Facebook shares gain after it adds new retail partners
Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. closed at the highest price in more than three months after expanding the roster of retailers that let users buy and send items to friends on its website, helping the owner of the world’s biggest social network push into e-commerce.
Partners added include Brookstone Inc., Dean & Deluca Inc. and Fab.com Inc., Facebook said at a press conference yesterday in New York. “Tens of millions” of users in the U.S. can now access products via the gifting service, which was introduced in September with retailers such as Starbucks Corp. and 1-800- Flowers.com Inc. Shares of Facebook rose 6.3 percent to $23.56 in New York, for the biggest close since
Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, is seeking fresh ways to make money from its more than 1 billion users as revenue growth has slowed. Since an initial public offering in May, the shares slipped 38 percent as Facebook has struggled to boost advertising sales as more users access the service on mobile devices and grappled with competition from Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
“It’s a good first step to get into e-commerce,” said Arvind Bhatia, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc., in an interview. “In the near term, I don’t expect Facebook to be selling televisions or appliances, but there are certain categories like flowers, chocolate and wine where they could add revenue.”
The new feature lets users find and send gifts from a birthday reminder or from a friend’s profile. Recipients can choose the color, size or flavor of an item or exchange it for something else. The service also lets members choose whether to post the gift to a friend’s Facebook Timeline or alert them privately.
“There is nowhere people go more to share life’s moments than Facebook,” said Lee Linden, product lead for Facebook Gifts and founder of Karma, the gift-giving application Facebook acquired earlier this year. “It’s a huge milestone for the team, and something we think people are very much going to enjoy.”
Sales rose 32 percent to $1.26 billion in the third quarter, Facebook reported last month, matching the growth rate of the previous three-month period. In the third quarter of 2011 sales more than doubled from a year earlier.
Internet: Verify your Website on Pinterest
Let’s face it, as much as most of us love Pinterest for the sheer pleasure of experiencing new ideas, it is a huge marketing tool for many small businesses. Look at the potential here if you will. Let’s say you own a bridal store and someone pins one of your wedding dresses or a pair of shoes. That pin is then available for all of their friends to see. If any of their friends repin the original pin, now that item is available to all those new pinners. I’m sure you get the idea.
Pinterest has figured that it only stands to benefit by offering dedicated brand pages, your website. Can you see the potential? The feature is intended to let other pinners learn more about the people they are following. You will now be able to highlight your full website URL right on your Pinterest profile. To make it a little more fun, users will also see a checkmark next to your domain in search results and on your profile.
Website verification is not yet available to all users, but rest assured – it’s coming.
To get started, log into your Pinterest account and go to “Settings”. Scroll down the page and make sure your url is entered and click “Verify website.”
#1 is Download the HTML verification file. Click this and the download will begin.
Next you need to upload the file you just downloaded to your web server. If you have trouble with this part, get ahold of the person who controls your server and they can do this very quickly and easily. I emailed my Webmaster and it was done presto!
To finish, click item #3 where it says “Click here to complete the process.” That’s it!
Pinterest then will check your website and verify what you just gave them. You will see a success message once this has been completed.
Now other pinners will see information about your website.
Going back to the owner of the bridal shop, instead of just having their pins displayed, others can find more information about them so easily and maybe decide to take a look at the items on their website. Again, imagine the potential here….
Online marketers focusing on SEO and SEM look to Google+
ser base or marketer interest of Facebook or Twitter, but its connection to search results is causing marketers to closely watch the growth of the site.
In September 2012, Google announced that 400 million people had signed up for Google+ worldwide and that there were 100 million actively monthly users. But according to an August 2012 study from SEO software provider SEOmoz, only 54.9% of online marketers worldwide said Google+ was one of their top five most-used sites for social media marketing, compared to 87.7% who cited Facebook and 82.7% who cited Twitter. Google+ did, however, come in above YouTube, which 48.9% of respondents cited.
Additionally, 63.8% of respondents told SEOmoz that they had set up a Google+ business profile, compared to 75.8% of respondents who set up or ran a Facebook business page.
When looking more closely at trends marketers believe will have a big impact on the future of online marketing, however, Google developments, including Google+, registered high for marketers surveyed by SEOmoz.
The highest percentage of marketers cited changes in Google’s algorithm, like Google Panda, and Google+ as likely to make authorship, site and author ownership of content more important in the coming years (85.9%). Additionally, 56.4% said Google+ was likely to become massively influential in search engine results pages. Adoption and use of mobile and Facebook’s domination were also mentioned by 81.7% and 69.1% of online marketers, respectively.
Looking at why marketers use Google+ also shows its importance within SEO and SEM. In the SEOmoz study, compared to the other social networks, the highest percentage of respondents said they used Google+ for SEO (56.1%), and 65.9% said they used it to help with branding. Interestingly, despite the lack of user numbers and buzz about the site, 66.6% said they wanted to use Google+ for social media’s most basic purposes: gaining followers and making connections. Unsurprisingly, this percentage still lagged behind Twitter and Facebook.
Google+ is a bit of a sleeper social network in terms of its user numbers and usage metrics. In an increasingly integrated marketing industry, however, its impact is likely to be felt by search marketers.
As the number of Google+ users increases, marketers are noting the connection between Google’s social layer and its search results. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remain popular for marketing purposes, but Google+ incorporates both social and search, providing an interesting opportunity for companies.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Talks Candidly About MySpace
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg spoke with Y Combinator founder Paul Graham for the 2012 edition of Startup School and the topic of MySpace came up. Surprisingly, Zuckerberg complimented MySpace claiming that the once popular social media site was “doing a lot of things that Facebook hasn’t been doing.”
For MySpace, it was great earlier to help you meet new people. For Facebook, the company was more focused about staying in touch with all your friends, family, and people you already knew. Eventually, MySpace shifted its comprehension of Facebook and felt it needed to compete with the service to succeed. Zuckerberg believed that it was then that MySpace went ahead and copied everything that they’ve been doing and that is serving their business badly.
Ah, of course. You know that Zuckerberg couldn’t discuss his social media rivals without adding a couple of digs here and there.
Social media growing in US politics
Nearly two out of five US adults use social media to get involved in politics, a study has shown.
The Pew Research Center study showed that 60 per cent of adults use social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter and that two-thirds of these – 39 per cent of all US adults – use social media for civic or political activity.
Social media users who talk about politics on a regular basis or who have firm ideological ties are the most likely to be active on the sites, the study found.
And those aged 18-29 are ‘notably more likely than older users to have posted their own comments, as are those who have at least some college experience,’ Pew said.
‘Now that more than half of adults use social media, these technologies have worked their way into the rhythms of people’s lives at many levels,’ said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet American Life Project.
‘At the height of the campaign season, it is clear that most social media users, especially those who care about politics, are using the tools to debate others, stay in touch with candidates, flag political news stories and analysis that are important to them, and press their friends into action. We’ll see the fruits of this neo-activism on Election Day.’
About 35 per cent of social media users have used the tools to encourage people to vote, the study showed, with Democrats (42 per cent) holding an edge over Republicans (36 per cent) and independents (31 per cent).
Around a third post their own comments or thoughts, or re-post content from someone else.
About 21 per cent of those using Twitter or other social media belong to a group on a networking site that is involved in political or social issues, or working to advance a cause.
Fake Facebook steals hospital identity
Gaston Memorial Hospital did not actually post a Facebook status saying “Please do not vote for Obama.” A page purporting to represent the hospital includes the comment and other potentially controversial political messages. But it is not a social media outlet for CaroMont Health’s Gastonia hospital, a spokeswoman said.
CaroMont has its own official Facebook page but the hospital does not. The Gaston Memorial page that sprang up sometime last year looked much like the CaroMont page Thursday, with the same official logo and “In Love with Life” slogan. It isn’t clear who created the site. An individual page instead of a business one, the imposter can accept and request friends instead of collecting “likes.” The fake hospital page has 720 friends while CaroMont’s page boasts 547 likes. Startling speech Gazette readers pointed out the surprising statements made this week on the site purporting to be the hospital’s. A status update Tuesday read “obama is lie big time and please do not vote for obama.” Later the same day it said “we do not like Obama care is not good at all.” Friends of the page said they were shocked to see the posts and to realize the site wasn’t really part of the hospital. The owner of Aquatic Innovation, who did not want his name associated with the statements, immediately deleted the hospital from his friends list when he realized it wasn’t actually speaking for Gaston Memorial.
Darby Sadler, a photographer listed as a friend of the fake hospital Facebook, realized the page wasn’t a real hospital site. Still, she figured someone with a hospital connection would be a good friend to have. Sadler does labor and delivery photography. She became a friend of the site to help spread the word about her services. When she saw the messages, Sadler expected them to come down quickly. As a business owner, she knows it’s important to avoid alienating potential clients. Sadler doesn’t make a habit of political posts, either on her company site, Darby Doll Photography, or on her personal page. “I honestly thought it was probably someone who works at the hospital,” she said. “… It’s obviously not a doctor with all the grammatical problems but I thought (CaroMont) would have that taken down in 5 minutes.” No simple solution The local health-care system is taking action to have the issue resolved quickly, according to Dallas Wilborn, marketing and public relations coordina-tor. She said CaroMont is in touch with Facebook about the page. A Facebook spokeswoman responded to questions from The Gazette with a link to the site’s help center. It instructs users to report impostors by following a link on the offending site. It’s not an easy problem to correct, says Capt. Jeff Hicks with Gaston County Emergency Medical Services. Someone made an unauthorized GEMS Facebook page in recent years. The department sent continual messages telling the administrator to take down the site, but to no avail. Eventually, Hicks says, it simply disappeared. “You just have to put the word out to your employees about what’s real and what’s not,” he said. Because GEMS is listed as an employer on the fake hospital page, Hicks will send employees a similar email about Gaston Memorial on Facebook. He hopes they will have already realized the site’s creator doesn’t truly represent the hospital or GEMS. “There are a lot of companies, schools, offices that have Facebook sites that are official,” he said. “As long as anybody can create a page in anybody else’s name, I don’t know how you figure out which one’s legit.” It’s as good a reason as any to read online content with a cautious eye, Hicks says.
The letter, which stopped short of declaring Google’s approach to collecting user data illegal, comes after a nine-month investigation led by France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique (CNIL) on behalf of the EU’s regulators.
Google must spell out its intentions and methods for combining data collected from its various services, and the web search giant must ask its users for explicit consent when bundling their data together, the regulators say in the letter sent to Google.
“Combining personal data on such a large scale creates high risks to the privacy of users,” says the letter, signed by 24 of EU’s 27 data regulators plus those of Croatia and Liechtenstein. It has not yet been signed by data regulators from Greece, Romania and Lithuania.
“Therefore, Google should modify its practices when combining data across services for these purposes.”
Under its new system, which the company introduced in March, Google consolidated 60 privacy policies into one and began pooling data it collects on users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+.
Google replied to CNIL with a 94-page document but that regulators found unsatisfactory.
The first five ask the company to give users more information about how their personal information and browsing records will be used, with special attention paid to location data and credit card data.
Google could not immediately be reached for comment.
Social Media Increasingly Important on Both Sides of Job Hunt
Social media continue to grow as a go-to source for both job seekers and the employers looking to hire them. That’s not surprising, considering how much social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have become part of users’ daily lives in and out of the workplace.
But a new report from Burlingame-based careers site Jobvite shows just how important the social tools have become.
The job site’s 2012 Social Job Seeker Survey showed more job seekers — both the unemployed and the employed-but-looking — are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to help find work.
Job seekers are opening multiple social networking profiles and using the platforms to connect with new contacts, share job opportunities and receive job referrals.
A crowded job market has pushed more job seekers to use social networks for leads and to get in front of employers, Dan Finnegan, Jobvite’s chief executive officer, said in a statement announcing the report.
“With fierce competition for jobs, which now includes a majority of employed people on top of active job seekers, social media has become a critical tool for job hunting and career growth,” Finnegan said.
Consider that more than half of job seekers surveyed — 52 percent — used Facebook to help find a new job in 2012, up from 48 percent in 2011.
Nearly four in 10 job seekers used LinkedIn in 2012, many to update their profiles, search for work, or provide their profiles on job applications or during job interviews. That’s up from just 27 percent a year ago.
Meanwhile, 34 percent of job seekers took to Twitter in 2012, compared with 26 percent in 2011, with most using the platform to update their profiles with professional information, search for jobs and research potential employers.
A full 88 percent of job seekers have at least one social networking profile, according to the Jobvite survey. Nearly two in three have two profiles, while 44 percent of respondents carried three profiles.
Employers are even more active in the social space, recent Jobvite research indicated. More than nine in 10 — 92 percent — of firms contacted by Jobvite use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to recruit prospective employees.