Facebook owns spectacular portions of its users’ time and has the right to use their data; this is the basis for Facebook’s significant revenue potential and is a great reason why we should hold Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to very high standards. But Facebook’s success is not nearly sufficient cause for the level of demonization that occurs today in popular media and among social media insiders. Facebook deserves the scrutiny it receives, but the excessive reputational lynching that is underway could result in outcomes that are contrary to the interests of both consumers and marketers.
How bad has the Facebook scaremongering gotten today? I opened my latest issue of Maxim to find “The 12 Most Dangerous Men in the World: Meet the Dirty Dozen who very well could be the last people you see before you die.” And there, stuck between the Mexican drug lord who uses severed heads as a warning to rivals and the Jamaican drug lord responsible for street battles, is Mark Zuckerberg. To be fair, the magazine was being comical, citing as a threat “annoying people from your past ‘friending’ you” and including Brian Austin Green in the same list; still the casual and easily accepted association between Facebook and evil is not without repercussions.
One of the reasons marketing on social networks is so popular is that the consumers a brand can reach are largely active, vocal and willing to connect -- with each other and with their favorite brands. But did you know that 22% of US online adults with cellphones access their social networks via mobile at least monthly? In my new report, I explore research that shows that these particular social networking users are even more active, vocal and willing to connect than the general population.
Consumers who access social networks via mobile over-index on every rung of the Social Technographics® ladder, except for inactives. More interesting? Mobile social users have specific, focused intentions that differ from desktop mobile users: They're interested in immediacy, entertainment, and in knowing which of their friends and favorite places are physically nearby.
Keeping in mind the specific interests of these extremely socially active consumers, marketers can optimize their already-existing social campaigns to make them even more successful for mobile users. For recommendations on how to optimize your own campaigns with little additional effort or cost, check out the full report.
Have you already optimized your social messaging for mobile users? If so, I'd love to hear what you changed and what the results were. Head to the comments section to share your case studies!
Today’s Bing news is very interesting, not because the new functionality that Microsoft and Facebook announced is terribly powerful, but because it demonstrates how the next great evolution of search will occur. In brief, Bing announced two new ways it is introducing social data into its search results:
Enhancing results with Facebook Likes: If you search on Bing and your Facebook friends have "liked" something related to your search term, you will see those "likes" highlighted within your search results. The idea behind this functionality is that something your friend "likes" will be more interesting to you than other search results.
Facebook profile search: Bing reports that more than 4% of searches are for people. Of course, trying to find a particular Bob Smith can be a challenge, which is why Bing will utilize your Facebook network to help you find the Bob Smith that is most likely the one you seek.
Barring any unforeseen technical difficulties, I'll be livetweeting from the Facebook press event tomorrow, October 6, 2010. Facebook hasn't said what the event is about, but speculation is circulating about a Skype integration, an evite-like event feature, Facebook credits or enhanced social gaming.
If you're curious, follow me on Twitter (@augieray) or watch the widget below for a live feed of tweets from Facebook in Palo Alto, Calif. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am PDT/1:30 pm PDT.
Since 2007, Forrester has tracked the growth of social behaviors. For years we’ve seen increases in more complex social behaviors such as Creators—those who generate social content including YouTube videos and blog posts. But for the first time, we’re seeing a change in the growth trend. Our latest 2010 Global Social Technographics report demonstrates that many social behaviors have reached a plateau. Why, and what does this mean to marketers?
There is not a single answer to those questions. The reasons span things as complex as human nature and as simple as Web site usability. For example, is it sensible to believe that Creator behavior will ever be universal? Not every person has a burning need to be a reporter, an industry expert, a videographer, a musician, a thought leader, an editor or a broadcaster. The fact that more than 1 in 5 online adults in the US are exhibiting Creator behavior is a testament to how social technologies have lowered the bar, since these tools have allowed more people to create and distribute their ideas, opinions and creations than was ever possible in the past.
For a company that thrives on transparency, Facebook's advertising isn't very transparent. Check out your Facebook home page, note the ads on the right side, and tell me what companies they're for. Sure, the ads probably cite brand or company names in the headlines and images, but who are the companies who paid for those ads? Where will you end up if you click those ads? And an ever better question is, what will happen if you "Like" the ad--will you be giving information to a trusted brand or a spammer?
Now go to Google, conduct a search, and check out the AdWords on the right side. Who sponsors those ads? And where will you end up if you click on those ads?
Google advertising is transparent, and Facebook advertising is not. The difference is a single line of text: AdWords creates transparency by including a "Display URL." Within ad AdWords, advertisers can set different Destination and Display URLs, but the two must be within the same domain so that (in the word of Google's AdWords form), "users know what to expect when they click your ad." (The reason there is a difference between the Destination and Display URLs is so that advertisers can direct people to a specific page in their domain while displaying the much shorter root domain in the ad ).