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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Why Do Some Advertisers Believe That 90% Of Facebook Ad Clicks Are From Bots?

By : Eric Jackson

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

To listen to the Facebook (FB) earnings call last week, you would have thought that the management team passionately cares about their users’ experience and the care and feeding of their advertising clients.

Here’s Mark Zuckerberg discussing how complex Facebook’s internal systems are to track user behavior and the effectiveness of various ad campaigns:

at any given point, we have a lot of different tests, different algorithms running, and we measure engagement of everything downstream from News Feed and the whole system, right? So obviously, clicks and engagement and feedback in News Feed, how many people want to share, but also how many page views and how much time people spend on Facebook overall, ad performance, everything, down to all of the different tweaks that we do in News Feed, and user sentiment as well. So I think we have pretty robust systems that are built out around this. And one of the things that I think is pretty interesting is what we’ve seen is that we can put in good sponsored content and have it not degrade those metrics. So that’s really what we’re trying to do, is we’re rolling some of these Sponsored Stories out more conservatively because we want to make sure that the quality is very high. And we’re basically continuing to run those tests to make sure that we are producing the best product that we can.

 

our third area of progress has been to make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to advertise on Facebook. Local business advertising is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of Internet advertising since the market opportunity is so great. This is proving difficult, however, because small business owners often lack the time or ability to adopt new technology. Facebook is uniquely accessible to them. As they typically learn to use Facebook by setting up personal profiles or Timelines, they then discover the value our service can provide them as business owners. Many of the world’s approximately 60 million business owners are already Facebook users. Over 11 million businesses already have pages on Facebook. Over 7 million of these pages are actively used each and every month. In addition, hundreds of thousands of small businesses advertise with us. By making it easier to create a business page and run ads, we believe we can increase the number of small and local businesses who use our tools.

Yet, there are two stories out this morning about small businesses who are frustrated with their Facebook ad experience.

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UBS Facing Battle On Facebook After Nasdaq Set Aside $62 Million

By Nina Mehta and Laura Marcinek

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ)’s creation of a $62 million pool to pay brokers that lost money in Facebook Inc.’s public debut shows how far apart the exchange owner is from UBS AG (UBSN) on who is to blame for losses in the botched deal.

Switzerland’s biggest bank said yesterday that its second- quarter profit fell 58 percent in part because of losses that exceeded $350 million in the May 18 initial public offering. UBS is among brokers including Knight (KCG) Capital Group Inc. that have said they’ll seek compensation after a design flaw in Nasdaq’s computers delayed orders and confirmations just as the shares were about to start changing hands.

UBS promised legal action to get back more than five times as much money as Nasdaq has set aside. In proposing to revamp and enlarge the restitution fund on July 20, Nasdaq said it was seeking a reasonable way to compensate firms for which its “system difficulties caused objective, discernible harm,” according to a regulatory filing.

“I don’t see them getting anywhere close to covering this type of number,” Jillian Miller, an Atlanta-based exchange analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said in a phone interview. “Nasdaq was fairly clear on their conference call that they saw their proposal as a relatively final document. It’ll probably go forward as it is now, with Nasdaq keeping its proposal and UBS trying to sue them.”

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How to Use Social Media to Establish Trust

Life as a small business owner is all about trust. Trust is how we make consumers feel comfortable purchasing from us instead of big box stores and its how we get them to keep coming back. And through the world of social media, we have a slew of new ways to develop trust in our customers’ eyes to make them feel good about our business. But are you taking advantage of them?

Below are six ways SMBs can use social media to establish trust with customers.

1. Turn customers into allies

Social media works to break down the invisible wall that has existed for too long between business owners and the people they serve. Through blogs and social networks businesses are able to talk to consumers more intimately, to share information without selling, and to seek their customer’s advice on matters related to their business. Those that take advantage of this can turn customers from marks to allies. By bringing customers deeper into your business and giving them a sense of investment in your company, you earn their trust and loyalty. You show them you value their opinion and how important they are to your business. As a result, they become part of your company forever.

2. Build up online reviews

More and more studies are showing the correlation between online reviews and consumer trust. For example, last year a 15 Miles survey found that 25 percent of consumers admitted ratings and review information made their decision for them about whether or not to make a purchase. It didn’t influence it. They didn’t just consider it. It made it. And those numbers are going up, not down.

If you’re a company who has not taken advantage of the review revolution, the simple truth is you’re going to be passed over for a competitor who has. One of the most powerful things social media has done is to help make important purchasing information more available to the consumers looking for it. As an SMB, establishing trust means soliciting reviews from customers and vendors, as well as managing and responding to the reviews that you do get. Build reviews into your sales cycle and encourage customers to get vocal about your business. And don’t worry about hiding from negative reviews; as long as you handle them correctly, they actually help your trust and credibility.  Read More

3 Social Media Lessons from the Olympics

BY 

3 Social Media Lessons from the Olympics

Image courtesy of Paypromedia.com

Social media gaffes can happen to the best of us. Sometimes even to Olympic athletes.
Since the 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off in London last week, a small flurry of athletes — among them a Greek triple jumper and a Swiss soccer player — have been cut from their respective teams for sending offensive messages over Twitter.

While an Olympic team doesn’t operate exactly like a business, there are some lessons business owners can glean from these social media mistakes and apply to their own marketing efforts. Here are three tips from social media expert Scott Stratten, author and founder of Ontario-based marketing consultancy Un-Marketing.

Related: 5 Steps to Creating a Social Media Policy (Video)

1. Make it known to employees that social media is not to be taken lightly. 
That’s not say no one can have fun with social media. But owners and their employees should be aware that what they socialize — either from the company or, if applicable, from their personal accounts — is a reflection on your brand.

Stratten suggests creating a list of social media do’s and don’ts for employees. “Just realizing that they can change the brand perception with as little as 140 characters will usually make employees think before they tweet,” he says. Show both brand home-runs and strike-outs to give employees a frame of reference.

2. Have a human-resources plan for dealing with social media mistakes. 
The offending Olympic athletes were promptly expelled from competing for their social media transgressions. A business owner might not fire an employee for a minor misstep on social media, but should know what qualifies as a major mistake and the consequences employees could face if they make one.

Like many management issues, problems should be handled on a case-by-case basis, Stratten says. “Tweeting something mildly insensitive can be one thing, but being [undeniably offensive] is another,” he says. Any guidelines in place for governing employee interactions between co-workers or customers should be extended to the virtual world.  Read More

LinkedIn: Social Media Stock For Investors Who Hate Social Media Stocks

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

By : David Penn,

Image via CrunchBase

With shares of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) continuing to be sold aggressively, it will be worth watching to see how well the “Facebook for Grownups” known asLinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) does when it reports quarterly earnings later this week.

LinkedIn clearly has become the sole beloved of the social media stocks. With the Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) implosion, the slow-motion meltdown inGroupon (NASDAQ: GRPN), and Facebook increasingly suffering from both overvaluation and volume (i.e., large shareholders with big losses looking to get out as well as the earlier-than-typical expiration of share lockups that likely will release more FB shares into an already-saturated market), “boring is beautiful” LinkedIn is being heralded as “the only social stock that matters” by pundits in the financial media (above plaudits courtesy of The Wall StreetJournal and CNN Money, respectively.)

Up more than 100% in its rally from latest November through the beginning of May and in correction mode ever since, LNKD shares have been on sale twice this month. In the first instance, a sell-off that took the stock lower for three out of four sessions in the first half of July was met by buying and a snapback rally gain of more than 6% in three days and more than 9% in six days.

More recently a five-day retreat sent LinkedIn shares tumbling back to oversold levels, as well as to new, two-week lows. As of midday on Tuesday, the market for LNKD is higher vis-a-vis those pullback lows, though a fraction of Monday’s and Friday’s gains have been given back.  Read More

 

Google Snaps Up Wildfire

Wildfire, a social media marketing firm, helps brands manage their campaigns across sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Scott Eells/Bloomberg NewsWildfire, a social media marketing firm, helps brands manage their campaigns across sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Google is adding to its giant advertising business.

The company announced on Tuesday that it had agreedto acquire Wildfire, a social media marketing firm, for an undisclosed sum. Founded four years ago, Wildfire helps brands manage their social campaigns across sites like FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. It has roughly 16,000 customers, including Spotify, Virgin, Amazonand Unilever.

“With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services,”Jason Miller, a Google product management director said on the company’s blog post on Tuesday. “We believe that better content and more seamless solutions will help unlock the full potential of the web for people and businesses.

The deal for Wildfire comes as many brands struggle to build and manage their footprints on social networks. Start-ups like Wildfire help corporations engage their consumers and track the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. The addition of Wildfire may bolster Google’s own social network, Google+, and provide key insights about rival platforms, such as Facebook. According to a blog post on Wildfire’s Web site, the company will continue to partner with other networks and “operate as usual,” despite its new ownership.  Read More

Social media for investigators: Why departments should invest in training

By : Doug Wyllie

It is becoming increasingly imperative for law enforcement agencies big and small to develop officers’ investigative skills in the online social networking world.

That’s but one of the many conclusions found in a comprehensive new survey — conducted in a partnership between PoliceOne and LexisNexis Risk Solutions — focused on the impact of social media on law enforcement in criminal investigations.

Among the highlights are:
   • 83 percent of current users expect to use social media more in the coming year
   • 67 percent of officers believe social media solves crime more quickly
   • 80 percent of officers use social media for investigative purposes

Opportunities (and Hurdles) Ahead
Reading between the lines of the recently-released survey, one inference in particular leaps out — there is an enormous opportunity ahead for law enforcement to detect, investigate, interdict, and prosecute criminal activity, provided that agencies are willing to make an investment in training and resource allocation.

Importantly, however, the survey stated that a “lack of access and familiarity” are primary reasons for non-use with 70 percent of respondents either unable to access social media during work hours or “do not have enough background to use” social media for investigative purposes.  Read More

Microsoft launches Outlook.com, begins phasing out Hotmail

Microsoft Outlook.com Email Released

Microsoft (MSFT) is giving its email application a much-needed makeover. On Tuesday Microsoft’s Outlook Blog took the wraps off of Outlook.com, a new online email portal that cleans up the traditional inbox user interface and adds several social networking features to the mix. On the inbox side, Outlook.com automatically detects emails that are newsletters and puts them into their own separate folder while also giving users the option to easily stop receiving newsletters with a one-click “unsubscribe” button. The new inbox also allows for message “sweep” operations where Outlook will only keep the very latest message from a given sender and will delete all previously sent messages.  

On the social networking side, Outlook.com syncs up with most of the usual suspects including Facebook (FB),Twitter and LinkedIn, and also updates contact information whenever anyone changes information in their Facebook or Twitter profile. Outlook.com also automatically filters all social networking emails detailing status updates into their own specific folder thus further eliminating inbox clutter without any additional user input. Outlook has incorporated Facebook’s instant messaging system as well, so users can connect through IM with their Facebook friends directly from their inboxes.  Read More

Physician Social Media Platform Marries Data Mining Company

 

 

Healthcare Social Media: Time To Get On Board

Healthcare Social Media: Time To Get On Board

(click image for larger view and for slideshow)With physician social network and crowdsourcing platform Sermo now in the hands of New York-based healthcare data collection companyWorldOne, expect doctors to have more opportunities to earn money participating in market research.

WorldOne purchased Cambridge, Mass.-based Sermo and its community of 130,000 U.S. physicians July 19 for an undisclosed sum. The analytics firm adds its own worldwide network of 1.7 million healthcare professionals–including about 1 million physicians in 80 countries–to create what WorldOne is calling the largest global community of physicians online.

After accounting for duplicate membership, WorldOne now is boasting a network of more than 350,000 “verified” doctors in the United States alone, all of whom have opted in to receive notices about marketing surveys. “Sermo members will have access to a lot more opportunities to be engaged and earn money,” Jonathan Michaeli, formerly Sermo’s VP of marketing, who has taken on a related role at WorldOne, tellsInformationWeek Healthcare. “The reach will go up by three times,” in terms of marketing offers, he added.

Sermo already claimed relationships with hundreds of healthcare companies, including eight of the 10 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers. The acquisition means that physicians on Sermo “can access more product opportunities and scale,” Michaeli said.

[ Is it time to re-engineer your clinical decision support system? See 10 Innovative Clinical Decision Support Programs. ]

“With the acquisition of Sermo and its leading discussion and crowdsourcing platform for physicians, WorldOne considerably expands its interactive and digital engagement capabilities,”

the merged company said in a statement.

In an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare, Michaeli described WorldOne as “very social,” adding, “We have expanded very aggressively into digital marketing.”  Read More

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