Tag Archives: social networks

Getting in shape with technology

I am sure you have heard people say something along the lines of “technology is making us lazy”. That is not necessarily true, on the contrary, technology might have been giving us extra tools to motivate us to exercise and stay healthy, even if you don’t have a workout partner to keep you going.

Today we have different social networks that help us fulfill our exercise routines by keeping track of your workout schedule, levels of calories burned and most importantly it gives you that extra push you might need to achieve your goal.

by mariachily

by mariachily

If you are competitive, you might want download Fitocracy. This app gives you awards and prizes as you complete workout activities and provides challenges you can invite your friends to join. Some of us might be looking to lose that few extra pounds, right? In this case you should join Extra Pounds. This site is a free weight loss network. You will be able to read diet blogs, workout articles and tips. The most unique feature is the ability for you to plan and log your meals, letting you know exactly how much you should exercise to burn off the extra calories.

If you are interested in learning about other social networks and apps that will help you be in shape and stay healthy, click below. Now, you don’t have any excuses so start exercising!

8 Social Networks for Fitness Freaks

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Google+ Updates Visual Layout

5920040910_242ec1dd3cThe latest update from Google+ brings several revamps to the visual layout of the social network. Google+ already allowed a big cover photo to match Facebook’s new Timeline layout, but this new layout will allow even larger pictures. Users can now use an image that is up to 2120 by 1192 pixels. That is a very large image. For brands this is good news because it allows the first image to be more eye appealing and because the image is chosen by the brand it allows the best foot forward as the initial impression.

Google+ is now placing all local reviews in one handy spot on the profile page. Under the tab “Reviews” local users will be able to easily see all the reviews for the brand.  The final review is a change to hovercards. A hovercard is the image that appears when the mouse is hanging over an avatar. The hovercard is now larger and because the image is controlled by the brand this can be a help. The hovercard is also a place for launching certain functions, like initiating a hangout. This will help brands appeal to people when there is only tangential relationship between what the user is looking at and the brand.

Google+ Launches Updated Profile Pages With Larger Cover Photos, Revamped Local Reviews & About Tabs.

Photo by west.m

 

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Facebook Announces Lookalike Audiences

3185202042_059b9623d9Advertisers will soon find a new way to target their ads on Facebook. Facebook has been using its Custom Audience Tool as a way to allow advertisers to upload certain data points to create certain audiences. The new service will have Facebook analyze audiences for other members that appear similarly responsive to certain types of ads. Brands will now be able to reach into new audiences or new geographies based on similar demographics even if those users are not already fans of the brand.

This is a boon for the internet marketing. Ads on Facebook are already some of the most effective in the industry and this will help increase their ability to penetrate into new areas. These ads are likely to be less effective than ads geared towards people who are already fans of a brand. However, the ads will be able to expand reach so even if there is loss of some effectiveness, it will still boost over all exposure and also increase the number of fans a Page does have.

Photo by: Max-B

Target An Audience That Matches A Specific Profile With Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences For Ads

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New Data About Daily Deals Purchasers

The good news for the social media agency about the latest consumer habits for daily deals is that customers care about buying from small local businesses. The research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey conducted surveys and found that 43% of customers using daily deals services are more likely to make a purchase if it is from a local small business that they already know.

Another bit of good news for the social media agency is that the largest single driver of purchaser decisions is word of mouth recommendations from friends and/or acquaintances. This is where the social media agency can excel. While the daily deal service is probably already tapped into social networks, the social media agency can use this data to drive clients to further integrate with social networks. The social network is an efficient platform for word of mouth recommendations.

The problem exposed by this data is the industry specific preferences. Most of the daily deals used are for restaurants at 65%. Only 48% of customers share their experience with deals in the entertainment category and the number drops significantly to 36% for the next category, food and grocery. The final sobering news in this dataset is that only 42% of respondents would translate a good deal into long-term attachment to the brand. Something else besides a discount needs to be offered to make loyal patrons of the customers. However, this is another place the social media marketing agency can help close the gap by promoting engagement with the vendor well after the initial purchase and visit. That engagement can help create loyalty as well as an incentive for the customer to share her experiences with others.

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Pinterest Drops Invitation Only Enrolling

Pinterest is the fastest growing social network and has seen other social networks trying to adopt a more visual oriented strategy. One of the concerns about the growth of the social network has been its requirement that new members are invited instead of just able to sign up the way Twitter and Facebook are. Pinterest announced that it is now dropping the invitation requirement and making an open enrollment possible.

This will not hurt Pinterest. Since Facebook stopped being an exclusive social network for Ivy League students and still succeeded the notion of needing t be exclusive has not been taken seriously. This change may not, however, help Pinterest much. There are already millions of members and there were few, if any, complaints about the invitation requirement stifling enthusiasm for the social network. It remains to be seen if this development will increase enrollment rates or not.

The social media agency should still continue to value Pinterest. Not only is Pinterest a good place for certain types of products, it is helpful helping the agency craft certain messages. The focus on the visual helps make campaigns more streamlined the same way Twitter helps craft writing in messages. There is a chance that this change will help propel Pinterest into the next level, which will yield significant results for the social media marketing agency.

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Search Remains as Important As Ever

With the explosion in social media, many brands and even some social media agencies might be looking to forgo paid search advertising and instead focus on the closer to free social media marketing strategy. A new report by AYTM Market Research says that is typical because search is undervalued.

Among brands that do pay for search results, the results are unquestionably valuable, but there is another benefit to being active on search: brand exposure. Brand exposure is exactly what some think social networks can provide for free, but by being absent from search results the perception left with the searcher is that the brand is not important enough.

81% of respondents in a November survey said search results shape their perceptions of a business, even if the link is not clicked. There are only two factors that shape a brand’s perception more than presence/absence to search results: online reviews at 83% and what others are saying which stands at 88%.

The digital marketing company  can decide to focus on the social networks, but to remain a valued representative for brands it must make some efforts in the search realm. By acting like the big name brands people are willing to think of small brands as competitors. But being absent in this field is ceding more ground than desired to the big names and agencies need to make their clients aware of this byproduct of paid search efforts.

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Facebook “Want” Button in Testing

There have been third party apps that allow users to tell their FaceBook friends that they want an item. However, never before has it existed within the FaceBook environment. FaceBook’s newest software development kit now contains a Java application that places a “want” button for users to click. The button will appear and function just as the “like” button does. For now it is only in testing, so it may not actually appear on user’s timelines although the likelihood seems good that it will.

The social media agency will be able to put a “want” button whenever a product is mentioned. Research is showing that FaceBook is not good about driving conversions, but instead about building brand recognition. The presence of a “want” button, might help build conversions. Even if it does not lead directly to more sales, it will help brands measure an intent to purchase. This new measurement will help better refine what is working on FaceBook and what is not. Ultimately, this button will help the social media agency better measure the sales effect of a brand’s presence on FaceBook.

 

 

 

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More Qualitative Study About FaceBook’s ROI

A new study by comScore shows that FaceBook is increasingly important even if that importance is hard to quantify. The study is clear that traditional metrics like click rates are anachronistic and a short sighted way for a brand to measure its FaceBook value. FaceBook’s, and other social networks, are shown by comScore to be important to future conversions, which is difficult to measure.

Starbucks was taken as a experiment and the effects of consumer purchases were measured against consumers that were not exposed to FaceBook as a Starbucks’ branding vehicle. Purchase intent rose by 38% as consumers were repeatedly exposed to Starbuck mentions and posts on FaceBook. FaceBook might not be good about sending people to websites, but it is a fantastic branding vehicle for the long play.

Seeing social networks as a branding vehicle also allows brands to emphasize the best measure. Instead of focusing on moving the customer out of the FaceBook environment, brands ought to instead focus on engagement. Status updates that are calls to action like shares of comments are effective. The study also demonstrates that each engagement is broadcast outwards, whereas a click that exits FaceBook ends when that customer bounces from the brand’s web site.

Most FaceBook users exist solely in their news feed. Venturing to apps or sidebar activities are not the normal pattern of use. Brands need to focus their activities to appear in the news feed. This also means having a large number of fans is irrelevant. Brands need to do things with that fan base. Even something as simple as asking questions is important and helpful to building the brand’s presence.

The study is interesting and illuminating. It also helps the social media agency because the whitepaper detailing the results is free. Using this whitepaper will help the agency condition its efforts for maximum return. It also helps the digital agency convince clients that immediate results are a short term and myopic way to measure effectiveness.

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Social Networks Are Driving Online Sales

With the rise of Pinterest social media agencies are clamoring to create image based strategies for products. However, there has not been good data showing if these image based posts are actually driving conversions. A new study conducted throughout Mach by Bizrate Insights shows that the image-based posts are indeed driving sales.

Of North American online purchasers, 32% of them did make a purchase after seeing an image on a social network. Most of those did have success clicking through the image to a webpage that allowed the purchase of the item. A small percentage of those shoppers, however, did not have luck clicking through the page and had to conduct a separate search for the product. The image-based strategy is beginning to take hold in purchaser’s approach to online shopping.

BlogHer has some data collected in February that is Pinterest specific and interesting comparing the service to other social networks. 81% of active female users of Pinterest trust it to store their information and to offer advice. That trust quotient is higher than either Twitter or FaceBook possesses. 47% of female social network users say that their decision to make a purchase was directly influenced by something seen on Pinterest.

The social media agency needs to not only adopt image-based strategies for its products, but the agency needs to target Pinterest as a location for driving conversions. The trust factor for Pinterest may even out over time once it becomes as noteworthy as FaceBook and its privacy issues gain press coverage. It may instead stay ahead of the FaceBook curve as people become more and more accustomed to online purchasing. Regardless, it will continue to serve as a dominant place for online merchants to market themselves.

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Best Practices for Pinterest

Pinterest continues to grow and integrate with other social networks all making it an increasingly important tool for the social media agency and for brands. There is also some new data about the importance of Pinterest for retailers. Of Pinterest users 21% have made a purchase of an item they found on the social network. Another survey finds 37% of Pinterest users have found an item they want and plan on purchasing in the future.

Given Pinterest’s ability to drive sales it is important to know what the best practices are to help drive those sales. The easy acts are to place pins on products so people can easily pin them, pushing them onto the social network. It is also important that vendors completely fill out their profile. Pinterest allows searching and a complete profile helps that as well as helps people make a further purchase. Pins need to be optimized. They need to have complete descriptions and the images need to be high quality, but they also need to not be large files so they can be downloaded quickly. It is also important for the social media agency to make photos available on both Pinterest and FaceBook, because of the tight integration between the two networks image success on one site drives success on the other.

Not only can images spread a brand’s message across the social networks, but a well done campaign also increases the chances of discovery in SERPs.

 

 

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