How Effective Do Consumers Find Social Cues in Advertising?

Source: May 22, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


Some consumers are noticing brands’ attempts to promote their social presences in advertising, with some media channels more likely to elicit a response than others, according to[pdf] results from a Burst Media survey of more than 2,500 US online adults. Respondents reported being most likely to notice brand-related social accounts in online banner ads (27.2%), but a relatively high number also notice them in TV (24.1%) and print (21.1%) ads. Among those who recall brands promoting their social assets in digital ads, about 6 in 10 say the efforts are very (29.4%) or somewhat (31.6%) effective in prompting social interaction with those brands. A similar percentage (58.7%) feel the same way about social cues in TV ads.

Combining the percentage who recall social cues in ads with the percentage who find them effective yields a relative assessment of the effectiveness of different advertising media in prompting social interaction with brands. In descending order of effectiveness, the media are ranked as follows:

  • Digital ads – with 16.6% of respondents overall noticing cues in these ads and finding them effective in prompting social interaction with brands (27.2% noticing * 60.9% finding them very or somewhat effective);
  • TV ads – with 14.1% of respondents noticing the social cues and finding them effective (24.1% * 58.7%);
  • Print ads – with 11.1% noticing the cues and finding them effective (21.2% * 52.4%);
  • Radio ads – with 4.7% noticing cues and believing them to be effective (11.4% * 41.5%); and
  • Outdoor ads – with 3.7% recalling cues and finding them effective (9.5% * 39.4%).

Overall, 54.2% of female respondents and 48.6% of male respondents have performed some sort of brand-related social sharing activity as a result of seeing something on or in an ad. The study notes that such activity could include “liking a brand’s Facebook page, using a brand’s Twitter hashtag and/or posting a brand-related picture to Instagram.” Some demographic segments are more active than others in response to social cues in ads. They are: women aged 35-44 (65.3%); respondents aged 18-34 (56.9%); and men aged 18-24 (59.8%).

Other Findings:

  • Respondents aged 18-34 are especially more likely to see online ads (67.6%) than TV ads (60.6%) as effective in driving social interactions (among those who recall seeing brands’ social cues in those ads).
  • Women aged 18-34 are the most likely to see online ads as effective in this regard (73.9%), with fewer finding TV ads to be effective (59.1%).

About the Data: Burst Media conducted its survey in March 2013.


Search Dominates as E-Commerce Traffic Driver, But Social’s Probably Undervalued

Source: May 23, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


Compared to email (2.82%) and social media (1.55%), search (31.43%) is easily the primary driver of direct e-commerce traffic,according to [download page] the latest quarterly report from Monetate covering Q1 activity. That’s the way it has been for some time now, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, at least when considering that the share of e-commerce traffic coming from both social and email decreased in Q1 compared to a year earlier. But the researchers make a valid point that is bolstered by other recent studies: these findings are based on a last-touch attribution model, which typically undervalues social’s role significantly.

That point was made recently by Aggregate Knowledge, but it isn’t the first to make it. Adobe put forward the same argument earlier this month, and last year. Google gives the argument some steam withsome hard data: according to a review of US Google Analytics accounts with e-commerce tracking enabled, Google found that after display clicks, social media is the channel most often used in the earlier part of the online path to purchase (as an “assist”), rather than as a “last interaction.” The next channel most heavily used in the earlier part of the purchase journey? Email. Meanwhile, direct and organic search show up as the channels most active as last interactions.

Given those findings, it’s more understandable that search beats out email and social in a last-click model, although it is worth noting that the gap between the channels is resounding. Even so, taking those figures into account makes it easier to marry the low e-commerce traffic figures from social with other survey-based accounts showing that social is a strong influencer of retail behavior.

Other Findings:

  • The add-to-cart rate was higher for traffic referred by email (10.51%) than search (6.81%) and social (3.24%).
  • Average page views was equal for email and search traffic (9.02 each), both about double social’s average (4.6).
  • Email traffic sported the highest conversion rate (3.19%), followed by search (1.95%) and social (0.71%).
  • Search traffic had the highest average order value ($96.32), followed by email ($83.72) and social ($72.31).
  • Among social referrers, Pinterest ($80.54) boasted the highest average order value, followed by Facebook ($71.26) and Twitter ($70.17).
  • Pinterest’s share of social traffic grew from 17.5% in Q1 2012 to 25% in Q1 2013, while Facebook’s share retreated from 62.5% to 55.2%.
  • Looking at conversion rates by referrer, AOL Search (4.48%) came out easily on top, besting Bing (3.03%), Yahoo (2.8%), and Google (1.71%), among others. Traffic from Facebook converted at a much higher rate than traffic from Pinterest (1.08% vs. 0.36%).

About the Data: The EQ analyzes a random sample of over 500 million online shopping experiences using “same store” data across each calendar quarter.

Averages throughout the EQ are calculated across the entire sample. Key performance indicators, such as average order value and conversion rate, will vary by industry/market type. These averages are published only to support the analysis in each release of the EQ, and are not intended to be benchmarks for any ecommerce business.

Want Social to Boost Sales? Be Prepared to Spend the Necessary Time

Source: May 22, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


The top benefits of social media marketing are increased exposure (89%) and increased traffic (75%), finds Social Media Examiner in its annual “Social Media Marketing Industry Report” [download page], which surveyed more than 3,000 marketers on their social media activities. A majority also report benefits such as developing loyal fans (65%), lead generation (61%), and improved search rankings (58%), but only 43% say their efforts have boosted sales. Nevertheless, study results indicate that for those willing to take the time, sales will follow.

That is, while only a minority report sales improvement on account of social media marketing, that turns to a majority among those who have been using social media for at least 3 years (47% of the survey sample) as well as among those who spend 11 or more hours a week on social media marketing (representing 36% of the sample). Among those few spending 40 or more hours a week on social, 62% say they’ve earned new business. The researchers foundsimilar results last year, although more respondents are seeing each benefit this year.

Of course, the results need to be treated with a little caution, because many marketers still feel unable to measure the ROI of their social media activities. In fact, only 26% of respondents agreed (23%) or strongly agreed (3%) that they are able to measure the return of their social media marketing efforts. That’s a surprisingly low figure, particularly if 43% feel they can confidently attribute improved sales to social.

Another interesting result pertains to the effectiveness of Facebook marketing. The survey finds that 86% of marketers overall find social media to be important to their businesses. Meanwhile, Facebook is the most popular platform, used by 92% of respondents, with 49% rating it their most important social platform. Given Facebook’s almost ubiquitous use, and favorable attitudes towards social media as a whole, one would expect that marketers are positive about Facebook’s effectiveness. But, just 37% either agreed (32%) or strongly agreed (5%) with the statement: “My Facebook marketing is effective.”

That suggests that while respondents feel that social media is an important part of their marketing mix, Facebook marketing may be seen more as a necessary component of their social activities rather than the most effective component.

Other Findings:

  • B2C marketers were 52% more likely than B2B marketers to agree that their Facebook marketing is effective (44% vs. 29%). Large companies (with 1,000 or more employees) were similarly more likely than self-employed respondents to find their efforts rewarding (46% vs. 29%).
  • While 54% of respondents overall said social helps them build new partnerships, that figure rose to more than 60% among those with 3 years or more of experience.
  • At least 60% of marketers spending 6 hour or more a week on social media said they saw improvements in their search engine rankings.

About the Data: The data is based on responses from 3,025 participants. 56% primarily target consumers and 44% businesses. 72% of respondents are aged 30-59, and females represented 62% of the survey sample. 57% are based in the US, with the UK (9%) the next-most heavily represented country.

The Brand Guide to Fixing Social Mishaps

Source: DigiDay, , 05.21.2013
When Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal came to light, he did all the wrong things. He waited to respond, he denied and denied it and then finally fessed up. Weiner’s image was forever damaged. In the age of social media, brands can stand to learn a thing or two from Weinergate and how not to handle a crisis.

When it comes to being innovative as a brand these days, it’s all about real-time responsiveness. But sometimes taking chances with real time means making mistakes. What’s important for brands is to understand how to quickly put out these fires. Digiday spoke to several brand execs to get their views on how to handle social media mistakes and also looked at well-publicized brand social media mistakes to get a better understanding of some best practices and what not to do. One thing became very clear: Planning, paying attention, acting quickly and being honest are all key steps in handling social media mishaps gracefully.

Here are a few tips for how brands should best handle these sticky social media situations.

Listen to your community. Brands need to have a firm understanding of what kind of tone and content their audiences like. This will help brands avoid off-color remarks in the first place. If a brand does say something that upsets its audience, then responding in a manner that fits the severity of the situation is also important.

“There is definitely a personality to the community…certain issues come to the floor over and over again,” said Jonas Paretzkin, director of PR & social media at ConAgra Foods at the Digiday Brand Summit. “If you can have a response to those [issues], that’s a good start.”

Have the right team. Social media is the voice of a brand. That’s a big responsibility. Brands need to make sure they have the right team of people in place who are equipped the right technology to monitor. There have been plenty of stories about brands having to fire social media managers for acting irresponsibly. Most recently Reuters’ social media manager turned out to be behind some verysketchy activity, and we all remember the guy at Chrysler who tweeted about people’s driving skills in Detroit. Brands need to know whose hands they are leaving their image in.

Plan, plan and plan. Brands need to plan ahead for disasters.  While being real-time seems like it happens quickly in the moment, things like the famed Oreo blackout tweet are a result of lots of planning and social media monitoring. The same goes for dealing with social media mistakes. Not only should brands plan ahead for mistakes so that they don’t happen, but they need to have a plan in place for when something does go wrong.

“You have to live by the mantra that failing to plan is planning to fail,” said Christian Borges, svp of marketing at MRY.

Act quickly. This is the age of real-time marketing. It’s all about responding and reacting to events as quickly as possible. The same goes for reacting to mistakes. Silence and lag time are the worst ways for a brand to deal with a social media mistake.

When Burger King’s Twitter account was hijacked, it took the brand a full hour to suspend the account and deal with the aftermath. Within the hour, the hackers did a lot of damage, tweeting truly inappropriate things, like pictures of someone shooting up and tons of profanity.

Be transparent.  “Own it and respond to it as soon as possible,” said Victor Reiss, director of digital and social channels at FedEx, during a panel at the Digiday Brand Summit. Both Reiss and Paretzkin stressed the importance of transparency in handling mistakes. Brands need to be clear with their audience about what happend and why something is being deleted so that they feel informed and that the brand is being honest.

Turn a bad thing into a positive. Bad things happen to good brands. No matter how prepared or fast a brand is, sometimes mistakes happen that are beyond its control. The best way to resolve those situations is making the mishap into a positive, either with humor or working out a new solution.

When a Red Cross employee accidentally tweeted from the company account rather than her personal account about drinking Dogfish Head beer and getting drunk, she did the right thing and immediately tweeted to clear up the situation: “Rogue tweet frm @RedCross due to my inability to use hootsuite… I wasn’t actually #gettingslizzard but just excited! #howembarassing.” Red Cross similarly acted in good taste and with a touch of humor by tweeting, “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.” Red Cross already did a good job of handling the situation, but they got some help from Dogfish Head. The beer brand and its fans turned the #gettingslizzard into a fundraising campaign for Red Cross.

Turn off auto-tweets during national crisis. You don’t want to be that brand that sends out a tweet about an awesome sale when the whole country is mourning a tragedy or keeping their eyes and ears open for important news. There are unfortunately many examples of brands that have done this, like the Mutual of Omaha tweet about life insurance right after the Sandy Hook shootings. Even worse than not turning off auto-tweets during sensitive times is when brands intentionally tweet out sales or product announcements during national disasters, like Urban Outfitters tweeting about free shipping during Sandy and American Apparel tweeting about a Sandy sale. Don’t be that guy.

Don’t do canned responses. People want to see the human voice behind a brand and are more likely to forgive a human than a robot with a cookie-cutter response. Epicurious sent out some insensitive recipe tweets right after the Boston Marathon bombings. Rather than respond in a thoughtful, personal manner, Epicurious sent a bunch of copy and paste apology tweets to people and didn’t release a more thoughtful apology statement. Bad move.

In the age of real-time content marketing, it’s all about being prepared and being quick to respond to all situations, good or bad. People want to feel like brands aren’t just faceless corporations that are shoving advertising down their throats. Social media gives brands a chance to show their senses of humor and their personalities. But social media left unattended or poorly planned can show brands in an unflattering light.

Nonprofit Marketing: A Quick Start Guide to Fundraising

Source: SearchEngineWatch, , May 12, 2013
A recent Facebook post was my inspiration for preparing this guide. The poster mentioned his desire to assist nonprofits with their marketing once he retired. Although I admire his intentions, I would encourage him (and you) to act now – don’t wait! In fact, I would argue that you have an obligation to use your marketing skills to make the world a better place.

There are dozens of great charities, in your own backyard, that are begging for the kind of help that a digital marketer can provide. Choosing a charity should be like choosing a line of work. Find something that you’re passionate about.

You want to pick a cause that you’re genuinely interested in and then create a fun event to support it. The combination of passion and fun will give you the energy needed to make your event a success.

Holding the line on expenses is a top consideration. You want the money raised to go to your charity – not to overhead expenses. This philosophy should be applied to every step along the way. This is where digital marketing really pays off.


Once you’ve established your event, it’s time to come up with a date. In the summer, nearly every weekend is filled with activities.

Make sure that you aren’t hosting your event on the same day as a similar event. For example, hosting your 5K run on the same day as an established one is not a good idea. You should leave yourself 60-90 days to market the event before hosting it.


The primary motivation for most of your attendees is to have a good time. The fact that they are donating to a good cause will make them feel good, but it’s secondary.

You need to provide a good value proposition to attract newcomers and to retain past attendees. That’s how you grow an event. At the A-Town rumble, we reward attendees by offering the following:

  • Rally T-shirt
  • Guided tour through the Capital District
  • Free bike pickup in the event of mechanical failure
  • Snacks upon return

In exchange for a sponsorship spot on the shirt sleeve, our T-shirt vendor sets up the artwork for free and cuts us a killer break on the shirt price.


Once you have your date, it’s time to brand the event. A strong visual is helpful in connecting with participants. I’ve had good success in recruiting local artists on Craigslist in the art/media/design jobs section.

If you’re looking for a donation, be up front and state the same in your job title, so you aren’t wasting anyone’s time. Since so many people are affected by diabetes, I’ve never had a problem finding someone willing to create a logo in exchange for recognition and a shirt with their design on it.

That said, there have been years when the designs submitted weren’t up to standard and I had to look elsewhere. When I say elsewhere, I actually mean Odesk. You will find some really talented graphic designers who can produce a professional logo at a very reasonable price.

Spreading the Word

Start by leveraging any relevant assets that you may have. If you happen to be a scooter enthusiast, then you might have a scooter website where you could promote the event.

Keep in mind this is a fundraiser, so make the story personal. Let people know how you or someone close to you has been affected and how the money being raised will be spent.

Selling Tickets

I’m a huge fan of Eventbrite. Their user-friendly interface makes it very easy to create, promote, and manage an event. If you don’t have an asset of your own to leverage, this is a good place to start.

Every event has the option of creating a custom URL that can be used around the web to promote the event. They also have a convenient Facebook widget.

In addition to selling regular tickets, I strongly encourage selling sponsorships on Eventbrite. By making sponsorship easy, we’ve converted several “attendees” into “sponsors.”

There is a nominal fee associated with using Eventbrite, but this fee can be shifted to the attendees, along the lines of a Ticketmaster service charge. To put this in perspective, a $25 ticket has a $1.62 fee. The Rumble absorbs the fee for sponsors, but that’s up to you.

Social Media


  • Facebook: Create a Facebook Page for your cause. Set your logo as the cover. This is the perfect place to announce updates and count down to the event. It is also a great place to recognize sponsors and volunteers. You may not see a lot of activity on the page, but it’s important to keep it fresh. A lack of activity on the page sends a bad message. One post a day shouldn’t be too difficult to maintain.
  • Twitter: Set up an account for the event. Start following people that would be interested in the event as well as local news people. Ideally, your followers will spread the word via social media, forums and newsletters. Local news types may pick up on the story. Start the Twitter drumbeat 60 to 90 days before the event.
  • YouTube: Create a trailer (such as this one) for the event and encourage attendees totake and post videos. These videos become virtual commercials for the event. Many first time attendees come to the Rumble based solely on what they saw in a video.

Press Releases

In the case of your fundraiser, the best way to distribute a press release is to go to the website of each local news outlet and follow the protocol. If there is no established protocol, send out a press release 60 days, 30 days, 14 days, and 48 hours prior to the event.


Getting lots of attendees to your event is great, but the value of good sponsors can’t be over-stated. In the case of the A-town rumble, it takes 40 riders to generate the same funds as a single “Whole Hog” ($1,000) sponsor.

Attracting sponsors is a primarily a one on one and offline activity. Most of this work is performed via snail mail and phone calls. You may have a few close associates where an email would be considered appropriate.

Since the Rumble has strong roots in the community, I approach all of the local businesses for sponsorship. Being active in the community, I know most of the business owners. This personal touch goes a long way in securing donations.

I also approach everyone that I pay money to. My accountant, my insurance agent, my mechanic, my doctor, my dentist – no one that appears on my personal and professional accounts payable list is safe.

The Result

The A-town Rumble has raised over $15,000 since its inception and our goal is to raise $10,000 this year. If I had a guide like this when I first started, it would be considerably higher.

Hopefully you’ve found this guide useful and will use it to create your own fun and give back to your community at the same time

12 Alarming Stats About Social Media

Source: DigiDay, , 05.13.2013

Social media has quickly become the societal norm. But at what cost?

With all that sharing (and over-sharing), there’s a downside to go along with the connectedness enabled by platforms like Facebook, whether it’s in frayed real-life relationships, simple time-wasting or annoyance at all those photos your friends are posting of their kids.

Here are 12 alarming stat about how people use social media.

18-24-year-olds on Facebook have 510 friends on average. (Marketing Charts)

87 percent of bullied teens were targeted on Facebook. (DailyMail)

59 percent of parents have talked to their children because they were concerned about something posted to social media. (Pew Internet Project)

43 percent of parents check their children’s Facebook profile daily. (Education Database Online)

Facebook collects over 500 terabytes of data every day. (GigaOm)

One out of every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook. (Mediabistro)

35 percent of employers have found information on social media that’s caused them to not hire a job candidate. (

85 percent of women are annoyed by their friends on Facebook. (Web Pro News)

Links about sex are shared 90 percent more than any other link on Facebook. (Go Globe)

61 percent of Facebook users have voluntarily taken a break from it. (Pew Internet Project)

Facebook has been linked to 66 percent of divorces in the U.S., with 81 percent of the nation’s top divorce lawyers claiming clients have cited using social networks as damning evidence against their spouses in the past five years. (Third Age)

One-third of Facebook’s 18-34 aged female demographic check Facebook when they first wake up, even before going to the bathroom. (Qbee Media)