Early adopters win. Early adopters will often win big. History has proven this over and over again. A small group of people who started creating dot-com companies in 1995 were early adopters. Those who got in the game five years later in 2000 may had very likely already missed the party. Individuals who started using Twitter in 2007 are likely to have accumulated a larger network then those who just discovered the benefits of using it in 2010. The difficult question and the one that I’m sure many are asking is “how do I determine the difference between a soon to be hit and a soon to be flop?” “Is this the next Facebook or is just the next Orkut?” (Don’t know what Orkut is?)
As fair warning, I will never claim to have a better crystal ball then the next guy. If I could see into the future with 100% accuracy then I would be a very rich man right now. With that being said, there are a couple of tools that are available right now that I can not stop thinking about. Websites and services that have huge potential and deserve some consideration as a part of your future online marketing strategy.
Call it a gift. 5 free of charge recommendations that you can use to help your business.
Tippr is one in a handful of companies offering a group buying service. Users can purchase discount vouchers online and then use them to save big with local merchants. You may have heard of the competition: the $1 billion giant Groupon and 2nd place competitor LivingSocial. Both of these companies are worth a look, but I like the opportunities presented with Tippr the best. In what they call Accelerated Deals, the more people that participate, the better the deal gets. Retail and those in the food service business should especially take note.
I once found myself asking if Dailybooth had the potential to become the next Twitter. Aside from the fact that Dailybooth is centered around its’ members and their photos, the similarities between the two platforms are numerous. Founded in February 2009, Dailybooth has received a lot of attention and there is no reason to believe it won’t continue to grow in users. Roberto Hoyos and his company Throwboy are a nice example of a local business using Dailybooth to gain attention.
What if you could use the already built in popularity of the most common social networks to reach out to new customers through online contests and giveaways? Wildfire’s goal is to be a comprehensive platform for creating online advertisements that generate word of mouth. The services they offer apply to small business as well as very large corporations.
At first glance formspring.me came across as a service that was fairly limited and was more of a social game then a practical tool for a business. It’s a question and answer platform. You choose to ask a question anonymously or not and I decide if I want to answer it. Although the website is still in its infancy, I believe it has a large amount of potential in the customer service arena. The ability to reach out and ask a business a question could be leveraged as a way to increase brand loyalty. I credit Jon Buscall and his recent Online Communications Podcast for offering some positive insights and uses for this relatively new service.
The idea behind Stickybits is a brilliant one. Visit the Stickybits website to create a custom made barcode and then place text, music, or video files onto it. Anyone with a compatible smartphone can download a barcode scanner app and then have the ability to grab the content. A business can create a sticker, business card, flier, you name it and have a barcode put on it. I could create a promotional YouTube video for Sparkplug Digital, attach it to a Stickbits barcode, print that barcode out on some business cards and then pass it out to potential clients. It’s only a matter time before we start seeing more of this.