social network

This Week in Social: Facebook to Place Ads in News Feed, Twitter Launches Brand Pages

Facebook to Start Placing Ads in User News Feeds in January - AdAge Facebook will feature its "Sponsored Story" ad units in users' news feeds starting next month, giving marketers a more prominent foothold in the social network. The move is seen as an important step toward Facebook's goal of delivering ads to its huge mobile-user base, and perhaps ultimately to third-party websites. "We really see Facebook becoming the operating system of the Internet for ad delivery in the future," says ad executive Dave Williams.

Most Top Brands Have Google+ Pages, But Few Have Many Followers - Mashable

At this point, most of the top brands have Google+ brand pages, but only a fraction of them are getting many visitors, according to two research firms.

Foursquare Gros to 15 million Users, More Than Tripling its Community in the Last 12 Months - Econsultancy

This marks a year of strong growth for Foursquare, during which it secured $50m of venture capital funding  that put a value of around $600m on the company. A blog post by co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadural said the cash would allow Foursquare to “move more quickly”, and the new membership stats suggest it has worked.

Twitter Joins Facebook, Google, Launches 'Brand Pages' for Marketers - AdAge

Twitter's existing brand pages have been under the radar, especially compared with the buildup around Google+ brand pages, which were launched last month. But Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain said that he's spent the better part of the past year meeting with chief marketing officers, and brand pages were a recurring and frequent request.

Instagram Becomes the Largest Mobile Social Network - Socialfresh

Instagram added 2 million new users last month. Everyone seems to love the fast growing app (only available on iPhone for now).

Multi-Industry Case Study: Turning Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force

successkid real

Download: Turn Your Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force If you're like lots of companies, you have a very valuable marketing resource just going to waste: Brand Advocates. They're your most passionate and influential customers. They're already recommending your products- with no incentive. Can you imagine what they'd do if you were working with them?

This report covers Word of Mouth Marketing success stories in various industries including:

  • Travel and Hospitality
  • Software
  • Health and Fitness
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Restaurants and Casual Dining

Download the Case Study to learn how:

  • Chili's energized their Advocates to share over 320,000 offers with their social networks.
  • Club One Fitness yielded a 9X ROI through their Advocates' recommendations.
  • A leading consumer electronics company increased their star ratings on Amazon from 2.5 to 4.1.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

And the Most Influential Social Network Award Goes to...

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Foursquare, the list goes on and on. With a sea of social networks out there, and each with a distinct social dynamic and method of sharing content, it’s difficult for brands to determine where to throw their social anchor. A recent ExactTarget report sheds some light on the issue by highlighting a medium that is particularly valuable to brands: TWITTER.

Above any social network, Twitter users are the most influential online consumers and the most likely to generate online recommendations on behalf of your brand.

  • 72% publish blog posts at least once a month
  • 70% comment on others’ blog posts
  • 61% write at least one product review a month
  • 61% comment on news sites
  • 56% write articles for third-party sites
  • 53% post videos online
  • 50% make contributions to wiki sites
  • 48% share deals found through coupon forums

Since it’s in Twitter users' social DNA to comment, create, and recommend, it’s critical to identify Brand Advocates among your followers and arm them with the tools to proclaim their love for your brand.

How? It’s simple:

First, identify Advocates among your followers using listening tools, sentiment analysis, or with a simple tweet: How likely are to recommend our brand?

Next, provide the hand-raisers with the tools to recommend your brand and products. Give them the opportunity to:

The beauty of this channel is that the conversations that take place here go beyond Twitter. The 140 character limit makes it a clickable medium, meaning that people have to click through to fully consume a tweet’s content. Therefore, recommendations by Advocates on Twitter fuel discussions across all areas of the web which influence both Twitter and non-Twitter users alike.

Don’t miss the opportunity to turn Twitter users who are naturally inclined to recommend your brand into a powerful marketing force!

You can learn more in our latest whitepaper, “Turning Fans and Followers into Brand Advocates.”

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

This Week in Social: How Google+ is Winning (and Losing), Foursquare Launches Tip Lists

LinkedOut: Another Social Network Opt-Out Draws Fire - WSJ It seems that privacy questions about social-networking sites are the new black. This time, some customers are expressing concern about LinkedIn, the job-networking site that had its IPO last month. At issue, a two-month-old site tweak that can turn members from ordinary career networkers into brand cheerleaders with their profile photo and name popping up in related advertising.

Social Media Hierarchy of Effects and ROISocial Media Today

We all know that Brand Advocates are actively promoting your brand to their network, but how did they get there? This article explains the hierarchy, or the funnel, of the social network and its effects.  If a brand nurtures the relationship through the stages in the funnel then hopefully they find a Brand Advocate who can help with positive ROI.

Foursquare Gets into the Crowdsourced Curation Game With Tip Lists - TechCrunch

Up until now your Foursquare Tips have sort of roamed free on the app, without rhyme or reason or real incentive to add more. The company is now trying to improve on the Tips experience and get users to fancy themselves local experts. After all, you must know something about some place in the city you live in right?

6 Ways Google+ is Winning (and Losing) - AdAge

PepsiCo’s Shiv Singh, shares the pro’s and cons of Google+. He’s still trying to figure out if this network will become an add-on or a replacement to his current digital habits. To him, Google+ has the best of Facebook and the best of Twitter you have the ability to broadcast and select closed groups who should receive that broadcast. So is it meant to be a bridge between the two but do we really need that?

Restaurant Groupies Are Valuable to Companies - Star-Telegram

Call it fanaticism or simply dedication, but these are the ultra-enthusiastic fans that every restaurant craves. Restaurant groupies have always been around, but they're more valuable at a time when the economy forces consumers to choose carefully when they eat out, and a few online posts can inform thousands.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance

The Single Moment of Truth: Will Google Plus Change the World?

I have to admit I was pretty skeptical when I heard about Google Plus. I thought to myself, Google only has so many Gmail users. Will they really be able to get non-Gmail users to sign up just for Google+? Well, here are some pretty impressive stats:

  • Gmail has 170M users (as of 2010). Google Plus has 10 million users and claims that 2 million of those users were new and signed up in a matter of 32-34 hours. That equates to 17 people per second.

I don’t know about you, but that growth rate is staggering.

Now consider Facebook.

  • By the end of 2006 they had 12 million users and grew to 50 million by the end of 2007. Using the same math, they grew roughly 1.2 people per second.

Now, I’m not trying to predict that Google Plus may or may not grow to exceed Facebook, but the initial growth seems to indicate that Google Plus has the potential to grow like wildfire.

A logical person might argue that “joining” doesn’t necessarily mean “using”, so consider this:

  1. Facebook claims over 30 billion pieces of content are shared each month.
  2. Larry Page claimed on last week’s investor call that over 1 billion pieces of content were being shared and received on Google Plus every day. That’s the equivalent of Facebook with only a FRACTION of the users.

Consider the implications:

  1. +1 Button: Social recommendations are going to take on a whole new life. What our friends and families recommend will proliferate one of the biggest channels we use to find information: Google. According to Page, the +1 button, with a limited release, has been clicked on 2.3 billion times a day.
  2. Circles: Circles will allow us to do what we’ve really wanted to do all along. Merge our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. The fundamental flaw with Facebook? I don’t want a business contact to see how hammered I looked at my girlfriend’s bachelorette party last weekend.  The genius of Facebook? I am so ridiculously pleased to connect to friends that I would have never been able to find by any other means. If you give me that all in one place. I’m sold. As a consumer, it’s convenient. As a marketer, it’s powerful.
  3. Hangouts: Page says that hangouts will allow “serendipitous interactions”.  Now I haven’t used it so I can’t say how or if it is better than either Foursquare or Facebook, but I’m fairly certain at least half of my friends don’t care that I’m at the Forrester Marketing Forum, but my “marketing” circle will.
  4. Coupons: Imagine being able to serve up specific deals based on specified interests. Now I like Groupon, but segmenting based on geography isn’t exactly relevant. And for those advertisers out there, it’s just a “spray and pray” approach to offering up specials.

I don’t know about you, but this time Google has me intrigued. As a consumer I’m interested in the possibilities. As a marketer, I’m salivating.

-Angela Sanfilippo, Senior Director of Marketing, Zuberance

Top 5 Traits Millennials Want in a Friend and a Brand

Marketing and Communications giant, McCann Worldgroup, recently did a global survey called, “The Truth About Youth”, which reported that the Millennial generation (aged 16 to 30) is defined by their ability to connect, share, recommend and broadcast to their social network and community.  The “social economy”, as stated by McCann, is value driven and it isn’t good enough to just “do” something anymore; you have to tell people about it before it becomes real.  The Millennials are measuring their experiences and accomplishments against those in their networks.

What this means for brands and marketers is that they not only NEED to be present in the social media space, but they have to focus themselves in a way the younger generation can understand.  The study lists 5 top traits that Millennials seek in their social friends: truthful, genuine, sociable, mature and humble, with “truthful” actually being twice as important as the other four.  In order to be seen as more authentic in the eyes of the younger generation, brands should employ the same characteristics that young people value in their friends.

5. HUMBLE - One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to overplay its importance to young people. Millennials love brands when they are useful, timely, and allow them to express some element of their personality.  Conversely, they tire of brands that clutter up their feeds with useless information.

4. MATURE -  Young people like having older friends that they can look up to and measure their progress against. Similarly, they value brands that are worthy of their respect, demonstrate a compelling and consistent point of view, and have substance.

3. SOCIABLE - Being sociable is about being present at the right time and in the right way. Friends you love to socialize with share cool things with you, have a dialogue with you, and have a style that suits their personality.

2. GENUINE -  Being genuine means being worthy of trust. Inviting a brand into your personal space requires trust, and brands should be mindful of not abusing this trust.  Brands that are not true to themselves and break promises are seen as unjust and remarkably, 90% globally said they would tell their friends about unjust behavior from a brand.  Make sure you stay genuine and always do the “right” thing!

1. TRUTHFUL - The desire for truthful friends is aligned with the desire for authenticity and transparency, some of the highest scoring motivations at a global level. Truth has become more and more important in a world of “fake friends” and curated communities.  Being original also helps you separate yourself from all the Internet “noise” that is out there.

The key takeaway: Brands should follow the above 5 traits in their social advertising endeavors in order to capture the Millennial generation effectively.

-Lucy Arnold, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance