Here are all of the posts tagged ‘stats’.
Facebook unveils Open Graph protocol
At last week’s f8 developer’s conference, Facebook unveiled the next stage of their platform’s evolution, the Open Graph protocol. Described as “Web 3.0”, “winning the Internet”, “advancing the semantic web” or “a great crusade of colonization” depending on which pundit you’ve been reading.
As Stefano detailed so well here last week, the Open Graph effectively extends Facebook to any page on the web. Up until now external tools on a website typically extended to social bookmarking or sharing via services like Buzz, but by accessing Facebook’s vast collection of social interaction data, you can find out who else in your friend group likes the site, and what else they read and like on the site, thus turning Facebook into a mediator of information all over the web.
Already we’re seeing interesting implementations of the protocol come up, such as likebutton.me – a site that tracks what your friends have been liking on popular sites such as YouTube, CNN and Techcrunch. And we wouldn’t want We Are Social’s fans to miss out on the action either – which is why you can now find Facebook like buttons on the bottom of all our posts (including this one).
Every time Facebook releases a new feature there is an inevitable privacy backlash, usually the domain of a few choice experts, but it’s interesting to note that this is extending into the wider Facebook audience as well. A survey out today details how Facebook users are increasingly aware of the privacy implications of the site, with 77% (of an admittedly small sample) having used the site’s privacy tools to customise their privacy options. Could the new Open Graph become hamstrung as more users become privacy aware and opt-out?
It’s not just Facebook
While Facebook makes it all about conquering the web, location-based services are having a flying start in conquering meatspace. This week saw Foursquare hit a million users just over a year since it launched (even Arnold Schwarzenegger is on it). It took Twitter two years to do the same, and as sure as night follows day, this has meant Foursquare becoming the latest startup to be christened “the new Twitter” (seriously guys, can we get this decided once and for all, so the rest of us can get back to enjoying ourselves?).
Pointless analogies aside, the growth of Foursquare and its competitor Gowalla come under more and more scrutiny. This infographic from Mashable shows an interesting trend – Foursquare has far outpaced Gowalla in the popularity stakes since SXSW in terms of mentions, but the feedback on Gowalla is more positive and less negative. As the two continue to slug it out we could be witnessing one of the best case studies possible in whether sheer numbers or member affection is key to a vibrant and profitable social network.
Blogging – for the young and self-expressive
With all the talk of Web 3.0 it can be easy to dismiss blogging as “so 2004″. Yet new research from eMarketer show that the biggest age group amongst those who blog is 18-25; 40.4% of those who write a blog compared to 28.1% from the much larger 26-42 age group. More tellingly, the reasons given were primarily for self-expression rather than making money:
Bloggers of all ages polled by BlogHer and iVillage overwhelmingly blogged for pleasure, with self-expression the No. 1 reason, followed by “fun.” One-half of bloggers wanted to give advice, and fewer than one-third hoped to earn money with their efforts.
A lesson there for anybody wishing to engage with bloggers – understand what drives them to write and engage with their topic rather than consider them as the same as paid-for writers.
As the election campaign in the UK grinds on, the past week saw an interesting divergence in how old and social media have been treating the leaders. After what most commentators have regarded as a strong performance in the new TV debates, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been heavily criticised in the mainstream press – so much so even Conservative bloggers such as Iain Dale voiced their concern. Twitter had different ideas, though. The hashtag, #nickcleggsfault, coined off-handedly by Justin McKeating, spread like wildfire as Twitterers all over the UK came up with ever-more sarcastic and nonsensical things to “blame” on Nick Clegg as a parody of the media backlash. While it’s clear this election won’t just be won on social media, it’s a clear sign of the disconnect between the traditional and new media – and this is an issue that will last long beyond the election.
It’s time for We Are Social’s Monday Mashup, a quick round up of research, news and case studies that caught our eye over the last week and we thought were worth sharing. Here’s our pick of some of the web’s finest.
Crowdsourcing advertising – can it work?
A fine post by Amelia Torode about Peperami’s decision to crowdsource their latest interactive advertising campaign. It calls into question the monetary reward being offered, the inadvertent creative role that Idea Bounty has taken in vetting a manageable number of ideas for the client to chose from, and the implications for agencies:
Maybe it just troubles me as the logical conclusion of an initiative like this is that you don’t need agencies anymore, you simply crowdsource the creative ideas cheaply and then partner with production houses.
The post kicked off a lengthy discussion in the comments section, so get a cup of tea and start scrolling. It’s worth the read.
Trouble At Twitter: U.S. Visitors Down 8 Percent In October
Twitter’s explosive growth of 1271% from October 08 – October 09 was bound to slow down eventually, but recent numbers from comScore have demonstrated that last month “the number of people who visited Twitter.com from the U.S. actually declined for the first time by 8 percent month-over-month”.
Twitter has been working furiously to make its website better by rolling out the new Retweet button, Lists, and Geolocation features. As Twitter loses ground in its home market (and Facebook keeps moving ‘further and further ahead’) the question is whether the new changes will be enough to reverse this downward trend?
LinkedIn works with Twitter, and vice versa
Last week LinkedIn and Twitter announced a partnership that allows your LinkedIn status to show up as a tweet when you set it, or for a tweet to also appear as your LinkedIn status. The rationale? “Because when you’re trying to get something done, you want Twitter and LinkedIn to work together”.
In effect, the move is meant to save you time while you promote your professional identity across the web and cut out having to login on multiple platforms to share the same status/message. And crucially, you can be selective about what appears in your LinkedIn profile i.e. you can set LinkedIn so that all your tweets appear, or only those with the hashtag #in.
SideWiki changes everything
If you haven’t been keeping up with Google’s SideWiki innovation, this post is a good place to start. PR guru Mark Borkowski considers the impact that SideWiki will have on reputation management and PR on the web.
Few people in PR, it seems, have considered the way that SideWiki will change the lives of beleaguered PR folk. In time, this tool will significantly change the way brands strategise, think and exist. SideWiki is going to challenge PR by providing the masses with the tool for the ultimate expression of people power, something uncontainable that will need constant monitoring.
A sweeping statement? Yes, but read on.
Did CoTweet just take Twitter’s business model, and future customers?
Twitter’s usefulness and exceptional growth are as legendary as its lack of revenue stream and business model. The key question here: “what happens if Twitter takes too long and third parties take over the market?”
CoTweet might be doing just that, and the startup has recently launched a paid for service to allow clients to “reach and engage customers using Twitter.” Econsultancy examines the diminishing market opportunity for Twitter, as 3rd parties like CoTweet develop direct commercial relationships with brands and advanced tools for them to manage their relationships online.
People open to marketing in social media
This is reassuring news for those who, say, work for social media agencies.
Performics conducted a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers, which “comprised 100+ questions to determine how various segments of consumers use social networks in their daily lives, specifically in regard to finding out about different types of products and in relation to other media channels”.
The study found an immense opportunity for gaining customers and growing sales so long as marketers “communicate relevant messages in consumers’ language and on their terms”.
The Connected Brands Index
Last week iCrossing introduced the Connected Brands Index, some research out of the US designed to measure a brand’s effectiveness online “not just on their own properties, but also across search and social media”.
According to iCrossing, a successful online brand is made up of five key attributes – visibility, usefulness, usability, desirability, and engagement – which can be measured by looking at 65 different metrics.
This research does not tell you what the most connected brands on the web are, but looks at the top 10 global brands according to the Interbrand study and should serve as future reference for benchmarking. Download the full research here.
This week we’re kicking off what we plan to make a semi-regular feature for your Monday afternoons on the We Are Social blog. A quick round up of research, news and case studies that caught our eye over the last week and we thought were worth sharing.
Social Media: The Next Great Gateway for Content Discovery?
New research released from Nielsen suggests that social media is starting to become the primary vehicle for content discovery:
We continue to see that social media has not only changed the way consumers communicate and gather on the Web, but also impacted content discovery and navigation in a big way. But how? …In a nutshell, there is a segment of the online population that uses social media as a core navigation and information discovery tool — roughly 18 percent of users see it as core to finding new information. While still a smaller percentage than those who use search engines or portals like Yahoo! or MSN, it is a significant figure.
‘Socializers’ (i.e. those who spend 10 percent or more of their online time on social media) cite too much information on the web as one of the main reasons why they turn social media in order to hunt for information.
The study found that these socializers actually use social media as a filtration tool, trusting recommendations and content from their friends and family to wade through the sheer volume of information out there.
Marta Strickland asks some interesting questions about the research which are well worth reading.
How should Neal’s Yard Remedies have responded to comments?
PR Week revisited the Neil’s Yard debacle from May, where an explosion of critical comments for the company on the Guardian’s ‘You Ask They Answer’ series were left unanswered when critics began to grill the company on its homeopathic remedy, and not ‘organic skincare’ as they believed.
Is it realistic to expect to be able to put boundaries around online discussion? Should Neal’s Yard have never taken part in the first place?
As Facebook Ages, Gen Y Turns to Twitter
Recent findings from the latest report from the Pew Internet and Internet Life Project demonstrated that the median age of users across several social networks has been changing over the last year:
Today, Twitter is now the second-youngest of the top four social networking sites. Its median age is 31. MySpace’s is 26, LinkedIn is 39, and… Facebook is 33.
Despite past reports to the contrary, Generation Y now also appears to be moving to Twitter in great number. In fact they’ve more than double their numbers: “37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008.”
Twitter – Retweet Limited Rollout
Last week, Twitter announced that they have activated the retweet button on a small number of accounts. Though its long been possible to retweet posts using third party applications such as Tweetdeck, it hasn’t been possible to forward particularly interesting tweets to your followers through the web interface. According to Twitter:
The plan is to see how it goes first with this small release. If it needs more work, then we’ll know right away. If things look good, we’ll proceed with releasing the feature in stages eventually arriving at 100%.
This move is another step by Twitter, who a just over a weeks ago released their ‘Lists’ feature, to improving the web interface in order to make things easier and more efficient for users.
FEED: The 2009 Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report
Razorfish published their Digital Brand Experience Report today, which surveyed 1,000 ‘connected consumers’ about how the web affected the way they engage with brands and make buying decisions. As you might expect, the research revealed that digital technology is indeed altering consumer attitudes. Some key findings:
- Consumers are largely engaging with brands to receive exclusive promotions or discounts and of those who follow a brand on Twitter, 44% say that access to good deals is the main reason.
- 65% of consumers say a digital experience, either positive or negative, changed their opinion of a brand. And in that group, almost all (97%) indicated their experience influenced whether or not they eventually purchased that brand.
- People who actively engage with a brand digitally–from participating in a contest to downloading a mobile application–are substantially more inclined to purchase and recommend that brand to others.
Back in 2005, as I was first experimenting with social media with my personal blog, I was convinced that I was pioneering social media usage within my network of friends, family and colleagues. Looking back now, I realise my younger sister had actually started using social media a few months before me. At the time she was pregnant with her first child and I remember her mentioning she wasn’t sure how she would have got through her pregnancy had it not been for the Internet and the community of supportive mums she found there. Of course, at the time, I hadn’t put a name to what was to become a few years later one of the fastest growing social media phenomenons: the “connected mums” or “digital mums”.
A recent survey conducted by parenting site BabyCenter found that the use of social networks by mums has grown from 11% in 2006 to 63% in 2009. Mums increasingly use social networks to search for information related to pregnancy, to find tips and information on parenting, and to get recommendations from other mums.
More recent research by Forrester highlights that the Internet is the main source of information for mothers when it comes to making an informed purchase decision. Even more interestingly, one of the findings is that although they spend a considerable amount of time online, mums don’t tend to trust banner ads or search engine ads.
You can see where I’m getting at: if you’re a brand willing to engage with a group of individuals who have less time to spend with media than the average consumer (32 hours per week versus 36 hours), see the Internet as their main source of information, but don’t trust online advertising, and are noticeable users of social networks (31%), surely social media is the answer?
The Forrester research also found that 25% of mothers read customer reviews online, 19% use comparison sites and last but not least, 50% tell their friends about products they’re interested in. Online word of mouth at its best.
As Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of popular UK mums network NetMums puts it:
Mums are a desirable target for many advertisers [...] but please don’t be tempted to patronise us with fluffy nursery-rhyme adverts. If you want to impress us, remember that as well as being mums, we are grown up, intelligent women.
Sites like Netmums, BabyExpert.com or Bounty.co.uk are all very appealing for marketers, but don’t forget, it’s all about engaging in conversations with mums in an interesting (Susanna Scott, the founder of British Mummy Bloggers reports she receives 10 product pitches per week) & ethical manner.
The hype around Twitter doesn’t seem to be slowing down, however few research papers have been published so far about it. So it’s with a gleeful smile that I welcomed the results of the academic study of the phenomenon published by Professor Jim Jansen and his team at Penn State University. They analysed nearly 150,000 tweets to understand how brands were mentioned on microblogging tools like Twitter.
I will focus this post on the results, but feel free to check for yourselves the methods that have been used, they’re very well detailed in the report paper.
Around 19% of tweets mention an organization or a product. Of these:
- 1 out 5 tweets express a sentiment or an opinion, either positive (for 52% of them), negative (33%) or neutral (15%)
- 4 out of 5 tweets are not associated with a sentiment, they are mostly questions and answers. People are seeking details missing from their usual source of information and helping others with their findings.
This latest data is additional proof that brands and products are at the heart of online conversations. Conversation strategies are a requirement for brands and it should be part of an overall strategy. A conversation strategy can be used, for example, to understand why a product is more popular than another, and what could be improved as far as service and customer relationship are concerned. It might also help to discover a problem with a product already on the market and identify what remedy could be taken; users generally have very insightful inputs that should be taken into account.
Listening and responding are even more important, in that they help brands greatly when they want to start a conversation with their customers, or any other people out there.
If most of the tweets about a brand are questions, brands themselves can provide fast and reliable information, which I have no doubt will have a positive impact on the prospect/brand relationship, and then on the client/brand relationship. That’s what Robin was saying when he explained that it was important to “engage in conversations in social media”
Furthermore, the study shows that there can be a massive swing in sentiment from a studied period to another.
It’s probably obvious to all of you who are reading this, but conversations need constant monitoring, whether they happen on Twitter or elsewhere. It doesn’t stop at weekends: buying patterns and therefore exposure to corporate messages evolve constantly, and the strength of a brand is its ability to identify these variations and adapt to them. When We Are Social work on conversation audits for our clients, we often analyse the reactions of individuals to a brand at a precise moment, for example after the launch of a new TV ad campaign.
With the rise of microblogging, clients and individuals are exposed to a constant stream of information and opinions and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. These are rarely monitored by brands, so it’s high time for them to have a look and engage!
The exact stats vary, of course, but both studies confirm the overall trend of higher numbers of internet users spending an increasing amount of time in social media environments. The Forrester blog mainly comments on the landscape in North America, however Forrester’s Rebecca Jennings has a separate report looking at Europe. She notes in this excerpt:
Online European usage of social networks such as Facebook and Bebo has grown significantly — around 30% now engage with social networks regularly, up from 18% last year. Overall, more than 60% of online Europeans now engage with social media on a regular basis.
The Wave 4 Social Media Tracker report shows an increase in most types of social media activity, as the graphic excerpt below indicates:
The rapid growth in some types of activity has slowed as many markets reach saturation point, though there’s no specific stats for microblogging, or of bulletin board usage, which is heavy in many Asian markets.
Apparently we’re all uploading fewer video clips, though looking at the country spotlights, this seems to be based on a decline in the UK, Germany and Korea – emphasising how important it is to consider local market differences when developing a social media engagement strategy.
However I’m not convinced this is a long term trend: as video-capable devices and mobile internet usage proliferates, it’s becoming easier to upload, not less (the quality of these uploads is another matter). Could it be the case that some respondents under-reported their uploading habits? What do you think about these stats?