Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Fewer than 1 percent of website visits come directly from a social media URL according to research just released by customer satisfaction analytics experts ForeSee Results.

The company surveyed 300,000 consumers on more than 180 websites across a dozen private and public sector industries. The referring social media sites covered were not just the usual suspects like Facebook and Twitter, but over 40 sites including Flickr, Foursquare, Scribd, Stumbleupon, Meetup and Youtube.

It’s not all bad news for social media marketeers. 18 percent of site visitors (averaged across surveyed websites) report being influenced by social media to visit a website. However, there was considerable variation in the results for different companies.

The social media budgets of marketers is constantly increasing as the survey data to the right shows. Forsee Results’ research showed that the resources companies put into social media and the results they receive vary wildly. Spending more money does not automatically lead to higher numbers of visits to websites, brand awareness or sales.

Promotional emails are also sometimes neglected in favor of the more glamorous social media, in spite of the fact that such emails influence 32 percent of purchases.

Companies themselves seem a bit confused about their objectives when it comes to social media. Internet Retailer Magazine surveyed 400 U.S. companies (19 percent of them retailers) in December 2009 and January 2010. It found that 74 percent of companies wanted social media to drive traffic to their websites, while only 56 percent wanted it to increase sales. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Next Story: Why mobile app success is more than just download numbers Previous Story: Battle brewing at Microsoft over retail store expansion

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Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen is locked out by a high school

Being locked out by the NFL is one thing, but Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen had to deal with another rejection recently when he was kicked off a high school field while trying to work out.

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Breaking tech <b>news</b>? Get email notifications as it happens. - TNW Voice

We're in the technology news business. To that end, if it's old, it isn't news. Given that you're reading this, chances are that you live, eat, sleep and breathe the tech lifestyle and want to get the news as soon as it happens. ...

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How <b>News</b> Corp Got Lost In Myspace | Yinka Adegoke | Voices <b>...</b>

As Rupert Murdoch stepped into the Grand Ballroom of San Francisco's Palace Hotel at the Web 2.0 conference in October 2007, the developers and engineers who packed the room fell into a respectful hush.

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China is a notoriously tough market for American brands. The last few years has seen tech giants like Google struggle to do business due to restrictive censorship and retail giants like Best Buy and Home Depot have found that heavy price competition makes it hard to gain a toehold. Yet, despite the conventional wisdom, Apple’s business in China is booming and it’s not lower prices but better presentation that’s driving their success.

The Chinese economy is having some of its best years ever due to the rising world demand for consumer electronics, much of which is manufactured in China’s city-sized factories. The Mercury News reports that this has led to the average Chinese citizen being more flush with cash than ever before and ready to spend it on what would previously be deemed as unaffordable luxury.

Paul French of Shanghai-based Access Asia indicates that the increase in middle class affluence is behind the increase in purchasing power. “There is now enough of an urban middle class with enough money to afford Apple products. Five years ago — or even two or three years ago — there weren’t enough of those people.”

Five years ago, Apple didn’t have a retail store in China, now it has four, including a stunning split-level glass and metal flagship store in Sanlitun, an area of Beijing known more for its nightlife than its retail outlets. Those stores aren’t barely surviving either, with $2.6 billion in revenue this year, four times what we saw last year from Apple in China. This should mean that Apple is fighting the price war well in China, offering its products for less than they can be purchased in the US, but that’s not actually true. In fact, Apple sells a comparatively specced 13-inch Macbook Air for $180 more in China than it does stateside.

This success seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, typically premium products have not sold well in cost conscious China. Some, like Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, say that Apple will have to eventually compete on price or risk losing the Chinese consumer. “The iPhone is going to be huge in China. That’s a given.” he tells the Mercury News. “But if Apple wants it to flow out across China, it has to come up with lower price points.”

Yet Apple shows no signs of slowing down in the Chinese market, which is projected to account for 10 percent of Apple’s revenue within 5 years.

When asked, locals said that in a country where the people like to try products out before they purchase them, Apple is doing the best job of presenting those products. Apple’s retail stores offer the Chinese consumer a chance to test the products in a beautiful and visually stimulating atmosphere and those efforts are paying off with big sales numbers. This kind of attention to the senses and emotions of the consumer wasn’t pioneered by Apple of course, but they are one of the first major companies to bring that kind of experience to China’s city centers in a big way.

This difference in the way that the products are presented is doing its job in separating Apple’s products from the rest of the pack almost everywhere that its retail stores are located, but nowhere is that effect felt more than in China. A country where consumers are hungry for polished products presented in a stimulating atmosphere and they finally have the cash to afford them.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said in an interview this week that he would consider returning to an active role at the company he helped start if asked.

During an interview in England this week, Wozniak said, "I'd consider it, yeah," when asked whether he would play a more active role if asked, Reuters reports.

Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer in 1976. Wozniak left his full-time role with the company in 1987, but remains an employee and shareholder of Apple.

Since leaving Apple, Wozniak has been involved in a wide range of entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. He currently serves as Chief Scientist for storage company Fusion-io.

Meanwhile, Jobs is currently taking an indefinite leave of absence to focus on his health, though he remains CEO of Apple and continues to be involved in strategic decisions.

Wozniak, who has widely been acknowledged as the technical genius behind Apple's early success, believes that he has a lot to offer the company he helped start, which went on to become the world's second-largest company in terms of market value.

"There's just an awful lot I know about Apple products and competing products that has some relevance, some meaning. They're my own feelings, though," Wozniak said during the interview.

When asked his opinion on Apple today, Wozniak praised the company for its track record with recent products. "Unbelievable," he said, "The products, one after another, quality and hits."

Even so, Wozniak admitted that he'd prefer Apple's devices to be more open, so he can "get in there and add [his] own touches." Last December, Wozniak revealed that he had purchased a DIY kit for the iPhone 4 and "modded" the device into the as-yet-unreleased white version.

"My thinking is that Apple could be more open and not lose sales," said Wozniak, while adding, "I'm sure they're making the right decisions for the right reasons for Apple."

Wozniak has been committed to openness since the beginning. In December, Wozniak told reporters that he didn't design the original Apple I to make a lot of money and had given the designs away for free after his former employer HP showed no interest in the computer.

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In recent weeks we’ve shared articles on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others. Now it’s time to look at how all these tools are changing the way you do business. By the way, we’d like to learn what kind of social media your business is using and why. Be sure to leave a comment below.


How to be a social media leader. How to be a social media leader or authority. It’s a question surely on the mind of plenty of small business owners working to learn the vocabulary of the new online media. In the end, it may be easier than it looks. Check these simple tips. Small Business CEO

How to set up a small realization that business blog. Whether practitioners of small business social media nowadays would describe a format as “old school” as blogging as being a part of the social media is uncertain. We certainly consider it to be. In many ways blogging is the cornerstone of a strong online social presence and establishing a blog as the hub of your social media campaign requires learning some basics on establishing a small business blog. Dazzlin Donna


How to use social media to build context. Gary Vaynerchuck is arguably one of the most innovative pioneers of the social media marketing approach, but in this interview he argues using the means open to small businesses today isn’t necessarily about the tools, it’s about the context. Find out why. The Rise to the Top

How to grow your social media fan base. Whether it’s Facebook or another comparable site, social media is about being social. To understand why this is harder than it might at first seem, check out this post on growing a social media fan base for your business. Like other online marketing, social media is about content. This post talks about how to use content and other tools to boost your number of fans. Premium SEO Solutions


How to create Twitter and other social media content. So, we know that using social media and frequently updating with content are the key to an effective social media marketing campaign. But what in the world can you say. As it turns out talking endlessly and pitching endlessly about your business on social media is NOT the answer. Follow this guide to participating effectively in social media WITHOUT being labeled a spammer. What’s your approach? Blog Godown

How bloggers have become much more influential than celebrities. When it comes to influencing purchasing decisions, people are more likely to listen to a blogger than a rock star. That’s according to a recent study suggesting the increased influence social media is having on purchasing decisions. If you haven’t yet considered social media and particularly blogging as part of your marketing campaign, you may want to read more. Fox News


Why social media may not be your best traffic driving tool. A recent study suggests that as a strategy for driving traffic to your Website, social media may not be the best choice. Then again, the study goes on, for brand awareness its effectiveness may be somewhat higher. In the end, it’s important to remember that the tools you use must make sense to your business, says blogger Cynthia Boris. Don’t look to social media as a magic bullet. It’s a useful tool, nothing more. Marketing Pilgrim

How to create a successful social media strategy. Businesses seeking to take advantage of all aspects of the social media need to apply careful planing to their approach. The possibilities for crowdsourcing, studying of online customer conversation and other factors makes innovation easier as well. But with all these possibilities, where should your business begin? A well defined social media strategy is a good first step. 1 to 1 media

How to listen to social media and gain insight about your brand. Someone is talking about your business out there. But what are they saying and is it something you should even be worried about? Monitoring social media for positive and negative comments about your business can be a great strategy for constant innovation. Here’s more about how it works and how you can get involved. InformationWeek

Final Thoughts

Trying to figure out social media. One of the main issues for small businesses today, surprisingly, is not just deciding to implement social media but trying to figure out all of the possible implications. Social media is, after all, more than just a tool. It is a movement as well. The existence of social media is a hard reality and offers opportunities to small business of all kinds. But there are challenges too. Here are some important thoughts. Business 2 Community

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Google <b>News</b> Blog: New Google <b>News</b> for Opera Mini

While the Google News team has been hard at work redesigning our service for smartphones, we've also been thinking about our milllions of users around the world who access the web not from a smartphone, but from a feature phone, ...

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Former ABC <b>News</b> President David Westin Announces Next Move - The <b>...</b>

He's named president and CEO of the News Licensing Group, launching this summer.

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