After a brief networking break, the programming at Realtime NY 11 resumed. Realtime commentary continues throughout the day on Twitter at the hashtag #RLTM. Workshops were being run concurrently with these panels and presentations, so check out the Twitter stream for comments about their content and links to workshop materials.
For coverage of the early morning panels, check my post here.
Right Time, Right Place: Getting Customers to Check In
Moderator: Michael Schneider, Allen & Gerritsen (@schneidermike)
Adrian Parker, RadioShack (@adrianparker)
Siobhan Quinn, Foursquare (@siobhanquinn)
Matthew Shadbolt, Corcoran Group (@Corcoran_Group)
At this time last year, Foursquare was approaching 3 million users. Today they have over 10 million. Brands have started to enter the conversation, expanding the location ecosystem from check-in applications to platforms for deals, discovery, decisions, and more.
Foursquare’s specials platform allows locations to grow their business by offering both traditional deals (e.g., specials on your first check-in) and loyalty incentives (e.g., rewarding customers for returning and checking in again.) Schneider noted that the evolution of the special platform grew in part to competition for mayor specials.
Parker recognizes that Foursquare has quickly accelerated as a business driver for RadioShack. When they tested Foursquare as an enterprise tool, they saw that Foursquare users spent 3.5x as long in a Radioshack store and spent more highly in preferred categories like mobile. You don’t want to interrupt people’s daily life when realtime marketing to consumers. According to Quinn , location-based services allow a brand to contact the consumer in a non-obtrusive way at an appropriate time.
Location-based services, through user tips and brand specials, can help promote discovery. In a sense, these services are manufacturing serendipity. Shadbolt recognizes that tips are most valuable when they share facts that could only be discovered by visiting a site. The adding of tips is at its core an extension of what brands are doing in social, it’s just more geographically targeted.
Tips allow brands without brick and mortar locations to form a connection to its customers. Quinn used the example of the History Channel uses tips to share facts about locations around New York City. Brands can also leverage Foursquare’s API and graph to reward loyalty and enable discovery of products tailored to a user’s lifestyle (such as the program run by Safeway and Pepsi.)
It’s critical for brand/location partnerships to simplify the experience. Quinn referenced Foursquare’s partnership with American Express which gave users a discount without having to share additional information with a retailer. Parker reinforced the importance of educating employees in regard to specials; you don’t want a Foursquare user with a large number of Twitter followers complaining that a cashier didn’t know how to apply a special.
As a takeaway, the panelists understand that location-based services and specials have to be helpful, insightful, and unobtrusive. From a business perspective, don’t analyze location-based ROI in a vacuum, but look at it in terms of campaign objectives.
Case Study: Twitter on TV – Will Integrating Realtime Content Get Big Ratings?
Lisa Hsia, Bravo Digital Media (@Bravotv)
Mark Ghuniem, Wiredset, Trendrr (@MarkGhuniem)
Bravo was an early adopter of Twitter, but they have expanded and evolved their realtime activities over the last two years. Hsia notes that Bravo has more viewers watching their programs on two screens (TV plus a computer or mobile device) than any other network. Viewers wanted to engage with talent, but they also wanted to see their names and tweets shown on screen.
When the iPad launched, Bravo released a “co-viewing” app to help keep viewers engaged (they would be engaging with the app, on average, for 23 minutes of a one hour program.) Data, social, and video can help drive user experience, according to Ghuniem. Together, they add up to social TV, a tremendous opportunity for the businesses that can crack it.
Realtime Tools: Managing the Social Business
Jesse Engle, ExactTarget (@engle)
According to Engle, social media’s secret weapon is e-mail. E-mail consumption among active social media users is higher than among non-users. Brands can use their existing e-mail subscription databases to encourage customers to follow a Facebook fan page or Twitter account. (While this should be obvious, Engle is surprised how many companies don’t take this step.) Similarly, brands should leverage their social campaigns to acquire new e-mail subscribers.
Brands can mine their social data to drive relevancy and reach influencers. E-mail addresses are often the connecting link between different social profiles, so the more platforms through which you are connected to a user, the better you can target them. Finally, you should arm community managers with customer intelligence at the point of interaction so that the conversation can be on-going.