Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Google Hotpot, Google Places, And A QR Codes Contest

Guest posting: 
Written by Matt Storms on January 17, 2011 



You might be asking to yourself why is this guy talking about three totally different things like Google 


Places, QR codes, and Google Hotpot. The reason I am talking about this is because I am excited about technology. I can go out with my wife with no destination for the day and if we, say, get hungry then I don’t have to go to the usual fast food joint. I can use Google Hotpot to find the restaurant and when I get there if they have a QR code I can use it to check out the menu without stepping inside and feeling pressured to eat there. As an individual and as a business this opens up marketing that is very easy to a whole new segment of the world.
Google just released a new iPhone app called Google Places that is great for finding businesses near your business and the ability to rate and review the business. If you have been on Google Hotpot on the web then you will like how seamless the iPhone app is. Android and other smart phone users have the app already installed or they can download it.

Lately I have been looking at QR (Quick Response) codes & Google Places with Google Hotpot for the iPhone. QR codes are starting to take off in the US after they were pioneered in Japan by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994. There is a lot of history, if you want to read the history and how they were invented you can read about Bar code to 2D Code.

50 Million Google Places

A recent YouTube video posted on the Google Hotpot channel by Mat Balezstated that “using our database of over 50 million places our algorithm takes your ratings and recommends places similar to the places you like. So that if you rate one pizza place 5 stars we’ll improve your search results by recommending other pizza places that are similar.”
So now you know a little about both platforms and as you download your QR reader for your smartphone let me tell you why having these things is important as a business. Google Hotpot is a great tool for people and business to rate companies and to see what people are thinking of different companies. As a company you can see what your customers are saying, in this digital world now a review on yelp, twitter, or Google Reviews can help or hurt you.
As a company you set your QR code to take your customers to certain webpages that contain coupons, reviews, specials, anything you set your mind to. This is the twist, that you can actually help your customers that are technology savvy. Many companies are using QR codes to give out discounts and such. Verizon, Entertainment Weekly, Ford and many other companies are using them to drive customers to their website. Some of the movie posters for Iron Man 2 had QR codes that that took people to a mobile site with photos, trailers, and information about the film.

Reaching Out With QR Codes

Businesses that use QR codes can reach out to a more affluent and more spontaneous group of customers. People with more money than sense sometimes but it can be used by all walks of life to build a relationship with the customer that is using this technology. Business is personal and this is another way of reaching out. There are many free QR code generators in the world that you can go to, enter your info and print the code off. You can post it on your front window and go from there.
There are many non-profits and organizations that are using both QR codes and have a Google Places verified account to bring people into their offices. Charities are taking advantage of the tech savvy crowd by adding in the QR code for their website. Cindy Solomon uses a QR code as her avatar on Twitter, she stated “I have been using a qr code for my social media avatar for several months.  Its efficient in directing people to my website by  demonstrating I’m involved w/ mobile technology.  Also, like my interaction with you, it has become a conversation opener for deeper exchanges on twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.”
As you read this you know that we at Boostability are a SEO company but we also do work for small businesses Google places pages to improve their ranking in their local area. We do suggest that marketing to each segment is a great way of getting traffic to your site and to you business place.

Contest

Below you find a few QR codes what we will give to the first person who correctly responds to all 8 QR codes will get a Boostability t-shirt. Now is this nerdy? Yes, but dang it is cool.
YOU HAVE TO LEAVE THE ANSWERS IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW
*You cannot be a current employee or related to anyone working at Boostability.com.

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