Social search/community Archives


The ‘Influencer Marketing’ Scam

Tweet Considerable attention these days is directed toward “influencer marketing.” My (as yet) unproven theory is that it’s basically all bogus. It’s certainly true that trusted “influencers” — a term I dislike — can impact buying decisions. There is a lot of data to support that assertion. For example, the following from the 2015 Nielsen […]

Yelp: Average Yearly SMB Ad Spend Is $3,204, 76% Retention, 269% ROI

Tweet B2B social network Alignable ranked Yelp at or near the bottom of its Trust Index as measured by NPS ratings. There’s also anecdotal evidence that many business owners hold negative views of Yelp or harbor conspiracy theories about review manipulation for ad-sales purposes. There are also critics in the industry who argue Yelp ads […]

Reviews Rashomon: Plumber Remembers Yelp Threat That Never Actually Occurred

Tweet Yelp has been accused of manipulating local reviews to “blackmail” business owners into advertising on the site. It’s widely believed that Yelp uses the threat of removing positive reviews as leverage accordingly. Beyond this belief — and related claims in unsuccessful litigation against the company — I have never seen actual evidence that Yelp […]

True Local Search Launches on Facebook

Tweet I have long maintained that Facebook would have difficulty converting SMB Page owners into advertisers until it was able to deliver a real local search experience. Until yesterday Facebook didn’t have one. Users could search for individual businesses by name. And Facebook had a version of a city guide (Places Directory) that it didn’t […]

Nextdoor Moves In on Facebook, Yelp, Craiglist with New Local Services Directory

Tweet Over the past few years, in several conversations with Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia, I’ve discussed with him the site’s various opportunities to make money. Like all good startup CEOs Tolia said that he was focused on building audience engagement and that there were several ways the site could make money over time. In November […]

Spotted: New “Native” Ad Unit from Yelp

Tweet I’m in Europe this week for the SIINDA conference and I was using Yelp to find restaurants. After selecting a potential place to eat, I always run through the photos to get a sense of the food and atmosphere. Tonight I encountered this “native ad” in the midst of flipping through the images associated […]

Could Nextdoor Provide Social Media Redemption for Google?

Tweet Following an $8 million second-round funding announcement by SMB network Alignable I wrote a post on the LSA blog asking, “How Will Facebook and LinkedIn Respond to the Rise of Local Networks Nextdoor and Alignable?” I compared Alignable to LinkedIn (B2B) and Nextdoor (B2C) to Facebook. I speculated about which of those two established […]

Facebook: We’re Building a Customer Service Organization for SMBs

Tweet Facebook’s Jonathan Czaja was interviewed by StreetFight this week. Czaja is a terrific guy who came to Facebook about a year ago from retailer Bonobos. Czaja defends Facebook’s throttling of organic News Feed reach and says that the company’s ad programs are evolving. Perhaps the biggest “reveal” of the article is that Facebook is […]

Alignable: a New B2B Network for SMBs

Tweet A new startup Alignable aims to create a B2B social network for small business owners. Part Facebook, part LinkedIn, the site seeks to be a place that business owners can find support, community and unbiased advice to help overcome the isolation that often accompanies running a small business. I spoke to co-founder and former […]

Survey Finds 60% of Consumers Visit Facebook Pages Before Buying in Stores

Tweet Last week Gannett’s G/O Digital released a new consumer study based on a survey of 1,000 US adults who were “interested in buying products and services from local/small businesses.” The purpose of the survey was to see how these consumers engaged with local businesses (and ads) on Facebook and how they used Facebook in […]