In 2010, on a trip to Beijing, China, Mike Duke did what 100 million other people around the world do each week: he stepped into a Walmart to go shopping. But Duke wasn’t just a typical customer, he was also the company’s CEO. Walking through the store’s isles looking at products, Duke noticed something interesting about the bananas. The bananas Walmart sold in in Beijing weren’t from Beijing — they weren’t even from China at all; they were all imported. Duke turned to his teammate Doug McMillon, the leader of Walmart’s international division; “Bananas grow in China. Why don’t we sell local bananas?” Continue reading
This essay originally appeared on the Percolate Blog.
Social is entering a new era in the history of its communications potential. In doing so, ‘social media’ companies like Facebook and LinkedIn are briskly redefining their identities, business models and the boundaries they are able to connect people — or brands to people — within. All told, 2015 looks more and more like the year social will formally move beyond social, and the time when advertisers and technologists stop talking about a company, marketing channel, event or job title as ’social,’ and, instead, simply describe it as something that is.
After all, what is or isn’t social anymore? Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are now closely interwoven throughout all modern media — from live event and TV experiences to journalism to federal government policy awareness — and thanks to mobile are now first screen centers of attention.
How do you define a social company? Today, Facebook generates more annual advertising revenue than Fox News, CNN or MSNBC, with a much faster underlying growth rate fueled by mobile device adoption and budget reallocation to digital.
As we’ve talked about in the past, Facebook is also distancing itself from its own company pages and contest tabs, becoming a modern media company that connects people and serves ads across a network that extends well beyond Facebook.com. And if the definition of a social company is as open-ended as one that creates or facilitates interactive communities, brands as diverse as Amazon, eBay, Uber, Github, Kickstarter, Venmo, Medium, Pandora, Spotify and a litany of other companies are also intrinsically social businesses. ‘Social’ is where people spend time on the internet, it’s what people intrinsically want to do in their lives and with their phones, and it’s been a central element of human behavior for thousands of years.
[This post originally appeared on the Percolate Content Marketing Blog]
Over the summer of 2013, David Byttow, a former Google software developer, started building a mobile app to solve a problem he had. Byttow noticed he and the engineers he worked with were bad at giving each other feedback, and he wanted a way they could comment honestly on each other’s work without professional or personal backlash for saying something negative. Byttow wanted a way to tell the truth, without revealing who said it.
Eight months later, the most talked about content at SXSW 2014 wasn’t a flashy new tech launch, sharing economy roll-out or big-budget event activation: it was a SXSW feed from Byttow and co-founder Chrys Bader‘s two month old app, Secret, that aggregated and shared honest, anonymous feedback about the conference. The feed, coming on the back of Secret’s $10 million fundraising announcement, caused the app to jump more than 500 spots in the Apple app store rankings over the weekend, making Secret one of the fifty most downloaded social media apps, ahead of Foursquare and Facebook’s new Paper.
By itself, Secret is a noteworthy example of product design and community-building in an identity-conscious, mobile feature-unbundling world. But Secret isn’t alone. Its largest competitor Whisper also just raised venture funding, another addition to a Snapchat-led ecosystem of apps that help users create, share and consume content that’s genuine, unedited and in the moment. In fact, I see Secret, Whisper and Snapchat as part of a larger content and cultural trend centered around a key brand pillar: honesty. Continue reading
[This post was originally published on BuzzFork’s social marketing blog]
While Cyber Monday shoppers bought up iPads and Macbooks in droves, Apple did some purchasing of its own, acquiring social search and data analytics aggregator Topsy for a reported $200 million+.
Topsy, known by many as the “Google for Twitter,” offers tools to analyze tweets, social data and consumer sentiment. I’ve featured Topsy hashtag and keyword data previously on BuzzFork’s blog to look at trending terms and topics at events like Advertising Week and the World Series.
Apple confirmed the acquisition, but its representatives have declined to comment on how the company plans to use Topsy. The most probably outlook for Topsy is a public-facing shutdown of its core services as the product and team gets assimilated into various Apple efforts. Nonetheless, I see Topsy factoring into Apple’s plans across a variety of potential avenues and product applications: Continue reading