I use the VoiceStorm mobile application powered by Dynamic Signal to share content throughout my social networks by scheduling posts a few days in advanced. Watch this video to learn how I use the application and how IBM uses it to amplify content throughout the social networks
For those that saw the GreenWheels demonstration and the many sessions at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit this year you saw a very common theme – content, community, and commerce integrated into a seamless experience for the customer.
Social is changing everything in our lives, including the online shopping experience. Brands are looking for better ways to “connect” with their customers and offer more than just the flashy product catalog or the marketing cross-sells and up-sells to entice you to buy more. Brands are looking to “connect” with their customer by enabling them to have a dialog with like-minded shoppers. Tools like Pinterest and Instagram are changing the referral landscape and are proving that a brands name certainly extends way beyond their primary site. But guess what? All brands get that for free, so how do you distinguish your brand?
A growing trend is simply content and community seamlessly merged with a shopping experience. Through communities, articles, blogs, wiki’s, videos, and even forums, brands are taking a lot of this in-house and including this directly into their shopping experience. We saw in our story of Katie how she used the GreenWheels mobile application to join a community, sign up for a ride, and even buy a new bike from a local store. Katie was able to feel like she was part of something bigger – a community within the brand that she could share, engage, and even shop in a single application experience.
These scenarios are all about content. Educating and informing the shopper through style guides, how to articles and videos, and most of all connect them with other shoppers. It is no secret I have worked with CoreMedia over the past many months and they have recently published a very nice white paper “Bringing Content and Commerce Together“. I urge you to check this paper out and re-invent your brand today.
I have seen an interesting pattern while watching people favorite my tweets and others tweets. I have never really been a fan of favoriting tweets because I read them and then possibly open the associated link and it its good I re-tweet it. I have come to the conclusion there are three reasons at play here – maybe you can think of more:
They favorite a tweet to read later because they don’t have time to read it now but don’t want to lose it.
They favorite a tweet to keep a list of things they like – ie. favorite it. So they can always go back to it later.
Draw attention to yourself from the tweeter.
While I can see the value in 1 and 2, number 3 simply annoys me. I also think if you favorite a tweet, why wouldn’t you re-tweet it? If it truly is a favorite then at some point you should re-tweet it in my opinion, otherwise you quickly fall into number 3.
You are on your favorite social site and you search for something. The results come back and guess what? The top result has nothing to do with your search term nor does it even contain your search term.
In this scenario I searched for “IBM” on Twitter and it gave the “Top people” which was good, it was two IBM accounts. But then look at the first entry in the “Top Tweets” section. It’s a CISCO promoted tweet from two months ago and IBM is not even a word in the tweet or the content! I don’t know about you but this is very annoying to me. I know Twitter has to make money and CISCO and IBM are technology companies but really? What is even more interesting is if I search IBM many times I see totally different CISCO promotions.
So then I got thinking, maybe Twitter is using some kind of analytic engine to actually associate a CISCO tweet with IBM? Clearly it can’t be completely random, right? Is there no IBM partner or promoted IBM content that would surely show on Twitter before a CISCO tweet? Did CISCO purchase the promoted rights to the search term “IBM”?
Customers are getting smarter. Smarter about products, brands, services, and most of all the way social works. The younger generation catches on quickly and often thinks outside of the box to get what they want. They call you out when they learn things, often using social media to tout their findings. In this post I outline two approaches “kids” use to figure out about a brand or get that special discount. I say kids but the reality is many internet savvy people are doing these things every day and you as a brand need to understand what happens when you are called out.
The Spam Finder
The first scenario is a disgruntled holiday shopper that all of the sudden started getting many “spam” emails from all kinds of companies. The shopper knew they purchased gifts on four different sites and wanted to figure out which site sold their email. The trick was they created four different emails on GMail and registered one email per site. Within days, two of the email accounts started getting unsolicited emails, that’s 50%! This could be harmful to the brand if something like that goes viral on Facebook or Twitter and calls you out. Be upfront and tell them their information is being sold but if you really want loyalty then clearly claim you will not sell their information. The later seems to be more the mode of operation on most sites because they want to build that loyal customer.
Abandoned Cart? No problem, here is your coupon!
The next story is a very interesting one to me indeed as I have often written about “abandoned shopping carts”, customer dialogs, and coupons. Did you ever wonder why your company has so many abandoned shopping carts? It only takes one person to abandon a cart, get an email with a coupon the next day because of the abandoned cart and next thing you know everyone that person knows is abandoning carts to get the coupons! Yep, you might want to do a few extra checks before issuing that coupon or only issue them under certain conditions like a return customer or a customer that has previously ordered from you.
If you have any stories around “baiting the big guy” I would love to hear them.
So back in November (2012) I wrote about how you can get views on your LinkedIn profile by making sure your profile is as complete as you can make it (Who’s viewed your profile) – thanks again Ben Martin. So look what I got in my email today, not bad for 200 million members!
In case you missed this, which you probably haven’t since it is all over the news now, but Oreo and their ad agency (360i) took advantage of the power outage at the Super Dome last night and tweeted “Power Out? No problem” with the picture on the right. Brilliant! The picture was re-tweeted over 13,000 times.