Archive for the ‘one billion’ tag
Socialympics is the buzz word for the London games, the first Olympics where social media will play a major role not only for fans but for big brands and athletes. In Beijing in 2008, Twitter was young with 2 million users. Facebook had a paltry 100 million compared to 900 million today.
More than 4 billion people are expected to watch the London Olympics on TV. An estimated one billion will be viewing events on tablets, smart phones and their computers and billions more will be engaging through social media.
All this means that branding is changing, not just for the big sponsors like P&G, Coke, Visa and McDonalds, but for athletes as well.
Nearing one billion users, Facebook was able to connect businesses with their existing and potential market worldwide. However, not all brands that have a Facebook Page know how to attract fans through the social network. A great fan acquisition requires that you have the right mix.
Include Email Marketing
In the world of online marketing, it is already established in that Facebook can promote your brand faster than email marketing. When a user likes your page, it will appear on his or her friends’ News Feed. However, email marketing is one way to keep the communication constant and troll-free. It also strengthens relationship between the brand and the customers. Include social links in all your emails, or send a monthly news letter to promote your page.
Offer Perks to New Fans
Providing incentives is a great way to encourage first-time visitors to like your page. Create a banner that can catch a user’s attention, post special rewards, and require them to like your page before getting their incentive. Encouraging Facebook users to like your page can boost your fan acquisition.
Create Word of Mouth Contests
Other than incentives, giveaways can also be a great way to increase engagement, promote your page farther, and expand your fan base. But if you’re budget constrained, look for partners who are willing to sponsor your contest in exchange of additional exposure for their brand. Your contest can be as simple as “Why should you win our prize?” Ask them to mention you and your partner’s brand on their Wall, and let them spread the word for you.
Just bear Facebook’s Terms of Service about contests in mind. To give you an idea, working with a representative can let you do more on the network. However, you can only talk to a representative if you’re spending five figures on Facebook Ads already.
Convert Buyers into Facebook Fans
If you have an online shop, you can also include your Facebook marketing campaign. It’ll be easier to ask your buyers to like your page because they are already fans of your products. When a user purchases something on your website, add a Facebook Like Box on your Thank You or confirmation page. You can also announce contests that will require your customers to like your page first. Again, just be mindful of the ToS.
Acquiring fans on Facebook gives you better revenue stream. You just have to know how you can invite and keep them on your page. In turn, your fan base will become your consumer base.
A guest post by Assaf Kilorin of buzzdoes.
Imagine you’re shopping for cereal. You want something that’s not too sweet but not too bland. Your plan is to browse the grocery store aisles and choose a brand that seems like a good fit. But when you get there, you find 60,000 options on the shelves. How do you choose?
Maybe you peek at what a stranger has in her grocery cart and opt for the same brand. But is it the best option for you? How do you know?
That is the scenario consumers face every time they enter an app store.
The shelves are stocked with tens of thousands of new titles every month. How do most of those shoppers choose the app that best fits their needs? Often, shoppers listen to peers’ suggestions.
Smart app developers know they must tap into word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) if they are to succeed in this crowded space. As developers try to quickly educate themselves on WOM and other types of marketing, they should keep the following tips in mind.
1. Remember that your competition is big, but so is your potential customer base. App stores are on track to stock as many as 700,000 new offerings or more per year; the number of consumers browsing these options is also growing. Gartner predicts the market will see one billion iPad and 2.5 billion smartphone users by 2015. That’s a lot of devices on which your app could be downloaded.
2. Make sure your product is outstanding. It might be tempting to rush to market to try to get ahead of other developers. Don’t do it. Having a great app isn’t the only element required for success in this industry, but it is the first requirement. Take the time to make sure the code is clean and the supporting content is compelling.
3. Create a clear picture of your intended customer. Do you know to whom you’re marketing? You should. Ask yourself who is most likely to enjoy and recommend your app, and on whom that typical customer will rely for app suggestions.
4. Be frugal about paid campaigns. Before you hit it big, your budget for advertising should stay small. User recommendations are often more effective and generate higher download rates. However, if you’re dead set on advertising, choose pay-per-success campaigns that charge you only when ads lead to downloads.
5. Make it easy for users to recommend your work. If your target customers are like many mobile app consumers, they use social media applications. They probably have experience reading reviews online before buying products or viewing friends’ choices of music or other entertainment. Your target customers, in other words, put a lot of stock in the advice of people in their social networks. That makes users your best marketing tool, as long as your app includes a mechanism they can use to recommend your app, such as a word-of-mouth tool. Help your customers work hard for you by giving them the means to tell others they like and use your app.
What would like to add to this list?
Assaf Kilorin is CEO of buzzdoes.
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(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Smart Phone)
Google Looks To One-Up Facebook With Google+ Local: A More Social Google Places, With A Twist Of Zagat
Google+, with 100 million active users, still has a long way to go before being anywhere near social network rival Facebook’s nearly one-billion subscribers. But it has been working hard to leverage its substantial audiences in other areas to do just that. And today saw the latest advance in that area, with the double news that it is launching Google+ Local, and sunsetting Google Places, its older, less social version of local listings and local search.
Now, if you go to the web page for Google Places, you get two options: a link through to Google+ Local, or if you are a business, an option to claim your spot in Google’s directory — soon to be converted into its own Google + page, the company says. The change has been swift: Search Engine Land reports that as of this morning, some 80 million Google Places pages were converted to Google+ Local pages.
(Hey-Does that mean that Google+ can now say it has 180 million active users?)
The service will now come with two enhancements: first, Google+ contacts that contribute recommendations and opinions on places in the directory will now show up when we search for those places.
And second, to beef that up, Google is also integrating scores and recommendations from Zagat, the restaurant guide company it bought in September 2011. This looks to be the first major sign of how Google has integrated Zagat’s extensive data since the acquisition.
If you are a fan of Zagat’s approach to restaurant reviews, you’ll be right at home here. Google says that from now on, all places will be scored using the 30-point scale used by Zagat that covers the areas of food, decor and ambience. However, Google also says that recommendations and reviews from your contacts will remain “front and center.”
The launch of Google+ Local also marks further steps in Google to bring its products together into a single platform: included will also be integration with search, maps and mobile access, and Local will also come up as a new tab on Google + — so users won’t be lured away to use any of the dozens of other social/local/mobile search services and apps out there already.
Will all this be enough to bring in the crowds? What Google still lacks in Google+ is a way of getting different businesses’ networks to interact with each other — meaning, Facebook may have its own Facebook Places, but it also has a range of apps from others, like Gogobot and more, that enhance that experience. Google is still largely relying on its own data to get the job done. That could make the experience more cohesive, or (the problem Google+ has been having up to now) a little too quiet.
But don’t make a judgment just yet: Avni Shah, the director of product management who penned a blog post on the changes today, notes that “Today is just the first step, and you’ll see more updates in the coming months.” As for what that might be, one guess is to look at what other social networks are doing to get people engaged: virtual currencies that can redeemed for actual goods (like discounts at venues); daily deals; and local alerts are all features I wouldn’t be surprised to see pop up here soon, if Google is doing its homework.
Earlier this month, there was an article in The Atlantic written about Facebook…and it’s effect on our loneliness.
The article begins by telling the story of Yvette Vickers, the former Playmate and actress who was found dead in her home a year after she died. Her computer was still on and, when they checked her phone to see who she might have talked to before she died, they found she called distant fans who found her via the web instead of her “real” family or friends.
Of course, this makes the assumption she knew she was about to die. The coroner later released the autopsy study that shows she died of heart disease. More likely, she was just going about her day so, in her mind, wasn’t really making her last calls to distant fans.
While her connections late in her life had increased, the article claims they were more shallow, “as has happened for many of us.” We’re extremely accessible now, but it seems we are more isolated: A contradiction in the sense that the more connected we are, the more lonely we become. “We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.”
Is it the Fault of Facebook?
Facebook is closing in on one billion users, as they begin their roadshow for the initial public offering. They’re rumored to be valued at $104 billion and think they’ll raise $16 billion when they go public…the largest Internet offering in history. Last summer it became the first website to reach one trillion pageviews (TRILLION) and nearly three billion likes and comments every day.
Most of us use the social network. Many of us are addicted to it (cough, me, cough). We struggle with accepting, or ignoring, friend requests and some even obsess over who is unfriending them on a daily basis. The more we use it, the more comfortable we become with it and our boundaries change on what is acceptable and what is not.
We now live in this very strange world where we consider people we’ve never met in person real friends. When I talk about this when I speak, particularly to business owners, they just shake their heads. It seems strange we’re making friends online, with or without ever seeing them in person. Some even make the joke their kids have 250 Facebook friends, but no one to go out with them for dinner.
Are We More Lonely?
Facebook arrived when Americans seemingly are more alone. “In 1950, less than 10 percent of American households contained only one person. By 2010, nearly 27 percent of households had just one person.”
But living alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. I was listening to Barry Moltz interview Susan Cain last week and she talked about how half of our population are introverts. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t like to be around people. It simply means, while extroverts get their energy from being around throngs of people, introverts get their energy from a quiet glass of wine with a friend or reading a book. Just because we don’t like to be out every night at a rave does not mean we’re lonely.
Facebook, and the other social networks, give us the ability to “talk” to people without actually having to talk to them. When clients ask us who we recommend they put in charge of a particular social network, we always recommend they start with the introverts inside the company. Social media allows them to make friends and break the ice behind the comfort of their own computer screen, which makes them much more comfortable and productive at trade shows, conferences, and networking events because they’re not meeting people for the very first time.
Solitude is Altered Forever
The appeal of Facebook, of course, is it allows us to combine distance with intimacy. I always say Facebook is my own personal stage – I use it to see which jokes, which updates, and which photo captions people will find most engaging. I use this “market research” when I write, when we work with clients, and when we create new content. But I would never actually get up on a stage and perform. It’s not in my DNA.
The Atlantic article goes on to say, “The real danger with Facebook is not that it allows us to isolate ourselves, but that by mixing our appetite for isolation with our vanity, it threatens to alter the very nature of solitude.”
We never take a break. Human beings have always created elaborate acts of self-presentation. But now we do it before we get out of bed and right before we plump our pillows and close our eyes for eight hours. Yvette Vickers’s computer was on when she died. It stayed that way for a year and no one noticed she wasn’t commenting or participating in the conversation.
I don’t know. I’m torn. In one sense, I think Facebook feeds our need to be social and in the other, I wonder if all this technology and accessibility really is making us more lonely.
What do you think?
A little footnote — no, actually, a big footnote — to Rovio’s news earlier this week that revenues had increased by more than tenfold in 2011: the games developer says that its Angry Birds games have now passed the one billion download mark.
Finland-based Rovio notes that this is taking into account the full range of games, including the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, and the newest, Angry Birds Space.
The company has been milking the Angry Birds brand since first launching its iOS version of the game in December 2009, and in addition to a number of versions of the original game, there is now also an extensive merchandising operation that contributed 30 percent of all of Rovio’s sales for 2011.
But the company is also looking ahead. Many believe that it will be later this year that Rovio will launch a new franchise, while continuing to develop the huge Angry Birds brand at the same time. It is expected that the company will IPO in 2013 listing in New York and/or Hong Kong.
And yesterday, its Finnish neighbor, Nokia, announced that it would be investing in a new team of developers with Rovio to develop games for the Windows Phone platform — another sign of how the company is evolving, since the vast majority of its business today is on two platforms: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
In a run-down of its 2011 earnings earlier this week, Rovio noted it made $106.3 million in revenues in 2011, some ten times more than its estimated 2010 revenues.
The short and sweet video Rovio made in honor of today’s news is below. And I should also point out that the blog 148apps is making an interesting connection here: they’ve spotted that the little boy in the video below looks a lot like the character from Casey’s Contraptions, and he speculates that it may be that Rovio is developing that game as its first post-Angry Birds project. I’ve reached out to Rovio to ask about this and will update as I learn more…
Facebook’s amended SEC documents today revealed the social network is bigger than ever — 901 million monthly active users, to be exact.
At this rate of acceleration (we were quoted 845 million MAUs just a couple weeks ago), Facebook will be one billion monthly active users strong before you know it.
The eight-year-old startup stated in its amended S1 that it sees around 526 million daily active users and 488 MAUs on mobile devices.
“We believe that we are at the forefront of enabling faster, easier, and richer communication between people and that Facebook has become an integral part of many of our users’ daily lives,” the filing reads. “We have experienced rapid growth in the number of users and their engagement.”
The 901 million mark was reached officially at the end of March 2012. This figure represents a 33 percent year-over-year growth from the 680 million MAUs the social network saw as of March 31, 2011. DAUs were up 41 percent, with 372 million DAUs posted in March 2011.
Other social stats show booming activity on the network itself: the company claims a whopping 125 billion friend connections on Facebook as of March 31, 2012 and around 3.2 billion “likes” and comments every single day during the first three months of 2012.
Here are some more interesting Facebook factoids we’ve gathered during the company’s IPO process:
- 80 percent of all Internet users in Chile, Turkey, and Venezuela are on Facebook
- 60 percent of all Internet users in the U.S. and U.K. are on Facebook
- 20-30 percent of all Internet users in Brazil, Germany, and India are on Facebook.
- 15 percent of all Internet users in Japan, Russia, and South Korea are on Facebook.
Unsurprisingly, zero percent penetration in countries that restrict Facebook (like China).
Filed under: social
Automattic is announcing a new feature for large-scale sites hosted in WordPress.com VIP SaaS program (TechCrunch is a VIP publisher)—Featured Partners for third-party integrations. Basically, the program allows companies that have integrated their services with the WordPress platform to promote and seamlessly enable their tools for large-scale VIP sites, which account for one billion page views each month.
WordPress.com VIP will vet potential Featured Partners and review their code, to ensure a tight integration with the WordPress.com VIP platform. Chartbeat, ContextLogic, Daylife, Livefyre, MediaPass Subscriptions, Ooyala, SocialFlow, Uppsite and Mobilize with Wibiya are the first to join the program.
While these services could previously work with VIP blogs on an individual basis (i.e. outside of any WordPress.com relationship), the VIP team is now actually reviewing and endorsing these services. WordPress.com is also working to make sure the integrations with these services are seamless for the publisher. With Automattic’s endorsement, these services could be more attractive to a large site.
We’re told there is no category exclusivity for the Featured Partner program. Automattic will continue to add more plugin partners across various services & verticals (mobile, social, video etc.). Currently, WordPress currently powers 15.8% of the world’s top one million sites, up from 8.5% in 2010.
There’s a growing lesson for big brands in Social Media.
Unless you own the platform (like a Blog, Podcast or your own, personal, online social network), ensure that everything else is a channel for you to connect and not the entire platform. In a world where Facebook has close to one billion users and a day’s worth of video is being uploaded to YouTube every sixty seconds, it is tempting for brands to forgo their own spaces and just do everything within someone else’s environment… it’s dangerous.
In a more simplistic way: if everything you do happens on Twitter, who owns the direct relationship with the consumer? You or Twitter? The answer may not be as simple as you think. While you are the one interfacing with people, and they know your brand, should you want to move that moment of engagement elsewhere, you really can’t. Twitter owns the data, analytics and information behind it. There’s nothing wrong with that… it is their business model, but too many brands are falling into the vortex of not differentiating between a channel of communication and ownership of the platform.
It’s also not a zero-sum game.
There will be instances where the value of leveraging a network of connected people (in places like Google +, Pinterest, Facebook, etc…) makes sense as a sort of mini-platform (a quick contest or to test out a new product innovation), but ownership of the direct relationship will become an increasingly important element to maintain as Social CRM becomes a much more prevalent part of the marketing equation. What we’re talking about isn’t the surface engagement that everyone sees on a day to day basis, but all of the data and information that lies behind it.
The Last Temptation of Social Media.
It is the success of Social Media that created this beast, but step back and ask yourself this question: what makes YouTube, Facebook or Twitter any different from the initial portal plays of AOL and Yahoo back in the day? It’s not hard to argue that the online social networks of today have fundamentally taken on this role and their walled gardens are more impenetrable than their predecessors. The Last Temptation of Social Media is for brands to give up and relinquish that information, engagement and data over to these third-parties. Brands must be vigilant. The problem with this vigilance is that it doesn’t seem like the terms of service agreements between the users and the these online platforms is going to change any time soon. In fact, it will probably never sway in favor of the brand. The last thing consumers will want to know is that their data is now being shared to "third-parties" by these online social networks. You’ll note that any time data has been shared between a Social Media channel and a third-party, there is total upheaval in the online channels because it is a core breach of their agreement with the users.
What’s a brand to do?
Build a better brand narrative. Create engaging and real experiences for consumers. Then, leverage Social Media as a channel to share, connect and tell your stories in new and different ways. Scott Stratten (author of the best-selling business book, UnMarketing, and a well-documented Twitter celebrity) is the first to admit that by building his platform through Twitter, he is at risk. Twitter must maintain its popularity and growth for him to benefit from it, and should Scott ever change his mind about how he connects to the people that matter to him, he suddenly has to figure out how to get those one hundred thousand-plus followers to now go where he is (not easy). Should Scott even be able to make that happen, all of that historical information and data is not his to take, use or even look at. The temptation for brands is to initiate their marketing tactics where the people are (which is smart), but the long-term outcome of these activities could well be that the brands do not have the data and insights of their own, direct, relationships (which is very bad). This is the digital marketing equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face. The challenge (and you always know that there is always a challenge) is the hard work it takes to actually get that direct relationship with the consumer on your own terms… and your own platform. Part of the solution to this challenge is to always ask yourself if you’re using Social Media as one of your channels to extend the brand narrative or as the entire platform.
What’s your take on this issue?
Mobile ad startup Mojiva is the latest startup to start throwing around the word “billion” in its press releases. The company says it now reaches one billion unique devices each month.
Of those devices, about 224 million are in the United States, Mojiva says. The United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, account for 33 million, 10.6 million, and 8.7 million devices, respectively. Overall, Mojiva says it’s serving 45 billion ad requests in 190 countries.(When mobile ad network Millennial Media filed for an IPO last month, it said it reached 200 million unique users worldwide and claimed 40 billion ad impressions per month.)
Mojiva CEO Dave Gwozdz said via email that 2011 was a big year for the company. The network saw “roughly 350% growth … in many different areas,” including revenue, ads served, and publishers in the network, he said — and the company’s ad serving business, Mocean Mobile, grew even more quickly. Plus, Mojiva raised a $25 million round in July.
When asked about 2012, Gwozdz said that the mobile ad industry as a whole will need to start providing better analytics and optimization, as well as more standards around ad serving counts and ad sizes. As for Mojiva itself, not surprisingly Gwozdz said that it will continue to focus on providing opportunities for its advertisers and publishers. More specifically, he said the company will be trying to expand in China.