Clearspring’s Audience Platform Connects Businesses With Their Targeted Audience

Sometimes the hardest part about running any type of campaign is connecting with your targeted audience.  If your company does not reach out to your targeted audience, then there is no point to your campaign.  Clearspring Technologies tools are well known for connecting publishers, services, and advertisers to their targeted audiences on the social web.  Their AddThis platform allows leading publishers to track digital content on the web including widgets, web pages, videos to blogs, social networks, and many more.  Seamlessly integrated into Clearspring’s platform are over 300 other services that can help you to reach out to your audience.

Many advertisers have found Clearspring’s platform to be very useful when they are trying to connect with their audiences.  Using this platform Clearspring accumulates information from over 200MM unique US users monthly.  By using parts of their dynamic technology they then categorize that information into two different compartments, influence and intent-based audience.  Advertisers then gain their targeted audience’s attention from hundreds of these compartments being combined together.

The influence based segments are people that you reach out to who share information on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.  Reaching out to these type of people can easily give advertisers a ‘jump-start’ on their campaigns because there will be more people sharing news about it.  By using this influenced based platform you will easily get the word out about your campaign more quickly.  Social networkers sharing information about your campaign, on average influence another four of their friends or followers. Many of the companies who have used this segment for their campaigns have noticed a twenty to fifty percent upgrade in sharing information.

The intent-based segments are targeted toward the people who are looking for you and your services.  With this segment you are able to reach users in all four categories of the purchasing process: awareness, interest, consideration and in-market.  Reaching out to this type of audience you already know that they are interested in your product/service.  Now all you need to do is blow them away with your campaign to gain them as a customer.  Also, if these people have already been trying to find you, it is likely they will share with others how you reached out to them.  Companies who have used this method to gain audience attention have seen a jump of a 2X-10X lift in their campaign.  Putting these two segments together allows you to reach your audience in a simpler, quicker way, and also creates a viral campaign for your company.  As the two different segments work together, you are sure to get the biggest response from your audience.

The tools given to you by Clearspring help to generate even more traffic to your website because of the fact you are reaching out to so many people.  The hardest part can be reaching out to the people who influence others, and with the help from Clearspring’s platform that can no longer be an issue.  You will be able to reach out to the audience you need, at the exact time you need them.

Google+ VS. Facebook-Which One Will Come Out on Top?

The on going battle between the two social networks Google+ and Facebook heated up last Tuesday when Google+ became public to the people.  During the time Google+ was announcing new changes they have made to their network, along with going public, Facebook was undergoing changes of their own.  Back to back announcements were being made between the two rivals all day Tuesday.

Many Facebook users are upset with the changes Facebook has been making.  Recently Facebook has made changes to their news feed highlighting posts that are more important than others.  Users have not been responding to this new feature in a good way and have even made suggestions to make Facebook the way it used to be before all of the new features.

“This morning I spent several minutes unmarking stories as “Top Stories” just so I get my news feed back into some sort of chronological order,” a comment from a Facebook user.

As Facebook is getting negative responses to their changes, Google+ is being applauded for the many new features they have come out with.  They have updated their Hangout feature to where it can now be used for broadcasting on any smart phone with a camera.  This feature allows nine users to connect and video chat together all at once.  Later they announced that this feature will soon be available for all Apple users.  The makers of Google+  believe that Hangouts should keep pace with how people socialize in the real world, so launching this feature on mobile devices allows people to always have it with them.

The competition between these two networks has started to become so out of control, that it is like Facebook is scrambling to stay ahead in the game.  When changes are made to Facebook there are no announcements about it, or messages to let users know about the new features.  Users feel like Facebook just keeps digging a deeper hole in each attempt they make to stay the world’s #1 most used social network service.  People like the way Facebook use to be, it was simple, easy, and enjoyable to chat with friends.  Now there are so many changes, each time someone logs into their account it looks completely different and is continuously becoming harder to understand.

When Google+ was just starting out and could only be accessed by an invitation only, Swedish technology entrepreneur Anton Perlkvist wrote that “Google+ is like a house party without alcohol where everybody is just standing around waiting.  Now that things are starting to happen, Google+ has improved dramatically.  The makers of Google+ were waiting for the perfect time to launch their network to the public.  It was important to them to make sure everything was perfect and ready to go before letting too many people join.  One advantage they have over Facebook is that Google+ encourages their users to gain more followers.

There are still some people out in the world that are not too sure about either of these two social networks.  A comment from a user noted that the two networks are so concerned about upgrading and adding features that they are not taking the time to worry about user privacy.  This being the real issue when using any social network.  More and more these days user’s information is being sold to companies for either good or bad reasons.  As this issue is brought up to Facebook or Google+ it very well could take a toll on either network.  Users provide their information to share with friends and family, not for it to be distributed throughout various different companies.  If this becomes a major issue for users, then both Facebook and Google+ are going to have to work harder in this area.

Google+ is starting to rise to the top with all of their efforts to become one of the best social networks.  During one of their announcements they did not give out the number of users they have so far, but analysis say there are over 25 million users on Google+, and this was before they went public on Tuesday.  They still have a ways to go before catching up with Facebook’s count of 750 million users, but with all the changes that have been occurring, this may be sooner than we all think.  Will Facebook fans stay true, or will they all wonder away to what is becoming known as “a worldwide…interesting party?”– Anton Perlkvist.

Facebook’s New Timeline Feature

Last week during Facebook’s annual f8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook announced many new features including one to be very popular, a new Timeline page.  This new Timeline feature combines all of your past stories, posts, and pictures in one place to tell your story on Facebook.  As of right now, your Timeline page can only be seen by only you.  Get started now and you can go through the past to star, hide, or add whatever you want to.  Once you are finished with that you can hit the publish button for all your friends to view it now, or wait until your timeline goes live Thursday September 29th, 2011.

“Going back in time and seeing the past several years of my life displayed in this way is nothing short of profound. Facebook has used software to make something meaningful. Something emotionally powerful.”– Blogger MG Siegler.

During the f8 conference Mark started talking about Facebook profile pages and how it is the most important part of a user’s Facebook page.  He mentioned that one of the biggest problems with the layout of profiles is as people share more and more information, all of their old information gets pushed down to the bottom.  Soon disappearing completely and becoming forgotten.  With Timeline, all of your most important stories are shown on one page, giving you the opportunity to look back at what you shared in the past.  Also, all of your history of activity from Timeline can be viewed from mobile devices.  Timeline also allows users to choose certain views that they want to be shared, this way not all previous content that you find unimportant will be shown.

The new Timeline feature will be put up as your new profile page.  Mark Zuckerberg envisioned this feature as a story of each Facebook member’s life, laid out in a way to show mostly pictures.  It is the new way for users to show who they really are.  For the cover of a user’s Timeline page, they are able to choose a ‘cover photo’.  This photo acts as a magazine cover shot which users can change as often as they like.

Included in user’s new timeline, are new apps for members to enjoy.  One of these is the Spotify app.  This new app allows members to stream music and then post about it to let their friends know what they are doing.  One of the best parts about sharing this information is that you do not actually have to hit a ‘share’ button in-order to show your friends.  Facebook came out with a new Open Graph feature where what you are doing is automatically being shared with friends, so you do not have to remember to always hit the ‘share’ button.  For example with Spotify, when listening to your favorite music, all you have to do is hit ‘play’, then that information of what you are listening to goes straight to your Facebook wall sharing it with friends.

Lately many users have been talking about the battle between Google+ and Facebook.  Many people believe Facebook is trying too hard to compete with Google+ in order to stay as the top social network in the world.  Others believe that Facebook knows exactly what they are doing, that their goal is to just create a great network for people.

Social Media Marketing Made Easier With the Use of Twitter

Millions of people use Twitter on a day to day basis.  It has come to be one of the most used ways today that people communicate to one another.  Also know as microblogging, companies use twitter as a way to get messages out to their targeted audiences in 140 characters or less.  Using Twitter as part of their marketing efforts is an easy, quick way for companies today to advertise their products for no money at all.

The goal of using Twitter for companies is to get messages out to you audience while also building relationships with those people.  Because of the character limit on your tweets you are able to tweet messages many times in one day with out overloading your followers with too much information all at once.  Twitter also allows you to target your audience by using hashtags(#) and typing in keywords.  That way when a customers is looking for posts on social media, they can type in #socialmedia and if that hashtag is included in your post, it will show up for them to find.

If people like the information you provide then they have the option to follow you.  Once someone is following you, each time you post something new, it will show up in their news feed.  Also if there is a tweet that gives important information, you can retweet it so more people will be able to see it.  The average Twitter user has 126 followers, so each time your message is retweeted, 126 more people on average will see the message each time it is retweeted.  Twitter is an excellent tool that will help to get word out about any new company information.

Above your Twitter timeline, which is the news feed of posts from the people you follow, you will also have an @Mentions link which will show you the post that include your company Twitter name.  This allows you to always see what it is people are saying about your company whether it is good or bad.  Many companies have used Twitter as their source of customer service.  It allows customers to tell the company what problems they are having, and since Twitter messages are received in real-time, the company can instantly talk with that person to help them fix their problem.

Tweeting messages can be accessed through the Twitter website using any mobile device or just a regular computer.  Only 20% of traffic comes straight through the Twitter website.  The other 80% of traffic generally comes from third party programs from users using smartphones or other mobile devices.  Today there are over 200 million Twitter accounts and just recently CEO Dick Costolo revealed that over 100 million of those accounts are active on a daily basis.  Half of those active Twitter accounts log in daily and the other 40% have not tweeted for about one month.  The team of Twitter defines active users as people who log in at least once a month.

When you use Twitter to run a campaign, or to promote your business it is important to remember to daily tweet at least 2 or three messages.  Your efforts may not be instant, but the more you work on it the more people will start to follow you.  Then once you have a good set of followers, more people will receive your messages allowing many of your tweets to go viral.

Foursquare-A Location Based Social Network

Foursquare is new type of social network that allows users to find where their friends like to hang out at.  This location based network is accessed through any mobile device with a GPS system and is a fun way to share tips with friends about what to do at places you have visited.  Using your phone you can ‘check-in’ at the various places you visit and Foursquare rewards you with badges, mayorships and points.

Foursquare is a fun way to chat and interact with friends.  It is easily accessed by downloading a Foursquare app to you mobile device, or creating an account through Foursquare’s website.  In order to eligible for mayorships, it is required to upload a profile picture for your account.  When you are rewarded a mayorships, that means that you have checked into a certain place more than any of your friends have in the past 60 days.  By becoming the mayor of a business you will be recognized by others on that business’s Foursquare profile page.  There are some businesses, like Starbucks, that reward their mayors with discounts or freebies.  Companies also use Foursquare as a digital loyalty card to track users who visit their stores.  Even if you are not the mayor, if you have visited the store ten times, then some companies with offer you discounts for being a regular, loyal customer.

To check into a place you simply just open the mobile app from your phone and Foursquare will use the GPS to show you stores near your location that you can check-in to.  If the place that you are looking for is not on the list of stores, you can easily add it to the list directly from your phone.  While using Foursquare you can also link it to your Facebook and Twitter to easily find friends to connect with.  Once you have checked into a place, you have the option of sharing your location with your Foursquare friends and also include it on your Facebook and Twitter profiles.  Whenever you check- in to a place and do not want to share it with friends, Foursquare will show your location as “off the grid” so that friends will not know your exact location.

What has said to be one of Foursquare’s best features is users ability to leave tips on a store’s venue.  People can leave tips for restaurants about the best dish to order, or what is something that people should not order.  People also leave tips about things to do at a certain place, or how they can get discounts, and even where clean bathrooms are.  Users have the ability to give whatever advice they want about the place they are checked in to.  Once someone checks into a place, a pop-up will appear with a past tip from another person who had recently visited the same place you are at.  When you leave a tip for others to read, it can be done directly from you phone.  If you receive a tip, you have the option to save it, or close out of it.  Also if you decide to try the advice that others are giving, you can click a button that says “I have already done this” or you can add a tip to your to do list that will show up the next time you visit that place.

The points that are given to you each time you check into a place are a fun way to compare yourself to the other 1.5 million Foursquare users to see where you stand against them.  The more times you check-in to one place, the more points you will be awarded for being there.  These points do not stand for anything other than having fun and seeing other Foursquare user’s information.  Badges are rewards that are earned when checking in to a place multiple times, or certain places that are sponsored by a company.  For example, if you follow the History Channel on your phone and check-in to three of their recommended places, you will receive the Historian badge, or if you check-in to twenty five different stores, you will receive the explorer badge.  Like the points, the badges are just a fun way to interact with friends and show off how many badges you have obtained.

To learn more about the features of Foursquare and what all it has to offer, check out this video from the Foursquare website.

Google+- Thriving to be the Best Social Network

Google is a well known search engine tool to millions of people on the web.  In an effort to form a social network, Google formed Google+.  Google+ is basically a set of services that people already use, but their idea is to make them better.

Google+ Features

Google Circles– groups of people that can be put into categories like friends, family, company, ect.  With each group you are able to drag and drop contacts into the circles.  This allows you to share the information you want each group to know.   Before starting this project Google wanted to find out the common denominator of what it is that people do.  What they found out is people selectively choose what they want to say to people.  This is where the Google Circles come in.  If there is something that you would like all your friends to know and not anyone from your company, or even your parents then you can focus on the conversation in your friends circle.

Sparks– help you find interesting information based on your interests.  Sparks automatically provide you with articles, links, videos, and photos of your related interests.  These were created as a way to share like interests with your online friends.  In over 40 languages Google provides users with content that are based on what they are interested in.  They are used as a way to spark conversations with friends who have the same interests.  Google makes it easy to find articles of interest by sending them automatically to the user, instead of the user having to research around to find what they like.  Users are able to share these sparks with anyone of their circles.

Hangouts-Virtual rooms that allow you to video chat with people in your Google Circles.  Video chat is popular with people all around the world.  It s an easy way to communicate with someone with out having to go over to their place to talk to them.  Google+ created hangouts so people can do just that.  The best part is they can talk to multiple people all at once making it a hangout for all of their friends.

Huddles– An app that allows you to message everyone in a circle.  People these days are always so busy that it can be hard to make time for friends or family.  That is also why Google+ huddles were formed.  In huddles people can have group conversations with everyone in their circle to let them know what is going on right that minute.  Now available as an app on Android phones, you can stay in touch with your circle at all times.

Instant Upload– Once you take a snap shot on your Android phone, that picture is automatically uploaded to your Google+ profile.   Almost everyone in the world has their phones with them, it is an easy way to stay connected with friends.  With Google+ instant uploading you are able to add the location of your pictures then it is automatically uploaded to your profile.  Adding the location shows friends where you are at so that they can come join you if wanted.  This feature was added because Google understands how annoying it can be to have to download all your pictures at once onto your computer.  By having it instantly loaded makes this hassle go away.  Although before the picture is uploaded, Google+ asks for permission to upload the picture.

Google Circles- One of the features of Google+. You just drag and drop contacts into the circle you want them in.

Google+ has partnered with Android and now you can have it with you all the time by downloading the app from your Android phone.  Like on Twitter, it provides you with updates from all of your friends.  As of right now Google+ can only be accessed by asking for an invitation.  Once you get an invite then all of the features will be available to you.  To access your account, you will see on top of the Google page a +You.  That is where you click to start chatting with friends and family.  Google+ is still under maintenance and may have a few kinks in it, but that is why they need you.  Google wants to get this project perfect and will work hard to make it the best social network out there.

Tumblr-Rising to the Top of the Social Networks

Tumblr Logo

Tumblr is a new and very popular social network for bloggers.  A network where bloggers can all connect by sharing images, links, quotes, videos and post text.  Millions of bloggers every day count on Tumblr to share news or stories.  Users of Tumblr write short form blogs, they are able to follow others sharing their blogs or they can keep their blogs private for only some to see.  With over 6.8 million weekly visits, Tumblr is rated as the 10th most used social network on the internet.

Soon after Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp, 75,000 bloggers changed to that platform and since then more than three million users have been using their service.  According to a post made by Karp in 2010, the site averages 2 millions posts, and 15,000 new users daily.  The number of post continuously goes up every minute each day.  As of right now, on, there are over 41 million posts from just today.  The total number of posts on Tumblr since it has been founded is over eight billion, and the total number of blogs is over 25 million.

With so many social networks out there, what makes Tumblr so unique?  Tumblr can be accessed from wherever you are with your browser, e-mail, phone, or desktop.  It is an effortless way to chat with friends, post pictures, and share videos.  Everything is customizable for your liking including colors and your theme’s HTML.  Tumblelogging is short, to the point and direct, making blogging quick and easy for users.

Tumblr has so many features that sets them apart from all other social networks.  One feature includes calling in your posts.  By calling 1-866-584-6757 bloggers are able to call and record their posts, which will then be put on their blog as an audio post.  Also there are no ads forced into your blogs, Tumblr makes sure your blog is for you and not anyone else.  After posting, you can automatically update your twitter so even more people can read your entry for the day. One more great feature for bloggers is, they are allowed to open up their blogs for Q&A.  In the Terms of Use for Tumblr it is stated that all bloggers keep their copyright.  This has turned out to be a great feature because some users on Tumblr have been offered book deals based on the blog entries.

In June 2011, Tumblr surpassed WordPress and soon may even pass Facebook and Twitter.  Tumblr is rising to the top quickly and may soon become the number one social network on the internet.  With the many different uses and features it is no wonder why so many bloggers have changed to using Tumblr as their number one social network.