Monthly Archive for August, 2007

biggest factor in user generated content?

User Generated Content

Facebook applications: google’s social search widget

Google has launched a search widget for Facebook that lets you search the web and share the results with your friends. Sadly, it has errors on the first page on launch. Expect more mainstream features to be ported to Facebook and for it to sit on top of the social engine.

Thanks to Jeremiah Owyang

Facebook’s targeted ads

Facebook can segment some ads by gender and city, not even Google Ad Sense can be this accurate. Mashable wonders if this is clever or evil? I say clever, and if deployed correctly, the ads may be more relevant to the user –and less disruptive. Imagine if ads became so intelligently contextual that they are as valuable as news items on a feedreader.

Thanks to Jeremiah Owyang

On a side note, threebillion* released a video of some stats they’ve pieced together:

“32% of British 11-20 year olds said they would be happy to recieve advertising messages to their mobiles…71% said they would be happy to recieve advertising messages targeted to their particular interests”.

*3 billion is the size of the world’s population under 25yrs

Facebook 3 months on

This article gives some great stats about the activity, feeds, applications, advertising, and other information happening on the Facebook platform. Most interestingly enough, I believe we’re still at the start of something –orders of magnitude to come.

Thanks to Jeremiah Owyang

Social Networks all over the world

The August edition of Business 2.0 lists out other types of Facebook Social Networks: China’s Xiaoneiwang, France’s Skyrock, Germany’s StudiVZ, India’s Minglebox, Israel’s Mekusharim, Mexico’s Vostu, Netherlands’ Hyves, Russia’s V Kontakte, and Turkey’s Qiraz.

Thanks to Jeremiah Owyang

Facebook case study : Cadburys Wispa campaign

Cadburys Wispa

On a different note, the Cadbury Wispa will be revived this autumn thanks to the petitions of 14,000 people across dozens of different Facebook user groups. Manufacturer Cadbury Schweppes said it was the first time “that the power of the Internet played such an intrinsic role in the return of a Cadbury brand.”

If this is truly a grassroots, nostalgia-driven effort (Cadbury insists it is), then the company has a unique opportunity to parlay that revival interest into strong customer ownership: hand over levels of brand management to a dedicated Facebook community.

But make Publicis the ring-leader and here.

The bottom line is that what Cadbury’s and Publicis have done well is Listen. Facebook is the new and trendy Social Media tool at the moment, just as blogs were before it. The rules of success are still the same though. Listen to the Conversation and then Engage in the discussions.

Facebook case study: walmart

Previously Walmart built a MySpace clone on the corporate website which was pathetically closed after a mere 10 weeks. Having learned their lesson to consider joining existing communities before building their own they’ve saddled up for more social networking. Today, Wal-Mart’s sponsored group in Facebook is aimed at dorm-bound students who need to pimp out their pads –sadly, after 2 weeks in, there’s little to brag about – just read some of the Wall posts…

Is this program salvageable? Absolutely.

The battering of the brand continues on for the next 100 wall posts, and it will likely continue, this is expected. I’ve analyzed all the comments and there’s only a few students and a handful of folks that admit to actually shopping there –they’ve not reached the college segment.

This sponsored group doesn’t have discussion forums, I’d recommend they turn those on, and try to segment the conversations about going back to school, and even consider keeping folks on topic. Continue to allow critics (you can’t stop it anyways) but try to use the forums to guide a discussion about school. I’m not sure why Wal-Mart has not chosen to turn on it’s marketing engines and point people here from their corporate site, using a cross-promotion tactic would certainly drive more folks over to the group.

What’s the great thing about all this? Wal-Mart’s still here, was bold enough to try it again, and hasn’t pulled the site down. I highly recommend that Wal-Mart consider trying a community strategy using a transparent and authentic blog or video blog series that addresses the very brand issues that they are getting slammed on. I took at look online for a “Walmart blog” and didn’t see any from the company, why is this? It’s going to be very difficult to try a community marketing strategy with eCommerce hooks without first addressing the brand detractors.

What Walmart desperately need is an evangelist and a blogging platform on which to counter the comments being made.

More here:
Can Wal-Mart’s Facebook campaign survive transparency?
Sponsored Wal-Mart page on Facebook creates “Enlightning Conversation” amongst members

a homage to scrat – *nut!*

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digest of the social networking space

Jeremiah covers some very interesting points in his round-up on social networking

More and more of our clients are beginning to ask questions about what to do in the Social Networking space. It baffles and befuddles them. They just don’t get it.

Mainly this is to do with not having a conherent ROI in place since the phenomenon of Social Networking – particularly for brands and corporations – is so new, but also it feels to me as if they don’t get it because they haven’t even tried to.

What’s particularly intesresting is the number of white branded solutions out there Here, here and here. The solutions are starting to differentiate. There are a few White Label Social Networks that are offering their product based on a ‘vertical’. Some are offering to be the best Social Network for sports communities, municipals, education, government, and any other industry segment.

What’s been clear so far with brands who’ve attempted to enter the Social Networking space is that they still aren’t using social media to know their audiences. Instead they’re using it as another way to increase sales.

This is a fundamental issue with brands and Social Networking. Social Networking is not about increasing sales, but about increasing brand affinity, trust and loyalty with customers. It’s the increase in these things that will increase sales – not the current ‘hot offer’.

facebook stats

Shel Isreal emailed Facebook’s corporate communications group to get some accurate numbers. Here’s what he uncovered:

  1. Over 150,000 registrants daily. That’s 1 million a week since January.
  2. 36 million users today. Of course that number will be off a million one week from today.
  3. Half user are outside college. That number was zero in Sept. 2006.
  4. 0ver 40 billion page views in May 2007
  5. Average visitor stays 20 minutes
  6. Most growth is among people over age 25.
  7. 47,000+ Facebook groups.
  8. #1 photo sharing app on the web. 2.7 billion photos on site.
  9. More than 2000 applications. The Top 10 are: Top Friends, Video, Graffiti, MyQuestions, iLike, FreeGifts, X Me, Superpoke!, Fortune Cookie & Horoscopes. The smallest of these has over 4.5 million users.

More on this over on Jeremiah’s site. He’s just joined Forrester research as a Senior Analyst covering social media.

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