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Social Media Getting More Spontaneous and Less Personal

Eye on Media, Matt Kapko

Social media is a fickle activity. The more we do it, the more our practices, attitudes and aspirations for its use change. While users generally play to the audience they’re reaching on these channels, they’re also gravitating from one outlet to another to stay fresh and engaged with the growing world around them.

The era of developing our own deeply involved digital profiles mixed with a buffet of social updates canvassed with media is slipping. Detailed status updates are losing luster as quick, impromptu (and even short-lived) activity on social media gathers momentum. Deliberation is giving way to anonymity and more ephemeral activity.

For every Friendster and MySpace of the world, there’s a Facebook nipping at its heels ready to take it down. Although Facebook has become what is undeniably the largest and most powerful Internet-based communications medium ever, it’s success has given rise to the likes of Twitter, Snapchat, Secret and dozens if not hundreds of others. So much so in the case of WhatsApp, that Facebook was compelled to buy the rapidly growing company for as much as $19 billion.

Many of today’s hottest social apps serve a more spontaneous function. Snapchat gives its users the capability to share photos in real time and set a time limit for how long those “snaps” appear (no more than 10 seconds) before, the company claimes, they are removed from the recipient’s device and Snapchat’s servers.

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Infographic: The best times to post on social media


Do you post social media updates when your audience has the highest chance of seeing them, or just whenever you think of it or happen to have a free minute?

If you aren’t posting to a social media site when most of your audience members are on it, all that time you spent crafting the update goes to waste. And you’re a busy person. You don’t have any time to waste.

An infographic from lists the best and worst times to post to all the major social media sites: Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Facebook and your blog. While all audiences are different, you can use these times as a general guide. Here are the best times to post to each site:

Click here to see the best times and the infographic



Fast Company

The way we consume news is a hot topic in the media industry. Startups like Circa are banking on the fact that people frequently prefer their news updates delivered in snack-sized bites. Others, like Ezra Klein’s yet-to-launch Vox, are betting big on readers who might want to wade deep into tricky, complicated subject matter, like the history of the crisis in Ukraine.

A new survey, however, unearthed some interesting data regarding our news consumption: Readers don’t seem to really care about what organization they’re getting their news from, or what device format they’re reading on; what matters, really, is the news itself.

The survey is part of the just-announced Media Insight Project, a joint effort between the American Press Institute (API), the Associated Press, and NORC at the University of Chicago. Its initial focus is on the “personal news cycle,” or how various content platforms and gadgets fit into the consumption habits of Americans.

“The findings suggest the conventional wisdom holding that media consumption divides largely along generational or ideological lines is overstated,” write the study’s administrators in the abstract, “and that some long-held beliefs about people relying on a few primary sources for news are now obsolete.” Worth noting: For this research, 1,492 adults were surveyed over the phone about their media diets.

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Pew: direct visitors to news sites are more engaged

USA Today

Chalk one up for loyal customers.

News organizations invest heavily to court web readers from Facebook and Google search results, but such referred traffic may be fleeting, according to a report released Wednesday by Pew Research Center. Direct visitors who bother to type web addresses or have bookmarked their favorite news sites are the most engaged readers, it says.

Direct visitors generally spend more time on news sites than those stumble onto a story through a search engine or Facebook, the report says. Direct visitors spend about 4 minutes and 36 seconds per visit vs. about 100 seconds for those coming from search engines or Facebook.

They’re also reading more pages — 24.8 per month vs. 4.2 for Facebook users and 4.9 for search engine readers.

Using three months of data from analytics firm Comscore, Pew researchers analyzed 26 of the most popular news websites and their three main sources of web traffic — social media referrals, search engine results and direct visits.

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Facebook Updates Design For Business Pages


Only days after debuting a new look for the News Feed, Facebook on Monday began rolling out an updated designed for brand pages on the desktop version of social network. The changes are meant to give pages a more streamlined look and feel and help page administrators find the tools they use most.

Among the main changes, all posts now appear on the right-side column of the Timeline, so all updates will appear the same on a brand’s page and in the News Feed. The left-hand column will feature information about a company’s business, including a map, hours of business, phone number and Web site address, as well as photos and videos.

Facebook is also making easier for brands and businesses to manage their presence on the site. To that end, a “This Week” section to the right of the cover photo will show key indicators, like the weekly number of ads running, page Likes, and post reach, as well as unread notification and messages.

“We’ve also added new navigation options to the top of the Page, making it easier to access your activity, insights and settings. The Build Audience menu at the top of the Page offers direct access to your Ads Manager account,” stated a post on the Facebook for Business blog today.

In addition, the recently introduced Pages to Watch feature, which allows admins to create a list of pages similar to their own to compare performance, will be opened up widely as Facebook launches the design changes.

Specifically, the “Overview” tab on the Insights screen will show key stats about similar pages a brand is watching, such as total page likes, posts this week and weekly engagement (total likes, comments and shares).

25 B2B Marketing Automation Thought Leaders to Follow on Twitter


I had just stepped off the stage at Dreamforce 2013 when I was asked by an audience member, “Who are other thought leaders I should follow in the marketing automation industry?” I had a very hard time giving her names because marketing automation is made up of so many differing tactics, all of which have their own thought leaders. Without knowing which areas she wanted to know more about, I couldn’t pinpoint the one person she should follow to help her obtain the knowledge she wanted. This question quickly helped me realize that people currently consider marketing automation to be a singular tactic, when in reality it is a combination of many tactics. And to be proficient at marketing automation, you must be proficient at these underlying tactics.

To help better answer this question in the future, and make it easier for people to find the thought leaders they are seeking, I have broken down marketing automation into its underlying elements: Content Creation, User Experience, Search Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, and Sales/Marketing Alignment. Let’s take a look at some of the thought leaders that you should be following within each category.

Click here to read the list of Thought Leaders to Follow on Twitter

Three months of data from media brands on the social web

The Media Briefing

Social media represents one of the core distribution networks for online publishers, and it’s a battleground on which they compete to get their content seen by digital audiences.

Thanks to data from Newswhip, who kindly gave us access to the last three months worth of social media interaction data, we can see the total social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for each of the top 100 publishers in November, December, and January.

January drops for the NYT and Upworthy

Upworthy’s total sharing interactions dropped 36 percent from November to December, and 47 percent from December to January. Figures-wise, in November they were getting 16.8 million total social media shares. That dropped to 5.7 million in two months.

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Why isn’t @Apple on Twitter?


@Google has 8 million followers on Twitter. @Microsoft has 4 million. @Samsung and @Yahoo have a million each.

@Apple has a measly 26,000.

Before shouting in the social streets that the world’s largest tech company has a lower Klout score than you, take into consideration that Apple isn’t really on Twitter. The handle with its name has never tweeted, followed a user, filled out a bio or updated the default avatar. For all we know, the inactive account doesn’t even belong to Apple.

Why does the most valuable U.S. company by market cap insist on not joining Twitter?

For the record, Apple manages Twitter accounts that represent divisions within the company: @iTunesMusic has 5.4 million followers; @AppStore has 2.4 million; @iTunesTrailers has 2.3 million; and another nine accounts have a combined 2.5 million followers.

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LinkedIn has the one thing other publishing platforms would kill for


We’ve been writing a lot lately about the increasingly blurry lines between platform and publisher, a world in which new-media entities like Twitter and Facebook and Medium — and even brands like Red Bull or Coca-Cola — are competing with traditional outlets for the attention of readers. Now LinkedIn, which was already a significant competitor for many existing publications with its “Influencers” program,is opening up its platform.

As my colleague Lauren Hockenson notes in her post, LinkedIn is now allowing any user to publish posts or articles on the site, and also to follow writers even if the author isn’t already in their network. Previously, writers appeared on the platform by invitation only, typically celebrities like Richard Branson.

There are a host of issues involved with becoming a hybrid of platform and publisher, as Jonathan Glick of Sulia discussed in a recent post about what he called “platishers,” and as I commented in my own post on the topic. But the latest announcement from LinkedIn highlights one thing that makes the company a significant competitor — namely, the fact that it already has an existing business that is more than paying the bills and can subsidize its publishing arm.

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Google+: just 35% of users are active


Google+ has achieved 1.15bn users, but only 35% of those use are active monthly.

These figures come from We Are Social, after analysing the growth trends for Google+ year on year, globally and locally.

Is this data a damning insight into the general malaise around Google+ or is this merely reflective of general social media sign up trends?

Registered user numbers for Google+ have shown extraordinary growth between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013, rising from 359m users to 1.15bn.

However, the percentage of actual active users has been left far behind. Currently only 35% of registered users are active on a monthly basis.

By Q4 2012 Google+ had the much higher registered user to monthly active percentage of 51%, but then it only had 435m users. This figure has now doubled.

It’s a similar ratio for the UK.  30% of registered users in the UK are active monthly users.  Let’s compare this to the active versus registered figures of other social media networks.

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