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.

Online Holiday Shopping Expected to Rise to 36 Percent

Online sellers and shoppers are both optimistic about the upcoming holiday season. According to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey 68% of online retailers say they expect to see growth of at least 15% over last year.

On the consumer side, data from the National Retail Federation, shows that consumers plan to do 36% of their holiday shopping online. This is an increase from 32.7% in 2010.

Fiona Swedlow of Shop.org says,

“There’s no question consumers are eager to hit the Web this holiday season, and online retailers are prepping by optimizing their sites, beginning their marketing and promotions early, and planning plenty of free shipping promotions as they aim to provide value and convenience for their shoppers. Online retailers will also leverage their social media and mobile platforms for savvy shoppers on the go, knowing how important customer reviews and comparison shopping applications are to holiday shoppers.”

What iOS 5 Means for Marketers

This past weekend, I took the plunge and upgraded my iPhone and iPad2 to iOS 5. I should have waited for Halloween, as it was a frightening, nightmarish experience but when it was over, I had treats galore!

iOS 5 is a huge update with more than 200 new features. After only a week, it was estimated that 1 in 3 eligible customers had the download and you can bet it will be 2 out of 3 very soon. This is good news for you, because iOS 5 has several features that are great for online marketers.