Foursquare

HootSuite is no stranger to those who keenly follow and use social media each day. Its intuitive social media dashboard offers users the ability to monitor and post to a plethora of social networks while tracking over 30 analytics along the way. Better yet, the platform’s unrivaled team collaboration features have won the affection of many enterprises seeking to align their social strategy with the help of multiple employees.

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Last year Facebook edged in on Foursquare territory when they opened Facebook Places—a hyper-local form of marketing copied from already successful location-based apps. Foursquare even openly welcomed the move from the social marketing giant as they sent a spokesperson to the opening party at Facebook HQ to deliver a speech about the importance of a big player like Facebook recognizing the importance location-based applications--but unfortunately the speech sounded more like a Foursquare eulogy than a Facebook Places welcome.

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Despite Mark Zuckerberg’s ascent to Internet royalty, Facebook isn’t the only social network around. In fact second tier social sites like Tagged, Hi5, BlackPlanet and Bebo receive 3-6 million unique page views every month. Some second tier networks even rival Facebook’s quality; BlackPlanet users spend an average of 3.6 minutes longer on their site than Facebook users spend on Facebook and MyYearbook and Tagged users spent 3 minutes longer on the site than MySpace users on MySpace. Second tier is here.

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Part 1: The Future of Retailing Lies in a Cross-Channel World

As retailers continue to navigate their way out of the economic turbulence of recent years, many have found that the new landscape they’ve emerged into is characterized by new consumer behaviors—especially those borne of the new channels beyond the physical and virtual storefront.

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Social media is the next big frontier for marketers. It’s a gigantic space with billions of members worldwide that self-identify by profession, age, location, relationship status, tastes in music, movie preferences, favorite foods, and more. Who needs market research anymore? All you have to do is clue in to a certain demographic by interacting on social media and people who are searching for what you have to offer will come to you. It’s a way to reach out to and interact with your best customers—those who will be your brand evangelizers and will recommend your products and services to their friends—on an ongoing basis and keep them in the fold.

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Most companies and brands these days have started to realize that they can’t just keep playing the same old advertising and marketing game. They have to adapt to the emerging social media landscape in order to survive. Not only survive, but thrive. Consumers today are more likely to trust recommendations from friends than they are advertising messages, and those recommendations are coming through social media.

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