In March 2015 dot-com domains turn 30 years old, and coincidently I will as well. The first “.com” domain was registered on March 15, 1985, some 6 years before the launch of the world-wide-web in 1991, and since then nothing has ever been the same.
Like many Millennials now entering their middle ages, I’m nostalgic for nearly everything from my youth, including the old websites we grew up browsing. So I thought it might be fun to surf down memory lane, comparing the top websites from back-in-the-day with their modern counterparts. Combining tools like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (which catalogs snapshots of the web) with publicly available data on web usage in the U.S., here’s a look back at the top websites in 2005 compared to those in 2015: Continue reading Networked Nostalgia: The Internet and Web Enters Its Middle Ages→
Last month Nielsen (my employer) released a new State of the Media report focused on social media use in the US and around the world. This report offers a unique snapshot overview of the social media landscape, using measurements of consumers’ behavior in their browsers rather than survey data. It reveals not only the significant growth among the population visiting social networks and blogs, but also who makes up the audience on these sites and how they use social media. Here’s a few highlights of its key findings and takeaways:
More than 4 in 5 American who are active online visited Social Media websites within the last month
About a quarter of all time spent online is using Social Networks & Blog sites, more than twice as much as the next nearest category of websites.
Facebook is by far the most popular social networking website globally, and in the U.S. Tumblr is among the fastest growing
Growth in social media users comes from people of all ages and increasingly among those aged 55+, making social media more representative of the online population overall
As a member of Nielsen’s global communications team (full disclosure), I helped research and write this report, working together with our thoughts leaders/experts and designers to create compelling data visualizations that help convey Nielsen’s insights into consumer behavior. The response to the report has been overwhelmingly positive, with coverage by key news media and thousands of links shared across social networks. Of course all ideas/opinions expressed on this site and in social media are my own (and are not necessarily shared by my employer), so hopefully you find the analysis and insight in this report as helpful as I do.
At least once in your career as a social media manager you may be tempted to cross-post your marketing message over multiple social networks. While new tools make it easy to post updates across Facebook, Twitter, and more sites you should resist this inclination to broadcast your message through social media; cross-posting ignores the unique purpose of using social media to reach your audience.
The practice of cross-posting has become increasingly common as brands build their online marketing strategy around Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and link baiting across social networks. Posting updates on each site requires sustainable commitments of time and resources, so there’s temptation to publish the same message across multiple sites with only a single update. However the acceptable rate of updates varies widely between social networks, so while it’s effective to post messages multiple times a day on Twitter, this same frequency might be viewed as spammy on Facebook and other networks. The result is often that brands lose fans/followers as well as the trust of their audience, not to mention deteriorating their brand’s value in the eyes of consumers.
In addition to making your brand become perceived as a source of spam, cross-posting also appears tone deaf to the consumers who are interested in interacting with your organization. Social Media opens up new opportunities that can help promote brands, but all too often is viewed as the platform to broadcast their own advertisements. But even a soapbox speaker will read the reactions of the audience they’re addressing, and likewise your brand should listen and interact with your audience.
Post updates individually to each social media site, varying the frequency for each platform; perhaps 1-2 updates a day on Facebook and 6-10 for Twitter.
For every 5 updates on Twitter, only 1 or 2 should promote your company, and the rest should engage your audience by sharing their ideas and answering their questions for subjects which you have expertise about.
Use measurement tools to note which posts resonate with each audience, and make adjustments accordingly to what they find most valuable.
Take advantage of the unique features of each social media site, such as @replies on Twitter and the Events or Photo apps on Facebook, to spark discussions with your target audience.
Use these unique social media tools to listen carefully to your audience and then offer them solutions to their problems, not just to sell them your products.
Being strategic in your communications means using research to focus your goals on any media outlet, including social media. Of course many organizations may not be able to commit resources to support so many social sites, and instead they should focus on one or two which best meet their goals. In many cases a poorly executed communication plan may be worse than no having no social media presence at all, so be don’t be afraid to be selective. After all an abandoned social media profile is like a ghost for your brand, and when you’ve got the tools and the talent “I ain’t afraid of no ghost”.
Public Communications, Online Marketing, and Social Media Strategy