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Google Unveils New Online Marketing Metrics

Google has taken the first step in improving online advertising analytics.  They have developed new measurement tools to provide smarter more accurate metrics.  The goal is to get brands to spend more in online advertising.

The first initiative is called Brand Activate and they are unrolling it in two components.
1)Active View- measures impressions.  The qualifications for what constitutes an actual impression is a bit ambiguous. It will be reviewed by the Media Rating Council.
2)Active GRP- measures the reach and frequency of a campaign and gives real time data.

  As the video link and article explain, this is only the first step in redefining modern brand marketing. Brands should try to become early adopters to avoid wasting any more ad dollars on outdated methods.



American Express Strikes Gold Again

American Express is beginning to emerge as one of the leaders in the social media marketing space, not just in e-commerce, but across all brands. They’re making a subtle, but profound push to promote their new “Sync” platform. It essentially gives users cool discounts for linking social media accounts with your American Express card.

The credit card giant made news at South by Southwest with a Twitter promotion that offered participants free Jay-Z concert tickets.  Now American Express is promoting their social media campaign with a commercial featuring comedian Aziz Ansari.  

The commercial is selling a story and not a product or service.  That’s what makes it entertaining. It attracts viewers to want to follow up and find out more. It will be interesting to keep AMEX on the radar for future groundbreaking social media integration. 



Madonna leverages social networks and startup for ‘MDNA’ album push

Madonna’s new album was released today and it has been praised for its use of social media to promote it.She has refused the usual circuit of magazine covers and morning-show concerts. Instead, she gave only one interview with Jimmy Fallon, which was broadcasted exclusively through Facebook. will be one of the few places on the Web where the album will be up for sale, alongside Amazon and iTunes.Fab will be featuring a special offer today, selling the deluxe editionof ‘MDNA’ at $7.99 compared to $14.99 at retail.  This should drive significant traffic to their site.

via The Next Web 



Why marketers should embrace Facebook’s new Timeline for Brands

This article tries to make the argument that Facebook Timeline will be better for brands than the current platform. Their rationale is that under the current platform, interactions don’t necessarily represent engagement.   The author jumps to the assumption that sponsored ads are what will drive user engagement moving forward.

The author states, “But the truth is that accumulating a massive amount of likes does not always translate to sales.”  I think that generally speaking this might be true but for retailers, likes probably do lead to sales.  Based on the stats below, the author implies that Facebook’s changes will help marketers “appreciate the power and the effectiveness of the user’s news feed.”

“Facebook claims that news feed messages perform three to ten times better than other types of social ads.” 

“A recommendation in the news feed provides the best engagement levels, three to five times higher than non-recommended news feed posts.”

It seems that using sponsored posts to reach fans will be important after the Timeline transition is made.  I’m not sure if it will be more important to frequently update the Timeline or to have a relatively static Timeline with a lot of Sponsored updates (which are supposedly really cheap).

via Venturebeat 



Inbound Marketing convert Leads into Customers

A new study surveyed 972 marketing professionals about inbound vs. outbound marketing.  The study shows that social media leads from inbound links (referrals) are five times more likely to become customers than outbound leads. As a result,marketers are allocating more of their lead generation budgets to social media and company blogs.

A successful social media brand uses channels to connect and engage with fans.  It may be worthwhile to start an ongoing blog that aggregates all social media efforts in one place. For example, it could be a hub for Instagram pics of company parties or daily posts on upcoming promotions.

Quote from the article: “25% of respondents rated their company blog as “critical” to their business and 81% of users rated company blogs as “useful” or better.”

via The Next Web
Inbound Marketing convert Leads into Customers



ThingLink is a new web application that allows users to create an interactive Page from any photo on their sites.  They just released a plugin for Facebook that allows users to add interactive content to a brand’s page.  This could be really useful for music promotions where you want to include music links to popular songs, music video links and photo links to other images. It hosts all that content on one page.

I’ve been trying it out for the past 10 minutes and it’s really cool. It allows you to add video, audio and other image links all onto one page as pop ups. I just added some of its features onto my own website:  If you hover over the sliding top image you can access new song and video links.

Here’s a quote from The Next Web: “ThingLink Tabs for Facebook turns any Page into an interactive Web experience that drives engagement.”

via: The Next Web



The Future of Social Media Content Sharing

This article is a predictive forecast about how people will be consuming and sharing content and what will be their motivating factors for doing so.  I thought it was really interesting that it predicts that brands who offer incentives — free goods, discounts, etc. — will be very successful in convincing users to share their content.  Thus turning ordinary users into brand advocates and having them do the word of mouth marketing for them.
Here are some interesting notes from the article
1. Sharing to selective lists appeals to 62% of frequent social media users interviewed in a study.
2. Frictionless sharing is on the rise, i.e  having Spotify songs shared to Facebook.
3. discounts and giveaways will spur sharing of branded content, “People are more willing to share content if there are incentives.”
via Mashable



A Month In, Facebook Timeline Brings New Growth For 3rd Party Apps

After integrating with Facebook Timeline a month ago, several third-party, non-gaming apps have experienced a significant increase in usage. This includes Fab, MySpace, Pinterest and Yahoo News.  MySpace’s new user base has nearly doubled from 900k to 1.6 million since relaunching in December and then linking up with Facebook. Most of the users have been new registrants.

“E-commerce company Payvment says that Timeline is generating only 9% of its Facebook impressions, but driving 50% of its referral traffic.”

It appears that Facebook app integration is expanding rapidly and collaborating with similar brands. It would be advantageous for brands to create original content on different platforms and strengthen their online communities. The more dedicated this audience, the easier it would be to pitch an add-on app to Facebook.

via Tech Crunch



Pop Singer Launches Instagram Contest

Singer Jason Mraz created a contest where he asked his fans to create visual interpretations of one of his new songs. The contest creates a unique hashtag for fans, making it easier to track the submissions. Mraz is one of the most followed users on Instagram and he’s even gotten other celebrities to participate (Selena Gomez).

From Mashable article: “Instagrammers have until Feb. 20 to join the contest. Mraz will then choose 25 winners, who will be invited to meet him at a private showcase in New York City. CanvasPop plans to print the top photos on large-format canvas, and Mraz will sign them at the gathering on March 8.

This is a good blueprint for creative social media brands to gain more traction on Instagram. A brand could easily prompt a theme that’s unique only to their content and ask fans to visually represent their responses.

via Mashable



Hootsuite Opens Up Software to Add On New Apps

Hootsuite has added three new apps that can now be accessed from it’s directory.  This move seems to be part of an effort to let users manage all aspects of social media monitoring.

A quick rundown of the new apps:
Digg: a community that shares new stories and videos from all over the web.
Trenspottr: tracks topics, hashtags, and phrases that are trending on social networks and news sites.
InboxQ: tracks questions that are asked on Twitter about businesses or general topics. With Hootsuite, those who use InboxQ can find questions asked on Twitter about their business and respond to questions directly.

For brands, using Digg to release content on a set schedule could make it easier to create viral content because Digg’s network caters to a different audience than Twitter and Facebook.  Using InboxQ could become a really valuable tool because it would allow brands to crowdsource their fanbase and find out what type of information fans are really interested in.
via VentureBeat