When Predicting Twitter Success, the Source is the Thing

Every time a marketer puts a message out on Twitter, they do it with the hope that it will spark 1,000′s of Re-Tweets, eventually reaching new users who might now become fans.

Unfortunately, all we have to go on when crafting these Tweets is our gut instinct (and maybe some previous data) about what will take off and what won’t. You write, you send, you hope. I’d say it’s not rocket science but it kinda is.

Researchers from UCLA and Hewlett-Packard’s HP Labs conducted a study to determine the formula for the perfect Tweet. They started with over 40,000 recently published online articles, then matched that data with corresponding Tweets, then let it all flow through for 4 days to get the full lifecycle of any given Tweet. (With me so far?)

Pinterest is the Fastest Rising Social Icon and Other Interesting Facts

If you want to know what’s happening in ecommerce marketing, all you need to do is crack open ExactTarget’s latest Subscribers, Fans & Followers report called Retail Touchpoints Exposed.

The report details the off-line, online, mobile and social media marketing efforts of the 100 hottest retailers. Today, we’re going to look at that last part and see what we can see.

At the start, it’s clear that social sharing is now a common factor in online marketing. 87% of the retailers promoted their Facebook pages and 84% promoted their Twitter account. Only 14%  displayed a Pinterest icon, but that number doubled in the time it took them to put their report together making it the fastest growing social icon on the web.

Facebook App Center: The Good, the Bad and the Confusing

Facebook apps confuse me and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Smartphone apps don’t confuse me. I locate an app in the app store. I buy or download it for free. It shows up on my phone and I can use it, play with it, listen to it, whatever without any connection to any website or social media network. It’s a mini computer program. I get it.

Facebook apps, on the other hand, come with strings. There are games that you must play inside the walls of Facebook. There are games that (apparently) you can play outside and just report your activity on Facebook. There are apps that lead you to a website that you could have landed on faster by typing the URL and there are apps that seem to do nothing more than leave a trail on your wall.

To take some of the mystery out of Facebook apps, the social network has finally released their new App Center.

Need to Go Mobile? IAB Has a New Online App That Can Help

“By 2013, more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online.”

Think that fact is freaky? How about this?

“19% of kids aged two-to-five know how to play with a smartphone application…but only 9% can tie their shoes.”

Mobile’s not going away. It’s rapidly becoming as common as the TV and the microwave.

And here’s one last truly wild fact, in India, more people have cell phones than toilets.

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) knows that going mobile is vital to the success of any small business and they have a new web app that can help you get started. ‘

The project is called “Tap into Mobile.” Get it? Tap, like the action you use to trigger a smartphone response, but also like when you tap into something. . . . clever, huh?

The Over Sixty-Fives Stake Their Claim on the Internet

With every passing day, more and more Baby Boomers are crossing that mystical line labeled 65. It may only be 12 months older than 64, but culturally, those 12 months make a big difference.

As a nation, we’ve come to think of 65 as old, probably because of its standing as the legal retirement age. But honestly, how many people are actually retiring at 65? How many can afford to?

One thing is for sure, this generation’s 65, isn’t the same as the one before it. These sexagenarian’s are still getting things done and 53% of them are doing it on the internet.

According new data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, this is the first time usage in the over 65 group has crossed the 50% mark. And once they’re online, they stay there, with 70% saying they use the internet on a typical day.

Why Shoppers Love Online Most of the Time

Nielsen published a simple chart today that defines how consumers feel about in-store, online, and mobile shopping.

What’s exciting to see, is that online shopping came out on top, beating the other two in three out of five categories.

Take a look at the chart and then we’ll talk.

Let’s work backwards starting with Safest. No surprise that mobile barely registers on the safe scale, but I’m surprised by how low online is as compared to in-store. It appears that people still worry about sending their credit card information into the great beyond, but they’re not afraid to hand their card over to a store. I’ve had my credit card information stolen only once and it happened when thieves siphoned off the data from my local grocery store.

Foursquare Reinvents Itself as a Discovery Engine

I suppose if I spent much of my life traveling to new places, I’d be excited by an app that easily allows me to tell people where I am. But I don’t, so I wasn’t and after a brief dalliance, I cut Foursquare out of my life.

Today, I’m reconsidering renewing our relationship because Foursquare says it’s changed and this time it’s not just playing games, it’s going to be helpful.

The new Foursquare, to use their own words, is prettier and includes a snazzy new Explore. Check-ins are still encouraged but the emphasis is now on discovering new places to visit relative to where you are right now.

Since it is first and foremost, a social app, it opens to your friends page with a quick look at the latest activity.