Get It Qwiqq!

Every once in a while you come across an app that is not only useful, but a whole lot of fun. With so many people taking pictures of their favorite products, foods and places, the founders of Qwiqq hit on an idea that incorporated the prolific world of smartphone cameras and sharing more than just the picture.

Qwiqq is a free app that integrates it’s own social network along with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Constant Contact to allow its users the ability to take a picture of their favourite items, add a description, a location and a price to accompany the picture. A word may be worth a thousand words, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra pieces of info along for the ride.

I began using Qwiqq when it was only just out of the gate, thanks to a connection with its community manager reaching out to Social Media influencers in specific regions. Living on the West Coast of Beautiful British Columbia, my brain raced at ways this app could be used.

Qwiqq

Running off at the Thumbs

It started out with a picture of morning coffee at my favourite coffee shop and a snapshot of some seriously delicious signature macchiato muffins. A picture, little comment and a foursquare tag and it is off in cyber-space, shared on my favourite Social Media platforms. Within minutes, I had locals commenting on a sudden desire for macchiato muffins and my fellow coffee addicts in the #UsGuys stream talking about everything from the coffee bar view to the recyclable cups and sleeves being used.

Hmm. Not only did I just share out some great products from a local business, I got people talking about the business and the community. Isn’t that what Social Media marketing is all about?

Off I went! Visit to my favourite local resort to take pics of some clothing gear they had on sale, which lead to a friend in Texas asking for me to pick one up for her. Trip to the local fishing pier for one of their monster ice cream cones, which led to a family friends coming down to take in the view and goodies with me. Qwiqq pic of a passing cruise ship in the early evening was shared out by the local tourism promotion organization.

Down to Business

So how does this work for the small business, or even big business, owner? Simple. As with all Social Media environments, your very best brand ambassadors are not within the walls of your marketing office; it’s on the street with the people that are using or accessing your brand. This app shows your product, gives a price and tells the consumer where your product can be found.

Business can benefit by telling their patrons about the app and encouraging them to “be Qwiqq about it!” Before you know it, people will be chatting about your product and having fun doing it!

Increase Productivity with IQTell

How many of us social space professionals are constantly searching for a way to increase our productivity in this fast paced world we live in. There never seems to be enough time to completely get everything done without getting up early and staying up late. Well I can say that I have found a tool (app) that has greatly increased my productivity, and made my life much more organized. Let me say that I have used numerous different time management tools in the past, but this one really seems to go beyond the time management, virtual assistant role. Let me introduce….

Productivity

IQTell the Beta…and Beyond

A while back (maybe a year ago) I was invited via Twitter to check out IQTell. At that time the IQTell team was having issues getting things to work. But over time, it became clear that the IQTell team stuck with it, and now have a worthy, well thought out product. IQTell goes way beyond integrating email, tasks and calendars etc, which it does well:

  • One feature I love is that ALL my emails come together under IQTell, as do my calendars and integrate nicely with my tasks etc.
  • It works closely with Google, as well as Evernote, which is a big plus for me. Love my Evernote….
  • One of the outstanding features is the “actionable” tab within the email space. With any email you can apply an “action” such as link to a reminder for a phone call return, calendar event, task, existing project etc. It really does keep that old email inbox from getting out of hand.
  • To make things even more awesome, I can link Evernote entries to my tasks within IQTell. For example, I use Evernote to keep blog notes, I have three separate Notes for each of my three blogs. I put notes and blog ideas in my Evernote folders which are accessable from any of my devices. I have a Note “Steamfeed” and when I had the idea for this blog, I placed it through Evernote neatly into the my Steamfeed “to do” task. In fact you can quickly and easily place emails, phone numbers, Evernotes, and more into any task as they come to you.

One of the added advantages of using IQTell is that they send IQTell tips each week. There is so much that this app does that it is impossible to get a handle on it all at once. Like most things awesome, it takes time. I keep the weekly tips in a folder and refer back to them often. I have a growing manual and user guide at my fingertips. I have to admit that the team at IQTell is pretty impressive as well, rarely do you have to wait for a response, and rarely do they not fix any issues on the first run. Come to think of it, rarely have I had an issue.

I DO hesitate to call IQTell a time management, or virtual assistant app simply because it does so much more. I DO invite you all to give it a whirl, I am still finding things that it will do to make me much more organized, and productive, which gives me more time for a life….oh and I did I mention…. IT’S FREE….

Are there other time management/productivity apps you would recommend checking out? Please leave a comment below!

Does Your Business Need an App?

Ok, I have had a few clients recently bring this up with me, so I wanted to publicly address this issue. Understandably, with the rapid growth of Smart phones and mobile technology in general, small businesses don’t want to miss out on the application bandwagon. It has come to my attention that there are many companies soliciting small businesses and selling them on having an app developed. Which has brought up this question; Does your business need an app?

First off, in the interest of transparency, I want you to know I’m a sales and marketing guy. I love tech, and once in a blue moon, I like to pretend I know how to code, but by no means am I a great programmer. I am writing this article from the viewpoint of marketing and new business development, not as a tech writer.

The app market

Last year there were 17.7 billion app downloads with revenue generated over $15 billion, and users spent an average of 667 minutes monthly on apps. These are some “kick ass” stats that sound great, but what do they mean for your business. According to Flurry, mobile apps usage is broken up into 47% gaming and 32% of the time in social networks. This means that the remaining 21% of time spent using applications (140 minutes/monthly average) is the total amount of time and attention that you are competing for against every other app out there.

Your business, and your needs

Let’s take a moment to look at your business model. Do you need to drive people into your store in order to see profitability? How about your website? What chain of events need to occur in order for you to make money? The fact is, that the only reason to have an app is if you have enough quality, original content/functionality that will justify people to continually use it. Period. So unless you can honestly say “Hell Yes my business is a killer content generating machine“, I would steer clear. Here’s why:

Lots of the SMB apps I see lately have features like “Find the store closest to you,” “Stay up to date with our new clothes line,” and even “Check In using our app and get our coupon of the week.” While all of those functions are quite valid and necessary in their own right, is having your unique personal app for your business the best place to fulfill those needs? I highly doubt it.

What you could do instead of an app

Stop trying to reinvent the wheel. Seriously. If you want people to encourage people to check in at your business, then you should probably run a promotion through Foursquare. Want to ensure that people can find your business location that is closest to them, invest in a mobile optimized website. Have a new product line or amazing coupon that you want the masses to use today? Better put it out on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. These platforms are the leaders for a reason. They fulfilled their primary purpose better than their competition which gained them gigantic user bases. Use them right, use them for the purposes they were designed, and you will probably get a decent return on investment.

I don’t want you to think I hate apps, I actually am a huge fan of them, but only when used in a purpose that necessitates their existence. Save your money, and and invest in marketing your business on the platforms where people already are every day. You will be better off for it.

Does your company have an app? Have you gotten results/ROI from it? Please leave a comment below!