Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Social Xmas: Facebook’s busiest day ever

Social networks = 10% of Internet traffic
Excerpted from HitWise Intelligence

Photo of Robin Goad

Robin Goad
Research Director, Hitwise UK.

With all of the focus on the economic downturn and the troubles in the retail sector, it’s easy to forget the continued growth of social networking in the UK. Christmas is traditionally the busiest time of year for social networks, and this festive season the sector achieved three significant new milestones.

Facebook accounts for 1 in 22 UK Internet visits on Christmas Day

On Christmas Day 2007 Facebook reached a peak in traffic that wasn’t surpassed until July 2008. Traffic reached a new high on Christmas Day 2008, when Britain’s most popular social networking site accounted for 1 in every 22 UK Internet visits. With a market share of 4.65% Facebook’s traffic was up 69% on Christmas Day 2007, and it was the second most visited website after Google UK (8.63%).


My Take

Social media is clearly where things are going - rapidly. All small business owners as well as Not-for-Profit Executive Directors should be planning to join their customers and friends there in 2009.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Social, Local Connection Engine

It’s not a stretch. ‘Not like imagining five years ago that a simple Web site could virtually replace email and IM’g. That you could keep in touch with all of your friends - their fleeting thoughts, photos, videos and more – on your personalized page. For free.

Of course I’m referring to Facebook – a simple idea that has revolutionized keeping in touch.

So it’s easy to imagine a site where you can find and share your friends’ trusted local businesses. You’d benefit from the established relationship to gain the most value for your home and health expenditures that comprise a quarter of your household budget.

But it’s “better than free” because just by using it you benefit your favorite charities. is preparing our updated release that features new capabilities for not-for-profits to connect with their network of supporters. (Currently limited to the greater-Hartford, CT market.)

Let us know if you’d like to receive updated information. – “Trusted local experts. Word of mouth referrals. Doing good.” tm

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help a NFP With a Gift That Gives

From Andy Sernovitz's blog "Damn I Wish I'd Thought of That":

Let's work together to help your favorite cause get better at fulfilling their mission. With your help, I can teach them how to use word of mouth to raise more money, activate volunteers, and spread their message.

Word of mouth is essential to all worthy causes, but most of them aren't very good at it. You can make a fundamental difference by teaching them how. Instead of sending a cash donation, send them a care package of word of mouth marketing training. Teach a man to fish ...

My Take

Not-for-Profits are intimately connected with their communities - with those people they help, with those who volunteer their time and services and with those individuals and businesses who donate financially to support the mission.

As such they are ideally situated to leverage their relationships within the community - and word-of-mouth is the ideal vehicle.

Andy's offer is a needed spark that may get Executive Directors to plan successful online and offline WOM friend-raising campaigns.

Andy Sernovitz is CEO of GasPedal, a word of mouth marketing consulting firm, author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. He co-founded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and served as CEO. He is also a professional speaker and teaches Word of Mouth Marketing at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dip Coming for Social Media Ad Revenue?

December 11, 2008
MySpace drags down social networking outlook

Social networks have unveiled a slew of new advertising formats this year, but they don't appear to be working, as eMarketer has scaled back its social network ad spending predictions for the second time this year.

The latest projection estimates advertisers will spend $1.2 billion on social networks this year, down from a projection of $1.4 billion made in May. Social network advertising will grow in 2009, but only to $1.3 billion, which is down from eMarketer's previous forecast of $1.8 billion.

A large reason for the revised estimates is the poor performance of MySpace. The News Corp.-owned social network, which highly touts its hyper-targeted ads, scrambled earlier this year when revenue fell short by $100 million. Now, eMarketer has scaled back its forecast for ad spending on MySpace by close to 23 percent -- a nearly $200 million difference.

Facebook, which has fought long and hard to prove its ads work, isn't fairing so well either. It will receive $210 million from advertisers this year, which is considerably less than the estimated $585 million for MySpace, and a 21 percent drop from eMarketer's earlier prediction. MySpace and Facebook account for 70 percent of social media ad spending.

My Take

Social media advertising will find its level. The key to an effective financial model will be to tie the cost of the media to the results it delivers. And allow the businesses to set their rates.

With social media this is possible.

Cutting Through the Clutter

Word of Mouth Marketing Prevails In Social Media
What this image shows is traditional marketing and social media marketing. As you can see the black arrows aren’t penetrating through the circle and the reason is because it is getting harder and harder to market using traditional media. The red arrow on the other hand is social media. You can clearly see that this is penetrating into the market and reaching a certain number of people. These people belong to one group, one community. Say facebook.
If you are taking the right approach to social media marketing, one of these users might go into a different platform and talk about it. You can see from the image an arrow pointing to another user inside a smaller circle.
Now this user might talk about it within their community and then may be hit the other community that he/she belongs to. Social media is simply word of mouth advertising. You don’t pay a dime, you simply participate, become a valuable member and penetrate into the market.
Once you take care of that, each user will carry on the message without them even knowing that they are actually promoting your products and services. Word of mouth advertising has been the holy grail of traditional marketing and it is true when it comes to social media marketing as well.

My Take

Ritu -
“Word of mouth advertising has been the holy grail of traditional marketing and it is true when it comes to social media marketing as well.”

So true.

The current interest in “social media” seems to be a rediscovery of what has always worked for local, trusted businesses. The Web allows national brands to more effectively affiliate with consumers by seeping into their social circles. Conversely, local businesses can use the Web to grow through leveraging the consumer trust they already have.
Your illustration shows the value of breaking through mass media clutter and into the area of trust. Our attempts at illustrating this can be seen on SlideShare.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Take: Microblogging (pronounced "Twitter")

Imagine a steady stream of blogging posts flowing at you from only the associates and industry gurus whom you select. Now stop imagining because it is real - and takes three minutes to get yours started.

It's called Twitter - and it is a mash-up, if you will, of Facebook, instant messaging and blogging.

How can it help you or your business? That depends on your business and who you're targeting. Seems like most Twitterers are Web professionals or simply have a lot of time on their hands. But if you wish to make new connections, latch onto cutting edge conversations and even drive traffic to your site, then it will work for you.

1. it is addictive
2. it can be frustrating - you will go through waves of acceptance from "this is cool" to "this is TOO much" to "Oh - now I get how to do this..."
3. you will be shunned for overt self-promotional-ism. Better to sit and watch a spell - get a feel for the protocol and etiquette before diving in.
4. it can steal time from other Web activities, so be looking to re-adjust your mix. Example - I find it more difficult to create blog content when I am in rapid fire Tweet mode.

So give it a whirl. You can "@" me (lingo for sending me a direct "tweet") at timtracey

- - Tim

Social Media as an Ad Vehicle - "Is it working?"

Is Advertising On Social Networks Working

Posted on by dhirender

Even as traffic to social networks increases, a revenue model still seems to elude most of them.Advertising is pretty much what most social networks depend on, and it doesn’t seem to be working.

According to this eMarketer report, more than one-half of the US population surveyed uses social networking sites, but the ad dollars have not followed. More than 75% of social network site users logged in at least once a week and 57% did so daily. Moreover, more than 61% of those users spent more than 30 minutes per session on social network sites, and 38% remained parked for 1 hour or more.

However, only 57% of social network site users said they clicked on an ad in the past year, compared with 79% of all Internet consumers. Despite phenomenal growth, social networks have yet to reach online advertising nirvana—that heady place where behavioral targeting tools aim for specific groups with offers specially tailored to members’ interests. It’s a place where marketers are able to serve ads, promotions and offers to friends of friends based on a pal’s recommendation, and where word-of-mouth marketing spreads like a flu virus in January to create waves of self-selecting consumers eager to interact with marketers.

My Take

“Is Advertising On Social Networks Working?”

For some - yes.

It will work for every business when their social network IS their advertising.

Social media is growing due to its increased acceptance and its pervasiveness (mobile, etc.) As it replaces legacy media (print ads, Yellow Pages, etc.) it will replace advertising and become the
default form of search.

It will succeed over algorithmic “search engines” because it incorporates trust - not just ratings. It also supports affiliation and as such is a vehicle for involving the members in a relationship
with the service providers.