Startups that could affect your Marketing Strategy

How to use social media to advertise your business has always been a game of catch-up. Inventors, investors and programmers are constantly busy with building new sites, creating new applications that will change or improve the way we connect with each other and our viewing habits.

TechCrunch, a company that started as a blog in 2005 and has evolved to be one of the biggest and more innovative companies, holds a yearly conference where they choose 25 new startups from over 1000 applications to present their ideas to the conference and through it to the world.

At the last conference in San Francisco, in September 2010, TechCrunch chose to show a few companies that might have an impact on how you advertise your small business through the web. Here are some to watch for:

Badgeville – Aims to help increase audience engagement and loyalty by providing an easy way for web publishers, media sites and brands to increase engagement with their customers. It also enables measuring and optimization of users engagement.

Gifi – Combines Venmo and FourSquare into a location based game involving real money. Recommending a restaurant or a dish becomes a social game. Users can hide money for their friends to be unlocked when they order the dish they recommended for example. It provides business owners with a simple way to deliver rewards for valued or frequent customers. Every time a customer is rewarded, the business gets exposure through the social media sites of their customer’s friends. The company received $1.2 million in seed money this year.

Gripe – A location based free mobile app.  It allows the users to send complaints or cheers about a business they frequented. The remarks are sent to the business as well and they can react, while spreading the words through friends and followers. By resolving complaints, businesses can turn detractors into promoters spreading positive word-of-mouth to everyone on their social media network.

Sumazi – was awarded by TechCrunch as the startup “most likely to change the world”. By intelligently connecting people to other people they don’t know but should, they leverage the personal and extended networks to discover, recommend and introduce customers to other people and opportunities at the right time.

Tello – another startup which aims to help companies improve customer service by providing real time reactions to their customer’s experience. It is a mobile and social application. Businesses of all sizes can improve service and engage customers in conversation, resolving issue and monitor employee ratings.

Which of these will flourish remains to be seen. Watch for them and subscribe when they become operational.


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