How aggressively Fortune 500 companies promote and protect their brand using social media? Here are the stats for the year 2015 along with how corporate giants are using different social media platforms.
How aggressively Fortune 500 companies promote and protect their brand using social media? Here are the stats for the year 2015 along with how corporate giants are using different social media platforms.
New Year celebrations are just around the corner and if you still haven’t decided on your party destination then Facebook has got some options for you. Facebook has just launched Events Discovery Application to help iOS mobile users to track nearby events. This new mobile feature will be made available to 44.53 million iPhone users in 10 Major US cities, who can search for latest events update on the basis of their location. Besides improving its event notification service, Facebook is aiming to attract more online audiences, since its social login activity in the past two years has taken a slight dip.
Additionally, it allows iOS users to choose a particular event of their liking from categories ranging from Entertainment & Music to Food & drinks, Nightlife, Sports and Fitness. And if you’re not too happy with the current happenings in your city then you can search for a different location to get a fair idea about what’s happening in other nearby places.
At present, though this feature is being rolled-out to iPhone users across 10 major US cities, there’s no need for Android users to get disheartened. Team Facebook, after beta testing it out in these 10 cities, will extend the service to Android users as well.
With only 450 million active world-wide users, Facebook’s Events section has for long, taken a back seat. It is one of the reasons why Facebook wants to revamp it completely by displaying such public events in its News Feeds section alongside smarter notifications of related events. Nowadays, with more information related to public events being dispersed regularly in its news feed section, Team Facebook is only too happy to build a strong Event Product for its dashboard.
In the meantime, let’s see what Facebook’s Product Manager, Aditya Koolwal has to say about this new development through his recent blog post.
“We have a good sense of how people look for things to do. The social signals we have, the friends who are interested in going, the friends you can potentially go with — that’s our bread and butter, so we’re going to try and take advantage of that as much as we possibly can as we roll out more discovery features.”
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Facebook, Google and Apple dominated the list of Top Ten Smartphone Apps of 2015 according to a survey conducted by Nielsen group. In the process, the above mentioned three companies swept away all the top ten positions.
The online survey reported an 80% growth in the ever blooming US smartphone market at the end of Q3, 2015. In comparison, a recent popular survey by comScore reported a 78% surge in the smartphone market.
Talking about the survey report by Nielsen group, it placed Facebook and YouTube in the first and second position in the list of Top Mobile Apps of 2015. Facebook Messenger came a near third followed by Google subsidiaries taking up the next four positions. Google Apps – Search, Play, Maps and Gmail grabbed these honors.
On the other hand, it was the Facebook Messenger which reported a growth surge of 31% on a yearly basis. Following suit was Apple Music, which grew at an amazing pace after its launch a year ago. The most amazing thing about the survey was that three companies dominated the listings of top ten apps and apparently the online traffic. However that doesn’t reflect in the Nielsen group’s reports, which ranked the top ten apps on basis of their audience reach.
In comparison, comScore’s most recent survey that lists Top 15 Apps slightly differs from the Nielsen group’s. It includes Pandora, Yahoo Stocks, Twitter and Amazon with the final two entries getting a mention in the last five positions. In addition to that, comScore’s Top 15 Apps do not list Apple Music or Apple Maps in the top 10 positions.
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Much to the amazement of 1.44 billion monthly active users, Facebook’s currently working to strictly enforce its infamous real-name policy, making it mandatory for a user to use either a real name or a name they are known by.
This will enable the No.1 ranked Social Networking Site to address two of its user based concerns: Minimizing the number of people asked to verify their names and Simplifying user’s process of verification.
As a new user, you’ll be required to come up with some explanation as to why you want to be addressed with a particular name of your choice.
For instance, you may wish to be known by some famous Hollywood actor or a public figure’s name because you are a die-hard fan. In such a scenario, you’ll have to come up with relevant personal information justifying why you desire to be known by some other name, which will be reviewed by Team Facebook.
This recent move by Facebook has raked in heavy criticism from its worldwide user base; especially from transgender communities and victims of domestic violence or cyber bullying. But the new set of tools recently released by Facebook may just put an end to this worldwide criticism.
Previously, as a newly signed-up user, you may have used a different or fake identity for your Facebook username. But the release of new set of enhancements will ensure that such a matter is reported and scrutinized by Facebook’s team of experts. As a result, unlike your previous fake profiles, you won’t be able to get away with a fake user ID without giving a valid explanation for the doing the same.
This also means that if your “real name” is not accepted by Facebook, then you’ll be served a seven day grace period to come up with necessary documents as part of the new verification system. Previously, the company used to suspend those accounts which it deemed as fake ones.
These features are currently being tested for mobile and desktop users in the US, before the company officially rolls it out early next year to simplify the user verification process.
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The saying “old habits die hard” goes well with Google’s monogamous attitude of competing with everyone. After the recent Apple and Facebook showdown, the search giant is now taking interest in the growing popularity of Pinterest.
Pinterest, launched in 2010, comprises of a simple dashboard functionality that allows you to pin all your favorite images in one place and is slowly becoming the next popular destination after Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Taking a clue or two from its simple dashboard features, Google announced a new photo bookmarking feature along similar lines, which caters to mobile users of Google images.
“The perfect image of your next big adventure, knitting project or style-changing haircut is bound to exist somewhere out there. But what happens once you find the image? Take a screenshot? Maybe try to save the webpage? Starting today there is an easier option: you can now star and bookmark images directly from Google’s image search in your mobile browser.”
Google’s new add-on feature works much like Pinterest. It allows users to return to photos and bookmark the pages on which they found those images. Not just that, users can even create groups of similar items known as Collections, which pretty much work the same way as Pinterest Boards.
On the other hand, users carry-out all these activities in their personal space. This means that such private information cannot be shared with friends or other users.
Taking all these parameters into consideration, it can be said that it is too early for the new Google feature to present any sort of challenge to Pinterest’s already established features.
Moreover, Pinterest’s visual search option, which allows users to scour through more than 50 billion Pins on its ever expanding network, is already giving a tough fight to Google’s search capabilities.
But, at the moment, this new image feature is only available to mobile users in the US on Android and iOS platforms.
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Despite conceding a 2% social log-in deficit, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the one who’s laughing all the way to the bank. The reason being, Facebook recorded another blockbuster quarter by registering a $4.5 billion earning in its third quarter financial report of the year. Well, that was expected of the social networking giant, which attracts more than one billion daily users and eight billion daily video views on a regular basis.
Not only that, the No.1 social networking site also believes in keeping businesses and marketers happy by providing them with more online business solutions than ever before. Here are four actionable takeaways that one can expect from the social referral giant:
Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg makes a point or two when she states that businesses can also leverage Facebook’s platform to subscribe Instagram’s Ad services to market their product better. This in-turn expands the visibility of their brand that is increasingly becoming smart phone friendly. Moreover, she says that an average American adult spends 20 percent, out of the total 25 percentage of mobile browsing time, on either Facebook or Instagram.
She was quoted as saying
Businesses are lagging behind consumers in making this shift to mobile, and we believe we’re well positioned to help them catch up. Facebook Pages are already the mobile solution for millions of businesses. Pages now offer better messaging capabilities, call-to-action buttons and news sections that enable businesses to highlight important information.
These days, a lot of businesses are tapping Facebook’s video feed potential to explore further sales opportunities. In fact, since September this year around 1.5 million SMEs posted videos on both organic and paid platforms. Explaining this point further, Sandberg added, “That’s not happening at that high a level on any other platform, but with us it’s cheap, it’s very easy to use and that gives us a way to continue to work with SMBs and increasingly grow our business with them”.
Larger enterprises too are effectively using the medium as a part of their TV campaigns. Sheryl mentioned a Neilsen survey report which indicates that the marketers, who are currently exploring Facebook’s popular video option to effectively market their TV ad campaigns, not only maximized their reach but also experienced a surge in the brand recall rate to go alongside the likeability factor. For instance, GMC effectively leveraged Facebook’s video ad platform to extend their brand visibility, which registered a growth of 13 points in its ad recall rate and a surge of six points in brand likeability factor.
Sandberg further added
Video on Facebook gives marketers not just mass reach, but better cross-device targeting and measurement than we believe is available on any other platform.
Not only that, larger set-ups are getting more creative in terms of exploring more advertising opportunities on Facebook. A recent example of that is IKEA, who smartly used carousel ads in Norway when their stores were closed.
Sandberg states that
[T]hey turned a $35,000 investment in carousel ads into $2 million in sales which happened precisely when they want it to happen”. That’s a direct response ad buy because it’s very specific carousel ads product but it’s also a brand play for them as they strengthen their brand and get people to interact with them as they want them to.
She further added that after its February launch this year, Facebook’s dynamic product Ads are providing more opportunities to businesses to market their products effectively on Facebook’s ad platform and reaping dividends in terms of better ROI. However, she didn’t back up her claim with any specific evidence. But she did add that brands like Marriott and the Latin-American e-commerce set-up, MercadoLibre are using it to remarket their products and services in 13 other countries around the world. Sandberg further added that both the above-mentioned companies are currently seeing it as a better investment option after witnessing a surge in their ROI.
So, how much of a role does your social media presence play in influencing the purchase decisions of your potential customers? On the basis of Local Consumer Survey 2015 conducted by Bright Local, listed below are some actionable takeaways on the basis of their age group, thought pattern and how they react to these online reviews on local businesses as such.
Based on the survey results, it was observed that more than 90% of consumers refer to these reviews as compared to more than 85%, who referred them last year. Moreover, the results showed that consumers are quickly forming their opinion about businesses with 40% of consumers admitted that they read about more than two reviews as compared to last year where only 29% of consumers were quick to form their opinion.
The above-mentioned observations are pretty much consumer specific and can be utilized by the local businesses and the SEO’s to further improve the bottom-line of their business.
In order to better understand the consumer’s needs, the study was further carried out by segmenting the consumer’s needs on the basis of their age group. The data was classified on three age group categories to see whether the young consumers form their opinion faster than their older compatriot, which is done as below
1) 18-34 Age Group
2) 35-54 Age Group and
3) 55 plus Onwards Age Group
The above observations clearly indicates a huge difference between the click-through behavior of the younger as compared to the older lots of consumers, wherein the younger consumers were found to be more active online. Let us analyze their click-through behavior in detail.
18-34 Age Group
More than 55% of these online customers search at least once in a month, while more than 40% of searchers do it once in a week followed by a massive 21%, who do it on a daily basis.
So as a business owner or from your client perspective, it becomes all the more important for you to have strong online visibility across all the popular social channels.
35-54 Age Group
Almost 50% of this age category can be found searching online anywhere between 1 to 10 times a year. They are behind their younger compatriots of 18-34 age group but still 31% remain active on a weekly basis.
55 Plus Age Group
The least active of the online searchers come from this age group, wherein half of them are active up to 5 times per year followed by less than 20% of folks, who do it only once or never on a yearly basis.
After knowing, which among the age groups are mostly seen browsing real time, it is still not clear whether they do study these online reviews or not.
This brings us to the conclusion that more or less consumer of all ages study these reviews as such with the younger ones reviewing them a regular basis while more than 85% of the older age group(55 plus) frequently or occasionally studying them.
It’s a great news for all businesses alike, who are targeting all age groups to conclude that it’s highly likely that your potential customers will study these reviews.
Studying these business reviews is altogether a different thing, then knowing the fact that to which extent the consumer study these reviews and do they actually believe them.
*NOTE: respondents were asked to select as many answers as they want
The difference in age group shows up in the above observations with the younger lot often seen to be active on their smart phones frequenting these reviews through the mobile browsers and apps.
More than 60% aged 18-34 studied these review through their mobile internet with more than 30% aged 35-54 as compared to more than 10% aged 55 plus online searchers.
On the basis of the preference of devices for the above-mentioned age group segments, we can make the following assumptions as below
PC / desktop:
It was observed through surveys that more than 70% of all consumers had studied these reviews on their PC (Desktop/ Laptop). This makes PC as the most inhabited medium, which is most frequented by the older lot than younger ones aged 18-34.
Smart access through mobile internet:
It was observed that more than 35% of the consumers preferred their mobile internet to study these online reviews.
The younger lot aged 18-34 were the regular online visitors in this category with 35-54 age group coming a near second position while the 55 plus age groups were the infrequent visitors of the lots.
Using Apps to study these online reviews follows similar pattern as above with rather less consumption of review
Surprisingly, Amongst all the mobile device options, Tablets seems to grab the attention of the 55+ age group consumers. This is due to the fact that they seem to prefer larger screen size to search or research particular websites.
It also becomes evident from the fact that if given a choice they are more likely to pick up a tablet than a small screen mobile device.
It was observed from the above surveys that around 80% give equal weightage to reviews and recommendations while more than 70% of consumers also agreed to follow the suit if it matches their requirements.
This brings us to the conclusion that there is certain correlation that exists between the age groups and the trusting levels of the respondents with the younger lot more likely to trust reviews as compared to the older ones.
Still that trust factor is hard to come with a large chunk of consumers pointing certain conditions to be met before they actually trust them completely.
On the basis of the full survey report, it was observed that consumers are forming their opinion at a faster rate with more than 85% don’t go beyond the tenth review to make their final decision, which is irrespective of the age difference..
Moreover, a large percentile of 55 plus age group consumers don’t study any reviews since they aren’t active searchers.
The percentile of consumers studying 1-10 reviews is as below
Since consumers of all age groups form their opinion after going through a handful of reviews. This makes all the more important for businesses not only to have positive reviews on their sites but also update the new ones on a regular basis.
It was observed that more than 85% of 18-34 age group reviewed about local businesses through Facebook, Twitter or Google plus social media profiles. As compared to the half percentile of the 35-54 age group consumers with over 20% of the 55 plus age group leveraging their social media presence. This brings us to further conclusion that social media is more preferred medium for the younger lot of searchers with more than 65% of 55 plus age group prefer the informal medium of communication such as word of mouth. All in all, Facebook and the informal way communication are the two most preferred medium of communication with the ratio depending on the age group of consumers as such.
From our above observations, it can be concluded that consumers of all age groups will either review or refer local businesses largely on the basis of their age group and preferred mode of communication. But as a Business owner or SEO, you need to ensure maximum brand visibility across all the popular social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc. and at the same time take care that they are creating a good first impression on your target consumer which is more than enough to take care of the bottom-line of your business.
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It’s a news that Facebook enthusiasts are eagerly looking forward to happening sometimes in the future. Sometimes rumored and long discussed Facebook “Dislike” button will officially come into existence with its compatriot “Like” button.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed this latest development, during his Town hall interaction, where he spoke in detail about the nuances of creating such an option for the user.
Moreover, he added that the process is in the beta stages and the company is still researching on the new option before it goes live on their dashboard. It’s a bit more complicated and a time-consuming process may go “live” sometime in the future, but no time limit was given as such.
On his decision to add the “Dislike” button, Zuckerberg said that it stemmed from the fact that the most users often wish to express their other emotions but are hampered by the unavailability of such an option.
On the contrary, Zuckerberg’s recent statement contradicts his December last year’s Q&A statement where he was rather apprehensive in introducing the new feature on grounds that it may spread a feeling of negativity among its users.
This new announcement comes after Google started showing more interest in acquiring the No.2 ranked Social Networking site and officially began to display tweets in its search results.
But whatever may be the reason, it will definitely add up to the popularity meter of the No.1 ranked social networking site.
What are your views? Let us know in your comments below.
The battle of supremacy between the two social media giants is taking a new turn with the Facebook driving more referral traffic than the Google. This not so surprise change in the supremacy of power was evident by the recent pullback of services by Google as compared to Facebook making some great acquisitions in its ranks. This is an indicator of the growing popularity of Facebook as the numero uno of social media industry.
It’s not just about acquiring the numero uno position, but its pitted between social referral and social engine referrals.
According to a recent Parse.ly study, Google has been toppled by Facebook as the ace referral source for digital publishers.
On this recent power shift, Andrew Montalenti, The CTO of Parse.ly says that many factors are behind this change. But the major breakthrough came back a year back, when Facebook started taking it more seriously in forging ties with them and start promoting it:
About the move, he says that “I believe the reason Facebook did this is because they realized that a lot of the interesting conversations happening around the web were happening around major news, media and information, but the user-generated content was not enough to sustain the interest of Facebook’s users population.”
That was the main reason behind Facebook launching Instant Articles to strengthen the ties with the publishers in an attempt to revive and promote its news feed content
“All of these initiatives taken together you might describe as a gradual but nonetheless accelerated courtship Facebook is doing with media companies to encourage them to care just as much about Facebook content optimization as perhaps they cared about search engine optimization.”
Going further with the story, Montalenti says that No.1 ranked social media hubspot will forge new ties with publishers and developers in an effort to constantly serve its News feed section, and in the process it might have aced in the rankings, which is the main reason behind the sudden surge of Facebook in toppling the ranking charts alongside the No.1 search engine.
“Facebook is already providing close to 40 percent of traffic among other referral sources that we’ve identified, and that is only rivaled by Google and search as a channel.”
But Google still rules the roost as the No.1 search engine both in terms of referral source and in attracting highest referral web traffic and Montalenti can’t see anyone toppling it in the near future. About the credibility of the Parsely data, he says that the source is much more indicative of a particular niche group in the online media, rather than the larger section of the web community.
Finally, Montalenti says that Facebook will find it tough in a way it works to beat Google in generating more web traffic as compared to Google, which can use its long search handle to good effect.
“Facebook is more like a serendipitous browsing activity for its users. So it kind of makes sense that it’s driving an increase in share of media brand traffic because media brands are taking advantage of the zeitgeist of current discussions in the community and Facebook is reflecting that in their News Feed algorithm.”
With that said, to make short of the story, Google still holds numero uno position as a major search engine referral source, which generates more online referral traffic as compared to Facebook, which is continuously a growing search referral community peaking at the right moment to gain the upper hand in this battle of supremacy as the numero uno.
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