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  • WeAreVSocial 12:25 pm on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Networking, , , , , ,   

    Social Media – Predictions for the rest of 2012 Part 3 (of 4) 

    Part 3of 4

    Over the last few months we’ve been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the ever-changing world of social media, its biggest sites and mind exploding statistics.  In our last blog post we mentioned some of the emerging trends within the industry and some of the main sites that have witnessed the most dramatic changes since the start of the year.

    In this blog post we will examine the emergence and booming popularity of Pinterest detailing its unprecedented rise for contention to claim world domination in social networking space.

    Image

    Pinterest Takes Off

    For anyone that hasn’t heard of Pinterest yet, it’s a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website allowing users to create and manage theme-based image collections. The site’s mission statement is to:

    “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”

    …..Quite a nice mission statement, but where did this social network come from?

    The development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010. The site proceeded to operate in invitation-only open beta.

    Founder Ben Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site’s first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even met with some of its users. Silbermann wanted to get under the skin of Pinterests early adopters, gathering as much intelligence possible on the overall ‘user experience,’ taking into account any suggestions and recommendations to improve it.

    Nine months after launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann and a few programmers that operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011, then it started to get big.

    Pinterest is currently ranked the 3rd most-popular social network in the U.S., behind Facebook and Twitter, according to Experian Hitwise.  A new report from the researcher shows Pinterest got 21.5 million visits during the week ending Jan. 28, a nearly 30-fold increase over a comparable week in July.  These numbers are astronomical for any website and social network, so who’s logging on and using the site?

    Not surprisingly, the site skews female with a 60/40 ration of women to men visitors, mainly because a large number retail and fashion brands have embraced the site, using it as a place to showcase their collections and products.  In contrast Google+ has a 60/40 split of men, the vast majority being single, quite frankly we can’t explain this!

    From examining user visits, Experian rep Matt Tatham says Pinterest beat its next-closest competitor, LinkedIn, in total visits in February. Tatham says the rankings by total visits for March are as follows:

    Facebook: 7 billion

    Twitter: 182 million

    Pinterest: 104 million

    LinkedIn: 86 million

    Tagged: 72 million

    Google+: 61 million

    The report, which tracks visits rather than unique visitors, is based on web traffic and doesn’t factor in visits from mobile sites therefore  its validity may hold some discrepancies.  Over 50% of Facebook users now log in through a mobile device and the same type of users could be using Pinterest.

    Why has Pinterest become so popular?

    Beyond the data is seems like the Internet culture is obsessed with pinning.  But why is this the case and why this social network?

    They say a picture paints a thousand words and it’s from using this simplicity that Pinterest has been successful.  The design of the site makes it simple to navigate and users can scroll down through content with minimal effort and distraction.  The images take up the majority of space and comments and re-pins are kept neatly under each image with any action buttons remaining hidden until they’re scrolled over, very nice!

    Digital hoarding may have a lot to do with it. On Pinterest, we have free license to create an entire board dedicated to “golf-clubs” for example. If we like it we can pin it. Similar to Facebook, Pinterest relies on users to generate content.  The more content that is updated the more users will visit the site. Users can come together in communities to share images and insights based on what they like, symbolising a basic form of ‘social unity.’

    Critics suggest there’s the notion that Pinterest combats social media fatigue.  Facebook and Twitter presents users to constantly be subject to ‘check-ins’ or multiple status updates and tweets on a daily basis.  Pinterest frees users from worrying about updates or images they wish they hadn’t  been tagged in, thus giving users piece of mind so ‘that’ picture of them sat on the photocopier at the Christmas party won’t surface again.

    On the flip- side, there’s the argument that a new form of social networking is simply replacing one addiction with another.  Are we bored of the regular updates, tweets and tagging or simply looking around for something new in the social spectrum to occupy ourselves?

    Overall it seems the reason Pinterest has risen to social media stardom is due to its functionality, clever use of positioning and differentiation to other sites.  It will be interesting to see how the Worlds fastest growing social network materialises over the rest of 2012.  Will its popularity continue to rise in such a way that it gives the likes of Twitter and even Facebook a run for their money? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see………….

     
  • WeAreVSocial 4:40 pm on April 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Monitoring, Networking, , , , , ,   

    Social Media – Predictions for the rest of 2012 Part 1 (of 4) 

    Over the last few months we’ve been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the ever-changing social media space, its emerging sites and key trends.  Since January it’s hard to believe so much has happened in so little time. Image

    At the start of 2012 there was huge speculation around the impact of social media and how it would impact organisations over the next 12 months.  Social Media is now no longer in its infancy stages as it connects individuals and businesses in ways we previously didn’t think were possible.

    If businesses haven’t embraced social yet, they’re falling way behind their competitors that are finding they can use it for a whole range of different processes from business development, marketing and communications, to market research and recruitment.

    Recent articles conclude that 2012 will be the ‘year of social media’ and with Facebook revenues growing rapidly, from $777 million in 2009 to $3.7 billion last year, what will the future hold for the Worlds most popular Social Networking site and social media in general?

     

    Businesses consolidate Social Media

    As the social media landscape has become more crowded in 2012, businesses will carefully place more efforts on putting their social media activity where it matters to their business and replace the mantra of ‘be everywhere.’

    What used to be simply LinkedIn and Twitter is now Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  On top of this there are more speciality networks like Foursquare, Yelp and Instagram that are proving their ‘business worth’.

    Due to such increase in platforms and choice, it would be very easy to put a lot of time and resources into the wrong platform.  From a business perspective it is essential to focus on where you will get results; this may not be as simple as just having a LinkedIn and Twitter presence for your business.

    Emergence of Video and Photo Networks

    Photo and video-based social interaction will flourish.  The rise of Instagram  and Viddy signify that users are growing more demanding towards multi-media where a picture (or video) speaks louder than 140 characters, or indeed a few thousand words.

    Given the fact that the camera on your smartphone is almost as good (if not better) than your actual camera, the multimedia-driven social networks are here to stay and are becoming an emerging force for brands in 2012.

    We’ve become accustomed to Twitter # tags and Facebook icons appearing during TV programmes and on the end of television commercials, additionally we’re starting to see YouTube icons appear with them.  With such an emergence of these readily available and mobile friendly networks, these are becoming more the norm.

    With Facebook recently acquiring Instagram for a cool $1 billion, this suggests that the Worlds largest social network is using its financial resources to keep ahead of its competitors by acquiring the markets most promising social sites and tools.

    …our next series of blog posts will examine what we can expect in the next 12 months and a few predictions on where we believe social media and the main social sites are heading.  Our next blog post will examine:

    • More key trends within the current social media market
    • The top social sites that will see the most dramatic changes over the coming year.
     
  • Michael Ham 4:39 pm on September 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charity, , Networking, , Raise awareness, ,   

    ‘We are a charity…how can LinkedIn help us?’ 

    A question that was raised some time last year and again just recently, so we thought we’d share some ideas through our blog.

    LinkedIn isn’t a platform for marketing and campaigns which is how Facebook and Twitter have been used to great success for charities and third sector organisations.  LinkedIn is however hugely powerful, and used to great success, to research and engage in discussion with target audiences in the corporate world.

    With regular LinkedIn usage by nearly 50% of the UK professional population, there is a huge opportunity to tap into and engage with a corporate audience.

    The end goal may be to convert participants into supporters/partners/donors, however in the first instance it is used to make them aware of who you are and what you do (from both an individual and organisational perspective).

    LinkedIn profiles hold a lot of information about people; what they read, who they know, where they have worked, what their passions are. Charities and third sector organisations who want to know their (potential) donors/partners and supporters better use LinkedIn; and this can be very targeted and specific.

    In terms of some simple direct uses:

    • LinkedIn can be used as a great tool for staff recruitment;
    • Promote charity events (through the Events feature, and to promote across networks);
    • Raise awareness and engage audiences in LinkedIn Groups;
    • Tap into networks of CSR professionals.

    The key thing with LinkedIn is to replicate your ‘real-world’ network and build further by pulling on your extended network.   Whilst building your network, you need to be active in the right places, with the correct frequency, and with the right collateral.

    If your current corporate supporters ask how they can help (which they do) then ask them to help promote their work with the charity to their trusted network.  It costs them nothing to retweet or like a LinkedIn post(s) about the charity.  It is also an ideal opportunity to promote their own CSR credentials!

    CAUTION: Avoid direct approaches for contributions!  Raise awareness of your cause through subtle updates about how you help people; key facts and figures; ask for help…and so on to captivate your audience and get them to buy into and support your cause.

    Less than 5 minutes of activities per day doing the right things can be highly productive.

     
  • zaffvsocial 3:27 pm on June 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Networking, , ,   

    Etiquette is Etiquette! 

    Etiquette is Etiquette whether it’s on a social platform or physically meeting up with people . Good ‘real world’ networking etiquette should be exercised on social media platforms, more so on LinkedIn which is predominantly a professional’s site so behaving professionally should come as easy as falling off a log.

    Simply, social media should be seen as a event that you are attending and like any event there will be people gathered in a number of separate groups having a variety of conversations; as you pass them something engages you and you stop to have a conversation. Some conversations continue after and outside the event, some individuals are interesting enough to exchange cards with and look forward to meeting at another event while others fall by the wayside.

    Don’t be the obnoxious oaf who just interrupts rudely, feigns interest, throws their card at you and is gone.

    Have you any nightmare stories to share??

    I’ve had a few over the years. I’ve had the obnoxious oaf at physical networking sessions and increasingly this has also happened on LinkedIn. People who I don’t know have just wanted to connect, out of the blue, so that they can blatantly sell their wares, throw their card at me!

    So what do I do when someone, whom I don’t know tries to connect…I send them a message politely asking them how we know each other, where we met, as  I have a policy to only connect with people whom I know, have done work with or am doing work with. This tends to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Colleagues who use the same approach as me say it works extremely well for them.

    But what if you want to connect with someone who’s a second or third level connection but falls out of your own policy, perhaps someone you want to do business with or connect for Brand alliance / association or even because this person is a thought leader in your field…then what should you do?

    Well LinkedIn is great for this, see how you connect and work through the people whom connect you to the 2nd – 3rd level contact. Pick up the phone and ask if they can introduce you. Try to remember ‘what’s in it’ for the person you want to connect with you when you are making this phone call.

    Please share your experiences, what works for you?  How do you deal with these individuals?

     
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