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Social media brings disappointing results for businesses

Recent­ly busi­ness­es have start­ed to ana­lyze the suc­cess of their social media cam­paigns and their social media man­agers are fac­ing a dis­ap­point­ing set of results. In a sur­vey car­ried out by Gallup, more than 62% of busi­ness­es claimed that their social media engage­ments had no influ­ence on the pur­chas­ing deci­sions made by con­sumers, with only 30% acknowl­edg­ing that it had some influ­ence. Only 5% believed that social media exert­ed a great deal of influ­ence, while 3% did not know. These results were in spite of US com­pa­nies spend­ing an esti­mat­ed total of $5.1bn on adver­tis­ing on social media plat­forms dur­ing 2013. Gallup claims that Face­book and Twit­ter users are ‘high­ly adept at tun­ing out’ brand con­tent and con­clud­ed that ‘social media are not the pow­er­ful and per­sua­sive mar­ket­ing force many com­pa­nies hoped they would be.’ The dimin­ish­ing pow­er of Face­book Social media has also made it more dif­fi­cult for com­pa­nies to reach their tar­get mar­kets. For exam­ple, Face­book has made sig­nif­i­cant changes in the way it dis­plays their users’ news feeds, only fea­tur­ing those it believes they will be inter­est­ed in. Accord­ing to social-media ana­lyt­ics com­pa­ny, EdgeR­ank Check­er, this result­ed in a 16% down­turn in the num­ber of users brands…

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Loverly, New York-based ‘Pinterest for brides,’ strides forward

Any­one with a lit­tle expe­ri­ence of media jobs in social media will appre­ci­ate that a start­up that soars to a $15 mil­lion val­u­a­tion and looks set to close a Series B round worth at least $2.5 mil­lion less than three years after its launch is tick­ing a lot of pos­i­tive box­es. And rumor has it that New York social media start­up Lover­ly, a kind of Pin­ter­est for soon-to-be brides, is poised to do just that. Bridal inspi­ra­tion  Social media man­agers who’ve heard of Lover­ly will know that it serves as a cen­tral mar­ket­place that helps prospec­tive brides find out about and save great wed­ding ideas. That means help­ing them find the right peo­ple to hire, as well as all the things they might like to buy to make their spe­cial day seri­ous­ly Spe­cial, with a cap­i­tal ‘S’. Users can curate a board of ideas (hence the Pin­ter­est com­par­i­son), and make them pub­lic for oth­er brides-to-be to find inspi­ra­tion in. The boards can be both edi­­tor-curat­ed (such as hon­ey­moon ideas, or brides­maid dress­es for beach wed­dings) and user-gen­er­at­ed. The site’s pro­pri­etary tag­ging sys­tem auto­mat­i­cal­ly adds between 4 and 20 tags to each image, index­ing fea­tures like style, col­or, loca­tion, and sea­son,…

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Livefyre’s new comment sharing product aims to make history of comments imprisoned at the foot of the page

Social media man­agers who are used to (and a lit­tle bored with) the con­ven­tion of user com­ments being con­fined to the bot­tom of the page are in for pleas­ant sur­prise: San Fran­­cis­­co-head­­quar­tered social engage­ment start­up Live­fyre, which has offices in New York and Lon­don, is bring­ing user com­ments into the con­tent itself, cour­tesy of its ground­break­ing new prod­uct, the apt­­ly-named Side­notes. Com­ments live If that’s whet­ted the curios­i­ty of social media man­agers look­ing for live­ly inter­ac­tive inno­va­tions here’s how it works: when pub­lish­ers using the prod­uct turn it on, a lit­tle word bal­loon, the Side­notes icon, will appear beside every para­graph on the page (it also works for images). When users tap the icons on their smart­phone screens, oth­er user com­ments will emerge in thread­ed con­ver­sa­tions at the spe­cif­ic points of the con­tent that elicit­ed the user inter­est and response. The com­ments open up in small win­dow in the low­er part of the screen, and you can move between com­ments by swip­ing. And, of course, you can add a com­ment of your own. To pre­vent a dis­tract­ing excess of bal­loon icons, they’re tied to whole para­graphs, but users have the option of tying their par­tic­u­lar com­ments to any spe­cif­ic bit…

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Looking for a date? Find your soulmate in a group courtesy of New York startup The Dating Ring

While it might seem like the ulti­mate kind of social net­work­ing expe­ri­ence, most social media man­agers will con­cede that match­mak­ing tech­nol­o­gy has proven a lit­tle cheesy: swip­ing right to show an inter­est in a per­son just seems a bit like select­ing a brand of beans or pret­zels. But Y Com­bi­na­tor new­bie The Dat­ing Ring is seek­ing to shake that all up with tech­nol­o­gy that match­es soul­­mate-seek­ers togeth­er in groups of six. No more awk­ward silences or flatlin­ing con­ver­sa­tions. Group poten­tial Last month, the New York-based start­up took its ser­vice to San Fran­cis­co, too, sug­gest­ing that its group approach has proven pop­u­lar with users. Intrigued social media man­agers may be won­der­ing how it works. Users begin with a $25 con­sul­ta­tion with one of the startup’s match­mak­ers, where­upon they’re set up with a series of dates involv­ing five oth­er sin­gles (cur­rent­ly it’s a 50:50 mix of men and women). The dates, ($20 a time) take place in relax­ing and infor­mal set­tings like restau­rants or bars; the idea is that peo­ple in small groups feel freer to inter­act with one anoth­er and get to know each oth­er. And the chances of two out of the six actu­al­ly hit­ting it off are mul­ti­plied by…

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Real-time social analytics polling startup PopTip extends its conversation-tracking offering Zipline to Instagram

It doesn’t take a vet­er­an social media man­ag­er to under­stand that social media has tak­en off big-time across the world; and that’s why brands and adver­tis­ers are scram­bling to fol­low what the word on the vir­­tu­al-social street is about their prod­uct. And they’ve just been giv­en a sig­nif­i­cant help­ing hand in that quest, cour­tesy of New York social ana­lyt­ics start­up Pop­Tip, and its new offer­ing, Zipline for Insta­gram. Social polling Launched in sum­mer 2012, PopTip’s polling ana­lyt­ics plat­form began by let­ting brands ask social media users ques­tions like “do you wear #sneak­ers or #shoes?” The “#” gives it away: PopTip’s ser­vice was orig­i­nal­ly only avail­able on Twit­ter. Brands would see a dash­board giv­ing real-time con­ver­sa­tions and answers in response to the ques­tions they’d posed. Respon­dents didn’t even need to use a hash­tag or spell prop­er­ly – PopTip’s tech­nol­o­gy tracks nat­ur­al lan­guage in real-time. By March 2013, the ser­vice was avail­able on Face­book too, giv­ing brands a broad­er win­dow on their fol­low­ing over mul­ti­ple plat­forms. In Octo­ber last year, Pop­Tip launched Zipline, an offer­ing that removes the need for polling. Brands don’t need to for­mu­late ques­tions on Zipline; they just select the words and phras­es they’d like to track, sit back…

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