The Runaway Tow Truck and the Unpredictability of Social Media

The televised high speed pursuit has become an odd form of entertainment for those of us here in Southern California. Five TV networks, all with helicopters, ground units and a team of news anchors narrating every move made by some  driver who thought he could outrun the police. You swear you won’t watch for more than a minute and the next thing you know, two hours have gone by and you’re still glued to the set. Makes you wonder who is crazier, the fleeing motorist or us for watching.

Yesterday, the phenomena took on an even stranger turn when a man in a tow truck led police on a two hour “low speed” pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles. It was rush hour, so he hardly ever moved more than a few miles per hour and like a good driver, he stopped for red lights. He also stopped to chat with fans.

Study Shows Ad Hover Is More Effective Than Ad Clicks

All hail the mighty click-through. It’s the holy grail of display marketing. The action for which we are willing to pay a handsome sum every time it happens. Why? Because a click is just a step away from a conversion. Yes?

A click on a book ad leads to my buying the book. A click on a restaurant coupon ad means I’m headed out to lunch. Or not?

A new study by Pretarget and comScore says that click-throughs have one of the lowest conversion rates of all the trackable metrics for display ads. What’s more effective? The ad hover.

I’d like to stop here a moment to clarify a point. I read the results of the Pretarget report three times and each time felt like I was listening to a lecture by Dr. Sheldon Cooper. So bear with me while I try to work this out.

In the Age of Pinterest, Google Wants You To Know How To Index Images

First, social media took the art of the conversation and created a way to slice and dice our interactions into 140 character pieces. As social media users have adjusted to this new way of connecting there may be a realization that it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Enter the image. The rumor is that it is worth a thousand words. Video is taking over about of the time spent online. People are busy and, let’s face it, if we can convey an idea with an image and cut out the characters almost completely (aside from trying to SEO the heck out of the opportunity), then why not?

B2B CMO’s Decrease Community Management Investment in 2012

Are we reaching the point where B2B marketer’s are understanding that they need to invest in social media and community management so well that they can actually DECREASE areas of investment? If so, that was quick.

If the findings from a new Forrester report titled “B2B Marketers Must Focus On Partnership and Experimentation As 2012 Budgets Rise” are to be believed it’s marketing operations, including analytics that measure marketing success, that are where CMO’s are putting their money. This chart from the report shows where these B2B marketers are aiming their budgets.

The report is fascinating in that it looks at the dangers of taking this kind of data and taking it as the word across all industries. For instance take a look at how pharmaceuticals are looking to invest in their marketing efforts

Mobile Spending on the Rise: There are 32 Billion Apps for That

How much do you spend on mobile in a year? Figure in the cost of data plans, apps and app upgrades, downloaded music and videos, maybe you even coughed up a buck for a ring tone?

All together, and combined with the rest of the world, you’re looking at a final bill of around $138.2 billion in 2012. That’s up 13.4% from last year.

The data comes from Strategy Analytics’ Global Mobile Media Forecast and the numbers are pretty startling.

Along with the rise in consumer spend, is the rise in advertiser spend. That’s expected to double this year hitting around $11.6 billion.

Apps are a huge part of the growth. They come in second behind data plans with 18.9% of the total mobile spend globally. 18.9% doesn’t sound like much, but it represents $26.1 billion dollars in sales.

Majority of Millennials ‘Like’ a Facebook Fan Page but Never Return

Millennials, those folks who are currently between the ages of 18 and 29, are the core of Facebook’s audience. They were born into the social media era and as such, have become accustomed to checking Facebook for everything from world news to what their friends are up to. But where do they stand with Facebook brand pages, you ask?

Keep on reading, because I’ve got the answer courtesy of Dr. Tina McCorkindale, an assistant professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication. Dr. McCorkindale and two of her colleagues conducted a survey of 414 Millennials and found out something you won’t want to hear.

75% said they had “liked” a profit or non-profit organization on Facebook, (wait for it. . . . ) but 69% said that once they “liked” the organization, they rarely or never returned to the fan page.

900 Million Monthly Users for Facebook and Profits Drop 12%

Maybe more isn’t necessarily better?

Yesterday Facebook, who is rapidly approaching its IPO in May (actual date has not been confirmed but the rumor mill is churning on mid-month) reported that reached nice revenue numbers but managed to see its profits slip 125 from the previous quarter. The New York Times reports

Still, its revenue exceeded $1 billion for the second consecutive quarter, something the company is likely to emphasize when it begins its presentations to potential investors in the coming weeks.

The latest financial figures, disclosed in an amended prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, may raise questions about whether Facebook will be able to command a high stock value when it goes public, a number built largely on the promise of continued growth.