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Who’s on Social Media?

Knowing your audience is key to being an effective marketer, and this is especially true on social media. For social media marketers, knowing your core users on each social network dictates which platforms to focus on. Social media marketing platform Sprout Social recently released a superb infographic that shows the main channels demographic data.

Overall, the data shows social media to be the medium of choice for women. This is especially true on Pinterest where women made up 42 percent of users, and Snapchat where women represented 70 percent of users.

On other networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, the numbers were a little more even, but women represented a higher percentage of users. Men use Twitter slightly more than women and Google+ was an anomaly with men making up 74 percent of the user base.

Social media audiences are also relatively young – 18-29 year-olds make up the largest age group on nearly every platform. LinkedIn is the only network where the percentage of 30-49 and 50-64 year old users outnumber their younger counterparts. LinkedIn users also had the highest average income.

Not surprisingly, Snapchat attracts the youngest users, with more than 70 percent under 25. 62 percent of these users also make less than $50,000 annually, perhaps making them a group with less buying power than the core demographic on other social networks.

Here’s the full Sprout Social infographic and demographic breakdown:

Social Media Demographics

 

 

[Source: Sprout Social; AdWeek]

 

Collaboration

Engaged Employees Engage Your Customers

Connecting to a New Generation of Employees

CollaborationA desire to see the company succeed is crucial for advocates, and this cannot be created by corporate mandate. Compulsory advocacy negates the entire point of bringing employees onto social media: creating a transparent and authentic business environment that resonates with customers.

So what motivates an employee to advocate on behalf of her company? The same factors that motivate her to do anything more than go through the daily motions at work. In other words, if she feels engaged in her work, she’s far more likely to engage customers. In Germany, Gallup found that 81% of engaged workers are willing to provide positive recommendations of their employer’s products and services, compared to 18% of actively disengaged workers.

The 2012 Global Workforce Study (GWS), conducted by Towers Watson, an HR consultancy, measured the extent of engagement in more than 32,000 workers in 29 countries. Employees are categorized as “highly engaged” in the GWS if they commit discretionary effort to achieving work goals, work in an environment that supports productivity in multiple ways, and feel energized by a work experience that promotes well- being. Disconcertingly, only 35% of respondents fit this description. But this year’s study, like previous editions of the GWS, indicates that employees want to be engaged. Generally, a lack of incentives is not the issue. Instead of relying exclusively on reward- oriented programs, companies can attract, motivate and retain talent by changing the texture of everyday work life:

“First… the drivers of sustainable engagement focus almost entirely on the culture and the relational aspects of the work experience. These include the nature, style and quality of organizational life… Second, the impact of these drivers is felt through thousands of interactions — positive and negative, large and small — that play out daily across an organization.”

From Towers Watson Workforce Study – 2012

If corporate leaders want a passionate, stimulated workforce, they should focus on the culture and technology that define how people interact within their enterprise.

 

This article originally appeared on HootSource and was written by Matt Foulger.

Collaboration

Don’t Keep Your Thought Leaders Hidden

Embrace your Inner Thought Leaders

CollaborationFollower and friend counts are only part of the story. When the impact of their social messaging is considered, employee advocates look like marketing powerhouses. The Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that 50% of the international public consider employees either extremely credible or very credible sources of information when forming opinions about a company. The numbers are even more impressive for specialized employees: 65% of respondents regarded “a technical expert within the company” as either extremely credible or very credible, just one percentage point less than an academic expert.

Enterprises strengthen their brands enormously by activating these internal thought leaders on social media. Employee blogs and social media profiles allow workers to build personal brands online and form public records of expertise that also reflect well on their employer. Hewlett Packard, for example, has leveraged the vast knowledge base of its employees by encouraging them to share their thoughts about computing and other topics on personal blogs. These thought leaders aren’t just executives, or project leaders, but people from all areas of the company.

It’s not hard to see why workers of HP, a technology giant, would attract an audience, but is that the case for employees in a grocery store? Or a car dealership? Or a hair salon? In fact, these hypothetical workers probably know more about organic vegetables, antilock brakes, or shampoo, respectively, than any of their friends. One of the first questions we typically ask a new acquaintance is, “Where do you work?” The answer to that question greatly influences what topics of conversation we are likely to pursue with them. Social networks make those conversations visible to a wide audience and confirm the employee’s knowledge.

Adopting these communication technologies for professional use is not a difficult transition for employees. Statistics show that people are embracing Twitter, for example, at the same rate personally as they are professionally.

Today’s workers see social media as a basic way to communicate, so they don’t miss a beat when companies introduce internal social tools like Yammer or Hootsuite Conversations to help them collaborate and amplify external messaging on behalf of their brands. Corporate education programs can accelerate the workforce transition and turn typical employees into social media power users.

 

Written by Matt Foulger. Originally posted on HootSource.

 

Ello

Ready to say Hello to Ello?

The entire internet (well, the geeky side of it) is buzzing about a new social media platform – Ello, the anti-Facebook social network.

An anti-Facebook sounds interesting (and maybe a little bit cool), but what exactly does that mean? And is it worth your time and effort to start using yet another social network. Remember when we all thought Path was going to be the next big thing? Ha! Exactly.

Here’s a quick guide to Ello.

No Ads and No Data Mining

“Ello is a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network created by a small group of artists and designers,” is how the creators describe the network.  When you’re tired of the non-stop ads and weird algorithm of Facebook, an ad-free digital zone seems like a dream.

The company also states that it won’t sell data about you to third parties and calls the collecting and selling of your data, “creepy.” Of course Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social networks and services started out ad-free too and now those services are polluted with ads. Ello acknowledges this and says that if they ever do change their no-ads policy they would lose most of the community and notes that it if does, there’s a Delete Account on every user’s page.

But they need to make money, surely?

Ello is free to use and it intends to stay that way. That’s great, but you can’t hire developers and scale user load with unicorns and pixie dust, as much as we’ve tried. So the team says it will be offering “special features” in the future that users can pay for. So it’s more of a freemium model. It’s worked for mobile games so maybe it’ll work for a social network.

So What Can I Do With Ello?

Like every other social network you can post status updates and photos. Unlike Facebook, and like Google+, it supports GIFs. You can also comment on posts and reply directly to your friends and you can also see how many people have viewed a post and edit a post if you missed a typo before pushing it live.

There’s also a Noise section that showcases posts by people you might not know arranged in a loose grid.

To be honest, we’ve seen all this before. In fact, its biggest feature is a social network fresh start and its stripped down timeline. The biggest drawback is that it’s in beta and you can feel it.

Anything else?

There’s a large list of new features being worked on, including support for inline video and audio posts from YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Instagram and Soundcloud. It’s also working on user blocking which is sadly something every social network needs now. It’s also getting inappropriate content flagging, private accounts, reposts with author attribution, a notification center, iOS and Android apps and private messaging.

Should we sign up then?

If you’re comfortable with all the bells and whistles of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and you’re fine with your information being mined for ads, Ello isn’t for you. The platform is also buggy at the moment and prone to errors and downtime. But, if you’re looking for an alternative social network without ads (or you’re concerned about getting your username before anyone else) and you can handle a few rough edges, Ello is off to a good start.

Ello is currently invite only. You can sign up at https://ello.co to be added to the invite list.

Built to Last?

As for longevity, that’s really up to users. App Dot Net, Path, Google+ and others have tried to cut into Facebook’s dominance of the social networking space. None have done much to stop the juggernaut of Likes. Ello probably won’t make much of a dent either. But it could be a nice quiet place to share your thoughts and artsy photos….and cats….always cat photos.

The Ello Manifesto In Full

Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.

We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.

You are not a product.

 

Source: [Ello.co; Telegraph; TNW; Google+]

Instagram Sponsored Stories

Instagram Introducing Ads in the UK

In amongst the usual pictures of peoples lunch, sunsets, and of course cats, Instagram users may have noticed something new. Ads.

We’d been warned that adverts were coming, but they’re now arriving in the UK.  If you haven’t already seen it, look out for a “sponsored” post popping up in your feed.

Ads will be rolled out “slowly”, the social network explains, starting with companies “already great” on Instagram. After this taster, Instagram said genuine adverts would be “coming soon” to UK users.

“Our aim is to make any advertisements people feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos they enjoy from brands who are already using Instagram,” said spokesman Will Guyatt.

“You can hide individual adverts and leave feedback by tapping the “…” button.

“We’re relying on input from people on Instagram as well as advertisers to help us continually improve the Instagram experience.”

Despite the test post receiving more than 18,000 likes, many users have been expressing their frustration online.

The company was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $750m (£460m), despite not making a profit, and it now needs to start making money and support itself. Ads is the natural way to go and we feel opens up an already creative channel to some hopefully great, creative ways of advertising.

Social Media Security

5 Must-Haves for Social Media Management

Social media has grown from a curiosity to an integral piece of corporate strategy in the space of only a few years. Nearly overnight, companies have brought on whole teams of specialists to craft effective social media strategies and manage multiplying numbers of social media accounts. Companies are hungry for better social media tools to engage their constituents. Below is a list of five features key to delivering on a social media strategy.

1) Scheduling

Social media doesn’t sleep, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to! Ensure your social media management tool of choice allows you to schedule messages in advance. So even if you’re in New York, you can schedule messages out to your customers in Tokyo during their workday.

If you want to take scheduling to the next level, look for a tool that offers the ability to schedule large batches of messages at once. This will be a super useful time-saver when it comes to managing campaigns or contests that require heavy messaging around a certain period of time.

2) Geo

When it comes to interacting with your customers, those in different locations may have different needs, speak different languages or follow different trends. You’re going to want a tool that optimizes your searches and filters your searches by language to help you curate relevant content for different demographics.

3) Keywords

Social media is also an effective way for businesses to keep their finger on the pulse. Setting up keywords or search streams provide insight into what is trendy among your customers. This can help you develop a marketing strategy that focuses on customer’s lifestyles and personal preferences.

Keywords are useful for keeping track of competitors’ activities but they’re also useful for tracking brands that are complementary to your offering. If your product is often purchased in conjunction with another product, keep an eye on the complementary product’s social media activity to take advantage of promotions or recent sales, as these are potential leads ready to be converted.

4) Collaboration

It takes two to tango especially when it comes to being social. Collaboration is key when it comes to developing and executing an effective social media campaign. Ensure your social media management tool enables you to seamlessly collaborate with your team to ensure you execute an integrated social media management strategy.

5) Reporting

Gone are the days of social media purely being about ‘building buzz.’ It is now a line item in budgets as companies invest resources in these channels and there is an expectation for reports which show ROI for social media outreach.

Make sure your tool has the ability to analyze important metrics such as click-through rates on shortened links, clicks by region and top referrers. It’s also important to have access to Facebook Insights and Google Analytics.

The most effective tools will provide the ability to access in-depth granular metrics on the efficacy of your social media programs. This will allow you to determine which messages resulted in the highest number of conversions, which platform is providing the greatest return and which time of day is most effective to drive traffic.

 

Article written by Matt Foulger and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Social Media Messaging and Amplification

8 Tips for Social Business | Part 8

Amplify

Social Media AmplificationWhen you have a piece of content that is a “hit,” increase it. One of the benefits of good measurement and understanding of your data is the ability to hone your messaging and understand what did and didn’t work from a content perspective. Organic social is testing your content for you. Paid social allows you to commit dollars with data-backed belief in your programs and messaging. Invest in promoted tweets, accounts or trends across social platforms or accounts that have already demonstrated the highest yield.

With paid social companies can drill down to microtarget users – either their own followers or people “like” their followers – based on literally hundreds of different interests, by country and city, gender and even device. Companies only pay when users “engage” with the Promoted Tweet in some way, i.e. by clicking on a link or retweeting it. Native ads are also very agile. Members of an organisation can log in at any time, create a message and instantly push it to a global audience as a Promoted Tweet. An eBay-style bidding system means prime ad spots always go for the lowest price, minimizing ad spend. The time-consuming (not to mention pricey) requirements of traditional ad campaigns – design teams, creative agencies and media buyers – can’t make the same claim.
Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Facebook Like Baiting

Facebook clamps down on auto-shared spam

Facebook has introduced measures to tackle the amount of “auto-shared spam” on the social network.

The firm is altering News Feeds to feature fewer auto-shared posts, including Spotify listening habits and ‘liked’ photographs on Instagram.

Facebook are specifically targeting posts categorised as Like-Baiting, Frequently Circulated Content, and Spammy Links.

Facebook say that the improvements are “to reduce stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see. Many of these stories are published by Pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would.”

Furthermore, third-party apps will post fewer stories on the user’s behalf, while auto-sharing applications will prompt users before posting on their timeline.

Auto-sharing is not being scrapped altogether, but explicitly-shared stories will be prioritised over them.

“In general, we’ve found that people engage more with stories that are shared explicitly rather than implicitly, and often feel surprised or confused by stories that are shared implicitly or automatically,” said Facebook’s Peter Yang.

You can read the full blog release here.

[Source: Facebook; E Consultancy]

Hootsuite Social Media Analytics

8 Tips for Social Business | Part 7

Measure ROI

Hootsuite Social Media AnalyticsIt’s important for social data to be relevant to stakeholders within organisation, but often they speak only to the practitioners. This makes it difficult to communicate value, or to make important decisions related to the use or investment in social media for the organization. It does not need to be so. Tie social to the big picture by linking it to organisational and departmental goals. Users can start with tracking the Like, @mention, Retweet or Follow, but tap in to the power to go much further and deeper. Build the capacity for measurement into every social action. Use URL shorteners, like our own ow.ly links, to track your click-throughs. Integrate Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to track on-site conversions or drill in to geographic disparities in data.

One of the more powerful, recent integrations at HootSuite is our partnership with Adobe SiteCatalyst. For the first time ever, you’re able to track the path from social message to conversion and attach a dollar value to individual social messages against Key Performance Indicators. You’re able to see which social platform performs best against certain kinds of messaging, analyze which of your Social Advocates is driving more revenue per message and understand what times of day work best for which kinds of communication. MediaLeaders, working on behalf of The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, ran a compelling pilot study of this capability in 2011 where they were able to directly link room reservations to individual tweets.

Reporting is important. With HootSuite you can use data gained from Adobe SiteCatalyst, Webtrends, Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, Google+ Pages Analytics, Twitter Profile Stats, our own custom ow.ly Click Stats to generate easy, drag and drop social analytics reports shared easily by email. More importantly, you can analyze that data to optimize future programs and messaging.

 

Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons

Social Media Security

8 Tips for Social Business | Part 6

Secure

Social Media SecurityFear over losing control is an understandable barrier to implementing social media across an organisation. It’s important to note that mistakes are preventable. In many popular cases the missteps were handled well and the damage to each organisation was more along the lines of temporary embarrassment than anything permanent, but why not stop them before they occur?

HootSuite developed Secure Profiles specifically in response to instances like these to put a solid measure of prevention in place. This provides an extra prompt when publishing to important branded accounts, preventing errant posts intended for personal accounts.

Limited Permissions is another unique security feature. HootSuite offers multiple levels of account access and places limits on which team members can participate in outbound social conversation directly. The Limited Permissions puts control over publishing firmly in the hands of those who are most trusted. Your social tools should too.

Team members are also easily added and removed as organisations expand and contract. Removal is instantaneous in the event that a team member isn’t exiting on good terms. The now infamous @MarcJacobsintl intern meltdown where CEO, Robert Duffy was described as a “tyrant” by an over- worked intern would have been prevented by using HootSuite’s Limited Permissions setting to limit his access to publish without approval.

 

Article written by Evan LePage and originally posted on HootSource.

Image source: Creative Commons