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  • blueorbit 11:56 am on April 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Most Marketers Plan to Increase Social Media Spend This Year [STUDY] 

    An overwhelming number of marketers consider social media to be integral to their strategies this year, and 70% plan to increase their social media budget by more than 10% this year, according to a poll from Effie Worldwide and Mashable.

    The poll, given to a group of ad agency executives and marketers from firms such as Bank of America, Colgate-Palmolive and Mini USA, among others in February, also found that the primary social media goal is to increase Facebook “Likes.”

    Speaking on behalf of themselves and their clients, group members reported that social networking would take 11.9% of their overall budget this year compared with 13% for TV. That figure should be taken with a grain of salt, however, since $68.7 billion was spent on all TV advertising last year, compared with just $26 billion for Internet advertising, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau.

    Much of that spending will go toward trying to find new Facebook fans, which 35% of respondents said is their main goal in 2011. “Increase our presence on mobile” was number two on that list, coming in at 22%.

    Other findings:

    • Brands that were cited for “effectively getting their message across via social media” include Old Spice (chosen by 15%), Pepsi (8%), Starbucks (7%) and Ford (6%).
    • 50% of respondents said they use a mix of in-house and agency to handle social media outreach.
    • 80% said they were planning iPad-based advertising and/or an iPad-based app this year, while 20% said they were “not planning much” of either.
    • 87% said social media was “important” or “very important” to achieving their biggest marketing goal this year.

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  • blueorbit 3:09 pm on April 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Could Tablets In Restaurants Mark the End of the Social Service Industry? 

    Gone may be the days where your perky server takes your order at a restaurant, and where you converse with your company at the table, because the future of ordering is here. Now, you can directly order your meal, browse information and play games on a touch-screen tablet at local restaurants.

    A company that has already begun to sell these tablets, E la Carte, announced on Tuesday that it has raised more than $1 million in funding from prominent investors to make this business thrive. The tablets can take orders, entertain guests, accept check payments and more. The company expects to launch tablets in 20 restaurants on the West coast.

    The selling-point behind providing tables with touch-screen tablets is that people are expected to buy more food when they can do so instantly, without waiting for service. According to E la Carte’s CEO Rajat Suri, in the six restaurants that ran a pilot scheme, tables using the devices spent 10% to 12% more than those at other tables.

    E la Carte tablets allow customers to browse a full menu and communicate their orders directly to the kitchen. They come loaded with social games and a calculator for check splits and tips. They also allow customers to email themselves a receipt or instantly sign up for a loyalty club. In high-end restaurants, the tablet can suggest an appropriate wine pairing for a meal.

    Eventually, E la Carte might offer restaurants the option to compile data about their customers’ preferences as they use the device.

    “It’s propelling the restaurant industry into the Internet age,” Suri says.

    While this may be true, what are the implications of this sterile ordering process? Couldn’t this technology be interfering with the social aspect of dining out – being focused on the device and playing games on it – as well as impeding our social skills outside our comfort zone, over all? It may be a good technology in some cases, but the implications this ordering process has on our social norms and comfort in interacting with each other seems a bit concerning.


  • blueorbit 1:58 pm on April 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    iPhone set to become most popular camera on Flickr 

    Ready the point-and-shoot obituary because the iPhone 4’s slaughter spree of the camera market continues with news that the Apple gadget will soon nab the top spot for most popular picture-snapping device on Flickr.

    The popularity of point-and-shoots amongst Flickr users has dropped off significantly in recent years with most photogs opting for more simple with camera phones or upgrading to more complex with DSLRs. The Nikon D90 currently holds the top spot (at least for the time being), demonstrating the trend away from point-and-shoots.

    This won’t be the first time an Apple gadget claims the title on Flickr—in August 2009, the iPhone (all models) trumped the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi.

    reposted via:<a

  • blueorbit 12:43 pm on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    iPhone 5 Just a Refined iPhone 4 

    If you were like me, and hoping for a brand-spanking-new iPhone design with the release of the new 5, then I think I might be about to disappoint you.

    According to supply chain sources, who revealed information to Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, when Apple finally unveils the iPhone 5 later this year, the next iteration of the device will feature only “slight modifications” from the design of the iPhone 4 – and that the real improvements will be found under the hood.

    Expect to find the faster A5 processor on which the iPad 2 runs, a Qualcomm dual mode GSM/CDMA baseband and a higher resolution 8 megapixel rear camera.

    Kuo expects the iPhone 5 to go into trial production in August, mass production in September and arrive at market some time in October, as Apple’s next fiscal year begins.

    So now the question is… to wait for the ‘5’, or not to wait? Or does it really matter?

    via: All Things Digital

  • blueorbit 12:18 pm on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Android Winning as Mr. Popularity 

    Nokia is suffering a huge plummet in market share across the globe, and RIM has seen a devastating fall in its US sales – while the Android mobile operating system is climbing the charts past competitors in almost every developed country to become the primary player.

    New figures provided by Kantar WorldPanel Comtech shows that Nokia, RIM, Apple and Microsoft’s Windows Phone are all being eclipsed by sales of Mr. Popular: Android.

    Nokia’s market share for smartphones dropped from 10% to just over 1% in the US over the past six months, and the numbers reflect similarly in every country over a 12-month or 6-month period.

    RIM is also taking a beating, which Kantar says has fallen drastically in the number of sales in the US – the world’s biggest smartphone market. Its US share has fallen from 32.5% in June 2010 to just 10.6% in March 2011.

    Kantar notes that Apple’s introduction of its iPhone to the Verizon network in the US provided an uplift to sales – so that it did see increased market share there. But in other countries such as the UK, Germany, France and Japan, the iPhone saw a double-digit dive in market share – which could mean that even if Apple is selling more phones, it is not developing numbers as rapidly as the market is expanding.

    The launch of Microsoft’s Windows Phone has barely made a dent in the playing field, with the company’s share of the market falling in every country.

    “The key underlying trend is that Android is growing in every country,” said Dominic Sunnebo, consumer insight director for Kantar. “The lesson of Android is that if you release enough handsets, they are going to sell”.


  • blueorbit 11:00 am on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Majority Of Brands Do Not Have Facebook Or Twitter Accounts In Top Search Results On Google 

    By now we all know that having a Facebook or Twitter page is imperative to many brands in the fight to remain relevant in today’s online world. So why is it that the majority of brands are doing little to optimize their Twitter or Facebook pages in search results? SEO firm BrightEdge is releasing a new study today that shows this information, and how brands aren’t actively working to make their Facebook and Twitter pages discoverable.

    Reviewing the social media presence of the top 200 brands globally, BrightEdge found that almost 100% hold the top or near top rank in search results for the brand name’s website. But for the same brand searches, it was found that 70% of these brands did not have Facebook or Twitter pages in the top 20 results.

    How can you boost search results for your social media page? Albert Grouyet, VP of Product Marketing for BrightEdge, says that “Sometimes it comes down to subtitles and descriptions on the social media pages”. For example, if you take a look at a discoverable company’s Facebook page, the subtitle may be ‘Retail and Consumer Merchandise.’ On the other hand, an undiscoverable company’s Facebook page may have the subtitle of ‘local business’, which Grouyet says isn’t SEO friendly for the brand.

    Of the top 200 brands listed in the Fortune 500, BrightEdge found approximately 68% had Twitter accounts that were not in the top 20 Google results; about 71% had Facebook pages that did not appear in the top 20 results of a search for the specific brand name. Additionally, BrightEdge did not always find a link between the number of friends or followers and the placing in search rank. Meaning, a leading brand with hundreds of thousands of followers or likes doesn’t mean it will rank in the top 20 search results. And conversely, a brand with only a few thousand followers or likes may have a page that ranks in the top 10 of search results.

    We know consumers are beginning look to brands’ Facebook and Twitter pages for news, coupons, customer service and more, so it’s important for these companies to take the steps to make sure these pages are discoverable.


  • blueorbit 3:29 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    The Impact of the Social Web on Media Agencies 

    Social media has had an incredible impact on a brand’s marketing program, and in the last few years, with the real blossoming of Facebook and the evolution of Twitter, social media has become more of a player in how brands are engaging with consumers. And just like 10 years ago when agencies were thinking about how to integrate digital, they’re now starting to think about how to integrate social in their strategy as well as the campaigns.

    So how does social media fit into a campaign, and how is it impacting media agencies? With media agencies today, it really comes down to defining “media” – because now social media is an incredibly important part of the media, and it has changed the nature of what a media agency is. Social media needs to be thought of as an integral piece of what a media agency is offering, to remain relevant as an operating organization.

    When creating a campaign, it’s important to think about how social is going to play into that and how to measure it to make sure it’s impactful. Brands are becoming more personable -– consumers are engaging with a brand as someone they know, so it’s imperative that media agencies today try to keep that experience going, and make it shareable.

    Agencies also need to understand mobile and social and digital, as a part of the overarching, holistic planning process for campaigns. These will vary by who the client is, what makes sense for them and where all the buzz is. But success is driven by two things — the category that you’re in and the consumer segment you want to talk to.

    One of the biggest changes that’s emerging for media agencies is the role of mobile. Media agencies need to have some appreciation for and familiarity with mobile marketing – because mobile should begin to be included as part of every major program that’s being planned. Everything is moving towards mobile, so understanding the implications and opportunities in mobile inside and out, is not something that can be overlooked.

    Also, campaigns used to have a start date and a stop date, and with social media, it becomes more of a continuous effort. You can’t engage in a conversation and then just drop out of it, because you have people who are engaged with you. This means that the speed at which an agency works is quickening. The pace of producing content has become much faster — social media is something that can not wait.

    With social media becoming so ingrained in our daily experiences, the agency needs to acknowledge the direction that marketing is headed and proactively work to incorporate new methods to engage consumers.


  • blueorbit 11:16 am on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    1 in 5 Smartphones Will Have NFC by 2014 

    The pieces are falling into place for near field communications to take off over the next few years, according to a new forecast from Juniper Research, which estimated 1 in 5 smartphones will support the short distance wireless technology by 2014, with 300 million NFC-capable devices available by then. 

    Juniper said the increasing momentum behind NFC, with a stream of vendor and carriers announcements in recent months, is helping boost the prospects of NFC. North America will lead the way, according to Juniper, with half of all NFC smartphones by 2014. France in particular is off to a quick start, with 1 million NFC devices expected this year.

    But NFC ramp up will still faces challenges. With so many players involved, from merchants, operators, manufacturers and web giants like Google, service complexity will be an issue. The industry also needs to work out business models around NFC while ensuring strong security for consumers unfamiliar with the concept of a mobile wallet, said Howard Wilcox, the author of the report.

    Wilcox said the bigger revenue opportunity per user is not in NFC payments but through retail shopping opportunities such as coupons and smart posters that offer product information. That lines up with what we’ve been writing about lately, that NFC, while it’s framed as a payment story, offers much more in the way of targeted marketing. That will give merchants more reason to jump on board with NFC and if done well, with relevant coupons, discounts and offers, could help spur on adoption with consumers.

    It will still be a little slow this year with NFC, as hardware starts rolling out and carriers, banks and others work through final testing and small deployments. Merchants will need to also upgrade to NFC capable readers. But increasingly, it looks like the NFC boom is not a matter of if, but when at this point.

    Reposted via:

  • blueorbit 10:52 am on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Facebook: One Mobile Site to Serve Thousands of Phones 

    Mobile Facebook users – unite! Facebook is excited to have started rolling out a major upgrade to their mobile site – delivering the best possible mobile Web experience no matter what device you’re using. Previously, the problem was solved by building multiple versions of mobile Facebook: for less feature-rich mobile devices and for touch devices.

    According to Facebook there were two major problems with this approach:

    First of all, “We were limited by the lowest common denominator for each site. We couldn’t use JavaScript and had device specific file size limitations on Supporting a wide array of touch phones of varying quality on limited our ability to use modern CSS and JavaScript APIs.”

    And secondly, “Every time we launched a new feature, we had to build it multiple times across different code bases: once for, then again for,, and in native applications as well. Honestly, we weren’t very good at doing this, so certain features were missing on different devices.”

    Now, every device uses the same framework. This way Facebook can move even faster and build new features just once for every mobile device. This means that everyone can access the same features – whether writing messages or checking into Places – by being automatically served the best version of the site for your mobile device.

  • blueorbit 1:54 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Social Media Helps You Position Yourself As An Expert – And Get Press! 

    As a business owner you may be asking yourself, “Really, is all this social media stuff necessary?” Unless you want to be left behind in your market of expertise, then we think, yes, it is necessary! You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t think you had the best to offer in your field, and social media lets you take the reigns online (where the world is migrating towards), and actually become the ‘master of your domain’!

    What do you get out of it? As an expert in your niche, you get all kinds of special treatment from others that respect you and acknowledge your experience and wisdom in your area of specialty. According to an article on

    “As an expert, you can leverage your knowledge to network with the right people and ultimately become an expert source for stories that publications are writing, bringing in tons of inbound PR inquiries. You can get press without having to announce something new at your company, but instead, by sharing your thoughts about a subject you are truly passionate about and have a lot of experience in.”

    What’s better than PR inquiries that come to you, as opposed to vice versa? We think that’s a pretty dandy deal – so here are a few ways to participate in social media to make it happen:

    1) Write a blog:

    Author a blog in your niche, writing highly opinionated thoughts on what’s going on in the industry. If you’re publishing worthwhile thoughts, people will read them and soon enough, they’ll be knocking down your door wanting to hear your expert thoughts in the area.

    2) Do speaking engagements:

    When you’ve spoken at events, you’re a more credible professional, because rather than being a faceless author behind a blog or a faceless worker behind an email, you’re an intellectual being that stood up in front of a crowd who (mostly) listened to every word you said.

    3) Flaunt your stuff:

    Use social media sites to talk about the success you’ve had and the things you’re doing. If you’re an expert, let the world know about the big clients you’ve helped; the revenue you’ve made from the contracts you signed; the number of clients you’ve managed, the . If you’ve accomplished anything incredible, that makes you worthy of being called an expert.

    4) Write guest posts on influential blogs or social networks within your market:

    If you don’t have time to author your own blog – and even if you already write your own blog – publishing some of your work on well-regarded, influential blogs/social media pages can earn you a lot of respect. With high readerships, you’ll put yourself in front of plenty of people who will want to connect with you, asking you to be an expert source for their stories or blog posts.

    5) Create a class or webinar series:

    Become a teacher for other great minds in the industry, who will at some point be talking to the press about their experiences and if you had a strong enough impact in their careers and professional growth, you can be sure they’ll refer anyone looking for experts in that specific niche to talk to you.

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