More Than Half of App Downloaders Do It For Free

You have a mobile phone, right? How many apps are on it? How many did you use today? How many did you pay for?

If you’re typical, each answer should be a smaller number than the one before it.

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project says that we’ve crossed the halfway point for mobile phone app usage. A full 50% of all adult cell phone owners have apps. That’s double where we were only two years ago.

But even with the rise in usage, the demographic remains the same. App users are younger, more educated, upwardly mobile urban or suburbanite. Adding tablets into the mix hasn’t changed that at all. The only real difference is that women have nearly caught up to men in regard to app downloads.

Marketing Execs Say Local is Critical to Success

The internet may be the great global equalizer, but big brands are going local in order to make shopping more personal. Earlier this month, Walmart set up Facebook pages dedicated to each of their stores and Sears is offering local ads online.

A new report from CMO Council says this is just a small sample of what we’ll be seeing in the future. 86% of the marketers they surveyed said they’re actively looking for a better way to localize their efforts. 49% said that localization was essential to business growth.

In the past, local advertising meant the Yellow Pages, but not so much anymore. Local deal networks such as Groupon also came in at the bottom of the list.

Facebook Pulls in Top Social Media Ad Dollars, But is it Enough?

US Social Media Network ad revenues are expected to surpass $3.90 billion in 2012 and a large portion of that money is going straight to Facebook.

New numbers from eMarketer show that Facebook will likely earn 72% of social media specific ad spending next year.  That’s equal to 7.9% of total online ad spending.

Sounds good to me, but the Wall Street Journal says Facebook is still struggling. They point to a recent Ford Focus campaign that pulled in 43,000 “likes.” Ford spent more than $95 million to advertise their new car, but very little of it went to Facebook.

To add insult to injury, Ford turned down a suggested sponsored stories buy on Facebook, then paid Yahoo and Microsoft to send traffic to the Facebook page. According to WSJ, Ford did eventually spring for an ad but stopped it long before it stopped those on competing sites.

@twitterStories: Get Inspired

A man in need of a kidney gets one. A famous movie critic regains the voice he lost. An innocent man finds refuge when snipers invade his neighborhood — all thanks to Twitter.

If you don’t already believe in the power of Twitter, you will when you read Twitter Stories. Twitter says they’re publishing these stories because showing the humanity behind the Tweets will make the world a smaller place.

That’s a little too global touchy-feely for me, but I do think that these stories are worth a look because they’re all about creativity and the “can do” spirit. They’re also mostly about marketing.

In Japan, a fishing association uses Twitter to sell the day’s catch before the boats return to port. Her Majesty, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan used Twitter to promote her children’s book and, in turn, her culture.

Holiday Shopping: Most People Will Buy At Least One Gift Online

Tomorrow is November 1, and that means that if you aren’t already hawking your holiday wares, you’re late. But don’t worry. MarketLive just published their 2011 Holiday Shopper Survey and it’s loaded with information that will help online retailers see black this holiday season.

83% of those surveyed said they were planning to buy at least some of their gifts online. This is a small rise over last year. One in four said they plan to do most of their shopping online.

Even if they aren’t buying, consumers are using the internet to research products. 61% said they’d use their computers and mobile devices to get the lay of the land before plunking down their hard-earned cash.

Deal Hunters Talk Scary Villains and Scarier Halloween Spending

It’s Halloween and we thought we’d kick off the holiday with the results of two scary surveys from online saving sites.

First up is CouponCabin. They asked their visitors to state which scary movie villain best represented their financial situation. The results were surprisingly positive — if you can call identifying with Michael Meyer positive.

When asked which famous scary movie characters best described their current financial states, U.S. adults said:

  • Michael Myers from “Halloween” – I’m superhuman; no matter what circumstances arise, I find a way to make ends meet – 32 percent
  • Ghostface from “Scream” – Unexpected financial circumstances catch me when I least expect it – 11 percent
  • Freddy Krueger from “Nightmare on Elm Street” – My financial situation haunts my dreams and I lay awake at night worrying about it – 11 percent

73 Percent of People Think Employees Overshare on Social Media

Social media is an excellent tool when you want to spread the good word about your business. Unfortunately, it’s also a minefield of potential security and reputation problems.

Over and over, we’ve seen cases of employers having to apologize for the Tweets made by impulsive employees. And I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen someone post a bit of company news only to delete it minutes later with an “oops” in its place. Legal departments around the globe have to be cursing the day social media was ever invented.

But it’s not just lawyers and CEO’s who are worried. A new infographic from Barracuda labs shows that 73% of those surveyed think employees share too much online. 1 in 5 said that they themselves have been negatively impacted by information exposed on social media and that number is likely to climb.