We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #17


BitchBuzz.com founder calls for rethink of blogger relations

PR Week’s video podcast sparked some debate last week on the state of blogger relations in the UK, when Cate Sevilla, founding editor of BitchBuzz.com, told the publication that she wanted PR professionals and bloggers to hold a serious discussion, rather than simply ranting about one another all the time.

It seems that (some) PR practitioners continue to miss the mark when outreaching to bloggers, and have been accused of bad pitches, not doing their research, not reading the target blog, or generally not ‘getting’ bloggers in some cases.

The call for honest and professional feedback by Sevilla is an important one, in order for the industry and this debate to move forward. “Professional bloggers and PROs need each other, so instead of ranting about one another on Twitter, we need to have a serious discussion.”

Bing’s Facebook Page Gets 400,000 New Fans in a Day Through Ad Offer in Farmville
Microsoft ran an advertising offer for Bing within Zynga’s hit game FarmVille, which according to Inside Facebook, netted Bing over 400,000 new fans to their Fan Page in a single day.

Gamers who became a fan of Bing on Facebook earned 3 Farm Cash (the virtual currency used in the game) and caused the page’s popularity to skyrocket from 100,000 to more than 500,000 fans in 24 hours. For those unfamiliar with FarmVille, the Facebook game has over 83.1 million monthly active users, and 28.7 million daily active users according to AppData.

To be sure, the tactic was wildly successful but has attracted criticism from some. Griffin Farley points out:

[the success of the incentive was] very impressive but what is the value of the fan that was bought? Sure the cash was only virtual money but don’t you want true advocates in a Facebook community? I don’t want to have to pay my loyal fans every time I want to engage the community. I want fans that want to be fans of a brand or a branded movement for the sure pleasure of being involved with a bigger community of people.

The Bing Fan Page now has over 592,000 fans. It will be interesting to see what they do with them.

UK ad industry to extend self-regulatory remit to social media
Today it was announced that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) are extending their self-regulatory rules for non-broadcast media (known as the ‘CAP Code’) to ensure that: “marketing communications on advertisers’ own websites and other non paid-for space online, such as in social media, comes within the scope of the code.”

As Mark Sweeney from the Guardian puts it: “the extension to the ad code will ensure that all online marketing will have to be responsible, legal, honest and truthful under the same regulations as, say, press and poster ads.

The new rules are expected to come into force during the third quarter of this year and have the backing of the whole advertising ecosystem (including us!).

Facebook and Twitter mobile users soar according to comScore
Access to social networks via mobile phone has increased rapidly in the last year, according to new research from comScore:

The study found that 30.8 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010, up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago. Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347-percent jump.

Much of the growth of mobile social networking has been driven by smartphone users, as better functionality enables millions to access social networking sites via a mobile browser or dedicated apps.