11 Defining Digital Insights of 2011

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Every day, Compete analysts dig through our data of internet usage and provide our readers with an insight on an industry or online trend. Whether we are discussing the latest holiday shopping trends or the impact of the #Orbitz25Days of Holiday Travel social media campaign, we aim to provide online marketers with context and impact measurement surrounding some of today’s hottest trends. As a tribute to 2011, we’ve compiled a list of the top marketing insights we’ve provided according to our audience’s reactions. Check them out and let us know what you think!

JANUARY –  Make-my-baby Ethical Use of Affiliate Marketing?

Although generating what your “future baby” might look like could certainly be controversial (and odd), what was considered even more unnerving by some about the Make-my-baby Facebook application is that when a user installed the plug-in, they gave the application the rights to change the user’s homepage to Bingstart.com and install the “Zugo/Bing” toolbar.

FEBUARY – What Google Learned in 2010

In the beginning of the year, Google released a video which includes some interesting facts about what they learned by analyzing search behaviors in 2010.

The research produced some pretty cool facts like:

  • Google provides the most dating site search referrals
  • 25% of new vehicle buyers utilize the mobile web during their research process
  • Portable PC shoppers do an average of 14 searches before deciding what to buy
  • 75% of patients research their symptoms before going to a doctor for diagnosis

Watch the video to learn more!

MARCH – In Defense of Social Media Interns

Does anyone remember the Kenneth Cole social media intern blowout? Or how about the fact that an intern runs the Marc Jacobs twitter account? Well, apparently Twitter is in the top 5 destinations from marcjacobs.com, insinuating that users who leave marcjacobs.com are likely to go to Twitter.com from your site, probably to follow your brand (marcjacobs.com has the “follow us” buttons on their website) or tweet about that hot new handbag they just saw. Should you hire an intern to manage your social media accounts?

APRIL – Facebook: More Than Just Likes

Remember when Likes were the be all end all to evaluating a brand’s success on Facebook? Neither do we. Back in April we did a neat study that mapped out the unique visitors of top Facebook brand pages. Traffic to Facebook pages is different than Likes. Likes are cumulative, and someone can like a brand then not visit the brand’s page for months. Traffic is actual visitation to a Facebook page as measured by unique visitors, so potentially more representative of current interest. Check it out, we think you will “Like” our findings.

MAY – Why Email Marketing is Like Dating

When you stumble upon a brand you like, you’re in the infatuation period-you may visit the website regularly, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, and even opt-in to their emails. Sound familiar to that Facebook stalk you were doing of your significant other when you first started dating? If, of course, Facebook existed when you began dating. Perhaps you were passing notes in the hall or calling incessantly. This is a period I like to refer to as “deep like;” You want to know more about the brand, you’re engaged with them, and you’ve given them some of your information. It’s like the beginnings of a relationship.

Do online users like you? [yes ] [no]

Read on to find out how to make them check yes!

JUNEFour Things You Might Not Know About Twitter

1. Twitter users are more likely to engage with the service through a mobile device than are users of other social media platforms. 43% of Twitter account holders utilize the service through a mobile device compared to 34% and 9% for Facebook and LinkedIn respectively. Twitter is well positioned to capitalize on the macro trend of a greater proportion of internet browsing activity shifting to smartphone and tablet devices. See chart below for usage breakdown by device.

… and MORE!

JULY – Exactly How Valuable Are People With High Klout Scores?

Does a person’s Klout actually determine the impact they have on their audience? Can we predict that those with high online influence can directly persuade others into action?A Beverly Hills company, Ad.ly is no stranger to using a person’s online influence to the advantage of companies. For the last year and a half Ad.ly has sold over 26,000 paid celebrity endorsements via personal social media channels. Compete scoured the Twitterverse for some of Ad.ly’s sponsored messages and used our Compete.com data to determine each celebrity’s actual impact on website traffic for the days surrounding their endorsement.

AUGUST –  Who Should Be Worried About Google+?

When Google+ came on the scene at the beginning of July, the early adopters were all over it, but they were skeptical. We all remember Wave and Buzz, which didn’t quite hit the mark. This time though, the general opinion is optimistic, and the conversation has turned from “should competitors be worried” to “WHICH competitors should be worried.”

Check out who our data shows is most at risk from the introduction of Google+

OCTOBER – Tumblr vs. Wordpress vs. Blogger: Fight!

Tumblr has been in the news a lot recently because of their huge user numbers (there’s also been some question of whether or not they are a “bot fest” – but I’ll leave that for others to analyze.) Back in 2009, we compared Tumblr to Posterous – but since that time Tumblr has just pulled away. For 2011, we thought it would be good to take a look at how Tumblr fairs against the larger, more established blogging networks – namely WordPress.com and Blogger.com (now part of Google). One, two, three – BLOG!

NOVEMBERThe Male vs. Female Debate Goes Mobile

A year ago, when we segmented Smartphone Owners by gender, the male population dominated the marketplace. But sometime in early 2011, that trend shifted rather dramatically and women started adopting smartphones in greater numbers. Females, who had once made up significantly less than half of the smartphone owner segment, were now accounting for just over half the segment.

We asked survey respondents if they performed a number of activities, ranging from sharing photos to conducting financial transactions on their smartphones within a given month.  Which phone activity is done most on Mars and which is conducive to Venus? Check out our gender mobile analysis!

DECEMBERThe Long Tail Internet Myth: We Are Spending MORE Time on Top 10 Sites than Ever

In 2006, Compete was contacted by Read Write Web to provide data for a piece on the Long Tail Theory: The Shrinking Long Tail – Top 10 Web Domains Increasing in Reach (You can see our follow up to the post here). The Long tail theory is another way of describing the democratization of media and business through the Internet by removing some of the institutionalized hegemonic powers of the biggest mainstream outlets. In this post we compared the share of page views held by the Top 10 domains in 2001 to that of the Top 10 in 2006. We found that the top 10 domains weren’t shrinking at all, as alluded to by the long tail theory. Did the theory hold up in 2011? We have the answer!

About Jen Duguay:
Jen Duguay joins Compete to take on all things social media. She comes from a social issue background, most recently having worked for the Social Innovation Forum, the venture philanthropy arm of Root Cause, a nonprofit research and consulting firm. Jen's interests include singing, marketing, running, art, making guacemole, and using social entrepreneurship to tackle world issues. She has spent time in Belize and the Dominican Republic working on microfinance initiatives and recently traveled to Kenya where she studied the public healthcare system. Follow Jen @jenduguay on Twitter.