QR Codes – a USEFUL application – Business Cards

Isn’t it a pain typing a new contact’s info into your contact list ? QR Codes can solve the problem.

How do QR codes work? Simple. You use a smartphone app to take a picture of a QR code.   The app then automagicially decodes the QR code, and redirects to the webpage specified by the creator of the code.  I use the scanlife app on a blackberry. There are other app options, for all devices…use google to find recent reviews.

Now envision using a QR Code app to snap a pic from the business card below.

After you snap the pic you are taken to a special webpage. The web page  you arrive at looks like the screenshot below. It allows download of a file that will automagically create a new contact in your address book. Clicking the “download” button will automatically create a new contact for you. No typing info from a small hard-to-read business card.

Anyone wanting to create this sort of QR Code should check out http://www.qrstuff.com/  The site gives options for creating and downloading a lot of different types of codes. It is really kind of fun to play with.

FYI The QR codes illustrated on this piece are “live”.

Finally a practical use for QR Codes? Does your business card include a QR Code?


Facebook Ads – demographic filters and dashboard

I have been playing with facebook ads as a learning exercise.

The interface for creating an ad allows you to specify demographics of who your ad will be displayed to. It includes the likely suspects… location, gender, age, education, marital status etc.

Targeting location of Toronto Ontario yields just over 2.5M

Added a restriction of college educated and over 24 drops the potential audience to just under half a million:

It is interesting to play with the filters to see how it effects the projected reach.I am sure the accuracy of people’s profiles limits the accuracy of the estimated reach. Interesting nonetheless.

Note you can play with the interface for creating an ad without publishing it (i.e committing to spend $). You can set a daily spend limit on the pay-per-click pricing model. It is possible to disable your ad very easily through the management console.

The management console also provides great dashboard illustrating activity on your ad:

Create an ad… have fun!

Embed Youtube on Facebook tab

Interested in embedding youtube content in your facebook page?  It is surprisingly easy!

To begin you will need to install an app that allows you display content within a facebook iFrame. An iFrame is simply the area in the middle of the page where apps live. Screenshot:

The link below is an example of a free facebook app that will easily allow you to embed your own content. There are many others… search for “iframe” in facebook apps.

Goto http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=137541772984354 to install the app on your facebook page. This app also provides some simple statistics and the ability to “fangate” pages (force people to “like” your page before content is displayed).

Once installed the app will provide a configuration screen to describe the content you wish to display.

First you will need to to grab the embed code from your youtube video. The screenshot below illustrates the steps you need to take on youtube.

Now go to facbook, navigate the config screen for the app, and paste the code, as illustrated below:

You will now see a config page that looks like the screenshot below. Paste the youtube embed code into the config screen as indicated in red:

The youtube video is now embedded in your page, as illustrated below!

The result can be seen here: embedded youtube vid

As a final step you might want to change the default name of the tab link on the left navigation to something other than the default “Welcome”

Alternatively you might want to link out to content rather than embedding it. I suggest you use the editor in the app to upload a static imagine, and then assign it a hyperlink that takes users to the page you desire. An example of this can be seen here: link out to youtube

I reiterate that this particular app is one of many, with more being added everday.Conceptually they are all similar in that they provide a means for you to create an iframe and configure the content.

You can multiple instances of the app to create multiple tabs on your left navigation. This allows you to build a mini-website on your facebook fanpage.

It is all very intuitive. Play with it and have fun!!!.

Stay tuned for a post on using WordPress to build interactive Facebook pages.

McDonalds on Twitter

Here is a great short interview with the social media manager from McDonalds. The most interesting insight is that they monitored twitter for a full year before engaging in the dialogue. They took the time to understand the medium, put tools and staff in place, and more importantly to understand how people were using twitter in referencing the McDonalds brand.

Have a listen…..