There's a new trade group in town. The Social Media Advertising Consortium (SMAC - pronounced "smack") is newly-formed, but burgeoning body dedicated to best practices, measurement, defining and shaping one of the fastest-growing channels in digital advertising. We caught up recently with Executive Director Maura Curtin to learn more about what SMAC is up to...and what its plans are for the future.
Three weeks ago, Facebook changed the rules for brands trying to create contests and promotions on the social network. Marketers are still trying to figure out how the guidelines will affect them. But it looks like some of the best tools on the network will no longer be available for brands. For marketers looking to get a lot of marketing reach without a lot of spend, it looks like Facebook may no longer by the place to go.
What's the secret to success on Facebook? Having a pre-existing fan base. It also helps if you're a Fortune 500 company. At least that seems to be the conclusion of new research on the social network.
While brands have helped increase their reach and engagement, research from both Slate and social media monitoring and analytics firm Sysomos show that it's big brands that get the most out of Facebook — not upstarts that get the word out through their Facebook pages.
According to Slate's The Big Money, massive brands that combine their own content with user uploads have seen the best results on Facebook.
Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly going to pull in approximately half a billion dollars this year in advertising revenue. It's a significant amount, but hundreds of millions of dollars more are being made on Facebook through virtual currency transactions that Facebook has no part of.
Facebook, of course, has its own official virtual currency, Credits, but most Facebook app developers can't integrate them with their apps, and are not required to use them.
A quick survey of Hitwise’s list of top UK online retailers shows that adoption of social media is patchy to say the least. The recent hype around Twitter and Facebook has clearly caught their attention with 69% and 50% respectively having a profile.
However, a measly 31% use blogging and social bookmarking and, surprisingly, only 25% use product reviews. Even when social media is being used, it is not always obvious. Debenhams, for example, has a blog, Twitterand Facebook page, not that you would know that from their homepage.
The convergence of the television and the web has been promised for more than a decade now. Anyone remember Microsoft's acquisition of WebTV in 1997?
There were good reasons at the time to see the potential of a marriage between the internet and the TV, and there still are. Like a lot of predictions, however, this one was a bit premature. But is now the time?
Starbucks has invested a lot in social media. From Twitter to Facebook to its own MyStarbucksIdea.com, Starbucks has a highly-visible social media footprint. And highly-visible results: over half a million followers on Twitter and more than 5m fans on Facebook.
Given its social media prowess, if any brand is capable of turning away from traditional marketing channels and reaching out to consumers online, it's Starbucks. And that's exactly what it's doing this holiday season.
Salesforce.com built a billion-dollar company by allowing companies to ditch their CRM software and bringing CRM to the cloud. Now it has its sights set on perhaps an even bigger feat: bringing social media to the enterprise.
Yesterday, the company announced that it will be launching a new service called Salesforce Chatter in 2010. Think of it as Facebook for the enterprise: a social networking service for companies with an application platform to boot.
Razorfish has released its annual study into consumer behavior online and this year's results have a lot to do with social media. According to Feed: The Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report, many consumers are engaging with brands online to receive exclusive promotions or discounts.
The study also found that people who actively engage with a brand
digitally — from participating in a contest to downloading a mobile
application — are substantially more inclined to purchase and recommend
that brand to others.
The question for brands is how to create digital events that impress consumers. Because negative experiences online have a bad influence on the bottom line for brands.
Marks & Spencer's online strategy has gone through a variety of changes in recent months. As well as revamping their main website, the British retail giant has embraced social media by incorporating ratings and reviews into their website, and using Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and better engage with customers.
It is encouraging to see a major brand like M&S experimenting with new online channels. By incorporating social media into their strategy, Marks & Spencer has enhanced its ability to respond to customers. Additionally, the brand is better placed to manage their online reputation more effectively.
At a recent iCrossing social media briefing, I asked Business Development Manager, Sienne Veit about the changes that Marks & Spencer has implemented and the impact of social media on the brand.