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So-called “dark social” traffic turns out to be mostly Facebook

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Despite the fact that our ability to track and measure almost every aspect of user traffic has never been stronger, there has been a strange gap in our knowledge for some time — a phenomenon that Alexis Madrigal, then with The Atlantic, referred to a couple of years ago as “dark social.” In a nutshell, it was traffic — in some cases a substantial amount — that couldn’t be identified. According to an update from Madrigal and web-measurement firm Chartbeat, most of that traffic turns out to be coming from Facebook’s mobile apps.

In the original piece that Madrigal wrote for The Atlantic, he noted that according to analytical tools like Chartbeat, more than half of the website’s social traffic was coming from somewhere other than the usual suspects — namely, the top social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter — but where exactly it was coming from…

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13 Statistics about Hispanic Consumers in 2014 and Three Ways to Connect with them

At #Expion14 in Raleigh, NC this year, Cynthia Ashworth of Univision discussed how their organization is digging into data to uncover new insights about the rapidly growing hispanic population in the US. After her presentation I started to dig a little deeper into some stats from Univision and other sources about Hispanic consumers in the US myself, here’s what I found:

Ashworth described some key points for connecting with Hispanic consumers in today’s ever-changing media landscape that all marketers should take note of.

1. Culture Matters

Put simply, culture matters more to the average hispanic consumer than non-hispanic consumers.

For Univision Morning show talent, wearing jerseys of their native country for World Cup coverage was just another way of expressing who they are and the connection to those who can relate. This message of expression and self-identity is reinforced across all facets of the organization, from news to entertainment and of course, sports. You probably wouldn’t see the Today Show doing something like this said Ashworth.

2. Give them the VIP Treatment

During the World Cup, Univision worked with Hyundai to create a crowdsourced documentary. They collected videos from people from all over the world clipped together with official historic footage from FIFA. The result was a full-length documentary that aired before the kickoff of the World Cup that put the fans at the center of the world’s game.


“Give them a shot at stardom” Ashworth explained.

“Stardom is the gift that keeps on giving. people get excited, they share it, there’s a real multiplier effect.”

But it wasn’t just about creating one video. Hyundai used every platform where their consumers were to activate #becausefutbol among their target consumers – print, TV, Digital, Social and point of sale with local dealers.

Window clings were even distributed for fans to represent their country of choice.


3. Go big on Mobile Video

Hispanics are very much a mobile-first demographic of internet users.

When creating content think about the method of consumption to make videos relatable, and also easily viewable in multiple formats.

For Univision telenovelas they released exclusive content that was delivered via the uvideos app. The content took the form of the channels they were being consumed on. Lead characters sent texts and video messages that kept viewers coming back again and again throughout the entire season for this additional content.


By creating and building a loyal audience and providing a platform for efficient content creation and delivery, Univision has been able to improve their stickiness with loyal viewers.

This has allowed them to carefully integrate brands like Toyota and Hyundai into their content with great success. The content was intermingled with the real content, added value to the viewer’s experience, includes the audience, yet remains relatable.

In fact, Hyundai’s #becausefutbol campaign was so successful through this approach that the brand saw 28% increase in Hispanic traffic to HyundaiUSA.com between May (pre-tournament) and July, and was he most recognized auto brand at the 2014 World Cup.

Watch Cynthia Ashworth’s entire presentation here to learn more.

The Rich Man and the Poor Man

As I sat in Liverpool First United Methodist Church with my parents and grandpa today our pastor discussed the parable of the Rich Man and the Poor Man from Luke 16:19–31.

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, the rich man looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

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Reimagining Social Listening for the Rest of Us

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In any given day there are more than 15 billion social activities on Twitter. From tweets to retweets to favorites to media plays, humans are creating data at an exponentially faster rate than which we can consume it.

This poses a real problem for brands, for in that same given day there are true and valid trends that ripple through these endless mounds of data that can help businesses better understand their customers and even signal the need for crucial actions that can change the course of a company’s history.

The Future of Decision Making

It’s widely known that listening to your customer is a good thing (so widely you might have groaned while reading that sentence). What isn’t always known is how to use listening data from customers when they’re not talking to you. This is the future of decision making.

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Four things content marketers aren’t good at but need to get better at to succeed


When you think of content marketing, what definitions come to mind?

  • A way to earn attention and interest in social channels?
  • A response to media fragmentation?
  • A return to direct marketing fundamentals in a digital age?
  • A strategy to maintain search rankings?
  • A sustainable way to build and maintain customer relationships?

While all these might have fundamentally different meanings, they’re all right. And everyone agrees that defining those meanings it is hard.

It’s no secret that businesses are becoming inundated with requests to increase the amount of content they produce. At the same time, the ask for measurement is increasing but the ability to perform still wavering.

At the Expion Social Summit, Ryan Skinner, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research discussed the “elephant in the room” known as content marketing.

“Content marketing is like bubblegum – it takes the shape of whatever marketer’s mouth it comes out of” said Skinner.

Forrester describes content marketing as:

A marketing strategy where brands create interest, relevance and relationships with customers by producing, curating and sharing content that addresses specific customer needs and delivers visible value.

It’s something immediate and enduring, centered on the customer and his or her situation and delivers an intrinsic benefit to an audience.

Earn goodwill by meeting a need. Customers will seek out and share content with visible value

Skinner went on to outline four things he sees that marketers need to improve at to succeed in content marketing: making valuable stuff. finding audiences, maintaining relationships, and optimizing performance. 

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Join me in the River City for a panel on Crowdfunding at One Spark 2015


I’m excited to announce today that I’ll be joining the One Spark Speaker Summit at their 2015 One Spark event in Jacksonville, FL. Having lived in Jacksonville fro 2011-2012 I have a lot of great friends and memories from living in a place that’s ripe for technological explosion. There are so many great features the city has that young entrepreneurs can take advantage of to grow their business.

At the 2015 Summit, I’ll be leading a panel entitled:

“Crowdfunding Strategies: A Blueprint for Success”


  • John Boitnott, Serial Entrepreneur and Columnist, Inc. Magazine
  • Ryan Feit, Founder & CEO, seedinvest
  • Drew Hendricks, Founders Space, AudienceBloom and Contributor, Forbes, Inc. and Entrepreneur
The One Spark festival is an interactive experience that allows attendees to support ideas and projects that inspire them and decide on the next big thing. Creators and companies actively pitch for funding throughout the entire event, and One Spark’s mission is to connect creators and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to make their ideas a reality, which is why they’re hosting this summit for the first time in conjunction with the crowdfunding event.


Other confirmed speakers joining me will be:
  • Jeff Hoffman, Founder, Priceline.com
  • Daymond John, Founder, FUBU and star of ABC’s Shark Tank
  • Tamara Mendelsohn, VP of Marketing, Eventbrite
  • Ted Murphy, Founder, CEO & Chairman, Izea
  • Maya Penn, Maya’s Ideas
  • Joy Randels, Serial Entrepreneur and Founder/CEO, New Market Partners
  • Jason Surfrapp, Founder, IWEARYOURSHIRT

For more information about One Spark visit their announcement post here.

one spark daymond john

Three Lessons Retailers can Learn from Alexander Wang and H&M

Originally published on LocalMaven

The world of retail fashion is competitive, and brands are constantly having to reinvent their offerings and analyze consumer demand in order to stay in business. For a brand like H&M, valued at #31 on the Forbes World’s Most Valuable Brands List, partnerships are often a way to connect the world of high fashion with the average consumer’s price point while continuing to position themselves as a leader in the space.

This week a new collection from Alexander Wang and H&M launched in select H&M stores and online to a frenzy. #alexanderwangxhm was trending and the company saw a huge lift in social media and also in their stock price.

The line, which fused high-fashion with sporty influences complete with swim goggles and boxing gloves, absolutely blew up, with lines of people camped out around the corner at the stores like it was some type of new iPhone event.


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Not only were people buying up these items, they were reselling them for twice the retail price online.  Even eBay themselves tweeted about the items to drum up conversation in the frenzy.

So what can other retailers learn from a successful partnership like H&M to drive this type of in-store traffic? Here are a few thoughts: 

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If Cuepoint was a magazine, these are what the covers might look like

I’m a sponge of music culture, and historically music magazines have been the definitive place for checking out awesome photography and long-form content about your favorite acts and stories in the music industry.

Some of my favorites growing up were Downbeat, Waxpoetics, Rolling Stone and Scratch Magazine.

The covers always fascinated me just as much as the content, and when I first started reading posts on Medium they had a very comfortable, magazine-like feel when you were scrolling down each article.

I’ve been a fan of Cuepoint since they first started pulling together articles on Medium as a formal collection.

You could tell there was a magazine cover just dying to break out of each post, so I decided to whip up some of their images for fun.

Here’s my interpretation if Cuepoint had magazine covers. Enjoy.

Oh and full disclosure, I’m not really a graphic designer, and would never consider myself much of an artist…this is just for fun.


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