Vine is Blowing Up for Brands – Why?

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Vine Blowing Up for BrandsVine is the latest social video marketing platform and it’s taking off like wildfire. CNET reports Vine has 40 million users. And this is even after Instagram decided to copy Vine’s short video concept and use it on its social photo site. Twitter hit the nail perfectly with its six-second, looped videos. And brands are climbing on board to take advantage of their own efforts. And courting prominent Vine users to create videos featuring their brands.

Vine – Six Seconds of the Right Stuff

WebProNews reports Twitter users are just as likely to watch Vine videos as they are YouTube. The short videos match perfectly with the short message platform that Twitter provides. And brands need to learn how to show a concise, visually compelling method to catch attention. There are a variety of industries taking advantage of Vine. Although those that can be condensed into a short visual medium are doing the best. Examples include Urban Outfitter’s clothing selection. As well as Next’s furniture and the “Wolverine” movie. Stop motion is also a commonly used technique to fit more into a single clip.

Going Viral with Vine

You have only a few seconds to catch your customer’s attention. Vine’s six-second limit makes you work within a strict framework. You literally only get those few seconds to figure out how to attract the customer. And keep them watching and get your brand message across.

Humor is always one of your best bets for getting your Vine video to go viral. For example, Dove created a Vine video that shows people bowling with their soap and bath gel products. That’s a cute and clever way to show off their products. If your marketing message isn’t conductive to humor, try using visually distinctive techniques. And don’t forget to take advantage of the endless looping in Vine.

Also, don’t forget the appropriate hashtags. Since you do want to reach as much of your target audience as possible. Lowes has a particularly good Vine account. According to Adverblog, they utilize hashtags very effectively. The home improvement store uses brand specific and general tags, such as #Lowesfixinsix and #Howto. Vine videos are simple to share on other social networks. So don’t skimp on spreading them around and leveraging your existing audience.

Bring in the Vine Experts

Vine has only been out for seven months. But that’s more than enough time for some users to truly figure out what makes Vine tick. Some of these users are brands you can draw inspiration from. And some are budding Vine celebrities who are enjoying their Internet fame. The top Vine users include Jethro Ames. He produces household and how-to videos. Also, Khoa makes his videos out of construction paper. Also, Meagan Cignoli plays up the celebrity angle by posting behind the scenes fashion model Vines. Some of them are also more than happy to take money in exchange for creating custom Vine videos for your business. And promoting it to their entire social network. If you don’t want to go through trial-and-error to figure out exactly what you’re doing on Vine, this is one of the best ways to spend your marketing dollars.

Vine – Great for Slow Internet

YouTube has certainly generated plenty of brand awareness and money for businesses. But there’s one area it has a hard time penetrating. Rural areas of the United States suffer from limited Internet access. Those areas aren’t able to easily watch YouTube videos and other high-bandwidth content without the help of satellite Internet services. The Vine format is fast and quick-loading, whether you have a satellite Internet service such as Hughesnet.com or not. Essentially, Vine provides a similar marketing experience to YouTube without cutting off this massive user demographic.

Facebook on Smartphones: Leads Mobile Engagement

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Facebook on Smartphones: Leads Mobile Engagement

According to comScores’s new Mobile Metrix 2.0 report, released on May 7, 2012, Facebook ranks as the most engaging media property among U.S. Smartphone users. The average Facebook mobile user engaged for more than 7 hours in March, 2012. That’s good and bad news for Facebook. The good news is that Facebook’s overall usage and engagement continues to trend up and users spent more time on Facebook in March 2012 than in February 2012 on Smartphones.

Facebook Top Smartphone Properties by Total Unique Visitors

The bad news is that Facebook users are starting to spend more time on Facebook on their Smartphones than they are on their desktops (includes laptops, pads, etc.)

Problem is, Facebook is getting pennies on the dollar for mobile ad revenue compared to desktop ad revenue. We talk about this in our recent Blog Post “Never Underestimate the Zuck (Facebook Instagram deal)”. So it seems that as the popularity of accessing Facebook on Smartphones increases, the popularity of accessing Facebook on desktops is declining.

On Facebook, the top ranked mobile media property by engagement, 80 percent of time spent in March 2012 was represented by App usage compared to 20 percent via Browser

Analysis of the share of time spent across Apps and Browsers revealed that even though these access methods had similar audience sizes, Apps drove the lion’s share of engagement, representing 4 in every 5 mobile media minutes. Analysis of the top properties also revealed widely varying degrees of time spent between App and Browser access methods. Also, the Facebook mobile App ranked within the top five Apps on both iOS and Android platforms, securing the #3 spot among iPhone users (80 percent reach) and the #5 position with Android users (68.9 percent reach). Generally, social networking proved to be a particularly popular activity on smartphones with Facebook once again leading the pack among social networking brands (Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.).

Facebook Selected Social Networking Properties

Facebook released an interesting disclaimer in its recent IPO filing document

“If users increasingly access mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers, and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users, our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected.” (Excerpt from Facebook’s Pre-IPO doc). So, Facebook is obviously tuned into the phenomenon of increased mobile usage=decreased desktop usage and is working on their mobile strategy to increase revenue from mobile. We think that at least part of Facebook’s mobile revenue will be driven from the way that Facebook re-implements Instagram and how it accesses Timeline (where some of the ads are now, and more seem likely to come). On the other hand, maybe Facebook will announce a new Facebook Mobile Phone soon. If they do that post-IPO, that announcement could send Facebook’s then public stock soaring 150%. Hmm. Sounds like a plan. We await future Facebook announcements with great anticipation (stay close to this one)!

Social Media Market Share Real-Time Statistics

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Social media marketing and sharing is dominated by the big five: Facebook, YouTube, Stumble Upon, Twitter and Pinterest

As of the end of June, 2012, Facebook dominates with over 900 million users who spend the most minutes per month on the site – typically over 400. Most users are ~60% female except for LinkedIn that’s ~60% male.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Social Media Market Share

Social Media
Stats are based on aggregate social media and other data collected by StatCounter on a sample exceeding 15 billion pageviews per month.

Social Media Infographic: Social Networking Sites

For more articles and information on Social Media, click here.

Big Data and Social Media Analytics

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Big Data and Social Media Analytics

Big Data, in case you’re unfamiliar, refers to data sets that are so large that they’re awkward to work with. Forget megabytes or gigabytes. With Big Data we’re currently working with terabytes, petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes of data (over 2.5 quintillion bytes daily and growing). Social Media (as a social instrument of communication) is greatly impacting the growth of Big Data (as an industry); and Big Data is providing established and aspiring social enterprises and organizations with the data to help them understand how to better function, grow and manage as a social business.

Highlights of the daily Big Data stream

  • 1 Billion plus Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest visitors generating many Billions of messages, statuses, comments, posts, content uploads, etc.
  • 2 Million plus Blog posts
  • 300 Billion plus emails
  • 22 Million hours of TV Shows and Movies watched on Netflix
  • 2 Billion plus videos watched on YouTube
  • 900,00 plus hours of video uploaded to YouTube
  • 19 Million plus hours of music streamed on Pandora
  • 1 Petabyte plus of game content processed by Zynga

The above list only represents some Big Data data types that we’re most familiar with. There are also financial transactions, imaging data, and much more information that flows into the Big Data stream. To help understand just how big Big Data is, consider this: more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire history of the world before that. Yes, rewind and play if you haven’t heard this statistic before.

Big Data is being used in many ways and in many fields and industries

Big Data is used in Medical research, personalized medicine, computer sciences and business, to name a few. In a Social Business, we rely on Big Data daily and could not operate very well without it. We use Big Data to help manage strategic business functions including: marketing, customer support, sales, and much more. And, Big Data is also starting to help us understand how much of our Social activities contribute to Business ROI, mainly in the marketing area (i.e., we can’t yet effectively measure other business silos as well as marketing). Today, it’s important for all enterprises and organizations to know what their return on investment is relative to what they’re spending on Social. Those numbers are generally looking very good for those social enterprises and organizations that are doing social right and have been doing it for a while.

Think of how far marketing data has traveled from the days of “mention this ad to save 20%”, to today’s robust social analytics software that mines Big Data and helps us analyze what people are thinking, sharing, saying and doing in real-time. With Big Data, in the Social realm we’re able to identify important trends, gauge sentiment for brands and products, and so much more. Essentially, Big Data helps us control the conversation and respond (quickly) to what people really want to talk about; and, introduce content (quickly) that people are really interested in. No doubt, Big Data will help grow many established and aspiring social enterprises and organizations to great heights in the next 2-to-4 years.

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Related Posts in Big Data, Business ROI and Social Business ROI:

The Road Less Travelled: Social Business ROI
Google Analytics Social Reports Ties Social Channels to Business ROI
Social Business and the Growth of Shared Value
Social Business ROI: Myths and Successes

Google Analytics Social Reports Ties Social Channels to Business ROI

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Google Analytics Social Reports Ties Social Channels to Business ROI

Marketers and business owners are now one step closer to being able to track the true value of social channels to their Business ROI within Google Analytics. Google just released their latest social tracking tool “Social Reports” and it’s fully integrated within Google Analytics.

The main reason that social media is so hard to measure is that most social interactions occur off of the business’ website. For example, there may be a vibrant and active Facebook community having constant conversations about a business product, but all these conversations are happening off of the main business website, which means that Google Analytics can’t track what the end result of that conversation is – until now. Google Analytics with Social Reports attempt to bring together social actions that are happening on the website with social actions happening off the website to provide marketers a more accurate, complete picture of business ROI.

How Social Reports Work: An Imagined Scenario

Let’s imagine that Sally is a woman in her mid-twenties who follows her favorite vintage clothing store on Twitter and Facebook. On Monday, she sees a tweet on her smartphone about a new sale on go-go boots. Intrigued, she clicks the link and scrolls through the pictures. She’s on her lunch break, though, so she doesn’t have time to do anything more than look.

A few days later, Sally is still thinking about the go-go boots and goes back to the site. This time, she happily places an order for a pair of bright red, knee-high go-go boots.

The old Google Analytics wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between a Sally who’d originally clicked through thanks to the tweet versus a Sally who discovered the go-go boot sale page on her own. However, the new Google Analytics with Social Reports can tell the difference.

To describe which social media channels and campaigns eventually result in a sale, Google Analytics with Social Reports is borrowing a word from basketball: assist. An assist is earned when you pass the ball to someone else, who then scores a basket. Applied to Google Analytics with Social Reports, an “Assisted Social Conversion” is a sales or goal conversion that originates with an action from a social media site. In Sally’s case, Google Analytics with Social Reports recognizes that Sally originally came to the site thanks to Twitter, left, came back later and eventually made the purchase. This is an “Assisted Social Conversion.”

Google Analytics with Social Reports also provides a measurement called “Last Interaction Social Conversions.” This means that the action the user took immediately preceding a conversion was a social action. For instance, if Sally had clicked on the link in the tweet and immediately purchased the go-go boots, this would have been counted by Social Reports under the “Last Interaction Social Conversions” header.

Google Analytics Social Reports Ties Social Channels to Business ROI

Social Reports: Which Social Network is Boosting Your Business?

Another feature of the Google Analytics with Social Reports is the ability to compare and contrast the value of one social channel to another. For example, Sally’s favorite vintage clothing store tweeted about the sale on go-go boots, but they also might have posted a photo album of boots on their Facebook page, as well. When the store’s marketing team examines the results in Social Reports, they might find that the tweet led to 20 conversions, while the Facebook photos yielded 60 conversions.

Which social media channels will Google Analytics with Social Reports enable marketers to better track? To name a few:

• The big ones – Facebook, Twitter and of course Google+
• Digg
• Disqus
• Blogger
• Meetup
• Reddit

Except for Facebook, these are the biggest names in Google’s Social Data Hub Partners, but there are more and Google intends to keep growing the list. As of right now, Facebook is not a Social Data Hub Partner, which means that Google can’t provide as much drill-down data to its Analytics users for Facebook as it can, say, with Reddit. Even though the drill-down information for Facebook is not available, the new social tracking still improves ROI data, especially when marketers combine information from Analytics with Facebook Insights.

How to Get Started with the New Social Reports

Google Analytics first started to offer basic social reports back in the summer of 2011. This was the time when you might have noticed that the look/feel of your Google Analytics page shifted. At that time, you should have updated the Google Analytics code on your website. If you didn’t, installing that code is the first step to better social media reporting.

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We’d like to hear your thoughts on Google Analytics Social Reports, Social Business ROI or Social Media – the good, the bad and the ugly. Share them in the comments section below.