The cohesion of conversations; brands taking a #(pound)ing

iStock_000007087342XSmall.jpgThe hashtag (aka the pound sign, #) is a ubiquitous part of social networking at this point. The purpose of the hashtag is to be able to track and lump a strong of asynchronous messages together for later review and analysis.

For example, a group of people coordinate and use the same keyword at the end of every tweet. You probably saw this at SXSW this year when people were ending their messages with #sxsw. You can use third party sites to aggregate those messages into a single string that is ordered by date to see how events unfold.

However, the hashtag is also being used to track the community's brand engagement. Situations like #motrinmoms, #dominos and #amazonfail now have a public timeline that will remain in place forever. The massive volume of similarly tagged content will make it very easy for anyone to find what happened and see how the company responded across search engines and social platforms.

An argument that people have used to avoid engagement in this space is that it's a relatively small sampling of people who engage in these networks. Regarding the Motrin Moms controversy, an Advertising Age article quoted a Lightspeed research study that stated 90% of women had not seen the Motrin ad that spawned the backlash online. Of the 10% who did, 8% said it negatively impacted their brand impression. While that is a small number, you cannot underestimate the power of small, passionate groups of people who use turbocharged platforms to connect with and influence other like minded people. Wildfires can start with a single match, right?

Internal listening is paramount

I can partially understand when companies have some hesitation in listening to the broad community and engaging. It's time consuming and you have to have a corporate culture to make it work. However, I do not understand companies that do not listen in the social space for employee engagement issues, brand perception problems and platform breakdowns. These types of issues are having an impact on Dominos and Amazon right now.

#dominos: This one is picking up steam now. For more info on what happened, go here.
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#amazonfail: This ramped up a couple of days ago when a "glitch" in the Amazon system starting delisting GLBT titles. People responded to the "glitch" with the hashtag #glitchmyass. It seems to be trending down at the moment.
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[Update] Here is page one of the Google search result for Dominos as of 10:30am on April 15, 2009. Notice entry #3 from YouTube, the top news story as well as the next three stories after the new results.

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The bottom line is that these companies should have been listening and engaging all along, should have been prepared earlier with real, honest, personal responses and taken proactive steps to make things right with their community. Waiting a day to respond is WAY too long, waiting hours may even be too long.

Some things to think about:


  • Listening is more important than ever
  • Active listening can pick up issues before they become crises
  • Community building is key (in advance of an issue)
  • Events are being linked together by consumers for all to see
  • The content of those interactions will live on forever
  • The content also appears in search
  • A few, passionate individuals can dramatically hurt or help a brand in its interactions online

Do you go back through hashtags to see conversations over time? Have you come across them in search results?

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Visualizing the growth of Facebook around the world

facebook_logo.jpgToday at some point, Facebook passed the 200 million user mark. If you've been keeping up with my Face of Facebook global updates you know the details of this growth. If not, what are you waiting for?

As part of the momentous occasion, Facebook released a very cool heat map of the site's global growth from zero users through today. Below are the major milestones. Note the early US and european growth and how quickly it's moving throughout APAC, India, South America and parts of Africa.

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The Face of Facebook Global Report - Q1 2009

C50791CC-025A-467E-8A51-5144D7AD930D.jpgWelcome to my Q1 2009 Global Trend report for Facebook. I prepare this quarterly look at Facebook to help you visualize patterns in the community and have a realistic view of the population free from marketing hyperbole.

As always, I use the data that Facebook provides directly from their advertising management system. Actual numbers may be larger, but we're marketers and these are the people who can be marketed to. Each country's data includes all age ranges. The data compares the populations at the end of Q4 2008 to the same population's numbers at the end of Q1 2009.

Key Takeaways:

  • Large gains in western Europe and the Pacific Rim
  • In total Facebook has 183,771,740 worldwide users as of the end of Q1 2009
  • The U.S. only makes up 1/3 of the total Facebook population
  • The Philippines and Indonesia has massive gains of over 160% from Q4
  • The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ecuador, Macedonia and Oman all had greater than 100% gains from Q4
  • Nearly 40% of the population of Iceland is on Facebook
  • 30% of the total population of Canada, Denmark and Norway are on Facebook
  • The U.S. (14.4), Italy (2.91), UK (2.85), France (2.47), Turkey (2.18), Spain (1.67), Indonesia (1.46), Argentina (1.15), Colombia (1.10) and Australia (1.08) had gains of over 1 million users in Q1 2009

Top 25 Countries by total users

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): US, UK, Canada, Turkey, France, Italy, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Hong Kong, Norway, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, India, Greece, Finland, South Africa, Indonesia, Israel

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Top 25 countries by highest % of total population on Facebook

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Canada, UK, Chile, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, USA, Switzerland, New Zealand, Bahamas, Malta, Puerto Rico, Cyprus, Turkey, Italy, Israel, France, Ireland

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*Note: This chart uses the total population of each country (not the online population)

Top 25 largest Q1 percentage gains

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): Philippines, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ecuador, Macedonia, Oman, Portugal, Romania, Brazil, Taiwan, Lithuania, Austria, Bulgaria, Paraguay, Kenya, Ghana, Hungary, Netherlands, China, Russia, Spain, Tunisia, Thailand, Vietnam

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Top 25 largest total population gains

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): US, Italy, UK, France, Turkey, Spain, Indonesia, Argentina, Colombia, Australia, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Philippines, India, South Africa, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile

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Raw country population data for Q1 2009

Country Q1 2009 Q4 2008
Argentina 3,406,520 2,254,200
Australia 5,412,300 4,327,920
Austria 462,540 258,780
Bahrain 66,340 50,660
Bangladesh 284,660 198,780
Belgium 2,150,920 1,666,340
Bolivia 251,820 184,920
Bosnia 288,880 198,660
Brazil 392,840 209,100
Bulgaria 244,480 136,980
Canada 11,552,120 10,851,420
Chile 4,441,640 4,152,060
China 375,200 220,620
Colombia 4,743,920 3,636,320
Costa Rica 116,140 73,100
Croatia 598,320 491,240
Cyprus 134,260 109,420
Czech Republic 433,700 176,660
Denmark 2,060,440 1,778,440
Dominican Republic 163,060 115,680
Ecuador 201,320 130,860
Egypt 1,270,520 821,760
El Salvador 90,580 67,360
Finland 1,032,140 920,960
France 9,072,360 6,595,300
Germany 1,970,740 1,255,480
Ghana 93,160 53,880
Greece 1,348,920 1,000,320
Guatemala 127,880 93,960
Honduras 72,780 54,180
Hong Kong 1,706,780 1,456,740
Hungary 154,840 90,260
Iceland 148,380 120,520
India 1,602,860 1,072,080
Indonesia 2,358,400 898,360
Ireland 594,640 401,280
Israel 1,028,140 895,520
Italy 8,499,940 5,582,980
Jamaica 91,960 64,780
Japan 314,700 213,420
Jordan 317,800 266,700
Kenya 227,160 130,920
Kuwait 142,620 105,160
Lebanon 441,380 414,240
Lithuania 75,280 41,800
Luxembourg 94,780 87,400
Macedonia 140,000 78,180
Malaysia 1,183,860 851,240
Maldives 41,320 33,880
Malta 65,040 45,820
Mauritius 81,280 57,060
Mexico 2,141,500 1,439,580
Morocco 487,000 369,660
Netherlands 602,280 351,540
New Zealand 738,620 534,320
Nicaragua 43,920 29,560
Nigeria 331,240 212,780
Norway 1,795,040 1,455,080
Oman 35,600 24,240
Pakistan 546,360 376,800
Palestine 89,320 69,660
Panama 279,180 236,200
Paraguay 33,960 19,200
Peru 455,700 295,620
Phiilippines 1,030,340 390,700
Poland 300,880 194,960
Portugal 168,900 84,760
Puerto Rico 636,660 541,640
Qatar 98,020 67,840
Romania 108,460 56,300
Russia 203,180 122,780
Saudi Arabia 448,240 325,860
Serbia 753,720 557,480
Singapore 1,038,620 740,220
Slovakia 290,560 138,120
Slovenia 271,440 184,120
South Africa 1,406,120 920,860
South Korea 161,100 113,940
Spain 4,266,660 2,591,640
Sri Lanka 210,820 154,780
Sweden 2,043,980 1,697,100
Switzerland 1,382,540 1,122,900
Taiwan 205,060 112,840
Thailand 273,780 168,840
The Bahamas 54,300 43,900
Trinidad and Tabago 177,980 136,080
Tunisia 392,220 239,600
Turkey 10,105,380 7,924,640
UAE 593,560 485,540
UK 17,781,800 14,922,560
Ukraine 65,440 41,400
Uraguay 292,360 198,160
USA 56,462,020 42,017,280
Venezuela 2,732,860 1,872,840
Vietnam 63,360 39,120

Does anything surprise you on this? Anything else you would like to know?

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The age of Facebook vs. MySpace: February/March edition

iStock_000005753573XSmall.jpgSo sorry for the delay in this report. MySpace seems to only update their ad targeting stats every other month (Facebook is done in real time). This is the latest edition of my look at social networks and their populations from a marketing perspective.

All numbers in this post are US-only and are collected using each site's advertising management systems so they are up to date and accurate from a marketer's perspective. (Who wants to talk about populations that can't be reached by marketing? Not me.)

What you need to know right now:

  • For the first time, over half of the population of Facebook is over 25 (60% MySpace is still under 25)
  • Overall Facebook is up 22% while MySpace is down .5%
  • Facebook has now surpassed MySpace in 31-50 age ranges
  • Facebook's 50+ group is the fastest growing followed closely by the 41-45 group
  • MySpace's largest losses are ages 35 and under
  • Facebook growth under age 25 is still slow (this group is maxing out)

MySpace down overall; Facebook over 50 booming; Facebook overtakes MySpace in the 31-50 populations

Total US populations of MySpace and Facebook:

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Looking at Women on both sites:

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Looking at Men on both sites:

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Here are the actual Feb/March numbers:

AGE RANGEFacebookΔ last periodMySpaceΔ last period
13-176,051,940+7.58%17,072,104-0.18%
18-2111,572,420+6.65%19,840,744-0.81%
22-258,715,060+11.61%12,346,236-1.46%
26-30 7,703,320+22.55%10,949,876-1.86%
31-355,859,840+29.63% 5,778,080-0.44%
36-404,941,180+38.16%3,744,776+1.27%
41-453,000,860+47.33%2,226,476+1.80%
46-501,950,220+50.57%1,510,488+3.39%
51-65+2,945,680+51.90%7,692,972+0.91%

Other key takeaways:


  • These numbers represent all total users who can be reached through each site's advertising systems (not all worldwide active users)
  • MySpace's reporting system is not real time like Facebook's. Keep this in mind if you're planning a campaign.
  • MySpace skews younger than Facebook, engaging more of the highschool population
  • Facebook engages much more of the college population (inverse to MySpace)
  • Women make up well over half of the Facebook population across all age ranges
  • MySpace's 50+ population is over 70% female, Facebook is over 63% female

What do you think? What other networks are you investigating? The demographics and targeting options on both sites let you reach your audience in targeted/tailored ways and minimize waste. Knowing where your customers are is key.

Data sources: If you're curious, here is where the data comes from on both sites.

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Facebook finally learns from its mistakes (or did they?)

facebook_logo.jpgAfter a few weeks of controversy over a change in their terms of service (TOS) agreement, Facebook today has announced it has apparently learned from its mistakes and will open this process up to the users. It is hard for me to fathom why this has taken such a long time given that this is what social media is all about. Why has it taken five years for the world's fastest growing social network to start listening and engaging its community?

Why has it taken five years for the world's fastest growing social network to start listening and engaging its community?

Facebook is opening up two documents for discussion. The first is basically a user's bill or rights called the Facebook Principles. The second document is a replacement to the TOS called the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Both documents are housed in separate groups that invite conversation and engagement. Once that dialogue happens, the community will vote for and against changes a la Wikipedia.

They're still keeping a nice big loophole open.

All of this is great, but the wording in Mark Zuckerberg's post about this topic is very interesting. He talks about innovation and "disruptive technologies" that "will not be subject to the notice and comment or voting requirement". So they're still keeping a nice big loophole open.

The overall management of the operation is what I see being the largest problem. Facebook's Groups are not good at handling a large conversation. It's a glorified message board. When 10,000 people respond, how do you ensure people are heard? How do you filter down the hot items? Who does that filtering? Sounds like a big hurdle that could backfire.

A couple of thoughts and questions on this move:


  • The command and control approach Facebook has taken in the past seems to be dying off
  • Still unclear what happens if something is enacted that impacts Facebook's business if they will adopt it
  • In Facebook's five year existence, it's hard to imagine why this hasn't happened sooner
  • How can they effectively manage thousands of points of feedback and narrow it down? Who does the narrowing?
  • Does the loophole I note above make this futile?
  • What are the legal implications of the community dictating policy? What if there is a conflict?
  • Should businesses look at adopting this approach to their online engagement?

So, what are your thoughts on this? Are you satisfied with the new process? Do you feel they've learned from their mistakes? Let me know!

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The two hour minumum

iStock_000002783708XSmall.jpgI am sure that if you are in an agency, on the client side or an individual in the social media space, the following question has popped up.

How much time do I need to spend in social media each day?

I hear this being asked in meetings, presentations and see it pop up across the web. To be truthful, there is no set rule here. However, I have come up with the guideline that I'll talk about in this post for engaging clients in new work, managing existing campaigns, talking to up-and-coming bloggers, etc.

It's the two hour minimum per day.

Why two hours?

The two hour minimum comes from my experience here on the blog as well as in the agency environment. I've given this a lot of thought, but at the end of the day, I've tried different formulas to arrive here.

To give you an example, I spend around 5 hours a day personally on this blog and in my networks. This is on top of my workload and personal commitments. I've found that if I spend around two hours I can stay above water. As soon as I dip below that, my community suffers. That's what I am trying to avoid. I've backed this up through client work where that number seems to fit with our internal teams as well as client-side teams.

Two hours is the absolute minimum amount of time that a company/individual needs to spend EVERY DAY in this space.

What do you do with two hours?

Oh, trust me. Once you start engaging, two hours goes by like a speeding bullet. The following items are a good foundation on how to spend the time each day.
    Listen - Check your feed reader, check your Google alerts, monitor Tweetdeck, do a Twitter search (unless you've added them into your reader), check Technorati (you never know), look at your commenting service (co.Comment/Backtype/etc.) to see who has replied to you. This isn't a one-time thing, set a schedule through the day and check back for 5 minutes.

    Engage - Monitor those conversations through the day and reply as close to realtime as you can. Overnight delays are common and (I think) accepted in most cases. During the workday, however, you can make more impact by replying within 2-4 hours. If you have a blog, write a post or at least brainstorm new ideas based on what you're seeing.

    Discover - Another part of the day should spawn from the listening and engagement phases. You should constantly look for new blogs, people on Twitter to follow, new relevant posts to comment on, etc.

This sounds like a lot to do in two hours, eh? It is. Remember I said this is a minimum starting point for entry into the space. The commitment will grow over time.

*Variables: Note that the complexity of your business/industry will weigh on this minimum requirement. If you have 5-10 brands, you may need to spend an hour each. This is not set in stone, just a guideline to get you thinking and talking.

What next?

Scale is important to be aware of in social media. The more success you have, the more time it will take to grow to new successes. The more you monitor, the more conversations, the more people you meet, the more time you spend.

Be aware of this and scale your two hours up to 3, 4, 5 to a full time person to a team of people. Richard Binhammer at Dell (@richardatdell) could probably teach a class on this.

Advancing from two hours

As you grow, it's crucial to maintain your level of engagement. This is a financial commitment for your client/company and needs to have accountability.

Some situations that can tell you when to scale:


  • When your response time is slipping due to volume
  • When your discovery portion of the time you're spending is limited due to listening and engaging
  • When your customers ask you to ramp up

These are good problems to have by the way. It means your community is starting to embrace you and your team. The goal is to grow steadily over time for maximum results. Quick wins are few and far between. It takes real effort and dedication.

How much time do you spend each day? Please weigh in on the poll below.

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Executing a listening plan

iStock_000000564491XSmall.jpgLast week I wrote a post on the lack of listening that is taking place among top marketing executives. In my opinion, most of the problem with listening stems a lack of the right tools and a lack of an action plan for what to do with the information.

Two of my top key takeaways from that post got me thinking.


  1. You have to have humans involved
  2. You have to have an escalation plan

I'm a visual person, so I wanted to come up with a construct that could frame this challenge in the enterprise for further discussion. Here is what I cam up with, let me know what you think:

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The data layer

The data layer has been getting a lot of attention lately. Many companies are very active in this space and provide great solutions. However, data without human filtering is useless. The key to the data layer is that you're listening to the spaces that matter and that it spans media types.

Data alone without human filtering is useless.

Aggregating news, TV, radio, blogs, micromedia, message boards, etc into a single location is becoming a necessity. People are doing this now, but the information is rarely synchronized and shared in a coordinated manner. Good filtering in the data layer can help to eliminate work in the human layer, but it's a fine line to make sure that emerging trends aren't excluded. The solutions that exist in this space at the current time are not adequate for major global brands.

The human layer

This, in my mind, is the key to success. No matter how good the data layer, you still need a human looking at it who knows the business, challenges and processes. You need to spot trends across media, uncover new innovations, and listen to what is happening with internal department responsibilities in mind.

The humans in this layer should span media formats, look for trends and spot emerging issues to flag for appropriate follow up. Within a company, these flags will need to be communicated to the right department at the right level. That's where the action level takes over.

The action layer

Listening without action is a waste of money and is one of the reasons I think more companies are not engaging. Companies are huge, siloed beasts that eat disorganization for lunch. Rolling out a listening plan is a challenge, but not one that can't be overcome.

The humans who review data need to know the structure of the organization and the people involved. In other words, these people need to be 100% integrated in the company's culture/process. They need to know the legalities of the business, HR issues, communications opportunities, brand/product feedback, how employees are engaging and representing the company and what is being said about the companies media properties.

In a company that is fully engaged in social media, this structure is VERY flat and responsive to even the smallest issues/opportunities.

Within each layer there needs to be an escalation plan. I didn't show that in this diagram, because each department will be different. You need to think about how the business operates and look at the possible issues that could arise. For each possible issue, determine who needs to know what and how fast they need to know it.

Here is an example for a consumer product company:


  1. Issue is detected. What is the issue?
  2. It's a product safety problem. How serious is it?
  3. Lives could potentially be threatened.
  4. Alert all heads of departments by SMS/email as well as key contacts within each department
  5. Schedule call as soon as possible

A cross-functional team needs to sit across all related departments to bind this process together and ensure success. They determine alerting protocol and responses. In a company that is fully engaged in social media, this structure is VERY flat and responsive to even the smallest issues/opportunities.

Listening as step one

If you remember my post from late September "Should your company blog?" (it applies to your company/CEO/VP/or yourself), the first step in the process is listening. The more companies that take this first step and listen are on their way to a solid foundation in customer engagement. You can't start truly engaging with a strategic insight until you listen. What's stopping you?

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How would you improve this? What am I missing? I'd love to have your feedback.

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You suck at listening!

iStock_000002581157XSmall.jpgWell, not you personally (I hope). A recent CMO Council study, however showed that only 16% of 400 executives they surveyed have an online listening plan in place. 56% have no plan to track of drive word-of-mouth and only 30% thought they had the ability to resolve complaints quickly. Why such a low percentage? What is stopping these CMOs from implementing a plan?

Personally, I think that creating a listening plan is pretty easy. It's what you do with the information that you are collecting that is the hard part. This is where these marketing executives are falling down.

What you do with that information once you have it? How do you get all of the other departments to commit to the initiative? How do you execute on it without losing productivity? It really comes down to creating a customer service culture, where the customer is the priority. This is not how a lot of companies operate, however.

From my post earlier in January, here are three keys to listening online:

  1. Find your customer and spend your time there. While Twitter is great for some brands, you will find that message boards, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, etc. may hold the majority of your customers. If you're listening in the wrong place you're not doing any good.

  2. Use technology to speed the process. Instead of watching Twitter for 12 hours a day, subscribe to the RSS feed for your keywords on Twitter Search. Do the same with keywords on Google and your Technorati page. Check this a couple of times a day. On top of that, you can overlay that information on top of the monitoring tools.

    Big tip, I've seen monitoring companies sell their services as the end-all of this area and they are not. This requires a human being who knows the industry and company to make it worth while.

  3. Create your active listening plan. Listening is a good first step, but a lifetime of listening without action is not going to move the needles that you need to move for your business. Creating an plan for what to do with the information you learn is key.

    I wrote this post in February of 2007 on active listening and it still holds true today. This quote sums it up:

    "Agile marketing companies are leveraging new technology to create real, one-to-many and many-to-many conversations. They are using the outcome from that interaction to make meaningful, remarkable, relationship-enhancing changes that impact their clients in a positive manner. Are you listening?"

Key Takeaways

  • You have to have humans involved. This is often overlooked with all of the technology that we have out there, but humans can spot trends, flag issues that matter and ignore ones that don't. Whatever automation you employ, make sure you have a smart person reviewing it.
  • Have an escalation plan. Don't just listen for listening's sake. You need to know what to do when you hear something. Set action alerts when a certain criteria is met, set a clear path for issues to be escalated through and assign a person to follow up and make sure they're resolved.
  • Use the community to improve your ideas. Just like the examples I mentioned in this post listening can give you insights into your customers that would otherwise cost you millions in testing and research. Listen hard and act on what you hear.

At the end of the day, listening is easy. Setting up the systems and processes that take what you hear and turn it into a business resource is the hard part. What steps would you take if you were in their shoes?

2/3/09 - IMPORTANT UPDATE: I think that it's important to note that 75% of journalists get story ideas from blogs. How can you not be monitoring the space that has this much influence over the editors who cover you? This single reason alone should be enough to get people off of their butts and starting to plan their strategy.

Also, check out Jon Burg's great follow up post "10 reasons CEOs need social insights and 6 steps to setting this up".

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The Face of Facebook Global Report - Q4 2008

C50791CC-025A-467E-8A51-5144D7AD930D.jpgFirst off, let me apologize to you for not publishing this monthly as promised. It was taking me around 15 hours to compile and edit the PDF each month and it was just overwhelming. I'll keep publishing it on a quarterly basis as a blog post moving forward. Thank you for understanding!

As always, I use the data that Facebook provides from their advertising management system. The actual numbers may be larger, but we're marketers and these are the people who can be marketed to.

Key Takeaways:

  • The fourth quarter of 2008 saw a 27.55% increase in the total population of Facebook going from 100 million users to 138.6 million. That's a larger increase compared to past months on this report.
  • The US is still the largest segment of Facebook at around 42 million users. This is 282% greater than the next closest country (the UK)
  • Italy and Romania had over 400% gains on Facebook leading the pack while the US led by total population gain at 9 million new users
  • Norway and Canada have the largest percentage of their total populations on Facebook (over 25% each)
  • South Africa was the only country to lose population in Q4
  • Macedonia and Oman were the only new additions in Q4 2008

Top 25 Countries by total users

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): US, UK, Canada, Turkey, France, Italy, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Hong Kong, Norway, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, India, Greece, Finland, South Africa top25bytotalpop.png [Click image for larger version]

Top 25 countries by highest % of total population on Facebook

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): Norway, Canada, Denmark, UK, Chile, Iceland, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, Finland, Singapore, Puerto Rico, US, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Lebanon, Cyprus, Israel, Malta, UAE, Switzerland, Belgium, The Bahamas, Colombia top25bypercentpop.png [Click image for larger version] *Note: This chart uses the total population of each country (not the online population)

Top 25 largest Q4 % gains

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): Italy, Romania, tunisia, Slovakia, Indonesia, Spain, Argentina, Czech Republic, Uruguay, Bosnia, Slovenia, Serbia, Iceland, Ecuador, Macedonia, Oman, Belgium, France, Turkey, Switzerland, The Bahamas, Austria, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Morocco Q4_pct_change.png [Click image for larger version]

Top 25 largest total gains

Top countries (in order greatest to lowest): US, Italy, turkey, France, UK, Spain, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Chile, Denmark, Indonesia, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela, Colombia, Greece, Hong Kong, Serbia, India, Mexico, Finland, Malaysia Q4_total_pop_gains.png [Click image for larger version]

Raw country population data for Q4 2008

*Note that Macedonia and Oman are new additions to Facebook for segmenting purposes and don't have Q3 data.
Country Q4 2008 Q3 2008
Argentina 2,254,200 936,540
Australia 4,327,920 3,650,260
Austria 258,780 144,800
Bahrain 50,660 42,360
Bangladesh 198,780 135,220
Belgium 1,666,340 833,600
Bolivia 184,920 150,480
Bosnia 198,660 90,720
Brazil 209,100 155,600
Bulgaria 136,980 79,300
Canada 10,851,420 10,025,320
Chile 4,152,060 3,477,540
China 220,620 196,200
Colombia 3,636,320 3,226,980
Costa Rica 73,100 55,080
Croatia 491,240 300,500
Cyprus 109,420 78,660
Czech Republic 176,660 75,900
Denmark 1,778,440 1,174,500
Dominican Republic 115,680 91,800
Ecuador 130,860 105,700
Egypt 821,760 838,480
El Salvador 67,360 51,540
Finland 920,960 656,780
France 6,595,300 3,382,840
Germany 1,255,480 817,620
Ghana 53,880 36,780
Greece 1,000,320 639,340
Guatemala 93,960 76,980
Honduras 54,180 41,660
Hong Kong 1,456,740 1,111,580
Hungary 90,260 63,700
Iceland 120,520 57,700
India 1,072,080 807,040
Indonesia 898,360 321,980
Ireland 401,280 308,100
Israel 895,520 663,240
Italy 5,582,980 1,035,900
Jamaica 64,780 49,560
Japan 213,420 170,080
Jordan 266,700 211,700
Kenya 130,920 105,120
Kuwait 105,160 91,520
Lebanon 414,240 378,580
Lithuania 41,800 29,880
Luxembourg 87,400 49,480
Macedonia 78,180 0
Malaysia 851,240 591,880
Maldives 33,880 31,220
Malta 45,820 36,160
Mauritius 57,060 40,620
Mexico 1,439,580 1,174,600
Morocco 369,660 214,180
Netherlands 351,540 283,700
New Zealand 534,320 433,360
Nicaragua 29,560 23,740
Nigeria 212,780 145,000
Norway 1,455,080 1,315,880
Oman 24,240 0
Pakistan 376,800 286,340
Palestine 69,660 55,660
Panama 236,200 219,760
Paraguay 19,200 11,440
Peru 295,620 208,560
Phiilippines 390,700 233,300
Poland 194,960 113,900
Portugal 84,760 61,860
Puerto Rico 541,640 455,160
Qatar 67,840 54,820
Romania 56,300 10,760
Russia 122,780 94,100
Saudi Arabia 325,860 265,740
Serbia 557,480 266,120
Singapore 740,220 539,660
Slovakia 138,120 46,060
Slovenia 184,120 86,640
South Africa 920,860 1,022,240
South Korea 113,940 86,500
Spain 2,591,640 1,031,780
Sri Lanka 154,780 96,500
Sweden 1,697,100 1,242,240
Switzerland 1,122,900 609,640
Taiwan 112,840 84,780
Thailand 168,840 109,980
The Bahamas 43,900 24,280
Trinidad and Tabago 136,080 94,300
Tunisia 239,600 66,440
Turkey 7,924,640 4,087,640
Ukraine 41,400 26,860
UAE 485,540 358,560
USA 42,017,280 32,923,620
UK 14,922,560 12,662,320
Uraguay 198,160 89,320
Venezuela 1,872,840 1,456,420
Vietnam 39,120 26,580

Does anything surprise you on this? Anything else you would like to know?

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The age of Facebook vs. MySpace: January edition

iStock_000005753573XSmall.jpgWhat does the real population of Facebook look like? How does it compare to MySpace? This is the latest edition of my look at social networks and their populations from a marketing perspective.

All numbers in this post are US-only and are collected using each site's advertising management systems so they are up to date and accurate from a marketer's perspective. (Who wants to talk about populations that can't be reached by marketing? Not me.)

What you need to know right now:

  • MySpace's total population is down 4% in the US
  • Facebook now for the first time has more people ages 36-45 than MySpace, soon will overtake 46-50 as well as 31-35
  • Facebook's over 30 growth is still booming at around 24% per category
  • Facebook's under 30 growth was stagnant
  • MySpace still dominant in HS and college age groups

Facebook Overview:

Facebookhad fairly consistent gains across most age groups, however for the first time I see slowdowns in the under 35 population. Surprises include:
  • Less than 2% growth in the 18-21 and 22-25 year old groups (down from approx. 22% gains over past 4 months)
  • 13-17 year old growth is under 8% and the 26-30 year old group gained just over 11%
  • Facebook is 56.89% female and 43.11% male

MySpace Overview:

There were some surprising shifts in the population of MySpace this month. Of note:
  • Overall, the US population on MySpace dropped by 4.16%
  • 26.87% drop in the 36-40 age group from November's numbers
  • 32.93% drop in the 41-45 age group from November's numbers
  • 40.65% drop in the 46-65+ age group from November's numbers
  • MySpace is 52.71% female and 47.29% male

MySpace down 4%; Facebook under 30 stagnant; Facebook finally overtakes MySpace in 36-45 populations

January's look at the real age of MySpace vs. Facebook (US)

Totals.png
Click to enlarge image.

Here are the actual December-January numbers:

AGE RANGEFacebookΔ last monthMySpaceΔ last monthoverall variance
13-175,593,200+7.21%17,072,104-2.94%305%
18-2110,802,300+1.24%20,326,180+1.89%188%
22-257,703,340+1.87%13,029,345+3.32%169%
26-305,966,040+11.19%10,528,581-5.70%176%
31-354,123,740+18.27%4,958,016-15.37%120%
36-403,055,720+23.90%2,843,813-26.87%93%
41-451,580,460+26.74%1,577,310-32.93%100%
46-50963,900+23.88%981,911-40.65%102%
51-65+1,416,820+23.41%7,030,912-7.51%697%

Other key takeaways and burning questions:


  • These numbers represent all total users who can be reached through each site's advertising systems (not all active users)
  • I'm continually interested in the Boomer audiences on these sites and how they engage
  • MySpace's reporting system has been on the fritz, we'll have to see next month's numbers to get a real sense of the space
  • MySpace skews younger than Facebook, engaging more of the highschool population
  • Will need to look at Facebook under 30 numbers next month to see if the growth remains slow

What do you think? What other networks are you investigating? The demographics and targeting options on both sites let you reach your audience in targeted/tailored ways.

UPDATE: Data sources: If you're curious, here is where the data comes from on both sites.

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You can't do that on Facebook

youcantfacebook.jpg

Hopefully you got the reference to that great TV show of the 80s "You Can't Do That on Television". This post, however, is the first in a series of posts covering a couple of common mistakes that marketers are making on Facebook. First up...

You've gotta be you.

A post on drew McLellan's blog prompted me to write about this in more detail. I think most marketers are not aware of the limitations of Facebook and they port over bad habits from other social networks. Unlike on MySpace where companies, brands and spokespeople (real or imaginary) can have a profile, on Facebook you cannot create an account that does not belong to a real person. Comprende? If it's not a real person, don't create an account.

Let's break down the Facebook terms of use that specifically cover this:

Facebook clearly states that "except for advertising programs offered by us on the Site (e.g., Facebook Flyers, Facebook Marketplace), the Service and the Site are available for your personal, non-commercial use only"

Users agree NOT to:


  • register for more than one User account, register for a User account on behalf of an individual other than yourself, or register for a User account on behalf of any group or entity;
    This means: Don't sign up for somebody else or a group

  • impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;
    This means:Don't sign up and impersonate somebody else (no ghost accounts), don't create fictitious accounts and don't lie about who you are, your name, how old you are or who you represent

Hopefully this is pretty clear. Like I said, I don't think marketers read the terms and conditions on most of these sites, but it's important to know how they work and engage in appropriate, more successful ways.

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Inside//Out: Backtype

2D39C42A-6EA8-4A6F-8FD8-B6724F0DE243.jpgOne of the most confounding issues in social media for most people/companies is finding, tracking and staying in the conversation. Backtype is a service that I've found helpful in monitoring comments that I leave, as well as reviewing comments that others have made.

As most of the value in blogs comes "below the post", monitoring comments is vital

On top of monitoring your own comments, the service also lets you track keywords inside all of the comments they index. This is an area that you will find hard to manage if you're monitoring with Google (who doesn't index most comments). As most of the value in blogs comes "below the post", monitoring comments is vital.

Here is a video overview of how it works:

[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the player.]

Key Takeaways:


  • Listening in the comment stream is normally difficult because Google does not index comments (so no alerts, etc.)
  • Uses a simple interface and method to track where you leave comments
  • Tracks replies to your comments or other comments in the same thread
  • Allows you to see how other people are commenting
  • Allows you to track keywords in comments (also hard to do with Google)
  • Built around a social network platform, add friends to see their comments when you log in

Do you monitor comments? If do, how do you monitor comments? If not, why?

If you have a suggestion for my next video, let me know. You can send me an email or you can leave me a comment.


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HR in the age of social media

iStock_000001943264XSmall.jpgI am far from an HR specialist, but I often see companies who are struggling to adjust to the age of social media. On the flip-side, I see a few companies who understand this shift and take advantage of the possibilities.

We're operating in a difficult economy, surrounded by a shifting, unsure world. HR practices of yesterday are not possible to maintain. Leaks happen, employees are building personal brands and creating content that is (like it or not) related to your company.

As challenging as this is, it also is an unprecedented time to use social media to engage and acquire the best talent in the world. It takes a clear strategy, a solid focus on what works and the follow through and commitment to make it work.

Here are some successful, and unsuccessful lessons from social media. What would you add?

ON VIDEO

Don't create a staged, inauthentic video that makes you look silly (I'm talking to you Bank of America)

Don't post a video that you wouldn't want to have used against you for the rest of your agency's life (Agency.com Subway pitch aka "When we roll we roll big")

Do create a video that allows people to see who you are, how you operate and do it in an authentic way (One of my favorite videos from Connected Ventures will either implore you to run away or apply immediately)

Picture 9.pngDo give the world an insight into your culture using the tools of the trade (I always enjoy the Critical Mass Always in Beta site which evolves as they need it. Through video, photography, new applications, Twitter and more they engage their customer and recruiting audiences in an authentic way.)

ON TWITTER

Don't think that people who you are laying off/disciplining/promoting/hiring/etc. will keep quiet, don't think their peers won't find out from Twitter first. Once it hits, the message (right or wrong) spreads very quickly.

Here are some layoff announcements on Twitter:

Picture 7.png

Picture 6.png

Do be proactive, honest and open (Zappos is a great model for this. They missed some funding and the CEO sent a Twitter message linking to a blog post with more info. Some employees made a video to help people cheer up.)

Here is the original message from Tony, the Zappos CEO. Note, you could see all of their customer and employee reactions in realtime at twitter.zappos.com

Picture 8.png

I could go on and on with other platforms, but this should get the conversation boing. How are you using social media for HR? It's has the potential to be an amazing sales tool or it could be a repellant for new talent. Would you know? Are you listening and engaging?

Let me hear what you think!

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The age of Facebook vs. MySpace; November update

iStock_000005753573XSmall.jpgThis is the latest edition of my look at social networks and their populations from a marketing perspective. All numbers in this post are US-only and are collected using each site's advertising management systems so they are up to date and accurate from a marketer's perspective. (Who wants to talk about populations that can't be reached by marketing? Not me.)

There were some surprising shifts in the population of MySpace this month. Of note:


  • 30.32% drop in the 14-17 age group (October-November)
  • 32.93% gain in the 41-45 age group
  • 40.65% gain in the 46-65+ age group

Facebook, by comparison had fairly consistent gains across all age groups. Increases ranged from 26.30% to 30.86%.

November's look at the real age of MySpace vs. Facebook (US)

Totals.png
Click to enlarge image.

Here are the actual November numbers:


age rangeFacebookMySpacevariance
13-175,189,680 17,573,640339%
18-2110,668,40019,943,000187%
22-257,558,94012,597,340167%
26-305,298,48011,128,488210%
31-353,370,3605,720,288170%
36-402,325,2803,607,996155%
41-451,157,8602,096,724181%
46-50733,7001,381,044188%
51-65+1,085,1607,558,656697%

MySpace continues to lead by volume across all age groups, here are some interesting details:


  • Females make up 54% of MySpace and 58% of Facebook
  • Males make up 45% of MySpace and 42% of Facebook
  • Facebook's largest percentage gains vs. MySpace are in the 31-35, 41-45, 46-50 and 51-65+
  • MySpace's total US population is 81,607,176
  • Facebook's total US population is 37,387,860

Key takeaways and burning questions:


  • These numbers represent all total users who can be reached through each site's advertising systems (not all active users)
  • I'm continually interested in the Boomer audiences on these sites and how they engage
  • MySpace skews younger than Facebook, engaging more of the highschool population
  • Populations between MySpace and Facebook (18-50) nearly mirror each other in terms of population trends

What do you think? Are you considering MySpace for campaigns? What other networks are you investigating? The demographics and targeting options on both sites let you reach your audience in targeted/tailored ways.

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Wrap up and thoughts from Seoul South Korea

EB85E237-F44D-486D-A160-E10D523498BC.jpgIt was a whirlwind four days in Seoul this week, so I wanted to share my thoughts on this before I forget. I'm writing this from the airport in Tokyo waiting for my flight back to Newark.

First, here is a quick video with some thoughts as I recorded them yesterday.

The IDG conference was pretty incredible. Hopefully you have had a chance to read the posts from Tuesday and Wednesday to see what I mean. I consistently told the organizers that they had created a conference that was on par with any I have been to in the US. Between the conference and having the opportunity to spend time with the Fleishman team in our Seoul office I noticed a number of similarities to the US as well as some differences.

Some Similarities:


  • The financial crisis is global and is on the top of everyone's mind
  • Everyone gets that social media is a huge growth area
  • Everyone is confused as to how to measure it effectively
  • Companies are trying to find the balance between offline and online media and are trying to break down marketing silos
  • Video and mobile are exploding across the globe, but have to be used strategically

Some Differences:


  • Strong cultural differences in Korea impact everything
  • Most US companies fail in Korea (Google has around 1% market share in search here) because they localize, but don't fully immerse themselves in the culture
  • People demand fast service both on and off line
  • Koreans are very tech savvy, highly connected and love to meet in person
  • I found people very hesitant to ask questions in presentations
  • Mobile is ahead as far as services and quality, but devices are extremely expensive here (telecom companies control the pricing and keep it high)

Best thinking:


  • Bruce Haines from Cheil Worldwide had a number of gems including "banning the word digital" because it's all marketing. He also stressed the need to think across channels and formats to have the most impact, breaking down silos and develop the best message(s) tailored to the right audience.
  • Gerry Gouy from MTV was great on and off stage. His view from the entertainment side where he is seeing advertisers spend more money across fewer channels was key. He also mentioned that mobile is still not working at this point and most advertisers are looking to reach a 25-34 year old sweet spot through TV and online.

Here is the Slideshare of the keynote address I gave. I'll be adding audio to this over the next couple of days.



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IDG Next Generation Marketing 2008 - Sean Hyun Wook Park, Head of Youtube Asia Pacific

4CC2178E-2343-4B36-84D6-63788A873D83.jpgSean presented "It's all about video" to the IDG Next Generation Marketing conference. Sean heads Youtube for the APAC region.

Key Takeaways:


  • Youtube follows in a pattern similar to that of TV 50 years ago
  • YouTube's audience is distributed evenly between ages 18 and 55+ (+/- 4%)
  • The site has 22 localized versions around the world
  • Youtube growing very quickly in Korea, gaining significant market share
  • Marketing videos are moving from online to offline advertising when successful
  • The lines between advertising and content are blurring
  • Marketers need to increase awareness, affinity and advocacy and video is helping to do that
  • Video provides content that increases engagement through info-tainment using the community
  • Content loaded onto the site can be a test market for marketers
  • Authenticity is key
  • Marketers need to create, promote, scale, engage and nurture content on Youtube
  • Monitoring the conversation allows marketers to react in real time (ex. Tiger Woods walking on water, see below)
  • Ideas come from everywhere, companies need to work with consumers to drive new ideas
  • The community continues the conversation by adapting and recreating
  • Need to track all of these touch points

Tiger walks on water:


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IDG Next Generation Marketing 2008 - Byung Hwi Shin, Neowiz

5F729BEA-1B67-421D-9D59-9F8429C90281.jpgByung spoke on the topic of having conversations with users in the social web. He has a long history of working with Korea's top social networking sites. His views are tempered by this experience.

Key takeaways:


  • Korean social networks are falling behind in the global view despite having a head start and being highly connected
  • Gaming is the best example of Korean companies having success overseas
  • User experience is not differentiated in Korean social networks (logo color is the only difference)
  • Competition is growing exponentially and cost is scaling as well
  • Success in Korea (10M reach) is the same as failure in the US (10M reach) so case studies here are easy to find from overseas
  • Social network framework - Content, context, user
  • Tactics see varying degrees of success because of these three factors and their presence/lack of presence
  • Focus on the users is the overall key
  • Experience-driven design is an important trend where developers and users are the same mix - this is lacking in Korea
  • The power of emotions play a key role in social web marketing
  • The return on the investment for social networks in Korea took around 4 years to achieve positive numbers
  • Growth of social marketing must involve the end user through the process
  • The constructs of social networks are: purpose, identity, reputation, governance, communication, groups
  • This mirrors the offline operation of society
  • Content providers are now business partners - the line is blurring (ex. Google ad sense)
  • The Apple model, where they develop the platform and the community develops the applications, is the future
  • Metrics are crucial to tracking actions within a social network - look at visitors -> subscribers -> purchasers
  • Naver, Daum and Cyworld have been around and are not evolving at the rate of US social networks
  • Potential for small business is huge
  • Must look at the users and the market/market potential to break in to a new market (why switch to a new site when you are already established someplace else?)
  • Fewer companies are trying to create new spaces instead they are leveraging existing locations



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IDG Next Generation Marketing 2008 - Sung Lee, VP MySpace

5D968294-ECAB-4B97-9D47-88585C69E7B0.jpgSung Lee is the VP of Operations for MySpace in Asia. Her presentation focused on the ways in which marketers should approach social network marketing.

Key takeaways:


  • Social networks are bigger than you think
  • People, brands and artists are able to create their presence on the web
  • The online experience is offline as well in the form of events, etc.
  • MySpace has 118M unique visitors with over 51% growth in the last two years
  • 12M of those users are in Asia Pacific
  • 70K videos uploaded daily
  • Self-expression, connection and discovery drive social networking
  • Driven by the "me" economy
  • Social media is redefining the marketing channels and the media mix
  • Reasons for friending brands; 29% notice of events, sales, offers / 28% recommended by a friend / 23% want to associate with them / 23% discounts, coupons, samples / 11% want to support the brand
  • Key stages of social network marketing: Create a community -> Cultivate relationships -> Build long-term CRM
  • Pass along from a peer drives 34 times the pass-through and 20 times the purchase intent versus ads on MySpace
  • Five steps to build momentum know the audience, keep it real, empower the audience, enable dreams, leverage the power of the platform
  • Cartier example drives traffic to download songs, MySpace allows for scale across languages and geography
  • Questions to ask yourself first: do you know your audience, can you customize the creative, do you have engaging assets to share, are you willing to continue an ongoing dialogue
  • Platforms are expanding into mobile and will continue to become more prevalent over time
  • Personal connections with the brand is the differentiation strategy for MySpace over Facebook
  • MySpace is relatively new in Korea, but is growing exponentially


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IDG Next Generation Marketing 2008 - Gerry Gouy MTV Networks

Picture 36.pngI'm here in Seoul South Korea (after 21 hours of travel over the past day). It's 9:30am on Tuesday here in Seoul and I'm going to bring you the best points from the IDG Marketing 2.0 and Beyond conference.

I'm speaking tomorrow as the opening keynote and I'll post the Slideshare deck here tomorrow. The presenters are partially in English and partially in Korean, so it's the first time I've used a translator and they've pulled it off very well.

Key takeaways:


  • There is not digital media, it's all media
  • Viacom global youth study found three groups, the most interesting is the "Golden" age group
  • Golden age of youth - People age 25-34 continue to consume music, gaming, etc. in the same way they did when they were teens
  • Golden age groupers are more financially stable as well as happier about who they are as individuals
  • 25 was found to be the ideal age that youth around the world to aspire to
  • Biggest global trend is a flight to quality
  • Move to more traditional platforms that deliver their needs
  • Deals usually span 3-4 media platforms, not 7-8
  • Examples of mobile campaigns that are well executed and truly integrated are lacking
  • ROI on mobile is tougher to get to
  • Video is a huge opportunity on mobile - paid content is very tough to pull off on mobile - ad supported content is the way he has seen success
  • Samsung integrated campaign www.thephotographicadventuresofnickturpin.com immerses you in the experience with very light branding
  • Eagle Eye film - TV/online/mobile
  • British Airways - MetroTwin - Focuses on the similarities between London and New York - provides recommendations and matches you with a person/venue in the other city
  • Convergence within distribution platforms is a key factor
  • Music is a chaotic industry and is a portal to see the future of media. There are no set rules anymore.
  • Broadcast and online is HOT.
  • Credit crunch is hurting true integration. Digital was an afterthought. More advertisers pushing for true integration between broadcast and online. Mobile is left out.
  • Mass audiences are going away on single platforms, they're reached through 360 programs across multiple channels


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Talking about micromedia with eMarketer

CD926A16-5657-45FB-82FC-2C44FA326F08.jpgWhen you think about leading research and thought leadership for the digital/social media space, eMarketer is sure to come to mind. I was honored when they asked me to participate in a new series of interviews with online thought leaders for their Total Access offering.

The interview really touches on how I see micromedia, how it can be best utilized, what is takes to keep it running for marketing and the real power behind it.

Special thanks to the team at eMarketer for allowing me to post this premium item in its entirety. Click here to download the PDF.

I hope you enjoy, let me know what you think.


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Inside//Out: Yammer

7A740759-0D67-40BE-9E3A-1E5CE0129350.jpgWhat do you get when you take Twitter, make it private and add some security/privacy restrictions? You get Yammer. Yammer is a private micromedia community where businesses or organizations can sign up for their own "private" network. This is not the same as installing something behind your firewall, the information is on shared servers and could be a liability depending on your industry. If you need it protected and super private then check out identi.ca.

Use is the same as on Twitter and Yammer has released decktop, BlackBerry and iPhone apps. It does not, much to my dismay, integrate with Twitter or any other existing network. For me, this is a killer as I cannot keep more than a few accounts active and still add value.

Yammer burst on to the scene on September 10 when it won the top prize at the TechCruch50 competition. The opinions were split at that time as well. Some people thought they just copied Twitter and put a spin on it, others thought the spin they put was a large enough point of differentiation to give it top prize. I'll let you decide.

Here is a quick video tour of Yammer:

[Feed readers please click through to the post if you cannot see the video.]

My key takeaways:


  • The potential for knowledge management is tremendous; aggregating links, identifying trends and business development identification are just a few of the major points
  • If your company is new to this space, this is an easy, low-cost entry point that allows some control
  • Lack of tie-in with other services is a hinderance to the super-connected who would most likely have championed Yammer (it's not too late guys)
  • Portability and device support is on par with anyone

I asked about Yammer on Twitter yesterday and here is what people had to say:
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What are your thoughts on this? Are you using it? Did you try it and abandon? What would it take to succeed with your business?


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Brand engagement in social media

I just saw this new report from eMarketer about the presence of brands in social media and what consumers expect from them. Of note is that 34% of people think brands should engage and interact regularly, 51% think brands should engage, but only intereract when requested. Only 7% thought brands had no place in the social media landscape.

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I think this does not take a number of things into account including the value-add to the community, the quality of the offering and the level of participation (being a member of the community vs. just being there).

What do you think about these numbers? Are they low/high in your opinion?

[UPDATE:] See a similar study conducted by Cone (disclaimer: Cone is also part of Omnicom Group).


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Inside//Out: TweetDeck

Picture 17.pngToday's video takes a look at an application for managing your Twitter-stream more productively, TweetDeck. One of the biggest challenges that I have in using Twitter is keeping up with the sheer volume of messages. I've tried a number of solutions to make sure I don't miss any messages/conversations, but TweetDeck is the best I've tried to date.

Have a look for yourself:

As more and more content is created, it's crucial to identify ways to keep up with it and keep ourselves sane. Google Reader is my other "must have" info management solution.

What applications/services do you employ to manage all of the content?


Download the Techn//Marketer podcast here!To help you stay on top of what is happening in social media, mobile and new marketing you can subscribe to the Techno//Marketer podcast on iTunes. Stay informed and get access to new videos first.

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The age of Facebook vs. MySpace

iStock_000005753573XSmall.jpg [Update: New November stats available here] This is a continuation of my look at social networks and their populations from a marketing perspective. When it comes to this arena Facebook has most of the buzz, but MySpace still has the volume. As strategic counselors to our clients, it is important to make qualified decisions about the vehicles we use as part of a campaign.

MySpace has become the red headed step child of the social media world as Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn have continued to gain popularity and support. But, what does MySpace really look like and how does it compare?

I was able to pull comparison numbers for the age of both networks and some interesting patterns emerged. Take a look at the following graph that shows MySpace in blue and Facebook in red.

The age of MySpace vs. Facebook (US)

MS_FB_Age.png
Click to enlarge image.

MySpace has more people in every segment (nearly double across the board), but a couple points stand out:

  • The 13-17 age group on MySpace is four and a half times larger than that of Facebook.
  • Every age range between 18 and 50 is close to double on MySpace what it is on Facebook.
  • The 50+ group on MySpace is 10 times larger than on Facebook, that is a 1000% difference.
  • The 50+ age group on MySpace is nearly one quarter the size of the entire Facebook community.

Here are the actual numbers:

age range Facebook MySpace variance
13-17 4,943,960 22,618,106 457%
18-21 9,957,600 20,326,180 204%
22-25 6,833,380 13,029,345 191%
26-30 4,282,200 10,528,581 246%
31-35 2,402,720 4,958,016 206%
36-40 1,503,640 2,843,813 189%
41-45 727,880 1,577,310 217%
46-50 473,240 981,911 207%
65+ 703,020 7,030,912 1000%

Takeaways and questions:

  • These numbers represent all total users, not active users so take it with a grain of salt.
  • I don't have growth numbers on MySpace so it's tough to gauge its vitality at this point.
  • MySpace has a huge number of Boomers in their community. I will watch this demographic in coming months.
  • MySpace skews younger than Facebook, engaging more of the highschool population.
  • Populations between MySpace and Facebook (18-50) mirror each other in terms of population trends.
  • Both sites offer ad targeting

What do you think? Are you still considering MySpace for campaigns? The demographics and targeting options let you reach people in tailored ways. I do think that the marketing options on MySpace are very limited and that's one hesitation that I have personally. 

 

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How old is the population of Facebook?

fofb_cover_250.jpgWith the latest version of my Face of Facebook eBook, some interesting comparison stats have emerged. I have already shared the explosive growth numbers by country. In this post I want to talk about the age of Facebook and more specifically the growth of some key audiences. Note that all data is collected directly from Facebook's advertising management system and was updated on September 15th.

The 30+ audience is the fastest growing segment of Facebook.

If we look at the total makeup of Facebook in the US, it is still heavily skewed to the under 25 crowd. By volume, the 18-21 group is the largest population. This is followed by 22-25 and 13-17 respectively.

USfacebookpopulation.png
[Click for a larger image.]

When you look at growth of the population by volume there is a similar pattern, but it has slightly different spread. In the following chart you can see that the college 18-21 population grew by the most users. Much of this can be correlated by the back-to-school rush happening now. Past that point, however, you will notice that the 31-36 and 36-41 groups added the third and fourth most users for the month.

UStotalpopulationgainbyage.png
[Click for a larger image.]

If you were to stop there you may think there is little potential for the 30+ audience. But that is a hasty decision. Take a look at the followiung chart that shows the pace of growth over the past month. The 30+ segments have the first through fourth top spots. Overall the 40-50 segment is the most explosive of all. Growth in the 50+ segment was close to the 26-30 segment and surpassed all segments below 25.

UStotalpercentagepopulationgain.png
[Click for a larger image.]

I will be sure to keep an eye on this trend in the future. What other stats do you want to see? Would having this on a per-country basis be beneficial? Let me know, I want this to add as much value for you as possible.


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