Tag Archives: social networks

Facebook Marketing: Newsfeed Impressions Matter More Than the Number of Fans

The recently released “The Power of Like: How Brands Reach and Influence Fans Through Social Media Marketing” study, a collaboration by comScore and Facebook, suggests that the reach and frequency of brand impressions on Facebook may be more important that the number of Facebook fans.  The study looks at unpaid impressions for three major brands – Starbucks, Southwest Airlines and Bing – to see the impact of brand exposure, and how brand impressions reach friends of fans.

According to the study, for every fan of a brands’ page on Facebook, there are an additional 34 friends that can be reached (on average for the top 100 brand pages).  The main way to gain exposure to friends of your brands’ fans on Facebook is via the newsfeed; it is “the primary location where branded content is consumed.”

  • Users see their newsfeed 27% of the time while on Facebook; the newsfeed shows brand interactions by their friends
  • Users are between 40 and 150 times more likely to consume branded content in the newsfeed than to visit a particular brand’s page


Starbucks was the star among the three brands studied, though the brand also started with a much higher fan base.  Starbucks has over 24 million Facebook fans, Bing over 1.7 million, and Southwest over 1.6 million.  Starbucks had the most earned brand impressions per Facebook page view, with 156.  Bing had 45 impressions per fan page views on Facebook, and Southwest had 42.

The study also indicates that, when dealing with a brand with a large following, social media can ‘deliver impressions comparable with that of other digital ad campaigns.’ For Southwest and Bing – both with smaller Facebook followings – their social media brand impressions were fairly negligible compared to their existing online display ad campaigns. However, unpaid social media impressions increased total online impressions by a whopping 64% for Starbucks.

How often does your brand post on Facebook, and how many fans will see those posts?  According to the study, in average 16% of fans will see brand content if that brand posts 5 of 7 days, and posting an additional day will slide the average up to 18.5%.  This is relatively consistent with the level of reach between Facebook friends – a status update generally will reach around 12% of the average Facebook user’s friends.

Why do users miss content from their Facebook friends and the brands they like?

  • they may not be logged onto the site during the times when brands or their friends are active
  • the Facebook Newsfeed only delivers the the content it deems “most relevant” to a user at the top of the feed

Facebook accounts for 90% of the time Americans spend on social networking sites, and 100% of the Ad Age Top 100 advertisers have established Facebook brand pages.  The study concludes that “brands can realize significant untapped benefits by understanding and focusing on reaching the friends of their fans on Facebook.”

The study was conducted in May 2011. Download the full study here.

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GMC and Buick ‘Build Your Own’ Car Feature Adds Facebook Integration

Many car manufacturers offer potential consumers the ability to build or customize a vehicle on their website.  GMC and Buick are taking this a step further and incorporating social media into the process, allowing consumers to share their virtual vehicle with Facebook friends, and see the response via comments and ‘likes.’

The consumer gains the opportunity to solicit feedback from friends about their potential vehicle purchase, while GMC and Buick see their brand effectively marketed via the consumer.

According to Janet Keller, GMC’s digital and social media manager, one-quarter of GMC.com’s monthly visitors use the vehicle-building tool.  She told Direct Marketing News, “We already know that consumers are asking their friends and family about their vehicle selection, so why don’t we just bring that together in one seamless experience on GMC.com?”

Integrating with Facebook doesn’t just allow the consumer to share their vehicle ideas; it also gives the automotive brand valuable metrics regarding consumer preferences. Once consumers connect via their Facebook accounts, GMC and Buick can see how consumers design their vehicles, and what they (and their Facebook friends) like the most, knowledge which can be tied to purchases.  The automakers also get permission to access their basic profile information, and the publicly shared interests there help the brand to tailor future marketing communications.

The integration does not provide GMC or Buick with a way to reach out to customers to build and share vehicles – the brands can only message those who “like” their Facebook page.

The Facebook integration with GMC.com is currently only available via desktop, although both automakers plan to create Facebook “Build a Vehicle” apps that will have a mobile-friendly version, possibly available this year.

The goal, according to Keller? “The ultimate gold standard is to be able to connect how people are engaging on GMC.com and with the tool and ultimately be able to lead that into sales and how this tool helps to facilitate sales at the bottom line.”

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37% Trust What Friends/Family Say About Brands On Social Media

A recent study by Knowledge Networks and MediaPost Communications surveyed teen and adult social media users about their reaction to brands and product recommendations on social media.  Overall, 37% of respondents trust what friends and family say about a brand or product on social media, while only 10% trust what a stranger says, as reported by eMarketer.

However, the level of trust varies by the type of social media:

  • 26% trust what friends and family members say in blog posts
  • 25% trust friends and family posts on social media sites
  • 20% trust friends and family tweets
  • only 7% trust the blogs and posts of strangers
  • just 5% trust strangers’ tweets

Conducted in May 2011, “The Faces of Social Media” study also looked at how customers interact with social media via mobile during the shopping process. According to the survey, 40% of respondents access social media via mobile phone, up from 28% in September 2010. Fully half of mobile web users “interact with social media at some point in the shopping process:”

  • 27% of US mobile internet users use social media to compare or check prices before, during or after shopping
  • 24% check reviews
  • 16% get coupons or discounts for local businesses

Brand relationships and purchase decisions are increasingly influenced by social media:

  • 23.1 million teen and adult social media users discover new brands or products through social media (up 22% from 2010)
  • 22.5 million use social media to learn about unfamiliar brands or products (up 9%)
  • 17.8 million are strongly influenced in their purchase decisions by opinions in social media (up 19%)
  • 15.1 million refer to social media before making purchase decisions (up 29%)

The presence of social media (especially via mobile) in shopping and purchase decisions continues to grow and gain influence, as does the importance of friend and family recommendations made via these networks.  It will be interesting to see how this trend ties into geo-location apps, such as Foursquare and Facebook Places.  Will your friends’ purchases or favorites someday show up when you check in to your favorite store?

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50% of Americans Online Ages 18-44 Play Social Games Daily

According a recent study by Saatchi & Saatchi, 50% of people online between the ages of 18 and 44 play social games daily.  The study provides some general statistics about social gaming use and demographics, but also reveals the attitude of social gamers toward in-game brand advertising, social challenges, and gaming incentives.  Brand marketers should pay close attention: eMarketer believes US social gaming revenues will pass $1 billion this year.

Some general highlights:

  • two-thirds of tablet owners report playing social games each day
  • more than half (53%) of smartphone owners do the same
  • of the 50% (ages 18-44) who play social games daily, 54% are men and 46% are women
  • men play more for competition, women tend to play out of boredom

The study asked respondents about playing social games in the workplace:

  • Nearly half (47%) confess to playing social games during a typical day at work – again more males (53%) than females (39%)
  • 14% play social games like FarmVille and Bejeweled Blitz at work for an hour or more
  • 55% of Americans said they were interested in working for a company that uses gamification to increase productivity

Respondents were also asked about brands and their presence on social games and in social challenges:

  • nearly two in five (37%) chose an online game as a preferred route to new product knowledge (second only to email, preferred by 44%)
  • 58% say it is important for brands to be fun and playful
  • 57% of those interested in completing social challenges found product discounts a “very compelling” incentive to complete them; another 37% found them “somewhat compelling”
  • 88% of respondents considered gaining loyalty program points to be at least “somewhat compelling”

The study found that 71% of smartphone/tablet owners turned to that device when bored, leaving plenty of opportunity for social gaming (and the messages brands may incorporate into those games.)  According to 57% of respondents, social games “help to pass the time when I’m bored.”

The results were based on a May 2011 study of 2,004 U.S. adults ages 18-44, evenly distributed across gender, conducted by Ipsos OTX MediaCT for Saatchi & Saatchi.

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European Women Spend More Time On Social Networks Than Men

An April 2011 study by comScore reveals that European women spend more time on social networks than men do – a finding that remains consistent across all age groups.

Measuring the time spent on social networks in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the comScore data shows that young European females (ages 15-24) spent the most time on these sites, 8.4 hours per month in April 2011.  Women from age 25-54 remained fairly consistent with 5.3-5.5 hours per month, while male engagement dropped significantly with age.

In the 45-54 demographic, European females spent twice as much time on social networking sites as males.

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Lady Gaga Fans ‘Glam’ It Up For Charity with Social Sharing

Lady Gaga has teamed up with MAC Cosmetics to create awareness for a line of lip products that benefit HIV and AIDS-related charities, as reported by Mashable.  This  “digital, interactive movement” is based on a website, www.vivaglam.com, that allows users to upload photos of themselves to the site, and then share the message via social media. Each user photo becomes a ‘sequin,’ is then added into a matrix of all user photos (sequins), and will eventually be incorporated into a “unique garment” that the star will wear at Fashion Week in Paris.

The really innovative part: users are asked to spread awareness via email, Facebook and Twitter – and the more they share, the bigger and more prominent their sequin becomes in the matrix. How badly do you want to have your likeness – however miniature – on Lady Gaga’s dress?

The results, one month after launch:

  • the site has 10,667 members
  • 4,489 tweets have been sent to raise awareness

While this seems impressive, Lady Gaga alone has more than 10 million Twitter followers and 38 million Facebook fans.  Why is this campaign is failing to draw them in large numbers?

Mashable suggests several reasons why fans are slow to join:

  • users have to fill out a sign-up form – as opposed to simply authenticating via Facebook or Twitter –  before submitting their photo (a social campaign without a social log-in?)
  • users aren’t prompted to share the site on their networks until after they fill out the sign-up form
  • users can post messages to their Facebook walls, but can’t target particular friends
  • messaging is generic, and has no info about Viva Glam or the HIV and AIDS charities involved
  • users can’t easily see how they are performing relative to each other on the site, making it hard to stir up competition

Despite these drawbacks, will Lady Gaga be able to spur more of her “little monsters” into action via social media as Fashion Week draws nearer?  Is the campaign innovative enough to continue building momentum?

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92% of US Consumers Aware of Twitter, Only 8% Use It

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, Twitter usage has risen to 13% of US internet users in May 2011, up 62.5% (from 8% in fall 2010) as reported by eMarketer. It’s clear that Twitter usage is still growing, but for a service with a high level of awareness among the population, it still has surprisingly few users.

According to data from Arbitron and Edison Research (of U.S. consumers in general):

  • 92% of Americans are aware of Twitter, but only 8% of consumers ages 12 and up have ever used it
  • Awareness of Twitter increased 5 percentage points, from 87% in 2010
  • Usage of Twitter increased only 1 percentage point, from 7% in 2010
  • Awareness of Facebook is also higher than usage – more people have heard of Facebook than use the internet in the US – but the gap is not as large, with 42% of consumers using Facebook (according to an eMarketer estimate)

After laying out the numbers, eMarketer concludes that “Twitter has thus far failed to make its value proposition appealing to most Americans who have heard of it.”

Will 2011 be the year that Twitter usage really takes off in the US, or will it continue this steady (but slow) growth pattern?

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Facebook Attracts 75% of U.S. Social Networking Visitors

Recent data from comScore shows that social networks received over 200 million unique U.S. visitors in April 2011, and ~151 million of these visitors (three out of four) use Facebook.

Overall unique visitors to social networks rose 61% from two years ago, while visits to Facebook rose an impressive 332% over that same time period (from 35 million visitors per month back in April 2008).

Will Facebook continue to attract the lion’s share of visitors to social networking sites?  Could it eventually edge all competitors out?

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Israelis and Russians Spend Twice as Much Time on Social Networks as US Users

In what countries are people spending the most time on social networks?  Recently published data by comScore ranks the countries with the highest amount of hours each visitor spent on social networking sites during April 2011.

Israel ranks highest with nearly 11 hours per month, and Russia comes in close behind with over 10 hours of social networking per visitor in April 2011.  The U.S. is #13 on the list, with the average visitor spending only half as much time on social networks as those in Israel or Russia.

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Book Preview: Meditation in the Age of Twitter and Facebook

One of the many cool things that will happen at #RLTM Realtime NY on June 6:  the launch of Ajit Jaokar’s new book, Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter.

The author, Ajit Jaokar is a highly-respected London-based mobile and web industry author, blogger, publisher and teacher.

Jaokar defines meditation as the sense of presence and focus required to achieve seemingly-impossible things.  Landing a plane on the Hudson, for example.

This is not a book about monks living in caves, but about what can happen when people connected into an enormous number of inputs learn how to process that information to make informed decisions and put the increasing complexity to practical use.

You know:  kind of like curating an awesome Twitter newsfeed.  But at a level exponentially more sophisticated, and even more intensely networked.

This book has serious geek credentials.  The first chapter, which Jaokar will be distributing to attendees at Realtime NY on June 6, touches on social networks, neural networks, Ray Kurzweil, Moore’s law, E.T., Mendelian genetics and simulation games.

His main thesis is that we are entering an era where meditation is two-sided:  involving both a traditional disconnection from the external world–and a simultaneous connection to an exponentially increasing number of inputs via the growth and spread of technology-based networks.   It is an era where

“meditation becomes a technology that will cause an exponential uptake in human intelligence and evolution.  The starting point for this exponential uptake of human intelligence is the brain nad the mind. More specifically, the exponential uptake of intelligence could be brought about by a connectivity and enhancement of minds through networks and technology.  In that sense, meditation is a ‘transhumanist’ technology and networks are the underlying paradigm of the fourth age of meditation.”

To anyone who has been awe-struck by the incredible power of tools like Twitter to instantly connect you to the experience of millions of other people in realtime, this is an intriguing idea, and one that Jaokar explores with a serious, scientific and business-like purpose.  What will the impact of the evolving technology-based hyper-connectedness be on individuals, societies and on organizations?  I look forward to reading the entire book when it is released, and to spending some time with Jaokar at Realtime NY!

Jaokar will be signing copies of his first chapter during the lunch break at #RLTM NY, and will also be participating in our panel discussion on the future of realtime applications, platforms and value systems.

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