Archive for Rob Reed

The Year of the Instagram Strategy

Posted by Rob Reed on November 18th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

How marketers should approach the Instagram channel in 2014
Instagram recently announced it has more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide. Not only is the total number impressive, but it means Instagram is growing at a rate of more than 100 million new users per year, as the social network added 50 million of them in the past six months.
Managing the Instagram channel is no longer optional. It has become a strategic imperative for any brand or small business, and the urgency grows daily along with its user base. More than anything, Instagram presents an unparalleled opportunity to build and share a brand — to show a different side by leveraging this highly visual medium. Plus, the rate of customer engagement is off the charts compared to other social channels. But there are challenges.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, it's not as easy to manage Instagram using native tools. Plus, what exactly does it mean to "manage" Instagram? This is a big question that we’ll seek to answer through the entirety of this post.

Instagram Strategy: Three Principles
Instagram may be a new channel that is just now achieving massive scale, but many of the same marketing principles still apply. Consistent with the new... Read more

Graph Search Optimization: How It Works for Retail Brands

Posted by Rob Reed on February 4th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Graph Search Optimization is necessary for retailers and other multi-location brands in order to take advantage of Facebook's latest capabilities, Graph Search.

Social-Local Optimization: A Strategic Imperative in 2013

Posted by Rob Reed on December 27th, 2012 at 8:33 am

In 2012 we have seen several brands starting to take local optimization of their social channels seriously. Why? Because brands are realizing they need to set up their locations for maximum search, engagement, and discovery. It must be done for Facebook and Foursquare, which also optimizes a number of third-party apps powered by their venue data, such as Instagram, Path, Uber, Viddy, and hundreds more.

A brand’s local Facebook pages and Foursquare venues are brand assets that ought to be managed accordingly. Locations need to be properly claimed and optimized with consistent branding and accurate metadata (specifically their lat/longs) to maximize the value of these assets.
Two recent developments will significantly increase this value:
First, Facebook just announced a major update to its mobile apps that puts local “search, engagement, and discovery” at the center of the mobile experience – at the center of the most popular mobile app on the planet.
According to Facebook, its updated Nearby tab "helps people discover places near them based on their friends’ recommendations. People can explore by category (ex: restaurants or hotels); connect to businesses directly from their phone (by liking, checking in, calling, or getting directions); rate the places they visit via a five-star system; and share their recommendations... Read more

Successful Social Marketing for the Mobile Paradigm

Posted by Rob Reed on June 21st, 2012 at 11:43 am

Social media was born in the PC era, when consumers were sitting by their computers at home, engaging with their friends and eventually also with brands.
So what’s happened since the emergence of social? Well, let’s see…

Smartphones now make up more than half of all U.S. cell phones
Americans now spend more time on Facebook mobile than its website
One in five smartphone owners use geosocial or “check-in” services, up 50%

It’s a mobile world – and brands are just living in it?
Yes, the mobile paradigm is here for brands to embrace. And when it comes to social marketing, the game is now changing. Mobile is already on its way towards becoming the dominant channel, and this trend will not be reversing.
The biggest challenge marketers face in this new era is customer fragmentation across social-mobile platforms. Just a couple of years ago things were quite different. In August 2010, for instance, Facebook was supposedly killing Foursquare with the launch of Places. And a year later, almost the opposite was suggested when Facebook killed Places. But what really happened was that Facebook doubled down on location by making it platform-wide. And with Foursquare’s continued growth, it’s certainly no longer a question of which of the... Read more

Foursquare Explore: The SoLoMo Search Engine

Posted by Rob Reed on January 21st, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Foursquare Explore is a social search engine for the real world, and it can be optimized.
Foursquare has made its previously mobile-only Explore recommendation engine available for the web. The feature provides personalized recommendations based on a user's check-in history, the histories of their friends, their current location, and other preferences. Not only does the Explore feature considerably increase Foursquare's value proposition for users by facilitating the discovery of new places, it significantly changes the value equation for brands as well. Indeed, Foursquare Explore is the first SoLoMo search engine.

I wrote about this potential in November of 2010 in a post entitled "Why the Hell Would I Do That? Four Reasons to Check-in."
"The promise of intelligent recommendations is the feature that gets me most excited. Based on the data I volunteer through checking-in everywhere I go, whether it's a public or private check-in, location-based services can use their aggregate data to accurately recommend other places I'll like."
Foursquare Explore is powered by algorithms that intelligently recommend places to consumers based on a broad range of criteria. These recommendations ultimately drive foot traffic (and sales) just as Google Search drives web traffic. As such, brands need to optimize their locations for search, discovery,... Read more