In case you hadn’t noticed, social is the biggest thing in digital marketing right now.
Facebook is worth $100bn (sort of), Twitter has more than 140m active users and brands are busy experimenting with Pinterest in anticipation of it being ‘the next big thing.’
Yet one company stands alone in refusing to join the rush to social, and it just so happens to be the world’s biggest tech company.
Apple’s refusal to truly embrace social is well documented, but I was encouraged to take a closer look at its approach by the laughable share buttons on its e-commerce site.
Nearly every company you can name has filled its product pages with share icons for Facebook, Twitter, and in some cases Pinterest, but Apple doesn’t have any.
Mobile raises a number of challenges for email marketers.
They have to consider the usability for people who click on links within the email, the clarity for readers who are prioritising their messages, and the fact that you never truly know when a recipient will use mobile.
But it’s too big an opportunity to simply ignore it. Research shows that around 15% to 20% of email is opened on a mobile device, and 41% of European smartphone owners would either close or delete an email not optimised for mobile.
To see whether brands are responding to this trend, dotMailer reviewed the emails of 19 retailers including M&S, Tesco, Homebase, Amazon and ASOS.
It evaluated various design, usability and technical criteria on emails opened on iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.
With 60 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s not easy to make your video content stand out from the crowd.
But there are steps you can take to make sure that you give yourself the best chance of showing up in search results, thereby increasing your potential audience.
As our Online Video Best Practice Guide points out, Google is increasingly returning ‘blended’ SERPs which contain video as well as web pages, images, news items and map listings.
It’s actually much easier to get on to page one of Google with a video than for a normal web page. That’s because everyone is competing hard on web page rankings and there are many more web pages out there than there are videos.
Last week O2’s network crashed for 24 hours, leaving its customers fuming as they were forced to face life without text messages and Facebook mobile.
While O2 subscribers are unlikely to forget the experience in a hurry, those of us who use different mobile operators were treated to a masterclass in PR by the staff operating the company's Twitter account.
Flooded with hundreds of messages, O2’s social team responded courteously to customer queries and justified complaints, while also giving some sharp, funny comebacks to a few abusive individuals.
However, while this was a great way to maintain some humour in an otherwise disastrous situation, some could have viewed it as too close to smug and uncaring at times.
For consumer industries such as fashion and retail social media is now a central part of their marketing strategies.
But for other businesses, the benefits of social marketing are less obvious and the tactics are more experimental.
Insurance comparison site Confused.com might not jump out as an obvious example of a brand that you would expect to invest heavily in social, but in recent months it has unveiled several Facebook apps and launched a Pinterest competition.
To find out more about Confused.com’s social strategy and how it measures success, I spoke to head of content and PR Sharon Flaherty...
The terrible truth about smartphones is that although penetration in the UK is now above 50% and traffic is constantly rising, people don’t generally use their phone to buy things.
Conversions lag way behind both tablets and desktop, suggesting that smartphones are primarily used for research and price checking.
As such, brands should be doing all they can to direct mobile users to the checkout as quickly as possible in order to encourage window shoppers to actually make a purchase.
Making it into a one-click process, similar to Amazon, will also help capture impulse buyers.
Facebook apps can be a great way of gaining extra exposure for your business and getting users to actually engage with your brand page.
The Guardian and Wall Street Journal are two obvious examples of brands that have taken advantage of the viral nature of Facebook apps to increase their social traffic.
Facebook calls this 'closing the viral loop', and sees it as an important part of its marketing platform.
Online photo service PhotoBox is hoping to emulate this success with its new app, Social Fab. It allows users to create personalised products using their Facebook photos.
To find out more about the challenges of creating a Facebook app, I spoke to PhotoBox managing director Lawrence Merritt...
As it's Friday, I've once again rounded up some of the most interesting digital marketing stats I've seen this week.
Stats include Yahoo's latest blunder, our online shopping expectations, internet ad budgets, Google's dominance of paid search and the power of mobile search.
Once again, here are six of the finest infographics we've seen this week.
Topics include tablet e-commerce, how restaurants make use of mobile apps, a look at social engagement as a metric and data on the importance of hotel reviews.
UK advertisers are responding to the consumer shift towards mobile and tablets by investing in mobile search.
Data from Marin Software’s Online Advertising Q2 2012 report show that mobile devices accounted for 13% of search spend in June 2012, yet took a 20% share of clicks.
This tallies with data from IgnitionOne which shows that mobile search made up 14% of total search advertising spend in Q2, up slightly from 12.3% in Q1.
Similarly, Q1 stats reported by Adobe show that mobile now accounts for 8% of US search spend compared to 11% in the UK.