Advertisers Go Gray as the Balance of Power Shifts in the US

AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) is on a quest to get advertisers to include their demographic in more campaigns. Using tag lines such as “I may be creased, but my money is crisp,” they hope to persuade advertisers that there’s a profit to be made in the over fifty market.

Since the dawn of time, advertisers have sought out the younger buyers since they were the ones with discretionary cash. But these days, there aren’t too many 20 years old who are flush with the green stuff. 53% of recent college grads are unemployed or underemployed, the worst its ever been in the last 11 years. So why are advertisers so keen on pitching to a crowd of over-educated, broke young folks? Habit, mostly.

Top 100 Companies Increase YouTube Usage by Nearly Forty Percent

Burson-Marsteller recently released the results of its third annual Global Social Media Check-Up Study and YouTube came out as the big winner.

The yearly report examines social media usage among the Fortune Global 100 companies, including Ford, Sony, Walmart, and HP.

82% of these companies are now maintaining YouTube accounts, the biggest jump up across all of the social media platforms. These channels average 2 million views each and have an average of 1,669 subscribers.

That’s almost 2,000 people who willingly checked the box to get updates from a branded, commercial channel. That’s like intentionally sitting through the commercials when you watch a TV show on the DVR.

As Citizen Journalism Rises, YouTube Offers Face Blurring

More than a third of all news video on YouTube was filmmed by a bystander, says Pew Research. Not surprising, given that a good portion of the world population is walking around with a camera in their pocket every time they go outside.

Homemade news footage is compelling because it personalizes the story. When you watch a riot happening just yards in front of the lens, or shaky footage of a major earthquake as it knocks the camera man off his feet, it’s more real. It’s more human and that’s why people are rushing to YouTube for their daily look at what’s happening in the world.

69 Percent of Mobile Users Won’t Leave Home Without It

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to notice how many people are using their mobile phones. Grocery store, train station, walking in the park. Two people sitting across from each other at a restaurant — both using their phones. On the freeway (yikes!)  And don’t forget those people who appear to be talking to themselves. They’re using an earbud, so they’re probably never off the phone.

Of course, all these people aren’t on a call. They’re texting and playing Words with Friends, and they’re looking for a place to have lunch, or a new pair of shoes.

A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows that 69% of mobile phone users never leave home without their trusty mobile companion. For many, it’s become an extension of their arm and there are days when even I wonder how I managed without one.

Which Social Media Site Has the Most Satisfied Users? Google+

The topic for today is opposital irony.

The prime example: Facebook is the most popular social media site on the web (if you’re looking at pure numbers.) And yet, it has the the lowest customer satisfaction rating of any social media site, if you don’t count MySpace. And who counts MySpace these days?

On the other end of the list? Google+ with a satisfaction score of 78. Facebook received a 61, a decline from both last year and the previous year. The only site on par with Google+ was Wikipedia, but I don’t count them as a social media site.

Current darling Pinterest came in fourth with a 69. Twitter just under that with a 64.

Customers Want Answers but Companies Still Ignore Negative Social Buzz

If you have an angry customer on your hands, things can get very ugly and very public, very fast. It doesn’t even matter if the customer is unreasonable or has their facts all wrong, a single negative post on a Facebook page can turn into a media nightmare overnight.

Still, the latest from eMarketer shows that only 49% of companies in a recent survey track and follow-up on customer’s social media feedback. Those that don’t follow-up are playing with fire, risking not only future sales, but their whole reputation.

It happened to Pampers, to FedEx, to Best Buy and hundreds of big name companies. Companies that can afford to hire PR saviors and lawyers to get them out of the mess. But what about the small business owner who lives and dies by every sale? That’s where monitoring and responding to social media buzz is imperative.

As Amazon Gives In, Online Sales Tax Becomes Inevitable

I used to live in the southern-most part of New Jersey, just across the bridge from the state of Delaware. The people of that area had an interesting shopping habit, when they needed big ticket items or planned a large run for back-to-school or Christmas, they drove over the bridge to shop. Why? Because there’s no sales tax in Delaware. That meant huge savings for consumers but a loss of business for local New Jersey stores.

The internet is like Delaware. Mostly, you can shop tax free if you buy online. That means that large sites like Amazon can undercut prices even more than a brick and mortar store, which led to the demise of chains such as Borders Books and many mom and pop locations.