5 maneras rápidas para mejorar tu Facebook SEO

With reports that Facebook sees more traffic than Google, it makes sense that many SMB owners are getting serious about setting up shop on the hip social networking site. Facebook pages are often being used in lieu of a real Web site (which I’d caution against) or as a business’ second home on the Web. With all the opportunities that Facebook provides for small business owners, it’s important that you take the proper steps to increase your SEO efforts on the site.  After all, if no one can find them, then do they really even exist?

Give it a keyword-rich name

And by “keyword-rich”, I mean to use the name of your business. Your name will be the keyword your customers and potential fans will most often use when they’re trying to find you. So that’s what you want to show up for. Don’t try and get clever and stuff your name with too many keywords or appear for terms that you’re not really relevant for. Facebook is a personal social networking site. You’re going to turn users off by appearing overly spammy and salesy and you’re also likely to get yourself in trouble with Facebook. There are lots of areas where you can get a little looser with keyword use. Your page name is not one of those places. You want to reach your fans, not turn them off.

Be smart about your vanity URL

A few months ago Facebook opened up the opportunity for users to claim “vanity URLs” for their Facebook pages. For example, my Facebook vanity URL is facebook.com/lisabarone. These URLs make it easier for fans and customers to remember (or guess) where your page is located and it gives page owners a nice brand boost. Facebook has also opened up vanity URLs for Facebook Pages for those with more than 25 fans, which business owners would be smart to snatch up.

When you’re selecting your vanity URL, again keep in mind that the name you choose essentially becomes your URL. Again, I’d recommend using your business name, but there are opportunities to use keywords, as long as you do it sensibly. You want to pick something that adequately represents your brand and that will be easy for people to remember.

Use the Static FBML app to custom tab (landing page)

Many small business owners don’t realize that they can customize their Facebook profile to create a landing page of their very own creation. This is really important. The same way you use landing pages to speak and engage visitors on your Web site, you can do the very same thing from your Facebook profile using the static FBML app. By creating a specific page for people to land on, you help shape their experience and make sure the search engines are getting a keyword-rich page to spider.

To set this up, you’ll first have to add the Static FBML app to your page. Once you do, a pop-over will appear asking you to select the Page you want to add it to. You can select the Page you want to customize by clicking the “Add to Page” button. Once installed, you’ll be able to edit your page and get started creating your landing page. If you know a little bit of HTML, the process isn’t too complicated. Because it’s a little technical, I’ll direct you over to Jesse Stay’s post on Techipedia which will walk you through the process step-by-step.  He does a far better job explaining it to SMB owners than I could. No need to confuse you. ;)

Utilize the About box & Info tab

You want to take advantage of every opportunity that you have to write descriptive text about your business and to link smartly. The About box and Info tab give SMB owners an example to do exactly that.

  • About box: The About box is one of the few places on your page that is accessible to the search engines. This little box located on the upper left hand side of the page gives you a couple hundred characters to tell people what you’re about, using the terms most important to you. Will it give you a huge boost? No. But every little bit helps so take the opportunity for every SEO bump you can get.
  • Info Tab: The Info tab is another opportunity for you to include keyword-rich content about your business. Completing these sections is super important because the more complete your profile, the more likely Facebook will be able to show your page for related searches. Facebook also allows small business owners to include links to relevant pages/profiles, so make sure you’re using this area to drive traffic to other areas, as well.

Build Links To It

There are two ways to build links to your Facebook page to help increase its SEO power. The first way to build links is to increase your number of fans. Each time someone becomes a fan of your page, that is another link going towards it. Keep building your fan numbers and those links will quickly add up and help you dominate your SERP.

The second way to build links to your Facebook page is to build links off-site. For example, it means linking to your Facebook profile from your Web site, from your blog, from your other social networking sites, and encouraging others to link to it as well. The more links you can build to your Facebook page, the more authority you’re going to give it and the better it will rank in the search results.

As Facebook becomes a bigger part of small business owners’ marketing efforts, it’s important that you’re taking the proper steps to give these accounts as much SEO power as you can.  Often with a few little tweaks you can create a page that both the users and the engines will love.

Fuente: Small Business Tools

Why Credit Cards Are Not the Future of Online Payment

Bill Zielke is senior director of Merchant Services at PayPal, which recently announced the initial rollout of Mobile Express Checkout. Bill is responsible for the development and marketing of product strategies related to PayPal, and for counseling merchants with product recommendations.

The concept of credit has been around for centuries. Starting in the early 1800s, local merchants allowed trusted customers to make purchases without paying the total cost upfront. This intuitive concept allowed sellers to reach a larger base of customers who could then pay their debt over time. The idea of enabling purchases by extending credit spread quickly, and in the early 1950s, a seminal moment occurred: the invention of the credit card.

Over the next half century, the credit card and buying on credit concept became entrenched in countries across the globe, particularly so in the United States. Today, we’re beginning to see signs of changing consumer behavior when it comes to making purchases, particularly in the online world.

In fact, I’d argue we’re now at an inflection point, as recent global economic woes have combined with the continued rise of alternative payment methods to finally mount a serious threat to the traditional credit card. In fact, in a recent report by Javelin Strategy & Research noted that “online use of credit cards continues to decline, representing a sustained and ongoing change in consumer behavior,” before going on to state that total payment volume from credit cards fell from 44% in 2009 to 40% in 2010.

As the Internet emerged as a global marketplace where people can purchase goods and services without ever leaving their homes, the credit card, with its snazzy designs and black stripe on the back, has become outmoded. Today’s savvy consumer expects a different experience, and the bottom line is the credit card wasn’t designed with the Internet in mind (and certainly not with an Internet-connected mobile device).

Using a credit card to complete an online transaction is riddled with functional deficiencies. One of the most basic examples: we can all agree that it’s downright painful to have to repeatedly type in your credit card number and security code every time you go to make a purchase online, right? And from a merchant’s perspective, the cost of accepting credit cards — and the associated hidden fees — can make accepting payments online prohibitively expensive. Clearly it’s easy to see why credit-based products that were designed from the beginning for the online experience are rapidly gaining market share.

When it comes to mobile commerce the differences between credit cards and alternative payment methods are even more pronounced. Sure, a little device that allows you to take credit card transactions via a mobile phone is nice, but it’s far from revolutionary.

Meanwhile, so-called alternative payment providers with their digitized, multicurrency networks are enabling consumers to transact by simply swiping a mobile device or even bumping mobile phones together. This is the notion of the “mobile wallet” starting to be realized.

The mobile device holds the key to the future of payments, for both consumers and merchants, because it blurs the lines between online and offline. I predict it won’t be long before the credit card will be the alternative payment method and services that were designed for the online experience from the start will become the norm.

Don’t buy it (pun intended)?

Consider the following from the Javelin report:

  • The total dollar volume of online alternative payments sales grew to almost $43 billion in 2010, up from approximately $34 billion in 2009.
  • The total dollar volume of online alternative payments sales is projected to reach $86.6 billion by 2015.
  • 46% of online consumers have used an alternative payment within the past year.
  • 36% of online shoppers use an online alternative payment option due to “greater protection from fraud or other misuse of my information.”
  • 91% of online consumers have used PayPal, while 24% have used Checkout by Amazon and 9% have used Google Checkout.

So what do you think? Will you still be using a credit card in five years or will the mobile wallet be your reality?

Fuente: Mashable

Realidad aumentada (ra) aplicada al marketing online

Esta tarde ha tenido lugar la ponencia de Pablo Ayala CEO de Innovae Vision en el Webcongress de Barcelona.

En su conferencia, Pablo Ayala se ha referido con gran éxito a la Realidad Aumentada aplicada al marketing, haciendo hincapié en este caso, en sus aplicaciones en el marketing online. Esta tecnología que se puede aplicar en múltiples áreas, es ahora mismo la tecnología puntera y diferencial a la hora de realizar campañas de marketing directo.
Cabe destacar el auge de la Realidad Aumentada en acciones diseñadas especialmente para Smartphones, un medio cuya importancia va creciendo día a día. Utilizando la Realidad Aumentada las marcas consiguen que sus campañas se mantengan en el recuerdo de los consumidores durante más tiempo a la vez que éstos las comparten con sus amigos.

En palabras de Pablo Ayala “ La Realidad Aumentada (RA) permite en la interacción con el consumidor conseguir un efecto sorpresa y de diversión que otras aplicaciones no consiguen. La Realidad Aumentada permite también la personalización de la experiencia individual incrementando así el recuerdo de la acción en el consumidor. Destacar que estas acciones de Realidad Aumentada aplicadas al marketing online permiten medir los resultados de la acción de un modo sencillo, por lo que resulta un valor añadido muy interesante para las empresas.”

Durante las Conferencias Plenarias que han tenido lugar en el Teatro Coliseum de Barcelona, Pablo Ayala ha compartido escenario con representantes de grandes multinacionales como Google, Yahoo, Blackberry y The Walt Disney Company así como con empresas y organismos locales como  Verbio, La Vanguardia y la Generalitat de Catalunya. El Teatro Coliseum ha contado con la presencia de alrededor de 1.000 asistentes interesados en la realidad del marketing online en la primera jornada de las cuatro previstas.

Fuente: Por Oscar Eduardo Campuzano Zapata

Facebook apuesta la movilidad y compra Beluga

No tenemos dudas de que la Mark Zuckerberg apuesta por la movilidad y la geolocalización: Places es un buen ejemplo, y el lanzamiento de terminales móviles inspirados en Facebook también nos lo confirman. Ahora, dando un paso más en esa línea, Facebook ha adquirido Beluga, una empresa especializada en mensajería instantánea de grupos y geolocalización.

Beluga ofrece un servicio de “chats” grupales, en los que varios usuarios pueden participar en una conversación al mismo tiempo. Además la página desarrolla actividades basadas en la geolocalización, y funciona como una aplicación, disponible para sistemas Android e iOS, que siendo gratuita y según su propia descripción facilita la planificación de una reunión de amigos o el compartir fotos y actualizaciones en grupo.

Por esto, aunque la información oficial es escasa y no se conocen detalles sobre los montos de la transacción ni las intenciones de Zuckerberg, se supone que se viene un refuerzo de los servicios móviles de la red social… Toca esperar.

Link: Beluga is now friends with Facebook (Beluga)

Fuente: Wayerless

Restringiendo las redes sociales en la empresa

Conversamos con dos académicos sobre los beneficios o efectos negativos, que puede tener en el ambiente laboral, el restringir el uso de las redes sociales. Y al parecer, la solución va por el enseñar antes que restringir.

por Rigoberto Jofré Muñoz - 28/02/2011 - 16:59 

Dicen que el chileno es bueno para sacar la vuelta, y los miedos a esta premisa, en muchos casos, se traducen en prohibir dentro de las organizaciones el ingreso a páginas de redes sociales. El argumento es la distracción, lo que trae como consecuencia una baja en la productividad de la organización.

Para el director de la Escuela de Pisicología de la Universidad de Las Américas (Udla), Olegario Hernandez, el restringir alguna libertad de los trabajadores se traduce en un tema de insatisfacción laboral, lo que al final si podría afectar, primero al clima laboral, y luego en la productividad. “Es difícil hoy separar el mundo virtual del mundo personal, por ende estar en un trabajo donde te tengan todo bloqueado incurre un cierto grado de insatisfacción afectando con ello el clima laboral e incluso, la eficiencia en la productividad en algunos casos”, señala Hernández, quien agrega que  “no solamente hablo de productividad monetaria, sino que social. La gente trabaja, produce y a la misma forma le encuentra sentido al qué hacer”.

Claudia Marfín, psicóloga, coach ontológico, directora académica y profesora del Centro de Educación Ejecutiva, la Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, cuenta que no comparte los métodos de control excesivos dentro de las organizaciones como fora de mantener un buen ambiente laboral. “Yo lo que he visto es que genera un clima negativo, un excesivo control sin preocuparse de preparar a la gente para su uso,  generando incluso resentimiento. Los mecanismos de control primero no funcionan, y ese resentimiento que se genera en el público interno puede reflejarse en la productividad. Si queremos una buena productividad, controlar esa herramienta, no nos asegura buenos números”, dice.

Marfín explica además que hay que ser realistas y ver en la era que estamos viviendo, ya que “hay que adaptarse, y para aquellos que no somos de esta generación tenemos que entender e incluirnos en este nuevo mundo. Si quieres contratar gente joven, con nuevos conocimientos, debes permitir el uso de estas herramientas. Hay que darse cuenta que ahora vienen con la Blackberry en la mano cuando nacen”.

La psicóloga destaca que dentro de las organizaciones que no han restringido el uso de las redes,  existen dos puntos a destacar en los buenos resultados obtenidos “la gestión por objetivos y acompañarlos en los procesos de aprendizaje. Creo que en el estilo de liderazgo, en el coaching pero las restricciones no aseguran una buena productividad”, puntualizó.

Fuente: Diario La Tercera

Las tarjetas de presentación agonizan en un mundo digital

A medida que nos adentramos en un mundo de contacto cada vez más digital, ¿qué papel juegan todavía las tradicionales tarjetas de presentación en papel?

Las industrias pueden cambiar y los nombres de marca pueden ir y venir, pero por lo menos una tradición en el mundo de los negocios se ha mantenido prácticamente sin cambios durante cientos de años.

El intercambio de tarjetas entre dos personas que se reúnen por primera vez es un ritual que se remonta tan lejos como las propias empresas.

Para la mayoría de nosotros, la entrega de nuestros datos de contacto es un momento importante, una clara señal de que se ha producido una conexión.

Pero a medida que nuestras vidas se hacen vez cada vez más digitales, la tecnología está tratando de ofrecer una gama de alternativas futuristas a la antigua tarjeta de negocios.

Desde la llegada de la comunicación electrónica, las personas han estado explorando nuevas maneras de compartir información entre sí, desde el intercambio de direcciones de correo electrónico a darse números de teléfono móvil y, cada vez más, datos para conectarse a través de una red social.

Una gama de compañías han aparecido en el mercado para aprovecharse de esta tendencia, incluyendo Bump Technologies, una empresa emergente de dos años de edad, con sede en el Silicon Valley de California. Su aplicación, que los usuarios pueden descargar en sus teléfonos, permite a las personas intercambiar los datos de contacto con tan sólo poner juntos sus celulares.

CON CELULAR A TODAS PARTES

Es un enfoque que tiene una serie de ventajas con respecto a la tarjeta de papel tradicional, dice Sadie Bump Bascom, sobre todo porque nadie va a ninguna parte estos días sin sus celulares.

"Es fácil, está siempre en el teléfono, y nunca tienes que acordarte de tomar una pila de tarjetas físicas o preocuparte por quedarte sin ellas."

También ofrece a los usuarios la oportunidad de añadir a alguien directamente a la libreta de direcciones, saltándose la necesidad de meter esos detalles a mano, o ahorrar a los demás la tarea de rebuscar entre los montones de tarjetas para encontrar la información que están buscando.

"Nuestra dependencia en los dispositivos móviles para ayudarnos a manejar nuestras vidas es cada vez mayor", añade. "¿Por qué tardar unos minutos para que alguien escriba nuestro teléfono cuando se puede tocar los celulares y guardar esa información en cuestión de segundos?

La fase digital tiene otras ventajas, también. Los operadores pueden incluir información que podría ser difícil para que quepa en una tarjeta de negocios tradicional, tal como una muestra de trabajos o, incluso, un CV.

PERSONALIDAD DE TRABAJO
Y para aquellos que se sienten cómodos con la idea, establecer una conexión en Facebook o Twitter puede resultar un medio útil para dar personalidad a una relación de trabajo que habitualmente es aséptica.

Dado el crecimiento explosivo de las redes sociales en los últimos años, algunos ven esta tendencia como una potencial mina de oro.

Varios inversores, entre ellos Sequoia -el grupo de capital de riesgo conocido por haber ofrecido apoyo a Google, Oracle y PayPal- han inyectado casi US$20 millones en Bump, por ejemplo, con la esperanza de que pueda convertirse un éxito para las grandes masas.


Mientras tanto, LinkedIn, la red social centrada en negocios más grande del mundo, anunció recientemente su intención de cotizar en el mercado de valores.

Los analistas estiman que en su lanzamiento se establecerá el valor de la empresa, que permite el intercambio de información entre personas de negocios en la web, en cerca de US$175 millones.

NEGOCIO TRADICIONAL RENOVADO
Si bien la tendencia a meterse de lleno en el mundo digital va en aumento, también es cierto que todavía hay un gran negocio en el intercambio de tarjetas tradicionales. Pero incluso aquí éstas están recibiendo una serie de revisiones de alta tecnología.

Los menores costos de fabricación significan que es más fácil y más barato que nunca hacer tarjetas personalizadas. Esto lleva a algunos, en su empeño por destacarse entre la multitud, a optar por diseños innovadores y materiales como el aluminio y el plástico que antes eran considerados demasiado caros para su uso.

El servicio con sede en Londres Moo.com, por su parte, ha aprovechado el avance de la tecnología de una manera diferente. Las técnicas avanzadas de impresión digital suponen que los clientes de MOO pueden utilizar sus propias fotografías para crear cientos de tarjetas donde cada una tiene imágenes diferentes y personalizadas.

Como resultado la compañía, que ahora cuenta con clientes en todo el mundo y una oficina en Estados Unidos, ha logrado una gran audiencia entre los profesionales creativos y empresas orientadas hacia la tecnología.

Richard Moross, fundador y director ejecutivo de Moo, dice que eso se debe a que una tarjeta física "expresa la personalidad del titular de la tarjeta a través del diseño".

INTERACCIONES MAS SIGNIFICATIVAS
"Es la forma de proporcionar más información que el simple contacto", dice. "Cuanto más frecuente es el contacto digital, la interacción se convierte en más significativa en el mundo real, la analógica todavía domina en conferencias y eventos. El uso de una tarjeta de visita digital puede ser un poco como hablar por el teléfono en la mesa a la hora de cenar".

De hecho, en algunas culturas, el papel de la tarjeta física sigue siendo de enorme importancia.

Mientras que los estadounidenses podrían casualmente extraer una tarjeta de su billetera, por ejemplo, los ejecutivos japoneses presentan cuidadosamente sus tarjetas con las dos manos como un signo de respeto.

Pero lo que está claro es que casi en todos los casos, los avances en las redes de contactos por internet significan que las fronteras entre la vida profesional y personal son cada vez más borrosas.

Cuanta más información compartimos en línea a través de servicios como Facebook, Twitter y blogs, se hace mayor la idea de intercambiar datos de contacto, sin que importe si se hace física o virtualmente.

"Hemos visto un cambio en la demografía de usuarios a medida que Bump ganaba popularidad", dice Sadie Bascom. "La mayoría de los contactos se producen ahora después de las 5pm, y nuestros productos más utilizados son el intercambio de fotos y las herramientas de mensajería".

Fuente: Diario La Tercera

Como implementar una buena campaña social en Facebook

You want to do good, and you want to use Facebook. Good choice. Facebook has a couple of things going for it. First off, there are a ton of people that use it — more than 500 million to be precise — so you’ve already set yourself up to hit the largest social network audience. More over, even people without Facebook accounts are used to visiting landing pages on the site for events and causes, which make the potential reach even larger.

Second, Facebook is an informal place to launch serious things. Most actions on the site take place within networks of friends (however disparate they may be in real life). As such, campaigns and projects inherently feel less “corporate” or cold when they’re spread virally from friend to friend.

We’ve outlined five ways to take advantage of these elements, whether you want to register as a charity or just lend a digital hand without the rigmarole.


1. Causes


causes image

This should be a no-brainer. Non-profits and supporters can set-up campaigns through Facebook Causes. Non-profits can create a page and accept donations directly, while everyday users can set up a page in support of non-profits already on and approved by Facebook. There’s a handy help page to answer some more in-depth questions about conditions and how donations are handled.

Important note: Before you start to donate to any campaign on Facebook, make sure the money or support is going to the right place. If you’re giving money, make sure the root organization is a registered 501(c)(3) or appears on a registry site like GuideStar.org.

These are actually required conditions to sign up, but it’s always good to do some research, especially if you’re not familiar with the non-profit. You want your money to be doing the most good possible.


2. Create a Social Media Hub


Facebook Pages have a lot of benefits over a website created from scratch. They require less work to set up, and you don’t have to fuss over complicated or glitchy backends. Creating a Facebook Page (whether on Facebook Causes or not), is a great way to establish a web portal even if you don’t know how to use WordPress, Tumblr or other free blogging platforms.

For casual users passionate about a cause, a Facebook Page allows you to post videos, photos, updates and relevant links while having immediate access to your group of friends. You can also add apps to your Page to link up social tools like Twitter.

Be cautious about asking for money or donations, especially if you are not a registered non-profit. The best bet is to provide a link to several charities where your (hopefully millions of) fans can help out.


3. Create a Forum


livestrong image

Too many numbers and conditions? Don’t worry, there’s a way to launch a campaign without all the paperwork. Take a note from Livestrong and start a forum on your Facebook Page. Livestrong has used its page to create a safe space for cancer survivors to share their stories and offer support.

It’s not enough, however, to simply let a forum run wild. Livestrong’s page is moderated by Brooke McMillan, the non-profit’s online community manager. She makes sure the comments stay on topic and she helps to drive the conversation forward. While there aren’t many spammers or trolls, she makes sure to weed them out; the site only functions because of the safe and supportive community she has developed.

Try creating a Page where supporters of your cause can start a conversation. It obviously won’t work for every type of campaign, but see if there’s a way to engage your audience and create dynamic, productive discussions.


4. Picture & Media Hosting


aspca image

Facebook enables you to post media to your Page without much effort. The social network recently updated the look of its albums and photo pages, offering a richer media experience. If you own a camera or video camera, this is especially good news. Consider setting up a Facebook Page as a photo album or photo blog where you can post updates, much like the ASPCA does.

Your friends and fans don’t want to see more PR, so think about how you can add value. Supporting a building project? Grab your camera and post some shots every day to show how the organization is using donated funds. Is your cause holding a fundraiser? Ask if you can take pictures or video so your fans can participate by proxy.

As always, it helps to get permission from the non-profit you’re supporting. Most will be happy to have your support and will welcome your efforts to grow their exposure.


5. Interact


If you’re not going to interact with others, there’s no need to be on Facebook. From a user perspective, the site was built for people to see and interact. You have to be willing to regularly devote time to moderating comments, answering questions and updating content if you want your page, cause or campaign to be a success.

People will join you because they want to feel like they are part of the cause. If you don’t create that community, your fans will have no reason to stick around. Simple things — such as asking what fans would like to see pictures of or what hot topics should be in the discussion — will help you create a dialogue and develop passion around the cause you’re supporting.

Launching a campaign on Facebook is easier than it looks, whether you’re a charity greenhorn or an established organization. Before you start, take a minute to think about what you want to get out of Facebook: Donations? Conversation? Advocacy? Once you’ve decided on your goals, jump in and see what Facebook can offer.

We’d love to know if you decide to start a campaign or if you have any other tips or advice. Share your experience in the comments below.

Fuente: Mashable

¿Puede encontrar la gente tu sitio web en Internet?

Una pequeña introducción a las Herramientas para webmasters.
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e-Pagos: Más bancos con Android

Here’s what caught my attention in the payment space this week.

More Androids banking

Android logo As the number of Android users swells past the number of iPhone users, it should come as no surprise that as of December, 2010, there’s more mobile banking on Android than on iPhones. However, Carlo Cardilli suggests that could change as the number of Verizon iPhones grows and those users take up mobile banking.

A recent Forrester survey says 12% of the US online population banks on their phones, up from 5% two years ago. Forrester says that’s about 10 million users, and predicts that will grow to 50 million by 2050. That growth seems reasonable, given that users who discover mobile banking tend to, over time, use it more as they get used to it, especially for simple transactions like checking balances and transferring funds between accounts. Still, Penny Crosman with Bank Systems & Technology notes that 35% of online users shy away from mobile banking because they worry it’s not safe and 24% don’t see the point and would just assume wait until they reach the ATM.

Discomfort with the mobile wallet

Speaking of people who are wary of mobile transactions, remember all that stuff we’ve been reading about mobile payments being a disruptive technology that catapults new players into the driver’s seat and leaves old-school players in the dust? Well, turns out not everyone is all that excited about handing over the keys to the kids. What’s more, they’re not even sure they want to get in the car with them. A new survey by UK researchers Vision Critical finds a majority of Britons “uncomfortable” with the idea of using their phones for mobile payments. The survey found women more skeptical, while men and people already poking around on smart phones were more open to the mobile wallet concept.

Perhaps most significantly (and interesting) was that those surveyed trusted banks more than telecom carriers, credit card issuers, or handset manufacturers to handle the transactions. “Banks could play a strong role here,” said Mike Stevens, Vision Critical’s head of research in London, in an interview with Sarah Clark at Near Field Communications World. “They are generally more trusted by their customers than other players in the mobile payments game.” It’s a striking vote of confidence for the banks whose credibility had seemed to suffer in the wake of the financial crisis, and perhaps an affirmation that however much we dislike our banks, we like our telcos even less.

Square simplifies

SquareSquare founder Jack Dorsey tweeted the news Tuesday that the mobile payment service would drop its transaction fee (15 cents) on purchases and collect only the 2.75 cut. @Jack followed that with a retweet from @stevecheney: “A merchant doing 500 transactions a day just saved over $27K a year with @square. Remarkably impressive.”

Kat Aharya at Mobiledia wrapped some nice context around the move, noting that it fits nicely with Square’s goal of simplifying the whole process of collecting payments on credit cards, especially for small merchants. From the cute dongle that plugs in to a smartphone’s audio jack to the straight 2.75% cut (compared to merchant vendor accounts, which have variable rates depending on transaction amounts and volume), the Square sells itself as the simple and straightforward alternative for the forward-looking merchant crowd.

Few remembered that the fee was an experiment, but Kevin Woodward at ISO & Agent offered a reminded that Square had added the fee just last April and was now reverting to its earlier payment structure. I guess that explains how Square already had a smooth promotional video ready to roll.

Fuente: Mashable

5 formas de como los celulares transformarán el comercio

Given everything your smartphone does for you now, from mapping the skies to tracking your rides and delivering your website analytics, isn’t it a bit surprising how difficult it is to buy stuff with it? Mobile commerce — like flying cars or domestic robots — is one of those promises that has long seemed just around the corner; a logical next step, but one that has receded into the future before us, like a financial mirage.

At the risk of getting fooled again, I think that’s about to change. Twitter lights up every time Apple hires an engineer with expertise in near field communication (NFC), the wireless technology that will most likely power wave-and-pay mobile systems, and Eric Schmidt showed off tap-and-pay capability in an Android phone at the Web 2.0 Summit last fall. The fastest growing smartphone platform seems determined to roll out payment capability soon, and BlackBerry and WebOS are not far behind.

So what? How will that change your life if, instead of reaching into your wallet or purse to whip out a credit card, you instead wave or tap your mobile? Here are a few thoughts on how this shift will change the way you shop.


1. It Will Make You a More Fascinating Customer


By mashing together geolocation, check-in services, mobile payments and social media, merchants and payment companies will no longer see you as an inert — if well-funded — lump of credit risk sitting at a desk, but as a story of errands, outings, activities, friends, restaurants and bars. The same device with which you check in at Chili’s and upload your party pics now becomes something like your wallet, only more fun — and with a few skeletons in the closet. Credit card companies have long pieced together bits of your charge trail, just to get to know you better and figure out what odds they should place on getting their money back. They know, for example that if you charge frequently at a home improvement center, you’re more likely to pay on time than if, for example, you suddenly start charging at bars and casinos.

Now the story gets more interesting. Let’s say your current weakness is Mexican food, and you’ve become a lunchtime regular at a burrito shop near the office. Come Saturday, if you find yourself driving past a new taco joint on Main Street, you might get a mobile notification inviting you to lunch with a half-off coupon.

If any of this sounds creepy, it might just mean you’re a few years older than the target demographic. In order to avoid alienating customers, all the companies involved in the system — from the telco, through the payment company, and on to the merchant — will want to make sure you’ve opted in to the system. In exchange for that, we can assume you’ll be getting, at the least, discounts on food and merchandise. But don’t count on it: think how many people check in on Foursquare and Gowalla with no hope or expectation of getting anything more than a colorful, 100 pixel badge.


2. Shopping Will Become Even More Social


Social shopping is big; get ready to watch it get bigger as it gets mobile. Groupon’s mobile chief Mihir Shah said in late January that 5 million Groupon iPhone and Android apps had been downloaded in the nine months they had been available. But receiving mobile coupons is only the start of something big. Now imagine if a critical mass of shoppers within a certain range of a store could trigger a bargain.

This comes on the heels of a few experiments already underway, like Foursquare-powered loyalty programs and rewards for first-time or frequent visitors. But there are new benefits, especially for merchants. Imagine if a coffee shop could offer a mobile coupon to someone who checked into its competitor just down the street. That’s a new type of marketing warfare.

This transition will stretch the bounds of what we believe is acceptable for third parties to know about us. As with any economic transaction, it comes down to what you get in return. Where people once complained that it was creepy if an Internet service knew too much about you, we may be about to crash right through that barrier to the other side where users will begin to complain if the service doesn’t know enough about them.


3. It Makes Brick-and-Mortar Digital (and Vice Versa)


When you’re in Best Buy wondering if that’s the best price you’re going to find on an Xbox Kinect, and you scan the barcode with your smartphone, it pulls up a list of online sites offering the same product for a little less and a little more. At that moment, are you shopping in the real world or shopping online? Both, of course. Retail stores know they’ve lost an advantage against online retailers when you no longer have to phone home to comparison shop against Amazon’s best offer.

Things become even more interesting when retailers begin to use the phone to bring you to their physical space. Some of the best examples are roving gourmet catering trucks that tweet not only their menu specials but their location to customers every day, so diners know where to find them and what to expect when they arrive. Geolocation ads are following close behind, inviting likely prospects to retail doorsteps just because they’re in the neighborhood. I may not have a relationship with Trione Vineyards, but ever since I met their marketing person at a party a few months ago and became Foursquare friends, I get an offer to drop by their tasting room any time I check in at a restaurant near their location. Social, just barely, but there it is.

Offers and invitations are only one way that merchants can leverage mobile traffic to make things happen. Analysis of Twitter and checkin stats increasingly provide valuable customer service data that businesses can use to plan and promote.

And of course, the mobile device as a payment tool works both ways. Intuit, Square and other companies offer simple payment hardware and software that lets sellers big and small collect payment over the mobile phone. Square and Intuit’s target audience includes very small vendors — farmers markets, house cleaners, the Etsy crowd — who may not want to fork out for full fledged credit card processing systems. And once merchants get used to collecting payments over the phone, who’s to say that mobile won’t free them from the register the same way it frees office drones from the cube? Remember the first time the Apple sales person checked you out with their iPhone, right where you stood? Beyond the cool factor of not having to line up to pay, there’s no doubt that having more floor space for merchandise rather than registers is a plus.


4. Attackers and Incumbents Will Tussle


Disruptive technologies often serve as a wedge used by attackers to work their way into markets, and not incidentally to edge incumbents out of the action. One of the most striking examples in the mobile industry been the recent dethroning of Nokia as the world’s most popular mobile platform. Nokia, which rose to the top of the market by creating sleek phones with great reception and long battery life, blinked for a moment and found that the game had suddenly changed. The playing field had shifted from practical functionality to phones with apps that can do fun things, like help you find cool places to go, shop, and share stuff with your friends. Now, Nokia must leap from a burning platform (in the words of its new CEO Stephen Elop) into icy waters if it wants to thrive again.

We’ll also see disruption among the players who handle financial transactions. Apple, Google, and Paypal — hardly lightweights as is — will begin to take more and more of the transaction pie from current transaction leaders Visa, MasterCard, and the banks. They have a ways to go on this. PayPal’s transaction volume is far behind that of Visa and MasterCard, and PayPal may never offer lines of credit. Still, the convenience of mobile payment systems baked directly into phone platforms will ultimately entice many users to put down the plastic in favor of using debit or credit systems processed through their mobile phones. The growth curve of phones running Google’s Android operating system is inspiring, and no one is dismissing Apple’s 160 million iTunes customers or Amazon’s 130 million (give or take a few million). And let’s not forget that telecoms like Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, Telefonica and T-mobile will all want their cut of mobile commerce pie, too.

The incumbents aren’t laying down, but the momentum could be with the attackers, and given the hurdle that any mobile payment will need to cross to convince users to shift from the wallet to the phone, it seems likely that the companies already most experienced at getting us to love our devices could be more successful in getting us to use them this way.


5. Your Mobile Phone Will Become Your Identity


Since the day you unfolded your first Nokia brick phone or raised the antenna on your Motorola, mobile phone use has been a courtship. Your phone is your diary of sentimental text messages, photo albums, e-mails, your music library, fitness tracker and Angry Birds scorecard. In a very short time, it is likely to be your wallet as well, enabling purchases not only online but in the physical world. It will provide a record (no doubt filtered, processed, and synched with Quicken or Mint) of these transactions.

With all this personal data and financial transaction history, it becomes pointless to argue that your mobile number isn’t as much a proxy for your identity as, say your social security number or driver’s license is. Those government issued cards may be more official, but your mobile-financial identity is certain to be more representative of who you really are – it’s used more frequently and more closely tied with the things, places, and people you love. It’s also tied more closely with your social graph and the map of your connections and haunts, thus bridging the gap between your mobile and other online identities.

Given how important the paying mobile phone will become, we’ll want to ramp up the security on it. Passcodes to unlock, methods to find, and systems to “blow up” the data in mobile devices are already in place. Deeper levels of security are not far behind, including biometric recognition (thumbprint or retina) and methods that employ multiple levels of scrutiny – for example, your password, location, and some private bit of data. And if that’s not enough, work is underway into voice recognition and “gait analysis,” the ability to acquaint your phone with the way you walk so that if someone else tries to walk away with it, the device locks up.

How are some of these mobile trends affecting your lifestyle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Fuente: Mashable

Community Manager: Usando Facebook

Una semana más, seguimos adentrándonos en el mundo nuevo y tan de moda a la vez como el de los Community Managers.

Si seguisteis los consejos del artículo anterior entonces ya habréis mirado a la competencia, os habréis empapado de la marca que vais a llevar, os habréis familiarizado con el entorno, empezado a escuchar y a interaccionar, por lo que se puede decir que ya estaremos listos para lanzarnos a ejercer la labor de Community Managers que nos han encomendado.

Uno de los posibles escenarios de vuestra actividad laboral podría ser Facebook, pero ¿cómo se trabaja en Facebook? Todos lo utilizamos de manera personal pero ¿has pensado alguna vez en cómo utilizar y adaptar un perfil o una página de Facebook de manera profesional?

Lo mejor para llevar una empresa, marca o campaña es crear una página en vez de un perfil. Las ventajas de la página son enormes, desde tener multitud de estadísticas, a poder personalizar muchísimo la propia página, que los usuarios se “hagan fans” de ella, etc…
Varias de las cosas a tener en cuenta creando y gestionando una página son:

Página de inicio atractiva

En una página de Facebook de nuestra propiedad (o en la que al menos seamos administradores) podemos configurar qué pestaña de la página por defecto ven tanto los usuarios que ya son fans de la página como los que aun no lo son. Normalmente para los que ya son fans (me resisto a llamarlos “gente a la que le gusta nuestra página”, si digo fans me entendéis, aunque Facebook ya eliminó esta nomenclatura) les mostramos el muro, y para los que no lo son aun, se les muestra una pestaña distinta, creada expresamente para ellos en la que puede haber información sobre la página, vídeos, etc… Además es una buena idea incitar en esa misma pestaña a que hagan click en el botón de “Me gusta”. Desde el link de “Modificar página” que hay debajo de la imagen de perfil podemos modificarlo.

Configuración del muro

Podemos elegir entre dos tipos de vistas de nuestro muro: que sólo se vean nuestras publicaciones o que se vean todas (las nuestras y las de los usuarios). Lo ideal es que se vean todas, pero en fases puntuales de alguna campaña podemos cambiar esto si queremos dar un mensaje y queremos que se vea bien y no se pierda en el muro.

Moderar mensajes

Una de las grandes dudas que se puede tener sobre comentarios negativos en nuestro muro es la de si borrarlos o no. Personalmente, yo sólo os recomiendo borrar las que contengan insultos, descalificaciones y ese tipo de lenguaje hacia la marca o hacia otros usuarios. Las críticas bien fundamentadas y educadas hay que dejarlas y contestarlas de la misma manera (educadamente). Sea como sea, cuando borres un comentario es recomendable contactar por mensaje privado de Facebook a esa persona y hacerle saber el motivo del borrado de ese mensaje.

Incentivar al usuario

Normalmente los usuarios se hacen fans de las páginas por que les gusta la marca, pero si quieres que sean más que simples números y participen y se involucren se les tiene que dar algo. Qué mejor que productos, descuentos o regalos para premiar su fidelidad. Organiza concursos donde se motive a los usuarios a implicarse con la marca. Y un consejo, no organicéis los típicos concursos en los que gane el que más comentarios o “Me gusta” tenga, hacedme caso.

No spamees

Define un número de status al día que vas a escribir para tu página, y trata de que no todos ellos parezcan anuncios sin personalidad. Está claro que para las empresas la máxima es hacer dinero, y eso se hace vendiendo, pero para fidelizar a los clientes hay que encontrar el término medio entre vender tu marca y a la vez darles contenido original, humano, que les aporte algo. No es fácil pero encontrando ese punto medio tendrás unos fans muy fieles que le darán mucha vida a tu página.

Estas son algunas de las cosas básicas que hacer si tu estrategia de Social Media contiene una parte de Facebook. Por supuesto me he dejado muchísimas cosas que darían para un post larguísimo, ¿por qué no lo ampliamos en los comentarios?

Imagen cortesía de Spencer E Holtaway con licencia Creative Commons.

Fuente: Bloguismo

makegreatwebsites:

A common mistake on websites still today is designing a website as if it’s a brochure or other print piece.

- In print, you can place content on any place on a page and ensure it will be noticed. You can even place nuggets of content sporadically on a page and still have visual hierarchy present…

10 Libros gratuítos sobre SEO

Si te interesa ampliar tus conocimientos sobre este tema tan apasionante te dejo una relación de libros gratuitos sobre seo que puedes encontrar en la red. Sería buena cosa que si os gustan pues visiteis la web del autor y dejarles algún comentario, pues ese es el premio merecido que se merecen, recibir visitas y tener más tráfico.
Los siguientes enlaces los pongo a tu disposición a fecha de hoy 20 de Febrero de 2011. Por supuesto no puedo asegurar que en un futuro sigan funcionando.

  1. Libro SEO Posicionamiento en Buscadores. 2009 Bajo licencia Creative Commons, copiable, publicable, distribuible, siempre que se cite al autor Miguel López más conocido en Twitter como @tallerseo. Según datos de la licencia se puede encontrar en http://www.libroseo.net. Se trata de la versión 2.6 aunque tiene licencia Creative Common he obtenido el permiso del autor para enlazar una copia que he encontrado y puedes descargarla aquí. Una versión más actualizada a un coste mínimo podéis encontrarla aquí. Vale la pena comprarla si te gusta el SEO, el precio en pdf realmente es mínimo y por supuesto también se vende a papel. Animaté y compra la última versión.
  2. Guía de referencia SEO de Javier Casares. 2008. Excelente,  recomiendo vivamente su lectura. no digo más. Descárgalo aquí.
  3. Web Perfomance Optimization. 2011. Bueno el wpo trata sobre el rendimiento, es decir como optimizar una web para que cargue más rápido, esto es un factor seo también, y como seos también debemos realizar este trabajo. Javier aquí lo que ha hecho es profundizar sobre lo que se recomienda en esta página (Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site,”las mejores prácticas para acelerar tu sitio web) de Yahoo. Este libro lo ha escrito este año si no estoy equivocando vista la fecha de su post, vale la pena leer a este hombre. Yo escribí un artículo sobre este tema el año pasado, donde resumí todo lo posible la misma información. Puedes leer mi artículo aquí, y descargar su libro aquí. El libro por su completitud y claridad expositiva es no obstante muy recomendable.
  4. Cuadernos de comunicación interactiva: El libro blanco de IAB. Seo: Optimización de Webs para buscadores. Buena prácticas y resultados. Julio 2010. Descargalo aquí. Este libro es demasiado generalista para mi gusto y no ofrece ejemplos concretos, pero como punto de partida para entender todo el trabajo que tiene que hacer un seo te puede valer.
  5. Seo for WordPress Blogs. Podéis descargarlo en este enlace previo cumplimiento de un formulario comercial, pero mejor bajatelo directamente! Descargar. Se trata de un sencillo texto donde se detallan las opciones y plugins seo que puedes encontrar en este cms tan popular.
  6. Optimización para motores de búsqueda. 2008. Guia de Google para principiantes. Descargala! Hay una versión más reciente en inglés, me tomé la molestía de extractarla en este artículo. la gúia en inglés es mucho más gráfica. Descárgala.
  7. Guía SEO. Comunicar contenidos y servicios a través de buscadores, 2010. No se trata de un libro realmente si no de una presentación, pero bueno la incluyo también en esta relación por si puede ser de interés. Obtén la guía!.
  8. Guía de recomendaciones seo de posicionamiento en Internet. INTECO. 2009. Descargar.
  9. Vseo. Manual de Consulta SEO. 2008. Se trata de una relación de los post del blog del autor. Hay contenidos interesantes, claro que es del 2008, muchísimo tiempo en el mundo del SEO. Descarga.
  10. 77 formas de conseguir tráfico Web Por Allan Gardyne. Descarga.

Fuente: Miguel Navarro

The lives and deaths of mobile platforms

When Stephen Elop said that Nokia and Microsoft sought to create a “three horse race” he implied that there were only two viable mobile ecosystems today. With that statement he sought to deprecate or declare “end of life” two platforms: Symbian and MeeGo, implying that Nokia’s efforts at being the third way failed.

However, he also implicitly declared irrelevant a larger set of market participants. In fact, the market is awash with platforms. Far more than the three or five that Stephen considered.

To illustrate I built the following chart showing the history of all major mobile platforms. The are ranked by launch date (earliest at the bottom). A vertical line marks the present. End dates are approximate and based on declarations of end of life rather than end of usage.

There have been 16 total mobile platforms[1], 10 of which are still (or soon will be) on the market. Of the six that were terminated, three had replacements built by the same orchestrating company (Windows Mobile begat Windows Phone; Maemo begat MeeGo, and PalmOS eventually led to WebOS.) Only three reached end of life with no known descendant (iMode, MeeGo[2] and Symbian).

Operating systems that were launched in the 1990s or early 2000s have mostly been withdrawn/replaced with the exception of Java and BREW.  ”Modern” operating systems all emerged after 2007 (following iOS). A total of eight such new OSs were introduced in four years[3].

What I find noteworthy is that there is an implied peculiar fatalism about the market when only two platforms are considered viable, neither of which are more than 3 years old. While visiting the Mobile World Congress, I sensed this jumping to conclusions about platforms was eerily similar to that of a few years ago when new entrants like Apple and Google were declared dead on arrival.

I can only conclude that there is a great deal of groupthink going on in the industry. A perfect setting for a disruptive entrant to change everything, all over again.

Notes:

  1. I excluded some platforms like Motorola’s Linux, SavaJe and perhaps some others (Openmoko, Qtopia) which did not gain significant traction. I also excluded any embedded OSs which did not have native APIs.
  2. The end of MeeGo is speculative. Intel is still defending it and may continue developing it.
  3. Android variants like Tapas could be considered new platforms, but I maintain them as part of one OS for the time being.

Como los moviles han influenciado en el proceso de compra