Tag Archives: kiosks

Smart Resolutions: Three Things You Must Do in 2013 to Simplify Your Audience Engagement

4 Jan

01.06.2012-IslandLivingStupidNewYearsResolutionsToForgetAndACoupleGoodOnesToKeepAh, New Year’s resolution time. In our personal life, we often resolve to eat healthier, be kinder or make those phone calls to long lost friends once a month. But professional resolutions can provide a boost to your year as well. All resolutioned out? Don’t worry; we’ve come up with three social media resolutions for you for 2013. Make these three simple new year’s resolutions for your social media program this year and ensure that your organization will be more engaged by the time the ball drops again!

Get Sane About Your Social Media
If you’re still logging into Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest separately to post, and posting in real time all the time, it’s time to save your sanity and get a social media dashboard. As more social networks crop up, it’s increasingly important to maximize your time and control over your social presence by using an integrated dashboard that allows you to post to multiple networks, schedule posts and review your statistics. A good dashboard also allows you to keep tabs on important search terms, hashtags, mentions and other relevant details that allow you to engage effectively with your audience.

If you’ve been itching for a dashboard but aren’t sure where to start, we have some suggestions for you (no excuses now!):

  • TweetdeckIf you’re just managing a Twitter account, Tweetdeck is a powerful tool. Available for both your desktop and mobile , Tweetdeck allows you to follow specific feeds, search terms and hashtags, to schedule tweets and to filter out the information you want so that you can be a more engaged and powerful Twitter user. It also allows you to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single dashboard.
  • HootSuiteManaging multiple accounts and/or multiple networks–both Facebook and Twitter–is a breeze with HootSuite. HootSuite is great for teams that manage social media because you can assign tasks as well as monitor specific feeds and search terms, schedule tweets and create custom reports.

Admit that Mobile Must Be a Part of Your Interactive Strategy

If you’ve been in denial about mobile, 2013 is the year that you must come to terms with it. Numbers don’t lie, and in order to engage consumers, you have to market where they live. Not convinced? Consider this:

  • 1.08 of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones are smartphones. 3.05 billion are SMS enabled. (Source: Microsoft Tag)
  • Almost 8% of all web traffic in the US is mobile traffic. (Source: Pingdom)
  • 88% of adult Americans have a cell phone, whereas 57% have a laptop. (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 45% of all adult Americans own a smartphone. (Source: Pew Internet)
  • 55% of adult cell phone users use the Internet on their mobile phones, double the number from three years ago. (Source: Pew Internet)

Mobile use is so ubiquitous, it’s impossible to deny that having a mobile-accessible site, web app and other tactics that allow your organization to engage with your audience via mobile devices is essential in 2013.

Spend Smart on Technology
Thanks to the fact that technology continues to get better, faster and cheaper, it’s time to reassess how you’re spending your money this year. Are your technology expenditures freeing up your staff to do more meaningful work? Are you investing in flexible hardware that will change as your needs do? Do the systems you have make your organization look up to date and cutting edge, or do they seem outdated to the average user?

At TourSphere, we’re in the thick of this resolution as we launch our new kiosk product. Many of our clients are choosing to create tablet or iPad kiosks instead of traditional, bulky and inflexible kiosks. Using the TourSphere Builder, they are creating flexible web apps that they can change in an instant and simply placing tablets and iPads in place of bulky kiosks. Some apps answer basic visitor questions, allowing staff to provide more meaningful services, while others provide additional information on sites or exhibits, more deeply engaging users.

No matter how you do it, it’s important to focus on being more engaged with your audience in 2013, and that means doing your best to communicate with them in the places they naturally go. Whether that’s being accessible by mobile device, more deeply engaging them within your site itself or ensuring that you’re part of their social media feeds, develop your plan for 2013, and stick to your resolutions!

Tell us: What’s your social media, mobile or engagement resolution for 2013?

Transform a Tablet into a Kiosk – in a Snap!

11 Dec

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Museums, hotels, and all kinds of destinations have long-recognized the value of kiosks.  Kiosks are great ways to engage visitors, provide and collect information quickly, offer maps and event info and otherwise cut-down on common questions which can bog down staff members.

The hold-up for most organizations has been cost.  Plain and simple.  Kiosks and software are pricey and take a lot of time to maintain. Not anymore!! We’re excited to say that having a touchscreen kiosk just got waaay easier and cheaper.

Yes, TourSphere is now offering iPad touchscreen kiosks! You can use our app builder to build one yourself (checkout the one Toledo Museum of Art did recently) or we can build it for you, fast and easy.

Using TourSphere to build your kiosk app decreases the costs of kiosks dramatically, for both the software and the hardware – as much as 85%. It also increases the speed of deployment.  You can literally have a functioning kiosk installed at your site within a couple of days.

Kiosk app at the Toledo Museum of Art. Photo by Andrew Weber.

Kiosk app at the Toledo Museum of Art. Photo by Andrew Weber.

There are just two simple things you’ll need to launch your kiosk:

1. The Hardware

Obviously you will need a tablet.  Apple’s iPads are the most popular and offer some great features for kiosks (such as “Guider User Mode” which allows you to “lock” your clients in to an app) but there are cheaper tablets out there if your budget is really tight.  Whichever device you choose you will also need a way to mount and secure it so that it cannot walk away.  Luckily there are dozens of options out there – locking, blocking the power and home button, allowing for continuous power, etc… (we have some favorites if you want to chat).

2. The Software

This is the easy part!  TourSphere specializes in visitor-based apps.  Our apps allow organizations to collect data, provide real-time, remote updates, provide interactive maps, stream audio and video and much more. Clients have built a custom app in TourSphere in as little as 3 days. To see for yourself create a free account and play around with it.

Here’s a couple of ideas on how organizations can use TourSphere kiosk apps:

Exhibits: You can build a kiosk app for an exhibit, then when a new exhibit comes into town, you can re-use the same hardware (the iPads) and simply update the app itself with the new content. Voila! Your new exhibit features touchscreen kiosks!

Photo by Andrew Weber.

Photo by Andrew Weber.

Hotels: You can place a kiosk in your lobby which provides an interactive overview of the entire property.  Guests can quickly orient themselves with the property amenities, view event schedules, log complaints or comments and see area info.  In short, they can access the most common questions which your concierge probably gets tired of answering.

Interested in creating a kiosk app? Just create a free account and get started building. If you’re thinking about touchscreen kiosks or iPad apps but don’t quite have the idea hammered out or aren’t sure how to start, drop us a line and we’d love to chat about it.

Have you worked with kiosks in the past? What do you wish was easier – or cheaper – about the process?

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