New Media Notes

notes on news, advertising and social media shared by ben smith

Using Twitter as Your Focus Group

Posted by benasmith on January 1, 2009

Nice example of Twitter being used by an agency to research and react to consumer response to a clients products. Great results for the clients as a direct consequence.


Posted in Market Research, Twitter | Leave a Comment »

Social Media Ad Spending

Posted by benasmith on December 21, 2008

Short but interesting blog from Razorfish reporting solid growth on social media ad spending in 2008. Combined spending on MySpace and Facebook was up 32% Q2 over Q1. Q3 was up an additional 22%.

Posted in Online Revenue, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

Online Consumer Habits and Social Media Trends

Posted by benasmith on November 30, 2008

Just a quick link to the Razorfish 2008 Consumer Experience Report. This annual report is a wealth a valuable information on online consumer habits and social media trends and is absolutely a must read.

Posted in Online, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

Growing Significance of Social Networks

Posted by benasmith on November 23, 2008

Short but interesting article in the November 10 2008, Advertising Age giving some statistics on social media usage. Focus of the article is how social networks are impacting TV viewership, which of course has implications for advertising dollars.

According to research by Magid Advisors:

More than 38% of all 12 to 64 year olds online in the US indicate they regularly use social networks.

And it’s not just the younger population using them.

One third of women ages 35 to 44, for example, report they regularly use social networking sites.

With all the time spent on social networking sites, time spent on other activities is being reduced.

Over 25% of those using social networking sites stated specifically that it was their TV viewing habits that were being cannibalized.

This is another example of the growing impact of social networks and something the television networks, and all other “traditional” media, need to be very aware of. Ignore social media at your peril.

Posted in Newspapers, Online, Online Revenue, Social Media, Television | Leave a Comment »

Twitter Traffic Explosion: Who’s behind it all?

Posted by benasmith on November 18, 2008

Some very interesting research on Twitter usage and user demographics. Twitter really has a powerful online presence and can’t be ignored by any of us in the news or media industry, or many other business categories.

Posted in Social Media, Twitter | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Count Out Big Media

Posted by benasmith on November 18, 2008

Another very positive blog on the future of news media. This time by Chris Brogan on his time spent at Gannett. Great to see yet more examples of innovation and forward thinking by a large, traditional, news organization. This time also with a real emphasis on “local”.

Posted in Community News, Newspapers, Online | Leave a Comment »

The Future of Newspapers: Moving Beyond Dead Trees

Posted by benasmith on November 17, 2008

Great story in the Washington Post on Rupert Murdoch and how he sees the future of the newspaper business.

Great to see someone with such traditional roots having such a forward thinking and positive outlook.

Particularly appreciated his comments on newspapers having to evolve from the physical item to “news brands” that are delivered in a variety of ways and are flexible for readers.

Posted in Newspapers, Online | Leave a Comment »

Making Social Networks Profitable

Posted by benasmith on October 12, 2008

Interesting article in Business Week about a new patent-pending technology from Google for ranking the most influential people on social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook. If the technology works it could be a tremendous ad revenue opportunity for social networking sites, with entirely new opportunities for much more effective targetted ad campaigns…. at a sizeable premium of course.

Posted in Google, Online Revenue, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

The Future of Direct Mail

Posted by benasmith on October 10, 2008

Many advertisers still consider direct mail a “premium” means of distributing information. Direct delivery to a consumers mailbox has an appeal, of course. But it’s time to move on. If an advertiser wants direct distribution to a targeted consumer why not look at one of the many opt-in email opportunities. “Opt-In” is the key phrase. So much quicker, cost effective, and targeted. Surely it makes more sense for an advertiser to reach 500 people that have requested to receive information about specific categories of products or services than even 5,000 that haven’t requested anything and likely don’t want junk clogging up their mailbox.

Interesting article in Newsweek:

It’s amazing to read that direct mailings now constitute some 52% of mail volume, up from 38% in 1990. Yet at the same time the consumer polls referred to in the article state that some 89% of consumers say they would prefer not to receive direct mail and some 44% of direct mail is never even opened.

Working in the newspaper industry, I see this as a great opportunity for newspapers in particular. Despite trends in circulation decline, newspaper is still a highly effective media. Especially at a suburban / community level where newspapers provide unique hyper-local news and advertising, less so in metros where they traditionally provide information that’s now available on countless websites and cable TV. Where newspaper have traditionally lost a certain amount of advertising revenue to direct mail, it’s a great time to go after those advertisers. Use readers to build targeted email lists. Build lists that can be targeted by zip code, that have opt-ins for different categories of information. Seek email sign-ups at every opportunity. Run reader contests that prompt for email sign-up when they enter, make it part of the subscription or renewal process. Keep building the email lists and make sure when advertisers use them to send information they include decent offers, coupons or promotions. Make the emails something people want to receive – strong offers, limited to the categories of information they have requested and relevant to the local market. Don’t abuse their trust in your product by sending information they didn’t request. Soon people will want to be part of the list and sign-ups will keep growing. It’s a great opportunity for any newspaper and thanks to services such as Constant Contact it’s easy to deal with spam regulations and to send quality HTML email without any technical knowledge required.

Posted in Direct Mail, Email, Newspapers | Leave a Comment »

LinkedIn Success Stories

Posted by benasmith on October 9, 2008

Two great success stories for LinkedIn. For all those doubters on the value of LinkedIn or other professional networking sites, these are great examples of effective use LinkedIn to generate business and create new sales. The results are directly attributable to the subscribers making good use of the resources the site offers.

First, a great example of a LinkedIn subscriber successfully launching a business and generating great sales entirely thanks to creative use of LinkedIn groups and the status update feature.

Second, a LinkedIn subscriber using the site to reconnect with an old client and convert that former client in to a new $1 millon contract.

Posted in LinkedIn, Social Media | Leave a Comment »