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.

Google tests ‘listen now’ ads for music searches

Have a sudden craving for some Monkees music. Google has you covered. Simply type the band’s name into the Google search box and you’ll be presented with three online options. Google Play, where you can buy individual songs for $1.29 each or streaming through Rhapsody or Beats.

Music ads

I don’t listen to a lot of music online, so I wasn’t familiar with Beats. Turns out it’s a new streaming service from the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone folks. Inexplicably, Apple bought the service this past May for $3 billion dollars. The move does give Apple control of two large streaming services; iTunes Radio and the commercial-free, trendy Beats. Apple says they’ll continue to operate the two as separate companies which makes sense because they each satisfy a different audience. iTunes Radio is good for the casual listener while Beats pulls in those who are serious about their music.

Channel Sponsors

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

Digital coupons ‘close the deal’ for 80 percent of consumers

In a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of RetailMeNot, the majority of consumers said digital coupons were more likely to influence their purchase decision than any other type of promotion.

Retail Me Not Coupon Report 2014 2Note that coupons are way more influential than sales. That’s crazy. Maybe that’s because people view sales as a discount on items the store wants to sell versus items they want to buy. A 40% off one item coupon gets me that pricey item I’ve been longing for. A 40% off summer clothes only gets me a good deal on the leftovers. (Not always true but I’m trying to work through the thought process.)

The State of Digital Coupons” study makes coupons sound like the superheros of the ecommerce world. Let’s all remember that RetailMeNot is a coupon / promo code site. . . and with that in mind we’ll look at a few more facts.