Twitter Triples Ad Revenues

A Little Tweet Goes a Long Way With Advertisers

Twitter Emineo Media Jennifer LopezTwitter, Jennifer Lopez

With a global audience, Twitter has managed to triple its ad revenues this year, as it takes on the same clients as Facebook and Google.

Despite a smaller audience than other social-networking platforms, Twitter has managed to, in some cases, beat Facebook when it comes to ad engagement, and it’s also expected to benefit from a global ad revenue boost over the next few years.

Twitter will earn $139.5 million in global ad revenues this year, up 210 percent from the $45 million it raked in for 2010, as it vies for the same clients as Facebook and Google, according to a new forecast released today by eMarketer. That’s down from eMarketer’s previous estimate of $150 million, which it made in January 2011, but it’s not for lack of potential. Rather, it has to do with Twitter’s slower-than-expected rollout of several advertising initiatives, including ad sales offices in non-U.S. markets and a platform that lets advertisers buy ads on a self-serve basis.

By 2013, the microblogging site’s worldwide ad revenues are expected to reach $400 million, according to the report, issued today.

That growth is expected to be fueled in part by non-U.S. advertising, which is expected to account for 12 percent of all revenues by 2013, versus 4 percent in 2011. The other half of the equation: the expected addition of self-service ad buying, which will appeal to small and midsize businesses.

What’s more, the number of people actually clicking on the ads on Twitter is giving Facebook, which reportedly brought in $1.6 billion in revenue in the first half of 2011 alone, a combination of advertising and its cut of virtual goods, a run for its money.

“Since their debut in April 2010, Twitter’s Promoted Products have proven successful in the U.S.,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “Marketers have shown solid engagement rates with Twitter advertising—in some cases better than those on Facebook—despite Twitter’s relatively smaller audience.”

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How Business Pages Will Help the Growth of Google+

Emineo Media Google

Emineo Media GoogleIt’s no great secret, businesses are practically chomping at the bit for the chance to get into the new Google+ platform and begin experimenting with the potential new ways of engaging their audiences. The platform and its initial popularity presents a plethora of opportunities not just for businesses, but also for the network itself, I’ve outlined below a few ideas of why the introduction of brands will serve to increase the network’s visibility:

  • More content for users to talk about and engage with – any brands that develop a presence on Google+ will undoubtedly create more digital content for their audience to consume and share across all social networks. This is likely to be particularly evident in the short term as brands and businesses look towards an experimental approach to activity, and will result in a great deal of visibility for Google+.
  • More incentives for users to join – if brands and businesses create a presence on Google+ and use it to engage with fans in a similar way to the current business uses of other major networks such as Facebook and Twitter, then this will undoubtedly give non-users of Google+ an incentive to join. Whether it’s a competition to win a prize, or a contest asking passionate followers of a brand to create content, many users can be pulled in by the chance to engage with their favourite brands.
  • More visibility through brand marketing campaigns – by way of an extension of the above point, brands may begin to invest both time and money into hiring a social media agency and incorporating Google+ into their marketing campaigns, cross pollinating their presence through links from other owned media. This will result in greater visibility for Google+, effectively achieving advertising support from the brands themselves.
  • Search benefits – should consumers search for brands on Google, it’s likely that a brand’s Google+ presence will be tied in with its Google ranking too. Again, this will develop added visibility for Google+ and gives another entry point for users looking to engage with the brands that they have searched for. Any SEO agencies working on the behalf of brands will be particularly keen to push this point.

These are only a few ideas of how the growth of Google+ could be impacted by adding brands into the mix, but it’s likely that all of the above will be factors in how Google plans the functionality of Google+ brand pages. Either way, the onus will be on businesses to get into the platform early and be the first to establish best practice in their given industry.

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10 industries hurt by daily deals websites

Is there a hotter trend for small businesses and consumers than deal-of-the-day websites? Yet the boom may hurt firms in certain industries, reports IBISWorld, an Los Angeles-based market research company.

Especially vulnerable, according to IBISWorld: Small businesses that operate in highly competitive industries with low profit margins. Here are the top 10 and their profit margins:

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  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, 2%
  • Interior designers, 3%
  • Landscaping service, 3.8%
  • Hair and nail salons, 4.8%
  • Coffee and snack shops, 5.9%
  • Tour operators, 6%
  • Photography, 6.1%
  • Gym, health & fitness clubs, 8%
  • Hair loss treatment & removal, 9%
  • Alternative healthcare providers, 10%

Daily deal sites offer businesses an opportunity to increase their visibility without the upfront costs of traditional marketing campaigns. “For many companies, this can substantially increase the number of people coming in the door because subscribers are often unfamiliar with small, locally based businesses,” IBISWorld notes.

IBISWorld industry analyst Mary Gotaas says: “Although some companies within these industries experience an increase in sales by offering group discounts, many face the risk of offering more discounts than they can handle. Also, many of the daily deals directly compete with one another, so consumers are more likely to waid for the next hair salon or coffee shop offer than to become a regular patron of one particular shop.”

The popularity of daily deals sites is tempting for small firms eager to attract customers (and who isn’t?).

The 800-pound gorilla of daily deals is Groupon, whose subscriber list has exploded to 85 million from 2 million in the past 18 months, according to Local Offer Network, which distributes deals from hundreds of websites. Number 2 LivingSocial grew to 28 million subscribers from 120,000 in that time.

A study by Utpal Dholakia, an associate professor of management at Rice University, found that 55.5% of businesses that put their discounts on daily deal sites made money while almost 27%  lost money.

The study also found that only 35.9% of restaurants/bars and 41.5% of salons and spas that had run a daily deal said they would run another such promotion in the future. The most successful industries were health, services and special events, more than 70% pf which made money on their promotion, Dholakia said.

By JAN NORMAN / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER