Go above just Facebook & Twitter

Facebook and Twitter There is interesting article recently published in BrandWeek “Winging It Does Not Equal A Social Media Strategy”.

Gannon Hall, Brand Week’s digital marketing columnist, says that many companies choose just Facebook and Twitter presence when it comes to social media marketing. And presence mean that they just hanging here without any particular goal or strategy.

Companies are missing digital marketing strategy. It’s not enough to use just Facebook and Twitter. It has to be a part of whole company’s communication strategy.

Companies are not producing qualitative content. Instead of using social media as part of PR activity they need to focus on producing content that will attract new users and will be most likely shared. It’s more important “what”, rather than “where”.

Gannon says:
“Wherever possible, marketers have to focus on delivering more personalized content to customers and website visitors. Tailoring the message helps drive customer engagement and loyalty to your brand, and it’s crucial to building the types of two-way conversations that result in long term relationships with prospects and customers.”

Getting through the noise

Back to the 19th century there were just few of informational resources: books, newspapers and rumors. Today we have the Internet. We have Websites, E-mail, Blogs, RSS, IMs, Twitter, Facebook. Oh, and we have all these mobile gadgets: phones, smartphones and IPad.

Communication Channels are full of noise information attacking a userWe overloaded with information. There is so much information noise coming that the risk to miss important information is very high. That’s where desktop alerts can help. The purpose of desktop alerts is to push important information. To mark out it from the noise, make it impossible to ignore.

When it comes to pushing important or urgent information desktop alert is the best communication channel. This information is important for person who pushing it. But this information should be important for recipient too. There are many types of information that can be important for us:

  • Specific news (local, companies, niche related)
  • Emergency information
  • Information that affects our business: business critical news
  • Notifications about issues with apps we are using through the day
  • etc

For example: I personally pay attention to my city local news, weather warnings and new products at my favorite photo equipment store.

The problem with other communication channels is that it’s difficult to pick critical information. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to use all these channels. It’s savvier to combine all channels.

Templates and Patterns

If you already tried SpreadHub you might have noticed that there are two items that look similar: templates and patterns. I’ll try to explain in this post what they mean.

SpreadHub is fully customizable solution. Templates allow you to change design of desktop alert pop-up window. Template is pre-made design. You can use one SpreadHub account to send alerts about your different sub brands. User grouping feature will help you to do it in easy way. But that’s not necessary that pop-up window should represent any of your brand.

Use templates to distinguish different types of alerts. For example urgent alerts that require attention you can design in red colors. Regular alerts – design in comfort blue color. For special offers – use colorful template.

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This your default template.

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With few clicks you can change template to any other, for example to this one or any other you will create.

Patterns are basically alerts that you use from time to time with minimal changes. You can design pattern and instead of writing of whole new alert every time – use pattern with necessary changes. Pattern is pre-made content. For example if you send Forex signals you can make patterns for Buy Signal and Sell Signal. When you need to send Buy Signal you just choose this pattern and insert correct number here.

Push or Pull Technology?

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There are two different technologies regarding desktop alerts and messaging: push and pull.

Push technology means that desktop application that receives messages (Receiver) is passive and listens to all incoming information.

Pull technology means that the Receiver constantly checks a server if there is new message.

There is no better or worse technology. Each has pros and cons.

Push technology can instantly deliver messages, but can work only via protocols that support persistent connection. And that would be fine, but these protocols are not so widely used. Due to security reasons and corporate policies these protocols are blocked too often.

Pull technology cannot deliver message instantly. Just because the Receiver has to query a server from time to time and there is some time interval between these queries. The main benefit of this technology is that it works over any protocol that does not support persistent connections, like HTTP. That means that message can be delivered in any network, no matter how it can be diversed. It can be delivered via Internet, corporate networks, VPN’s , terminal services and any remote networks. In simple words: it can be delivered anywhere.

There are desktop alert systems that works using pull technology and there are desktop alerts that works using push technologies. Choose what is more important to you: instant delivery or ability to deliver anywhere.

Most desktop alerts that used for marketing purposes: to spread information to customers (like Ding, BBC Alerts), are using pull technology. SpreadHub uses pull technology as well.

Livemint desktop alerts

Livemint Desktop Alert Here is great example of desktop alert: Livemint Desktop Alert. It’s small utility that allows you to receive business news, stock prices and other useful information. That’s obvious that if you are in the business this information is very valuable for you and receiving it right on desktop just on time is a big benefit.

Livemint.com benefits from this desktop alert a lot too. It’s brandable and livemint brand is always before users’s eyes. But the main benefit is that this application helps retain user.  Constant news and alerts from livemint always reminds user about this site and induces user to click, click and click. I can bet that main traffic generated by repeating visitors.