Is SEO DOA as a core marketing strategy? | Reuters

CHICAGO Ron Springer is overhauling his company’s website and is spending a big chunk of his marketing budget to help boost its search engine ranking. He had no idea he might be throwing his money away on an outdated strategy.

“If search engine isn’t what gets you up to the top of the list, what is?” said Springer, who runs boutique event planning firm Esprit Productions in Libertyville, Illinois. “We designed it with search engine totally in mind.”

Entrepreneurs like Springer may want to reconsider pouring money into search engine optimization (SEO) as their primary marketing strategy, according to Chris Dixon, who recently penned a controversial blog (bit.ly/gjIzMJ), titled: “SEO is no longer a viable marketing strategy for startups”.

“I talk to a lot of startups and almost none that I know of post-2008 have gained significant traction through SEO,” wrote Dixon, the co-founder of online startup Hunch, who has invested in numerous startups, including Skype and Foursquare.

Dixon was immediately taken to task by defenders of SEO, the popular means of boosting an organization’s presence in Internet searches with keywords and relevant Web links.

Among them was Dave McClure, a prominent angel investor and founding partner of the Silicon Valley tech incubator 500 Startups. “I’m contrarian because SEO works. SEO obviously matters,” said McClure, adding it generates “huge amounts of monetization on the Web, huge amounts of traffic – organically and paid.”

SEO NO “MAGIC POTION”

Many technology experts don’t buy Dixon’s argument, but most, including McClure, concede that SEO must be viewed as part of a more comprehensive strategy that gives increased weight to newly emerging platforms. They also point out that higher standards for quality are making effective SEO even more time-consuming than ever before, adding to the difficulty faced by startups with limited resources at their disposal.

“I’m not saying you can’t make progress with SEO,” said Ryan Evans, who runs the Chicago-based online marketing company Rand Media Group. “But I think there’s a lot of people out there selling SEO as a magic potion and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

To illustrate an increasingly balanced approach among Internet promoters, Evans cited the tagline for online marketing conference SES (Search Engine Strategies), which bills itself as: “the leading search and social marketing event.”

“SEO has become less of a technical exercise done in a vacuum,” said Evans, who uses a combination of SEO, public relations, pay per click, email and social media to gain momentum for clients.

An integrated approach is certainly the thinking behind HubSpot, a software platform that helps small businesses use and measure a variety of Web-based marketing techniques – blogging, social media, content management and email – to help generate qualified business leads. Founder Dharmesh Shah said his company, itself a startup, draws two of every 10 visitors by way of Facebook and Twitter. Despite that he remains a strong proponent of SEO.

“The big reason SEO is still important to small business is simple: people are still using search engines, especially Google, with great frequency,” said Shah, another critic on Dixon’s blog. “And unlike other channels to reach customers, connecting to users searching is worth more, because there is active intent.”

BLACK HAT BE GONE

Shah maintains the playing field for small companies deploying SEO has leveled off in recent months. Quality standards have improved, making it harder to throw big bucks at the process by creating server farms and using other questionable, so-called “black hat” tactics.

“In the early days of search engine optimization you had some rough and unsavory charters that were doing all manner of unpleasant things to try and game the system,” Shah said, adding the emphasis now is on creating relevant, original content and an engaging online experience. “Now Google and all the search engines have gotten much better about (detecting) that.”

That may be one of the reasons why small businesses are increasingly relying on SEO. According to a survey by email marketing company Constant Contact, 29 percent of small businesses were engaged in some form of SEO. An additional 13 percent had plans to employ SEO within six months, according to the survey, which polled nearly 3,800 small companies in March.

Dixon, who said his column has been “widely misunderstood” to be against SEO in general, believes it should be used to augment a marketing campaign and “should not be core to a startup’s business plan.”

However, he is not as optimistic as Shah about the decrease of black hat practices, despite Google’s best efforts, and in his blog insisted there are “many billions of dollars and tens of thousands of people working to game SEO.” In this atmosphere, startups that produce high-quality content will be hard pressed to appear high up in search engine results, argued Dixon.

“Until that changes,” he wrote in his blog, “startups – who generally have small teams, small budgets, and the scruples to avoid black-hat tactics – should no longer consider SEO a viable marketing strategy.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-column-cohen-seo-idUSTRE73Q5R120110427

The 25 Best Marketing Blogs of 2014

A recent Curata study found that 71% of marketers plan to boost content marketing spend in 2014. A lot more marketers are going to be adding content to the web in 2014, so where can we expect to find the best content?

We put together a list of our favorite marketing blogs to help marketers find the resources they need to build savvy marketing strategies. The blogs we picked cover everything from website optimization and lead generation to video marketing and analytics.

Adobe Digital Marketing Blog

Who owns it? Adobe

What do they talk about? Adobe’s Digital Marketing Blog covers SEM related topics, including conversion, targeting, mobile, analytics, and more.

Where can I find it? http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/

Why should I read it? Today’s digital marketers are faced with endless options-for tools as well as tactics. Articles on the Adobe Digital Marketing Blog help digital marketers research tactics and tools to unlock the right combination of strategies for their brands. Adobe’s blog is organized into ten neatly-labeled categories that make it easy for readers to access a large cache of specific insights and to find a high volume of content about a specific digital marketing topic.

Aimclear Blog

Who owns it? Aimclear

What do they talk about? On the Aimclear blog, you’ll find loads of great insights on display advertising, social media advertising, and search engine marketing.

Where can I find it?  http://www.aimclearblog.com/

Why should I read it? Like most aspects of marketing, online advertising requires a specific skillset from those that administer it, but the rules of online advertising change constantly and drastically. The team at Aimclear specializes in online advertising, and they not only follow the changing rules, but understand and develop best practices almost instantly.

Briansolis.com

Who owns it? Brian Solis

What do they talk about? Solis studies and writes about the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing and culture.

Where can I find it? http://www.briansolis.com/

Why should I read it? Solis asks deep questions about the directions towards which technology pulls the forces that command our lives, and he answers them with thoughtful and informed blog articles. His blog offers a place to contemplate the future and think critically about how modern events impact societal shifts. He references leading marketing and cultural moments, such as Redbull’s content domination and the rise of the selfie, reviews books, conducts interviews, and encourages all marketers to think critically about the impacts of their campaigns.

Bryan Eisenburg’s Blog

Who owns it? Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenburg

What do they talk about? The Eisenburgs are professional marketing influencers and speakers, and the write articles about marketing topics for CMOs that cover everything from search and mobile metrics to lead generation.

Where can I find it? http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/

Why should I read it? Bryan Eisenburg’s blog articles use lots of concrete examples, screenshots, and crowd-sourced quotes to deliver well-researched content that paints more than just a single opinion on a variety of topics. They also focus on modern marketing tactics and offer helpful resources for marketers looking to refresh any aspects of their practices with modern tactics.

Buffer Blog

Who owns it? Buffer

What do they talk about? Buffer’s blog features incredibly well-researched posts on a variety of online marketing topics with an emphasis on social media.

Where can I find it? http://blog.bufferapp.com/

Why should I read it? Buffer prizes quality over quantity, so when you land on the Buffer blog, you know you’re reading content that was created as more than just linkbait. A lot of their posts delve beyond simple how-tos and into the psychology of buyer behavior-and how it impacts marketing. Almost every post is longform and features unique graphs, images, and quotes, and if you really want to dig into the nuances of a marketing topic, check out the Buffer blog.

Chief Marketing Technologist Blog

Who owns it? Scott Brinker

What do they talk about? Scott writes about the convergence of traditional marketing and technology. He believes that brand-driven CMOs are being replaced by CMOs that understand how to select, manage, and report on the technology solutions that drive modern marketing teams, such as marketing automation and segmentation software. He uses the Chief Marketing Technologist blog to discuss where this shift is materializing and to help marketers understand the importance of technology in the modern marketing department.

Where can I find it? http://chiefmartec.com/

Why should I read it? In the last five years, marketing and IT departments have become co-dependent, and Brinker points out a growing issue for modern marketing departments: the leaders with traditional training are no longer effective leaders when technology training becomes more important than print and tv advertising, brand building, and list buying. Data-driven technologies are now prominent features of every aspect of marketing, and it’s more important than ever for marketers to keep abreast of these new technologies. Reading Brinker’s blog is a great place to start.

Copyblogger

Who owns it? Copyblogger Media

What do they talk about? Copyblogger resources cover anything and everything to do with content creation. They feature articles about writing headlines, conducting podcast interviews, storytelling, writing calls-to-action that convert, and tons more.

Where can I find it? http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/

Why should I read it? The Internet has turned all marketers into writers, and it’s not as simple a craft as it seems. Copyblogger offers a huge volume of resources designed to help marketers create content that sells to online audiences. Anyone tasked with brand storytelling and content marketing should bookmark the Copyblogger blog as a go-to resource.

The Copybot

Who owns it? Damien Farnworth

What do they talk about? Farnworth is the Chief Copywriter over at Copyblogger Media, where he also writes about writing. On The Copybot, he focuses less on content strategy and entirely on how to write for the web.

Where can I find it? http://thecopybot.com/

Why should I read it? CMOs often write taglines. Lead Generation Managers write email and landing page copy. Social Media Directors write updates all day long, Content Marketers write blog posts and ebooks, Search Engine Marketers write ad copy, Interactive Marketing Managers write site copy. No matter how you slice a marketing department, every member gets called upon to do a little writing time and time again. Writing can be a scary and confusing task because its so visible, so marketers looking to improve their writing skills should take advantage of the wealth of knowledge Farnworth shares on his blog.

Danny Brown’s Blog

Who owns it? Danny Brown

What do they talk about? Danny Brown’s blog offers insights on social media, marketing and influence.

Where can I find it? http://dannybrown.me/blog/

Why should I read it? Hubspot ranked Danny Brown’s blog the #1 marketing blog in the world. Not only is the blog optimized for content consumption, the content is written to encourage readers to get to the bottom of every article. Brown isn’t just another marketing influencer recycling content about which every other marketer is talking; he offers truly modern perspective on the most modern marketing trends in social and influence.

Hubspot Inbound Hub

Who owns it? Hubspot

What do they talk about? Hubspot’s inbound blog features essentially endless content on anything and everything marketing related. Posts delve into specific how-to topics, and don’t shy away from trends and controversy that occurs in the industry. The inbound blog is a great one-stop-shop for knowledge about fine-tuning your business-to-business marketing strategy.

Where can I find it? http://blog.hubspot.com/

Why should I read it? Stop by the Hubspot blog when you’re stuck for ideas, need answers to specific marketing questions, and to find content you can share with your team to help them understand new concepts or practices.

Kissmetrics

Who owns it? Kissmetrics

What do they talk about? The Kissmetrics blog features genuinely helpful content about converting social media followers, site traffic, and content marketing into leads. They also share the results of A/B tests and data-driven analytics advice.

Where can I find it? http://blog.kissmetrics.com/

Why should I read it? You can tell Kissmetrics takes conversion seriously just from the experience you get when you visit their blog; it’s designed to convert traffic without turning readers away-a sign that Kissmetrics actually practices what they preach. The Kissmetrics blog is the best place to go for inspiration about tests to run on your website, blog, and mobile apps.

Mailchimp Blog

Who owns it? Mailchimp

What do they talk about? The Mailchimp blog features a majority a content about using Mailchimp peppered with content about email marketing strategy.

Where can I find it? http://blog.mailchimp.com/

Why should I read it? Mailchimp’s blog serves as a sort of online community for the brand where they discuss how to build effective email marketing strategies with Mailchimp at their center. If you use Mailchimp, reading their blog is a requirement. If you don’t, reading their blog is still a great way to learn marketing best practices; Mailchimp runs a lot of innovative marketing campaigns, and they always dedicate blog posts to these campaigns as post-mortems.

Marketing Profs

Who owns it? Ann Handley

What do they talk about? Marketing Profs is a resource designed to teach marketing about marketing. The site typically covers lots of content around of-the-moment marketing trends, and is a good place to go to find out which topics are generating a lot of buzz amongst marketers.

Where can I find it? http://www.marketingprofs.com/

Why should I read it? The authors of the articles published on Marketing Profs are all pre-screened influencers, so you know you’re not just getting another opinion, you’re getting an expert opinion. Marketers looking for industry-leading advice should check out Marketing Profs for anything and everything that comes up in their day to day requirements.

Marketo Blog

Who owns it? Marketo

What do they talk about? Marketo’s blog offers loads of shareable content on anything and everything related to marketing.

Where can I find it? http://blog.marketo.com/

Why should I read it? Marketo understands content. Anyone looking to learn a new marketing practice, train a new team member, and stay up to speed on the latest marketing trends should absolutely stop by the marketo blog first. If you’re ever looking for content about marketing, chances are high you’ll find it on Marketo’s blog.

Moz Blog

Who owns it? Moz

What do they talk about? The Moz blog covers anything and everything related to search engine optimization, include content marketing, responsive design, Google updates, building communities, and more. The blog even features entire articles dedicated to title tags.

Where can I find it? http://moz.com/blog

Why should I read it? SEO can often seem like a losing game for marketers who don’t have the luxury of dedicated search engine contractors, team members, or agencies. The ins and outs of SEO ranking are usually something marketers have to teach themselves, and if you want to learn about SEO, the Moz blog is a great resource. SEO is also a marketing topic that impacts most functions of the marketing team indirectly; content writers and social media managers should read the Moz blog to brush up on a topic that underlies many of their day to day responsibilities.

Occam’s Razor

Who owns it? Avinash Kaushik

What do they talk about? Kaushik is a digital marketing evangelist at Google with a resume that features Intuit, SGI, and DHL. Needless to say, he’s seen some of Silicon Valley’s most visible brands build and develop digital marketing strategies. His blog is dedicated to the wisdom he’s collected over the years-most of which points to an increasingly data-driven marketing landscape.

Where can I find it? http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/

Why should I read it? There aren’t very many marketing veterans that have built their careers on the technological side of marketing, and from that pool, there are even fewer that write blogs about it. Occam’s Razor is a gem of insight about how to create, lead, and maintain data-driven marketing strategies.

Signal vs. Noise

Who owns it? 37 Signals

What do they talk about? 37 Signals uses Signal vs. Noise to share content about their products and their company-many written by CEO, Jason Fried, who shares valuable lessons about building a lean, modern, technology organization and developing the right product strategy.

Where can I find it? https://signalvnoise.com/

Why should I read it? Signal vs. Noise offers valuable wisdom about product strategy that’s all too rare in the technology industry. Rather than offering lists or how-to advice, articles on Signal vs. Noise tell stories. There’s no other blog like it, and marketers should reference it for advice on product strategy, team building, and corporate direction.

Snarketing 2.0

Who owns it? Ron Shevlin

What do they talk about? Ron has consulted for marketing teams at leading financial services, consumer product goods, retail, and manufacturing firms for the past twenty-five years. His blog offers snarky insights on fallacies and failures across the marketing industry.

Where can I find it? http://snarketing2dot0.com/

Why should I read it? Marketers don’t like to talk about their own mistakes, so Shevlin does it for them. As this list attests, there’s no shortage of helpful marketing content online, but sometimes, it’s just as helpful to learn what not to do as it is to learn what to do. Snarketing 2.0 is a great place to learn from the mistakes of others-a practice marketers can almost always afford to adopt.

Social Media Examiner

Who owns it? Social Media Examiner

What do they talk about? On Social Media Examiner, you’ll find tons of articles that dissect the vast social media jungle. Social Media Examiner also goes beyond tips and tricks to explore social media strategies and how they fit into overall marketing strategies.

Where can I find it? http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

Why should I read it? Social media examiner features articles from a wide array of writers so their readers can access broad perspectives on social media. Not every post is as good as the next, but you can always find a fresh take on anything social media related on Social Media Examiner.

Sprout Social Insights

Who owns it? Sprout Social

What do they talk about? Sprout Social’s blog specializes in content about social media best practices, tips and tricks.

Where can I find it? http://sproutsocial.com/insights/

Why should I read it? If you want to learn about social media, go straight to the source. Thousands of brands publish their social content through Sprout Social’s platform every day, and the brand knows a thing or two about social media expertise. Social media is an excitable area of the marketing department; there’s always a new tip or trick, a new tool, a discontinued tool, etc. The Sprout Social team stays on top of all the latest developments in social media, and anyone with a hand in the corporate social profiles should keep an eye on the Sprout Social blog for updates on new features and tricks in the social media space.

Topo blog

Who owns it? Craig Rosenberg and Scott Albro

What do they talk about? Rosenberg and Albro help business-to-business technology companies build winning sales and marketing teams, and use the Topo blog as an outlet for all the wisdom they’ve collected helping brands scale in a rapidly changing landscape.

Where can I find it? http://blog.topohq.com/

Why should I read it? The Topo blog regularly features guest posts, interviews, and article round-ups from industry-leading influencers on a number of relevant marketing topics. The Topo blog is the best place to go to find the best insights on everything modern B2B marketers need to know about their craft.

Unbounce Blog

Who owns it? Unbounce

What do they talk about? The Unbounce blog features tons of great, scientific tips on building web pages that are optimized to collect and convert leads, and it’s an outstanding resource for marketers tasked with converting site traffic.

Where can I find it? http://unbounce.com/blog/

Why should I read it? The Unbounce team writes content for engagement, not visits, and they take lengths to put forth content that’s based on examples and scientific evidence. Their content is more than just linkbait; it’s genuinely helpful.

Unmarketing

Who owns it? Scott Stratten

What do they talk about? Stratten is an expert in viral, social, and authentic marketing (which he calls unmarketing), and believes that engagement trumps all else in the marketing world. His blog features podcasts on how marketers can position themselves as trusted experts so that when customers are ready to buy, they already know who to choose.

Where can I find it? http://www.unmarketing.com/

Why should I read it? Connecting with customers through a trusted brand is an undeniably important aspect of marketing. As the Web becomes home to most brands, marketers have less control than customers over how their brands are perceived. To maintain positive brand images these days, marketers have to replace old practices with customer-centric ones. Stratten helps teach marketers how to build trusted brands through truly helping customers.

Velocity Partners Blog

Who owns it? Velocity Partners

What do they talk about? In content marketing, we often refer to different types of content as food groups. Jason Miller, Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at LinkedIn, created a popular formula for the perfect content marketing mix that includes the right mix of raisin bran, roasts, spinach, chocolate cake, and tabasco sauce. The Velocity Partners Blog is primarily comprised of tabasco sauce. The authors of their articles challenge conventional marketing wisdom to offer fresh perspectives on marketing trends.

Where can I find it? http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk/our-blog/

Why should I read it? The best marketers understand when a trend is right for their brand and when it’s not, but we all have to face those moments when the CMO or CEO says, “I keep hearing about brands on Pinterest. Why aren’t we on Pinterest? Please build a presence on Pinterest.” We could all build a presence on Pinterest, and it’s important to experiment with new marketing trends, but it’s even more important to understand how each aspect of the marketing strategy fits into our brand goals. The Velocity Partners blog encourages marketers to think about marketing strategies, not just implement them to appease the higher-ups.

Vidyard Video Marketing Blog

Who owns it? Vidyard

What do they talk about? The Vidyard Video Marketing Blog publishes articles that elaborate on how to build video marketing strategies, how to optimize video campaigns for conversion, and how to create compelling video content that sells products.

Where can I find it? http://www.vidyard.com/blog/

Why should I read it? There’s a lot more to video marketing than creating TV ads, but few marketing departments hire team members to focus exclusively on video campaigns. Because video content is different from text content, it requires different marketing strategies. The Vidyard blog helps marketers understand how to create successful campaigns using video content.

Did any of these blogs make the cut in 2015? Here is a list of the best marketing blogs of 2015.

https://radius.com/2014/03/31/25-best-marketing-blogs-2014/

Police Suspect Social Media in Mall Violence Across at Least 9 States

Social media may have contributed to a series of possibly related incidents in which groups of people, many of them teens, fought and created disturbances at shopping malls in at least nine states, according to authorities.

The disturbances erupted in malls from Arizona to North Carolina and drew hundreds of spectators in some cases, causing several malls to be closed.

Connecticut

Seven people were arrested Monday after an incident at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester, Connecticut, according to police. The Manchester Police Department estimated that several hundred teenagers were on the scene at the time and said officers from other jurisdictions were called in to help control the situation. One officer suffered minor injuries while trying to break up a fight, and no other injuries were reported, the department said.

The department suggested that the incidents may have stemmed from a series of social media posts, echoing sentiments expressed by other police departments where fighting took place.

Ohio

A mall outside Cleveland was placed on lockdown after a large group of teens caused a disturbance at around 6:30 p.m. Monday, police said.

Beachwood, Ohio, police announced earlier this morning that the fighting was “loosely organized on social media.” A juvenile was arrested there for alleged disorderly conduct after officers dispersed the crowd and removed them from the Beachwood Place mall. No major injuries were reported.

Illinois

In Aurora, Illinois, several fights broke out Monday night at the Fox Valley mall, a suburb of Chicago, causing police to evacuate the premises.

Mallgoers captured the chaotic moments on their cellphones and posted photos and videos to social media as terrified shoppers went scrambling for the exits. The problems began around 7 p.m., according to officials.

The Aurora Police Department said this morning that it was called in to assist with “an unruly crowd in the common area,” followed by a fight in the food court and “several other smaller altercations.”

Aurora police said the department “made the immediate decision to evacuate and close the mall for the safety of all,” adding that more than 1,000 patrons gathered in the common area to watch the commotion. Seven people were arrested after 75 officers from multiple police agencies arrived to assist.

Police there are working to determine what caused the fights, telling ABC News they are looking into social media to see whether the incident may have been planned.

Colorado

The Town Center mall in Aurora, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, was also closed Monday after a series of skirmishes and a large disturbance that officials believe began on social media.

Police there said a post on social media told people there was going to be a fight at the mall. A citywide call for assistance was placed after a fight that began in the food court soon drew in more than 500 people.

Aurora police say the unruly crowd surrounded an off-duty officer as he detained one of the alleged combatants and attempted to escort the person out of the mall.

“It is believed that a post on social media announcing a fight at the Town Center is what drew this unruly crowd to the Town Center of Aurora,” the police department said.

More than 50 officers from several agencies responded to the incident, during which five arrests were made. No serious injuries were reported.

Texas

Police in Fort Worth, Texas, said they received notice about staged fights across the country that prompted security to escort workers at the Hulen Mall to their vehicles.

Fort Worth police told ABC News they are investigating whether the disturbance was linked to social media postings.

4 Other States

The Associated Press reported similar incidents at malls in New York and New Jersey and in North Carolina, where chaos erupted at a mall in Fayetteville and emergency medical personnel were called in to assist someone who had a medical episode while fleeing.

In Memphis, Tennessee, police arrested several people after fights at two malls there. No one was injured, and no gunshots were fired, despite reports indicating otherwise, according to the AP.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/police-suspect-social-media-mall-violence-states/story?id=44409149

Social Media

Written by Nicole Gallucci

Authorities seized several firearms and packets of marijuana.

Written by Jerico Mandybur

No wonder we’re getting served so many branded lenses.

Written by Pete Pachal

Time to pop the filter bubble.

Written by Rebecca Ruiz

“I’m honored and humbled to have all of you with me.”

Written by Jerico Mandybur

It’s the first time Twitter has livestreamed a sport outside the U.S. What does it say about the future of sportscasting?

Written by Sam Sheffer

Do you use Snapchat? Do you like cereal? Do you live in London? If you said yes to all three of those things, you’re in luck — keep reading. We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Snaphappen — the first (unofficial) Snapchat conference –…

Written by Karissa Bell

Facebook is making its 360-degree videos more immersive and easier to navigate.

Written by Tara Flanigan

His legs were hacked off with a SWORD.

Written by Elise Cooper

And twitter responded with outrage.

Written by Alexandra Ford

From live stunts to augmented reality and everything in between, 2016 has seen some of the marketing world’s most innovative work yet. In its fourth year, the Mashies, Mashable’s annual celebration of the agencies and brands that are creating the mos…

http://mashable.com/social-media/

Social Intelligence Launches Social Media Risk Scoring for P&C Insurers

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Social

Intelligence, the leading provider of social media risk assessment

tools and data, announced the launch of its Social Media Risk Scoring

solution for property and casualty (P&C) insurers. The new technology

provides real-time predictive risk scores based on the online presence

of participating insurance customers. This information is used by

insurers to provide discounts as well as fast-track claims processing to

qualifying customers.

Insurance Industry’s First Social Media Risk Scoring Solution

Social Intelligence has pioneered the development of online data-driven

risk analytics since the launch of its first product, a social media

background check and monitoring solution for employers, in September of

2010. The company has continued to refine its algorithms to develop a

suite of fully automated web data analytics that are currently used by

many of the world’s largest employers, insurers, non-profit

organizations and federal and local governments. The company’s new

Social Media Risk Scoring solution is the first of its kind to provide

predictive analytics in real-time to insurers based on an individual’s

web footprint.

“As a data set, an online presence can tell us so much about the risk

profile of an individual,” said Max Drucker, Social Intelligence CEO.

“By automating the process of risk scoring based on these variables, we

are able to offer a more predictive and less costly alternative for

assessing insurance risk. The social web gives insurers the opportunity

to gain actionable intelligence on consumers who do not have credit

histories or other, more traditional forms of risk profile.”

Automated Social Media Risk Scoring

Social Media Risk Scoring from Social Intelligence processes insurance

claimant data via a web application and immediately returns a predictive

result generated from wide ranging data across the social web and

broader internet. All information is cross-referenced with information

provided by the customer and/or derived from publicly available online

information. Social Media Risk Scoring is offered to insurance company

customers on an opt-in basis and is used to offer incentives, such as

lower rates and more rapid claims processing.

“We are excited about the future of social media screening as the next

generation of business intelligence and predictive analytics for

underwriting and claims fraud elimination,” said Rick Becker, Senior

Vice President, Personable Insurance. “By automating the social media

screening process, Social Intelligence can take the guess work out of

the process, creating a solid, enterprise-ready platform that can be

relied upon to more accurately evaluate the risks we are taking.”

Social Intelligence’s proven approach to social media risk analysis has

set the standard for industry best practices. The company is a Social

Media Consumer Reporting Agency and adheres to the strict guidelines of

the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

For more information, visit http://www.socialintel.com/products-and-solutions/analytics.html

About Social Intelligence Corp.

Social Intelligence Corp. is the leading provider of social media risk

assessment tools and data to a wide range of industries. With innovative

and legally compliant tools, technology, and predictive analytics,

Social Intelligence’s suite of products help companies assess risk,

reduce costs, and target new markets. Social Intelligence is compliant

with Federal and State laws to ensure that both individuals and

organizations are protected. Visit www.socialintel.com

for additional information.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150422005849/en/Social-Intelligence-Launches-Social-Media-Risk-Scoring

Tired of Facebook? Here are five social networking alternatives

Fed up with Facebook?

Facebook is clearly the top tool for social networking, but new and arguably more innovative social networking alternatives have emerged in recent years to fill the void left by Friendster and MySpace. So if you’re looking to network somewhere other than Facebook, here are five alternative sites.

Pinterest

One of the most popular social networks on the web today, Pinterest has received widespread acclaim for its fresh take on the standard photo sharing social network.

“Pinterest is a good example of an alternative social network that focuses on a simple feature — photo sharing — which has a complete social network built around it,” said Christopher Gentile, CEO of the new social network Family iBoard.

This more focused approach to social networking helps create a simpler and more intuitive user experience.

Path

Path is a simple photo and message sharing social network that limits users to a maximum of 150 connections. These restrictions are designed to provide a more private and personal experience, by encouraging users to connect only with the people they know best (the number 150 is based on “Dunbar’s number,” which purportedly denotes the limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain genuine social relationships).

In this more intimate setting, users may be encouraged to share photos and send messages more freely than on a more public platform like Facebook.

Foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based social network that lets you “check in” at venues using your phone or mobile device. You can then connect with other Foursquare users to share information about where you are and what you are doing. The program also allows you to search your location for the restaurants, bars, shops and other amenities, and receive personalized recommendations based on other users’ experiences.

Nextdoor

Critics argue that the impersonality of the Internet has compromised the once thriving sense of community in America’s neighborhoods. Nextdoor’s mission is to rekindle this community spirit in neighborhoods across the U.S., by connecting users and their neighbors through a localized social network.

Users join with their home address and are automatically placed into a home neighborhood. This ensures that all of the content, connections and messages you see will come from other users living in your area.

Roamz

Roamz isn’t so much an alternative to traditional social networks as it is a new way to embrace them. This mobile app gathers data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare and alerts you to the most interesting or significant things going on around your local area. This information is gathered to your mobile device to provide you with an inside view on the best things to see and do in your local area.

Similar to a cross between Google and Facebook, the social network also allows you to post status updates and share photos.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/06/25/tired-facebook-here-are-five-social-networking-alternatives.html

Social networking may be in a bubble

NEW YORK, July 24 The social-network industry

is growing quickly but the stock values of many publicly traded

companies in the sector may be increasing faster and face being

overvalued, financial magazine Barron’s wrote.

The prices of eight companies in the sector that are or

plan to become public reflect a bubble or a bubble-to-be,

Barron’s said in its July 25 edition. The more investors seek

the stocks, the higher the values are likely to go, it said.

The companies — Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, LivingSocial,

Twitter, LinkedIn Corp LNKD.N, Pandora Media Inc (P.N) and

Zillow Inc (Z.O) — are estimated to be worth a total of $200

billion. In 2010 they generated $3.5 billion in revenue,

Barron’s said.

Google Inc (GOOG.O), on the other hand, has a market

capitalization of nearly $200 billion but generated $29 billion

in revenue last year and earned more than $8 billion, Barron’s

said.

Google has never traded at more than 29 times sales and it

neared 100 times earnings only once, Barron’s said. Its median

price-to-sales ratio as a public company is 11, with the

current ratio being 7.0, Barron’s said.

Based on that, the eight social-networking companies are

between 20 and 100 percent overvalued, according to Barron’s.

(Writing by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Dale Hudson)

http://www.reuters.com/article/socialnetworking-idUSN1E76N07A20110724

Social networking may be in a bubble

NEW YORK, July 24 The social-network industry

is growing quickly but the stock values of many publicly traded

companies in the sector may be increasing faster and face being

overvalued, financial magazine Barron’s wrote.

The prices of eight companies in the sector that are or

plan to become public reflect a bubble or a bubble-to-be,

Barron’s said in its July 25 edition. The more investors seek

the stocks, the higher the values are likely to go, it said.

The companies — Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, LivingSocial,

Twitter, LinkedIn Corp LNKD.N, Pandora Media Inc (P.N) and

Zillow Inc (Z.O) — are estimated to be worth a total of $200

billion. In 2010 they generated $3.5 billion in revenue,

Barron’s said.

Google Inc (GOOG.O), on the other hand, has a market

capitalization of nearly $200 billion but generated $29 billion

in revenue last year and earned more than $8 billion, Barron’s

said.

Google has never traded at more than 29 times sales and it

neared 100 times earnings only once, Barron’s said. Its median

price-to-sales ratio as a public company is 11, with the

current ratio being 7.0, Barron’s said.

Based on that, the eight social-networking companies are

between 20 and 100 percent overvalued, according to Barron’s.

(Writing by Ilaina Jonas; Editing by Dale Hudson)

http://www.reuters.com/article/socialnetworking-idUSN1E76N07A20110724