Articles Tagged ‘social media tips’

The Role of Taste Graphs In Social Commerce

Monday, June 11th, 2012

kylepic

A major new trend in our social media-driven marketing landscape is the rise of the “taste graph.” A taste graph is a web tool by which marketers can connect with consumers and connect consumers to each other via their interests and tastes. It is being hailed as the once and future engine for social commerce, as well as an incredible tool for cultivating and tapping into niche markets.

Essentially, taste graphs cull data from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and create “mash-ups” of consumer opinions. In a way, it is a form of social data mining. At its core, it is a mechanism by which to present products and services to the people most likely to consume them. Here are a few of the ways taste graphs are expected to figure into social commerce in the near future:

Encouraging the embrace of social early adopters—“Tastemakers” have always been depended upon in the traditional marketing sense as the early proponents of a new trend. In the social media landscape, the rise of social commerce makes it likely that merchants will foster, encourage, and reward reliable tastemakers in the same way that place-based messaging networks harvest brand ambassadors and “mayors.” These tastemakers could become to social commerce what viral videos are to YouTube.

Targeted Discounts and Rewards—Before social commerce, deals and discounts were sent out based rather blindly upon geography and demographic. It had virtually nothing to do with the kind of optimized, targeted marketing now being perfected with neuromarketing. By using taste graphs businesses will gain the ability to hyper-target deals based upon consumer interests, making lucrative marketing tactics more efficient than ever.

Creating a community of social recommendations—The best people to take recommendations from are people who share your interests and tastes. If you’re a horror movie fan, you obviously want recommendations from horror movie buffs, not people who only watch comedies. The refinement and customization of social recommendations is expected to reach a critical mass this year and taste graphs will ideally help to make the social commerce world a friendly environment for marketers and advertisers to connect with consumers.

The rise of the taste graph is not a shocking development. It plays directly into the trend of more customized and personalized online consumer interactions. Companies, marketing agencies, and entrepreneurs everywhere stand to benefit from understanding and integrating this vibrant new web tool.

kyle lacy
ExactTarget
(blog) www.kylelacy.com
(join) www.smallerindiana.com
(tweet) kyleplacy

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Pros and Cons of Facebook Acquiring Instagram

Friday, April 27th, 2012

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Now that Facebook has acquired the popular photo app-based mobile network Instagram for the price tag of $1 billion dollar, it’s time to look at how this merger will affect both services. As with any major business move like this, we can expect pros and cons and elements that will likely remain a mystery for some time. As the most important social media company of all time, one that will soon be traded publicly, Facebook has made its mark on virtually all forms of business and commerce, from custom promotional product services like Inkhead to nonprofits looking to rally their grassroots communities. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of one of Facebook’s most important acquisitions:

Pros:

Facebook will become an even more powerful medium for photographers and artists who wish to share their work. Up until this time, Facebook has been a common medium for all people looking to promote their work and gather followers. Facebook acquiring Instagram means it will likely be heavily investing in new photo app and storage features that will likely attract many new photographers and artists and give them new opportunities to network.

Instagram will have the capital to develop tons of new features. Instagram itself will now be flush with cash and will have the financial ability to significantly develop their brand. Not only will existing features become more web-friendly, new features will likely become powerful cross-platform applications.

Cons:

They risk alienating a niche consumer base. Facebook/Instagram will soon be tampering with an extremely organic and clique-ish community that may dislike an infusion of hundreds of thousands of users. This larger user base will dramatically speed up the movement of the image feed, which could lead to unrest as more quality images get buried under a pile of others.

It’s unclear whether or how Facebook will store the old Instagram photos. Your previous ability to keep some photos private may now be jeopardized by Facebook data mining. For die-hard Instagram loyalists who liked knowing exactly where their photos were being kept, the new Facebook world could be unsettling.
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Facebook Fan Pages: Back to Basics & Branding

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

So by now, most of you have heard about or seen the new Facebook timeline and changes to how Facebook fan pages will display at the end of March, 2012. So what does this mean for small businesses?

1) If you haven’t branded your fan page yet, you’re in luck. Gone are the days of custom tabs where companies practically begged you to follow the gigantic arrow pointing to their “like” button. Now, companies simply have a place to post a simple graphic or photo in the top banner, which cannot be promotional in nature. The good news is that if you haven’t really taken the time to customize your page before, you haven’t wasted any resources thus far. But it’s a good idea to keep up with the times and get your fan page customized.

2) Your fan page should reflect your business brand. In many ways, the new format makes your Facebook page more about your brand. So think about what images come to mind when customers experience your brand. The Indianapolis Business Journal Fan page, at the time of this writing, has a cool mural of the city as its backdrop. Use this opportunity to incorporate a tagline or to tell people about your company. Incorporate the color scheme and graphics from your website. Or, simply change out the banner graphic as needed to tell the story and keep fans engaged. A good example of this is Coca Cola’s fan page.

3) Need ideas for good Facebook fan pages? Look to the national brands. On that note, if you’re struggling to decide what to put on your Fan page banner, check out some of the national brands such as, Arby’s who uses (at the time of this post) their fan page to promote a seasonal offering (I hate sauerkraut but this sandwich actually looks yummy). This could work for any business who offers products that they could highlight. Macy’s fan page, as of today, just posts a photo of one of their stores, boasting their tagline “world’s largest store.” This would be an idea for a retail or business that has a really cool office building or storefront, and would also increase visibility.
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You’re Tweeting All Wrong: Twitter Tips for Small Business Owners

Monday, March 5th, 2012

First of all, I want to start by saying that there is not one way to use Twitter. Obviously, there are many types of Twitter accounts. There are celebrity profiles where thousands follow their favorite celeb’s every thoughts, national brands that celebrate the fans that love them, and even customer service accounts, where sometimes irate customers can rant or get advice on a recent experience with a company or service. But what about Twitter for small businesses?

New Chick to Twitter? Learn how to Fly Right.
If your small business has a Twitter account, what is the most effective way to post on Twitter for maximum effectiveness?

1) Start with a goal for Twitter: Is your goal simply for brand awareness? Are you seeking sign-ups for your e-newsletter? Selling a specific product? Filling seats for an event? Retail sales? Or simply to be seen as a resource or expert in your industry? Before you begin a Twitter strategy, really take the time to think about your goals for your business, and how Twitter might be able to take you there.

2) Who is your Audience? Twitter is a big world. In an ideal scenario, whom might you want to become a follower of your Twitter feed? Who might be a good source of information to share with your audience? What companies or individuals that sell to a similar audience or who are in your same industry are also on Twitter? Use the answers to these questions to guide you as you follow others and develop segments of Twitter users to watch and interact with.

3) Who will be the face of your Twitter account? For businesses, you have the option of having one company account on Twitter but also a personal account with your name and photo. If you are a solopreneur, it probably makes more sense to be the official “face” of your Twitter profile, with your company name but your photo on the account. Just remember to let your personality come out a bit and don’t just hide behind your brand. If you have multiple employees, you may want to consider letting your employees cross-promote your business profile through their feeds.

4) 80/20 Rule (at least): Keep your tweets 80 percent conversational or educational, and 20% promotional, at a minimum. If all you do is promote yourself, it will turn your followers off very quickly. It’s okay to provide a link to your latest blog post, new product offering, special discount, or press release, but make sure this is not all you are doing on Twitter. I have seen many accounts that only toot their own horn, and these profiles will not grow in popularity (unless of course, they are a deals site or have a sole purpose of notifying people of special deals).
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