Tag: Social Media

Facebook’s Changes: Good News For Users, Twitter

Social Media0 Comments

It’s been a few weeks now since Facebook announced a slew of new changes. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably already read thousands of words far more eloquent than mine about the ins and outs of the changes. Suffice to say, like Prakky, it has rekindled my love of Facebook.

Why you ask? Because Facebook has made it all about me again. The ability to curate old posts, add new milestones and generally better tell the story of my life via Timeline has put us – the users – right back at the centre of social networking. And that’s a good thing.

I also remember a time when Facebook used to be lived in your friend’s profiles, but the introduction of the newsfeed changed this dynamic (for the better) but also meant that as you people became more active on Facebook your timeline could quickly fill up with crap. The introduction of the ticker and lightweight status updates has also meant that newsfeeds are more interesting and relevant. Likes, pokes, check-ins, etc. are now relegated to the ticker, freeing up the newsfeed for real updates and making it easier to surface the important stuff.

But, like I said, this post isn’t about recapping the changes, it’s about what this means for how businesses use Facebook.

Where did everyone go?

If you manage a Facebook page, the first thing you would’ve noticed with the changes to ticker and timeline was the arse falling out of your impression numbers. Suddenly Facebook page posts were far less visible and while impressions are never the best metric to measure Facebook success, it is still the best number available as to how many people you could be reaching and how visible your are in general.

Facebook Impressions

Now if you don’t know much about Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, I’d recommend you read this and then come back. I’ll wait.

….

Done? Ok, let’s continue.

Pages that have a low EdgeRank on their posts are going to find it even harder to reach their followers. So if you get low engagement, or your followers have very little affinity with you, you’re pretty much screwed. Even though everything still goes into ticker, you really want your posts to be surfaced in the newsfeed.

Now from a user perspective, this isn’t such a bad thing. The whole idea behind EdgeRank is to ensure your newsfeed is populated with posts that are most important (in terms of affinity, relevance and time) to you. What this means for Facebook pages though is that they need to be doing more to engage their followers and posting content that elicits a response – no easy task as any page owner will tell you!

My prediction from all this is that as it gets harder to reach your audience on Facebook, many brands will shift their efforts to Twitter where reciprocity – e.g. we have to follow each other to interact – isn’t mandatory.

More bang for your buck

With most businesses struggling to appropriately resource social media, it often comes down to where you can have the most impact – and fast. Especially as it is doubtful they are adequately measuring, optimising and enhancing their social programs to find what works on Facebook, Twitter may start to look much more attractive.

Twitter’s ability to reach out and connect with any other public profile is a huge selling point for the platform. In terms of acquisition, it holds far more potential for identifying and reaching out to partially qualified prospects than Facebook. To open the door for a conversation to begin, all someone needs to do is mention they are in the market for your product and BAM! you’ve got an opportunity to talk with them. At the University of Adelaide, we not only monitor Twitter for our brand keywords but also keywords and phrases relating to studying in Australia. This has opened up countless opportunities for us to be helpful and provide information about living in Adelaide, the Uni and the degrees we offer to people who are actively searching for it, many of whom have gone on to apply to study here.

Now Facebook does a lot of things amazingly well and can genuinely be an online hub for your brand, but it doesn’t easily facilitate conversations with people who aren’t already connected to your brand in some way. While Facebook is too big to ignore and you would never ditch your presence entirely, the decreased visibility of brands on the platform may ultimately see more of them focusing their efforts on Twitter where the interactions can be more personal and immediate.

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Life Without Twitter

Social Media2 Comments

It’s easy to forget how blessed we are to be living in the digital era. Technology is now so ubiquitous and an integral part of our lives that it has become, as Clay Shirky says, virtually invisible.

We take for granted our relatively new found ability to quickly and easily communicate with others across the world; the ability to like, poke, tweet, instagram and +1 becoming more trivialised with each passing day. Simply put, we have never been more connected with each other at any pother point in history.

Imagine that suddenly, all that changes: you could still see what was happening but you could no longer reach and connect with your friends and loved ones. How would you feel?

Now imagine, that you’re ability to speak was taken away: you can no longer express an opinion, or tell someone you love them. That’s what happens to some victims of stroke.

Every 10 minutes, someone in Australia suffers a stroke and while they don’t always impair your ability to speak, most lead to some form of physical disability.

Currently there is no cure for stroke, but but the Peter Couche Foundation (and Don’t Speak) and the scientists at the Robinson Institute are pioneering adult stem cell (non-embryonic) research designed to regenerate and repair damage to the brain caused by stroke.

On Friday 16th November from 10-11am, Michelle Prak and I are maintaining an hour of Twitter silence (I’m doing all social media including email, but Twitter is going to be hard enough for Michelle!) to help raise money for them and need your support. Can you help?

Michelle’s fundraising page

My fundraising page

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Is Social Media Squishing The Adoption Lifecycle?

Digital Strategy, Marketing, Social Media7 Comments

Last month, it was reported that Google+ had racked up over 25 million users making it the fastest growing website in history. This prompted some – including some tech and social media royalty – to suggest Facebook and Twitter’s time was up and the future was all Google+. But at a time when some signs suggest we are suffering from social media fatigue, did Google read the zeitgeist and launch the next evolution of social networks or was their timing just incredibly fortunate?

We’re more connected now

The hype on launch was deafening. If you worked and lived in social media, everyone was talking about it particularly when heavy hitters like Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble jumped on and declared it the way forward. The figure often used here is the length of time it took Facebook (3 years) and Twitter (30 months) to reach 25 million users but what most forget in that comparison is that the acceleration in growth correlates with an increase in connectedness.

It can’t be understated how important this was in driving such rapid growth, the fact that we are more connected than ever before means that it is easier than ever to seed an idea provided it is compelling enough to your audience. In the case of Google+, the number of people actively playing in, not just on, social media for work and play gave it a ready made audience.

Adoption is getting faster

The diffusion of innovation has now changed. Instead of a normal distribution, the front of the curve where the innovators and early adopters live is getting squished as we adopt innovation faster than ever before. Before Google+, it was the iPad that smashed all records for consumer electronics adoption in a market that previously didn’t exist.

Social media is driving this by empowering consumers and changing their behaviour to become active participants in media and technology. Every blog, tweet, check-in and status update can cause innovation to be diffused not only faster, but to the right people who can amplify and seed it further.

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

A 'Normal' Technology Adoption Lifecycle

Hat-tip Martin Read for the inspiration for this post from his tweet several months ago (alas, I couldn’t find the link).

 

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Social Media is Beautiful

Social Media4 Comments

It seems that every few weeks social media takes a battering in the news. If it’s not Governments threatening to shut it down, it’s big business not knowing when they’ve crossed the line.

But every now and then, something happens that reinvigorates my passion for social media (not that it ever went away) and why I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than in this crazy, hyper-connected world.

Through a few tweets and a couple of Foursquare check-ins a happenstance first meeting between two friends that I doubt would have been possible in a pre-social world.

It’s a timely reminder of the serendipitous nature of social media and that it is not about how we monetise it, but how it builds stronger, more meaningful connections between participants. In short, it reminds me how social media is indeed beautiful.

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Ten’s Masterchef/The Renovators debacle and why traditional media still doesn’t get it

Marketing, Social Media0 Comments

During the Masterchef final the other week, Ten made the unusual step of scheduling a new DIY show (The Renovators) during the finale.

Bold, maybe. Stupid, heck yeah! Here’s why:

While this cynical attempt to get viewers to sample the new show could be considered a short-term success attracting 1.25 million viewers,  it certainly hasn’t translated into much else while potentially also dealing damage to the Masterchef brand and Ten’s already flagging reputation.

The role of programming whether it’s on television or radio is still very much about funneling viewers from one day part to the next, but what Ten’s and other programming departments haven’t quite grasped is that the audience is not as captive as they once were. Not only are viewers now spoilt for choice with the rise of award-winning niche content on specialist networks (think Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad) but the proliferation of PVRs, smartphones, tablets and the ubiquity of high-speed Internet not to mention the grand daddy of them all – the remote control – means that viewers have the freedom to consume media when and where they want. The idea that you would force your content upon them precisely when all they want is to find out who won is ludicrous!

Despite what some so-called experts say, the television audience isn’t shrinking in favour of other technologies – it’s actually growing. We are consuming more television content than ever before, except we are doing so across multiple media channels and augmenting the experience with social media.

The disrespect shown by Ten towards the Masterchef audience resulted in a huge social media backlash that spilled over into the mainstream arguably causing even more harm to The Renovators who’s ratings only continued plummet in the wake of the debacle. If Ten is serious about rebuilding their share of audience and advertising, they should focus less on using tactics designed to artificially get people to watch their programs and start respecting them and focus on creating genuinely compelling content.

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