At this stage, we all know that a large percentage of the population has Facebook accounts, but not everybody uses the social network in the same way; there’s even a group of people known as power users. You will find these power users on all social networks and they are generally the people who drive the content and interaction on the site while others lurk in the background as observers.
This infographic that we came across today does a good job of sharing the info around these power users showing how they make up between 20-30 per cent of people using the service. They tend to be female, they interact with comments and posts on a regular basis and they carry serious weight when it comes to issues like political debate. If you are not a power user yourself, we’re sure that you know one as they are the people who will comment, like or share anything a couple of minutes after it is posted. So the big question is: Are you a power user or not?
With their introduction recently, there’s been no shortage of reports and analysis about how well Facebook’s new advertising model is working and whether they engage users.
A new report from SEO and PPC consulting and technology firm Greenlight suggests that a significant proportion of users aren’t warming to Facebook advertisements with 44 per cent of users saying that they’ve never clicked on an advertisement or sponsored listing on Facebook. To add further worry, this was the most popular answer of those choices available.
Only three per cent of users surveyed said that they clicked on them regularly while 10 per cent said that they do it often. With 31 per cent saying that they rarely click on Facebook advertisements. This 44 per cent figure becomes more worrying when you realise that in that survey, 13 per cent of those surveyed said that they don’t use Facebook so you could say that roughly half of users never click on advertisements.
Cause for concern?
This report come at what is a crucial time for Facebook with the company now trading on the stock exchange and their share price performing quite steadily. But is this cause for concern? Well, the idea that almost half of users ignore advertisements isn’t encouraging to say the least.
Also, Facebook and Twitter were the two sites that users would be least likely to trust their personal data with. This isn’t particularly helpful when you consider the fact that Facebook uses personal data to better target users and present ads that the user would be more likely to engage with.
Yet advertising on Facebook has become the norm for brands and an integral part of any strategy due to the amount of users there. It’s very difficult to ignore a potential audience of 900 million.
Also, despite the large percentage that said they never clicked on an advertisement, another report from TBG Digital says that sponsored stories bring a 32 per cent decrease in cost per sales and an increase in clickthrough rate (CTR). As well as that, in Greenlight’s experience, when a brand runs a traditional ad format alongside a sponsored story format, there’s usually a 30 per cent increase in conversion rates.
The findings are part of Greenlight’s global Search & Social Survey (2011-2012) where 500 people – ranging from professionals, students and the unemployed – were asked how they engage with online advertising, search engines, and social networks. The full report can be found here.
Illegal parking is a huge problem in Russia and no matter how they try to tackle it, the issue persists. However, a new campaign is getting results using a mixture of social media, an app and banner ads to get people thinking about the issue in an entirely new way.
As soon as you spot somebody illegally parked in the street, you fire up the app and take a picture of the offender. The app then uses your IP address, taps into a database of license plates and creates an online banner featuring the illegally parked car. The really smart part is that the car is turned into a banner advert that blocks users screens completely and is only shown to people in the local area using their IP address to target them. To remove the offensive banner from the screen, you are requested to share the picture of the car with your social network.
The thinking behind this is absolutely brilliant because it guilts people into thinking about their actions and because the campaign targets such a local area, there’s a very good chance that the offenders will see the ads. Possibly the smartest and best thought out campaign we’ve seen this year.
If you were about to become a millionaire, or even a billionaire the next day, what would you be doing? Perhaps booking a bar or the top restaurant in town to enjoy the best moment in your life with friends. Maybe looking at new cars or planning your dream holiday?
For a group of young people in Silicon Valley working for Facebook, that is about to happen today and what did they choose to do? Work all night and make their company even better. Facebook gathered all their staff for an all night hackathon to celebrate their upcoming IPO by building new products for the site and it shows the one reason why I would invest in the company for the long term: The culture.
Despite all the praise that has been heaped onto Mark Zuckerberg for being a genius and connecting people all over the world, it is his work on forming a unique culture at the company that impresses me most. See trends come and go, products go out of fashion, markets change, technology improves, but the one thing that makes sure you will be around for a long time is culture.
Google has a great culture. Like it or loath it, Apple has a culture that works. People are totally bought into the vision of the founder and that is what keeps them up working all night and on the one day they should be kicking back with a beer. Mark Zuckerberg has convinced them that they are changing the world and people live for stuff like that far more than they do for money.
I personally wouldn’t invest today because I think the markets are a little wild and the IPO overhyped (I’d still expect the stock to fly today) but I would put my money in to the company over the next 10 years. The culture is in place for them to deliver time and time again and to grow the company in to something special. Culture is about making people love coming in to work rather than dreading it. It’s probably the hardest thing you have to nail as a company and Facebook have it hands down which is why they are around for the long term. You only have to read this quote from one of their engineers said over on his account to see what a unique company it is…
Facebook’s 31st hackathon will kick off from this spot in just a few hours. Thousands of people from across the company will stay up all night long to build brand new Facebook products. Then, at 6:30AM, Mark will open the NASDAQ from this spot and Facebook will begin trading on the public stock markets. What should we work on tonight? What features or fixes would you most like to see in Facebook?
Ever post something incredibly witty on Facebook or link to an event that you really want all your friends to see? If you’ve answered yes and don’t mind paying for the privilege, then you might be interested to hear that the site is testing out a new feature that allows you to highlight important posts for a small fee.
Stuff.co.nz has discovered that Facebook is testing out this service, and considering charging $2 for users to highlight important status updates and photo posts so that they’ll be more visible on the news feeds of friends. The feature was originally discovered by a user based in Whangarei, New Zealand who initially assumed that the option might be a scam.
However, Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick confirmed to Stuff that it was a new feature that the company was testing out. She said: “We’re constantly testing new features across the site. This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends.”
Facebook’s trail will offer the service at a range of different prices, such as offering the service for $2 one day and for free on another day, as the company gauges interest. If the feature does get rolled out, it’s very likely that Facebook will charge for the privilege.
The main point that Facebook will emphasise is that this feature is completely optional. It’s a smart idea as it gives the company another source of revenue – exactly how much revenue it will generate is another story – and it panders to those who really want their posts to be seen, be it for genuine reasons or for vanity. Apparently highlighted posts will be marked with a yellow background so that they will stand out more, but where it will appear in the news feed is unknown. Chances are it won’t be at the top as Facebook is reserving that space for sponsored stories so our guess is that it will be the third or fourth post.
When you consider there’s close to 900 million users worldwide and that there’s always friends who are promoting causes for themselves or for others, chances are there’ll be quite a few who will jump at the opportunity to highlight their posts. If this feature is released and it grows in popularity, it could potentially messing up the algorithm and potentially causing problems for users.
Say, for example, you’re friends with someone on the site but have hidden their posts from your feed, will it mean their posts will then be visible if they pay to highlight them? Or perhaps more worryingly for Facebook, could brands and businesses try advertise through persona highlighted posts instead of advertising through the normal means.
The latter situation could be unlikely as it seems to be only status updates and photos that can be highlighted and unless you have a lot of friends, viewing will be limited, but that doesn’t mean that it’s people won’t find a way to take advantage of it. It’s possible that this mightn’t even see the light of day, but considering Facebook’s upcoming IPO and the pressure to generate further revenue, it’d be surprising if it didn’t go ahead with this.
The mobile social networking space just heated up last night with Facebook and Google both launching major updates that could change social networking for good. As I’ve been saying for some time now, the race for the desktop is well and truly over with Facebook winning hands down. However, when it comes to the mobile experience, Facebook is still facing some serious issues and Google+ just launched an app last night that is so beautiful in design and so easy to use, they might just have a chance of getting some traction as a social network.
It is amazing to see so much innovation coming on mobile devices and it’s hard to believe we’re only at the start of this revolution. Here are the big changes to the mobile apps and what it means for you as a user or as a brand.
Google + Just Gave Themselves A Chance On Mobile
You will all know how negative I can be on Google+ and I didn’t expect anything other than an ordinary update to their app last night. But when I tested it out, I was stunned with the sheer beauty of it. The app, which launched on iPhone only (that in itself was a surprise given that Google owns Android), is a completely new social networking experience and reminds me of Path.
Google has already lost the desktop experience to Facebook, but this app brings them to the race on mobile. Although I still doubt that they can steal users away from Facebook, this is easily the best app I have ever played with in terms of functionality and design. It’s absolutely stunning and a joy to use.
Just like anyone else who gets annoyed with the slow experience on the Facebook app, I loved playing with this because of the sheer speed and responsiveness of it. Having said that, after playing with it for ten minutes, I realised that nobody I really know or wanted to talk to was on the app. The old catch 22 for Google is that their product is the best by far but nobody wants to use it.
Facebook Trying To Take On Apple
Until a year ago, Facebook was more or less locked out of the mobile space thanks to competitors like Apple and Android, but you only have to look at the screenshots to see that they are trying to get in on the action. For the first time ever, app developers will be able to charge for their apps and considering the huge viral distribution that Facebook provides, this could be huge.
Crucially, the way in which apps are listed is changing so that it forms a more seamless experience for the consumer. Instead of apps winning by being noisy or spammy as they currently do on Facebook, detailed listings and suggestions will be served up to you with nice art work. You can read all about the app center here and it will be coming very soon to Facebook.
Social Networking Leaving The Desktop For The Mobile
What this means for consumers and brands out there is that the shift away from desktop computers and laptops for social networking is well under way. Most people are interacting with these platforms while on the go and Facebook is starting to cannibalise their own revenues as more people are accessing it on mobiles than on desktop. People aren’t going to stop using their desktops any time soon, but the speed of change is gathering pace and it is great to see the big guys embracing these wide ranging changes.
Just because the Google+ app is beautiful doesn’t really mean you should be setting up your brand presence there just yet simply because the number of users there are too small. It could be the app that finally gives the network some traction though and it’s one to be watched. Although Facebook has over 500 million mobile users, the options for brands are limited at the moment, but it’s the space that I would be looking for innovative solutions if I was a brand or business.
Facebook will start offering mobile advertising solutions in the near future and when they tie it in with location, it could power a whole new level of social commerce and grow into an app store that rivals Apple. Interesting times ahead and we are only at the very start of the race. Fire those mobiles up.
As Facebook gears up for its IPO and dominate media coverage, we wanted to share a brilliant comprehensive list, compiled by socialbakers, of some of the brands that are pumping the money into Facebook advertising to acquire likes and top their respective industries.
The list breaks brands down into the various categories and measures the number of Facebook likes as well as a basic engagement level (made up of public data like likes, comments and interactions).
As expected, all the big guys like the large retail, media, automotive and alcohol brands are there, but there are also some random brands who make the list who probably didn’t have to spend as much money with Facebook to acquire the likes instead of doing so organically. The data captured was for the last quarter of the year and shows quarter-on-quarter growth on each of the pages.
If you needed any evidence that mobile will play a massive part in Facebook’s fortunes, then a new report from comScore shows just how popular the site is to mobile users. Its latest report states that on average, visitors spent 441.3 minutes (7.35 hrs) on the mobile site and app in March.
This puts it a significant distance from its nearest competitors, Foursquare and Twitter where visitors spent an average of 145.6 minutes and 114.4 minutes respectively. The figures reveal the growing importance of mobile for every social media site and the need to adjust in order to suit the format.
In terms of unique visitors to their mobile site, Facebook was also out in front with 78 million unique visitors in March. Twitter was the second largest with 25.59 million visitors while LinkedIn and Pinterest had 7.6 million and 7.4 million uniques respectively. Despite having the second highest average minutes spent on a site, Foursquare only had 5.49 million unique visitors, but their amount of time their users spend on the site suggests a high engagement rate among its users.
One caveat for Twitter is that these figures don’t include usage via third-party apps, which suggests that its reach and the amount of minutes spent on the site could be much higher than what already here. It wouldn’t be enough to knock Facebook off the top spot, but the amount separating the two would be that little bit smaller overall.
Outside the social media sites, the most popular apps for both Apple and Android were iTunes and Google Play followed by Google Maps for iOS and Google Search for Android. The reason for Google’s products being second is because they are automatically included in the home screen for either iOS: Google Maps is displayed as an app on the main screen (unless you move it elsewhere) while the Google search bar automatically features on the home screen for every Android operated device.
Any store or brand that tries to bridge the gap between the real and online world deserves some kind of recognition for their efforts, irrespective of whether they succeed or not. While there has been a number of attempts to do this, brands are still looking for a way to successfully integrate the two worlds together. Which is why this campaign from Brazilian fashion retailer C&A is a breath of fresh air and takes a step towards giving a Facebook ‘like’ a proper value.
C&A came up with a way to transfer ‘likes’ into a real world scenario with a new initiative called “Fashion Like”. Through this, the brand posted photos of a selection of items it’s selling on a dedicated Facebook page, where it invited customers to ‘like’ the ones that appealed to them. The brilliant part about this is that in their stores, the number of likes each item got is displayed in real-time, giving customers a good idea as to how popular an item is (online at least).
It’s a great idea, but what would have make this campaign especially interesting is to see how much of an effect it had on sales. Do more likes result in certain items being purchased more? How much of an influence does it have on consumers? Did anyone who liked an a piece of clothing online purchase the same item at a later stage?
A case study such as this is dying to be made and would be an invaluable resource for brands as they’d try similar initiatives. But for now, we’ll just applaud their efforts to do something original and hope that other brands will use this as a reference for when they create their own similar campaigns.
With a little over two weeks left until Facebook launches one of the most anticipated IPOs in history, this chart helps you put some of the crazy numbers into perspective.
As you can see, some of the other social media and online companies are dwarfed by what Facebook is about to achieve, Google is the only company to have a look in. What a lot of people forget, however, is the huge pot of money that Facebook will have at their disposal to grow the company, push it into new markets, acquire other companies and expand their marketing efforts.
The flip side of the upcoming IPO is that Facebook will be held accountable by the markets and their spectacular growth in both users and revenues will have to continue if Facebook want to justify its lofty price tag.