This post originally appeared on the Buffer blog. When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there. I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way. If you’re starting from square one, it might feel equal parts thrilling and overwhelming….
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Source: recode.net – Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Reckitt Benckiser Want to sell condoms in China? It isn’t easy. Just ask Reckitt Benckiser , the British consumer-products company, which in 2010 acquired Durex, an iconic 85-year-old brand that sells slightly more than a quarter of the world’s condoms. Durex already held a 30 percent market share in China, but the market was small, as only one in 10 sexually active Chinese used condoms. RB set out to grow Durex sales , but quickly realized that the strategy that had worked everywhere else was not going to work in China. The company could not get premium pricing for its condoms, as counterfeit knockoffs flooded the market. Neither could it get consumer attention — advertising was just too expensive in China. And high distribution costs made it impossible to sell the product outside the largest cities. The Chinese marketplace was a daunting challenge: “It was January, and they already knew that they weren’t going to make their numbers for the year,” said an industry observer. Realizing that it would not succeed, RB abandoned its previous approach and went for a complete strategy overhaul with an all-social and all-digital strategy. And within three years, the new way of doing things created a massive win for Durex. Sales jumped threefold, as prices went up, the overall market for condoms grew, and the company’s market share soared to 45 percent. RB’s experience demonstrates how powerful a well-crafted and sharply executed social s
If you’re a heavy Twitter or Facebook user, you know just how many social media tools there are out there that promise to help track your activity’s performance online. There’s TwitterCounter (owned by The Next Web) for tracking how many followers you have, Klout for giving you a social media ‘rank’ and a plethora of other tools that provide similar functionality. ThinkUp, however, is not like any of them. ThinkUp is a social media analytics tool that attempts to give you meaningful information about how your social media accounts are performing, rather than just measuring arbitrary ‘ranks’ or follower counts, it analyses…
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Naoki Hiroshima’s scary tale of losing his single-character Twitter handle has captivated the internet over the last few days. First, we heard the story of how Naoki was held ransom for the rare handle, then GoDaddy admitted it was partially responsible for giving out details that lead to the compromise.
Today, GoDaddy said on Twitter that it is changing its security policies to help protect against similar attacks of social engineering in the future:
@N_is_stolen Will do. We now require 8 card digits, lock after 3 attempts and deal with 2-factor authentication accounts differently. ^NF
— GoDaddy (@GoDaddy) February 1, 2014
The change may appear small on the surface, but should help prevent a repeat of the same story. It would be extremely hard for an attacker to gain 8 digits of a credit card (unless the whole card was stolen) and by locking the account after 3 attempts the company is protecting itself from attackers that would just hang up the phone and try again with a new representative.
Unfortunately, Naoki still hasn’t received his Twitter account back with the handle now in the grips of yet another squatter. The story isn’t quite over yet.
Image via Shutterstock
As we wind down the year, The Next Web compiled a list of some of the social apps that have made some significant moves in 2013. How did we qualify what a social app was? In our mind, it was a service that had a core functionality that enabled users to interact and engage with other people, either online or offline.
If you’re curious about last year’s list of social apps, you can find it here. Below is a list of the 20 apps that were big headliners in 2013 (in no particular order). Click here to view them all on one page.
Perhaps one of the apps that made the most headlines this year, Snapchat ends this year with a rather large valuation, coming off reports that the company entertained acquisition talks with Facebook. It was said that the social networking company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had sought to purchase the ephemeral messaging service for north of $ 3 billion.
Snapchat functions as a messaging service, but in an “ephemeral” way. Messages can be sent to friends, but will only be stored momentarily — up to 10 seconds, in fact. Afterwards, they disappears from existence.
In February, Snapchat launched video messaging for its Android app. It then unveiled a new service specifically aimed at kids on iOS to help it expand its user base. The company has certainly been busy trying to justify its growing valuation. This summer, it said that 350 million messages were sent through the service each day.
Of course, let’s not forget that Snapchat recently hired away Instagram’s head of business to be its Chief Operating Officer, a sign that the startup is looking to stay independent and may help it to begin monetize its service. Will the new ‘replay’ feature play a role here?
WhatsApp recently announced that it has more than 400 million monthly active users, giving it an extra leg up in the mobile messaging battle. Available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia Symbian devices, the service has certainly been active both in the US and around the world. It ended 2012 saying that it processed 18 billion messages on the last day of the year alone, but found itself on the wrong side of the law when Canadian and Dutch authorities claimed WhatsApp violated international privacy laws.
In 2013, more activity took place on the mobile messaging service — in June, it hit a new milestone when it processed 27 billion messages in just one day.
Another messaging app that has made news in 2013, Line has been expanding rapidly around the world, but hasn’t quite made it to the United States. In November, it passed 300 million registered users and is known for its stickers, another popular thing of 2013.
Line’s stickers feature has become so popular that it has generated $ 188 million in gross revenue in Q3 2013, alongside other in-app purchases with its ‘connected’ games. In August, the company said that it makes over $ 10 million per month just from stickers.
With such a booming business, there are even reports that suggest Line is preparing for a US or Japanese IPO soon that could be worth up to $ 28 billion.
This week, the company revealed that it would be introducing video ads into its product, but would pay users to watch them through its Line Coins payment system.
In a fit of philanthropy, the mobile messaging service announced this week that it had raised $ 500,000 to help benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines through the sale of ‘charitable’ stickers.
Social networks have also been busy this year. Google+ has remained active, now with 540 million active users worldwide. It has also become a hub for photos, something that Google has exploited with new services such as releasing an improved, Snapseed-powered editing tools, the release of Auto Awesome, and more.
As Google+ has become a haven for photographers, the company has been making significant changes, including new filters, better profiles, improved user flows, and more.
Yes, people still do use Foursquare and its seen a bit of a resurgence in 2013. In fact, just this week it raised $ 35 million in a Series D round. Although still fundamentally a location-based service, Foursquare has evolved its product so that it’s not about the check-in, but more about local recommendations and proactive learning.
Years ago, users were obsessed with checking into a location in order to earn badges or become the “mayor”. Now the app gives you smart recommendations based on friends’ data, and in 2013, the company began giving relevant, location-based information and tips to users, using push notifications (even for users who rarely – or never – actually open the app itself).
This year, the company also opened up its self-service ad platform to small businesses. With this feature, any company can pay to have a personalized promotion appear in a user’s feed in an attempt to garner more business. App users can also parse through 43 million menu items from more than 500,000 restaurants now with an improved Explore option.
In August, Foursquare released a new app to bring the location service to Windows Phone 8 devices.