2011 in Headlines: Facebook, Deals, and Mobile Ruled

Facebook, daily deals, and smartphones were big themes for ClickZ readers in 2011.

Six of our 10 most read news articles for the year had to do with Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. No surprise there. Facebook has been a hot topic going back to 2007. The difference this year is that you sought out information on how these companies – and your in-house social media teams – can improve, not merely grow.

In the daily deals arena, there was a hint of disillusionment in the stories you chose to read. The top among them questioned a key premise of the deals space – that Groupon and its ilk deliver repeat customers who spend more than the value of their vouchers.

In mobile, you took special interest in the emergence of new technologies that can track individuals across devices. That, and the moment Android took the smartphone lead from Apple.

Without further ado, here’s the list of our 10 most popular news stories for the year. Thanks for reading!

stern-twitter1. Twitter Bestows Verified Account on Howard Stern, Others Wait

Early this year, Twitter was often criticized – especially in political circles – for being selective about who could get a verified account. In many cases, it took media royalty status to convince the company to hand out its seal of approval. After joining Twitter February 3, self-proclaimed King of All Media Howard Stern was one of those to be quickly anointed.

2. Ford Jumps Into Google+ With All Wheels


When Google’s hyped social network launched in July, several brands leaped in right away. Ford may have been the first. The proud social marketer created two Google+ accounts, Ford Motor Company and Ford Europe. And almost as soon as they blinked into existence, the two profiles began generating posts. Later, when Google asked brands to back off until it created official Pages for them, Ford was allowed to hold onto its presence.

3. Only 20% of Daily Deals Users Come Back for Full Purchases


Rice University released a study that cast doubt on the willingness of daily deals users to become repeat customers or spend more than the value of an online voucher.

4. Smartphone Market Share: Android Bypasses Apple

A moment long awaited. The rise of Android provoked profound wrath in Apple CEO Steve Jobs, as we later learned with the publication of his biography.

grouponlivingsocial5. LivingSocial Sells 1.3M Amazon Deals, But At What Cost?

LivingSocial’s $20-for-$10 Amazon deal in January helped put the Groupon competitor on the map. This story examined who actually paid for it.

6. Facebook Tells Pharma Brands They Must Allow Comments

Pharma companies are notoriously risk averse with social media, owing to stringent FDA rules. Therefore many were alarmed when Facebook decided to prevent admins of newfacebook-bomb pages to disable commenting. Some weeks later it softened this stance.

7. ComScore: Brands Should Look Beyond Facebook Fans

Marketers have yet to agree on the value of a Facebook fan, but comScore argued the question may be missing the point. According to a study done in conjunction with Facebook, the researcher found for every fan of a top 100 brand, an additional 34 friends of fans can be reached through an exposure to that fan.

Twitter logo8. Brands Create Exec Roles For Social Media

As Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr commanded ever more human attention, it was inevitable that brands would appoint dedicated marketing execs to oversee these channels. This story profiles three of them.

9. Device Fingerprinting Could Be Cookie Killer

A deep dive into new technologies from companies like BlueCava and Ringleader Digital, which let advertisers link and track individual consumers onfingerprinting their mobile phones, desktop PCs, tablet devices, games consoles, TVs – even their cars – and serve them ads based on activity across those devices.

10. Facebook Bolsters Page Insights, Unveils New Ad Unit

Historically, among the biggest marketer gripes leveled at Facebook has been that its reporting features are inadequate. With a revamp of its Page Insights product in October, the company took an important step toward better analytics.

Related reading

Overhead view of a row of four business people interviewing a young male applicant.