On Twitter, Facebook, and dozens of other social sites, normal consumers often choose to keep tabs on the brands they love. In fact, many brands have highly optimized their marketing and PR strategies to accommodate that behavior, even going to far as to do one-to-one CRM (that’s customer or consumer relationship management ) through avenues such as Facebook and Twitter. As social CRM specialists Get Satisfaction found, many consumers who follow brands online are only in it for the perks. Around 40% of Facebook, MySpace and Twitter users in a recent study said they followed brands to get access to discounts and special deals. SEE ALSO: The Biggest Brands on Facebook [INFOGRAPHIC] Another common response in the same survey indicated that many consumers will follow a brand if they are current customers. And creating interesting, entertaining content online is another great way for brands to earn followers and fans on social services. Check out this infographic from Get Satisfaction and design shop Column Five for more details on why and how ordinary folks follow brands online. Click image to see full-size version. [ source: Get Satisfaction blog ] Top image courtesy of iStockphoto user Ridofranz . More About: brands , get satisfaction , infographic , MARKETING For more Business & Marketing coverage: Follow Mashable Business & Marketing on Twitter Become a Fan on Facebook Subscribe to the Business & Marketing channel Download our free apps for Android , Mac , iPhone and iPad
Valuations of social media companies are starting to remind us of 1999. But are they overvalued? Now that Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion, LinkedIn’s IPO valued the company at $8.9 billion after its first day of trading , and Facebook’s estimated value is pushing $100 billion , you might be starting to wonder if buying into user numbers rather than revenue is a good idea. Social media site G+ , a community of professionals, entrepreneurs and academics, put together this detailed infographic that lays it all out in front of you
Online influence is the golden fleece for politicians. Control of the digital world is becoming just as important as control of the offline world. This week we saw former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announce his presidential bid online, a breakdown of online Klout for presidential candidates, Twitter’s CEO announced as part of a White House telecommunication advisory council, and an official White House rapid response Twitter feed. This weekly series picks out the week’s top stories in the intersection of digital technology and politics. Tim Pawlenty Announces Presidential Bid on YouTube Tim Pawlenty announced he was running for president last Sunday in a video posted to YouTube. Oddly enough, the video actually pre-empted Pawlenty’s formal announcement planned for the following day, reported the New York Times . Pawlenty calls out President Obama for giving fancy speeches rather than fixing problems and claims that he, and not Obama, has the courage to tackle tough issues. Using YouTube may also help give Pawlenty’s image some color. Which Presidential Candidate Has the Most Klout
The Taliban has extended its propaganda efforts into the social media realm, sending its first tweet in English from the handle @alemarahweb. The account started tweeting in Pashtun in December 19. Its roughly 750 tweets detail what the Guardian calls “highly exaggerated reports” of strikes against the Taliban’s enemies. As of Thursday, some of these tweets have been written in English. Most of them are death tolls. This matches the message that the Taliban has distributed through its spokesmen and other media, including the Internet. Despite declaring the Internet unholy and banning its use for millions of Afghan citizens in 2000, the Taliban has maintained a website since at least 2001
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization, is going to award fighters with monetary bonuses for using Twitter, the head of UFC announced at the UFC Fighter Summit in Las Vegas. UFC and Strikeforce (another MMA promotion company, owned by the UFC) have a unique plan on how to do that. Starting June 1, they will divide their fighters into four categories based on their Twitter follower count. Then, after every three months, three fighters from each category will get a $5,000 bonus based on how many followers they’ve gained, the biggest percentage of new followers gained and the most creative tweets, judged by UFC head Dana White. This is an interesting and innovative approach to social media, uncommon in mainstream sports, where players are often reprimanded for tweeting . The UFC’s approach allows the big stars who already have a large Twitter following have the same chance of getting a bonus as the up-and-comers. UFC fighters and the MMA community are very lively on Twitter
The Modern Media Agency Series is supported by IDG . Marketers should know about two Ps for publishers — personalization and portability are as important to advertisers as they are to publishers. Consumers expectations are rising for information they want accessed on any device. IDG Global Solutions President Matt Yorke says this is new territory filled with a lot of promise. Read more . “Social media engagement.” It’s a phrase that generates a lot of buzz, but what does it actually mean? And, more importantly, why does it matter to companies that are integrating social media into their PR and marketing strategies? We turned to some of the leading communication experts to discover the importance of sparking online engagement and how this new focus has forced PR, marketing and advertising campaigns to evolve. Defining Social Media Engagement Ask five people to define engagement, and you’ll likely receive five different answers. Liz Hawks , SVP and global co-chair of FH Moms Practice , explained it like this: “Engagement is speaking with her (in this case, Mom) where she is, when she is looking for info and in the way she is looking for it.” Rob Clark , Edelman ’s director of insights and measurement, suggests thinking about engagement as the step from attention to action. “This may be a one-click social gesture such as a digg or like , or it may be a blog post written in response with a trackback, or it may be a letter written in response to an online campaign
Mashable CEO and founder Pete Cashmore interviewed Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley about the future of the company. Part of the vision Crowley outlined during the Q&A at South By Southwest Interactive included an announcement that the company is broadening its API and starting its Venue Project to “harmonize” place databases for other developers to use. “We’re really doubling down on our venue API,” said Crowley, “so that all the stuff that we’re creating for the product can be used by other people in the outside world.” Crowley also emphasized the importance of using Foursquare to engage with the real world, pointing to the benefits of earning badges as a way to encourage people to go to the gym or visit a museum. Watch the video for more. Subscribe to Mashable on YouTube for Our Latest Videos
This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication. Whenever you bring up the idea that the cycle of innovation must, at some point, come to an end, you inevitably evoke the memory of Charles Duell. For the uninitiated, Duell was the commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in 1899 supposedly said , “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” We can all have a good laugh at Duell’s expense now (even though he may never have actually said that), but perhaps we shouldn’t. After all, isn’t Duell’s sentiment generally true in a lot of cases? For instance, have cars really changed that much since the ’50s? Sure, they’re more fuel efficient and they now have OnStar systems and USB ports , but they’re still basically the same — four tires that you operate with a steering wheel. They still (mostly) run on gas. They’ve been perfected, but are they fundamentally different? Or take toasters. Is the toaster you could buy in 1971 really all that different from today’s? For all I know, toaster technology may have advanced dramatically since then, but as a consumer, there’s really not much difference. It took a minute or so to make toast 40 years ago, and it still does today
If event registration site Eventbrite’s experience is any indication, social media marketers looking for monetary returns on their efforts might get more value from Facebook than Twitter. The company announced Wednesday that an average tweet about an event drove 80 cents in ticket sales during the past six months, whereas an average Facebook Like drove $1.34. The study, which used in-house social analytics tools to track ticket sales on the site, was a continuation of a similar analysis the company released in October after analyzing data from a 12-week period. That study also indicated Facebook drove more sales for Eventbrite than Twitter, although the difference between the two networks’ sales per post was greater at that point than throughout the entire six-month period. In addition to each individual Facebook Like driving more sales than an individual tweet, the study also revealed cumulative activity on Facebook was greater than activity on Twitter for Eventbrite.
The new Facebook Pages are finally here, but what does it mean for brands that have struggled to make Pages a business tool on a personal network? The first thing you’ll notice is that Facebook Pages are once again made to look like Facebook Profiles. You have little differentiation anymore between the publicly viewable, often more commercial page, and an individual’s private profile. This lack of distinction from an interface standpoint can be confusing to consumers. Below is a breakdown of the changes in the order that Facebook presents them in their new Page tour. 1. Photos: Take ‘Em, But You Can’t Leave ‘Em When the photos across the top of Facebook profiles first appeared, people were in a panic. Now anyone could tag you in a photograph, and it would automatically show up at the top of your page. You can, however, “X” them out, if and when you notice them. You can also remove your name from photos when tagged by others. On Pages, fans cannot tag or post an image and have it show up at the top.