This week: Salesforce integrates Radian6, Twitter self-serve, Facebook IPO and FTC, Cyber Monday and search marketing beats social
1. Best tool for businesses to keep real-time tabs on their customers: Radian6-powered Salesforce
Back in May, Salesforce.com acquired Radian6, the social media monitoring startup. This week, a new social insights platform was unveiled that integrates Radian6 into Salesforce's core CRM software. This "SocialHub" enables businesses to keep real-time tabs on their customers by monitoring and responding to online dialogue about their brands. Best of all, it will automate workflow around social listening, getting product complaints, customer service issues and chatter about competitors to the right people within an organization.
2. Best new self-serve option for social marketers: Twitter
During an interview at a business conference in New York on Wednesday, Twitter Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain mentioned that in the past couple of weeks, Twitter quietly has begun the roll-out of its long-awaited self-serve ad platform with a handful of advertisers. An easy, self-service program is aimed at enticing more small- and medium-size businesses to advertise on Twitter. About 60% of Facebook's ad revenue is estimated to come from its self-serve platform, which was introduced in 2007. More than 2,400 companies currently advertise on Twitter, and eMarketer projects ad revenue for the privately held company to grow from $45 million in 2010 to $399.5 million by 2013, mainly in the United States.
3. Best IPO rumors: Facebook
The rumor du jour this week is that Facebook is preparing for a initial public stock offering next year. Apparently, Facebook is exploring raising $10 billion with the hopes that the offering will value the company at more than $100 billion. Not a bad payday for Zuckerberg. More news that was music to his ears this week: The Federal Trade Commission and the social media network have reached a settlement after regulators accused the social network of "unfair and deceptive" privacy practices. The FTC accused Facebook of sharing users' personal data with advertisers and application developers, and had publicized data that users had sought to keep private. The agreement requires the company to respect the privacy wishes of its users and subjects it to regular privacy audits for the next 20 years.
4. Best online shopping day: Cyber Monday
U.S. sales for Cyber Monday reached a new record of $1.25 billion, up 22% from 2010, according to comScore. The story this year wasn't so much social, it was actually mobile. More than one in 10 people used a mobile device to visit a retailer's site Monday, and 6.6% of all purchases took place on mobile devices, nearly a threefold increase from 2010. Social networks directly drove a moderate number of sales: Shoppers referred from social networks accounted for 0.56% of all sales on Cyber Monday and 0.53% on Black Friday. Facebook was the big player, generating 86% of all social media traffic.
5. Best new study that shows that social isn't the best way to drive purchases (yet): Forrester
New Forrester research bears out the Cyber Monday findings. In fact, a new study called "It's Time to Make Facebook Marketing Work" found that search marketing is more influential than social media when it comes to shaping personal technology purchase decisions, according to Forrester research. Almost half of shoppers surveyed named search as a major factor in shaping their awareness of brands and their ultimate purchases, but less than a fifth named social networks. Takeaway for marketers: Social should definitely be part of your marketing mix, but really stop to think about where exactly it figures in the purchase cycle.
--- Dianne Molina