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23 million Twitter bots! Relax, it’s not as bad as it sounds

BeetleJuice BotMarketers have a love / hate relationship with numbers. We’re always looking for tools to calculate the number of viewers and the percentage of clicks. How many minutes did he spend and how many dollars will it earn. Numbers are how we tell if what we’re doing is working or not. It’s also how we decide if an investment is worth it.

For example, a banner ad on a blog cost $500.

Is it worth it if the blog has 50,000 page views per month? What if they only have 50 page viewers per month?

What if Twitter admitted that up to 8.5% (around 23 million) Twitter users weren’t human? They’re actually bots – Twitter accounts that update without a “discernable user action” like my friend #Betelgeuse_3. Call his name three times and he’ll respond.

Facebook quietly bans the like gate on contests, coupons and other rewards

Like This pageIt’s a common practice to require people to ‘like’ a Facebook page before entering a contest or claiming a coupon. It’s quid pro quo and though consumers often complain about the practice, they click anyway because they want the prize. Why they bother grumbling is beyond me since liking a branded page has little effect on what shows up in your News Feed anyway. This isn’t the “old days.”

According to a small note on the Facebook Developer Blog, this practice is about to end. Two funny things about that – I thought it used to be against the rules and why bury the announcement on a blog few Page owners read?

Friday Roundup: Unsubs rise up, T-commerce on the way and more

cowboy_clipart_lassoGrab your chaps and grab your hat; it’s time for the digital marketing roundup. This week, Google tries to convince us that unsubs are good for business, Twitter hints at T-commerce and Twitch stirs up trouble when they hit delete.

T-Commerce Hints Pop Up on Mobile

A reporter at The Next Web picked up on talk of a change to the Twitter Android app. A few people noticed that the settings page now has a section for Payments and Shipping. The menu doesn’t expand so it’s just a place holder and that feels weird to me. Why would they even bother? It’s not much of a beta test because there’s nothing to test. Unless they just wanted to see how people would react?

Continue the conversation with Pinterest Messages

Pinterest just made the site a little more personal and a little more useful with the introduction of Pinterest Messages. The concept is simple but when you think it through you’ll find it has a lot of potential – provided everyone you want to contact uses Pinterest.

When you discover a Pin you want to share, you click it, click the share button, choose a fellow Pinner from the list then type your message. Like other messaging services, it stays open so the person can respond if they’re online. Otherwise, you can find the response in the notification section.

Pin Conversation

Social media may be hot, but marketers are spending more on these four channels [infographic]

I had to chuckle at this SEMPO infographic when I saw that “less than $1 million” was the lowest option polled for digital marketing spend. That would be like asking me how many push ups I do a day and giving me “less than 100″ as an option. I don’t do any, but I’ll be happy to check that box! ;-)

While many companies are likely spending way less than a million bucks on internet marketing, those that are coughing up the cash are not spending that much on social. In fact, despite the hype, paid search, SEO, email, and display ads are still beating the pants off Facebook and Twitter advertising.

Digital Marketing Budgeting Infographic

Foursquare relaunches as a personalized recommendation engine

Foursquare new design“Our tastes are different, so why should we get the same search results?”

This is Foursquare’s new twist on their old app. Check-ins? Meet-ups with friends? You’ll need to switch over to their sister app Swarm for that. (Great name for an Irwin Allen disaster movie, bad name for an app centered on food and friends.)

Foursquare 8.0 is here and it’s now all about personalized recommendations because getting a one-size-fits-all list of restaurants is so 2006. (?!?)

The new app learns your likes and dislikes through a variety of actions. It takes into consideration the experts you follow, the choices you make and of course, the ratings you leave after you visit a location.

Nielsen report says social media cuts down on timeshifted TV

cbs appFor most people, fall means back-to-school, a change in the weather and the very first rumblings of the holiday season. For me, fall means a whole new line-up of shows on TV! I’m counting the days until the return of Sleepy Hollow and the start of the new series Gotham.

I’m actually surprised that networks premiere so many of their big shows in the fall. Thanks to DVR’s and digital on-demand options, we don’t watch TV the way we used to. Networks and advertisers were forced to give up the old fashioned overnight ratings reports. Now, it’s all Live plus 7.

But wait! According to this new study by Nielsen, the tide might be shifting yet again, thanks to social media.