Socially Devoted Preview: Top 10 Airlines on Twitter

Among some early returns from our Socially Devoted initiative for Q1 2014 is the information on which Airline brands have the best difference between Answered and Unanswered Questions on Twitter.

In this Twitter-specific category American Airlines leads the way with over 9,000 questions answered. Interestingly, US Airways comes in at fourth, proving that despite their major social media miscue on April 14th, they are generally very responsive on social media and can be counted on for consistent social support. The general trend common to these 10 airlines is that they are answering more questions than the top 10 airlines did last quarter, which we applaud!

For the rest of our Socially Devoted findings, keep posted to this blog.


Written by Phillip Ross, Social Media Analyst. SocialBakers is where this story originally appeared.

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Social media affecting teens’ concepts of friendship, intimacy

Young people feel socially supported by having large networks of on-line friends they may never see

 

Social media is affecting the way kids look at friendship and intimacy, according to researchers.

The typical teenager has 300 Facebook friends and 79 Twitter followers, the Pew Internet and American Life project found in its report, Teens, Social Media, and Privacy. And some have many more.

The 2013 study also says the norms around privacy are changing, and the majority of teens post photos and personal information about themselves for all their on-line contacts to see.

More recent survey data released last week by the Canadian non-profit digital literacy group MediaSmarts shows Canadian youth do take some steps to protect their privacy – for example, by not posting their contact information on social media.

But the paper, Online Privacy, Online Publicity, also points out that most kids have only a limited understanding of things such as privacy policies, geo-location services and the implications of sharing their passwords.

The research contributes to an emerging picture of how teens’ ideas about friendship and intimacy have been influenced by their immersion in the on-line world, says Patricia Greenfield, a UCLA developmental psychologist and the director of the Children’s Digital Media Center @ Los Angeles.

In her own research, Greenfield has found that young people feel socially supported by having large networks of on-line friends, and these are not necessarily friends they ever see face-to-face.

“We found in our study that people, college students, are not getting a sense of social support from being on the phone. They’re getting social support through bigger networks and having a sense that their audience is large.”

Teen social interaction

Patricia Greenfield, a UCLA developmental psychologist, has seen a decline in intimate friendships between young people as a result of their use of social media. Instead, many young people now derive personal support and affirmation from “likes” and feedback to their postings. (CBC)

The result is a decline in intimate friendships, Greenfield says. Instead, many young people now derive personal support and affirmation from “likes” and feedback to their postings.

“The whole idea behind intimacy is self-disclosure. Now they’re doing self-disclosure to an audience of hundreds.”

Other research at UCLA shows teens’ increasingly preferred mode of communication with their friends, texting, makes them feel less connected and bonded than face-to-face communication.

Graduate student Lauren Sherman studied various forms of communication between pairs of friends. She found the closer the experience was to in-person conversation, the more emotionally connected the friends felt. For example, video chat rated higher than a phone call, but the phone created a closer connection than texting.

“I don’t think digital communication in itself is a bad thing,” said Sherman, “but if we’re losing out on opportunities to connect with people as well as we can, that’s a problem.”

Studies have estimated teens typically send more than 3,000 texts a month.

Greenfield says that indicates kids are opting for efficiency of connection over intimacy.


By Pauline Dakin, CBC News. This article is originally appeared on CBC News

STUDY: SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T REPLACING TRADITIONAL NEWS OUTLETS AT ALL

THE MEDIA INSIGHT PROJECT–A JOINT EFFORT BETWEEN THE AMERICAN PRESS INSTITUTE (API), THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, AND NORC AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO–TAKES A LOOK AT THE “PERSONAL NEWS CYCLE” AND HOW AMERICANS CONSUME THE NEWS.

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.

© Copyright 2014. The Media Insight Project

The research indicates that nearly half of Americans with Internet access sign up for news alerts of some kind. (Not surprising.) And people with smartphones were “three times as likely to get news through social media as those without smart phones,” and “twice as likely to use search engines and aggregators for news.” (Also not very surprising.)

What is interesting, though, is that the overwhelming majority of Americans have no problem relying on multiple information channels to get their news. Although conventional wisdom might suggest otherwise, loyalty to a few primary sources just wasn’t there. “It’s not like people just watch television, or go to a newspaper, or go to a website,” Jennifer Agiesta, director of AP Polling, tells Fast Company. “The biggest lesson is that people are open to getting news in any way that happens to be convenient at that time.”

Social media, for example, isn’t “replacing” traditional news outlets. Instead, it’s adding to the existing news cycle and augmenting it in a way that wasn’t there a decade ago. According to the findings, four in 10 Americans said they got their news from social media like Twitter and Facebook. But more than 80% said they also go directly to news organization websites for updates, too. Just because they found out a celebrity died on Twitter isn’t going to dissuade them from reading an obituary later.

© Copyright 2014. The Media Insight Project

In other words, our current news landscape offers information at varying metabolisms, depending on what’s required. And readers have no problem calibrating to this: They’ll turn to local news for weather updates, Eater for restaurant recommendations, theNew York Times for the debt crisis, and check Twitter for BuzzFeed posts in between. In the quote-unquote information economy, there appears to be plenty to go around. “Even with new technology, the majority of Americans said they just love following the news,” says Agiesta. She pauses, before adding with a laugh, “Even if they don’t like paying for it.”


Written by Chris Gayomali. Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers technology and culture. His work has also appeared in The WeekTIMEMen’s JournalThe Atlantic, andEsquire, among other places. Reach him: cgayomali@fastcompany.com, and/or follow him on Twitter for bad jokes: @chrisgayomali. This article is originally appeared on Fast Company

Study: Bad weather sours online reviews

If you’re not already reading online reviews with a large grain of salt, here’s even more reason to do so. 

A recent Georgia Tech/Yahoo Lab study of online restaurant reviews finds that weather is associated with the positive or negative nature of online reviews. 

From Eater

Customers who visit a restaurant on a rainy day are more likely to leave a negative review, while customers who review a restaurant on a warm sunny day are more likely to leave a positive review. 

Also, during snowy days, users rate restaurants lower than other days. 

The study’s abstract states that it has “implications for designing online recommendation sites, and in general, social media and online communities.” 

Some other findings: 

  • There are lower ratings and a higher number of reviews in July and August.
  • The highest ratings come in November.
  • Areas with a high concentration of educated people see more reviews—three times more, in fact—than places where fewer than 10 percent have diplomas.

Will the study lead to change in online review sites? Maybe. For now, if you’re doing marketing for a restaurant, consider building a weather-control machine.

 

About the author

Kevin Allen has developed social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and created content for major brands across multiple social platforms. Previously, he served as an editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-TimesESPNChicago.com, FoxSports.com and Ragan Communications. As a reporter, Kevin has covered MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA, NCAA football, national political campaigns, backyard barbecues and just about everything in between. He’s been a contributor to PR Daily since its launch.

New Research Shows Which Social Networks Ideal for Marketers

Which platforms are most relevant to social media marketing right now? Marketers need to know where (and how) they should focus their efforts for maximum ROI.

This article gives you four major research findings from reports tracking trends in social media marketing and the content that works best on each.

#1: People Spend More Time on Visual Networks

It’s impossible to miss the powerful effect of visual content on the social web. It can significantly enhance a brand’s marketing objectives by generating more customer interest and prompting prospects to take desired actions.

As an example of the power of pictures, consider that Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram each gained over 10 million visitors in 2012, thanks to eye-catching content. Numbers from Statista numbers shared on Mediabistro show that users spend more time on Pinterest (1:17 minutes) or Tumblr (1:38 minutes) than on Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Google+ combined.

social network use stats from comscore

Visual social networks get more time from users than non-visual networks.

If you’re looking for ways to incorporate visual content into your own social media strategy, one of the key things you can do is include one or more high-quality images in all of your blog posts. (Don’t forget to add an ALT attribute in the image properties to help your SEO!)

You can also leverage real-time photo sharing. Customers and followers are used to seeing staged photos that highlight your products and the best parts of your company. Sharing impromptu pictures can be equally compelling when shared in real time.

When you do post product or brand pictures on networks like Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, allow others to use your images in exchange for a link back to your site.

Don’t forget video! YouTube is the second-largest search engine (after Google, which coincidentally owns YouTube). Videos uploaded to YouTube do very well in searchand boost your site’s ranking. Interviews, Q&As, product demos or tips are popular with a wide audience beyond your current followers.

heygirl meme

Even if you don’t sell tangible products, your brand can still leverage visual content by using memes.

Finally, don’t give up on memes, which are especially popular on Tumblr. For the best success with memes, make sure they’re witty and match your brand and audience.

NPR did this particularly well by modifying the popular Ryan Gosling Hey Girl meme on their Tumblr page.

#2: Google+ Is Best for SEO

Google+ is finding success with social marketers more as an SEO option than a marketing tactic. While it’s doing better than Pinterest and Tumblr, only 14% of marketers are giving high priority to Google+ in 2014. 23% of those surveyed won’t consider the platform at all.

You should still have a presence on Google+, even if you’re only using it for SEO.

socialbakers social network user preference table

Google+ is widely seen as an SEO tool, rather than a compelling social network.

As you cultivate your presence on Google+, the first thing you should do is optimize your Google author profile with a great image. With an eye-catching photo, it won’t matter if you rank third or fourth on the search engine results page. Your image is what gets people’s attention and lends to your authority.

When you post an article on Google+choose your first sentence carefully and use keywords or phrases. That sentence is part of the title tag and can affect your search ranking. As a bonus, one of the great things about Google+ is that you canedit your title and posts anytime. If you find your post isn’t getting the traction you want, try a new title and lead sentence. That’s a lot of control right there!

As always, continue to publish great content on your blog and Google+. While you’re at it, go ahead and +1 your own content. Why not? Google already knows you’re the author anyway. At the very least, it encourages others to +1 your post as well!

#3: Facebook’s Updated News Feed Affects Page Posts

In January 2014, Facebook updated their news feed algorithm to deliver more relevant content to users. Status updates from pages are no longer treated the same as text updates from users’ friends, because most users interacted with friends, not pages.

What does this mean for you as a marketer? You have to mix it up. Since users may not see or engage with your page updates often, make your posts as interesting as you can. Include photos, videos, links (don’t forget to include a preview image), questions, events and offers.

bored office worker istock photo 5984364

Use interesting and fun updates to encourage your fans to engage with you. Image source: iStockPhoto.com.

In all cases, use the story type that best fits with the message you want to tell.

One more thing: If you use Facebook’s Promote feature and your post has an image, that image can’t have more than 20% text.

#4: B2B Marketers Are Most Successful on LinkedIn

Sixty-two percent of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is the most effective platform for them, with Twitter and SlideShare close behind.

comscore and marketing profs social network confidence gap statistics

LinkedIn is the most popular social network for B2B.

How can you take advantage of the most effective social media network? Take advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing platform.

LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform (previously reserved for a few editorially selected influencers like Bill Gates, Martha Stewart and Joe Pulizzi) to all 277 million LinkedIn members. This could be a game-changer.

If you decide to publish on LinkedInknow that posts with the same basic information found on 50 other blogs won’t be successful. LinkedIn users look for well-written personalized insights, professional expertise and interesting industry opinions.

Surveys are helpful to gauge trends in social media; however, it’s even more important to track your own successes and build on them. You can use both options by keeping trends in mind and using them as guides as your marketing strategy and tactics evolve.

What do you think? Are the survey results above consistent with what you’ve seen in your own social media marketing? Which platforms are working best for you? Please share your successes and experiences in the comment box below.

About the author 

Patricia Redsicker writes research reviews for Social Media Examiner. She helps business owners craft content that sells. Her blog provides healthcare industry content marketing advice. The first version of this story originally appeared on socialmediaexaminer.com

Photos Are Still King on Facebook

 

Most of the content brands post to Facebook includes photos – 75% of all content in a one-month period, to be exact. We examined a large collection of Facebook posts made by over 30,000 brands in order to find which type of post scored the best engagement. There were clear differences between top performers and the rest of the pack.

A little while back, we previewed our upcoming conference, Engage London 2014, by sharing some data on different post types and the absolute interactions they receive. Let’s dive into it a bit deeper now.

Post Types

Again, three-fourths of all posts by the brands we monitored included photos.

Average Interactions for all Posts

By examining the average number of interactions that the different post types received, photos’ dominance becomes even clearer. Firstly, it is essential to segment the monitored pages according to page size. Much larger pages have a wider reach (and often, higher budgets), so it logically follows that each post type would increase its average number of interactions as the size of the pages increase. Photos garner the highest average number of interactions per post for all three page sizes, but it is not until the largest group of pages (1,000,000+) that the difference becomes extreme.

The Top Tier

Looking at interactions among the top 10% of all monitored content, we can see that videos and albums have the same percent share (4% for both) of total interactions as they do overall share of published content. Links and statuses lose some of that overall share of engagement when we look solely at the top 10%.

Conversely, photos increase their share.

Despite all this, our data does not necessarily imply that a photo post will automatically be among the most engaging on Facebook. It simply reveals a common trait that the best posts feature more frequently than do ordinary posts. In order to take advantage of insights like these, you need to know more than just one metric – you need to know all of them.

Written by Phillip Ross, Social Media Analyst. Socialbakers is where the version of this excerpt originally appeared.

 

Different ways men and women use social media and mobile

Social media and mobile use give us a treasure hoard of insights about our general habits as a community, so it’s only inevitable that we find numerous surveys about the two platforms based on one of the most popular categories: gender difference.

These converging platforms are considered to be one of the biggest disruptive trends, as trivial as changing society’s shopping habits and critical as changing government through popular revolutions. And as in real life, men and women differ in using social media and their mobile devices.

We’re already familiar with the disparity in words used by both sexes. We have a comprehensive collation of words used by men and women in their social networks, which, interestingly, showcases the f-word as one of the favorites in men’s comments and posts. Likewise, we’ve shown before in our previous infographic how women dominate men in social media.

Apparently, the gender difference revolves around three distinct areas: our personal and professional relationships, the need for information and entertainment, and consumer behavior. On that note, this infographic is takes a broader look at how men and women differ. There are distinct variances. For instance, men are more likely to use social media for business and dating, while women for relationships, sharing, entertainment, and self-help.

Surprisingly, women ignore paid advertising more often than men. This makes sense because women are more conscious of their social circle and ads are intrusive strangers. Moreover, women seem to use their smartphones in more ways than men. Here’s a mini-shocker: women play games on smartphones ten per cent more often than men. In fact, women dominate men in almost all the top smartphone activities such as, visiting websites, downloading apps (surprise!), messaging, texting, and camera use.


By Alex Hillsberg and David Adelman. Visit realbusiness.co.uk where a version of this excerpt originally appeared.