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Not content with creating the biggest change in online and arguably offline communication, Twitter co-creater Jack Dorsey has launched his latest venture.
Square, essentially a small piece of plastic that plugs into an iPhone headphone jack, allows a credit card to be swiped and a payment made to anyone who is registered to receive payment through the system.
The application means that a small business can accept payments for their wares on the go or if you have a friend that is slow paying you back the odd £20 you have lent them, you can produce your phone and Square, no more marching to the cash machine!
The last seismic change in online financial transactions came about thanks to Paypal in 1998, the financial transaction service that has helped eBay to flourish and reduced the transaction paper trail significantly. Square could have the same impact, if not a whole lot more.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Jack Dorsey has allayed fears regarding the security of making credit card payments on an iPhone:
“The payment system is secure, Dorsey said. Transactional data is safely encrypted, and the credit card info is never stored on the device, only passed along, he said. Signatures are drawn with a finger on the touch screen.”
Square is likely to cost as little as $1 from the get go and the cost of manufacturing the plastic piece of magic is minimal which means the hardware itself will be made freely available and Blackberry and other handset compatibility is in development.
Square is currently undergoing beta trials in a handful of cafes and shops in Southern California.
Dorsey’s Twitter has taken over the online space in the last year, expect Square to shake up the online financial transaction world ,too, and what is the one thing Square has from the start that Twitter did not? A business model.
One of the biggest topics in online business over the past few years has been viral video. For most people in business, “viral video” is not a viable option as a way to market their product or service, as it doesn’t match the brand or marketing strategy.
Despite some unpredictable elements being needed to get the wild-fire effect that occurs within a successful viral campaign, there are a few key things which you can do to ensure that your business videos are watchable and maybe even a tad “crazy”.
As a business owner, do you have concerns about using humour in professional business videos? If so, what’s your biggest concern?
I work with a lot with many small businesses - most days of the week! Here is some advice if you are starting up or wanting to stay ahead of the game on the marketing front:-
Article originally appeared at Real Eyes Marketing Blog
The online retail world has blown up in the last five years. Businesses of all sizes are selling direct from their website – allowing products to be purchased from customers all around the world.
For many people, clicking a button just isn’t the same as the experience that comes with going shopping in a store.
Finlay Clark talks about “fulfilment” (or lack thereof) in relation to online shopping. Coming up to Christmas – do you feel additional pressure selling products online? How do you ensure customer satisfaction is always achieved especially at this time of the year?
Great businesses are built by great people, and that’s why recruitment is such a critical part of growing a successful small business and creating the right type of company culture.
Innocent drinks co-founder Richard Reed talks about the challenge that Innocent Drinks has faced in recruiting the right people for their business.
What’s interesting about this from a marketing perspective is that a business’ culture is often a caricature of the people within the business. And likewise, the culture of the business, or the brand, will determine who you can attract in. How strongly do you focus on the culture of your business, and has it proved to be a worthwhile marketing strategy when you’ve been looking to get the right people on board?
In case you hadn’t realised, the Marketing Donut won two Golden Twit Awards for its Twitter feed last Thursday (26 November). My colleague James has already thanked everyone for supporting us (thank you!), so I won’t embarrass you with further grovelling. Instead, here are four things I learned from the Golden Twits award ceremony:
1) Social media are becoming an essential customer relationship tool for organisations of all sizes. Nominees and winners included mid-sized charities (Action for Children), professional firms (Ralli Solicitors), arts organisations (Scottish Ballet), family-owned businesses (Adnams), small businesses (us!) and – yup – bigger businesses and corporations, too (Manchester City Football Club). Social media are a great leveller – if you’re interesting and engaging, you can stand out as much as any big organisation, and just about any kind of business can benefit. Heck, I even know a burger van with 1200 fans on Facebook.
2) A meerkat may well be the future of corporate tweeting. One thing that really struck me was how Compare the Market.com is using its meerkat as the face of its brand on Twitter. I have mixed feelings about this; I admire their inventiveness, but I also know that, however spontaneous the meerkat’s utterances may seem, they are written by a team of creatives from a small agency every morning; the prospective tweets are then signed off by their boss and passed to the Compare the Market.com marketing folks, who amend, rewrite, reject, accept and sign them off again. Finally, much later in the day, they are posted on Twitter. The guys behind the character told us that a lot of corporates are now creating characters to represent their brand on Twitter. To my mind, this undermines the idea of Twitter as a medium for businesses to engage directly and spontaneously with customers. Is this controlled corporate messaging the first indication of Twitter’s loss of innocence? Of course, what it means for smaller firms is that you readily steal a march on your bigger rivals by being more personal and quicker to respond.
3) When you put Twitter users in a room together, they will spend a long time tweeting on their phones before actually saying hello to one another. But they do say hello eventually.
4) Online social networking will never totally replace actual face-to-face networking. I’ve been to three awards and a conference in the last month and absolutely the best thing about all of them has been meeting small business owners and other people from my industry and talking to them face to face. I now have more people to talk to on Twitter… @simon_editor