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There's a lot going on this week, including news on dealing with negative social postings. Plus, we'll tell you how LinkedIn is opening its publishing platform, how Kochava is updating its mobile ad measurement platform, how Widen speeds up Smartimage and how Purple WiFi is adding location services for in-store customers.

Got Negative Social Posts?

How should brands deal with negative posts? According to a survey recently conducted by Social Media Marketing University (SMMU), over half of responding companies do not have a strategy in place to help them answer that question.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents receive customer complaints through social media with some frequency, and more than a quarter believe their reputations have been tarnished by such comments. Fifteen percent have lost customers and 11 percent have lost revenue.

Social media requires an investment of effort, SMMU founder and chief strategist John Souza pointed out in a statement. On the other hand, he noted, a “lack of effort rarely produces desired results and can lead to alienation of customers, fans and followers” – and can even result in a “backlash of negativity.”

To help brands get in shape to handle social media negativity, SMMU will be providing its next online live training on Feb. 25, “Turning Rage into Raves.” Details of the survey results will be one of the items on the agenda.


LinkedIn, Publisher for 277 Million Members

This week, LinkedIn took another step beyond its resume-and-connections past as it announced its publishing platform will be open to any of its 277 million members.

Previously, only big name “influencers” like Bill Clinton or Bill Gates could publish substantial blog postings. Members could share external links and, through SlideShare, host presentations. Now, the site is rolling out the ability for any member to publish a post to their public profile that is shared with their network.

The company indicated that it might select the best posts – like founder/CEO Brent Beshore’s “How to Sell Anything” – for promotion site-wide.

Kochava's Mobile Ad Measurement Platform 2.0

Kochava is out with version 2.0 of its cloud-based, mobile ad measurement platform for tracking and analyzing clicks, installs and post-install events on mobile devices.

Targeted at advertisers and publishers, the updated version integrates with more than 300 mobile ad networks and such publishers as Facebook, Yahoo and Pandora. There’s a single view of all performance metrics for all media buys, including data and visualization on users, sessions, countries, devices and platform versions.

The Idaho-based company said that new customers can be up and running with Kochava in under a day, because it is “the only system that supports server-to-server integration” as a primary route. If your server can’t handle sending a real-time feed from installs, Kochava said, a software development kit can be provided.

Widen Updates Smartimage for Speed

Widen has enhanced its Smartimage image management system in ways intended to speed up the organization of digital media files. The new features in version 3.5 include the ability to upload files with embedded keywords and descriptions that can be auto-mapped into metadata fields as tags, and there’s now a new tags widget for searching and finding files.

During uploading, tags and descriptions can also now be batch-applied to multiple files, and custom sections can be created for file organization.

Other enhancements include large image previews, the ability to download an entire collection at once, and a new REST Application Programming Interface for integration with other applications and websites.

Purple WiFi Adds Location Services 

Why should virtual retailers have all the analytics fun? UK-based Purple WiFi, which helps brick-and-mortars find out what their in-store customers are doing, has now added Presence Analytics and Location Based Services to its cloud-based Guest WiFi offering.

The company compares its Presence Analytics to how cookies track users browsing online, except that here the users are physically in the store. Customer Tracking employs WiFi devices’ unique MAC addresses, and proximity is obtained via a received signal strength indicator – in either case whether or not the user has authenticated on the store’s network. Reports show such metrics as repeat versus new visitors, how long each visitor stays, when they were last here, and average number of visits.

Geo-fencing tech, which marks off an area with invisible lines, is used by the Location Based Service to define areas for identifying behavioral patterns in a store. The company said it can help determine which purchases are being considered by customers, allowing marketing engagement strategies – such as emailing special coupons – to be offered right there on the spot.

Privacy? Customers can opt-in or -out, and Purple WiFi says it supports individual rights to privacy and information collection. Opted-out customers can still be tracked to some degree, while opt-ins can be linked to such personal data as preferences, age and gender for greater personalization.