Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Cool, New UI is Thanks to Their Hard Work

June has been fast paced in the midst of rolling out the new user interface. Feedback has been thrilling - genuine enthusiasm for the design, the graphics and ease of use. Our recent growth says it all!

A lot of effort and sweat by the entire team has gone into it. So here's some deserved thanks. Ben and his development team at ForeSite are creative, thorough - and patient! Our "Super Members" Rich, Michele, Ed, Caitlin and Giulia - social media consultants who help in QA'ing the site, brainstorming and giving honest feedback - have been encouraging and inspiring.

The CT TweetCrawlers (#cttu, #pcct, #pcwm, #swct) - from Hartford & New Haven to Stonington and Stamford - are great to have in your corner. They are trusted local businesses with well-earned reputations. For them, word-of-mouth is not new. But they are using social media to share it in new ways. And they are generous with their ideas and critiques.

With this cool UI we are ready to take it to not-for-profits and businesses to demonstrate the power of word-of-mouth connecting. And that's our goal for the next several months.

We have tons of neat stuff planned - right, Ben? But for now, thanks to all of you, we hope to see lots more "Good referrals. Doing good."

- - Tim

Unlocking the elusive potential of social networks - McKinsey Quarterly - Marketing - Digital Marketing

Unlocking the elusive potential of social networks

As published on the McKinsey Quarterly

Excerpt: "... We think of word of mouth generated on social networks as a distinct form of media... When you think of word of mouth as media, it becomes a form of content, and businesses can apply tried-and-true content-management practices and metrics to it. In addition, word of mouth generated by social networks is a form of marketing that must be earned—unlike traditional advertising, which can be purchased. "

"Obviously, there are no generic solutions, and each company will need to invent and discover what makes sense for its unique situation"

My Take
Accurate metrics are one reason word-of-mouth powered by Web-based social search is vastly superior to other forms of marketing. Other benefits will be improved cash flow,stronger customer relations, and a downward effect on under-performing, legacy advertising media.

While there may be no generic solutions, platforms may be developed that support the common needs of millions of small businesses in the long-tail of the $100B US local advertising market.