Article Archive by Bea Halstead


July 31 2012

Foursquare Includes Advertising Options

by Bea Halstead

When you think of social networks with local impact, think Foursquare.   In a previous post we outlined a marketing strategy for local businesses to participate in this mobile centric based social network.   The popularity of Foursquare boasts an active user base of over 20 million, and has been making updates recently to the app’s design and functionality.  Foursquare just announced it launched an advertising program allowing businesses to create promoted updates for local marketing campaigns.  These promoted updates will be seen based on a store’s location, Foursquare specials, and a personalized algorithm created especially for the functionality of the Explore tab in a recent release.  In Foursquare’s blog they describe it as, “The [promotion] update can be a money-saving special, an update on a new fashion line, or a photo of their [the businesses] latest dish.”  In the screenshot below, you’ll see examples of how these offers appear in the Explore tab.

Members of Foursquare will notice these promoted updates will be personalized recommendations based on criteria like:

  • Places they have visited before.
  • Places that are on their lists.
  • Places based on the time of day.
  • Places in relevance to the neighbor they are in.
  • Places they have liked or marked as a favorite.
  • Places their friends have checked in at or endorsed.

This type of personalization will ensure that the offers are shown to members who would be genuinely interested in them and therefore have excellent targeting and acquisition potential.

To view more examples of partners already participating in promoted promotions on Foursquare, check out these Foursquare business pages:

Otto Las Vegas
B&B Ristorante
Best Buy
Dave & Buster’s
Gap
Hilton
jcpenney
Lowe’s
Old Navy
Starwood Preferred Guest,The Standard Miami
Walgreens

July 24 2012

Design Update for LinkedIn

by Bea Halstead

LinkedIn, a professional social network, has recently started to release a new platform design to users.   LinkedIn’s blog states that it will be a simpler and easier user interface allowing for navigation from a user’s homepage to features, which can improve access to relevant information about your industry.   The more modern design focuses toward current updates occurring within the network.  Users will see trending topics, news, and status updates from their connections in a larger dashboard at the top of the news feed. Engagement with these posts is also highlighted more prominently.    Viewing comments, liking, sharing, and contributing to conversations is available within the stream.   Although this isn’t a huge change to the previous user experience, LinkedIn has hinted that more robust features will soon be added to this home page.   Some of the other features still available are:

  • Recommended people to add to your network.
  • Recommended jobs you may be interested in.
  • Viewers who have viewed your profile (depending on your account settings).
  • Stats for your LinkedIn network like the number of connections.
  • Recommended groups you may like.
  • Companies you may want to follow.
  • Applications you’ve added to your profile like Blog Link, Amazon Reading List, Behance Profolio, SlideShare, and more.


Image source: LinkedIn Blog

Once you have used the new homepage design, there is a convenient feedback button, located at the bottom of certain features, for you to express to LinkedIn what they can improve upon.   What other features do you predict LinkedIn will be incorporating into the new homepage in the future?

July 17 2012

Facebook Commerce’s Influence on Consumer Purchases

by Bea Halstead

Facebook continues to attract businesses that desire a better understanding of the effectiveness and potential influence social commerce has upon their consumers.   Some larger brands, like JC Penny, have tried e-commerce within Facebook and claimed to have not realized expected results from e-commerce efforts.  There are new brands, like Fab.com, that adhere to a business model dependant upon the integration with social networks, and have been very successful with marketing on Facebook.   So how can small and larger brands differ in their success rate?  Strategies that drive F-commerce have to be different from normal e-commerce methods in order to provide a return on investment.  F-commerce focuses on utilizing the data from customer’s interests, enhancing fan activity, and social sharing with friends on Facebook, in order to improve online sales.

F-Commerce Referrals. The strategy that has been effective for larger brands, uses Facebook to drive traffic to their online store.  These brands have found it more successful to offer links to e-commerce sites via posts, advertising, and custom tabs because their websites are proven to be better at converting the sale.

F-Commerce Stores. The smaller businesses have seen promising results by building their store directly within Facebook.  This type of store is successful in integrating the sharing aspect into all segments of a Facebook fan’s shopping experience.  This strategy allows fans of the company’s Facebook Page to share items they are interested in buying with friends as well as sharing items they have purchased from the store.  The social commerce is paramount in exposure of the company’s product selections and existence of the store on Facebook.  This type of store can also be driving traffic to an e-commerce website to complete the sale.

F-Commerce Focus Groups. There are some companies who utilize the social aspect of the network by conducting exclusive product launches to their Facebook Page’s fans.  This strategy gives fans the opportunity to request free samples of the new product, share the product announcement with friends, and participate in the campaign by uploading a photo or video using the product.  The company benefits by requiring fans to first “like” the Facebook Page and submit information, like an e-mail address, before they may request a sample.  This also builds up a demand for the new product pre-launch and gives the company the ability to monitor feedback about the product while supplying the consumer with links to purchase that item from an online store.

The Apps designed to help businesses market themselves are what drive this f-commerce strategy.  Facebook released Timeline to business Pages along with the social graph API in order to better develop the relationship from socializing about a product to purchasing it.  When companies begin to leverage their use of the “like” button, activity feed, integrated registrations, and sharing they will benefit from the success that lies in social media marketing.

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