Tag Archive | "industry"

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

StockUnlimited Brings The Netflix Model To Stock Imagery, Starting With Vector Graphics

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Why Are There So Few Black Investors?

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INFOGRAPHIC: Avon Tops Hootsuite’s Love List for February

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LoveListGraphic650The Avon lady is smiling somewhere, as the manufacturer of beauty, household and personal-care products finished atop the February 2015 edition of The Love List from social relationship platform Hootsuite.

Hootsuite uses data from its uberVU unit to rank more than 450 of the top brands globally, giving them scores between one and 100 based on three key data points:

  • Total number of brand mentions received.
  • Sentiment score.
  • Conversations about the brand during the past month containing the word “love.”

Hootsuite said in a release announcing the February Love List:

Avon took the No. 1 spot in February, jumping up from its January ranking of 26. Avon representatives harness the power of social media to help them sell, which has helped create a big fan base for the brand. Beyond reaching out to target customers through its own social channels, Avon has done great work to enable Avon sellers to promote the brand’s products and sales. Fans helped spread the word for Avon in February, giving the brand a boost in the Love List rankings with mentions and the highest sentiment score this month. With sales reps running their own Avon businesses, it’s no wonder Avon’s social conversations are a buzzing example of word-of-mouth marketing success.

A clear fan favorite, Starbucks has performed consistently well in every month of our Love List rankings. This month, part of the brand’s success was due to a celebrity tweet and clever brand response. Many people on social have discussed Taylor Swift’s hit, “Blank Space,” insisting that one lyric sounds like “Starbucks lovers.” The ever-social Swift (she has 53.7 million Twitter follows and 23.2 million Instagram followers) got in on the joke on Valentine’s Day.

Starbucks was quick to respond. Combine a timely Valentine’s Day holiday reference, a celebrity post for extra influence and a quick brand response? Starbucks certainly capitalized on three key social media success factors to see “love” in February.

Awards season took social by storm in February, and several media and entertainment brands saw success with their engagement tactics around the Grammy Awards and Academy Awards. From VH1 to BET, embracing brand-relevant and timely events kept this industry at the top of the Love List for the second month in a row.

The top 10 brands on the February 2015 Love List were:

  • Avon
  • Dove
  • McDonald’s
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Disney
  • BET
  • Chanel
  • VH1
  • Travel Channel
  • Readers: Did any of your favorite brands make the February 2015 edition of The Love List from Hootsuite?


    Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

    How Freelancers Should Be Using Social Media

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    Finding work as a freelancer can be difficult sometimes. Are you using your social media channels in the most effective ways possible to bring you new clients? Even if you think you are, you probably have some areas where you could afford to improve. Here are some strategic tips for you to use in maximizing your social media presence, so you can spend less time hunting for clients and more time working.

    Setting Your Business Goals

    As in any venture, your social media efforts won’t get very far without a plan. What goals do you want to accomplish? Here are some to consider:

    • Identify and build up your personal brand. Presenting a consistent, professional brand image is an indispensable component of freelance success. It shows that you know what you’re doing and you’re not afraid to make yourself accessible and transparent.
    • Get to know others in your industry whom you might never meet at a face-to-face networking event. Sometimes your best contacts will come from your online interactions, especially when you start out (the Internet may initially be the only forum where you start meeting other freelancers).
    • Market yourself without being too assertive. A simple greeting via a public social media post is far less intrusive than trying to contact someone at their office with no prior introduction.
    • Get industry tips. Tagging your industry related post with a relevant hashtag is sure to get you more information — and possible connections — than trying to make it completely on your own.

    These all sound like daunting tasks — especially if your work time is already full of projects, and any extra social media effort might start eating into your personal time. Kevan Lee at Buffer has some pro tips for making the most of social media in 30-minute chunks, such as allocating a half-hour slot for each task and using a social dashboard to coordinate your accounts. With these, you can minimize time-wasting and grow your reach!

    Choosing Platforms and Post Types

    Even the best-laid social networking plans may fall flat if not implemented on the right platforms at the right time. Freelancers Union offers some tips on which kinds of social media profiles would be best for your goals. Almost any of the major platforms work well for freelancers, as long as you keep details about your personal life to a minimum, maintain a positive tone, and keep your business content focused and specific.

    In addition to posting great content, you want your profile itself to be optimized for search. It helps to use the same profile picture for all your accounts and write your bio with common industry keywords in mind. More suggestions to make your online presence the best it can be include guest posting on similar blogs, following people who engage with you, and paying more attention to LinkedIn and local social platforms.

    While there are guides out there on how to write the best posts for each social network (keep URLs short or out of the text when possible, don’t overuse trending terms, etc.), you have to use a fair amount of your own judgment as well. Draw on your past experience and analytics to help you decide what your followers most want to see. As far as timing goes, try to avoid the most common dead zones until you see for yourself when your posts get the most engagement and setup a schedule that addresses future events.

    Benefiting from Your Social Media Strategy

    Once you’ve implemented these suggestions, you may feel that the hardest part of your work is over, but you can’t leave social media unattended for long. To reap the benefits of a vibrant social media strategy, you have to stay on top of your industry. It may seem like a chore, but a 30-minute plan like Lee’s can lower your reluctance. The benefits include things like:

    • Increased awareness for your brand. This gives you an equal competitive footing with others in your field who work for a company or have already established their own solo brand images.
    • Connecting with other freelancers to collaborate with you on projects where you’re stronger in some areas than others. This also affords an opportunity to trade ideas with people who are as enthusiastic about the field as you are.
    • Using targeted strategies like LinkedIn group participation to go straight to connections who are dedicated to your industry. This makes networking a faster process, which frees more time for work.
    • Giving glimpses into your life, which makes you more relatable to potential contacts.

    Social media has a world of opportunity to offer you, thanks to the unprecedented global connectedness it offers. You can network in a way you never thought existed, find a niche market you could only dream of, and acquire clients who were previously only available to large companies with extensive contact databases. What’s not to love about it?

    How have you used social media to grow your freelancing career? Let us know any insight you’ve gained from your own experiences!

    Katherine Halek is the content strategist at Signazon.com, a leading online printer that works with thousands of small businesses around the country. Katherine enjoys writing about social media, marketing and entrepreneurship. Connect with her on Google+.

    Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

    Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

    7 Tips for Consistent Branding on Twitter

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    Not sure about where to start when it comes to branding yourself on Twitter? These 7 tips will get you started building and maintaining your brand in 140-characters or less.

    1. Don’t change your username.

    The first thing you need to do when creating a Twitter account is choose a username – and you need to make sure it’s one that will stick. Businesses are wise to use their business name, and individuals usually use a variation of their full name. But whatever you choose, ensure that it will be the name you use for years to come. Because while it is possible to change your username on Twitter at any time, it can cause confusion among those who follow you and who want to talk to you.

    2. Have a content strategy.

    The tweets that you send all serve their individual purpose (whether that is to direct people to your website, share information or offer your opinion), but they also contribute to a larger goal: building your brand. On Twitter, your content is your voice, so ensure that each tweet is well thought-out and represents the core values that your brand embraces.

    3. Be careful what you retweet and favorite.

    Retweets and favorites are not necessarily always endorsements, but they do tie you to the content. If you are retweeting inappropriate jokes or favoriting politically-sensitive material, that might reflect poorly on your brand. Think before you interact.

    4. Choose your @mentions wisely.

    Just like retweets and favorites, the accounts you interact with reflect on your brand. It’s great to tweet to customers and partners, but having a bitter back-and-forth with a competitor might make your brand look petty.

    5. Build lists with a purpose.

    Twitter lists can be a powerful way not only to keep tabs on specific conversations among a curated group, but they can be used for branding as well. If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, for instance, you can create a list and add influential members of your industry or community. Or, you can create lists of your partners, vendors, or top customers.

    6. Tweet regularly.

    The real-time nature of Twitter means that to build anything long-term, you have to tweet. A lot. If not, your infrequent tweets will easily be ignored by your audience. So work up to tweeting multiple times per day to ensure that your tweets stay on their radar, and that their content is consistently reinforcing your brand.

    7. Tie Twitter to all of your other marketing.

    Twitter is not an island, so don’t treat it like one. If you want your brand to be recognizable not only on Twitter but wherever your audience is, you must make sure that your voice, username, profile picture, style, and all other elements are consistent with the branding on your website, print and other online marketing material.

    (Brand image via Shutterstock)

    Article courtesy of SocialTimes Feed

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