Archive for December, 2011
For those of you who are not familiar with the event, “El Clasico” is the nickname given to one of the biggest football matches in the world: Real Madrid v FC Barcelona. The two will clash Saturday night at Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu for their first match of the season. The event sees us football enthusiasts/online marketers hunting for historical stats to back our theories of who will win this year.
The reality is that Real Madrid have faced FC Barcelona in 215 official matches. Real Madrid has so far won 86 times, while the Catalan team have emerged victorious on 84 occasions. At home in the Bernabeau, Madrid has faced Barcelona 85 times, with 45 victories, 19 defeats and 21 draws making them statistically, marginally the best team… I am sure many Barcelona supporters will disagree.
In the battle of statistics to prove who is the better team I came across a very interesting article in the sports magazine, Sport. The article takes the argument to the social media arena by measuring the two teams’ popularity and makes some interesting points that I feel can equally apply to any company’s social strategy.
Amongst some of the more interesting conclusions the article highlights the following:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Madrid) is the football player with the biggest following (40 million fans on Facebook and Twitter) although Leo Messi (Barcelona) with half the followers is 4 times more spoken about.
2. Real Madrid, as a team again is the most followed but is not the best spoken about with only 45% of its comments being positive rivalled by Barcelona’s 64%. This might reflect the negative media that both Cristiano Ronaldo and trainer Jose Mourinho seem to attract.
3. Although not leader in terms of followers Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas is one of the players that best manages his personal social reputation with one of the highest engagement levels in up to three languages: Spanish, English and Catalan.
In my opinion this research highlights a few truths of social media. First, it’s not always about the number of followers but the engagement and how this can positively be steered to communicate and improve a brand’s reputation. Second, social media is becoming increasingly a more important tool and asset for a brand to communicate and engage with its customers. In football when a club is thinking of signing up a player it will consider how the player can contribute to the team winning trophies but will also asses how many shirts and tickets the individual can sell. I wonder if in the very near future when clubs look in to signing players their social media profiles will be viewed as an asset the team can exploit to build their own reputation and therefore quantified monetarily. Furthermore I wonder how long this will take to translate to the rest of the business environment.
Google MathsThis week Google launched new graphing results on their search engine. By simply typing in a mathematic function into search, Google will provide the graph as an image in the first result. Mathematicians are now able to zoom in and out on the image and pan across the plane to explore the detail of the function. The tool allows users to draw multiple functions, which is done by simply separating them with commas. This feature is available globally and in all modern browsers.
Minnie’s VerdictSurprised grunt/ puff It is another impressive feature to add to Google’s collection, always looking forward to seeing what they’re going to come up with next. This way they guarantee loyal visits from A-Level maths students.
Google in the EU’s Firing LineWithin the next few weeks Google should be receiving a 400 page document containing allegations of “abuse of dominance” from the European Commission. This document will be a result of an investigation into Google that the EU started a month ago. The investigation into the search giant stems from a complaint made by search engines Foundem, eJustice and Ciao!. Google should attempt to settle the dispute as the fine imposed by the EC could be as much as 10% of Google’s annual turnover. That and Google are in the process of a take-over of Motorola, which could possibly be hindered by such legal proceedings.
Minnie’s VerdictGrrrrrrrrr… If Google are hit with a fine (a considerable one at that) it could be incredibly damaging for the brand and business. Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt has flown to Europe on a so-called “courtesy visit”. We can only imagine this is as a move to calm the situation as well as ensure the take-over of Motorola runs smoothly. This story adds to the ever growing pressure on Google, that have been coming under increasing scrutiny surrounding their growing dominance over the internet. We will watch developments closely.
How Social Media Has Changed the Advertising Industry [Infographic]There is no denying it, Social Media has become one of the most significant areas in marketing, specifically in online strategies. Campaigns have developed to become more creative and innovative, meaning advertisers are now working harder than ever to maximise their affectivity in this area. Results show that users are spending more of their time (and money) on social media sites. Below is an infographic created by MDG Advertising, which shows how and why marketers have had to adopt social media strategy to survive.
Advertise on Your Blog!The world’s most wide-spread, open sourced, content management system, WordPress, have announced brand new advertising programme WordAds, as a way for bloggers to monetize their blog. The new programme has been launched as an alternative to Google AdSense, which has long gone out of fashion for bloggers. As a way of ensuring that WordAds remains a viable advertising tool and preventing spam, only quality bloggers will be able to utilise the programme. Bloggers will be vetted based on quality of content, traffic, engagement and the requirement that they have a custom domain. If you have a blog you can now register with WordAds, which is the result of the recently announced partnership between Federated Media and Automattic.
Minnie VerdictJumping up, barking, excited, and nowhere near time for walkies! This is great news. Bloggers and marketers can now segment and target their content more specifically. Users will benefit because it means that bloggers will have to ensure their content is better written and topic specific. It’s also provides competition to Google, which is healthy for the online market and means that maybe, just maybe, they’ll make some sort of improvement to AdSense, which has long fallen out of fashion. We cannot wait to have a play, and will keep you informed of our findings.
The New Google BarGoogle has updated its user and profile services… again! This time they have announced the change in the Google bar (runs across the top of the screen when using any Google product). There are some notable changes you should be able to see (as and when the update is rolled out in your region):
- The new grey bar has replaced the (recently added) black bar
- The Google logo on the left acts as a drop down box to other Google products.
- The search box in the centre of the bar will act as a search engine for the product you are using.
- The right side of the bar is where you can administer your Google+ account, i.e. sign in/out or switch accounts and check for account updates.
Minnie’s VerdictGrunt, tail-wagging, long groan. This is quite a predictable update by Google, but is a smart one none-the-less. It is obvious that one benefit of Google+ is that it encourages users to stay on Google products. Now it should be easier for a user to navigate between products without even looking at the address bar. The Google+ share feature also acts like a social plug in for any site you go on, and increases the likeliness of users to share through Google+ rather than its competitors. This feature has yet to be rolled out in the UK, but if there is anything worth reporting on we will keep you updated!
Bing – Top Searches 2011This week, Bing released their users top searches throughout this last year. The results provide an insight into interests of users and search habits. The post on the Bing blog shows how popular search terms have changed from last year’s results. Aside from the whimsical celebrity search results, Bing also pointed out a few behavioural changes that highlight the mood of users; searches for “bankruptcy” and “selling your home” were among the highest financially related search terms. However most of it does focus on popular figures and TV shows. The search engine (when coupled with Yahoo) holds about 10% of the global market share for conducted searches, so these show a fair representation of user search behaviour.
Minnie’s VerdictSat up, ears pricked. It is always important to monitor and understand user behaviour. Researches can use this data (even the celebrity related searches) in analysing how public opinion and broadcast media affect search. It also is a good way of gaging public opinion and finding out whether your product or campaign is affective. For example, here are the top ten most searched consumer electronics:
- iPhone 5
- iPad 2
- Windows Phone 7
- Macbook Pro