TAG | mobile

Strike a POSE

pose medianeedle postPOSE, is a free mobile app designed for fashionistas to discover and share inspiring styles from around the world. Recently surpassing 2 million registered users the latest fashion craze introduces their cutting edge integrated ‘native’ advertising. Unlike typical banner ads, which adhere to the top or bottom of apps, ads on Pose are blended in with users’ wall posts. Dustin Rosen, CEO and founder of @Pose explains, “We wanted to build [ads] into the stream, to make them more integrated and actionable.”  Not only does the mingled advertising look more appealing, the ad posts have the same functionality as standard posts allowing users to interact by “loving” and “saving” the ads. eBay Fashion followed by Juicy Couture Fragrances were the first ad campaigns to launch and Pose has stated they have “already sold a number of other in-stream ads for the back-to-school season in August and September.” – Mashable

Download POSE for IOS and Android

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2012: It’s all mobile

Smartphones have gone mainstream. 65% of mobile subscribers in the U.S. now have them.

As more and more people make the switch and an increasing number of devices become wireless, everyone and everything is becoming mobile. But until now marketers and their money have not been keeping up with this trend.

Hang on to your seats folks, 2012 is the year everyone really dives in. From major retailers to financial services, insurance providers, healthcare companies and medical device manufactures’… a whole new crop of businesses and services are now tapping the “social, mobile, local” movement, and poised to launch major mobile initiatives in 2012.

Businesses increasing focus on mobile means this is the year you will finally see fully flushed out mobile marketing programs make a real impact, across a broad range of industries.

We’re talking about the kind of super strategic, smart, creative thinking that takes branding, engagement and reach to a whole other level. Using mobile payments, mobile instant messaging, augmented reality, location based tagging, micro-targeting, push notifications, image recognition technology and social media promotions that connect with consumers right at the point of action.

We’re not the only ones who think this way. Gartner (IT)recently predicted “brands will increasingly shift their marketing budget to the mobile channel and experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture new marketing and sales opportunities.”  In fact, mobile app developer Bitzio (BTZO) claims worldwide, more than 14 billion apps have been downloaded to iPhones, Android, Windows, Nokia, Blackberry and other smaller mobile platforms.

But if you’re only thinking about apps, you’re missing the next big thing.

In 2012 you’re going start see an increasing number of people walking around with all sorts of ATTACHMENTS coming out of their phone…as everybody and their brother begins using credit card readers like Square or Intuit’s GoPayments (INTU‎ ) to accept and process credit cards payments on the spot. Meanwhile companies like Qualcomm (QCOM‎) are using mobile and wireless technology to reshape the healthcare landscape. Making it possible for hospitals and medical device manufactures or health and wellness companies to launch attachments that turn your phone into an ECG reader that fits in your pocket, a sonogram machine that can be used anywhere or a wireless diabetes monitor that safely stores, analyzes and instantly connects your medical information to your doctor, caregiver or hospital anytime or place you happen to use it and sends alerts back and forth as needed.

Companies, technology and service providers, that embrace the latest mobile developments have a real opportunity to use the mobile channel to make their products stand out from the pack, enhance brand image, retain user loyalty and actually improve quality of life. Now how often do you get to say that?

From mobile payments, to mobile couponing, to innovative location based mobile marketing programs and digital outdoor promotions that enable consumers to wirelessly interact with a brand message, instantly upload or share information across social media, text with digital billboards and connect with a brand message through augmented reality experiences that allow advertisers to speak with consumers at the point of transaction…2012 is going to be the end of the world as we’ve known it…and the start of some crazy, awesome stuff in mobile.

LOCATION BASED FACT

The total user base of consumer location-based services to reach 1.4 billion users by 2014.

MOBILE EMAIL FACT

Gartner expects mobile e-mail users worldwide to increase from 354 million in 2009 to 713 million in 2014, to account for 10.6 percent of the global mobile user base.

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/show.aspx?c=87261&slide=10

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Social Media Tools

Social Media moves at a remarkably fast pace, meaning that just one month in social media time can lead to stunning new developments, including new tools that allow you to save both time and money. Let’s take a look at some of this month and last month’s newest tools:

Panabee:  This site is truly a one-stop shop; search for available web domains by desired address or via associated keywords, browse related terms, the Google definition, and more. A simple entry like “safety pin” in the search box immediately yielded suggestions for available domains (safetypinn.com and gosafetypin.com) since our first choice (safetypin.com) was already taken. Panabee also pulled up to-the-minute twitter feeds relating to safety pins, as well as the top Google searches related to the product. Consider us hooked.

AppMakr: This free ‘drag and drop’ tool allows you to create your own mobile apps on iPhone, Windows and Android. It might signal the full arrival of mass mobile media and allows you to see the thousands of apps that have already been created using the site, by people just like you!

IconSeeker:  This site solves the difficult problem of finding social media icons to suit your site. While Google Image search can leave you with hundreds of options as far as site icons, IconSeeker narrows the results down to only the best. Example: We searched “fire” on both IconSeeker and Google Images. The results speak for themselves: and

Facebook Vanity:  Check out the availability of Facebook URLs in a matter of seconds, and grab yours if its available- it makes for a professional addition to your business card to have your profile listed as facebook.com/john.smith, versus facebook.com/skjdwi13.

PeerIndex: Use it to get an initial feel of key conversation drivers in a particular field.

What social media tools do you use on a daily basis? Tell us some of your new favorites in the comments.

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Social Media in Unusual Places

This week, we take a look at a few more cool social media case studies and the success certain brands have seen from their efforts. While in the past, social media campaigns were best used by marketing giants like Coca-Cola and Burberry, today social media is present in many industries, including healthcare, real estate and even credit card companies. Here are a few of our favorites unexpected uses of social media:

Mall of America: Lisa Grimm, digital public relations specialist for the Mall of America in Minnesota, recently shared the success of one of the Mall’s most triumphant campaigns. Since the most difficult time to park at the mall is during Christmas week, the Mall of America team decided to take advantage of this increase in activity to boost their social media following. The team decided to actually auction off parking spaces in the front row of the mall’s lot, but only to their social media followers. By using the parking event’s hashtag on Twitter, followers were entered into the auction. The campaign was a success: The Mall’s Twitter following increased by 11% and the campaign was covered by Forbes, among other news outlets. This campaign is just one example of the far-reaching grasp of social media.

Century 21 Real Estate: Century 21, a leader in real estate, recently revealed that QR codes will be available on Century 21 signs. These custom bar codes can be scanned on a smartphone and will direct you to specific information, such as a real estate listing.

American Express: American Express has been heavily targeting small business in the US for the past few months. One feature of their campaign is the American Express OPEN and Facebook collaboration called Big Break for Small Business.  The national contest was designed to help transform the way small businesses use Facebook, and of course, to publicize American Express as the leader for small business use. Business owners could enter to win an all-expense paid trip to Facebook headquarters for a two-day “boot camp” and a US $20,000 cash prize by submitting responses to a short questionnaire. Over 10,000 businesses entered to win their “big break,” and on July 5th the five finalists will be subject to a public vote. Read an interview with Rosa Alfonso of of the American Express Open program here.

The No Kids Hungry Pledge: Share our Strength, a non-profit organization, is working through their Facebook page to help end childhood hunger. On their custom welcome page, they ask you to take a pledge and help end childhood hunger by 2015. Once you sign up by providing your email and zip code, you receive an email asking you to help spread the word by way of social status updates (templated Facebook and Twitter posts) or via email. Note, they don’t ask for money or for you to volunteer your time. In doing so, Share our Strength is building their email database while gaining trust from their new fans.

Have you seen any cool uses of social media in the past few months? Share with us in the comments section!

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Passing GO – Local Mobile Marketing

Local mobile marketing can be associated with a plethora of words: Opportunity, innovation, growth, gainfulness – the list goes on.

Whether you own a small business or a large corporation, your purchasing decisions will have a distinctly local bend to them, marking the true importance of the local aspect of local mobile marketing. Ultimately, no matter the size of your business, you should be concentrating on local as it applies to you.

Appropriately, Adam Horwitz and Tim Donovan bring you Local Mobile Monopoly. The duo originally teamed up for Mobile Monopoly, released in December 2010, which revealed how to make money using mobile phone marketing strategies.

Their new product, Local Mobile Monopoly, was released in March and comes in a training video, software and text messaging services format. The video trains marketers on how to best use local mobile marketing, and guarantees profits through the use of mobile phones. The all-in-one mobile marketing tool is geared to benefit a variety of businesses and is ideal for new users and experienced marketers alike. Ultimately, the service claims to empower marketers’ local efforts with guaranteed success, mainly because it is founded on the idea that the local market is a gold mine.

Let’s break down the details: According to the CTIA, The Wireless Association’s semiannual wireless industry survey, 91 percent of Americans own a mobile phone. About 20 percent of these users (50 million people) own “smart phones,” mobile phones with Internet browsing and emailing capabilities.

Since smart phones bring online search capabilities to mobile users, businesses should include mobile search strategies in their overall marketing plans. In one of the most common applications of mobile search, customers rely on map apps to locate local businesses while on the move. Platforms like Yelp, for example, have built-in search functionality coupled with ratings contributed by members. Through Yelp, people can access coupons and discounts posted by businesses and accessible through “check-ins” on smart phones. This benefits both the business and the customers, who can also notify friends of their location, giving the whole process a “game” feel as well.

As local marketing dollars rapidly shift from traditional to online channels, the benefits of mobile marketing for businesses become clearer. The ability to enter the mobile version of a web site, garner email access, conduct map searches, access social media for referrals and use text messages for offers, coupons, etc. is invaluable.

By 2015, almost 25% of local marketing spent will be in the online space. Local Mobile Monopoly is just one of the many new services that will materialize as this arena continues to grow.

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Which Platform Do I Get On? Part I

*This is the first of a two-part series on social media platforms.

The key to navigating the ever-growing world of social media is to divide and conquer. With three main types of social media platforms- those that help you network, the ones that help you promote, and those that help you share- ease of navigation is a necessity.

A platform that allows you to network, like Facebook or LinkedIn, is the most commonly used. Whether you’re interested in getting back in touch with an old flame or making new contacts in the business world, using a social networking site is the easiest way to do so.

Promoting platforms, like YouTube or personal blogs, allow you to do just that: promote. Oftentimes, it isn’t even clear what someone is promoting; personal-style blogs, for example, seem to be promoting nothing more than daily outfits. Upon closer look, however, many of these blogs feature the latest fashions, both in clothing form and through ads, and bloggers can be compensated, whether with money or gifts of clothing, etc.

Lastly, we have platforms that allow you to share, like Digg and Delicious. These platforms operate through closely-knit communities that are not easy to infiltrate. Try to get voted up on Digg and you’ll realize instantly that it takes months of interaction with other users to build up the trust needed to share within the community

If you’re a networker and you like sites like Twitter and LinkedIn, check out Quora. This platform is a sort of best-of the Q&A platform format; a combination of LinkedIn Answers or Yahoo Answers with the look, feel and simplicity of Twitter.

Also check out Color. The platform uses location-based services like GPS to allow users to share the photos on their handsets with people—both strangers and friends—nearby (within a 150-foot radius of a user). Users can also create albums and social groups for photos from a specific event, and can also comment on photos and shoot video.

If you like YouTube and WordPress, try Instagram. This is heaven for tech-junkies and social networking addicts. Snap a photo with your iPhone and then edit the photo as you like, choosing a filter to transform the look and feel. Then, send to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr – it’s photo sharing, reinvented.

If you like sites like Delicious because you enjoy the thrill of sharing sites with like-minded web users, try a social shopping experience in 2011. Sites like Svpply and Polyvore allow users to create inspiration boards, generate user feedback, and ultimately, mimic a real-time shopping experience, minus the long lines and annoying interactions.

Next week, we’ll discuss some more business-oriented social platforms, like Wildfire and Buddy Media.

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The Trend Forecast: 2011

It’s February, and that means that most (if not all) social media experts have already released their predictions for the social media landscape of 2011. Social media is an interesting field in that the rapidly changing dynamic is truly what defines it; without the quick turnover and fast-paced edits we’ve grown accustomed to, social media would become stagnant.

True to form, 2011 is expected to feature some big changes and some powerful emerging trends. Since almost everyone in the blogosphere has released their version of 2011’s Emerging Trends, we thought we’d make it easy and act as a filter, picking the best ones and summing them up.

Expansion: This is a given, but the companies that pioneered corporate use of social media are bound to integrate social media further into their business plans. It’s not exactly breaking news, but expect to see large companies like Starbucks taking social media to the forefront of their business plans, especially in terms of global marketing.

Location-Based Services: Foursquare’s major appeal in 2010 was based on its ability to produce interactions with people and places on the go. In 2011, Facebook is positioned to take location-based services one step further, with advanced data and planning that will make the application not only fun, but business-savvy. Expect Facebook to surpass other social networks, including Foursquare, when it comes to location-based services.

Social Media Overload: Social media experts, who use their networks for work-related activity and on a constant, daily basis, are already used to the overload that comes with owning and using multiple profiles. 2011 may bring this phenomenon onto “regular” social media users, who will feel overwhelmed by the availability of so many networks. To tweet or to Facebook or to maintain your gchat contacts or build a Foursquare profile? Incidentally, this excess should bring about a positive change: More platforms like Hootsuite will be developed, in order to provide users with an integrated and simplified social graph. 2011 will be the year of social media organization.

Google Returns to the Top: Okay, so Google wasn’t really able to succeed in creating their own network- take a look at Buzz, for example . Google’s skill lays in indexing, and already, Google’s algorithm has become smarter about Twitter data than…Twitter itself. Search for old tweets in Google just by typing in a few words, and you’ll be able to locate old gems. Ultimately, Google should be able to take advantage of the social web by indexing any and all social data they can get their hands on.

The Informed Consumer: Mobile devices and social networks are joining together to make the consumer more powerful than ever. With access to discounts, coupons and targeted offers at all hours of the day, consumers can make more informed decisions. The ability to compare and contrast different brands even at the point of purchase, whether during online shopping or even at the cashier in the store, will force retailers to step it up. Expect to see more instant mobile coupons, online group discounts, and flash sales.

Integration: In 2011, technologies like mobile, geo-location, RFID, tablets, and Internet-enabled appliances will allow for sharper communication and a merging of experiences. Already, GoogleTV and Samsung are bringing internet apps to television. Department stores are experimenting with the virtual shopping experience; recently, Macy’s launched a dressing room experience that lets shoppers find clothes on an iPad and then try them on virtually. The shopper can even ask for feedback from their friends and family in real-time and check out the view using an augmented-reality mirror. By texting, e-mailing, and using other social networks, the consumer will be able to experience what mimics, and even surpasses, an in-store shopping experience. TMI meets virtual shopping- what could go wrong?

Ultimately, 2011’s success will be determined by just how far these emerging trends are developed, and just how these developments flourish. It comes down to usability, which is what social media is based on anyway. It will be an exciting year in the world of social media, for sure.

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How Are Baby Boomers Using Social Media?

Every seven seconds someone in America turns 50

77 million people were born between 1946 and 1964. By 2015, the AARP predicts that people aged 50 and older will represent 45% of the U.S. population.

These consumers matter and advertisers should pay attention.

The largest age group in the United States

According to the U.S. Census, in 2010, 49 will be the single largest age group in the United States. In 2010, adults 45 and older are predicted to out-spend younger adults by $1 trillion.

Where do casinos, health-care organizations and political campaigns — examples of advertisers whose models depend a lot on the 55-plus demographic — advertise if most broadcast outlets are programming toward younger demographics?

The answer is social networks

Internet monitoring site comScore, estimates 16.5 million adults age 55 and older currently engage in social networking.

Baby boomers, are finding social networking sites appealing for the same reasons younger people do – to stay connected. Of course the older you are, the more likely you are to be interested in reconnecting with long lost friends and classmates you haven’t talked to in more than 30 years.

Boomers like to Blog

Most people believe that all of the blogging, Twittering and Facebooking is being done by twenty and thirty-somethings. However the facts tell a different story.

The fastest growing users of social networking sites

According to a Consumer Electronics Usage Survey from Accenture, Baby Boomers (those born 1946-1964) are the fastest growing users of social networking sites and are increasingly reading blogs. Meanwhile Gen Y interest in these services has started to plateau.

Baby boomers are social

  • Increased reading blogs and listening to podcasts by 67 percent year over year; nearly 80 times faster than Gen Y (1 percent)
  • Posted a 59 percent increase in using social networking sites—more than 30 times faster than Gen Y (2 percent)
  • Increased watching/posting videos on the Internet by 35 percent—while Gen Y usage decreased slightly (-2 percent)
  • Accelerated playing video games on the go via mobile devices by 52 percent— 20 times faster than Gen Y (2 percent)
  • Increased listening to music on an iPod or other portable music player by 49 percent—more than four times faster than Gen Y (12 percent)

Gen Y is falling behind

  • Participation slipped in virtual worlds from 23 percent to 19 percent
  • Consumed no more video online than they did last year
  • Blogged and contributed to wikis less ( down from 35 to 33 percent)

Grandma loves Facebook

According to Facebook, their fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older. According to iStrategyLabs, Facebook has a user base of 18.1 million users, and the number of users age 55 and over has grown from a negligible 950,000 to 5.9 million in a mere six months, which equates to a 513.7% increase.

Look who’s on MySpace

Even MySpace, with 130 million users, is enjoying a surge among the 55-plus set, who total 6.9 million users and spend an average 204 minutes a month on the site.

The AARP gets social

In just one year, over 350,000 users created 1,700 groups celebrating everything from gardening to social activism on the AARP.org social networking platform. This 55-plus online Community encourages users to meet new adult friends and socialize with one another by sharing photos and videos, playing online games, asking advice, writing in a journal, and chatting with their connections. As social networking evolves, older consumers are becoming more and more involved with social networking sites. According to a study conducted by the AARP, 58% of members over 50 access their online community several times a day.

Boomers like to share

These sites are where Boomers share their opinions, and brands are starting to realize social networking is a great way to connect with this increasingly large group and wealthy group of consumers. In a world where few people live close to family or old friends, social media sites are making it easier for everyone to reconnect.

Everybody’s doing it

Whether it’s congressmen Twittering during presidential speeches, parents connecting with high school flames on Facebook or empty-nesters planning group outings on grown-up sites such as Eons.com, Baby Boomers are a growing part of social media’s evolution, becoming more connected and more engaged than ever before.

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GPS-aware mobile devices have become commonplace, making connecting the dots between what you’re doing and where you’re doing it easy. Now that businesses are actively exploring the opportunities that location-aware services provide, location will matter more than ever.

Everyone is Sharing Location Based Information

This year, Twitter, Foursquare, Loopt, Gowalla, Google and Facebook will all make it easier for people to share real-time, location based information and post location-aware updates.

This past December, on Christmas day Facebook was the most trafficked web site in the United States. Now it wants all of it’s users to become more open. Altering the default settings on millions of people’s status updates, in the hopes of making more Facebook updates public and searchable.

Get Ready for Location-Aware Status Updates

Sometime later this year Facebook will start to implement opt-in location-aware status updates. Knowing where your Facebook friends are having lunch or going for a run is a just as important, if not more so, than knowing that they’re doing it. So in much the same way that Foursquare shows you check-ins from friends and people checked in at events, Facebook will provide context around status updates in the wild, but on a much broader scale.

The social element of this voluntary disclosure allows marketers to tap into an engaged network of users and offer special promotions based on reported location. We expect FourSquare and other apps with a hybrid location/social-networking component to grow significantly in 2010.

Geo-Targeted Marketing

As the number of GPS-enabled devices continues to rise, expect to see a variety of innovative marketing solutions created to facilitate geo-targeting (i.e. in-aisle, in-store or in-proximity) and automated direct-marketing campaigns that are pushed to consumers with GPS-enabled mobile devices.

Business Will Capitalize on Location-Based Services

With the growth of location-based services and mobile apps, business now has the chance to minutely target consumers.

Of course this explosion of location based information will no doubt lead to main stream media stories of location-sharing gone wrong and will be used as cautionary tales for those who live their lives too openly. But once people begin to understand the value of connecting through location, more and more local business will capitalize on location-based services on social networks and mobile devices.

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Ten Social Media And Mobile Trends For 2010

top10

1.Business Becomes Social

With widespread adoption of social media for marketing, advertising and customer engagement, 2010 will be “the year social media goes corporate.” This means all types of agencies (advertising, digital and PR) will continue to look for ways to help clients participate in social media. But the real trend is the increasing number of Small Business owners who are using social media to attract and retain customers.

2.More Places To Share Video

Video is exploding across all communication platforms and will continue to play an important role in social media. As more and more blogs include links to video content and as mobile devices expand the use of video, we will see even more video content in all aspects of digital, mobile and social media.

3.Mobile Becomes The Viewing Choice For Social Media.

With approximately 70 percent of organizations banning social networks and, sales of smartphones on the rise, more and more people are turning to their mobile phone to connect with social media. As a result, we will see more mobile versions of social media sites.

4.Smartphones Make Websites Smarter

With more consumers using smartphones, websites will start to recognize when a user is viewing content on a phone and be able to deliver more specific, personalized, local content to mobile users.

5.Status Updates Fill Jobs

In 2010 more and more jobs will be posted through social networks. With the increased use of social networks, companies are realizing that announcing a job on an employee’s social networking site is easier and more cost effective than paying $400 for a 30 day job posting and getting 95% bad candidates or paying a recruiter 30-35%.

6.News Feeds Influence Investors

An increasing number of retail and institutional investors are using financial blogs and social networks to communicate and drive investment ideas. Although companies have been slow to adopt, 2010 will be the year that companies understand the opportunity and importance of embracing these channels and engaging with their investors and stakeholders.

7. Customers Speak Up On Fan Pages

Social media is being used to improve customer service. In 2010 more companies will start leveraging social media platforms to gauge the

customer mood, gain insights about specific groups, test products and improve customer relationships. Sites like Facebook will be used to run tailored marketing campaigns to change consumers attitudes, address problems and give customers a chance to share true feeling on a fan page.

8. Social Networks Spend More Time On The Phone

Mobile social networks and communities continue to grow at a staggering rate. Social networking and consumer generated media are no longer limited to a wired computer. Separate reports from M:Metrics and ABI Research show a surge of social media activity via mobile handsets. According to mobile research firm M:Metrics, mobile social networking is projected to grow to over 800 million users worldwide by 2012.

9. Everyone plays Together

More and more platforms are becoming complimentary of each other (ie. Twitter open API model) increasing integration of social media platforms.

As more companies adopt some type of integration with major social platforms, niche social platforms will need to work on mobile, Facebook and Twitter to gain major traction. In particular, the market is just begging for an app where a user can manage all social platforms in one place, for both aggregating and disseminating content.

10. Social Networks Work For The Government

Many government agencies are already using Twitter and Facebook for crisis communications. However more and more federal, state and local government agencies will start using to social media. G-Commerce will evolve. New applications will be developed to directly deliver services and benefits to citizens via smartphones.

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