Saturday, September 26, 2009

Evolution of social marketing & tagging - what's next?

It was announced this week, that Google released an improved version of Picasa photo software (v. 3.5) that integrates with Google Maps.

PC Magazine explained, "Now you can add location info to photos - one photo at a time or several photos at once," Google wrote. "Simply select pictures, click the Places panel, search or surf to a place, and drop a pin in the right place on the map. Once you've added geo tags, you can select a group of photos and see where they were all taken."

Associating images with geographical locations on Google Maps isn't something new, Picasa's feature to tag images with geo data upon uploading them shows where tagging is going - mobile.

Personal Travel Tip: Site note about Google Maps and images, when I moved to Austin last month, I used the 'More...' menu on Google Maps (pictured at right) often to see photographs of restaurants in my area. This feature was extremely helpful and expedited getting acquainted with my neighborhood.

Tags are getting more sophisticated. The Dell
Lounge utilizes a tag cloud as an alternative way to navigate the site. The more Web 2.0 users gain comfort with tagging, there will be an increased likelihood sites will do away with traditional site navigation (menu bars) and only have a tag cloud.

Tagging on photo sharing sites or applications is something web users have strong familiarity with. On Facebook tags are utilized to identify 'friends' or for humor.

With the surge in corporate fan and group pages, there has been an increase in tagging friends in corporate promotions or coupons as a way to share consumer information with friends.

Example posted below: My friend, Amanda, was tagged in a Coldstone Creamery image by a friend. The friend included a promotional caption, 'Cold Stone Creamery now has delicious cupcakes for a limited time only! Get a 6-pack for only $9.99...Oh what a bargain!' and tagged all her friends she wanted to share this information with.

Where will social marketing and tagging of corporate / promotional content go?

Will there be promotions to tag an image to enter a contest?

Or will technologies eventually track early adopters (the first 100 people to tag a popular promotion) and strong influencers (people that tagged all of their friends) to learn about how how friends influence buying decisions in the social marketing space?

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