Facebook Offers Now Free with Purchase

Facebook Offers is a neat tool that allows you to easily send promotions and discounts to your Facebook fans. Send a 10% off coupon, a voucher for a cookie, $5 off dinner for two — you create it, they send it, you get more business. Best of all it’s free to use — and it kind of still is.

Sometime in the next month, Facebook is going to start requiring a Facebook ad purchase of at least $5 for every offer you send out. So, technically, the Offer is free with purchase. Come on, you’re a merchant, you get the concept, right?

I could sit here and wave my fist and exclaim, “how dare they!” This is America. What right do they have to make me pay for something I used to get for free.

Shazam Expands Their Reach from Just Music to TV

Shazam has made a name for itself as the tool for identifying music on the radio, TV or a DVD. Using a magical audio matching system, the app listens to a song, then tells you the name, who performed it and gives you a link to download it.

Currently, the app has more than a quarter of a billion users worldwide and now they’re striking out on a new path in hopes of gaining even more.

Shazam for TV uses the same audio matching technology to deliver all kinds of information about your favorite TV shows. I put the app to the test this morning with an old rerun of Rizzoli & Isles on TNT and look what I got.

Could Social Media Be Slowly Eroding Search Engine Traffic?

Every marketer would like to see their brand land in the top spot on a search engine, but is top worth what it used to be?

Experian Hitwise UK just released some interesting numbers concerning search in the land of Lords. What it shows is a slow decline in the number of people using search engines across the board. They say overall visits are down by 40 million since August of 2011. That means this past August was the first time this year that search didn’t show a year-over-year gain.

Here are the US numbers from this past Spring.

LinkedIn Supports Non-Profits with New Board Connect

If you work with a non-profit organization, get thee to LinkedIn right now. The social networking site has just released a new tool called Board Connect that is all about helping non-profits find new board members.

Meg Garlinhouse, head of employment brand and community for LinkedIn, told Mashable,

“There’s a huge supply and demand issue we’re trying to solve — more than 2 million non-profit board seats need to be filled each year and non-profit leaders are challenged with finding the right individuals to join those boards.”

It’s not at all surprising given that everyone’s days are already filled to overflowing with work, home and community responsibilities. Add to that, the fact that the people running a non-profit are generally handling more tasks than any one person should and it’s a wonder these groups continue to function.

Twitter Updates Interfaces with Slick New Profile Design

Twitter has always been my favorite social media child and now I love them even more thanks to their slick new interface.

The center piece of the update is a header photo that is oddly reminiscent of the header photos we’ve seen on some other social media site. . .  Here’s the example page from The Today Show.

Nice. The layout makes the page look like a real landing page and not just a placeholder for text. The Tweets are still prominent but the sidebar is great, too. Have they always had that “Tweet to:” box on there? I don’t remember seeing it, but I like it.

Living in a Multi-Screen World

How many families do you know who all sit around together and watch TV on a single, small screen? There are probably a few of them out there, but the photo you see here no longer represents the viewing habits of the average American family.

Now we have TV’s in every room, bigger screens, cable, DVR’s and media players. More than 8 million people bought an HDTV in 2011 and 39% of homes have new gaming consoles that do more than just play games.

Take a look at how our viewing habits are changing. It’s subtle, but it’s definitely shifting.

In Advertising, Consumers Trust Earned Over Owned

When it comes to information about a product or brand, the personal recommendation trumps all else. That falls under the category of “earned” advertising. Your product was worthy, so you earned the respect of a consumer, who in turn, passed that good word on to their friends and family. It doesn’t get better than that.

The downside, is that “earned” advertising has to come when it comes. You can’t make it happen on schedule, so that’s where “paid” and “owned” come in.

Take a look at this trust chart from Nielsen and we’ll talk about it on the other side.

It’s a given that consumers don’t put much stock in paid advertising, but look at mobile dragging its knuckles at the bottom of the chart. Mobile phones and tablets are the hottest thing in tech right now, but people are almost universally shunning the ads they see there.