Winners and Losers of The Week 7/18

Every week, The Hub rounds up who’s winning and who’s losing in the marketing tech world. Here’s who made this week’s selection:

WINNERS:

Social Media Marketers:

This week, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all made moves towards introducing an e-commerce component into their respective platforms. Facebook will start testing a “buy” button on its ads, while Pinterest has partnered with 

e-commerce platform Shopify to create a new type of Rich Pin that acts as a purchase driver. And Twitter has acquired an online payment startup, but its strategy in the e-commerce space is less defined.

What this means for social media marketers is that they no longer have to work at just pushing messages out into the ether, without knowing if they’re working. By adding shopping portals, the social media networks are telling their advertisers that they will be able to give them actual direct sales, rather than nebulous concepts such as brand building or customer engagement. At the end of the day, sales are what matter. This is also especially good news for companies who can’t afford to develop and run their own e-commerce platforms. Small and medium businesses can sell their items directly through Facebook, without having to build their own websites to handle the payments. 

Although it’s still only in its fledgling stage, brands need to start preparing for the next phase of social media marketing, which is social media sales.

Google+:

It was a rare win for Google+ when after three years, it finally got rid of the ridiculous requirement for its users to use only their real names.

Here’s what the company had to say on its blog:

When we launched Google+ over three years ago, we had a lot of restrictions on what name you could use on your profile. This helped create a community made up of real people, but it also excluded a number of people who wanted to be part of it without using their real names.

Over the years, as Google+ grew and its community became established, we steadily opened up this policy, from allowing +Page owners to use any name of their choosing to letting YouTube users bring their usernames into Google+. Today, we are taking the last step: there are no more restrictions on what name you can use.

We know you’ve been calling for this change for a while. We know that our names policy has been unclear, and this has led to some unnecessarily difficult experiences for some of our users. For this we apologize, and we hope that today’s change is a step toward making Google+ the welcoming and inclusive place that we want it to be. 

LOSERS:

Twitter Analytics Providers:

No data for you! Twitter cracked down on several analytics platforms that were accessing its API to release figures about Twitter’s growth and number of users. The trouble is, with Wall Street hounding it about less than stellar growth, Twitter doesn’t want anyone else to access those (accurate) numbers. So it cut off the API supply to analytics providers such as Twopcharts, and is now putting its own spin on the numbers, coming up with four new metrics to show to Wall Street. The Wall Street Journal reports: 

The new metrics will measure the breadth of the audience that is exposed to Twitter’s content but not logged in, the people said. Executives hope to shift the perception of Twitter from a social network to a broadcast platform in the likeness of Google Inc.’s YouTube, whose videos are often embedded on other sites. 

B2B Content Marketers:

Although 82% of B2B marketers surveyed said they were doing a pretty good job, Forrester took the wind out of their sails with the results of a new study.

In a survey of over 113 B2B content marketers, Forrester found that most couldn’t link business results to their efforts, struggled to engage customers, and employed too few content experts in their marketing teams to really make a difference. Ouch.

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