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In Category: Affiliate Marketing

Facebook’s News Feed Buy Button: A Challenge to Pinterest

Ecommerce is the next big thing that Facebook is laying eyes on. The company is testing a News Feed “Buy Button” with Shopify merchants. This feature will enable you to make a purchase directly through Facebook at the bottom of a post. Making the transaction even easier, you can make the payment instantly if you have your details already filed with Facebook. This feature could boost sale conversion rates for sellers, accelerate shopping, while also keeping users logged-in to Facebook for longer times.

The “Buy Button” is initially available to appear on the Facebook Page Posts or Promoted Post ads that are run by Shopify retailers. These retailers can share these buttons organically or pay for a broader reach. Facebook also enables merchants to track sales and analytics for measuring overall performance.

What do you think about shopping online through Facebook?

Learn more about it from this TechCrunch article.

Blog-35-Facebook-Buy-Button Facebook’s Buy Button, Dropbox’s New Security Features, and Twitter’s Uncapped Direct Messages

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Dropbox Updates Security Features for Businesses

Dropbox announces several updates to attract larger businesses and address their security concerns. Now you’re required to follow the two-factor identification method to access files when logging in. In case you are unable to do this, Dropbox guides you through the process of automatic sign-up. Also, the three-level administration tool is designed to complement with the ways large companies organize administrative activities. To streamline the process of maintaining relationships with the sharing of existing folders, the Shared Folder API now automates direct interaction with the folder. Dropbox’s latest connector for Active Directory aims to ease deployment on larger organizations.

Have you checked out the updated Dropbox for your business? What do you think about it?

Learn more about it from this TechCrunch article.

Blog-36-Dropbox-New-Features Facebook’s Buy Button, Dropbox’s New Security Features, and Twitter’s Uncapped Direct Messages

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Twitter to Remove Character Limit from Direct Messages

Beginning in July, Twitter will remove the 140-character limit from its Direct Messages (DMs). This will enable you to send long messages and easily extend conversations beyond tweets. The announcement follows Twitter’s recent update that allows users to send Direct Messages to people whom they are not already connected to. Currently the new feature is restricted to DMs and Twitter has said they have no intentions of increasing the character count for tweets any time soon.

What do you think about this update from Twitter? Are you excited about writing longer DMs or do you prefer them short and crisp? Share your thoughts with us.

Learn more about it from this article by Social Media Today.

Blog-34-Twitter-Direct-Messages Facebook’s Buy Button, Dropbox’s New Security Features, and Twitter’s Uncapped Direct Messages

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Blog-Klout_Is_Not_Enough

Anyone running affiliate marketing or influencer outreach programs requires a mixture of automated and human analyses to design and operate their program.  Automated algorithms are great when you need a quick decision in real-time, but when you are choosing 5, 10 or 50 influencers for long-term relationship development, you need to be sure that they are the true influencers in your category.  That requires human analysis.

While Klout can now include LinkedIn connections and activities into the calculation of Klout scores, brands should be very careful about using Klout scores for affiliate marketing or influencer outreach, for the following reasons:

  1. The only way to identify influencers within a category is through a combination of automated and human analyses.
  2. Klout can not measure influence within a category.  For example, Ariana Huffington has a high Klout score, but she is not relevant to most brands.  For example, if you sell baby diapers or desktop virtualization products, Ariana is not an influencer.  And Klout is not capable of telling you who influences the conversation around baby diapers or desktop virtualization products.

In recognition of the need for category-specific influence scoring, Klout recently launched a +K button, which lets Klout users tell Klout when someone else influences them, but the method has two weaknesses:

  • +K is subject to significant self-selection bias. The inputs come only from Klout users who choose to contribute, and
  • +K does not capture the extent to which one person passes along another person’s messages. Therefore, the scoring does not adequately allow a brand to choose influencers based upon the extent to which the influencer will drive messaging into the market.
  • +K does not associate the influence with a category. For example, I might say that Seth Godin influences me, but does he influence my decisions about car purchases, laptop purchases or the foods that I consume? No.

Read More

Blog-Private_Sharing

Private sharing defines an emerging class of social applications that let you share content with a limited set of people. While utilities such as Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare tend to encourage you to share with more and more people, emerging applications such as Path intentionally limit the number of people who can see your photos, videos, etc.

What? Doesn’t that limit their network effect — their ability to quickly grow on the backs of their users’ address books, and someday IPO?

Maybe. But it also fills a gap in most of the mainstream social networking applications: privacy. Most of us who use Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Facebook have added so many people that we’re afraid to share our most intimate thoughts or memories. Yes, Facebook offers Groups as a way to control who sees what, but the reality is that most people don’t use Groups very effectively because it’s too much work.

In Path, you are allowed to select only 50 people who can see your photos and videos. While 50 may seem like a large number, most Facebook users have far more than 50 Friends.

Of course, private sharing sites are not completely new. A Small World has long billed itself as, “A private online community designed for those who already have strong connections with one another. By invitation only.” In fact, A Small World has special rules for determining when a member can invite new members. I know folks who have been a member of that service for years and have never been allowed to invite even one new member.

The Future

As these services evolve, some people may divert some portion of their thoughts and opinions into applications which offer greater privacy, such as Path or A Small World. That data may not be visible to search engines or conversation monitoring solutions. On the other hand, some of those services may choose to share the data in limited ways, like Sermo and PatientsLikeMe.

Read More

Blog-Effective_Blogger_Outreach

50% of professional bloggers and 25% of hobbyist bloggers say that they’ve been approached by at least one company to write about a brand or product, according to Technorati.

Even though content marketers have published thousands of articles with tips for blogger outreach, 64% of bloggers believe they are treated less professionally by brand representatives than they are by traditional media, and only 20% of bloggers characterize their interactions with brand representatives as positive.

The most influential bloggers receive requests every day. Gone are the days when bloggers starved for attention from brands or big media. As a result, brands can feel challenged to effectively engage influential writers and tweeters. Here are four tips for success:

  1. Identify the right bloggers: Start by identifying the writers who are influential in your particular sector, and with your target audiences. As Andrew Chen explained in 2008, not everyone needs to target the early adopters. Some specialized products produce only a handful of online influencers. Know your audience, and know their influencers.
  2. Use the right incentives: Understand the incentive that will pique the interest of their target blog most. For some, it’s pure compensation. They may already be earning steady income through paid placement or affiliate or performance based marketing. Others may want to increase readership. They may be willing to sponsor a giveaway or contest at no cost, just to keep their readers excited. Others want complete control and will allow you to submit a product for review – with no promises or editorial control.
  3. Know each blogger’s value: Most bloggers know exactly what the real estate on their site is worth. They know what their readers want. They know the value of their site and the value of access to their readers.
  4. Comply with FTC guides: 55% of bloggers and 70% of professional bloggers are aware of FTC disclosure requirements, and bloggers tend to say that they are offended by brands asking them to cross the line.

People often trust bloggers more than advertisements, so a product review or recommendation from a notable blogger can be more valuable than traditional online media placement. To be sure, blogger outreach can be an effective and measurable strategy for increasing awareness and driving traffic, but it can also tarnish your brand if not conducted professionally, intelligently and with integrity.

Know your goals, know your audience, and know their influencers.

Last week Converseon announced the “Where in the Summit is Converseon” social media scavenger hunt at the Affiliate Summit West 2008  in Las Vegas Nevada taking place February 24-26. The Affiliate Summit is the most premier conference for the affiliate industry and Converseon will be sending the entire affiliate team to the event. It is an incredible opportunity to meet with new partners across industries, and this year is no different.

We wanted to have a bit more fun this time around and add a unique twist to the standard networking events, making the experience more memorable and interactive for all our affiliates and partners, offering prizes for using Flickr and Twitter in a social media scavenger hunt. The attendees are given clues to solve and must find Converseon team members (Jamie, Stephen, Robin, Harmony and Stephanie) at various locations during the Affiliate Summit to win points towards our prize packages. To gain points participants take a photo with us and upload it to our Affiliate Summit Flickr account, It’s pretty simple but should be lots of fun.

Here are some sample clues:
• How can you go to Las Vegas without seeing ”The King”? 10 points if you get a picture with any Converseon team member with The King, and another 20 points if you are able to get the entire Converseon team and you posing with his eminence. And 25 points more if you’re wearing Blue Suede Shoes in the picture.
• There’s only one way to get around the strip, but don’t get derailed. Catch a picture of any Converseon team member and you on Vegas’ mass transit system and get 15 points.
• Going once, going twice – SOLD! 10 points for a picture with any Converseon team member at this Summit event on Monday at 3 pm.

We’ll also be offering additional prizes through our Twitter account such as coffee mugs or a free lunch with the team. The points will be calculated and totaled at the end of the game. We will post the final winner on the “Where in the Summit is Converseon?” website by March 3, 2008. Prizes from Converseon clients Edmund Scientifics, Relax the Back, MyWinesDirect, Get Organized and Mikasa will be shipped the following week.

Every Friday we’ll be posting a list of links that the Converseon team have found to be the most insightful from the past week. Enjoy!

What Evolutionary Psychology Says About Social Networking

This column sparked a lot of deep thinking and discussion in the office. The author analyzes some evolutionary psychology research that looks at how early humans communicated and interacted with each other for clues about how we communicate today.

Dunbar begins with the premise that back when our Paleolithic ancestors were still more monkey than human, understanding one’s place in the group hierarchy was exceedingly important. Compared to other creatures, primates are unusually social animals. And thus knowledge about relationships — who’s mating with whom, who became allies, who just had a fight — was crucial for primates to maintain or advance their place in the pack. It was, Dunbar suggests, the birth of gossip.

Show Series To Originate on MySpace

An interesting article about how TV producers are launching a series to be shown on MySpace. Producers are looking to generate story lines and even find actors online. Working online also allows them to take advantage of union agreements that allow actors and writers to work on terms more favorable to producers than those governing network programs.

Fifty Most Influential Bloggers

A new list of the 50 ‘most influential’ bloggers. This could possibly be more valuable than many of the ranking formats out there because of its qualitative focus. The ‘who’ and ‘what’ behind the blog are more important than the numbers.

Deconstructing the Incredibly Weak Mobile Web Experience

This year 115 million smartphones will be shipped and that number is expected to rise to 410 million by 2012. This article looks towards the future of mobile web browsing.

Crowdsourcing Site

It’s likely we’ll see more of these sites popping up, it is important to keep track of them and monitor them for your brand. Brands should also consider setting up their own open forums for discussion about their products and services, of course, rather than let third parties control the platform.

Selling Postcards from the Hanging: Reflections on CJU

A look at the changes occurring in affiliate marketing, especially how smaller affiliates will find it harder to continue in the affiliate space.