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Leveraging social media models to drive more traffic and sales is one of the “works in progress” in the local ecosystem. At ILM west, we had a special session dedicated to exploring the innovation in the space. Panelists included Payvment’s Darren Waddell (formerly of Merchant Circle), Moon Tide Media’s Todd Klawin and Social’s Mark Gilbert.

Waddell said his company is a social discovery platform, not a storefront. It is “really in the engagement of business owners and fans, and people who ultimately buy from them.”

“When you help them interact with shoppers, that is when the magic happens,” says Waddell. He notes that engagement is a small percentage of ‘likes,’ but it is all gold.

Some of Facebook’s recent features adds, such as Timeline, have been especially helpful. “It is much more about engagement,” notes Waddell. “That is what we have shifted our business around.” We are really creating around the content. You get 2-3X “times engagement in a news feed compared to a like.” But wanting to own “is a different experience than saying you like it.”

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