Teens heavily use Facebook, Instagram more often than Snapchat

One of the most pressing questions about Facebook’s future revolves around teen usage. However, a new study by Forrester shows that maybe teens don’t hate Facebook after all.

Forrester surveyed more than 4,500 U.S. online users between 12 and 17 about their habits on social networks and apps. Among apps they use “all the time,” both Facebook and Instagram finished ahead dof Snapchat.

Nate Elliott, Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst Serving Marketing Leadership Professionals,summed up the findings of the study in a blog post:

The results were clear: Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network. More than three-quarters of online youth use Facebook — twice as many as use Pinterest or Tumblr or Snapchat, and more than use Instagram and WhatApp combined. And 28% of young users who are on Facebook say they use it “all the time,” a higher percentage than said this about any other social network.The bottom line: The sky is not falling. Facebook does not have a problem attracting or retaining teen users.

Here’s a look at the graph, with different apps and social networks used by teens plotted in terms of adoption and hyperusage:

teensocialscatter

[Source: Inside Facebook]

The real Data Sources for Social Media Analysis and Insights: Facebook vs Twitter

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Gnip, DataSift and Topsy are sanctioned tweet resellers while Facebook keeps its conversations under wraps.

Social data is the nectar all brands want to drink, but tapping into the source can be a costly and arduous undertaking.

Consider Facebook and Twitter, the suppliers with the most scale to offer. They have drastically different approaches when it comes to meting out access to the millions of conversations occurring daily on their platforms. And in Twitter’s case, the approach seems subject to constant change.

Twitter

Twitter’s “firehose” of tweets is already an important revenue stream for the company, and it takes a cut from sanctioned resellers that furnish raw data to enterprise customers. But it’s also been looking to restrict the firehose access of existing partners.

First, what exctly is an API? An API, or Application Programming Interface, is the instruction set created for developers to interact with some type of technology. In this case, Twitter has data and lots of it! Twitter created an open API allowing external developers to develop technology which rely on Twitter’s data.

There are three different ways to access Twitter data that we hope you will be able to differentiate by the end of this blog posting.

  1. Twitter’s Search API
  2. Twitter’s Streaming API
  3. Twitter’s Firehose

Twitter’s Search API

First up is Twitter’s Search API, which involves polling Twitter’s data through a search or username. Twitter’s Search API gives you access to a data set that already exists from tweets that have occurred. Through the Search API users request tweets that match some sort of “search” criteria. The criteria can be keywords, usernames, locations, named places, etc. A good way to think of the Twitter Search API is by thinking how an individual user would do a search directly at Twitter (navigating to search.twitter.com and entering in keywords).

How much data can you get with the Twitter Search API?

With the Twitter Search API, developers query (or poll) tweets that have occurred and are limited by Twitter’s rate limits. For an individual user, the maximum number of tweets you can receive is the last 3,200 tweets, regardless of the query criteria. With a specific keyword, you can typically only poll the last 5,000 tweets per keyword. You are further limited by the number of requests you can make in a certain time period. The Twitter request limits have changed over the years but are currently limited to 180 requests in a 15 minute period.

Twitter’s Streaming API

Unlike Twitter’s Search API where you are polling data from tweets that have already happened, Twitter’s Streaming API is a push of data as tweets happen in near real-time. With Twitter’s Streaming API, users register a set of criteria (keywords, usernames, locations, named places, etc.) and as tweets match the criteria, they are pushed directly to the user. Think of this as an agreement between the end user and Twitter – you agree with Twitter that whenever they receive tweets that match keywords relating to “hockey”, they will deliver the tweet directly to you as they happen.  This is a push of data by Twitter, rather than a pull of data initiated by the end user.

The major drawback of the Streaming API is that Twitter’s Steaming API provides only a sample of tweets that are occurring. The actual percentage of total tweets users receive with Twitter’s Streaming API varies heavily based on the criteria users request and the current traffic. Studies have estimated that using Twitter’s Streaming API users can expect to receive anywhere from 1% of the tweets to over 40% of tweets in near real-time. The reason that you do not receive all of the tweets from the Twitter Streaming API is simply because Twitter doesn’t have the current infrastructure to support it, and they don’t want to; hence, the Twitter Firehose.

Twitter’s Firehose API

The final way to access data is by having access to the full Twitter Firehose. The Twitter Firehose is in fact very similar to the Twitter’s Streaming API as it pushes data to end users in near real-time, but the Twitter Firehose guarantees delivery of 100% of the tweets that match your criteria.

The Twitter Firehose is handled by two data providers, GNIP and DataSift, which have tight relationships with Twitter. Similar to the streaming API, the firehose consists of an agreement between an end user and distributors of the Firehose (GNIP or Datasift) on what tweets the end user should receive in near real-time. As the data providers receive tweets they are pushed directly to the end user.

The two differences between Twitter’s Streaming API and Twitter’s Firehose access is that you are guaranteed delivery of 100% of the tweets and it’s not free. The Twitter Streaming API is free to use but gives you limited results (and limited licensing usage of the data). Access to the Twitter Firehose removes a lot of the usage restrictions imposed by Twitter but is fairly costly for access to all the tweets.

Why the difference matters

The Twitter Search API and Twitter Streaming API work well for a lot of individuals that just want to access Twitter data for light analytics or statistical analysis. Marketing companies and social media analytic companies use Twitter’s Search API to analyze trends in social media. However, these differences are significant when you are in a situation that requires you to monitor Twitter in real-time during a specific event or critical situation.

Sports ArenaFor example, professional sports teams provide security during games for spectators. It is critical that they be able to see what is happening in real-time at the venue.

Real-time, full access is also imperative for law enforcement. Whether it’s a specific situation that is evolving minute by minute or a high-profile event that is happening in their jurisdiction, the police need to know what is happening, when it is happening, and where it is happening to keep citizens safe. They can’t rely on just a sample of the information and have it delivered after the fact.

 

Facebook

Facebook, meanwhile, has nothing resembling a firehose and keeps the majority of conversations taking place on its pages under wraps. Brands that want to know what’s being said about them can use listening tools to tap into public posts that haven’t been hidden by privacy settings, but no more.

 

The social network has no agreements in place with data resellers, so in theory an individual who knows how to code can get just as much out of Facebook’s data conduit—its Graph API—as an enterprise-level service.  In practice, of course, the infrastructure that social-listening companies have built up makes them better equipped to handle the available data.

There’s a broad consensus among marketers that Facebook furnishes rich data insights on a one-off basis to high-spending media partners. (Facebook declined to comment.) If and when the social network decides to make enhanced data insights into a product that advertisers can pay for—offering a view into how many mentions of a brand are trending across the network, for example—it could have a robust new revenue stream.

“It would be a pretty valuable tool, one that people would be willing to pay for,” said Tim Fogarty, lead strategist for the social-media agency M80.

[Source: AdAge and BrightPlanet]

Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media

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The seven deadly sins: just the mention of the term stirs up feelings of guilt and an urge to right your wrongs. This goes for social media too! When it comes to social media, there are countless examples of individuals and companies making all sorts of mistakes and not using social networks to their full potential. So let’s strike a little fear into your hearts here and show you how the seven deadly sins can have a damning effect on your social media efforts.

1. Gluttony

You are a social media glutton if you try to be everywhere at once. You feel the need to create an account on every social network in existence, regardless of whether or not the network is appropriate for your specific goals.

If you do not know what your social media goals are, start by asking the following questions. Does your target audience use the social network? Do you produce content that the social network can showcase appropriately? What results are you looking to see from being on the social network (i.e. leads, website traffic, exposure, etc.)? Answer these questions for each social network before actually creating your account.

2. Sloth

If you created a social media account and then left it dormant, shame on you! Or perhaps you post some great content to your social media account on a regular basis: great! But what about engaging your audience? Facilitating conversations with your followers?

If you leave your social media accounts inactive or fail to respond to social media interactions, then you are guilty of social media sloth. Sloth is a sure way to have your followers lose interest in you or to give them the impression that you do not care about them as customers or as an audience.

3. Greed

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to gain more followers? Will you pay, lie, cheat, maybe even rent out your firstborn to get your follower counts into the 10K range? If so, then you are guilty of social media greed.

The number of followers on your social media accounts is an important metric in terms of the growth and success of your efforts. Your main focus, however, should remain on producing quality content, nurturing relationships and building a community online.

4. Wrath

Have people criticized or complained about your services via social media? If so, don’t respond in haste. You most definitely should respond, but you have to make sure your response is tactful and not attacking in any way. If your response is mean-spirited or fails to address the complaint, then you are guilty of social media wrath.

Don’t think it’s a bad thing to take your time to calm down and contemplate any criticism on social media. It lets personal offense simmer down so you can see things from the complainer’s perspective. Even if you think responding is futile, according to Kissmetrics 22% of social media complainers welcomed the interaction that resulted from their complaining and later posted a positive response.

5. Lust

If your business is struggling to market itself effectively, you may think that social media will help you out. In fact, you may believe that social media will be the golden ticket to instant success, fame and profits. If your mouth waters at the perceived magic of social media to solve all your marketing problems, then you are guilty of the social media sin of lust.

The truth is social media is a tool that takes time and effort. It’s part of a larger, long-term marketing strategy. Social media is definitely not a quick fix or a panacea for broken or inadequate marketing strategies.

6. Envy

Do you look at others’ social media accounts, large followings and constantly shared content and get an overwhelming desire to be just like them? Then you are guilty of social media envy. No two companies, individuals or organizations are exactly the same, so don’t feel envious just because your competitor is performing a particular way on social media. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors on social media to look for opportunities to grow and gain inspiration, it’s not a good idea to copy your competitors under the illusion that you’ll achieve the same results.

7. Pride

Yes, you (hopefully) control your social media accounts. Yes, social media is a tool that can help promote your brand. But no, your social media content cannot be all about you. If so, then you are guilty of the social media sin of pride. If you talk about you, your business or your product all the time or even most of the time, it bores your audience and puts yet another nail in your social media coffin. Instead, mix it up. Remember the 4-1-1 rule: for every self-serving message you post (i.e. promoting an article you wrote or an event you’re hosting), you should share one message from another user and four pieces of others’ original content.

[Source: DashBurst]

Facebook Algorithm Tweaks Drive More Brand Engagement

The “Q1 2014 Social Intelligence Report” (PDF) indicates that Facebook still rules the roost when it comes to social media platforms—engagement is higher on Facebook than on any other platform and is on the rise.

ADI’s report looks at the effect social media has on brands from a paid, owned, and earned perspective. The analysis is based on 260 billion Facebook ad impressions, 226 billion Facebook post impressions, 17 billion referred visits from social networking sites, and 7 billion brand post interactions, including comments, likes, and shares.

“People are clicking through to the ads they are seeing,” said Joe Martin, a senior analyst at ADI. “Click-through rates are up year over year and quarter over quarter. The new Autoplay feature for video seems to be working, as well. There have been huge amounts of video plays, and engagement rates are up. Even though people have expressed frustration over the algorithm changes by Facebook, there’s good news in the data for brands.”

Facebook video plays are up a whopping 758 percent year over year (YoY). Engagement with video posts is up 25 percent YoY and up 58 percent quarter over quarter (QoQ).

Brands are also taking advantage of Facebook’s ad business, which is also growing. According to ADI, Facebook’s ad clicks increased 70 percent YoY and 48 percent QoQ, with ad impressions up 40 percent and 41 percent, respectively. And people are clearly clicking on the ads being served, given that Facebook’s ad click-through rate (CTR) jumped 160 percent YoY and 20 percent QoQ. Also notable: Clicks still outpace impressions on the platform.

ADI’s analysis also found that Fridays are the best-performing day of the week for social media. Consumers post more, like more, and comment more on that day. Additionally, 25 percent of videos played and 15.7 percent of impressions on Facebook take place on Friday. “That’s definitely when marketers should be planning to use their best content because that’s when you’ll get the most engagement,” Martin said.

Twitter (5 percent) and Facebook (11 percent) referred revenue-per-visitor (RPV) also increased in the first quarter. According to Martin, LinkedIn stood out with a 15 percent share of social traffic to B2B high-tech sites. Only Facebook drove more traffic (52 percent) to B2B high-tech sites in Q1.

“Facebook is back at the top of the mountain,” Martin said. “It was declining for some time, but now it’s at about 75 percent of retail referrer traffic, for example. All the other networks are still growing, but the majority of referring traffic is still attributed to Facebook. That means that Facebook’s adaptions for marketers are working.”

 

[Source: Adobe Index]

Social Commerce: Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales?

Business owners often wonder about the “ROI of social media”. Is my Facebook page actually driving sales? Is all this tweeting really doing anything for my bottom line? Should I be on Pinterest and Instagram?

Well it turns out, when it comes to ecommerce, being social matters.

To better understand how social media is impacting the ecommerce industry, Shopify analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders.

Here’s some interesting data points they uncovered:

  • Facebook dominates as a source of social traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook.
  • Orders from Reddit increased 152% in 2013.
  • Perhaps most interesting and surprising was community style site Polyvore which is generating the highest average order value ahead of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Also noteworthly in this category is Instagram which is also generating higher average orders than those same sites. This is especially impressive considering the only clickable links in Instagram are those in profile bio’s.
  • Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all social media ecommerce traffic at 1.85%

In addition to these stats, they’ve also analyzed specific industries to determine which platforms are performing better. You can check out all the findings in the infographic below.

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[Source: Shopify]