Archive | December, 2010

What’s Hot in Social Media This Week

We’re keeping our eye on seven interesting developments this Thursday.

Facebook Surpasses Google As Most-Visited Website in 2010

Facebook() was not only the most searched item of the year, but it passed Google() as America’s most-visited website in 2010, according to a new report from Experian Hitwise.

44% of Online Sharing Occurs Through Facebook

44% of online sharing occurs through Facebook, according to recently released data from AddThis(). That number does not include shares performed through Facebook’s “Like” button, which means the actual, universal percentage of shares through Facebook is likely higher.

New Jersey Mayor Uses Twitter to Help Residents Through Blizzard

Newark Mayor Cory Booker turned to Twitter during the blizzard that hit the Tri-State area earlier this week, letting citizens know about the city’s cleanup efforts and personally digging out the cars of those in need.

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Are Your Tweets Boring or Beneficial?

A trio of researchers from MIT, the University of Southampton and Georgia Tech have put together an online study/app called “Who Gives a Tweet?” that aims to give people feedback on their tweets, and gather info on what tweets people are likely to enjoy.

“Mainstream media continually complains that Twitter() is full of useless dreck — but it’s not, at least not to its users,” says Michael Bernstein, MIT researcher and co-founder of Who Gives a Tweet?

“But, we don’t really have a great sense of what it is that people value in their feeds. Is it news and links? Opinions? What ways do people tweet that inevitably just anger their followers? And more, how would a stranger who doesn’t know you see your feed, in comparison to someone who already follows you?” he adds.

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Social Media’s Influence on Holiday Buying is Minuscule

By Suzanne Choney

Did all the retailer promotions on Facebook and Twitter this holiday season convince you to visit those sites? A new study says, no, not so much: Only about 5 percent of online holiday shoppers said they were “primarily influenced” to visit the retail sites suggested by social media channels.

Despite that low percentage, research company ForeSee Results said retailers “put vast resources into this type of marketing” for the holiday season. In contrast, 19 percent of customers said they visited retail websites as a result of a promotional e-mail, and 8 percent because they found the site via a Web search engine, such as Google.

Of course, social media is still relatively new, although it’s growing quickly. Facebook was the most searched-for term in 2010, according to Experian Hitwise, and Twitter experienced huge growth. From January 2010 through mid-August, 2010, new users accounted for nearly 44 percent of the total Twitter population, according to Sysomos social media research.

Findings in “The ForeSee Results E-Retail Satisfaction Index” carry some weight; its work is based on nearly 10,000 survey responses gathered from Nov. 29 through Dec. 15 from shoppers who visited the top 40 retail websites within the previous two weeks.

The research firm isn’t saying retailers shouldn’t use social media, but rather is “suggesting that tried-and-true online marketing tactics should not be abandoned or ignored in favor of newer media.”

Cell phone users with apps on their phones for shopping information and price comparisons were more active, ForeSee found: 14 percent said they accessed a retail website or mobile app via phone.

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The Difference Between Friends, Fans and Followers

With every day that passes, brand managers are learning the value of presence in social networks. The extent to which new media permeates a company’s fabric depends on where in the world the company is based, as well as the prevailing culture of its organization. What’s clear however, is that brands are paying attention.

Social media and our understanding of its promise are raw. I’ve always believed that media and ensuing behavior are evolving faster than our ability to master it. As such, it relegates us to an important, not menial role of student versus expert.

It starts with how we visualize the opportunity that lies before us in new media. Here we are, years after some of the earliest, successful experimentation with brands in networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. And yet, many of us still can’t see beyond the idea of trying to reach “an audience” of existing and potential consumers. While in general, there’s nothing wrong with earning an audience. The principle of my statement though, is rooted in the idea that an audience is comprised of people, people who in their own way, are each coming to the relationship with their own personal agenda. As such, we tend to view connections made in social networks quite literally as the 3F’s: friends, fans and followers. With such a narrow view of who we’re trying to reach and why, we limit our effect and value.

There is no one audience. It’s an audience of audiences with audiences and within each are varying roles of the social consumer.

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5 Predictions: Online Advertising in 2011

‘Tis the season for calling the future. We’re looking back on a turbulent year. In 2010, the global economy slowly extracted itself from the direct aftermath of the global financial crisis, and the social media space was positively buzzing. Twitter made many bold moves, often at the expense of its ecosystem, and Facebook became greater (in population) to some of the largest countries on the planet. Print continued its slide, and the future of broadcast was, once again, called into question.  

With plenty of change around us, it’s natural to ask a simple question: what comes next?

Doug Stevenson, the co-founder and CEO of Vibrant Media, has come out with his annual list of five predictions for the coming year. Vibrant delivers in-text advertising to publishers like MSNBC and Gannett for brands that include Microsoft, GM and Unilever … so his thoughts on what to watch in the online advertising space are definitely worth a look.

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The Future Mobile Advertising Revolution

I think as we look back on 2010 we will all recognize that Mobile Advertising is now becoming part of our daily life. With Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) both entering the year making multi-million dollar acquisitions, it was only a matter of time before mobile really took off. Whether it’s via smart phone, netbook or tablet, people are starting to expect it.

This reminds me a lot of 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone that wowed consumers with amazing touch screen capabilities. You could flick pages, resize pictures, rearrange the screen and of course play games much differently than before. It was not long before people started to expect a touch interface on every device they came in contact with and today 55% of all smart phones come with a touch screen interface.

Of course the millions of tablets selling this holiday season are all multi-touch capable, otherwise they would be about as popular as a Microsoft (MSFT) Zune under the Christmas tree and these tablets will do nothing but increase the rapid adoption of Mobile Advertising.

What Is Fast Becoming One of the Hottest Forms of Mobile Advertising?

It would be interactive in-store advertising. A perfect example of this would be Constellations Wines (STZ) holiday marketing campaign that utilized Augme Technologies (AUGT.OB) AdLife platform. One feature of this marketing campaign allowed shoppers, via smartphone, to scan a selected bottle of wine using QR codes. The smartphone is then directed to a mobile site that assisted them with party planning, food recommendations and sales promotions.

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Book of Tens: Social-Media Campaigns We Liked

These Efforts Helped Show How the Web Could Be a Tool to Promote Real Change

Haiti suffered a world of misfortune when an earthquake struck in January of this year. And while the rest of the world geared up to help, this proved to be one case where social-media did something more than slacktivists’ favorite rallying cry of “raising awareness.” Less than 24 hours after the earthquake struck, killing an estimated 230,000 people, the Red Cross initiated a text relief campaign. Wireless users wanting to help were asked to text HAITI to 90999 and a $10 charge would later appear on their phone bills. Over the next 36 hours, the campaign raised more than $4 million, making it the most successful texting fundraising effort ever. By late February, the mobile effort-backed by TV and spread across Twitter and Facebook-had raised more than $32 million and spawned a host of do-gooding imitators.

The Old Spice TV ads, featuring the manly, shirtless and humorously arrogant Isaiah Mustafa, have received rave reviews and have translated exceptionally well online. After being put on YouTube, the commercials became viral, with the most popular one amassing nearly 24 million views since the beginning of February. On Twitter, Old Spice solicited questions for Mustafa, now known as the “Old Spice guy,” and Mustafa responded to many of them individually by making short videos. For example, one commenter asked Mustafa to propose to his fiance for him, and Mustafa obliged, making a video replete with a ring and romantic candles. Some of these personal-request videos have garnered millions of views as well.

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Book of Tens: Industry Imperatives for 2011

ANA President-CEO Bob Liodice on the Challenges Ahead

Self-regulation is the industry’s most important and fundamental principle for effective marketing ecosystem management. In 2011, the industry, under the aegis of the National Advertising Review Council, will institute the self-regulatory accountability program for online behavioral advertising. This overarching program, which addresses privacy issues, consumer notification and marketer compliance to industry principles, will be fully activated and operational in early 2011. The success of this program is critical, representing to the Federal Trade Commission, legislators and public-policy activists that the marketing community can address legitimate concerns without encumbering the industry with harmful governmental regulation.

It is time for the industry to get its act together to address this long-standing concern. For years, the marketing community has been sharply criticized for its lack of diversity. Despite a wealth of “diversity programs,” there has been no way to demonstrate real progress due to inadequate data, a lack of centralized and coordinated management and inconsistency in the industry’s commitment to “solve” real issues. Currently, there is a debate as to what the marketing community can and should do. The industry needs to make a commitment to real, tangible and measurable progress. We have talked about this for too long — now we must do something that will make a difference

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” That quotation is as relevant today as it ever was. Despite increased attention to marketing accountability, the proliferation of media and a dearth of rigorous analytics leave many gasping for guidance, indicators, metrics and measurements. The industry has a number of important initiatives underway. If these initiatives don’t make more measurement progress, we will render effective marketing and media decision-making to a patchwork of guesses, estimates and intuition — an untenable posture.

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Time & Resources: Biggest Barriers In Social Media Today

Those of us who “get it” didn’t need a survey to tell us what we already knew…

To be successful, and I mean truly successful in social media, you must be willing to make a committment of time and, in the case of companies, businesses, organizations… a committment of resources.

But apparently there are still plenty of marketers both here AND abroad who still “don’t get it.”

From a report today in eMarketer



And from a October 2010 survey by the  Meltwater Group, 38% of marketers around the world stated lack of time and resources as their biggest challenge when it comes to social media.

See a theme here?

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75+ Ways to Do Good With Social Media

The only thing better than unwrapping a shiny new train set or a brand new pony is being able to give a meaningful (or awesome) gift to someone else. While your wish lists might be loaded with requests for iPads or an Xbox Kinect, there are lots of people out there who are hoping for just shelter, food or clean water.

There are lots of ways to do good using social media or to brush up on some of the most fascinating, innovative companies and non-profits committed to changing the world for the better. We’ve collected a slew of Social Good resources, from infographics to campaigns to social good champions to tips and case studies.

If you’re interested in doing good this holiday season, have a look through the resources below and let us know in the comments how you’re planning to give back for the holidays through social media.

5 Non-Profit iPhone Apps You Should Know About
The ‘net is going mobile, and non-profits are joining in with branded apps to reach supporters, raise money, and deliver their missions in new and innovative ways.

5 Social Fundraising Alternatives to Facebook Causes
When it comes to social fundraising tools, Facebook Causes often comes to mind first. In reality, it’s just one of many tools available. Check out these alternatives.

How Non-Profits are Exploring Augmented Reality Tech
Augmented reality shows real promise in the fields of education and the arts, but cost and complexity are often prohibitive for cash-strapped non-profits.

How Social Data Built a Better Health Care App
It’s not often that the U.S. government uses social media or open source data to solve a problem, but the NIH’s recent project “Pillbox” is an exception with a lot of potential.

10 Ways to Start a Fund for Social Good Online
These 10 tools can help you raise funds for anything from a local charity to a nationwide social good campaign, all through the power of the social web.

5 Trends Shaping the Future of Social Good
Social media has radically altered the way non-profits and lone activists can effect change in the world. We spoke to the experts about their predictions for the future.

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