The impact that any single marketer achieves thanks to paid promotion of a Facebook post isn’t typically made public.
Unless that marketer is the U.S. government.
Recently, a U.S. State Department program underwent scrutiny after spending over $630,000 on Facebook marketing over the course of two years, in a P.R. effort to attract foreign audiences to its Facebook pages and posts.
So how much added reach did the U.S. State Department achieve when they did pay up?
In an audit of the Facebook campaign, the U.S. State Department Inspector General revealed that with paid promotion, two posts from earlier this year gained a 1,000% larger audience than they would have attracted as unpaid media.
This analysis comes from BI Intelligence coverage of social media marketing, which includes our recent report that can be downloaded with a free trial, “Earned Media And Social Media: How Marketers Can Get Beyond The Hype.”
Why did the U.S. government spend so much on Facebook?
The Bureau Of International Information Programs, like many Facebook marketers, found itself having to fork over much more money after September 2012, when Facebook made chan! ges to i ts algorithm, which decides the posts that show up on user news feeds. (Facebook made similar changes more recently related to “story bumping,” which mean marketers have to compete with a greater number of older posts for user News Feed spots.)
The findings reveal just how high the stakes are for content marketers on Facebook as they try to decide whether to put dollars behind their content. If they don’t pay up, their audiences are significantly reduced.
Earned media is really just the digital-age term for word-of-mouth advertising. It’s an idea that has grown hand-in-hand with content and social media marketing and the notion that a viral success can translate to mega-exposure on the cheap.
Everyone wants earned media.
Marketing agencies know this, and they routinely pitch their ability to generate it. Most brands and businesses, even small ones, are embracing the earned media paradigm. However, there are many misconceptions floating around the notion of earned media via social media.
Coursera today raised $43 million in funding, which it will use to market online education to millions of students globally.
In the new wave of education technology, online education providers like Coursera are generating a great deal of hype. It’s not all that surprising, given that the Massiv…
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Here’s something that surprised us. Apple dominates in U.S. cloud service usage with iCloud.
According to Strategy Analytics, via Engadget, more people say they use iCloud than any other cloud service. This is most likely due to Apple pushing iCloud as a part of iOS.
Music is the primary thing people are using with cloud storage services.
There are some caveats on this one which we’ll get to, but Apple had a really good holiday quarter compared to its rivals.
comScore reports Apple had 37.8 percent of the U.S. smartphone market for the three months ending in January. Samsung, meanwhile, had 21.4 percent of the market. Apple’s market share was up 3.5 percent compared to the three months ending in October. Samsung was up 1.9 percent.
As for the iOS versus Android market share battle, Apple was 37.8 percent versus 52.3 percent for Android. Apple was up 3.5 percent, while Android was actually down 1.5 percent.
This is good news for Apple, but as we said there are caveats:
Apple does very well in the U.S. It does not do as well elsewhere in the world.
The holiday period was when Apple really launched the iPhone 5. Samsung, meanwhile, was selling the Galaxy S III, an older smartphone model. It only makes sense for Apple to! experie nce a bump in this period.
We’ll see how Apple holds up over the next three to six months as the hype of the iPhone 5 dies off and the hype for the Galaxy S IV cranks into gear.
All that said, considering the Samsung buzz, you would have thought it was killing Apple. These numbers show that Apple can still hold its own.
The bigger picture for Apple and Samsung on all of this is that the U.S. market, and other developed markets, is not going to generate the same growth, and thus profits in the near term aren’t going to be as robust.
Sean Parker’s Facebook-connected video chat application, Airtime, launched with an enormous amount of hype last month.
So, where is it now, about a month later?
Well, if you take a look at Airtime on AppData, the numbers don’t look good: it has around 9,000 Facebook-connected daily users and 200,000 Facebook-connected monthly active users.
First, a look at Airtime’s daily active Facebook-connected users according to AppData — which is usually a good barometer of success of a Facebook-connected app.
Ouch. Now, monthly active users (not as accurate, but still relevant):
For reference, here’s the kind of chart you want to see if your app is growing quickly: Song Pop. It’s a “guess-that-tune” app that’s picked up millions of users in the course of a month.
As you can see in the chart below, digital streaming/sales only accounted for 19% of the home entertainment market in the third quarter. The rest of sales comes from DVD/Blu-ray discs.
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The Clover was a nerd’s way to make coffee. Every parameter precisely, digitally controlled, for the most of tweaky of experimentation—or you can make the exact same cup over and over. Then Starbucks bought the company.
What happened next: Waves of independent coffee shops ditched their $10,000 Clover machines, for practical and philosophical reasons. Starbucks rolled them out to 50ish stores across the Northeast, Seattle and San Francisco. Then expansion stopped. That was almost two years ago.
Starbucks’ first Clover showed up in New York around two months ago, in a nearly 20-year-old location that’s been converted into a concept store. The thaw is beginning. Starbucks plans to finally expand the Clover’s footprint gradually over the next 6-8 months, as they figure out how to integrate the machine into the natural rhythm of stores—which is basically dominated by Frappuccinos these days, not coffee.
In a way, it’s a hard sell. The kind of people who would be most interested in coffee made via Clover, designed to pull the most out of a coffee—so shitty coffee would taste shittier—don’t go to Starbucks. Starbucks is so reviled by people who actually like coffee that they’ve experimented with burying the Starbucks name two pilot stores in Seattle which are designed to look more like the kind of place that serves Intelligentsia or Stumptown coffee. So it’s heartening to see them try to live up a bit more to the ideals of caring about coffee and how it’s served.
For instance, while 30 days is what Starbucks considers the expiration date on beans in a store—16 days longer than any self-conscious shop would serve them—if you order a cup made with Clover, you’re far more likely to get beans roasted within the 2-week mark. (In part because there are limited quantities of some coffees served using Clover, like the Jamaica Blue Mountain they’re offering starting tomorrow.)
They’re also making use of their spin on Clovernet, which was one of the big hype points of the machine: Shops and their baristas could share, upload and download recipes for coffees made via Clover. Starbucks pushes recipes for each coffee it serves on the Clover—around 4-6—to stores via a similar network, so there are custom parameters for each coffee. African coffees get a different treatment versus South American ones, as they should.
For all the technology in the Clover, though, it ultimately comes down to the guy (or girl) handling it. Hopefully, it’s someone nerdy enough to know what the Clover was before it landed in front of them at Starbucks.
They don’t come as much of a surprise, but with all the talk of Android’s surging popularity and explosive app growth, Nielsen’s numbers do serve as a reminder that Apple still has a comfortable lead. Versus Android, that is—nationally, the iPhone’s still in second place, with a 28% market share compared to RIM’s 35% (Android has 9%; Windows Mobile has 19%).
But it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the course of the year. With the new iPhone dropping in a matter of weeks, prospective smart phone buyers (23% of U.S. mobile customers now have them) will be faced with the choice of hopping on the Apple wagon or exploring the multitude of Android options. As Matt noted in his Froyo review, Android is as polished as it’s ever been and is likely to improve even more in coming months. And while it’s hard to top the iPhone hype machine, reception to early versions of iPhone OS 4 hasn’t exactly been rapturous.
Another Nielsen graph shows that both platforms enjoy loyal users—80% of iPhone users want another iPhone; 70% of Android users want another Android phone—with Android’s group slightly more curious about the iPhone than the other way around. But in my experience, it seems like things are trending to the opposite. With Android’s app offerings increasingly matching up with the iPhone’s, I’m seeing more and more people considering Android a viable option for themselves, as well as one they can recommend to others.
Though still on top, Blackberry’s loyalty is only 47%, and as current Bold owner, I’m definitely of the 53% that’s planning on jumping ship when it comes time to buy my next phone. I’m just not sure what ship I want to jump into. [Nielsen via CNET]
seems like 40% of bing’s traffic comes from Google… old habits die hard.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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