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Twitter and Facebook share a problem: Proving social ads work

Twitter and Facebook share a problem: Proving social ads work | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it

There’s a been a big focus recently on the advertising strategy at both Twitter and Facebook, with two in-depth profiles of Twitter in the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek that spent a lot of time talking about the company’s ad model, and increased attention on Facebook for moves aimed at improving ads, particularly on mobile platforms. Both are seeing their share of the ad market grow, but there is still one big question standing between them and the multibillion-dollar valuations they have received from investors — namely, do ads inserted into social activity actually work?

 

While Facebook is orders of magnitude larger than Twitter, the impetus for both companies to develop a robust advertising business is the same: because investors are looking for a stable — and rapidly growing — revenue stream. For Twitter, it’s about justifying the $8-billion market value it currently has as a result of raising funds from a host of venture investors such as Russia’s Yuri Milner, and for Facebook it’s about justifying the $100-billion market value it is expected to get when it finally goes public later this year. While Twitter has some revenue from licensing its data and Facebook has some from online payments, advertising is still the biggest part of the story.

 

For Twitter, its foray into advertising came first with Promoted Tweets and was then extended with similar offerings, such as Promoted Trends — and recently, the company started offering companies a “self-serve” ad platform similar to the one that Google has with AdWords. Advertisers only pay for a promoted tweet, which Twitter CEO Dick Costolo calls “the atomic unit of our ad strategy,” if a user interacts with it by clicking on a link or retweeting the message. The company says that these tweets have an engagement rate of 3 to 5 percent, compared with a 0.5-percent click rate on banner ads. A Twitter VP says the ad strategy will soon be shown to be a “juggernaut.”

 

What is the value of a retweet or a like? Advertisers seem unconvinced

There are some early signs that this approach is paying off for Twitter: eMarketer, for example, says that the company will likely pull in about $260 million in ad revenue in 2012. And yet, there still seem to be a lot of skeptics out there in advertising land — Tom Bedecarre of digital-marketing firm AKQA says he is a fan of Twitter, but that many advertisers are still unsure of what tangible benefit they get from having a promoted tweet. “What’s the value of a ‘like’ on Facebook? What’s the value of a ‘retweet’?” he said. “That’s a challenge for advertisers.

 

The Wall Street Journal story on Twitter makes a similar point about advertisers and their reluctance to commit a substantial proportion of their ad campaigns to Twitter. While some say they are happy to experiment with promoted tweets and other features, they are skeptical of their ultimate value:

 

"Companies that have bought Twitter ads generally say they are happy with the percentage of people who click on their ads or circulate them to other Twitter users. But marketers also say these ads haven’t proven they can convert people into paying customers"

 

The ultimate challenge for both Twitter and Facebook was summed up recently by Sir Martin Sorrell, the head of WPP Group — one of the world’s largest advertising and marketing firms. As I noted in a recent GigaOM Pro report on Facebook’s IPO (subscription required), while WPP has experimented with Facebook ad campaigns and features and had some success, Sir Martin said that he still isn’t sure how much value an advertiser or brand is going to get by trying to mix their commercial messages with the kind of social activity that occurs on Facebook (and by extension Twitter):

 

"The point is that Facebook is a social medium, not an advertising one, like search or display. It certainly is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful branding medium. It is, however, a word of mouth or PR medium. You interrupt social conversations with commercial messages at your peril."

 

Do you want someone handing you coupons while you chat with a friend?

Promoted tweets have had some success, but even within Twitter there is concern (according to the BusinessWeek piece) about the ad “fatigue” that users might experience if too many ads are injected into their stream. Even if the ads are targeted well — which is why Google and Facebook spend so much time tracking their users — they are still likely to be seen by many users as intrusive. Imagine yourself talking with a friend or looking at photos of a party and having someone in a suit suddenly thrust a coupon into your hand. As a Forrester analyst has described e-commerce efforts on Facebook: “It was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”

 

Google had unparalleled success by adding keyword-related ads to its business because people who are actively searching for a term are more likely to be interested in buying something related to that term — they are farther down the road of “purchasing intent,” in advertising lingo. But activity on both Twitter and Facebook often has very little to do with purchasing anything, and suddenly trying to hijack a conversation and turn it in that direction can have unpleasant consequences, as retailers like McDonald’s have found when their hashtag campaigns turn into “bashtags.”

And if you don’t want to just inject ads into a stream or onto a Facebook page, then you might have to develop an actual conversation with your users in order to get your message across, and that can be a lot of work — so much so that some advertisers might not see the payoff as being worth it. A General Motors executive told BusinessWeek that Twitter ads during the Super Bowl nearly doubled the company’s followers, but added that maintaining such a campaign was much more resource-intensive, in part because a company tweet “can’t look like it came from some corporate thing” in order to be effective.

 

As the Wall Street Journal story also notes, if you are an advertiser who wants to connect with your users or customers and promote things, you can just interact with them the way that Twitter users normally do, without having to pay the company anything at all — that’s probably one of the most powerful things about a social medium in the first place. Can Facebook and/or Twitter manage to prove that social advertising isn’t an oxymoron, but a crucial new way of getting your message to potential customers? Billions of dollars in market value are riding on that question.

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Using stewardship to cultivate fandom online: comparing how National Football League teams use their web sites and Facebook to engage their fans. - CAB Direct

Social-media consultants and strategic communication firms have promoted the use of social media by organizations because of their supposed advantages for developing relationships and online communities around the brand. However, critics have challenged these supportive voices because of organizations' limited control over the sites' design and the lack of demonstrated return on investment for social-media endeavors. Using the 26 National Football League (NFL) teams with an official Facebook presence, this study compares how public relations practitioners use the NFL teams' Web sites and Facebook pages to cultivate relationships with fans using stewardship strategies promoted by public relations literature. Results indicate that the NFL teams overwhelmingly favor their own Web sites for relationship-building endeavors over Facebook for 27 of the study's 33 measures. Explanations for the divergence from consultants' advice are discussed and grounded in new-media and sports communication research from various scholarly perspectives.

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Online news on Twitter: Newspapers’ social media adoption and their online readership 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2012.01.004 : Information Economics and Policy | ScienceDirect.com

Online news on Twitter: Newspapers’ social media adoption and their online readership 10.1016/j.infoecopol.2012.01.004 : Information Economics and Policy | ScienceDirect.com | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it

Many news organizations have recognized the potential of social media as a journalistic tool and have used social media marketing to attract online audiences. The aim of this study is to understand the implications of news organizations’ adoption of social media sites through (1) an examination of the relationship between news organizations’ adoption of social media and their online readership and (2) a comparison of online traffic generated by social media sites with that generated by other online media institutions. Evidence suggests that newspapers’ adoption of social media is positively associated with an increase in their online readership, and this association increases in the size of the newspapers’ social media networks (e.g., number of Twitter followers). Evidence also suggests that the association between newspapers’ social media adoption and their online traffic may differ compared to the association between other online media institutions and the online traffic they generated. A descriptive analysis shows that the online traffic generated by social media sites is less concentrated than that generated by search engines or news aggregators; this can be explained by the fact that social media sites might be less susceptible to information cascades, compared to search engines or news aggregators

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Facebook marketing boom creates niche for advertising startups - Washington Post

Facebook marketing boom creates niche for advertising startups - Washington Post | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Globe and MailFacebook marketing boom creates niche for advertising startupsWashington PostMarch 1 (Bloomberg) -- Entrepreneur Michael Lazerow parlayed booming demand for advertising on Facebook Inc.
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Analysis: Facebook seeks breakthrough in mobile ad market - Chicago Tribune

Analysis: Facebook seeks breakthrough in mobile ad market - Chicago Tribune | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Analysis: Facebook seeks breakthrough in mobile ad marketChicago TribuneBARCELONA (Reuters) - For Facebook it must look like a no-brainer -- exploit its huge consumer loyalty and half a billion mobile phone users as a way of opening up the mobile...
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Study finds Facebook users more private than ever

Study finds Facebook users more private than ever | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
In the two years since the boy-king of social networking Mark Zuckerberg famously declared the death of privacy, it seems Facebook users have actually become more private about sharing their personal details with strangers. In a new study released today by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, researchers found that since 2010, the number of users that choose to hide their friend lists publicly has actually increased by a staggering 200 percent.
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Google+ Pages beating Twitter Pages, but Facebook still king - ZDNet (blog)

Google+ Pages beating Twitter Pages, but Facebook still king - ZDNet (blog) | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
ChicagoNowGoogle+ Pages beating Twitter Pages, but Facebook still kingZDNet (blog)That being said, it's a battle for second place, as Facebook is still way ahead of both of them.
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Apple vs. Facebook: Why users are the losers - CNET

Apple vs. Facebook: Why users are the losers - CNET | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Apple vs. Facebook: Why users are the losersCNETThe reality, however, is that it hates Facebook.
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Why is Facebook addictive but enterprise social adoption a ...

Why is Facebook addictive but enterprise social adoption a ... | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Harvard Business Review's Tammy Erickson ponders a puzzling question for forward-thinking businesses – while most workers have trouble turning off the likes of Facebook in their personal lives, getting the same folks on board ...
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Facebook and DreamWorks Make Moves for Growth in China - Forbes

Doug Young lives in Shanghai and writes about tech investment in China for Techonomy and at www.youngchinabiz.com.
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Small Business Advocate: How will Wall Street value users of Facebook as it prepares to go public?

Small Business Advocate: How will Wall Street value users of Facebook as it prepares to go public? | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Social media platforms have rocked the online world in just a few frenzied years by introducing new community-building possibilities for people, and customer-connection opportunities for business.
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3 accurate metrics for ROI on social media campaigns

3 accurate metrics for ROI on social media campaigns | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Businesses are struggling with how to evaluate the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. Currently, most companies are using metrics that fail to provide a clear picture of which marketing programs are increasing their revenues.
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Social media statistics show growth for business | Voxy.co.nz

Social media statistics show growth for business | Voxy.co.nz | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Wellington's SocialeMedia, a division of E-Ideas Ltd lead by youth advocate Eva-Maria have released a special report on their Facebook Page that shows how Social Media is taking the world by storm, and how its reach won't stop growing in 2012.
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Tagging amongst friends: an exploration of social media exchange on mobile devices - The Lincoln Repository

Tagging amongst friends: an exploration of social media exchange on mobile devices - The Lincoln Repository | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it

Mobile social software tools have great potential in transforming the way users communicate on the move, by augmenting their everyday environment with pertinent information from their online social networks. A fundamental aspect to the success of these tools is in developing an understanding of their emergent real-world use and also the aspirations of users; this thesis focuses on investigating one facet of this: the exchange of social media. To facilitate this investigation, three mobile social tools have been developed for use on locationaware smartphone handsets. The first is an exploratory social game, 'Gophers' that utilises task oriented gameplay, social agents and GSM cell positioning to create an engaging ecosystem in which users create and exchange geotagged social media. Supplementing this is a pair of social awareness and tagging services that integrate with a user's existing online social network; the 'ItchyFeet' service uses GPS positioning to allow the user and their social network peers to collaboratively build a landscape of socially important geotagged locations, which are used as indicators of a user's context on their Facebook profile; likewise 'MobiClouds' revisits this concept by exploring the novel concept of Bluetooth 'people tagging' to facilitate the creation of tags that are more indicative of users' social surroundings. The thesis reports on findings from formal trials of these technologies, using groups of volunteer social network users based around the city of Lincoln, UK, where the incorporation of daily diaries, interviews and automated logging precisely monitored application use. Through analysis of trial data, a guide for designers of future mobile social tools has been devised and the factors that typically influence users when creating tags are identified. The thesis makes a number of further contributions to the area. Firstly, it identifies the natural desire of users to update their status whilst mobile; a practice recently popularised by commercial 'check in' services. It also explores the overarching narratives that developed over time, which formed an integral part of the tagging process and augmented social media with a higher level meaning. Finally, it reveals how social media is affected by the tag positioning method selected and also by personal circumstances, such as the proximity of social peers.

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Use of Social Media by National Tourism Organizations: A Prelimin...

Social media platforms are increasingly becoming popular with consumers and businesses alike. The objective of this research is to determine the extent of the use of social media by national tourism organizations (NTOs). The methodology of this research is interpretive. This exploratory work relied heavily on searching for information on the Internet. Out of the 195 countries investigated not all have a NTO website. Social media use by the NTOs is becoming common across the globe. Even though a wide variety of social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, Hi5, Blogs, Flickr, WAYN, Scribd, Bebo, etc., are used, the most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr, in that order. The issues for future research are discussed.

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Facebook's Entire Brand Advertising Business Boils Down To One Number: 16% - San Francisco Chronicle

Facebook's Entire Brand Advertising Business Boils Down To One Number: 16% - San Francisco Chronicle | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
CTV.caFacebook's Entire Brand Advertising Business Boils Down To One Number: 16%San Francisco ChronicleOne secret reason why Facebook ad revenues haven't quite taken off like they should – and are, in fact, decelerating – is that for years now,...
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Exclusive: Facebook seeking bigger credit line - Reuters

Exclusive: Facebook seeking bigger credit line - Reuters | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Toronto StarExclusive: Facebook seeking bigger credit lineReutersBy Alistair Barr | SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc plans to increase its $2.5 billion credit line to help cover a major tax hit when employee stock awards vest shortly after it...
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Google+ Hangouts grow in popularity - Business - Wire - Macon.com

Google's social network, Google+, has attracted more than 90 million users since it launched seven months ago, a mere fraction of Facebook's 850 million users. But a surprise star is emerging on Google+ - its "Hangouts" video conferencing feature.
Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2012/02/22/1915455/google-hangouts-grow-in-popularity.html#storylink=cpy
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Just Facebook's comment, February 22, 2012 6:53 PM
For those who are tracking facebook's competition, you must read this!
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7 Ways Facebook Could Expand Its Social Foothold - PC Magazine

7 Ways Facebook Could Expand Its Social Foothold - PC Magazine | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Marketing Pilgrim7 Ways Facebook Could Expand Its Social FootholdPC MagazineBy Chandra Steele Facebook has 845 million users worldwide. Like Apple's nearly $100 billion in cash, the number invites speculation about how it will be used.
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Facebook page challenges how blacks define themselves - MiamiHerald.com

Facebook page challenges how blacks define themselvesMiamiHerald.comOn a whim, a Miami man created a Facebook page called Don't Call Me African American, fueling a debate about how blacks define themselves in an increasingly diverse America.
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Study: Facebook profile beats IQ test in predicting job performance - Los Angeles Times

Study: Facebook profile beats IQ test in predicting job performance - Los Angeles Times | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Los Angeles TimesStudy: Facebook profile beats IQ test in predicting job performanceLos Angeles TimesBy Deborah Netburn Can a person's Facebook profile reveal what kind of employee he or she might be?
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Aussies tire of Facebook despite popularity - Business - News - ZDNet Australia

Aussies tire of Facebook despite popularity - Business - News - ZDNet Australia | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Although Facebook accounts for one in every six page views in Australia and decimates its social-media rivals in terms of total visits, Australians appear to be getting bored of it, spending less time on the site over the past year and paving the...
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Facebook User Statistics 2012 [Infographic]

Facebook User Statistics 2012 [Infographic] | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Facebook user statistics for 2012 including number of users, average Facebook activity per user and financial information regarding Facebook.
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Telstra Corporation Limited : Telstra expands online service options to better serve customers | 4-Traders

Telstra Corporation Limited : Telstra expands online service options to better serve customers | 4-Traders | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it

Telstra has launched a dedicated customer service presence on Facebook, including a trial release of an industry-first application - My Telstra on Facebook - which provides customers with convenient and secure access to their Telstra products and services.

 

Telstra Digital Executive Director, Gerd Schenkel, said the new online service will give customers a more convenient way to access and manage their Telstra account, from inside their favourite social network.

 

"More than half of all Australians are regular Facebook users, so it makes sense to give customers the option of using this channel to monitor their product usage, track their bills and take advantage of our 24x7 Live Chat customer service - all without missing a beat of their online social life.

 

"The final release is planned for June, with the trial available to the first 1,000 who link their Facebook and Telstra accounts via the new dedicated customer service presence on Facebook."

 

Mr Schenkel said the dedicated customer service page also meant Telstra customers now have a single destination for support on Facebook.

 

"Customers will be supported by a dedicated service team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we promise a response time to posts of one hour or less."

These enhancements complement recent activity in Telstra Digital's Adelaide based social media team; including extending the hours to 24/7, 365 days a year, in response to increased customer demand.

 

To access Telstra's dedicated customer service presence on Facebook visit: facebook.com/telstra24x7

Media contact:
Karina Keisler
Mobile: 0419 523 776
Email: media@team.telstra.com

Reference Number: 042/2012
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Technology News: Social CRM: New CRM Offerings Up the Social Media Ante

Technology News: Social CRM: New CRM Offerings Up the Social Media Ante | Other Facebook news | Scoop.it
Nimble has introduced a new Software as a Service social CRM platform designed to enable social engagement.
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