Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

US Leaning on EU Over New Privacy legislation

Monday, January 21st, 2013

The European Union is in the midst of working out new legislation that would govern internet interactions. At risk is legislation that makes it harder to collect data on internet users. This action would make targeted advertising more difficult as well as collecting data for the social networks that is useful determining user preferences.

Photo Credit: YanniKouts

Even though the legislation will only effect businesses operating in Europe it will have implications for businesses in the US. If legislation there is more stringent, then it will help solidify resistance over here, making it easier for similar restrictions to pass through US Congress. The European legislation also governs US firms operating over there. By creating a two-tiered system it may simply be cheaper to just conform to EU policy and operate in the US without fully maximizing potential. That operation would then change the norm here and eventually have an effect on US policy.

As of now the US Chamber of Commerce has not responded to the EU deliberation. Facebook has been very active lobbying against these efforts as well as the US government. This is a trending story that needs to be followed closely as it will have significant effects on operations in the US for all digital agencies.

US Government Still Leaning On Europe To Dilute Data Protection Reform Proposals

Smaller Social Networks Better for Consumption

Monday, August 20th, 2012

FaceBook clearly leads all social networks in sheer size and the volume of sharing and consumption of content. Smaller social networks, however, are much better for the social media agency that is trying to spread content and have people virally share a brand’s content.

Social Networks Art

In a survey which asked respondents if they use a certain social network for sharing or observing, respondents ranked observing on FaceBook as 20% higher than sharing. The easy marketing winner was Foursquare, where 44% of respondents use the network to share content instead of for observing content. Whereas LinkedIn is the loser in the sharing possibilities as most people are there to read about employment experiences. 68% of respondents say they use the network only for observing purposes.

The lesson for the social media agency is mainly about diversification. Having an item widely shared on FaceBook is the most lucrative because of the sheer broadcast potential. However, getting an item on FaceBook to achieve widely shared status is very difficult. The users on other social networks are much more wiling to share content, but the upside is smaller as there are less people to receive the broadcasts. If, however, the content can be specialized, then that can help boost its sharability. Foursquare’s applicability outside of restaurants tapers off and seems to be irrelevant if the digital marketing agency in question turns more and more big budget and/or white collar. These are all measures the social media agency needs to better evaluate when taking a client’s needs into stock.

Users of Smaller Social Sites Share, Consume More Content


Yelp Updates its iPhone App

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Yelp is increasingly becoming a standard in the geo-location services. It is also increasingly losing desktop views and replacing them with mobile usage instead. To capitalize on this transition Yelp has updated its iPhone app to make it more user friendly and to better encourage more mobile usage.

Yelp

The business profile page on the update is now cleaner and sports a stronger visual look. The information that is generally less important is made small and removed to a less valuable piece of real estate on the mobile screen. Calls to action, such as make a reservation, are now more prominently displayed on the business profile page. It is also easier to access photos of vendors.

Yelp does plan on issuing updates for its iPad version as well. There are also some changes coming to the web site that will make it easier to leave tips and access bookmarks.

The internet marketing agency needs to recognize that Yelp is becoming more and more important for its brands. Not only does Yelp now provide the data for Siri searches, but the Yelp service proper is becoming more highly trafficked. Yelp’s ability to let friends allows it to tap into the geometric growth potential of social networks.

Yelp Rolls Out Improved iPhone App, Other Mobile Changes

Online Consumer Reviews Are Well Trusted

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The social media agency should be encouraged by the results from the 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey. Only 15% of respondents had said they did not use the internet to find a local business and 16% said they use the internet every week to do so. The ratio of that split was similar to the split when asked about using online reviews to determine if a business is a good one to visit. 27% regularly use online reviews and 24% never use online reviews.  Most consumers, 67%, read between 2 and 10 reviews each week and only 7% said they read more than 20 each week. The final result is that 58% of customers trust a business that has an online review of it posted and these reviews are trusted by 72% of people as much as they trust personal recommendations.

reviews

Social media agencies need to be more focused on cultivating positive reviews than ever before. Part of this mission will require the social media agency to be more attuned to being present on sites that easily collect reviews and allow them to be searchable. Brands will then need to encourage customers to leave reviews. It may be possible to offer discounts or some exclusive item for reviewers. The temptation will need to be resisted, however, to leave fake positive reviews or to encourage positive reviews. A rumor of deception will take any good will among those that have had positive experiences and prevent any gains from positive reviews. Positive reviews only gain such a premium in a world where they are trusted.

Trustworthy Customer Reviews

Greystripe Updates Its Mobile Ads To Be More Social

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

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Greystripe, a leading mobile ad network, announced two new advertising units Wednesday which will makes its mobile ads more social and lucrative. These new units are called Ad Boosters. It is not yet known if the boosters can be applied to the same ads or if advertisers must choose between them. The first booster is geared for vertical industries allowing the advertiser to insert buttons for certain actions into the ad. The obvious application is a button within a retailer’s ad that allows the user to locate nearby stores. The button can have any design, usually the company’s brand, and its functions can vary.

The second ad booster allows for integration of the ad with social networking platforms. As of now the supported social networks are Facebook, Google+, Twitter and YouTube. The two new boosters can be applied at the bottom or within the ad itself.

These ad boosters join a lineup of boosters already offered by Greystripe. Advertisers already have the ability to add buttons for other actions, such as call the advertiser, coupons offered, buy or download more information. Greystripe does provide bundles at reduced prices geared for certain industries.

Mobile advertising is what’s hot these days and with the expected surge in mobile devices after this holiday season mobile advertising will become even more lucrative. The digital agency can use Greystripe’s new innovations to improve or even to begin mobile advertising. Greystripe’s advancements will also push other mobile ad networks to make more improvements.

Social Ads

Facebook Sets Up a Political Action Committee

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Facebook must be feeling defensive lately. Their latest small business initiative is a way to secure and increase their advertising base as well as to increase the use of their options for brands. Facebook has also announced the creation of a Political Action Committee, otherwise known as PAC, whose purpose is to lobby Congress about the importance of social networks and Facebook particularly.

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According to The Hill Facebook has already spent $550,000 this year on lobbying efforts. That number has been increasing every year for a few years now. The PAC will allow employees and the company itself to contribute to the political campaigns of candidates that support social networking and digital innovation.

As long as Facebook represents the single largest and most influential online destination, this move is good for the digital agency. Congress has yet to settle the privacy concerns in digital advertising and the PAC may help promote pro-advertising opinions in Congress. Of course, there is concern this influence may not work for the industry but instead specifically for Facebook as Google’s anti-trust concerns increasingly comes to Congressional attention. The big payoff, with few of the risks, lies in devoting the PAC to the future of the industry and not in the issues specifics of Facebook competitors. The digital agency can probably breathe a little easier as it looks ahead to Congressional involvement in the industry.

Facebook’s PAC

About How Men Share Recommendations

Friday, September 16th, 2011

AskMen.com and Ipsos OTX Media CT conducted “The Great Male Survey” and asked men how they tell their friends about purchases and other recommendations. The data is broken down by the answer given and by the age group of the men. Most men, regardless of their age, prefer to do the recommendations through non-digital means: in person or on the phone. If a face-to-face encounter is not an option, then older communication channels are preferred, such as over the phone or email.

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Even though the preferred channels are without advertising potential, or at least represent a small advertising potential, the digital agency should still be excited. 5% of the younger age group prefers to make recommendations over Facebook, with other social networks falling behind Facebook. That number, while small, still represents a significant number of men. The percentage also reflects a preferred method of communication, so the low ranking options are still often accessed, as preferred methods are not necessarily available.

The preferred methods reflect an ease of use. It’s easy to mention a certain lawnmower when talking to a friend about lawn care or everyday life. It is possible for the digital agency to inflate these preferences by making a digital recommendation more convenient or to imbue the recommendation with a status gain. Given the preference for email recommendations, ads need to be try to capitalize on this desire or to incentivize the public recommendation more than the private recommendation.

What is really encouraging about this data is the success rate. The most likely answer to “how effective is a Facebook recommendation from a friend?” was “somewhat” at 42%. 18% of respondents find Facebook recommendations more effective than “somewhat”. Men pay attention to what their friends are saying. Channeling into this sort of engagement needs to be a high priority for the marketing firm.

How Men Share

Facebook Updates Friends

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Google+’s big achievement was the Circles innovation. Circles allowed users to share content to only some of the friends on the network. Imagine being able to selectively share pictures from a night out without the fear of potential employers or family uncovering those shared items. A lot of the people flocking to Google+ did so citing this function. Facebook does have a similar function, but it was cumbersome to use and implement. Zuckerburg announced that only 5% of Facebook users actually use Friends. Posterous has even changed its platform from a light blogging service into a social network emphasizing this very advancement. Facebook announced on Tuesday that it is now revamping the Friends application to make it more powerful and easier to implement.

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The question for the digital agency is whether or not this advancement makes pages stickier or not. Facebook is not currently at risk from either Google+ or Posterous, but without addressing this problem it seems possible that in time Facebook could face a serious challenge, most likely from Google+. Facebook will start the revamped Friends by creating smart lists, which are a list for ‘close friends’ and another for ‘acquaintances’. They are smart because Facebook will offer recommendations about whom should go into which list. The user then merely needs to accept the recommendations. Whether or not that is easy enough remains in the details of how Facebook determines the recommendations. If it works, then this should actually increase a user’s usage of Facebook. Many people self-censor themselves for fear of someone seeing inappropriate content, but an effective Friends system would eliminate the need for the self-censorship.

This change is not likely to increase Facebook’s user base. It will not hurt the user base, but it seems many people flocking to other services were doing so for reasons more than the Circles function. Despite this caveat, this development is still good news for the digital agency. People’s concerns about Facebook are still being (somewhat) addressed and those people will use Facebook more. Advertising on Facebook will remain and become even more profitable with this development.

New Facebook Friend Lists

LinkedIn Offers New Ad Types

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Like FaceBook, LinkedIn is trying to find ways to leverage its social network into its advertising options without compromising privacy. LinkedIn has announced two new types of advertisements to capture this effort. One of these changes is to display within the ad how many of a user’s contacts recommend or follow the advertising company. The other new advertisement shows relevant people from a user’s contacts within the banner ad. It is possible for users to opt out of being featured in these advertisements.

LinkedIn New Advertising

IconSpedia.com

While LinkedIn specializes in type of contacts that may limit its appeal to the digital agency’s client, the digital agency should think about how to incorporate LinkedIn. Because of its business specialization it may never be as successful as FaceBook, but its specialization makes LinkedIn a particularly viable option for advertising solutions. These new social media marketing features will help LinkedIn advertising attain stickiness and a level of affect that makes FaceBook so successful.

Mashable: New LinkedIn Ads Leverage Recommendations & Follows

A New Twitter Competitor

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Sina Weibo is a Twitter-like service that is currently available only in China. In China it is huge and the plan is to move the service into English speaking venues with Sina English. Budweiser is already on board and one of the few differences between Sina and Twitter is geared to marketing. One of those differences is Sina content is also linked to its portal, so links to longer content can still create exposure for advertisements. The main marketing advantage is the layout. Videos and pictures are displayed below the tweet-like message, Sina also operates on 140 characters messages, so viewing the content is easier.

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Photo: PennOlsen.com

Even though this service will make itself more of a marketing platform, digital agencies should remain cautious. Consumers are notoriously cautious about gumming up their processors with another app that offers a redundant service. To answer the redundancy question, Sina supporters point to the explosive growth Sina has had in China. However, Chinese affords more communicative potential in 140 characters than English does, and the inline display advantage is also mitigated by using apps instead of visiting the web page. The good news Sina does offer the digital agency is competition. Twitter will now have external pressures to develop, especially the in the realm of the pro-marketing differences that Sina offers.

The Wall: Can Twitter still be beaten? Chinese rival to launch in the US