HOT TOPICS: Customer Experience Marketing Automation Social Business SharePoint 2013 Document Management Big Data Mobile DAM

Latest Social Media News & Articles

Lithium has Klout, Wants to be #SeriousAboutCustomers

Lithium Technologies today confirmed what everyone seemed to know already — and acknowledged it has bought Klout. Lithium is reportedly paying almost $200 million in cash and private stock for the social media ranking influencer — twice as much as speculated during the past month.

Speaking at a late-to-start press conference — Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of the social customer service company, declined to confirm the value of the deal. However, he noted, "If Lithium is paying $200 million for Klout, then it is a very valuable company and I'm happy about that."

Tarkoff described the acquisition as a significant extension to its platform that will offer consumers and brands better ways to engage online. "We're adding the relationship piece into the CRM world," he said. "Together, we could be something incredibly disruptive to CRM."

Lithium is also adding Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Klout, to the leadership team. He will become general manager and senior vice president of Lithium's Klout business, Tarkoff said.

Connecting: Sprinklr's Social Nerd Talks Digital Tech

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Two years ago, Esteban Contreras sold most of his earthly possessions on Craigslist, walked away from a city he loved – New York – and moved to Canada. He happily resettled about 30 minutes from Vancouver, British Columbia but stayed connected with his adopted hometown by by advising and working with NYC based Sprinklr, a provider of social media management tools.

We told you about Sprinklr last month when it bought Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a social analytics company, and formed the largest independent end-to-end social relationship platform in the market. Contreras is director of strategy at Sprinklr.

He's a native of Guatemala, but he has little concern for geography — and said he's "glad we live in a day and age in which it is possible to work from virtually anywhere."

And he's probably just as glad we live in an age when it's possible for one person to do so many interesting things. Before moving to Canada, Contreras was the first social media marketing manager at Samsung USA.

He's also the author of the book "Social State," founder of Social Nerdia Consulting, which focuses on the convergence of technology, marketing and social, and an advisor to multiple tech startups.

Looking for Value in Social Media Command Centers

Companies and brands are setting up social media command centers to get a better grasp of the unstructured data like status updates, posts and tweets.

PepsiCo's Gatorade opened a Mission Control Center in 2010 and Dell opened a Social Media Command Center later that same year. Since then,  other companies have followed suit, including Hendrick Motorsports, The Oregon Ducks, Symantec, Salesforce and Brandwatch.

Now the Altimeter Group takes a look at the trend in a report called "Shiny Object or Digital Intelligence Hub?"

Robert Scoble: The Scobleizer Talks Life, Work and Technology

Thumbnail image for Connecting with Bill SobelRobert Scoble — aka The Scobleizer — works at Rackspace, where he's building a community for people fanatical about the Internet called building43. But that just scratches the surface. Scoble has been making a name for himself on the Internet for a while now.

"There’s a really excellent about page over on Wikipedia about me. I didn’t write a single word about it, but I do watch to make sure it’s accurate," he told me.

So let's start there. He's best known for his (late great) blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. It earned him a mention in the Economist in 2005, which noted Scoble had become

a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience."

Food and Social Media Converge in Film at #SXSW

ChefA tasty little film that opened this year's SXSW Interactive Festival  says a lot about finding satisfaction in your work — and also presents an important teaching moment in social media.

Jon Favreau's film "Chef" tells the story of a high-profile restaurant chef who makes the transition to food-truck entrepreneur after a painful lesson on the downside of Twitter. On a deeper level, the story will resonate with technologists and other creative professionals who love their craft but find themselves working for the industrial machine. 

Can Conversocial Improve Customer Service Experiences?

Conversocial customers

Conversocial, a cloud-based provider of social customer service software, is out with a major upgrade.

Called Conversations, it is designed to help companies manage social media comments from contact centers.

Joshua March, founder and CEO, told CMSWire that some companies use traditional ticketing systems, while others employ multi-channel contact center systems that "add social as just another channel" — as if it were email. But those systems, March said, are designed primarily for private, one-to-one inquiries or for marketing and PR-focused social media management.

RadiumOne CMO Eric Bader: Focus on Customer Relationships

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Eric Bader made company history last summer when he became the first CMO at San Francisco-based RadiumOne, a firm that builds software to automate media buying. Bader has been around the advertising block, so to speak. He's a veteran of adland, a community weblog and advertising archive, and has worked at Ogilvy & Mather, MediaVest, BrandinHand and Initiative, where he was chief strategy officer from 2010 to 2012.

But that's not all, folks: He's also CEO and founder of a startup called Mobilize, which creates, hosts and manages mobile applications and web sites for various customer interactions — from merchandising and transactions to CRM, loyalty programs, in-store and shopper marketing and promotions, social marketing and events.  

But his main task now, according to a story in AdWeek last summer, is to explain RadiumOne's "value proposition in a crowded marketplace of startups that claim to be able to spin social data into gold for marketers."

A Look at LinkedIn's New Publishing Platform

Linkedin publishing platform

B2B marketers will soon have another way to reach audiences via LinkedIn. The question, though, is when it will launch, who will have access and what it will look like.

LinkedIn has created a new publishing platform for its members, allowing them to essentially blog within LinkedIn and create a following. When members publish a post on LinkedIn, their original content becomes part of their professional profile and is shared with their trusted network, according to a LinkedIn blog post.

LinkedIn members can follow other members that are not in their network and build their own group of followers. 

A caveat: LinkedIn now is only allowing 25,000 members to publish content on LinkedIn through its new platform. "We’ll be steadily expanding the capability to all members in multiple languages over the next few weeks and months to come," according to LinkedIn. You can apply here

Connecting: Content is the Secret of Marketing Success

Connecting with Bill Sobel

Stephanie Frasco loves few things more than social media. But content is one of them. “Content Is King," she stated enthusiastically. "It's everything … The key to attracting the right customers, the best tool for building relationships with prospects, the most powerful way to convert prospects into sales, the No. 1 way to improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, online and off.

"Yup."

Frasco, a social media marketing consultant, is vice president at Los Angeles based Convert With Content. In the past 7 years, she has worked with clients worldwide to help them maximize their efforts from social networking and blogging. 

Through a rather tongue-in-cheek blog called Socially Stephanie, she offers advice like this to B2B businesses:

I want you to absolutely think about blogging within LinkedIn's new publishing platform. Yes, this is hot off the presses. LinkedIn's publishing platform is now open to the public. The possibility of getting in front of LinkedIn's 200 million plus users is exhilarating, but you have to do it right. Create unique content for LinkedIn. Look at it as a guest blogging platform and not a syndication network. Duplicate content doesn't bode well with the Google gods. I know that I'll be spending investing some good ol' blogging sweat equity there, and you should too."

Musings from Social Media Week #SMW14

crimson hexegon

I am not an objective writer about Social Media Week. I attended the first two years of this six-year-old worldwide event in New York City when it was free, largely grassroots and spread throughout the city. 

The last two or three years, SMW has become inevitably more corporate, expensive, polished and streamlined, though many of the events are still free and available on a first come, first serve basis.

That being said, however, I wanted to share some thoughts. For instance, one of my favorite tools to chart conversations around social media is Crimson Hexagon, which quickly helped me create a “topic wave” of the major topics and when they peaked at the event. Most of the buzz around #SMWNYC happened last Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 18 and 19.

Phone Calls Add Value to Facebook's WhatsApp Deal

Thumbnail image for whatsapp 320.jpg

Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp looked a bit smarter today after the fast-growing messaging service announced at the World Mobile Congress that it will add phone calls within the next few months.

The WhatsApp announcement came as a surprise to those attending the mobile conference, where Nokia, Samsung, HTC and other key players also made news. WhatsApp already has 465 million monthly text and voicemail users, but wanted to add a live call service.

"We want to make sure people always have the ability to stay in touch with their friends and loved ones really affordably," WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said at the conference, according to a CNN report from the scene. Koum said the company will roll out the service on Apple and Android phones during the first half of the year, then add the service for Blackberry and Windows phones. 

News Bites: Handling Negativity, Publishing on LinkedIn and More

Thumbnail image for NEWS BITES.jpg

There's a lot going on this week, including news on dealing with negative social postings. Plus, we'll tell you how LinkedIn is opening its publishing platform, how Kochava is updating its mobile ad measurement platform, how Widen speeds up Smartimage and how Purple WiFi is adding location services for in-store customers.
 

gShift Adds Twitter Trend Module to Its Marketing Arsenal

Does the marketing world need another trend-spotting tool for Twitter? Toronto-based gShift thinks so and today added a Social Keyword Research module to its web analytics platform for high-end clients.

The tool is designed to keep up with the 58 million daily posts on Twitter and help marketers create content that drives traffic by reflecting the interests of the targeted audience.

Sprinklr Buys Dachis Group to Boost Technology, Talent

Ragy-Thomas.jpg

Two powerhouses in the social management space are joining to form the largest independent end-to-end social relationship platform in the market. Sprinklr, a New York City provider of social media management tools, is buying Austin, Texas-based Dachis Group, a social analytics company, the companies announced today.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Jeff Dachis, founder and CEO of Dachis Group, told CMSWire this morning that "everyone is happy with the outcome."

Andrew Jones, an analyst at Altimeter Group who focuses on social media management and cross-channel customer engagement, said the deal "makes sense." The companies are "very complementary," he explained, "not only in terms of technology but in terms of the talent at Dachis Group. Dachis has roots as a consultancy, which Sprinklr will be able to leverage in its business."

By acquiring Dachis, Sprinklr adds industry leading brand analytics and content optimization to a platform Forrester Research already rates as “the most powerful technology on the market.”

Think, Listen, Respond, Repeat: 7 Social Media Week Strategies You Shouldn't Miss #SMW14

Indian sunset by Asa Aarons

If the phrase "always on, always connected" doesn't give you anxiety, then it just might give you inspiration. At least that's what the organizers of Social Media Week (SMW) are hoping.

The theme of this year's global event, happening right now in eight cities on four continents, is The Future of Now … and yes, you guessed it. Now is defined as constant, pervasive, unstoppable hyper-connectivity. Think about it, from the perspective of the SMW organizers:

Communication technology unites us, relays news equally with opinion, transports us to worldwide events and shrinks distances between our relationships. We’re tuning into events that we’ve never before been able to access and witnessing other people’s experiences unfold in real time.

It's enough to make your head swim … or your heart sink. What's it all about? Can I create infinite connections without burning out?

Toms Builds Mobile Success by Aiming at Top Customers

Toms.jpg

Toms, the online retailer that markets social impact along with its shoes, has found success with mobile marketing by aiming apps at the top 5 percent of its customers, according to a senior executive.

Eve Richey, vice president for global online marketing and mobile, outlined the company's mobile strategy last week at the Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit in San Francisco, which also featured presentations by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other companies that are vying for a share of the increasingly mobile consumer.

By ensuring its social content is relevant to its target audience, learning from other mobile apps and other tricks, she said Toms' strategy has increased its conversion rate by 85 percent while cutting the cost of engagement by two thirds. 

Look at What These Charts Say About Global Use of Technology

world of opportunity.jpg

Americans aren't the only ones obsessed with cell phones and social media. In fact, slightly more adults own cellphones in China (95 percent) than in the US (91 percent), according to a new Pew Research Center report.

The report, released just yesterday, shows technology adoption is a global phenomenon — even in developing nations. It supports the findings of a Cisco report released last week, which shows global mobile data traffic grew 81 percent in 2013.

How big did it grow? Consider this: Last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly 18 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.

The facts are clear: There is a world of opportunity — literally — for digital marketers.

News Bites: Silverpop's Digital Marketing University, Picturepark Update and More

News Bites: Silverpop's Digital Marketing University, Picturepark Update and MoreMassive snow may be blanketing much of the US, but the news gets through. This week’s Bites include PicturePark’s updated digital asset management solution, a global educational roadshow for digital marketers and HeatSync’s aggregated service for web analytics. 

Mobile Marketing Tips from LinkedIn, Facebook

mobilemarketing.jpg

Marketers may know they need to add mobile strategies, but relatively few are doing it correctly, according to mobile managers from Linked In and Facebook.

Speaking yesterday in back-to- back presentations at the Mobile Marketing Strategies Summit in San Francisco, they advised the 100-plus marketers how to track mobile users, reduce load times, build lasting relationships with visitors and add to their existing data to build more personalized experiences.

CMSWire was a media partner of the event, which focused on ways brands can use mobile marketing to further their reach and impact.

Put Your (Twitter) Cards on the Table

twitter card.jpg

You see a lot of cards decorated with red hearts this time of year. But businesses may be more interested in the type of cards that can optimize their Twitter results.

Twitter Cards take tweets to a whole new level — and enable them to express more than 140 characters ever could. It's a way to capture more attention and engagement, even on mobile. Twitter introduced the cards two years ago, but just last month it added something new that should make this feature even more intriguing to marketers.

Twitter is providing analytics to let users understand how the cards are performing and analyze the impact the cards are having on their key metrics.