Social media engagement is 'the top priority for the digital marketer'
Recent research about digital marketing trends shows that social media engagement is rated as the top priority for companies:
Social media is a key influencer in the purchase path
Exposure to social media in combination with online ad formats helps increase the average order size:
New Belgium says "Cheers" to its Fans
According to a study of the No.3 Craft brewer's annual sales, the average fan spends $260 on beer each year.
Facebook fans really "like" New Belgium beer so much that the amount they spend constitutes to half of the brewery's annual sales. While it is difficult for brands to measure the impact and value of its customer base, No.3 Craft brewery have a pretty good idea. It estimates that its Facebook fans are responsible for $50.7 million in yearly sales.
Facebook Brand Page growth speeds up - but doesn't match Google +
Based on figures from Socialbakers, this month alone, the growth of Facebook fans among the top 10 pages has increased to 4.3%.
Nonetheless, Google+ brand pages have grown by an astronomical 1,400% since December. Pages were only introduced a few months ago and at first struggled with limited interaction. The report states that the number of people following the top one hundred brands on Google+ grew from 22,000 to 3.1 million, with the majority of the growth happening in the top ten brands.
Google+ brands have also grown faster than those on Twitter recently in terms of pure numbers, although it's unclear whether this is really sustainable.
The ciphers of social media
Some really interesting research from Kevin Kelly, with one pertinent take-away: you can't measure by follower/circle numbers alone, because many of these people are ciphers - they don't post, and they're not adding anything 'social' to the conversation. In other words, they're like a newspaper reader, rather than a social networker.
Microblogs take over China
According to research, micro-blogging (users of Weibo) grew hugely in 2011 in China. Weibo is now slightly more popular than other social networking sites, after growing 296% year-on-year.
It's unlikely the numbers will increase as much during 2012, due to regulators trying to introduce procedures that would require users to reveal real names while registering.
Retailers shutting down F-Commerce sites
Last April, Gamestop opened a Facebook store to generate sales among the 3.5million customers who declared that they were fans of the brand, but less than a year later, the store was quietly shut down. It's a trend noticeable among other F-Commerce sites, which haven't performed as expected - with Gap, J.C Penney and Nordstrom all also closing their stores.
Facebook to release timeline for Brands and other new features
Facebook will introduce its Timeline feature to brands this month on a stage-by-stage basis.
In addition, Facebook has also launched verified account status for certain users - you cannot choose to be verified, Facebook will choose you. Once verified, users can show a pseudonym - say, WhatleyDude - instead of their real name.
Facebook is still testing new types of Sponsored Stories based on Open Graph actions like 'read', 'watch', or 'listen'. In the test version, people other than those who created the app can buy ads - but it still begs the question as to why they would want to.
Twitter introduces advertising platform for small businesses
Twitter has announced an advertising solution that allows small businesses to set up an advertising account on their own and amplify messages on Twitter. Twitter has teamed up with American Express, to give AmEx cardholders first dabs at this new ad product - the first 10,000 users will receive $100 of free advertising.
Google+ faces demographic problems, releases updates
According to a study, Google+ is overwhelmingly young, male and single - with many students amongst its userbase, and only 30% of users female.
To try and change this, Google have released some new features. First, they've added volume bars to the main stream, so users can control how many 'hot' posts appear in their stream. Second, they've launched a new iOS app with instant upload.
Finally, they've added Google+ channel buttons to YouTube, to breed cross-channel promotion. With a Google Latitude leaderboard added to Google Maps, which will reward users for checking in, one can't help but think that the audience on Google+ will continue to be young, single and male.
Facebook adds Pinterest notifications to ticker
Last week, Facebook added Pinterest notifications to the ticker and News Feed - the first time they've promoted a competitor social network on Facebook. Interesting.
YouTube's new channel rollout helping super-users
YouTube launched 96 new channels in December - but rather than it being brands who've grown a userbase quickly, it's been the old YouTube superusers. In other words, people who've done it all before.
Luluvise: a case study in who owns Facebook data?
Luluvise, a female-orientated social network has come under the spotlight for one of its features - WikiDate - where users can rate the men they've dated, after linking up with their Facebook profile. After reading The Guardian's piece, there are serious privacy concerns for us.
Ford's Fiestagram campaign on Instagram
Ford ran a simple campaign, asking people to upload pictures to Instagram around different topics - but with impressive results. Over seven weeks, they drove over 16,000 photo uploads - and this on a smaller social network like Instagram. Impressive stuff.
Facebook helps Celebrity Big Brother drive more votes
A Facebook app launched by Channel 5 to accompany the latest series of Big Brother saw a large series-on-series increase in votes: according to 5, the app drove around 30% of votes in the series, almost 200,000 in total.
adidas Originals launch Facebook Cover picture app
adidas Originals have launched an app, where users can design their own Cover Photo for their Facebook Timeline. Nice.
Hotels.com launch social booking app on Facebook
Hotels.com have created a clever Facebook app which encourages bookings with friends. The app helps users come to a consensus on which hotel they want to stay in - perfect for anyone booking a group holiday.
Wall Street Journal links up with Instagram and Pinterest for Fashion Week
US newspaper the Wall Street Journal did some good work around New York Fashion Week: with reporters taking pictures anyway as a form of note-taking, they encourage them to upload them to Instagram. The best were then posted on the paper's main Instagram account, and added to a Pinboard which generated 900 followers during the week.
While this is clearly an innovative use of up-and-coming social networks, it underlines the limited appeal of Pinterest: a platform which is filled with older women should be perfect for a campaign hooked around Fashion Week - and yet even a big newspaper could only drive 900 followers. Be careful of the hype around Pinterest.
Burberry live-stream London Fashion Week show
In more fashion-related news, Burberry streamed their London Fashion Week show live on the internet, including on Facebook. For those who clicked through to the stream, there was also the opportunity to chat with like-minded individuals about the new releases.
Diesel's 'Fit Your Attitude' campaign
Diesel have launched a new app for their female consumers - they answer some attitude-based questions, the app then tells them which jeans to buy, based on social recommendations. There reaches a point where people are making apps for the sake of it. This is that point.
Sainsbury's seek support from bloggers
Supermarket chain Sainsbury's sought support from blogger Steven Dresser - a massive Morrisons fan - by inviting him to tour a new megastore. He then wrote about his experience, driving positive word of mouth for Sainsbury's. Old-school, but effective.
Obama uses hashtags as part of his re-election campaign
These days, you very rarely see a really successful hashtag-centric campaign - but President Obama's #40Dollars campaign has shown that it can work.
Nicolas Sarkozy signs up for Twitter, immediately gets parodied
French President Nicolas Sarkozy created a Twitter account last week around the launch of his campaign for re-election. Shortly after, a bunch of accounts were shut for parodying him - like David Cameron was by the 'My David Cameron' viral poster site in 2010. That Twitter was willing to shut down accounts which were clearly a parody is deeply worrying. One to watch.
First UK Community Manager of the Year is awarded...
In more positive news, Vincent Boon, giffgaff's community manager, won the UK Community Manager of the Year award for 2012. Congratulations Vincent.