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.”

Will a Google+ Page Give Brands a Search Boost?

If you don’t have a Google+ Page for your business yet, it’s time to get started. A new article in AdAge states that Google is experimenting with adding the +1 button results into their search algorithm. To be expected, right? But Google may also use the size of a brands “circle” to determine where they rank on the content importance scale.

What that means is after a year of stats that show size doesn’t matter on Facebook, it could matter on Google+.

The one sure thing that matters is good content. Google has always rewarded fresh, clear, constantly updated content and Google+ is no exception. The trouble is, right now, most folks are still experimenting with Google+. Many are posting the same content they post to Facebook, while others are randomly updating with no thought to SEO.

Facebook Timeline Arrives with a Ticking Clock

Facebook unveiled their new Timeline design back in September but since then, it’s only been available to a section of users. Now, Timeline is ready for mass consumption.

As of right now, you can change your Facebook profile to the Timeline style, but once you click the button, the countdown clock begins. Facebook is giving users up to 7 days to review the Timeline layout and make changes before it goes public.

When I first saw the 7-day notation, I thought, so what? That’s plenty of time to erase any incidents you don’t want to revisit. Or not. Zack at ZDnet said it took him four days of tedious work to clean up his timeline. He probably has a lot more on his Facebook than most, but it’s still an indicator of where this is headed. . . into trouble.

LinkedIn Adds Polls to Groups

LinkedIn is:

a. my favorite social network

b. a vital business resource

c. just another time waster

If we were on LinkedIn right now, you could choose your answer and see a nifty bar graph showing how off the mark you are compared to those around you.

Polls have come to LinkedIn groups! Here’s an example straight from their company blog:

Is it me or is this a weird example? Kind of like asking what day does Christmas fall on just to see how many people get it wrong?

All mocking aside, polls are a great way to get information from your community. People love polls and are more likely to spend a second clicking on a choice than writing a comment. The poll feature allows for instant sharing on Twitter, it has a “like” option and a place for additional comments for the voters who want to solidify their position.