Consumer Privacy and Safety of Accounts

16 May

There has always been a risk of accounts getting hacked into and spammed but it seems like the problem is rising. In the last month, I personally know 3 peoples’ email account and 2 peoples facebook account that have been hacked into. My husband’s facebook account was even hacked and spammed while he was signed in. With the recent Sony PS3  and Fox Broadcasting hacks, the concern for true privacy and security are often questioned.

I’ve also been hearing about quite a few virus’s being spread through facebook. It’s getting hard to know what to trust and what to avoid.

The Scary Facebook Stats:

  • 20 million minors have used Facebook in the past year and 7. 5 million of those were under the minimum age of 13 years old.
  • 5 million users are under 10 years old
  • Facebook has exposed over 5 million homes to virus’ or identity theft in the last year.
  • over 1 million children have been bullied because of using the site.
To protect your accounts
  • Use privacy controls
  • Watch children’s accounts
  • Turn off instant fill forms
  • Be particular of what apps are allowed access to accounts
More Americans worry about having their online privacy compromised than having to declare bankruptcy or losing their job.
I think one reason people disagree with targeted advertising is because they feel there is no privacy. It’s hard to determine what sites or programs you should trust. And even if a site is validated and trusted, it could be hacked at any time with your private info compromised.
What can be done to prevent these hacks? Or how can you ease consumer’s minds?

Privacy sign image from Through the Eyes of Keaven 

Data Graphic from Tech Journal South


The New Couponing- From Clipping to Daily Deals

7 May

Out goes the time when you only clipped coupons from the paper and used them in stores. Social Media has allowed for a multitude of opportunities and deal savings for consumers and new marketing opportunities for companies.

Blogs have opened a new way to track and share reference of which stores have the best deals and where to use your traditional coupons as well as where to find others. According to Empathica research nearly half (47%) of women are primarily using social media interaction with retailers to find coupons and promotions.

A boom of group deal sites have emerged like Groupon and Living Social that offer heavily discounted daily deals for products and services as long as a certain number of people purchase the deal.

With the widely used Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, companies are readily giving away samples or coupons by helping to promote their brand. Many times they will require an individual to retweet a status or like the brand in order to receive the deal.

A number of websites and brand sites offer printable coupons as well as some offering mobile coupon apps.

Target is a company that is making use of many types of social media promotions. offers both printable coupons that changes on a regular basis. And they offer mobile coupons that you must subscribe to and they are sent out weekly via text messaging.

“Coupons remain a leading driver of brand interactions in social networks,” said eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “At the same time, they can be one of the trickiest social media tactics to pull off. The discount offer must print or download easily and must work as promised. And the retail store or distribution channel must be prepared for demand.”   –Coupons Drive Sales on Social Media    

Graphic found on Daily Infographic

Mobile Coupons are still only accepted at some stores but they are bound to only become more widespread and commonplace. So at what point will there no longer be printed coupons? Will there always be some printed coupons or coupon circulars from weekly papers? Or will we be seeing coupons turn to a completely electronic form in the next 3-5 years?

Why Social Media is Essential for Marketing?

1 May

It has taken several years in order for social media marketing to be widely accepted and utilized by many major companies. Many larger companies were originally concerned with putting the power of marketing messages into the hands of the customers. Now,  that is one of the highlights of using social media marketing.

“Whereas traditional advertising attempts to bypass the brain and go straight to the heart, social media addresses potential buyers’ needs for intellectual satisfaction with specific knowledge (i.e., content and context). The result: You build a business brand that customers not only feel is great, but know it is, too,” says Christine Whittemore.

Here’s some reasons why social media marketing is beneficial for a company:

  1. Ability to demonstrate to potential customers that you are human and care about their world.
  2. Brings marketing materials to life.
  3. Company can publicly address customers’ questions or concerns about products and services.
  4. Build an online community to promote the brand and keep it relevant to customers.

Read more in Still Holding Back? 10 (Business) Reasons to Participate in Social Media

Social Media can be simple to start implementing but it can be a lot to keep up with. Monitoring comments and providing customer feedback can be a full-time job and it happens at all hours of the day and night. It’s important to quickly respond to customer feedback.

Keep these questions in mind when beginning to develop your social media plan:

  • What types of people do we want to talk to?
  • Where do we find them?
  • What are they talking about already?
  • Is it appropriate for us to join that conversation and, if so, when?
  • How do we inject usefulness into the conversation without being overly promotional?
  • What value can we provide in terms of knowledge, opinion or content?
  • How can we earn their trust?
  • When we do earn their trust, how can we best ask for their input into our product or service?
  • Under what circumstances can we point the conversation toward considering our product?
  • Can we say or do something that invites someone else to point the conversation toward considering our product?
  • How shall we apologize and regroup if we overstep their comfort level or accuse us of violating their trust?

Read full article The Key To Developing A Social Media Strategy.

*taken from Social Media B2B

50 Ways Marketers can use Social Media to Improve their Marketing

Do you really have consumer privacy on your mobile phone?

25 Apr

Do we really know all the features of the electronic devices we carry with us on a daily basis. Many of the popular smart phone operating systems automatically track gps locations and record the data. iPhones and Android phones are both known for tracking locations. Even photos taken on a cell phone often have geotag data stored without any notification. The geotags allow people to easily see where you live, work, shop, park your car, etc.

I was amazed at how easily someone can find where a photo was taken. After seeing the above video, I thought, “Wow, good thing I keep my gps turned off!” When I looked at the photo album on my Android phone, I was shocked to see an album caption listing all the cities where the photos had been taken including where I live, work and shop. I tried numerous times and ways to disable this feature but did not have much luck. Finally I had to disable applications from accessing network location data. I have found it to be an annoyance since now I have to always type in my location. This almost defeats the purpose of having a smartphone. But why are cell phone makers, not allowing numerous privacy settings??!!

Recently the iphone 4 was tested with the location services disabled. Even after the features were disabled, the iphone stored location data with up to a years worth of information. Apple has not commented on the findings but it’s speculated that the data collected will help both Apple and Google map wifi connections.

Users’ location-based data would be helpful in building maps and other resources. Google and Apple currently “taps the $2.9 billion market for location-based services — expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc.”

Marketers already have quite a few ways to track personal information allowing personalized advertisements sent/displayed to the consumer. When posting content or photos online, it’s important to be aware of your phone settings.

Integration of Online Resources in Print Publications: The Rise of QR Codes

17 Apr

Social Media Stars QR Code

In the smartphone era, QR codes are becoming a main stream addition to the marketing world. They provide a link to print and online digital content.

QR or Quick Response Codes allow for a wide range of opportunities for marketers to incorporate an easy access link to websites, videos, coupons, social media, rss feeds, or other content into traditional mediums. These scannable tags provide supplemental resources, which adds significant value to consumers.

QR Code InfoImage Source

QR codes have a widespread use for over a decade in Japan but are just recently becoming commonplace in the U.S. Many people were unaware of how to use these codes until some bigger name companies such as Macy’s, Best Buy, and Post Cereals. Macy’s recently launched a very visible QR education campaign to inform consumers on how to use the codes and what content and benefits they can receive from using them. You can view one of their commercials below. Macy’s began their campaign in early 2011 and during just one week in February, there were 20,000 downloads using their promoted QR codes.

QR codes are simple for consumers to use once they understand what they are used for. An application that reads QR codes has to be downloaded onto your mobile phone. Then all that needs to be done is snap a photo of the code using the application. The app will bring up the linked content.

QR codes can be created for free in a matter of minutes. Many websites offer the code generation service.



ZXing Project

QR codes open a wide range of marketing possibilities. From instantly delivering coupons, to easily “liking” a store from a quick in-store link, or providing a link to behind the scenes footage of a photo shoot, QR codes have just begun to show their potential in the U.S. market.

Sephora Billboard with QR codeFringe Season 3 Poster with QR codePlant Tag with QR code

QR Ads found can be found here SephoraFringe, Plant Tag.

GoDaddy gets publicity from Founder Killing Elephant

11 Apr

GoDaddy CEO, Bob Parsons, recently posted a video on his blog of his elephant hunting adventure. In this video, you can see them investigating the area of crops that the elephants are supposedly destroying. Then Parsons has a stake out during the night. The elephant returns and Parsons shoots and kills the elephant. The elephant is then shown being swarmed with villagers cutting off meat for food.

This graphic video has had quite a backlashing against GoDaddy. Even a competitor took advantage of their viral misfortune. offered a $4.99 special deal for all transfers from GoDaddy to their services for all .com, .net an d .org domains. will also donate 20% of the proceeds from the sales to To take advantage of this deal, customers had to enter code: BYEBYEGD. reportedly raised $20,000 for Save the Elephants.

Many people were outraged after seeing this video. PETA,
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, closed their GoDaddy account and encouraged others to do the same.

It’s still questionable the thinking behind posting this video. Many people are speculating this may be another publicity tactic from the PR- addicted owner.


This quote best sums this up-

“Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.” Erin Bury, Sprouter community manager*

I Can see it now posted above the highway- Bob Parsons, GoDaddy CEO and Elephant Killer….

Really Bob? What were you thinking?!!!

So what do you think? Do you think this was just a publicity stunt? And could there possibly be anything positive come from this for GoDaddy?!!

* found in 99 Favorite Social Media Quotes & Tips

Facebook is Out and Google’s In- Will you like or +1?

4 Apr

Last Wednesday Google announced their newest marketing product, Google’s +1. Google’s +1 button will be comparable to Facebook’s Like button. Google says the button is shorthand for “this is pretty cool” or “you should check this out.”

Google’s Adsense and Facebook have one large similarity- their highly targeted advertisements. Both companies gather data about their users interests and use that information to direct ads to them. The main difference is how each company gathers the user information. Facebook uses user profiles submitted by the user for information. Google has several ways to attain information but none are as specific or user submitted. Google uses cookies that track users browsing history.

Google is launching the Google +1 as a better way to collect information for use in advertising, as well as gain more control over online display advertisements.

Google’s +1 button will first be featured in Google Search and will then branch to other websites. When a user clicks the button the first time they will be prompted to create a Google profile. The required profile information is simple but more information can be added if a user chooses. The Google +1 is more a recommendation than the Facebook Like. The +1 won’t send annoying notifications to all of your friends, instead it will just show up when they search for it.

Will the +1 become another one of Google’s flopped social products like Orkut, Buzz, and Google Profile?

Watch the video about +1 from Google.