Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Facebook Will Take You Places

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Facebook Places

With the recent launch of  “Places,” Facebook’s jump onto the LBS bandwagon has us excited about the possibility of “check-ins” becoming mainstream behavior. This opens up a new dimension of thinking as we develop engagement and marketing strategies for our clients, keeping in mind how to leverage these opportunities to build brand loyalty. Businesses have already partnered with LBS services like MyTown and Gowalla to encourage check-ins at retail locations or restaurants to receive discounts; however, the number of users on these platforms reach only about 3 million.

Facebook’s obvious advantage lies within its 500 million users and the promise towards privacy responsibility. If the majority of Facebook users adopts this new location-based technology, this will take the network one step closer to becoming the Google of social. Once the majority of users are comfortable with sharing location, the dynamics of marketing could change, enabling us to bring a campaign physically to the audience instead of living online. We see Places as the potential connecting factor between the physical and virtual world, further pushing the possibilities of launching campaigns that incorporate both.

Get Your Groupon

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

group buying concept

According to a recent data report released by Coupons.com, digital coupons have grown 100% this year, while newspaper coupons rose to 8.4%.

We like deals as much as anyone and recently, we’ve been getting them from sites like Groupon and Living Social. The movement of social shopping is gaining steam, but whether it will take off like social media giants Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr still remains to be seen. With the explosive popularity of social media and rising number of engaged users tweeting and liking, it was only a matter of time before startups began to create social media commerce services as well.

There is a wide range of commerce applications, all of which differ in level of involvement and amount of information users share. Applications like Swipely and Blippy ask users to sync their credit card transactions in order to share purchases with friends. Groupon, EarlyBird, and Living Social bring users daily deals. In Groupon’s case, deals are “unlocked” if enough people sign up for the offer – group buying. Groupon is now expanding its movement with Personalized Deals, which will customize daily deals each user receives, a move that competitors such as DealPop is making as well.

Although purchase sharing apps aren’t catching on yet – understandable since transactions aren’t exactly something most users want to share – group buying is rapidly expanding into more markets, giving services like Groupon leveraging power on which companies it chooses to feature. These services are changing how new products and businesses promote themselves to a larger audience — and we’re keeping an eye on how the power of collective buying impacts marketing strategies.

[stats via MediaPost]

Game On

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

iron man iPhone gameWith the premiere of Iron Man 2, the movie’s iPhone game is currently featured first in the App Store.

Smartphone gaming has entered into the gaming arena with a strong force. Spotting people playing games with each other through their phones is becoming as common a sight as people playing on a game console, or playing with other portable gaming devices. About 41% of smartphone users play games at least once a month, 16% play at least once a week, and 13% play everyday. There was a 35% decrease in feature phone gaming, but a 60% increase in smartphone gaming this year.

Having built an iPhone app for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, we recognize the value of casual gaming experiences for users. Our app gives LA Phil fans a fun, interactive experience that puts them in the shoes of conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The convenience of gaming on a smartphone reaches a wide demographic who aren’t necessarily avid gamers, but enjoy the experiences as an outlet of release, or a quick break from their everyday lives. It is important for developers and brand marketers to tap into that valued experience, because they could have users interacting with their brand for hours in a cross-platform environment. Mobile games can effectively have people virtually experience a brand, and have fun at the same time.

The trend of mobile gaming is currently going strong, and the upcoming release of the Apple Game Center, a social gaming network launching for the iPad and iPhone this summer, could open more opportunities for creative marketing efforts. The Game Center will become Apple’s social network that provides a space for players to connect, earn achievements, and compare high scores, similar to Xbox Live. The popularity of social games is apparent judging by the success of some of Facebook’s games: Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Restaurant City.

[stats via comScore]

FB Takeover

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Facebook

The f8 conference took place yesterday, and the effects of Facebook’s new platform have been infiltrating the web – popping up on Yelp, probing for a thumbs up on CNN articles, and sharing your favorite artists on Pandora. So far Facebook has integrated plugins on over 75 websites, and this is how they’re doing it:

Universal “Like” – Facebook’s “like” button originally applied to status updates, photos, links, or videos shared on Facebook. Now the like button has extended to major websites such as the NYTimes, ABC, IMDb, Fandango, and USA Network. Once you like something (a movie, band, or place to eat) it will automatically add itself to your list of interests on your profile and start sending you news feed updates.

Activity Feed – When you’re logged into Facebook and visit  sites such as Levis.com or NHL.com, you will see a stream of articles and topics your friends have liked, enabling you to comment on selections such as a pair of jeans or an NHL team.

Recommendations – These lists reveal which articles on each web site your friends are sharing the most, basically a “most popular” list.

Integrating friends’ updates with news sites seems the obvious next step for Facebook since the trend has been that more and more users turn to Facebook for instant news updates versus actual news sources. However, some users will likely find it troublesome or annoying when liked sources are automatically added to their Facebook profiles, and start sending users notifications. Depending on how avid a Facebook user you are, this new platform could be the easiest way to share content with your network, or a pain in the neck that can only be removed by scouring through and updating a series of privacy settings.

Becoming Mayor

Monday, March 29th, 2010

foursquare, gowalla, google latitude, twitterWhile standing in line for the restroom at CTIA Wireless, a person joked about whether we were going to check in and become mayor of the restroom. Location-based applications are this year’s trending topic, especially at events like SXSW and CTIA. To see which ones worked best, we experimented with Foursquare, Gowalla, Google Latitude, and Twitter’s new geotagging feature. Here are the results from our study:

Foursquare: If Yelp and Twitter merged and became a game, it would be Foursquare. Foursquare is centered on letting your friends know where you are, giving tips about that location and vice versa – most times this relates to restaurants. We like Foursquare because it gives incentive to check in, not just for virtual badges and “mayor” entitlement (title earned from checking into a place the most), but for real discounts. We’d say Foursquare works the best for social foodies and people constantly on the go who are looking for tips from their wide network of friends.

Gowalla: Gowalla is definitely the most aesthetically pleasing of the four. And unlike the rest, it functions mainly as a geocaching scavenger hunt game. Checking in requires the player to be in an exact location, not just anywhere within the proximity of the venue. The objective is to collect as many stamps in your passport as possible. Gowalla works best for gamers who are out and discovering new places, not sitting in their parent’s basement staring at the computer screen.

Google Latitude: Google latitude basically pinpoints you and your friends’ locations on Google maps. It’s cool to see your friends’ actual location on a map, but why would you need to? We suppose this app would work best for paranoid parents who need to know where their children are at all times.

Twitter: Although Twitter’s geotagging function is similar to Google latitude where the location of the user is pinpointed on a Google map, we find Twitter’s function more useful since it pairs a tweet with a location.  Avid tweeters who want location sharing without the fuss should stick with Twitter.

All four applications cater to different user personalities. We’d like to see Facebook integrate location sharing, and perhaps even make a game out of it. In reality, Facebook is the most accurate representation of our real friends, which is who we want to follow. The good news is, we hear they’re already working on it.

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

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