Posts tagged: Facebook

Why Twitter Trumps Facebook

I have to give a hat tip to Jess at PRBreakfast Club for this one. As it turns out, Facebook has some great features, like inexpensive, highly targeted ads, but when it comes to business usability, a Twitter profile is much more useful than Facebook, or even LinkedIn.

The key to Twitter is networking – building relationships (often across multiple accounts, in this business) through tweets, conversations, and spreadin’ the news (cue cheesy music). And since your cousin and your granddad and your next-door neighbor are more likely to follow you on Facebook than on Twitter, tweets give you the business legitimacy unspoiled by cutesy comments from the peanut gallery, or Aunt Hilda’s bone spurs. You know what I mean, don’t you?

So do your research. Follow people in your industry or auxiliary industries. Interact. Converse. Share beneficial information. And don’t bother searching for your high school buddies. Save that for Facebook.

NPR Does it Right!

NPR recently did a listener survey about social media. Honestly? I didn’t know about it until it was finished – I believe they did it on their weekend edition, and I’m purely a Monday-Friday listener. Still. Over 7,000 listeners participated and volunteered valuable information about how they use social media.

According to the article at NPR’s site, NPR learned that their listeners are becoming more social media savvy, they enjoy the ‘behind the scenes’ look at their favorite broadcasters, and that even the newbies in social media are enthusiastic about the returns.

Want to know what else they learned (and why we like their approach)? They learned where to engage their audience, and how. They learned to engage online and offline in a cooperative relationship. They grew their number of followers on social media – probably by thousands. And they most likely gained some valuable information that will contribute to their next drive for support. So, one survey online did all this:

  1. Brought a greater following of interactive fans
  2. Taught NPR what their fans value in social media engagement
  3. Helped their broadcasting personalities connect with fans directly
  4. Provided stimulus for a funds campaign
  5. Increased awareness of their social media strategy
  6. Gave fans what they most want – voice.

We have to give NPR a virtual high-five on this one. And one more thing. Right before writing this article we became following fans of several NPR broadcasters. Success.

P.S. – Hey NPR, Robert Siegel and Michele Norris from All Things Considered? They need Twitter accounts. Thanks for listening.

Why your business MUST be on Facebook

This morning Social Media Examiner posted 11 reasons your business must be on Facebook. Go. Read it. I’ll wait.

Read it? Back now? Thanks.

What we thought was really intuitive about this post was not just the tips for making Facebook pages more effective (like, by adding video and photos; making it useful to fans). It was the customized news feed and the real-time search. Do you realize that these things are game-changers in the way we interact online?

Customized news feed means that Faceb0ok is effectively analyzing what I (or you, or your target customer) reads and likes, and – not unlike Aunt Maddie – targets what they show them. If Facebook thinks I like fair trade coffee (I’d have to say, it’d be right on there), it’s likely to show me things related to that. Fair trade tea, aluminum thermos, news about Nicaraguan coffee farmers. Wow. Now, if it would just stop showing me Cousin Betsy’s Farmville progress.

What’s more? This is really exciting. I googled my favorite salsa the other day and do you know what came up? The typical list of links, but woven into that list were some subsections – related blogs and social media postings. That’s huge. That means that when someone googles my business they might get reactions (good or bad) from clients, former clients, blog posts about us – and the same goes for someone googling any of our clients. The picture below is from search results on Google for “Haiti.” Do you see the scroll bar on the side? That’s because it’s a hot trending topic and as I spent mere seconds on the search page that field was constantly updated with Twitter results, blogs, news, and yes – Facebook status updates.

Soon we’ll get to a point where if I google (or bing, I guess) a local restaurant it’ll show me not just what ‘people’ have to say about it, but what my personal network has to say. Wow – word of mouth gone crazy!

So how about your business? Are you on Facebook?

5 best ways to reach people online

According to the US Census Bureau, 3 out of 5 American households have a computer at home with internet access. A full 77% of Americans know how to use the internet and 73% use it at least daily. So the question remains, what are the best ways to reach them when they’re online? Let’s look at usage first.

58% of internet users are reading or sending email
50% are using search
38% are getting news
38% are online just to pass the time or for fun
27% are using social networking sites

It would seem from the numbers that the best way to reach people is via email, right? Well, how many of your unsolicited emails do you read? Especially if they come from a stranger? If you’re like me, very few. Let’s look at a different set of data. This is online influence on consumers for 2009 holiday purchases in the first week of December, put together by comScore:

28% were influenced by social media
21% were influenced by discounts or click-throughs on Facebook or Twitter
13% were influenced by consumer-generated reviews
12% were influenced by expert reviews

Now, if you’re trying to sell something to the 73% of Americans who are using the internet daily, what are your best bets?

  1. Consumer generated reviews. Sites like amazon.com and epinion.com allow users to rate and comment on their experience with your product. Bloggers (non-sponsored and unpaid) have a great deal of clout as well. These methods work great because the 50% of Americans using the internet for searching will likely stumble onto reviews in the course of their search. Additionally, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can link to reviews of your product creating more clout.
  2. Expert generated reviews. Let’s face it. Some people prefer to follow what the experts do. And if someone like cnet says your product is better than competitors’ you’re likely to generate good sales. Again, that review will appear in search engines and can be linked to on social media sites, garnering even more popularity.
  3. Discount it! You don’t want to give away the farm, but we’re seeing more and more people clicking on bargain offers while trying to save some cash. When those discounts are given on social media sites returns will be amplified, reaching the 28% who are influenced by social media as well as the 21% who click through links on Facebook and Twitter.
  4. Place ads on Facebook and popular games. When people are logged in to a popular game like Mafia Wars you have a captive audience. When they’re scanning Facebook for friends’ status updates, videos, and pictures, you have the same phenomenon. Facebook also generates highly targeted ads for a very low cost. Companies are noticing that returns on Facebook ads are much better than returns on other online ads, and often much better than returns on traditional media ads.
  5. Make a video. Videos are targeted well by search engines and they play a large role in social media engagement. Upload a video to YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Video and start sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. Make it catchy, unexpected, and end it with a transaction-minded call to action. Videos can be viral, when they’re done well. Why not give it shot now?

Social Media Myths

Joel Postman had a great article debunking social media myths. He tackles 5 social media myths that are pretty important overall, and comes to the following conclusions:

1. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Contrary to what some think, Twitter is not replacing email. Don’t jump to conclusions – the use of email may be in decline in some spheres, and its role may be in flux, but email is still a trusted form of communication.

2. The CEO has better things to do than blog. And yes, that’s the way it should be. While blogs can play an important role in a company’s PR and marketing strategy, they are not part of a CEO job description.

3. Age demographics in social media are dynamic. Facebook is greying, LinkedIn is getting younger, MySpace is getting younger too, and Twitter remarkably tends to remain the same. Don’t lump all social media into one category, and if your business is trying to use social media strategically, you may need to turn to a professional social media consultant for their mind-blowing guru skills in navigating the waters.

4. In social media, what you type matters. The use of emoticons (smiley faces ;) and such), spelling, grammar – it all reflects on you. And frankly, it takes a special kind of skill to convey meaning in 140 characters or less. Tight writing, imagination, and attention to detail are important.

5. Social media campaigns aren’t always ‘viral.’ In fact, they often aren’t viral. If you’re looking to start a viral campaign, try some spontaneity, mix it with a bit of amateurism, add a healthy dose of authenticity and you’re well on your way to making an admirable effort towards viral. Social media may well be the medium you use to deliver it, but registering a Twitter account and posting weekly isn’t going to do it for you.

Girly pics

Thanks to Guy Kawasaki at AllTop for alerting us to this study.

It would seem that every night is ladies night on social networks. And that it’s all in the pictures!  It would seem that people like to see pictures on social networking – it’s what keeps them interested. A full 70% of applications are photo apps. And it just so happens that pictures of women get more views than anything else – everyone is looking at the ladies – even the ladies.

faces women

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