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Facebook and Twitter may be experiencing contrasting fortunes when it comes to monetising their user base, but they share many of the same problems.
Chief among which is the need to satisfy personal users and business users.
Both platforms need to maintain an enjoyable social network that helps users communicate, while allowing publishers and brands to prosper.
Facebook and Twitter have recently made changes towards these ends. Let's have a look.
Even though it's early January, this is not a 2014 predictions post. However, one trend that will continue to grow this year is that of consumer expectation associated with the sharing of their personal information.
The general public are becoming much more savvy around this data value exchange, and their expectations for what they get in return are increasing.
Relevance is key, and that means serving your customers and prospective customers with meaningful content that services a current need for them, and content which is served via a medium (or channel) that suits their behaviours.
Knowing all the about 'who' on its own is no longer enough, it needs to be complimented by the 'when' and the combination of both is where real-time relevance can be provided.
There is a simple hierarchy model that can be applied to help ensure relevance can be delivered, and it would be good to hear your opinions on this in the comments section.
Growing a high-quality mailing list can be a costly, time-consuming effort, but it's an effort countless companies make for a simple reason: email marketing can be one of the most effective ways to grow a business.
But building a mailing list is only half the battle. The other half: keeping subscribers happy.
Google introduced Priority Inbox this week, a new feature designed to solve the problem of overloaded inboxes by prioritising the most important and relevant messages.
This new option, currently in beta, splits the user's inbox into three sections, with the 'important and unread' section at the top. Various signals, including who is emailed most frequently, and which emails users tend to open.
This new feature will present new challenges for email marketers as they seek to ensure that their emails get the attention of Gmail users. I've been asking some email marketing experts about the implications of this new feature...
John Straw is CEO of InfluenceFinder, which has launched a tool which enables search marketers to analyse backlink data and build a list of influential websites which are providing valuable links.
InfluenceFinder has been using Econsultancy as a test subject, and soft launched at SMX London recently.
We've been speaking to John about InfluenceFinder, recent changes to Google's algorithm, and why he thinks that SEO needs to become more like PR...
Are Google's best days behind it? The company may be one of the most recognized brands on the internet, and one of the most important technology companies in the world, but Google isn't quite growing like a weed anymore.
That gives analysts and pundits plenty of ammunition to ask whether Google's future is less bright than its past. Fortune is the latest publication to promote the notion that "the search party is over" for the Mountain View search giant.
It has the most extensive loyalty scheme and probably the biggest database in the UK. The company is not short of cash either, as it accounts for something like one in every seven pounds spent in the UK.
So Tesco must have the clout to talk to their customers relevantly as individuals through email...surely?
39% of UK consumers claim that the marketing emails they receive are less relevant than they were 12 months ago, which suggests that brands need to improve to keep customers engaged.
According to an e-Dialog E-mail Attitudes Report, which surveyed 2,000 UK adults, there is a 34% increase in the number of people who are finding emails irrelevant to them, compared to the 2009 report.
What's the most important factor in the success of a display ad? Size? Placement? Not surprisingly, it's relevance.
That's according to a study conducted by publisher Condé Nast and research firm McPheters & Company.