Facebook Drops Contest Pre-Approval, Hooray Says SMBs

Contests, giveaways, sweepstakes, promotions — what ever you call them, offering consumers a chance at a prize has always been an excellent way for small business to acquire email addresses and drive traffic to their sites. But not on Facebook. Up until now, Facebook insisted on pre-approving all on-site promos and restricted access to only those spending more than $10,000 on advertising.

Facebook said this was necessary to protect themselves in case of a law suit but apparently they are no longer afraid because the restriction is about to be lifted.

According to Inside Facebook, the social media site is removing the pre-approval and financial commitment, thereby opening up the contest option to anyone running a fan page.

Cyber Monday Sales Resulted in Smart Spending

Yesterday, while shoppers were clogging the internet with holiday transaction, reporters at CNN were waxing on about how Cyber Monday is a myth. More to the point, they said it was a marketing ploy (gasp!) and is erroneously labeled “the biggest online shopping day of the year.”

It might not turn out to be the biggest day, but retailers aren’t complaining this morning after seeing a 19.4% increase over last year. The numbers come from Coremetrics, an IBM Company’s third annual Cyber Monday Benchmark Report and here’s how it adds up.

Cyber Monday 2010 Compared to Black Friday 2010

  • Consumer Spending Increases: Online sales were up 31.1 percent, with consumers pushing the average order value (AOV) up from $190.80 to $194.89 for an increase of 2.1 percent.

Wikipedia’s Accidental ORM Issue?

It’s a pretty slow news day so I started thinking. Already we have crossed into dangerous territory but my interest was captured by the response to the recent Wikileaks mess by Wikipedia’s co-founder Larry Sanger.

Over the weekend he went on the offensive on Twitter by posting the following thoughts regarding Wikileaks

I’ll go ahead and say the obvious: Wikileaks is an enemy of the U.S.—and not just the government. Deal with them accordingly.

How does Wikileaks repeatedly get massive troves of classified material?

Did a person or group in the U.S. govt have access to ALL these docs & leak them to Wikileaks? If so, that person or group is traitorous.

@wikileaks Speaking as Wikipedia’s co-founder, I consider you enemies of the U.S.—not just the government, but the people.

European Union Looks Into Google for Being Mean Again

This will be a bit of a rant so be ready. Here is the problem for me and it once again focuses on the European Union’s ridiculous notion that in a free market there is such a thing as too much success.

The EU allows anyone or any entity who wants to whine about Google’s ‘dominance’ the chance to fight against the search giant in the name of fairness. Fairness is just an ideal and a dumb one at that. Unfortunately, it seems that whenever anything is done by the EU or EC or whatever it is called, it is done with this concept as its basis.

On Facebook: Is Random Relevant?

“Spent the morning making prank bird calls. The sparrows are not amused.”

See the numbers in the graphic? Those are the stats on that random Facebook wall post made by Skittles. And that’s not a fluke. Everyday, there’s an equally random and nonsensical post on the candy’s fan page and every post draws a similar number of “likes” and comments. Most companies would be thrilled to see those kinds of social media stats, but do those high numbers equal marketing success? Depends on who you ask.

AdvertisingAge contents that Facebook is going to redefine the term relevant when it comes to online marketing. In traditional terms, relevant means supplying consumers with copy that discusses the features and benefits of the product or service. Skittles taste fruity. Oreo is a quality cookie. This vacuum sucks better than that one. But those kinds of blurbs don’t spark conversation on Facebook and that’s a problem.

Celebs Stage a Twitter Walkout for Charity

Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga are staging a Twitter walkout tomorrow and quite a few of their celebrity friends will be joining them. They’re calling it the Digital Life Sacrifice and it’s being held on behalf of Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive on the occasion of World AIDS Day. (The press release says this is happening Tuesday, but World AIDS Day is Wednesday.)

Tomorrow, Keys, Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Serena Williams and others will step away from Twitter and Facebook and they’ll stay gone until the charity collects one million in donations. Knowing Lady Gaga fans, this could be a short boycott.

Says Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive;

Facebook Upgrades Insights for the SMB Crowd

Usually I find myself talking about the deficiencies in available services and information to the SMB crowd. I have grown accustomed to it but it’s not how it should be.

It looks like Facebook is realizing this fact and is doing something about it. Why wouldn’t they since there are so many SMB’s using the service to promote their brands? These SMB’s, while not having the deep pockets of the big boys, can turn into real money for the social networking giant as they learn more about how the people who Like them act on the site. The new look Insights section does just that as ClickZ reports.