Up to 30% of Twitter followers from official band accounts are fake

SMO

on August 25, 2012

As some will know I also have Side-Line Magazine under my wings. One of the writers there suggested we should make an article on the number of followers some of the so-called cult bands have. The reason is simple, earlier this week I tweeted this out:

 

And apparently it made that editor think.

Up to 30% of Twitter followers from official band accounts are fake

Up to 30% of Twitter followers from official band accounts are fake

However, one of my clients from the banking sector had asked me if I could make a report on the Twitter activity of some of their competitors. Without going too much into detail, I also checked out the number of fake followers these Twitter accounts had.

And that seemed to be a more interesting way to approach things, so I suggested this: ‘Why not check what some of these bands are up to…’

The result is this article on the number of fake followers some of these huge Twitter accounts have.

The article will give you some kind of an insight into the Twitter accounts of the more popular bands out there. And the findings are rather surprising, or shocking, depends how you interpreted it.

Here’s what a $3000 tweet from Paris Hilton to 6.5 million followers brings you

SMO

on March 29, 2012

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Here's what a $3000 tweet from Paris Hilton to 6.5 million followers brings you

Here's what a $3000 tweet from Paris Hilton to 6.5 million followers brings you

TNW aka The Next Web did a rather interesting – yet costy – experiment by buying a sponsored tweets by celebrity Paris Hilton for their Amsterdam (Holland) conference. Note that a non-paid tweet by Charlie Sheen a few months ago got them 23,000 page views. But as it seems La Hilton is a lot less adequate when it comes to driving traffic than Sheen. Add to that that a conference is less clickfriendly then the Twitter Counter product that Sheen passed on to his Twitter followers. It’s Twitter after all.

The tweet brought TNW 2,652 visits, with 75% of them being new, and 85% of those visits bouncing. So only 15% of the visitors continued to stay on the site or perhaps purchased a ticket for the conference. Not exactly the traffic you’d expect from 6.5 million followers, and certainly not for $3000.

Is there a conclusion to be made? Not really, since the sponsored ‘product’ was quite different, the outcome was bound to be different. And you have to wonder how many followers of Hilton would go to Holland in the first place and how many followers are actually tech-minded. In short the TNW-team spent their money on the wrong public to start with. Had it been a dutch tech crowd I’m pretty sure the outcome would have been pretty different.

Mobile ads drain your smartphone battery life

PR

on March 20, 2012

Tags: ,

Mobile ads drain your smartphone battery life

Mobile ads drain your smartphone battery life

Whereas many blogs have been laying the focus on Free Apps that would be draining your smartphone battery life, the real culprit are the ads. Recent tests have shown that those the ads in those free apps spend more energy than actually running the app itself. Which is a major problem, not for the app builders but for the mobile ad agencies such as Google, to name just the most important one.

I for one will mostly buy apps, just because I want the full monty not just the freebie part of an app. If you like an app, why stick to a limited version anyhow. And for the cost you shouldn’t bother either, most of the time you only have to pay not even a dollar/euro to get the full package.

But this aside, what is actually draining the battery life? A research team at Purdue University has found that the energy used to produce those ads can account for as much as three-fourths of the total energy used to run the apps. Note that the survey (hosted on the Microsoft Research servers – let’s hope this did not influence their results) only counts for none-iPhone smartphones, but you can be pretty certain that the same applies there as well. The energy consumed goes into serving up ads or tracking and uploading user data. The 3G connection that downloads the ad stays open for around 10 seconds, even if it’s finished downloading. The Purdue University calls this the ‘tail energy’ and it consumes another 28 per cent of the app’s energy.

So who is to blame? According to the research team the error should be found in inefficiencies in the third-party code that developers use to generate profit on free apps. In other words, the Googles of this world criple your smartphone battery life because of inept coding.

You would have thought that a party like Google would have enough engineers around to take care of this problem, but so far, nothing seems to be moving there.

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

SMO

on February 25, 2012

Launched now is the website Close to Van Eyck which with a budget of 290.000 EURO makes it possible to discover the Ghent Altarpiece in all its details. Alas, the 290.000 EURO didn’t prevent the makers of the website to mess up everything possible when it comes to sharing the website, even the embedded sharing option resulted in a very amateur result as you can see below. Facebook Open Graph Tags anyone? No image, no title, no description, nothing except a very miserable url string. As far as Facebook sharing is concerned this is a colossal miss.

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

Here’s the result when you share the link to the website (http://closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be , which actually is also a big miss, who can remember such an url?) via Facebook.

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

Here’s the result when you use the share option inside the website.

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

When social sharing goes wrong with a 290.000 EURO budget

You shouldn’t bother with creating a storefront on Facebook

SMO

on February 21, 2012

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Four major retailers have closed their storefronts on Facebook over the past year: Gap, J.C. Penny, Nordstrom and Gamestop. The reason? Fans have bought close to nothing.

Facebook shops close - no reason to be alarmed

Facebook shops close - no reason to be alarmed

Strange? Not really. Like I commented on this Simply Zesty blogpost, Facebook is a social thing. When you are in a pub talking, you are not in a shopping mood either. Facebook will never make it as an e-commerce platform, but that is not really a problem because instead it will be (and already is) an endorser which gets people to talk about and share things. And this rather than buy (right now right there).

On top, like it or not, nobody is visiting the pages itself because all the action is happening inside the newsfeed/ticker. That’s where you need to be present with your brand, not inside a tab on your Facebook page which only few people will visit anyhow once they ’liked’ your brand page. Where companies should put their efforts in is creating ways to do effectively datamine on the platform. But this needs some clever and constant communication and approaches which you can’t do via standalone tabs.

Lots of companies based on social commerce will not be able surviving on the long term due to this. Social commerce does not mean implanting your store on Facebook, it means socializing your store itself. Facebook commerces also need to understand that people are there to enjoy life, not spend money (except for gaming).

Twitter to open up self-service ad platform – why not use Skimlinks?

SMO

on February 20, 2012

Tags: , , , ,

Twitter is rolling out its self-service ad platform next month through a partnership with American Express to get access to over 10,000 small and medium sized businesses. It’s not the first time that American Express is reaching out to social media. Earlier last year American Express launched a deal with Foursquare so that card members across the USA could start discover exclusive specials on the check-in service.

Twitter to open up self-service ad platform - why not use Skimlinks?

Twitter to open up self-service ad platform - why not use Skimlinks?

However, there it’s more than just that. Twitter needs to broaden its revenue streams, quickly. And this is a way to do so.

The 10,000 businesses that will be able to register to use the platform on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who sign up receive $100 in advertising credits to put towards bidding on promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

The self service platform allows advertisers to make electronic payments instead of being invoiced by Twitter’s sales team. Which basically was just impossible to handle on the long run, automatization still is king, and it kinda surprises me that Twitter didn’t realize this earlier. Currently Twitter has 3,000 advertisers and it now hopes to attract the smaller business into its pond.

I’m kinda sceptic though if Twitter is the way to go for advertising for most of these small businesses. Twitter is pre-dominantly mobile – and although mobile is becoming mature very quickly most business simply don’t have websites or ordering pages which are optimized for mobile use. It’s exactly the same problem which Google’s Adwords program is facing. Most advertisers just don’t have mobile friendly websites crushing much of the possible return.

I would have expected Twitter to join hands with companies facilitating the mobile usage of websites, creating forms etc which are easy to handle on mobiles (not those ugly designed mobile Google templates).

Monetize outbound links

Twitter to open up self-service ad platform - why not use Skimlinks?

Twitter to open up self-service ad platform - why not use Skimlinks?

But, is Twitter really checking into the right corner when it comes to monetizing their network? Why not leverage that what its users share the most: links. Unlike the bigger social media platforms, most smaller social hubs have embraced such companies like Skimlinks who monetize links posted by members on forums etc. In other words, they monetize the outbound traffic. Just recently Skimlinks got some extra attention because Pinterest is also using it (some journalists made a big fuzz about it, we still wonder why because Pinterest is a free service).

Anyhow, how does it work? A script ‘translates’ every link on your forum or blog and turns it into an affiliated link. Anno 2012 Skimlinks aggregates more than 17,000 merchants across 27 networks internationally which gives web publishers lots of opportunities to monetize traffic. Of course the merchants already active via Skimlinks might be less pleased to see that their social media traffic via Pinterest and co will now be less free, but also here: a free lunch doesn’t exist. On the other hand advertisors will only pay based on CPA and it will show even more what platforms are monetizing the best.

All in all, it’s quite a frictionless way of getting that massive outbound traffic monetized. So, Twitter, creating extra commercial promoted tweets might just not be the perfect option to get your service monetized.

Not with Facebook

Note though that Facebook has blocked all of  the Skimlinks generated links. For some odd reason Facebook never thought about using the service. When I talked about this to people at Facebook’s Dublin office last year they didn’t even know the service existed, and instead informed me that they would be blocking it. A pity. Or is Facebook working on a similar service?

Social media managers earn the most in SMO

SMO

on February 14, 2012

The Internet marketing staffing company Onward Search (cool name as far as SEO is concerned) has published an infographic showcasing the cities with the highest volume of social media jobs and the salaries in the US.

As you can see the highest volume (30%) is taken by the content writers followed by marketing managers (27%). Salarywise it’s the content writers earning the least and the marketing managers earning the most (up to more than 5x the salary of content writers).

Any conclusions? Not really. In Europe social media is still in its baby shoes, waiting to see a breakthrough happening, so the wages there will be slightly more moderated.

Social media managers earn the most in SMO

Social media managers earn the most in SMO

Foursquare uploads your contacts as well – so what ?

SMO

on February 14, 2012

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While Pathgate is still creating heated emotions here and there, Mike Arrington, whose CrunchFund is an investor in Path, published a post on his personal blog in which he points out that Foursquare is also uploading your contact data when you create a Foursquare account. Again, normal best practice.

Foursquare uploads your contacts - so what ?

Foursquare uploads your contacts - so what ?

Arrington however goes overboard – probably because he fears that Path will become the scapegoat – when he says that Apple is the culprit of it all. According to Arrington Apple should not have allowed this in the first place. But really Mike, if someone gives you a shotgun, does it mean you have to shoot someone? No. Apple isn’t at fault and nor are the developers because in the best interest of users contact uploads should continue to exist to create less friction when using an app.

All in all this ‘Pathgate’ gets really ridiculous, especially because many of the blog posts are clearly written by people who either never have developed an app or never even wondered how it’s possible that you can share so many things from inside an app without going to the trouble of importing, sorting out etc.

Don’t use social layered apps if you don’t want to use it for what it’s been built for in the first place: sharing (so the app can get popular as well).

Alzheimer’s disease goes viral on Facebook

SMO

on February 13, 2012

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If there is a prize to be given to a campaign that raises awareness for a disease on social media, than this Alzheimer’s disease Facebook campaign surely will win. The app called “Sort Me Out” is steadily reaching more and more people on Facebook and this after first being launched in December last year on Facebook (and Twitter). Created by the Grey Group Singapore and its sister company Yolk for the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) Singapore it has as purpose to create public awareness about Alzheimer’s and show what it feels like having the disease.

When a Facebook user logs in to accept the app, it launches and gives the appearance of initializing the sorting out process of the user’s content. Then slowly the app starts to erase content like wall posts, friends list, personal profile and finally photos.

An ingenious campaign.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. Most often, it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age. Alzheimer’s is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.

Below are the screenshots we got to see.

Continue reading “Alzheimer’s disease goes viral on Facebook” »

You can now (again) ban people on your Facebook page

SMO

on February 9, 2012

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Facebook recently changed the way you can moderate your Facebook page by adding a major improvement, or rather re-instating a feature: the option to ban people. For those who have one or more internet trolls having a go on their pages, this is more than welcome. Previously this option was only available if you actually were able finding the member by scrolling through the hundreds of pages of your Facebook likers. Right now, you can just click delete on the offensive comment and either just delete the comment or delete and ban the user as well.

You can now (again) ban people on your Facebook page

You can now (again) ban people on your Facebook page

Good to know, admins do not need to give a reason to ban users. Also, keep in mind that banning a person only prevents them from posting or commenting as Facebook allows banned people to re-like a page. They can still not post or comment though. This is rather logical, you don’t prevent people from visiting your public website either.

With the Facebook mobile app still being a very tough experience, as an admin you can’t do the banning via the Facebook mobile app. You (or another admin on the page) will need to do it from a real computer. If it really gets out of hand you can access your page from your phone’s browser in the desktop emulation mode (if you have an Android phone, the Dolphin browser lets you do that).

If you banned the wrong person, simply click “like this” under the number of people who like your page and then click “See Likes” (upper right on the insights page) then choose “banned” from the drop down in the upper left.

Happy hunting!