Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category
February 25th, 2013
Iâ€™ve just picked up a great post, giving excellent advice on how to write articles that go viral by Daniel Zeevi.
Daniel is a digital media strategist, web developer, graphic designer, writer and founder of DashBurst. Â His article in Social Media Today is clear, precise and full of knowledge and advice.
His comments echo what we have tried to practice and preach at Liberate Media for the past six years.Â We believe that fresh, quality content, with freely shared links and associated ideas will always find an audience.
It is getting more difficult to win enough of peopleâ€™s attention for them to spend that most precious resource â€“ time â€“ in posting a comment on a blog. But, in a sense, if they share with a brief personal snippet on social media channels, then this amounts to the same thing.
I would urge you to find ten minutes to read his excellent article and share it. Just as a taster, here are his top ten tips in prÃ©cis.
1. Understand Market Trends in Social Media
You should always check out what topics are hot on social media and time your post.
2. Write Longer In-depth Content
Longer content is more likely to get shared but add value, not just length.
3. Choose an Effective Title and Keywords
Choose effective keywords that will help people find the articles you write.
4. Understand Keyword Density
Do not try to overcrowd your articles with keywords simply because you want to draw in traffic.
5. Make Your Content Interesting and Emotional
Always make your content unique to help draw more people. Speak to the audience not yourself.
6. Allow Your Content to be Easily Skimmed
People read a fraction of web content â€“ make it easier for them.
7. Don’t Stuff Your Content with Keywords
8. Under Promise and Over Deliver on What You’re Writing About
Under promise and over deliver and your articles will go viral on social media. People crave interesting and useful content.
9. Share That @#$&
Get your post out there to as many relevant social networks and communities as possible.
10. Ask For Feedback
What are your thoughts?
February 19th, 2013
The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.
You can download the full report here:
In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.
Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.
Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.
Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.
13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.
40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.
The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:
As of August 2012:
â€¢ 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
â€¢ 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.
Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).
January 25th, 2013
(This post was originally published on Mob76 Outlook as a guest post)
HMV’s recent demise was hardly a surprise. The writing has been on the wall for so long that it’s been painted over and graffitied many times since.
If we rewind ten years to 2003, the conversation around retail was focused on the importance of the web , and although not all major retailers had made the move to reinvent their web presence, it was on the agenda.
In many cases this move took some time to happen and latecomers lost market share and revenue opportunities… but those up against the online leaders such as Amazon (launched 1995) and Play.com (launched 1998) lost much more. They eventually lost a business.
To read the full post please click here Mob76 Outlook
January 14th, 2013
According to J.P. Morgan, online advertising will pass a key milestone during 2013, accounting for one out of every four dollars spent by U.S. advertisers, as they increasingly follow consumers online.
Internet sector analyst Doug Anmuth has highlighted the importance of Internet-connected mobile devices, as well as the continuing momentum of social media platforms as a key part of online’s growing influence.
Writing in a report released to investors last week, Anmuth confirmed: “As consumer behaviour and time spent online rapidly shifts towards mobile, we expect advertising dollars to follow. We are projecting Internet advertising in the U.S. to grow to $43.5 billion in 2013.”
This represents a 17.4% growth on 2012 online ad spending levels and puts online media at 25% of all U.S. ad budgets.
To underline the influence of mobile, Anmuth estimates about half of the projected growth will be coming from mobile web ad spending. Without the mobile stimulus, online ad spending would grow by roughly 10% from 2012.
The importance of online is nothing new, but it’s continued solid growth and our demand to be connected everywhere is impacting all forms of media, and dictating the development of the advertising that we consume.
Ad funds will always follow the consumer, and the consumer is staying connected, no matter where they are.
Full story here.
December 21st, 2012
As we quickly approach 2013, many people are in reflective mood as they look to round-off their year with a 2012 summary post.
I’m going to keep it simple and avoid the fluff by hitting you with some of the statistics that evidence the ever-widening reach of social networks.
So sit back and spend a few minutes taking the numbers in while we rejoice in the fact that the world didn’t end today, at least not yet:
- 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. (source: AllTwitter)
- Monthly active Facebook users now total nearly 850 million. (source: Jeff Bullas)
- 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile. (source: All Facebook)
- More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (source: Uberly)
- 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
- 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (sources: AllTwitter)
- 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter. (source: Marketing Land)
- Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (source:Web Analytics World)
- In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday. (source: Infographics Labs)
- 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. (source: Digital Buzz Blog)
- Instagram was one of the largest acquisitions of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009. (source: Factbrowser)
- According to Followgram’s research, 37 percent of Instagram users have never uploaded a single photo and only 5 percent of users have more than 50 pictures. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- It took just 10 months for Instagram to reach the milestone of 150m pictures uploaded. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, while 50 percent of all Pinterest users have children. (source: Search Engine Journal)
- The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. (source: Arik Hanson)
- The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times per day. (source: AllTwitter)
- Google+ pages appear in search results for 30 percent of brand term searches for brands with G+ pages, up from 5 percent in February 2012. (source: Bright Edge)
- 48 percent of fortune global 100 companies are now on Google+. (source: Burson-Marsteller)
- Google+ cost $585 million and took 500 employees to build. (source: Social Media Delivered)
- Google+ is expected to attract 400 million users by the end of 2012. (source: Remcolandia)
Source – Huffington Post
November 15th, 2012
Earlier this week, a rather impressive online sales record was set by Taobao, a Chinese e-commerce service owned by Alibaba, one of the world’s largest ecommerce groups.
Taobao reported $3 billion of sales in a single day (November 11th).
That’s not a typo, the day’s sales were recorded at $3 billion and according to Chris West, blogger at West is East and owner of the Min River Tea Farm, in Fuzhou, China the closest competitor to this sales figure was 2011 Cyber Monday in the US, where total sales across all retailers was $1.25bn according to comScore.
So why such a massive sales figure on this date?
Taobao.com held a discount promotion to celebrate what’s known as ‘double sticks day’ in China, a Chinese holiday for singles similar to Valentine’s Day.
Here is a breakdown on the figures from the day’s trading, and if further proof is needed on the growth of Chinese ecommerce; last year’s “Double Sticks Day” saw $380 million in sales for Taoboa, so this year’s sales have grown by just over 360 percent.
â€¢ $3.06 billion in sales
â€¢ 109 stores with more than $1.6 million USD in sales within 12 hours
â€¢ One brand (Tmall) with more than $2.1 billion in sales
â€¢ 213 million active accounts
â€¢ 105 million orders
â€¢ 7 million mobile accounts active in the first hour
â€¢ $84 million in sales via mobile just by 2 p.m.
We wait to see what next year brings.
November 13th, 2012
This article was originally published on Wired UK, November 12th, 2012 as a Guest post by Lloyd Gofton:
As we move from an age of mass media to one of social media, are we experiencing a rebalancing of cultural communications towards disintermediated storytelling?
In today’s technology-enlightened civilisation, many believe that changes to the way we communicate are being driven by global networks and new technologies.
Conversely, it has also been argued that our approach to storytelling in the digital world is in many ways similar to that of the mediaeval era where information and stories were shared orally among distributed communities.
According to that rationale, technology is merely the facilitator of our natural urge to tell stories, not the raison d’Ãªtre. After all, are we really that far removed from our humble beginnings? Have oral traditions merely been replaced, or possibly enhanced, by digital networks? Could it be the case that mass media was a step too far and are we now experiencing a re-balancing of our cultural communications as we find a new equilibrium of information vs. conversation?
To identify why we are so reliant on mass media, it’s important to understand how we got to our current situation.
Read the full article on Wired
October 26th, 2012
Yesterday we attended Social Media Marketing 2012, which promised to take a more critical look at social media marketing by focusing on the realities, challenges and what we need to do better, not just the positive stories and back-slapping habits that have become the staple of social conferences.
I have summarised six of the presentations from the day’s discussion,but you can see the full programme here.
1. First up was Mat Morrison, head of social media, Starcom MediaVest Group, who told us: nearly Everything you thought you knew about Facebook is wrong.
Mat kicked off by making some very pertinent points about Facebook marketing, including: “It’s all about the newsfeed not the page.” And confirming that asking people to click the â€˜button’ on the left or above, which is a common instruction when encouraging participation, is fine on the page, but doesn’t work in the newsfeed.
In other words, when you are talking to customers, don’t assume they are on your Facebook page, they are probably seeing it in their feeds.
He also reminded the crowd that Facebook apps can be difficult to use on mobile, and with such significant traffic coming mobile users, the potential wastage is significant. Therefore, always think
When he asked if everyone knew what Edgerank is, only one soul was brave enough to say no, to which Mat nailed the explanation with: “Facebook Edgerank is a gnome that decides what stories you see.”
Mat proceeded to take us through a few examples of brand engagement with Cineworld and ASOS, who make mistakes early and fix fast, and are a great example of a consumer Facebook page. You can see these in his presentation (see title of his presentation in this post)
Mat asked us to remember:
1. A page isn’t a destination
2. It’s all about the newsfeed
3. A Page isn’t a community
4. Almost no one sees Fan posts
5. Think mobile first
2. We then moved onto our second presentation from Ruth Coates, marketing programme manager – Europe – Staples and Katy Howell, MD, Immediate Future, who gave us an insight into Social strategy in practise: How to meet the challenges of adopting a Social approach
Katy Howell made a good point in relation to strategy to kick-off, focused on where to start in social. She confirmed it’s not just about â€˜listening’, it’s about understanding the organisational opportunity for social media.
This means an internal as well as external audit is important, looking at how the organisation uses and wants to work with social, and how social impacts many different elements.
She also suggested that an audit should look at 2-3 years of data, not just 2-3 months, which will not account for seasonal or event-based variations.
Ruth Coates from Staples identified the main internal challenges that she had experienced in relation to developing a social media strategy:
1 Change management & selling the concept
2. Business value: making social ROI-able, i.e. what does social mean to the organisation, not just metrics, but how does social impact organisational value?
3. Harnessing resource in a decentralised organisation, which was amplified by Staples’ huge challenges with multiple territories, multiple offices, multiple languages.
Katy then identified the four steps in establishing that there are enough conversations around the issues related to the brand to justify a social campaign:
1. Shouting out and asking questions – what are these conversations about? Are they just mentions or is there depth, are there questions? Understand this first, then roadmap.
2. Who is talking? Not just who has influence? But who are these people connected to, what are the communities?
3. Diving into the detail – how are they talking?
4. Social media is leaky – social now impacts what goes instore, online, direct mail, photos on Pinterest etc.
Katy summarised this by confirming that social media is data and spreadsheets, and that you need statistically-relevant samples, which confirm the tones of discussions, impressions and ideas, passion, points what are they saying, associations, what specifics are they looking for, behavioural trends.
You then need to create taxonomies to identify correlation and trends.
Strategy is a lot of heavy lifting on the data if you want to get to the goal of adding value to the business.
Once the strategy was ready to roll out, Staples then identified recommendations to move forward:
1. Pilots to validate – Set timeframes, set outcomes, lower investment to see how it works.
2. Phase your approach – in this case a multi-year phased approach, looking at this over time to develop at the pace of your business so that it can integrate with business communications and existing focuses.
3. Tiered implementation – don’t force people to get involved. Pick out pockets where there is eagerness and resource, and demonstrate learnings to the wider business to enable overall internal sell in.
1. Structure the programme and measurement – set up forums to discuss social on a monthly basis internally with teams, best practises, ideas, development.
2. Intensive training framework – ongoing training across the business to continually move forward.
3. Set out the polices and escalation - from guidelines to appearance of profiles and how to react to crisis.
- Cross functional groups – don’t miss out on ideas and opportunities for the business.
- Great communications – communicate the results of social and let people know how the social focuses are going.
- Ideas forum – cross-team and territories to develop ideas.
Since beginning the new social strategy in February 2012, Staples’ EU presence has grown by:
â€¢ 9 x FB profiles
â€¢ 5 x Twitter profiles
â€¢ 7 x G+ profiles
â€¢ 6 x YouTube channels
Staples closing comment: “It’s not about building 8 million fans, we would rather have 100,000 fans that deliver value”
3. The next session that I covered was on The Olympics: Big data meets Big event, presents Big challenges by Naomi Trickey, Sales Director for EMEA, Brandwatch
Naomi gave us an overview of data from recent events and news issues, e.g. U.S presidential election, superbowl, etc and confirmed that big data presents big challenges.
She also asked the question; What is Big Data? Suggesting size is not the only thing that matters, it’s also variety, volume and velocity.
She backed this up with a quote from Scott Thomson, head of research, Hypernaked: “Reality is easily accessible data, but you have to frame the right questions”
Naomi confirmed that Big = Relevant and data needs to be relevant. She also confirmed that greater social buzz does not result from a higher advertising spend, a recent example of which has been advertising around the Superbowl.
4. Jeremy Waite, Head of social strategy Adobe EMEA
What’s the Real Value of 1 million Fans?
Jeremy, who is always entertaining and informative in equal measure kicked off with a great quote on social media from Scott Stratten “Social media doesn’t fix anything. It just amplifies things. If your restaurant sucks, it just sucks harder in social media. IT doesn’t make your chicken fingers taste better or your beer taste bolder. social media is not a good place to go if you’re terrible at what you do.”
He also gave us an excellent example of useful content in the form of the recent 007 Skyfall ticket give away video by Coke Zero.
Jeremy suggested that Coke understand it’s all about content and achieved 4 million views in 4 days, probably with a hefty seeding budget.
Jeremy then moved onto the focus of his presentation, which was ROI, quoting both:
Forrester “90% of content marketers only track engagement metrics”
Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Skittles’ ad agency “Anyone who says they can track Facebook activity to sales is in a bubble and living on a spaceship.”
To make his point about the mismatch between traditional ROI and social metrics.
Traditionally the metrics that marketers have used to put a value on a relationship, (that don’t work):
- Fans, followers, subscribers
- Impressions and reach
- Change in sentiment
- Click through rates
- Share of voice
- Dwell time
Jeremy also used a trailer for the movie Money ball to illustrate the importance of ROI.
In brief, Moneyball is a film about the Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that followed a revolutionary way of buying a winning baseball team, with a tight budget, based on player analytics and a supporting algorythm
Jeremy confirmed this is basically a film about ROI
“This is getting everything down to one number. Using stats the way we read them, we will find value in things that nobody else can do.”
He made the point that we can compete in social with those on bigger budgets.
So what is ROI? Jeremy confirmed ROI in social media is the same as ROI in any other area of business.
“How much do I spend, how much do I make, what’s the difference?”
Jeremy confirmed we shouldn’t confuse social media measurement with ROI, the two are separate.
He recommended Olivier Blanchard‘s book: Social media ROI and ran us through an example of ROI on an Angry birds campaign.
5. Michael Litman, senior social strategist, AnalogFolk gave a great presentation on
Pinterest, what is it and why should you care?
He offered some great statistics, including 51% of interbrand top 100 have presence on it and Pinterest is growing, while Twitter, and other network growth is slowing.
He also highlighted that the usage of Pinterest differs from the UK to U.S, e.g
- U.S 83% female
- UK 56% male
- UK interest sectors – Venture capital, PR, content management
- U.S sectors – retail, creative
- 30% of UK users in the highest income bracket vs 5% in US
- Age group of users is mostly 25-44
- Pinterest first social network to reach 10m unique users
- Pinterest is in fact a power channel to build a strong social brand.
- Pinterest is taking traffic away from ‘traditional’ engines and delivering to retailers
6. Squeezing the social SEO value out of your social media campaign
Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director, SiteVisibility
Google is trying to do something that we can all do instinctively – i.e. identify that this website is better than that website.
Google believes the way it is going to improve its algorithm is to understand the social web.
This is the future of what Kelvin referred to as off-site SEO, focusing on three key areas of Author rank, links and social shares.
He believes that G+ is essentially a tool to answer these focuses as it helps Google to find your content quicker and gave us a number of practical implementation points to make the most of Google+, which you can see on the presentation and include:
- Use chrome plugin – Bit.ly/do share to schedule updates
- Add Google+ sharing buttons to your website
- Use opengraph protocol
- Use Rel author mark up
Overall he suggested we Ignore the haters, because although Google+ isn’t as popular as other networks,Â it is hugely relevant to your Google ranking and that is essential.
He believes Google+ is here to stay, will only become more important and is having a bigger influence than most of us realise.
Kelvin also believes that search marketers make good marketers because people that understand search, understand people, which makes them great marketers.
Social Media marketing 2012 was a great success, and everyone that we spoke to thought it had delivered on the objective of taking a harder look at social, so congratulations to the Our Social Times team.
October 17th, 2012
As you may have seen in the excellent Greenslade blog on Media Guardian yesterday:Â a U.S. newspaper has broken with the trend of staffing cuts, and instead hired dozens of reporters to focus on quality journalism and ultimately boost its print readership.
The title in question is the Orange County Register, published in Southern California, which has recently employed about 50 editorial staffers to add to its existing staff of 180.
As an example of this quality local focus, the paper recently sent 40 journalists and photographers to cover high school sporting events in one weekend.
That’s some serious investment in quality content, but why this change from the usual path of online first?
The Orange County Register’s Editor, Ken Brusic said “Think about a Starbucks model. If each day you went into Starbucks and plunked down $4 for a latte, and the cups got smaller and the content got weaker, chances are you’d stop going to Starbucks. That’s basically what newspapers have been doing as a way to deal with decreases in advertising revenue. The new guys are attempting to reverse that trend, and are attempting in a variety of different ways.
“In the meantime, we are moving as fast as we can to increase the quality of the print edition, because that really is where so much of the revenue comes from.
“The new owners have decided that the way they want to proceed with a business model is to really move from solely an advertising-based newspaper model to a subscriber-based one, and in order to accomplish that – basically, what we need if we’re going to charge more – is more quality in the newspaper.”
The strategy includes increasing subscription prices and a paywall, which is likely to go up before the end of the year.
This move seems to make sense, and counters the failing of some traditional media that falter because they reduce quality to focus purely on web-based services. This approach fails to take into consideration why readers, or anyone for that matter, would access content online if the quality is reduced?
In the Niemanlab piece, Brusic confirmed that improving print first doesn’t mean abandoning digital. It does, however, mean cutting back on “things that seem to be distracting the staff from the basic mission, which is to increase quality first in print.”
“The staff still file breaking news to the web, still understands the importance of mobile and digital, but we really have pulled back from chasing empty pageviews and are focusing really on – whether you’re dealing with print or digital – the core mission should be to build quality in content and build a core audience.”
It maybe seen as a risky strategy in the longer term, but it’s a strong differentiator.
By investing in quality, the Orange County Register is giving its loyal and hungry audience exactly what it wants, focusing on the news that they can’t get elsewhere.
It is also adhering to the number one rule of content marketing, which is quality over quantity, and although the investment may not be rewarded in full, it shows a brave approach to solving the traditional vs. digital publishing question.
October 8th, 2012
As you may have seen last week, the FT published a story titled â€˜PR and news boundaries are being redrawn’ and it was refreshing to read a piece on the PR industry, written by someone outside of the sector, that focused on a future beyond media relations alone.
The piece by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson overviews the evolution of PR and highlights the development of press release distribution services such as PR Newswire and BusinessWire. These services have a reputation as a channel to reach journalists, but are now being re-born as content distribution platforms.
This change mirrors the way the PR industry is changing as a whole, and this is now beginning to be understood from a wider business perspective.
In my opinion, the media relations tag attached to PR, or should I say shackled to PR, has limited its growth and wider potential as a strategic communications advisor. The PR industry should never have been defined by one tactic alone, and in fairness PRs should not have been willing to go along with the hacks / flacks story. This single minded approach contributed to PR’s slow reaction to the digital and social opportunities of the past 10 years, partly because it had been guilty of misunderstanding the relevance.
The simple truth is that PR has the potential to build the story of a brand, and by story I don’t mean misleading the market in the time honoured tradition of â€˜leading solutions provider of industry x’, nor do I mean developing stories in relevant media to convince audiences that brand x is the one they should choose.
I simply mean understanding a brand, its offering and its industry, and translating that understanding into conversations supported by useful content that can help it to communicate the brand’s true potential and vision.
The tactical implementation of that story telling is really where the industry has been hung up for too long, but the PR industry’s strength is that it can build and tell the story, regardless of the method in which it is delivered.
This isn’t a question of tactics, the story is the interesting element, it’s the story that builds interest in a brand, it’s the story that drives conversation and it’s the story that will bring results.
But I digress, back to the piece, which for me came to life in the final paragraph:
“Producing readable, watchable corporate content will not be easy. It will also require much closer integration of advertising, digital marketing, PR and investor relations. But search and social media trends suggest corporate content will only grow. Whether media outlets like it or not, every company will have to become a content company.”
Sweet words of wisdom.
Quality content delivered by the integration of so called â€˜channels’ that can no longer live separate from each other. That for me is the future, don’t focus too heavily on the implementation but tell the story.
After all, isn’t that what the PR industry should have been doing all along?