Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Growth in social media spend

A study by Forrester Research found that while half of marketers said they would boost budgets, social media spend remains very small in proportion to other media -- 75% of respondents who knew their budgets said they were planning to spend $100,000 or less over the next 12 months.

Too Many Social NetworksImage by M. Keefe via Flickr

Areas that they highlighted for investment included social networks, blogs and user-generated content.

However, the majority of social media budgets are not predetermined -- 45% said they were generated on an "as needed" basis throughout the year; and 23% said that their funds were scraped together from wherever they could find them.
The research also highlighted that money being allocated to social media comes at the expense of other budgets -- the biggest proportion of respondents (35%) stated that social media spend came out of the corporate marketing coffers; while 24% of the sample said that it came from the advertising budget.


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Bebo Goes European

Bebo is launching local-language versions of its social networking site in five European countries, offering premium video content via media partners, the company said Monday.

Image representing Bebo as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Bebo will offer sites in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch as it seeks to enlarge its user base. It also plans to leverage its Open Media technology, which allows media companies to distribute content on Bebo's network.

Bebo was bought by AOL in March 2008 for US$850 million as part of AOL's plan to move away from being an ISP and more of an advertising-focused content provider.

Bebo has been strongest in the U.K. market and has about 22 million unique visitors per month, according to January figures from ComScore, However, Bebo lags in user numbers behind social networking giants Facebook and MySpace.


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Thief Uses Google Earth To Nick Lead Roofs

In an incident which further sparked concerns over the misuse of Google Earth application for felonious purposes, a thief stole lead worth a whopping £100,000 from the roofs of the buildings, by using the application to get the detailed view of these listed buildings.

Image representing Google Earth as depicted in...Image via CrunchBase

Berge used the application to figure out lead roofs with their darker colours, and made £44,500 by selling around 44.6-tonnes of lead during his six months long spree, which started from September to February.

The roofs of Sutton High School for Girls, Croydon Parish Church, and Honeywood Museum in Carshalton were all looted. Berge is sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for a couple of years, after he confessed involvement in as many as 30 offences.

The court was told that Berge, along with his accomplices, meticulously planned the thefts, as he went to site equipped with the necessary equipment, such as ladders and abseiling ropes, to plunder the roofs, and even stole a car to make a speedy escape.


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Using SEO to Manage Your Online Reputation

Is there a page you don't like about your company on the web? The best way to "take care" of undesirable material with a high organic ranking is through search engine optimization, writes SEOmoz.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Google has posted advice on how to remove unwanted pages, but its strategy is mostly to contact the person who put up the unwanted webpage and trying to convince them to modify and maybe remove it, with the option of taking the request to court if the page contains something illegal.

But there is a third method – left wanting in Google's response - that involves using SEO to help with reputation management. Unfortunately, it is neither easy nor cheap.

The three main components of an SEO-fueled reputation management campaign:

1. Identify which keywords produce prominently listed and undesirable results.
Create content on multiple sites that will outrank the negative content, keeping in mind that Google generally only lists a maximum of two pages from a single domain on a given results page.

2. Optimize those pages with content & links to achieve rankings higher than the negative content, thus "pushing it down" to the 2nd page of results (or further).

3. To create content with the aim of outranking a negative result, leverage as many positive "pre-existing" conditions as possible.


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