Tag Archives: internet

Users Seek Out Online Reviews

5584937714_c450eb6747One of the problems facing the digital agency is about the power of online reviews. It is great to receive good reviews, however, doubt about them is called into question when bad reviews start cropping up, especially reviews that are off base about the brand’s service. It may be tempting to discontinue any services that encourage online reviews. However, new data by eMarketer shows that would be a mistake.

65% of respondents somewhat trust online reviews. A brand that is missing online reviews is viewed suspiciously by many users. This is also true of brick and mortar businesses. 70% of respondents do online research and price comparisons before visiting a brick and mortar vendor. A plethora of positive review does make some people more likely to trust a brand, however that gain is minimal. Survey results show that negative reviews are better than no reviews and the brand should be consider them valuable to its marketing efforts.

Users Seek Out the Truth in Online Reviews

Photo by Margaret Ornsby

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Visual Becoming More and More Important

Pinterest

As if the Pinterest craze and revamped Facebook appearance did not already emphasize the need for a strong visual component in social media campaigns, there is new data that should push the trend. 45% of US consumers say they will purchase a new television within the year. More and more those televisions are going to be smart and connected to the internet. This increasing use of a non-traditional device to connect to social media will drive how ads are handled.

The social media agency needs to dust off the graphic making software and skillset. Hiring may need to be done or refresher courses on the newest software. The visual component of social advertising will become more important and the quality of what consumers expect will also increase. It is not just the proliferation of smart TVs driving this trend. As gaming consoles become more capable, then they are also connecting TVs. Blue Ray disc players are also often combined with an internet capability.

 

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Twitter Testing New Star Button

A small group of Twitter users now has access to a star button. As of now the star button seems to behave similarly to FaceBook’s ‘like’ button, but it does not flag in the newsfeeds of people following the one who invoked the star. The star button does, however, flag in the newsfeed of the person whose tweet was starred. Most commentators are so far comparing it to a ‘favorite’ button, which makes the tweet easier to find after time has elapsed.

This change will probably not be a significant change for the social media agency. One of the great things about FaceBook’s ‘like’ button is that it allows an interaction that does not require much from the viewer. Twitter has been missing an easy interaction. Retweeting has been the method and it is still cumbersome for the viewer, especially if the RT function drives the message over the 140 character limit. One good thing about this is it signals Twitter’s willingness to experiment and try to improve the service. Twitter is also eager to make things better so it can provide a better experience for advertisers. The star button may not help much when it is implemented, but it will help some and it shows a future for social media outside of FaceBook’s domination.

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Infographics Service Opens to the Public

It may not seem to be the biggest news at first glance, but it will sneak up on the social media agency.

Infographics seem to be the ideal way to communicate a message that requires number analysis. As FaceBook moves to emphasize more visual information, then the infographic is ideally suited as a persuasive tool. The problem, of course, has been the time and expertise needed to make a quality presentation. Infogr.am is now open to the pubic offering the social media agency and its clients the ability to make infographics on the fly.

For now there are only a few graphics packages available, but as the service gains users then it will increase its offerings. There is a built in spreadsheet engine and the input methods use a drag and drop functionality. For the social media agency that has quality graphics designers on staff, this might be bad news. For those agencies without the staff, hen there is now an option for infographics, which will help clients add content more likely to be shared on social networks.

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Showroom Shoppers Willing To Purchase From Showroom

Showroom shopping is the activity encouraged by Amazon last holiday season that brought down a lot of criticism. A showroom shopper goes into a brick and mortar store and investigates a product. The shopper then does more comparison online and makes the purchase online. Recently the discussion has been about the large vendors—namely Amazon—to poach customers from other vendors even though the other vendors front the educational cost for the shopper’s decision.

A new study shows that showroom shoppers are quite willing to purchase from the showroom’s online presence instead of a competitor. Most of these decisions are motivated by price, but the data shows that customers may be willing to take a small hit in price to make the purchase from the brick and mortar’s online site, even if it is just a desire to remain consistent among vendors.

This data gives the social media agency a way to convince clients, or potential clients, for further investment in online options. For a shopper to make the purchase there needs to be an online presence. These shoppers are also sensitive to other mechanisms, such as coupons and apps and exclusive discounts for online purchases. Price is an important determinate, but what shoppers seem to ultimately be looking for is information. The social media agency needs to help clients provide as much information as possible to boost sales and prevent poaching from larger vendors.

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Twitter Incites Backlash Over Censorship Plans

Twitter announced last week that they planned on modifying their program in certain countries to be able to remove posts from users at any time. The change has been a long time in the works after Twitter was used in countries like France to coordinate the riots last year. The change would allow them to pull any post, from any user, at any time, by the request of “an authorized entity”.

This has brought about an angry response from those that claim this violates the right to free speech that the Internet has built itself on. Many are worried that this will become another domino in what seems to be a trend to eliminate the rights of people online by creating policies that claim to be for the purpose of enforcing current laws, but give entities online the power to control what people post. Recently, the U.S. has seen this with the proposal of the SOPA and PIPA bills in Congress that would give the Government total right to shut down sites that contained pirated, or copyrighted material.

Twitter has not given any indication as to which countries might be pushing for this change to take place, but there is speculation that some of the countries that already have limitations on what can be posted online, such as France and Germany, might be on the list. It’s scary how big of an issue this has become in the last year or so. We’ve managed to go from a free and open Internet to one that is constantly being threatened with a new form of censorship. Hopefully this is just a phase.

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Twitter To Bring New Analytics Soon

Erica Anderson, Twitter’s manager of news and journalism, announced Twitter will be unveiling some new analytic tools in the next few months. She describes the tools as better helping Twitter users measure the reach of their messages. The main focus of these yet-unannounced tools might be about the predictive ability of Twitter. Lately people have been looking to twitter as a prediction tool for the GOP Nomination race. Andersons says this aspect of Twitter is still not receiving enough coverage and usage. It stands to reason that some of the new analytics might be an attempt to make Twitter more useful for predictions.

Otherwise the new analytics sound like services already offered by HootSuite and SocialFlow. Even though some of the tools may be repetitive, the social media agency should still take note. Twitter’s service may be able to provide a better accuracy than the third party services. Being able to tap into Twitter as a predictive tool might also be very helpful for the digital agency. It will take some time, however, to figure out what types of predictions are more reliable using Twitter. Regardless, a new set of tools, even if repetitive, will push others to make better analytics. It is these better analytics that may bridge the problem brands have with twitter, which is about building deep engagements and relationships.

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Google+ Opens Up To Teenagers

Facebook will allow teenagers to join the social network and until Thursday Google+ would not allow teenagers. That changed, although both social networks make 13 the cutoff on the lower end. What Google+ offers that Facebook does not is additional security for those teenagers.

An example of the additional security is a message before the teenager shares anything outside of his circles. The message is a further reminder about the potential danger of sharing too much. These security features do not address the larger criticism that teenagers are too young to really understand what they are doing. Requiring an additional action does not overcome this objection. One nice new feature, however, is the automatic removal of teenagers from a hangout if a stranger joins in.

This is big news for the social media marketing agency because there is evidence teenagers are looking for a Facebook alternative. Now that Google+ is available it will be interesting to see if the teenagers abandon ship. If so, then the digital agency that is working towards the teenager demographic will find a focus on Google+ instead of Facebook a lucrative endeavor.

 

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YouTube Now At 4 Billion Views Per Day

In May 2010 YouTube announced that it now sees 2 billion site views each day. In the almost two years since that staggering number was reached, YouTube now dispenses 4 billion views per day. That is almost one view per person on the planet each day, or each US resident watching 9 videos per day. Many of those views are accompanied by an advertisement.

This is staggering amount of inventory YouTube, owned by Google, can distribute each day. The enormity of it is huge, but also not terribly unsurprising. What is shocking is the growth. In less than two years YouTube has taken a large number and doubled it. More and more people are turning to YouTube. Internet Marketing Firms need to not only make advertisements for these people, but content needs to be created as well. A single thumbs-up on YouTube will translate into several views. Creative content on YouTube is a also great way to build exposure and can link into other brand channels for engagement.

The advent of frictionless sharing, especially from YouTube to Google+, will also make the presence of video content more lucrative. Just watching a video can translate into shares, which will also multiply the effect that a thumbs-up has on a video.

 

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Facebook To Release Open Graph Apps Soon

At September’s f8 Developer’s Conference, Facebook announced it would be opening up its open graph for third party apps. The open graph is collection of data about all sorts of information. An app can track how much a user runs or what purchases are made. The open graph is referred to as “read, watch and listen” because of its ability to track anything a user wants to share. The announcement that the open graph has been opened could come as early as Wednesday.

This is all part of the Timeline change where Facebook hopes to become the digital scrapbook of an entire person’s life. By integrating apps the Timeline can now capture all sorts of data of the user’s life. The other aspect of this open graph opening up is the implementation of frictionless sharing. A user’s habits will automatically become part of his timeline by a tacit umbrella agreement. Installation of an app will constitute this tacit agreement for the data collected by the app. Data can later be removed from a timeline of so chosen.

Despite criticisms, Timeline is a hit. Anything that makes Timeline more meaningful and makes it more comprehensive is probably also going to be a hit. Timeline and a better Timeline will help Facebook solidify its place as the portal onto the internet for most users. This will make advertisements on Facebook better. The data accumulated will also help the internet marketing firm make better targeting. By cross referencing data sets, interesting correlations may be drawn about whom certain ads need to be targeted towards.

 

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