Groupon launches Grouspawn, a dating site with a twist

by It's Open

Groupon, the one day sale site that relies on ‘consumer collective‘, has launched a dating site with a twist. Grouspawn aims to ‘reward’ American users who have a ‘Groupon baby’. Groupon define this as a child whose parents used a Groupon deal on their first date together.

The site promises to give up to two college scholarship grants each year to those that qualify. In order to quality, the parents must present photographic evidence of their first date, along with evidence of their first child.

But it doesn’t just reward those who have already met and procreated through a Groupon deal. For singletons, the site offers a dating tool which allows you to search by gender and city for fellow bargain hunters. Their listing pages are already filling up with eager voucher purchasers, keen to find love with their half price dinner.

Collective-buying websites are gaining ground, with sites like Wahanda and Groupola following the example of Groupon. Which makes the dating site an interesting promotional activity based on the concept that their deals bring people together. They’ve clearly got their tongue firmly placed in their cheek, with quotes from the site like

“Disclaimer: We do not encourage you to have children simply to be awarded the Grouspawn prize. This money is for your baby and even though we probably wont be able to tell if you use it for something else, it would be wrong.”

What do you think of the website? Clever gimmick or potential cupid?

Source []

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Samuel Gordon Jewelers see 30% revenue increase through social media.

by It's Open

Looking for an example of excellent ROI from social media in business? Have a look at Oklahoma City-based Samuel Gordon Jewelers. The high-end jewellery store has revealed the effect their social media strategy has had on their advertising expenditure.

They currently spend $50,000 a year on marketing. Which might sound a lot, but in 2004 they spent $500,000 on promotional material in magazines or TV spots. Daniel Gordon, the Company President, claims that revenue has increased by 30% in the last six years, despite the smaller marketing budget. Mr Gordon credits this increase to the community they’ve created through social media.

It’s not just online revenue they’ve increased either. Stores have seen an increase in visitors of 20-40% over the last couple of years. The increase started at the same time as their social media campaign kicked off, suggesting that a great online presence has led to an increase in business.

So, what was their social media strategy?

Firstly, they created a competition where a couple could win an entire wedding, including the honeymoon, worth $25,000. This involved the company building relationships with related companies in order to get the donations (dress, transport, venue etc) required, which benefited all parties. As a result, the competition drew in an average of 7,500 visitors to the site per month, a big jump from their usual 2,500 a month.

They later expanded on this community of visitors with an interactive blog and website, a broad selection of social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and the release of an iPhone and Android app. As an incentive, the Foursquare mayor of a store will receive a “special jewellery surprise” worth $75-250, and apps users earn ‘virtual points’ every time they share something on their social media sites.

Essentially though, Mr Gordon’s personal involvement with the campaign has given the business a human face customers can relate to. That personal link he creates on , and the blog gives him a loyal group of followers who will consider Samuel Gordon Jewelers first, next time they shop.

Source [BNET]

How involved is your CEO in your social media strategy?

Twitter withdraws Early Bird….for now

by It's Open

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Image via Wikipedia

Twitter has recently announced that they’re closing , an account used for exclusive offers for Twitter users.

The account has been going since earlier in the year, as a response to people asking how the social networking giant makes money. The account showcased exclusive deals from companies like Disney and Gap, earning it a following of over 230,000 deal chasers.

Twitter COO Dick Costolo claims the account had “tremendous early success with it, but it needs to be reworked or rethought.”. So, why are they pulling it?

Could it have been the quiet way the company launched the account, which suggested a lack of confidence in the development? Or a lack of big brands stepping up to advertise with the site? Aside from Disney and Gap, the majority of brands are smaller stores and online boutiques.

The account was also mainly limited to USA deals, a mistake surely considering that London is the Twitter capital of the world

This isn’t the end of Twitter’s advertising attempts though. Earlier this week, Twitter announced plans to open up their current promoted tweets, which can often be found in the Trending Topics, to further brands. Ads can also be seen next to Twitter search results.

What do you think about Twitter’s plans to increase advertising?

Source [ReadWriteWeb]

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Disney uses social media to inspire their latest TV campaign

by ItsOpen

Disney EarsDisney has recently announced a new social media campaign that will allow visitors to any of the Disney parks to upload picture and footage which can be used in their latest TV commercials.

Not only could their photos make it onto televised campaign, but they could also see their images projected onto Orlando’s Cinderella Castle from January.

The campaign is titled “Let the Memories Begin”, and it invites Disney visitors to upload their images and videos to Facebook users can also upload the pictures to the Walt Disney World page.

The move is an interesting one by the entertainment giant, leaving the content to be created by its visitors. However, the company still holds the rights to moderate the images before uploading them, so they’ll probably get the Disney gloss before they make it to our television screens.

What do you think about Disney using social media for their latest advertising campaign?

Source: [TheCelebrityCafe]

10 things to do when Facebook crashes…again

by It's Open

Facebook is a wonderful social media tool and the ultimate source of procrastination. However, it’s been a little unsteady recently, with the site going offline for hours on end.

So, what can you do when Facebook is offline?

  • Update your profile. How SEO-friendly is your profile? Can potential customers, clients and employers find you easily? Have a look at your page in the same way you’d look at a website and make some improvements.
  • Have a refresh and tidy up. How many of the people you’re following are following you back? How many haven’t tweeted in months? There are dozens of applications (like Friend or Follow) around that break down your follower numbers for easy management.
  • Write a blog post. Take an hour to write a quality blog post on your latest business developments, news or simply reflect on a recent news story.
  • Pick up the phone and call someone! Customer service shouldn’t just be conducted across social media. Call a client to catch up, speak to your team or call a friend.
  • Learn a skill. Have you been meaning to learn how to use properly? Or perhaps how to ? Use this distraction-free time to master that skill!
  • Clean your desk. Some would call this procrastination, but a tidy desk equals a tidy mind. Sort through that To Do tray, file away your expenses and wash up all those tea cups.
  • Contact potential clients. Met any interesting people recently at a networking event? Drop them an email to say hello and see if there’s anything your business can do to help. Chances are, they’ll be mourning the loss of Facebook and happy to email you back.
  • Organise your emails. Got 400 emails in your inbox and no idea what you’ve dealt with? Spend an hour creating sub-folders, filing useful emails away, deleting the spam and replying to the urgent. Time-consuming but hugely satisfying when you’re inbox is empty.
  • Stumble and Digg. Spend a little time using your favourite social bookmarking sites to showcase your blog and your favourite other bloggers and articles.
  • Review your social media impact. Look at again, your sales and your followers. Can you see a difference since you started using social media? How much of a difference?

What do you do when Facebook goes down?

American burger joint gets innovative with FourSquare

by ItsOpen

AJ Bombers burger jointWith entering the location-based social media market, it was only a matter of time before Foursquare upped its game. One of their earliest adopters, American burger chain AJ Bombers, has taken the standard “checking in” process and used it to enhance their current menu.

The chain kicked off their campaign by offering the mayor of their store, a gentleman called Jim, a menu that only he could order from.

Seeing the popularity of this mayor bonus, the restaurant owner Joe Sorge and strategist Steffan Antonas created the Loyalty Royalty menu. The special monthly menu is put together by the three customer who had checked in the most through Foursquare over the last 30 days. Only those three Foursquare users are then allowed to order from the menu.

Read the rest of this article »

University bans students from social media for a week

by It's Open

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in PennsylvaniaThe Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania has taken the interesting step of banning its students from Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging for a week. The ban has been enforced by Provost Eric Darr, who wants his students to see how their behaviours, habits and daily schedules are driven by social media. At the end of the week students will be asked to write an essay on their time during the social media ban.

Opinions are mixed on the move, with some students becoming concerned about how cut off they’d feel, while others don’t feel they have any attachment to Facebook and Twitter.

Some like it, some don’t. Some say they’re getting [more] work done; some of them say, ‘I need my Facebook!’

Gio Acosta, a junior

Facebook addiction

How much time do you spend on social media? It’s estimated that 92% of American students now log into Facebook, and spend an average of 147 minutes surfing the social media site each week. That’s almost 10 hours a month, or an entire work day! The results are likely to be replicated over here in the UK, particularly as London is the number one city for Twitter users, according to the Twitter Grader.

With many users turning to social media before they even get out of bed, and before they go to sleep, has social media become an essential part of our day without us realising?

Could you cope without Facebook and Twitter for a whole week?

How will Twitter’s new web interface affect desktop apps like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite?

by It's Open

Twitter LogoThis week Twitter , packed full of new features. Over the next couple of weeks, we should all have access to the new version, complete with tabs, integrated media and quick profile viewing.

Many social media experts, including Mashable, believe this might spell the long-term end for a lot of Twitter desktop apps. Processor and memory-hungry desktop apps like Tweetdeck and Seesmic may well be concerned about losing users to the new web-based Twitter interface.

However, most power users choose desktop apps — or web-based sites like Hootsuite — to deal with a number of social media accounts at once. While the new interface will prove to be a pleasurable experience for checking your tweets, it won’t allow you to post across a number of accounts at the same time. Nor does it offer multiple user capabilities, analytics and connection to other social networks.

So Twitter hasn’t quite reached the point where it can compete with third party Twitter clients. But with this latest improvement, it’s moving a step closer. Watch this space.

What do you think about the new Twitter web interface? Will you be switching?

Old Spice, Tippex and the rise of interactive virals

by It's Open


With a record number of companies pouring money into social media (eMarketer: Social media ad spend to hit $1.7 billion in 2010) we’re starting to see some really interesting viral campaigns popping up all over the place. Think back over the last year, which campaigns have been the most memorable?

is by far one of the most popular video virals of the year, thanks to a humorous approach and a quick response to requests on Twitter. According to the Social Times, the campaign received 5.9 million YouTube views in the first day, 20 million by day three and 40 million by the end of the first week. By creating a series of speedy follow ups, the brand extended the popularity of the viral and spread their campaign across both Twitter and Facebook. The brand’s Twitter following increased by 2700% and their Facebook interaction rose by 800%. Traffic to increased by 300%.

Social advertising

By embracing YouTube, Old Spice have changed the image of their brand and products, proving to be a step ahead of their competitors. The company has since reported that their sales are up by 107%, elevating their position to become the number one brand for men’s body wash

Other YouTube-based virals include the recent campaign, where the viewer directs the result of the video, and the recent trailers for , which resulted in Stallone jumping out of his video to shoot down all the related videos.

Interactive movie trailers

Movie companies in particular have added YouTube to their social media strategy. Unsurprisingly, the release of The Social Network (a film tracking the meteoric rise of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg)has led to an interactive video trailer (or an i-Trailer), featuring facts and social media mentions about the film when you click on the video. The ironic thing? According to Pocket-Lint, the film about Facebook debuted its trailer on….MySpace.

That Koran business

by Rob McLuhan

What do businesses have in common with Terry Jones, the religious extremist whose plan to burn Korans on his front lawn could have ignited a religious war?

Nothing at all obviously. And yet…

From everything that has been written about him since he started first made his inflammatory declarations, Jones is clearly a pathological attention seeker. Miffed at not getting the respect he thought was his due, he stepped onto the world stage and with a single tweet set in motion an extraordinarily effective campaign, fuelled by a Facebook page and YouTube clips.

Within days he had the whole world in the palm of his hand, the headline topic in the press and on television, with earnest appeals to him being made by President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Gen. David Petreaus, Pope Benedict XVI, etc, etc.

It’s a sobering reminder of the extraordinary power of the Internet to spread information in the blink of an eye. The mainstream media at first loftily ignored Jones, but was forced eventually to report his campaign – the perfect amplification.

Businesses too need attention to survive. Of course they aren’t pathological, and they don’t have to be inflammatory in their statements – it would be counterproductive. And clearly Jones tapped into a deep stream of paranoia in the American public psyche. Companies just sell stuff.

But the point is, the mechanism for achieving rapid awareness of their products and services is there, as long as they understand how to make use of it. All they need is something that people will genuinely respond to, and with a bit of understanding of how social media works, the rest will take care of itself.