Social media has become a bit like Old MacDonald and his farm – with a Facebook posting here and an Instagram photo there, here a tweet, there a tweet…
Wouldn’t it be nice to funnel all that content into one place – which could be your website, a billboard, a wall in your office – pretty much anywhere? Well, “social media hubs” are now making their presence felt – allowing you to drive relevant social media to a specific location. A company that offers a comprehensive approach to the social media hub is Tint, founded less than two years ago by a 23-year-old Californian named Tim Sae Koo. The travel industry turned out to be a natural for Tint’s platform, which enables clients to launch hashtag campaigns and hashtag contests to get consumers excited when they can see their content as it streams on the website, wall, etc. They become part of the conversation.
It’s an inexpensive way to create content that has credibility because it comes from real users – all filterable by Tint’s tools which can screen out inappropriate or unwanted content. Sae Koo says that it’s a self-service product which can be deployed in less than 15 minutes by a nontechnical marketer. Aside from the usual social media networks, it can include review sites, blogs, RSS and news articles – all up to the Tint customer.
A significant percentage of travelers share their experiences on social media, but it’s now scattered around a multitude of networks. It’s hard to see in one place what everyone is saying about your product or destination. Tint’s platform allows it all to be unified in one places: pictures, reviews, experiences. Using key words, Tint aggregates and curates content – and displays it anywhere you want – even on a mobile app, a hotel room TV screen or a food truck.
Once the content is posted, it will draw lot of eyeballs – because people want to see themselves and all the other user generated content. On top of that there are advertising opportunities: the local amusement park can advertise on the Tint destination display. And booking capability is also available.
Tint has worked with Visit Florida and Visit Scotland – creating hashtag campaigns for them so that visitors to those places can see their own content on the website. The brands like it because they have content that’s not only inexpensive but is searched by their own customers and their friends. A campaign for Travelocity had the hashtag #Iwanttogo where customers shared their destination stories. And Loews Hotels has signed a national contract enabling Tint displays in their hotel lobbies.
Tint’s rates seem to be on the low side since they are basically collecting and funneling social media content. Legal issues seem minimal because user rights have already been waived when people went public on social media. However, Tint is aiming to take the customer-brand relationships to the next level – allowing brands to ask for user rights so photos, etc. can be used in multiple formats – with compensation if that’s part of the deal.
Also coming are advanced analytics which will delve into who is sharing content and conversing with the hashtags so brands can reach out to them in a targeted fashion. And also on the horizon: interactive Tint displays.
Sae Koo said that consumers who appear on Tint displays feel an emotional connection with brands. He believes social media users will be moving away from dotcoms to a hashtag-driven world as long as the hashtag has a purpose – like a contest.
Deployed strategically, social media hubs make a lot of sense. You may think you don’t need more complication on the social media front, but they may actually be simplifiers.