Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
"Is YouGottaCall similar to Angie's List?"
We are aiming for the same goal – to connect consumers with trustworthy businesses. But our means of achieving this are as opposite as can be.
YouGottaCall.com is more similar to other recommendation social networks like GigPark, Yelp and LikeList. But we are designed to benefit charities and have a unique voluntary, intrinsic pay-for-performance model.
Here's how we stack up with AngiesList -
Fees: Angie's List collects fees from consumers. This is their primary revenue source. YouGottaCall.com is free to join and free to use for consumers and businesses.
Trusted relationships: AngiesList features written testimonials about the businesses. But the testimonials are written by strangers. The starting point for YouGottaCall is our members' trusted relationships. Recommendations are filtered by the members' social connections so they personally know the people recommending the business. Because we are integrated with Facebook our members can log-in using their Facebook ID. We plan to expand the integration with Facebook to achieve more referral and search utilization within Facebook.
Effectiveness: AngiesList does not guarantee consumer satisfaction in exchange for their subscription fee. In our model consumers are not charged a fee. Our revenue comes from our business members who select the amount they want to pay. For businesses, this is performance based. They choose to pay their fees for either 'referrals' or for 'new sales'.
Cause related: YouGottaCall.com enables members to select a not-for-profit organization their referrals will benefit. Eighty percent of all fees go to these charities.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Can Closed-Door Exclusive Social Networks Make Money?
Sean Carton | August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Unlocking the elusive potential of social networks - McKinsey Quarterly - Marketing - Digital Marketing
Unlocking the elusive potential of social networks
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Do you use the mute button on your phone? Have you ever forgotten it's on? I have - and here's what it's taught me.
- I've learned that the conversation can actually go on without the idea that I wanted to add at that very moment. And often the conversation is improved by the fact that I did not chime in. It takes unexpected turns and uncovers unanticipated information.
- I've learned that communication benefits SO much by allowing a couple of seconds of silence. The person with whom I'm speaking has valuable things to add. When they feel free to do this they become more invested in the conversation and in the relationship.
- Sometimes the silence is awkward. Everyone is naturally compelled to fill the void - which can make what comes out all the more spontaneous and authentic.
Monday, March 8, 2010
These three factors are very simple – and simple to remember, thanks to this play on Einstein's famous formula:
Relevance – The beginning & end of social media is people – you, your customers, your friends and their friends. All of these are increasingly using social media to connect and to share pertinent information with those they care about. This is where word-of-mouth referrals happen for their trusted service providers – a.k.a. “you”.
If they're recommending you, then guess what - they like you! And they welcome you to connect with them appropriately and genuinely. Thanks to social media you can easily join this conversation.
Some tips on being relevant: be real – let your personality show. Whether this means you're always on topic or else you clown around a bit; whether you're stricly corporate or you let your personal side show – this is up to you. Just be you and they will find it easy to connect with your social media personna.
Content – The gist of your social media messages will be what grabs people. There is no simple formula to follow. Not every post will “wow” people – but your body of posts will establish a reputation for substance and will expand the number of people who listen.
Your content should revolve around your personality and your expertise. Share your insights, advice, tips, ideas and inspirations.
The all-important content rules are
avoid controversial topics (politics, sex and religion). These cause otherwise interested folks to stop paying attention – quickly. Also,
negative or sarcastic comments tend to drive away readers.
Consistency - You might be brilliant and relevant, but if you do not connect consistently you will not establish many new, real relationships via social media that help grow your business. And you'll be frustrated.
In your frustration you will lose precious time as your competitors build their profitable social media networks.
So, to save time and aggravation it is strongly recommended that you do not begin social marketing unless you commit to a consistent effort. Seriously – I am not kidding.
Still reading? Good! If you still want to 'give it a go', there are some guidelines to follow:
- regular time daily
- check for messages directed to you. If they are not “automated” messages, then they are probably from people who are interested in you or your company. Reply to these.
- Give 'props' – quote friends and associates on Facebook; Re-Tweet on Twitter. This tells them you appreciate their thoughts. It also helps theie message get seen by more of your friends. And it encourages them to return the favor to you.
- Save time - “re-purpose”. If you have an interesting story or news item on your Web site, blog or Facebook page, then pass it along. Others will probably enjoy it – and you get extra mileage from the effort you spent.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Excerpted from Feb 25, 2010 Search Engine Land article
Things in the local search space are out of the control of the typical small business owner; even if they know about the Google Local Business Center, Yahoo Local Listings, or Bing Local Listing Center, they’re only covering half their bases (according to last year’s15 Miles survey.) And other portals and data companies typically don’t push updates live with the same alacrity as Google and Bing.
At our recent Local University in Spokane, Mike Blumenthalexplained to small business owners how Google and Bing assemble a Local listing. Mike explained that the major search engines pull in a number of disparate pieces of information (street address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.) about a business from just about any source they can crawl – obviously weighted more heavily towards sources they trust, including their own Local databases.
He further blew our minds with the notion that this two dimensional chart of location information not only expanded infinitely in two dimensions to cover additional local information sources, but also extended into three dimensions, with time as the additional variable. Suggesting, in other words, that recent changes to listing information that aren’t corroborated by other sources may be overwhelmed by the weight of a particular listing’s history!
This lack of transparency and understanding of how listing “clusters” are formed understandably leads to frustration on the part of the business owner, particularly when his experience to date has simply been to tell the Yellow Pages rep how he’d like his information represented year after year.
The bottom line: if you don’t claim and verify each and every listing on each and every search engine and data provider, Google and the other search engines are forced to make a “best guess,” by clustering information that seems to match up, and they don’t always guess right.
The daunting and inefficient choices for local advertising are temporary - a left-over effect of the mad rush by businesses to get found on the Web.
As Web advertising options begin to take shape, social media is achieving dominance in both traffic and advertising effectiveness. HubSpot's Mark Roberge demonstrated this in his keynote at yesterday's Hartford Business Journal eTechnology Summit. By a show of hands, he illustrated the staggering contrast between purchase decisions influenced by traditional ads vs. social/web research & recommendations.
The "Social Web" provides major advantages over the "Search Web" - higher quality interactions; less "noise"; lower cost' higher yield. Consumers and advertisers who 'get social' will realize these benefits.
The only losers will be the firms who thought short-term and provided unimaginative quick-fixes as well as old media firms that failed to adapt.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Heavy participation in social networks ignited enormous hype around the newfound economic value of relationships. Recognizing the advertising opportunity, companies attempted all manner of ways to pose as our trusted friends in order to sell products using the new venue of social media.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Excerpted from eMarketer Digital Intelligence 1/8/2010
Marketing, Not Ads, Fuels Social Spending Growth
Focus on word-of-mouth and earned media
Going social is no longer an experiment for marketers; it is a reality.
Marketers spent $800 million in 2009 on social network, word-of-mouth and conversational marketing, up more than 23% over the previous year. Further growth of 35% is expected for 2010 to more than $1 billion.
“In 2010 and beyond, a substantial portion of marketers’ expenses will go toward creating and maintaining a fan page, managing promotions or public relations outreach within a social network, and measuring the impact of a social network presence on brand health and sales,” wrote eMarketer senior analyst Debra Aho Williamson in the report, “Social Network Ad Spending: 2010 Outlook.” “Paid advertising will serve to drive traffic and engagement with the larger social network presence.”
Good old fashioned WOM and social media - two great phenomenons that go great together.
Marketers are planning to spend more and more on getting word-of-mouth to happen. Let's flip the problem around. How about creating a Web infrastructure that facilitates the WOM that's already occurring naturally and normally?
Seems like the simplest solution.