Twitter: How to Buy Friends and Influence People

If you’re looking for an influencer on Twitter, it’s best to go with the person who has the largest number of followers, right? Logical, but not necessarily true. In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about phony Twitter profiles and inflated account numbers thanks to a new service called StatusPeople.

Significant mentions include noting that 71% of Obama’s followers are fake and that 42% of those following Senatorial accounts are fake or inactive. There was also an uproar over the sudden influx to Mitt Romeny’s Twitter, which led to allegations of Twitter manipulation as well.

Counter that with the fact that Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj have the highest number of legit followers and you have to wonder about the world.

Google Says You’ve Gotta Ask Yourself a Question: Are You Feeling Lucky, Trendy, or Doodley?

There’s no denying that search giant Google has a whimsical side and they showing it off this week with new additions to the famous “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. But this foray into fun isn’t just for amusement, it’s actually an exercise in targeted results that should interest anyone in the search biz.

In addition to Lucky, the Google search box now offers several other choices:

“I’m Feeling Puzzled” takes you to a feature I didn’t know existed called A Google a Day. Here you’ll find a complex daily question that you can answer by searching with Google. Challenge your friends and learn a new piece of trivial information every day.

“I’m Feeling Hungry” is a practical engine that lists local restaurants (so I’m told. . . see below)

Facebook Mobile Has the Need for Speed

Awesome and wow aren’t words you usually see associated with a Facebook update, but mobile users are rejoicing over the new and improved iOS app.

Visually, the iPhone update is pretty much the same, but the iPad app looks spectacular. I’m not a big fan of Facebook, but when I saw my Timeline presented on the iPad I actually felt compelled to flip through and see what people were posting.

Unlike the online experience, the mobile app is clean and free of annoying sidebars full of junk. It’s just you and your peeps, sharing and caring.

Photos play a big part in the experience. Tap one and it opens up to the full screen with options to like, read comments or leave your own. Facebook also included its own Camera App in the navigation bar so you can take photos and upload them without having to leave the page. Nice.

A Third of Consumers Plan to Do Their Holiday Shopping Online

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, Ring-ting-tingling too . . . that’s the sound of holiday shoppers creeping up over the hill. Is your site ready for the onslaught?

According to a new survey from coupon site RetailMeNot.com, 31% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online this year. This is close to last year’s estimates of 36% so they’re probably in the ball park.

Online retailer could score a little higher this year due to the growing trend in mobile device shopping. More people than ever will be using their smartphones and tablets to order online while they’re sitting on the couch watching all the new fall TV shows.

Compared to Other Social Networks, Facebook is a Senior Citizens Center

If age and wisdom go together, then LinkedIn is the smartest social media site with an average user age of 44.2. A full 70% of their users are over 35, which shouldn’t surprise you given the nature of the site. It’s about professionals doing business. It’s about being an expert in your field and networking, so it attracts people who have risen to a higher level in the working world and that takes time (during which, they were growing older.)

On the opposite end, we have the creative folks of deviantART. 69% of their users are under 35 with an average user age of only 28.6.

Wait. That’s kind of sad. The older folks are all about work and the younger ones are all about art. I protest. And while I do that, you look at this chart from Pingdom.

Website Traffic From Smartphones Up 100 Percent in One Year

If you still haven’t optimized your ecommerce site for mobile, get a load of this slice from a new infographic from Monetate.

The numbers represent only a small portion of web traffic, true, but look at the growth. Smartphone traffic related to ecommerce has doubled in only a few months. And according to “The Battle for Smartphone Supremacy” traffic from mobile has increased 103% over last year.

Android still has the biggest market share with the most accessible products at a lower price point, but iPhone users are the ones using their phones to shop more often. Monetate estimates the average order value for iPhone users to be $97.49 which is right in line with the numbers from Apple desktop shoppers.

Facebook Tops Search Results with Paid Ads

Facebook’s search engine has driven me mad on numerous occasions. The fact that it only allows me to search for an exact name and not related sites seems counter intuitive. For example, if I search for actor Matt Bomer, I get a list of two dozen fan pages all pretending to be him when what I should get is a page for his series White Collar.

So, it’s interesting, that Facebook is now inserting sponsored ads into the results based on the intent, not the word.

Today, when I searched the word Single, I got a list of apps and pages with the word “single” (including a page called Single Dad Laughing) but I also got an ad for Match.com.