September 19th, 2013
Building a relationship: Chirpify tweaks one-off transactions in social streams into something longer term
I’m always impressed with Chirpify‘s ability to test, assess, and reconfigure their product to pursue opportunities. It started early in the life of the company—then known as Sell Simply—and has continued as they’ve grown more and more intelligent about retail transactions on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Today, marked another interesting chapter in Chirpify’s history as they moved away from one-off transactions to a vision for better engaging with customers over the long-term. How are they doing it? With something they’re calling “#actiontags.”
Chirpify allows marketers to define their own #actiontags for social and multi-channel campaigns. These allow customers to participate or transact, simply by posting or replying using the #actiontag and #campaign tags.
These #actiontags allow customers to participate or transact, simply by posting or replying using the #actiontag and #campaign tags. Chirpify collects posts that use the #actiontags, and automatically gathers data or processes transactions.
Examples include #subscribe, #buy, and #enter. And it doesn’t take much of an intuitive leap to see how stringing these things together could help a marketer develop a more meaningful relationship with a potential customer around particular products and brands.
“Chirpify’s expansion into cross-channel marketing conversion has opened up a lot of exciting possibilities,” said Chris Teso, founder and CEO of Chirpify. “We’re working with these brands and advertisers to use #actiontags to bridge the gap between social channels and ‘real world’ experiences—which is where the industry is headed. Given Portland’s strong talent base at the intersection of design and development, there’s a lot of great experience for us to tap into here locally.”
Interesting, right? Well wait. It gets more interesting. Let’s not forget that Chirpify is part of the Voyager Capital portfolio. And portfolio that includes Portland-area companies like Act-On and Lytics, who are also helping marketers wrestle with data to create more compelling connections to customers. And that’s quite a triumvirate of local teams tackling the problem. Especially in a town that knows a thing or two about marketing.
But enough of my pontification. Here’s what other folks are saying about the announcement.
TechCrunch: Chirpify Drops Its “Hashtag Commerce” Consumer Marketplace To Focus On Big Brand Marketing And “Actiontags”
Chirpify’s newest addition to its marketing arsenal, which launches officially today, is called “#actiontags,” which Teso describes as the “logical evolution of hashtags.” Essentially, as one might expect, actiontags give brands the ability to activate hashtags and turn social media channels into an actual point of conversion, cross-channel-style.
Like the Chirpify of old, these actiontags allow people to make purchases, enter contests, donate, subscribe and so on by posting a hashtag — no, ACTIONtag — on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Thanks to the wizardry of mobile devices and a little thing called the Intertubes, people can do this from anywhere, while watching TV, in a hot tub, on a boat, from the front of a parade or the back of a concert.
Chirpify would be wise to tread carefully when it comes to its action hashtags, as competitors, or even the social platforms themselves, could easily co-opt them, as Twitter did with the StockTwits’ so-called cashtags. However, Teso maintains that Chirpify’s technology, existing traction with in-stream payments and direct relationships with brands are a package deal that will be difficult for #copycats to replicate.
He also noted that Chirpify is adding “tremendous value” to social networking sites by keeping users inside them instead of sending them out to an external ecommerce solution.
The Oregonian: Chirpify aims high with new marketing tool, ‘#actiontags’
Just as advertisers began including website addresses on print ads and TV commercials, Teso said they’re now posting Twitter handles and hashtags. He said that creates an opportunity for viewers to respond immediately, to participate, to learn more, or to make a purchase.
“Up until now, other than SMS (text messaging), there’s been no way to interact instantly with a TV commercial,” he said.
So Teso said he sees an opportunity for Chirpify to be more than a niche business by becoming a key player in a new generation of marketing campaign.
Portland Business Journal: Chirpify brings action to #hashtags
A Portland startup that turned Twitter and other social networks into e-commerce channels is now turning hashtags into something more than a search tool.
Chirpify Inc. on Thursday unveiled what it’s calling “#Actiontags” — a marketing tool being used by consumer brands, media companies and charities that enacts transactions through hashtags.
Chirpify will work with advertisers to create campaigns that include unique hashtags for a promotion. For example, say Nike was advertising new shoes and used the hashtag #NewShoesNike. Once a user includes “#buy,” and “#NewShoesNike,” in a post, Chirpify would then help process that order.
[Editor: Kudos for the Action Jackson movie poster] I’m going to be watching for two things. Obviously how people respond is the key thing to observe. But given the public nature of hashtags, it will be interesting to see if Chirpify can pull off creating such a specific use for hashtags as a key aspect of their service.
For more information, visit Chirpify.
[Full disclosure: I've typed "relationshop" about twelve times while working on this post. Stupid slip or inspired genius? Oh. Yeah. I guess you're right.]