What is in store for LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter in 2010?

Category : Social Media

Check out this blog content on what might be developing for 3 of the big 5: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Release New Features with Revenue Implications

Posted Jan 27th 2010 12:30PM by Tom Johansmeyer

The three major social media sites have been pushing new tools out to their user communities aggressively over the past year. Each company has its own set of rumors, from IPOs to being on both sides of an acquisition. While the ultimate 2010 aims of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may not have been revealed to us yet, it is clear that all three are looking for ways to beef up revenue and demonstrate long-term viability.

Whether or not Facebook goes public this year, it’s still pointed toward that ultimate goal. The 350-million member social network is focused on finding new sources of revenue and gaining better penetration into those it already has. Even if it’s more than a year away, it’s never too soon to start shoring up your financial statements for an IPO. The latest new feature from Facebook, which has been announcing enhancements fairly rapidly over the past few months, is targeted directly at advertisers, underscoring the importance that the company’s attaching to revenue growth.

Right now, Facebook is testing out a tool that would allow advertisers to track conversions from Facebook ads, which would provide another layer of intelligence beyond the click-based information currently available. Brian Boland, manager of direct response solutions for Facebook, revealed the effort briefly while on stage at the OMMA Social conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The new utility would enable advertisers to buy “cost per acquisition” (CPA) advertising, in which it pays only for clickers who go on to make a purchase. The de facto advertising standard on Facebook right now is “cost per click” (CPC), which doesn’t involve the measurement of actual sales.

For cost-conscious advertisers, a CPA alternative is preferable, as the company would effectively be buying sales and could calculate the results, find optimal spreads between average consumer purchases and ad payments and maximize the results from their ad dollars. It would also be a differentiator from the ad solution offered by Google (GOOG), which is currently CPC.

According to Inside Facebook, the company isn’t ready to reveal much but does confirm its efforts toward improved ad conversion tracking: “We are constantly working on ways to provide greater value and measurement to our advertisers and are always testing new products and features to do that. Conversion tracking is among these tests and is currently available in beta to a small set of advertisers. Better measurement tools are often requested by advertisers and we have taken a number of steps to respond to these requests with different products. For example, we announced Nielsen BrandLift in September 2009 and have seen that this product provides many useful insights to advertisers.”

And, Facebook isn’t the only social media company pushing new features. Both LinkedIn and Twitter have announced enhancements, which is unsurprising as they have big dreams for 2010, like Facebook.

Twitter has been rolling out “Local Trends” since late last week to help users see what is being discussed at the city and state level. This effort appears to be part of a larger trend toward driving users to Twitter.com to interact with the platform directly and improve traffic as a way to bolster an ad-based revenue model, which is the direction Twitter has said it’s taking in 2010. On its blog, Twitter wrote, “Local Trends will allow you to learn more about the nuances in our world and discover even more relevant topics that might matter to you. We’ll be improving this feature over time to provide more locations, languages, and data through our API.”

New tools from LinkedIn are intended to make it easier for users to browse contacts and stay in touch with people. On its face, this may not seem groundbreaking, but the rapid increases in users common in the social media space through 2009’s aggressive growth, but unwieldy relationships and large networks put the value and utility of social media tools at risk. LinkedIn’s new browsing features are intended to help overcome the problem of oversized and cumbersome personal networks. So, in addition to the benefit of increased traffic, the new feature should reinforce loyalty and deeper use, which translates to a long-term advantage.

The subtlety is gone from the social media market. New features are coming quickly, each with the seemingly sole purpose of adding cash to the till, either through traffic means or improved advertising activity. It probably won’t stop here. Throughout 2010, look for more positioning, as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pursue whatever dreams are on their respective agendas.

Original Blog Post: http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2010/01/27/facebook-twitter-and-linkedin-release-new-features-with-revenue/


Whats up with the Apple Tablet PC?

Category : Uncategorized

I found this on  a great source for trending topics.

January 21, 2010 | Cody Barbierri |

 
ipadApple’s tablet has provided no shortage of rumors. Everything from design specs to pricing have flooded the internet from various media outlets and sources. As the mysterious January 27 “special event” comes closer, many wonder if the rumors will finally be answered. To gain a better perspective on the scope of rumors, we’ve put together a snapshot below of the most recent speculations.

I can’t think of anything more that defines a product like its name. With Apple’s tablet, several speculations have surfaced on just what this mystical device will be called. The Street’s Scott Moritz spotlights Apple’s past attempt at an “e-notepad” dubbed The Newton and subsequently refers to the new Apple table as The Newton II. Several more popular names to surface have been the “iSlate” and the “iPad” - derived from the tablet’s generally assumed appearance as a flat touchscreen device.

Many discussions have surfaced around the design of Apple’s tablet, which will have a major effect on how the tablet is used by consumers. Today, Apple Insider’s Kasper Jade highlighted some speculation from several sources that the tablet will in fact have similar features to the original iPhone apart from a larger screen, including an aluminum shell and identical buttons. A rendering provided by Flickr user  Fotoboer.nl shows what the sources say is a close match to the actual tablet, except the missing home button and volume toggle.

Another popular question among the rumors is what the Apple tablet will be used for by consumers. The Wall Street Journal highlights Steve Job’s vision of the tablet reshaping businesses involved with textbooks, newspapers and television. More specifically, through various resources close to the situation, the tablet may be geared towards families and students. Families being able to use the tablet to check email and and read the news and students using the tablet to access text books while in class. The tablet could also be an alternative to watching and playing games via a traditional television, as discussions have surfaced between Apple and CBS Corp and Walt Disney Co, along with video game publisher Electronic Arts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Connectivity continues to be a big issue for any device these days. While speculations conclude that Apple’s tablet will have Wi-Fi, a key feature would be 3G connectivity. A recent article from The Street suggests that the new tablet will in fact have 3G provided from a wireless chip by Qualcomm. Subsequently, this might mean that Apple has chosen Verizon as its partner, said Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar to The Street.

The final question on many people’s minds is how popular is Apple’s tablet going to be? A recent survey by ChangeWave Research concludes that out of a fairly decent sized test group, there is interest in the new device. Of some 3,000 plus individuals, 4% of respondents said they would ”very likely” buy the tablet while 14% said “somewhat likely.” Of those interested buyers, three-quarters said they would pay $500 or more, while 37% said they’d pay more than $700.


19% of On-line Americans use Twitter

Published by PewResearchCenter today, Twitter usage is up:

The number of Americans tweeting, or using another status-updating service similar to Twitter, has grown rapidly over the course of the year. Surveys conducted by Pew Research in December 2008 and April 2009 found that 11% of Americans who use the internet were on Twitter or a similar service. Today, nearly one-in-five online Americans (19%) are tweeting. Three groups are most responsible for the growth in tweeters: social networkers (35% tweet), mobile internet users (25% tweet) and young adults (37% of internet users ages 18 to 24 tweet). The median age of a Twitter user is age 31. By comparison, the median age for a Facebook user is age 33 (up from 26 in May 2008). More:


PewResearch:Internet User Profiles Reloaded

Category : Technology

Good info. on usage of internet & technology

________________________________________

Internet User Profiles Reloaded

Updated Demographics for Internet, Broadband and Wireless Users

January 5, 2010

Overview

In a national survey between Nov. 30 and Dec. 27, 2009, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds:

  • 74% of American adults (ages 18 and older) use the internet — a slight drop from our survey in April 2009, which did not include Spanish interviews. At that time we found that 79% of English-speaking adults use the internet.
  • 60% of American adults use broadband connections at home — a drop that is within the margin of error from 63% found in April 2009.
  • 55% of American adults connect to the internet wirelessly, either through a WiFi or WiMax connection via their laptops or through a handheld device like a smart phone. This figure did not change in a statistically significant way during 2009.

The most recent survey was conducted from Nov. 30 to Dec. 27, 2009, using landline and cell phones and including interviews in Spanish. Some 2,258 adults were interviewed and the overall sample has a margin of error of ± 2 percentage points.

Internet Users

Not all Pew Internet & American LIfe Project surveys include Spanish interviews, so these survey results are not completely comparable to all previous Pew Internet Project surveys. This latest survey finds that 74% of adults use the internet, a figure that has not markedly changed since early 2006, when we measured the online population at 73%. There is some variation from survey to survey. Here is the current profile of internet users1:

See the rest of this article at: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1454/demographic-profiles-internet-broadband-cell-phone-wireless-users


Happy New Year 2010!

Category : General

I moved my blog to  WordPress.com today and invite you to explore the new features I have added such as: Search, Subscribing, Flickr and Twitter.

Let’s make 2010 a  great year.


Wanted: Social Media & Web Analytics Package

Category : Technology

What do you use to track the activity generated by Social Media and Inbound Marketing? I’m looking for a web based solution that will help a small business track activity from the following sources in one package:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • YouTube Channel
  • Flickr
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Plaxo
  • Linked Websites
  • PURL Campaign

                                                          

Google Analytics will do some of this but not all. If I engage an ad agency they will provide analytics for the campaign. Yet, when I finish the work with the agency, my data and tools go away too. What can a business use to track and analyze all web oriented marketing activity?

Some tools I have heard of are:

ü  HubSpot: http://www.hubspot.com/

ü  Woopra: http://www.woopra.com/

ü  MutualMind: http://www.mutualmind.com/

ü  BuddyMedia: http://www.buddymedia.com/

Do you have any experience with these or other tools? I look forward to your comments.


Why is the US postal system losing money?

Tags :

Category : General

Why is the US postal system losing money?

By J.R. Atkins 12/18/2009

Non-competitive business practices or poor customer service; what would you call this recent experience with the US Postal Service?

Monday evening I went to get my mail when I noticed our community mail box had been knocked down. I went ahead and checked for mail, no luck.

Tuesday evening, same thing, no mail. This is when I figured that the mail is not going to be delivered if the boxes are not accessible from the rout carrier’s vehicle.

On Thursday I call my local post office and they tell me I can pick up my mail at their location and they have no idea when my mail box will be repaired.

On Friday, I go to the post office to pick up my mail and learn they don’t have my mail. It is at an annex. If I call the annex, they can deliver my mail each day to my local post office and I can come pick it up.

I call the annex, they said they can deliver my mail to my local post office on Saturday and I will need to call each day to get my mail. I cannot just let them know to keep delivering it there till I say otherwise. And, they have no online method of communication.

At this point, I am ready to find another way to receive my mail. This is how the free market system works. Business will go and stay where it is appreciated. When the service/cost offering deteriorates, then people find another solution. Thus: FedEx, UPS, Email, Fax, and Ecommerce are eating away at the US Postal System.

If I was paying an independent provider for mail service, how might this story have changed?

1.      The carrier would have come to my door, delivered the mail or left a note.

2.      The carrier would have placed a not on the downed ,mail box with instructions

3.      There would be information on the web and email communication available

4.      My monthly fee for mail delivery might be reduced until the mailbox is repaired.

The list could go on but you get the idea. So the question is, would we be better off with a privatized system for mail delivery?

J.R. Atkins is a Social Media Speaker and Consultant with Something Different Companies LLC.

 


CRM tie into Social Media

Category : Social Media , Technology

As I work with companies on their Social Media strategy and modifying their sales process it often comes down to having a CRM system that integrates well with Social Media, Websites, Blogs, FAQ and other user generated content.

At a recent industry event I learned how Salesforce.com has already built the integration (API) tools to tie into Twitter and Facebook so LinkedIn can’t be far behind. Yet, with Microsoft CRM it would be customization I’d have to pay for from a Partner.

As a consultant, I’m looking for ease of use, ease of implementation and low total cost of ownership. My hat is off to Salesforce.com for leading the way.


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