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

    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………….

     
  • Michael Ham 2:46 pm on October 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , PR,   

    Can you and should you categorize social media? 

    Is it Marketing…or IT…or PR…where does it fit?

    This is a question which has recently become a hot topic (again) in the world of social media, so below is a post I made some 6 months or so ago…which is obviously still relevant!

    There’s a vast amount of validity in the statement that the reason we can’t effectively categorize social media is because it isn’t just one thing.  It’s different things to different people.

    We are trying to combine a number of technological advances with as many societal and business changes and call it social media.

    Even if social media hadn’t come along we would still be experiencing dramatic business changes (although maybe not as dramatic but still significant).

    Business processes are broken and have been for a while.  The culture divide between businesses and their customers has been getting worse for quite a while.

    Things needed to change…

    Social media has amplified that need and has made business transparent, and accelerated that change.

    So now that it’s here, and here to stay no matter how deep you bury your head in the sand, we need to next address the underlying problems.

    Social media can be the solution not the problem. There are lots of fantastic success cases out there for those who have.

    While everyone is figuring out how to categorize, optimize, operationalise social media, the real problems are still there.  Social media won’t fix a rubbish product or service, but it can help to fix problems with customer service, word of mouth, business development etc.

    Social media is not just another tactic in business, and nor is it something to be pigeon-holed in marketing, IT, PR…if it is, then you are not giving it the justice it deserves…social media is now fundamental to business across it’s entirety.  With that in mind, and because each business department will use it to achieve different outcomes, then surely it should fit across the business as a whole?

    I’d like to get your thoughts…

     
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