Tag Archives: Twitter

News U Can Use – January

These news items are brought to you by Kuk & Baldwin:

THE COOLNESS FACTOR.     It used to be that high school photos would be taken by a photographer who would set up in the gym one day and snap away as class members filed in one by one.   Typically, the price for a complete “package” would top out at $60 or $70.   But that’s no longer cool.   More and more moms are now making private appointments with the local hip photographer to have model-like photos of their teenagers, and they’re willing to pay the price – for example, in Austin, Texas, $699 for the basic pose and $1199 for the complete package.   The key, according to one parent, is about making the portrait show some individuality, with professional light and shadow, etc. (USA Today, 11/12/12).

GOT MOLD?     Nationwide, mold-Inspection laws are in a state of flux – e.g., Arkansas and Virginia both passed mold-inspection laws and then repealed them; and only Florida and Texas have licensing laws for mold inspectors.   But household mold poses a health threat everywhere, and mortgage lenders frequently require a mold inspection.   That’s why CIE certification (certified indoor environmentalist) is a key credential for many contractors.   The author of the source article achieved CIE certification, enabling him to command $300 to $600 per inspection – and he noted his “yellow-page ads were very effective, accounting for about 75% of my sales for the first two years” (Journal of Light Construction, 11/12).

LAWYER STATS.     In 2011, over 44,000 US law students graduated from ABA-accredited law schools, and nine months later only about half had found jobs in the legal field.   Indeed, in 2010 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics had forecast some 74,000 new lawyer jobs from 2010 to 2020 – but only three years into that decade, some 133,000 new lawyers have hit the job market, and by 2020 there will be 300,000 additional grads.   As we’ve said before in this publication, a great many of these new lawyers will be forced to hang out their own shingle, some out of home offices – and if you can identify them, you need to let them know how important it is for them to be well represented in the YP (Wall St. Journal, 11/9/12).

Find out how to be at the top of your sales performance by clicking on www.kukbaldwin.com.

Recent media/advertising news of note:

What the “fiscal cliff” deal really means for small-business owners
After weeks of speculation and on/off discussions, Congress finally got a deal done.  Now most small-business owners are expecting to see their taxes to rise. “The fiscal cliff deal will make me spend more time working in the business rather than on the business,” commented Bill Westrom, who owns a financial-consulting firm with just five employees. (Source).  The topic is covered in YP Talk in part one of our two-part series about what 2013 holds for SMB’s (Link).

Super Bowl ad slots almost sold out

But then again times can’t really be that bad can they? USA Today is reporting that CBS, which will air this year’s Super Bowl game has just two 30-second Super Bowl ad slots left to sell (and they are probably taken by now) at their record rates of at least $3.8 million for a 30-second slot. Viewers should look for new advertisers, more social media tie-ins, and longer ads at this upcoming 2013 Super Bowl.  <Source>

Internet Advertising Revenues Hit Historic High in Q3 2012

Even in a weak economy, advertisers are pointing more of their advertising dollars towards the Internet.   According to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report figures released by IAB and PwC US, Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. reached $9.26 billion for the third quarter of 2012, making it the largest quarter on record with an 18% increase year-over-year, in comparison to Q3 2011’s $7.8 billion. In addition, they mark a 6% increase over the Q2 2012 figures of $8.72 billion. <Source>

Billboards doing well in Time Square in New York

Never mind that the One Times Square building which hosts the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop has almost no tenants,  it still earns more than $23 million a year in ad revenue. How?  Companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Sony and News Corp. are among the brands that spend millions each year digital billboard advertising to reach people milling around in Times Square.  Even during non-New Year’s days, it’s a very busy place with lots of potential eyeballs.  With digital boards, some of big dollar success comes from being able to change and turnaround new messages faster and with lots of moving graphics. (Source)

Mobile-ad spending continues to grow
There has been no shortage of reports of significant increases in mobile-ads.  According to an eMarketer analysis, the U.S. leads the way with search and display spending up 220% in 2012. Globally, mobile-ad spending reached $8.41 billion, compared with slightly more than $4 billion in 2011. (Source)

ZenithOptimedia has also estimated that traditional media ad spending will be flat in 2013, mobile is still likely to see strong growth.  Factors working in mobile’s favor are its low cost and high levels of consumer engagement, both of which are appealing to advertisers with tight budgets.  (Source)

The increasing expenditures in mobile are also being channeled towards social media mobile sites.  For example, some brands are now putting 20% of their Facebook ad spending into mobile campaigns, up from 14% in October, according to a Kenshoo study.. (Source)

A Tablet Christmas Day
What did you get for Christmas?  Chances are it was a new tablet.  On Christmas Day there were 17.4 million tablet device activations, more than doubling the number of devices from a year before, according to mobile ad/analytics firm Flurry. Tablets also saw more activations than smartphones this year, the firm reports. In other measures, non-Apple tablets gained in popularity on the iPad, and while Christmas Day saw a record number of application downloads.  How many yellow page apps do you think were downloaded?? (Source)

Still haven’t picked out your tablet?  Looking for something to bridge the gap between laptop and smartphone? Here is a review of ten top-rated tablets. (Source)

Twitter Growing in Scope and Usage
Twitter has become the hot social media these days and there has been no shortage of news.  First, if you are little behind about this new media, you can start with a list of “Golden Tweets” that generated the greatest number of “retweets” in 2012. At the top of the heap was President Barack Obama’s “Four more years” tweet, celebrating his victory in the U.S. election. Other much-shared tweets included Justin Bieber’s tribute to a deceased fan; the U.K. Olympic team celebrating its successes; and a Japanese voice actor announcing his engagement to a fellow star. (Source)

Did you also know that over three-quarters of world leaders now use Twitter?  That is an increase of 78% from 2011, according to a Digital Policy Council report. President Barack Obama remains the social network’s top political leader, with 24.6 million followers, followed by Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, who has 3.8 million followers.  Of course, it’s not really Barack banging away on the keys, but I think you get the concept – Twittering isn’t just for the common folks looking for their 15 milliseconds of fame. (Source)

However, sometimes those tweets can get in you trouble.  Take Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.  He was recently fined $50,000 by the NBA after posting a tweet criticizing the league’s referees. Cuban’s tweet, posted after the Mavs were defeated by the New Orleans Hornets, said he has “failed miserably” at getting the league to fix referee-related issues (Source)

Digital revenues still not there for traditional publishers yet
While all of this twittering, mobile advertising, and social media growth is going on, “traditional publishers” (talking creative media here, not yellow pages) still aren’t offsetting losses from declining print and broadcast advertising with digital advertising.  Web ads are accounting for just a small percent of radio and newspaper groups’ total revenues. Publishers still believe  digital has plenty of promise, “but as 2012 draws to an end, it’s clear that this promise is still more theoretical than real,” writes Erik Sass. (Source)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s always the right time to advertise in the Yellow Pages

The nice folks at American Express sent me an article about when the best times are to tweet and post on Facebook, times when you can get the maximum exposure.  These emerging social media are examples of  new platforms that some marketers are frothing over to use their advertising dollars on, I assume to help grow their businesses.

Any guesses??  Early morning?  Late at night?  For the record, beyond the YPTalk.com website, I use both Twitter and Facebook to share business information with the greater industry, but have always been a bit doubtful that these platforms could ever really attract and retain customers anywhere near as well as Yellow Pages.

The source of this analysis was Bit.ly, the URL shortening service which recently analyzed retweets and clickthroughs that tweets get when they’re posted at certain times of the week and times of day. Bit.ly also analyzed Facebook links.

And the results were….

Time to Tweet:

For Twitter, peak traffic time for Twitter in general is around the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST window, Monday through Thursday.  As an marketer, your best chance at getting the most clickthroughs is 1 to 3 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.  Posting after 8 p.m. should be avoided and Bit.ly even noted in a blog post: “….Specifically, don’t bother posting after 3 p.m. on a Friday, since as far as being a gateway to drive traffic to your content, it appears that Twitter doesn’t work on weekends.”  Wow.   That doesn’t sound like a very effective advertising platform.

More depressing news is that the half-life of a link on Twitter is something like 2.8 hours.

Getting More Likes:

For Facebook, traffic starts to pick up about 9 a.m., but Bit.ly suggests waiting to post until 11 a.m. Facebook traffic begins to fade after 4 p.m.   The absolute highest number of clickthroughs comes at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, with links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. picking up the highest average clickthroughs.  Links posted after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. perform terribly.  As with Twitter, weekends are less than ideal.  But if you miss Wednesday at 3 p.m. there is always next week.

The Bit.ly analysis conflicts a little with a study from last month by Buddy Media, showing that Thursday and Friday were better for engagement on Facebook. One possible reason for the difference was methodology as Buddy analyzed 200 clients’ Facebook posts over a two-week period, in addition to the comments and Likes spurred by those posts, whereas Bit.ly focused just on the sharing of links.

As a disclaimer of sorts, Bit.ly adds that it is important to keep in mind that these times are meant only as “a guide”, and may not apply to breaking news. In addition, the ideal post times may vary by a  particular business, customer, or type of content.

Yellow Pages:

So let’s take this theme a little further.  When is the best time for someone to use a print, online, or mobile Yellow PagesAnswer24/7/365.  Results are not limited to 1 to 4 pm EDT on alternate Thursdays.

So why should a savvy SMB advertise in the Yellow Pages?  Answer:  to be available to those buying customers  24/7/365.  Three examples of why that’s important:

  1. Do you know when a strong wind is going to blow down your fence (as mine just did several weeks ago)?
  2. Can you predict when the garage door opener is going to jam and not work (as in the door will not open so I can’t get the car out of the garage) like it did on a recent holiday for me?
  3. Why is it  that the dog always seems to get sick and need professional veterinarian care on a Saturday evening?

I’m sure you can think of dozens of other similar life events that occur when you least expect them, or even those purchases you know you need to make for something you are not an expert in.   Where would you turn?  Facebook?

It may not be very sexy, but the Yellow Pages work, every day, weekend, holiday, at any time the need arises for a local product or service.

 

 

News U Can Use – March

These news items are brought to you by Kuk & Baldwin:

REMODELING REPORT. As you’d expect in this post-housing-bubble period, figures for cost recoupment of remodeling jobs are significantly lower than in 2008 – e.g., only a steel entry door replacement gets a 100% recoupment within 2 years, while a garage door replacement recoups 84%; siding replacement recoups 74% to 80%, depending on materials; and window replacements average about 72%.   Most everything else runs 45% to 65%.   Note that the highest recoupment projects add curb appeal to make the property more saleable (Journal of Light Construction, 1/11)….Remodeling growth for 2011 could be as high as 9% – ending at an annualized dollar figure of $124 billion (Remodeling, 2/11).

HOME SECURITY. The US residential security market is worth $21 billion a year, and that includes everything from complex monitored electronic systems to simple deadbolts.   According to the Uniform Crime Report, there are now nearly 10 million property crime offenses a year in the US – with burglary accounting for 25%, of which 67% (1.7 million) are residential.   The average loss is close to $2000.  But if the economy stays flat, the numbers could get worse.   While the vast majority of households won’t be buying an elaborate system, many are spending up to a few hundred dollars with locksmiths for basic protections like deadbolts, window locks, garage locks, and door viewers (Locksmith Ledger, 2/11).

MARKET BRIEFS. A recent survey of restaurant owners showed that 70% expected their 2011 sales to be better than 2010, while 28% felt sales would be about the same, and only 2% thought 2011 would be worse than 2010 (Restaurant News, 1/10/11)….Some 89% of brides-to-be are considering a small wedding to save money, with 45% planning to spend less than $10,000 (Research Alert, 1/21/11)….In a recent survey, a bare majority (51%) of small business owners said that “weak sales” was their biggest problem and that it reflected the effect of declining household wealth on consumer buying (World, 2/12/11).

Find out how to be at the top of your sales performance by clicking on www.kukbaldwin.com.

Other recent media/advertising news:

Kantar Media: U.S. ad spending increased 6.5% in 2010
Research firm Kantar Media indicated that the overall US domestic advertising sector grew 6.5% last year.  TV (including broadcast and cable) was up 10.3%, online display rising 9.9%, radio up 7.6% and outdoor up 9.6%.  Yellow Pages were not specifically mentioned but the newspaper sector was the only down sector, coning in down 3.5% from 2009. The total U.S. spend was estimated at $131 billion. Looking deeper at which vertical market segments drove the gains, automotive was the largest climbing 19.8%.  (source)

More Bad News for Newspapers:   Classifieds aren’t coming back
The estimates presented in the above research by Kantar are consistent with an industry that has seen steady losses over the past five years.  Why?  “Fundamental shifts in consumer and advertiser behavior” to use the Web for help wanted, auto and real estate ads, according to  Alan D. Mutter, a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. The drop in classified advertising has accounted for 58% of the nearly $23 billion in lost newspaper ad sales from 2005 to 2010, according to Mutter. (source)

Interactive ads engage readers better than print
A new study finds that interactive advertising via digital magazine platforms (such as Apple’s iPad) are better at engaging  readers and have stronger purchase intent than the same ads featured in print magazines according to research commissioned by Adobe.  The study did not measure actual purchases though.  (source)

Webvisible: SMB Search Spending Down, But getting More Efficient
The “State of Small Business Advertising” report, conducted by online advertising firm WebVisible found that sSmall businesses actually spent less on search advertising during the final three months of 2010, and they spread those dollars across more keywords.

The new report indicated that the average small business spent $2,126 on search in Q4 2010, a 1.1% year-over-year decrease from 2009. The average keyword count was 87 root keywords per advertiser over the last three months of the year — a 30% increase from the same period in 2009.

WebVisible suggested that the numbers suggest smaller advertisers are becoming more efficient with their paid search strategies, but didn’t make any comment that the down economy might have also contributed to the reduction.  (source)

Yodle introduces local display ad product
Yodle is moving beyond its core search and online directory ad products with a new display ad tool. The tool is oriented at giving local businesses, especially franchises and those with multiple sites, the ability to place contextual and targeted display ads.

Since its creation in 2006, Yodle has primarily focused on helped local businesses attract prospective customers by facilitating search and online yellow pages campaigns. Now, according to company execs, using the new Yodle Display product allows local businesses to run contextual- and even behavioral-targeted display campaigns.

While the company’s other products are aimed at every range of small business—from pizza places to plumbers—Yodle Display is primarily geared for franchise and multilocation businesses.  To date, the company has yet to show a profit.  (source)

Skype launches front page advertising
Skype is opening its video calling service to advertisers.  In an effort to develop a new revenue stream ahead of the company’s much anticipated public offering, the site will begin showing large-format ads on its front page from companies including Visa, Universal Pictures and Volkswagen. Windows users in the U.S. and the U.K should have already seen the first ads by now. (source)

Twitter more popular among small businesses

From a survey by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, about 20% of small and midsized businesses use Twitter, and about half are using Facebook. Twitter use more than doubled for small and midsized businesses between the third quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, the survey found. (source)

Groupon Sued

A Minnesota man has sued Groupon, alleging that expiration dates on the company’s discounts are “deceptive and illegal.”  The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis said federal and state laws prohibit companies from selling or issuing gift certificates with expiration dates. Groupon of course had no comment. Instead they rolled out a new ad campaign of short, mild TV commercials. Groupon also dismissed its ad agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, following a poorly-received set of Super Bowl commercials.  (source)

Twittering Away

You can now follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KenYPTalk