Social media experts: Start early on new social networks, reach out to influencers

NEW YORK–You won’t find a meetup that dissects each social network these days but last April 20, AlleyBoost did just that in its talk, “Social Media Done Right” featuring Courtney Spritzer, co-founder and COO of Socialfly; Jeongwoon Eun, founder of Tigerwon; and Pavel Konoplenko, co-founder and CEO of Spoiled Media at Workville near Times Square.

On Facebook

  • If you are just starting on Facebook, use paid advertising as it’s hard now to grow organically
  • Tryt hangout for Facebook
  • You need optimal time and frequency on Facebook
  • Only way to tell it’ working for you is by experimenting: Post one a or five times a day
  • Test ad buys worth $5 dollars a day
  • You might as well work with Facebook (as big as it is), not against it
  • Try Instant Articles
  • Start Facebook Live now
  • Post inspiring quotes
  • Video does well

On Twitter:

  • Still good for reaching to journalists and publications
  • Twitter is important for political figures
  • Twitter is becoming more of an aggregator
  • Twitter is good for breaking news
  • Used for complaining
  • Make use of Twitter’s Periscope for live streaming
  • Too noisy of a platform

On Instagram:

  • Try Instameets; communities in all those networks can be very big
  • When you do the ads, you can have your link
  • Any brand that is visual should be on Instagram
  • Fashion brands should be on Instagram
  • Use it as recruiting tool
  • Influencer marketing is good for instagram
  • With algorithm, (photo) can be curated better

On Snapchat

  • Influencers are active here
  • You will see more branded content
  • Use to find influencers on Snapchat
  • Snapchat videos are difficult  to discover
  • Snaps only take a brief period of time before they disappear
  • You can’t flaunt number of followers because there’s none, which means you can’t buy followers
  • It’s a whole new world for  cultural immersion


  • You need content and influencer strategies
  • You need to adopt early to new social networks to have organic growth
  • You will want to test out that content against a  different audience
  • Always measure results
  • Looking to market to China? try Wechat
  • Good storytelling is a good way to sell your product
  • Use Periscope for live streaming events
  • Social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk uses all the different platforms
  • YouTube and Pinterest are still relevant

The meetup also had two presentations with Parisa Wang of Parisa NYC and Craig Ettinger, founder and CEO of Tastebud talking about their startups. Wang showcased her handbags, lining them up on the floor, as she talked about how each bag represented a story, from breakup to independence, in what she called a “relationship journey.”

Wang showed how one handbag’s clever conception; it can be slung on her arm, so “I can free my hand to hold his hand. She is launching a Kickstarter campaign in May to produce more of the bags pegged at $200 to $500.  

Ettinger opened his presentation by talking about how the US spends $60 billion in entertainment every year and how his iOS app, Tastebud, is about sharing their recommended entertainment choices–books, music, movies, podcasts.

“These are for people who like to sift through the entertainment haystack to find these needles, he said, referring to good entertainment selections. Tastebud filters feed and follows other tastemakers as well as read curated critics’ picks.


Foreign startups present to media-owned VCs

Win Global Innovator

By Dennis Clemente

Last February 27, WIN (Worldwide Investor Network) hosted Global Innovator featuring five presenters—Hyperactivate, TripTease, Mommy Coach, $Social and 365Scores—to panelists that included media VCs at 1221 Avenue of the Americas.

What is interesting is how the panelists included two media VCs–Cyna Alderman, managing director of Daily News Innovation Lab and Scott Levine, managing director of Time Warner Ventures. The two other VCs were John Elton, partner of Greycroft Partners and Ross Goldstein, managing director of /”>Gotham Ventures. Goldstein was voted best judge of the night.

Hyperactivate offers a turnkey solution that amplifies your brand messages across multiple channels, while $Social figures out the how to monetize “celebrities” social media engagement.

Lastly, 365Scores chooses your favorite team and leagues for you to create a Sports Channel.
MommyCoach connects you to live experts for parenting advice. TripTease, on the other hand, relies on you to be the expert in sharing your travel stories online.

Hyperactivate’s March Fischman likes to point how his startup solves the accountability problem all marketers face when attempting to quantify ROI on any company’s social media investment with its “active management platform” or dashboard.

“Clients don’t know what success is,” said Fischman who thinks he can determine social media success for its business. To scale his business and add new features, he is seeking $3 million.

Triptease’s Charlie Osmond, a presenter at The Hatchery last February 20, says his startup is like a “digital postcard.” You upload or link a photo from a gallery and give your review. He also calls it “photo review” or “user-generated travel magazine.”

Osmond, who was at the Hatchery a week ago, won over the crowd again for his presentation skills, with one panel remarking how it helps to have a British accent, like what another VC said at The Hatchery meetup.

“Hotels love it (Triptease),” he said. “We are connecting inspiration and bookings.”
Osmond said he has signed up 10 hotels, integrating Triptease with the hotel management system in the process.

It may not be so unusual for Osmond to get such high marks from the previous panels he has pitched to as the global travel market is worth $750 billion, with the luxury and hip travel industry amounting to 475 billion. He is raising $1.5 million in mid-year.

Is offering classes and advice for moms a viable online business?

Christophe Garnier, CEO of Mommy Coach, likes to think there is room for him with 90 million moms in the world. It helps if you put a number around its worth: $7 billion.

The Frenchman claims to have 1,000 experts but to keep things under control, he narrowed down his expert mom experts to 250. “It’s like Airbnb (for moms),” he said. “We don’t have doctors but our experts have parenting licenses.”

Having raised $600,000, he is looking to raise $150,000 more to reach his target f $750,000 in convertible note. “I will use some of the funds for market development.”

$Social’s CEO and co-founder Gil Eyal drew chuckles when he said celebrities need our help. He offers a way for high-profile social media users to monetize their online presence. Guy Tamir is CTO and co-founder.

To monetize their idea, they are looking share revenue with celebrities initially before it sets the stage for major brand partnerships in the second phase of its business. Both of the founders are looking to raise $1 million.

For the sports enthusiasts, 365Scores offers your own Sports Channel. It reportedly gathers sports information from hundreds of sources. The site then analyzes and organizes the data according to user preference and delivers the data to users with real-time push notifications.

The presence of two media personalities in the panel shows how most media outlets these days are looking for collaborative opportunities with startups

As befits the meetup, Goldstein pointed out how its firm has 10 countries represented in its portfolio. Gotham Ventures focus on adtech and e-commerce, among others.

Levin is looking to invest in startups that afford financial return and strategic partnership with cutting-edge media platforms. “Series B is a sweet spot,” he said.

Social media is a perfect storm but offers usable insights with the right tools

By Dennis Clemente

When you think of a perfect storm, environmental calamity comes to mind. But there’s an entirely different perfect storm in our midst. It’s big. It’s unstructured. It’s social media.

How do we turn this perfect storm to usable insights, asked Robert Floyd, guest host of Social Data’s Best and Brightest meetup who also happen to be the regional vice president of DataSift.

Think about it. There are now 1.8 billion people on social networks, 400 million tweets a day and 3.2 billion Facebook likes a day. How do we even begin to make sense of it?

Last July 25, DataSift, Porter Novelli, location host, and Tableau talked about how they are analyzing social data and augmenting it with insights for big business at the new World Trade Center building.

For James O’Malley of Porter & Novelli, the data starts with research but that’s too broad. Narrowing it down, O’Malley said the questions people ask is where every data curation begins, as it built on accordingly.

Floyd’s inputs, especially from social networks translate to “the world’s biggest focus group” and from there companies create a process that helps them work out a system. Multi-tracking is key. You could do it any number of ways but Floyd said they do it by gender, language, sentiment, language and topics which sound easy except their technology helps them get results faster—in half a second, for instance.

Social data is getting more complicated yet Tableau’s Michael Kravec makes it look so easy to use with its sophisticated drag-and-drop software for those who can afford it ($500 a pop for one user a month? Tableau is a respected analytics software giant dealing in business intelligence–and one that draws envy and admiration in equal measure.

But why does Porter Novelli, a global PR firm, care so much about social data, too? It’s because of the potential of social data to help scale businesses immeasurably. But where does one begin?

The metrics side of a PR initiative seems relatively easy. “You dial a phone number and you reach millions of people if your pitched story to the New York Times gets published,” O’ Malley said.

But for far more complex PR efforts, Porter Novelli has been known to use a PR robust tracking tool called PN Sonar which follows a four-step process called collect, process, analyze and report. In terms of collecting, you do that from a custom suite of data, load more than 250 items daily combining social, traditional and internal data, and store it long term for trends and modeling.

“We analyze real social data to build algorithms and ontology customized for each client’s digest,” said O’Malley, adding that all the data can even be seen in one single place.

Porter Novelli makes use of research, measurement and optimization. You study audience behavior, find out what your competitors are doing. The measurement addresses what’s happening in the gaps, showcasing the results and providing the basis for future learning. For better optimization, you need to provide content, in term measuring it by performance, as it tweaks messages to what works, and making changes to channels and platform as you go along.

How do these companies determine which data works for its media contacts? It’s good to know for instance that CBS’ 60 Minutes has the largest BMW fan base or that it can spot some inconsistencies which car ads works for, say, an American Idol audience. You would think Ford lords it over any other car commercial in the show because it’s embedded in the show’s storyline, but Hyundai turned out to have three times more audience, based on the social data gathered.

Cristo gives the ‘last word’ on social SEO (for now); reaction to Coke study

By Dennis Clemente

Dan Cristo, director of SEO Innovation at Catalyst Online, a leading search marketing agency, doesn’t seem to have any problem holding people’s attention against the backdrop of a noisy bar on a Friday night. Cristo was presenting “Mastering the Art of Social SEO” at the Joshua Tree on East Avenue early this month. Find out more here at

“I thought for sure I was going to lose my voice,” he said in jest, but the attendees clearly knew why he did his SEO presentation at the bar. In such a setting, people are more comfortable to “expand and deepen one’s network.”


Fortunately, Cristo speaks with emphatic clarity and enthusiastic openness. He genuinely likes to share his ideas. He breaks down traditional search against social search this way: The former is “authority,” the latter is “intimacy.”

He elaborated: “Social SEO is much like traditional SEO in the sense that search engines are looking for relevant, trustworthy answers to people’s questions. The difference is how trust is measured. In a world without online social connections, trust is measured on ‘topic authority’, which links are used as a proxy.

“So where online social interactions abound, a second ‘trust measure’ is introduced, intimacy. The deeper your online connection, the most trust exists between two people. That new intimacy-based trust now affects search rankings,” he added.

He gives an example: “If a good friend recommends a restaurant on Yelp, and I’m looking for a good restaurant, a search engine should rank that Yelp recommendation higher in my search results.

“This translates into an SEO strategy that looks at how brands can optimize not just web pages, but relationships to improve their search rankings.”

Apparently, Cristo leads by example. His name appears on every page of Google results–his main website, twitter profile, linkedin account, Google +, interviews, and articles, among others. “Use social SEO to dominate the Google results page. You can do this by optimizing you social profile, sharing multimedia content and creating long-tail content.”

Cristo is also persistent in saying “don’t neglect Google+.”

Whether you like it or not, Cristo said you need Google+ to establish a strong social presence. “If you want to use any of Google’s products, you will also be using Google+. Why? Search is at the core of all Google products.”

That search algorithm is being personalized for you. It comes from actions you perform on each of Google’s products–Chrome, YouTube, Maps Android, Music, Docs, News, Calendar, etc. His insights appear to be plain common sense but he is clearly making people more aware of it.

In response to the recent report about online buzz not working for Coca Cola sales, he acknowledges the brand for mastering traditional marketing, but not as much in terms of its social media approach.

Cristo is fully committed to his thinking: “Take a look at Coke’s Facebook and Twitter pages; 99% of the time they are talking about themselves. They do that, because that’s how TV works, but that’s not how friendships work. How long would you hang out with a friend who talked only about themselves? Look at the engagement their posts get on Facebook: Out of 62 million fans, only 4,000 to 5,000 on average ‘like’ a post, with maybe a hundred or 200 comments.”

“Compare Coke to Red Bull which has 37 million fans. Red Bull posts get 35,000 and 45,000 likes with 3,000 or 4,000 comments. The difference here is Red Bull is talking about extreme sports, athletes and amazing feats of accomplishment, not their own product.”

He concluded: “It’s not a question of whether social media drives sales. It’s a question of whether Coke is participating in social media in a way that drives product sales. The data may say ‘no’. However, run the same test with Red Bull, and the data will say, ‘yes.’”

Catalyst manages 100 brands in the consumer package goods, automobile, B2B, retail, entertainment, software, technology, travel, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Its clients include P&G, Microsoft, Novartis, Whirlpool, and Pfizer. Headquartered in Nevada, it has offices in New York, Seattle, Chicago, Toronto and Montréal.