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Twitter to Give Away Free Ads to Small Businesses

Twitter to Give Away Free Ads to Small Businesses

Advertising on Twitter has been something that’s been talked about a lot in online marketing circles. The microblogging service has now become part of many companies overall social media strategies. In fact, millions of businesses around the globe have created a Twitter accounts to promote their brand and share information with users who may be interested in what they have to offer. There are two ways a company can advertise on this social media site.

The first one is free and simply involves creating a Twitter account. You can then post messages on your profile, which can be read by users that follow you. But for those who want more exposure, Twitter has recently expanded its paid ads option, which allows your messages to be seen by Twitter users based on your selected demographic. Many companies, especially large and well known brands, have taken advantage of this paid advertising option.

But now, it seems that Twitter wants to increase the number of small and medium sizes businesses that advertise on its network. The company has made an announcement on November 20th that it is going to give away $100 in ad credits to small businesses that qualify. The conditions to receive the ad credit are quite simple: it requires a business based in the United States, which has a completed Twitter profile and image, sends tweets on a regular basis, hasn’t used Twitter’s paid advertising features before and has at least 20 users following them. The first 10 000 small business who sign up and fulfill these conditions are going to receive the advertising credit in their account and can begin using it right away.

Now, some may think that there isn’t anything spectacular or particularly generous about this offer. And this is actually quite true. Advertising credits have been given out by Google Adwords, Bing and Facebook through various channels. For example, it is common to receive $100 in Google Adwords credits and a $100 Facebook Ads voucher when signing up for a webhosting package. But it seems that Twitter has been a lot slower in rolling out its paid ad services and hasn’t been aggressively going after small business advertisers like Google.

But this seems to be changing and the company is now actively on the lookout for new advertisers, especially small businesses. And it also seems to be working. In fact, all statistics show that Twitter ad revenue has been steadily growing since 2010. This growth is expected to continue again in the next 2 years, with projected Twitter ad revenues reaching $808 million by 2014.

This recent promotion will give small businesses the chance to try out Twitter’s ad service without spending any money. This will give them a more “hands on” look at how Twitter advertising work and they can determine for themselves whether it is likely something that they will want to keep paying for in the future, or if other ad networks will give them better results for their online advertising campaigns.

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Mobile Traffic Now Amounting For Over 16% of Total Web Traffic

Mobile Traffic Now Amounting For Over 16% of Total Web Traffic

During the last few years, we have seen a steady trend of mobile traffic taking a bigger piece of the pie. Some are even speculating that mobile web traffic will one day overtake regular PC traffic. But is it really the case? There are some stats that were released by Shareaholic in October that are based on data from the network’s publishers. While it doesn’t give a completely global view of the situation, as Shareaholic is a large network, it does give a good idea of the type of traffic in the online world right now.

According to traffic going from publishers to various merchants, 16% of users are on mobile devices and 84% of users are on PCs. Another similar compilation of stats was released by Web Meters, which included information from page counter applications such as StatCounter. According to the data, 11% of all web traffic in the United States is coming from mobile users, as opposed to 89% being generated from regular PCs. This has remained rather stable from 2011 to this year, which means that mobile traffic still has a long way to go before it dethrones the PC completely.

But there’s another interesting statistic regarding web usage. Site abandonment, or bounce rates, are higher on mobile traffic than for PCs. They hover around 10% according to a few different sources on the web. There are a few reasons behind this and what you can do to prevent site abandonment:

Sites not built for mobiles. If a user sees that the website can’t display properly, they will simply leave and visit one that does. Hence the importance of building a mobile version of your site and testing it with several different mobile browsers to see if it works well. The testing should be comprehensive and done on all pages of your site, ensuring that design elements are well displayed on the smaller screen and that the text remains easily readable.

Information not quickly available. Mobile sites should be direct and to the point. Many mobile users want to find something in a hurry. They don’t have the time and patience to go through 50 different pages on a site before they finally find what they wanted. Furthermore, the smaller screen of the mobile devices makes conducting long research a tad uncomfortable. Check how your site is designed. Your users should be able to quickly find your business information, prices and products. If you let them make purchases on your mobile site, then the entire process, from product selection to checkout, should be as simple as possible.

Sites loading too slowly. While the speeds of mobile networks has gone up with the introduction of 4G and LTE networks in many places, in general, browsing the web on a mobile is a tad slower than browsing on a PC. Combined with the fact that mobile users are often in a bit of a hurry, if your site is too slow to display, they leave. Ensure that your mobile site is designed in a way that uses as little bandwidth as possible, while remaining functional and visually appealing. The faster it loads for the user, the more likely they are to do business with you as opposed to leaving.

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Which Tablet is the Most Popular?

Which Tablet is the Most Popular?

It is of course no surprise that tablets are gaining a lot of popularity among consumers and therefore there will be a lot more traffic coming from these mobile devices. Increasingly, webmasters, online entrepreneurs and affiliates are making tablet friendly versions of their websites in order to increase conversions by ensuring that users get a page that displays properly on their device, thus boosting overall user experience. But which tablet is really the most used among consumers right now?

Recent numbers show that while Android based tablet devices are gaining a bigger market share day by day, there has yet to be a significant increase in web traffic from these devices. Therefore, as many could have guessed by now, the iPad is currently at the top of tablet generated traffic. Market Watch recently published the results of a study that was done by mobile publishing firm Onswipe. According to the report results, over 98 percent of tablet based traffic was generated from the iPad. This means that less than 2 percent of traffic is coming from other tablets. Other sources tell a similar tale. A Tech Guru study shows that 94% of all web traffic from tablet devices involves users with an iPad.

There are some other interesting facts that came to light with the study. Users on an iPad are a lot more likely to spend time on a web page. In fact, iPad users spend 56% more time on a site than iPhone users. This can be explained by the bigger screen and better suitability for web browsing of the device, which makes it more comfortable for users to actually spend time reading what’s on a page.

As for time spent using the device, the Kindle Fire from Amazon actually outranks the iPad. However, this shouldn’t come too much as a surprise to online marketers, considering the fact that the original Kindle was meant to be used as an e-reader to view books and documents, rather than as an internet browsing device. This is something that is still seen today. A lot of users who have a Kindle Fire use it to read books and online magazines and spend very little time browsing the web, even if the new version of the Kindle is in color and offers web browsing, plus integrated social networking functionality. Unless Amazon’s device gains a lot of market share in the near future, this isn’t expected to change much either.

What does all of this mean to marketers? Users of iPad tablets spend a lot of time browsing the web with their devices and it is rapidly becoming a replacement for the full featured PC in the hands of many users. Developing websites that are compatible with the iPad, as well as creating advertising campaigns that are focused towards the users of this tablet are some things that marketers can do to profit from it. Of course, it is possible that Android based devices may pick up some steam in the coming years, but for now, they still have a lot of catching up to do.

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Online Advertising Shows Continued Growth in 2012

Online Advertising Shows Continued Growth in 2012

According to data collected by the Nielsen Quarterly Global AdView Study, spending on online advertising was still going up in the first 6 months of 2012. This confirms that businesses around the world are putting in more money in digital advertising and that the fears that some had of a coming slow down weren’t warranted.

 

In general, internet advertising spend grew by 7.2 percent during this period. But what is interesting to know is that there are regions in the world where online ad spending is growing far more than the average. While many studies focus almost exclusively on North America, Europe and sometimes Japan, the Nielsen report monitors ad spending around the world.

 

In the Middle East and Africa, businesses spent 30 percent more on online advertising. Latin America also saw a significant increase, with a rise of 20.5 percent. Internet ad spending in Europe was above average too, with an 11.2 percent growth level. There are a few reasons behind this growth in those regions of the world. The increase in use of the internet by the general population means that companies in these regions are increasingly using it to target local buyers. The availability of cheaper electronics that can get online, such as PCs, smart phones and tablets has helped the internet advertising market in these regions. This explains why many online advertising agencies and other solutions providers are increasingly looking beyond the “traditional” markets of North America and Europe and expanding their customer base into other parts of the world.

 

The advertising report has also taken a look at how spending has evolved for other types of advertising during the first half of 2012. Here are some of the results:

 

Television spending is up by 3.1%

Radio went up by 6.6%

Outdoor advertising (such as signs and billboards) went up by 4.7%

Newspaper ads saw a more modest growth by 1.6%

Cinema ads grew by 6%

Magazine advertising spend was the only one to go down slightly by 1.3%

 

While some may see the slow down in magazine advertising as a sign that magazine ads are starting to lose their relevance, this is not entirely the case. Many businesses are opting out of advertising in “general” publications, but are instead focusing on some more industry specific magazines. In fact, magazines that are specifically targeted to a precise niche, such as industry related publications, often have healthy advertising revenues. Now that many magazines are also published online, with their PDF versions having links embedded in their advertisements, the line between traditional magazine based marketing and online advertising.

 

Furthermore, while television advertising saw a moderate increase, it should still be known that it is the world’s leader in terms of advertising spend. In fact, figures currently show that TV ads represent over 60% of all advertising dollars spent around the world. With internet enabled TV use growing, it is possible that television ads will also change slightly to be adapted to this new reality, but in any case TV ads are here to stay.

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Google May Still be on Top – But Don’t Forget Bing

Google May Still be on Top – But Don’t Forget Bing

Everyone that has used a computer in the last decade will have heard of Google search. There are many articles talking about how Google is number one in the search market and how it’s expected to keep it’s place as King of Search for a long, long time. Obviously, any potential competitors will be facing an uphill battle if they want to create a better search engine than them. Many online marketers and business owners believe that if you want to be successful online, you need to optimize everything about your site so that it’s easy to find on Google. While this is definitely true, one fact that is often overlooked, even by some of the SEO experts, is that Google isn’t the only game in town.

 

There have been some market share numbers released a few weeks ago by Compete and comScore. Google may be popular in search, but what may be surprising to some is that it doesn’t have 99% of the search market cornered as many would want you to think. In fact, Google has approximately 67% of search market share. The rest is spread mainly among Yahoo! And Bing.

 

Yahoo has experienced many problems recently in keeping it’s search engine attractive to web surfers and the recent studies show that their market share dropped to around 14% of all search queries. Bing, on the other hand is growing and is getting more use as of the last months. In fact, 20% of all web searches are now being done on Bing.

 

What does this mean to you, as an online marketer? First, you need to accept the fact that not everyone will be using Google when they perform queries online. The reasons for this are too many to name here and are themselves open to debate and speculation. But the fact remains: Bing can bring you the targeted traffic that you’re looking for on your website. Less than Google, sure, but at approximately 20% of all web searches, it can still deliver a good chunk to you if you know how to take full advantage of it.

 

One thing that you can do is learn more about SEO and specifically how it relates to Bing. While the basic principles are essentially the same, there are certain on and off site factors that you can tinker around with that will help you get better SERPs on Bing, without compromising your current position on Google. In fact, it has been shown that getting your site to move up in Bing’s rankings can often be a lot simpler than on Google.

 

We all know that Bing isn’t too likely to take away a large portion of Google’s market share anytime soon. But with 20% of all searches and growing, it remains a big player in the online world and should not be ignored by marketers that are trying to get the most traffic possible from search engines.

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Common Social Media Security Issues

Common Social Media Security Issues

Social media is great for both marketers and consumers, as it allows them to share information rapidly in the online world. But there are also a few security vulnerabilities that networks need to address quickly and users need to be aware of.

 

Ever been in a Facebook group and seen a “spammy” type post made by a member that seemed completely unrelated to the topic? Usually, these are advertisements for clothing and accessories. Sometimes, hacked accounts are used to post spam either manually or more often through the help of automated tools. Sometimes, rogue apps are used which will then make posts on the user’s behalf to their friends walls as well as to groups that they belong to.

 

Facebook isn’t the only site that has had problems. In June, a security expert has reported a XSS (cross site scripting) vulnerability on the popular social blogging service called Tumblr. It allowed a malicious user to insert code into a post that would then execute scripts or HTML when loaded by another user. This made it possible to load external sites without the user clicking on them, facilitating spam type posts, or allowing for the delivery of malware. Tumblr has since addressed the issue and closed the security hole.

 

Facebook has taken steps to step up its security and prevent common types of spam, as evidenced by them removing millions of fake accounts a few weeks ago. Action to remove some of the rogue apps has also been taken, helping make the social network a safer place. However, these security threats aren’t expected to be completely gone anytime soon.

 

There are things that users need to be aware of to protect themselves. The first thing is that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. There is NO app which lets you see who visited your profile, there has never been, nor will they probably ever be one. Therefore, if you install an app that claims to do this on your Facebook profile, it is a rogue app that will simply end up spamming your and your friends news feeds with unwanted advertisements. Also, there are no giveaways of high priced products. Apple will not give you a free iPhone just because you installed a certain app on your profile. You will also not receive free Beats by Dr. Dre headphones simply because you liked a certain page, but you’ll simply end up receiving spam.

 

Keeping your PC secure is also another way to counter many threats like cross site scripting. As much of the malicious code is executed by Java, disabling it in your browser add ons is a good idea. If you ever need to visit a legitimate site that has a Java applet (these are getting rare anyways), you can manually re-enable it at that time. Installing an anti-malware program like AVG Free that scans all web sites that you visit is also a good idea to stay safe online.

 

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Who Uses Which Social Networking Site?

Who Uses Which Social Networking Site?

One of the basics of a successful online advertising campaign is that you have to target the right people. Social media sites are rapidly becoming a part of the marketing channels used by both small and large businesses. Many advertisers would like to have a more accurate picture of what people use which social network. A survey recently done by the Pew Research Center has given a bit of insight on this topic, which could help marketers choose which social network they will prioritize in their marketing campaigns:

 

LinkedIn

 

The “business” social network, it is reported that 20% of all internet users surveyed use it. The majority of users are college graduates or higher and have a higher than average annual income. In fact, 58% of LinkedIn users report having an annual income of $50 000 per year or higher. With LinkedIn, the higher the annual income of an individual, the most likely they are to have an account on the social network. This isn’t too surprising, as it is a site used by professionals such as lawyers, accountants and business managers.

 

Pineterest

 

A relatively new site that is already showing some potential, despite a bit of controversy about them removing affiliate links and replacing them with their own. Usage is more popular among the younger crowd of 18-29 year olds. The majority of Pinterest users have attended some college or are college graduates. One thing that is interesting about Pinterest is that it’s a lot more popular with women than with men. In fact, the study shows that 20% of women who use the internet also visit Pinterest on a regular basis, compared to just 5% of men. This would make it an option worth looking at for marketers who sell products that are mainly targeted at a female audience.

 

Facebook

 

The most popular social network to date, which has a variety of internet users on it. 67% of internet users report having a Facebook account. Slightly more popular among women with 70% using it, as opposed to 63% of men.

 

Another interesting element of Facebook is the age distribution. 83% of internet users between 18 and 29 years of age report having an account on Facebook, 72% of 30-49 year olds to, 56% of 50-64 year olds and 40% of those aged 65 and over have one. Out of all the social networking services, Facebook is the one that is the most popular among the older crowd.

 

Regarding annual income, the demographic that uses Facebook the most (75%) are those with an annual income between $30 000 and $50 000 per year.

 

While these figures are interesting for marketers as they give a bit of insight on who uses each social network, they are obviously not the only thing that marketers should look at when they plan an advertising campaign. In order to be successful, marketers need to design their ads well, plus run some tests to see which ad copies are able to generate the most responses from users.

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Invalid Clicks a Growing Concern for Mobile Marketers

Invalid Clicks a Growing Concern for Mobile Marketers

Mobile advertising is something that’s relatively new. It has only been about 3 years that the availability of innovative devices, combined with well priced data options has caused many consumers to use the internet on smartphones on an increasing basis. Naturally, what followed was an explosion in the demand for mobile advertising solutions. Of course, some of the major ad distribution networks such as Google Adwords have stepped in, ready to cater to the needs of advertisers, publishers and consumers. There are also many smaller networks, some of who are just new start up companies that are trying to get their name out there in the mobile advertising scene.

 

But no matter whether you deal with a giant or with a smaller network, there are some problems that have started being reported with mobile ads and which marketers and advertisers everywhere are following with a closer look. Publishers who run ads on their websites naturally want to maximize their earnings by getting as many people to view or click the ads they run. Advertisers want traffic. But just like with regular PC traffic, they want good quality traffic, meaning clicks from users who are actually interested by the ad and who have a chance of buying something from the advertiser or taking any other action that they want, like downloading an app for their smartphone.

 

But a new study that was recently published by Market Watch shows many problems with the mobile advertising industry. Up to 18% of clicks on mobile ads were probably fraudulent and 22% are probably accidental.

 

These accidental clicks can happen even on a PC, but on a smartphone, they are unfortunately more likely to occur, as it is much easier for someone’s fingers to slip and cause them to click on an element of the page that they didn’t really want to. Accidental clicks are usually characterized by a user who stays on your page for a couple of seconds and then leaves to return to the previous page right away. The only way to prevent these is to ensure that the sites where you publish your ads on are well designed and don’t have important elements, like menus, located in an area very close to your ad, where the chance of accidental clicks is a lot more common. Advertisers that target mobile sites should therefore be more selective on the sites where they advertise on. If they notice that there is a large number of accidental clicks coming from a few websites only, then there is more than likely a problem with the way these sites are laid out.

 

But there is a percentage of clicks that aren’t accidental, but are rather downright fraudulent. Click fraud has one simple goal: to get paid for clicks sent to your site which don’t come from a legitimate visitor.

 

Tomorrow we will examine more closely some of the methods that you can use to rapidly detect and prevent click fraud before it starts to become a major problem for your business. This is something you should look into if you advertise online, whether you target mobile users or are simply targeting PC traffic, as with click fraud, you’re paying for visitors that are of no use to your business.

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New Kindle Fire May Boost Popularity of Tablets

New Kindle Fire May Boost Popularity of Tablets

There has been some talk in technology blogs about Amazon working on a new smartphone that may be a viable competitor to the Apple iPhone. But for now, nothing has been made official yet and Amazon’s event focused on the Kindle without announcing a new smartphone.

 

Some new versions of the Kindle have been released, which aim to make the tablet even more popular than it is right now. Upgrades have been made to the 7 inch Kindle Fire, which is now priced at $159. The 7 inch Kindle is now available in HD at a price of $199, plus 2 new versions with an 8.9 inch display are available, one of which has 4G connectivity. This makes it quite obvious that Amazon is seeking to take some market share away from Apple in the tablet market. This seems to be working somehow, since the Kindle Fire is the second most popular tablet, after the iPad, of course.

 

If you want to see the specifications of the new Kindles and how they compare to the iPad, there are plenty of technology news articles that provide more details. What’s more interesting to us is the fact that tablet usage is growing and how one can profit from this expansion as a marketer or business owner.

 

Amazon’s strategy is to profit from content sales for their mobile devices. The company has even taken shots at Apple, saying that it’s better to try to make money by selling content than by making upgrades to hardware. And in a way, they are right.

 

The demand for tablet based content is expected to grow as an increasing number of people get a tablet of some sort, whether it’s the Kindle, the iPad or any other one. Publishing eBooks and selling them on the Amazon marketplace is still a popular source of revenue for many, especially amateur authors who are seeking to get their works read. But the written word isn’t the only type of content that consumers want. Multimedia content, such as video and apps are also in high demand. This explains why there is a lot of demand for developers who can make applications that will run on tablet devices. Productivity tools, games, communications programs and many other applications are being downloaded by tablet users.

 

These users also browse the web on their devices. Marketers need to take a look at some numbers and statistics, in an effort to see what web based content tablet users commonly seek out, how they behave with regards to online advertising and which products and services they commonly buy when using the web on their mobile devices. This will allow the creation of advertising campaigns that are specifically targeted to tablet users, as many advertising services already allow marketers to create specific campaigns that will show only to users of tablets.

 

The devices will change and evolve over time, just like the PC has changed. But one thing that will remain is that a new opportunity has been created for entrepreneurs and will remain there for quite some time.

 

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Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon

Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon

When advertising via social networking sites, targeting is the key, just like with any other marketing method. You want your ads to be seen by the right demographics, people whose profile and interests will make them more likely to become paying customers of yours. One of the most common issues with advertising on the social networking giant Facebook is that advertisers can’t target specific users with their ads.

 

But there are reports that this could change, maybe in the next few months. Facebook advertisers could have the opportunity to target users that are already their customers, or who have given them their information in some way, such as by signing up for their email list. The company is currently testing ways for advertisers to target Facebook users specifically by their user ID, email or phone number.

 

However, the information comes from a user who reported seeing a “custom audiences” tab in the Facebook advertising control panel, but then the tab was soon gone. It looks like a temporary bug allowed that user to see a feature that wasn’t intended to be operational yet. While this, in itself, is not surprising and has happened with many other websites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook will actually roll out this change. No official statements have been made by the company at this time. Furthermore, having the ability to target specific users that are on social media by using their personal information is likely to raise a few eyebrows among consumer and privacy advocates, many of whom already see social media as a serious concern for individual privacy.

 

This, however, may be resolved in a simple way. Facebook could make a setting that would allow users to opt out of being specifically targeted by marketers while they browse the social network. The feature could be left on by default and users who would see this as an intrusion on their privacy or who just don’t like being marketed to on social media could disable it if they wish.

 

Targeting your existing clients by social media also isn’t as bad as some other marketing methods, particularly those in use before the internet became popular. It’s actually quite common for many large companies to sell their user information to telemarketers as well as direct (postal) mail companies and while there is a possibility to opt out, the information is usually written somewhere in fine print on the subscription form or contract.

 

In any case, targeting your existing clients and people who have expressed an interest in your business is a good way to put your online presence to good use. This can be done in various ways, not just by social media. Among the most common ways to do this already is sending marketing emails to them, physical mailings like pamphlets and catalogs, or text messages on their mobile phones. Facebook’s move will just create a new opportunity for marketers to perfect something that many of them have already been doing for quite some time now.

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Consumers Increasingly Using Multiple Devices

Consumers Increasingly Using Multiple Devices

There has been some talk in the marketing world about how to adapt campaigns to multiscreen users. First, it’s important to know what the term “multiscreen” actually means in this context. It doesn’t really apply to users who use more than one monitor with their PC, which is a practice that’s common in some businesses like network operations control and stock trading, but usually quite rare for personal use. Rather, it refers to users who perform a certain task using multiple internet enabled devices.

 

For example, a user would see an ad for a certain product while browsing the web on their smartphone. Then, they would continue shopping in front of a regular PC and maybe finish it on a tablet.

 

But how common is the practice? A study that was published last week by Google and Ipsos gives some details on this. It reveals that 90% of consumers will move in a sequential way between screens during the same day. Usually, they would start on a smartphone, move to a PC and then go on to a tablet.

 

An example of sequential usage would be someone who uses their smartphone on their way to work in order to check their email and social media accounts, uses a regular PC to browse the web while at work and then uses a tablet to play games when they get back home.

 

But simultaneous screen usage also exists and is rapidly becoming very common. In the majority of cases, a PC or web enabled TV would be the main screen, while the smartphone will be the second one. A few examples of this include: a user who is day trading stocks on his PC has his trading platform open on it, but has his email and social media open on his smartphone. This allows him to easily monitor the markets on the PC while being alerted on his smartphone if he gets a new message. He’s also less likely to get distracted for too long, as he doesn’t have any other tabs opened on his browser on the PC.

 

Another type of simultaneous usage that is increasingly becoming common is someone who is watching TV, but has their smartphone with them. If he sees an interesting ad that has a website given, he can browse to that site on his phone and check out the product being advertised. Or, he could research something about the show that he’s currently watching.

 

TV advertisers are now paying more and more attention to this phenomenon. In fact, many of them are now including mobile friendly websites in their ads, which will allow someone on a smartphone to get more information about the product being advertised and even conveniently make a purchase.

 

Many advertisers that run TV campaigns are now also mirroring these campaigns on mobile channels, in order for the viewers of the TV ads to recognize the ads more easily.

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Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes

Facebook Coming Down on Fake Likes

The amount of likes that a Facebook page receives is definitely the biggest way to determine its popularity with its targeted audience. There are plenty of ways to get more Facebook likes on your page, such as by including social media buttons on your main websites and blog, or including a link to your Facebook fan pages with the emails that you send. But there has been some controversy surrounding Facebook likes recently, which affected some corporate, as well as political pages.

 

The issue of fake Facebook likes has existed for quite a long time, but it seems that it’s only recently that it was given a good amount of attention by the social network. Facebook has released an update on their blog on August 31st saying that they are taking action to remove likes that are deemed to be fake. However, the numbers don’t seem to be too dramatic. The update states that less than 1% of the likes for any particular page will be affected.

 

This includes likes that were purchased, generated by malware, as well as those that were generated by users who were deceived into liking a page. The latter category is one that has been often discussed in online marketing circles. Certain video sharing sites were using scripts that would force a user to like the page before they could have access to the videos. This goes against the basic concept of the Facebook likes, which are meant to be given only once a user has seen a certain page and found the content to be worthy of being included on their page and shared with their friends. Other ways of deceiving users was creating fake contests or giveaways, where users were promised non existent prizes if they liked a certain page. Of course, the prizes never came and very often the pages were then used to send spam messages onto the users news feeds.

 

Many online marketing experts aren’t too surprised by this recent move by Facebook. It comes a few weeks after many major advertisers have questioned whether advertising on Facebook truly brings them any benefits for their business or brand. There has also been the issue of fake accounts being used to like various pages, or friend random people only to send them spam messages. It appears that Facebook is simply trying to clean up its service by removing elements that create a bad experience for the user, in addition to lowering the perceived value of the social network to its advertisers.

 

But this recent action isn’t really likely to have any impact on most people who use Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy. You should just stay away from any services that promise to give you thousands of likes from “real” users in exchange for payment. Very often, these likes are generated by malicious means and even if the users were real people, chances are that they wouldn’t have any actual interest in your page.

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012: Part 2

Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012: Part 2

Yesterday, we’ve seen some changes that Facebook has made or is planning to make in 2012. But there are a few more. It is important that marketers remain vigilant to any changes that the social network makes. This even holds true for those who don’t rely too heavily on Facebook for their advertising, as new changes could bring increased opportunities for them and they may want to make social media a bigger part of their overall marketing strategy. Here are a few more of these 2012 changes:

 

Unpublished Page Posts. One of the most common complaints among Facebook marketers is targeting, or rather lack thereof. While Facebook has some good analytics tools that let you see who subscribes to your page, one thing that has been criticized about the site is that it didn’t provide many options to target specific groups of individuals with your posts. Everyone saw the same content, period. But with Unpublished Page Posts, this is slowly changing. Marketers are now able to target specific fan segments. When the option gets used, the post will not appear on the Timeline of the marketer. Rather, it will be sent directly to the targeted users news feeds. This makes sending relevant content to specific subsets of fans a lot easier and has the opportunity to increase conversion and click through rates.

 

Specific Permission Levels for Facebook Page Admins. In order to give businesses more tools for the management of their Facebook pages, different permission levels for page admins have been launched in May. The current permission levels are Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser and Insights Analyst. This change makes it easier for larger organizations to manage their presence on the social networking sites by assigning different roles and privileges to different people.

 

Better Facebook Integration in Bing Search Results. While Google is the undisputed champion of the search engine world, Bing is a close second. Anyone serious about building their online presence and getting maximum results from their marketing efforts can’t ignore this. Bing has recently added a social media sidebar which pulls data from the biggest social networks, allowing more integration between traditional SERPs and social data. If a user is logged in to a social networking account such as Facebook, they will get social posts in search results, plus have the ability to share search results directly from the side bar with their Facebook friends.

 

Addition of Trending Articles. Users will now see relevant news articles in their Facebook news feeds. The order in which the articles appear will vary according to how much their friends have interacted with the news content. If a user has a lot of friends who have liked or simply read a news article, then there is a higher chance that it will be featured prominently in their own news feed. This is obviously welcome by many marketers who use news marketing as part of their overall strategy.

 

These are some of the biggest changes that have been made by Facebook in 2012. As usual, things can change quickly, so marketers should stay on top of social media news to see what is going on with Facebook and other social networks.

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Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012

Some of Facebook’s Biggest Changes in 2012

This year, Facebook has made a great deal of changes to the way its social networking site works. Many of these changes have a good impact on those who use the site for marketing purposes. While the social network itself may have evolved, the main principles behind social media marketing seem to remain unchanged for now. It’s just that it’s now easier and more convenient for marketers to connect with their audience and share information. Here are some of the most noticeable changes we’ve seen and some that we’re expecting.

 

Timeline for marketers. The adoption of the timeline design for profiles has been met with quite a lot of controversy when it was announced in 2011. Some users didn’t mind it, while many others resisted the change believing that the old design was better. But just like many other Facebook changes, people have eventually come to get used to it and accepted it. The Timeline is responsible for changing the way in which people interact with the social network. It has also had some positive effects on businesses that use the site for marketing. Some studies suggest that since the Timeline was introduced, brands receive over 40 percent more engagement for each post that they make.

 

The “Want” Button. Currently, we have the ever present “Like” button on Facebook. But there are many rumors that are now circulating in online marketing circles that Facebook may be planning to launch a “Want” button. As some of you may have guessed by now, this type of feature would be most beneficial for e-commerce site owners. Having a Want button can be useful when it comes to seeing just how many people are interested in what you have to offer them. If it was available when you launch new products and inform your Facebook fans, the Want button could generate a lot more interest for your new additions. However, it should be known that this feature is, for now, little more than a rumor. It is not yet known when, if at all, Facebook will make it available and whether this feature will be available to all marketers on the site, or only to a select group at the beginning. Perhaps marketers would have to pay to get the ability to have a Want button? But the real answers might be coming soon, perhaps in a few months.

 

Scheduled Page Posts. This isn’t anything revolutionary, but it does make things more convenient for marketers. You may be planning to release a new product soon and want the Facebook page post to be displayed as soon as it becomes available. Now with the ability to schedule your posts, you can opt to have them displayed at a pre determined date and time. That way, you will never be late in making your announcements to your fans.

 

There are still a few more changes we will look at. Check back tomorrow for some more information about them.

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