Tag Archives: Flickr

Three New Social Sites That Could Be The Next Pinterest

Pinterest has proved that there is still room for innovative new sites on the social media landscape. Like Facebook and Twitter, it’s a simple idea that seems obvious in hindsight.

So what social media sites are on the horizon that might be the next Pinterest? I’ve scoured the internet to find three sites to keep on your radar. (No need to thank me.)

Chill
Chill is like Pinterest for videos. You can comment on or share others’ videos, just like Pinterest. Chill gives you several options for “like” – you can give a smile, laugh, wow, frown, or love. You can also create video groups, like a pinboard. Note that you’re required to link your Facebook account to your Chill account when you sign up.

How your brand can use it: Chill is wonderful if you have lots of video content that you want to host somewhere besides Facebook, where videos get forgotten by users, or YouTube, where they’re buried under thousands of new posts. Chill is a more organized site, distinct from the noise of YouTube or the professional films of Vimeo – a perfect place for a brand to grow an audience.

Pinwheel
Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr, created this Foursqaure-like app that lets you attach virtual notes to real places. You can leave notes or photos publicly or just for friends. Pinwheel’s interface promises to be even easier than checking in on Foursquare or Facebook. Notes can be anything from travel tips to restaurant recommendations to scavenger hunts. The site is still in beta, but anyone can register for an invitation.

How your brand can use it: Shops and restaurants can post stories, images, ads, or discounts at their locations on Pinwheel. Real estate firms can post information about their properties around the city. You can network with relevant local businesses – or attractions or landmarks – by posting a connection that your brand shares with those sites. All of the local discovery generated by services like Yelp will apply here, with an even stronger social bond.

Prismatic
Prismatic is a newsfeed that sends you stories based on who you follow and retweet on Twitter, what posts you like on Facebook, and any other topics you select. Each item includes an excerpt, an image, and a few quotes from any friends that have shared it. It’s like a more advanced, focused version of searching for keywords on Twitter.

How your brand can use it: You may be missing out on news or content that’s related to your brand. Prismatic can find that information and bring it right to you. Twitter’s newsfeed can be too fast and Facebook’s can be too slow; Prismatic hopes to find the balance and show you a wider array of information that’s relevant to your brand’s needs.

Keep your eye on Chill, Pinwheel, and Prismatic in the coming months. As unique sites that combine familiar functions in imaginative ways, they’re the perfect places for your brand to stake a claim before your competitors move in.

**Don’t forget: Mother’s Day is Sunday. It may be time to post those baby videos on You Tube! **

Why Moleskine is a Social Media Superstar

As many of you know from my presentations and webinars, I’m always looking for brands that are using social media in innovative ways. I honor these organizations with the name “SoMe Superstars.” PepsiCo, with its brilliant social recruitment marketing, was the most recent winner.

Today I’d like to recognize another company that’s interacting with consumers in exciting new ways: Moleskine, the Italy-based maker of fine notebooks and journals. Rather than seeing its products as simply blank books, the company brands itself as embodying creativity, bringing tools to artists, writers, and travelers. To further this branding, Moleskine has created a number of social media channels that celebrate painting, drawing, writing, poetry, and scrapbooking, and encourages users to post their work. The result is a remarkably loyal fan base that consistently uploads and shares new content. In fact, BrandChannel recently declared that “If any brand name seems to be loved by all who come in contact with it, it is Moleskine.”


Here are the three superstar strategies that Moleskine uses to engage with its audience in a branded way:

* Moleskine has profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Tumblr, each with active communities and lots of user-generated content, from artwork to fiction to videos.

* For “old-fashioned” content, the company runs a blog, Moleskinerie, that integrates many of its social efforts while also providing unique content.

* Moleskine has just launched a mobile app that allows users to write or draw on their iPhone or iPad as they would in an actual notebook.

As the New York Times recently reported, Moleskine’s social efforts are immensely successful. 91,000 people are fans of the company’s Facebook page, while 12,000 people follow the company on Twitter. On both Facebook and Flickr, Moleksine encourages its fans to post their sketches, paintings, and collages, creating a community of user-generated content and supportive feedback.

Moleskine’s YouTube channel has 3,800 subscribers and more than 235 videos, both from fans and the company itself. The videos range from actual footage of artists drawing in the books to short films that celebrate the company’s creative spirit. The company also posts videos of its traveling art exhibitions and its workshops, which allow fans to meet and collaborate, making the Moleskine customer base feel even more like a community.

Most companies have a blog, but the Moleskine blog stands out by serving as a companion to its Facebook and Twitter accounts, rather than simply duplicating them. “Tweet” and “Like” buttons atop each post make it easy to share the content on users’ social networks. Moleskine also made the bold decision to stay distinct from the company’s website, giving the brand a platform to focus solely on its community. The blog includes a link to a very cool beta application, myMoleskine, which allows users to upload their own written or visual content, or images from a gallery, and create a virtual notebook, complete with turnable pages.

Even while it embraces its product’s low-tech charm, Moleskine is moving into the modern era with a clever new mobile app. Users choose a Moleskine notebook paper style, create a new “thought,” and then type or draw, using different colors and sizes. These “thoughts” can be geo-tagged, catalogued in different categories, and shared with others through social networks or email.

Art by Jinho Jung

In speaking to the New York Times, Moleskine America president Marco Beghin said “We let our fans speak for themselves. We wanted to create a relay of stories to become the ambassadors, interpreting the message.” Moleskine knows that its customers are creative and gives them an outlet for them to express themselves.

What can you learn from Moleskine? First, find the positive and compelling aspects of your brand, company, or product. Then learn who your market is and how they relate to those aspects. Finally, find ways of connecting with that market that utilize your strengths and are on-brand.

For fostering creativity in creative ways, I’ve dipped my quill and inscribed Moleskine in the honored list of genuine SoMe Superstars!