Twitter expands availability of its promoted products via mobile apps.
Twitter announced on February 28th that it had made Promoted Accounts available through apps on iPhone and Android devices, and that Promoted Tweets will soon be available on mobile apps. Previously, the products had been available through Twitter's mobile website, but not through its official mobile app.
Facebook reformats its brand pages.
Facebook announced a reformatting of its brand pages, with the change to become fully effective as of March 30th. There are some nuances to positioning a brand in the new format, as a function of both the revised style and the restrictions placed on brand pages. Search Engine Watch offers a guide to using the new format.
Search Engine Watch
msnNow drives traffic to Bing, though not all is true search traffic.
With its msnNow site, which compiles news stories based on what's hot on various social media networks, Microsoft seems to have found a way to drive more traffic to Bing. The new site increased its referrals to Bing by 21 percent in its second week. However, links in news stories are often de facto search URLs, meaning that some of what seems to be search traffic on Bing now is not intended that way by the user.
Search Engine Land
The Wall Street Journal calls Google+ a "virtual ghost town."
Google has cited some impressive growth figures for Google+, but these have been assisted by automatically creating accounts for all new Google users. A closer look at the numbers shows usage is less impressive: The average user on Google+ spends 3 minutes a month on the site, compared to 405 minutes on the leading site for this statistic, Facebook. Even the fading MySpace attracts users for an average of 8 minutes a month.
Search Engine Journal
User impatience raises the technology stakes for web companies.
According to the New York Times, some analysts say that users will choose a website less often if search times exceed 250 milliseconds. With smartphones and tablets increasing the demand for data, this is forcing web engineers to ramp up their efforts to improve response speed.
The New York Times
Facebook claims measurable results for new premium ads.
A Facebook marketing director claimed that in testing, its new premium ad programs yielded 5-10 times more clickthroughs, and a three-fold increase in return on investment. The new ad programs coordinate multiple appearances for an ad throughout a user's online experience, and include inserts into news feeds for people who have registered as liking a brand.
Survey shows growth in marketing budgets, with differences by sector.
In a February survey by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, marketing executives expected an average of 8.1% growth in budgets over the next 12 months, down from a 9.1% increase projected six months earlier. Differences by market sector are significant: The highest budget increase is expected for business-to-business, at an average of 13.2%, while business-to-consumer product marketers forecast the lowest increase, at an average of 3.3%.
Facebook's slowing growth rate may reflect saturation.
In 2011, Facebook's U.S. user growth rate slowed to 13.4%, down from 38.6% in 2010. Twitter's 2011 user growth rate rose to 31.9%, up from 23.5% the year before. Twitter's growth rate is expected to exceed Facebook's again in 2012 at 20.7%, compared to 6.6%, but this may simply be due to that fact that Facebook's market penetration is already so high.
New poll reveals that consumers suffer from digital advertising fatigue.
Infographics based on a poll by Upstream and YouGov lay out some telling statistics about the over-saturation of digital advertising, and the negative reaction that is the result. One example: the number of advertising impressions has gone from 172 billion in 1996 to 5 trillion in 2012, and response rates have dropped drastically.
Brand winners show up in new social media rankings.
New monthly statistics from Socialbakers demonstrate how brands are succeeding in their social media efforts. For example, Old Spice leads in YouTube video viewings, while Coca Cola has the largest number of fans on Facebook.