April 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
It’s the travel season. I recently booked rooms in far-flung places where I had to rely on online reviews to steer my decisions. I looked for high ratings, seemingly honest guest reviews and photos that travelers had taken.
Do consumers trust online reviews for hotels? Yes, of course they do, and they trust online reviews more than brand websites and ads. TripAdvisor recently celebrated an impressive new statistic: the travel review site reached 100 million reviews and opinions this month. The reviews include more than 2.5 million accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and local businesses in more than 116,000 destinations. Central Park in New York has more than 12,000 reviews!
Here are some of the findings from Trip Adviser:
95% of travelers say reviews are trustworthy.
78% of travelers say reviews help them feel more confident in their booking decisions.
74 percent of travelers say that they write and post online reviews because they want to share a good experience with others.
53% of travelers won’t book a hotel that has no reviews.
35% of new reviews on TripAdviser are submitted by Facebook-connected travelers.
5% claim the hotel was not as good as the reviews implied, but 80% say the hotel met their expectations based on the reviews.
What signals a trustworthy review? Travelers look for the number of reviews, pictures and images, and the quality and detail. And all hotels should respond to hotel reviews. I gave the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago high marks because they have an active social media presence and will respond to guests on social media. It sets them apart. Almost 90 percent of hotel general managers agree that it’s critical for their staff to manage, respond to, and monitor hotel reviews on user review websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google+ Local, and Travelocity.
To find out how to spot a fake review, check out the infographic from Olery.
January 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
Do you get that panicky feeling if you forget your phone? Do you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? Well, you are not alone.
More than half (55%) of respondents to a Siteopia study of internet usage feel they are addicted to the internet, while almost 62% of us admit we “need’ the internet to function in everyday life.
One in ten of those participating said they can’t go longer than ten minutes during the day without catching up on social media or email.
The Siteopia study of 2,000 internet users reported that, on average, most respondents only go a maximum of 90 minutes during the day without checking Facebook, Twitter or email.
Many of us are using mobile as the device of choice for checking in and updating our status - 10% of people now access the internet primarily on their mobile, with 5% accessing primarily via tablet. 75% have already been online before 9am every day, with almost one in five checking their e-mail or catching up on social media during their commute to work.
A whopping 62% now do all their banking online. A third do all of their clothes shopping online, with free returns and delivery becoming an ever more common feature.
How Many Devices Do You Use?
I am on my laptop as I write now, but earlier today I used my iPad and iPhone to check in. Seems I am fairly normal - the average internet user can now get online via three different devices. But some 10% of us have as many as five devices, illuminating the growth of smart devices like televisions and gaming consoles.
Usage by Gender
Surprisingly, even though women spend more time with online shopping and social media, it’s men who spend more than 19 hours a week online – more than 42 solid days each year, and over a third longer than women, who only spend 14 hours per week surfing the web. Men spend more time on news, Twitter, gaming and Not Safe for Work sites.
January 8, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Nielsen has released a new report containing facts on how US consumers use different forms of media and devices. The information on the top 8 activities performed on mobiles is fascinating, or at least I think so.
The top activity is texting, consuming 14.1% of our time. Messaging (texting, email and instant messaging) compose 14.1% of our time, or one-fifth of our time on our mobile devices. The lifeline for most of us is our texts and emails.
The second most consuming usage is social networks because we evidently all have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), so we spend a whopping 10% of our time on social networks. Actually dialing someone up and having a conversation only consumes about 5.5% of our time. The other usage is consumed with browsing the internet, listening to music, using maps and our camera. The mobile usage differs from our computer usage – which is geared to a variety of other activities. One thing is the same – we spend a lot of time on social media. Computer usage of social media is 20.1%, versus 10% of our mobile time.
And in terms of usage, 56% of mobile users have smartphones. Eighty-five (85) million of us use social media apps on our smartphones, compared with 164 million have access to social media from their computers.
The bottom line is that each month, consumers are spending more time with more media, across all devices, and smart marketers need to understand the role of mobile in our daily lives. We use mobile to stay connected, to manage our schedules, and the shop. Some 78% of us use our smartphones to find a store, 63% check prices online and 22% comment on purchases.
January 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Social media is important. And I am assuming that Google+ will become more important. Links seem to have an effect. And Ads are a factor. I hope that original content is also a factor. Martin Missfeldt lists the seven factors that influence Google ranking:
- Facebook Shares
- in some cases: Reviews
December 31, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I don’t have a crystal ball for 2013. I don’t know if Facebook will continue to grow – or if retail stores will start to shrink because of online shopping. I subscribe to the John Naisbitt philosophy that “the most reliable way to anticipate the future is to understand the present.”
But in the spirit of the season, I thought it would be fun to gather some of the best predictions in one place for your reading pleasure. Tell me if you think they are psychic, premature or PR poop!
Inside Facebook 2013 Social Media Predictions for Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more. Some good input here. Facebook users will continue to be disenchanted as Facebook tries to ad advertising value. Google+ will become more business and local friendly. Pinterest and other visual media will continue to grow with visual content. Pinterest launched business pages and will soon open to third party developers. Peer reviews will continue to be integrated into brand operations.
Forbes 2013 Marketing Predictions: Content Marketing and Social Business Great thoughts about the growing importance of content marketing. We have to give customers valuable content that they want. I am a big believer in the concept of brands as publishers. The idea that a constant flow of curated information gives brand authority.
Hubspot 8 Insightful Marketing Predictions for 2014 and Beyond. Hubspot correctly points out the overlap in search, social and content as SEO influencers. It’s more than keywords. It’s about high quality content. And for those who think email is dead, think again. In 2013, it will be more personalized and targeted. Marketers will need to segment their lists and personalize content. Marketing will be seen as more of a revenue generator. In 2013, CMOs and senior executives will allocate more resources to creating a strong inbound engine — generating interest, traffic, leads, and conversions — to support the demand generation engine. And here’s a big one – marketing “campaigns” will decline as more marketers take advantage of the power of real-time communications to grow business. In 2013, buyers instantly engage with brands on their websites, talk back via social media like Twitter and Facebook, and follow breaking news in the markets they are interested.
Content Marketing Institute Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions for 2013. ”My prediction is that the “Content Strategist” role will become an important part of the marketing department in more than just a handful of brands. Michael Brenner, Senior Director, Integrated Marketing and Content Strategy, SAP. Yes, it’s about content. And content includes more visuals – videos, pictures, creative graphics. And as much as I like infographics, they may have reached their peak. As Pinterist, Instagram, Slideshare and YouTube continue to grow, we have to think about visual content.
And as mobile usage soars, we need to understand how to maximize content for each type of screen. Responsive design is really important for web sites.
Search Engine Journal B2B Marketing Predictions of 2013. Inbound marketing becomes more important. It’s less about push and more about providing information that your prospective customers seek out. It’s about responsive design of websites – and shut my mouth, maybe a return to targeted direct mail to stand out from the online clutter.
Media Post 2013 Predictions from Online Ad, Marketing Experts. The term is “opt-in push” here, allowing consumers to feel more comfortable allowing brands to recognize location, intent and preferences through devices. Six experts weigh in here on the death of static web pages, campaign integration, integration of search with display advertising, Google dominance in search and the continuing complexities of SEO, and the death of the term “social media campaign.”
PSFK 2013 Predictions. This is a great compilation by PSFK of thought leaders on a variety of subjects. One of my favorites is George Parker – The Continuing Bastardization of the English Language. He tell us that Shakespeare created 1700 words which included advertising! And puke. But today we use words in advertising like “artisanal pizza”; get a grip copywriters! Shantell Martin thinks there will be more personalization with hand-drawn images. Tom Evans of Saatchi LA thinks brands will become more focused on creating campaigns that engage the consumer based on their interests and passions—as opposed to which social network they prefer. Yeah!
Forbes Google News Crumbles and More 2013 Media Predictions. Ashley Harrison says 2013 will be the year that mobile consumption finally raises the bar on both advertising and publishing in the digital age. It’s a year of change. Mobile devices will become the #1 way to read news. I received my final print Newsweek in the mail, and I was a little relieved that they had faced up to the change. I made a cake from Gourmet Live, the replacement for the venerable Gourmet magazine, that re-invented itself last year. The gap between consumer time spent and spending on mobile (10% and 1% respectively) creates a truly significant opportunity for advertisers and platforms alike. As digital publications and super blogs get smarter and begin to tap into online and mobile advertising, it will become a major revenue stream for the top players worldwide. In the past year alone, newspapers have lost $13 in print revenue for every dollar earned in digital revenue
December 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
It’s all about Facebook, isn’t it? First it was Instagram/Facebook obtaining our photos surreptitiously, then it was $1 messaging and now it’s video ads on our Facebook news feed.
While we are all stuffing ourselves with sugar plums and Christmas pre- and post-sales, Facebook is planning to launch new video-ads sometime in the first half of 2013. Ad Age reports by April, Facebook will offer advertisers targeted video ads to large numbers of Facebook users in their news feeds on both the desktop version of Facebook as well as on Facebook apps on mobile phones and tablets. Oh, and you will see them, because the ads will automatically play. And there is a lot of emphasis on the mobile capability for tablets and smartphones.
I am conflicted about all this Facebook news – as a marketer, I can see interesting and impactful users of this new ad feature. But on the other hand, I am wondering if Facebook will lose its soul and lots of followers by commercializing each and every part of the social network. Will users start migrating to other networks that offer less advertising intrusion?
As a marketer, we are always looking for ways to repurpose messaging and Facebook video might provide a strategic medium for some advertisers. Facebook’s ability to target gives it an edge over other forms of broadcast.
- Marketing to Women: Facebook $1 Fee to Message Non-Friends (jamiedunham.wordpress.com)
December 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
Pinterest has taken a giant leap forward with the launch of business-targeted features, such as its Pinterest for Business site. Even the POTUS has a Pinterest account. The White House recently unveiled it’s Pinterest account, whitehouse.gov, promising to “share pins and boards that range from inspiring images and quotes to infographics that help explain key issues to details about the life inside the White House.”
Pinterest has grown tremendously and one of the most important advantages is the majority of people logging on with a “shopping mentality.” In fact, 32% of online shoppers have made purchasing decisions based on what they’ve seen on Pinterest. Many come to Pinterest with the intention of curating information, in advance of a sale.
Pinterest is a visual medium and can help any business that has a pictoral story to tell. It can be products, DIY ideas, inspirations, examples of installations, etc.
Here are the highlights for Pinterest Business of which you should be aware:
- As of now, there is no visible distinction between business pages and regular pages, unlike other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. However, they will very likely offer additional analytic features.
- Pinterest has a revised terms of service for business users, now allowing commercial use of the site which had previously only been approved for personal use.
- It only takes minutes to convert a personal Pinterest site to a business site. Despite a lack of concrete feature additions, it is clear that Pinterest is working to better cater their services to businesses, and improve its reputation as a commercial-relevant form of social media. For more information, visit Pinterest’s new business site.
- Beyond the new tools, Pinterest is also launching a business microsite displaying case studies from brands like Etsy and Jetsetter, as well as best practices and guidelines for brands,
December 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I love Twitter. I have always loved the way it seems like running headlines from the lives of people around the world. Very business-like one minute and intimate or goofy the next. Usually not the preferred social media for older folks. But hold on - His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI just announced he was joining the throngs of Tweeters like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. I can’t wait to see what the Pope has to say.
And before the octogenarian has posted his first tweet, he already has 500,000 followers. His handle is @pontifex. His first tweet will be December 12 if you want to mark your calendar.
According to the New York Times, “Benedict’s posts will go out in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The messages will mostly feature the contents of the pope’s speeches at his weekly general audience and Sunday blessings, as well as homilies on major holidays and reaction to major world events, like natural disasters.”
Seems even the Vatican has embraced social media to get their message out to their flock. The Pope will be successful because he already has a built-in audience, even if the younger ones are not as regular at mass anymore. This new medium will allow him to reach that audience on their terms. Oh, and in six years Twitter has amassed 500 million users, has an incredible immediacy of communication and is used in countries where free expression is not the norm.
The Pope is on to something. The church is losing young people as they launch in life. And Twitter is ripe with a 400% growth in Twitter usage by 18-24 year olds. And since 53% of the users are women and they influence the religious habits of the family, it is a good gender choice..
The demographics tend to skew young as shown in this chart which also shows the amazing growth in the younger demo.