December 9, 2013

7 emerging social media marketing trends for 2014

pinterest-vine-gplus
Pinterest, Vine and Google Plus: three of the sites to keep an eye on in 2014.

Predictions to help businesses stay ahead of the curve

Guest post by Nikhil Jain

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

nikhil-jainWith 2014 knocking on the door, we thought it was time to put down the eggnog and take a hard look at what’s going to be hot on the social media marketing front the coming year — and what won’t be hot.

Before we do, let’s take a quick look at a roundup of trends that have originated from the most popular social networks this year. Continue reading

April 16, 2013

4 free tools to measure your success on Instagram

Analytics

Keep track of your small business’s progress with SumAll, Statigram, SimplyMeasured & Nitrogram

Guest post by Rachael Seda

Rachael-SedaFor the past few months, my friend Ryan has been managing a boutique in a nearby shopping center called Apricot Lane. I know 80 to 90 percent of the stores in this area are out of my price range and, because they are so expensive, their typical customers are more likely to be women in my mom’s age group.

I assumed that Apricot Lane was another boutique with clothes for women older than myself. That is, until Ryan started an Instagram account for the boutique. She posted photos of the clothes, jewelry, and new items on Instagram. She even posted photos of people I knew modeling the clothes.

I fell in love with the different styles and fun items. I realized my preconceived notions were wrong, and I became quickly convinced that I needed to visit the boutique. Not only did I visit, I brought my mom and sister with me, both of whom loved it. Continue reading

February 26, 2013

Location-based services are coming of age (and it’s way more than Foursquare)

3 iphone-screenshots
From left, screenshots of the new app Now, EyeEm and Gogobot.

Geolocation apps start to splinter into verticals

This is the second in an ongoing series on the state of geolocation apps, sites and services. Also see:
• Part 1: Are you ready for the place graph?

Target audience: Startups, entrepreneurs, businesses with location-based components, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaIn part one of this series we looked back at the early days of geolocation, with Platial kicking off the geoloco revolution in the practically prehistoric year of 2005. Since then, a number of paradigm-shifting startups have already come, gone or been sold, among them fwix, Loopt, Ditto, Blockboard, Everyblock (shut down this month) and the late lamented NextStop and Whrrl.

geologo-logoOn Sunday Josh Williams, former founder-CEO of Gowalla and now a product manager at Facebook, penned a great writeup on the early years of the Foursquare-Gowalla death match, spanning 2009-2010, before Foursquare emerged as the King of Check-In Mountain.

Now that the table has been set, what’s next for geolocation? Is it all about Foursquare, Yelp, yawn and go home?

I don’t think so. Instead, we’re seeing geolocation begin to splinter into niches and verticals. And, within a couple of years, geolocation capabilities will simply be baked into our everyday on-the-go lives.

From Silicon Valley and elsewhere, startups have emerged with powerful, useful geolocation capabilities central to their business model. As someone who’s as much an entrepreneur as a social strategist, I’m about to cast off into these choppy waters myself with a startup called Placely. (Come add your email addy to be notified when we’re ready to roll!)

Flavors of location: Travel, recommendations, geo-social & more

We’re still in the expansion, experimentation and buyout phase — before the inevitable contraction, consolidation and hand-wringing phase sets in

In surveying the competitive landscape, I’ve been struck by how diverse the geo landscape has become. We’re still in the expansion, experimentation and buyout phase — before the inevitable contraction, consolidation and hand-wringing phase sets in. Every week, it seems, I hear about a new startup doing something interesting with geolocation. (I still wish Gowalla had pivoted instead of selling to Facebook.)

Navigation apps like Waze and mapping sites (Google, Apple, Mapquest, Bing Maps) are all about location, but they’re too obvious to include here.

So what are the new breed of startups using location information in interesting new ways? Continue reading