Facebook Adds Browser for Fan Pages

A few posts ago, I wrote a piece about how Facebook ads are more effective when they contain a picture. Facebook is taking this idea to heart with a newly released browser page that emphasizes photos over text for fan pages.

The browser is divided into categories such as Movies, TV, Sports, Politicians and Brands. When you click on a topic, you’re presented with a page of icons with a line of text underneath. Clicking the picture will set your phasers on “Like”, clicking the link will take you to the fan page for a look around.

The upside here is that photos are much more compelling than a long list of links. Categorizing works as a suggestive sell figuring if you like the TV show Bones, you’ll probably like Castle.

comScore Ranks Top 10 Gaining Site Categories

Back-to-school and the approaching football season helped books, sports and apparel gain a foothold in August says comScore Media Metrics. The new report takes a look at US web activity in the month leading to a list of the top 50 web properties and the top ten categories.

Retail book sites were the biggest winners in August with an 11% percent increase of July as folks left the beaches and went back-to-school. While Barnes & Noble continues to close brick and mortar stores, their online site was the most visited in this category. 8.3 million people stopped by, up 13% from July.

Staples.com rose 5% which they attribute to school supply shopping. Office Depot rose 20% and OfficeMax rose 32% but is still well behind in total shoppers.

Consumerist Nominates Worst Commercials in America

What would you say is the Worst Commercial in America? Consumerist.com asked their readers that very question and, after receiving responses that numbered higher than their credit score from FreeCreditReport.com, they put together a ballot for a vote.

Bad spokespeople and annoying icons filled out most of the list and the insurance industry took the hardest hit with seven nominations. Thankfully, my favorite Gecko escaped unharmed but that deliriously cheerful woman from the Progressive commercials made it into the top five overall worst commercials on TV.

What’s in a Twitter Name?

Afro-Cheez and Neko-do had their fifteen minutes of fame last week when the Miami Herald ran their Twitter “quotes” as part of their newspaper’s coverage of the anniversary of 9/11.

Understandably, some of the Herald’s actual reporters (Remember reporters? Like Clark Kent, only without the bulky camera) objected and said so in a letter they posted in the newsroom. Their objection was two fold, partly they objected to the idea of displacing actual reporting with inane comments from Twitter. Second, they brought up the fact that the Twitter attributes made the relevancy and quality of the “quotes” even worse because they aren’t real names.

I gotta say that I’m with them on this. Having made my living as a reporter in a variety of mediums over the last nineteen years, I cringe at the way social media has crept in as acceptable journalism.

comScore Study Says Ad Retargeting Generates Strongest Lift

comScore just released  a new study they conducted with ValueClick Media on the effectiveness of online display advertising according to its media placement strategy. They analyzed 103 campaigns from 39 different advertisers covering 7 industries, examining the lift in brand website visitation and trademark search queries across six different media placement strategies.

Here’s a simplified look at what they found.

Retargeting – Served to users that have previously visited an advertiser’s site.

ReTargeted ads had the highest lift in trademark search behavior with a whopping 1,046 percent. The downside is that retargeting by the very nature of the beast, doesn’t reach as many potential customers so it’s perfect for those who have a high volume of abandoned shopping carts.

Premium Pricing – High visibility placements on premium publishers.

A Picture on Friday Morning is Worth a Thousand Words

If you want to connect with the fans on your Facebook page, post on Friday morning and use a picture. Those are the three elements that scored highest for fan engagement in the new study by Virtue. With Anatomy of a Facebook Post, the social media management company studied the effects of day, time and inclusion of video or images when posting on Facebook.

The least startling news is that adding an image ups engagement 54% over text posts and 22% over video posts. From there, the stats are broken down into two segments, CPG (Consumer Package Goods) and QSR (Quick Serve Restaurants).

3,000 New Facebook Fans is Music to Their Ears

MySpace used to be, and possibly still is, the number one social media site for indie musicians but music consultant Madalyn Sklar is quick to point out that “Facebook rocks” for indie artists for one simple reason, their fans are on Facebook already.

A recent guest post on AllFacebook.com outlined a simple Facebook strategy for bands looking to make the leap and there’s info here everyone can use, even if you’re selling vitamins instead of songs. Author Peter Tanham suggests that for less than the cost of a night out on the town for you and your mates (band or otherwise), you can get 1,000 Facebook fans using Facebook ads. And these aren’t any old fans, these are people who are engaged and interested in the product. Is that worth staying in next Friday night?