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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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July 29, 2013

Which Social Networks Should Marketers Be Worried About?

July 29, 2013 | By | No Comments

Are Pinterest and Foursquare in trouble?

Consider the following social media services:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • TripAdvisor
  • Yelp
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Goodreads
  • Instagram
  • Foursquare

One of these things is not like the other.

Well, two, actually.

At least two of these sites likely are on the decline. And that definitely affects your marketing for next year.

Which two? And why?

Well, let’s take a look. Most of the major social players have either expanded their services (LinkedIn added significant content, Twitter now allows users to post videos and images, TripAdvisor and Yelp recently added functionality to let you book hotels and make restaurant reservations, respectively), been acquired by one of the major AGFAM players (Instagram by Facebook, Goodreads by Amazon), or both (Tumblr and, yes, Yahoo’s looking to join the AGFAM-ily). And while I’m not terribly bullish on Google+, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

By contrast, it’s pretty clear to me that Pinterest and Foursquare don’t fit this pattern. When you get right down to it, they’re not companies. They’re features. One lets you collect images and share them with other people. The other lets you tell your friends where you are.

I realize I may be giving these two somewhat short-shrift here. They offer somewhat more functionality than just that. Their problem stems from the fact that, in both cases, it’s only “somewhat.” According to comScore data, Pinterest’s monthly traffic growth has fallen since January and lags the trends seen by Twitter, Tumblr, Yelp, and LinkedIn over the same period. (January and June data available here).

As you begin planning your social media strategies for 2014, take a look at where your customers increasingly spend their time. And look at where you spend yours. While I don’t recommend trying to pick winners and losers ahead of time very often, I do recommend you look at which activities continue to drive results for you. And I suspect you’ll find Foursquare and Pinterest falling from that list.

Interested in learning more about the future of marketing? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 7, 2012

2013 trends: It's all e-commerce (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest)

December 7, 2012 | By | No Comments

Mult-channel e-commerce solutionsIt’s no secret that I think we’re already in the age of “It’s All E-commerce” (documented, among other places, here and here). But this trend seems to be exploding as we move into 2013. Here are examples of what that means:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you next week.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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October 25, 2012

Thinks Out Loud Episode 7: Should You Still Like Facebook?

October 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

Should You Still Like Facebook?Headlines:

Tip:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 10m 13s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed or download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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October 12, 2012

10 Social, Search and Mobile Tips to Know This Week (Small Business E-Commerce Link Digest)

October 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social, search and mobile links I liked this weekLoads and loads and loads of social, local, mobile links this week worth checking out. So, as I often do, I’m going to skip the setup and get straight to the links:

  1. First up, Techcrunch reports on a Forrester study showing 66% of employees use 2 or more devices at work, 12% use tablets. Mobile isn’t a coming thing any longer. It’s here.
  2. I mentioned this in yesterday’s podcast, but it’s a clear sign of the growth of mobile when Google revamps its homepage for mobile phones.
  3. Speaking of search, Search Engine Land says that Yahoo’s search share continues its downward slide. I’m not sure that’s news, sadly. Your website’s stats probably tell you the same thing.
  4. Search Engine Watch details a new study that claims 53% of organic search clicks go to first link. Not terribly surprising and a great reminder of why you want to both improve your search engine ranking and find additional traffic sources, such as social.
  5. Speaking of social, here’s a great example of how social leads to Big Data. LinkedIn has a blog post that reveals insights into U.S. talent pools based on their use of the professional networking site. Cool stuff.
  6. And if you want to see examples of social commerce in action, Business Insider looks at brands testing Facebook’s ‘want’ button
  7. Long-time e-commerce players are learning lessons from the social world, too. For example, EBay has updated its site to be more personal, Pinterest-like
  8. Continuing on the social scene, I read a great piece yesterday that argues why Instagram will be the next big social media platform. For what it’s worth, I agree. In particular, note Jeremy Floyd’s comment, which notes, “What stands out to me about Instagram is that the bar for creators is so low. Your data may reveal this, but it seems that the disparity between creators and consumers is lower on Instagram than other networks.”
  9. Of course even on sites like Instagram creating content isn’t always the easiest thing. HubSpot looks at how to keep your marketing engine chugging with community-generated content
  10. And, wrapping up this week, I’ve often said that email is the “forgotten social network.” Search Engine Watch agrees, explaining why email marketing shouldn’t be an ugly stepchild. Good read.

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. Look forward to seeing you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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September 28, 2012

Social Success? 9+ Tips to Think About This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – September 28, 2012)

September 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social marketing success tipsIt’s been a huge week on the social, local, mobile web. What, you think the NFL referees are the only big story this week? Seriously, there’s lots to talk about, so let’s dive right in:

  1. Leading off, Business Insider has a good look at the ROI of social media for direct sales.
  2. On a related note, MediaPost shows how social media leads to email and search conversion.
  3. Of course, not everyone’s a fan. The Wall Street Journal talks about CEOs on Twitter and how fear makes some executives leery of social media.
  4. What’s to fear? Well, Techcrunch reports Facebook is deleting lots of fake accounts, leading many Fan pages to lose followers.
  5. Privacy is another challenge on Facebook. But I argued earlier this week that Facebook’s supposed privacy problem may not be this big a deal (this time).
  6. Chris Abraham has a great post on Biznology explaining how business tweeting is a life-sentence.
  7. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic details Urban Outfitter’s recent switch to iPads and asks whether this is the end of the cash register?
  8. Speaking of Apple, CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology for its disastrous Maps app. Thinks looked at the what you can learn from Apple’s Maps mess earlier this week and also dug into the issue in more detail during this week’s podcast.
  9. Mashable is reporting that Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter.

And I’d like to welcome back the regular NFL refs. It’ll be fun to boo the real officials, instead of the replacements, for a change. Hope your weekend rocks, Big Thinkers! And I’ll see you back here next week with more social, local, mobile marketing goodness.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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September 25, 2012

How Big a Deal Are Facebook's Privacy Problems?

September 25, 2012 | By | One Comment

Privacy and FacebookYesterday, I dove into what you can learn from Apple’s Maps debacle. Now, let’s take a look at Facebook’s latest privacy kerfuffle. It wasn’t my intent to spend this week talking about screw-ups, but, here we are…

It seems some Facebook users were seeing posts on their wall that looked like private messages. Uh-oh… cue the privacy police.

Except for one thing. The bug wasn’t showing private messages. Old public posts were reappearing instead. In other words, “move along, nothing to see here,” right?

Well, apparently not.

Some bloggers are suggesting that Facebook’s privacy concerns will make social business a tougher sell. Money quote:

“The thing is, when you look at [enterprise social tools] Chatter, Yammer or similar tools, it’s impossible not to at least think of the word Facebook. Which may lead more users to wonder about moments like this week’s alleged privacy breaches. The onus will be on IT departments to provide assurance that sensitive business data will be far more secure than anything on a public service.”

OK, first things first. I’ve had plenty of problems with Facebook’s treatment of consumer privacy (to say nothing of Facebook in general) in the past. And IT departments will need to ensure security of their firms’ proprietary data before putting too much super-secret, highly classified information in the social sphere.

At the same time, let’s be clear: Social is here to stay.

Suggesting that consumers and companies won’t adopt social because of privacy concerns ignores history. I worked for a large financial services company back when email and the Internet generally started coming on the scene. And, at the time, companies like mine had enormous concerns around whether they could incorporate these new tools without risking customer data, regulatory oversight, decreased productivity, increased costs or some combination of all four. Guess what happened.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. My father loves telling the story about working in a bank back in the early 1950′s (What can I say? He’s really old). It seems the company didn’t want their clerks using new-fangled technology to update their ledgers and accounts. The “new-fangled” technology? Ball-point pens (they worried the ink wouldn’t last as long as the ink from fountain pens). True story. Again, guess what happened.

Technology wins out in the long run, given one major criteria: Consumer adoption. If consumers use it, businesses will, too — whether they want to or not. It was true of the Internet. It was true of the web. It was true of email. It was probably true of the telephone (I wasn’t there, though I suppose I could ask my Dad). A much bigger threat to social in the enterprise is whether businesses make any money from it.

I’m not suggesting Facebook will be the ultimate winner. It might be Twitter. It might be Google+. It might be Foursquare or Path or Instagram or Pinterest or The Fancy or some site we’ve yet to hear about.

A better plan for your business is to figure out how to protect yourself and your interests while using social to interact with your customers. But unless privacy concerns keeps consumers away, they won’t keep businesses away either.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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August 24, 2012

This week's best social, search and e-commerce tips (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – August 24, 2012)

August 24, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social media marketing smallJust a quick look this week at the best social, search and e-commerce tips I’ve run across. Enjoy:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you back here next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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August 20, 2012

All Marketing is Social Presentation

August 20, 2012 | By | One Comment

I recently presented a social media marketing session to an industry group called “All Marketing is Social”. Check it out:

And, don’t forget, I’m available to speak at your company or industry function as well.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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August 17, 2012

Search, Social and Mobile: What You Need to Know This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – August 17, 2012)

August 17, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social on mobileNeed still more evidence how linked search, social and mobile are? Wondering why content marketing matters? Check out this week’s links:

Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers. See you next week.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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August 2, 2012

Should "The Fancy" Tickle Your Brand's Fancy?

August 2, 2012 | By | One Comment

I’m often asked my opinion of various marketing channels, both online and offline. With the ever-increasing array of social, local and mobile channels available, it’s no wonder that many businesses aren’t sure whether to chase the “hot new thing” or if these up-and-comers won’t last.

Here’s a case in point. Recently, I’ve been talking a lot about Pinterest and its uses, so much so that TechTarget recently included me in their look at Pinterest as part of a social CRM strategy. And yet, in the time since I gave the interview, Pinterest’s star seems to have dimmed in favor of upstart social bookmarking/e-commerce site The Fancy.

Unlike Pinterest, which started out purely as a way for people to share and save images they enjoyed, The Fancy is built around e-commerce. For instance, “fancy” a stay at a resort in the Maldives?

Well you can reserve a stay, right there on the embedded image.

Gotta have these hipster-approved chukkas?

Again, click the little price tag button and they’ll be on their way to your Brooklyn crib (or whichever hipster-approved community you live in) in no time.

Slick.

The Fancy offers businesses and brand many of the benefits of Pinterest, but also has baked-in its monetization strategy from the outset.

So, here’s the question: Is The Fancy right for your brand? Is it time to ditch Pinterest in favor of The Fancy?

Maybe. But maybe not.

Now before you accuse me of playing coy, keep in mind that there’s a bigger question at play here. This isn’t a matter of whether Pinterest or The Fancy is better. It’s a question of whether Pinterest or The Fancy (or LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Twitter, or…) is better:

  1. For you
  2. For your customer

Too many brands and businesses I encounter spend so much time worrying about what everyone else is doing that they don’t look at what makes sense for their brand or their business. But as I recently mentioned, different customers use different channels at different times in their purchase decision. The Fancy might be a great place to locate customers when they’re ready to purchase, but it might fail miserably at attracting attention in the first place. Pinterest might generate lots of traffic, but that traffic may never convert for your brand. Or vice versa.

The reason I put so much emphasis on web analytics and conversion tracking and the like is that they’ll tell you whether something’s working for your brand — or not. Your strategy needs to allow for testing new channels and new ideas and your execution needs to include appropriate measures and metrics from the get-go.

The Fancy might be a great way for your brand to reach new customers, generate huge sales and grow your business. Or it might be a monumental waste of time. Put your focus on a clear testing strategy for your marketing and you won’t have to ask anyone whether or not you should fancy The Fancy. You’ll know.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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