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February 2013

American’s Spending More Time On Facebook Mobile Than Website – What Does This Mean for Facebook Ads?

May 16, 2012

53 percent of American cell phone owners have a Smartphone, and since 88 percent of US adults are now cell phone owners, that means nearly half (46%) of all American adults own a Smartphone. One key feature of smartphones is the ability to download applications. Facebook’s popular mobile app is the most active among Smartphone owners 18-24 and 25-34, who both hover at around an 80 percent active reach. Therefore, with stats like this, it should come as no surprise that Facebook’s mobile app has now passed its website in popularity. According to a recent report from Comscore, time spent on Facebook’s mobile site and apps per month (441 minutes) has finally surpassed usage of its classic website (391 minutes) — for Americans who use both Facebook interfaces. However, this presents a big problem for Facebook.

With Facebook’s impending IPO (set for Friday), it seems the forces of the universe are working against Facebook this week. First GM publicly pulls its $10 million Facebook ad campaigns, citing that Facebook ads don’t work. Then, Facebook had to warn potential investors in its IPO that the more people who access it from mobile instead of the web, the worse its business is doing. Thus, accessing Facebook through your Smartphone is bad for business, because Facebook only shows a few ads per day in the mobile newsfeed – as opposed to displaying four to seven ads per page on its website (maybe that’s why people prefer Facebook mobile?). Consequentially, Facebook makes a lot less money when you visit from your phone.

Facebook mobile

Now there’s 78 million Americans age eighteen and older who use Facebook mobile, and they spend 7.3 hours per month there on average, compared to the total 160 million Americans who use Facebook and spend an average of 6.5 hours on its website per month. That’s a big shift from when the web was king.

Therefore, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, in order to make money (and support their sky-high valuation), Facebook needs to start making – and selling – more mobile ads. However, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t want annoying banners that took up most of your Facebook screen. so Facebook’s solution was mobile Sponsored Stories. These sponsored stories first started showing up in March and, while seeing them occasionally isn’t bad, showing too many could make people angry and less likely to visit.

Now Facebook must walk the tightrope. Inject too many ads in the mobile news feed and people will stop visiting, inject too few and it will lose money. No pressure, there’s just a half a billion mobile users watching. (TechCrunch)


Wine and Social Media – The Perfect Blend

Lightning in dark sky

Wine is a very social product – in fact it’s considered to be the most social of beverages. Talking to other enthusiasts and comparing tasting notes enhances the whole wine drinking experience. Therefore, wine lends itself very well to social media, as both are powerful tools when it comes to building relationships. Social media, like wine, is a great way to connect with people; and wineries can use its various platforms, not only to directly connect with consumers, but also to establish themselves in the industry and increase brand awareness. Wine is very much a conversation piece, and social media presents a perfect environment for that conversation.

Consumers are living, learning, connecting, and buying on the Internet. So anyone who wants to sell or promote a product in a competitive market must be engaging their customers online. If your consumers or buyers are on the web, this is where you need to be. No matter how good your wine is, if nobody knows about it, it does not exist.

Social media gives wine producers the tools to talk directly with their customers, and build relationships online, which can translate into increased loyalty and sales. Wine is a unique product in that people actually want to talk about it. Therefore, I believe the wine industry has one of the highest potentials for success through social media. So why aren’t more wineries and vineyards embracing it?

The wine industry tends to maintain a very traditional market. Therefore, many wineries are hesitant to embrace new media. Though the adoption of social media by wineries has greatly accelerated, it is among the slowest industries to do so. Many wine producers need reminded that consumers – not critics – are the most important.

Wineries have the ability – through social media – to reach younger wine consumers directly and become just as influential on their buying decisions as the Wine Spectator or Robert Parker. If these consumers form a relationship online with your winery, they will be lifetime customers. This presents an amazing opportunity, and those who ignore it are going to be left in the dust by the wineries that are embracing it.

Wineries and Vineyards can also utilize social media as a means of building relationships with wine bloggers, reporters, and other community influencers who may then use their influence to positively promote the winery. It is believed that many wine bloggers have a larger audience than the wine spectator, therefore online bloggers and social media influencers provide a powerful promotional tool that should not be overlooked. By using social networking channels effectively, you can encourage tourists to visit your winery, advertise events, create fans, have online conversations, and engage in dialogue.

Since your consumers legitimately want to interact with you online, it’s important you give them the opportunity. There are endless ways of doing this, from encouraging user-generated content to asking for feedback or hosting contests/giveaways. The most important thing is humanizing your brand, finding your voice, and engaging with your consumers.

There are several online tools to help wineries get the most out of their social media marketing efforts. For example, I enjoy Vintank – an easy-to-use online dashboard tailored specifically to the wine industry. You enter your information and the dashboard notifies you anytime someone mentions your winery, your wine, or any of your other keywords. Listening and monitoring online conversations through dashboards is a pivotal aspect of any social media campaign, and therefore cannot be ignored.

Wine and social media have created an incredible force within the industry that cannot be ignored. From winery-hosted Twitter tastings to placing QR codes on bottles, the Old World trade of winemaking is increasingly becoming more social and embracing technology.

The Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing

Night Sky

Social media is an unparalleled path of contact between you and your audience, and having a strong social network allows you to communicate effectively with existing and potential customers.  However, while the benefits of social media for businesses are endless, it is not a marketing miracle worker. Unfortunately, this seems to be the misconception of many companies that are entering the social media sphere for the first time. The incontestable buzz surrounding social media splendor creates a great deal of misapprehensions among business owners, causing them to approach social media marketing with unrealistic expectations.

Therefore, before giving up on your online marketing efforts, consider these (unpleasant) truths about social media (as outlined by Fast Company):


  1. Engagement Can’t Be Seen in Dollars: Until Lady Gaga, Skittles had the record for most likes and comments on a single Facebook post. Did it boost sales? “Anybody who says they can track that is in a bubble,” says Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Big Spaceship, the ad firm behind the Skittles campaign. Therein lies the problem. CEO’s and business owners want to see the ROI (return on investment) of social media, and they expect it to be in monetary terms. However, it’s nearly impossible to gauge exactly how much sales are social media driven, or put a dollar-value on a Facebook fan/like/comment. We’re not saying social media doesn’t affect sales – it does. It’s just nearly impossible to track or measure.
  1. Money Can’t Buy Everything: When it comes to marketing, social media really evens the playing field. While large corporations have more money to invest in online marketing and advertising, social media gives small businesses the opportunity to be just as successful online. Social media, at its core, is very inexpensive. Anything beyond that is an option – not a necessity. For example, to coincide with a daylong campaign, Kraft asked Klout to change the name of its social influence measurement “Klout score” to “fun score.” The answer: no. In social, platforms hold the power.
  1. Facebook Isn’t a Megaphone: Brands with more than 1 million fans reach only 3% to 5% of them a day, estimates Jeff Widman of analytics platform PageLever. To find out why, Widman asked social marketers if they ever visit fan pages as users. Their reply: “Oh, never.” Social media is about conversations. If you try to advertise to your fans and followers it will turn them off. The goal in social media communication is talking with your audience – not at them.

4. Content Rarely Goes Viral: Stop thinking in those terms, says Microsoft Research’s Duncan Watts: “Rather than ideas propagating for generations, almost everything terminates within one degree of the seed. If you want something to spread, generate an enormous number of seeds.”

5. You’re Being Watched: A big brand recently broke Facebook’s rule against using a post as a sweepstakes. Reps were in touch within an hour. “They don’t want brands gaming the system for engagement,” the brand’s rep admitted.

Schools Adopt Social Media Policies

Sunset and People on a Paddleboard

schoolsmIn this digital age, many companies have implemented internal social media policies that serve as social media best practice guidelines for employees. Doing so ensures effective stakeholder communication and helps avoid any unfortunate situations. However, now the trend is beginning to appear in schools across the country, as many school officials have begun drawing up rules regarding social networking — electronic communication between teachers and students.

School officials said electronic social networking has become a useful tool in connecting teachers with students and parents. But the officials said due to the very nature of electronic communication, there is a risk of blurring the lines between a teacher’s professional life and personal life. (HispanicBusiness.com)les regarding social networking — electronic communication between teachers and students.

Several schools across the nation have already implemented a social media policy for employees. On May 8, the nonprofit Edutopia released “How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School.” The free guide, released during Teacher Appreciation Week, is part of a collaboration with Facebook.

“Without having a plan and a focus on how you’re going to go about incorporating social media, you’re potentially going to find that you’re not able to reap the benefits,” says Cindy Johanson, executive director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, which produces Edutopia

The Edutopia primer includes examples from various schools, such as Minnesota‘s Minnetonka Public Schools social media policy, which explains how teachers should protect confidential information, ensure the safety of students online, and more.

Social media in the classroom appeals to teachers, as it provides a medium for students to share ideas and collaborate with peers from other classes on
projects. It also allows teachers to spread ideas beyond their classroom. Social media also facilitates parent engagement, which is essential for an effective school.

“It’s much more motivating for students at all levels—especially in high school—to be able to create work, get feedback, and share their work,” Johanson says. “So many educators on the front line are seeing this great opportunity where kids are no longer just creating work for an audience of one—which might have been, in the past, a teacher—but they’re able to produce work that can be shared in a much broader way.” (US News)