Posts Tagged ‘Jay Baer’

Book Review: Content Rules

Monday, June 24th, 2013

The phrase “content marketing” may well disappear at some point in the not-too-distant future. Not because the concept will fade away, but because it will be seen as redundant; there won’t be any marketing without content.

According to recent research, nearly 80% of CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing. And it’s not only marketing executives who are excited about content. The same study also showed that:

  • • 90% of companies are already doing some form of content marketing.
  • • 70% of customers said they “felt closer to a company as a result of content marketing.”
  • • 70% of buyers would rather learn about a company through articles than through an advertisement.
  • • 60% of people say they have been “inspired to seek out a product” after reading content about it.

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. ChapmanAnd so it is that Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business has arrived at at opportune time. Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman have written the definitive guide to creating nearly any type of content, as well as adding life to traditional formats like customer case studies and FAQ pages. Content Rules is a must-read for anyone who wants to create compelling, useful information for their target audiences.

Creating relevant, quality, original content within a web presence optimization (WPO) strategy has become critical to marketing success because,  as the authors note, “overwhelmingly, consumers depend on search engines to help them shop online.” They cite research showing that “three out of five shoppers said they always or often use search engines when shopping online…more consumers use search engines than they do coupon sites, retailer emails, consumer reviews, or shopping comparison sites.” The figure is even higher for b2b and high-value, considered-purchase consumer goods.

The book works well on several levels, and though it’s most valuable to practitioners—those who actually envision, specify, create, repurpose, and promote business content— it’s also helpful for senior executives charged with developing content strategy and coordinating creative efforts.

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As the previous post here noted, Amazon.com has announced it will shut down its affiliate program in Minnesota at the end of this month. If this review, or any of the other book reviews here, inspire you to buy the book, please click on any of the book’s links within the post today to buy the book on Amazon. Thank you!

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Divided into four sections, the book opens with the case for content (though that’s increasingly superfluous), the basic “rules” of content creation, and wisdom such as the importance of giving content both “roots” (ground it “solidly in your unique perspective, voice, and point of view”) and “wings” (distributed, promoted and shared across the social web).

It proceeds through sections devoted to the “how to” of content creation, success stories (“with ideas you can steal”), and finally a brief closing section with next steps and a helpful checklist to help content creators follow the “rules.”

Among the authors’ insights:

  • • The benefits of content marketing compound over time. Jay Baer uses the phrase “information annuity” while Marcus Sheridan of River Pools calls content “the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.” This echoes the message that social media and content transform marketing from an expense to an investment.
  • • “The more valuable the information you can give to others, the more you will become viewed as an expert and therefore gain their trust…the person with the abundance mentality wins.”
  • • Stuck for a subject to write about? “Know your customers…and what keeps them up at night. What are their concerns and objectives? What do they care about? How will your brand help them in their daily lives?”
  • • Getting high-quality backlinks to your website is crucial to achieving high rankings in search. But traditional link building is all but dead; so how do you get those links? “By creating compelling content. Every time someone shares a link to your site in some fashion (by blogging about you or sharing a link on Twitter, for example), it boosts your search ranking. Make a video that everyone is raving about or write a blog post that people can’t stop talking about, and you’ll see your site start appearing much higher on the results page when search for…the things you sell.” Which is pretty much what WPO is.
  • • To differentiate their content, and companies, in a crowded market, content creators must “expand their traditional notions of corporate identity to include language, the words a company uses, and tone of voice. Branding, after all, is about differentiation. And describing a brand begins with words. Don’t rely on…worn-to-the-bone words and phrases and bland corporate tone.” Companies often struggle with this internally, particularly if the team has been in place for a while, but any decent consumer or b2b marketing agency should be able to assist in this effort.
  • • A bit more on tone (love this): “In business, it’s tempting (and easier) to use the same boring words everyone else uses. But you’ll be far more approachable (and a whole lot more engaging) if you lighten up a little. I’d worry less about shocking customers than I would about boring them.”
  • • “Literally speak the language of your customers. You want to appeal to them, certainly, but you also want your content to appear in search results when your would-be customers are looking for what you have to offer. How do your customers describe your product or service? What words do they use?” This is vital. Do keyword research, ask your sales force, and talk to your customers.

There’s much, much more on topics ranging from over-used buzzwords to avoid and methods for repurposing and re-using content to the six characteristics of great business storytelling and how to capitalize on events for content creation.

The authors provide such an effective and comprehensive overview of content development that it’s difficult to find fault with the book. A couple of minor quibbles regarding metrics though:

  • • In the section titled “Set Your Metrics: What Does Success Look Like?,” the authors mention number of subscribers, inbound links, comments and “social validation” as key metrics, but don’t mention two other key measures to track: number of blog visitors who then visit other key areas on your website (such as product pages) and the number who take some conversion action (e.g., registering for a webinar, downloading a white paper, or subscribing to your newsletter). (One of our clients was generating, on average, 10% of all leads via referral traffic from their blog within one year of launching it.)
  • • Similarly, on metrics for Ebooks and white papers, the authors cite number of downloads as a key metric—which it certainly is—but I’d add sources of traffic leading to these downloads as another vital piece of data to track.

All in all, this is an outstanding guide to creating, optimizing and sharing compelling, customer-focused information. Even if you’re an experienced content marketer, Content Rules will help you produce better content, produce content better, or both.

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102 Compelling Social Media and Online Marketing Stats and Facts for 2012 (and 2013)

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

With 92% of companies now incorporating social media into their marketing efforts, it’s no longer sufficient to just “be there” on social networks. Today’s most effective marketers are optimizing content across channels, coordinating search and social marketing activities with traditional PR, and measuring their web presence and performance with sophistication.

Social Media and Online Marketing StatisitcsThe first step to improving digital marketing results is to understand the emerging trends and best practices. This post, along with 79 Remarkable Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012 and 87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012 previously published here, provide a solid foundation for that understanding.

What do buyers really want from social media marketers? What’s the key to generating more inbound marketing leads? What is the source of the largest share of social traffic to websites? (It’s not what you almost certainly think.)

Find the answers to these questions and many, many more here in over 100 engaging and intriguing social, search, content, inbound, email,  mobile and other marketing stats and facts from the past few months.

25 Social Media Facts and Statistics

1. While 76% of marketers believe “they know what their consumers want” in terms of social media content and interaction, only 34% have actually asked those buyers. (e-Strategy Trends)

2. At least on the B2C side, there is a disconnect between what marketers think consumers think is important and what consumers actually value. Marketers believe the highest consumer priorities on social media are insights for buying decisions (59%) and customer service (58%). Consumers actually place the highest value on deals and promotions (83%) and rewards programs (70%). (e-Strategy Trends)

3. B2B buyers are most likely to share useful vendor content via email (79%), followed by LinkedIn (53%), Twitter (39%) and Facebook (18%). (Earnest Agency)

4. While three-quarters of marketers consider measurement of social media impact important, 70% say that measuring those results is difficult. (Marketing Charts)

5. 79% of marketers measure website traffic from social media, and 68% track engagement metrics on social networks, but just 26% measure the relationship of social media activity to leads and sales. (Marketing Charts)

6. Just 4% of marketers said their companies were “very effective” at measuring social marketing in 2012. While 47% felt somewhat good at social measurement in 2011, just 38% said the same in 2012. “Nearly half of respondents (47%) feel they or their companies are either not very good at social marketing measurement, or do not measure well at all.” (Marketing Charts)

7. Ever feel frustrated and less productive than you’d like to be at work, even though you’re working hard and putting in a ton of hours? There’s a reason for that! Interruptions (like email and social media) are messing us up. Consider:

  • • The typical worker is interrupted once every 28 minutes on average.
  • • 28% of the average work day is spent on interruptions and recovery time.
  • • 45% of workers believe they are expected to work on too many things at once.
  • • And tasks done in parallel take on average 30% longer to complete than those performed in a sequence.

(Visual.ly)

8. Everyone knows women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest, but how about on other social networks? Women make up the larger share of users on Facebook (58% to 42%) and are a slightly larger share on Twitter (52% to 48%) while men are the predominate users of LinkedIn (63% to 37%) and Google+ (71% to 29%). Furthermore, half of all Google+ users are under 25 years old. (iMedia Connection)

9. Social CRM is still confusing. Only 16% of companies say they currently have a social CRM system in place. 21% plan to implement such a system in the coming year, but another 17% “don’t know what a social CRM system is and why businesses need it.” (Convince & Convert)

10. Only a quarter of all U.S. small businesses (20-99 employees) and a third of midsized companies say they use social media “to engage with customers and prospects in a strategic and structured way.” Another 20% of both groups say they use social media, but in an ad hoc manner. (eMarketer)

11. Despite growing interest in the concept of social business, less than 20% of U.S. companies have integrated social media with their customer service, sales, or product development processes. (eMarketer)

12. Worldwide, 86% of companies have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, while just over half use YouTube and Linked and only slightly more than a third have a presence on Pinterest and/or Google+. (eMarketer)

13. More than 80% of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) plan to increase their use of social media in 2013. Not suprising, considering that 87% of SMBs say that social media has helped them either somewhat or a great deal in th past year. Of those using this channel, social media accounts for 32% of SMB marketing activities. (Marketing Charts)

14. Okay, so most marketers have now embraced social media. But why? 84% of marketers say they use social media to “reach customers at multiple touchpoints,” while 62% want to reach customers where they spend time and 56% say that “customers expect them to be on social media.” (Marketing Charts)

15. Still, not every small business should be using social media—or at least not using it as they are currently. 79% of small business owners on Twitter post just once per day or even less frequently, yet one out of three want to spend less time on social media. These business owners would be best advised to either spend their time on other tactics or hire someone who knows and enjoys social media to interact on their businesses’ behalf. No deposit, no return. (Leaders West)

16. Social media may be good for 99 things, but lead generation ain’t one of them. According to research from MarketingSherpa, just 12% of marketers rate social media as “very effective” for lead gen while 27% say it is “not effective.” The only tactic that fares worse is print advertising (9% very effective vs. 30% not effective). (B2B Lead Blog)

17. Which social network sends the largest share of website traffic? The answer is…unknown. Literally. The well-known social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit account for, combined, on average, less than half of all social traffic. The majority (as much as 70%) is “dark social”—links shared through email or instant messaging that generally get lumped in with “direct” traffic in analytics programs like Google Analytics. (The Atlantic)

18. The most popular social media sites for distributing B2B content are LinkedIn (used by 83% of B2B marketers), Twitter (80%) and Facebook (also 80%). After that, it falls off sharply; 61% use YouTube, 39% are on Google+, 26% utilize Pinterest (really?) and 23% share content on SlideShare. (MarketingProfs)

19. Using social media boosts website traffic: companies gain a 185% lift in Web traffic after achieving 1,000 Facebook likes, and businesses with 51 to 100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer followers. (MarketingProfs)

20. 92% of U.S. companies now use social media in their marketing efforts. (Heidi Cohen)

21. Different social media channels serve different purposes. Blogging is generally seen as most valuable for SEO, YouTube for content marketing, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn most helpful for branding and engagement. (Heidi Cohen)

22. Globally, eight different social networks have now reached the 100 million user mark. Three of those (Weibo, the fourth-largest social nework, RenRen at #5 and Badoo at #7) are primarily used by non-English speakers. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

23. The average user spends nearly seven hours per month on Facebook, but just 21 minutes on Twitter, 17 on LinkedIn, and only three minutes on Google+. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

24. Social media now accounts for 18% of all time spent online, and the average American spends 6.9 hours per month on social networking. But we are spending less time on the phone, sending/reading email, and watching TV than we did just a few years ago. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

25. One-third of CEOs fail to consider their compananies’ social media reputation when making business decisions. (The Backup List)

12 WPO, Inbound and Content Marketing Stats

26. Leads from inbound marketing cost on average 61% less ($135 vs. $346) than outbound marketing leads. (Earnest Agency)

27. Though it varies across industries, of course, 24% of overall marketing spending last year was on digital/online marketing. Social media and SEO together account for 70% of that spending. (iMedia Connection)

28. Blogging generally gets the largest share of inbound marketing budgets, followed by social media, SEO (if calculated separately from blogging) and PPC advertising. Most outbound marketing spend is on telemarketing, followed by direct mail and trade shows. (iMedia Connection)

29. 57% of companies say they generated sales through their blogs, and an identical share have closed business through LinkedIn. 48% have generated customers through Twitter and 42% through Facebook. (iMedia Connection)

30. Why web presence optimization metrics are vital: half of marketers say tightening integration between social media and traditional marketing is a key goal for 2013, yet nearly a third identify that as one of their top social marketing challenges, and a whopping 57% way measuring social ROI is a challenge. (Convince & Convert)

31. 9 out of 10 marketers say they measure social presence (e.g., number of followers and fans) and social media-driven website traffic, but only about half measure share of voice and sentiment. (Convince & Convert)

32. Need more evidence that measuring social media ROI is hard? While about 90% of all companies do some form of social media marketing, just one out of eight measure the revenue impact directly from social media. (eMarketer)

33. The two biggest challenges faced by B2B content marketers are producing enough content (cited by 29% of marketers) and producing the kind of content that engages (18). Only 2% of marketers say that finding trained content marketing professionals is a big challenge. (MarketingProfs)

34. More content = more leads. On average, companies “with 51-100 web pages generate 48% more traffic than companies with 1-50 pages.” What’s interesting though is the differential is larges for very small companies (those with less than 10 employees), likely because larger companies make greater use of lead gen tactics like tradeshows, webinars and video. (Polaris B)

35. Lots more content = lots more leads. Companies with 101-200 web pages generate 2.5x more leads than those with 50 or fewer pages. More landing pages and more blog posts also mean more leads. On average, companies that have published 200 or more total blog posts generate 5X as much traffic as those with 10 posts or fewer. (Polaris B)

36. Inbound marketing leads cost on average 62% less than outbound-generated leads, and the “big three” inbound channels—blogs, social media and SEO—all cost less on average than any outbound channel. (Polaris B)

37. The financial services (75%), insurance (50%) and software (50%) industries are the most advanced when it comes to having separate content marketing strategies for each channel through which they distribute content. Companies in these industries are also the most likely to have formal content marketing editorial calendars. The automotive (14%) and banking sectors (14%) were the least likely to have separate strategies in place. (MediaPost)

8 SEO Stats and Facts

38. SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation for B2B companies. 59% of B2B marketers say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead gen goals, followed by social media (21%) and pay per click (20%). Not surprisingly, 98% of B2B marketers plan to maintain or increase SEO budgets next year. (Marketing Charts)

39. SEO also has the biggest impact on B2C lead gen. 49% of B2C marketers rank SEO tops for impact on lead generation, followed by pay per click (26%) and social media (25%). (Marketing Charts)

40. Agencies do SEO better. 21% of marketers who work with agencies on SEO report being highly satisfied with their program performance, compared with 11% of those who do SEO in-house. (Marketing Charts)

41. 78% of Internet users say they use the web for product research, and almost half (46%) of all searches on the average day for information on products and services (iMedia Connection)

42. Search is as popular as ever, but the percentage of searches actually done on search engines declined slightly in 2012 (by about 1%). More searches are taking place on websites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, and on Amazon.com, which is the top destination for product search). Still, organic search on search engines drive 50% of all referring traffic, compared to less than 8% for social media. (MediaPost)

43. SEO is rated as the most effective lead generation tactic, with 34% of marketers calling it “very effective” while just 7% say it is not effective. The next-most-effective lead gen tactics are paid search (32% vs. 9%) and webinars (30% to 6%). (B2B Lead Blog)

44. Demand for SEO skills has never been greater. SEO job postings on job board indeed.com increased 1900% last year and people with ‘SEO’ in their LinkedIn profile have increased by 112%. Still, few SEO jobs pay six figures. (Conductor Blog)

45. The largest number of SEO job openings are in New York and San Francisco, with Boston at #5, Austin at #11 and my own Minneapolis at #12. (Conductor Blog)

3 SEM Facts

46. Think AdWords isn’t important? For “commercial” searches on Google, actual organic links can take up less than 20% of the screen real estate and links. (Founder’s Blog)

47. Agencies do SEM better. 20% of respondents working with agencies for PPC report being highly satisfied with their program’s performance, compared to 15% who manage pay-per-click programs in-house. (Marketing Charts).

48. Search (paid and organic) is a leading driver of new customer sales, while email matters most for repeat business. Social media isn’t a significant driver of either type of sale, though of course it is vital for support SEO, brand image (which leads to higher PPC click-through rates) and customer service. (Marketing Pilgrim)

3 Email Marketing Stats

49. There are 62 billion emails sent every day. The average worker receives 112 emails and spends 28 of his or her time on email each day. (Visual.ly)

50. Email is the most common lead gen tactic, used by 81% of marketers. (MarketingSherpa)

51. SEO drives traffic, but email drives conversions. While 43% of marketers say that organic search drives the greatest volume of traffic to their websites, only 29% say that traffic converts at the highest rate. On the other hand, though just 22% cite email as their largest web traffic generator, 25% say those visits convert at the highest rate. (MarketingSherpa)

7 Business Blogging Stats and Facts

52. Just 139 of the Fortune 500 corporations maintain public-facing blogs, only 29 more than in 2009. (e-Strategy Trends)

53. Only 185 of the Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) had a blog in 2011, down from 250 firms in 2010, despite the fact that 92% of all companies with blogs say it has been successful for their business. (e-Strategy Trends)

54. Meanwhile, 55% of small businesses have a blog. (Leaders West)

55. On average, companies that publish 15 or more blog articles per month generate five times more Web traffic than companies that don’t blog at all, and those that blog 9-15 times per month generate three times more traffic than companies that don’t maintain blogs. (MarketingProfs)

56. Companies that publish new blog posts just 1-2 times per month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all. (MarketingProfs)

57. 57% of companies that blog have acquired a customer through their blogs. (Polaris B)

58. Blogs are the core of social media marketing. Among companies that use social media in their marketing efforts, 59% rank their company blog as critical or important to their business, higher than any other social sharing site or network. (Heidi Cohen)

8 Facebook Facts and Statistics

59. There are one billion posts per day made on Facebook. The average user spends nearly 7 hours per month on the social networking site, and one out of every five pageviews on the Internet is on…Facebook. (Visual.ly)

60. Three out of four American moms use Facebook. (iMedia Connection)

61. Facebook accounts for one out of every five pageviews on the Internet. It’s used by more than half of all people in North America, more than a third of all citizens in Australia and New Zealand, and more than a quarter of the population in Europe. (iMedia Connection)

62. Of Facebook’s one billion-plus users, 57% access the site at least occasionally from mobile devices. The most popular operating systems for mobile Facebook access are iOS (26%) and Android (21%). (Jeff Bullas)

63. Among Facebook marketers, 64% have used Facebook Events to inform fans about online or offline events, making this a far more widespread tool than display ads and targeted posts. (Marketing Charts)

64. 90% of small businesses are on Facebook, and roughly two-thirds post more than once per week. (Leaders West)

65. All of the Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers have now established Facebook pages for their brands. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

66. Facebook grew 18% in 2012 and accounted for more than half of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)

6 Twitter Stats

67. There are 400 million tweets per day on Twitter. A million new Twitter accounts are opened each day. The average user spends nearly and hour and a half on the site each month. (Visual.ly)

68. Twitter now has more than 500 million users worldwide, including more than 100 million in the U.S. Twitter’s second-largest user base is in Brazil. (Jeff Bullas)

69. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Twitter access is via Twitter.com (web access), while 16% of use is mobile and 10% is via Twitter clients like HootSuite and TweetDeck. (Jeff Bullas)

70. What’s the most popular marketing tactic on Twitter? 30% of marketers report using hashtags tied to specific campaigns, while 26% use Promoted Tweets. (Marketing Charts)

71. Twitter grew 55% in 2012 and accounted for 15% of all social content sharing. (AddThis Blog)

72. 42% of companies have acquired at least one customer through Twitter. (Polaris B)

6 LinkedIn Facts

73. LinkedIn has more than 150 million users, but less than 20% have reached the level of having 500 or more first-degree connections, and only 8% are using the paid premium version. (Jeff Bullas)

74. Also, only 51% of LinkedIn users have “complete” profiles, and just 52% spend two hours or more per week on the site. (Jeff Bullas)

75. The most popular use of LinkedIn is for researching people and companies (77%). Other popular uses include building relationships with industry influencers (50%), finding job opportunities (38%) and increasing brand recognition in the marketplace (37%). Just 28% of companies say they have generated identifiable business opportunities on the site. (Jeff Bullas)

76. The most popular marketing tactics on LinkedIn are the use of LinkedIn groups (cited by 33% of marketers) followed distantly by InMail messaging (14%), LinkedIn Events (13%) and LinkedIn ads (10%). (Marketing Charts)

77. LinkedIn is the most powerful social site for driving B2B sales. Pinterest is most valuable for driving B2C business. (Heidi Cohen)

78. Want to connect with top-level executives? 26% of Fortune 500 CEOs are on LinkedIn. Less than 8% are on Facebook. o% use Pinterest. (Heidi Cohen)

3 Google+ Statistics

79. Google+ has more than 400 million users, with 100 million accessing the site each month. The typical user is a male in his late 20s with a technical position or background. (Jeff Bullas)

80. Google+ users tend to be more technical than Facebook users. The top three brands on Google+ are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; on Facebook, the three most popular brands are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks. (Jeff Bullas)

81. 12 of the top 15 interest categories on Pinterest are related to commerce, including jewelry and accessories (#1), flowers and gifts (#2), food (#4), books (#7), travel (#8), apparel (#11), home furnishings (#14) and toys (#15). (Jeff Bullas)

3 Pinterest Facts

82. Mothers are 61% more likely to use Pinterest than the average American. Pinterest ranks as the #1 “family and lifestyle site” for moms – ahead of Disney Online. (iMedia Connection)

83. Pinterest’s user base is 79% female, and Apple-centric. The iPad is the most device for mobile access (55%), while an additional 17% of mobile access is through the iPhone. (Jeff Bullas)

84. Pinterest grew an astounding 379,599% in 2012. The biggest driver of growth was pins of food photos. (AddThis Blog)

6 B2B Marketing Facts and Stats

85. 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say when they are ready to make a purchase, they will find a vendor. 81% use search, 59% look for peer recommendations, and 41% read content from “thought leaders.” (Earnest Agency)

86. For purchases over $10,000, 70% of buyers review four or more pieces of content before making a decision. (That actually sounds quite low, doesn’t it?) The most popular type of content: white papers, read by 88% of buyers. (Earnest Agency)

87. Traditional marketing tactics are not dead. 74% of B2B marketers rate direct mail as very effective, while 72% say the same about live events and 71% call email marketing critical. (Earnest Agency)

88. 75% of B2B marketers use SEO for lead generation. 72% utilize social media, and 54% have embraced content marketing, while just 15% of marketers say they are using mobile marketing. (MarketingSherpa)

89. B2B marketers are spending more on content marketing. “On average, B2B content marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing (in 2012), up from 26% (in 2011, and) 54% plan to increase content marketing spending next year.” (MarketingProfs)

90. The most popular B2B content marketing tactics are the use of social media other than blogs (used by 87% of B2B marketers), articles on their own websites (83%), eNewsletters (78%) and blogs (77%), followed by case studies, videos and externally published articles, all at about 70%. On the other end of the scale is gamification, used by just 11% of B2B marketers. (MarketingProfs)

3 Video Marketing Statistics

91. 75% of senior executives watch videos on business sites every week. 65% go on to visit a vendor’s website after watching a video. (Earnest Agency)

92. 71% of American Internet users watch online videos; 28% do so on a daily basis. (iMedia Connection)

93. YouTube is the world’s second largest social media site, with 800 million unique monthly visitors, and the second largest search engine. (Heidi Cohen)

6 Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

94. Of the four billion mobile phones in use globally, more than a quarter (27%) are smartphones. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices. (iMedia Connection)

95. The top online uses of mobile phones are gaming (61% of users do this), checking the weather (55%), maps and search (50%) and social networking (49%). (iMedia Connection)

96. Despite the growing popularity of local mobile search and social activity, only 3% of U.S. small businesses use geolocation services. (eMarketer)

97. Mobile marketing is “becoming mainstream” for small to midsized businesses (SMBs). 18% said they were “very likely” and 31% “somewhat likely” to incorporate mobile elements in their advertising and marketing efforts to reach potential customers in the coming year. Meanwhile, 7 in 10 plan to either maintain or increase spending in this area (Marketing Charts)

98. Is mobile marketing effective for lead generation? The jury is still out. In a recent survey, 15% of marketers rated mobile marketing as “very effective” for lead gen while an identical share said mobile is not effective. (B2B Lead Blog)

99. 30% of all the time spent on mobile device use is on social networks. (MediaPost)

And Finally, 3 Other Miscellaneous Online Marketing Stats

100. While 45% of all B2B businesses have now implemented some type of marketing automation software, less than 20% of SMBs have done so. However, smaller companies that have embraced marketing process automation are nearly 50% more likely to report revenue growth above plan than those that haven’t. (MediaPost)

101. Half of all employed people in the U.S. have been with their current employer for less than five years. The average tenure for all employees is 4.6 years. Professionals in architecture and engineering (7 years) and management (6.3 years) tend to have the longest tenures, while occupations with the shortest tenures include food service (2.3 years) and sales (3.4 years). (westXdesigns)

102. Social media crisis management in crisis? More than 10% of companies report they will not take any action to respond to a damaging article or social media post. Worse, less than two-thirds of B2C executives and just 43% of B2B leaders even believe their companies could respond to a negative post within 24 hours. (The Backup List)

 

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87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Though social media marketing is now used in about 90% of companies, techniques, platforms and best practices continue to evolve.  Should you include Pinterest in your mix? Increase use of video marketing? Is blogging coming back or trailing off? What will likely be the hot trends in social media over the next couple of years?

More Social Media Stats for 2012Marketers have questions, this post has answers: 87 vital social media and online marketing statistics covering everything from how executives and large companies are using social media for marketing, customer service and recruiting to fresh stats on the leading social media platforms to search, email, content and mobile marketing trends.

The recent 72 Fascinating Social Media Stats post on JeffBullas.com was one of my post popular guest posts ever, so here is an entirely new set of social media stats, facts and research findings.

Social Media Stats and Demographics

1. Social media accounts for only 16% of customer engagement today, but is expected to increase to 57%—the second-most used channel, behind only face to face interaction—within five years. (Marketing Pilgrim)

2. 30% of the world’s entire population is now online, and social networking is the most popular and time consuming online activity—with users spending more than one fifth (22%) of their time engaging on social media channels. This means that more than 250 million tweets and 800 million Facebook status updates are now published every single day. (MindJumpers)

3. Brazilians have the highest number of online friends of any country, averaging 481 friends per user, while the Japanese average only 29 friends. (MindJumpers)

4. 56% of Americans have a profile on at least one social networking site. And it’s not just millenials; 55% of those aged 45-54 have at least one social network profile. (Convince & Convert)

5. Social networks and blogs In the U.S reach nearly 80% of active U.S. Internet users and represent the majority of Americans’ time online. (MediaPost)

6. 60% of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site. 48% of these consumers responded to a retailer’s offer posted on Facebook or Twitter. (MediaPost)

7. 90% of marketers now use social networks in their marketing efforts, but growth has plateaued; the figure was 89% in 2011. (eMarketer)

8. Half of all social media users are between 25 and 44 years old, but the age distribution varies widely across social networks. Reddit and Tumblr are among the “youngest” networks, with half or more of users under 35 years old. Twitter is about in the middle (55% of users age 35 or older) while 65% of Facebook users are over 35 (didn’t this start with college students?) and LinkedIn is the “oldest” network, with 79% of users age 35 and older. (Pingdom)

9. Women tend to be somewhat more present and active on social media than men, though the shares vary widely by site. Men tend to dominate on technical sites (e.g., Slashdot is almost 90% guys); LinkedIn is close to a 50-50 split; Twitter and Facebook are both about 40% male / 60% female; and women account for almost 90% of Pinterest users. (Pingdom)

10. Social media and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. Internet users. 91% of experienced social marketers see improved website traffic due to social media and 79% are generating more quality leads. (Business2Community)

11. 90% of companies with 100 or more employees use social media in their marketing mix. 83% use Facebook and 53% are on Twitter, though that gap is expected to narrow by 2014 due to rapid growth in Twitter use. (eMarketer)

Social Media in the Enterprise

12. Just 23% of Fortune 500 companies maintain an active blog, vs. 37% of Inc. 500 firms. (V3 Integrated Marketing)

13. 35% of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies have a corporate blog compared to 14 percent of those Fortune 500 companies in the bottom 300-500 of the category, i.e., top companies devote more attention to their corporate blogs than those in the bottom of the pack.  (V3 Integrated Marketing)

14. 62% of Fortune 500 companies have an active Twitter account, while 58% maintain a corporate Facebook page. (V3 Integrated Marketing)

15. Looking at five leading social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest), Fortune 100 company names are mentioned more than 10 million times per month. (Digital Buzz Blog)

16. The average Fortune 100 company is mentioned nearly 56,000 times per month On Twitter. (Digital Buzz Blog)

17. 87 of the Fortune 100 companies are now active on at least one social network. 82 use Twitter, 75 have a Facebook page, 50 are on Google+ and 25% use Pinterest. (Digital Buzz Blog)

18. To accommodate different product lines, business units and geographies, the average Fortune 100 company now maintains 10 official corporate Twitter accounts, 10 Facebook pages and eight YouTube channels. (Digital Buzz Blog)

19. Fortune 500 companies tend to be antisocial. Less than half of Fortune 500 businesses provide a link to their Facebook profile or Twitter handle on the Contact Us page of their Web sites. About 27% of consumer-facing Fortune 500 corporations do not list social media channels on their Web site home page, 89% do not list an e-mail address on their site, and 13% don’t list a phone number on their Contact Us page. (MediaPost)

Social Media Use in the C-Suite

20. 71% of consumers say that CEO participation in social media leads to improved brand image. (41 Stories)

21. Only 3.2% of Fortune 500 (largest companies) CEOs have a Twitter account compared with 17% of Inc. 500 (fastest-growing companies) CEOs. (41 Stories)

22. 52% of CEOs who are active in social media say that it helps their companies rise in search rankings, and 48% say that social media has generated qualified sales leads.  (41 Stories)

23. Though 94% of corporations use social media in some way and 58% of executives acknowledge that social media is useful for lead generation and developing brand loyalty, 70% of CEOs have no presence on any social network. 26% are on LinkedIn, 8% have a Facebook page and just 4% use Twitter. (Business Insider)

24. This is the case even though 82% of buyers say they are more likely to trust a company whose top executive is active on social media, and 81% of employees believe that social CEOs are better leaders. (Business Insider)

Social Media and Human Resources

25. 40% of organizations have a formal social media policy, and 56% of those policies include a statement regarding the organization’s right to monitor social media usage. More than a third (39%) of companies monitor their employees social media use on company-owned computers and handheld devices. (Resume Bear)

26. 92% of recruiters use social media to find new candidates, up from 82% in 2010. And 73% now say they have successfully hired through social media, up significantly from just 58% two years ago. (Ragan.com)

27. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn is the most popular social network among recruiters, with 93% using it. 66% use Facebook while 54% utilize Twitter. More dramatically, 89% of recruiters say that LinkedIn has produced at least one successful hire for them, compared to 25% who say the same of Facebook and just 15% who’ve had recruiting success with Twitter. (Ragan.com)

Facebook Stats

28. 20% of all pageviews on the web are on Facebook. (Jeff Bullas)

29. Half of all Facebook users use it on mobile devices, at least occasionally. (Jeff Bullas)

30. More than 500 million people log in to Facebook each day, and they collectively post 3.2 billion likes and comments. (Jeff Bullas)

31. Social media fatigue? Though 20% of Facebook users say they check in on the social network once or twice per day, 52% plan to spend less time there in the future. (SodaHead)

32. 73% of users believe that another social network will eclipse Facebook. (SodaHead)

Twitter Facts

33. Twitter attracts one million new users per day. (Jeff Bullas)

34. Of Twitter’s 165 million users, half access Twitter on mobile devices at least occasionally.  (HubSpot)

35. 53% of Twitter users have been a member for less than a year, compared to just 19% for Facebook. (Convince & Convert)

36. 76% of Twitter users are active tweeters, up from 47% in 2010. (Convince & Convert)

37. Want to get retweeted more often? Research shows that keywords which increase the likelihood of retweeting include “please,” “thank you,” “Twitter,” “social media” and “you.” Words to avoid include “lol,” gonna,” “hey,” “tired,” “work” and “bored.” (iMedia Connection)

38. Twitter users now post 340 million tweets per day, or roughly a billion tweets every three days. (Digital Buzz Blog)

LinkedIn Statistics

39. Two news users join LinkedIn every second.  (Jeff Bullas)

40. 75 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn in their corporate hiring process.  (HubSpot)

YouTube and Video Marketing Trends

41. YouTube is the third-most-visited site on the web, with two billion views per day. (Jeff Bullas)

42. YouTube use accounts for 10% of all traffic on the Internet. (Jeff Bullas)

43. 76% of marketers said they planned to increase use of video and YouTube in 2012.  (HubSpot)

44. There are 1.5 million business-related searches on YouTube each day, and 75% of senior executives say they watch work-related videos at least weekly. (Earnest B2B)

Blogging Stats

45. Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages. And companies with more indexed pages generate far more leads from search.  (Search Engine Journal)

46. The very first blogs appeared in 1998, and Blogger.com was launched in 1999. By 2006, there were more than 50 million blogs in existence. (HubSpot)

47. Today, there are more than 158 million blogs (though only about 70 million are active). (Spin Sucks)

48. B2C companies who blog regularly see an 88% increase in median monthly leads and B2B companies who blog see a 67% increase in leads.  (V3 Integrated Marketing)

49. Roughly 60% of business blogs are updated at least twice per week. (Marketing Charts)

50. Another study found that while 60% of businesses have a blog, only 35% of those (i.e., 21% of all businesses) actively maintain them. (New Media Expo Blog)

51. The two most popular blogging platforms are WordPress (used for 43% of all blogs) and Blogger (35%). Surprised it’s that close. (New Media Expo Blog)

Content Marketing Findings

52. The most popular forms of content marketing for B2B companies are social media excluding blogs (79%) and article posting (78%). 51% maintain blogs, 42% conduct webinars and webcasts, and 41% produce videos. Just 11% use mobile content and only 9% create eBooks. (Earnest B2B)

53. However, 71% of B2B marketers view in-person events as effective while only 31% say the same about social media excluding blogs. (Earnest B2B)

54. Relevance is critical is content marketing. 45% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails due to irrelevant content, and on the B2B side, IT buyers say that 58% of vendor content is not relevant to them, and that this lack of relevance reduces the chance of closing a sale by 45%. (MarketingSherpa)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Facts

55. 70% of the links search users click on are organic. (This is an overall average, however, and the share of clicks on paid results is considerably higher for many commercially oriented searches.) (Search Engine Journal)

56. 46% of all searches are for information about products or services. (HubSpot)

57. 75% of searchers never scroll past the first page of results (which also means of course that 25% do).  (Search Engine Journal)

58. 93% of online experiences (including b2b and considered purchases) begin with a search engine. (Search Engine Journal)

59. Half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices.  (HubSpot)

60. 66% of new customers use search and online research to find local businesses.  (HubSpot)

61. 21% of all time spent online is spent on web searches. (MindJumpers)

62. It’s probably no surprise that the big three search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo!) are among the five most-visited sites on the Internet. But consider that AOL is #7 and Ask is #10, meaning that…five of the top 10 most-visited sites on the web are search engines. (MindJumpers)

63. B2B companies that maintain active content (e.g., bloogging) and SEO programs increased their total website traffic, on average, by 25% in the past year, while those who neglected SEO (either never did it or did SEO only as a one-time effort at site launch) experienced an average 15% decline in overall visits. (Webbiquity)

64. How big is the SEO industry? Well, there are 863 million websites globally that mention “SEO.” There are 9.1 million searches conducted including the acronym each month, with the top two phrases being “SEO services” and “SEO company.” More than 60,000 Twitter users include “SEO” in their bios, there have been 13 million blog posts published that include “SEO” in the title, and Amazon.com carries almost 2,700 different books about SEO. (Search Engine Journal)

65. While it’s vital for marketers to integrate search and social in terms of their strategies, it turns out consumers don’t like the two actually mixed in search results. 62% say they do not want social results included on search engine result pages (SERPs), while just 19% do. (Search Engine Watch)

66. If social results are going to be included on SERPs, consumers prefer Bing’s layout (social off to the right side) rather than Google’s layout (social mixed with organic results), 63% to 37%. However, by a 5-to-3 margin, consumers preferred Google’s display of universal search results. (Search Engine Watch)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Online Advertising

67. Every marketer knows that click-through rates on banner ads are very low. Why? 31% of users say they are worried if they click on an ad that their behavior will be tracked, while 57% fear they will receive spam from advertisers. (Get Elastic)

68. The average person is more likely to apply and be accepted by Harvard or be dealt a full house in poker than to click on a banner ad. (Get Elastic)

69. There are more tweets each month that include “PPC” (282,000) than there are that include “SEO” (248,000), though there are most searches on and blog posts written about SEO. (Search Engine Journal)

70. Click-through rates (CTR) on search ads for keyword phrases with “high commercial intent’ are up to 600 times greater than average CTR for ads on a typical Facebook page. (e-Strategy Trends)

Mobile Marketing Statistics

71. There are about four billion mobile phones in use. Of those, 27% (1.08 billion) are smartphones.  (HubSpot)

72. 50% of all smartphone users use their devices to search the web, and 49% use them for social networking. (HubSpot)

73. 8% of web hits worldwide are from mobile phones. In the US, 25% of mobile Web users are mobile-only. Further, 80% of this traffic will leave if your website isn’t optimized for mobile–a good case for having a mobile-friendly website. (Heidi Cohen)

74. Do some research and consider carefully before investing in design and creation of a mobile app for your business. A quarter of all mobile apps are used only once. (Heidi Cohen)

75. 74% of Americans are unfamiliar with the concept of checking in to a location via mobile device, and only 3% have ever checked in. (Convince & Convert)

76. One in four employees use personal smartphones at work. (Earnest B2B)

77. Almost 40% of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone at least occasionally. (MediaPost)

78. Mobile and video are the two hottest growth areas in marketing. 17% of marketers say they’ve been using mobile marketing for less than a year, while another 17% plan to start using it in the coming year. The figures are 14% and 10%, respectively, for video marketing. (eMarketer)

79. In a July 2012 survey, 26% of respondents said they were interested in the iPhone5, while 74% said they were “over it”–just not that intrigued by another new Apple device. (SodaHead)

Email Marketing Facts

80. Nearly one billion Internet users are on Facebook. But 3.1 billion use email. (HubSpot)

81. Less than one out of five email marketers include social sharing links in their emails. Of those, 91% include a Facebook link while nearly half include Twitter.  (HubSpot)

82. 19% of all time spent online is spent on reading and responding to emails. (MindJumpers)

Other Social and Marketing Stats

83. Instagram tripled its user base from 10 million in September 2011 to 30 million by April 2012. Its Android app had one million downloads on the day it was released. (Jeff Bullas)

84. 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook “likes” are from women.  (Jeff Bullas)

85. Google+ adds 625,000 new users each day.  (Jeff Bullas)

86. 67% of Google+ users are male.  (Jeff Bullas)

87. A majority of marketers worldwide say that less than half of all the analytics data they collect is actually useful for decision-making, and 34% say analytics are not integrated at all with their business plans. (eMarketer)

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Looking Back at 300: Top 10 Posts on the Webbiquity Blog So Far

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After 32 months (time flies when you’re having fun!) and 300 posts, here is a quick look back at the 10 most-read posts on the Webbiquity blog to date. This is an update of the looking back at 100 post in July 2010.

Again, thank you for reading the MarketingSherpa Readers Choice top b2b marketing blog for 2012. Without further ado, below are the 10 most-viewed posts on this blog to date. Some of the entries are surprising, but life and the web can be unpredictable. These are the posts that Webbiquity readers have “voted” as the best by their traffic so far.

Top 10 Posts So Far on the Webbiquity B2B Marketng Blog10. PR Monitoring and Management Tools: Which is Best? Vocus vs. Cision (November 8, 2011)

Vocus and Cision are both powerful and popular PR monitoring and management systems. Both provide PR and social media professionals with extensive capabilities for tracking and growing media coverage of their organizations or clients. So which is best?

9. How to Write an Effective Business Blog (January 8, 2010)

Helpful advice on choosing a blogging platform, authors, topics and frequency for an effective business blog. This post is starting to show its age, but the guidance is still useful to beginning bloggers.

8. 33 (of the) Best Marketing Strategy Guides and Insights of 2010 (February 14, 2011)

Sometimes it’s essential to step back from everyday marketing tactics to ask the bigger questions, like: What conceptual models are we basing our marketing assumptions and practices on, and what new models should we be thinking about? Which emerging trends do we need to keep an eye on? While you won’t find much in the way of “tips and tricks” in this post, you will find guidance on answers to these big-picture marketing questions and more here in some the best marketing strategy guides and insights of 2010. For a more up-to-date look at marketing strategy, check out the Best B2B Marketing and Sales Strategy Guides and Insights of 2011.

7. The One Effective Use of Facebook for B2B Marketing (March 9, 2010)

The intimate, informal nature of Facebook makes it the ideal venue to showcase the human side of your company, with content that may not be appropriate elsewhere. While I’d write this differently today, the post holds up pretty well considering there were “only” 350 million users on Facebook when this was published.

6. 78 (of the) Best Social Media Marketing Tips, Guides, Tools and Strategies of 2010 So Far (August 16, 2010)

More than six dozen of the best, most bookmark-able articles and blog posts about social media tactics, tools and strategies written in 2010, by leading writers like John Jantsch, Lori Dicker, Lee Odden, Lisa Barone, Jay Baer and many more. You can find a much fresher version of this type of content in the recently posted 33 (of the) Best Social Media Guides, Tips and Resources of 2012 So Far.

5. 50 (of the) Best Twitter Guides, Stats, Tips and Tools of 2010 So Far (October 5, 2010)

What are the best ways to use Twitter for business? How you can use it most effectively? Which tools are most helpful? You’ll find the answers to these questions and many more here—or check out more recent thought on the topic in Best Twitter Tips, Tools and Tactics of 2011.

4. The Nifty 50 Top Women of Twitter for 2011 (May 3, 2011)
50 of the most remarkable women on Twitter, from B2B marketers to social media experts, journalists, PR professionals, or just plain fascinating personalities. Though this list is almost timeless, The Top #Nifty50 Women in Technology on Twitter for 2012, published just last month, honors 50 remarkable women on Twitter who work for or with technology companies.

3. What’s the Best Social Media Monitoring Tool? It Depends (October 13, 2010)

The explosion of social media has led to a corresponding need for more sophisticated monitoring tools that can crawl the hundreds of social networking and bookmarking sites and millions of blogs across the globe. A rapidly proliferating collection of tools are being developed to meet the need. This post highlights nine tools at various price levels that may or may not be the best but are certainly among the most popular and capable social media monitoring tools currently available.

2. Best Email Marketing Tips, Tactics and Metrics of 2010 (February 21, 2011)

How can you use email marketing most effectively and avoid overloading your recipients with information? How can you grow the size of your email marketing list? Avoid mistakes that will cost you readers? Integrate your email and social media marketing efforts to improve results through both channels? Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than two dozen of the best email marketing guides of 2010. Or get more current email wisdom in 17 (of the) Best Email Marketing Guides of 2011.

And the number one, most viewed post of all time so far on the Webbiquity blog (imagine mental drum-roll sound here) is…

1. Best Social Media Stats, Facts and Marketing Research of 2010 (January 17, 2011)

Learn how buyers use social media, which platforms are most effective, and more here in the best social media marketing stats, facts and research of 2010. If you crave social media stats and data (clearly a popular topic), check out the much newer collection of such in 79 Remarkable Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012.

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21 (of the) Best Facebook Guides, Tools and Rants of 2012 So Far

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Despite a shaky IPO last spring, Facebook remains the 800-pound gorilla of social media marketing, as it now approaches the billion-user mark. Though often associated with bands and brands, Facebook is viewed as the most effective social media tool (by a fairly large margin) by both B2C and bB2B marketers.

Best Facebook Guides of 2012So what are the best tactics for marketing and advertising on Facebook? How can marketers best utilize social plugins for the platform? Which apps are still worthy (and functional) in the Timeline interface? How can brands most successfully drive fan engagement? Will Facebook continue to grow and dominate the web, or is it headed for a fall like AOL and MySpace before it?

Find the answers to these questions and many others here in more than 20 of the best Facebook guides, tactics, observations, tools, stats and rants of 2012 thus far.

Facebook Guides, Tips & Techniques

7 Unbelievably Cool Facebook Ad Tactics by AllFacebook

Dennis Yu provides an outstanding set of techniques to use in various circumstances, such as when you hosting an event, promoting a video, or if your customers are other businesses: “If you know the names of the actual companies you’d like to have as clients, include them in the your list of workplace targets. But be careful to attract only decision makers. If you’d like to get the attention of Walmart executives, narrow down to folks age 25 and up who live within a 25-mile radius of Bentonville, Arkansas, or else you risk targeting employees in stores across the country.”

15 Ways To Use Facebook Pages for Business by Social Media Today

Matt Hamilton lists “some great ideas for your own business Facebook use,” such as for product testing, news release promotion, customer service, ideas to feed your new product development process, employee recognition, and even growing your email list: “it is important to make sign-up very easy. Using a software service such as MailChimp allows you to add a simple sign up form to your Facebook business page and also get some great tools for creating the newsletter.”

28 Things You Need To Know About The New Facebook Pages by KISSmetrics

Though this post is now old news for many Facebook marketers, this piece by frequent best-of contributor Kristi Hines nonetheless provides a great review of Timeline features to go back to and make sure nothing was missed or sub-optimized from Facebook brand timeline pages. For example, “While you can have a total of 12 custom tabs (including your Photos and Page Likes), only four are showed at the top of your page. This means visitors to your page have to be savvy enough to click on the down arrow to find the rest. You can swap the position of your custom tabs to make sure the best ones are up top by clicking on the down arrow, hovering over the tab, clicking on the pencil, and selecting which tab to swap it with.”

The Complete Guide To Facebook Timeline Pages by AllFacebook

As with the post above, this post is pretty much old news at this point, but still worth a quick skim to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything important in your brand’s Facebook Timeline development.

Simple Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting Up a Facebook Ad Campaign by HubSpot

Dan Stagen walks through a dozen steps to create a Facebook ad campaign, from determining a call to action and writing an ad through all of the various targeting criteria to pricing, review and launch.

Facebook Apps and Tools

25 Timeline Ready Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page by Social @ Blogging Tracker

Ching Ya reviews more than two dozen helpful (and Timeline-compatible) Facebook apps for functions like providing FAQ information, creating contact forms, displaying a Google Map for your business, showcasing your YouTube videos, encouraging discussion and sharing, integrating Twitter, and more.

6 Tools Social Media Experts Use to Update Facebook Pages by KISSmetrics

Kristi Hines (again) presents the pros and cons of updating Facebook using third-party apps (e.g., the impact of Edgerank: “One thing that EdgeRank has the potential of doing is lowering the value of an update from a third-party tool and prioritizing updates that are made directly on Facebook. This means that pages with updates from third-party apps may not get as much engagement”), then reviews six such tools, including HootSuite and Buffer, for those who choose to go the third-party route regardless.

The Ultimate Guide to Marketing With Facebook’s Social Plugins by HubSpot

Explaining that “a Facebook Social Plugin is basically a widget you can add to your website to extend the benefits of your Facebook marketing efforts beyond Facebook. It’s a way to get more marketing mojo out of Facebook on your own website,” Pamela Vaughan reviews 11 of these plugins, explaining what each one does, its marketing value, and how to install and use it.

18 Tools to Develop Your Brand on Facebook by Practical eCommerce
5 STARS *****

Sig Ueland showcases 18 tools for engagement, promotion and monitoring on Facebook, including the Wildfire (now owned by Google) suite of apps for social media promotion, the Forum for Pages discussion board app, and EdgeRank Checker for post optimization. Missing from the list though is Workface, the first non-Facebook-owned interactive profile and multi-format chat tool to be fully functional in Facebook.

Facebook Changes

The evolution of Facebook features by EngageSciences

A fantastic infographic illustrating the history of Facebook feature changes from 2006 through the beginning of 2012. The narrative also points out why keeping up with Facebook’s constant changes, though maddening, is essential: “the introduction of the Facebook Mobile App has been fantastic as it is now the worlds largest mobile app with 400m users, which has stimulated more people to use the site more often, but businesses have been caught out as they have not realised that apps and tabs they create currently cannot be accessed by users of the Facebook Mobile App. With up to 40% of traffic coming from smartphones that is a lot of lost interaction.”

Facebook’s biggest change yet: Actions are here by VentureBeat

Jolie O’Dell explains what Actions are and why they matter:”Actions are kind of the Holy Grail of semantic data, defining relation types between people, objects, content, places, businesses, and so much more. If users warm to the idea of Actions, it might also be one of the most valuable and lucrative move Facebook will ever make.” But she concludes by writing “As Facebook executive Bret Taylor explained it, with the addition of Actions to Facebook profiles, ‘You can see everything you have ever done in any app.’” Do Facebook users really want that?

Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide by Mashable

Christine Erickson puts a positive spin on the March Timeline change and provides an extensive list of Timeline-related resources from Mashable, including Timeline for Brands: How to Prepare for Your Company’s New Facebook Page and Facebook Timeline: 10 Fresh Designs for Creative Inspiration [PICS].

Facebook is telling businesses to become better content marketers by iMedia Connection

According to Doug Schumacher, the “big story” of Facebook’s switch to Timeline format “is that Facebook is essentially telling all marketers that they’d better get their content game on. That’s because your paid advertising on Facebook and the content you publish on Facebook are now one and the same, from a messaging standpoint. The focus on Facebook paid ads won’t be on crafting individual messages that you then optimize, as it’s been in the past. Instead, you’ll simply pipe your best content pieces into different ad units, and measure performance based on how your content attracts interest.”

Facebook Opinions, Observations and Stats

Facebook’s Potential Search Power Could Surpass Google’s by MediaPost

Diane Mermigas is bullish on the long-term value and potential of Facebook, and explains how the social networking behemoth could develop a “torrent of new revenue and value that eventually will make its $100 billion IPO valuation look like child’s play” through a combination of mobile, social search, its relationship with Microsoft / Bing, gaming, and image sharing.

Facebook to Brands: You’re Posting Stuff Wrong by Ad Age

Matt Creamer reports on data showing that the most engaging brand content is generally, well, content closely related to the brand. Attempts to “humanize” the brand through off-topic surveys, questions, and recommendations don’t increase “likes” or grow a brand’s following. And if you want to use questions to drive engagement? “Buddy Media found that brand fans are more willing to comment when asked a question, especially if the question begins with ‘where,’ ‘when,’ ‘would’ and ‘should.’ But other interrogatory words don’t work as well. Avoid asking ‘why’ questions,’ advised the Buddy Media paper. ‘Why’ has both the lowest ‘like’ and comment rates and may be seen as intrusive and/or challenging.”

Facebook on SecondMarket (Infographic) by SecondMarket

An interesting graphical depiction of the rise in Facebook’s value from early 2008 (when the social network had a mere 145 million users and had just introduced Facebook chat) through the company’s IPO in May of this year. In terms of the dollar volume of shares traded at the IPO, 79% of sales were by former Facebook employees, while more than half of purchases were by hedge funds and asset managers.

Facebook Skeptics and Rants

Why there will never be a Margie Clayman Facebook Fan Page by Margie’s Moments of Tiyoweh

The delightful Margie Clayman uses her dagger-sharp pen to skewer the concept of personal fan pages, observing for example, “Isn’t your profile on Facebook kind of a fan page already?…even though the word ‘friend’ is used rather loosely these days, isn’t it more comforting to think that you have 500 friends versus 500 fans?”

Facebook: Why is nobody listening? by ComMetrics

How much is your brand spending on its Facebook strategy? You may want to reevaluate that after reading this scathing but meticulously data-supported post from Urs E. Gattiker. “Facebook status updates are similar to broadcasting a message to an empty football stadium…900 out of every 1000 people do not even see your status update or tweet. Only 0.05 percent (1 person per 2,000 readers) engage by joining the conversation with a comment on your blog or Facebook page.”

14 Ways New Facebook Betrays Small Business by Convince & Convert

Jay Baer contends that “the new design and rules accompanying the new Timeline version of Facebook pages is a boon to big business, and a blow to small business,” for 14 reasons he details, including the death of the landing tab (One area where small businesses could excel in ‘old’ Facebook was with the default landing tab. This became a de-facto landing page/microsite for many companies, and made it relatively easy to drive fan behavior – especially when using inexpensive software. Of course, Facebook killed it in Timeline”) and the penalty on third-party apps.

Why Facebook Could Disappear by MediaPost

Contemplating the future of Facebook in the wake of losing advertising dollars from GM (and potentially other large brands), and the fate of predecessors like AOL, George Simpson writes “MySpace was well on its way to becoming that iconic, can’t-live-without-it kind of company, and Facebook came along and cut its legs off. As soon as the aunts and uncles and grandpas showed up on MySpace, the kids that were the cornerstone of their business hit the exits and ran straight for Facebook. I contend the exact same thing could happen to Facebook.”

The Facebook Fallacy by Technology Review

If you are having too nice of a day, or perhaps even feeling a bit optimistic about the future of online marketing, Michael Wolff will bring you back to earth with his explanation here of why “Facebook not only is on course to go bust but will take the rest of the ad-supported Web with it.” Stock up on canned goods and ammo.

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