Articles written in July, 2012

July 31 2012

Foursquare Includes Advertising Options


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
Old Navy
Starwood Preferred Guest,The Standard Miami

July 30 2012

Pinterest’s Growth Reaches New Heights


Although the social media platform Pinterest appears to have been an overnight success in mid-2011, it’s really been four years in the making, according to an article on Yahoo Finance. Ben Silbermann, one of Pinterest’s founders and a former Google employee, was the visionary behind the virtual pinboard that flopped before it flourished. Silbermann’s original vision was an iPhone app called Tote that pulled data from multiple online product catalogs into one, meta catalogue for shoppers. Users could find products from multiple retailers in one place, and search by location. When the app didn’t achieve the success he had hoped, Silbermann observed that the people who were using the app were sending themselves images of the products they liked and collecting them. He eventually realized that people weren’t searching for a specific product by name. They were searching by category. And hence, it evolved into an idea that made $37 million in 2011 alone.

So what does this mean for platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have already carved out a hefty piece of the social media pie? Well, according to research from a Compete Online Shopper Intelligence Survey, one in four consumers report that they are spending less time on other social media sites in favor of Pinterest. It’s becoming more than just a place where people go to show off their MacGyver-like craft skills (although they can do that there, too). It’s a place that’s driving purchasing decisions. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed reported purchasing a product or service after searching for it on Pinterest.

In the last year, Pinterest has grown from 700,000 unique visitors to nearly 20 million, which is about half the number of Twitter’s unique visitors. They’ve even tapped into an audience that wasn’t previously engaged in social media. Fifteen percent of users on Pinterest reported that they do not use any social media sites. It’s become a place where people go to find excursions in Costa Rica, the perfect recipe for a seven-layer cheese dip, inspiration for wedding invitations, the right outfit for a big interview, or step-by-step instructions of how to expand your closet, without bringing your house down with it.

If you can dream it, you can find it. And if you can’t find it, you can pin it.

July 24 2012

Design Update for LinkedIn


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?

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