We kick off with Facebook's Home for Android, LinkedIn, zany puppet action, and our April Fool's joke of choice... and then move on to stats galore: Get data on tablet use and online video, and tips on how to better target Boomer women (who aren't all moms). Also learn how Twitter Reports has improved, where you can find legal docs for social/business needs, and how to present like Steve Jobs. Skim and learn!
Home in your hands. Facebook just introduced Home, which acts like a social operating system for Android phones. Home "replaces" your Android desktop and, instead of behaving like just another app, creates an integrated social system that incorporates your apps, making connecting with people seem more natural and easy. Its "Chat Heads" feature, for example, lets you chat via SMS and Facebook no matter what app you happen to be using. The Google+ team is likely not be pleased.
LinkedIn wants us all a little closer. LinkedIn's testing the ability to "mention" people or brands, Facebook-style, in status updates. Like on the 'book, any mention of your name or brand will alert you. This feature follows last year's introduction of LinkedIn endorsements; both facilitate person-discovery and the creation of potentially valuable connections among users.
Puppets can't eat (Wheat Thins). If you're anything like us, the sight of Cookie Monster stuffing his mouth with cookies he'd never be able to swallow really bothered you. Touching on that conundrum, Wheat Thins is running an infectious ad featuring a puppet in a psych ward whose problem is, aptly, that he stuffs his face with Wheat Thins he can never truly eat. The ad comes bearing a hashtag, #musthavewheatthins, which is getting plenty of play and features at least one Vine tribute. Ads gone "GIFfy"—the ultimate kudos.
An April Fools joke gone blue. On April Fools Day, Google—which has both fooled and delighted us in the past—released a Gmail redesign video entirely focused on making the user experience blue. We like it for highlighting the buzzwords marketers so often use to poor effect, and for poking shameless fun at the upcoming Windows Blue (geeky catfight!). The video's generated nearly 4.5 million blues—er... views.
An iPad study about iPads. Meta! Vivaki's released "The Pool: The Tablet Lane," an iPad app that contains "the most significant and comprehensive study about everything tablets, including their amazing growth," says innovation head Rishad Tobaccowala, who also promises the findings will shed light on how your entire family uses these delightful devices. Download it on iTunes; it may be the funnest (and most enlightening?) study you ever read, if only for the finger-swiping.
A tweet for your next earnings statement? The SEC's declared that it's OK for companies to use social media outlets to announce key company information... as long as investors know exactly where to find it. Likeable Media thinks C-level execs should seize this chance to get on the frontlines of social. Because wouldn't it be funner if investors meetings were also tweet-ups?
Put it in writing. Wait, it already is. Launching a new business is tough, and protecting yourself legally makes the task more daunting. Docracy, our favorite social discovery this week, provides legal documents for common situations. The easy-to-personalize contracts were added to the site by lawyers, freelancers, and other businesses. Like a PayPal for legal transactions, Docracy also facilitates easy negotiation and digital contract signing... all for free. Isn't the social Web a beautiful place?
Big Brother's watching... your Facebook. Mistakes happen, but the scariest ones are costly, public, and damning—the trinity of social nightmares. Read cases about companies that have been investigated by the FTC for failing to properly disclose social media gifts, faking positive consumer reviews, impersonating others, and otherwise behaving badly online. Offenders include Ann Taylor Loft, Nordstrom, and Reverb. Avoid such social gaffes!
Boomer women: not all mommy bloggers. On the Harvard Business Review blog, Morra Aarons-Mele reminds us of Boomer women's enormous spending power and social clout. Most marketers targeting this tasty demo shoot for mommy bloggers, a niche that excludes swathes of women (and reduces dynamic lives to one shade). Read her tips for targeting a broader spectrum. Caregiving, over-50 fashion, lifestyle, cooking, and health are all vastly underexploited opportunities to add value beyond the minivan. (One observant commenter also mentioned PANKS—Professional Aunts No Kids—which she says accounts for one in five women. Dig in!)
Twitter Reports: beefier. Twitter's redesigned its ad center dashboard to clarify who's engaging you, and on what devices. Reports now include engagement for Promoted Tweets and earned media from sharing. You'll also be able to see how different audience types engage with Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts, and target by device or otherwise.
When releasing the captive (audience) liberates you. Polar, a mobile app for compulsive quiz-takers, reveals its recipe for addictiveness in four surprising app-design tips. The first is that you design for distraction: Admit that your user is probably not paying 100% attention to your app. Accordingly, Polar ensured the app could easily be used with one hand:
WWSD? "What would Steve Do?" is a captivating SlideShare presentation from HubSpot that'll teach you how to give awe-inspiring talks. From the playbooks of guys like Steve Jobs and social wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk, learn to tell stories, shun bullet points, get visual, and shoot for hearts (then wallets). We only wish we could hear the presentation while reading it, because it must be a blast to see live (and when do you ever say that?).
15 stats on online video. Wrapping up our social skinny, Digiday and Celtra provide 15 must-know online video stats for brands. Notables: 89 million people in the US will watch 1.2 billion online videos today, and only 24% of national brands are using online video for marketing. Why bother? This helps: 52% of users say product videos make them more confident in online purchases. But watch out: They give up on videos that fail to load within two seconds.