Tag Archives: Social Media

Facebookonia Welcomes Careful Drivers


The long anticipated data point that Facebook has just passed the 500 millionth user mark was greeted by a flurry of press reaction and an outage on the Facebook site….maybe the half billionth user was one too many for a while. With more members than the entire populations of the US and Brazil put together we should perhaps just declare them a separate country and be done with it…my suggestion is the Peoples Republic of Facebookonia.

The phenomenon which is Facebook prompted my hero the King of All Media, Howard Stern to rant for about half an hour this morning about the demise of traditional media, in his case terrestrial radio. His logic was “If you can reach half a billion people with an ad on Facebook why would anyone ever use radio.” It’s an interesting argument, but there is still a way to go…online media is still only 10% of all ad spend…and search is the largest component of that. Search is already significantly larger than magazines as a medium.

Will Facebook evolve into a media powerhouse? No doubt. Will it get bigger than magazines or radio for that matter in the immediate future? Beats me. However, in the world we currently inhabit (as opposed to Facebookonia) search remains the best way for companies to reach customers…and at least for now, we’ll use social components to increase the reach of our products and stay focused on driving a huge amount of visibility to local businesses through search.

~Tim Judd
President and CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of internet marketing.

Local Search Summit Wrap Up

Recently eLocal Listing was a sponsor at the Local Search Summit conference during SES San Jose. Local Search Summit was one of the first conferences with it’s main focus being local search. Some of the highlighted speakers were Jason Calcanis (Mahalo), Steve Stukenborg (Google), Jeremy Stoppleman (Yelp), Jennifer Chin (Google), Sarah Smith (Facebook), and plenty of others.

Since Local Search Summit was only one day each panel was jammed packed with today’s thought leaders on local search, social media, and mobile technology.  Steve Espinosa moderated quite a few panels, and eLocal’s Todd Johnson made an appearance on the panel about “What kind of products do small businesses really need” and shared his sales experience and knowledge with the crowd. I personally was honored to share a panel with Will Scott of Search Influence, and Sarah Smith of Facebook where we discussed social media’s impact on the ability to drive and convert leads for small businesses. You can see my presentation here, and Sarah’s presentation here. (make sure to turn up your volume, as the audio is a bit low).

Overall I enjoyed every session and was able to take away something valuable from each one. eLocal’s Own Steve Espinosa headed up the conference and was well applauded for a great event that ended up being the talk of SES San Jose.

Here are some links to other blogs that covered the events and their feedback/wrap up’s.

SES San Jose YouTube Chanel

Local Search News Wrap Up

Aaron Irizarry Social Media Session and Q&A

Expand 2 Web by Don Campbell Summit Wrap up

Search Spending Swells Worldwide

Searching for sales, traffic and branding.

Below is a great article that was recently posted on emarketer.com.

According to a joint study by Econsultancy and search engine optimization (SEO) firm Guava, online marketers around the globe (particularly in the UK) are increasingly turning to search marketing tactics.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they planned to raise spending on SEO, and 45% said the same of paid search.

In addition, 31% of SEO and 32% of paid search users said they intended to maintain their budgets.

Savvy search marketers use paid search and SEO to accomplish different tasks, however.

In 2008, marketers said that the main objectives of paid search were (in order) to capture online sales, generate sales leads, drive Website traffic and enhance the brand. As for SEO, most marketers said its primary purpose was to drive traffic, create leads, generate sales and brand.

In 2009, marketers’ perceptions are in similar (but lower) proportions across the board.

With the global economy faltering, and money in short supply, search marketing is often the tool that marketers rely on to attract new customers.

“Search marketing is the best customer acquisition tool in the online space,” said eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman.

In addition, SEO offers pluses over paid search—though its advantages must be built up over time, which some marketers have little of in today’s economy.

“SEO improves organic listings, which Internet users prefer over paid search, and it is cost-effective,” said Mr. Hallerman. “Furthermore, optimization works across all search engines, and an optimized site does not drop off the first results page even when marketer spending slows or stops—as it can with paid search.”

The End Of The World As We Know It…

I actually thought I had missread the story when I received the alert in my email this morning. I was skimming stories at the airport headed to Silicon Valley, and when I mentioned it in passing to a steely eyed VC type today he leapt gazelle like to his Blackberry and indeed confirmed that the mighty Idearc had filled for chapter 11. I’m a huge audio book fan, I get to fly a lot and I fill in the spots where my laptop is out of juice with the spoken word. When the narrator starts a section with “Chapter Eleven” a shiver runs down my spine. I wish the good folks at Idearc nothing but the very best, they are a very smart hard working bunch and we are already working with them successfully on several projects. I look forwards to them emerging stronger moving forwards.

What this story, and the pending possible restructuring of several other Yellow Pages giants, points to is the perfect storm of bad news which has swamped the decks of many fine companies. The economy is famously bad, sales are down, the Yellow Page print product has been hemorrhaging cash for years and the increasing stampede of local advertisers from print yellow pages to online offerings which generate track-able local results is becoming overwhelming.

Newspapers have been beset by many of the same issues, my own local Metro the mighty Boston Globe may stop publishing in the near future. Both the Yellow Pages and newspapers have been unable to completely replace the revenue lost from the high priced print products sold by humans on a face to face basis with much lower cost online products sold online or over the phone.

In the old days the purveyors of print ad products never had to prove that their products delivered value for money….over a hundred years or so they emerged as part of the landscape…a must have for any local business. Indeed in many, perhaps all cases the “dead tree products” proved highly effective as a way to deliver customers to advertisers. There is an advertising truism that “half of all advertising is wasted…the problem is nobody can tell which half.” Since the late 90’s print advertising products have been pecked away at by the pure play verticals. When was the last time you sold an exercise bike, bought a car or found a soul mate through a print product? Of course it still happens but it happens less often than it used to.

Even given those changes some sections have remained robust print advertisers. However increasingly local advertisers have an alternative to print products across all segments; they can count the clicks and measure the calls generated by their online advertising and those ad products don’t have to be bought on an annual basis.

Here at eLocal we see the impact of these changes every day. Our advertisers are looking to get on the front page of search results and they count every click, lead and call which we generate. They rightly hold us to a very high “what have you done for me lately” standard. If we aren’t effective we apply more effort to get them to where they need to be. The print equivalent would be a yellow pages company delivering more and more books, burying entire city blocks in paper, until each advertiser was satisfied with their results. It’s a tough standard and we are happy to deliver against it every day.

You can read the entire story here.

Twitter: The Local Monetization Strategy

Our very own Steve Espinosa had some some interesting thoughts on how Twitter could monetize it’s traffic.

Over the last couple months we have heard many different ideas on how Twitter can successfully monetize their surge in popularity, growing user base, and overall traffic. The ideas range from charging for an account, charging for premium accounts, simply adding AdSense, and the list goes on. What we haven’t heard is how Twitter could add local search into their business model, monetize it successfully, and create more user generated content.
When you think about it almost everything that is on Twitter is inherently local. The simple question “What are you doing?” implies that because, unless you are at home watching TV, you are doing something that is local, whether that is local to you or to someone else. The obvious example of this is when you go out to a restaurant and write about that on Twitter, whether you say “Going out to [insert name here] with @stevemcstud” or “Just had a great dinner with @stevemcstud at [insert name here]“. If you simply perform a search on Twitter for “restaurant in”, the point being to see how many people tweet “I am going to restaurant in [insert city]” or “Anybody know of a good restaurant in [insert city name]?” you can see that with just that one phrasing there are tons of results of people talking about local restaurants.

Read This Article in it’s entirety here

eLocal Listing LLC Announces Strategic Partnership With MediaSpan Group Inc

eLocal Listing LLC of Temecula, CA, pioneers of local search marketing and search engine optimization, today announced a strategic partnership with MediaSpan Group Inc, a leading provider of digital content management and online marketing solutions, to provide eLocal Listing’s Found Fast Technology™ platform to more than 1,500 of MediaSpan’s newspaper and radio clients.

“Our local media customers are always looking for new ways to engage their audience, increase traffic and drive new revenue streams online,”

… said MediaSpan Executive Vice President of online services, Steven Barth.

“eLocal Listing’s proven SEO platform meets this need by providing powerful local search technology as well as added revenue and growth opportunities.”

eLocal Listing’s Premium and Standard Products, which utilize the Found Fast Technology™ platform, will enable local and regional media publishers to incorporate eLocal’s powerful search engine optimization solutions to get their clients found on the major search engines.

“We are pleased to partner with MediaSpan, enabling their publishers to offer a more valuable advertising experience to their clients,”

… said Tim Judd, CEO of eLocal Listing LLC.

“Combining eLocal Listing’s online advertising solutions with MediaSpan’s traditional TV and radio advertising packages will create a strong marketing media mix and will increase revenue for MediaSpan’s publishers and broadcasters. In these challenging economic times, the ability to reach local customers both on and offline is key for the best long term growth of local media, their advertisers and MediaSpan.”

MediaSpan’s publishers and broadcasters can expect to begin incorporating eLocal Listing’s online marketing products into their advertising packages in the second quarter of 2009.”

Targeted, Focused Advertising With Facebook

Last Friday Oprah dedicated her show to Facebook, the social networking phenomenon that now boasts over 175 million active users, of which I am one.  Founded in 2004 by a bunch of very smart (check out how many of them went to Harvard), YOUNG entrepreneurs (and I emphasize young), who were able to see monetary value in a social utility that “helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family, and coworkers.”

Now, you know if you have a Facebook account that they ask a lot of questions; they want to know who you are so that they can drive targeted advertising/marketing to your page and to that of your friends who they assume share some of the same interests, and well, let’s face it, buying patterns.  Facebook strategically places seemingly non-intrusive ads on your “wall.”   The ads are simply an image and some text .. I almost didn’t realize that they were ads! Isn’t that part of the power of subliminal marketing strategy used by so many companies to lure consumers in to purchasing ..

Take a beautiful young lady , who is in the “marrying age” and “in a serious relationship”, what type of ads do you think appear on her page .. Diamond ads, no pressure here.  … My husband, a Kiwi, has a Quantas ad and well, me, I am a little disappointed with the ad that appears on my home page;  Belisi Skin Tightener. I knew I should have had Aaron touch up that photo, but none the less, they “knew” that she was young and maybe knew that I wasn’t quite so young.

Targeted, focused advertising .. seems national advertisers have caught the Facebook Advertising bug, but isn’t there an opportunity for small businesses who rely on local exposure, local customers, and local dollars.  Yes, the answer is yes.  Facebook’s ad bidding tools allow businesses to narrowly target consumers by using the IP address and a member’s profile information (and their friends’ profile information as well) to determine a user’s location, interest, age, employment and even favorite television show.   This is targeted, focused marketing at its best.  Much better than other traditional advertising because you not only know who sees your ad, but who clicks on it and how/when it converts.  This is a great opportunity for local businesses to spend their dwindling advertising budget on a very focused audience at an affordable price.  eLocal Listing includes “social marketing aspects” in our product offerings and is currently offering Social Advertising to its Corporate Strategic Alliance Partners, as well as local business reviews.

I will write more about advertising on Facebook in another post, but for now I have to get online and buy that skin tightener I saw on my Profile.

Hulu Adds Social Networking

I frequent the site Hulu often when I have missed a show, or wanted to show someone something funny I watched. The site has just reached the year mark and is implementing new features to keep users on the site and bring their friends as well.

Online video site Hulu is celebrating its first birthday by adding social networking to the site. Dubbed “Hulu Friends,” users can do the usual: share videos, comment on shows and content, and view rankings. Hulu integrates with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Facebook, and Myspace to help users find their friends and/or invite them to Hulu.

Hulu is experiencing 24 million visitors a month. It has risen quickly in its niche and trails only YouTube in the online video space. They began with 50 content partners and now boast over 130. They’ve grown from 30 advertisers to 175+.

Over 3.9 million Hulu players have been embedded on more than 100,000 sites.

Congrats on all the success, Hulu!

Social Media has banner 2008

The Nielsen Online research guys have just come up with some very interesting data on the growth of social media.Last year 67% of online users visited social media sites which makes those sites more popular than personal email.

Anybody with a college age kid will be painfully familiar with Facebook, but in 2008 it went mainstream with 30% of online users visiting it at least once per month. The social space appears to be maturing; the parents of the early adopters are getting in on the act, the fastest growing sector is the 35-49 group. The trend appears to be global with strong growth across Europe, many Asian countries such as South Korea have been heavy users for many years.

Figuring out how we can plug into this rapid growth to help drive customers for local businesses is firmly on our agenda and we’ll keep you posted on these initiatives as they progress.

Meantime even an old dog like me can learn new tricks, and (if you really want to) you can follow me on Twitter or swing by www.timjudd.com.

You can read the full Nielsen report here

Using Twitter For Local Marketing

I found this good read on Twitter and it’s effects on Local Marketing by Chris Smith over at Search Engine Land it is definitely worth taking the time to read.

The Twitter social networking and micro-blogging service was launched only two years ago, but it’s rocketing up in usage numbers quickly, and it seems likely to turn red-hot. Many companies are rapidly cluing into the promotional value, but smaller businesses appear slow to hop on the bandwagon. Here are a few tips on leveraging Twitter to help your locally-oriented business.

As oft pointed-out among search marketers, Twitter links do not pass “link juice”—that is, they don’t transfer PageRank value from Twitter to linked-to sites. Even though links in Twitter are nofollowed, there still could be some small value in real ranking terms, according to the theory that “citations” or “references” appear to sometimes help improve rankings in local search.  So, at the very least, it’s a good idea to claim a profile in Twitter and link back to your business site.

But, the larger value of Twitter to your company may be in terms of audience engagement and as a communication vehicle, if you learn to use Twitter effectively…

…Even better, if they endorse the business to their followers, this becomes an online species of word-of-mouth-marketing. So, how do you encourage this to happen?

Twitter is full of word of mouth Marketing opportunities. Here’s a sample of just a few tweets I saw that came up in the last week for people seeking NYC restaurants:

  • “I need a good reco for a restaurant in NYC with fried chicken. Anyone have suggestions?”
  • “looking for inexpensive restaurant options in NYC. Anyone want to help? I’ll be in Soho, but all around the island”
  • “I’m seeking NYC Mexican restaurant recommendations, any thoughts?”
  • “looking for a NYC restaurant recommendation for me and my lady friends…”

To read the complete article Click Here

Then head on over to twitter and follow eLocal Listing for updates on blog posts, products and not to mention the fact that we would love to hear what you are up to.