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Hi5- the other social network to watch

Posted by John Horniblow on Feb 6, 2009 in General, Social Media Marketing, User experience

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You may not know it but Hi5 is the third largest social network in the world  polling into position behind Facebook and MySpace.  What make its different from the other two is clearly its audience. It has around 60 million  unique visitors  per month , 40% of whom come from Spanish speaking countries. This makes it the largest Latin American or Hispanic social network . While virtually unheard of in the United States the UK or some of Europe  there are reasons to believe that this could change.  The key information to be aware of  is that more and more people in the U.S. are discovering the site, a trend line that will likely keep bending upward in the next 12 months. What would be interesting to track is whether this  new US  based  audience is  ethnically and demographically  the young Hispanic and creates a parallel spanish speaking social network the covers the Americas and Spain . As of mid-2007 the Hispanic community  in the US, the largest  minority group , accounted for 15.1% of the total U.S. population and also since 2000  have accounted for more than half (50.5%) of the overall population growth in the United States 

Hi5′ s music and video applications rival those of other, more popular social networks, and Hi5′s mobile app is first rate.

Hi5 won’t be bigger than Facebook  by the end of the year, but it will have grown significantly, and it will have given many people  an attractive alternative to try out

What will be interesting to observe in the near future is whether the identities of one social network can or will be able cross register with the other using the concept of Open ID.

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Digital Marketing ?

Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 6, 2009 in General

The many faces of  Digital Marketing

Is it a website,  a media campaign, a banner ad or pay per click?, rich media ?  Is it  an email campaign,  mobile campaign or maybe a microsite, SMS or Intelligent Voice Messaging (IVM)? consumer generated content ? 

What  about blogs, Twitter, Social Media Networks , Bebo,  Hi-5,   Linked-in, e-acadamy and Facebook, or Web2.0 dynamic, distributive content-driven websites. Does it include optimized keyword searches (SEO), SEM SSM, Digital PR or buzz? Is it e commerce , widgets, or mobile location-based marketing?

Digital marketing is all of the above – born out of the information age  at the end of the 20th century  it’s simply marketing in the digital age.  Consumers’ lives have becoming increasingly connected. Convergence and “always on” connectivity is becoming  increasingly mainstream, and new important channels of communication and opportunities are opening to marketers.

Social Media Marketing is emerging as one of the most important, if not the most important, source of information for the consumer but also for the marketer in listening too, responding and measuring consumer sentiments. 

Marketers have now gained the ability to enhance, empower, interact, converse and otherwise live within ever deeper segments of consumers’ lives, well beyond the reach of traditional media.  In the 21st century, the database is the marketplace and the way in which a consumer interacts or engages with a brand and vice versa may well be a new form of marketing . And one thing is clear – data is and  will be at the centre of it all. 

Digital marketing is  not digital for the sake of digital but an application of established marketing practices  re-thought or re engineered in the digital world. It is  all about permissioned based , persuasive and at times pervasive consumer engagement.

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