Tag Archive | "industry"

The Next & Arguably Most Important Phase of Social is Loyalty

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Facebook recently celebrated its 11th birthday and in those 11 years, a lot has changed. Marketers have learned that social is a great way to reach large audiences, especially with its terrific segmenting and targeting capabilities. And, much more so than traditional marketing strategies like TV advertising, social offers the ability to track and measure. In 11 short years, the industry has evolved from building their social presence to listening, and from there to advertising and real-time marketing.

During this time, consumers have changed, too, becoming savvier, more mobile and raising the bar on their expectations. To meet and deliver on these expectations, the next (and arguably most important from a business perspective) phase of social media is loyalty.

Social is a Consumer Channel

We’ve all heard the analogy that social media is like a party, not a shopping mall, where brands that show up need to be entertaining and genuine while being part of the ‘scene.’ Yet, at the end of the day, social media is a consumer channel — not a business channel — with people there to interact with one another, not hang out with brands — try as we might to engage them with cute chat about Oreos and dresses.

That’s not to say that all the listening, advertising brands have done on social to date are for naught – they are indeed important building blocks and as an industry we’ve learned a lot from our time hanging out on social with consumers. However, it’s time to move past these phases and ask ourselves, ‘what measurable impact has this had on the business?’ Arguably little. Brands are having difficulty even quantifying it!  Only 15 percent of marketers report their companies can show the impact of social media using quantitative approaches.

For these reasons and more, now is the time to take those building blocks and create something of measurable benefit – loyalty.

Why Social-Loyalty?

While early marketers fell in love with the reach and power of social media, these virtues are the foundation of a great social loyalty program.  By linking a customer’s social profile with an offline profile that exists in a CRM, for example, businesses can create a virtuous cycle of planning, measurement and improvement driven by data and personalization.

With a 360-degree view of customers in hand, brands are able to get to know their customers in a more meaningful way that will allow them to truly personalize messages, offers and rewards. Now, before you begin to think this is a creepy overstep of today’s technology, consider that consumers actually want personalization and offers that match their spending patterns. According to research by MyBuys, half of consumers want their personal information used to coordinate a better overall shopping experiences and three-fourths are willing to share store purchase data for personalization purposes.

Consumers are tired of having untimely, irrelevant messages sprayed at them and frankly view spray and pray programs as lazy. Much has been written about the growing delta between consumer expectation and most brand’s ability to deliver, with personalization one key area driving the divide.

Linked to mobile, CRM, and other business and data silos, social loyalty offers the utility consumers desire while giving business the ability to offer holistic, personalized customer experience(s).

Social Loyalty Gives Consumers Control

Social loyalty gives consumers what they have wanted for some time: marketing as a utility. It has the ability to turn mobile into the smartphone remote control consumers desire for delivery, consumption and reward. The opposite of spray and pray, personalization is a the center of utility marketing, providing consumers with the right message, at the right time via a mechanism that allows for instant activation and/or fulfillment.

Social loyalty is the ultimate delivery mechanism for a tailored brand experience, allowing the consumer to control activation and interconnectedness, providing the brand with an ideal mechanism to reward, surprise and delight. Using hashtags and other social and mobile triggers consumers can interact with brands, receive rewards, and share their experiences with their friends.

Social loyalty enables technology to deliver on consumer expectations in a new age. As social media evolves and transforms, brands need to do the same, realizing the measurable benefits social media can have both for the business and in building mutually beneficial marketing relationships with today’s savvy consumer who understands that the marketing equation has flipped to favor them in what is no longer a one-to-many world, but a one-to-one-to-many, consumer driven marketplace.

Chris Teso is the CEO of Chirpify, a mobile and social customer loyalty platform.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

3D Robotics’ New Solo Drone Promises To Make Aerial Videography Easy

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7 Ways to Use Twitter Lists to Prevent Information Overload

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Information overload can cause even the most tech-savvy tweeter to freeze up. With a never-ending stream of tweets scrolling across the screen, it can be difficult to zoom in on the conversations that matter and put blinders on to everything else.

Here are ten ways that you can use Twitter lists to cut through the noise and focus on what’s important.

1. Listen to your industry. There are hundreds of fantastic Twitter lists out there within your industry. Others have spent time curating them, so why not subscribe?

Visit the profile of any influencer in your industry – a journalist, a thought leader, a CEO, a prominent marketer – and see what lists they have created. Chances are, you’ll find a goldmine of lists that include other influential members of your industry.

Alternatively, you can create your own industry-specific list by adding influential users yourself.

2. Follow your local community. Why not tap into what the local are saying? You can create a Twitter list of local businesses, organizations, journalists, politicians and other figures to stay abreast of news from your community.

3. Tune in to your top customers. The best businesses on Twitter are the ones that truly care about their customers. But it can be difficult to make note of who is tweeting regularly to your account, especially if you are a small business without access to robust customer relations software.

This doesn’t have to stop you from rewarding your top customers on Twitter, however. You can put all of the customers who engage with your Twitter handle into a list, and send them thank yous, special Twitter offers and more.

4. Spy on the competition. If your competition tweets, they can provide you with a surprising amount of knowledge – from their social strategy to the behind-the-scenes staffing. You can add them to a Twitter list to keep up-to-date on their tweeting.

It’s a good idea to create private lists when spying on the competition, as you don’t necessarily want to alert them to the fact that you are listening to their Twitter conversations.

5. Value your partners. Put together a Twitter list of your partners, and send them regular goodwill tweets. If all of your partners are in a list, you are more likely to remember to keep in touch and nurture the relationship.

6. Network. Lists can be an effective way to network with specific groups. Attending a conference, trade show or other event can kindle some potentially valuable relationships – but without constant care, they may fizzle. If you add these connections to a Twitter list you can send them followup tweets after the event, and ensure that you stay in touch.

7. Keep your friends and family close. Not everything is about business. Sometimes you want to stay in touch more closely with your friends and family on Twitter, and a list can help you do this. A “friends and family” list is a great way to separate the business from the personal on Twitter.

(List image via Shutterstock)

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Luxury Consignment Site The RealReal Adds $40 Million In New Funding

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U.S. Teens’ Social Media Activity Is Diversifying, Says Pew

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Twitter Partners with Foursquare for Location Data

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When you tweet that you’re at a rockin’ concert or your favorite coffee shop, that information will now be powered by Foursquare.

The two companies announced an agreement Monday, as Foursquare will power location data on tweets where users tag a location.

Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley wrote about the partnership in a Medium blog post:

This is a big deal for Foursquare — not just because we all love Twitter and we’re psyched to be a part of what they’re building, but because it’s yet another example of how ubiquitous the Foursquare platform is becoming — this “location layer of the internet” you’ve probably heard us talk about.

As CEO, I spend a lot of my time talking to people about our company and telling the story of what we’re building and where we’re going. I’m always surprised to hear when people in the industry think of us solely as app developers — ”you’re the company that makes Foursquare and Swarm!”

Well, yes, that’s true. We’ve built these two great apps that millions of people around the world use (50+ million every month across our two apps, our website and mobile web). But the real interesting part of the Foursquare story is all the technology we’ve had to build so that, say, the Foursquare app can ping you to suggest a sandwich shop you’d love as you walk through a neighborhood for the first time, or so the Swarm app can automatically “snap” you to the place we know you’re about to check in to. There’s a reason that we’re one of the only companies doing proactive and predictive local search and firing off contextual notifications — it’s hard. And we’re one of the few companies on the planet with the team, technology, and data to pull it off.

Just what kind of data does Foursquare have? As Crowley explained, there have been more than 7 billion checkins through Foursquare (and its Swarm app) to more than 65 million places internationally. Users have uploaded more than 250 million photos and left 70 million tips, indicating more than 90 million “tastes.”

How will it look when you add a location to your tweet? Twitter included a video in the announcement, showing how Foursquare is powering location services.

Coming soon! We’re working with @foursquare so you can tag specific locations in Tweets: https://t.co/MwlLz5Pfvq pic.twitter.com/jATzXvbuV6

— Twitter (@twitter) March 23, 2015

Readers: What do you think of this decision?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

What Did We Learn From SXSW 2015?

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Between the panel sessions, keynotes, networking, barbeque, live music and parties there was no shortage of things to engage the senses at SXSW Interactive. Now that the crazy whirlwind of activity is behind us, it’s time for a bit of reflection. Here are a few key takeaways from the 2015 installment.

Meerkat-ing is officially a “thing”

Prior to SXSW, I asked if Meerkat was poised to be the festival’s next big break out app. The answer was a resounding yes. Everyone at SXSW was using or talking about Meerkat and the company announced late last week that it had upwards of 120,000 users and growth was continuing to peak. Now, some are even predicting that Meerkat will kill live TV. I’m not willing to go quite that far, but still stick with my initial take—the app feels like it has the staying power that many previous SXSW darlings have not. 

Wearables continue the march to maturity

Wearable technology has been a topic at SXSW for several years—really getting started when Google Glass burst on the scene. This year illustrated how the industry continues to expand and mature. In addition crowds gathering to get a look at new wearable devices for children and pets, the conversation was largely about how technology and fashion are quickly merging together. What we consider “wearable” technology today will be invisible tomorrow—embedded into the very fabric of the clothing we wear. Expect the industry focus to shift to what to do with all the data being produced by such innovation and how it can be used for personal betterment and the collective good. 

It’s harder than ever to stand out

There is so much content generated on a daily basis that rising above the noise has become extraordinarily difficult. As marketers, we can take solace in knowing that great stories still matter and there are an increasing number of avenues through which to tell them. The more we are able to hone our storytelling skills, the better off we’ll be. Two themes that emerged at SXSW in regards to content were emotion and data.

Like it or not, data should be an extremely valuable tool for informing storytelling activities. Those on the bleeding-edge are using data not only to analyze the performance of their content, but to predict what content will resonate best with a specific audience. Similarly, evoking emotion and delivering content that people can relate to in a human way were oft cited mantras from brands and publishers alike. Sure, this is much easier said than done, but makes for a good roadmap to follow. 

Scaling social takes time and real investment

For all the talk about amazing social media campaigns and break out moments, there was some excellent levity shared throughout the festival. For starters—the need to attract and retain talent with multiple skillsets (social, copywriting, analytics, video production, etc.) is immense and competition is fierce. In terms of scaling social within an organization, Alice Wilson of Southwest Airlines shared some interesting data points. Roughly one year ago, Southwest had 3 part-time staffers running its social customer care. Today, there are 22 full-time employees focused on social customer care and that number is expected to jump to 30 in the new few weeks. In part, this growth was achieved by consistently showing management the missed opportunities—that and the fact that Southwest views itself as a customer service company that just happens to fly planes.

What did you learn at SXSW Interactive this year?

Trevor Jonas is vice president of digital strategy at Access Communications, where he develops and implements digital strategies for clients in the financial services, consumer technology and food and beverage industries. Say hello on Twitter and Meerkat @TrevR.

Top image courtesy of John Rodriguez/SXSW.

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Sqeeqee Aims to Find Out If ‘Social Networthing’ Is Really Possible

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SqeeqeeLogoThe latest competitor vying for social media market share, Sqeeqee, calls itself a”social networthing” site and “the first-of-its-kind money-making social media network.”

Users can do everything on Sqeeqee that they might already do on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and eBay, as well as start crowd-funding platforms and raise money for their own charities.

Sqeeqee also offers a search engine and unlimited, free cloud storage.

Users make money in the form of Sqeeqee Bucks ($Q Bucks) with nearly every click and post (when $Q Bucks reach $100, Sqeeqee deposits the funds directly to users’ PayPal accounts), and the fledgling social network will also share ad revenue with users who bring in advertisers or have enough people on their pages.

Who is Sqeeqee competing with? tsū and Bubblews are social-networking sites that pay users for content creation and sharing.

Bubblews has what seems to be a singular focus — the more users post and people share their articles, the faster they make money. tsū is an invite-only platform that promises to pay users a share of the already existing ad revenue, made possible with the amount of content they share.

On the other side of the boxing ring is Ello, an invite-only social media platform that made a grand entrance with a magna carta signed by the founders stating that they would never take adverting dollars.

With Facebook developing so many ways for users to promote their businesses, brands using paid advertising and newbies offering cash to users, what does the future of social media really look like?

Bryan DeSena, account director for social media with Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles, told SocialTimes:

Facebook changed the industry because it offered advertisers an opportunity to target users based on self-expressed interests. The only thing I would trust about a user on the payola platforms is that they want to get paid, and that doesn’t tell me much about their buying habits. Just like our offline lives, people will find ways of making money in a variety of different ways, and smart advertisers know how to reach the right audiences.

When asked whether or not the concept of”social networthing” is possible, Michael Hussey, CEO of social analytics provider StatSocial, believes it’s a lofty notion, telling SocialTimes:

There seems to be a fundamental disconnect about why people use social networks. The CEO of Bubblews (Arvind Dixit) says, “People aren’t the product, people are the power.” I think he’s wrong. People and the lives they share with their networks are indeed the product. The power is in the platform that enables it all.

Facebook and Twitter are successful at selling advertising because they are incredibly powerful communications tools that people want to use — not vice-versa. The primary reason people use these networks is not to make money — it’s to make their lives more enjoyable and efficient.

And even if Facebook and Twitter adopted a revenue-sharing model, only a very small percentage of the population would be capable of attracting a large enough audience to make any meaningful money. It’s hard enough for celebrities and journalists to monetize their large social audiences on existing and popular social networks, where network effects of a large existing audience are already built in. So never mind an average Joe trying to eke out a few dollars building a network on a relatively unknown social network.

A new report by social analytics provider Ninja Metrics analyzed more than 365 million game players in 250 countries and regions around the world and found that the true social value of a user isn’t found in their social network activity, but in their social connections.

Dimitri Williams of the University of Southern California further explained:

This report confirms what many people have suspected, but has never been proven by hard data: The age of consumer-to-consumer marketing is here … Social connections translate to monetary values.

In a YouTube video, digital thought leader Gary Vaynerchuk pointed out that he never turns down a media interview, no matter how big or small, because, as he stated:

One is greater than zero. Never undervalue or underestimate the power of an individual user because you simply never know who’s watching, who’s reading. In our digital universe, a user’s value seems to not lie in the platform they choose, but the user themselves.

Readers: Would you be interested in trying out a platform like Sqeeqee? Why or why not?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

Dealyze Brings A Starbucks-Like Loyalty Program To Any Business

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SXSW Advice from a ‘Veteran’

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BobGrutersBob Gruters, who leads Facebook’s client partnerships for restaurants, entertainment and multicultural, is also a veteran of the annual South by Southwest gathering in Austin, Texas, and he shared some tips for attendees of this year’s event, which runs through Sunday.

Gruters wrote in a Facebook for Business post:

SXSW is about connecting with people — hearing from innovators, connecting with partners and hanging out with clients. But the best part is that SXSW doesn’t feel like a conference. It’s a carnival! People let their guards down, so the experiences at South by are always the most memorable. It’s a great place to meet people, find new bands to listen to and get excited about the things people are inventing. SXSW is like Burning Man with 4G and business cards.

Of course, I’m most excited for Facebook’s entertainment VIP cocktail party! I’d also love to make it to the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, because I love seeing our industry evolve. And I’m obviously interested in catching Universal’s Unfriended screening. It will be interesting to hear how people respond to the Internet playing the villain in that movie.

Anything that happens at the Fader Fort is interesting and fun. They really get SXSW, and even though they live on SXSW’s fringes, everybody heads there and waits on lines for their experience. I designed a custom pair of killer Converse there last year. This year they’re streaming the first-ever concert in 4K.

Readers: Are any of you in Austin this week?

Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

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