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Local Listings Spread — From One Site to Hundreds

One recurring theme at last week’s Street Fight Summit concerned the ongoing project of creating, organizing, and aggregating data and content associated with location. As more consumers find SMBs via mobile applications (through search and other means), the objective of these companies is to deliver as much information about a business to apps and mobile searches as a […]

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Social Media’s Strength is Brand Advocacy

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how social media was best used for brand marketing but not for driving transactions. Monday’s WSJ article “Now on Twitter: Holiday Shopping Deals” illustrates how some retailers used Twitter on Black Friday to nurture conversations about their brands.  But it also pointed out that brand reps remain unclear about whether those interactions really translate […]

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What Kinds of Mobile Ads Are Most Effective?

Mobile advertising has long been trumpeted as the next big thing, with analysts touting a new global channel of smartphones and tablets now ready to push more-relevant targeted ads to happy consumers. The problem, according to a new Forrester survey, is that consumers just don’t like mobile ads: “Two-thirds of respondents found them annoying, higher than the […]

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SMB Social Media Is All About Branding, Not Conversions

Social media marketing has long been criticized by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for its inability to deliver a quantifiable return on investment. And as IBM’s Black Friday 2012 report pointed out, hardly anyone purchased anything on Black Friday via a social media referral: Shoppers referred from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube generated […]

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How SMBs Can Take Advantage of the Holiday Shopping Season

With the holiday shopping season starting this week, small businesses more than ever need to position themselves as go-to purchase destinations over big retailers like Walmart and Amazon. Here is a primer on what SMBs should expect the first week of the holiday season. Black Friday According to Aprimo, showrooming, the practice of comparing online prices […]

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Hyperlocal Retail Directories Go After ‘Shop Local’ Consumers

Online commerce not only competes on price with local retail these days, it’s also curating and recommending products like the department store buyer once did. Fab.com and Etsy have succeeded by facilitating the discovery of well designed products by small retailers and artisans to a mass audience.  The upcoming Facebook Gifts product will recommend gifts to Facebook friends when an event, […]

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TurnHere Becomes Local Photo/Video Marketplace SmartShoot

Since the Yellow Pages first appeared in 1883, consumers have been conditioned  to search for local service providers they need. Today’s online review tools and directories like YP.com, Angieslist and Yelp have made finding highly rated providers easier, but the businesses still need to be contacted one by one. Meanwhile, new consumer demand apps like Zaarly and Taskrabbit are changing the fulfillment process by having […]

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Extending User Reviews to Places, Block by Block

We’ve become used to reviews of establishments on web services like Yelp, but there are also a number of hyperlocal services that have popped up to allow users to rate neighborhoods and create profiles around subsections of their town or city. One such service, Block Avenue, launched last week with an offering that gives locals the […]

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How Can Hyperlocal Companies Crack the Local Sales Code?

TechCrunch reported Sunday that Plum District, the daily deals site for moms, recently laid off many of their regional sales managers, pivoting away from local sales to instead focus on delivering more scalable national deals. The site is just the latest to find that building a national sales force to woo small business marketing dollars is no […]

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Startups Compete to Connect Neighbors — But Beware the ‘Empty Room

A number of new hyperlocal apps have popped up recently to facilitate neighbors’ conversations with one other. NextDoor just raised an additional $18.6 million for the purpose of getting neighbors acquainted; meanwhile, mobile apps like Sonar and Banjo aggregate your social network friends and display their whereabouts relative to you on a map. And the new service City Chatter is like a version of Sonar […]

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