Does Facebook’s Timeline Increase Engagement? One Study Says Yes (and Other Hot Topics)

If you’re ready to take a break from cursing Facebook’s latest change to Timeline for Pages, you may be interested to know that one study says some good things about the switch.

Twitter has launched a self-service ad platform for small businesses, online marketing use is set to increase and email is still the leader when it comes to online communication.

Check out these stories and more in this week’s news breakdown!

1. Fan Engagement Increases 46 Percent After Timeline

Simply Measured recently analyzed the Facebook Pages of 15 early Timline adopters from a variety of industries. They measured engagement on a per post basis and found that the brands saw an average increase of 46% with Timeline. At the forefront of engagement are posts that contain photos and videos.

Bottom Line:  Although this is a small sampling of big brands, it looks as if Facebook’s promise to increase engagement for businesses with Timeline is proving to be true. This analysis also continues to shine a light on the importance of photos and videos to drive engagement. If you haven’t been experimenting with these formats, it’s time to start.

2. Twitter Opens Up ‘Promoted Products’ to Select AMEX SMBs

Earlier this week Twitter announced its self-service ad program for small businesses, Promoted Products. The program is currently open to select AMEX small business customers. The ad program allows small businesses to promote their Twitter account, their best tweets, or both. This means the organizations don’t have to do much more than enable the feature-  Twitter does the work of getting the tweets in front of the right people. Small businesses only pay when someone follows their account or a tweet is interacted with as a result of being a Promoted Product.

Bottom Line: The ease of use seems like an attractive option for time-starved small businesses. The real question, of course, is how effective will these Promoted Products be? Only time will tell if they drive real value for small businesses, or if Promoted Products just end up being ignored.

3. Small Business to Increase Use of Online Marketing in 2012, AT&T Poll Says

AT&T’s Small Business Technology Poll found that 60% of small businesses planned to spend as much or more on online marketing in 2012. The survey also found that 79% of companies used word-of-mouth to promote their businesses, 63% used their company’s website, and 39% used social media.

Bottom Line: It’s good to see an upward trend with the online marketing spend of small businesses. Although, it is interesting to see such a large disconnect between the use of word-of-mouth and social media. We believe social media use can be a driving force behind word-of-mouth, especially when social media is used with a clear goal in mind.

4. Believe it or not, email is still the killer app

Email is still the most-used feature of the internet. According to a new international poll conducted by Ipsos Global Public Affairs on behalf of Reuters, some 85% of internet users around the world use email for communication. The overall penetration rate for social networking is 62%. The above referenced article goes on to presume that email will not be unseated as the leading communication medium anytime soon.

Bottom Line: Email should still be a key component of your marketing strategy. In a separate study, Ipsos found that consumers vastly prefer to receive promotions via email rather than text. The takeaway? Keep doing what you’re doing: make contacts, build lists, and send out great emails!

Were there any other stories that caught your eye this week? Share them in the comments section below!

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