Sears Gets Hip with Even More Zombie Action

Last Halloween, Sears stepped out of their comfort zone with a zombie overlay on their online store. It must have been a hit, because this year, they took it a step further.

The Zombie Apocalypse at Sears couldn’t have been better timed. Zombies are all the rage at the moment. Even though they are gorier and gooey-er than their classic creature counterparts, people (human people) can’t get enough.

The Sears site is like a game. It leads you through either survival gear for humans (Escape the infected with new athletic shoes) or zombie gear (a blender for brain smoothies!). In a few spots, the joke runs two levels deep before dropping you in a plain, boring Sears shopping page. But then, they can’t re-theme the entire site, can they?

Google+ Update: What’s Hot, Ripples and Photo Fun

Google+ pulled the wraps off three new features today and for the first time, I’m really starting to see the shift from same old to something new.

Two of the new features, What’s Hot and Ripples are all about expanding your social media world. For marketers, this is a big step away from the one-way conversation of Twitter and the me-centric world of Facebook.

What’s Hot

The title of this new feature couldn’t be any plainer. Google+ now provides a stream dedicated to the trending topics. The list will appear at the bottom of everyone’s profile stream, or it can be viewed as a stand alone stream by choosing that option from the sidebar.

He Who Has the Most (Social Media) Friends, Wins

Every Friday, I prepare a social media report for a client and the very top number is how many Facebook followers we gained that week. Sure, it’s a random number with no proven correlation to the success or failure of a campaign, but it’s all we’ve got.

Facebook has taken a stab at creating more meaningful metrics with their new “reach” and “talking about” stats but it comes down to this: the number of followers is the one metric we all understand.

That’s why Chief Marketer found that 60% the marketing professionals they surveyed use follower (friend, fan, etc) count as their chief method of measuring social media success. And it’s the favorite by a mile. Sharing, leads and time spent came in under 39% and incremental sales was only mentioned by 25%.

Majority of Americans Say No to Daily Deal Sites

Everyone loves a great deal, right? Coupon for $1.00 off. Free Shipping with $50 purchase. Up to 75% off! Consumers not only eat this stuff up, they demand it. But according to a new survey by Accenture, America isn’t as enamored with daily deal sites.

Their survey, conducted in September 2011, showed that 56% of Americans do not subscribe to a deal site. Even more interesting, 42% said the “do not like anything” about daily deal sites.

Who is favoring the art of the deal? People 18 to 24 and households with earnings of more than $150,000 a year. Accenture’s numbers showed a direct correlation between income and the proportion of consumers who subscribe to at least one deal site.

X-Factor and Twitter Make a Powerful Pair

TV executives have discovered the power of Twitter. At first, they used it to just to send promotional messages to fans. Then they found it was a useful tool to gauge viewer reactions and interest in a show. Now, they’re using Twitter to make people a part of the show and that’s where The X-Factor comes in.

Simon Cowell’s American Idol look-alike series is about to break new ground by giving viewers the option of voting by Twitter. Cowell, once a Twitter scoffer, now takes the social media site very seriously. An article in the New York Times states that Cowell not only reads the Twitter comments about his show, he also acts upon the feedback immediately in order to satisfy the biggest audience. With the new, Twitter voting system, Tweeters will have more power over the show than ever.

1 in Four SMB Owners Hates Social Media

Hate is a pretty strong word, but according to a recent survey by email and social media marketing company iContact, it’s a word one out of four respondents had no trouble using.

The biggest offender? Groupon.

Says iContact, 70% of small businesses hate Groupon. They received particularly low marks from those in the financial industry (80%) but only 45% of those in the salon and spa biz had bad things to say.

Surprisingly, Facebook had few haters. 76% of respondents gave the social network a thumbs up. Non-profits were among their biggest fans (87%) as is education (82%) and that last statistic frightens me.

LinkedIn also fared well, which isn’t surprising given that it’s a business-oriented social network. 63% of respondents gave the site a thumbs up, with most of the love coming from businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Q3 MobileMix: iPad Impressions Up 456 Percent

It’s time for another Millennial Media MobileMix report. This time it’s all about Q3 of 2011 and again, I give thumbs up to the cover art. They slay me every time.

It all begins with the smartphone. Ownership is up 7% over last quarter, 37% year-over-year. And since every other commercial on TV is about the iPhone, you probably think they’re leading the way for impressions, but they’re not.

Android still takes the top spot with 56% of all smartphone impressions. The MobileMix says this is due to largely to the fact that Android technology is being used by a variety of manufacturers, and more importantly, being offered at a wider variety of price points.