Marketers continue to invest more in social media
At Ad Age's Digital Conference last week, the trend for marketers to announce greater investment in social media continued. The story from Converse's CMO Geoff Cottrill was a typical one, with them investing 90% of their marketing budget in 'emerging media'. "Social media is unavoidable," he said, pointing out that on platforms such as Facebook, a brand manager no longer controls the conversation around the brand's image. "When you realize you can contribute to the conversation, the better off you'll be," he explained.

UK retailers unresponsive on social media
A study from Auros has found that UK retailers are pretty unresponsive on social media - they looked at the top 25 retailers, and found that only 25% of those with a Twitter account were responding to questions aimed directly at them, and only 20% responded to negative comments. With Facebook, the numbers are even worse - only 11% responded to negative comments left on the wall, although as the graph below shows, they were reasonably quick to respond - an average response time of 78 minutes on Facebook, with 88% of those responses classed as 'helpful'.

On corporate blogs, it's even worse - despite engaging content which brought in comments, not a single one of these was responded to. What's clear from the study, is that whilst these retailers do have social network profiles, they aren't doing a good enough job of listening and responding.

The growing potential of Facebook commerce
Facebook released some interesting stats last week, with Facebook traffic to Amazon grew 328% year-over-year while Google referral traffic dropped 2% in the same period. Meanwhile, visitors to clothing retailer American Eagle’s ecommerce site who were referred from Facebook spent 58% more than those referred from elsewhere, and children’s clothing retailer Tea Collection increased its daily revenue by ten times when it added the Like button to sale merchandise. Ticket seller Eventbrite said that each share to Facebook of one of its events generated $2.52 in ticket sales.

Elsewhere there's talk of a 'Facebook effect’, where traffic which comes from Facebook spends much more. Social Commerce Today have a useful round-up of some of the relevant stats.

Check-in to Facebook Events with the new iPhone app
Facebook released a new version of their iPhone app last week - which includes the ability to check-in to Facebook Events, rather than just Places. This opens up a world of possibilities, with Facebook themselves pushing TV shows to allow users to check-in.

Facebook lets users vote on TV phone-in competitions with Credits
In their ongoing quest to get more people to use Credits, Facebook has struck a deal with the Mobile Interactive Group to allow users to cast votes and take part in competitions on TV shows on Facebook using Credits.

Twitter's impressive Q1 ...
Twitter's PR team released some figures for the first quarter and they make impressive reading: Twitter saw a 41% increase in tweets per day, but what's more impressive is the short-term growth - from 140 million tweets a day a few weeks ago, they're now up to 155 million. Impressive.

... and a new dashboard to boot!
Twitter have also revealed that they are to launch a new dashboard for marketers, as well as allowing geo-targeting of their 'sponsored' ads. The possibilities for marketers on Twitter are opening up

Orange unveils 'TV Check' app
Last week Orange unveiled a new app they've been developing called TV Check - unsurprisingly, considering the name, the app will be competing with existing services like GetGlue and Facebook (see above) to try and persuade users to check-in to their favourite TV programmes. One of the features demonstrated was that users could check into a show simply by pointing the iPhone's camera at the TV screen , and, most interestingly, that fans can expect to be featured in their favourite TV programmes. That said, with no release date for the app, their competitors' offerings may have moved on by the time the app actually comes to market.

New Yorker puts exclusive content behind 'like' paywall
In an interesting move, The New Yorker put an exclusive article on their Facebook page - but made it mandatory for people to like the page to read the article. It will be interesting to see whether similar 'Facebook paywalls' develop.

Messi's seven million likes in seven hours
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi launched his official Facebook page last week - and managed to accrue seven million fans in seven hours. It goes to show what's possible with a combination of extraordinary name recognition, as well as powerful channels to promote the launch of a new page.

Flair Magazine lets Facebook users tag friends' outfits
Belgian magazine Flair has launched a new Facebook app which lets users tag the clothes their friends are wearing and ask where they got them from.

The app has been a big success, increasing the size of the Facebook page by 35% in one week, and acquiring fans at the heart of Flair's target market - aged between 18 and 30, and female.

Cancer charity works on Wikipedia
Cancer Research UK is worried that Wikipedia is providing inaccurate information about cancer to a wide audience, and has set its specialists to work to clean up the mistakes. With Wikipedia telling the BBC that it had over 3.5 million hits on cancer-related pages in January alone, this seems a very worthwhile endeavour.

Comparethemarket looks for social media ambassador

Price comparison site Comparethemarket.com is looking to hire a social media ambassador as part of a wider social media campaign - purportedly to tell us the difference between Comparethemarket and Comparethemeerkat. Simples.

Another Twitter fail...
The AV referendum seems to have failed to ignite most of the population, but that has not stopped the #yes2AV and #no2AV camps going at it hammer and tongs on Twitter. This week, things came to something of a head, with the #yes2AV campaign's cringe-worthy tweets whilst aggressively arguing with those who disagreed with them.

Perhaps they should look for an alternative for whoever's been running their Twitter account...