Impressions on the Social Age

Is Twitter A Step Back?

Posted in Social Media, Uncategorized by Trace on July 14, 2010

As social media becomes more and more accepted as “just plain media,” there are more and more tools and platforms to use this new social mediascape. In July 2006, Twitter launched to lukewarm fanfare, and gradually increased in popularity. As Twitter becomes the half-brother of Facebook – often mentioned as an aside – we start to study it for societal influence and opinion formulation. I love Twitter, I use it every day, every hour even, but isn’t Twitter a step backward?

What is Twitter about? It’s kind of like conversing on a train. It’s about sending information out into the public timeline and sharing that information with whomever wants to listen. You can talk to me, but random people chose to listen in, or shut you out, listening and creating their own conversation.

In comparison…

What is Facebook about? Facebook is like being invited to a private party. It’s about connecting a real person who has added interests, information, photos, purchasing decisions and using this as a digital representation of their personality. It’s like a suburban backyard BBQ, next to a shopping mall. I don’t even see the next party over unless I’m out looking for it, networking style.

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Facebook Fans, What Are They Worth?

Posted in Social Networking Discovery by Trace on June 15, 2010

So as Facebook updates again and again, constantly revitalizing its systems to try to keep up with the landscape of the internet, we all sit there and get pissed off.

Few things have remained constant, but the idea of Liking or “Being a Fan” of something has been around long enough that people have been able to academically study it.

Recently, a social media measurement firm called Syncapse has come up with an actual dollar value and published it in a report for all to read. You probably never thought Fanning something would be of interest to a brand, you just Like them. But Syncapse studied the Fans of the top brands on Facebook and came up with some interesting conclusions.

To break the suspense, a fan is worth about $136. How do they know you ask? Well, they broke it down and thought strategically. They considered Product Spending, Loyalty, Propensity to Recommend (word-of-mouth, very important), Brand Affinity, Media Value and Acquisition Cost.

They took these metrics and studied people who were Fans of products like Skittles, Oreos, Coca-cola, Adidas, Blackberry, Victoria’s Secret or Starbucks (to name only a few) and compared them to those that were not Fans.

What did they discover when they studied these groups?

  • On average, fans spend an additional $71.84 on products for which they are fans compared to those who are not fans.
  • Fans are 28% more likely than non-fans to continue using the brand.
  • Fans are 41% more likely than non-fans to recommend a fanned product to their friends.

So what?

Well, this means Fans are more loyal, more likely to tell their friends about the brand (and more importantly recommend a purchase) and are more likely to buy something themselves!

Curious about more details? The must have Fan were those of McDonalds, who are frequent visitors to their establishments, are highly loyal, frequently refer others, and actively participate in the McDonald’s Facebook community. Because of all these metrics and the Fan effort the average McDonald’s fan netted the organization a value of $259.82.

Conclusion…

This is crazy! Why don’t these brands pay people, Google style, for recommending their brands? Maybe someday they will, but for now, I am going to login into my girlfriend’s Facebook account and Fan Victoria’s Secret…

Facebook Sells Your Profile

Posted in Social Networking Discovery by Trace on June 7, 2010

Recently, a friend of mine graduated from college interviewed with a large DC tank. This girl is Facebook savvy and keeps out both “The Man” and “Strangers” using the strictest privacy settings possible. As she says, “If I’m not friends with you, then all you know is I exist.”

For an aspiring job hunter in the nation’s capitol, she’s made the right online privacy decisions, right? Wrong.

My friend made three major mistakes. She friended her professional references on Facebook. She assumed her privacy settings actually protected her. And she didn’t anticipate her Facebook security guards were looking for a little extra cash.

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Facebook & Twitter Activism

Posted in Reading Response by Trace on May 19, 2010

Activism is an interesting monster. I once dated a girl who joined protest lines because she thought herself an activist. She believed in the protester’s message, but was also looking to join in! Does joining up as you’re walking make you an activist or something else?

Today we read about the activism using Facebook, Twitter and messaging for a specific group on USENET. From the readings (Facebook here and Twitter here) we discovered that activism using social networks is complex, but can e successful if done properly. The lessons focus on activism using social networking, specifically those launched via a social network.

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