Archive | Mobile

Social Media DIY

The re-emergence of DIY renovation, through popular shows such The Block and copycat The Renovators, has given voice to renovation enthusiasts through unexpected channels; Twitter, Facebook and an array of smart phone applications.

Renovation nerds are now sharing their passion for colour palettes, secondhand furniture and the trials and tribulations of reality TV contestants.  What programs like Our House and Backyard Blitz made popular in the 90s and 00s, television, social media and innovative apps are going one better.

Opportunities abound for renovation enthusiasts and those with a product or service to sell.  The public, motivated through an emotional attachment to reality TV contestants and a desire to create, is looking to their smart phones for a practical and fun way forward.  While cooking, travel sporting apps have taken off, it’s taken renovation experts a little longer to enter into the smart phone fray.

Despite the slow start, apps are becoming more practical, more creative and more compelling.

From the basic freebies, including the Renovation Budget Tracker and Remodelista Lite – a favourite of Hollywood actor Gwenyth Paltrow, apps are now taking a sharper turn, offering shoppers diaries, colour palette tips and ideas for room themes.

The newer and craftier apps have removed the need for the dated pen and paper altogether, and offer the capacity to share ideas through social media mechanisms.  The aptly named Spacing Calculator, Drywall Estimate and Tile Estimate are proving fast favourites.

But the biggest gains comes from harnessing social media channels, particularly YouTube, through which The Block darlings Josh and Jenna learnt to tile.

The Block is using social media to great success, furthering the already considerable popularity of the series.  Contestants themselves Tweet about their experiences, while the Facebook page has over 38,000 fans – all potential recruits for series 2012.

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Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival shows debuts digital initiative

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the Loreal Melbourne Fashion festival’s Business Seminar, held at Melbourne’s  Sofitel Hotel. The event included guest speakers such as Jefferson Hack (publisher and UK socialite/fashion darling and ex to Kate Moss) and creative director from luxury Swiss brand Bally, Greame Fidler. Overall a great day with insights into whats next in Fashion and how these peeps see digital as a part of their industry. The highlight for me however was the VERY innovative use of digital marketing including the installation of iPads that were used to get attendees interacting with the new LMFF 2011 App.

I spoke to Carol Barton from Mobile Muse who designed the App for LMFF and also coordinated the interactive iPad stands at the event. Carol believes that this is a first for an Australian event and goes on to say that she believes that this will become the “norm” for large events going forward.

carol went on to say “I believe your online presence can exist in what’s considered to be an offline environment. Nowadays it’s about connecting with your customers and clients anywhere, at any time. The possibilities are endless! In store, at events, for product launches”

We see this as a great way for businesses of all sizes to create a lasting impression and impress their delegates. This has huge “WOW factor” and can be used to create a better user experience at any event.
We also see this having a place in a retail environments. The possibilities are endless!

Have you thought about how you could integrate an iPhone app into your business?

Download the iPhone/ iPad app here


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London Gatwick wins innovation award for spending £1 billion on Social Media campaign. See how you can do the same for less than $100

London’s Gatwick Airport  has scooped the award for its ‘Innovation in Online Customer Service’ hosted by
Econsultancy at their Innovation Awards,  which celebrates and recognises innovation and best practice within the digital industry.

London’s second biggest airport, Gatwick was chosen by a panel of industry experts from businesses that included EBay, Mercedes Benz and the BBC for delivering “probably the most holistic use of social media seen in a customer-focused business.”

Almost £1 billion has been spent on Gatwick’s enhancements in conjunction with Social Media agency Rabbit.
Activities include:

Inviting passengers to provide feedback by displaying signage around the airport, which is monitored 24/7

The introduction of a “stickybits” campaign (to be unveiled shortly)

Departing Passengers are now able to check and pass through security checkpoints more easily and enjoy more time browsing in the shops before their on time departures. Passengers arriving into Gatwick are treated to shorter taxi-ing to their gates, shorter immigration queues and faster baggage reclaim.

Whilst we are unsure that the enhancements to date are hardly worth a £1 billion spend, we are eagerly anticipating the roll out of the full functionality that will perhaps make air travel a seamless experience and perhaps even…
a  pleasure.

How can you implement these strategies in your business?

Twitter Monitoring

Its reasonable to assume that most small to medium businesses aren’t trading 24/7 and therefore the need to have someone monitoring your Twitter account around the clock is a little bit of overkill.

Create and set reasonable expectation that you will get back to your followers within a specific amount of time (ie an hour, 8 hours, 24 hours) and stick to it. Use a tool such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to manage your twitter profile and include columns for incoming, outgoing and mentions. Accounts are free (if you have less than 4 Twitter profiles) and are a cinch to set up.


Stickybits is a free app that lets you scan barcodes with your iPhone or Android phone. Each barcode has a wall of digital content associated with it, and some have promotions and deals that will be revealed on scan. Stickybits works with all existing barcodes, QR codes, and also custom barcodes. Creating a stickybits barcode is super easy… and fun!

You may want to get a graphic designer in to help create a spiffy looking stickybits logo and call to action for around your store/showroom/office etc so people know that you can be found!

Cost $ 100 (optional) for graphic designer to create calls to action (small signs for your physical store and or website etc etc)

Image: London Gatwick Airport (BAA)

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Big Day Out Gets Social

Veterans on the Australian music festival scene  “Big Day Out” are putting the final touches on their 19 annual festival, which for the first time has more than just an impressive line up.

This year festival organisers have produced an iPhone and Andriod app which provides festival goers the latest news, the festival line up, artist info, photos, videos tweets in real time, ticket sales and even a virtual lighter for rock ballads!

Users can create bespoke schedules for the festival and can even use the app to take pictures and post them on social networking sites. The development of this truly interactive and social app is a first in Australia.

We love this idea but wonder how many users will actually take advantage of the functionality whilst actually at the festival. Generally speaking mobile phone lines are jammed during events like these so we imagine 3G services will be stretched, not to mention the punters being distracted by actually being at the festival. Perhaps the BDO App has a few too many bells and whistles.

Find out more about the BDO app by watching the video below…. or
Download the Big Day Out 2011 App here

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Facebook enters the “deal” space with Facebook Places

Facebook launched its Facebook Places functionality earlier this  year and has now added extra functionality to compete with the “deal” sites such as groupon, cudo and spreets.

Starting today in the US, local businesses will be able to offer  deals when you check in to their place on Facebook.

To find deals near you all you need to do is log onto facebook and then “check in” as you normally would. Places near to you with a deal will have a yellow icon.

facebook dealsfacebook dealsfacebook deals

The deals supplied by the merchant (not facebook) can be for a discount, free offers, additional reward points or even a donation to charity on your behalf.

As a launch promotion GAP are giving away 10,ooo pairs of blue jeans to get people checking into their stores.

So, what do you think? Will your brand or small business be offering discounts when this functionality is launched in Australia?

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QR Codes: An Introduction

You may or may not have heard about these little pictures taking off in the media world. Quick Response Codes, or QR Codes, are two-dimensional codes that can be scanned with smartphone scanning applications. Once scanned, a QR Code will provide the user with content on their smartphone, such as pictures, video, or web links. Essentially, QR Codes provide a link between the physical world and the Internet.

QR Code Example

This is an example code, which links to my website. When someone scans the code using their smartphone, they will see the link to my website and have the option to click it, or to save it for later.

QR Codes can be used in many ways, and are only just beginning to show up in advertising campaigns. They have been used on jewelry, clothing, and giant billboards. They can also be attached to products for interactive marketing campaigns, with applications like Stickybits and Likify.

So, how do you get started? First, download an application to your smartphone to scan the codes. My favourites are QR Scanner for the iPhone, and Barcode Scanner for Android, both of which are free to download. Check here for a more comprehensive list of scanners to match your phone. Once you have the app, you can scan away! Or, try myQR for a 2-click QR Code generator, and start creating your own codes! You can print them on your business card, put them on your social media profiles, or on your blog. Have fun!

Image from here.

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Sportsgirl get virtual styling

Sportsgirl is more than just a store: it’s a community of girls across Australia who are individual, playful, confident and of course, oh-so fashionable! Sportsgirl have been on the social media train for quite a while now. Through Twitter and Facebook they have gathered up over 20,000 followers combined…

They’ve given you the chance to get your fashion fix anywhere and everywhere with ‘Sportsgirl Mobile‘. It’s like a Sportsgirl store in the palm of your hand. Where you can shop the latest arrivals, read fashion news and blogs and check out all the pretties on Style Me, simply by logging onto on your mobile. And if that’s not enough to get you excited, the Sportsgirl App is now available in the Android Market, and is set to land in the iTunes store very soon.

Sportsgirl’s newest unveiling is the Virtual Style Studio – where the pages of the latest Sportsgirl mini-mag literally come to life! All you need is a webcam and flash and you can access the hottest looks from their latest collections! To get started, download your marker here!

For access to the latest trends, exclusive designer collaborations, vintage collections and so much more, visit Sportsgirl’s website today!

Image: Sportsgirl

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Style in your pocket

Got an iPhone?

The Apple app store has come along way from it’s launch in 2008. With over 200,000 app listings, you can get connected with these fabulous fashion apps – for 24 hour access to style:

Forever New – Forever New is a fashion clothing and accessories brand founded in Melbourne, Australia. Collections celebrate the feminine beauty of women and are inspired by global trends in fashion, art, music and theater.
NET-A-PORTER – Welcome to the world’s leading online fashion retailer NET-A-PORTER.COM – irresistible luxury women’s fashion at your fingertips.
ebay Mobile – eBay members can search, bid, and check their activity on the go.
ShopStyle – All the stores you love, all in one place. ShopStyle Mobile brings together the most fashionable stores and the best designer brands.
Tiffany & Co Engagement Ring Finder – Find your perfect engagement ring with Tiffany & Co.’s Engagement Ring Finder.
FlyBuys – With the new FlyBuys iPhone application you’ll be able to quickly and easily check your current points balance.

Image source: Apple

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New facebook Functionality- Facebook Places

Facebook has just announced its latest (and long awaited) feature “Facebook places.

Facebook places is a location based functionality and gives business owners yet another way to promote their brand passively using social media. Similar to Foursquare, Facebook places allows users to “check in” and broadcast their location to their peers via Facebook. We imaging this functionality will be popular with social media junkies in the beginning and filter through to the mainstream slowly as people become more comfortable with disclosing more and more personal information about themselves on the web.

Getting started on Facebook places

Facebook places can be used on iPhone and any browser that supports HTML5 and geolocation. (Sorry Blackberry and Android users, you will have to wait for further development until you can use the service on your smart phones)

  • Tap facebook for iPhone app
  • You will then be asked if facebook is allowed to know your location
  • Click allow (you will be directed to the places interface)
  • Share your location with friends and find out where others are (that have Places enabled)

Places can be used to discover hard to find locations when you are out and about.
Check into places (a la foursquare) and tag people you are currently with.
Eg: add your favourite cafe or bar and check yourself and your buddies in there (it IS Friday after all)

So, tell us, will you be using Facebook Places to promote your business? Will you be using facebook places to broadcast your location?

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Tweet on the fly.

This week Twitter introduced a new feature to its US users named “Fast Follow”

Fast Follow allows anyone to follow twitter users via SMS without even having a Twitter account.

It works a little something like this…

Users text “follow (username)” to Twitter’s shortcode of 40404
They will then begin receiving all of that Twitter users updates via SMS

This is a potential way of increasing the monetization of twitter and also furthers their reach by tapping into the huge number of passive users that don’t regularly use  “native” twitter.

There are more details on Twitters blog.


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