Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Site More Fun

April 7, 2010: summarized from Mashable -- Just like sex, fun sells. The early proof of that can be seen in the amazing success of location-based networks such as Gowalla (Gowalla), MyTown and Foursquare (Foursquare), and in the breakthrough marketing efforts of major brands like Nike, Coke and Chase.

Even finance made fun can be a winner — Mint.com’s meteoric rise was in no small part due to the fun, social engagement of its approach. Ever feel elated while using Quicken? I didn’t think so.

The trend continues, with an ever-increasing number of startups looking to get an edge with consumers through fun. Their weapons of choice: Game Mechanics.

When taken together, game mechanics such as points, leaderboards, badges, challenges and levels form part of what we call a Funware Loop. In my latest book I argue that the best and most compelling loyalty programs are built extensively around Funware and when applied creatively, can make any consumer web or mobile app experience more engaging.

Whether you sell organic foods online, develop mobile application or run the world’s largest social network, you can benefit from applying the 5 simple strategies listed below to increase engagement.
After all, who doesn’t like a little fun every once in a while?

Read more at: http://bit.ly/aoWotV

Check Out This Amazing Facebook Fact Sheet

Some highlights:
- 400 million active users
- 50% check in EVERY DAY
- Average user spends 55 MINUTES PER DAY
- 35 million update status every day
- 3 billion photos uploaded each month
- 5 billion pieces of content shared every day

View fact sheet at: http://bit.ly/bRbIgN

Social Media Marketing Overload? Some Tips for Startups

April 9, 2010: summarized from Read Write Start -- It is widely accepted that social media has transformed the landscape of marketing radically, and no longer can businesses - no matter their size or stage of development - afford to avoid social media. While the importance of developing one's brand online remains paramount - most obviously through the registration of a domain name - the proliferation of social media platforms can be overwhelming, and startups might feel compelled to register and interact with every service in order to quicken the spread of their name.

The multitude of social media platforms allow new businesses to establish their online presence, develop a brand and a message, and grow fans and followers - and of course customers - all without extensive investment in elaborate or costly marketing campaigns. The danger, however, lays in the proverbial "spreading oneself too thin" by attempting to make sure one's startup has a presence in every social media network.

While new businesses should certainly take advantage of social networking, here are a few tips to help avoid social media overload.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/9xlEQt

When Building Loyalty: Think Like a Gamer

April 1, 2010: from Promo Magazine -- An emerging concept called gamification may just be the jolt the loyalty space needs to shake off the cobwebs and become vital again.

Gamification takes lessons from the gaming community and applies them to loyalty programs. The idea is to apply human sciences in a social way in order to connect loyal customers with one another.

“Understand that things like status, play, the social aspect and goal achievement are all part of being human beings,” says Barry Kirk, consumer loyalty practice leader for Maritz Loyalty. “As marketers, we're trying to get people's attention and connect to them in a meaningful way, and games are exceptionally good at doing that across all age levels.”

Read more at: http://bit.ly/byQKDg