YouTube Gains as Facebook Numbers Continue to Slide

Nielsen just released their Top Web Brands stats for March 2012. The usual suspects made the list, but when you compare the charts to months back, you can see an interesting trend. YouTube’s audience is growing — as it should. Facebook’s audience is on the decline — no comment.

Here’s the newest data:

Compared to August of last year:

Facebook is still easily holding second place and they rule the world when it comes to time per person. YouTube’s growth hasn’t been enough to raise them up out of fifth place, but even a slight gain in audience beats a decline anytime.

The NBA’s Got Social Media Game, But Pinterest?

It’s a typical day on Pinterest. 40 Ways to Tie a Scarf, romantic fashions from Ralph Lauren, Fun Cinco de Mayo pinata cookies, DIY baby pictures, and the Boston F$#% Celtics!

Pinterest, it’s not just for women anymore.

Mashable says the NBA is stepping up their social media game in time for the 2012 playoffs. The expansion will include a Tumblr page and yes, a Pinterest page. They’ll be asking fans to upload photos of their favorite places to shoot hoops. I expect we’ll see just as many office trashcans as actual basketball hoops and that’s what makes it a fun idea.

Other ideas:

Consumer Acceptance of Cause-Related Shopping is on the Rise

Nearly half of all consumers surveyed said they’ve purchased from a brand that supports a cause on at least a monthly basis. This represents a 47% increase since 2010. Clearly, cause-related shopping is in.

The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study is an extensive look at the relationship between consumers, brands and causes. If you’re even thinking about hitching your company’s wagon to a cause, you should take the time to review all sections of the report.

If your not considering the idea, you should keep on reading right here.

The Edelman study shows that, due to the economic crisis, US citizens are cutting down on direct contributions to charity. At the same time, the US is the only country who largely believes that it’s the people, not the government who are responsible for conquering the problems of the world.

A Positive Customer Experience Leads to Customer Loyalty

A happy customer is a loyal customer. You probably already know that, but did you know that 89% of consumers who had a negative experience with a company switched to a competitor? What that means is you can’t afford to make any mistakes when you’re dealing with customers online.

Look at this section from a new Monetate infographic:

These numbers show that the online customer experience is supremely important when it comes to shopper loyalty and word of mouth. Customers are now looking for the same kind of service they expect from an offline store and I believe that’s a new thing.

The Runaway Tow Truck and the Unpredictability of Social Media

The televised high speed pursuit has become an odd form of entertainment for those of us here in Southern California. Five TV networks, all with helicopters, ground units and a team of news anchors narrating every move made by someĀ  driver who thought he could outrun the police. You swear you won’t watch for more than a minute and the next thing you know, two hours have gone by and you’re still glued to the set. Makes you wonder who is crazier, the fleeing motorist or us for watching.

Yesterday, the phenomena took on an even stranger turn when a man in a tow truck led police on a two hour “low speed” pursuit through the streets of Los Angeles. It was rush hour, so he hardly ever moved more than a few miles per hour and like a good driver, he stopped for red lights. He also stopped to chat with fans.

Study Shows Ad Hover Is More Effective Than Ad Clicks

All hail the mighty click-through. It’s the holy grail of display marketing. The action for which we are willing to pay a handsome sum every time it happens. Why? Because a click is just a step away from a conversion. Yes?

A click on a book ad leads to my buying the book. A click on a restaurant coupon ad means I’m headed out to lunch. Or not?

A new study by Pretarget and comScore says that click-throughs have one of the lowest conversion rates of all the trackable metrics for display ads. What’s more effective? The ad hover.

I’d like to stop here a moment to clarify a point. I read the results of the Pretarget report three times and each time felt like I was listening to a lecture by Dr. Sheldon Cooper. So bear with me while I try to work this out.

Mobile Spending on the Rise: There are 32 Billion Apps for That

How much do you spend on mobile in a year? Figure in the cost of data plans, apps and app upgrades, downloaded music and videos, maybe you even coughed up a buck for a ring tone?

All together, and combined with the rest of the world, you’re looking at a final bill of around $138.2 billion in 2012. That’s up 13.4% from last year.

The data comes from Strategy Analytics’ Global Mobile Media Forecast and the numbers are pretty startling.

Along with the rise in consumer spend, is the rise in advertiser spend. That’s expected to double this year hitting around $11.6 billion.

Apps are a huge part of the growth. They come in second behind data plans with 18.9% of the total mobile spend globally. 18.9% doesn’t sound like much, but it represents $26.1 billion dollars in sales.