Spokeable

turning average joes into local spokesmodels


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#cincodemayo

 

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Happy Monday….and #CINCODEMAYO!

Here at Spokeable we are always looking for reasons to celebrate. Cinco de Mayo is a stellar one. How do we suggest you commemorate the famous Batalla de Puebla

1) Find a local Mexican eatery.

2) Order a margarita.

Salud!

While you’re at it, snap a photo of the spicy mole enchiladas and upload it to Spokeable! Don’t forget to repeat with the prickly pear margarita too!

New York City (Spokeable’s second home) is brimming with authentic Mexican restaurants smelling of epazote and lime. Tonight, all of them will be bursting at the seams with salsa music, smooth tequila and Spokeable worthy photos. Get out there and dance some Tapatio! But don’t forget to download the app and upload some photos! 

Spokeable’s recommendation for tonight? The Lower East Side’s Cafe El Portal. Tucked away on a small corner on Elizabeth St, Café El Portal is a haven for Mexican food lovers. Their selection of tamales, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and chiles rellenos is large enough to satisfy any craving for flavors south of the border. Ask about the specials, like Duck Sopes, which come smothered in pungent tomatillo sauce. If you’re feeling brave try the cactus burrito.

Lunches here are an extravagant, leisurely affairs. Treat them as such. Begin the meal with the chicken soup, a Mexican specialty, with homemade broth and abundant lime, epazote, cilantro and roasted poblano peppers. Don’t forget the guacamole made with  buttery, flavorful avocados.  A spoonful of this green goodness, wrapped in a fresh tortilla and dragged along the bottom of a nearly empty bowl of chicken soup is an experience like none other. Provecho! That’s all I can say.

Enjoy the day and remember to patron your local outposts!

Un Abrazo,

Team Spokeable

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Springtime Means Shopping. Locally Please!

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Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party. Friday says that too. So, on this beautiful Friday in May the entire city of New York is itching for fiesta. Men are sporting kaki suits. Women are wearing floral print dresses (no stockings, madame). Everyone, children and adults alike, are happily getting their fingers sticky with Mister Softee swirls. The air is practically stinging with spring. Let’s get this party on, Friday.

If you haven’t already switched your closet over from wool coats and chunky scarfs to something with chiffon or taffeta pastel, you best buzz an Uber to your Queens storage unit. It’s May folks!  We only have one more month of Spring! Seize the sun and dress in light paisley! If you aren’t up for the trip to storage this weekend, at the very least go buy a new outfit for tonight’s DJ-set at Brooklyn Bowl.  Black turtlenecks be gone! Get to a local boutique and purchase something spring.  Emphasis on “local” of course. And Spring.

At Spokeable this spring season we are all about local commerce. Actually, we are all about local commerce all the time. And although the shopping landscape has changed with the rise of e-commerce, we are most excited about bridging online and offline experiences. And about bringing together local customers and their local stores.

Street Fight Mag article this week outlines some of the key changes in local commerce to come up. The article sites important reasons why Spokeable is in an ideal position to facilitate satisfying relationships between customers and their favorite businesses. 

Here are five trends they think will shape the future of commerce over the next decade.

1) Marketplaces For X Marketplaces are the new mall. Why walk around for hours on end, when you can view millions of products online? Totes true. 2) The Death of Malls Big box outlets will close doors and focus efforts online. 3) New Logistics Amazon’s push into same day delivery will drive innovation within the logistic space.   

4) Connected Stores: As shopping malls close, local businesses need to work together to deliver new shopping experiences. New ways to attract customers and keep them in store/ on premise for as long as possible. Local businesses will need to focus on building relationships and environments where people want to be seen and heard.  Spokeable facilitates this exact happening. We create ongoing and relevant conversations for businesses and customers that feel like win-wins. Our platform builds correspondence, connection and collaboration in a new and unique environment that encourages in-store shopping.

5) Social Verification: Sales will depend upon local and relevant messaging as it relates to the individual consumer, their network, and their community. Consumers will depend on social networks, reviews, referrals, community, and how people they know and trust make purchases. Spokeable was built on the premise that word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing phenomenon. Why? Because when someone you trust vouches for restaurant or boutique you are likely to go. And enjoy! Social-commerce is the new terrain for local commerce and it will be so for some time.

The upcoming trends shaping local commerce have already begun. Spokeable works in conjunction with the new shopping terrain.  We are all about keeping up with Joneses. Especially this Spring. 

Happy Friday to All!

 

 


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Spokeable is Social

 

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In today’s addition of Business News Daily, Spokeable is front and center.  No, our name is not plastered on the front page headlines (at least not yet) but the crux of our product and business model is the theme of this morning’s top story. Our product, Spokeable, is an intelligently designed platform that capitalizes on a phenomenon which is only proving more and more important: social commerce. Social context is becoming the most important factor in purchasing decisions. This is especially true of younger populations who are just now coming into their purchasing power. A recent survey of millennials found that over 85% of spending habits are decided based on peers. These days everything is social. Everything needs familiar context.

The article, reported by BusinessNewsDaily managing editor, Jeanette Mulvey, interviews social commerce expert Scott Lachut. Lachut is the director of research and strategy at PSFK Labs, a trends-led business innovation consultancy.  The article outlines what we know: social commerce is not just an idea, it’s an undeniable fact to today’s purchases. Retailers of all sizes have to capitalize on social context or they’ll be left by the wayside of the 20th century.

Lachut explains that engaging with customers in a social commerce capacity is not only about the “commerce,” i.e. sale. Instead, people engage with companies for a variety of reasons. “Some are aspirational fans, who want content and experiences that they can share with their networks. Others may have issues and are turning to these platforms as a way to connect with a real human being who can answer their questions.” He concludes that people are looking for a combination of relevancy and utility and that brands/stores need to cater to that in order to insure conversions farther down the road.

In this interview Lachut speaks directly to what we’ve set out to achieve with Spokeable. We successfully create engaging and relevant conversations between local customers and local businesses. The channels that currently exist do not make this feat easily. Why? Because they weren’t created with this in mind. They are lifestyle sharing apps and curated news feeds. They connect friends with friends and were never intended to link customers and businesses. Which is why we made Spokeable. To serve a need. And this need, it seems, is growing and growing.


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Fighting for the Little Fish

Customers shop at Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street

Many storeowners believe city government should take on advocating for longtime, local stores. A DeBlasio spokesperson, Wiley Norvell, said in a comment that the administration will work to preserve longtime stores and venues. But we haven’t seen any new policy come out fighting for small businesses or at least nothing significant to enough to create a stir.

In an interview between Pereira and Rolando Pujol, who runs city history blog The Retrologist, the historian said the trend of closing longtime businesses has increased over the last five years. “People pay a premium to live in New York because of the interesting funky shops and the weird little places to grab a bite. But every time you lose that, it begins to erase the value that New York has.”

As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, this phenomenon of local businesses not surviving is what drove Spokeable co-founders to create their solution for local businesses. They wanted to support local business owners and their establishments and help them thrive. They’d seen a lot of their favorite shops close in Miami and wanted to find a way to prevent further closings from taking place. Spokeable is a tool that helps local businesses grow in a sustainable way through their existing customers. We want the little fish to swim, everywhere.

If you’re in a town or city where you can support your local stores, do so. And download the app.  Also definitely check out Pereira’s article where you can see the list of stores recently closed or closing in NYC.

 


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Say Cheese! Why Food Brands Want Photos

 

 

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My favorite foods made New York Times headlines this morning. Macaroni and Cheese. Kraft Foods Group is hiring a start-up firm, Ditto Labs, to learn more about their customers. How? Through photos.

Sara Braun, senior marketing director for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese discussed their decision to hire Ditto in a statement. “We want to ensure we continue to evolve, keep the brand fresh and relevant. A lot has changed with how the consumer sources information. As a marketer, we want to be reaching our consumer in whatever technologies she uses today.”

Sara is right. The best way to understand consumers is to look at what they’re currently doing and how their currently doing it. Consumer behavior is sourced online these days and best done through photos. More than 500 million photos are updated daily.  That’s a lot of information about consumers. There is nothing more valuable for any company, regardless of size, than a keen understanding of what their customers do and what they celebrate. Because people uploaded photos of their day’s high point, it offers an invaluable assessment of what’s attractive to the consumer. Photos, then, are ripe with collectible data for how to grow market reach and fine tune outreach strategies.

Ditto Labs also explains in their presentation that photos can help brands/businesses identify competitors as well as fans. It can help understand what else is out there and how to set themselves apart.

There is perhaps no more valuable data collection tool than photo analysis. The hard part, though, is analyzing it all.This is why in Spokeable we created the backend software that allows for all the photos taken in small businesses to be categorized in a way that easily encourages action. We facilitate the use of photo-data for marketing solutions that truly influence customers. Small businesses can’t pay for big firms like Ditto (though their work is great). And Ditto isn’t trying to access the small business market. At Spokeable, though, we created a  platform specifically designed for local business that helps them understand and truly engage their customers in relevant exchanges.  Through photos.

Tonight I think I’ll get mac and cheese from my local Fort Green takeaway. I just saw a great photo on Spokeable.

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BE MY ANGEL?

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Happy FRIDAY!

Hey all! Spokeable is finally on AngelList and we’re ready to raise the funds we need to launch our phenomenal solution for local businesses. As some of you know, AngelList is a platform that connects startups with angel investors to find win-win partnerships to grow their business.

To insure an incredibly successful Angel campaign we are seeking two well-connected passive advisors who will lend us their name and make a few introductions on the platform.  If you fit the criteria but aren’t on Angel yet, no worries!  Although it’d be the bees knees for you to already have an account, we’re happy to help you set one up!  Can’t wait to get rocking!

We are looking for:

  •  Fiery founders who’ve successfully fundraised on Angel
  •  Well connected social-commerce or local business experts
  •  Enterprise software executives who’e spent time in the startup scene
  •  Entrepreneurs on Angel who love disruptive models

Check out our profile: https://angel.co and let us know!


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Social Commerce with a BIG ROI

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It’s become something of an accepted mantra, this idea that everything “social” has a soft (or nonexistent) return on investment (ROI).  At Spokeable, we agree with John Lawson, CEO of Atlanta-based ColderICE Mediawho in his book  Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-preneurs: It’s Not About Likes—It’s About Sales, relates everything back to the bottom line. Small business owners need to turn social commerce into revenue. 

Social media is one avenue that consumers use to tell you they like you, but Lawson says that doesn’t mean they’ll actually buy something. That’s exactly why we created Spokeable.  The platform allows members to tell you they like you via photo-sharing (an existing and prevalent behavior) and It ALSO opens a channel from the business to the consumer to encourage an actual sale, via rewards. Lawson explains that although you want your audience to like you, mostly “it’s about how to take that emotion (like) and turn it into an action (purchase).” Spokeable converts the action of endorsing into the action of purchasing. 

Through social media platforms not designed with local businesses in mind, there isn’t a clear call to action that the consumer understands and can readily follow through with.  With Spokeable, the call to action is clear.  And the effectiveness of engaging through social commerce is easily measured on our back-end business interface. We subvert the idea that social platform ROI is low, indeed bringing tangible and replicable value to businesses through Spokeable. “Part of why people think it’s soft is because they’ve never attempted to measure it,” Lawson says. “Once you can measure something, you can tweak it and make it better.”

This is what we do at Spokeable. We are a simple to use enterprise software for the small-business.