Capturing social value with new Google Analytics tools
Social media is deeply woven into people's purchase decision journeys, but it's not been easy to measure this, even when solely looking at people's online behaviour. Google have now made this easier with its a new set of social tools built into Google Analytics, allowing you to see how traffic coming from social sites leads to 'goals' on your site (for example ecommerce purchases, test drive requests), both immediately and in future visits.
Social has double the value than previously thought
In line with Google's new kit, a new study from Adobe says that social media drives twice as many sales as it's normally credited with. The difference lies attributing the proper value of social media in the consideration phase (the 'first click') rather than just the 'last click':
A visitor interested in buying a new watch might click through to a jeweler's website from a Facebook link posted by a friend. After mulling over the purchase for a few days, that same person might return to the site after searching for the name of the retailer on Bing and make the cash register ring. First-click analysis would give credit for the sale to Facebook, while last-click analysis would give it to Bing. Adobe simply suggests they both deserve a share of the credit.
By last-click attribution measures, the average value of a social media click to a retail site is about 60 cents. That's the average of all the purchases, diluted by the number of people who clicked but didn't buy. However, the average value of a first click from social media is nearly double, $1.13.
A long time ago, we used to be friends
Maybe it's not just the house that needs a spring cleaning anymore — now more Facebook users are unfriending their connections and loose acquaintances than ever before. More than half a billion people were unfriended in 2011, and Facebook is now trying to cut back on News Feed noise and accelerating the trend by making it easier for you to see less from friends you don't know as well, automating the process of labelling them acquaintances.
Facebook's new high-res photos, post pages and ad copy size
For those Facebook friends you do want to keep around, they can now see you photos and their own in high-resolution and full-screen. In another change, post pages have been redesigned to look and feel more like Timeline, with 'Like' and 'Subscribe' buttons getting a more dominant placement.
Finally, Facebook is cutting the number of characters in ad copy from 135 to 90, and ad images are getting smaller as well, as part of a more streamlined approach.
Happy sixth birthday, Twitter! 140 million active users, 340 million Tweets
It's amazing how Twitter has evolved from this sketch six years ago, into a platform so ubiquitous it's hard to imagine the social web without it. To mark this year's anniversary they've announced that they now have 140 million active users and that they're currently averaging 340 million tweets a day.
As social networks get older, more ads tend to follow and Twitter is no exception: it's now including Promoted Tweets in users' timelines, even if they aren't following the brand. Want to target Apple fanboys or Android junkies for your next campaign? Twitter now lets brands target based on device.
Today, they've also started offering self-serve advertising to Am Ex customers that was announced last month.
Tweetdeck is growing up too. In the latest update lists now become much easier to create and manage, image previews show up in your stream as thumbnails then get displayed in a much larger gallery, and the classic RT makes a comeback.
Pinterest grows up fast
Pinterest, the 'princess of the Internet’, has earned her crown with some impressive stats. The site grew by 52% in February, taking just nine months to reach 17.8 million unique visitors, faster than Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Tumblr.
Brands have quickly migrated to the site, with some already reaching out to influential 'power pinners' to curate boards for them. But just how much is a pin worth?
Spotify unleashes new music discovery apps
Whether you want to scan the archives of big labels or collect every song mentioned on Twitter with #nowplaying in a playlist, Spotify has made it easier than ever to find new tunes. Spotify's new apps are packed full of social integration, with one even pulling info from Facebook to build playlists based on what your friends are listening to.
Friends Reunited to re-launch - better than ever?
Friends Reunited was the original UK social network, and it also used to have the most visitors. Now, 12 years after it first launched, it's going to re-launch tomorrow with a focus on memories and nostalgia.
This is all very well, were it not for that fact that Facebook Timeline also focuses on the past, making it hard for Friends Reunited to return with a vengeance. It's a point underscored by our very own Aisling McCarthy:
Even though Friends Reunited was one of the pioneers of social networking, it was Facebook that really shaped the culture and behaviour of the world of social. Although its usage is sure to plateau soon, I think that this year internet users are going to care more about sharing personal content on Facebook and discovering new tools for creation and curation.
There are a slew of new platforms out there at the moment but it looks like curation is a trend that is set to continue in 2012.
With the popularity of platforms such as Pinterest and Tumblr, I just don’t see Friends Reunited getting a look in. I’d like to see it prove me wrong – but sadly, I don’t think it’ll be too long before the site admits defeat for the last time.
PeerIndex aims to focus on 'influence marketing'
PeerIndex has often been viewed in the shadow of Klout, its nearest competitor. Last week Econsultancy carried a revealing interview with PeerIndex CEO Azeem Azhar, in which Azhar explained his company's focus on 'influence marketing' and how PeerIndex, unlike Klout, can find topic-specific influence at scale.
Bieber becomes first Instagram user to reach a million followers
Last Tuesday, Justin Bieber became the first Instagram user to reach a million followers. He's posted just 281 photos to reach this milestone. More proof, if it was needed, that Bieber alone makes the internet go round.
The Guardian's social reader app helps drive record traffic
The Guardian posted record unique visitor and page impression figures in February, largely due to its Facebook app that lets users read Guardian stories and share them automatically via Ticker, Timeline and News Feed. Six months ago, Facebook delivered 2% of its referral traffic, compared to 30% now. Another example of Facebook's Open Graph driving significant traffic to third-party apps and websites.
Walgreens add customer service tab to Facebook Page
American pharmacy Walgreens has added an 'Answers' tab to its Facebook Page, which includes both frequently asked questions broken down by category, and even the opportunity to speak to a pharmacist directly online.
FC Barcelona launch 'FCB Alert' Facebook app
FC Barcelona have launched a Facebook app that they hope will allow them to better engage their 28 million fans. 'FCB Alert' includes exclusive content and news from the club, interactive features such as games and polls, as well as an f-commerce option that allows fans to buy merchandise. Crucially, the app:
tailors content specifically for different groups or individuals based on their respective interests, demographics, and geography using the data that exists within Facebook.
However, this happens only after the user grants permission to access no fewer than 11 separate categories of personal data. Yikes.
McCain host Facebook competition with big prize
Last Wednesday, McCain Oven Chips hosted a #McCainMums Twitter party aimed at Mummy bloggers to launch their ‘Lucky Spuds’ competition, which combines on-pack promotion with a Facebook game mechanic. Fans are told to buy a special pack of McCain chips with a ‘Lucky Spuds’ promotional flash on it, then to go online and play the Lucky Spuds game on Facebook using the code on the back of pack to enter. Each code allows 1 play a day, and the highest score of the day wins the £1,000. They're giving away £1,000 every day for 12 weeks, with one overall winner set to pocket £100,000. This is one we can't chip away at.
Lancome host Instagram contest
To promote their 'Rouge In Love' lipsticks, Lancome are running the 'Colour in Your Life' Instagram contest where users are asked to take photos of their most 'colourful moments' and then tag them with one of three related hashtags: #inlovewithday, #inlovewithdusk or #inlovewithnight.
Cadbury UK hosts Google Hangout for chocolate lovers
Cadbury UK hosted a hangout on their Google+ page, where they talked users through how to taste white, milk and dark chocolate, as well as teaching them about the different varieties. It was a clever activation as it was targeted towards just one of Cadbury UK's Circles - the 'tasters'.
Boris Johnson u-turns on Twitter account grab
London Mayor Boris Johnson came under fire for changing the @MayorOfLondon account into @BorisJohnson, taking the 250,000 of the followers from the official mayoral account to that of his re-election campaign. Due to the subsequent outcry in social media, Boris was was then forced to make an embarrassing u-turn and change the accounts back again.
Artists using social media for co-creation with their fans
The internet can rocket the unsuspecting to their shot at fame, but can social media also spur collaborations between the stars at the top and the everyday folk at the bottom? There were three great examples of this this week with musician Deadmau5 live- streaming the creation of a new track and unexpectedly sourcing the lyrics from a fan, Isaac Simmons creating their new video from fans' 'Draw Something' doodles, and Paul Schrader and Brett Easton Ellis casting via Facebook for their new film.