People Spend More Time Microwaving a Potato than on Google+, and Other Hot Topics

If you’re having a baked potato for dinner (or breakfast, if you’re one of those people), then you know that microwaving it to perfection can take five minutes or more.

Well, if you’re an average user of Google+, you can log on and off while making your potato, and still have time to spare.

A new report says that people who use the social network generally spend less time on it than it takes to microwave a potato.

Meanwhile, Facebook is ramping up efforts to become a social media marketing powerhouse, with its introduction of Timeline for brand Pages, its offering of premium advertisements to marketers, and real-time analytics from Facebook Insights.

We discuss this and more in the week’s news roundup!

Visitors Spend 3 Minutes on Google+ Each Month

Comscore reports that the average user of Google+ spent three minutes each month (September to January) on the social network, compared to around six hours on Facebook over the same period.

Bottom Line: We’ve debated about Google+ ourselves, and it still seems wiser to stand on the sidelines than invest more time in another social network — particularly when Facebook offers a much more active, larger user base.

Facebook Introduces Premium Ads

It’s been a big week for Facebook. In addition to its introduction of Timeline for brand Pages, Facebook’s advertising efforts are now picking up steam: The social network is planning to launch premium ads very soon. These kinds of advertisements will essentially take active content from your Page and share it with the friends of your brand’s fans.

Bottom Line: Socialmediatoday calls the move “the rise of true social advertising,” because the ads make use of user-generated content. On Facebook, the best asset that marketers have is their fans, and premium ads will help them leverage that audience.

The Phone Is Our New TV

Mobile advertising network InMobi found that, among 20,000 consumers:

  • The average mobile web user consumes 7.2 hours of media daily
  • 27%  of this time is spent on the mobile web
  • 22% is spent watching TV
  • 32% is spent on the computer

The comfort level around different advertising channels — TV commercials, internet, mobile — is almost equal.

Bottom Line: As people spend more time looking at their phones than at the TV, marketers are going to have to think of how they can change strategies to accommodate mobile users. It may be as easy as thinking about social media — after all, social networks were found to be one of the most-often accessed sites on phones.

Facebook Gets Ready to Unroll Real-Time Insights

It’s happened to anyone with a Facebook Page. You think of something infinitely witty and engaging, take a deep breath, and post it. And then … you wait for about 48 hours to see how well it performed. Well, Facebook is planning to fix that problem by upgrading Facebook Insights in the near future. The changes will allow Page administrators to immediately see who is visiting, Liking, sharing, and commenting on each post.

Bottom Line: Being able to instantaneously record the impact of posts will enable social media marketers to gauge just how well each item of content does as soon as it’s published on their page. This could prove invaluable in honing strategies for a Page, and make it much easier to learn from the all-too-easy social media missteps.

Small Businesses Spend 26% of Marketing Budgets on Digital Media

Local Commerce Monitor BIA/KESLEY revealed that small businesses are quickly adapting to new trends in marketing. In fact, SMBs surveyed said that they planned on spending more than a quarter of their advertising budget on digital channels such as video, social media, and search engine marketing.

Bottom Line: The study found that SMBs also put an emphasis on “do-it-yourself” tools that help them market. Self-serve channels are a relatively new phenomenon, but marketing online, whether through social media or email marketing, gives businesses the freedom to connect with customers like never before.

What news caught your eye this week? Share those stories with us in the comments section below! 


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  1. Facebook is really nice, i dont like google plus,,,i dont khow how Visitors Spend 3 Minutes on Google+ Each Month, what say guys?

  2. As a long-time observer and participant in the evolution of what we today label “social,” I’m surprised you’d say about Google+, “it still seems wiser to stand on the sidelines than invest more time in another social network.”

    More importantly, while Google+ may not be right for some types of companies, for others it might be very important to do more than stand on the sidelines.

    Here’s an example: Many Fortune 500 companies block Facebook, but not Google. If a company’s target audience is, say, specifying engineers at Fortune 500 companies, and those engineers do Google searches while logged in with their Google “docs for business” account, the information that may appear in the results page could be that which was distributed by a company through its Google+ business page.

    By standing on the sidelines, you will have missed that potential opportunity to connect with perhaps the most important type of Google user your company is seeking.

    Granted, this is a hypothetical situation — but one I’ve already encountered.

    So, while I might agree that in general, users may be on the actual site, Google+, less than they use a microwave, I’ll bet they use Google services that pull in content from Google+ when they are actually working, more than they turn to Facebook when actually working.

    I’m not advocating every company — or even most companies — jump into something new. All I’m saying is, don’t just stand on the sideline because it’s “just another social network.”

  3. The 3 minutes on G+ per month stat being bandied around seems unreliable at best to me. What are the metrics being used here? Fine, maybe I don’t spend a lot of time on the G+ homepage/feed/profiles/domain, but I’m constantly having cross-platform conversation on it. Since Google unified all it’s products, every single moment I’m on Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Google, Search, Youtube, Reader IS on Google+. I share ideas, respond to the notifactions straight from the right hand corner, and comment on others points of view. It’s become a way to instantly get feedback from my followers on a particular idea or thought, and to respond back in a second. It ties much more into my real world needs of using products that are useful and adding a social/collaborative element. Facebook and Twitter, by contrast, are primarily echo chambers. You go there to socialise (and with Facebook, you HAVE to be there, on the domain/feed, to get the full experience (whereas twitter is a bit more flexible with its third paty apps). My point is: these 3 minutes warnings might be short selling the value of what Google have finally created.

    I admit, I’m a bit of a Google fanboy, but how can I not be if I find their offerings so useful?

  4. Yes, Facebook is nice and Google is gaining ground, but to say people spend that amount of time is wrong, There are other newer social media sites that are just coming up, which equally claim a share of their members time. Much more than 3 minutes I dare say. Sometimes the information we are fed is just plain wrong

  5. Blaise Lucey •

    @Rex Hammock – Interesting point. Our feeling is that SMBs will want to go where the majority of their customers are, and right now, that seems to be Facebook.

    But if business owners do see their audience on Google+, which certainly does cater to tech crowds in a lot of instances, then we definitely recommend paying attention to G+… but then what happens? Do you abandon your Facebook marketing or tack on another social network to your daily to-do list?

    I think the bottom line is that it’s all about time management – many marketers are already struggling to prioritize when it comes to social media, and may not want to add another network to the list for uncertain reach & results.

    @Neville – I’m glad you brought up the methodology of the “3 minutes a month” metric. I had the same questions, and I still do. As you said, Google has integrated all of its products. I even wonder if someone who is using Gmail was counted as a “G+ user” who didn’t visit Google+.

  6. agree with Rex Hammock comment earlier


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