New Report Shows 50 Percent Hike in Google+ Fan Presence

Google+ Pages for brands arrived with a decent amount of fanfare back in November and since then it’s been pretty quiet. That doesn’t mean the pages aren’t being used.

BrightEdge just published their December SocialShare report and it has some interesting numbers.

First, 77% of the top 100 brands now have Google+ pages. Sounds good, but the number stood at 61% last month, so it’s not a huge hike. Facebook is at 93% so Google+ is closing in — slowly.

The bigger news story is in followers. Again looking at the top 100 brands, Google+ pages saw an increase of over 50%. The numbers rose from 147K to 222K people in brand circles in December.

Not surprisingly, the most populated brand was Google, with 77,000 folks in the inner circle.

Hallmark Jumps on the Second Screen Bandwagon

Ever since we discovered that people watch TV with their smartphones in hand, second screen technology has taken off. Some companies are using it to offer an extra layer of content to a movie, while others are strictly for ad purposes.

This past week Hallmark Channel partnered with 44Doors to deliver a holiday gift from Billy Ray Cyrus to his fans. A QR code appeared on the screen during the airing of Cyrus’ movie Christmas Comes Home to Canaan. Accessing the code, allowed fans to download the song “Home” which was written specifically for the movie.

Tim Hayden of 44Doors told MobileMarketer:

“An increased volume of viewers and sustaining that audience throughout Christmas Comes Home to Canaan was a primary objective, while the data analysis from the actual scans and downloads will help the network and advertisers to better understand audience viewing behavior, device preference and geographic location.”

Video Ads Increase In Spite of Measurement Concerns

Advertisers spent 29% more on video ads than they planned over the past year and two-thirds of advertisers said they’ll spend even more in 2012.

The numbers come from Break Media’s “Digital Video Advertising Trends: 2012″ report and overall, it shows that video advertising is on the rise. Mobile shows the most growth going from use in 39% of video ads in 2011 to an anticipated 55% in 2012.

In order to pay for the increase in video spending, 45% of advertisers are taking the money out of the online display budget while 38% expect an increase in their overall ad budget to cover the difference.

So all this confidence must come with a big reward, right? Could be, say the video advertisers, if only we had a way of measuring our success!

Study Shows ‘Social Influence’ Is Really Only ‘Social Selection’

The whole concept of the social sharing in marketing is based on the idea that people respond better to suggestions from their friends, than suggestions from a stranger.

I like a TV show, I “check-in” on Get Glue, that sends a message to my Facebook friends telling them I like this show. My friends then decide they should watch this show because if I like it, they’ll like it. They have been influenced by my suggestion.

Maybe not.

Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student, co-authored a study about peer influence on social media networks. Speaking to Wired, Lewis stated that the results showed that “the extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal.”

Paid Search Dollars Decline, While Display is On the Rise

Earlier this year, Kantar Media said they were cautiously optimistic about the future of the ad dollar. Now, they say that optimism has been replaced “by the statistical evidence of progressively slowing growth rates.”

Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media North America lays it out for you,

“From +4.1 percent in the first quarter, to +2.8 percent in the second quarter and now a barely palpable +0.4 percent for the July to September period. During Q3, an expanding number of the largest marketers became even more conservative with their ad budgets and these reductions have neutralized the healthy spending growth occurring among mid-sized advertisers.”

Aw, that’s not good, is it?

Looking strictly at internet ad spending, it was a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul

Facebook Page, Can I Talk to You in Private?

Facebook is one of the easiest ways to contact a brand, company, even a celebrity. Now they’re making it even easier to share your thoughts with Private Messages for Pages.

The feature is currently being tested in a small area, somewhere in Asia I hear, but it’s got the social media crowd — dare I say — all a twitter.

It’s big news for marketers, because it opens up a new line of communication between consumers and the brand. The downside is the extra time it’s going to take to respond and clear the inbox.

And knowing how caustic people can be in their public comments, it’s a little frightening to imagine what they’ll say in a private message. Double that, because the new system does not require the sender to “like” the page before shooting off their thoughts.

Paypal Enters the Daily Deal Market

The deal market is an odd duck. It burst on to the scene with a great deal of fanfare and excitement then quickly faded as dozens of look-alike sites popped up on the web.

There have been reports that say the deal site is on the decline, but couponing is up, to the point where people say deals give them a thrill. Paypal is betting that deals are still good business, if you can find a new way to spin it.

PayPal President Scott Thompson says the company will be moving into the deal space in early 2012, but with a twist.

“The experience is going to be completely different than anyone else’s, through and through. We’ll only give you something that we think fits the category of unique and relevant. Everyone else is going to bombard you.”