Even Bigger Brother (He was away at college but couldn’t get a job)

Working in this industry one can forget the pitfalls of online marketing and the ‘always-on’ nature of social media. Very recently with the Wiki-Leaks scandal we are beginning to understand that all information is not created equal. Some might even argue that there are just some things we do not need to know. (Those people were ‘unavailable’ for comment).

We have all heard terrible stories of young graduates being denied jobs because of well…less than appropriate Facebook profiles. Can you imagine though if you were denied a job based solely on information sharing? Students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs received such a warning from the State Department. The email stated:

From: “Office of Career Services”

Date: November 30, 2010 15:26:53 EST:

Hi students,

We received a call today from a SIPA alumnus who is working at the State Department. He asked us to pass along the following information to anyone who will be applying for jobs in the federal government, since all would require a background investigation and in some instances a security clearance.

The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. He recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.


Seriously? This has very large implications for the rapidly expanding social media market. The next generation is no longer being told to post carefully. No, they are being told not to post at all. That is if they wish to be gainfully employed. This could mean the giant pool of consumers who access their social media tools everyday is lost to advertisers.

We have known for years that the government has struggled with how to ‘police’ the net and make it as family (and govt.) friendly as Main Street America. But not hiring a student because they commented on their best friend’s wedding photos is a little ludicrous.

-Name removed to protect the innocent

Banner Ads may not Get Clicked, but they Convert

I found an interesting article regarding the perrinial online advertising favorite – Banner ads. This standard ad has been a go-to solution for online advertisers and what many people new to online advertising associate with paid search advertising. But the banner ad is suffering as of late – with click through rates at 0.09% in 2010 – a fall from an already low 0.15% in 2008. Consumers are also scorning the ads with 43% of individuals polled answering they disregard or entirely ignore internet banner ads more than any other form of advertising:

But with advertising spend on standard banner ads set to increase (bumping 11.4% in 2011 to $6.56 billion) how can advertisers improve banner ads and make the most of their online efforts?

Give Consumers What They Want

While only 21% of those polled said they would interact with a banner ad that was marketed “to them”, 77% were motivated by banner ads that included coupons, discounts and other incentives. Almost half (46%) of those polled were drawn to banner ads that provided more information on a product or could solve their problem(s). This study also noted that entertaining ads (banners with flash, animation, games, etc) were much less important to users that the special offers or problem solving ads mentioned above:

Although CTR for banner ads continues to drop, 79.6% of online conversions through banner ads were not results of clicks, but of users viewing a banner without clicking.

Do You Ignore Banner Ads?

In a recent AdWeek article, “Ignoring Internet Banner Ads: The oft-maligned promo unit takes yet another hit,” Mark Dolliver analyzes the results of a recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll  where 43 percent of Internet banner ads were sited to be the most ignored by Internet users. Dolliver continues to discuss that even the 18 to 34 year old demographics were “about as likely as their elders to pick banner ads” as the online media vehicle to be ignored.  Furthermore, 21 percent of this same demographic reported that “search-engine ads are the genre they’re likeliest to ignore.”

Dolliver switches to investigating consumer’s tendencies towards traditional advertising when looking to television ads. Unsurprisingly, 20 percent of the 55 years and older demographic selecting this genre as the most ignored, while only nine percent of the 18 to 34 years old demographic chose this genre as the most ignored. This was followed by 14 percent of 45 to 54 years old demographic and 13 percent of the 35 to 44 years old demographic.

Despite the fact that specific banner ads can be targeted towards the most qualified and relevant audience, I personally worry that consumers do not find banner ads to be worthwhile of their time and thus prefer to ignore these ads.

The Digital Divide

I came across an interesting New York Times article, “Digital Divide Is a Matter of Income,” where Teddy Wayne explains that the greatest indicator of Internet access and use is based on household income of Americans. This information is based from findings of a recent study by the Pew Research Center.

Furthermore, Wayne states that households with an income of $75,000 and more greatly exceed households that earn less than $75,000. This distinction is increased when comparing households earning more than $75,000 per year to households earning less than $30,000 per year.

The individuals from upper income households are more likely to own computers, mobile phones, e-readers and other entertainment devices that use the Internet. And, at least 95 percent of higher income households utilize the Internet in some way, while only 57 percent of poorer households have access to the Internet at home. According to Jim Jansen, a senior fellow with Pew Research Center, “the correlation between income and participation in many Internet activities might be expected.” However, Jansen continues by noting how “the scale” of which “shows the impact that income has on leveraging the advantages of the Internet.”

Wayne investigates the reasons for why people use the Internet while comparing household income. He discovers that wealthier households use the Internet for health information and online commerce activities more often then less fortunate households. And, although there is a small difference between engagement in print and television news sources, the highest income households are more than “twice as likely as the poorest to read online news.”

Now The Beast Scans and READS Everything

This Monday I came across the launch of Google’s eBooks platform!  The Google Beast is now another step closer to ruling the world muah haha!

As I was reading this article I learned that Google is looking to scan and searchable an estimated 130 million books!  For this launch there are over three million of scanned editions of books that are available as eBooks.


The most interesting thing I think is that unlike the Kindle, or Sony Reader;  Google eBooks are available to everybody as long as you have access to the internet.  You will be able to read a book on your iPad your Android phone or even on your computer at work without losing your place or any hassle.


I think this is going to be a great alternative to the expensive eReader.  Google will have a lot of free downloads as well as many books for sale.


Read more about the new Google Books here.

Nickels, Dimes and Now Calls to your Business: $$$$$ For Google

If you haven’t noticed Google has been rolling out the product features like madmen lately. Believe you me this mad dash to…..well who knows where, is not just to help Mr. Advertiser better understand his advertising dollars. Oh no, Google wants MONEY. Not just any Money they – want your money.

One of these new ‘cool’ services is Google Call metrics. Right now this is a nifty free tool that allows advertisers to monitor exactly how many customers call directly from an ad rather than click and explore the website. Google ad innovations explains the tool as:

AdWords call metrics is a new feature that lets you measure the number of phone calls generated by your AdWords campaigns. Using the technology behind Google Voice, call metrics creates a unique phone number for each of your campaigns which is automatically inserted into your ad when it appears on Google.com, on both desktop computers & high-end mobile devices.

When a potential customer calls the number in your ad, AdWords notes that the call took place. Then, when you view your AdWords reports, you’ll see the number of calls you received and other metrics, including call duration.

I believe the truth is Google was just tired of seeing all of that wasted revenue from smart advertisers putting their phone numbers in adcopy. After all, no click no cash! At least that used to be the case.  Moving forward Google will charge for this service just as if a searcher clicked on an ad. I don’t need to speculate on this Google says it very blatantly.” You’ll still only pay for clicks on your ads, but we intend to charge for call metrics in the future.” Don’t be surprised if the future is sooner than you think.

Consumers Want Mobile Websites, But Only 5% of Businesses Have One

Mobile is really picking up steam and many businesses are unsure what to do about it.  My thoughts are shaped in part by an article from eMarketer – Consumers to Retailers: Improve Your Mobile Sites. According to this study, more than half of consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer with a mobile site – and a good mobile site.
This is especially relevant as more consumers this year are or are planning to use their mobile phones to shop during this holiday season. According to a study included in this article, 51% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from retailers that have a mobile site, but fewer than 5% of retailers actually have a mobile site.

Many retailers are also making the mistake of too flash-heavy sites which do not translate to mobile use. According to the article, with m-commerce and mobile shoppers on the rise, retailers are faced with the need to create a user-friendly mobile site or lose to their competitors that have one.

How to Add Google Analytics to a Facebook Page Tab

By now I’m sure you have a Facebook page, or maybe you manage a client’s Facebook page to help drive traffic to their website. If so you could probably benefit from adding Google Analytics to your FBML tabs. With this valuable data, combined with Facebook Insight can help you create more of a well-rounded idea of what your visitors are doing, and were they’re coming from.

Follow these three simple steps to add GA to your Facebook page:
1.) Create a New Profile in Google Analytics

Assuming you already have a Google Analytics account, the first step is to add a new profile for the Facebook tab you want to track. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account yet, you’ll need to create one to get started.

Since each Facebook Page has it’s own unique URL you can create as many profiles as you’d like, we’ll only create on for this tutorial.

Log into your Google Analytics account and navigate to the “Add new profile” link.

Then navigate to the next screen and select “Add a Profile for a new domain” and paste your full URL for your FBML tab. See the example below:

Then click “Continue”

2.) Add tracking code to FBML

The next screen will give you the tracking details, take a look at property ID (ie: UA-9999999-9) keep that line handy or copy it somewhere.

Now, go back to your Facebook Page and edit the FBML for the tab you want to track and follow these steps:

  • Click the “Edit Page” link under your profile image
  • Click “Applications”
  • Scroll to the FBML app you have already created for your Page
  • Click “Go to Application”
  • Copy the code below, and replace the UA-9999999-9 with your Web Property ID code as shown above. Then, paste the line at the bottom on your FBML code and save your changes.

    3.) Check Your Stats

    Go go back Google Analytics, click “Finish,” and you will see your tab URL listing with a “Tracking Not Installed” icon: . It can take up to 24 hours for the tracking to pull any data so come back in a day or so and check to see if you installed the tracking code properly.

    Want to add Google Analytics in more than one tab? You’ll want to rename the tab in Analytics to make it easier for you to keep track. Click the pencil icon to the right of the field to enter a new nickname.

    You’re done! The statistics generated and activity tracked will depend on what type of content you have on your FBML tab. You’ll be able to view daily statistics by default.

    We are always looking for your feedback! Do you track your Facebook Page visitors using Google Analytics, Facebook Insights or something else?

    -TJ Walsh