Everyday, over a billion photos are posted on social media sites. Marketers are always trying to find ways to be able to use them to their advantage and now they can. Ditto, a photo analytic provider, turns insight into action by unlocking brand data hidden inside the billions of photos uploaded everyday. Their software scans photos for brands and analyzes the facial expressions of those photographed. That information is then used to create profiles that brands can use towards targeted advertising. Big names such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and Adidas are already taking advantage of the program. To learn more about Ditto and what privacy campaigners are saying it means for users, click here.
France's second largest bank makes an interesting move by allowing customers to transfer money to one another through 'tweets'. The bank already allows mobile transfers via text message but wanted to attract even more attention to the mobile features they offer. Transferring money through the social media platform is easy because you can transfer money to anyone regardless of the bank they use and without knowing the recipient's banking information. Twitter has also begun its own mobile payment option with "Twitter Buy." As Twitter attemps to break into the mobile payment field, they demonstrate their value as not only a social networking platform but as an advertising one as well. Click here to learn more.
A new app called CardBlanc aims to make mobile checkout easy while incorporating social activity. This application targets millennials and their affinity for social media. Consumers can share products they like, receive feedback from friends in the form of likes and comments, as well as share purchases. While CardBlanc currently links with your PayPal account, more payment options are in the works. There are over 100 retailers linked to the app including popular names such as Forever21 and Nike. CardBlanc hopes to catch on in a crowded smartphone application market but so far, it really seems to standout. To learn more about this app, click here.
Patrick Brown, a professor from Stanford University has created a company called, Impossible Foods, that is trying to solve the world meat crisis that is quickly approaching. This startup has developed what looks like a raw bloody beef patty, but is actually made of plants. Brown discovered that heme, a molecule found in hemoglobin, is the key to creating that distinct meat taste. When cooked, this plant-based patty sizzles just like a beef burger and leaves behind a "bloody" residue unlike any other veggie patty. According to food critic Evelyn M Rusli, the patty is still lacking. While the consistency may resemble animal tissue, she noted it tasted less bloody and slightly lighter than a real gourmet burger. Brown will continue to work on the flavor but believes his product will be ready for consumers very soon. To learn more about this amazing advancement and possible answer to the future, click here.
When it comes to the NFL, Facebook is winning the social-mobile turf war against Twitter. A survey completed by RadiumOne shows that the ratio of NFL fans that choose to share content via Facebook over Twitter is 6 to 1. Another interesting yet unsurprising fact is that 91 percent of these fans said they check social media and NFL related apps on their smartphones during games. This percentage just goes to show the prevalence of technology and social media in our lives. It is curious why Facebook seems to be the social media platform of choice for this group while others gravitate towards Twitter or Instagram. To read more about this social-mobile stand-off, click here.
After selling $5 billion worth of Alibaba stock, Yahoo! has some serious cash at their disposal. According to recent reports, Yahoo! is looking to invest $20 Million into one of the fastest-growing mobile apps on the market, Snapchat, which values the company at around $10 billion. However, not all investors are happy about this potential investment. One activist investor is pushing for an AOL merger instead. Investment firm, Starboard, would also rather see a partnership with AOL over Snapchat and with Yahoo's CEO under scrutiny, it will be interesting to see the outcome of these reports. Click here to read more.
What's in McDonald's beef? What's that pink slime I saw on youtube? Why are your burgers so cheap? These are everyday questions McDonald's is asked, and now they are ready to answer them.
McDonalds turns to social media to shift consumers thoughts on the image of their food options. With the continuous declining visits to fast food chains, McDonald's is struggling with a negative connotation to their brand. Through question and answers with real consumers, McDonalds asks what makes their brand unappealing to them. The previous Mythbuster host, Grant Imahara, takes consumers through the answers of these consumer questions, determining if the thoughts of the consumers are actually reality. Read more here about McDonald's new social media campaign.
Many struggle with finding a healthy option when eating out. Well look no further, the free HealthyOut app will do all of the work for you! This app allows you to customize your search for food in your area by dietary and nutritional preferences. Every dish found on the app is around half the fat and calories of a typical restaurant meal, allowing even those on a diet to be able to have a nice dinner out or a delicious (nutritional) meal delivered to their home. The app contains more than 20,000 restaurants in over 500 cities as well as Yelp ratings to give the consumer a better idea of what they are ordering. To learn more about the game changing app, HealthyOut, click here.
Mobile ordering, the hot topic that everyone can't get enough of. Seems like the release of ApplePay has had a huge impact on the rapid launch of other big name players to step up to the plate.
Square has just launched their Square Order app which connects with local baristas and notifies them when to begin brewing the customers coffee by proximity to the shop. The purpose of this application is to ensure the coffee orders are made at a specific time that indicates the range in which a consumer is close to the store to make sure the coffee is hot upon arrival..... GENIUS. Read more here.
Mobile apps for restaurants seem to be popping up everywhere nowadays, but what makes the Starbucks app fly high above the rest?
The Starbucks app is one-of-a-kind in its market, making the integration between the app and their business model rather flawless. The day-to-day functions in which a consumer uses their phone for gives users the ability to use the Starbucks application with ease. The Shake to Pay feature within the Starbucks application was introduced in March as a great way to continue your daily browsing through your emails, newsfeed, or timelines and still be able to pull up their barcodes with a simple shake of their phones. Making coffee drinkers all over the world geek out. Read more about the Starbucks app here and how it should be an inspiration for all app developers.
I don't know about you, but this is what I have been waiting for all my life! Not only do lines at QSR stink in general, for some reason Dunkin' Donuts is 1000000x longer. Dunkin' plans to debut mobile ordering technology which gives customers the ability to skip the line, and order for quick pick-up. Music to my ears!
By making improvements to catch up with many restaurant chains, mobile/online ordering has become a hot commodity. As the Millennial generation continues to reign in the consumer world, the need for time-starved and tech-savvy restaurants is a must. With the launch of the Dunkin' Donuts mobile app as well as the DD Perks program, the demand for consumer-centered applications have made their mark. Read more here about Dunkin' and their progression towards mobile ordering.
Throughout the busy streets of Manhattan, the secret life of beacons residing in telephone booths go completely unnoticed. Titan media company, who sells advertising space throughout the city, has installed 500 beacons to collect data from passing mobile users. This data is a giant matrix of hidden commercialization which can be used to deepen surveillance throughout the quick-paced environment. But why has these beneficial beacons caused such a ruckus? Privacy, that is.
Without informing city go-ers of this new innovative technology hitting the Manhattan streets, privacy advocates are not all for it. "Consumers should be aware when they're in a one that projects beacons, the lack of transparency is of even greater concern." Read more about NYC's secret beacons here.
Face the facts, the world is going digital. Are you onboard or jumping ship?
Eventually, the need for wallets, keys, identification would be virtually available on our devices making it easier for consumers to have their belongings with them at all times. Restaurants are adopting the new mobile and digital trend with confidence and great expectations within the near future. Currently, 71% of restaurants have a mobile web presence and 35% have a mobile application; with these numbers growing well beyond their current points, we can see the possibility of new consumer-based features in our near future.
Not to mention the release of ApplePay, mobile payment is on its way to skyrocketing and becoming the #1 method of payment in 2015. As of yet, 15% of restaurants accept this payment process, but it is expected to reach over 65% within the next year. Are you ready?
Read more here about why going mobile should be a no-brainer.
Chicken Fry Lovers by the thousands are mourning the loss of their beloved Burger King Chicken Fries. Will the departure of the limited-time Chicken Fries become a social outrage? Not as long as Burger King is involved. With the sly and comical responses to the outraged Chick-Fry Fans, BK is continuing to be interactive with their consumers, assuring them that the return of the #ChickenFries2015 will be better than ever. By responding to your customers, lovers or haters, you create the conversational relationship in which social media is intended for. Not only that, but your consumers feel L O V E D. Check out a few responses below and here as well.
While digital ordering is extremely useful for restaurants because it allows them to serve customers faster, it also has an equally significant co-product, customer-level data. This data reveals who the brands' best customers are as well as marketing insights. As a brand, you will be able to visualize your customers' physical locations at the exact moment when they are thinking about your food. Because you will have a better understanding of your customer-base with this data, you can now better serve them while simultaneously finding similar customers. To learn more about how customer-level data works and how it can benefit you, click here.
Social and Mobile marketers are beginning to realize more and more that user-generated content is an excellent strategy for brands to use. In July, Applebee's launched a campaign on Instagram which encouraged diners to submit pictures of themselves eating their favorite Applebee's grub. Since the start of the #Fantographer campaign, Applebee's followers have grown by 35 percent and engagement increased by 25 percent. McDonald's Arabia also experimented with this user-generated content strategy by having customers submit artistic pics of the golden arches. As this generation of smartphone users continues to grow, it is likely that more brands will adopt this idea and use user-generated content to their advantage. Click here to read more.
Many marketers are no longer considering Facebook as a viable marketing channel. Facebook has complete control over the content on the platform, which can create problems at times for brands and their content. There has been a big trend lately with brands moving resources away from Facebook and towards microsites and alternate social channels such as LinkedIn. However, this does not mean that Facebook and other social media platforms are not useful. Brooks Thomas, AT&T's Director of Digital and Social Media, gives the perfect metaphor for digitally owned spaces compared to rented ones such as Facebook. He compares owned spaces to a farm and rented spaces to the market where you sell farm crops. He says that you can personalize your stall but you can't design the market. Therefore, the best way to utilize social platforms is to use them to lure people to your own sites. To learn more about this trend, click here.
In order to attract customers that will come back again and again, sports bars must add fun and engaging events for their guests. How will the guests know about everything the sports bar has to offer? This is where social media comes in to save the day! When bars host events, they can market them on social media which in turn, promotes the bar. While posting on social media accounts may be the first step, engaging with guests should be the second. For example, encourage customers to tweet and Facebook by introducing a competition in conjunction with your event. Instagram can be utilized by asking customers to upload photos with the most creative winning an award. Social media opens doors for free promotion that you just can't get anywhere else. To learn more about creating a winning combo between your sports bar and social media, click here.
While it seems rude that 78% of customers send negative tweets about food while still sitting in the eatery, this actually opens many useful doors for the restaurants themselves. By carefully monitoring social media, restaurants should be able to do pretty instant damage control. Twitter allows restaurants to catch problems and turn negative online attention into positives. If you don't want to fall behind, responding to negativity on Twitter and Facebook is essential for quality customer service. Therefore, restaurants and companies alike should embrace the opportunities that social media provides and use it to solve problems. Click here to read more.
Instagram is a unique social media platform that allows people to communicate through visually enticing photographs and videos. This visual content appears "humanized" and can really help consumers personally identify with your brand, especially if you want to attract millennials. Users want advertising that speaks their interests and Instagram helps brands implement creative content that speaks to the user's individuality. Instagram also allows brands to target specific demographics in a non-intrusive yet effective way. Lastly, Instagram, provides vast amounts of data regarding users and content generated, allowing brands to drive metrics around things like purchase intent and brand awareness. To learn more about the benefits of using Instagram as a marketing tool, click here.