Marketing Under the Influence: Social Media Superstars as a Marketing Channel

Influencer marketing is on a growth tear. Not only is it the fastest growing online customer acquisition method, but it’s also the most cost effective on average, earning marketers $6.50 worth of promotional activity for every dollar they spend. However, the relative immaturity of the influencer-marketing ecosystem has caused headaches for influencers and marketers alike, leading us to explore this new and at times fraught relationship between social media superstars and advertisers. For the uninitiated, influencer marketing is the use of social media personalities (think Pewdiepie or Michelle Phan) to use, endorse, or otherwise plug products and services. It’s the social Internet’s answer to celebrity endorsements, but with a millennial-focused emphasis on authenticity and subject-matter expertise. The problem is that..

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35 Million Fans and Counting: Shoe Lovers’ CEO Bets Big on Social Commerce

It’s no secret that social networking platforms are penetrating the $1.6 trillion e-commerce space.  Chatter about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even Google and YouTube launching ‘buy buttons’ has persisted for over a year.  Tandem has been evaluating this evolution, mulling over what the turn to commerce means for social media stakeholders.  As part of our inquiry, we sat down with one of our portfolio company founders, Felipe Servin of Shoe Lovers, in order to hear his take on the social commerce opportunity straight from the frontlines.  Shoe Lovers currently lays claim to the most engaged page on Facebook in the world with over 35 million very active fans. Please take a moment to introduce Shoe Lovers to our readers who..
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Why Uber Is Doing (Mostly) Right by its Workers

The war of words (not to mention lawsuits) surrounding the debate over worker classification in the on-demand economy has reached a fever pitch over the past six months, with a California judge recently granting a class action suit against Uber.  Until now the debate has overwhelming supported the implication that employee/W-2 status is unquestionably better than contractor/1099 status for any number of reasons, the main one being the benefits received by W-2 employees but not by 1099 workers. It is widely understood that 1099 status is employer-friendly, saving on a number of employee- and back office-related costs, such as the above-mentioned benefits and the oversight needed to manage them.  Less well understood is that 1099 contract work actually serves the needs..

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