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Posts Tagged ‘social network’

An interesting overview of social networks from a 19 year old

Posted Friday, January 9th, 2015

Social media has undergone another significant change from rising in popularity with teens to being adopted by adults and now niche apps appearing to regain some privacy and importantly ‘coolness’.

Working through the popular networks here is Andrew Watts’ summary of the major networks:

Facebook: he explains teens have very little interest in Facebook but nonetheless check it regularly as a way os staying in contact with some people. He explains Facebook is:

‘Something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave’

Instagram: is the number one and most popular platform amongst teens because:

‘I’m not terrified whenever I like something on Instagram that it will show up in someone’s Newsfeed and they’ll either screenshot that I liked it or reference it later [and] I am not as pressured to follow someone back on Instagram, meaning my feed is normally comprised of content I actually want to see’

Snapchat: second on the list in popularity with the huge advantage that it has less social pressure:

‘There aren’t likes you have to worry about or comments—it’s all taken away. Snapchat has a lot less social pressure attached to it compared to every other popular social media network out there. This is what makes it so addicting and liberating. If I don’t get any likes on my Instagram photo or Facebook post within 15 minutes you can sure bet I’ll delete it.’

Twitter: Watts suggested that it was a niche network and whilst some were religiously using it, many are not using it at all

‘a lot of us simply do not understand the point of Twitter’

Do you agree or suggest other networks that are rising in popularity?

 

 


Beyond Viral: How Successful Marketers Are Embracing the Social Web

Posted Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Just as early television shows were essentially radio plays shot on film, the earliest attempts by online marketers mimicked the worlds of television and print. While banner ads and pre-roll commercials are still with us, of course, a new generation of marketing professionals and companies are exploring techniques more native to the web: multi-platform marketing campaigns that encourage interactivity.

Marketers who take advantage of the Internet’s unique capabilities have the potential to build increasingly engaged customer communities. Here’s a look at three major trends.

1. User-Generated Content Contests

Doritos hosted its first Crash the Superbowl campaign in 2007. Like a lot of big companies, Doritos bought a commercial slot for the Superbowl, but instead of hiring a production company to make a 30-second spot, Doritos turned to its consumers. “Grab your camera and create your Doritos commercial,” the company advertised. Anyone could create and submit a spot. These spots were put to a vote online, and the finalists received $10,000 and the winning spot ran in the very expensive Superbowl slot.

More than 1,000 people submitted videos, and Doritos generated a lot of attention for the campaign, ranking high in a number of surveys that tracked buzz and impact of the Super Bowl commercials.

These kinds of campaigns are very popular on the Internet at the moment and they range in scale. SolidWorks, makers of computer-aided design (CAD) software, worked with the design firm Small Army to build a campaign that involved its very active community. Christine Washburn, VP of marketing at SolidWorks, says, “We wanted to do something that would involve them and be very visible for new potential members of the community.”

Small Army came up with Let’s Go Design, an interactive web series. Users submit design ideas in response to challenges proposed by the show. Ideas are voted on and ultimately incorporated.

What works: Activity and participation around the brand.

If users get involved, they can win. And the voting structure generates even more activity. Washburn reports that SolidWorks’ “web traffic is up by a factor of four in comparison to previous campaigns.”

When this doesn’t work: Your brand doesn’t carry either the same kind of mass appeal as Doritos or the committed fandom of SolidWorks.

Branding consultant Lisa Merriam wrote a case study of a failed contest campaign by a company called Levia. It tried a campaign similar to Doritos, asking consumers to submit a video about the healing power of light.

Doritos is a mega-brand [with] millions and millions of passionate consumers. And Levia®? You probably never heard of it. Levia® is a device that uses light to treat psoriasis. The set of people who suffer from psoriasis and who have heard of Levia® and who have the technical know-how to produce video and who care enough to come up with winning concepts about light’s power to heal is an infinitesimally small set of people — certainly not a crowd.

2. Making a Consumer Community

Marketers have jumped on the relatively recent explosion of online communities. If customers have the ability to talk to one another, why not create an incentive and a space for them to talk about your brand?

One way to accomplish this is to offer customers something they might actually do in real life. Marketing agency Movement Strategy, for instance, recently created an online forum for two of its NBA clients, the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks. The site — NuggetsVsKnicks.com — operated during an actual game between the Nuggets and the Knicks, giving the fans a place to cheer on their team (and trash talk the other). By integrating with Facebook— users cheered by “Liking” their team — Movement Strategy was able to give a real-world analog to the digital interaction.

What works: Campaigns that encourage community among their customer base can really help to build loyalty.

When this doesn’t work: When the campaigns are lazy.

It’s not fair to say that most company Facebook Pages don’t work, but often the conversations there offer a relatively low level of engagement. Contests, questions and announcements all encourage participation from the customer, but not necessarily participation with each other.

A lot of brands use Twitter contests in a similar way. A few years ago Squarespace(), for instance, gave away an iPhone() a day to anyone who mentioned Squarespace in a tweet. While this kind of activity can generate a lot of buzz, the actual customer engagement in the brand is low — the equivalent of dropping your business card in a fishbowl.

Even worse is when Facebook and other social network integration is used as a gimmick. Last March, Absolut sponsored a short film by Spike Jonze, the director of Being John Malkovich. The film, titled I’m Here, was designed to be shown on the web. Before watching, the viewer is first walked through an invitation process using Facebook Connect. The friends you invite are cleverly integrated into an introductory cut scene, during which, you “enter” the theater to watch the film. Their photos appear on the VIP passes of other people in the theater. The whole thing works to give you a sense that you are watching this film with people who you know.

Except in this case, the experience stops there. As soon as the film starts, the connection to your community ends. The introduction has nothing to do with the film itself and instead feels tacked on and gimmicky. Absolut hinted at what could be done but didn’t actually do it.

3. Choose Your Own Adventure

Perhaps the most exciting development in multi-platform interactive campaigns is the ability of the customer base to participate in and affect the outcome of a story.

At Blogworld 2010, Ford announced an online marketing campaign to promote its new Focus. The campaign, called Focus Rally, pits six teams against each other in a reality-style adventure game where the viewers make the important calls for the participants.

“It’s a little bit like a choose your own adventure here, but the people at home were choosing the adventure for these players. It’s kind of cool how interactive the show is going to be,” says Focus Rally producer Neal Konstantini.

Specifically, the Focus Rally competitors must rely on the network capabilities of the car and their social networks to solve challenges. “[I]f you’re in Albuquerque and you’re stuck and you run out of gas,” Konstantini explains, “you’re going to have to get on Facebook and tell your network, ‘I’m stuck. I need gas. Help me.’”

What works: When the web is integrated into both a compelling storyline and effective brand messaging.

When this doesn’t work: When you expect interaction to be what solely carries the campaign.

“It’s not enough to be interactive,” says Michal Ann Strahilevitz, associate professor of marketing at Golden Gate University. “It has to be truly compelling, engaging and persuasive to the target market. If you build it, they may or may not come.”

Choose your own adventure campaigns build off the Internet’s potential as a story-telling device. These kinds of campaigns “require the audience’s presence and participation in order to be complete,” says Mike Monello, co-founder and executive director of Campfire, an advertising agency in New York. Monello was one of the creators of The Blair Witch Project and used viral Internet distribution before there was a name for such a thing.

In a recent campaign that Campfire created for the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programming, the team produced a series of videos about famous shark attacks throughout history. Like Absolut’s promotion of I’m Here, Campfire used Facebook Connect to personalize users’ experience of the site and videos. But whereas Absolut’s choice felt tacked on at the end, Campfire accessed users’ Facebook information to build a personalized shark attack for the visitor. It integrated personalization into the branding and the storytelling.

“Telling stories is one of mankind’s most enduring traditions,” Campfire explains on its website. “Our increased connectedness has only made spreading them faster, more pervasive, and more effective.”


Advertisers to Spend $1.7 Billion on Social Networks in 2010

Posted Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Mashable, 17th August 2010

The latest numbers from eMarketer project that advertisers will spend nearly $1.7 billion in the U.S. on social networking sites in 2010. Worldwide, spending will hit $3.3 billion according to the report.

The numbers represent a significant bump up from estimates published by the research firm at the end of last year, when it projected $1.3 billion would be spent on the space in the U.S.

Not surprisingly, eMarketer sees about half of that money (in the U.S.) going to Facebook, with MySpace continuing to see a smaller share of the pie. Separately, the firm estimated that Facebook’s 2010 revenue would hit $1.2 billion in a report published last week.

Earlier this month, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that some of the social network’s biggest advertisers had boosted ad spending by 10x this year; a trend that’s apparent in the eMarketer report.

Check the site for chart: http://mashable.com/2010/08/16/social-networking-ad-spend-2010/


5 Online Marketing Resolutions for 2010

Posted Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Resolve to give your online marketing efforts a boost this year by recognizing areas for improvement and putting in place a plan to make positive changes.

online marketing, Jan 8 2010

1. SEO:
I resolve to focus more on maximizing visits and conversions from organic searches. With SEO efforts, it’s easy to get caught up in one goal: getting found via the search engines. But ranking in the search results is only half the story. If potential customers aren’t clicking through to your web page – or other piece of digital content – the ranking doesn’t mean much. Plus, due to variances in what each of us sees in the search results for the same query, rankings as metric are no longer as useful. Personalized search results according to location and web history means your site might rank high for one person, but not another.

Maximize the success of your online marketing efforts by analyzing your metrics report to determine which pieces of digital content are highly visible but producing less than ideal traffic results. Then take some time to ask yourself these questions:

What competitive search results are your potential customers seeing? Assess the title tags and meta descriptions of competitive search results. Are competitors offering customers a free case study or a complimentary product sample? Then consider ways to make your own title tags and meta descriptions out-entice the competition.
Does your content live up to the promise put forth in your title tags and meta descriptions? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: When you first visit your web page or other digital content from an organic search, is the content you find relevant? Potential customers don’t want surprises; they want a solution to the problem that caused them to search in the first place. And they want it as promised.
Not only will searchers respond more favorably to customer optimized titles and meta descriptions, but the increase in clickthroughs will, no doubt, be noticed by search engines and may influence subsequent rankings.

2. Social Media:
I resolve to set goals and track the results of my social media efforts.
There’s no denying that social media is more difficult to justify in terms of ROI compared to other online marketing strategies.  But that’s not to say it’s impossible – or that tracking results should be placed on the back burner. And without goals, it’s pretty difficult to measure success. In 2010, put forth even more effort to set goals for social media participation and tie results back to specific tactics.

There are a host of free or near-free tools available to gauge brand mentions and traffic from social media channels.

Tracking results via social media monitoring tools is just a start. Those results must be tied back to business goals. Potential goals might be:

Develop better customer relationships
Reputation management
Identify and energize brand evangelists
Increase brand awareness
Increase relevant visitor traffic
Improve standard and social search engine visibility
Build up a list for email marketing
Increase leads or sales
Without setting specific goals upfront, social media efforts can’t be definitively quantified so be sure to implement a Social Media Roadmap and all or social bases will be covered.

3. Email Marketing:
I resolve to integrate my email marketing with other online marketing channels. Regardless of what the naysayers may say, email marketing isn’t going to disappear as a result of social media in 2010. In fact, email will continue to play a significant role in most online marketing mixes this year. A study from Silverpop found nearly half of marketers surveyed plan to increase email marketing budgets in 2010.

That’s not to say email marketing efforts shouldn’t evolve with the times. Integrating email with social media is on par to be a popular resolution for 2010: A recent eMarketer report found 40% of executives surveyed willmake integrating the two tactics their top marketing initiative this year. Another 25% of respondents have already implemented an integrated strategy.

Pledge to take email marketing to the next level by encouraging email subscribers to not only forward content via email, but also to get social with email and share it via Facebook, Twitter, Digg and other sites. Conversely, conduct a poll on Twitter or your blog, and encourage followers and readers to subscribe to your e-newsletter for the results.

4. PPC:
I resolve to maximize conversion rates by testing different versions of my ads and landing pages. Most companies using self-serve pay per click programs fall victim to “set it and forget it” habits. They’re busy with numerous other marketing activities or don’t have the time to really get to know the native bid management platforms and test/refine campaigns. Even if PPC efforts are reaching set goals in terms of conversion rates, there’s always room for improvement. You’ll never know until you try.

Consider these three ideas for testing different elements of your PPC campaigns:

Test multiple ad versions that highlight different benefits of your product, service or company. For example, one could tout cost-savings benefits, while another emphasizes a convenience aspect.
Use A/B testing to try out two different headlines on your landing page. Again, each could speak to a different benefit (i.e., cost savings vs. convenience). Google Optimizer is a great tool for this.
If you’re targeting a competitive search term with many competing ads, consider launching two different campaigns simultaneously. Each could offer a distinct piece of fulfillment – a free case study and a product coupon, for example.
A few tools for testing include:

A/B Testing resources: (Google Website Optimizer, 7 Free Resources)
Multivariate Testing service: (Omniture)
Heatmap & User Testing tools: (CrazyEgg, Clickdensity, Clicktale, userfly andEyetools)

5. Mobile:
I resolve to rethink my website design for mobile users.
If your site isn’t already optimized for handheld devices such as cell phones, now is the perfect time to re-assess your site design and how users find your site through mobile search – particularly for B2C companies.

In October, ABI Research forecast that mobile sales of physical goods in North America would reach $750 million by the end of 2009, a 117% annual growth rate. Consumers are doing a lot more than purchasing downloadable cell phone ringtones and games from their mobile devices. These days, clothing, electronics, books and a host of other items are being purchased through mobile commerce. Additionally, social network participation through services like foursquare, Facebook and Twitter are growing dramatically, creating additional opportunities for promotion and traffic to the mobile version of your company web site.

When optimizing web pages for the mobile web, consider a few tips:

Keep fonts in their most basic format
Eliminate advertising to conserve screen space
Take out images unless they are absolutely necessary
Remove Flash, Java or any plug-in content unless absolutely necessary


40% of People “Friend” Brands on Facebook

Posted Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

readwriteweb.com, November 10, 2009

see link to view charts: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/survey_brands_making_big_impact_on_facebook_twitter.php

Digital marketing company Razorfish has just launched its third annual FEED survey of 1,000 “connected consumers.” The survey is focused on online consumer behavior. This year Facebook and Twitter feature prominently. 40% of respondents “friended” brands on Facebook, while 25% reported following brands on Twitter. What’s more, Razorfish found that consumers access brands on Twitter and Facebook mainly for deals and promotions.

Of those who follow a brand on Twitter, nearly 44% reported that access to exclusive deals is the main reason. On Facebook or MySpace, 37% said that access to exclusive deals or offers was their main reason for friending brands.

Over 1/4 of respondents reported having followed a brand on Twitter, which is encouraging news for companies wanting to use Twitter to promote themselves.

 43.5% reported following a brand to get “exclusive deals or offerings,” which again is a statistic that companies should take note of.

 An even higher percentage of respondents have “friended” a brand on Facebook – a whopping 40%. Considering that Facebook is a social network that started out as a way for college kids to network, this is a statistic that will make companies and organizations take note. If you want brand recognition on the Web, according to these statistics there’s a very good chance that Facebook is a place you want to be.

 A smaller percentage follow a brand on Facebook for exclusive deals or offers (36.9%) – but still a majority.

 Is this “connected consumer” crowd mainstream? Well, about 62% of the respondents still use Internet Explorer as their browser, with 30% on Firefox. So yes, they are.

It’s interesting then to look at what are the homepages of these people.

 While Google is unsurprisingly number 1 with 32.6%, Yahoo is close behind at 29.7%. MSN is still well used at 11.9%. We were most surprised that AOL is now only 7.9%. These statistics show that Yahoo remains a force among mainstream consumers, whereas AOL is slipping further behind.

We reported last week that smartphones have almost overtaken ‘feature phones’ as the cellphones of choice for consumers. Razorfish‘s survey shows that 56% of connected consumers now use a smartphone – i.e. one that has email and web capabilities.

 As with the ChangeWave Research survey recently, Razorfish puts Blackberry (29.5%) ahead of Apple’s iPhone (20.1%).

 Another illuminating statistic is the number of people who now get their news from Twitter and Facebook. While nearly 80% of respondents still access “traditional news web sites,” 33% get news from Facebook and 19.5% from Twitter. Only 27.3% get news from “alternative news web sites” – by which we presume they mean blogs.

 Overall, these figures from Razorfish show that Facebook and Twitter are now major places for brands to be; as well as online sites where consumers get at least some of their news.


 
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