Is Internet Explorer controlling your advertising?

In Windows 8, IE10 sends a “Do Not Track” signal to Web sites by default. Consumers can change this default setting if they choose. This decision reflects our commitment to providing Windows customers an experience that is “private by default” in an era when so much user data is collected online. IE10 is the first browser to send a “Do Not Track” (DNT) signal by default.

By changing the default Do Not Track setting in IE 10, we are broadening our commitment to providing consumers a great experience in Windows. And in the event companies don’t respect the Do Not Track signal, IE 10 will continue to include Tracking Protection list support to help consumers block unwanted tracking with two clicks. While some people will say that this change is too much and others that it is not enough, we think it is progress and that consumers will favor products designed with their privacy in mind over products that are designed primarily to gather their data.

You can read more about other actions underway with DNT here.

This was posted to the Internet Explorer blog on May 31, 2012. IE 10 is essentially blocking marketers and advertisers from gaining the information that they need in order to reach their target audience. Marketers are obviously not happy about this, but what about consumers? Do you want your Facebook page to be full of ads for products you are not interested in? Do you want your Google search to recommend the best sites for you? Sure people want their privacy, but they also want a personalized online experience.

Technology that prevents advertisers from following your online footprints has been around for a couple years, but Microsoft became the first browser maker to turn that feature on as the default setting.

The next version of Internet Explorer, called IE10, will force users to opt-in if they want to be tracked by ads. In the current version of Microsoft’s browser, as well as other Web browsers like Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox, “do not track” is an option that users need to turn on themselves.

If you had the choice would you opt out of being tracked? If the situation was reversed, would you choose to opt in? As a marketer how do you think this will change advertising? Do you think others will follow in Microsoft’s footsteps?

Living in a mobile world

Over the past few years smartphones have started their takeover. I went out with a few friends last night and had to laugh at the fact that half of my friends spent the night on their iPhones. Like it or not, smartphones and tablets are now part of our daily lives.

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I found this infographic in a presentation called A day in the life of a smartphone owner. The presentation is full of infographics and graphs, but this one really caught my attention because it focuses on apps and not just social media. It’s amazing how much smartphone use has grown in just a year! With people spending all this time on smartphones and tablets, it is important for your business to have an app or a mobile site.

If you still don’t have a mobile-friendly version of your website you’re most likely turning away potential customers without knowing it.

Consider the numbers: Nearly half of all U.S. adults use a smartphone, according to recent findings by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Ninety percent of those smartphone owners say they use the device to check email and surf the web. That’s not counting people who use other mobile devices, such as tablets, to access the web.

With mobile internet traffic on the rise, you might think small businesses are developing mobile-friendly websites. But you’d be wrong. Only 26 percent of small businesses have a mobile website. That’s a growing problem — especially for local businesses.

According to mashable.com creating an app or mobile site can cost around $30,000 (this figure is from 2011). This seems pretty pricy for a small business, but the ROI could  easily pay for that app over time. Do you think creating an app or mobile site it worth it? Even if you are a small business?

Tell me about yourself… in 140 characters or less

The Under Armour Internship program is making social media history.

Under Armour, Inc., (NYSE: UA), the leader in sports performance apparel, footwear, and accessories is building upon the success of their 2011 “Ultimate Intern” search and expanding the program to offer five college student candidates an opportunity to join the brand this summer as part of the “Ultimate Intern Team.” Students can apply through the Under Armour Facebook page by submitting a 140-character cover letter beginning at 6:00PM EST today through February 27. Additionally, applicants will be challenged with creating their own Tumblr page to prove that they have what it takes to be part of the Under Armour brand.

The five interns will be selected to work in positions such as copywriting, production, graphic design, social media, and creative design, all with an emphasis on digital engagement. Students will learn first-hand how Under Armour continues to be a leader in performance innovation, working with the brand’s elite athletes and going behind-the-scenes at events and commercial shoots. The “Ultimate Intern Team” will also be tasked with strategizing, writing, capturing, and editing content to distribute through Under Armour’s social media channels, highlighting the Under Armour culture and activating around everything from product releases to athlete initiatives.

Developed with agency partner Red Tettemer and Partners, the 2011 inaugural “Ultimate Intern” search brought in over 5,000 applicants and added 120,000 new fans to the Under Armour Facebook page pushing it over the 1 million fan milestone. Additionally, the program increased direct engagement with the brand’s fan base, resulting in an increase of “likes” by 130% and active users by 25%.

“With the success of our first ”Ultimate Intern” search in 2011, we wanted to continue to evolve and expand the program to reflect Under Armour’s growth and the ever-progressing world of digital media,” said Dan Mecchi, Under Armour, Director, Digital Media. “Under Armour, first and foremost, is a brand built around innovation and developing an internship program that requires its applicants to be innovative and think outside the box not only is true to our brand, but also provides us with fresh and forward-thinking talent to join Under Armour.”

The internship is open to current undergraduate and graduate students who will be returning to school following the summer. Selected interns will each receive a $5,000 scholarship paid directly to his or her school. The top five candidates for each position will be announced on March 9. The selected candidates will participate in a Skype interview on March 14 and the final selected candidates will be announced as the “Ultimate Intern Team” on March 16 and will report for their summer internship from May 29 through August 10, 2012.

By using social media for applications, Under Armour was able to gain more attention on social media and get a lot of great applicants! Maybe next year potential interns will be pinning and instagraming towards a spot on the ultimate intern team.

Vine: The NASCAR fans dream

I finally gave in and downloaded Vine last night. I pulled accounts from Twitter to follow and I was pretty surprised by how many videos NASCAR has already posted. I was a little upset that the Carl Edwards back-flip was not captured on Vine, but I was still impressed.

The NASCAR twitter account features plenty of live tweets, photos and now Vine videos. NASCAR uses Vine to take you behind the scenes even more.

Here is a screenshot of one of the Vine videos:

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Videos include: video from driver meetings, the view from inside cars, garage footage, the view from the pit during a race, etc.

They currently have 870 followers and have posted 21 videos.

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What do you think NASCAR could do to improve their presence on Vine? Do you think Vine will be successful because of brands like NASCAR?

CBJ: The social media giants of the NHL?

I follow the Columbus Blue Jackets on Twitter. Although I am not a CBJ fan, I follow the team because of their assistant coach, Dan Hinote. I grew up watching him play for the Hershey Bears. The CBJ played their first official NHL home game on October 7, 2000.

Anyway, back to why the CBJ are awesome at social media.

The CBJ actually have a suite in their arena dedicated to social media. It is called the social station. Here is a little information from the CBJ webstie about social station:

Are you a social butterfly…er…Blue Jacket? Do you have a Facebook account, Twitter handle, or a blog? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then the brand new Social Station is just for you.
Each and every home game during the Blue Jackets 2012-13 regular season, members of the #CBJ social media community will be occupying the Social Station to do what they do best — tweet, take pictures, Facebook, and interact with each other!
Interested? We thought so…
The Social Station will have FREE WiFi access giving you the opportunity to use your laptop, mobile device, and tablet to capture all of the exciting action of Blue Jackets hockey LIVE!
There is only one rule… BE ACTIVE!
Here’s a list of some of our leaders in the #CBJ community that you can expect to see in our Social Station. But before you ask: what exactly IS a “community leader?”


Our definition:
 Simply put, it’s anyone. The qualifications are pretty minimal (you just have to blog, Facebook, Instagram, tweet with us, and show your passion for the Blue Jackets and the game of hockey). If you do that, we will find you. We’ve reached out to several people who fit this description and we’re looking for more every single day.

So far, we’ve met over 100 new members of the Blue Jackets online community and that list is growing each home game at Nationwide Arena.

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Personally, I think this is pretty awesome. I wish the Flyers would do something like this! Last night I decided to send a tweet mentioning the CBJ to see what would happen. I was very shocked by the response.

8 retweets and 9 favorites? Just for mentioning the CBJ? WOW. I also recieved about 3 replies to the tweet talking about how awesome the CBJ team is. One of the retweets also included the CBJ. I was impressed to see how quickly they responded and how quickly the CBJ fan base responded. It’s great to see a strong fan base, especially from a team who is sitting in last place in the central division of the western conference, with a record of 5-10-2.

Here are a few facts about the CBJ social media empire:

Twitter:

tweets: 24,118
following: 368
followers: 73,869
hashtag: #CBJ

Facebook:

Likes: 96,567
Check-ins: 9,428
Photos: a lot! 

YouTube:

Subscribers: 443
Views: 195,317

Instagram:

photos: 690
followers: 8,854
following: 138

In comparison to other NHL teams, the CBJ have low numbers. I thought of doing a comparison to the Philadelphia Flyers, but I took a look at their Facebook likes and decided against it. 🙂 The Flyers have been around for a long time and are an established hockey team. The CBJ are only a little over 10 years old (the Flyers have been around since 1967) and they have already created a great social media presence. They are quick to respond and have some very supportive and loyal fans. The social station is a great way to get fans involved. If you live in the Columbus area, I suggest heading into the city to catch the CBJ in action!

How safe is your Twitter account?

As many of you now know, the Burger King twitter account was hacked today at lunchtime. In the past few minutes the account was suspended.

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Previous to this, the account had announced that Burger King was bought out by McDonald’s. The account was tweeting inappropriate things, including racial slurs and drug references. Burger King has yet to make a statement. McDonald’s has not made a comment on the issue either. Do you think the McDonald’s team should make a comment?

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ABC News reported the following around lunchtime today:

It appears that Burger King’s Twitter account has been hacked.

Starting just after noon Eastern time on Monday, the fast-food company’s Twitter picture was changed to a McDonald’s logo, and the account tweeted that it had been sold to rival McDonald’s.

In the past hour, some posts from the account have contained racial epithets, references to drug use and obscenities. The account has also tweeted: “if I catch you at a wendys, we’re fightin!”

Burger King Worldwide Inc., which is based in Miami, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Wendy’s however, did make a comment.

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ABC News also stated that earlier this month, Twitter reported 250,000 account passwords had been compromised by hackers.

After showing this to a few co-workers and laughing about it, I was asked what I would do if our Twitter account was hacked. What a scary thought. I can’t really say that I am sure what I would do. How would you handle a situation like this?

Update 1

Blogger Elana Zak from the Wall Street Journal has been writing about the Burger King crisis.

Burger King reached out to Twitter administrators to suspend the account, according to the Associated Press. The company also said it plans to post a statement on Facebook later today to apologize, especially for the offensive posts.

The publicity of the hack gained Burger King more than 20,000 followers. Do you think this number will drop once the “crisis” is over?

Update 2

The Burger King account is back online. The McDonald’s logo is gone, but the controversial tweets are still there.

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“We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics,” Burger King said in a statement to the Tribune this afternoon.

McDonald’s did make a short statement on their Twitter account this afternoon.

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Now that we are in the aftermath of the hacking, how do you think Burger King handled it? What could they have done better?

B2B Social Media

This infographic shows social media use at B2B companies. Can you believe LinkedIn is 10 years old?! I work in the B2B industry and this infographic does make me feel better.

So as a B2B in a regulated industry (we do pharmaceutical packaging), how do you make social media fun and interactive? In my research, I found a great example, General Electric (GE). The GE website features a few widgets. GE also has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram. The social media sites feature stores and photos from behind the scenes or just for fun. Here is one that caught my eye:

What are your thoughts on B2B social media? Can B2B social media be as successful as B2C social media? Here are 5 B2B Social Media Case Studies that may help you make a decision. 🙂