Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Social Wish List: Livefyre Comments Post to Google+

July 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Livefyre to G+

Social commenting is a great thing. It allows people to bring in other people to the conversation, allowing for a deeper, richer understanding.

And that’s one of the reasons why I love Livefyre, a company that has grown to include products for “real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising.”

But I’d like to focus on the real-time conversation aspect in this post with LiveComments.

LiveComments love

I love LiveComments and the ability to use them to integrate into other channels and bring others into the conversation. I use it when I comment on sites with LiveComments to push my comments and share a social link to Twitter. And I’ve been drawn into conversations on LiveComments through social shares to Twitter by others.

But there is one thing missing with LiveComments.

Google+ use

Yes, I said it. Google+. You might be thinking that no one is using Google+.

You’d be wrong, as Digital Marketing Ramblings shows.

Google+ might not be as popular as Facebook or Twitter, as endearing as Instagram and Pinterest, or as fun as Snapchat or Tinder.

But it does have a fan base the consists of photographers, marketers, foodies, writers and more. And a lot of these people are not only using Google+ daily, but also using it as or near the top of their social networks.

And that means companies should not be afraid to pour time and resources into a product that would integrate with the network.

Will Google+ last?

A valid point. With the loss of Vic Gundotra from Google, it does put a bit of doubt into the long-term viability of Google+. Gundotra was one of the founders of the social media network.

However, Google will surely not look to close down Google+, not with its integration with Google Authorship and its competition for search data collection.

I am no expert on Google+, but I don’t see it as a tool that will be folded like Buzz or Wave were. Google has too much riding on the success — or at least continuation of — Google+ to see it be yet another product that it closes down.

How it could work

I think one area in which this could be especially well received is in Google+ communities. Communities are a great feature on the social network, and they would serve as a fair way to share content and get people involved in the conversation.

That’s especially true considering that communities range from hyper specific to more broader terms.

And it would be a great added feature to be able to mention people in your circles, just as you are able to mention people you follow on Twitter or are friends with on Facebook.

It certainly makes sense to also enable comment sharing to an individual user’s home feed. Or even to dictate which circles could see that you are commenting on a story, especially if that story or blog post pertains to only one or two of your circles.

Bring it to Google+

Google+ still has a large user base using the network regularly, and Livefyre would do well to include it into its commenting userface.


Emergence of Apps as Second Screen for Video Games

March 3, 2014 2 comments
iFruit app

Training your dog, Chop, on the Grand Theft Auto V iFruit app.

When it comes to video games, developers and studios always seem to be a step ahead in the social media sphere.

And video game companies are taking that to heart as they develop original game content for the intended platforms as well as original content and functions for the apps that tie in with the game and provide a deeper level of gaming.

Enhanced gameplay

This is more than just a second screen for video games. Indeed, in some instances, it’s really a way to continue playing the game while you’re not able to play the game.

So what do I mean by that?

iFruit app

Modding your cars on the Grand Theft Auto V iFruit app.

Take, for instance, the iFruit app from Rockstar Games, maker of Grand Theft Auto V. In the game, one of the characters has a dog. On the app, you can train your dog, teach it new tricks and more, and that pays off in the game by enabling the dog to better assist the character during missions.

Not only that, but the iFruit app allows gamers to mod out their vehicles while they’re away from the game so that they can come back and have a pimped-out ride.

Satisfying side missions

Likewise, in another large video game franchise, gamers can use the app for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag to interact with the in-game map and with Kenway’s Fleet, a series of side missions that allow the gamer to collect more rewards in cargo and currency.

It’s a nice way to keep gamers playing the game even when they can’t actually play the game. (Especially since it’s a little difficult to lug around an entire console.)

Other uses, too

Then there’s games like Beyond Two Souls, and in the Beyond Touch app, Sony has allowed the use of the app to act as the controller.

It doesn’t really provide a second screen experience, but it does show that game apps can be more than just instructions or a wiki guide.

Added value

These apps add more than just a way for game developers to continue to have their name out there. These apps actually allow the gamers to continue their game when not at home, and deepen the gaming experience by providing a way to continue to add to the game.

More and more, apps are becoming the second screen for video games.

Your Audience Owns Your Content

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

If you hadn’t heard, I’m a contributing blogger for Social Solutions Collective. And the Collective has a weekly Twitter chat, #collectivechat, on Mondays.

This week we talked about owned vs. leased digital real estate. One of the questions was “Who ‘owns’ the content you post online?”

I’ll admit, my answer, by and large, was the same as most everyone else: You do. But I had a nagging devil’s advocate in the back of my mind. So I answered:

And that’s what I’m going to do.

Why you own your content

You create your content, so that gives you a right to receive credit when it is shared. You went through that hard work to make content that would be good, useful and used.

You are the one putting all the hard work and effort into getting an idea, a little wisp of a thing floating around in your head, onto paper or photo or video or whatever.

That’s your work, from start to finish, and that’s why it’s your content.

Why your audience owns your content

But let’s get things straight: Just because you create content doesn’t mean you own the content. You can slave over that blog post, spend hours getting the right lighting or nitpick over video edits, but it doesn’t mean you own the content.

Sure, it might be your copyright, your hard work, but it’s not yours.

It belongs to your audience. To your community.

After all, that’s who you created the content for. So it’s their’s to read, to view, to consume, to share. It’s their’s to modify, to tweak, to use.

And if your community doesn’t use, consume, share or discuss your content, does it really matter who owns it?

HOW TO: Optimize Your Storify Notifications

August 12, 2013 2 comments
Storify Notifications

A sample Storify notification popup. The top part shares on your social networks, and the bottom sends notifications to other Twitter users.

I’ve talked before about how Storify is one of my favorite content curation tools.

And one thing that I’ve learned over time is that sending notifications to the people whose content you curate is an important step.

That’s why you need to maximize your efforts and optimize your Storify notifications.

Duplicating content

One way to optimize your notifications, which are sent out via Twitter, is to pull in content you find in other streams as duplicate content from the Twitter stream.

That might sound a bit confusing, so let’s use this example: Suppose you found an Instagram photo in the Instagram stream. You pull it into your Storify.

What you should also do is search your Twitter stream to see if that Instagram photo was published to Twitter. If it was, it increases the number of people you will send notifications to.

Then, after you have sent out the notifications, you can go back in and edit out the duplicate images imported from the Twitter stream.

You can use this for any other streams, too, including Flickr and YouTube.

The default message

So you’ve increased the number of people to notify with the first step. Now let’s transform that default message, which you can also see in the photo above. This is what it is:

You’ve been quoted in my #Storify story “[Storify story headline]” [Shortened Storify URL]

What makes that message stand out?


But do you want to stand out?

Yes, of course.

Then don’t notify people until you’ve changed that default Storify notification message. Period. It’s that simple.

Why do this step?

It’s easy: Personalization. It’s about that extra step, and that shows people that you put in effort above the minimum.

Storify shows you how many characters you have left when you write a personalized message. (In the photo, that character limit is “32.”)

Your goal should be to get that character limit number down as close to zero as possible.

Push it to the (character) limit

Why take that close to zero? It’s simple: That way, you ensure that each person will get a personalized tweet with (likely) only their Twitter handle plus the rest of your message and the link. I say likely because if two people have short Twitter handles, they might get notified together.

But when you modify that message to something like “Thank you for your contribution to this #Storify story …” then you end up sending a personalized tweet to and thanking them in the process. It’s a nice bonus when you stretch that character limit.

Takes just a minute

Remember, even if you have a lengthy Storify story, you have to modify that default message only once if you notify everyone at the same time.

So go that extra step. Take that extra minute.

Make sure you optimize your Storify notifications by using every character possible, which will ensure you tweet out the notifications in a personalized manner.

Categories: business, marketing Tags:

Like or Comment: What Do You Think of This Facebook Marketing Tactic?

July 22, 2013 3 comments

Like Comment Facebook Marketing TacticLikes. Comments.

When you interact with a page on Facebook, those are the two most common ways you will do so.

And, a new Facebook marketing is asking you to choose one of those responses.

This is what happens: A page will post an update (link share or photo, generally) and ask those who see the post to like if they agree with one option and comment if they agree with another option.

In other words, it’s a poll using Facebook actions. You can see an example above from the KLM UK Facebook page.

Legitimate or lame?

Why this tactic could be legitimate: Likes and comments are at least two of the metrics you measure for your Facebook success.

Why this tactic could be lame: If you want to set up a poll, you can do so; Facebook has that option already.

A lesson from big brands

Marketing tactics can sometimes have a trickle down effect, meaning big brands use them and then smaller brands adopt them. However, I perused most of the Top 20 brands on Facebook, according to None of the brand pages I looked through were using this tactic.

In fact, most brands often posted unique, brand-specific content as opposed to memes or other content that was not original to the brand. (Surely that’s one reason those are top brands on Facebook.)

But I digress: My point is KLM UK could have found some other way to use the above content without asking for fans to vote via likes or comments.

Measuring the efforts

Think about this: If a brand posts a one of these (a Facebook-action poll), does it hurt engagement numbers? For instance, if someone really wanted to like the photo above but didn’t want to vote for Africa, they might have left the content without liking or commenting.

Brands could measure this by comparing Consumers vs. Reach for Facebook-action poll posts versus other similar (photos to photos, link share to link share) posts as Jon Loomer suggests as a Facebook Insights ratio to monitor.

This is not a tactic that I have used, though, so I have no data to compare and contrast.

A call for action

But brands asking for likes or comments usually is not a bad thing. In fact, as Hubspot points out, calls to action on Facebook lead to more likes and comments (and more shares if the CTA is “share”).

In that light, providing a CTA is not a bad thing. But posturing the content as a Facebook-action poll could be.

What do you think: Is this a tactic that should be embraced or scorned by marketers?

Customer Service Case Study: Jimmy John’s

April 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Jimmy John's(UPDATE: 10:22 a.m. 4/1/13 below)

Yes, I have a food blog, and yes, that means I love to cook at home a lot.

But sometimes I’m tired and worn out and just want a quick meal without work. So I rely on a few nearby restaurants.

Jimmy John’s is one of them. And, after the service they gave us when we ordered from them last week, they won’t be included any more.

Freaky fail

The bad service started when my wife called our order in. The employee did not ask her how she wanted to pay. My wife had to call back to pay by credit card. The employee did not say “Thank you” or “Bye”; she simply hung up.

We have called this particular Jimmy John’s location to place an order before, and sometimes we have our food within 10 or 15 minutes. Freaky fast, indeed.

A long, long wait

But this time was different. In fact, my wife placed the order just before an NCAA March Madness game tipped off. By the time the game had reached halftime (20 minutes of game time plus multiple play stoppages), we still did not have our food.

After waiting for 45 minutes for our food, my wife went to call back Jimmy John’s to complain. Just as she was placing the call, the delivery driver called to inquire about directions. He was close but on the wrong side of a main road. And, for some reason, he thought he was delivering to a business.

We thought this was odd considering we have ordered before and had no hiccups in delivery service.

After we pointed the driver in the correct direction, he arrived about 10 to 15 minutes later. Considering where he said he was when he called, it should not have taken more than 5.

The trouble with money

When the driver arrived, the receipt said $3.62 instead of $11.50, which is what our order cost. We thought that was Jimmy John’s giving us a discount for their service.

My wife signed the receipt and sent the driver on his way.

No sooner had she set the food on the counter when the doorbell rang again.

It was the driver, and he said that the order had been rung up incorrectly and that we owed more money. After a bit of back and forth, my wife signed the receipt for $11.50.

If a restaurant undercharges a customer by accident, and the customer signs the receipt, shouldn’t the business should absorb the undercharged amount? We think so, yet the driver insisted we pay the full $11.50.

Managing expectations?

After all of this, my wife called the store and spoke with the manager. He said the service was not good because he had new employees, and he would speak with them about their performance.

What we expected was for the manager to say he would charge us just the $3.62 or some other similar recompense.

She also emailed a complaint to the corporate email account. We have not heard back yet, but I will update this post if we do.

(UPDATE 1): Jimmy John’s called my wife in regards to her corporate complaint and will be sending us a $15 gift card and said the service we received was not on par with what they strive to achieve. We appreciate that.

Sound off: Have you ever had customer service so bad that you stopped buying from that business?

Categories: business Tags: ,

Can Users Still Trust Other Google Products?

March 18, 2013 6 comments
The Death of Google Reader

Creative Commons photo by Irish Typepad

As I sit here, most of my Twitter stream and lots of people I am connected with on other networks are complaining about the impending death of Google Reader.

I’m right with them, in spirit at least.

Google has not shown as much support for it as it has for its other products. And it’s become clear after a petition to save Reader that the product has a big and devoted audience.

So it stands to reason: Can users continue to trust other Google products?

Google stalwarts

Make no mistake: There are some products that users can continue to use. Gmail, Google+, Analytics, AdWords and YouTube should all be safe. They’re among the best products or have no true competitors.

But what of others? Blogger, Calendar, Drive. They’re all products I use on a daily basis, but they are certainly other options out there if I lost faith in Google.

Consider in addition that Google ceased AdWords functionality in Feedburner in the past year.

All hail Google+

That Google has pulled support for Reader based on what others perceive as it being in competition with G+ demonstrates to users that Google is not afraid to pull its products, even if the user base is there.

Certainly it is not what it used to be, but based on petitions to save Reader, it’s safe to assume there are lots of people, like me, who use it every day.

How do you feel? Will you continue to use other Google products?

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