Tag Archives: Foursquare

Embrace the Taboo: Pricing

10 Mar

Photo by Soham_Pablo

Money is a taboo in our culture. We’ve all been told, don’t ever be the first to bring up money in the hiring process. We say that there are three things not to be discussed in polite company, but money is possibly the worst. You really shouldn’t talk about money with your date either. So you definitely shouldn’t ask me how much Magic Bottle Marketing’s social media services is going to cost your business, right? WRONG!

I won’t try to explain why people think you shouldn’t talk about money, because I have no idea. I always want to see the figures up front. I can tell you why that is!

  • Money is often the deciding factor. I can either work for that amount or I can’t. I have this much money to spend, so I can either afford it or I can’t. I am already doing two volunteer projects so I simply don’t have the time for a pro bono job. These are cut and dry decisions that rest on number. I would rather know that number sooner rather than later.
  • It tells me a lot about who I am talking to. How much someone is asking for or willing to pay tells me how much they know about the market, the product in question, what type of project they’re doing, how serious and committed they are, etc, etc…
  • It saves me and them a lot of time. If I don’t like what I find out in the above two bullet points I want to know that right away so I don’t waste anyone’s time discussing a project that will never be.

So how much does social media for local businesses from Magic Bottle Marketing cost?

My pricing is similar to a restaurant’s pricing–pick two sides and an entree for $10 set-up. Your choices are…

Sides

  • LinkedIn company page
  • Facebook business page
  • Twitter

Entrees

  • Google+ company page
  • Pinterest

Appetizers

  • FourSquare venue
  • Google Places setup
  • 1 Google Adwords campaign
  • 1 Facebook ad campaign
  • FourSquare special setup

Appetizers are a one-time only fee—$50 for each. Obviously, campaigns and specials can be purchased multiple times. Your first two sides are $100 each per month, but the third is just $50 per month. Entrees are $150 per month. You can get a combo dinner (two sides and an entree) for $300 per month.

What are you paying for?

You are mostly paying for content creation and expert knowledge of how each platform can be customized to your business and its goals. Thus, sites whose content requires more time and effort (Google+ and Pinterest) cost more. Services that are a one-time only creation (campaigns and specials) cost less.

Pricing is something I thought about for months before I even bought the domain magicbottlemarketing.com. After surveying the local industry, I decided that my market niche would be affordable, customized content creation for social media for businesses. That niche was empty. Most businesses right here in Claremore either have no social media presence at all, are struggling to manage it on their own, or are being overcharged for setup only, content poor, non-customized social media accounts. And none of my competitors list their pricing up front.

You have better options! Please drop me a line at anna@magicbottlemarketing.com or give me a ring on my cell at 918-933-2303 and let’s get your business on the path to social success that’s affordable!

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Refining Your Message

16 Feb

Communicating a message effectively is both an art and science. What do art and science have in common? They both take a lot of repetition to perfect and they both progress faster with feedback! Tuesday, I edited my ‘About‘ and ‘Services‘ pages. I’m CCing it here so I can get your feedback through comments.

About

Magic Bottle Marketing provides social media management and consulting services for local Green Country businesses. Social media is like a magic bottle that conveys your message to your customers faster, cheaper, and more effectively than traditional means. It combines three types of sales leads–advertising, returning  customers, and referals—into one powerful medium.

Photo by Joel Chan

Anna Bavido founded Magic Bottle Marketing in 2011 out of a passion for her community and her own social media addictions, errr… experience. She has lived in Claremore since 2001 and graduated from Rogers State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s of science in social sciences. When she’s not teaching businesses to be sociable she is invovled in politics, family, karate, social media, and Jesus–but not necessarily in that order. Her favorite social network is Google+.

Services

Magic Bottle Marketing approaches each client every day with 3 mottos.

  1. Give the client the biggest bang for their buck.
  2. The right tool for the right job.
  3. Track performance.

The first one is an attitude of gratefulness and responsibility for clients. You don’t have to give me business and I take the fact that you did very seriously. For more explanation, see Corporate Gratitude. Second, is a messaging approach that leverages the right social networks in the right way for clients’ goals and targeted customers. This is further explained in Social Media and Angry Birds. Third, I look back as often as I look forward. If I don’t know what I did before and how well it worked, I won’t know what to do next. I blogged about this some in the post Reflections.

With this mindset, I provide tiered contract management services for the following social media platforms–

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Google Adwords
  • WordPress

Service packages are customized to each client and start as low as $200/month. Discounts are available for churches, charities, and other nonprofits. Call Anna at 918-933-2303 or drop her a line at anna@magicbottlemarketing.com to find out how Magic Bottle Marketing can best help your business!

Dreaming Social

27 Jan

Three of my family members are looking at some new business ventures. One of them is even under construction as we speak! Being the social media addict that I am, I’m already dreaming up ways that internet technology and social media can be of assistance to their efforts. I very much want this blog to be practical and hands-on. Blogs extolling the virtues of social media are a dime-a-dozen, after all. So, here are some futuristic case studies, if such a phrase is legitimate. 😉

Business Scenario #1: Taco Stand

My uncle, Fred Sutherland, is in the last stages of being released from the Texas State Prison System on parole. It’s a scary economic world for us all right now, but ex-cons have a much worse time of it than the rest of us do. A long story short is that he has a business plan ready to implement for several food wagons (he’s currently looking at tacos and burgers). He wants to target the downtown professional on lunch break, the construction crews that do not have their own transportation while on site. The plan is to be able to hit two or three key locations in a day at their specific lunch/supper rush.

Possible Social Media/Technology for Business Scenario #1

FourSquare: I’m recommending to Fred that he create a FourSquare account for each food wagon. I would like to see original quirky names. Each FourSquare account would build a strong local network of friends for each of its stops. Through push notifications and ‘Nearby’ features a lot of the daily promotional work will be ‘outsourced’ to FourSquare. Bonus: when a new location or stop is added for a wagon Fred can use Forecast (posted about previously) to plan an opening splash.

Text Club: The most obvious use of a texting group is to broadcast specials and locations, but you could do a lot beyond that. Customers could text orders and then receive a text when the order is ready. Which brings us to…

Payment: Square. The vendor pricing is quite competitive with traditional card payment methods. And you can’t beat the wow factor. 😉

It’s going to take my superior communication skills to present this to Fred. Social media wasn’t even thought of when he was last in the business world. I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

Business Scenario #2: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

My brother’s father-in-law (what do I call him? Father-in-law once removed? 2nd Father-in-law?), Bob Kulp, is a seasoned business owner and entrepreneur (It runs deep in his family) and his latest project is the conversion of traditional gasoline vehicles so that they run off of natural gas, which is significantly cleaner and cheaper than gasoline. He is in the process of building a CNG filling station on his property. He is avidly promoting CNG  and fleet conversion across Wisconsin.

Possible Social Media/Technology for Business Scenario #2

App: the best sales pitch is to show someone the money and I find the easiest way to track money is through an app. A CNG app could track

  • mileage of CNG vehicle and how much less pollution it exhausts
  • how much saved per gas purchase compared to gasoline prices in the area
  • how close you are to paying off conversion cost with lower fuel costs and better gas mileage. Once conversion is paid for this converts to a pure savings number.
  • how close you are to a CNG filling station

Each of these tracking should allow for sharing the positive numbers to social networks. “Aliya has saved $326 so far with Kulp Energy Solutions!” followed by a link.

Bob is already quite active on social networks, both personally and professionally, so just go observe and learn.

Business Scenario #3: Local Sports Scene

My brother Ethan has noticed that there is one sport that gets a lot of attention nationally that has a local scene in the Tulsa area who is ignored by all local media. I can’t tell you which one because you might capitalize on this idea before he gets to. ::glare:: don’t even think about it!

Possible Social Media/Technology for Business Scenario #3

He is first going to build an online reputation of an expert in the sport. Once that is established he wants to leverage it to get radio spots. All of this is a little hazy because some of it requires equipment investments that he does not currently have the money for. Any angel investors out there?

Twitter: He should live-tweet national events in this sport. He should also host a weekly TweetChat (which I described to him as a “twat on Chitter’ just the other day. How embarrassing.) on the sport.

Google+: He should do hangouts from local events and do hangout interviews with the athletes on Google+. He could also broadcast hangouts from the teams’ gyms with multiple interviews.

Blog: Predictions, commentary, reviews, interviews, etc.. of each local event.

Podcast: live broadcasting from local events that are also being broadcasted on television (which might restrict Hangouts). This will be the easiest part to convert to radio.

Many of these require portable wifi or 4G internet, a laptop or tablet with a good web camera, an external mic (maybe 2?), and access to cable television. With that high financial threshold this venture might take some time to happen, but I’m confident Ethan can make it a success!

Mobile & Future-Tense

26 Dec

I’m a huge fan of original content. I try to keep all of my personal and business social accounts (with the exception of Pinterest)  at least 75% original content (please don’t go run a calculation on my stream. That’s a rough guess.) However, this article was so good that I didn’t want you to miss out. I can tell it was good because it got me thinking and connecting it with other ideas in my head. Please give it a read and then read my response here.

Why Real World Socializing is the Next Big Thing for Social Media by Rene Pinnell

Although Rene doesn’t explicity state it, a theme that emerges for me is that online communications are the catalyst for offline action. Example: Have you ever seen pictures of people owling or planking? This online trend faciliated an entire evening of fun for my family and uncle’s family of doing both at once.

Top to bottom: Nathan, Naomi, Caleb, Isaac, Samuel, Joshua, Ethan

This is a particularly interesting example in that five of the participants and spectators were either inactive or absent entirely from any online social networks. Your actions can be influenced by social media whether you participate or not!

Most of my restuarant choices are driven by my Foursquare friends. My book and movie choices have always been driven by friend recommendations, but now they come via Facebook. I could go on and on, but you see the point.

The disconnect that Rene points out is that right now social networks can only document what we’re doing away from our computer screens. Social media can only talk about it before and after the fact. Anyone who has tried to live tweet an event knows that mobile can’t solve this entirely. In order to document something you lose part of the live experience. This is true even of older technologies. Have you ever felt like you missed an event simply because you were so busy videotaping it?

This is where Rene brings in the concept of adding a future-tense layer in social media. Basically, this would allow social media to be an even better catalyst for offline activity than it is now. In my mind this immediately connected with three services I’m alreadying using: Google+, Schemer, and Foursquare.

  • Google+: if I’m going to plan activities online I don’t want to handle the social drama of deciding who can come and who should know. Google+ circles are the answer.
  • Schemer: Rene looks very ignorant for writing an article about Schemer without mentioning them by name. If he had written it 2 months ago though he would have been prophetic. Schemer obviously is still in its infancy, but the possibilities here are huge.
  • Foursquare: Facebook recently launched a messenger app to work in conjunction with its primary mobile app. What if Foursquare had a messenger app? You could invite friends to check-in at a certain place at a certain time and it would notify the venue of your plans. You could choose the privacy level of both the event and of the messages. It would be both a social calendar and a reservations system.

One final thought. I haven’t yet tried the apps Rene and team have created: foreca.st and Hurricane Party. I have downloaded foreca.st and will let you know how it goes! I thought it was highly commendable fo Rene to write an article that is so close to his product without once pitching his apps. Cheers, Rene!

Futuristic Musings

15 Dec

I like change. I enjoy contemplating what the future will be like, even if it doesn’t turn out that way. Here’s some of my musings in regards to social media and business.

NFC-enabled FourSquare check-ins will eventually make our current Foursquare check-ins look so laborious and old school.

I wonder if the word ‘niche’ is going to be replaced with ‘hashtag’. So, instead of trying to find your niche market you’ll hunt for the right hashtag. Or maybe it will be circle. “I found the perfect circle for my product!” Like so.

Even before it was my job/business, I loved being part of something new. I got my Google+ invite from David Reagan on July 12th and it actually kind of irks me that I didn’t ask for it in June (the first month it was available). I recently signed up for two new things: Wahooly and Schemer. I have my doubts about Wahooly, but I was too curious to say no. I do think Kickstarter will become the go-to way for artists, particularly Indie. Look at what Five Iron Frenzy did!

Schemer, Google+, and Google Calendar need to integrate in a big way. It would beat Facebook events black and blue.

Google should buy Get Glue in order to use it with Latitude and Schemer. That might give it a bit of an edge with Foursquare. Letting Dennis and Alex get away from them has got to be one of Google’s biggest mistakes.

Smartphones need to improve drastically at reading QR codes. There’s enormous potential there but it does try ones patience! Speaking of which…

Did your college also have those bulletin boards covered in flyers? Eventually, those will be nothing but pieces of paper with headlines and QR codes.

If you have a fairly complicated medical condition you could build a website telling paramedics about it and then tattoo a QR code for that website on your forearm or something.

QR codes could also replace those little tags kids wear ‘My mommy’s phone number is…’

It’s interesting how social media has made my life both more global and more local. I communicate with people all over the world based on common interests, but then I’m inspired to actually live out those interests locally. Someday, dire warnings about replacing social life with social media will sound as outrageous people who claimed homeschoolers wouldn’t know how to function in society.

How long do you think the Galaxy Nexus will be outrageously expensive? I’m hoping not long.

I wrote yesterday on Google+ about redundant background checks. Now I’m thinking of ways to make it social. What if you put up all your background check costs on Kickstarter?

Raquel Beaty, my soon-to-be-sister-in-love (her sister is marrying my brother), had her Google account briefly suspended yesterday. It was a mishap and was quickly set right, but my mother, Janet Bavido, pointed out that it was similar to having your mailbox ripped out by the US Post Office. Which left me pondering A, how long is the USP going to limp along? and B, when will email become a property owner’s right, like snail mail?

Thank you for wandering through these musings with me. What do you think about the future?

Black Friday Uses of Social Media

26 Nov

When I was traveling for the holiday yesterday I made a list of all the ways social media can integrate with Black Friday beyond plastering ‘Like Us on Facebook!’ on every end cap. Here are the best ones.

  1. Give discount coupons to the first 10 or 25 people who check-in to your venue on Foursquare on Black Friday.
  2. Create a Foursquare event associated with your venue.
  3. Have an employee walk the line before the store opens with a tablet and ask people to log into their social network account to connect with you there. They’re in line, so they have nothing else to do.
  4. Ask customers to tweet or share on Facebook what deals they find. With proper link tracking you could even track which people have friends buy from that post and reward that customer.
  5. If there’s a particular sale item you’re promoting put a QR sticker on its display that functions like the Tweet and Like buttons on this post.
  6. Have a celebratory hangout with your customers on G+ while they’re in line.
  7. If you’re part of a chain or franchise have a Google+ hangout corner in each of your stores where people can step in front of the camera and say hello to customers in other locations.
  8. Ask customers to share to their social networks their total savings at your store. (actually, this would be good to have year round…)
  9. Before Black Friday crowdsource your specials through social media by putting up live voting or a poll that lets customers decide which items will be part of Black Friday sales.
  10. Have specials or deals that are only available to customers that have connected with you on social media. How is this different from sending your social customers a coupon code? It will be a physical spot in your store that will provoke your nonsocial customers to envy and then they will connect with you online!
  11. Remember to use appropriate hashtags on Twitter: #BlackFriday #BFDeals and so forth
  12. Make a Facebook event for Black Friday. Send each ‘attending’ RSVP a coupon code.
  13. Build a Google+ circle of Black Friday power shoppers nationwide and share that circle sometime earlier during the week.
  14. Build a Google+ circle of local businesses (your teammates, not your competitors) who are doing Black Friday sales and share it the Wednesday before.
  15. Try the same with Foursquare lists.
  16. Make your own Black Friday Twitter list and try to get on similar influential lists.
  17. Send a code to every customer who complains about the commercialism of Black Friday or who declares he’s doing Buy Nothing Day. If he uses it on Black Friday charge him 10% more and if he uses it after give him 10% off. 🙂
  18. The best way to discourage bad behavior is to crowd it out with encouragement of good behavior, right? Give everyone, employees and customers, +1 stickers to hand out to helpful employees and polite customers.

You get to come up with numbers 19 and 20 to round the list out!

Bookmark this post for next year!