iBeacon connecte le retail, … et beaucoup plus.

Publié le 10/07/2014 par Marie J. Guillet

Acheter, voyager, s’informer, se divertir… Pas un secteur de nos vies ne semble échapper à ces nouvelles petites balises qui se déploient à toute vitesse. Exemples.

iBeacon : la déferlante qui connecte le retail, entre autre !

Impossible de faire le tour de toutes les implantations d’iBeacon tant les initiatives se multiplient : magasins, centres commerciaux, aéroports, galeries d’art, musées… pas un domaine ne semble échapper à cette nouvelle technologie venue des États-Unis et dont la France s’empare avec fébrilité. 

Le principe est tout simple : une petite balise émet en permanence un signal qui, capté par une application mobile, transmet des informations.

Le retail en première ligne

Il y a quelques semaines, ici même, nous vous informions de l’ouverture du centre commercial LesTerrasses du Port, à Marseille (lire ici l’article). Depuis, 250 balises ont été implantées à travers le centre pour permettre aux magasins d’envoyer, via l’appli mobile des Terrasses du Port, des messages ciblés (mot de bienvenue, offres promotionnelles…) à leur clientèle. Seule condition pour que celle-ci les reçoivent : avoir téléchargé et ouvert l’application mobile des Terrasses, et avoir activé l’option “Bluetooth” de son smartphone. (Installation par la société allemande Match2blue).

Autre lieu, autre usage, même bénéfice : faciliter le parcourt client. La grande distribution n’est pas en reste. Après le projet d’Auchan dans le nord, c’est l’hypermarché Carrefour du centre commercial de Villeneuve-la-Garenne qui vient de déployer une installation d’iBeacon.

Toujours via une application, celle de l’enseigne, plus de 200 balises envoient aux clients qui l’ont téléchargée sur leur smartphone des parcours dans le magasin, établis selon la liste des courses. Des offres commerciales devraient suivre rapidement. (Installation par Insiteo).

Et maintenant, le paiement !

Troisième et dernier exemple qui montre la versatilité de l’outil iBeacon, le paiement sur mobile. La société française SmartBeacon a mis au point une technologie de paiement qui s’intègre à n’importe quelle application mobile et permet d’associer une balise à un produit. Lorsque le client s’approche dudit produit, il est détecté par la balise qui envoie la fiche de l’article sur le mobile du client, avec l’option : “voulez-vous l’acheter?”. Si oui, le client pose simplement son doigt sur le bouton de reconnaissance d’empreinte digitale et le paiement est fait, associé à un compte Paypal.

Aujourd’hui, notre solution fonctionne sous iOS 8, disponible dans deux mois, parce qu’il intègre la reconnaissance des empreintes digitales pour une sécurité maximum. Mais on est en train de développer notre solution pour tous les téléphones dépourvus de lecteur d’empreintes, sous iOs ou Android. La protection se fera avec un code secret supplémentaire“, explique Hermann Angoula, co-fondateur et CTO de SmartBeacon.

Oublier sa carte de crédit ou son portefeuille ne sera plus une excuse pour ne pas faire d’achats!

 

Les entreprises face au défi de la digitalisation de leurs processus de vente – Le Monde Informatique

Les entreprises face au défi de la digitalisation de leurs processus de vente – Le Monde Informatique.

La multiplication des points de contact et des canaux de paiement oblige les entreprises à mettre en place une stratégie numérique adaptée. Toutes les entreprises sont loin d’être sur un pied d’égalité pour y parvenir.

En direct de Biarritz - Les enseignes de la distribution et les e-commerçants amorcent la mutation de leurs processus de ventes en intégrant pleinement les dimensions sociales et mobiles des parcours clients et des actes d’achat. Pour autant, les entreprises sont loin d’aborder ce challenge avec la même facilité, certaines étant nées dans le numérique à l’image de Voyages SNCF.com, tandis que d’autres comme Monoprix et Mc Donald’s doivent mettre en oeuvre des techniques et des outils pour leur permettre de piloter cette transformation.

C’est le cas de Mc Donald’s qui a mis en place depuis 2010 sa Digital University avec pour objectif d’accompagner et de sensibiliser aussi bien les collaborateurs du siège, les franchisés que ses fournisseurs (Mc Cain et Coca-Cola), soit plus de 4 000 personnes, aux enjeux du numérique et en particulier des commandes sur bornes tactiles en boutiques (7 500 sachant que 25% des clients passent par elles pour commander) et plus récemment en ligne.

« Le passage au digital n’est pas un concours de devices et de processus mais passe par un changement de gouvernance qui peut poser des problèmes pour des entreprises comme nous qui ne sont pas digital natives », a prévenu Jean-Noël Penichon, directeur digital de Mc Donald’s.

Des articles au packaging personnalisé depuis les sites et réseaux sociaux de Monoprix

Chez Monoprix également, la relation client numérique et de développement du business au travers des canaux sociaux et mobiles constitue un enjeu phare qui ne va pas sans se heurter à des difficultés. « Nous travaillons sur la possibilité pour nos clients de récupérer en magasins des articles dont le packaging a été personnalisé sur notre site ou réseaux sociaux mais cela ne va pas sans nous poser des problèmes complexes liés au conditionnement obéissant à des règles strictes  », a expliqué Philippe Thobie, directeur marque et marketing de Monoprix.

Pour ce qui est du pilotage du changement vers l’entreprise numérique, Monoprix a par ailleurs choisi de l’adosser au plus haut niveau de direction du groupe, au directeur général du groupe, ce dernier étant chargé d’orchestrer l’ensemble des initiatives multicanales sans pour autant les précipiter. « Nous devons procéder par étapes et humilité en analysant la façon dont le digital permet de rendre le quotidien plus facile pour nos clients et ne pas succomber aux technologies gadget  », a insisté Philippe Thobie.

Voyages SNCF.com à fond sur le multinet

En tant qu’acteur pure player du digital, Voyages SNCF.com n’a pas été quant à lui confronté aux problématiques de mutation de son business vers le digital mais cela ne l’a pas empêché d’adapter et de chercher les moyens d’accroître la pertinence et l’efficacité du parcours client, en particulier depuis un terminal mobile qui constitue aujourd’hui un canal de ventes de choix pour l’e-commerçant. « Notre taux de conversion est plus favorable sur mobile avec des clients que l’on connaît mieux car ils se logent plus facilement que les utilisateurs sur postes fixes, sachant qu’actuellement le trafic mobile représente 45% de l’ensemble du trafic sur nos sites contre 3% il y a 3 ans  », a indiqué Yves Tyrode, directeur général de Voyages SNCF.com.

Persuadé que la montée en puissance des ventes via le canal mobile va se poursuivre, Voyages SNCF.com s’est d’ailleurs engagé sur le chemin du « multinet  », partant du principe que les utilisateurs de terminaux Android, iOS ou Windows 8 s’attendent à retrouver des apps ayant adopté les codes et les environnements graphiques des OS de leurs terminaux. Ce qui ne va pas sans poser certaines contraintes, notamment en termes de coûts.  « Nous devons désormais considérer un développement sur chacun de ces environnements d’OS et nous ne pourrons pas faire l’économie d’apps multiples, car l’approche responsive design ne suffira pas pour accompagner l’expérience client de bout en bout », a précisé Yves Tyrode.

Infographie | Les réseaux sociaux favorisent l’achat en ligne

Infographie | Les réseaux sociaux favorisent l’achat en ligne.

Publié le 05/03/2014 par Thomas Pike

Quatre membres d’un réseau social sur dix ont déjà acheté un produit qu’ils avaient liké ou partagé sur Facebook, Twitter ou Pinterest. Et le délai demeure assez bref : 50% des consommateurs achètent un objet moins d’une semaine après l’avoir mis dans leurs favoris.

Source : http://www.invespsoft.com/blog/ecommerce/social-media-influences-purchase-decisions.html

Le réseau social de Mark Zuckerberg demeure en tête des médias sociaux qui influencent les internautes dans leurs achats.

Tandis que, sur Facebook et sur Twitter, le secteur le plus touché par la recommandation sur les médias sociaux est l’électronique/nouvelles technologies, Pinterest est davantage spécialisé dans l’alimentaire.

The Social Bowl | Social Media Today

The Social Bowl | Social Media Today.

 

The Super Bowl was a flurry of social media activity and hashtags dominated the conversation by showing up in more than 50 percent of commercials that aired. The longest hashtag, #Americaisbeautiful caught a lot of controversy and #esurancesave30 was a Twitter trending topic seconds after the commercial aired. Thirteen brands used their actual name in their hashtags and a whooping 45 hashtags were used as part of commercials.

Facebook also played a prominent role in ads for GoldieBlox, Maserati and Bob Dylan pitch for Chrysler, which surprised everyone. Though the big game may have left some viewers disappointed, the social media conversation was heavier than it had ever been proving that traditional advertising dollars are quickly being redirected to create social conversation both on and offline. This infographic, from Offerpop, recounts the social highlights of the Super Bowl, hashtag by hashtag.

click image to enlarge

The Social Bowl [Infographic]

Social Media And The Office Of Tomorrow [INFOGRAPHIC] – AllTwitter

Social Media And The Office Of Tomorrow [INFOGRAPHIC] – AllTwitter.

Did you know that 82 percent of professionals use at least one social network actively for work purposes?

11 percent of U.S. and UK professionals use Twitter (compared to 18 percent in emerging markets), 18 percent use Facebook (37 percent in emerging markets) and 26 percent use LinkedIn (24 percent in emerging markets). Moreover, workers who collaborate using social media at work are more satisfied than abstainers.

This infographic from Thomson Reuters takes a closer look at how social media is impacting the office of tomorrow.

Social Media And The Office Of Tomorrow [INFOGRAPHIC]

(Source: Thomson ReutersOffice image via Shutterstock.)

10 Surprising Social Media Statistics : 5. Social Media Has Overtaken Porn As The No. 1 Activity On The Web

10 Surprising Social Media Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Your Social Strategy | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.


If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are 10 that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

1. THE FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC ON TWITTER IS THE 55–64 YEAR AGE BRACKET.

  • This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
  • The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
  • For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
  • For Google+, 56%.

Those are impressive numbers against the prevailing idea that social media is “just for teenagers.” It certainly points to the importance of having a solid social media strategy if these age brackets fit into your target demographic.

Rethink it: Keep older users in mind when using social media, particularly on thesethree platforms. Our age makes a difference to our taste and interests, so if you’re focusing on younger users with the content you post, you could be missing an important demographic.

2. 189 MILLION OF FACEBOOK’S USERS ARE “MOBILE ONLY”

Not only does Facebook have millions of users who don’t access it from a desktop or laptop, but mobile use generates 30% of Facebook’s ad revenue as well. This is a 7% increase from the end of 2012 already.

Rethink it: There are probably more users accessing Facebook from mobile devices than you thought. It’s worth considering how your content displays on mobile devices and smaller screens before posting it, particularly if your target market is full of mobile users. Of course, make sure to make sharing to social media from mobilemore straightforward.

3. YOUTUBE REACHES MORE U.S. ADULTS AGED 18–34 THAN ANY CABLE NETWORK

Did you think TV was the best way to reach the masses? Well if you’re after 18–34 year olds in the U.S., you’ll have more luck reaching them through YouTube. Of course, one video won’t necessarily reach more viewers than a cable network could, but utilizing a platform with such a wide user base makes a lot of sense.

Rethink itIf you’ve been putting off adding video to your strategy, now’s the time to give it a go. You could start small with simple five-minute videos explaining what your company does or introducing your team.

4. EVERY SECOND TWO NEW MEMBERS JOIN LINKEDIN

LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, continues to grow every second. From groups to blogs to job listings, this platform is a rich source of information and conversation for professionals who want to connect to others in their industry.

Rethink it: LinkedIn is definitely worth paying attention to. In particular, this is a place where you may want to focus more on new users. Making your group or community a great source of information and a newbie-friendly space can help you to make the most out of the growing userbase.

Make sure you share consistently to your LinkedIn company page and profile by, for example, scheduling your posts.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA HAS OVERTAKEN PORN AS THE NO. 1 ACTIVITY ON THE WEB

We all knew social media was popular, but this popular? Apparently it’s the most common thing we do online. So next time you find yourself watching Kitten vs. Watermelon videos on Facebook, you can at least console yourself with the fact that the majority of people online right now are doing something similar.

Social media carries more weight than ever. It’s clearly not a fad, or a phase. It continues to grow as a habit, and new platforms continue to appear and develop.

Rethink it: Putting time and effort into your social media strategy clearly makes sense in light of these stats. If you weren’t already serious about social media, you might want to give it a bit more of your time now.

6. LINKEDIN HAS A LOWER PERCENTAGE OF ACTIVE USERS THAN PINTEREST, GOOGLE+, TWITTER AND FACEBOOK

Although LinkedIn is gathering new users at a fast rate, the number of active users is lower than most of the biggest social networks around. So more people are signing up, but they’re not participating. This means you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter.

Rethink it: If you’re hoping to get people involved, think about which platforms are best for that. Looking at the latest Twitter statistics and Facebook statistics, these platforms might be a better place for your contest or survey, while passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.

7. 93% OF MARKETERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS

Only 7% of marketers say they don’t use social media for their business. That means there are lots of people out there getting involved and managing a social media strategy. It’s becoming more common to include social media as part of an overall marketing budget or strategy, as opposed to when it was the outlier that no one wanted to spend time or money on.

Rethink it: If you’re struggling to make your strategy work, or you just want some advice, you don’t have to go it alone. If 93% of marketers are using social media for business, you can probably find someone to give you a hand. Plus, there are lots of blogs, videos and slide decks around to help you out. Be sure to find the right social media management tool for you to stay on top of everything.

8. 25% OF SMARTPHONE OWNERS AGES 18–44 SAY THEY CAN’T RECALL THE LAST TIME THEIR SMARTPHONE WASN’T NEXT TO THEM

It’s pretty clear that mobile is a growing space that we need to pay attention to. And we’ve all heard the cliché of smartphone owners who don’t want to let go of their phones, even for five minutes. Well, apparently that’s not too far from the truth. If 25% of people aged 18–44 can’t remember not having their phone with them, there are probably very few times when they’re not connected to the web in some way.

Rethink it: While you can reach people almost anytime, since they have their smartphones with them almost always, this also means you can interrupt pretty much any part of their lives. Don’t forget that having a phone in your pocket all the time isn’t the same as being available all the time.

9. EVEN THOUGH 62% OF MARKETERS BLOG OR PLAN TO BLOG IN 2013, ONLY 9% OF US MARKETING COMPANIES EMPLOY A FULL-TIME BLOGGER

Blogging is clearly a big focus for marketers who want to take advantage of social media and content marketing. This is great, because blogging for your business has lots of advantages: you can control your company blog, you can set the tone and use itto market your product, share company news or provide interesting information for your customers. With only 9% of marketing companies hiring bloggers full-time, however, the pressure to produce high-quality content consistently will be a lot higher.

What a lot of people struggle here is how to write the best headlines for your articles, when the best time is to publish posts and lots of other blogging questions that arise when people are starting out.

(Of course, not all marketers work at marketing companies, but the stats are still interesting–how many companies in any industry can afford to hire–or already have–a full-time blogger?)

Rethink it: If you don’t have (or can’t afford) a full-time blogger for your business, be aware that having a content strategy that requires consistently posting on your blog will mean a lot of work for your marketing team and/or other team members in your company to keep up that volume. This can work, it’s just important to realize how big a task it is to run with a full-time content strategy without a full-time content creator.

10. 25% OF FACEBOOK USERS DON’T BOTHER WITH PRIVACY SETTINGS

We’ve seen a lot of news about social media companies and privacy. Facebook itself has been in the news several times over privacy issues, Instagram users recently got in a kerfuffle over changing their terms of service, and the recent NSA news has seen people become more conscious of their privacy online.

But despite these high-profile cases of security-conscious users pushing back against social networks and web services, Velocity Digital reports that 25% of Facebook users don’t even look at their privacy settings.

Rethink it: Assuming that all of your customers are thinking along the same lines could be a big mistake. Especially if you’re basing that on what you’ve heard or read in the tech news. Remember that your customers might have very different priorities than what you expect.

Your social media strategy really comes down to what your goals are, and who your target customers are, but it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the trends happening across the web. Hopefully these stats will help you to identify trends that will affect your strategy and adjust accordingly.

For more social media studies take a look at this post.

Belle Beth Cooper is a Content Crafter at Buffer and Co-founder of Hello Code. Follow her on Twitter at @BelleBethCooper.

Social Media and Predictions | Social Media Today

Social Media and Predictions | Social Media Today.

Social Media Trends

Social Media is a fast moving industry sprouting quickly into new dimensions. Increasingly, businesses are learning that building an online community through social media is the key to nurturing relationships, strengthening word of mouth marketing, standing out from the crowd and in return converting leads.

With new social networking platforms appearing from behind every corner, it can be hard to know exactly where to commit your time and resources as the new year approaches. As 2013 wraps up, it is safe to make prediction about  where social networking is going, and how one can get on board.

#1. Social Media is a Necessity, not a luxury.

Social media will move from “should have” to “must have” in 2014. It has always been important to invest time and resources into a social media strategy; however, 2014 will prove that it is no longer a just an option. Businesses are already seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue.

Companies will continue to  move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and experience the benefits of dedicated staff. For those still not aware of the many social media benefits, they include improved social signals and SEO (factor in the search ranking algorithm), branding, improved awareness, word of mouth, increased loyalty, and improved audience reach just to name a few.

#2. Social media as part of an overall marketing campaign

This brings us to trend #2. Social media is a not a silo that can function on its own. Previously, companies may have been jumping into social media because it was the newest trend without a strategy; however, increasingly more businesses are realizing the role of social media in the overall marketing plan and how it benefits the overall goals. It is essential to integrate social media when execute campaigns also while connecting the offline and online as this truly completes the customer relationship. Social media helps amplify the message and adds an engaging component to what is usually a one way conversation. Something as simple as having an online conversational component to a print advertisement, offering perks and rewards to your community and hosting events for your loyal advocates, helps build an engaged following. Social media and conversational marketing transform brands like no other by changing the fundamental nature of the brand/customer relationship.

#3. It’s a mobile world. 

Mobile friendly content is essential for 2014 as the shift from computers to mobile devices accelerates, businesses won’t remain competitive unless content is accessible and engaging to mobile users. In fact, Forbes predicts that by 2017, an astounding 87% of connected devices sales will be tablets and smartphones. What are people doing with mobile phones? Accessing their social media accounts of course. It has also been indicated that people may not actually mind mobile social media ads. Facebook’s share of global mobile Internet ad revenues will reach 15.8% this year, up from just 5.35% in 2012 with the overall mobile ad market to grow 89% in 2013 to $16.65 billion [≈ 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami aid]. It’s the world of a mobile social customer and your social media strategy must adapt.

#4. Get on Google

SEO plays a large role in this trend. Google+ is attracting a significant following now that the “+1″ button plays an important role in Google’s search rankings. Google’s social network is designed for deeper engagement of shared interests and it is more suited for business and education interactivity. Part of what makes Google+ more business friendly, is that it encourages you to meet new friends online, whereas Facebook wants users to focus on adding existing friends. Sure, Facebook continues to lead the pack in terms of number of active monthly users (1.15 billion at last count) but Google+ is quickly gaining steam, and in fact, now has the second highest number of monthly users (343 million).

With Google using the platform to collect personal information (think demographics, location, etc.), Google+ should no longer be thought of as ‘just’ another social network because it’s increasingly proving itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of SEO, social signals and providing a more personalized search experience (think Google Authorship).

#5. And maybe get off  Foursquare 

With stale traffic numbers, and significant difficulties raising capital in 2013, Foursquare continues to struggle. With social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter now offering location-based features, there is not much of a use for a platform like Foursquare that operates entirely on location based mobile app with not much else to offer. As a matter of fact, Foursquare seems to be stuck in a strange zone that is neither search nor social and it’s user base is becoming less relevant. If FourSquare wants to survive in search, it has to compete with Google, Facebook, Yelp and even Apple. On the other hand,  if they want to compete in couponing, it will have to face the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial. Either way, it is a tough battle.

#6. Think images.

Our attention spans have caused us to be very visual in consuming media. The consistent trend in2013 toward sharing through image (and video) over text-based content has been evident as visual content is increasingly becoming a critical piece of any solid content strategy.  Ecommerce is going through a Pinterest-ization phase and the social media platform will continue to shed its reputation as a female network becoming an integral part of retailers’ marketing.

Other image-based social media sites like Slideshare, Tumblr, Path, and Mobli will continue to grow requiring businesses to become more mindful about sharing photos on their websites and blogs in order to gain significant benefit from their social media content marketing efforts. Overall, it will be important to consider how users’ expectations for strong visual content will affect brad social media strategy in 2014.

#7. Think video. 

With Instagram video and Vine, micro video will continue to rise in popularity. We’re seeing even more movement toward user generated real-time video sharing with none other than user’s smartphones. It will be interesting to see how this user generated content from Instagram and Vine will change the playing field when it comes to video-based social media.

Video and social media without a doubt will continue to grow and as Cisco predicts 85% of all internet traffic in 2015 will be video. For brand videos, it’s all about video engagement as the demand is shifting away from total number of video views, to different level of engagement. Brands want to know that their video is actually impacting viewers and how call to action can be integrated when viewing content. Expect to see brands experimenting with location video targeting. As an example, earlier this year Longo’s market has opened up a new location in Leaside creating a video series to showcase the new store but to also encourage people from the area to visit the location and increase awareness. Longo’s created videos targeting viewers who live within a 7km radius of the store. Once the ad is seen, a clickable ad-overlay is displayed at the bottom of the video saying “Longo’s Gift Card Draw” where users are encouraged to click on the ad. Once clicked, users are directed to Longo’s Facebook page where they can enter the contest and/or redeem a coupon for the Leaside location.

#8. Ad Retargeting

Re-targeting means that ads can be placed on social sites based on a visitor’s interaction with other websites.  For example, say you were shopping for a vacation and you logged into expedia.com to look up a trip to Los Angeles – the next time you log in to Facebook, you are more likely to see an ad for a California getaway. Although this can be annoying at times for consumers, re-targeting could lead to more efficient spend of advertising dollars for marketers and can also cater exactly to the audience.

Only two percent of web traffic converts on the first visit; ad retargeting can help increase conversion rates by reminding consumers what product or service they saw online. Browser cookies are utilized to track visited websites and once a user leaves a site, those products/services will be shown to them again in ads across different websites. This keeps the brand and product at the top of the consumer’s mind and due to the success that many marketers have had with ad retargeting, there’s a good chance that it will become more mainstream in 2014.

#9. Native Advertising 

Native ads place brand content such as videos, photos and articles directly into the content of the publisher’s website, matching it up with the website instead of fitting ads into boxes separated from and around the content. Some of the examples include but are not limited to: Facebook Sponsored Stories; Twitter’s Promoted Tweets; promoted videos on YouTube; promoted articles like TrendHunter Sponsored Posts and BuzzFeed’s Featured Partner content; Yelp Sponsored Listings and promoted playlists on Spotify.

People generally respond much better in a natural setting and one could argue that the most effective advertising has always been native to the environment. As a matter of fact, the best click through rate is received from Facebook ads that target friends of friends and note the recommendation of their peers rather than direct brand advertising.

Leading the path with native advertising is video as it is most promising asset for scalable native advertising. Brands and agencies are doubling down on video production, beyond traditional 15-30 second ads. The commitment of branded content production and native video advertising pours yet more fuel on the fire in whichever direction you look. However, if you don’t get the social sphere, your brand will be frowned upon by the digital savvy and smart consumers of today.

It’s always an exciting time in the fast evolving social media industry. Cheers to a great year ahead!

The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014 – Forbes

The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014 – Forbes.

Source: Forbes – Jonathan De Meyer

1. Investment in Social Media Will Become a Necessity, Not aLuxury

While I’d argue that investing time and resources into a social media strategy is most definitely a necessity in 2013, I believe the tipping point in public sentiment from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ will occur in 2014.

Businesses are already coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue.

As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers.

The benefits of social media are many, but they include:

  • Improved social signals (which are a factor in the search ranking algorithm).
  • Company branding
  • Improved brand awareness
  • Word-of-mouth advertising
  • Increased customer loyalty and trust
  • Improved audience reach and influence

Social media is also one of the three pillars of SEO.

2. Google GOOG -0.02%+ Will Become a Major Factor

While Facebook FB -1.97% continues to lead the pack in terms of number of active monthly users (1.15 billion at last count), Google+ is quickly gaining steam, and in fact, now has the second highest number of monthly users (343 million).

With Google using the platform to collect personal information (think demographics, location, etc.), Google+ should no longer be thought of as ‘just’ another social network. It’s increasingly proving itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of SEO, social signals and providing a more personalized search experience. This is especially apparent with the importance of Google Authorship, which I project will be one of the keycomponents to Google’s search ranking algorithm by the end of 2014.

I believe that businesses who are finding themselves spread thin with their social media efforts will increasingly turn to Google+ as the closest thing we have to a ‘one size fits all’ social network.

As Google+ moves towards even greater integration with other aspects of the web – as they’ve already done with their foray into local search – I think we’ll see its growth skyrocket, both in terms of business and personal use. For information on how to start using Google+, read “How to Breathe Life into Your Google+ Profile.”

3. Image-Centric Networks Will See Huge Success

We’ve seen a consistent trend in 2013 toward sharing through image andvideo, rather than text-based content. Visual content will increasingly become a critical piece of any solid content strategy, and social networking site Pinterest will continue to shed its reputation as a ‘women’s only’ network and become an integral part of retailers’ marketing strategies.

Other image-based social media sites like Slideshare, Tumblr, Path, and Mobli will continue to grow, and businesses will need to become more mindful about the ‘sharability’ factor of photos on their websites and blogs in order to derive significant benefit from their social media content marketing efforts.

4. We’ll Witness the Rise of Micro-Video

It seems that writing 140 characters and taking 3 minute long videos is becoming too tedious for many of us. Micro video to the rescue!

With the emergence of micro video apps like Twitter’s Vine and now Instagram’s video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing. And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Vine allowing precisely 6 seconds, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones.

It will be interesting to see if and how these bite-sized pieces of content will change the playing field when it comes to video-based social media.

5. Foursquare Will Decline Sharply

With stale traffic numbers, and significant difficulties raising capital in 2013, Foursquare continues to struggle its way towards 2014.

With other social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offering location-based features, it seems like only a matter of time before Foursquare folds and their users are absorbed into these other networks.

6. MySpace, Love it or Hate it, Will Grow

With their radical makeover and re-branding efforts earlier this year, MySpace appears to be getting its second wind. Offering an iPhone app that allows users to network, receive private messages, and listen to their own personalized radio station, MySpace seems to be on track for growth in 2014.

I don’t see MySpace ever again competing in the same space as Facebook or Twitter, but it will be interesting to see how the network grows among bands and music-lovers.

7. LinkedIn Will Become a Major Player for B2B Business Growth

Still holding steady as the #1 social networking site for professionals with 238 million users, LinkedIn isn’t just sitting on its heels. With the launch of itsInfluencers program, LinkedIn is positioning itself as not only another networking site, but as one of the largest sources of content creation and curation for professionals.

As it grows and attracts even more users, the advantages of being “linked in” will become enormous for B2B marketers. For a guide on how to use LinkedIn for Marketing, see my article “The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Marketing.”

Final Thoughts

Facebook and Twitter show no signs of imminent decline, but it will be interesting to see how they innovate to keep up with the growth of Google+ as well as image and video-based networks.

With social media behemoth Facebook turning 10 in 2014 (has it really been that long?), they’ll continue to focus efforts on mobile, and on offering advertisers opportunities to better target their ads. And while Twitter continues to be the golden child amongst B2B marketers, I’m curious to see if and how the rise of Google+ will impact its market share.

While most business owners are aware of the necessity of having a social media strategy, I believe 2014 will be the year where a majority will finally understand the necessity to commit the necessary time and resources to their social media efforts. I’m excited to see which up-and-coming networks grab a share of the market, and which have already run their course. If you’re a business owner looking to build your social media presence, I recommend this article: “How to Determine Which Social Media Network Fits Your Business.”

Which social networking sites do you think we should be watching? Which do you think are on their last legs? Let me know in the comments below!

Foursquare Data Viz Shows The Pulse Of New York, London, Tokyo | Co.Design | business + design

Foursquare Data Viz Shows The Pulse Of New York, London, Tokyo | Co.Design | business + design.

The secret sauce of Foursquare is the massive amount of location data it collects: 4.5 billion check-ins shared by its 40 million users. For non-MIT graduates, however, it’s often hard to grasp why such data–or any Big Data, for that matter–is even valuable, especially given the unwieldy cache of information Foursquare has gathered. But a new set of data-viz videos produced by the startup turns its data from an intangible mess to a fascinating visual feast. 

Released today, the data visualizations show the pulse of the most popular cities on Foursquare. According to a company spokesperson, the company “took a year of check-ins and condensed them to show what each city looks like on an average day.” The company has done similar things before, but it’s fun to see this sort of eye candy captured in cities ranging from Chicago to London and Tokyo. It gives a better sense of why Foursquare’s trove of data is such a treasure: It not only indicates where people are but, more significantly, how, when, and why they’re going there.

CHICAGO:

Color-coded signals show at what times of day and by what means users travel to various locations. In New York, for example, you can see yellow streaks of light zoom into Manhattan as users commute to work, and then slip away as they head home; at night, the city lights up in blue as more users head to nightlife spots.

NEW YORK:

It’s certainly sexy–the color streaks resemble what I imagine an eagle-eye, time-lapsed view of the world of Tron would look like–but it’s also informative, giving a strong overview of what makes cities tick during the day. “The cities light up a little differently: You can see constant travel between airports in Chicago and ferries crossing the Bosphorus in Istanbul,” the Foursquare spokesperson says. “In San Francisco, we zoomed in, so you can actually see individual streets light up throughout the day.”

Heineken Holds Instagram Scavenger Hunt – Business Insider

Heineken Holds Instagram Scavenger Hunt – Business Insider.

 

Brands are consistently trying to find innovative ways to engage with consumers on Instagram. Heinken is taking it to a new, creative level with an Instagram scavenger hunt that will eventually lead winners to free tickets to the U.S. Open Men’s Final.

The contest, created with Wieden+Kennedy, challenges fans to search a mosaic of Instagram photos for clues that will ultimately lead them to nine pairs of tennis tickets. In order to prove they’ve found the next clue, users must comment on the correct photo with the codeword “#SHHH.”

Unlike the Instagram scavenger hunt Fox put on during Comic-Con, all of the clues in Heineken’s contest are located on its @crack_the_us_open Instagram page. This allows contestants to complete the entire hunt without leaving Heineken’s page.

What’s more, the fun factor of the scavenger hunt is such that Heineken is able to generate numerous impressions for its brand without users being forced to think about the “sponsored” nature of the brand’s sponsored content.

So far, 47 people commented on the first photo in the scavenger hunt since it began at noon. Here’s what the mosaic looks like:

 

Heineken scavenger hunt

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heineken-holds-instagram-scavenger-hunt-2013-9#ixzz2dvyGT7T9

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