Digital plates shift with Google's Search Plus your World
We want to start the year with an admission. Silly us predicted that Google Plus could grow to over 100 million users this year. It's going to do much better than that, even if Google faces law suits because of it. The main reason? If you're interested in having your site rank optimally in Google Search, Google Plus is now a critical tool. That it would be key was already apparent before this weeks announcement of Google Search Plus your World. Now it is simply a must. Twitter is mad as hell, and as Danny Sullivan points out, Google is indeed favouring Google Plus over Relevancy. As Jeff Jarvis pointed out this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Twitter could be more open themselves.
Social media builds brand awareness, purchasing intent
A new study not only claims that exposure to social media boost brands, but that the effect also lasts. Very good. Just this week Facebook's PR agency Burson-Marstellar claimed our campaign was a brilliant example of bribing customers to be brand advocates. In case you missed it, we built a campaign for Miista, where products were discounted based on Klout weighted Tweets. In the same category perhaps, there's a new service called GoodBuzz. It encourages companies not to spend their marketing on ads, but rather to pay social media users to spread the message.
The networked computer in your pocket – that's where it's at
Last week keen mobile watcher Tomi Ahonen wrote an in-depth post on how everything is converging on mobile. It is far bigger than broadcast media (television and radio combined) and far bigger than the computer and IT industry. It's also far bigger than music, movies, videogaming, the print industry etc etc. Mobile accounts for "about 2% of the total GDP of the planet, and sits with a rare few other giant global industries like the automobile industry, housing/construction, food, military spending, banking etc". Yip. This chimes with what Martin Sorrel, head of media giant WPP said at CES this week. Media spend on digital is only about 17% while it should sit at 30%, but of that spend only 1% is going to mobile at present, while it should sit around 7%.
Kickstarter kicks up some dust
This week, DIY funding platform Kickstarter released some very, very impressive stats. Not only did they grow threefold from 2010 to 2011, but in that same period their project success rate went up by 3%! Given their growth, the project success rate should actually have dropped, so they are definitely doing something right. That's not all though … Robert Scoble points out that 99.999% of the products he's seen at this year's CES (which I'm sure, equates to zero), is not as useful as the clip-on iPad keyboard he's using – funded by Kickstarter. And to top this, three films – funded by Kickstarter - made it to Academy Awards short lists, and two Kickstarter films are short-listed for the Oscars. There can be no doubt that Kickstarter should be a serious consideration for first round funding.
QR – a debutant no more?
If you got a 25% response to a Tweet, status update, newsletter, let alone a banner add, you'd be pretty chuffed with yourself, right? How 'bout this: Glamour Magazine got that with QR codes placed inside their magazine! A trial within its 'social edition' produced 512,339 engagements among a circulation of 2m readers. Editorial explained that readers could 'Like' advertisers via QR codes, and that this could make them eligible for discounts. Voila!
On comments and why a little doubt is a great persuader
Is there a trend developing where websites switch off their comments due to the effort of managing them? Apparently sites with high traffic in particular are having trouble keeping up. Is this the best course of action? With comment technology evolving we do think this is the wrong course of action. But having no comments is better than not paying attention to them.
In a study about whether brands need to reply to questions put to them via social media it was found that only 11% said it did not make a negative impression if they came across an unanswered question.
All good is not err… all that good. Just like a shaky camera conveys authenticity, the odd negative remark can be reassuring. A study shows that consumers simply don't trust product reviews that are 100% effusive. Similarly, during the Arab Spring, reporter Andy Carvin mentioned that when re-tweeting, he gave precedence to users whose accounts were less emphatic.
Revenge is better served cold
It was bound to happen, a Facebook app that posts one or more scheduled status updates after you die.
Helping your customers take action
Another innovative social media effort – this time from a bank. Members of CitiBank's reward scheme can combine their points on Facebook to make a charitable donation. Users can promote the reward pool through their Facebook page or by inviting other Citibank customers to donate.
Everybody is talking about
We'd be remiss not to mention that there are two new hot social services out there that everybody is talking about. Firstly, Pinterest – kind of like Tumblr, organised around specific topics, and one sexy interface. Secondly, Path, the social net for your closest friends. We've mentioned Path before, but it's made a serious comeback. Since the launch of its newest version the growth has been impressive, and it has to be said, the mobile only social network has one of the slickest UX's in the business. Read @scobleizer's thoughts on why Path is nailing it.
Creative of the Week – Bruno Zamborlin
Banging your own drum may soon mean something a little different, because with Zamborlin's Mogees project that could happen quite literally. Mogees is a technology that turns any surface into a musical soundboard. How? Zamborlin and his team have developed gesture recognition techniques that enable a contact microphone to associate each of your gestures with different sounds. Which means you can play 'percussion' on a tree or a mirror or a balloon. The team are currently working on developing a live Mogees performance.
Posted by Gerrie Smits