By removing the ability to search fans by geographic region, Facebook just made it a little bit harder for news organizations to understand whether their Facebook pages are reaching their target audiences.
Facebook explained in June that it was removing the ability to join a regional network: "If you've ever created a group or event and set it so that only members
of a certain regional network could join, that group or event will now
become open to everyone."
This panics data people. "Everyone" is like "miscellaneous" or "all other." It's like putting bunches of important documents in manila file folders, all unmarked.
Ben Parr of Mashable thinks that this is Facebook's "attempt to make [its] platform more open – part of its Twitterification."
This change reinforces the need for news orgs to clearly define the objectives, target audiences and business models for each
Continue reading “Facebook removes geographic regions”
“If [Twitter] had a billion users, that will be the pulse of the planet.”
— from TechCrunch, who received Twitter’s internal documents from a hacker
TechCrunch estimates that Twitter currently has 20 million U.S. users, “and nearly double that worldwide.”
So, Twitter’s got a ways to go, but the document projects it’ll reach that billion in five years, by 2013.
And oh yeah, it says it needs to make more revenue, too. It wants to work up to “$1 per user per year.”
Razorfish, a digital marketing agency, has developed a scoring system for evaluating how a company is discussed in Facebook, YouTube and other social media.
From Online Media Daily: "The basic formula for deriving a brand's SIM
Score involves dividing "net sentiment" for a brand by the net
sentiment for its industry group. (Net sentiment = positive + neutral
conversations – negative conversations/total conversations.)"
If tracked over time, this index can illustrate broad trends in your social media progress. However, implementation could be difficult and time-intensive. You have to ensure that "positive," "neutral" and "negative" are clearly defined and applied consistently – no small task. Also, what's a "conversation?"
This formula weights comments from everyone equally. This may not be appropriate in social media communities where there are individuals whose comments are more influential than others.
In any case – however you do it – do count and analyze your comments regularly and consistently to track your ability to maintain and grow a social network.
Here are two stats (and one really fun tool) about younger audience online media usage that illustrate why it’s essential to segment your audiences by age and gender, at the very least.
- Video: Young men aged 18-24 are most likely to upload video, according to an Online Media Daily story about a Forrester Research report about consumer-generated videos, which are most often used in contests. “To be precise, 13% of users 18 to 24 report uploading online video monthly, compared to just 6% of all other online users.” The report suggests using photo contests if you’re targeting users older than 35.
- Mobile: Teens can be targeted with mobile texts and videos, according to eMarketer’s analysis of a Nielsen report about “How Teens Use Media.” Seventy-seven percent have their own mobile phone, and 11 percent regularly borrow one, leaving only 12 percent (about one in ten) who have no mobile phone at all (can you imagine?).These teens spend 6.5 hours per month watching mobile video clips, much more than the average of 3 hours and 37 minutes across all age groups.
For baseline data about social media behavior, see Forrester Research’s Groundswell Consumer Profile Tool, which groups people into seven types based on how they use social media. You can then slice and dice by age and gender.
In other words, take an audience-based – not a content-based – approach. Don’t plan a news site first based on what you want to do (or can do) and then determine what audiences use it. Decide what audiences you want, research how they use online media, and then plan the site and services that will serve your targeted audiences well.
Even Facebook doesn't have demographics and user info. on all of its users, as this ReadWriteWeb story illustrates. In particular, look at the comments which point out all of the problems with using an incomplete set of data.
Facebook doesn't require users to provide age, geographic location and other basic demographic data when they sign up. Thus, the user data you get when you go through the self-serve advertising program doesn't include all of those people who didn't submit data. And you don't know how many, or how these missing people differ.
Also, Facebook doesn't require people to update their data, which causes other problems. One of the ReadWriteWeb story commenters noted that students who graduate from a high school or college may or may not be counted as students.
Facebook data should not be used for planning your social media strategies and services. You're better off guessing than using this data. Bad data may
Continue reading “Using stats from Facebook’s self-serve advertising program”
Is a Twitter user worth 10 cents a month; a Facebook user, $2.75 a year?
As reported by the BBC, USocial, an Australian company, is "offering a paid service that finds followers."
The estimate for a Facebook user comes from a comment from Jonathan W on a Silicon Alley Insider story that reports Facebook's annual revenue at $550 million. If Facebook has about 200 million members, it works out to $2.75 – a year.
You can quibble with the methodologies, but to me the message is clear: Social media objectives should be focused on building communities, not revenue.
How should you measure the value of social media? Here's a great answer from Pat LaPointe, a marketing metrics expert, "WHY are you doing them in the first place? If you can't answer that, you're wasting your time and the company's money….
…if you can't describe in two sentences or less (no semi-colons) WHAT you hope to gain through use of social media, then WHY are you doing it?"
Pat's blog entry in Online Metrics Insider has a great framework for working the thinking needed to define the "whats." I'll be adapting this framework for news orgs for my talk at the Knight Digital Media Center News Leadership seminar on social media.
Lori Luechtefeld of iMedia Connection pointed out today that under Facebook's new privacy policies, you might only get to know the most "enthusiastic exhibitionists" who opt to share their feeds.
Simply counting friends and fans of your Facebook groups – and of your competitors – is just not enough to understand the influencers of a particular audience and get, as Luechtefeld says, "any real representative intelligence."
You were already limited in what you could know about Facebook audiences because Facebook doesn't require users to provide even basic demographic information. All you really have from everyone is just a name and an e-mail address.
Continue reading “Understanding Facebook audiences just got a little harder”
TechCrunch estimates that each U.S. social media user is worth $132.
Its methodology: It took total U.S. online advertising spending (PriceWaterhouseCooper) and divided it by the number of U.S. online users (comScore). It then took the number of unique visitors for Facebook, MySpace, etc. and multiplied it by $132 to get a valuation for each company.
Facebook “won” over MySpace. Last year MySpace “won.”
TechCrunch says that “this model is an effective way to rank various competing social networks. It bumps down networks like Orkut and Friendster who
have tens of millions of users in markets with very little advertising spend, and bumps up networks with lots of users in higher value markets.”
Not sure if I buy this – I will think about whether this is a useful number for news sites…or just a number.