Here at HubSpot, we've been super busy preparing for INBOUND 2012 . Weekend? What weekend? All of our hard work will soon go live, since the conference starts up bright and early tomorrow. If you're one of the 2,500+ marketers attending, we can't wait to see you! It's always a good idea to come brushed up on your inbound marketing current events, though, so go ahead and take in our top five marketing stories of the past week!
Social Media Customer Service Is a Failure, From PR-Squared
PR-Squared published a guest post this week from Frank Eliason, SVP of social media at Citibank. He discusses social media customer service and explains his opinion that, up until now, most businesses have failed at it. Whether businesses approach social media from a marketing, communications, or customer service standpoint, he believes that the company's social media focus is often misplaced. When everything is about metrics and ROI, he claims, the artistry is taken out of the work, and the communication fails to serve its purpose. While we at HubSpot do love our social media metrics , we can see his point when it comes to customer service. Do you agree with his thoughts? Check out the full story here .
Facebook Launches Sponsored Results: PPC Ads in Facebook Search
The HubSpot blog once again has the honor of bringing you this week's Facebook update . PPC ads in Facebook search? Yup, you read the headline right: much like Google AdWords' sponsored results, Facebook is now offering marketers the option to purchase ad space in Facebook search results for specific keywords that return results for specific apps, Facebook pages, or places. This means that businesses can buy ad space to rank above their organically ranking competitors. Although these paid results will clearly display the word "Sponsored" above it, they may still outrank organic results, which ought to drive some traffic their way. These ads can't yet direct users to external web pages, but given all the options for attracting customers with Facebook , we imagine this may make an impact. Want to know more? Check out the full story here .
Which Are the Best Subject Lines In Your Sector? From Smart Insights
This week, the Smart Insights blog ran a story about successful email subject lines by industry . Whether you work in B2B, B2C, ecommerce, or nonprofit and doing email marketing , there's likely some data in Smart Insights' article that will be relevant to you. Some interesting insights include: overall, subject lines under 25 characters or above 80 characters tend to have the best open rate, with a so-called "dead zone" of email performance in between. When adding in click-through rate, the data skews further in favor of 80+ character subject lines. As the data gets divided by sector, though, things really get interesting. Are you curious? Check out the full story here .
Purchases Made Via Smartphone Have Highest Order Average, From MarketingProfs
For the ecommerce enthusiasts in our audience, this MarketingProfs article ought to have you intrigued by its headline alone. The average order value of purchases made on smartphones in Quarter 2 of 2012, as assessed by Monetate, reached $97.39, surpassing tablets ($96.11) and traditional devices ($91.86). Still, these numbers are down overall from Q1 2012. During that time, smartphones were at an average $104.96, tablets were at $96.83, and traditional devices were at $95.41. The study also includes many other ecommerce takeaway statistics, including the interesting fact that smartphone conversion rates hovered at a low 1.09%, as compared to tablets at 3.17% and traditional devices at 3.34%. Want to know more? Check out the full story here .
Google Search Results Show Some Facebook User Posts Leaking Out of Walled Garden, From Search Engine Land
Well, that headline certainly sounds ominous, no? Our friends over at Search Engine Land published a story about how Facebook user posts, previously kept entirely off-limits to people who aren't logged into their own Facebook accounts, appear to be creeping into Google's indexed search results. These are not to be confused with social Facebook comments left on other sites, posts on public Facebook pages like those for brands, or limited views of Facebook profiles not hidden from the search index. These are posts a user has made on his or her own profile. It's not clear exactly how this is happening, though the author supposes it might be due to the posts being explicitly linked to from third-party sites -- for instance, if the author had also sent the post to Twitter with a link back to the Facebook post, it might show up. Want to read the full analysis? Check out the complete story here .
What other interesting marketing stories have you come across in the past week? Share them in the comments!