Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Social ad spend increased 50% year-over-year (YoY) due to Facebook dynamic product ads

February 7th, 2016 No comments

Kenshoo a leader in agile marketing released a new infographic, Kenshoo Digital Marketing Snapshot: Q4 2015, highlighting the changing landscape of social and search advertising as new social ad types move to the front lines and search spend continues to shift performance for marketers. Social ad spend increased 50% year-over-year (YoY) driven by the introduction of Facebook Dynamic Product Ads and Instagram ads; Google Product Listing Ads accounted for 26% of all paid search impressions after accounting for only 8% last year. Mobile continued to serve as the primary growth driver in both channels and accounts for nearly all of the 8% spend growth in paid search YoY.

  • More key findings in the research; overall:
  • Social impressions increased 4% QoQ but decreased 21% YoY
  • Social clicks decreased 16% QoQ but increased 30% YoY
  • Social click-through rate decreased 20% QoQ but increased 64% YoY
  • Paid search impressions increased 8% QoQ and 12% YoY
  • Paid search clicks increased 13% QoQ and 32% YoY
  • Paid search click-through rate increased 5% QoQ and 17% YoY

“The fourth quarter has long been about holiday sales, and the reliance on Product Listing Ads and Dynamic Product ads this season highlights the importance marketers placed on direct response ad types,” said Chris Costello, director of marketing research for Kenshoo. “On top of the new social ad types, changes in bidding strategies in the social channel refocused advertisers on smaller quantities of highly targeted clicks to drive downstream actions rather than engagement; this aligned with retailer sales goals during the holiday shopping season across all digital efforts to drive healthy performance improvements.”

“Competition really ramps up in the fourth quarter among advertisers, especially retailers,” said David, Gong, Director of Strategic Accounts, PMG. “Because of that, it’s critical that we find new efficiencies via emerging tactics and products; otherwise the increased ad spend necessary to compete in the market becomes a sunk cost. Fortunately, Kenshoo’s industry-leading technology enables us to identify and capitalize on those efficiencies for fully optimized and effective campaigns.”
The Kenshoo Infinity Suite leads the way in digital marketing innovation, enabling success for agile marketers by maximizing customer lifetime value. Built upon Kenshoo’s industry-leading and award-winning digital marketing platform, the Kenshoo Infinity Suite delivers infinite optimization to re-engage and grow customers across all channels and devices.
Visit Kenshoo.com/Digital-Marketing-Snapshot to download the new infographic, Kenshoo Digital Marketing Snapshot: Q4 2015.

 

Methodology:
Social and search results are based on five quarters of performance data from over 3,000 Kenshoo advertiser and agency accounts across 20 vertical industries and over 60 countries, spanning Google, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Japan and the Facebook® Audience Network. Some outliers have been excluded. The resulting sample includes more than 550 billion impressions, 11 billion clicks and $6 billion (USD) in advertiser spend. Ad spending and CPC are measured using Ex-FX or “Constant Currency” adjustments, where results are based on native currency, and only translated to common currency after aggregation.

About Kenshoo:
Kenshoo is the global leader in agile marketing. Brands, agencies and developers use the Kenshoo Infinity Suite to direct nearly $350 billion in annualized client sales revenue through social, search, mobile, and display advertising. Kenshoo provides leading native API solutions for ads across Facebook, FBX, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Gemini, Yahoo Japan, Bing, and Baidu. Kenshoo powers digital marketing campaigns in more than 190 countries for nearly half of the Fortune 50 and all 10 top global ad agency networks. Kenshoo clients include CareerBuilder, Expedia, Facebook, Havas Media, John Lewis, Resolution Media, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens, and Zappos. Kenshoo has 27 international locations and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Arts Alliance, Tenaya Capital, and Bain Capital Ventures. Please visit www.Kenshoo.com for more information.

Kenshoo Social designated as Facebook® Strategic preferred marketing developer

September 22nd, 2012 No comments

Kenshoo Social, which delivers nearly 1 billion targeted Facebook ads per day through its platform, earned its Strategic PMD status based on shared values, strategic alignment, and growth potential with Facebook. As a Strategic PMD and for the direct benefit of its clients, Kenshoo Social will receive priority product and business support from Facebook, access to alpha and beta product trials, and will also participate in co-development of go-to-market strategies.

“Becoming a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer enables Kenshoo Social to further deliver innovative solutions for advertisers and agencies seeking tangible business results from social media,” said Sivan Metzger, General Manager of Kenshoo Social. “This prestigious distinction acknowledges the diligent work Kenshoo Social has done to help our clients maximize the value of their Facebook ad campaigns and positions us well to continue our mission to illuminate and activate the value of this powerful marketing channel.”

Kenshoo recently announced that social ad spend growth is out-pacing that of search, illustrating the importance marketers place on reaching Facebook’s audience and the investments for growth being made by many of the world’s top brands. Kenshoo Social continues to research and report on emerging best practices for social media advertising, including a 2012 series of research studies conducted in partnership with Resolution Media that examined nearly 65 billion Facebook ad impressions over a 12-month period.

The first study, Social Media Insights Part 1: Metrics That Matter, uncovered new key performance indicators (KPI) for measuring Facebook ad campaign success, including “Exposure Rate” which determines how much of desired target audience a marketer actually reached. The next study in the series, 2012 Social Media Advertising Global Games, used the new KPIs to examine eleven critical mass countries and evaluate the performance of Facebook ads in those countries across six key engagement and conversion events. The third report will be released next week and focuses on gender targeting for Facebook ads. Kenshoo Social utilizes studies like these to deliver deep insight into how clients can best position campaigns to maximize Facebook advertising ROI.

 

About Kenshoo Social
The mission of Kenshoo Social is to illuminate the value of social media for brands through dynamic technology. Kenshoo Social delivers a global social marketing platform for advertisers and agencies to achieve tangible business results as effectively and efficiently as possible. Through Kenshoo Social, marketers can create and optimize scalable social advertising campaigns while leveraging sophisticated measurement capabilities for owned paid, and earned initiatives across all channels. Please visit Kenshoo.com/Social or Facebook.com/KenshooSocial for more information.

About Kenshoo
Kenshoo is a digital marketing software company that engineers technology solutions for search marketing, social media and online advertising. Brands, agencies and marketing providers use Kenshoo Enterprise, Kenshoo Local and Kenshoo Social to direct more than $25 billion in annual client sales revenue. The Kenshoo Universal Platform delivers automation, intelligence, integration and scale to make better marketing investments. With campaigns running in more than 190 countries, Kenshoo clients include CareerBuilder, Expedia, Facebook, KAYAK, Havas Digital, Hitwise, iREP, John Lewis, LendingTree, Resolution Media, Sears, Starcom MediaVest Group, Tesco, Travelocity, Walgreens, and Zappos. Kenshoo has 16 international locations and is backed by Sequoia Capital and Arts Alliance. Please visit www.Kenshoo.com for more information.

Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Kenshoo is a trademark of Kenshoo Ltd. Other company and brand names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Online bill of rights steps in the right direction but not enough according to Anonymizer

March 4th, 2012 No comments

The recent release of the Obama Administration’s Online privacy “Bill of Rights” and Do Not Track is heading in the right but experts worry it’s not going to be enough to protect consumers. Though it’s very early in the process, the main issues seem to come down to enforcement. While Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and other behemoth advertising players launched AdChoices in an offensive move to demonstrate that the community of commerce can be self-regulated. Problem is this isn’t quite covering the ensuing mobile and social implications.

The Obama administration laid out a set of principles covering the basics of privacy and it does a very good job in covering off on control, transparency, context, security, access and accuracy, limited liability and accountability. Where we believe it falls short is the the definition of personal data and whether the definition truly protects consumers’ privacy and how the framework can be enforced.

As it stands now, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) will review practices of companies who voluntarily agree to the terms, though the White House stresses that they expect Congress pass official legislation protecting the public’s online privacy and personal data. We may be months away from seeing real-world implications of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

Our readers straddle both the advertising and consumer lines, so it’s good to see that there’s a discussion around consumer privacy. Lets make sure it continues. Lets hope we all think through implications holistically and ensure there’s enforcement. With social taking off and creating a whole new universe, the implications are greater than ever.

For those who haven’t reviewed the bill of rights, CNN Money has posted it, Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, Anonymizer, Inc. wants consumers to take online privacy matters into their own hands by employing a comprehensive Internet security strategy.

The recently announced consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and the browser-based Do Not Track button are designed to protect the online privacy of consumers and to set expectations for how companies should handle personal data. Anonymizer, Inc., www.anonymizer.com claims that while these initiatives will prevent some Web tracking, they will not stop all tracking. And, they still do not necessarily prevent advertisers from collecting and selling user data.

“We’re encouraged to see the consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and Do Not Track technology, but they are still not a 100% guarantee that consumers and their personal data will be protected,” said Lance Cottrell, Founder and Chief Technology Officer for Anonymizer, Inc. “While these initiatives are steps in the right direction, they should not be relied on exclusively. Consumers must take an active role in protecting their online privacy.”

In addition to opting out of tracking, consumers should adjust their browser privacy settings, block cookies, clear old cookies, and adopt a broad Internet security strategy that includes an online privacy product that prevents activities from being tracked based on their IP address. Products like Anonymizer Universal, www.anonymizer.com/homeuser/universal, help prevent unauthorized access to personal data on Wi-Fi hotspots and keep users anonymous online while at home, at work and on the go.

For more on Anonymizer, Inc.’s views on the Privacy Bill of Rights and Do Not Track initiatives, please visit:

About Anonymizer, Inc.
As the global leader in online privacy, anonymity, and identity protection solutions, Anonymizer continues to push the envelope with products that allow consumers and organizations to remain safe, secure, and anonymous each time they go online. The company’s proprietary technologies address the needs of home users and businesses. With a pristine 15-year history of protecting customer online identities, Anonymizer’s products have set the standard in Internet privacy, and protected billions of web searches and personal communications.

Sources:

Anonymizer
fd

Efficient Frontier acquires Context Optional to create solution for social media marketing

May 5th, 2011 No comments

Efficient Frontier, a leading global performance marketing company announced that the company has acquired Context Optional, a leader in enterprise social marketing solutions. The acquisition expands Efficient Frontier’s social media offering which will combine the company’s advertising campaign management and optimization with Context Optional’s page management platform. This marks the first unified solution for managing and optimizing Facebook fan acquisition through to fan retention and engagement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are excited to offer marketers a complete solution for capitalizing on the growing social marketing opportunity across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn,” said David Karnstedt, Efficient Frontier’s CEO. “Social media marketing is more than just the initial contact with the customer and requires both compelling experiences and an ongoing dialog to realize the full potential of the interaction. The acquisition of Context Optional will create a unified platform for marketers to manage all of their social media touch points with brand enthusiasts.”

Efficient Frontier’s platform manages ad campaigns across search, display and social media, enabling customers to acquire audiences across multiple channels and optimize for better results. Context Optional’s Social Marketing Suite of products is an enterprise solution for brands to engage and retain audiences across Facebook and Twitter.

By aligning acquisition and engagement strategies, the combined company will be able to deliver a seamless and measurable user experience by integrating advertising and social marketing content. Brands will be able to more efficiently target audiences based on social engagement insights and continually refine their Facebook application experiences to better match their audiences’ interests. Efficient Frontier will also be able to provide integrated analytics to provide a more complete view of performance including virality.

“Efficient Frontier is a leader in digital marketing and our respective clients are asking us for a comprehensive solution to both acquire and build relationships with their customers,” said Kevin Barenblat, Context Optional’s Co-Founder and CEO. “This combination is recognition that social media is now indeed a powerful marketing channel in which brands are significantly investing. We’re excited to be the first in the market with an integrated, enterprise solution to enable brands to effectively scale their investment in social.”

About Efficient Frontier
Efficient Frontier is a leader in online performance marketing managing search marketing, display and social media campaigns for advertisers and agencies around the world. Efficient Frontier currently manages more than $1 billion in annual marketing spend on behalf of their clients globally. Founded in 2002, Efficient Frontier pioneered the application of modern portfolio theory for search engine marketing and today combines its core predictive modeling algorithms and bidding technology with comprehensive strategic and tactical value-added services. The largest and most sophisticated advertisers and agencies partner with Efficient Frontier to achieve and sustain optimal campaign performance and growth in highly complex and competitive marketplaces. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with offices in New York, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and India, and technology licensing partnerships in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Efficient Frontier is a privately held company with funding from Redpoint Ventures and Cambrian Ventures. For more information, please visit http://www.efrontier.com and subscribe to the Efficient Frontier blog at blog.efrontier.com.

About Context Optional
Context Optional is the leading provider of social marketing software and services to global brands and advertising agencies. The company provides marketers with comprehensive solutions to build, manage, monitor and measure brand presence across the social web to meet their acquisition, engagement and retention goals. By combining a leading technology platform, industry expertise, and comprehensive analytics into an integrated approach, Context Optional delivers the most effective social CRM and marketing solutions to Fortune 500 brands and agencies. Context Optional is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York. For more information, please visit http://www.contextoptional.com.

Barnes & Noble College launches social commerce at more than 500 colleges & universities

April 29th, 2011 No comments

Barnes & Noble College, the nation’s leading operator of campus bookstores and a wholly owned subsidiary of the world’s largest bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Inc., has become the first in its industry to develop and launch a social commerce platform. The campus retailer successfully integrated the social networking features of its more than 500 campus bookstore Facebook pages with its award-winning e-commerce websites, creating seamless social shopping experiences and expanding the company’s social media and communication capabilities.

“At Barnes & Noble College, we are dedicated to bringing our campus partners ‘what’s next’ in the education retail industry, and our launch of social commerce is just the latest example,” said Max J. Roberts, president of Barnes & Noble College. “Combining our retail excellence with a deep understanding of student and university trends, we are delivering innovative solutions that are transforming our college bookstores and the student experience.”

Barnes & Noble College joins only a handful of retailers in leveraging the ever-increasing power of social networking sites such as Facebook—and its more than 500 million users—for e-commerce. From this social commerce platform, students now can “like” the products they buy from the bookstore and show their friends what they have purchased (or would like to purchase), thereby recommending the products to their peers.

Among college aged students, peer to peer or “word of mouth” recommendations have tremendous power and significantly influence buying behavior—and social media continues to fuel these forms of marketing. According to McKinsey & Company, “word of mouth” is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. Additionally, a recent Colloquy study found that 56 percent of young adults rely on social networks such as Facebook when it comes to recommending products and services.
“In a university community, students are engaged in campus life through their social networks, including purchasing and recommending products and services,” Roberts added. “In fact, we currently have nearly 250,000 Facebook fans, and the platform has jumped from the fifth to the number one referral site to our campus bookstore websites since the current school year began. We now are taking our social media marketing strategy one step further by integrating the two successful platforms into one social retailing experience.”
Leading social media firms, Enter New Media and Expion, partnered with Barnes & Noble in the development of this innovative platform, which features products found on each bookstore’s website. In addition to the customary Facebook sections (Wall, Info, etc.), the new social commerce platform includes customized tabs, such as:
“The Shop”– showcasing the hottest trends at each individual bookstore
“Books” – offering textbooks in all formats (new, used, rental, digital) and access to NOOKstudy, the retailer’s innovative eReading and study application
“Mascot” – featuring alumni, athletic and other apparel, online promotions, sweepstakes, and a Top Fan section
“The Hall” –a live feed to a student-focused blog, unique applications, gifts and new student orientation materials

Social commerce is the newest example of how Barnes & Noble College is redefining the college retail industry. An early pioneer in social media, the retailer continues to integrate this tool in all of its marketing, communications and customer service initiatives, including Facebook tabs that support important school causes and Twitter and FourSquare initiatives. Further leveraging the power of peer to peer communications, Barnes & Noble College also launched its unique Student Ambassador Program this past year. This program engages students to promote their college bookstore to their peers using both conventional grassroots and evolving social media channels.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 705 bookstores in 50 states. Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc., also operates 636 college bookstores serving nearly 4 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than two million titles in its NOOK Bookstore™ (www.bn.com/ebooks). Through Barnes & Noble’s NOOK™ eReading product offering, customers can buy and read eBooks on the widest range of platforms, including NOOK eBook Readers, devices from partner companies, and hundreds of the most popular mobile and computing devices using free NOOK software.
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

About Enter New Media
Enter New Media (ENM) is a leading social media agency specifically focused on creating value for the entertainment, fashion, and retail sectors. ENM is a privately held company based in New York City. For more information, go to http://enternewmedia.com/.

About Expion
Expion enables brands to monitor and manage local social media in real-time to produce actionable intelligence and maintain alignment of social media activities across corporate and local levels to generate extraordinary results. Expion is a privately held company headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. For more information, visit www.expion.com.

Kosmix will be acquired by Walmart in hopes of strengthening social ecommerce

April 19th, 2011 No comments

This latest acquisition by a massive retailer + etailer only confirms the value and potential of social ecommerce and user generated content. The question is, what is it that Walmart has gleaned from their very active social connections to embark on an acquisition such as Kosmix.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kosmix, underscoring its commitment to social and mobile commerce. Kosmix, based in Mountain View, Calif., has developed a social media technology platform that filters and organizes content in social networks to connect people with real-time information that matters to them.

Kosmix was founded by Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, early pioneers of online shopping, whose first company, Junglee, was acquired by Amazon.com in 1998. The founders and the Kosmix team will operate as part of the newly formed @WalmartLabs and continue to be based in Silicon Valley. Walmart plans to expand the @WalmartLabs team and expects this new group will create technologies and businesses around social and mobile commerce that will support Walmart’s global multi-channel strategy, which integrates the shopping experience between bricks and mortar stores and e-commerce. Walmart operates retail businesses in 15 countries and e-commerce businesses in nine countries.

Kosmix’s innovative technology platform searches and analyzes connections in real-time data streams to deliver highly personalized insights to users. The platform powers TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events with more than five million visits last month; Kosmix.com, a site to discover social content by topic; and RightHealth, one of the top three health and medical information sites by global reach.

“We are expanding our capabilities in today’s rapidly growing social commerce environment,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s vice chairman. “Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers’ day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping, both online and in retail stores. We are excited to have the Kosmix team join us to accelerate the development of our social and mobile commerce offerings.”

“The world of social media is exploding and for millions of consumers their social connections matter hugely in their daily lives,” said Anand Rajaraman, co-founder of Kosmix. “Our work has focused on developing a social genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events as expressed through social media — be it a feed, a tweet or a post. We are thrilled to join one of the world’s largest companies and combine our work with Walmart’s vast online and offline retail businesses.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and the company anticipates it will close during the first half of this year.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at 9,000 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com/, on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmart, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com/ and http://www.samsclub.com/.

SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Paid search and display advertising underperform compared to social activity

April 11th, 2011 No comments

Research released last week by appssavvy finds that advertising integrated into the social activities occurring across social games, applications and web sites, is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. We at Bitshelf do not agree with the methodology and approach used to arrive at the findings. Search and Display are not entirely engagement oriented vehicles as is social. As a result it’s not surprising that activity within social media and gaming-sphere will out perform compared to display and search.

I would have loved to have seen a bit more of an apples to apples comparison in the EDIs below. Also, lest we forget that the report is biased simply because it’s from appssavvy.

The appssavvy report: Social Activity Index – Measuring the Effectiveness of Social Advertising (Download free at: http://socialactivityindex.appssavvy.com) found social activity advertising rivals paid search in terms of effectiveness, outperforms standard display ads by a multiple of 11 and more than doubles the performance of rich media.

“The web has changed significantly thanks to social media, but advertising hasn’t,” said Chris Cunningham, co-founder and CEO of appssavvy. “Understanding what people are doing provides advertisers the opportunity to leverage social activities and deliver advertising that captures both context and intent. The Social Activity Index clearly demonstrates the eye-opening effectiveness this new form of digital marketing is driving.”

Performance is measured and based on data from appssavvy spanning 170 U.S. social activity campaigns in 2010 and industry benchmarks by eMarketer (www.emarketer.com). The index used Equivalent Display Impressions (EDI) — a metric defined by appssavvy to provide a cost weighted measure of an ad format’s ability to drive brand engagement. It finds EDI by ad format as follows:

Ad Format Equivalent Display Impressions (EDI)
Paid Search 12.2
Social Activity 11.4
Rich Media 5.3
Display 1.0

Social activity advertising involves delivering brand messages within activities or events that occur within social games, applications or web sites. Examples of these activities include sending a virtual gift, playing a branded level within a game, completing a poll or quiz, or entering a photo contest, to name a few. Upon completion of an activity, a social ad is delivered. These ads combine brand messaging with social calls to action such as sharing, following, or Like-ing.

When it comes to social activity advertising, social games deliver the highest performance, and outperform all ad formats, including, notably, paid search. The EDI for Paid Search, again, is 12.2, while Social Gaming drove EDI of 15.2. The strong performance of social games advertising is driven by virtual goods gifting and decorative items, and the completion of branded integrations into game play:

Social Games Ad Format Equivalent Display Impressions (EDI)
Gift 37.0
Decorative Item 21.5
Mission/Quest 21.0
Display 1.0

Additionally, the appssavvy Social Activity Index found 2.1 percent of all social activity ads are shared to social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, resulting in hundreds of millions of additional earned media impressions.

Research Details
The Social Activity Index is the result of an analysis of 170 U.S. campaigns in 2010 planned and delivered by appssavvy on behalf of brands, including Microsoft, Visa and McDonald’s, to name a few. These campaigns ran across 20 social activity partners, including ngmoco, LivingSocial and Zynga, spanning Facebook, mobile and web platforms. appssavvy social activity campaigns resulted in more than 200 million social activities completed.

About appssavvy
appssavvy rethinks the relationship between delivery and reception of advertising. We partner with leading web publishers and developers to uncover what people are doing across the Internet. Understanding people and their actions is what enables appssavvy, and the brands and agencies that we work with, to leverage and experience social activity. Today, the appssavvy Social Activity Platform connects more than 293 million people performing 1.4 billion social activities each month with brands.

Source: appssavvy

Download the appssavvy Social Activity Index report.

Harmonize SEO with social media and user generated content (UGC)

March 22nd, 2011 No comments

I have worked with a number of clients in the past who are perplexed by the concept of search engine optimization of user generated content (UGC). I might add that, they at least understand both individually and have a good grasp of how each impacts their business. However, when it comes to integrating the two I tend to lose them.

I’d like to cover two things in today’s post…1) the three laws of UGC and 2) the application of SEO…

Ok, first the three laws of Social Media and UGC:

  1. Develop distinctive and meaningful content that attracts your target audience
  2. Provide them with the ability to find, organize and share that information
  3. Reward the activity, especially the active users who discover and proliferate the information…

Repeat Steps 1…you get the idea.

 

Now, the second…application of Search Engine Optimization:

This is actually the fun part from my perspective…

Create an editorial calendar that includes your target keywords, linguistic profile, and topics to produce content people care about
Ensure that you’re technology doesn’t create a walled garden, if it’s not findable in search, it’s not worth it. Part of the excitement is the fact that your visitors information, the stuff they’ve discovered, was found by being Google’d by others!
Let others know about your destination, particularly the editorial media…aka online Public Relations and link building.
Don’t be afraid to apply other social bookmarking options to your visitors, this is also part of the user’s reward.

This can all be done cost effectively, of course, it goes without saying you need a solid content strategy to facilitate my first law of UGC.

Social commerce biz 8thBridge gets $10M led by Trident Capital

March 22nd, 2011 No comments

8thBridge, Inc., a social commerce platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers, today announced it has secured million in a series B funding round led by venture firm Trident Capital. The additional capital garnered through this funding round will be used to expand 8thBridge’s current operations and to extend the company’s leading social commerce solutions. 8thBridge’s lead Series A investor, Split Rock Partners, also participated in this round.

“We sought out this new round of funding based upon an accelerated demand from merchants seeking e-commerce solutions that are built for the social graph,” said Wade Gerten, CEO and Founder of 8thBridge. “8thBridge became the pioneer in this new era of social commerce when we opened the first retail store on Facebook for 1-800-Flowers.com and the first Facebook travel store for Delta Air Lines. This new round of funding will allow us to extend our lead in rebuilding e-commerce from the ground up around people instead of pages.”

8thBridge monetizes social media for some of the largest merchants in the world including 1-800-Flowers.com, Lands’ End, Brooks Brothers, Delta Air Lines, Hallmark, HauteLook and the fastest-growing division of Avon called mark.

“The rise of Facebook as the next-generation web platform and of the data encapsulated in the Open Graph enable companies to establish new levels of understanding of and intimacy with their customers,” said Evangelos Simoudis, Managing Director of Trident Capital, who joins 8thBridge’s board of directors. “Companies must learn to effectively utilize social media in general and these resources in particular for marketing and commerce. 8thBridge offers unique solutions to power social commerce.”

“8thBridge has positioned itself as the market leader by providing the most innovative solutions for allowing customers to shop with their friends on Facebook. We expect the demand for social commerce to grow exponentially as more merchants seek to move beyond search and adapt to this platform shift,” said Michael Gorman, Managing Director of Split Rock Partners, 8thBridge board member and investor.

The funding will be used to enhance 8thBridge’s technology platform, 8thBridge StoreCast™, which powers millions of in-stream shopping experiences that include a quick checkout feature inside Facebook’s News Feed and Fan Pages. The store is brought to the customer rather than the other way around. Some of the major people-centric enhancements planned include improving the ability for you to receive highly personalized offers based on interests, providing you and your friends with more ways to take advantage of special social promotions, and making it easier for to receive rewards for advocating on behalf of your favorite merchants.

This new funding round follows the company’s recent name change in January – from Alvenda to 8thBridge. The name 8thBridge is a nod to the company’s pioneering development of social graph-based commerce, stemming from the Seven Bridges of Königsberg, the historical mathematical problem that served as the genesis of Euler’s Graph Theory.

About 8thBridge
8thBridge operates a social commerce platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers. Customers engage merchants on their own terms in a shopping experience that is portable, personalized, and participatory. Founded in 2008 in Minneapolis MN, 8thBridge is led by executives with domain expertise in e-commerce, direct marketing, and social media. History was made on July 8th, 2009 when Alvenda, currently known as 8thBridge, brought online retail to Facebook and again on August 12, 2010 for the travel industry. The Ticket Counter™ by 8thBridge was named one of the Top Ten Marketer Apps of 2010 by Advertising Age. 8thBridge, was named the grand prize winner of the 2009 Minnesota Cup and has been featured in Advertising Age, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, WWD, Bloomberg TV and TechCrunch. 8thBridge is funded by Split Rock Venture Partners and Trident Capital and is based in Minneapolis, MN. For more information on 8thBridge, visit www.8thbridge.com.

About Trident Capital
Trident Capital is a leading venture capital firm focused on Information Technology investments. Since its founding in 1993, Trident has managed $1.9 billion of capital and has invested in more than 160 companies. Trident’s Information Technology focus includes Enterprise and SaaS Software; Business and Information Services; Consumer Services; and Digital and Social Media. Trident brings to each portfolio company deep sector expertise, a network of relevant industry contacts, and a commitment to apply the full resources of the firm to promote the company’s growth and success. Trident has investment offices in Palo Alto, CA and Westport, CT.

About Split Rock Partners
Split Rock Partners, with offices in Minneapolis and Menlo Park, seeks emerging opportunities in software, Internet services and healthcare, primarily in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Since 2005, Split Rock has raised $575 million over two funds. Representative software and internet services companies backed by Split Rock’s team include 8thBridge, Amcom, eBureau, Guardian Analytics, HireRight, LowerMyBills.com, MyNewPlace, QuinStreet (Nasdaq: QNST) and SPS Commerce (Nasdaq: SPSC). Additional information about the firm can be found at www.splitrock.com.