Did Facebook Cause the Social Reader Decline? Did Users? Does it Matter?

Making the top ten list is a good thing except when when it’s the top ten list of losers. The Washington Post and The Guardian social reader apps both took a big hit this week and many are wondering if it’s a sign of things to come.

The numbers come from AppData, a website that monitors the health of Facebook and iOS apps. They caused a stir this week when they reported a 46% drop in monthly usage for The Washington Post and a 43% drop for The Guardian. Immediately, tech outlets jumped in with explanations for this horrendous turn around.

 BuzzFeed suggested that the collapse was due to the haters finally getting their way.

Apps Take up 4 Out of Every 5 Mobile Media Minutes

Do you remember when phones couldn’t do anything but make phone calls? With every passing month, we’re adding more and more functionality to our mobile phones and it’s good for everybody’s business. Games, shopping, directions, news — we can even have our phones nag us when we forget to do something. About the only thing our phones can’t do is transport us to another location. . . someday. .  . someday.

In the meantime, it’s apps that are occupying our mobile minutes. 82% of our media time is spent with these mini-programs and there’s no end in sight.

comScore put together a list of the top apps and I have to say, I was surprised by a few of them. Take a look.

Are Online Companies Using the Wrong Data to Measure Success?

Everyone knows you need analytics on your website and some people actually pay attention and act on the data they acquire. But digital design agency Extractable says you might be putting all your eggs in the wrong data basket.

Right now, off the top of your head, what would you say is the most common data point for measuring success?

If you said traffic, give yourself a gold star. 66% of the companies Extractable surveyed said they use use traffic numbers as a measure of success. 46% said they use time spent on site but neither one of these is a true indicator of customer satisfaction and neither speaks to conversions.

Mobile Innovation: Commuter Grocery Shopping

Chicagoans spend more than 200 hours a year commuting to and from work. Much of that time is spent mindlessly wandering the transit platforms of the city, waiting for their train to come in. Now, thanks to Peapod, commuters can use that time to grocery shop.

Peapod has turned the busy State and Lake Station Tunnel in Chicago into a virtual grocery store by lining the walls with larger-than-life photos of stocked grocery store shelves.

To order groceries, customers simply use their smartphone to scan the bar codes printed along the wall. 2 boxes of Barilla pasta, 10 Chobani yogurts, a six-pack of Powerade. Then they schedule delivery for the next day or the next week. Groceries can be delivered to their home or to the office. Perfect for the office manager who needs to keep the company break room stocked.

Brand Building and the Impact of Social Media

When asked about brand building strategies, marketers in a recent Forrester survey said that search and social media were neck-and-neck. Search won by a nose thanks to business to business marketers who rated social media lower than business to consumer marketers. But overall, it’s clear that social media is having a big impact.

Digging a little deeper we see that online video is hot with the B2B crowd (who knew) while mobile is the weapon of choice for B2C.

Social media is changing the way we sell everything from accordions to wildebeests, but marketing man can not live by Facebook alone.

Going Beyond the ‘Like': Facebook Action Links and Google’s Faux Pas

When social sharing was fresh and new “likeing” something made sense. I like this picture, so I want to share it. I like this cereal so I want to praise it. I like this story about a devastating earthquake in Japan. Hmm. . . maybe one size doesn’t fit all.

A few months ago, I saw an article about an online news outlet that was experimenting with an option other than “like”. (Please post the link in the comments if you know of it, I couldn’t find it.) The idea was to offer a sharing option for content that was interesting but not “likeable,” such as news reports on disasters, deaths and other misfortunes. Imagine a “read this” button or a “thought-provoking” or “intriguing.”

Facebook Rolls Out ‘Offers’ To All-ish

Facebook is famous for dangling the carrot then pulling it away when you try to grab hold. The newest carrot is the ‘Offers’ program, a self-service option for creating Groupon style deals on your Facebook page. Excellent for the small business owner.

In March, Facebook announced the program with much fanfare, then noted that it was only available to clients who had managed advertising accounts (the big dogs). So, the rest of us waited patiently.

A few hours ago, Facebook added several new posts to their marketing page promoting Offers! Yes, the same program they promoted months ago, but this time it’s open to all — ish.

Offers are available in beta to a limited number of local business Pages. We plan to launch offers more broadly soon. If you’d like to post offers but your Page doesn’t have the option to yet, let the Pages team know.