleman in the front row: Umm, what does that have to do with trees falling in the forest?

Me: Well, nothing really.. I was just trying to make an analogy by using a famous riddle and the sad state of print journalism, and well, paper is made from trees, so that’s something.  Really, I’m just trying to get readers’ attention, can’t a blogger catch a break here?

Gentleman in the front row: Okay fine, but what’s your point?

Me: Pretend as if people are NOT going to see your PR if it gets picked up.

Oh good, question from the back row,  MOM, how’d you get in my make-believe Q&A dream-blog???!: Can you elaborate sweetie?

Me: I was going to, jeeesh.  We all know that people spend lots of time online, emailing friends/coworkers and finding content that interests them.  How will people find the content that interests them if they don’t know it exists?   People follow you on twitter, or get Linked or are friends with you on Facebook for a reason: they’re interested in your content. What better way to share your accomplishments/PR etc?  Get the URL and post it as your status update or blast it out.  Trust me, you will be surprised how many people notice it, comment, re-tweet or “like” it.

A popular question: Won’t I come across as bragging or a narcissistic self-horn-tooter?

Me: Well, maybe… it’s all about the intro.  Call out a colleague that got a great write-up.  If you work in a restaurant that got a great review on yelp, say you’re proud to be a part of it.  If you worked your butt off, landed a huge deal, and got some good PR in a trade magazine, toot your own horn! If it becomes a weekly tooting, and you’re being defriended left and right, then reevaluate your posts and lets talk!

Allow me to introduce myself…

Hello… I’d like to take a minute to introduce myself … My name is Susana and I am the latest addition to the Strategis team.  My background includes some time served as a Marketing and Communications Associate for the nation’s largest non-profit organization and many years of servitude in the hospitality and entertainment industry.  This current foray into the world of social media marketing comes as a blessing to me, as it is opening my eyes to an innovative new world that I had previously only entered on a personal level. I am thrilled to be part of something so new and interesting, and I’m excited to bring my ideas to the table and see how they measure up.  I’m looking forward to whatever the future may hold for me here at Strategis.