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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]

 

Facebook Logo

Where did all my Likes go?!

Facebook LogoIf you run a Facebook page, we have a word of warning – your page’s ‘Like’ count is probably going to drop a bit soon. And it’s not your fault.

Facebook is changing the way it’s counting Likes, subtracting any accounts that have been either manually deactivated or ‘memorialised’ after its owner passed. It’s something that probably should have been done a while ago, but since it wasn’t, it’d be easy to think your Likes had dropped because of something you’d done.

One thing that’s important to note: it seems that this only accounts for profiles that have been manually deactivated. Likes from profiles that could be considered ‘inactive’ because the user just hasn’t logged in for a while will continue to count.

The shift won’t happen immediately though. Facebook says it’ll roll out in ‘the coming weeks’.

It’s not easy to say, on average, how many Likes you could lose. While Facebook says to expect a ‘slight dip’, it’s all relative to how many Likes you have to begin with. If your page only has a few dozen likes, you might not even lose one; if it has a few million, that slight dip will feel a bit bigger.

If you run your company’s Facebook page and your boss gauges your performance based on whether that ‘like’ counter keeps climbing, it’s probably a good idea to brief them as to these new Facebook changes.

Facebook at Work

Facebook at Work – the new workplace productivity tool?

Facebook at WorkNot content with using Facebook for personal use? Well, the social network that already consumes many hours of your day may soon be one of your company’s go-to productivity tools.

Facebook is turning its focus to an office-focused collaborative app on the web, Android, and iOS. To begin with, Facebook at Work will only be available to a limited number of companies involved in a small pilot to start. The platform itself is still in its infancy, which may explain why only a few partners are participating for now. The app will have the same look and feel that Facebook currently has, but there are no ads in the “At Work” version, nor does Facebook keep track of any corporate user data.

Rather than making people endure endless office email chains, Facebook seems to think it’s found a better way. Existing Facebook features like groups, events, messaging, and even the news feed will work well as office productivity tools. But there’s no need to worry about your work colleagues seeing that drunken night out picture or the cat memes you love. There’s going to be a clear separation between professional and personal profiles; Facebook At Work accounts aren’t visible to people outside pilot companies, which is good news for companies sharing sensitive data.

With Facebook At Work, Mark Zuckerberg will be taking on office heavyweights like Microsoft’s ‘Yammer’ and Google. It’s not clear how the social network plans to profit from At Work; so far, there’ve been no details on whether Facebook ultimately plans to charge businesses to use it or what those rates would be. But the first step is getting in the door, and Facebook’s beginning that effort today.

However, I can’t help but think there are already enough great productivity tools for the workplace – Evernote, Trello, Podio, Wunderlist, Redbooth……I could go on. And this is not the first time we’ve seen a big name venture into this field – Google Wave anyone?

Would you consider using Facebook at Work for your company? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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+]

Facebook Logo

Facebook cracking down on Click Bait

Facebook announced in a recent blog post that it’s making changes to its algorithm intended to reduce the prevalence of click bait in users news feeds. The social network said the move was the result of research showing that “80% of the time people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through.”

This change targets publishers like Upworthy, who have achieved huge traffic numbers thanks to the Facebook-friendly “curiosity gap” style of headline writing. Upworthy averages about 75,000 Facebook likes per article.

Facebook remains secretive about the details of its algorithm, but the announcement did reveal some information about how it will sort click-bait from the the rest of the content users see in their feeds. The two metrics Facebook considers are the time users spend on the publisher’s page after clicking through and engagement. “If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them,” the post explains.

For marketers, this is another reason to create high-value, highly engaging content. The new changes aren’t intended to filter out headlines that begin with “You’ll Never Believe…” They’re intended to reduce the prominence of posts their users don’t read, share, and discuss. Many tried-and-true tactics will still work, as long as the substance of the content lives up to the promise of the headline.

 

[Source: Hootsuite; Facebook; TNW; Tech Crunch]

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]

Facebook Premium Ads

Premium Video Ads on Facebook have arrived

Facebook Premium AdsIn December last year, Facebook started testing Premium Video Ads as a way for advertisers to drive branding objectives on Facebook. This week Facebook introduced these ads with a select group of advertisers.

Premium Video Ads are designed for advertisers who want to reach a large audience with high-quality sight, sound and motion. Each 15-second video ad will start playing without sound as it appears on screen and stop if people scroll past. If people tap the video, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start.

Premium Video Ads are bought and measured in a way that’s similar to how advertisers already buy and measure ads on TV. The ads are bought based on Targeted Gross Rating Points to reach a specific audience over a short period of time. Delivery is measured by an independent third party, Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR), and advertisers only pay based on what Nielsen OCR measures.

To make sure Premium Video Ads are as good as other content people see in their News Feeds, Facebook are working with a company called Ace Metrix to help review and assess how engaging the creative is for each ad — before it appears on Facebook. Ace Metrix will allow Facebook to objectively measure the creative quality of the video in the Facebook environment, and highlight performance indicators for advertisers such as watchability, meaningfulness and emotional resonance. The aim is to help advertisers understand what’s working to maximise their return on investment.

With Premium Video Ads, brands now have another way of engaging people on Facebook with compelling video experiences.

Facebook are set to roll out Premium Video Ads slowly and monitor how people interact with them. This limited introduction allows Facebook to concentrate their efforts on a smaller number of advertisers with high-quality campaigns to create the best possible experience on Facebook.

Facebook users can expect to begin seeing these new ads over the next few months.

 

[Source: Facebook]

New Facebook Pages

Facebook to release new look Pages

New Facebook Page DesignYou may have already noticed that your Facebook news feed looks a little different this week. Well, Facebook hasn’t finished yet and next up for a makeover is Facebook Pages.

Facebook is changing the appearance for both Page visitors and Page admins to what they call a more “streamlined” look.

The new design includes two columns similar to the old version, but the right column is now the Page’s timeline and the left includes information about the brand or corporation. In the previous design, both columns served as the Timeline; posts were staggered between the left and right columns as users scrolled down.

In the new design, the “Invite Your Friends” section has moved from the right side of the screen to the left, and the text box for posting switched from the left to the right side.

For Page admins, a new metrics section on the far right-hand side of the Page includes data about ads, Likes and post reach. Facebook is also rolling out “Pages to Watch” for all admins, meaning users can create a list of similar or competitor pages to compare metrics like engagement and Page Likes, a welcomed addition to those who monitor their analytics closely.

The redesign comes less than a week after Facebook’s year long awaited update to the look for news feed, a relatively minor change that included larger photos and new icons and fonts.

The new design is rolling out this week, according to a spokesperson, and is changing for web only. Facebook announced a mobile redesign for Pages last April.

 

[Source: Facebook, Mashable, TNW]

Facebook buys WhatsApp

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16billion

Facebook buys WhatsAppMobile messaging company WhatsApp is to be purchased by the social media giant Facebook in a $19 billion (£11 billion) deal, it was revealed last night.

Facebook announced it’s to pay $4bn in cash with a further $12bn coming in stock. An additional $3bn in restricted stock will be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees over four years.

The acquisition of WhatsApp was, according to Facebook, to speed up the company’s “ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world”. As part of the deal Jan Koum, the WhatsApp founder and chief executive, is to join the Facebook board.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO, said in a statement as the purchase was announced: “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.”

“I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

Part of WhatsApp’s appeal to Facebook is its huge volume of messages with more than 450 million people using it each month – 70 per cent of them active on any given day – and the number of new registered users rising by a million a day.

Mr Koum said: “WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honoured to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”

The statement issued by Facebook said the two businesses were on a “shared mission” to “bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably”. The takeover by Facebook is intended to accelerate growth.

WhatsApp’s branding is to be maintained in much the same way that Instagram’s identity has been retained since being purchased by Facebook in 2012.

The statement added: “WhatsApp’s core messaging product and Facebook’s existing Messenger app will continue to operate as standalone applications.”

You can read Mark Zuckerbergs statement in full here.

Facebook deal: WhatsApp in numbers

  • Total value of the deal: $19bn: $4 billion in cash, $12 million in Facebook shares
  • Deal includes $3bn in restricted stock for WhatsApp founders and employees
  • Over 400 million people use WhatsApp each month
  • 70 per cent of those are active daily users
  • WhatsApp says it is adding more than 1,000,000 new users a day
  • WhatsApp deal marks Facebook’s largest acquisition ever; surpassing £1bn Instagram acquisition in 2012

 

 

[Source: Facebook; Telegraph; BBC News; Reuters; Indepedent]

Facebook Logo

Facebook page admins: See who’s posting

Facebook LogoIf you’re an admin on a Facebook Page, you’ll have seen that Facebook’s started posting a message at the top of Pages to notify administrators that their the names will soon start to show up next to their posts and comments. The feature, which will only be visible to other administrators, will launch on February 20 but will not be retroactive: only posts and comments on or after that date will be identified.

The ‘Learn More’ link above takes you to a Help Centre page titled “If multiple people help manage my Page, how can I see who posted something?” The answer says Page posts will show the name of the person “below the name of your Page next to Posted by” while Page comments will show the name “below the comment next to Commented on by.” Last but not least, you’ll also be able to see who posted or scheduled posts in your Page’s activity log.

For those who manage Facebook Pages with multiple admins, this is a welcome feature.

[Source: Facebook/All Facebook/TNW]