Will Gourmet Live be the first ever mobile magazine? Conde Nast announced that Gourmet will live again as a mobile magazine app. The content will include menus, articles, photos, videos, and more and be enhanced with social connectivity. Is this the future of magazine publishing?
People are mobile and people are local. That's the power of Foursquare. That and a little bit of gaming thrown in for good measure. No wonder then I've been obsessed with obtaining the mayorship of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in anticipation of ECU's 2010 football season! I earned it today, but no doubt I'll keep checking in to ensure my rule continues. In this article from Ad Age, you'll see why FourSquare is catching on rapidly and how marketers can use it.
Foursquare bills itself as 50% friend finder, 30% social city guide, 20% nightlife game. Basically, you tell it where you are (a bar, a park, a museum, whatever) by "checking in" (via iPhone app, SMS or mobile site). The service then tells your network of friends, recommends things to do in the area, and awards you points and badges for your activity. It also lets you recommend things other people should do and track what you have done yourself.
Co-founder Dennis Crowley puts it this way: "I think Foursquare found some kind of sweet spot between the intersection of social utility (Hey, I know where my friends are), sharing/oversharing (I log everywhere I go/everything I do) and gaming/rewards (every check-in gives you a little piece of candy)."
"There are a ton of branding and marketing opportunities and we're approached by people all the time -- sponsored badges, sponsored mayorships, etc.," Crowley told me. "What [co-founder] Naveen [Selvadurai] and I feel really good about is building two things at once -- things that make it easier/more fun for our users explore the city (tips, finding friends, badges) and things that make it easier for venues to reach out to their most loyal/vocal/early-adopter users.
Who started the viral drinking game known as icing? Is this a case of dark marketing? or is the game really a social game generated by consumers? The game is creating new sales for Smirnoff while also presenting a sticky situation in terms of its reputation and corporate position on binge and underage drinking. Videos are popping up in various social media venues showing people getting iced. These then link to BrosIcingBros.com. How can you protect yourself from being iced? Carry a Smirnoff Ice, of course.
Remember how Shawnte influenced my purchase of some truly fabulous boots, similar to those worn by Mary J Blige during the Inaugural Celebration? We were two of many who shared the political experience using social media. Before Mary J's song was done, Shawnte had delivered links via Facebook for the desired boots. That was social shopping, but now retailers are responding to this trend with social commerce. Some fan pages in Facebook and MySpace will now include a feature to shop within the page, enabling fans to add products to their shopping carts. Social has gone direct.
Merchants on Facebook and MySpace are adding e-commerce stores to their fan pages, hoping users will scan lists of for-sale items and services—such as floral bouquets, hand-crafted jewelry and spa treatments—and click a button to add them to online shopping carts. (MySpace is owned by News Corp., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.)
The e-commerce trend, also being adopted by large companies such as Hallmark Cards Inc. and Brooks Brothers Inc., so far appears limited to Facebook and MySpace, where applications for selling directly to consumers started cropping up in 2008.
For e-commerce via social media to work, "You've got to spend money on advertising to make people aware that [your fan page] exists," says Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Lubin School of Business at Pace University in New York.
Whether consumers will embrace shopping on social-media sites remains to be seen. Facebook, approaching 500 million users, recently came under fire over its privacy policies. Some shoppers may feel uncomfortable entering their credit-card information on the site, while others may be wary of making a purchase that could be broadcast on users' news feeds or profiles.