Here are all of the posts tagged ‘facebook ads’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #70

by Adam Bernstein in News

After something of a hiatus due to the Bank Holidays, we’re back on a Monday…

YouTube continues to grow
For the second consecutive month, YouTube was the fastest growing social media property in the UK in April, growing by 3.12% year-on-year. It now accounts for one in every five UK visits to a social media site.

How are UK retailers doing in social media
An interesting piece from Econsultancy on how UK retailers are doing in social media – it’s notable how traditional retailers like Topshop and River Island are battling it out with online retailers like Amazon and Asos but actually managing to come out on top.

PR revenues increase post-recession
2010 was a good year for PR firms – with fee income rising by an average of almost 10%. We were delighted to be featured in the Evening Standard as one of those with the fastest growth:

One of the fastest-growing PR firms was Farringdon-based We Are Social, specialists in social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, with fee income up 190% to £2 million.

In fact, it clearly piqued the Evening Standard’s interest, with them running a follow-up article looking at businesses’ use of social media, again featuring us.

Facebook pays users to watch ads…
On Thursday, Facebook launched a new programme which incentivizes users to watch adverts – by paying them to do so. To start, users will get paid one Facebook Credit – worth ten cents – for watching one of the adverts, which will typically appear in games, with Zynga among the game publishers Facebook has linked up with. It creates a very interesting state of affairs, where Facebook is trying to link its different business activities together – the Credits earnt are designed in part to be spent on Facebook Deals.

This said, having seen how click-through rates have fallen on Facebook ads, it’s questionable whether users will want to go even further and watch a video, when the reward is so minimal.

…And continues to develop its ad programme
Paying users to watch ads is just part of Facebook’s move to dominate the display ad market: an interesting interview with Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Head of Sales, gave a deeper explanation of what their aims are, but there’s no hiding from their success – Facebook now accounts for 31.2% of the US Display ad market, and is on course to surpass a trillion ad impressions over the course of the year.

Most pleasing for Zuckerberg et al, will be the success of Sponsored Stories. Click-through rates on normal ads may be stalling, but a study found that Sponsored Stories have a 46% higher click-through rate, and bring in fans at an 18% lower cost – which will mean that advertisers are still keen to invest in Facebook. They’ll also be able to measure results better – Inside Facebook had an interesting post this week on how Facebook is updating its analytics with audience funnels and conversation data.

New Facebook for BlackBerry app
Facebook released a new version of their BlackBerry app last week – with a number of improvements – particularly with integrating the phone’s native contacts.

Renren’s hugely successful IPO
Chinese social networking site Renren staged an initial IPO on the New York Stock Exchange last week – with impressive results. Shares were originally offered at $14 a share but rose in value to $18. That prices the company at $7.5 billion – far less than Facebook, but, notably, a greater valuation as a multiple of 2010 revenues than Facebook has managed.

Disqus introduces @mentions
Disqus launched a new comment system last week, meaning you can now tag friends in your comments. The move is intended to make the comments on posts both more social, and easier to filter.

Doubtless, we’ll be seeing all of you in the comments.

Mumsnet launches Gransnet
Mumsnet last week launched Gransnet – a spin-off aimed, as the name suggests, at grandmothers. With half of grandparents under 65 years old, and 51-64 year olds the fastest growing internet demographic, it’s possible that the site could be a success. What I’m more interested in though, is what will replace the dreaded ‘biscuit question’?

Farmville – with real animals
Bulding on the enormous popularity of Farmville, the National Trust last week launched MyFarm, which will allow 10,000 members to all vote on decisions being taken on a real farm. Participants will be advised on their decisions through blog posts and videos. This is clearly a barn-storming idea, though whether those on the farm have Moo business cards is still unknown.

Honda’s reciprocal marketing
To celebrate reaching one million Facebook fans, Honda asked executives to reciprocate some of their fans love. So an exec got a tattoo of a guy called Dustin who had a Honda tattoo, and so on. A thoroughly Civic idea.

Lynx’s new app
Last week Lynx launched a new app which is intended to act as a social hub for nights out:

The app collects the videos, pictures, texts, tweets and status updates from each member of the group’s phones, creating a record of the evening in real time.

The app is currently only available in the UK but Lynx expect to roll-on and deliver it to worldwide territories – understandably, as the video below shows a pretty cool app.

Ben and Jerry’s donates unused Twitter characters to Fair Trade
May the 14th is World Fair Trade Day and Ben and Jerry’s are encouraging consumers to donate any leftover characters in their tweets to a linked story, which will extol the virtues of Fair Trade. It’s a nice way of using Twitter to do something good and also generate positive sentiment for the brand. Nice.

First tweet sent from summit of Mount Everest
British climber Kenton Cool became the first person to tweet from the summit of Mount Everest last week – and Samsung did a nice bit of marketing by sponsoring Cool to tweet using a particular smartphone, and mention that he was doing this in the tweet.

It was a good campaign from Samsung – who also shot a nice video of Kenton unboxing the phone at the bottom of the mountain.

A social media loyalty card – using Gowalla
A lot has been said about how the check-in is growing in popularity – and BMI have shown their faith in check-in services by creating a loyalty programme solely using Gowalla. They’re asking users to check-in at different airports to receive recommendations – and eventually rewards.

Your Facebook design could be on a KLM plane…
Meanwhile, KLM have launched a nice campaign which asks fans to ’tile yourself’.

The KLM promotion is based around Delft blue tiles, with Facebook users encouraged to turn photos and profile pictures into Delft type images and then add a caption too. Selected photos will then be added to a specially painted KLM plane which will then fly around the world.

The campaign – and the BMI one mentioned above – hits on an interesting trend from travel companies: that they’re using social media to create more real-life experiences, and it seems to be working out pretty well.

Linkedin and Fortune 500’s collaboration
Linkedin and Fortune 500 have come together to create an app – which makes use of all the data Linkedin holds, to give users a better insight into the different companies – and more importantly, how they can do business with the different companies.

Twitter undermines celeb super-injunctions
It’s well known that many celebrities hold super-injunctions stopping stories being reported by the media, which they acquire at great expense. What they didn’t bank on was Twitter undermining them – with a Twitter account claiming knowledge of many super-injunctions, and a simple Twitter search showing how many people are happy to repeat these claims.

PCC seeks to regulate press Twitter feeds
In a surprising move, the UK Press Complaints Commission announced on Friday that it intended to bring press Twitter accounts under its remit. That it wants to regulate press streams – eg BBC branded accounts – is normal. But that it wants to regulate what individual journalists are saying seems over-the-top. It is one thing to suggest best practice – another to regulate what a particular journo wants to say. That said, Neville Hobson had an interesting piece on why he thinks it is a good idea.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #66

by Adam Bernstein in News

Top brands focus on social media
Marketing has a feature looking at the top 100 online advertisers in the UK, but as they point out “the significant investment in social-media monitoring remains hidden from view”. They go on to point out that research from the American Marketing Association has found that social media will account for 9.8% of US marketing budgets this year, and will rise to 18.1% over the next five years. Seeing clear empirical evidence of how big brands are using social media effectively will doubtless cause a snowball effect, and drive greater investment in social across the board.

This is backed up by the latest research from eMarketer, with companies are becoming more comfortable on social networks, with 84% involved in at least one of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs, and 25% active on all four. It’s interesting to see the regional variations in how different companies are using Facebook:

The biggest growth can be seen on Twitter, with 12% more companies active compared to last year, and this has in turn led to greater listening and responding, again with some interesting regional differences:

Engaged Facebook fans are worth more
The trend towards greater engagement across all social media platforms suggests big brands believe it is a worthwhile investment – and quite right too, with new research from Syncapse finding that those who tweet, like, and share details of new marketing campaigns, are worth $22.93 to a brand in earned media.

And recent research from Millward Brown, in partnership with the World Federation of Advertisers has found that the most successful Facebook pages aren’t necessarily those with the most fans. Using a FanIndex rating, which measures engagement, it found that the more brands put in to their fan pages, the more they get out in terms of brand response. Among the fan pages studied, as a general rule the brands that posted more frequently generally achieved higher attitudinal ratings and were more lively communities.

Top Facebook markets by percentage reach
The data is out for February 2011, and it might make surprising viewing for some – the market with the highest Facebook reach (amongst the country’s internet users), was the Philippines, with 93%.

Still room for social networks to grow
Adele Gritten of YouGov wrote an interesting piece for NMA this week about how there’s still room for plenty of growth for the big social networks – pointing out how 49% of the over-55 demographic on Facebook has joined within the last two years.

Clearly, there’s still room for growth at both ends of the spectrum, but marketers may well be more interested in older demographics: according to research from Forrester, despite 12-17 year olds being the most active demographic on Facebook in terms of site visits, only 6% of them are interested in liking a brand, half the figure for those aged 18-24; this suggests that resources can be better spent on older demographics.

20,000 children banned from Facebook everyday day
Meanwhile, Mozelle Thompson, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, has revealed that 20,000 children under 13 get banned from the site every day for lying about their age, with over seven million children blocked from the site each year.

Facebook tests out real-time advertising
For a long time, Facebook has delivered targeted adverts based on historic wall posts and status updates, but they’ve now gone one better: they’re testing out real-time targeted ads, so if you say you fancy a pizza, it might suggest you like the Pizza Hut page for a discount (hypothetically). They’re currently testing this out with 1% of the userbase – around six million people – but it looks an excellent way for them to add to their ad revenues.

The ramification of this move are enormous – most obviously, in terms of more refinement in targeted advertising.

New Facebook Questions format
The old Facebook Questions was something of a niche product, but its now been over-hauled to help it become an integral part of day-to-day use of Facebook. The old product had a market penetration of 0.05%, so clearly, the take-up on Questions can only improve (which it seems to have done) but while the new format may seem to focus on opinions rather than facts, Facebook hope it will draw on the wisdom of crowds.

LinkedIn hits 100 million users
LinkedIn proudly announced last week that the site now had over 100 million members – and with the site adding a million members a week at the moment, and with growth rates increasing, it seems the only way is up.

MySpace loses 10 million users in a month
The news is less good at MySpace, where the decline only seems to be getting steeper – according to ComScore, the site went from 73 million users in January to 63 million in February, a staggering ten million drop. It really does seem like MySpace is in an irrevocable decline, which is a bit of a shame.

Coca-Cola invests in social media in the UK
The Grocer has reported that Coca-Cola cut its ad spend by 6.8% in 2010 and invested in social media.

Saab become social
An Australian Saab enthusiast, Steven Wade has managed the impressive feat of landing a job at the company in their social media team, solely through his Saab-loving blog. What’s more interesting are the comments from Saab chair Victor Muller about his hiring:

It is a given that you have played a key role in saving Saab last year by mobilizing tens of thousands of enthusiasts to rally in support of the company. You have single-handedly proven the importance social media has nowadays in situations like the one Saab went through. You became one of my most powerful allies in those trying times which now are fortunately behind us

Hiring Wade is designed to bring the company closer to its customers, and with his love of the cars, he seems perfectly designed to do the job. As such, we give Saab 9.5 out of 10 for the whole story.

Courting Foursquare at the Sony Ericsson Open
Sony Ericsson have a strong relationship both with Foursquare and with tennis, and they’ve brought the two together at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. Users who earn the Xperia Tennis Fan badge by checking in at the Tennis Hotspot venue will receive a discount on tickets to matches, and the opportunity to meet the players through press conferences and player autograph sessions. What an ace idea…

Warner Bros expands Facebook film renting service
Warner Bros today announced that they were adding new films to their Facebook rental service – with Harry Potter and Inception now on offer.

How journalism has turned social
While George Osborne was delivering the budget last week, the BBC tried to make its coverage more social by creating their own dedicated hashtag relating to the Budget – #BBCBudget. What was particularly interesting was when they promoted the hashtag on air, usage clearly rose. But more than this, because viewers were choosing to use the hashtag, when the BBC wanted to make their coverage more social, they could draw on these opinions easily.

This relates to the discussion about broadcasters and newspapers taking up live-blogging – although they clearly bring in a lot of hits, the minute-by-minute updates do have problems: most notably, that the facts of the story get buried in earlier updates and the actual ‘story’ is lost amidst analysis and counter-arguments. Clearly live-blogging is here to stay, but it will be interesting to see how media companies adapt to deal with these problems.

SXSW Film – dominated by bloggers
It was fascinating to read Catherine Shoard’s account of SXSW Film and how well bloggers were treated – it looks like we’re reaching a tipping point in the film industry, where people realise that big bloggers are the true opinion formers.

Shirky and Gladwell fight it out over the power of social media
In an interesting discussion about the power of social media, Clay Shirky and Malcolm Gladwell have been going at it hammer and tongs. While the full article is worth a read, one particular quote from Shirky stands out above the rest of it: “the effect of the Internet on traditional businesses is less about altering internal practices than about altering the competitive landscape: clothing firms now have to compete with Zappos, bookstores with Amazon, newspapers with Craigslist”.

UK agencies ranked by social media influence
In a story which warmed our heart, we were glad to see we’re ranked fourth amongst UK agencies for social media influence. On that note, make sure to tweet and share this post!

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #59

by Adam Bernstein in News

Inc 500 companies realise the importance of social media
It’s interesting to read the latest research from the University of Massachusetts about how fast-growing companies are using social media. The Inc 500 list is made up of the 500 fastest-growing businesses in America and it’s heartening to see how many of them ‘get’ social media – 56% class it as being very important to their business, a 13% increase year-on-year.

But the most telling conclusion from the study was that those who considered social media particularly important had the largest growth to their business – it’s what we’ve been saying but the research makes it almost irrefutable.

What do people expect from online customer service?
The IAB and Lightspeed Research conducted a detailed study into what social network users expect in terms of online customer service – with 45% of respondents having complained online compared with 36% who have complained by phone – showing that the internet is the most common place to complain. In terms of responses to those complaints, younger people are more determined to receive a quick response – 19% of the 18-34 demographic want a response within an hour, although most people are happy as long as they receive a response within 24 hours.

Companies lack a process for dealing with complaints
Which segues nicely into a survey of North American IT professionals, finding that most companies lack a process to deal with complaints online – especially when they’re from Facebook and Twitter (something that will change quickly, if we have anything to do with it).

eMarketer’s write-up made the very salient point that “a lack of a plan for responding to comments leaves marketers vulnerable”. Indeed.

How much does a Facebook fan cost?
Research from Webtrends has found that the average cost to convert a fan through Facebook social ads is now $1.07 – but as Geoffrey Fowler put it in the Wall Street Journal:

the rates at which U.S. users are clicking on Facebook ads designed to generate fans are starting to decline, according to Webtrends. In 2009, the so-called click-through rate on such ads was 0.063%. In 2010, the rate declined to 0.051%. At the same time, ads are getting more expensive, rising from 17 cents per thousand in 2009, to 25 cents in 2010.

While you’d expect us to say “so what”, as we all know what counts is how engaged your fans are, not raw fan numbers, but obviously the more engaged fans you have, the better, and Facebook ads can often be a very effective way of growing a fan base. As Webtrends’ Justin Kistner cautions:

Ads could be growing more expensive because many of them are sold through an auction system that’s getting increasing competition as more advertisers turn to Facebook. The lesson is that the companies that have a head start now, with double-digit millions of fans, are going to end up spending much less money than others. There is a competitive advantage to starting now.

How are teens using social media?
Pew released an interesting report last week into how teens communicate with each other, although they seem to have been asking some seriously odd questions – the one stage in life where people do communicate with their friends face-to-face daily is during school years – and I find it hard to believe that only 33% of teens speak to their friends daily – it just doesn’t chime with any of my (reasonably typical) experiences.

The Swedish Twitter Census
A study from Intellecta produced very specific findings – they conducted a head count and found that although there are 91,462 Twitter accounts in Sweden, there are only 35,993 active users. Wowsers.

Google Latitude introduces Check-Ins
Google originally created Latitude so that users could share their location – and therefore make it easy for friends and family to see where you are. Now they’ve taken this one step further. They’ve introduced check-ins so that people can show exactly where they are – be it their local corner-shop, or the new Italian – so that friends can find them even more easily. As the video shows, it looks very simple, and it will be interesting to see just what effect it has on Foursquare and Facebook Places.

Reddit’s amazing traffic figures
Reddit surpassed one billion page views in a month for the first time in January. This is a 300% increase year-on-year and is particularly impressive because of the relatively low number of unique visitors – 13.75 million people generated all of that traffic, suggesting that the website’s users are pretty engaging to each other. Or something.

Wikipedia looking for more women writers
Wikipedia announced it was looking for more women writers after research found that 85% of articles on the site are written by men. The Wikimedia Foundation which administers Wikipedia has set a target of 25% female contributors by 2015. Progressive.

The Superbowl and social media
The Superbowl is the biggest sporting event of the year in America, and it was no surprise to see large companies trying to take advantage of the social media buzz around it last night – Audi ran a commercial which contained a branded hash-tag and Mercedes and Kia both gave away cars. While those prizes were quite hard to win, Foursquare gave its users one of the easiest badges ever – they created a global venue, ‘Superbowl Sunday’, and let users check-in to show their allegiance to a particular team – which earned them that team’s badge.

New Old Spice video – and how it was seeded
After the mega success of their previous campaign, Old Spice have done something pretty cool – they selected a guy called Chris and designated him their ‘Superfan’:

It was his job to seed the new film, and judging by the 230,000 YouTube hits already, he’s done an OK job.

BP’s disingenuous tweeting
Alex Hannaford wrote a very interesting piece for The Guardian about how BP is trying to present the recovery from the oil spill. Essentially, they’re presenting information in a way which doesn’t give full context to the information – and they’ve been called out on it, by among others, the scientist whose evidence they tried to use. Hannaford’s conclusion was strong: “You can follow BP America’s tweets @BP_America. Just don’t believe the hype”.

Kenneth Cole’s Twitter #fail
It’s pretty unbelievable but Kenneth Cole, the fashion designer, has fallen into the same trap as Habitat – and tried to hijack a hashtag relating to a serious event (the protests in Cairo) in order to promote his business.

The obligatory fake Twitter account also sprung up – and begrudgingly, I’ll admit it’s quite funny.

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