Auto Thank You Messages & Twitter

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Thank YouSearching the web recently keeping up with the goings on with social media, I came across an article by a self proclaimed social media guru on the subject of auto thank you messages on Twitter.

These are messages that you can send out automatically to thank someone who decides to follow you. I’ve had them programmed on my Twitter accounts for ages now and what surprised me was this guru stating in his article that if he receives one of these auto thank you messages he automatically un-follows the company or person. He says it annoys him, oh really you poor dear, I think you’re forgetting that the whole concept of social media is being social.

In my mind, it is just a polite way of acknowledging the follow and as long as the message does not contain a blatant add or sales pitch, I have no problem with these messages at all.

This guru’s belief is that common courtesy rules, apparently don’t apply to social media marketing, well he’s wrong, because I think they do and I will continue to send out my messages to those that do decide to follow me, and by chance if this social media expert is offended by this, then goodbye.

Being social and communicating and connecting with your followers is the essence of social media and I won’t decide to follow or un-follow someone because they sent me an auto thank you message.

That’s just too ridiculous for words, and I wonder if this guy is consulting to companies on social media strategy, what he is advising his clients to do, I just hope he’s not working for you.

There are a lot of instant social media experts around today, and most of them don’t really have a clue.

Decide who you are going to follow by the quality of information they are providing, how interesting and unique it is and if it is informative and relevant.

Oh and if they happen to send you a thank you message for the follow, then that’s good manners.

Remember, Focus on being social not doing social.

Twitter Video Streams Watched for 2 Mins

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twitter3-logo1The average online video stream discovered on the Twitter social network is viewed for two minutes and seven seconds , according to a new study from TubeMogul, Brightcove, and DynamicLogic.

Twitter Beats Yahoo, Facebook

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Comparing the average viewing time of 103,731,006 random video streams discovered on several leading social networks and search engines, “Online Video Best Practices” finds that the average video stream sourced via Twitter is viewed for two minutes and seven seconds. No other social network or search engine analyzed broke the two-minute mark.

Search engine Yahoo followed with an average viewing time of one minute and 54 seconds, closely trailed by social network Facebook with an average viewing time of one minute and 50 seconds. Search engines Google (1:27) and Bing (1:09) had significantly shorter average online video viewing times.

Online Videos Have Short Shelf Life

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Analyzing the average 90-day viewing lifecycle of an online video, the study finds the average online video receives half its 90-day online view total in the first six days, and 75% in the first 20 days.

The shelf life of online videos has dropped dramatically since 2008, when it took the average online video took two weeks to get half its 90-day view total and 44 days to reach 75%.

Repurposed, Made-for-Web Ads Have Different Strengths

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There is no one superior production format, it turns out; repurposed TV spots typically result in higher impact on awareness metrics, while made-for-web video content more ably persuades its viewers.

More specifically, repurposed TV ads are slightly better at raising brand awareness (affect 2% of viewers compared to 1.9%) and message association (2.2% compared to 2.1%), and affect a moderately higher percentage of viewers in terms of online ad awareness (4.7% compared to 4.3%).

Meanwhile, made-for-web ads outperform repurposed TV ads in brand favorability (1.6% compared to 1.2%) and purchase intent (1.4% compared to 0.8%).

Custom Content Boosts Purchase Intent Among 18-34-Yr-Olds

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Comparing the affect of repurposed TV and made-for-web content on viewers of different ages, the study finds that purchase intent among 18-to-34-year-olds who view made-for-web content (2.8%) dwarfs purchase intent for either type of content among any age group. This percentage is more than double the next-highest purchase intent rate, 1.1% of 18-to-34-year-olds exposed to repurposed TV content.

This age group also has significantly higher online ad awareness from viewing made-for-web content (5.9%) than any other online ad awareness score, although nowhere near double the amount. The highest brand favorability score is among 35-to-49-year-olds who view made-for-web content (2%), while brand awareness is highest among 35-to-49-year-olds exposed to repurposed TV content (3.3%).

8 in 10 Marketers Using Online Video Seek Higher Engagement

Close to 80% of marketers using online video on their sites do so to increase visitor engagement, or time spent, according to other study results. This is by far the most popular reason. Another 60% use online video to strengthen their brand, and almost 60% use online video to increase overall visitors (more than one answer was permissable).

No other reason garnered as much as a 40% response rate. Approximately 30% of respondents said they use online video on their sites to increase available ad inventory.

Google admits to accidentally collecting e-mails, URLs, passwords

Google admitted in a blog post Friday that external regulators have discovered that e-mails, URLs and passwords were collected and stored in a technical mishap, while the vehicles for Google’s Street View service were out documenting roadway locations.

According to Google, data was mistakenly collected in more than 30 countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, some of Europe, and parts of Asia.

In the blog, posted by Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research, he noted "we failed badly here" and added that Google has spent months analyzing how to strengthen their internal privacy and security practices.

"We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and I would like to apologize again for the fact that we collected it in the first place," Eustace wrote.

Google announced in May that it had collected unencrypted WiFi data by mistake through its Street View service, but the severity of the situation was unknown.

According to a Google spokesperson, the company first became aware of the problem when the Data Protection Authority in Germany asked Google to review all of the data collected through its Street View cars as part of a routine check. The spokesperson added that in addition to street locations, Street View cars also collect WiFi data about hot spots in order to improve the location database for things such as Google Maps for mobile.

When Google went back and looked at the data, it turned out that in addition to WiFi hot spots, they were mistakenly collecting information that was being sent across unencrypted networks.

For the information to have been collected by Google, a person had to have been sending something over an unencrypted network at the same time that a Street View car was collecting data in that same location.

According to Google, the vast majority of the data is in fragments, but in the past week several countries have issued reports that they have found entire emails and passwords.

The data has since been segregated and secured, and WiFi data is no longer being collected from Street View cars.

Google has deleted the data collected from Ireland, Austria, Denmark and Hong Kong, but other countries have opened their own investigations, and Google has not been given permission from authorities to delete the data.

In a statement, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said, "This alarming admission that Google collected entire e-mails and passwords validates and heightens our significant concerns. Our multistate investigation, led by Connecticut, into Google’s alleged invasion of privacy through wireless networks is continuing."

In the blog post, Eustace outlined the steps that Google is taking to strengthen its internal privacy and security practices including appointing a director of privacy across both engineering and product management and enhancing the core training that engineers and employees responsible for data collection receive.

"We are mortified by what happened, but confident that these changes to our processes and structure will significantly improve our internal privacy and security practices for the benefit of all our users," Eustace wrote.

Story by Marina Landis, CNN – www.cnn.com

Good Experiences Motivate Women to Share Product Info

Females care more about relating positive vs. negative word-of-mouth

Marketers looking to spur brand advocacy among women—or those worried about the possibility of negative brand buzz facilitated by social media—have another piece of evidence that good experiences are a key motivator of brand discussions.

A survey of online women in North America by female-focused marketing and communications firm Harbinger found that 92% of them turn to friends and family for product information, making word-of-mouth their top source. They consider it important to seek and share information on a variety of product categories, with appliances, restaurants, automobiles and entertainment leading the list.

In the food and beverage category, which more than two-thirds of female internet users said they were likely to share information about, 58% said they would do so because of a good experience. A bad experience would motivate 46% of respondents to speak up.

Top 5 Reasons Female Internet Users in North America Seek and Share Information on Food and Beverages, Spring 2010 (% of respondents)

Experiences with appliances—which 80% of women surveyed said they would spread the word about—were even stronger motivators. Four in five respondents reported they would share good experiences with others, while just under three-quarters said the same of bad experiences.

Top 5 Reasons Female Internet Users in North America Seek and Share Information on Appliances, Spring 2010 (% of respondents)

In every product category studied, sharing good experiences, and often a desire to help other consumers make smart purchases, came ahead of sharing bad experiences as a word-of-mouth generator. A truly negative brand experience may still garner negative buzz online or offline, but the women surveyed were more inspired by the positive.

And despite the popularity of social media among women—and marketers’ propensity to target them there and turn them into online brand advocates—those studied preferred to share information with friends and family face-to-face (92%). They were also more likely to share info in person with strangers or acquaintances (36%) than via a website (32%) or social networking site (27%).

Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream

Becoming fully incorporated into media and marketing

Blogging has been around for well over a decade—an eternity in internet time. Whereas blogs used to be a thorn in the side of traditional journalism, today they’re an essential ingredient in the media mix. Hardly a news organization exists that does not have a blog where its journalists post updates to breaking stories, offer personal commentary and engage in a dialogue with readers and viewers.

Similarly, blogging has grown into a vital marketing tool for all types of companies, including Fortune 500 marketers and mom-and-pop retailers. eMarketer estimates that 34% of US companies will use a blog for marketing purposes this year, a proportion that will continue to grow to 43% by 2012.

“Businesses are increasingly using the blogosphere to further a variety of corporate functions, such as communications, lead generation, customer service and brand marketing,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Corporate Blogging: Media and Marketing Firms Drive Growth.”

US Companies Using Blogs for Marketing Purposes, 2007-2012 (% of total)

While blogging still tends not to rate such high usage as newer forms of social media like Facebook and Twitter, it still has many strengths, including full control over branding and advertising, integration with all corporate web properties, no limits on post length and the existence of a full, easily searchable repository of information. And studies have noted blogging’s usefulness for lead generation.

In addition to marketing, blogs have also become more fully integrated into the world of communications. In the early days of blogging, the established media showed a definite distrust of such nontraditional publishing. By October 2009, according to a Cision-led study, nearly two-thirds of US journalists reported they used blogs to publish, promote and distribute what they wrote. And according to PRWeek and PR Newswire, about a third of journalists used corporate blogs as research sources in 2010, up from a quarter last year.

Research Tools Used by US Journalists When Conducting Research for a Story, 2009 & 2010 (% of respondents)

“This confluence between established and emerging media is making blogging an integral part of the news cycle,” said Verna. “As consumers assimilate blogs into their media consumption, they are less likely to distinguish between a blog and a traditional news outlet.”


Google Gains Search Ground

Google gained ground in its dominance of the US explicit and total core search markets in September 2010, according to monthly comScore qSearch analysis.

Google Takes Larger Share of Explicit Core Search
Google Sites held 66.1% of the US explicit core search market (which measures user engagement with a search service with the intent to retrieve search results) in September 2010, up 1% from 65.4% in August 2010.

Second-ranked Yahoo Sites lost 4% of its explicit core search market share, dropping from 17.4% to 16.7%. No other explicit core search provider experienced significant month-over-month fluctuation.

More Explicit Core Search Queries Performed via Google, Microsoft
More than 16 billion explicit core searches were conducted in September 2010, up 2% from 15.7 billion the previous month. Google Sites ranked first with 10.6 billion searches, up 3% from 10.2 billion searches; followed by Yahoo Sites in second with 2.7 billion, down 2% from slightly more than that total the previous month.

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Microsoft Sites came in third with 1.8 billion explicit core searches, up 3% from 1.7 billion.

Google Also Grows Total Core Search Share
Google Sites accounted for 63% of total US core search queries conducted in August 2010, up 4% from a 60.5% share the previous month. Yahoo Sites followed with 19%, down 9.5% from 21% the previous month, and Microsoft Sites came in third with 12.5%, down about 2% from 12.8% in August 2010.

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Google Sites Jumps in Total Core Search Queries
The total number of core search queries performed via Google Sites jumped 8%, from 10.2 billion to 11.1 billion. Meanwhile, second place Yahoo Sites lost 5%, dropping from 3.6 billion to 3.4 billion. Third place Microsoft Sites increased its total number of core search queries 2%, from 2.16 billion to 2.2 billion.

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Total US core search queries grew 4% in September 2010, rising from 16.9 billion in August 2010 to 17.7 billion.

Teen Texting Jumps 8%

US teens age 13-17 sent and received average of 8% more text messages in Q2 2010 than in Q2 2009, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

Teen Females are Queens of Texting
Teens age 13-17 sent and received average of 3,339 monthly text messages in Q2 2010, 8% more than Q2 2009 and more than six per waking hour.

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No one texts more than teens (age 13-17), especially teen females, who send and receive an average of 4,050 texts per month. Teen males also outpace other male age groups, sending and receiving an average of 2,539 texts. Young adults (age 18-24) come in a distant second, exchanging 1,630 texts per month (a comparatively meager three texts per hour).

Texting Trumps Safety
Texting is the main reason teens get a cell phone, with 43% claiming it is their primary reason for getting one. Safety, which was the main teen reason for getting a phone in 2008, is now less important. It is secondary among girls and less so among boys. Keeping in touch with friends is still one of the top three factors, too.

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Overall, percentages of teens citing specific reasons for obtaining a cell phone did not greatly vary between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010.

Voice Usage Drops in Younger than 55
Tracking use of voice telephony by age group, voice usage declined in every age bracket younger than 55 between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010. It slightly increased among the 55-to-64-year-old and 65 and older demographics.

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Voice activity has decreased 14% among teens, who average 646 minutes talking on the phone per month. Teen females, who are more social with their phones, average about 753 minutes per month, while males use around 525 minutes.

Teens Use More Mobile Data, Apps
While teen usage of mobile data and applications does not reach levels of activity seen by young adults, it has increased substantially since Q2 2009, growing from 14 MB to 62 MB. This fourfold increase is the largest jump among all age groups. Much of this boost is led by males, who are more gadget-savvy and consume 75 MB of data, compared to 17 MB in Q2 2009. Teen females use about 53 MB of data, compared to 11 MB a year ago.

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Teens are not only using more data, but they are also downloading a wider range of applications. Software downloads among teen subscribers who use apps enjoyed a solid 46% increase in activity, from 26% to 38%. This includes popular apps such as Facebook, Pandora or YouTube.

Usage of the mobile web has also surpassed activity on pre-installed games, ringtone downloads and instant messaging. Other mobile activities like mail and text alerts have also seen significant growth.

Teens Text 5x More than Adults
Teens ages 12-17 send and receive a median of five times more texts per day than adult texters, according to recent data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Slightly more than half (51%) of adults who text send one to 10 texts per day, compared to 22% of teens.

The percentages of texting adults and teens who send 11-20 and 21-50 average daily texts are fairly similar. Where teens begin to outpace adults is in the percentage who send 51-100 average texts daily (18% to 7%), and more notably in the percentage who send 101-plus average texts daily (29% to 8%).

Ultimately, adults who text typically send and receive a median of 10 texts a day; teens who text send and receive a median of 50 texts per day.

More Americans Own Mobile Phones than Computers

A higher percentage of US adults owns a mobile phone than owns a computer, according to new data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Cell Phones, Computers Top Gadgets
Pew data indicates that 85% of Americans now own a cell phone. Cell phone ownership rates among young adults have reached 96% of 18-to-29 year olds. Meanwhile, three-quarters (76%) of Americans own either a desktop or laptop computer. Since 2006, laptop ownership has grown dramatically (from 30% to 52%) while desktop ownership has declined slightly.

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Less than Half Own MP3 Players, Video Games
Ownership rates of other popular gadgets among US adults do not reach 50%. Slightly less than half of American adults (47%) own an MP3 player such as an iPod. This represents a nearly five-fold increase from the 11% who owned this type of device in early 2005.

Console gaming devices like the Xbox and PlayStation are nearly as common as mp3 players, as 42% of Americans own a home gaming device. Parents (64%) are nearly twice as likely as non-parents (33%) to own a game console.

Tablets, E-readers Grow with Early Adopters
Compared with the other devices on this list, e-book readers (such as the Kindle) and tablet computers (such as the iPad) are relatively new arrivals to the consumer technology scene and are owned by a relatively modest number of Americans.

However, these devices are proving popular with traditional early adopter groups such as the affluent and highly educated. Ownership rates for tablets and e-book readers among college graduates and those earning $75,000 or more per year are roughly double the national averages of 5% and 4%, respectively.

Multiple Ownership Common
Eight in 10 American adults (78%) own two or more of these devices, and the median adult owns three of the seven gadgets we asked about in our survey. Among other factors, device ownership is highly correlated with age.

For example, the typical adult younger than age 45 owns four devices, while the typical adult between the ages of 55 and 64 owns two and the typical senior (age 65 or older) owns just one. Those with high levels of income and education are also more likely to own a relatively large number of devices compared with those with lower income and education levels.

iPad Owners Valuable to Advertisers
iPad owners may currently represent a small segment of the adult US population, but they demonstrate a number of demographic trends that make them valuable to advertisers, according to research from The Nielsen Company. iPad owners skew younger and more male than owners of many other portable computing devices. Sixty-five percent of them are male and 63% of them are younger than the age of 35.

Google eyes online consumer index

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Google US internet titan Google is readying its own ‘Google Price Index’ based on a vast database of online purchases, providing a daily measure of inflation, said a top company official quoted in the Financial Times.

Google has not yet decided whether it will publish the index (GPI), which is still in development, the group’s chief economist Hal Varian said at the National Association of Business Economists conference in Denver, Colorado.

Varian said the GPI indicates a ‘very clear deflationary trend’ for goods purchased online in just under a year of data gathering, a potentially worrying prospect for US officials.

The GPI, calculated differently from official statistics of consumption — a key indicator of US economic growth — as it only accounts for products sold on the internet, but can be a much faster tool as results could be modelled at real-time speed.

The most recent official data from the Commerce Department was released at the beginning of October and showed consumer spending in August. Those figures showed spending rose 0.4 per cent in August as consumers spent slightly more than expected for the second straight month.

Story from www.ninemsn.com.au

Email Still Tops Facebook for Keeping in Touch

Only 18- to 24-year-olds use the social networking site more than email for passing items on

Content-sharing has become a staple of internet usage for most online adults. Research from Chadwick Martin Bailey found that three-quarters of web users are likely to share content with friends and family, and nearly half do so at least once a week. But while much social networking content is built around such shared items, most people still prefer to use email to pass along items of interest.

Overall, 86% of survey respondents said they used email to share content, while just 49% said they used Facebook. Broken down by age, the preference for email is more pronounced as users get older. And only the youngest group polled, those ages 18 to 24, reverses the trend, with 76% sharing via Facebook, compared with 70% via email.

Ways US Internet Users Share Content, by Age, Aug 2010 (% of respondents)

Earlier research from StrongMail and ShareThis also found email was still on top for content-sharing. Other studies have shown that, when limited to sharing on social sites, Facebook is No. 1.

Asked what gets them to share content online, web users polled by Chadwick Martin Bailey revealed selfish motivations. Rather than focusing on sharing content they thought the recipients would find helpful or relevant (58%), most respondents cared more about what they thought was interesting or amusing (72%). Asked to select the single biggest reason they shared content, the greatest percentage of respondents (45%) again said it was because they enjoyed it. Men and women reported similar reasons for sharing, but motivations varied by age. The oldest respondents cared more about the value of content to recipients: 67% of those ages 55 and older said they shared items because they would be useful to recipients, compared with just 45% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Primary Reason US Internet Users Share Content Online, Aug 2010 (% of respondents)

This difference in sharing motivation could have a relationship to the method of sharing. Email is a more targeted form of sending content; while content-sharers may shoot off mass emails to large distribution lists, most email shares are likely sent to a person or small group selected based on the specific content being shared.

Sharing via social networks like Facebook, by contrast, typically involves feeding items to an entire friends list. The youngest users, who care the least about whether the recipients of their content actually want to see it, are also most likely to disseminate the information to the widest group. And the seniors and older boomers who find the recipients’ needs more important dramatically favor email for sharing, suggesting they are sending relevant items to only those who will want them.