LinkedIn Adds Targeted Updates and Stats for More Effective Communication

LinkedIn is back with yet another update designed to help your company make a bigger social media splash. It begins with Targeted Status Updates. Now, when you post on LinkedIn, you’ll have the option of sending the update to a select audience.

Begin by deciding if you want to include your own employee followers, then start mixing and matching from demographics from five different buckets; company size, industry, function, seniority, and geography.

This kind of targeting is extremely useful for anyone in the B2B biz because it eliminates irrelevant posts, making the posts that do come through more valuable to your end user.

Tablet Owners Love Content and They’ll Pay For it, Too

It wasn’t long ago, we were talking about how attached we’ve all become to our cell phones, particularly our iPhones. A recent survey by Gazelle shows that the majority of iPhone owners would rather give up sex, even Facebook, than go without their phones for a weekend.

But when it comes to securing a place in our hearts, iPhones ain’t got nothing on tablets. The average tablet owner spends 13.9 hours a week caressing that smooth screen. 74% do it daily and 60% do it several times a day.

The numbers come from a newly released Online Publishers Association (OPA) report called “A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User – Wave II.

They found that tablet usage mostly happens at home between 5 and 11 pm. And what are they doing with their tablets? Mostly, accessing content.

 

Back to School Shoppers Expect to Spend More and Sooner in 2012

School’s out! And that means it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping for the 2012-2013 school year. That may sound crazy, but a new survey by PriceGrabber shows that people are planning to shop more and shop sooner than last year.

The survey shows that 17% will begin shopping in June and 35% in July, 43% in August and only 3% in September. This represents a shift toward shopping earlier which means back-to-school retailers need to be ready right now.

Part of the reason for the shift is that consumers expect to spend more and they want to spread out the cost. 46% said they’d be spending more than last year. In 2011, only 13% said they’d be spending more. That’s a huge jump that should be good news for retailers.

Is Google+ Getting Ready to Add Ads?

It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Google+. They redesigned the site back in April but I only saw it for the first time today.

The navigation ribbon on the site is excellent. So much better than the crazy navigation Facebook provides. What I’m not sold on is the whole box within a box post set-up that drifts to the left of the page. What’s on the right? A great, big, mostly empty sidebar that would be just perfect for ads.

Looking at other examples, I see that the sidebar is designed to hold a list of of friends who are currently online and available for chat. But that’s kind of a waste of good real estate, don’t you think?

Who You Gonna Call? Facebook Hopes it’s Your Friends

Facebook, the king of unannounced changes, has added a Call button to some profile pages. There’s no picture on the button and no description of what will happen when you click it – so I did and got a box saying I need to set up Video Chat in order to chat with the person whose button I pushed.

As usual, the rhyme of reason of who has the button and who doesn’t eludes me. According the the Facebook Video Calling FAQ page, two of my friends have video calling enabled. Neither has a Call button. Only one friend had a Call button even though he apparently doesn’t have video calling enabled.

Oh, the madness.

Twitter Expands the In-App Experience

While some people do use Twitter simply to make a statement, many of us use it to share photos, videos, and links to articles (one’s we wrote and otherwise.)

To keep up with this trend, Twitter added an Expand feature that lets you preview a photo or video without leaving the Tweet.

Now, they’ve expanded Expand to include rich content from some of the top content providers on the web.

When you expand a Tweet linking to a news article by The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle or Der Spiegel Online, you can see a preview with the headline, the introduction and sometimes the Twitter accounts of the publisher and writer. You can continue to read the article, follow these accounts, and reply, favorite or retweet the Tweet.

Bing Increases Yelp Content in Another Attempt to Get You To Use Them

Bing reminds me of that old Avis slogan, “We’re only number 2, so we try harder.” It seems like they’re always out trying to make a great impression with fun and innovative campaigns.

The newest pitch involves a partnership with Yelp. Starting right this very moment, a venue search will return a column full of Yelp reviews, photos, and other data sitting right beside your main results. Thusly:

Very pretty. If you choose Local from the navigation bar, it opens up a more comprehensive page, also Powered by Yelp. The pages are well designed and easy to read, so kudos to everyone involved.

Now, if I may take a moment to address the folks at On The Border, check your Yelp listing. It says you’re only open 9-5 and closed on the weekends. Yikes. Brand managers, seriously, review these online pages!