SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Jim Kaskade, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Greg Ness, Sean Houghton

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Friend2Friend Launches SocialFusion Hashtag Gallery

Brands Can Now Showcase Multiple Channels of Social Content and Stimulate Greater Social Engagement

PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/11/14 -- Friend2Friend -- a social media marketing technology company whose social engagement solutions are used by more than 150 leading global brands and agencies -- today launched the SocialFusion Hashtag Gallery suite of products.

This new suite of products allows marketers to showcase the best brand and fan-created social content from social networks within a dynamic, customizable gallery. Brands can configure the galleries to stimulate engagement and invite fan-generated content through customized sweepstakes, contests, voting campaigns and other calls to action. The solution also includes an e-commerce component, through which fans can discover and purchase products surfaced through hashtags by fellow fans.

The Hashtag Challenge Facing Brands

Increasingly, brands are embracing the hashtag as a means to coordinate conversations, execute campaigns, and call out for fan content. For example, thirty-eight of this year's Super Bowl TV commercials featured a hashtag, nearly twice as many as last year's game (20), and up from only four during the 2012 game.

However, there are signficant challenges brands face when using hashtags for high-ticket marketing campaigns: first, the content created is extremely ephemeral; and second, there hasn't been an easy way for brands to surface the best hashtagged content created by fans. Brands and agencies have been required to monitor multiple hashtag-compatible social platforms and then sift through that content to pick the best quality for showcasing. Also lacking has been a central place to launch hashtag-powered campaigns across these networks.

The Brand Solution for Harnessing Hashtags

Friend2Friend's SocialFusion Hashtag Gallery offers brands and agencies an extremely simple, yet powerful, "self-serve" system to address these challenges. Available to subscribers of the Friend2Friend Social Engagement Platform the cloud-based platform allows brands and agencies to:

  • Design and configure galleries that draw content from multiple @channel and #hashtag sources on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and/or YouTube.

  • Choose from a selection of responsive layouts and themes, and then customize the design.

  • Configure the galleries for sweepstakes, contests, and voting campaigns. Marketers can then deploy these campaigns instantly on Facebook, brand microsites and/or websites.

"So far, brands have failed to fully leverage the treasure trove of fan-generated social content to inspire new and more meaningful connections," said Roger Katz, CEO, Friend2Friend. "We're delighted to see our brand and agency partners enjoy this new solution and better utilize social content across platforms in ways that were never possible before."

"Particularly with the outdoors and lifestyle brands we work with, social audiences can be very enthusiastic about engaging their community of fellow fans and the brands they love," said Greg Williams, Partner and Media Director at Backbone Media. "We encourage brands to embrace this engagement by inviting audiences to submit content for other fans to see. Friend2Friend's new Platform tools make this engagement possible."

SmartWool's use of SocialFusion Hashtag Gallery

SmartWool, the outdoor clothing company famous for its SmartWool socks, worked with Friend2Friend on an early deployment of SocialFusion. SmartWool's use of SocialFusion (branded as "SmartWool Fanalog") is deployed on the SmartWool Facebook page and allows the brand to:

  • Categorize fan-created content into browsable galleries by activity (ski, run, bike, etc.) and by product (performance apparel, lifestyle apparel, etc.)

  • Highlight products tried out by the brand's SmartWool "Fan Field Testers"
    Share tagged content instantly to other social networks

  • Tag fan-created content with "Shop It" buttons so that fans can immediately buy the products they see

"We're very fortunate to have passionate fans who routinely tag their favorite SmartWool products in photos, tweets, and posts, and love to share their adventures," said Steve Metcalf, Global Director, Strategic Communications, SmartWool. "What Friend2Friend has created is more than sentiment monitoring. They've given us the ability to aggregate, review and then celebrate that fan interaction -- all in one place -- and then tie it directly to our online store. It's an incredibly powerful tool for our business and for our fans."

For More Information

For a complete overview of Friend2Friend's SocialFusion Hashtag Gallery system, go to the Friend2Friend website. Screenshots are available at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4iu5acbr0hwmyk5/IsOpRWuZOt

About Friend2Friend

The Friend2Friend Social Engagement Platform is a brand and agency platform for deploying and managing year-round and short-term promotional marketing campaigns and social audience engagement. The Platform includes tools for social engagement app creation, amplification, moderation and analytics. Friend2Friend has engaged 15 of the top 50 (Interbrand) global brands, and its US client base includes Universal Pictures, Nickelodeon, Budweiser, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, Pepsi, Hyundai and Siemens among others. In addition, the company has a vibrant European customer base that includes Calvin Klein, IKEA, Estrella Galicia, Lays, Volkswagen, FC Barcelona/Nike, Real Madrid, Jack Daniels, Bacardi and Sanitas, all serviced out of its Barcelona office. In 2013, the Friend2Friend became LinkedIn's (LNKD) leading global Certified Developer Partner for brand engagement -- delivering more engagement solutions for LinkedIn brand partners than any other company worldwide.

Friend2Friend has offices in Palo Alto, New York, and Barcelona. Learn more at http://www.friend2friend.com.

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