Facebook reports 19 percent increase in daily active users

continents-3-1175614-mThere are more people using Facebook on a regular basis than there were last year. 19% more. Care to guess how many people that is? Go ahead and guess: how many Daily Active Users does Facebook have now? (I’ll put the answer at the bottom.)

Facebook just released their Second Quarter 2014 Financial Summary and it’s looking good for the social media giant.

Second quarter revenue was $ 2.91 billion. That’s a 61% increase compared to $ 1.81 billion this same time last year. I’d take that any day.

Leading the charge? Mobile. Mobile was responsible for about 62% of ad revenue for the quarter. That’s also a hefty increase over last year.

Here are a few more mobile stats:

  • Mobile DAUs were 654 million on average for June 2014, an increase of 39% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.32 billion as of June 30, 2014, an increase of 14% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.07 billion as of June 30, 2014, an increase of 31% year-over-year.

But Zuckerberg isn’t resting on his laurels. He told investors that he planned to do some heavy spending in areas that wouldn’t return a profit right away such as messaging, virtual reality and search.

“I really can’t underscore this enough that we have a lot of work to do. We could take the cheap and easy approach and put ads in and do payments and make money in the short-term, but we’re not going to do that.”

In other words, he won’t rest until he’s king of the world. . . which could happen.

Everyone was surprised when a social media company bought virtual reality tech company Oculus VR. What are they going to do with that? Facebook used to be the king of online gaming – maybe they’re planning a comeback with cool new VR games?

Back in March, 375 million people were playing Facebook games at least once a month. The year before it was 250 million – so the number is growing but it’s funny because games don’t seem to be as popular as they used to be. Maybe it’s because they’ve cut down on the number of game notifications that show up in the friends feed but outside of Candy Crush I’m just not seeing the enthusiasm I used to see back in the Zynga days.

Time to reveal the answer to the question:

How many Daily Active users does Facebook have?

If you said 829 million, give yourself a prize. Wow.

 

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content skips the page and goes straight to the target

Marketing messages are a lot more effective when they’re targeted. That’s a given. But customizing the message is tricky when you’re updating a social media feed. Say your company is going on a road trip across the US. Do you want to stack up 12 posts, one for each city on your company LinkedIn feed? LinkedIn has a better idea.

Direct Sponsored Content

Direct Sponsored Contact

What this tool allows you to do is create custom content and make it visible only to a specific group of people. This way you can personalize and test content without clogging up your public facing feed.

Previously, if you wanted to pay to promote your 12 city tour, you’d have to create 12 pieces of content, each with specific city information, then push each one out as sponsored content using location targeting. Anyone who visits the company page would see all 12 posts stacked up.

With Direct Sponsored Content, instead of choosing content that’s already in your feed, you choose to create new content. You fill in the specific deals, add a landing page for details then choose your target audience. Once you set it free, that piece of content only shows up on the feeds you targeted. It won’t show up on your company’s public feed. Now you can send 12 customized messages to people in each of your tour cities. Nifty.

Note, it is “sponsored” which means it’s a paid ad option. This is about lead generation.

LinkedIn suggests you use the tool to test content, too. Send out two different pieces of content for the same product and see which one gets the clicks. Send out the same piece of content to two different target groups and see which one gets the clicks. What’s important here is that you can build and send and play all you like and none of it is going to show up on your public feed. The only thing you need to worry about is how much money your spending with each test!

If you’re a page admin, you’ll see a Direct Sponsored Content tab on your company page. This is where you’ll see all of the content you sent out along with the analytics. You can also respond to comments from this page while still keeping the conversation off the public page.

All you need to get started is a LinkedIn advertising account. Don’t have one? They’ll be more than happy to help you set one up.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

39 Resources for Understanding the Science & Psychology Behind Great Marketing

We all know that a deep understanding of psychology will make us better marketers, but determining exactly where to start if we want to learn more about the psychology of marketing can feel daunting. After all, psychology is an enormous field, with many sub areas to drill down into and countless case studies, books, online articles and magazines to wrap your head around.

I’ve been grappling with this since I decided to focus on improving my own understand of the psychology of marketing. In an effort to make all of our lives easier, I’ve scoured the web for the best articles, infographics and books about the subject and organized everything into the following categories so that you can skip directly to the topic you want to learn about:

  • The Psychology of Marketing: An Overview
  • The Psychology of Pricing & Purchasing
  • The Psychology of Conversion
  • The Psychology of Good Websites
  • The Psychology of Color & Marketing
  • Books on Psychology, Persuasion, Influence & Marketing

So start reading, and let me know if I’ve missed any of your favorite resources in the comments section.

The Psychology of Marketing: An Overview

1. Psychology for Marketers: 9 Revealing Principles of Human Behavior – Don’t know much about the relationship between psychology and marketing? This article is a great place to start. It provides an introduction to psychological principles that are highly relevant to marketing and explains how to apply them to your marketing campaigns.

2. The 20 Best Lessons from Social Psychology – Did you know that tips for waiters go up 3.3% when an after-dinner mint is provided with the receipt, and they increase a full 20% with a look in the eye and a second mint from the server? That’s known as reciprocity, and, if you’re like me, it probably got you thinking about how to apply this to, say, email marketing or growth strategies.

3. The Complete Guide to Understanding Consumer Psychology – This guide covers everything you need to know about consumer psychology, from the power of emotions to the psychology of color and pricing. As the introduction states, “Understanding the psychology of your visitors will help you maximize your revenue because you can show them more of what they want and less of what they don’t.”

4. How to use behavioural psychology to improve your content marketing – Have you ever thought about how you can tailor your blog content to influence behavioral change that will benefit your business? Aaron Beashel looks at why some of the most popular marketing blogs are successful at generating conversions (and why others aren’t).

5. The Psychology of Social Proof & How to Build Trust in Your Business – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been told countless times that social proof is a key ingredient to successful online marketing. This Unbounce article outlines seven types of social proof you can implement on your website today.

6. The Psychology of Social Commerce [Infographic] – This beautiful infographic uses statistics to illustrate how important psychological principles are reflected in purchasing behavior.

7. Persuasion case study: 2 ads using psychological “mind reading” techniques – Entrepreneur and expert marketer Ramit Sethi analyzes the psychology behind why two different ads are/are not effective.

8. 3 Neuroscience Secrets For Persuasive Marketing – Web psychologist Nathalie Nahai describes how the psychology of empathy can be used to boost the effectiveness of your marketing.

9. Unconscious Branding – Douglas Van Praet explains how interrupting patterns by going against the grain of what people believe or are accustomed to can spark viral marketing campaigns that are a huge success.

10. Trust Me For 5 Minutes: How To Get People’s Jaws to Drop (And Open Your Emails) – No marketer should ever forget that the thing people care about the most is themselves. They want to know how you/your product are going to make them happy, healthy, more successful, well-liked, hotter or loved. Learn how to tap in to this in order to create more effective email subject lines.

11. How to Win Friends and Influence Your Audience: 10 Theories to Know for Greater Persuasion – This ultra-comprehensive overview of how persuasion works in marketing is packed with real-life examples of emails, social media posts and websites that demonstrate how a mastery of psychology and influence can help you build long-lasting relationships with your subscribers and customers.

The Psychology of Pricing & Purchasing

12. 5 Psychological Studies on Pricing That You Absolutely MUST Read – The results of these five studies can help marketers make smarter decisions when it comes to framing the pricing of their products.

13. 4 Ways To Influence People’s Actions – The Behavioral Psychology Of Impulse Buying – This is a fascinating overview of how understanding four key concepts of retail marketing––merchandising, the shopper mindset, messaging and promotions––can improve your sales.

14. 9 Laws of Price Strategy Based on Customer Psychology – Have you ever heard of the reference price effect? It refers to the notion that when a customer can directly compare the price of a product with a competitor, price sensitivity increases. Learn how customer psychology informs eight additional key laws of price strategy.

15. Pricing and the Psychology of Consumption – People are more likely to consume a product when they are aware of its cost (via monthly charges, for example). Yet common pricing practices such as advance sales, season tickets, and price bundling mask how much a buyer has spent on a given product, decreasing the likelihood that the buyer will actually use it.

The Psychology of Conversion

16. Persuasive Writing: 4 Copywriting Techniques Swiped from Psychology – Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers gives you four techniques based on psychological principles and studies that will improve your conversion rates.

17. The Psychology of Anticipation and What it Means for Your Conversion Rates – Neil Patel shows how psychology is the driving force behind conversion rate optimization, focusing on three tips about the feeling of anticipation that can improve your conversion testing.

18. The Psychology of Landing Page Videos (+5 Video Optimization Tips) – Explainer videos are found on nearly every startup and SaaS company’s website. So what makes a video an effective catalyst for conversion? This article outlines psychological principles that can optimize the performance of your video.

19. 10 Ways to Use Psychology to Convert More Customers [Infographic] – I love this infographic (and the author’s commentary in the post) because it goes beyond the typical psychological principles––reciprocity, social proof, etc.––and explores how understanding lesser-known psychology theorems can improve your online marketing.

20. 15 Psychological Triggers to Convert Leads into Customers – A Marine Corp vet and entrepreneur explains 15 important psychological triggers that, if implemented correctly, can generate massive sales for your business.

21. Is Too Much Choice Killing Your Conversion Rates? [Case Studies] – Unbounce’s Events Strategist Stefanie Grieser looks at what several case studies about the psychology of choice in marketing tell us about conversion optimization (hint: in most cases, less is more!).

The Psychology of Good Websites

22. The Quick and Dirty Guide to Turning Your Website into a Persuasion Powerhouse – As the author says, “When it comes to persuading people online, the most effective tool is an understanding of human psychology.” In this article you’ll learn about eight psychological hooks you can use to invoke positive emotions in people visiting your website.

23. The Psychology of Why Sexy Websites Suck at Sales – Learn how attractiveness and familiarity influence the overall effectiveness of a website. You might be surprised: effective websites don’t always coincide with how we normally think about good looks!

24. How to Use the Psychology of Color to Increase Website Conversions – This comprehensive guide will teach you how to utilize the psychology of color to increase website conversions. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s about to build a new website or do a site redesign.

25. 5 Psychological Principles of High Converting Websites (+ 20 Case Studies) – Discover five psychological principles, including the “Law of Pithiness” and the “Principle of Cost/Benefit Analysis”, that are backed by the results of website a/b conversion tests.

The Psychology of Color & Marketing

26. How do colors affect purchases? – Fun fact: 85% of shoppers state color as a primary reason for why they buy a product. This infographic by KISSmetrics presents visualizes how color affects purchasing behavior.

27. Why Facebook Is Blue: The Science of Colors in Marketing – Here’s a fun look at how color influences our emotions as well as how color preferences vary based on gender. Plus, you’ll find out why hyperlinks are that bright, deep blue color.

28. The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding – This article from Entrepreneur debunks many of the common myths about color in marketing and branding and suggests alternative ways of looking at how color affects conversions.

29. The Meaning of Colour in Marketing – Visual.ly’s infographic look at the meaning and emotion behind colors and how this can affect your marketing.

30. True Colors: What Your Brand Colors Say About Your Business [Infographic] – This monster infographic examines which colors are most-commonly used by companies in various industries, which colors should be avoided by major industries and what emotions and values are evoked by common colors.

Books on Psychology, Persuasion, Influence & Marketing

31. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – If you’re in business, sales or marketing you’ve probably had someone tell you that you should read this book. Influence explains the psychology of persuasion, why people say “yes” and how to apply key principles of persuasion to business.

32. How to Win Friends & Influence People – Sure, this is more of a self-improvement book than a marketing and sales book, but this guide to mastering people skills is a must-read for any marketer who wants to deepen their understanding of the psychology of building good relationships with––and influencing––people.

33. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers – Another one of those books that’s on every marketer’s reading list, Permission Marketing argues that by focusing on individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about a product, companies can develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

34. Neuromarketing: Understanding the Buy Buttons in Your Customer’s Brain – Unveiling the latest brain research and revolutionary marketing practices, this book teaches techniques for making your marketing more powerful, unique, and memorable.

35. Triggers – This book looks at 30 psychological triggers that you can master to influence potential customers and increase sales.

36. Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) – Psychological experiments have shown that people are unable to estimate “fair” prices accurately and are strongly influenced by the unconscious, the irrational and context. Many of the most successful companies in the world exploit a deep understanding of pricing psychology to get people to pay and buy more. This book will teach you exactly how they do it!

37. Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing – Brainfluence explains how to use neuromarketing, which covers the intersection of behavior science and marketing, to more effectively market to potential consumers.

38. The Branded Mind: What Neuroscience Really Tells Us about the Puzzle of the Brain and the Brand – This book looks to lessons from neuroscience to understand how consumers respond to brands and make purchasing decisions.

39. The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind – The Buying Brain explores brain-friendly product concepts, design and prototypes; how to create effective packaging, pricing, advertising and in-store marketing; and how to build stronger brands that attract consumer loyalty.

For a master list of the best books on social psychology, check out this roundup on the Sparring Mind blog.

That should be enough to get you started. Now I’d like to hear from you: what is the most useful resource you’ve found––whether it be an article, book, ebook or video––for understanding how to apply principles of psychology to enhance your marketing?

About the Author: Chloe Mason Gray specializes in digital marketing and growth strategy for startups and intrepid entrepreneurs. Be sure to say hi to her on Twitter. You can also follow her on Google+.


The KISSmetrics Marketing Blog

The Future of Conversion Optimization – What’s New and What’s Next

Trend forecasting posts are usually reserved for the New Year, but so many changes have happened already through 2014, that we’d be remiss if we didn’t tackle a few of them now. With conversion optimization, the user still remains the key pivotal player, but the way they interact with the web and how they buy is changing. Let’s take a closer look at the ever-shifting landscape to see what’s coming up on the horizon in terms of both technology and design.

Mobile is No Longer a Minority

It used to be that sites were designed with “mobile friendly” options, much in the same way that browser redirects were used to accommodate users in the early 2000’s. Then came responsive design and “mobile first” champions, which provided a truly optimized experience for users – until they reached the checkout. Then, thanks in part to clunky, “bolt-on” e-commerce systems, they were generally funneled to their respective desktop-only versions, only to abandon their cart out of sheer frustration.

And that’s exactly what happened for the University of Oregon Duck Store. Through a partnership with Volusion, it added mobile optimized commerce, which immediately saw orders rise for the subsequent six weeks. The Duck Store had already optimized its product and category pages for smaller screens, but not its checkout process.

oregon-duck

By renovating its ecommerce strategy to focus on the growing mobile market (which is getting close to 50% of traffic saturation), the Duck Store was able to increase its conversions and mobile sales by a whopping 184%.

As more mobile retailers begin to optimize their mobile commerce offerings for the full suite of pages, and not just products or categories, mobile commerce will continue to grow by leaps and bounds, likely taking over conventional desktop e-commerce shopping in the coming years.

The Pros and Pitfalls of One-Touch Access

Amazon revolutionized e-commerce with its patented “1 Click Checkout”. Now the process has become even more streamlined thanks to mobile devices. The Amazon Mobile Payments Service takes “1 click shopping” to the next level by letting users swipe to complete a purchase. Not to be outdone, Apple has also invited third party developers to take advantage of its TouchID service, a similar mobile checkout option.

1touch

What’s more, PayPal has also leapt into the fray, touting that mobile payments alone grew over 92% from 2012 to 2014. PayPal also partnered with Samsung to introduce biometric payments on their highly popular Galaxy S5 phone. But before you rush out and start swiping, you should know that it wasn’t long before the biometric scanner was successfully hacked.

Of course, needing to obtain one’s fingerprint (as well as know which finger they predominantly use to swipe) is still an issue, but expect to see more joint partnerships crop up between payment processors, app developers and mobile hardware manufacturers as ease-of-use shopping becomes more mainstream.

Even Responsive Design Can’t Save You, Says Study

Mobile responsive design has been heralded as the ultimate solution to end all your mobile conversion woes. Even we here at KISSmetrics embrace and encourage the use of mobile responsive design. But a new joint study from Internet Retailer and Keynote shows that mobile responsive design alone isn’t everything it claims to be.

For example, according to the Aberdeen Group, Inc., a one-second delay translates to a 7% loss in conversions. Following Internet Retailer’s example, if a mobile commerce merchant makes $ 100,000 a day from their site, that ends up being $ 2.5 million dollars lost. Not surprisingly, online retailers are clamoring for mobile optimization, and in their rush to deliver, developers are taking shortcuts.

The fact is, consumers expect to see and use a site that is a seamless transition from desktop to mobile, when, despite advances in mobile design, the foundation just isn’t there. In the study, responsive sites loaded quickly on desktops – an average of 3.15 seconds, and 2.80 seconds on tablets. But when it came to smartphones, the wait was an average of 18.24 seconds (using 3G and 4G connections).

In trying to deliver quickly, the article reveals that developers will often cut off parts of a site that they believe are contributing to heavy load times. But looking back at the consumers’ expectation of a seamless experience transitioning from desktop to smartphone serves only to end in frustration. That’s not to mention the introduction of key pieces of technology, such as CSS3, that are relatively new, so finding knowledgeable developers who can leverage this component to its fullest is still a challenge.

And although there’s no concrete formula for always delivering a prime, optimized experience that loads equally fast for everyone, you can’t fault developers for trying. Case in point – Yottaa, whose mobile engagement tweaks considerably cut down load time for their customers.

yottaa

With nearly a dozen case studies, and clients like Bayer and H&R Block, Yottaa is defining the building blocks that make mobile responsive sites load fast – even on smartphones. For example, they suggest:

  • Prioritizing elements on a page so that important pieces load first. This also involves breaking up an HTML file into smaller chunks, and sequencing what shows, when.
  • Loading images based on the profile of the device requesting them – higher resolution images for desktops and tablets, smaller resolutions for faster loading on smartphones.
  • Splitting a site off as a “smartphone only” version, rather than lumping it together with desktop and tablet responsive sites.

The Future is Now

Now that you know what’s ahead for mobile, payment processing and security, you can work toward building a more unified user experience for mobile, without slowing down the smartphone segment of the population. Just remember that for every shiny new gadget and feature out there, there’s the looming specter of privacy and security concerns. Although mobile is reaching greater and greater saturation in the market, it’s still very much like a toddler finding its legs – unsteady, uneasy and awkward at first.

By keeping these points in mind, you’ll be better prepared for when technology inevitably catches up with user and retailer demands, so that your site can convert like a pro – right from the start.

What are your thoughts on the new improvements, technology and findings from these studies? How do you think they’ll affect your conversion rates? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps businesses improve website design and increase conversions with user-focused design, compelling copywriting and smart analytics. Learn more at iElectrify and get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up. Follow @sherice on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ for more articles like this!


The KISSmetrics Marketing Blog

Study shows mobile social users are more active and engaged

64% of online adults use a desktop or laptop to access social media at least once a week. That’s a nice number. A lot nicer than the 45% who use a smartphone or the 25% who use a tablet. But when talking about social media marketing,  the majority doesn’t always rule.

Forrester Research says, “The Social Users You Want To Reach Are On Mobile“.

According to this new study, social media users who connect through mobile are more engaged and more active.

Smartphone users log on to their Facebook app an average of 16 times a month and more than 4 times a day for a combined total of almost a half hour per user, per day.

Forrester Time Spent on Social MobileLook at Pinterest! Penetration is low but man are those smartphone users loyal. They check in an average of 5.9 times a day and spend almost as much time as they spend on Facebook.

Smartphone users are more like to post a picture, audio or video they created (46% vs 34% on PC). They’re also more like to post a text update (59% vs 48%).

More importantly, mobile users said they were more likely to read and share a branded post compared to their desktop using counterparts.

40% of tablet users said they share branded posts on a weekly basis, 36% of smartphone users do the same but for the desktop users, it’s only 28%.

What does this mean for the marketer?

It means you need to keep the smaller, mobile screen in mind when posting to social media. Just right-sized photos, short videos, less text – and if you’re linking back to your website, make sure it’s a mobile friendly link.

Mobile means on the fly, so it’s perfect for timely messages and references to trending topics. (Psst…it’s Comic Con week, time to bring out all the geeky goodness!) Which leads right into the final point – remember that the smartphone audience is usually a younger audience. 42% of those who use only a PC to access social media are over 55. As more kids grow up and into their first social media account, the mobile percentage is going to get higher and higher.

So, if you’re not mobile now, you have exactly five minutes to figure it out before you’re in social media trouble.

 

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion