For those who think social media is only a part of PR, Social selling is a major component to the future of demand gen marketing.
Apr 27, 2011 -
I recently wrote about the importance of multiple sales channels for small business owners and how the economics of sales channels is an important consideration when determining which channels to use. Traditional sales channels like retail stores and wholesale distributors now also work in conjunction with e-commerce. Selling via your website or a third party site is accepted as a standard. Several years ago mobile commerce—selling to consumers on their mobile devices—became common and is today growing exponentially. Today, it’s clear that your company’s next sales channel will be Facebook. Welcome to f-commerce.
How big is Facebook?
The statistics are nothing short of staggering. According to the company there are over 500 million active users on Facebook with half logging in to their accounts every day. 200 million of these users access Facebook via their mobile devices. In total, users spend nearly 12 billion hours per month on Facebook. Beyond just being logged in, users are interacting and engaging information on Facebook. Over 30 billion links, news stories, notes, photos and blog posts are shared each month.
With the launch of social plug-ins in April of last year, Facebook’s reach now goes beyond its own website. Over 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook via social plug-ins and this number is expected to increase dramatically with the recent launch of the Comments box social plug-in.
How can your company sell via Facebook?
As an initial step your company can use Facebook as a lead generation tool, enticing users to engage with your company’s fan page and inviting them to visit your existing ecommerce website to execute a transaction. If you are feeling truly innovative, there are a number of new online tools that can convert your company’s fan page into an e-commerce enabled point of sale. Companies like Payvment and Storefront Social offer configurable tools to create these f-commerce points of sale.
The Payvment e-commerce solution is currently free: There are no upfront fees or on-going frees. This will most likely change in the future but as of right now it’s a low-cost method to experiment with Facebook sales. Payvment also powers a Facebook shopping mall which currently attracts over 15,000 active monthly users. The number is small but it’s very new and like anything on Facebook, if it grows, it grows very quickly. Storefront Social offers template-based online storefronts for Facebook that range from $10 per month to $50 per month for up to 500 products. Custom solutions are also available.
Can you make money on Facebook? Is it worth it?
Buzz and engagement don’t necessarily translate into sales in the short-term. This appears to be the case with Facebook for the time being. The experience of most marketers actively selling on Facebook is that it works for selling more to existing customers but doesn’t work as well for new customer acquisition.
Is it worth it? For most companies my opinion is yes—assuming you have developed other sales channels that are working and you have an existing customer base. Relying exclusively or mainly on Facebook as a sales channel is not the right approach for most companies. But having a presence in anticipation of the future is definitely worth the small investment required.
An interesting post on Facebook about the wisdom of friends. While the idea of questions is an obvious extension to a social community, and though I don’t consider this an attack on Quora or any other wisdom network, what I think is most interesting about this is how it continues with my previous post about the evolution of search and how facebook has a huge opportunity to own true contextual search. Another clue?
Friends are often the best source of advice when you’re trying new things: Where should I go to dinner? How do I go buy a car? What new music should I check out? Friends know your tastes, and you have confidence in their opinions.
Like many of our products, Questions originated as people began using Facebook in a new and unexpected way. People would update their status with a question, and their friends would answer in the comments. We saw this and began thinking about how we could make this interaction more useful. Over the summer, we began testing Questions with a small group of people, and today we are beginning to roll it out to everyone.
We noticed that people were frequently asking for opinions (“what are your favorite restaurants in New York?”) or hoping to learn about their friends (“what was your favorite movie as a kid, something you watched over and over?”). For most of these questions, experts weren’t going to be the best source for advice. The answers to these questions are meaningful or interesting because you know your friends and your friends know you.
We wanted to make questions easier and faster to answer. With the updated Questions you can agree with an existing answer with a single click, or you can add a different response. This makes it easy for many more people to respond to you. It also helps us show you the most popular responses.
Facebook has officially become the platform for semantic search. I remember years ago when Yahoo! showed me the version of their search that took into account what other members of your community were searching for in an early beta, well Facebook is going to truly bring this to life with the ability to seamlessly integrate search with the social graph. A simple way to think about this is when you are visiting New York for the first time, and you type in great Italian Food, not only will you get crawled results but you will also find out which ones of your friends searched the same choices and how many of those choices have been clicked, now imagine adding by whom. . . so you can now find the right recommendation from the search engine that is also recommended by your friend of a friend who is an italian food connoisseur as well as a foodie who loves pork which just so happens to be your favorite italian dish as well.
Basically its adding word of mouth and automating on top of seach.
New Facebook Patent: the Huge Implications of Curated Search
By Erik Sherman | March 15, 2011
For some time, Facebook has been interested in semantic search — using its social graph and immense amount of information about its users to deliver search results. Some have dismissed the effort, but that’s premature and doesn’t take into account what Facebook could do with a new hybrid: automatically curated search.
A patent granted last month to Facebook describes an approach to search that combines any type of search engine results with the popularity of each result among members of a user’s social network. Although some thought the patent was on photo tags, it isn’t. The implications are actually quite broad and could affect conventional search; specialty interest search topics like travel; publishing; and e-commerce; just to name a few, are immense.
The patent is called Visual tags for search results generated from social network information. Here’s the simple abstract:
Search results, including sponsored links and algorithmic search results, are generated in response to a query, and are marked based on frequency of clicks on the search results by members of social network who are within a predetermined degree of separation from the member who submitted the query. The markers are visual tags and comprise either a text string or an image.
In other words, Facebook would combine search results for a user with how others connected to the user in a social network responded to the search results. If most people clicked on a handful of results, the user could see those links with some visual indication of their relative popularity. The system would work either fielding requests from third parties or for with the social network creating or obtaining the search results and delivering them to users. Here’s a block diagram of the arrangement from the patent:
Although this could apply in some ways to tags on photos displayed on the web, many who looked at the patent were apparently misdirected by the term “visual tags.” (I’ll confess to having originally glossed over the patent myself.) But when you actually read it, what comes across is instant automatic search curation.
Some critics have largely dismissed Facebook’s efforts in semantic search, assuming that what Facebook could offer would pale to the depth and breadth of Google (GOOG) or Microsoft (MSFT) actually crawling the web.
Now’s the time to erase the misconception. Facebook knows that recommendations are key tools in marketing. This is the automated version of word of mouth that is supposed to sit atop search engines.
Facebook has also expanded the concept of relationship to multiple degrees of separation. Instead of your 30 or 100 or 400 connected friends, which might not be enough to get useable results, Facebook can expand the definition of the social network, much the way that LinkedIn does. If you have a couple of hundred direction connections, expanding to two degrees of separation can easily net you tens of thousands of people that are likely somewhat similar to the user in question.
Search sounds limited, but it isn’t when you realize that many activities on the Web could be said to involve search and clicking a like button could be said to clicking a link. Want to buy a book? You search for a title at a reseller like Amazon (AMZN) or Barnes & Noble (BN). Want to read something? Here’s a list of articles, voted by your connections, no matter what publication created the content. Want to buy something? Here are the recommended items and where you can purchase them.
The patent turns a social network and its relations into a way to augment search of any type. Given the frustrations many have with being overwhelmed by search results, Facebook has a potential huge advantage over search companies. It may also have locked down a monetarily valuable aspect of social network data that none of its direct competitors have capitalized on. This is one strategically brilliant company.
A very exciting company that is changing the banking industry by making it customer centric. The opportunities around data, CRM, marketing are huge, once you create a platform that is built to enable customers to get true value from their bank.
BankSimple Wants to Shake Up Banking, With Cutting Edge UI Design
Can you hear me, Chase Bank? I hate you. Every time I have to use your arcane, fee-addled products (I’ve got three checking accounts going just to try to maneuver through the thicket of hidden costs), useless apps (I’ve never been able to make your fancy “deposit checks by cameraphone” functionality work on my Droid), and moronically limited website (searching transactions more than a few months old? I might as well ask for a unicorn while I’m at it), I fantasize about re-enacting the end of Fight Club in real life.
Way too much data on the internet, but some very interesting stats
What happened with the Internet in 2010?
How many websites were added? How many emails were sent? How many Internet users were there? This post will answer all of those questions and many, many more. If it’s stats you want, you’ve come to the right place.
We used a wide variety of sources from around the Web to put this post together. You can find the full list of source references at the bottom of the post if you’re interested. We here at Pingdom also did some additional calculations to get you even more numbers to chew on.
Prepare for a good kind of information overload.
- 107 trillion – The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2010.
- 294 billion – Average number of email messages per day.
- 1.88 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
- 480 million – New email users since the year before.
- 89.1% – The share of emails that were spam.
- 262 billion – The number of spam emails per day (assuming 89% are spam).
- 2.9 billion – The number of email accounts worldwide.
- 25% – Share of email accounts that are corporate.
- 255 million – The number of websites as of December 2010.
- 21.4 million – Added websites in 2010.
- 39.1% – Growth in the number of Apache websites in 2010.
- 15.3% – Growth in the number of IIS websites in 2010.
- 4.1% – Growth in the number of nginx websites in 2010.
- 5.8% – Growth in the number of Google GWS websites in 2010.
- 55.7% – Growth in the number of Lighttpd websites in 2010.
- 88.8 million – .COM domain names at the end of 2010.
- 13.2 million – .NET domain names at the end of 2010.
- 8.6 million – .ORG domain names at the end of 2010.
- 79.2 million – The number of country code top-level domains (e.g. .CN, .UK, .DE, etc.).
- 202 million – The number of domain names across all top-level domains (October 2010).
- 7% – The increase in domain names since the year before.
- 1.97 billion – Internet users worldwide (June 2010).
- 14% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
- 825.1 million – Internet users in Asia.
- 475.1 million – Internet users in Europe.
- 266.2 million – Internet users in North America.
- 204.7 million – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
- 110.9 million – Internet users in Africa.
- 63.2 million – Internet users in the Middle East.
- 21.3 million – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.
- 152 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
- 25 billion – Number of sent tweets on Twitter in 2010
- 100 million – New accounts added on Twitter in 2010
- 175 million – People on Twitter as of September 2010
- 7.7 million – People following @ladygaga (Lady Gaga, Twitter’s most followed user).
- 600 million – People on Facebook at the end of 2010.
- 250 million – New people on Facebook in 2010.
- 30 billion – Pieces of content (links, notes, photos, etc.) shared on Facebook per month.
- 70% – Share of Facebook’s user base located outside the United States.
- 20 million – The number of Facebook apps installed each day.
- 2 billion – The number of videos watched per day on YouTube.
- 35 – Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- 186 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
- 84% – Share of Internet users that view videos online (USA).
- 14% – Share of Internet users that have uploaded videos online (USA).
- 2+ billion – The number of videos watched per month on Facebook.
- 20 million – Videos uploaded to Facebook per month.
- 5 billion – Photos hosted by Flickr (September 2010).
- 3000+ – Photos uploaded per minute to Flickr.
- 130 million – At the above rate, the number of photos uploaded per month to Flickr.
- 3+ billion – Photos uploaded per month to Facebook.
- 36 billion – At the current rate, the number of photos uploaded to Facebook per year.
An interesting article about the intersection between apps and our personal privacy. If one thought the debate and challenges around the online “privacy Bill of Rights” was rough, considering the challenges the EU has faced, the mobile device will make it look like a cakewalk. Especially when one looks at the utility of the device and ultimately the utility of the apps for the user being used.
Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner’s real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off.
These phones don’t keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.
An examination of 101 popular smartphone “apps”—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device ID to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.
The findings reveal the intrusive effort by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to flesh out detailed dossiers on them.
WSJ’s Julia Angwin explains to Simon Constable how smartphone apps collect and broadcast data about your habits. Many don’t have privacy policies and there isn’t much you can do about it.
Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Because of the test’s size, it’s not known if the pattern holds among the hundreds of thousands of apps available.
Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s zip code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of them.
Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone’s ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies.
“In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity,” says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is “always with us. It’s always on.”
The article is continued here.
Brandon Berger to Join Ogilvy as Chief Digital Officer
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Ogilvy & Mather announced today that Brandon Berger will join the agency as Chief Digital Officer, a newly created global role reporting to global CEO Miles Young.
Mr. Berger is joining Ogilvy after working for three years at holding company MDC Partners where as Vice President of Digital Innovation he was responsible for digital investments, acquisitions and partnerships for the network. He also provided strategic leadership for digital strategy for MDC’s agencies including Crispin Porter + Bogusky and others.
“I am thrilled to have Brandon join us, and work side-by-side with me to push our global leadership in digital much, much further,” commented Ogilvy’s Mr. Young. “Brandon is just one of the very best digital thinkers and doers around. His record of innovation and his interest in creating real solutions for clients are what attract us to him. His vision of digital as a strategic resource exactly coincides with ours. We see it as central to every business and not as a sect apart.”
In this new role, Mr. Berger will team with the leaders of Ogilvy’s global digital practices which span all the company’s operating companies. He will be responsible both for offer development and for bringing the offer to clients.
In commenting on his new role, Berger said, “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to return to Ogilvy in this new role. Ogilvy is the one true global network that has digital at its core. The opportunity to leverage the network’s strategic marketing leadership and creative firepower, along with the scale and resources around development, data, media and technology to bring innovation and invention to both existing and future clients is endless.”
In addition to his most recent position with MDC Partners, Berger has worked at such well-known agencies as McCann-Erickson/MRM, Leagas Delaney, McCann-Erickson/Anderson & Lambke, as well as Ogilvy where he worked from 2004-2007. In 2000, he founded his own company, WideRay Corp./Qwikker, a leader in location-based content distribution for mobile devices.
Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather has been a global pioneer in the digital space since the founding in 1983 of its Interactive Marketing Group, which is today, one of the largest interactive agencies in the world. With offices in 50 countries, Ogilvy offers a comprehensive suite of digital services including strategy, brand experiences and platforms, site design & development, online advertising, social media and word-of-mouth marketing, search, and direct and performance marketing. Ogilvy takes a user-centric approach to marketing, integrating all touch points (online and offline) and has a roster of some of the largest blue chip clients in the world.
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. Through its specialty units, the company provides a comprehensive range of marketing services including: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing. Ogilvy & Mather services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 450 offices in 120 countries. It is a WPP company (Nasdaq: WPPGY). For more information, visit www.ogilvy.com.
SOURCE Ogilvy & Mather
As a Chicago Native, a huge fan of the city and ultimately someone who has always wanted to return home to the City of Broad Shoulders, I was very excited to hear about the Google purchase of Groupon. But the Google Acquisition of Groupon is much more than a $6b deal and the largest M&A deal in Google History.
In my experience with talent, technology, the ad industry and ventures, I have always said Chicago is the ideal city, in fact I have spent considerable amount of time speaking with my contemporaries about why Chicago makes sense:
- Fairly inexpensive (compared to the coasts)
- Wonderful quality of life (you don’t need a car, but you can drive, and its on the lake)
- A huge talent pool of top young graduates (UofC, Northwestern, UofI, Michigan, etc)
- Lower cost of talent since there is a larger talent pool and smaller competition
- A fairly low cost environment to run a business.
Chicago has always been home to great businesses, whether its Retail with Sears, CPG with Kraft, Advertising with Leo Burnett, Starcom, OMD, Draft, and many others, or even entertainment with Harpo Studios, not to mention a great city for real estate and architecture.
But I have always wondered why Technology and digital media hasn’t taken off in this city, and I always said its been a matter of time. . . and that maybe it needed a catalyst – the Google Acquisition of Groupon.
Chicago already has a bunch of interesting companies sprouting up from Sittercity to Tap Me, and many others, looking forward to the next renaissance of digital media in the city by the lake.
There is an interesting article in the NY Times about Google’s Partnership with Vivaki (see below), as it highlights the fact that the media business has changed, its IP enabled and its biddable. This justifies what I have been saying for a long time that its about micro-targeting audiences with the right message at the right time, data driven, and focused around audiences and not inventory, and it justifies the strategy the MDC has been pioneering with VMM.
The interesting thing here that isn’t highlighted as well is that not only will media buying be on-demand, micro-targeted and focused on buying audiences not inventory, but it will be dynamically created. Data will drive targeting and the messaging.
Google is going to build out the Invite Platform to incorporate Dynamic Creative Optimization (Teracent) and allow for biddable buying of just about anything they touch, display, Video through Youtube and Mobile through AdMob.
Something else interesting to note is that yesterday in Adweek, there was a short paragraph stating that Kayak has given its media buying and planning to Media Math, Media Math always considered a DSP, but with a very skilled services business, is now moving away from a technology play to become a media services business.
Google and VivaKi Extend PartnershipBy TANZINA VEGA
On Thursday, Google and VivaKi, a digital agency that is part of the Publicis Groupe, will announce a two-year renewal of their 2008 partnership that will incorporate a new platform for buying video and mobile display ads in the United States and Europe. The platform, an extension of the VivaKi Nerve Center trading desk, or the Audience on Demand product, would allow companies to bid on mobile and video display advertising space in real time on ad exchanges, including Google’s DoubleClick exchange.
“Marketers have seen the power of addressable advertising; the logical progression is to do this in video and in mobile advertising,” said Curt Hecht, chief executive of VivaKi Nerve Center. “Finding the right person at the right time on any screen or any device is the future of marketing,” Mr. Hecht said.
The vision for the product that Google will co-develop with VivaKi involves building on the existing technology of Invite Media, the ad-buying platform Google bought in June, and the automated display advertising technology of Teracent, the San Mateo start-up Google acquired in 2009, said Neal Mohan, the vice president for product management responsible for Google’s display-advertising products. “It’s a large market today; we believe that it can be substantially larger,” said Mr. Mohan, echoing one of the predictions he made for the future of Google’s display-advertising model at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mixx conference in New York in September.
Mr. Mohan described the feedback from publishers as “extremely positive,” adding that display advertising has so far represented a $2.5 billion business for the company, and mobile advertising a $1 billion yearly run-rate.
Mr. Hecht predicts that video and mobile advertising will make up a bigger market than graphical display advertising and that the impact will be seen on the creative side. “The notion of dynamic messaging and advertising is going to be critical,” he said. “The real-time buying aspect of this is going to turn into real-time creative as well.”
Google’s acquisitions of YouTube and AdMob, the mobile advertising start-up, also represent vast inventory pools for advertisers, added Mr. Hecht.
This is a great article that clearly defines how to manage Facebook Places, a solid read for anyone who uses the platform.
Facebook Places has us a little bit paranoid. After all, the idea of our friends checking us in at the yogurt shop isn’t something that we want leaking out. We’re yogurt fanatics and we wouldn’t want the word to get out to our friends and loved ones. So, if you’re wondering how to turn off Facebook Places and keep your friends from outing your addiction to frozen treats, read on.
Restrict access in “Things I share”
Under the Privacy settings, go to Custom and “Customise settings.” This will take you to the page that will allow you to select what other friends can see. We set this to “Friends Only,” but you might be okay with letting “Friends of Friends” know where you are.
Keep others from mentioning you under “Things others share”
Keep your friends from being able to check you in with them by
disabling “Friends can check me in to places.” Your friends might be
annoyed with your decision, but remember this it is your privacy. You
can still be tagged in status updates, however.
Change the settings under “Applications and website”
This one is tricky and took us a few clicks to find. Scroll to the
bottom of the privacy page, and under “Applications and websites,” edit
“Info accessible to your friends” so that “Current location” and “Places
I’ve visited” are not checked off. This will ensure that your
information is not shared with any of the applications, games and
websites that you and your friends might use.