Better Understand Your Audience with Simple Lessons in A/B Testing

Traditionally marketing and advertising practices have relied largely upon gut-something to the nature of look and feel. As social media has reared its newborn head, incumbent celebrities and corporate heads have gradually begun to tiptoe towards actually building a following for brand and personal purposes.

With the new rise of data and low-cost scalability in computing, the inception of revolutionary metrics and statistics are making us question our gut. For instance, Betsy Fast, Site Director at, recounted how her suggested titles for a teenager’s article was actually not as popular as the original title, due to the data she received from her site.

On the whole, viewership is exploding due to social platforms: 25 million views from Harpers Bazaar’s Facebook page with only 2.5 million actual followers is unheard of a decade ago. Viewership means voices, and those voices are being aggregated and analyzed.

Disruption is salient. Joyann King, editor of, mentioned that their site just implemented A/B testing, which would resolve numerous site design and outreach choices through actual quantification of visitor behavior.

Humorously so, she reflected that the choice of a site main product image used to be “holding hands and saying ‘I feel M&M’s’ or ‘I feel Reese’s’,” which is as far a cry from leveraging site analytics as is using ouija board to ask about your ancestors versus signing up for

Suffice it to say, this step toward data-driven decision-making in the media industry is a mile long leap for the marketing industry.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

Millennials Check Their Phones More Than 157 Times Per Day

At this morning’s first SMWNYC session at the TimesCenter, we heard from Michelle Klein, Head of Marketing for North America at Facebook. Michelle began her presentation emphasizing all of the technology at we possess at our fingertips, calling us almost superhuman.

She then presented us with some figures from today’s digital age: the average adult checks their phone 30 times a day, and the average millennial checks their phone more than 150 times a day.

What exists in our lives is a “sensory experience of communication that helps us to connect with others, without having to look away,” as Michelle explained. This is great for marketers, like herself. It gives them a million ways to connect with audiences.

Next, Michelle discussed how to use technology to benefit people and create the best communication. As she said, the best technologies include: “something that makes things better, connects people through storytelling, is immediate, expressive and immersive, and adapts and changes.” Michelle spoke about the apps she uses on a day-to-day basis, which make her life easier and better.

In terms of storytelling, Facebook enables people to share and connect, through viewing the narratives of each of their friends’ lives. She then mentioned how 6 out of the 10 most downloaded apps in the world right now are messaging apps.

These messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger “are real time, and now” technologies. Michelle then discussed the “expressive”, illustrating how images help us navigate the world and tell stories in a simple and fast way.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

How The New York Times Measures User Engagement

“Our business model, essentially, is that we produce high quality journalism.”

At Social Media Week in New York, we heard from Mark Thompson, the CEO of the New York Times in a discussion with Toby Daniels, the Founder and Executive Director of SMW. Mark began his talk by telling us about his background, and his start in TV journalism with the BBC.

Even while working at the BBC, Mark acknowledged that The New York Times was “one of the very best newsrooms on the planet.” He noticed that The New York Times confronted the digital change the world saw with a different view than other American news outlets.

According to Mark, The New York Times “continued to produce great journalism. They doubled down on their investment in content, which was the better play.”

Next, Mark spoke about the strategy at The New York Times. He, and The New York Times, have realized that people are willing to pay for high quality content. In terms of user experience, he believes that every subscriber should feel like the content they receive is worth paying for, even if it’s free.

He believes that smartphones, in particular, enable companies with high quality to find deeply engaged users. In order to do this, “you need to become a destination, you need to start becoming a daily habit”.

“We stand for storytelling, and for arming people to begin a conversation – whether it be physical or on social media,” Mark said.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

From Virtual Reality to Millennial Ideologies: The 8 Keynotes to Attend at #SMWNYC

We’re bringing some of the most influential leaders together for our 2016 edition of Social Media Week NYC, which takes place this February 22-26.

From the Mark Thompson (CEO, The New York Times) to Claudia Malley (Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, National Geographic), these keynotes will bring their insights and expertise to the SMW New York stage on a range of topics, including virtual reality, Millennial ideology, emerging trends in digital storytelling, and social media’s impact on pop-culture and traditional media.

Purchase your pass for Social Media Week to be among the 2,000+ industry leaders coming to New York for a week of forward-thinking and educational events, and bookmark these keynotes to your schedule!

1. Learn how The New York Times shifted from print to digital

Hosted by The New York Times • Tuesday 2/23 at 10:30AM • TimesCenter
CEO of The New York Times, Mark Thompson, will discuss how the company pivoted and prepared itself to succeed in the digital age, and how others can learn from their shift. Interviewing Mark, will be Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week.

2. Hear how comedy and digital entertainment will evolve in the next few years

Hosted by NBCUniversal • Tuesday 2/23 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
The world is at an inflection point, similar to where broadcast TV was in 70s and 80s with a massive boom in content production and this time on various platforms. Join Evan Shapiro (EVP, Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal) as he reveals their strategic approach to the current media landscape with Seeso, the new steaming comedy channel, with other key creators of the channel.

3. Explore the incredible virtual reality collaboration with Google, GE, and The New York Times

Hosted by The New York Times • Wednesday 2/24 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
Learn how brands, publishers, and networks are using virtual reality to enhance their user experience, and tell amazing stories in an entirely new way. This session features Meredith Kopit Levien (Chief Revenue Officer, The New York Times), Katrina Craigwell (Director, Global Content & Programming, General Electric) and Aaron Luber (CardBoard Partnerships, Google).

4. Laugh and learn with Comedy Central’s Chief Marketing Officer

Hosted by WOMMA • Wednesday 2/24 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Some may think Comedy Central’s ratings and online conversations come easy due to their hilarious roster of talent, but nothing is further from the truth. In this entertaining session, Comedy Central’s CMO, Walter Levitt, will attempt to organize and rationalize all their social media and on-the-ground tactics into a fully thought–out strategy.

5. National Geographic’s lessons to staying relevant and powerful in our fragmented media ecosystem

Hosted by Social Media Week • Thursday 2/25 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
National Geographic is known around the globe for it’s leadership in visually compelling factual and entertaining storytelling, and in this keynote session, Claudia Malley (Chief Marketing and Brand Officer, National Geographic) will share insights and learnings on how this 128 year-old brand has pioneered the new media and fragmented landscape while maintaining it’s leadership position among consumers.

6. The story of how Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Leslie started a tech business after personally thanking his fans

Hosted by Nue Agency • Thursday 2/25 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
In this talk with music tech’s premiere agency CEO, Jesse Kirshbaum of NUE Agency, and Grammy-nominated artist Ryan Leslie, they’ll touch on the best practices and learnings driving $2M in gross revenue from a $2,500 inbound text message campaign, rewriting the blueprint for how social media can be leveraged in today’s marketplace.

7. Step inside the Millennial consumer mindset with Refinery29’s CEO

Hosted by Social Media Week • Friday 2/26 at 9:30AM • TimesCenter
Through the rise of social networks and smartphones, the Millennial ideology has transformed communication, making instantaneous, raw, and constant contact the norm. Join Philippe Von Borries, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of lifestyle media company Refinery29, as he discusses the advantages and challenges that this new landscape presents with concrete examples from Refinery29’s work and learnings over the past few years.

8. Watch never-before seen footage of HBO’s The Jinx with Director, Andrew Jarecki

Hosted by Social Media Week • Friday 2/26 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Andrew Jarecki (Director, HBO’s The Jinx) will discuss social media’s role in how fans experience the show before, during and after the now-infamous hot mic scene, as well as unveil never-before-seen footage from the show. Learn how much the chorus of Tweets, blog posts, and Facebook updates played a role in that collective gasp.

We hope to see you in New York for Social Media Week! Join over 2,000 leaders who register each year, and in 2016, #SMWNYC features two official venues: The TimesCenter (FWD Stage) and SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

Attend the 100+ events with 200+ speakers for an incredible week you won’t want to miss. Get your pass here!

9 Sessions at #SMWNYC on Fan Engagement and Audience Growth

Without customers, fans, viewers, and people that value your business and work, you wouldn’t exist. The gap between casual customer and brand loyalist is not as distant as many assume, and with emerging tools and technology, many brands are figuring out how to convert one-time buyers into repeat customers.

Register to attend Social Media Week NYC, and experience a variety of sessions that dive into the world of fan engagement, audience development, and customer retention.

You’ll learn what the leading brands use and do each day to move individuals through the customer life-cycle, and hear industry leaders from Hootsuite, VaynerMedia, Brandwatch, WOMMA, Code and Theory, and many others discussing the next wave of trends and innovations.

1. If you work with digital campaigns or high-profile individuals…

Pope-emojis and Millennials: How Pope Francis Engages the Largest Generation Alive Today
Hosted by Tracx • Tuesday 2/23 at 10:00AM • SVA Theatre
Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers, and brands and organizations are looking for ways to capitalize on this group. In this session, learn how Tracx, the leading social business cloud, collaborated with Aleteia, a global Catholic digital media company, to engage Millennials through an integrated campaign around Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., and how “Pope-emojis” re-connected younger individuals to their religions and beliefs.

2. If you want to use data to better identify and retain customers…

Extending Lifetime Value – The Future of Customer Engagement
Hosted by Simon Data • Tuesday 2/23 at 1:00PM • SVA Theatre
Lifetime value is the magic word these days; everyone needs to find a way to create more enduring, valuable relationships with their customers. This session with Simon Data will provide an expert overview of the latest crop of marketing technologies, and outline a step-by-step breakdown of how to use data to improve your marketing efforts.

3. If you want to boost brand advocacy and create loyalists out of customers…

Advocacy FTW: How to Turn Your Superfans Into Impactful Brand Advocates
Hosted by Hootsuite • Wednesday 2/24 at 10:00AM • SVA Theatre
How well do you know your social superfans? Are you looking in the right pockets of the web to find the conversations they’re having about you? Join Hootsuite to learn how you can build your social brand with the support of your existing fans to maximize the reach of your social messages.

4. If your business needs to reach Millennials and Gen-Z consumers online…

Online Identities And Impact On Gen Y+Z Consumers
Hosted by Code and Theory • Wednesday 2/24 at 1:00PM • SVA Theatre
To reach teens and young adults online, the challenge is no longer about just posting on Instagram. This session with Code and Theory will cover the ins-and-outs of how Gen-Z and Gen-Y manage identities and relationships across multiple social networks, hide in plain site, and what type of content and brands they are willing to engage with.

5. If you work in television or at an agency with entertainment clients…

Keynote: How Comedy Central Gets Fans Talking with CMO, Walter Levitt
Hosted by WOMMA • Wednesday 2/24 at 1:30PM • TimesCenter
Comedy Central’s CMO, Walter Levitt, will attempt to organize and rationalize all their social media and on-the-ground tactics into a fully thought–out strategy, and explain how they promote their roster of shows such as Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Drunk History.

6. If you want to improve your social listening and monitoring efforts…

Are You Listening? Learn How To Effectively Monitor Your Audience On Social
Hosted by Digimind • Wednesday 2/24 at 2:00PM • SVA Theatre
In a world where social media has taken over everything we do, it’s more important than ever to understand consumer behavior and use social intelligence to gain powerful insights for your business and marketing strategies. Join Digimind as they explain the important of social intelligence for agencies, non-profits, governments, and brands with influencers.

7. If you’re eager to learn how social media can drive new TV industry metrics…

Reach New Viewers! Develop Superfans! Impact Ratings! Launching a TV Show via Social Media!
Hosted by VaynerMedia • Wednesday 2/24 at 3:00PM • SVA Theatre
Social media offers more ways than ever to build awareness around TV programs, but did you know it can drive and impact the new markers of success in today’s ever-changing television industry? VaynerMedia will outline in this session how television shows and video networks can connect with existing and prospective fans across the many different virtual places where they’re spending time online.

8. If your brand has conversations with customers, or needs to create more interactions…

Consumer Pulse: Giving The People What They Want
Hosted by Brandwatch • Thursday 2/25 at 10:00AM • SVA Theatre
How we interact with potential consumers, haters, and brand loyalists has changed significantly over the past decades, and continues to rapidly evolve with how quickly we can exchange information. Brandwatch, one of the leading social intelligence platforms, will highlight best practices for capitalizing on emotions, purchase intent, influence, and consumer value.

9. If you need to learn best practices for developing a customer life-cycle…

Managing Brand(om)s and Fandoms: The True Story
Hosted by Everybody at Once • Thursday 2/25 at 12:00PM • SVA Theatre
These days, almost every single brand is expectedly active on social media. And almost every single one of those brands has a challenging time trying to find and interact with their audience. In this panel, audience development and social strategy consultancy, Everybody at Once, will lead an exploration around how a person or agency works to enable an audience in the best way possible, all while building a brand.

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: How To Make Your Event Seem As Awesome Online As It Does IRL

Social media can make or break your event with fans, attendees, and audience members sharing their thoughts and experiences online and amongst friends.

Splash, the experience marketing software that maximizes event impact – before, during, and after, joins Social Media Week New York to explore how event organizers and experiential professionals can turn their next event into social media gold.

Click here to register for SMW New York, and hear from Splash’s Co-Founder and “Party Scientist” Ben Hindman, who will cover everything from how to create “Instagrammable moments,” to how to design an irresistible invitation.

Ben is an events planner-turned-tech entrepreneur who prizes people skills above all else, and has conceptualized and developed several successful companies—all of which revolve around the collective power of shared experiences.

As CEO and Founder of Splash, Ben works alongside technologists, designers, marketers, and party planners to make sense of the events industry by anticipating trends, identifying unspoken user needs, and finding the next great laser light. In 2015 alone, his venture-backed software has powered 500,000+ events for brands ranging from Red Bull to the Pope.

This session, “How To Make Your Event Seem As Awesome Online As It Does IRL” takes place Friday, February 26 at 3:00PM at The SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

Image Credit: Mashable Studios

Putting Your Brand at the Center of Storytelling with Sam Olstein, GE’s Global Innovation Lead

Entertainment, experience, and authentic engagement can transform brands in the eyes of fans. Today’s Millennials are hungry for stories that are relevant to them, and they don’t want to be sold to. Instead, they want to be active participants with a direct connection to their favorite brands.

At General Electric, there’s an ongoing goal to foster global innovation on new digital channels, and introduce the GE brand and story to new audiences. Sam Olstein (Global Innovation Lead, General Electric) will participate at SMW New York to discuss insights on community management, the power of social influence, and how mobile technology facilitates “advertainment” in today’s digital ecosystem.

Attendees that register for SMW New York and attend this session will learn how to use content and stories to reach and engage a Millennial audience, the differences between a welcomed entertainer versus an unwelcomed sales person, and the keys to find and work with the right influencers for your brand.

This session, “Your Brand, Their Story: Exploring The Shift In Content Creation And Consumption” takes place Friday, February 26 at 9:00AM at The SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

Image Credit: USC Annenberg

5 Events at #SMWNYC on How to Engage Gen-Y and Gen-Z on Social Media

Over the past few years, Millennials and members of Gen-Z are creating more conversations than ever before. They are some of the most active individuals online, as well as consuming media and content at all times throughout the day. From quick Snapchat Stories from friends, to binge-watching Netflix and streaming digital-only shows, Millennials and Gen-Z are changing the industry, and everything we thought we knew about it.

At Social Media Week New York, several sessions from leading brands and organizations will host conversations on this topic. Which types of campaigns resonate the most with Millennials? How are they spending time online? Who is the next generation, and what do we call them? Join us this February 22-26 by registering your pass, and participate in these forward-thinking conversations with thousands of leaders across media, marketing, and technology in New York all under one roof.

1. Pope-Emojis and Millennials: A Case Study in How the Catholic Church Engages the Largest Generation Alive Today

(Presented by Tracx US) – Tuesday Feb. 23 • 10:00AM • SVA Theatre

As social media usage continues to grow exponentially, it is becoming an increasingly effective medium for brands and organizations to connect with audiences of all ages, but in particular younger generations. Learn how a collaboration with a global Catholic Digital Media Company and Tracx, the leading social business cloud, resulted in an incredibly successful #PopeIsHope #GoodIsWinning campaign.

2. Online Identities and Impact on Gen-Y and Gen-Z Consumers

(Presented by Code and Theory) – Wednesday Feb. 24 • 1:00PM • SVA Theatre

60% of Gen-Y (globally) say it’s important they’re connected at all times. This session will cover the ins-and-outs of how Gen Z and Gen Y manage identities and relationships across multiple social networks, hide in plain site, and what type of content and brands they are willing to engage with.

3. Keynote: The Millennial Ideology, with Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Refinery29

(Presented by Refinery29) – Friday Feb. 26 • 9:30AM • The TimesCenter

Through the rise of social networks and smartphones, the Millennial ideology has transformed communication, making instantaneous, raw, and constant contact the norm. The ability to connect with anyone, anywhere has created a global information network and universal ideology, and Philippe von Borries, Co-founder and Co-CEO of lifestyle media company Refinery29, will discuss the advantages and challenges that this new landscape presents using concrete examples of how Refinery29 is capitalizing on this shift.

4. The Millennial Guide to Being a Boss – Secrets from Forbes 30 Under 30 List Members

(Presented by Forbes Media) – Friday Feb. 26 • 11:30AM • The TimesCenter

This session, moderated by Tom Davis (Chief Marketing Officer at Forbes Media), will feature members of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. The focus of the discussion will be on leadership lessons from Millennials who are leading top companies or startups, and how they’re doing things different than generations before them.

5. Hello “Founders” – Meet the Generation After Millennials,

(Presented by MTV) – Friday Feb. 26 • 2:30PM • The TimesCenter

The MTV Insights team went to work with a group of 13-14-year-olds in-person and via virtual focus groups who identified more than 500 potential generation names that were ultimately tested in a nationwide, quantitative survey. The top choice – The Founders. Yes, seriously… The Founders. Hear from the experts at MTV as to what sets The Founders apart from Millennials, what principles brands will need to consider for future marketing and how Founders will change the social media game.

Click here to register your pass for SMW New York, and join thousands of leaders across media, marketing, and technology this February 22-26

The Millennial Guide To Being A Boss: Forbes’ CMO & 30-Under-30 Leaders Joins #SMWNYC

It seems like we’re hearing more and more about Millennial employees taking over the workforce. These young, passionate, trailblazing leaders are founders, technologists, designers, strategists, creators, and everything in between.

At SMW New York, we’ll hear from one of Forbes’ 30-Under-30 honorees, Neil Parikh (Co¬founder and COO, Casper), along with Michael Monroe (VP of Marketing, Forbes Media), to discuss what it’s like to lead a company, and some of the learnings they’ve had along the way.

The Millennial Guide To Being A Boss – Secrets From Forbes 30 Under 30 List Members” will take place on Friday, February 26th at 11:30am at the TimesCenter (FWD Stage).

Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media to Discuss Building a Media Company in the Age of Podcasting at SMW New York

Alex Blumberg is known for his work on This American Life and Planet Money, and recently launched Gimlet Media as a result of his latest podcast, StartUp. To say the least, Alex Blumberg knows quite a bit about the business of podcasting, storytelling, and audio’s role in the larger media landscape.

This year at SMW New York, Alex Blumberg will discuss Gimlet Media and his journey of building a media company with foundations in audio storytelling and journalism. “Listen Up: Building a Media Company in the Age of Audio with Alex Blumberg, CEO of Gimlet Media” will take place on Tuesday, February 23 at 11:30am on the FWD Stage of The TimesCenter.

★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★

About Alex Blumberg

Prior to This American Life, he worked as a freelance radio reporter, contributing to This American Life, the Savvy Traveller and Chicago Public Radio. In 2008 he collaborated with National Public Radio economics correspondent Adam Davidson to co-host the Planet Money podcast.

In August 2014, Blumberg started Gimlet Media, a podcasting company, along with Matthew Lieber. Blumberg documented the startup process of launching Gimlet Media in the first season of a podcast called StartUp. The second season followed “Dating Ring”, another startup company, and recently StartUp returned for a mini-series featuring Blumberg and other employees.

Along with StartUp, Gimlet Media has three additional shows: Mystery Show, Surprisingly Awesome, and Reply All. The company raised $1.5 million in seed funding from various investors and firms, as well as listeners of its shows to help raise the last $200,000 through crowdfunding platform Alphaworks.

Blumberg also won the George Polk Award in Radio Reporting for his reporting with Adam Davidson for a May 2008 show titled “The Giant Pool of Money”. The piece explained the highly complex chain of events that led to the subprime mortgage crisis by showcasing interviews with participants at each sector of the crisis. The episode was linked widely in the blogosphere and remains one of the show’s most-downloaded podcasts. (via Wikipedia)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: The Guardian

Keynote at SMW New York: “Pivoting an Icon, an Interview with New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson”

This year at SMW New York, Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times, will participate in the opening keynote, “Pivoting an Icon”, on Tuesday, February 23rd at 10:30am at The TimesCenter. He’ll discuss how the NYT pivoted and prepared itself to succeed in the digital age, and how others can learn from their shift.

The interview with Mark will be conducted by Toby Daniels, Social Media Week’s founder and Executive Director.

About Mark Thompson

“Mark Thompson became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company in November of 2012. He is responsible for leading the Company’s strategy, operations and business units, and working closely with the chairman to direct the vision of the company.

Before joining the Times Company, Mark Thompson served as Director-General of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring that it remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself, driving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of new technologies and bold organizational redesign.

He became controller (programming and scheduling chief) for the TV network BBC2, and Director of Television for the BBC before leaving the network in 2002 to become CEO of Channel 4 Television Corporation in the UK. In the fall of 2012, he was a visiting professor at the University of Oxford, and is currently developing the lectures he gave at Oxford into a book which will be published in 2015.” (via NYT)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from these speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: The Daily Beast

5 Lessons From Storytelling And The Human Interaction

Iris Worldwide’s Creative Director, Lisa Bright, discussed the idea of storytelling and using social media to amplify those stories. Along with comedian Robin Gelfenbien, and The Moth Story Slam teacher David Crabb, they shared with the audience a roller coaster of a story that had us all connected more than when we entered the room.

To bring this session to the business level, we can apply stories to brands:

  • Create empathy
  • One should identify with the brand and what it stands for, and don’t fear vulnerability.
  • Establish trust and loyalty
  • Be interested in your journey, rather than trying to be interesting to others. Your passion will shine through
  • To appeal to humans, you need to be human yourself. Share your story, don’t tell it

I’m Kristine Garcia, and I’m currently a student at Queens College. Social Media is a 24/7 priority for me, so if you’d like see me in action, follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @graciaskristine

What Kind Of Startup Are You?

Ever thought of starting your own business? See which kind of startup is a good fit for you.

Join on Tuesday February 24, for 2015 Startups to Watch, presented by Entrepreneur and Mondelez, featuring demos and discussions with the founders of the 10 disruptive companies. Our 2015 Startups To Watch include:

  1. Abacus – Omar Qari
  2. Affectiva – Rana el Kaliouby
  3. Alfred – Jessica Beck
  4. Beautified – Peter Hananel
  5. Cognotion – Joana Schneier
  6. Dots – Paul Murphy
  7. One Month – Mattan Griffel
  8. Shyp – James Queen
  9. Spring – April Uchitel
  10. The Grid – Dan Tocchini

Help Your Startup Scale With These Sessions During #SMWNYC

While startup business owners and entrepreneurs understand that they need to market their products or services, finding the time and know-how to develop an effective plan can be a challenge. Luckily, this year’s Social Media Week includes several events providing practical hands-on advice taking your startup from idea to execution:

1. Building Products and Companies with The Betaworks Hackers in Residence

During this session, you’ll hear about betaworks process for building products and teams, plus some of the 2015 Hackers team will tell you about what the next generation of betaworks products might look like.

2. Growth-Hacking Quick Wins: Strategies To Increase Customer Base

This session is targeted to marketers, business developers, startups, and anyone looking to get more users and grow their products. You will not only learn about growth hacking and the methods that come with it, you’ll walk away with tactical, practical skills and strategies to significantly increase your customer base.

3. The Myth of Venture Capital, A Chat with Jon Oringer, Founder and CEO, Shutterstock

Jon Oringer will discuss the tools out there to start your own business from only a few thousand dollars and how to develop a solid foundation that will give your business the best chance of succeeding.

SMW NYC begins on February 23. Join executives from Buzzfeed, Code & Theory, Ford, General Electric, The New York Times, MTV, SalesForce, Tumblr, WIRED and more! For further information, visit Social Media Week.

We can’t wait to see you there!

The Future Of Transportation: Own Less, Buy More, And Increase Efficiency

Today through the coming decade, the $5T transportation stack will be remade.

You will drive less and own less, but buy more and ship more. Software and connectivity are the oil of tomorrow’s transportation network and we are already seeing massive change: Uber, Waze and TrueCar were the first $1B software transportation companies; it is estimated there will be 10 more in the coming decade.

On Wednesday February 25, join Reilly Brennan, Stanford University transportation guru, Exec Director Stanford Revs Automotive Research Program, Professor Stanford D School, Colin Nagy, Executive Director at Barbarian Group, and Jamyn Edis, Founder and CEO of Dash, as we examine how we get along in a dense world and what’s to come in order to make our movements more efficient.


For more on this event and to get your pass for Social Media Week New york, please check out the schedule of events here.

Shelley Zalis Creates A Networking Community For Professional Women With The Ipsos Lounge

When I saw Shelley Zalis speak at Advertising Week and found out she was the person responsible for The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge, I knew I needed to interview her. She has been able to take this idea to have a place for women to congregate and network at male-dominated conferences and events and built a community of encouraging women from it. It was an inspiring story that I wanted to share with Social Media Week. Here is what she had to say:

I first came across the Ipsos Girls’ Lounge at Advertising Week, but this idea has been around almost two years. Tell me why you think this idea has become so successful.

SZ: I had no idea that The Girls’ Lounge would become so important to me and to so many other women in our industry. It all started so spontaneously as a last minute sleepover with a few girlfriends that I knew were attending the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013. By the end of the week our little party of 5 had become a party of 155.

Today, more than 3,000 women have connected in The Ipsos Girls’ Lounge and it has become the go-to destination at some of the largest industry conferences in the advertising, marketing, media, research and technology spaces. There is power in conversation and we are seeing first-hand how really good ideas come about when women get together. Women come into the Lounge as ‘women in business’ and leave as supportive and generous ‘girls’ girls.’

Do you feel that the power of social media has helped you spread your message?

SZ: Absolutely! We just wrapped a national tour with our #ConfidenceIsBeautiful Bus and the response has been amazing! We were a featured activation at Oprah’s “The Life You Want Weekend” and at New York’s Advertising Week – where we brought an awesome 40 foot bus to women at these conferences and set up a social selfie station where they could express their unique ‘confidence signature.’ The #ConfidenceIsBeautiful message became a movement overnight and was shared on digital billboards across the country, including New York’s Times Square!

There are so many conferences in a year, how do you decide where the Girls’ Lounge will be most useful? 

SZ: We saw the power of connecting women in technology at CES, so we decided to connect women in marketing, media, research and advertising. Once I heard that the CTO needs to be best friends with the CMO, we decided to connect female executives in related industries. We now have CEOs, CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, COOs… and guess what? They’re all women! We created Girls’ Lounges in all the major conferences that these women attended so that over time they would develop relationships of trust and authenticity. Today, we are energizing self, soul and sisterhood. It’s becoming a corporate sorority!

What is on your wish list for things you’d like changed in corporate culture?

SZ: I believe it’s our responsibility as women in leadership to opt in to create the changes we want to see. We need to break the rules that never made sense for us as we were rising the ranks and create new rules that will allow people to have a better life at work. We need to change the corporate game from rules of rigidity to rules of generosity. We shouldn’t have to work to live, or live to work, work should be a dimension of life.

What’s the best story you can remember coming out of the Girls Lounge thus far? What show was this at?

SZ: There are so many that we capture in something that we call “the rose file.” We all inspire each other and it’s just a remarkable feeling when you actually leave The Girls’ Lounge and go into a conference and see women just wanting to be together with their pink streaks of hair and pink(y) swear rings. My most recent favorite was the pajama party we threw on our #ConfidenceIsBeautiful Bus at the ANA Masters of Marketing. Women marched through the hotel lobby in matching Girls’ Lounge pajamas to go hang out together on the bus. We did what girls do: laughed, cried, talked…and of course, ate lots of chocolate. It was unbridled fun, incomparable bonding and power deals were done.

What’s next on the horizon for you? Any new projects?

SZ: One of my favorite expressions is, ‘If we could have done it alone, we would have by now!’ Building this network of women who champion, support and mentor each other is critical. The more we advocate for each other and do good together, the better business and life will be for everyone. So, while the next ‘official’ stop for us is CES in January – conversations for other pop-up experiences and surprises are actively underway!

 You can read more about Ipsos Girls’ Lounge and Shelley here.



Stephanie Carino has spent over the past 10 years working in the city in the Fashion, Food and Event industries. She also currently writes event coverage and reviews for, Socially Superlative, a NYC-based event website, covering predominantly food, travel and entertainment stories. Connect with Stephanie on Twitter.

Uber Begins Testing Out Its Carpooling Service In New York This Week

After launching its carpooling service in both Paris and San Francisco earlier this year, Uber is adding New York to that list. As reported on The Verge, the company said it plans to offer UberPool in New York, a city with a lot of people and a lot of cars, but often not people with cars of their own. UberPool, which launches there on Thursday, offers a way to share a ride with someone else who ordered an UberX ride along the same route. That promises to trim costs anywhere from 20 to 50 percent, Uber says, as well as cut downtime for drivers who are waiting to pick people up.

“On any given day, the vast majority of UberX trips in NYC have a ‘lookalike’ trip — a trip that starts near, ends near, and is happening around the same time as another trip,” Uber said in a blog post. “Most of these trips transport 1-2 people, leaving 2-3 empty seats. With UberPool we can match those lookalike trips together.”

Uber began experimenting with the UberPool idea in San Francisco Bay Area in August, promising up to a 40 percent reduction in fares. It expanded that idea to Paris last month, with a discount in the event that a matching co-rider could not be found.


Uber is not alone in matching up strangers who are open to carpooling, though the feature has attracted the attention of regulators that question its legality. Competitor Lyft (which Uber is in a fierce battle with), as well as Sidecar, launched nearly identical services respectively called Lyft Line and Sidecar Shared Rides in early August, with the same promise of cutting rider costs in half. That immediately brought the ire of the California Public Utilities Commission, which called those services illegal and threatened to shut them down.

The UberPool service launches in all five boroughs on Thursday, but is limited to iOS users. Uber says Android users will get the option on Monday, December 8th.

Check Out Facebook’s New NYC Offices

Facebook is officially unveiling its new New York City office on Astor Place.

The company started moving teams into the new space back in February when it was still undergoing construction.

“Taking a moment to look back, when we first moved into this building in February it was an open construction site, and it’s been really rewarding to have all our employees together as we watch it take shape around us,” site director Serkan Piantino writes. “We’ve seen a dozen pieces of artwork created, filled a library with our favorite books, opened a coffee bar for business, enjoyed the views looking down Broadway and daily sunsets over Greenwich Village, and, most recently, cut the ribbon on Desimone’s café with really quite incredible cuisine from our executive chef Nate Eckhaus.”

Facebook is marking its official opening with a party tonight for NYC engineers and other techies.

“We’re heavily invested in the growth of the New York tech community and eager to see what else is to come,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Take a tour of Facebook’s new offices over on Business Insider.

New York Says Majority Of Airbnb Listings Are Illegal, Will Crack Down On Worst Offenders

As reported on Re/code, the New York attorney general issued an analysis of the four-and-a-half years of Airbnb user activity data it finally dragged out of the online accommodation marketplace this spring after a long fight.

Up to 72 percent of Airbnb listings in New York over that time were illegal, was Eric Schneiderman’s office’s takeaway.

The real question is how sanctions will be enforced. Schneiderman said he would be working with the city to investigate and shut down illegal hotels, which are the worst offenders. The units that are most specifically called out within the report are a dozen buildings in prime tourist neighborhoods that were at least 60 percent rented on Airbnb for half the year or more, “suggesting that the buildings were operating as de facto hotels.”

The details are somewhat more complicated than the headlines. Airbnb says it proactively removed 2,000 bad actor listings this year, which may well have included many of those hotel-type hosts. So they were included in the data even though they’re no longer on the platform. But okay, Airbnb should have probably kicked those members out much sooner.

Meanwhile, the AG is only including “private” listings, meaning it doesn’t include rentals where guests stay in a home with their hosts there as well. This might be a small minority of arrangements, but it’s still an overstatement to say 72 percent of all listings were illegal.

Of that subset of listings that the AG is considering, here’s what the data showed: 25,532 listings appear to violate New York State’s Multiple Dwelling Law or zoning laws, and they brought in $304 million in revenue altogether, $40 million of it for Airbnb. Six percent of hosts generated 37 percent of the revenue, with one user making $6.8 million from 272 unique listings over the four years. And Airbnb shows signs of cutting into the housing supply, with nearly 2,000 units booked more than half the year.

The AG suggests Airbnb should have paid $33.5 million in taxes over the past four years based on standard hotel occupancy rates. Airbnb says it’s offering to pay New York taxes, as it’s now doing in Portland and San Francisco, but claims that it’s being impeded by opposition from the hotel industry.

But this looks to be part of a broader negotiation. Even while calling Airbnb out, Schneiderman’s statement paid lip service to how “online marketplaces revolutionize the way we live,” and he said his target was cracking down on illegal hotels, not all of Airbnb. This still seems to be a push to go after the worst actors, not small-time hosts.

Airbnb is hoping for a compromise. “We need to work together on some sensible rules that stop bad actors and protect regular people who simply want to share the homes in which they live. We look forward to working with everyone in New York in the weeks ahead,” said Papas.


For full coverage of the story, read the full article on Re/code here.

Amazon Confirms It Will Deliver Fresh Groceries In New York City

Amazon’s grocery delivery business is launching in New York City on Friday, the company said, bringing the service to the East Coast for the first time, as the retail giant aggressively pursues a cut of the $600 billion grocery industry.

As reported on Re/code, the service, known as Amazon Fresh, will only be available in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope to start, before expanding to other neighborhoods in the borough, according to the company. Park Slope is a popular area for young professional families and is likely to have a healthy number of Amazon customers. A spokeswoman declined to say when the service might be available in other parts of New York City, including Manhattan.

The announcement comes almost a month after Re/code first reported Amazon would be bringing the service to New York as early as October. Amazon Fresh customers in the city who place orders before 10 am will receive deliveries later that same day; orders placed after that time will be delivered the following day. The service is known mainly for groceries, but also offers thousands of other items such as electronics and toys that are available for same-day delivery as well.

At launch, the service will only be available to New Yorkers who are members of Amazon’s Prime program, which costs $99 a year and includes free two-day delivery on a huge assortment of Amazon products as well as access to a growing catalogue of streaming TV shows and movies. These customers won’t pay any extra delivery fees for Amazon Fresh orders through the end of 2014, but will have to upgrade to a $299 membership program called Prime Fresh if they want to continue using the service in 2015.

Up until now, Amazon Fresh was only available in Seattle and several major metro areas in California. But the New York City launch is the latest sign that Amazon is dead serious about becoming a legitimate player in the grocery industry. The grocery business is one of the few consumer markets Amazon hasn’t yet cracked, but it could serve as a pathway to future growth as sales of other consumer categories plateau.

It will not be easy. In New York City, Amazon will compete against local online grocer Fresh Direct — which sources say generates as much as $500 million in annual sales — and well-funded startups like Instacart, which recently inked a partnership with Whole Foods. Google also operates a same-day delivery business in New York City, though it doesn’t sell perishable foods like milk, meats, fish and produce like Amazon Fresh does. Some traditional grocers offer delivery as well.

Fifteen years ago, a wave of Internet 1.0 companies like Kozmo and Webvan offered popular same-day delivery services, before crashing and burning during the dot-com bust. But the popularity of mobile apps today and the rise of Uber-like workforces have reignited interest in the area. Amazon takes a relatively old-school approach, buying up groceries in bulk and storing them in warehouses around the country. It also partners with some local restaurants and food purveyors to offer regional specialities. Amazon also recently began working with the U.S. Postal Service to help deliver its groceries.

While the grocery business often operates with low profit margins, Amazon sees it as a way to help increase the frequency of purchases among its best customers. That could, in turn, help the company expand its same-day delivery efforts for higher-margin goods and boost profit margins.

Sources previously told Re/code the company is storing Amazon Fresh food in a new warehouse in Avenel, New Jersey, which sits a little more than 20 miles southwest of Park Slope.