One of my clients recently had an issue where a troll had hijacked their Facebook page. Every time my client would post a picture or make a statement about their product, the troll would post, often multiple times, comments and pictures denigrating the product. He also started answering posts from other potential customers who were asking for product feedback. Those were actually his favorites posts to respond to because he could further his own agenda directly with a real person.
Sadly, this is not an uncommon scenario. It is in fact a reason I hear all the time from clients regarding their hesitation to ‘jump into’ social media. “What if someone posts really bad things about the company and the president/board member/my boss sees it?” The truth is, if you jump into social media, you also have to have a plan for managing trolls. There are few…
So much has been written about the ‘demise’ of Facebook and how it’s losing traction with the younger set. Facebook’s audience is changing but that doesn’t mean it’s about to crash and burn. I often hear: The kids just aren’t using Facebook anymore. But is it really true? I did some digging and read a number of articles to really understand what’s been happening to the Facebook numbers. I discovered that yes, teens are leaving Facebook, but Facebook is far from dying. Teens are just turning to other tools.
Piper Jaffray released their semi-annual survey in October, 2013 where they saw a shift from the prior survey done in April, in preferred social media among teens. In the April survey, Facebook was preferred over Twitter with 33% siting the first, and 30% the second. The October study showed a large shift with 26% preferring Twitter, followed by Facebook and new to the top of the list, Instagram, each at 23%. You can read the full article here.
In the US, compared to three year’s ago, overall Facebook users have increased by 23%. The 55 and older crowd has been the biggest reason for this increase. In the last three years, that age group has grown from almost 16 million to 28 million users. And in the same period of time, teen users aged 13 – 17 have declined by 25% while young adults aged 18 – 24 have declined 8%. But somehow that doesn’t feel like the full story. Is it really just the younger crowd moving into older age groups, and not being replaced by the new young teens? It sure seems that way. The largest group on Facebook by pure numbers three years ago was the 18-24 crowd followed by the 35-54 year olds. Now, the largest group on Facebook is the 35-54 year olds, followed by 25 – 34 year olds (source: iStrategy Labs). Facebook’s audience is aging because teens, new to social media, are making other choices.
There are implications for advertisers. Advertisers can still reach a potential teen audience of almost 10 million kids, but that’s 3 million less than they used to be able to reach, and that number is not likely to improve in the coming years.
So where are the teens going for their social media fix? At the end of last year, it was announced that Twitter actually overtook Facebook as the most important social media tool among teens. And there are other, newer social media players too in this rapidly changing landscape.
Twitter. With 243 million monthly users, Twitter is gigantic. According to AllThingsD, 28% of Twitter’s unique desktop viewers are between 13 and 24 years old. When you look at mobile users, 25% of Twitter users vs 19% of Facebook’s are between 18 and 24 years old. And, Twitter’s global audience aged between 15 and 24 is over 3 percentage points higher than Facebook’s (32% to 29%).
Snapchat. Snapchat is the mobile app that allows you to send pictures that are viewable for 1-10 seconds and 15-second video clips can also be sent for a one-time viewing. Snapchat boasts 30 million monthly users in the US and a full 55% of them use it everyday (source: Business Insider). There are 400 million snaps sent per day, worldwide. (source: Craig Smith, Author of Digital Marketing Ramblings). Its growth has been explosive. Snapchat’s primary demographic is the 13-25 age group, though the 40+ crowd is starting to adopt it as well (source: AllThingsD.com). According to Pew Research, 26% of cell phone owners aged 18-29 use Snapchat. Snapchap is only just starting to allow advertising and it’s not yet known how successful that will be.
Instagram. Owned by Facebook,Instagram is also a photo and video share app, but the photos and videos don’t disappear. They boast 150 million monthly users (source: Craig Smith, Author of Digital Marketing Ramblings). 43% of cell phone owners aged 18-29 use Instagram. 18% of those aged 30-49 use Instagram (Pew Research). Snapchat only has 5% of that age group. Like Snapchat, Instagram has been slow to get into advertising, but is definitely planning on monetizing the platform with ads.
WhatsApp. WhatsApp, the mobile messaging tool, has been picking up new users at the rate of a million A DAY. They boast 450 million users to Facebook’s 1.2 billion (worldwide). Their growth has been fairly amazing. And guess what? Facebook recently announced that it’s buying WhatsApp for a deal valued at $19 billion. Not much is known about the demographics of the WhatsApp users, though in general mobile messaging services have high usage among teens and tweens. The WhatsApp user base is strong in India, Europe and Latin America.
Facebook is alive and well and making acquisitions to make sure it stays relevant with a variety of age groups. But there’s no question the Facebook audience base is shifting. Perhaps the teen-set isn’t happy that mom and dad are following their pages, or perhaps that age group has just gotten tired of the platform and favors faster communication tools. Whatever the reason, Facebook remains a social media giant.
There are three types of media: Owned, Earned and Paid. All three of these media types may play an important part in your marketing strategy. ‘Owned’ media refers to channels that you control such as your company Facebook page or blog. ‘Earned’ media is in essence word of mouth. When someone shares your content, that’s earned. ‘Bought’ is media you purchase, such as an ad or event sponsorship.
Earned Media is the best kind of media because it carries with it an implied endorsement. It’s social proof when someone shares your content. But that also makes it the hardest media to garner. It’s easy (well, doable anyway) to write your own content or to pay for an ad to appear, but Earned media requires more work. A reader needs to feel compelled to distribute your content to their network.
Some Earned media examples include:
A shared Facebook post from your brand
A retweet of a company post
A review of your product
A quote from someone at your company included in an article.
This example showed up on my Facebook feed today because a friend of mine checked in using her Yelp mobile app when she arrived at this restaurant. Wow, looks tasty and I’m hungry…
Why is this important? Recommendations matter. In a survey by market research company Lab42, 69% of those surveyed said they ‘liked’ a brand because a friend did.
How can you make your content shareable?
Make sure your content is relevant to your audience
Post your content where your audience is likely to find it
If you are making a special offer, keep it brief and easy to read and understand
Encourage users to write reviews and share them with credit to the writer; ask for retweets or shares
Write tweets using the # and asking for the retweet. Both enhance the possibility of sharing.
Retweet others, share other content on Facebook, share articles on LinkedIn. You never know when that favor might be returned.
Use pictures in your Facebook post; according to KISSmetrics, posts with photos get 53% more likes.
I’ll have ‘earned’ your mention if you liked this article enough to share it with your network. So please share!
Everyone is busy so I’m focusing on these time saving tools to help you schedule your tweets. Scheduling tweets is useful for a few reasons, both for business and personal users:
If there is a certain date/time that you want to remember to tweet a specific message, you can schedule it in advance and forget about it. It will appear on your Twitter feed at the time you’ve appointed.
Let’s say you peruse content in one sitting and come across a number of things to tweet. Rather than overwhelm your followers, you can space out those tweets by scheduling them to appear at specific times.
If you’re running an ad campaign and want your offer or message to appear at specific moments, this can be easily accomplished.
There are a few free products that allow for this functionality and they are very easy to use. Most importantly, in each tool when you first sign up, make sure your time zone is accurate to ensure your tweets will post at the time you actually want them to.
Tool #1: ads.twitter.com
This tool is from Twitter and was added in October of last year, first as a business tools for advertisers, and later available for anyone.
Step 1: Go to ads.twitter.com. If you are logged in on your Twitter account, you’ll automatically be able to get into the tool as you. If you are not logged in, you’ll be prompted to do so.
Step 2: Select the ’Creatives’ tab from the top of your page.
Step 3: Click on the ‘Compose Tweet’ box or icon on the top right of your screen.
Step 4: Click on the “Scheduling” tab and select the date and time for your tweet; click the button (lower right) to ‘Schedule Tweet.’
Tool #2: FutureTweets
Here’s another fast and easy (and free!) tool.
Step 1: Go to futuretweets.com
Step 2: Log in using your Twitter account (authorize the app when asked) and check your time zone settings.
Step 3: Type in the tweet you want to schedule and click ‘schedule.’ Make sure the clock is set to the right time. If you change your mind, use the delete symbol to delete your tweet, or the pencil icon to edit it.
Tool #3: Twuffer
Twuffer (in beta) is another very easy and free scheduling tool.
Step 1: Go to twuffer.com and if you are not already logged into twitter, authorize the app to do it for you.
Step 2: Type your tweet in the top box and click ‘Schedule Tweet.’ If you look on the ‘scheduled tweets’ tab, your tweet will appear.
Tool #4: TweetDeck
Tweetdeck, another Twitter product, has a great deal of functionality, including the ability to schedule tweets. Here’s how you use just that piece:
Step 1: Go to tweetdeck.com and sign in with your twitter account or sign in.
Step 2: Click on the blue tweet icon on the top left of your page.
Step 3: Type in your tweet and click the schedule button.
Step 4: Choose the appropriate time and you’ll see it come up under your tweet.
Tool #5: Later Bro
The last tool is called Later Bro. This tool allows you to schedule both tweets and Facebook posts.
Step 1: Go to laterbro.com and sign in with either your Twitter or Facebook account. You will be prompted to add both accounts.
Step 2: Once you authorize the appropriate app, you’ll be prompted to check your settings.
Step 3: Type in your tweet or post, indicate on which service you want it shared, and click the Schedule button.
All of these tools offer nice dashboards and various analytics. Test them out and let me know which one you like best!