Marketing to Women: Facebook $1 Fee to Message Non-Friends

December 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

facebook-feesIs sending a Facebook message to someone worth a dollar to you or your company?  Well, Facebook announced Thursday that it is testing a new service to charge users a one-time fee of $1 to send a message to another user’s inbox on the network with whom they aren’t friends.

Facebook calls the little charge an economic signal to determine relevance. I call it “selling my inbox”.  On a blog post, they say “This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.”  The test will be limited roll-out.  And they will not allow brand to participate “at the moment”.

If this sounds familiar, it is.  LinkedIn has a premium service that allows you to connect with folks to whom you are not connected.  Seems like Facebook is trying to make everything a way to monetize the business.

Mashable says currently, if you send a Facebook message to someone you’re not connected to, it may end up in the Other tab, an oft-overlooked subsection of the inbox that basically serves as a spam folder, depending on whether you have mutual connections. With the new option, however, you would be able to pay a premium to ensure that the message ends up in the main inbox where it’s likely to be seen by the recipient.




Marketing to Women: Instagram or Instagrim? New Policies Announced

December 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Instagram PoliciesI really love Instagram.  Apparently, others do as well.  There have been 5 billion photos shared through the network.  But there are new Instagram policies brewing giving marketers and personal users some things to think about.

The free photo-sharing social media program released an updated version of its privacy policy and terms of service today (December 17) and they include lots of long stipulations on how photographs uploaded by users may be used by Instagram and its parent company, Facebook.  Alert!  Alert!

Remember that Facebook bought Instagram for a measly $1 BILLION recently and then we all started having problems with our Instagram photos on Twitter because Instagram had disabled Twitter integration. These new policies seem to hint at adding advertising to Instagram.  

So now, what’s up with the policies that go in place on January 16, 2013?  Apparently they will not apply to photos shared before this date.  Instagram says that the new policies would primarily help the company combat spam, which has grown along with the popularity of Instagram.  The new policies will not alter how it handles photo ownership or who is able to see the pictures.

Here’s five important considerations that the New York Times reported today:

1. Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as outside affiliates and advertisers.  They say it’s to make functionality and sharing easier between the two groups.    But certainly this information will inform targeted advertising for Instagram when and if that happens.  And allow Facebook advertisers access to Instagram information.  So, this is probably good for marketers.

2.  You could be featured in advertising without your knowledge, just like Facebook does now.  Instagram will also be able to use your photographs and identity in ads.  The “Rights” say “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”  So let’s say you upload a picture to Instagram of yourself and others who are not users of Instagram or Facebook.  Bam!  They may be in an ad along with you.  Maybe not so good for users or marketers if the images are not appropriate.

3.  The unsolicited use of photos applies to underage children as well.  Instagram requires that users must be at least 13 years of age, but the new policy states that they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads.  This use of underage children is troubling.  Not so good for marketers.

4.  Ads may not be labeled as ads.  There may be no disclaimer that says you are viewing an ad.  “You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such,” says the new Instagram policy.  Maybe okay, but does not smack of transparency.

5.  Are you in – or are you out?  Deleting your account is the only way to opt out.   If you log into Instagram  through the Web site, mobile applications or any other services offered by Instagram, you  are agreeing to have your content used in ads. Instagram’s new terms of service say that “by accessing or using the Instagram website, the Instagram service, or any applications (including mobile applications) made available by Instagram (together, the “Service”), however accessed, you agree to be bound by these terms of use.”  Guess that’s what happens when your service is free.

Marketing to Women: More Connected with More FOMO

October 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

New information released from My Life shows that while women are more likely to be a member of Facebook and login more frequently,  they also exhibit a “fear of missing out (FOMO)”.  The study also reinforces the fact that women are more likely to check their e-mail accounts more often.  We are all living in “real time”.  Social media and email brings the world to us on a constant basis.  The world is increasing our interactivity constantly.  As I write this the first Presidential Debate is airing.  It was the most tweeted and Facebooked political event in history.  Social media has become the proverbial “water cooler” and “backyard fence”.

Facebook Fascination

Lots of studies have shown that women are more active in social media so what’s the news here?  Well, not only are women more likely to be a member of Facebook but they also check-in with more frequency.

  • 95% of women surveyed belong to Facebook vs. 86% of men
  • 67% of women login to Facebook once a day or more as compared with 54% of male Facebook members
    • 21% of women login 2-3 times a day vs. 15% of men
    • Only 13% of women say they login to Facebook less than once a week. One in five (20%) of men said the same

Women are also checking into their email more regularly than men.

  • 83% of women check their primary email once a day or more vs. 75% of men
    • This goes up to 90% of females age 35-44 as compared with 85% of men the same age

Why the FOMO Funk?

Why do women have this fear of missing out on things?  For email, could it be that women are constantly in charge as the Chief Operating Officers of their families?  They are dealing with children, family, spouses.  Women are juggling work expectations and dealing with family schedules.

In connecting to their social networks, women are looking to their friends for the news they can use.

  • 65% of women (vs. 59% of men) say they keep an eye on their social networking profiles because they don’t want to miss news or an important event or status update
  • One quarter of female respondents (25%) said they typically visit or log-on to their social networking profiles when they wake up, before they check their email accounts. Only 18% of men report checking social networking profiles before e-mail
  • 47% of women wish there was a solution to help them manage all their social networking profiles (vs. 40% of men)

Marketing to Women: OMG! Do you have FOMO? Social Media Addiction?

August 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Do you have FOMO (fear of missing out)? Do you check your Facebook and Twitter before your email in the morning?  A study by found that 62 percent of  social media adults 18+ (currently a member of more than one social network) say they regularly check-in to their social networks because they don’t want to miss something (e.g., news or an important event or status update).

JWT Intelligence study finds that men are more susceptible to FOMO than women.

Even though a higher proportion of women are sharing and socializing online, a JWT Intelligence report  shows that men might be more vulnerable to FOMO than women are.

According to the 2012 Connecting and Communicating Online: State of Social Media study, young adults check in with their friends and followers on social networks before they even start their day.  Some 57% wish there was a solution to help them use, monitor and protect their social networking profiles and emails at one time.  This hyper attachment to social media may signal a game changer for communications.

More than a fourth of young adults (27%) send messages from within their social network more than from their primary email account.  This dependence on social media will allow Google to improve ad targeting across its engine, affiliates and partners.  Bing now allows you to connect with Facebook friends and solicit their opinion.

The study also has interesting data on content sharing.  While Facebook is considered the gorilla of social media, it is not the primary site social media users turn to for consuming or sharing content.

•   LinkedIn ranks number one for consuming content by 68% of online adults who are LinkedIn members.

  • YouTube (57%) and Twitter (53%) are second place in sites where users tend to primarily view content without sharing.
  • Pinterest (48%) and Facebook (46%) are the sites where users are most likely to equally consume and share content.

Faith Popcorn says “Millennials are particularly subject to FOMO, partly because Millennials are the first generation of digital natives. Half of Millennials say they check Facebook as soon as they wake up, and 28 percent say they do so before getting out of bed. Ten percent confess that they text during sex. In many ways, FOMO is the defining element of the Millennial zeitgeist.”

What does FOMO mean for marketers?  Brands cannot be static. There is a new anticipation for what brands will do next.  Just in time marketing will become the new standard.  Experience becomes the currency for brands.


Marketing to Women: Falling Out of Love with Facebook?

June 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Do you feel you are spending as much time on Facebook as you have in the past?  Has the desire to share and read about the details of friends and acquaintances waned?  If the bloom is off your Facebook rose, then you are not alone.  According to a recent poll conducted among 1,032 Americans by Reuters and research firm Ipsos, 35% of Facebook users said they are less engaged on Facebook than they have been in the recent past. Conversely, only 20% of users say they are spending more time on the site.

The reasons given for the drop in engagement are finding the site boring, not relevant or not useful (27%), a lack of time (25%), and concerns about privacy (24%).  Those who are the most positive towards Facebook are those aged 18-34. Two-thirds say they have either a very or somewhat favorable opinion of the social network, compared to 48% of 35-54-year-olds and just 31% of those over 55.

Even more troubling for Facebook is the finding that four out of five Facebook members have never been influenced by ads run on the site. Since the social network’s IPO, this new finding underscores the need for Facebook to turn the 900 million customer base into a more receptive advertising audience.  This research comes on the heels of AP-CNBC survey results released in May which found that 83% of users rarely if ever click on ads or sponsored content on the site.  Of course, Facebook did generate $3.7 billion in sales last year, mostly from its online ads. But sales growth has been slowing, according to Reuters.

On a more positive note, 18-34-year-olds are 40% more likely than the average to have been influenced by a Facebook impression to make a purchase. Data from a new Inside Network Research report indicates that this demographic makes up 44% of Facebook’s US audience.

This rising concern about advertising effectiveness was highlighted last month when General Motors announced they would halt their Facebook advertising.  Advertisers must think about the type of Facebook engagement that binds the social network and how their product/service fits into the lifestyle represented on Facebook.  I am not thinking about a car purchase when I am on Facebook sharing family photos, events or ideas.  Certainly, food products, restaurants, clothing and passion type activities seem to match up better with the Facebook audience.

Some analysts are predicting that Facebook might go the way of My Space or AOL.  But maybe it’s just a plateau.  Only time will tell. Neil Sedaka certainly expressed it best:  “Come on baby, let’s start anew, cause breaking up is hard to do!”

Marketing to Women: Circle of Friends Keeps Growing

July 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

I had an increasingly frequent and enjoyable experience this past week.  I met one of my online friends, Jen Myers, for coffee this week.  It was our first face to face meeting, because although we have corresponded through social media for quite some time, we had not met in person.  Jen is a great business woman, Mom and socially conscious person.  I met her originally because of her ability to use her coupon skills to help fill her local food bank, and now she is part of the growing Daily Deals for Moms.

Average Facebook User Has Never Met 7% of Friends.

Evidently my experience is not too rare.  A just-released Pew study on the ways people use social networking found that on average Facebook users have about 229 Friends, with the majority of their total friends list being comprised of people they know, but the average Facebook user has never met 7% of their Facebook friends in real life.  The friends they know come from the following groups:   22% of old high school friends, 12% extended family, 10% coworkers, 9% college friends, 8% immediate family, 7% people from extracurricular groups and 2% being neighbors.

What is remarkable about women having virtual friends is that for the first time in history, women’s social networks are expanding, at all ages.

Recent research from shows that boomer women are the first generation of women in history whose social networks are expanding at mid-life and beyond. It seems that mid-life women, such as myself, are in personal contact with at least 46 persons a month, and 65% share information online with others in their network.  One of the most important facts about boomer women is their reliance on consumer reviews if the source is knowledgeable/experienced. They rely on references on websites like (70%), (54%) and TripAdvisor (27%).

It’s such an interesting phenomena that women of different ages, lifestyles and cities who share common interests can meet online and develop friendships.  That’s why women rule social media and will continue to make strong online relationships.

Marketing to Women: Women Rule Social Media

June 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Women rule in social media, spending more time, contributing more, using mobile more and buying more than men.  It’s true.  The new Pew study shows that women are spending more time on Facebook and Twitter.  In fact, Facebook and Twitter would be mere shadows of themselves without women.  Only LinkedIn has more male users.  So it seems women put the Social in Social Media.

Women make up over half of all social media users at fifty-six percent, and they are the leaders in emailing, instant messaging, blogging and photo sharing, as well.

The Female Facebook

Fifty-eight percent of all Facebook users are women compared to only forty-three percent men. It seems that both men and women are using Facebook in a different way now.  We are not updating our status as often, choosing to spend our time commenting on other members and hitting the Like button.  Currently sixteen percent of female Facebook users comment on posts several times a day compared to only eight percent of men.

Tweet like a Girl

Pew reports that women compose 64% of all Twitter users, compared to only 36% men.  And most of new Twitter users are female.  It seems that whether you use 140 characters or more, women are just more adept at social conversations, willingly sharing information to others, engaging in conversation and linking to others.

Social Media Users Double in Two Years

In just two years, the number of social media users has skyrocketed.  In 2008, only twenty-six percent of all adults and thirty-four percent of Internet users used social media. Just two-years later, forty-seven percent of all adults use social media and fifty-nine percent of Internet users now regularly frequent at least one site.

Facebook dominates the social network: 92% of  users are on Facebook; 29% use MySpace, 18% used LinkedIn and 13% use Twitter.  Fifty-two percent of Facebook users check their site one or more times a day, compared to Twitter where 33% users visit once a day or more.  And since men dominate LinkedIn, it’s definitely not as chatty.  Only 6% of users visit their site once a day or more.

Men have not continued to grow as social media users.  In 2008, forty-seven percent of social networking site users were men. Two years later, that rate has dropped to forty-four percent while the rate of female users has grown. Not surprisingly, Linkedin is the only social networking site that draws more male users, according to the survey.

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