We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #38


43% of US companies will be blogging by 2012
eMarketer estimates that nowadays one in three companies have a public-facing blog used for marketing, a proportion that will rise to 43% by 2012. Blogs are considered an efficient way to drive site traffic (including through valuable SEO), generate sales and create brand awareness, as well as improving customer care.

Worldwide social network ad spending to hit $4.3 billion in 2011
According to new research by eMarketer, worldwide social network ad spending will rise 31% this year, to $3.3 billion, then up to almost $4.3 billion the following year.

Social Network Ad Spending Worldwide 2009 2011

In the US alone, it will reach $2.1 billion, with Facebook receiving half of all social network ad spending there.

Facebook Places: What you need to know
The big Facebook news of the week was the launch of Facebook Places. Robin spent some time over the weekend trying to pull together all the best information on Facebook Places into one place, which you can find here.

Facebook: the biggest relationship-marketing provider for many brands
Adage published today this eloquent illustration of the Top 10 of brands on Facebook regarding the number of fans:

10 biggest brands on facebook

For many marketers, their Facebook is fast becoming an essential tool for many CRM activites, becoming brands largest web presences, overtaking brand sites or e-mail newsletters. But whilst many brands are using their fan pages in similar ways to their former traditional “owned media” websites, pages are not owned by the marketers, growing their dependency on Facebook.

The flipside of the coin: Facebook attracting more and more spam
Spam is becoming more and more frequent on official brand fan pages. One month ago, Ferrero Rochers’s wall was overwhelmed with softcore porn messages, leading to negative reactions as the fan page has a relatively young audience. Allfacebook reported yesterday that porn spamming has invaded a wide variety of brand pages, including celebrity pages like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears and the luxury automotive brand Rolls Royce. This growing threat must be treated seriously by brands and considered in their social media strategy: as Brian Skepys notes, “failing to keep a close eye on Facebook wall conversation and failing to keep discussion relevant can be extremely dangerous for online brand presence”.

Facebook profile pages overtaken by real-time news feeds
A survey conducted by Read Write Web reveals that profile pages are losing their luster, whereas the emphasis is more and more put on the real-time feed. Indeed, it appears that most people rely on the news feed and rarely visit people’s profiles – if they do, they’re more likely to if that user is a close friend or a relative. It’s probably not enough to assume that Facebook profile pages are becoming totally irrelevant, but it shows that the way the media is consumed is evolving, being more centred on real-time information than personal data storage.

Some recent changes initiated by Facebook are clearly encouraging this switch. Last week, we saw the disappearance of the “application boxes”, where users could display information permanently to customize their profile. This week Facebook announced that it will be removing app tabs by autumn 2010 – eventually, only tabs devoted to Facebook’s in-house applications like Photos, Videos, Places and Notes will remain. In the same way, Facebook added auto-suggest to status updates, which means that from now on users won’t need to insert an @ to tag an item, enabling users to include groups, pages, and other connected items in status updates more quickly and easily.

Facebook a significant actor in online video
Facebook.com jumped one position on comScore’s US Online Video Rankings to capture the third spot with 46.6 million viewers. Yahoo! Sites remains ahead of the social network with 55.1 million viewers. Google Sites, owning Youtube.com, is unsurprisingly still ranked as the top online video content property with 143.2 million unique viewers.

And from now on, we can expect the social network to make some of its official announcements through its brand new streaming channel, Facebook Live. Launched last week, it incorporates the real-time Live Feed technology which facilitates interactions between the viewing audience and the speaker. Viewers will be able to submit their questions to a moderator and participate in live chats. Facebook Live also exists as an app that can be added to Facebook Pages. Indeed, the channel will not only be used by Facebook for its own PR but will also provide entertainment content – its first broadcast on August 13th featured actress America Ferrera promoting her new film.

Facebook moving away from FBML
Changes are happening on the technical side too: Facebook announced that they are moving away from FBML toward iFrames, both for canvas applications as well as Facebook Page tabs. This is a quite a significant evolution as FBML has long been a core component of Facebook’s Platform. By the end of 2010 Facebook will no longer allow new FBML applications to be created, it is strongly recommended to developers to start using iFrames as soon as possible. While not yet completely deprecating the old REST API, Facebook is moving in that direction, opting to focus on OAuth 2.0, the Graph API, and the JavaScript SDK. To help developers during this transitive period, Facebook set up a new developer roadmap including a list of the REST API methods which will no longer be supported after the end of the year.

Google Buzz now has a ‘who to follow’ function
Google’s social networking platform Buzz is the latest network to offer the ‘who to follow’ feature. They announced earlier last week that users will be greeted with a suggestion box that contains a list of people who they should follow, based on people who you frequently email/chat with.

Levi’s launch social media project alongside their new apparel brand Denizen
The original denim creators Levi’s have launched a new made-for-China apparel brand Denizen, with ten unpaid bloggers recruited to represent the brand’s target audience, working within their own social networking spheres over a 100-day period, sharing experiences and thoughts – interestingly (and much in line with our own thinking), they are not linked to an official Denizen website.

TalkTalk launch X Factor social media campaign
Broadbrand supplier TalkTalk has launched a new social media campaign that enables fans of the X Factor to appear in the show’s ad breaks. The fans can create their own music video that could potentially be seen by millions worldwide via social networks, with every performance will appearing in the BrightStar video chart where members of the public can “like” the video using social media. The most popular videos will climb the charts and, each week, a new video will be selected and featured during the X Factor ad breaks.

Help select the Blog Action Day topic
Last October, 13,606 bloggers from 156 countries started a global conversation about climate change. Joining in on the conversation were dozens of the world’s leading nonprofits as well as influential voices ranging from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the White House. To make Blog Action Day 2010 an even bigger success this year, Changes.org need your help in answering the following question: What important issue do you think the world should talk about on October 15th? You can propose an idea or chose one of six potentials topics: Water, Human Trafficking, Women, Sustainable Food, Hunger or Oceans. The winning topic for Blog Action Day will be chosen in early September and the event itself will take place on October 15th.

Marketers find it challenging to stay up to date with social media
The Creative Group recently published the results of a May 2010 survey which found that 65% of US marketing executives consider it challenging to keep up with the changes in the social media landscape, with only 7% mentioning they use blogs to do so. Haven’t they heard of We Are Social’s Monday Mashup? 😉