Posts tagged social media

Businesses own their audience through social networks, not traditional paid ads

Business marketing teams are switching from paid ads to social networking advertising in 2010 to gain more control because… well, they can.

Marketers shelled out more than $1.2 billion on social networking advertising last year, and that figure will only rise – to $1.3 billion this year – as advertisers aim to leverage their existing social media infrastructure in 2010, according to a new report from eMarketer.

social-media-bandwagonIn its social media outlook, the research firm found that advertisers plan to devote their social media resources this year on maintaining their social networks rather than growing them through paid ads. Many marketers made the investments last year in creating fan pages on Facebook, running ads on MySpace and developing the overall strategy for social media, said Debra Williamson, the eMarketer senior analyst who wrote the report. Now, they’ll look to nurture those audiences.

This shift points to a broader philosophical change, as marketers create their own audiences, rather than rent them. Brands want to invest money in building out audiences rather than just renting through TV, radio and magazines (the old way.) Example … Pepsi pulled out of the Super Bowl after 23 years to develop its own audience through its Pepsi Refresh Project online.

Marketers are looking for better ways to quantify and measure social messaging that surrounds their brands is a summary of what Williamson said. “Whenever you do a paid online campaign, you guess or estimate how many impressions you are going to get, and now they are trying to figure out how much earned media they’ll get,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

How Swiss airlines is harnessing the power of social media to inform stranded passengers

Following our story yesterday, How good are airlines at marketing communications in a crisis?,we came across this story on Swiss newspaper site Bazonline about how Swiss Air is dealing with the crisis.

swissairThey seem to doing quite well actually, employing the power of social media in order to communicate with disgruntled passengers that are fed up with having to wait for up to two hours on the phone to speak to a representative.

Reports out early this morning suggest that a new ash cloud could further delay the opening of airspace over the EU. But others say that airports will open this morning – the influx of information from all European countries and various news outlets means that passengers are relying on their chosen airlines to update them with correct and up-to-the-minute information.

Swiss Air is delivering updates via its Facebook page – and at the same time winning praise from passengers. 

The Facebook page of the airline has transformed itself in the last couple of days from a marketing and advertising platform to a “Helping Hand Service”. Read the rest of this entry »

The Leaders’ Debate as seen on Twitter

Andrew Boyers, from onlinefire explains the power of Twitter when it comes to live debates.


Unless you were under a cloud of volcanic ash (oh, wait…), you’ll have known that last night saw the UK’s first ever leaders’ debate on ITV. The event, despite an Icelandic volcano’s best efforts, has dominated the news agenda across all media platforms for the last week.

Online opinion tracker Tweetminster provided consistently interesting facts throughout proceedings and in the aftermath with regards to interest in the debate on Twitter. Throughout the debate, a staggering 35,483 people tweeted 184,396 times, with an average frequency of 29.06 tweets per second.

To put that into some form of context, that’s fifteen times more tweets than were seen for #askthechancellors and almost triple the volume of tweets posted during BNP leader Nick Griffin’s infamous appearance on Question Time – both of which saw significant surges in interest themselves.

Admittedly, in the context of the entire UK population those figures seem less impressive. However, they still do add to the belief that – in social media circles – the appetite for political consumption is there. Read the rest of this entry »

Is social media Australia’s ticket to the world?

At the end of last month, Tourism Australia announced its new global advertising campaign. The tourism body has in the past struggled to convey the message to the international community that the land Down Under isn’t just full of bikini babes that swear and beer drinking yobs – can this social media campaign bring the iconic Aussie brand back from the brink though?

You’ll remember fondly the ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign from tourism Queensland – Australia’s sunshine state. The social media campaign, which called for people to enter by creating a video of why they should land the ‘best job in the world’ (an island caretaker in the Great Barrier Reef), was a phenomenal success and quickly gained worldwide recognition for changing the rules of tourism advertising. The campaign went on to win several awards including a Cannes Lions gong.

great-ocean-roadIf the social media approach can work for one Australian state, imagine what it could do for the whole country.

Ben Southall, winner of the Queensland Tourism caretaker job, proved to be an invaluable asset in writing about his adventures in the northern state.  The Queensland Tourism body said in six months Southall visited 90 Queensland destinations, fielded more than 250 media interviews, posted over 60 blogs totalling 75,000 words, 2000 photos and 47 video diaries. He also tweeted around 730 times. More than 8.6 million people visited the dedicated campaign website since its launch last January

The new ‘There’s no place like Australia’ campaign though has only just got off the ground yesterday.

The campaign encourages Aussies to upload pictures of Australia accompanied by a statement about why ‘there’s no place like…’ in 25 words or less.

So far, 331 pictures have been uploaded (three of those entries are from me…this is one of my pictures). Hardly a splash, so far, which is strange because the tourism body announced the campaign some two weeks before it was to go live in order to give people time to think about their entries and take photos. Out of a country of 21 million people, either only 331 really think ‘there’s no place like Australia’ or they are social media illiterate. Read the rest of this entry »

Brits love visiting social sites via mobile

UK internet users make the most of social networking sites via their mobile phones, according to new research from InSites Consulting.

214317_tcm28-37351The research found that 32% of UK internet users surf social media sites using their mobiles, while the European average in 26%. The global percentage is also 26%.

The figures aren’t surprising as thanks to the likes of the iPhone and Andorid handsets, surfing the internet via mobile has become somewhat second nature.

In fact, many are no longer even logging on to the internet via their home computers…they have it in their hands via their mobile handsets which they are also using at home.

Read the rest of this entry »

Goodbye to the Facebook “fan.” Hello to the “like.”

Facebook is replacing its “fan” buttons with “like” buttons on ads that direct users to big brands’ “fan pages” in a bid to further monetise the social networking site.

That’s according to new internal information acquired by All Things Digital.
Brand ‘fan pages’ are nothing new, of course but the problem for Facebook is they can be set up and operated for free.

All that free exposure to 400 million users via what is in effect a microsite for nada? Naturally Facebook is not happy so is now encouraging brands to buy ads on the site promoting the pages.

The move from ‘Fan’ to ‘Like’ has been prompted by a couple of developments.

First up is the fact that users have demonstrated the success of the ‘like’ button in other contexts – such as status up dates and photos. Facebook claims this is used twice as frequently as the ‘become a fan of’ button.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, is the bigger picture. Facebook, according to All Things Digital, will be driving to add the ‘like’ button throughout the Web as a way of funneling more and more interaction onto its platform.

“‘Like’ offers a simple, consistent way for people to connect with the things they are interested in. These lighter-weight actions mean people will make more connections across the site, including with your branded Facebook Pages,” Facebook said a FAQ Sheet, All Things Digital claims to have get its hands on.

“I believe this will result in gaining more connections to pages since our research has shown that some users would be more comfortable with the term “Like”. The goal is to get the most user connections so that you can have ongoing conversations in the news feeds of as many users as possible.”

It adds, “The core functionality of Pages will not change. For instance, your Pages will still have distribution into your fans’ News Feed and you can still call the people who “Like” your Page, “Fans”-your Fans are still your Fans.”

Will users notice the difference in the change of buttons? Possibly. Will they care about the name change? Probably not.

Will the name change increase user engagement with brands? Facebook seems to think so. I’m not so sure.

After all, at the end of the day, it’s about whether you like a brand or not; not really about the difference between ‘like’ or being a ‘fan’.

Twitter users – addicted and more engaged than ever

Despite reports that Twitter growth has slowed considerably and that many users are either inactive or have given it up, there still appears a good proportion of web users out there that are addicted to the micro-blogging site.

According to data from HubSpot, Twitter’s growth is slowing dramatically – its growth rate falling to 3.5%.

However, Twitterers are more engaged than ever. Global news navigator polled its users this week with the question: “Did you try and leave Twitter but found you couldn’t give it up?”

Out of 300 replies, 42% agreed they had tried to quit Twitter but couldn’t give it up.

Dr Marc Pinter-Krainer, CEO of One News Page, said, “Twitter clearly has some addictive qualities for those who get beyond firing off a few tweets and abandoning it shortly afterwards.  They join the likes of comedian Stephen Fry and singer Lily Allen who came back after publicly announcing on Twitter that they were off.”

According to a recent report from The Retrevo Gadgetology title ‘Is social media an addiction?’, about half of Facebook and Twitter users say they check the social networks after they go to bed at night or first thing in the morning.

Read the rest of this entry »

How social media is changing email marketing

2010 is set to be the year social media makes email marketing more powerful, according to new research from eMarketer.

It says that in 2009 e-mail marketers started to get social, but in 2010, the medium will start to see social media as a friend, partner and ally.

Social media is not a threat to e-mail marketing because it provides new avenues for sharing and engaging customers and prospects, according to the online marketing researcher.

Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report ‘Maximizing the E-Mail/Social Media Connection’, says that even though people are spending more time using social media, they are not abandoning e-mail.

“The two channels can help each other,” she says. “[They] offer the opportunity for marketers to create deeper connections.”

More than four in 10 business executives surveyed by StrongMail said integrating e-mail and social was one of their most important initiatives for 2010, behind improving e-mail performance including targeting and growing opt-in lists.

The survey also reveals that 18% of business executives want to add social components to their e-mail campaigns, however, they don’t know where to begin.

Read the rest of this entry »

uSocial media and politics: power to the people?

Andrew Boyers, from onlinefire explains how the general election will dominate social media.

The General Election is unlikely to be dominated by social media, as it was in the 2008 American presidential election. It will, however, be the first in this country to be influenced by its presence.

One only has point to Barack Obama’s success to see the benefits of using social media as a grassroots support tool. While millions of dollars were raised and on-the-ground activists united behind Obama, I did not detect much political discourse permeating through the official channels of his social media platforms.

Arguably, the opposite is the case in the UK – little political online activity in this country is aimed at recruitment and fundraising. There are, however, a number of politicians and commentators who seek to communicate with voters and influence the political agenda through social media – @kerrymp, @torybear, and @campbellclaret, to name just three.

Indeed, both the major party leaders, David Cameron and Gordon Brown, have sought to harness social media with their own viral video efforts – Webcameron and the Number 10 YouTube channel – with debatable degrees of success.

It’s fair to say that politics and social media in the UK is still the preserve of a comparatively small group of people either inside the Westminster bubble itself, or those with a strong interest in what’s going on in the corridors of power.

However, discourse within that small group is having an impact on a wider scale – and much of that conversation is generated through social media. For example, many people will have seen the numerous parodies of the David Cameron ‘We can’t go on like this’ Tory posters generated by @mydavidcameron and documented in the wider press.

Even at this early stage of electioneering, political capital has been gained and lost by the major parties’ presence on social media and other users’ reactions to the parties.

This is only likely to intensify as the number of people interacting with politics via the Internet increases. Moving forward, social media avenues such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will be vital to engaging with the electorate as a whole and in particular youth voters, a highly apathetic generation, according to a Guardian article.

So while we probably won’t see Gordon and David ditching their despatch boxes any time soon, it’s certainly worth noting that their stance and success are going to be increasingly influenced by online activity, starting with this year’s election.

Saturated by Facebook – from politics to getting fired

Our politicians are reaching out via Facebook and people are now even being fired over the medium as some 940 million around the world log on at least twice a day.


As the site becomes more popular than Google, many are using social media’s darling, Facebook, as their main information portal.

There are currently 940 million social media users in the world, according to a new study from InSites Consulting. Of that, 28,280,000 Brits (77% of the online population) use social media websites.

And now the politicians want in on the action

The 2010 UK general election arrived on Facebook today to tap into the mass market of social media. It has launched Democracy UK, a fan page established for UK users to engage with the hot political topics in the build up to the election.

It worked for President Obama so why not for our UK pollies?

Read the rest of this entry »