Google, Facebook, and Twitter Team up to Protect us From Bad Ads

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

Working Together to Protect Users from Bad Ads

Not just the three Internet and social media giants, Google, Facebook and Twitter have joined arms to fight and protect us from bad ads, but AOL, Interactive Advertising Bureau, and StopBadware have joined the fight as well.

What fight am I talking about? Well, it’s called the Ads Integrity Alliance whose main aim is to “establish industry policy recommendations for the worst types of bad ads, such as counterfeit goods, scams, and malware" as written on their Website.

The five heroes will share relevant trends and their own expert insights with policymakers and law enforcement agencies to tackle this problem of online trust issues as a result of deceiving ads, malware, and counterfeit goods.

The Perfect Time to Introduce Such an Alliance

Where there are opportunities, there are just an equal amount of threats waiting to  exploit the innocent and naive.

As soon as email marketing took off, so did spam email. And now we’re seeing the same problem on Twitter.

Spammers and scammers are just like germs, they will never cease to exist. All that can be done is to control them.

And this is mainly what the Ads Integrity Alliance seeks to do, which will not only protect users, but the advertising industry as well.

Strengthening Trust in the Advertising Ecosystem

The global public policy manager at Google, Eric Davis, commented on the Alliance and its’ relevance to building trust in the advertising industry.

"Bad ads, such as those that facilitate malware distribution or deceive users, diminish the online user experience and threaten trust in the Web. The Ads Integrity Alliance will serve as a forum for us to work together to protect users from bad ads and strengthen trust in the advertising ecosystem."

Funny Comic About the Importance of Digital Strategy

We stumbled upon a great blog post on the Brand Architect, titled “Just Being Digital is Not a Strategy”, and nothing can explain this statement better than the above comic by the amazing Tom Fishburne. If a picture is worth a thousands words, a funny and enlightening comic is worth a thousand pictures.

It doesn’t take a genius to set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or any other social media channel as part of the fact. It does, however, take a Creative genius to know how to properly utilize those channels to attain top marketing and organizational objectives, whether it’s to attain leads or generate awareness around a brand or cause.

Furthermore, the post provided a table (feel free to click on the image for a larger view) by management consultancy McKinsey to highlight social media’s four primary functions: monitor, respond, amplify, and lead consumer behavior. This proves to use even more just how much more there is to strategy in social media. 

Kuwait to Host the 2012 Arabian Social Media Conference

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

We’re happy to see that the 2012 Arabian Social Media Conference & Exhibition will be held right here in Kuwait, but at the same time we ain’t surprised! Here’s why: According to the Dubai School of Government’s Arab Social Media Report, Kuwait has one of the highest penetration rates in Facebook, Twitter, and Blog usage.

Coincidentally, we’ve also got the Kuwait Bloggers Gathering 2012 happening here on April 15th, 2012. This is also another clear sign that social media is a big part of the Kuwaiti culture, and is picking up a lot of speed quite rapidly.

The Arabian Social Media Conference & Exhibition is an two-day event that will take place May 9-10, 2012 at the Raddison Blu Hotel in Kuwait. The price to attend is quite hefty, but they’re offering 50% discounts for people who register online.

Here is a description of the event in their own words: “Many government agencies and businesses are implementing Web 2.0 and Social Media strategies. However, simply having a Facebook page,Twitter account or YouTube channel is not enough; organizations need to be strategic in developing and integrating communications using social media.”

The event is said to have workshops and speaking engagement on key issues that revolve around the following topics:

  • Budgeting social media
  • Video marketing
  • Social media tools
  • Social media education & training
  • Social media problems/obstacles
  • How to communicate with social media
  • Social media on digital devices
  • Advertising
  • Geographical strategies
  • Success stories from social media
  • Case studies for successful social media commuting and presenting.
  • Social media analysis
  • Saleability of social media
  • How to measure and add value to social media
  • Security features and increasing user participation
  • Social media marketing strategies

As for who should attend, the following types of companies, organizations, and professionals were listed:

  • CEO’s & COO’s
  • Marketing Executives & Managers
  • Brand strategists
  • Business intelligence
  • Customer Service agents
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Social media managers
  • PR managers
  • Advertisement experts
  • Communication Executives
  • Bloggers
  • E-business managers
  • Digital marketing
  • Product specialists

They say the ROI of social media is that your business will exist in 5 years, and many thought that it’s still too early for businesses in Kuwait to see the benefits of social media. But if you look at the amount of blogs you’ve got in Kuwait nowadays and how they’re making a whole bunch of money from selling advertising space, you would think otherwise.

And if you consider that Kuwait has the 4th highest amount of active Twitter users in the Arab region, standing at 117,304 (Arab Social Media Report 2012; Dubai School of Government), then it makes it even more clear that you either get on the social media ship, or you’ll sink. But as the conference pointed out, social media is not just about creating a Facebook and Twitter page, but it’s about maintaining them to build relationships with key influencers, providing valuable (but branded) content and entertainment, and monitoring and measuring the results.

Fortune 500 Usage of Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

Just goes to show you how important it is to have an active social media presences nowadays. Hence the word, “active”! It’s not enough to just create your profiles and allow them to collect dust (metaphorically of course), you need to keep posting unique and useful content consistently.

The experts say that roughly 40% of fortune 500 companies will not be present within the next 5-10 years, due to social media (or the lack of effective social media adoption or utilization) and that the ROI of social is that your business will exist in 5 years! 

Fortune 500 Social Media Statistics

Facebook to Revolutionize Advertising with New Social Ads

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

We stumbled upon documents online that reveal how Facebook is radically changing their traditional online display ads into new social ads that will be drawn out of the content written on your brand page. In simpler words, anything you post on your Facebook brand page can be turned into an ad, and with it will come how many people liked and commented on the post, to show Facebook users the engagement level of the ad and which of their friends liked or commented on it.

The news was first reported on Gigaom and then Fast Company wrote an insightful article called Facebook’s New, Entirely Social Ads Will Recreate Marketing. The article claims the Facebook material stating, “When people hear about you from friends, they listen,” the Facebook materials say. We’ll expand your ad with stories from friends who have already connected.” 

What does this mean to advertising? It means that it will turn the traditional one-way messages you see on the right-hand side into living and breathing ads that will involve a lot more social engagement than ever, meaning you will see which of your friends liked the ad and posted a comment on it, as you can see from the above image.

Facebook has yet to make an official announcement of the amazing new ad formats but some materials describing them were posted to Scribd this week. The news was first reported on GigaOm. Check it out:

Facebook Premium Ads Overview

Facebook Premium Ads Guide

Not only is Facebook converting traditional ads into entirely new social ads that integrate your friends’ engagement into each ad, adding a sense of relevancy, but Google is doing so as well by adding a Google Plus extension into its’ Google Ads by showing which of the people from your Google Plus circles have also +’d (i.e. liked) or shared those ads. 

This new phenomenon of providing engaging social ads is going to recreate marketing as we know it. It’s going to provide a taste of relevancy of confidence to the intended audience, showing them who from their friends like and trust which brands and why they should as well. It’s going to play a big role in the advertising world, and will reshape and recreate marketing as we know it.

High-res Looks like Tumblr is up there when it comes to the amount of time people spend on social media sites, tied with the ever-growing Pinterest.
The above is an infographic based on research firm comScore Inc.’s study into the current social networking sphere, but we need to keep in mind that this data does not take in to consideration mobile usage, which could really alter the results, especially for Facebook and Twitter.

Looks like Tumblr is up there when it comes to the amount of time people spend on social media sites, tied with the ever-growing Pinterest.

The above is an infographic based on research firm comScore Inc.’s study into the current social networking sphere, but we need to keep in mind that this data does not take in to consideration mobile usage, which could really alter the results, especially for Facebook and Twitter.

[Infographic] A Brief Insight into Facebook Marketing

Wow, who would’ve thought that Facebook is now the single largest publisher of ad impressions in the States? That is more than Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL combined! These are even more convincing stats on how much social media is affecting advertising and marketing.

The Social Marketer has gifted us with a cool infographic that gives some important stats about Facebook that every advertiser and marketer needs to know. Enjoy!

A Social Media Cheat Sheet for Businesses [Infographic]

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

Ever bring a cheat sheet to a test? Come on, we’ve all done it! Well if you’re a business, then you’ve got many obstacles and tests coming your way, and who’s to blame? Social media baby! If you’re not taking full advantage of each emerging social media (e.g. Google Plus, Pinterest) and are not submerged into the blogosphere then you might as well start waving goodbye to some of your customers.

Come one, get with the program already will you? It’s not enough to just create a Facebook page and a Twitter account and throw in some updates in there every once in a while. Get moving fast before your competitors do so. Here’s a cheat sheet infographic to help you get a head start. Enjoy!