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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]

 

LinkedIn Influencer posts

LinkedIn allows all users to access publishing platform

LinkedIn Influencer postsAs a LinkedIn user you will be aware of the series of ‘Influencer’ blogs that welcome you as you log on. Since its launch, LinkedIn has restricted this feature to editorially selected “Influencers” such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Barack Obama who publish their thoughts and advice to the LinkedIn network as long-form blog posts. That’s soon to change as LinkedIn prepares to open up access to its publishing platform to all 277 million users on its network.

The company says the rollout is staged, with initial access arriving for some 25,000 English language users of LinkedIn, with a worldwide reach planned for a couple of months from today.

“One of our big, strategic bets for the company is for LinkedIn to become the definitive, professional publishing platform,” says Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn. “We do this because we want LinkedIn to be the place where members can become productive, successful professionals – not just when you’re trying to find a job, or search for another person.”

Reading between the lines, LinkedIn acknowledges that it needs a hook to make it more of a daily, or at least weekly, destination for end users, rather than a place you go to update your resume when looking for work.

The company first launched its ‘Influencer’ network in 2013 with 150 thought leaders, and has since grown that to around 500.

Today, Influencer posts receive high amounts of traffic and see over 20,000 unique views, over 250 likes and 80 comments, on average.

Currently, LinkedIn’s publishing system lets the Influencers share text accompanied by images, with no limitations on word count. These posts are pushed out to the LinkedIn homepage, where featured items rotate between four top-level positions. The posts also appear in an email digest, in the flagship LinkedIn application and in the Pulse app (the news reader app that LinkedIn acquired last year).

For members who choose to participate, the posts will appear on their profiles where they will ‘live forever’ as a part of your professional identity. To reach those who can benefit from that knowledge, LinkedIn will tap into its understanding of users’ industry and interests to better target the right posts to the right people.

“One of the great things about LinkedIn is when you create a profile on LinkedIn, we know a lot about who you are, your industry, your function in your company, etc. – we have great insight into the interests you care about,” he says. So for example, if LinkedIn sees you’re a graphic designer and it sees a piece of content algorithmically trending on the subject of graphic design, it will make the match.

LinkedIn may be looking to deliver more personalised insights and increase user engagement, but what the end result will be remains to be seen. It can play out in a number of ways, but our money is on more sales patter and increased transparency for companies and job candidates.

 

[Source: LinkedIn; Pulse, Tech Crunch]

Linked In Privacy Policy Changes

LinkedIn makes changes to privacy policy

linkedinYesterday (May 13th) LinkedIn made changes to its privacy policy allowing advertisers to place sponsored content on the LinkedIn feed. LinkedIn has also introduced the Privacy Portal, a one-stop shop for users to access all their LinkedIn data. The company says it will also look to “clarify and simplify” the policy’s language so that privacy details are easier to understand.

In its blog, LinkedIn says that giving users “more clarity, consistency, and control” over their personal data remains the company’s “highest priority.”

In the SocialTimes, Forrester Research analyst Kim Celestre also expressed some criticism of the move:

“I expect users will be a bit disgruntled over this, especially if the sponsored content populates the news feed with more “noise.” One of the attractive aspects of LinkedIn is that the sponsored content and ads were non-intrusive. This changes that.”

Some may see this as another attempt to further ‘socialise’ the platform with sponsored content mirroring that of Facebook’s Sponsored Stories. Others will see this as an attempt to develop the earning capability of the platform as it appeases its shareholders.

Whatever the reason, any change to a platforms privacy policy is sure to irk a large number of users. David Jacobs, the director of the privacy project at EPIC comments:

“Some of the changes could be beneficial, such as giving users better access to their data. I think that ‘clarifying and simplifying’ privacy policies is usually code for ‘giving ourselves the right to increase the commercial exploitation of your data,’ but we will have to wait and see,”.

You can learn more about the LinkedIn privacy changes at www.linkedin.com/legal/privacy-policy

Dot Com Crash 2.0

The past few weeks I’ve felt like I’ve been bundled into a Delorean and traveled back to the nineties – a Conservative government making a hash of things, Irish bomb warnings in London, and dot com companies listed with eye watering valuations. Linked In reached around $45 a share last week on its first day and when you look at Facebook (valued at $55 billion) and Twitter (valued at about $6 billion) you’d think that we were in another Dot Com boom. But we all know how the last dot com bubble burst. So are we heading for a dot com 2.0 crash? Very possibly.

The last Dot Com saw internet companies fold very quickly and even those that survived are now being sold at values far less than they were purchased for during the boom (Friends Reunited and MySpace anyone?!). But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Businesses, digital included, need to evolve and offer features that users ‘need’. Looking at current platforms there is no doubt that Facebook will survive, possibly at a lower value. It’s become so ingrained into our social conscious that it’s part of everyday life. Where MySpace failed, Facebook reigned as it got the model right.

However I can’t see how platforms like Foursquare or Gowalla will go on to survive on their own. The only way they could survive is to be bought by someone like Facebook and embedded into their platform. The same could be said about ‘newbie’ Groupon which is already being imitated across the web.

It is an inevitable part of evolution that some will fall along the wayside. So I wait to see the winners and losers of the Dot Com Crash 2.0.