Tag Archives: social

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Six years ago today, Jack Dorsey tweeted the first ever tweet on Twitter and a communications revolution was born.

Now, 6 years later it has grown exponentially to over 500 million users, making it the largest one-to-many open communication platform on the web today.  After hearing those numbers you would never believe what humble beginnings this social network came from.

Twitter stemmed from an earlier company ran by ex-googler friends called Odeo, which was going to be a podcasting platform. But when Apple launched iTunes podcasting, it made their little startup company irrelevant. After enlisting the help of another buddy and much brainstorming, the team came up with “Twttr”, which would eventually become Twitter.

This social networking phenomenon allows its users to interact with their favorite celebs and follow the latest news s
tories. Many businesses use Twitter as a marketing tool to reach consumers. It has changed media, business and politics – even our President Barack Obama has an account!

With 11 Twitter accounts created every second, the company is projected to earn $259 million in Advertising Revenue this year. Not a bad birthday gift!

Advertisements

Creating a Well-Rounded Marketing Media Strategy

If you find yourself questioning the value of traditional media in your marketing strategy because:

  • Digital investment is generating lots of clicks to your website,
  • Your competition recently launched a web or mobile campaign,
  • And your inbox is flooded with promises from digital media vendors to deliver engaged consumers, premium content and targeting technologies at an unbelievably low cost?

The digital age has had an unquestionable positive impact on the ability of advertisers to zero in on consumers fitting their ideal demographic, geographic and psychographic profiles, with the proficiency of a star athelete like Lebron James or Eli Manning to hit their respective targets. But, just as you can’t put Eli Manning on the basketball court or put Lebron James on a football field and get the same results, you can’t expect digital media alone to accomplish all of the media goals and objectives in your marketing media strategy.

The purchase cycle
Big ticket purchases like cars, furniture, jewelry, and medical services are some of the most important retail investments affecting individuals—and the consumer doesn’t want to make a mistake.

Digital marketing is great at attracting audiences concerned with making the best decisions—people who are proactive about their purchasing decisions. And often, those who are proactive about searching are also proactive about engaging. This likelihood to engage means digital should be a core component of any well-balanced media plan. But marketers have a long purchase cycle to consider, during which awareness, information, reassurance and loyalty must be established and sustained to help the consumer confidently choose to invest in your brand above all others offering similar services. That’s where traditional media shines.

A good media strategy takes all kinds
Traditional media and their digital counterparts are vital media engines, and through the basic mechanics of media mix theory1, are inclined to fuel each other in the long purchase cycle.

Here’s a quick breakdown media mix theory, from Media Planning:

  • To reach people not reached with the first medium.
  • To provide additional repeat exposure in a less expensive, secondary medium after optimum reach is obtained in the first medium.
  • To leverage the intrinsic values of a medium to extend the creative effectiveness of the campaign (such as sight and sound on TV, intimate conversation on radio, long copy in print media and precise targeting in digital mediums).
  • Synergism, where an effect produced by the sum of the parts is greater than expected by adding together the individual components.

Traditional and digital media are equally and uniquely important in your media strategy mix and you build an effective media mix that contributes to profitable growth, that includes both traditional and digital media.

300+ million users now access Facebook via mobile apps

Facebook is being boosted by app use, with it being reported in the last couple of days the world’s largest social network saw monthly active users of its mobile apps pass 300 million users.

Enders Analysis analyst Benedict Evans writes that the figure is correct as of 27 December, with iOS and Android applications accounting for more than two-thirds of mobile app use on the social network.

Evans uses Facebook’s own mobile data, comparing iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian and featurephone use, to the network’s 800 million total users and 350 million mobile users, which the company announced at the end of September.

fb Report: 300 million users now access Facebook via its mobile apps

Evans writes:

Quite unsurprisingly, these are dominated by the two platforms that have traction, iOS and Android. As Techcrunch pointed out a few days ago, Android has now passed iOS in DAUs, though Apple has passed the round 100m MAU figure.

Windows Phone remains quite insignificant, though that may change next year as Nokia’s efforts come fully on stream. Meanwhile around 70% of RIM’s 70m active users have installed the Facebook app. That’s a high penetration rate (it comes to around 50% for Android and iOS) on what is supposed to be a corporate product, pointing to RIM’s strength in messaging, but also to the way that the mix is shifting away from business customers and towards emerging markets and teenaged girls (in the UK at least).

From his breakdown, Evans deduces that 70% of mobile users and more than 30% of all users used apps to access Facebook.

Facebook has worked hard to rebuild its mobile websites, partnering with operators worldwide to offer free access to its service. The company also introduced social app discovery on its mobile website, making it almost as feature-rich as its apps.

Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador Siri , as it could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.

On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?

In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.

For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.


Little is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.

 And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, localbusiness owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.

Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:

Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.



In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website willmake them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits.
  • Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.

Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.

• Foursquare
• Savings.com
• Retailmenot
• Judy’s Book
• Citysearch
• Superpages
• Yellow Pages

To determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.

Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.

While Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them.

 

Google to Marketers: Get Better at Mobile search growth rates rivaling those on desktop

Google, which recently shared some big numbers from its mobile advertising business, has some advice for marketers hoping to join in its success: make your mobile presence presentable, now.

“Businesses need to be ready for mobile as soon as they can, particularly this holiday season,” said Surojit Chatterjee, Google’s lead product manager for mobile search ads. “You need to have a mobile site irrespective of whether you think people will actually make purchases from it. How good your site looks on mobile determines how people think about your business.”

Even though mobile advertising is still in early days, he said, mobile search volume is growing at a rapid clip. Over the past two years, Google has seen mobile search queriesgrow fivefold—a growth rate he compared to the early days ofdesktop search.

According to research firm Forrester, while 13 percent of the U.S. population searched with a mobile device in 2010 (90 percent with Google), mobile searchers will account for 28 percent of the U.S. population by 2015.

Early experiences now can have lasting consequences, Chatterjee said. Citing analysis from Gomez, another research firm, he said that 60 percent of users indicated they would be unlikely to return to a mobile site if they had trouble accessing it once and 40 percent said they would actually visit a competitor’s site. Beyond that, 63 percent said they would be less likely to buy from the same company through other channels (online or in the store).

“Users are looking at the mobile site to make conclusions about the business as a whole,” Chatterjee said.

Given the increasing number of smartphone users, he said as the holidays approach it will be ever more likely that consumers will try to reach marketers on the go.

This holiday season, Google expects that 44 percent of total searches for last minute gifts and store locator terms will be from mobile devices.

While Google has a clear lead in search now (on mobile and desktop), some industry watchers have wondered whether the search giant can maintain its top position as more consumers transition to mobile devices.

Its earnings report earlier this month, however, gave Wall Street a reason to have some confidence in CEO Larry Page’s belief that mobile search could be as big for Google (if not bigger) than desktop search.

In a rare move, the company broke out revenue from mobile advertising and said it was on track to bank more than $2.5 billion in that category in the coming year, and grew twofold in the last year.

Chatterjee said its success comes from building specifically for the new medium and catering to user behavior on the platform. For example, leveraging research that users tend to act more quickly after a mobile search, Google recently launched new ad formats that let users download apps from a mobile ad or reach a specific destination with a mobile app they already have on their phone.

A user searching for a pair of boots from her mobile phone, for example, can now go directly from an ad to a shopping app on her phone, so that she can more easily complete a purchase.

Other mobile features capitalize on the interest in local information—according to Google, 40 percent of mobile searches on Google are related to location. Two years ago, the company released a click-to-call feature that lets smartphone users call a business directly from an ad. This month, Google announced that proximity to a business would be a factor in mobile search ads ranking.

“We are building specifically for the medium,” Chatterjee said. “We are really, as an industry, speaking to the mobile user and taking into the account the signals we have on mobile phones, the constraints on mobile phones and the user behavior trends on mobile phones.”

Online advertising becoming as important as spot TV

According to Q3 2011 research from media buying solutions provider STRATA, clients are becoming just as focused on digital media as they are on spot TV. US ad agencies reported 34% of clients were thinking most about online advertising in Q3, compared with 24% the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of clients whose primary focus was on spot TV dropped from 41% to an almost-even 35%.

The online marketing tactics in use by the agencies surveyed did not change much, with online display, search and social media coming out on top, their usage rates stable from quarter to quarter. On social media, similarly, priorities remained the same, with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter the clear leaders, though LinkedIn, in fourth position, gained ground.

The number of agencies purchasing mobile advertising for their clients also stayed relatively stable, at 23%, but the types of ads they were creating began to change. In Q3, display advertising took an even larger lead over SMS. More than half of agencies said they are now creating more mobile display ads for their clients than other mobile formats, compared to just 16% of agencies that are still mostly creating SMS ads.

The mobile devices being targeted by those ads were changing, too. Agencies cut their interest in BlackBerry by half between Q2 and Q3, according to STRATA. Still, Android-targeted efforts lagged behind iOS-focused ones.

eMarketer forecasts display will take 33% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, pushing it ahead of SMS and even with mobile search spending. It also estimates that the iPhone will lose its spot as the No. 1 smartphone in America by the end of this year, when Android’s share will far surpass it.

Changing demographics of tablet and eReader owners

Demographics changing on tablet and eReader owners

In the U.S., as recently as last Summer, tablet and eReader owners tended to be male and on the younger side. Not anymore. In less than a year, 25-34 Men make up only 18% of these owners; while 30% are 55+. As well, according to Nielsen’s latest quarterly survey of mobile connected device owners, back in Q3 2010, 62% of tablet owners were under the age of 34 and only 10% were over the age of 55. By Q2 of this year, only 46% of tablet owners were under the age of 34 and the percentage of those over 55 had increased to 19%.

Looking at the data by gender underlines key changes in the eReader category. 61% of all eReader owners are now female, compared to a mere 46% in Q3 2010. Smartphone owners are now evenly split between male and female and tablets remain primarily male.

ereader and tablet demographics

women-connected-devices