This video from a recent UK Digital Bites conference highlights some of the digital marketing trends we need to take account of for an effective marketing future:
Time and again, we’ve seen that Social Media amplifies – sometimes for good, too often for bad or worse. Say something stupid in social media and there’s a better than even chance that the whole world will find out about it, far sooner than you think.
There’s really only one solution (and even that’s not guaranteed): learn what you should and shouldn’t say on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and all those other social networks. Get some training before it’s too late.
So how do you know if you need social media training?
If your organisation exhibits any of these classic errors.
Social Media Warning Signs
Get yourself social media training fast if your business makes any of these mistakes:
1. Asking open-ended questions (and then ignoring the responses)
2. Getting into an argument and insulting your customers and followers
It was the customer service disaster heard around the Internet. An Arizona restaurateur, fed up after years of negative online reviews and an embarrassing appearance on a reality television show, posted a social media rant laced with salty language and angry, uppercase letters that quickly went viral, to the delight of people who love a good Internet meltdown.
3. Not replying to questions and comments on your social media platforms.
Too many brands simply ignore what’s being said to them, with entirely predictable results. This graph from SocialBakers shows which industries are the best (and worst) at responding:
4. All you talk about in social media is yourself
Only 10% of what you talk about in social media should be yourself and your own products or services. The rest of your discussions should be about things that matter to your followers. Don’t be like this Donut shop, constantly posting meaningless pictures of donuts and drinks to an audience that couldn’t care less (3416 followers but less than a dozen likes per image).
5. Nobody’s talking about you
As you may have heard, Facebook is dialing back its organic reach. What that means, in a nutshell, is that even if someone likes your Facebook brand page, it’s most unlikely that they will see your posts in their newsfeed. That means, to all intents and purposes, that you’re invisible to your followers — unless (a) you promote your posts to them; or (b) you write posts that are sufficiently interesting and engaging that they get shared by the few that do see them (and thus get out to a wider audience).
The Star Wars page on Facebook, for example, despite 11 million followers, was only averaging around 15,000 weekly talks — until May the Fourth (“be with you”), when interest surged and more than a quarter of a million people found Star Wars worth talking about again on Facebook.
6. Everybody’s talking about you (but not in a good way)
Justine Sacco, head of public relations for UK media giant IAC, flew towards Africa in December 2013, blissfully unaware of the uproar caused by her final tweet before boarding her 12-hour flight.
Even though Ms Sacco had a mere 200 followers, the tweet went viral even while she was flying. Her tweet was universally condemned as racist, resulting in the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trending worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Ms Sacco lost her job, her former employer apologised profusely and several AIDS charities received donations from appalled twitterati.
7. You post too often (or too seldom)
How often should you post to your social networks? That depends on (a) your networks; and (b) your followers.
If you’re posting to Twitter, for example, and reaching out to a business audience, then posting (variations on the same information) at three-hour intervals during the business day is acceptable — very few will see more than one post, given the transient nature of Twitter.
On the other hand, posting to a consumer audience via Facebook should be less frequent, because posts are likely to linger more there. Take a look at your Facebook page Insights data (via your Page Manager dashboard) and view “When Your Fans Are Online” (under “Posts”).
Post perhaps twice a day, at times that coincide with most of your fans being online.
Once you realise you need Social Media Training
We would be remiss if we didn’t point you to our range of social media courses: overview here.
- If you want a comprehensive overview of Social Media Marketing, its principles and its practices, start here
- If you want a rundown of the latest developments, check out our Advanced Social Media Marketing course here
- If you want to market your business on Facebook but don’t know how, our Complete Facebook Marketing course is the place to start
- If you’re already active on Facebook but think you could be doing it better, our Facebook Accelerator course could be the one for you
- If you operate in the B2B space, we strongly recommend you learn How To Use LinkedIn Effectively
- If you plan to use social media but won’t be hands-on yourself, you should take a look at our course covering How To Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief
Another year, and by now you probably think you have a pretty good understanding of Social Media.
Perhaps so. Then you won’t mind if we put that to the test, will you?
Strap yourself in as we take you on a journey through 14 Social Media Facts, Frivolities, Forecasts, Fails and Fallacies you need to know as we plunge into 2014:
- FACT: LinkedIn Kiwi visitor numbers grew by a very impressive 53% over the most recent 12 month period. The site grew from 520,000 in December 2012 to 798,000 in November 2013, according to comScore. Two thirds of Kiwi LinkedIn visitors are over the age of 35.
- FALLACY: that teens are abandoning Facebook. Mashable has just weighed in on the topic: “Facebook may have a teen problem. Maybe. Facebook does, however, have a media problem around the now widely adopted perception that teens are abandoning the site, or using it less. Or something. Nobody seems quite sure.” Actually, if we compare (via Nielsen Online Ratings) the numbers of Kiwi Under 25s who visited Facebook in March 2013 (754,000) versus September 2013 (675,000), there’s clearly a decline but hardly a rout.
- FAIL: the online world held its collective breath in December 2013 as Justine Sacco, head of public relations for UK media giant IAC, flew towards Africa blissfully unaware of the uproar caused by her final tweet before boarding her flight. The tweet (you can view it here) was universally condemned as racist, resulting in the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trending worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Ms Sacco lost her job, her former employer apologised profusely and several AIDS charities received donations from appalled twitterati.
- FRIVOLITY: YouTube’s Top 10 Trending Videos of 2013 included Foxes, trucks, animals, babies — and the Chatroulette version of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball. Caution, may be NSFAWAASOH [Not Suitable For Anyone Without An Adolescent Sense Of Humour]
- FORECAST: Advertorial is back in fashion for 2014, but this time it goes by the trendy new label “native advertising”. Why is it back? Because consumers are more likely to trust content that looks like editorial. Why the new name? Umm — if we were cynical, we’d be inclined to suggest a little bit of smoke and mirrors might be involved. There’s a useful Pros & Cons of Native Advertising article here.
- FACT: Google continues to integrate its social layer throughout the search giant’s operations. In December 2013, that integration included the trial of a whole new breed of social ads: as we noted a few weeks ago, Google is doing a thing that was probably inevitable with its social network Google+: It’s testing a new +Post ad system in the form of promoted posts that translates public Google+ content from their brand sites into a display ad that can run across Google’s Display Ad network. The big benefit: the new offering provides a way for those who see the ads to reshare content directly from the ad, leave a comment or question that will be answerable via its G+ account, or even start a Hangout instantly to chat with someone live.
- FALLACY: That Likes are what matter on Facebook. There’s been a bit of press noise in recent months about major NZ marketers who have amassed plenty of likes on Facebook. Good for them, but we’re more interested in those marketers who are effectively engaging with their Facebook followers (the stat that Facebook calls “People Talking About This”. For example, we wrote (back in August) about Made4Baby, This Kiwi brand, which provides natural skincare for babies & children, at the time had only 2,457 Likes but was talked about by 14,300 in a single week, representing 584.2% Engagement — nearly six times as many people talking about the Facebook page as it has followers. Now that’s what we call social marketing!
- FORECAST: 70% of small businesses plan to use the Facebook mobile app for business development and marketing in 2014, according to a MarketingProfs survey. That’s not surprising: 73% of Facebook’s monthly active users now connect to the social network through their mobile devices, according to Facebook reports. That has particular implications for Facebook advertising: standard Facebook ads (those that show up on the right hand side of the page on the Facebook website) don’t display on mobile.
- FAIL: Nokia New Zealand tweeted a mysterious obscenity to its followers in November 2013. The offending tweet was promptly deleted and quickly followed by an apology and a promise to investigate. The company later said a hacker was the likely culprit. Are your social media passwords safe and mostly uncrackable?
- FRIVOLITY: Those who do best on Twitter: celebrities. For proof, look no further than the most popular Twitter accounts. Right now, Katy Perry is on top of the world, with more than 49 million followers, followed closely by Justin Bieber on 48.6 million. Lady Gaga is next, with more than 41 million hanging on her every word. The most powerful man in the world, US President Barack Obama, could barely manage fourth place with his 40.9 million followers. Top New Zealand celebrity: teen sensation Lorde, with a mere 817,000 followers (still well ahead of what we would call the biggest New Zealand celebrity brand, the All Blacks (289,987 followers). Perhaps Tourism New Zealand (53,615 followers) could sponsor Lorde’s Twitter account?
- FACT: Facebook is killing Sponsored Stories from April this year — but fret not, Facebook marketers, the social network will still leverage its knowledge of its users, just differently. The changes, according to ReadWrite, “were in large part due to a lawsuit against Facebook claiming sponsored stories violated user privacy. The crux of the $20 million lawsuit Facebook settled in August 2013 hinged on the social network using users’ likeness in advertising without asking or compensating them.” However “social context — stories about social actions your friends have taken, such as liking a page or checking in to a restaurant — is now eligible to appear next to all ads shown to friends on Facebook”.
- FAIL: Twitter Vine users are filming a scary amount of video footage while driving. Mashable reports that “Whether to yell at crazy drivers or poke fun at unknowing passersby, Vine users are watching and filming their own Vine videos behind the wheel. ‘I speculate that video recording with Vine might cause more visual distraction than voice calling or speech-based conversation,’ says Jibo He, assistant professor of psychology at Wichita State University.” You think?
- FALLACY: Establish a Presence Everywhere On. Every. Single. Social. Network. That ranks amongst one of the worst pieces of social media advice you will ever hear, according to Sharon Michaels. She makes the point that there are just too many social networks out there, and suggests instead that “The saner thing to do would be to take stock of your market, resources, and objectives, choose 3-4 social platforms that your audience is most active on, and use them dedicatedly. For instance, if your business deals with travel, interior designing, landscaping, or fashion, Pinterest would be a lot more useful as compared to LinkedIn. However, the latter makes for an invaluable resource if you are offering products and services for business professionals.”
- FORECAST: Investment in Social Media in 2014 will become a necessity, not a luxury. Forbes Magazine argues that “Businesses are already coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue. As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers.”
We could go on, but we think that’s best left to our various courses:
- If you’d like to know more about how to use social media effectively for your business (big or small), check out our Principles & Practice of Social Media course (next course starts Monday Jan 27, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Monday Jan 20).
- If you’d like specific details of what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube and much more, sign up for our Advanced Social Media Marketing course (next course starts Wednesday Jan 29, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 22).
- If you’d like to know how to use LinkedIn effectively for your business or your career, check out our course of the same name (next course starts Monday Jan 27, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Monday Jan 20)
- If you’d like to know about how social media and mobile marketing work together, take a look at our Principles & Practice of Mobile Marketing course (next course starts Wednesday Jan 29, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 22).
- If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business but think you really should, start with our Complete Facebook Marketing course (next course starts Wednesday Jan 22, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 15).
- On the other hand, if you already have a Facebook business page, we recommend our Facebook Accelerator course to help you take your page to the next level (next course starts Wednesday Jan 22, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 29).
It’s that time of year when the Internet giants crunch their Big Data and report on “the most _____________ of the year”.
Here’s Facebook’s contribution to the mix:
Conversations happening all over Facebook offer a unique snapshot of the world, and this year was no different. Every day, people post about the topics and milestones that are important to them – everything from announcing an engagement, to discussing breaking news, or even celebrating a favorite athlete or sports team.
Facebook analyzed the past year’s worth of these posts to reveal the top global trends of 2013:
Top Life Events
Check out the life events people added to their Timeline most frequently in 2013.
Global Life Events
- Added a relationship, got engaged or got married
- Ended a relationship
- First met a friend
- Added a family member, expecting a baby or had a baby
- Got a pet
- Lost a loved one
- Got a piercing
- Quit a habit
Most Talked About Topics
Take a look at the most mentioned people and events of 2013, which point to some of the most popular topics around the world.
- Pope Francis
- Royal Baby
- Margaret Thatcher
- Harlem Shake
- Miley Cyrus
- Boston Marathon
- Tour de France
- Nelson Mandela
“Election” appeared in many languages, and was the second most mentioned term on Facebook worldwide in 2013. With high-profile national elections in countries like India, Kenya, Iran and Italy year, it’s not a surprise to see it near the top of the list.
Facebook also took the pulse of regional conversations in 16 different countries (alas, not including New Zealand). Here’s what our neighbours across the ditch were sharing:
Topics Shared – Australia:
- Princess Kate
- Kevin Rudd
- Grand Final
- Tony Abbott
- Big Brother
Top Check-Ins Around The World
Explore the places around the world with the most check-ins (excluding transportation hubs).
- Argentina: Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires
- Australia: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), East Melbourne, Victoria
- Brazil: Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo
- Canada: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Egypt: Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt
- France: Disneyland Paris, Marne La Vallée
- Germany: Reeperbahn, Hamburg
- Hong Kong: 香港迪士尼樂園 | Hong Kong Disneyland
- Iceland: Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Iceland
- India: Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)
- Italy: Piazza San Marco, Venice
- Japan: 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland), Tokyo
- Mexico: Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City
- Nigeria: Ikeja City Mall, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
- Poland: Temat Rzeka, Warsaw
- Russia: Центральный парк культуры и отдыха им. Горького | Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure
- Singapore: Marina Bay Sands
- South Africa: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
- South Korea: Myungdong Street, Seoul
- Spain: Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Catalonia
- Sweden: Friends Arena, Solna
- Taiwan: 花園夜市Tainan Flower Night Market, Tainan City
- Turkey: Taksim Square, Istanbul
- United Kingdom: The 02, London
- United States: Disneyland, Anaheim, California
We’re still waiting on Google to publish its most popular searches of 2013, but here’s Bing’s list.
New Zealand has been a little obsessed with The Hobbit in the lead-up to the world premiere — well, the NZ media have, anyway, with more television coverage devoted to the meanderings of Middle Earthers than with anything since the Rugby World Cup.
But, we wondered, has all this media attention translated into word of mouth amongst the people? What do us ordinary folks think about all this palaver? Are we mere mortals talking about The Hobbit as much as we might?
We delved into our ongoing monitor of some 8000 NZ and NZ-related Facebook pages to find out.
If we look back to the beginning of 2012, we find that The Hobbit‘s Facebook page had 385,739 likes and 8,202 People Talking About the page on the 29th of January.
Fast-forward ten months to today, 1 December 2012 (with the movie’s release just under two weeks away), and those numbers read 830,164 likes and 120,395 People Talking. Massive gains, especially when it comes to the buzz.
There’s a bit more to Middle Earth than just The Hobbit, of course. There’s Air New Zealand and its Hobbit-themed marketing, another 68,633 chatting about the inhabitants of the Shire:
Add in another 30,167 supporting 100% Pure New Zealand as our tourism marketing kicks into full swing behind the movie:
And, of course, let’s not forget our very own Sir Peter Jackson, whose own Facebook page has been attracting the attention of another 92,935 wanting to be heard.
And last, but by no means least, there’s the mothership itself, the Facebook page patrolled by nearly eleven million followers of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. 236,547 are Talking About that page — and you can be assured that a healthy number of those are focussed on The Hobbit round about now.
Add up all the chitchat (just on these official pages) and that translates to more than half a million Facebook mentions of The Precious, just by one simple measure alone. Not all Kiwis, of course, but clearly the Crowd is indeed Wise when it comes to the Third Age.
The Hobbit Likes: Trending Upwards
We took a look at the three primary Hobbit-related Facebook pages (The Hobbit, Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings Trilogy) over the last three months. Once we indexed the pages against their starting positions (i.e. the number of Likes for the first week shown), we saw steady growth, with people Liking The Hobbit up nearly a quarter in that time period:
Our conclusion from all this number-crunching: The Hobbit has indeed attracted solid word of mouth thus far, both locally and internationally, not just media hype. With two more movies still to go, we can expect the buzzing to continue for the next eighteen months, at least.