Monthly Archives: December 2011
Facebook hit 800 million users – 10% of the world’s population!
200 million Tweets a day are now being sent.
Google+ became the world’s fastest growing social media network – gaining 25 million users in the four weeks since its launch.
So what is going to happen in 2012? Will Facebook continue to dominate the scene or is there another social media platform waiting in the wings to take Facebook’s crown?
There is no doubting Facebook’s dominance of the social media sphere. From a user’s point of view it continues to be the platform of choice for sharing news, photos, videos and connecting with friends and family. With the ease of use of Facebook Ads it is also a marketers dream, having access to a database of 800 million users whose demographics can be broken down to where they live, how old they are and what they like doing.
The one factor that continues to plague Facebook though is privacy. Its default settings are still set to public and there are current issues around users’ details being used without their consent in Sponsored Stories.
In my opinion Facebook will continue to remain a strong player in 2012 – although I can see another big privacy storm blowing up at some point!
As Twitter moves from a small information network to more of a business model, like Facebook and Google, I can see it losing its strength as the ‘alternative’ social media network. Its appeal was in its simplicity. Limiting updates to 140 characters and account branding to a minimum kept it simple and, for those who get it, easy to use.
The recent changes; introduction of brand accounts, promoted tweets and topics will bring Twitter the income it needs to make it a viable business but will it alienate its users?
‘Google’s answer to Facebook’ boomed into existence in the second half of 2011. Its ease of use and familiar feel, as well as the addition of hangouts and the use of circles, has already made it popular, although still only predominantly with those with a professional interest in media, marketing and web. With brand pages already introduced and, no doubt, some form of business advertising not far away this will be the platform to watch in 2012.
Let us not forget that Google+ is owned by Google, who own You Tube. I think Google have lots more tricks up their sleeves to reveal to us all in 2012 that will link these three sites, add to the user experience and make it a one-stop shop for browsing and sharing.
This relatively unknown social media network has the potential to be the underdog that takes off in 2012.
Its ease of use, lovely design, simplicity and privacy give it appeal to the social media nay-sayers and those who are tired of being bombarded by advertising while they are trying to connect with their friends and family.
One thing is for sure, social media is here and here to stay. As the way we live in society forces us to be further apart physically – social media gives us the ability to connect. Human beings are born to communicate and share, and social media platforms give us the ability to do this quickly and easily – just pick the one that suits you best!
Facebook pages are designed for companies, brands and organisations to use to have a presence on Facebook and communicate with their followers.
You ‘like’ a Facebook page rather than becoming friends with it and in doing so become a ‘Fan’. This means that anything that the page posts will be seen in fans feeds but they can’t be messaged directly and the page cannot see the individuals profile.
The additional functionality that Facebook pages do have is Insights – which allow page owners to see a breakdown of the demographics of their fans, tabs clicked on and much more – great for marketing purposes.
These are some tips for setting up and maintaining a successful Facebook page:
1. Make sure you categorise your page correctly.
2. Upload a good quality picture that represents your organisation (normally a logo) as your profile picture.
It needs to be a maximum of 180 pixels wide and up to 540 pixels in height.
3. When you reach 25 fans customise your URL.
4. Update your status three to four times a week.
5. Upload photos and video to increase engagement.
6. ‘Like’ other pages and share their content/engage with them.
7. Incentivise people to like your page by running an offer with a customised landing page for fans that
gives them a discount code.
8. Use Facebook adverts to publicise your fan only offer and to drive people to like your page.
9. Have postcards/posters made or a simple line on the bottom of letters that says something like: Become a
Fan at www.facebook.com/social.monkeey to receive….
10. Link to your page from your website/email footers.
Facebook operates in Open Source so the possibilities for customisation and using your page as a marketing tool go a lot further than this, although at this point you might look to get some advice and support from a social media agency, but these are some basics to get things started.
In the run up to Christmas pubs, bars, clubs and alcohol brands will be ramping up their social media campaigns. However, some caution does need to be given as to how sites such as Facebook and Twitter are used to promote the consumption of alcohol.
From 30th September 2011 a set of common principles has been set by the European Forum for Responsible Drinking (EFRD) and Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). These are not law, but following these best practice guidelines will ensure that your campaign can not be called into dispute.
1) Pages relating to or promoting alcohol must be set to only allow those who are 18+ to become a fan.
2) Any inappropriate content posted by users must be removed within 48 hours.
3) Facebook adverts must only be targeted at those who are 18+
4) Avoid using ‘sponsored stories’ adverts on Facebook as you have no control over what images are used.
5) Don’t upload images of anyone who appears to be under 18 (think 25).
6) Have a link to a responsible drinking message somewhere on the site.
If you are in any doubt seek the advice of a social media agency, who can best advise on what you can and can’t do and how to adhere to the best practice guidelines.
- Melanie on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Keith Osborn on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work - Social Monkey on Social Media Workshops
- Social Networking - Why Face-to-Face is still important on Norfolk Tweetup
- Melanie on Norfolk Tweetup