Great insights on everything Facebook at Social Bakers. These guys have a bucket load of useful data on what’s popular and trending. They offer custom Facebook analytics and write some good articles.
Facebook Statistics, Stats and Facts for 2011 are starting to roll out, and here is the first infographic to wrap them all up thanks to Online Schools. With over 500 million users, Facebook is now used by 1 in every 13 people on earth, with over 250 million of them (over 50%) who log in every day. The average user still has about 130 friends, but that should expand in 2011.
48% of 18-34 year olds check Facebook when they wake up, with 28% doing so before even getting out of bed. The 35+ demographic is growing rapidly, now with over 30% of the entire Facebook user base. The core 18-24 year old segment is now growing the fastest at 74% year on year. Almost 72% of all US internet users are on now Facebook, while 70% of the entire user base is located outside of the US.
Over 700 Billion minutes a month are spent on Facebook, 20 million applications are installed per day and over 250 million people interact with Facebook from outside the official website on a monthly basis, across 2 million websites. Over 200 million people access Facebook via their mobile phone. 48% of young people said they now get their news through Facebook. Meanwhile, in just 20 minutes on Facebook over 1 million links are shared, 2 million friend requests are accepted and almost 3 million messages are sent.
Based on results from Zokem’s U.S. Mobile Life panel in 2010, the iPhone took home a loyalty score of 73, far surpassing the score of 40 given to its closest competitor Android.
Gauging the loyalty that smartphone owners have for their current devices, the score looks at whether people will stick with the same brand for their next purchase as well as other factors. Even among non-iPhone users collectively, the No. 1 preference for their next phone is an iPhone.
Though sales of Android phones were hot in 2010, the few iPhone models available sell more than any one specific Android device, according to Zokem.
“As a platform, however, Android is a fair competitor–and in certain numbers, bigger than iPhone–but the industry attention is still geared towards the iPhone as the leading smartphone platform, particularly in the U.S.,” noted the report.
Lower on the loyalty charts were Research In Motion’s BlackBerry with a score of 30, and Windows Mobile and the Palm Pre OS, with scores of 10.
Looking specifically at which phones people are most likely to repurchase, Android actually beat the iPhone by a narrow margin. Among those polled, 89 percent of current Android users are likely to stick with the same brand, while 85 percent of iPhone users plan to stay with Apple.
To compile its study, Zokem questioned more than 1,500 members of its Mobile Life panel each quarter of 2010.
Sally Roscholler from the Herald and Weekly Times asks the panel which Australian companies they believe to be the most creative.
Making up the panel: John Thompson, senior manager for road safety and marketing at the Transport Accident Commission; Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s MD Peter Biggs; Crikey co-owner Eric Beecher and Naked Communications’ Melbourne MD Frankie Ralston Good.
A great article by Patrick Stafford on effective social media campaigns in Australia and the world.
Social media is a great business tool, but how many companies are actually using it well?
With so many SMEs and huge brands now using sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote themselves, simply creating a basic fan page isn’t enough.
Businesses need to be creating and designing social media marketing campaigns to connect with customers, create a good reputation and, most importantly, add to the bottom line.
It’s true, huge businesses like Coca Cola and US telco Comcast have the money and resources to create huge social campaigns, but effectiveness in social media isn’t limited by cost.
Experts say you should be contributing at least some of your budget towards this type of thing. A recent Melbourne IT survey reveals online businesses are actually more likely to be earning higher revenues if they are using social media.
SR7 chief executive James Griffin says there are a few main characteristics of a successful social media campaign, and they play a crucial part in determining whether your business is received as a welcome invitation, or just a piece of spam.
“I think the thing we push most is understanding what you’re doing everything for. Whether it’s to gain sales, or followers, or just to get more coverage of your brand, that will sketch the foundation of your campaign and then influence your choices. So understanding is key.”
“If you have no idea what you’re looking for, then things can go bad. It’s hard to go to the boss and say you’ve put time and resources into a project that hasn’t delivered a solid benefit. You have to know what you’re going to do straight from the start.”
DDB digital strategist Con Frantzeskos says campaigns shouldn’t be centred on a “gimmick”. You should be offering something valuable to your fans and listening to them, or risk facing a harsh backlash.
“Everything should be about finding online communities, listening to them, and then understanding what they want. Based on that, you can create campaigns that integrate Facebook and Twitter and all of these other sites.”
There are hundreds of examples to choose from, but here are 10 of the most innovative, and successful, social media marketing campaigns.
The Swedish DIY furniture chain is known for its simplicity in design, and its successful Facebook campaign was no exception.
In 2007, IKEA started its Facebook page and was opening a new store in its home country. Like any other corporate page it listed the company, various products, corporate information, etc. It also provided a method for users to comment on particular posts.
Without much money to market the new store, the company used Facebook. It posted photographs of about 200 popular items – couches, tables, lamps, kitchen accessories, etc. Then, it gave local Facebook users an offer – “tag” your name on a photo, and that piece of furniture is yours.
Within minutes, all of the furniture was gone. These experts say the idea was successful because it incorporates one of the most popular features on Facebook, tagging and uploading photos. The target users already know what to do and how to do it, so the campaign was clean and simple – and who doesn’t like free furniture?
Crust Gourmet Pizza
Every Friday, Crust runs a competition where users only have to tweet the words “Crust Free Pizza Friday” to enter a draw for five free pizzas worth up to $100.
Initially, the campaign was only meant to last for a few weeks. But Crust chief executive Michael Logos says it was so successful the company has continued the competition, turning it into a weekly event.
“At the moment, we have over 3,000 followers on Twitter and 5,000 on Facebook, and that’s pretty good considering we were amateurs in the online space six months ago,” he told SmartCompany.
“The earliest signs of success we saw was just the sheer amount of conversation being generated. We saw the recruitment rate rise, in terms of people on our pages, and we found people were not only commenting on the competition but on the business in general and we have continued to converse with them. It’s gone beyond the competition.”
Logos says the campaign delivers an ongoing benefit in that it continually gains the company new followers, who spread the brand all over the network. The power of word-of-mouth, he says, shouldn’t be ignored for such small a cost.
Nando’s is known for its low-cost publicity stunts, but the speed of its social networking has allowed it to get the edge on competitors as well.
Earlier this year, burger chain Grill’d launched a campaign allowing university students to grab two burgers for the price of one. But the print-only coupon went viral on the internet, and soon the company was swamped with requests. It cancelled the coupon offer.
Nando’s took notice of this and eyed an opportunity. A new blog post on the company’s site promised to fulfil the Grill’d offer, saying “we’ll make sure you’re well fed, not fed up!”
“Following Grill’d's decision to pull its latest university two-for-one promotion, Nando’s has stepped up to the plate so to speak… Anyone who brings in a copy of the Grill’d voucher to any Nando’s restaurant nationally will be able to buy any burger or wrap and receive one of equal or lesser value for free.”
Grill’d apologised and promised to offer the coupons, but Nando’s had already done enough to secure some new business.
Frequent users of social media know location-based searching is becoming more important, but for one Los Angeles-based business the use of location is at the core of their model.
The Kogi Korean BBQ truck travels all over the LA area selling food, and is constantly moving. It may be in one area by lunch, but by evening it may be in a completely new district.
The key to this method is the company’s Twitter account – it constantly updates followers with the location of each truck, traffic patterns, weather and amusing comments.
Before the Twitter account was active, the Kogi BBQ had a small following, but users were often frustrated by the fact the trucks were never in the same position. When the tweets started, the trucks attracted crowds of several hundred and are still popular even now. Using social media helped this small business become one of the city’s hidden gems.
Some social media analysts suggest you shouldn’t try and push too many sales on Facebook or Twitter – users will become tired of being on the wrong end of a one-sided conversation and will quickly dismiss you.
But if you’re offering an exclusive deal, customers will feel like they are being recognised and will be more likely to buy.
This was the direction taken by airline Virgin Blue, which started its social media campaign as an experiment. It set aside 1,000 tickets on four different domestic routes, and then sold them off for $9 each. They sold out almost immediately, taking only three minutes for all the 1,000 tickets to be gone.
Since then, the airline has expanded its Twitter account, using it to connect with customers individually and solve problems, and continues to offer exclusive deals.
Before it started its social media campaign, BlendTec was less than a household name, as barely any consumers had even heard of the company at all. It manufactures high-end blenders, running for about $US400 each, and is certainly not the obvious first choice for an exciting viral campaign.
One day the company’s marketing director, George Wright, noticed in the company’s factories a number of workers took part in an exercise they called “extreme blending”. In this instance, he noticed chief executive Tom Dickson was blending a 2×4 piece of wood.
Realising the potential for this type of activity, Wright started the “Will It Blend” series of videos, each featuring a BlendTec executive attempting to blend a number of different, popular products. The most popular, by far, was its iPad blending experiment. At the time of writing, it has over 7.6 million views.
Griffin says art of the campaign’s success is due to its immediacy. Whenever a new, popular product is released, BlendTec takes advantage of the buzz and simply asks the same question – “Will it blend?”
“Immediacy goes hand-in-hand with a communication tool like Twitter or these videos. I suppose we’ve seen some good ones lately with the Kevin Rudd affair, things like Jetstar offering low airfares and saying Kevin could take a flight somewhere, or Seek saying “we’re here for you Kevin”. There are good examples of it everywhere.”
And these aren’t just entertaining videos designed to promote the company’s name – they’ve gained over $US50,000 in advertising revenue.
Promoting tax products through social networking is always going to be a tough sell, but H&R Block helped themselves out by simply being honest about the boring aspects of tax time.
During the 2008 tax season, H&R Block opened a number of social networking accounts. Firstly, it set up a system of conversation whereby followers and fans could ask questions about tax and have them answered. The group’s Facebook page even featured information on tax courses.
The company even made its own social network on getitright.hrblock.com, which allows users to ask different tax questions and have their queries answered by tax professionals.
But analysts say the best part of its campaign was the use of “Truman Greene”. This character, portrayed by an actor in various YouTube videos, showed him singing satirical songs about how great the company was and why users should have their tax done at H&R Block.
He also popped up on the Twitter and Facebook pages, so users felt a sense of brand recognition. But the company was careful not to just let him be, it took an effort to point out that Truman was “obviously a corporate shill”.
According to Advertising Age and RocSearch, H&R Block recorded a 171% increase in online ad awareness and a 52% increase in brand awareness.
Shopping centre giant Westfield launched an application last year that would change a user’s Facebook status to the words “All I Want For Christmas is a Westfield Gift Card”. Each user who changed their status would go in the draw for – surprise – a $10,000 Westfield gift card.
The updates spread all over the site, and thousands of users downloaded the app to change their status. Westfield was able to get its name across Facebook within a matter of days due to the competition.
Of course, the company did experience some harsh criticism – a number of groups were made on the website featuring slogans like “All I Want for Christmas Is To Shove That Westfield Gift Card Up Your Ass”. But Griffin says criticism isn’t necessarily evidence of a failed campaign.
“It goes back to what they wanted to achieve. If what they wanted to achieve was brand recognition, and people talking about their campaign, then they succeeded. It got people talking about it, so it depends on what your definition of success is.”
The immediacy of social media means businesses wanting to be effective must also be extremely quick. Perhaps one of the best examples of this was demonstrated by Melbourne company Sitepoint, and its chief executive Mark Harbottle, during the Black Saturday bushfires last year.
Harbottle and his team wanted to donate money but felt they could do better. So they grouped three of the company’s eBooks, put them in a special deal and discounted them. The team used Twitter to get the word out to over 20,000 fans, and in just one night it raised $75,000.
“We also called a bunch of influential bloggers who we knew, and they retweeted our tweets,” Harbottle told SmartCompany at the time. “I just can’t believe how you can reach so many people in such a short amount of time.”
Using social media allows businesses to connect with followers on a conversational level, but it can also motivate them to become advocates through competitions.
In the United States, retail footwear group Vision Retailing was having a hard time getting shoppers to buy from its sites. So it started a campaign – Twitter Bingo.
The company started the competition by hiding the five letters in the word “Bingo” in product descriptions – but users could only find these letters if they shared these products on Twitter or Facebook, using the company’s own in-built sharing features.
The company awarded the first winner a free pair of shoes. But it also used several days of anticipation to build up to the contest, promoting it in as many tweets as possible and even explained the rules in tweet-form.
Not only was the campaign a success, with the site recording an 83% traffic increase from Twitter since the competition began, sales from the first day of the contest through the next four days increased by 150%.
Plenty of businesses might run Twitter competitions, but unless they build up to them and make sure entrants are part of the competition process for the entire duration of the contest, they won’t see much of a direct benefit.
Of course, no list of top social media campaigns would be complete without a few blunders as well. Here are three of the worst:
Masterfoods attempted to create some noise in the social media scene when it replaced the Skittles homepage with a live Twitter feed, aggregating the tweets of any user mentioning the Skittles brand. The campaign, designed to make the company look social media-savvy, backfired and users began posting offensive and derogatory material in order to appear on the page.
Nestle’s use of Facebook is less of a campaign example than a lesson in how not to use social media to respond to criticism. After environmental activists posted on the company’s page attacking it for removing a video on YouTube, a spokesperson became hostile. Users attacked the spokesperson for deleting comments and received the following reply – “Oh please… it’s like we’re censoring everything to allow only positive comments”.
The spokesperson eventually back flipped: “This (deleting logos) was one in a series of mistakes for which I would like to apologise. And for being rude. We’ve stopped deleting posts, and I have stopped being rude”.
The fast food chain ran a campaign early last year in which it encouraged users to “de-friend” their friends on the site in exchange for free burgers. It wasn’t particularly successful, but Facebook wasn’t happy either, as the marketing app actually let people know they had been “sacrificed for a Whopper” by their former digital friend.
“We encourage creativity from developers and brands using the Facebook platform, but we also must ensure that applications follow users’ expectations of privacy. This application facilitated activity that ran counter to user privacy by notifying people when a user removes a friend,” Facebook said at the time.