How ‘sticky’ is Facebook?

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For most Facebook users, the social network has become a fully integrated part of our life. Our personalities now mesh with the online world in the form of Facebook making us all one step closer to eventually that in the not too distant future we will all in some small way become cyborgs. So the question becomes, how ingrained is Facebook into our lives?

With hundreds of cable channels, on-demand videos, HD video game consoles, and massive libraries of e-books all calling for our attention, Facebook continues to stand out as a major player for our time and attention making it one of the stickiest websites in the world.

Engagement Rates

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The engagement figures for Facebook are quite astounding, SimilarWeb PRO shows that visitors to Facebook spend an average of just over 23 minutes on the site which is roughly the time it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons. Compare this to the data for Google Plus, where visitors spend less than 4 minutes, barely enough time to make a decent cup of coffee.

Bounce rates for Facebook are very low with less than 2 in 10 visitors leaving it immediately after entering as opposed to Google Plus where nearly 5 out of 10 visitors bounce. One key feature, which has kept visitors engaged, is the revamped news feed with its content rich images and ads.

After Facebook?

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Such huge numbers of traffic are a boon for advertisers, so understanding where this traffic heads after Facebook is very useful. SimilarWeb PRO illustrates that 1 in 5 visitors head straight to YouTube. We love to share videos and our platform of choice is YouTube. This is probably why Facebook is making such a hard push to get into video advertising.

From this, it’s clear to see there’s a real desire for online videos. Advertisers want to chase this traffic, so it makes sense to organize Facebook campaigns to be mirrored on YouTube and maximize the chances of conversion.

Opportunities on Facebook

Over the past year, according to SimilarWeb data, average time on site for Facebook has never dipped below 22 minutes per visit. This data looks at desktop visits only, so it is fairly safe to assume that combined with mobile usage, Facebook is a dominant part of our lives. Gone are the days when advertisers fight over Superbowl Ads to reach a billion people, because today Facebook enables any advertiser anywhere to reach a bigger and more engaged audience.

[Source: Inside Facebook]

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:

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[Source: Inside Facebook]

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]

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]

The State of Social Marketing and Advertising 2014

Discover The State of Social Marketing 2014, as told by your fellow marketers. Where does your social media marketing strategy stand?

Socialbakers conducted a social media pulse check across 82 countries and 20 industries to discover what marketers are focusing on, and more importantly, what they’re not. Did you know that 86% consider competitive social analysis important, but only 1/3 use paid tools to conduct said analysis! Imagine a lawyer who says a strong defense is important and then turns to Wikipedia to build a case. No thanks, I’ll Google the Constitution myself. Here’s what over 500 of your peers had to say about the state of social media marketing.Data Point TwoThis means nearly 70% of marketers aren’t willing to put their money where their mouth is! Marketers who fly blind without the support of benchmarking data are at a huge disadvantage. Knowing what your competitors are doing on social and how your brand compares is critical for setting and reaching relevant KPIs. Free analytics tools have a place in marketing, but not for those who want a true competitive advantage.Data Point One62% say customer acquisitions via social marketing is a “very important” goal for 2014, but only 29% say the same about social customer care. As brands mature on social media, so do their goals. Remember the days when “likes” seemed to be the only thing that mattered? While social ROI is a smart goal, brands must not neglect the importance of social customer support. As our Socially Devoted initiative highlights – if you don’t support customers on social, they’ll be less likely to support you with their voices or wallets.

Data Point ThreeIt’s no surprise that 80% of marketers, regardless of company size, say Facebook is a high priority. What’s surprising is that only 14% will give Google+ a high priority in 2014 and 23% will not consider the platform at all! This data supports the trend to continue treating Google+ as an SEO tool, not a popping social network.Data Point FourFor those of us with start-up experience we know how many hats a CEO can wear, including the social media one. Support for social marketing is diversified with company growth to include other supporters such as Head of Digital, roles most likely created from said growth. While the benefits of a data-driven social media strategy seem obvious to most marketers, even some big companies struggle to create a company culture that supports social.Data Point FiveWith so many advancements in publishing tools it’s surprising that 41% exclusively publish and manage content directly to native platforms. This means zero support for reporting team performance, organized collaboration, easy scheduling, and managed post approval. This tactic waves a huge red flag for large teams looking to streamline social efforts and avoid confusing communication. We of course recommend using publishing tools.

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Supporting organic reach with paid advertising is the new normal in social media marketing. No matter how targeted or engaging your content is, the fact remains, the social party is crowded and you have to pay for a soapbox. But 14% of companies with more than 5,000 employees reported a $0 social ad budget for 2014. Their content stands alone to fight the noise and competition increasingly present in users’ News Feeds, both from personal connections and competing brands.

However, most companies who know how valuable a well-optimized social strategy can be understand that social advertising is a must. Furthermore, it’s money well spent for brands who optimize and measure their social ad performance.

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It’s not shocking that marketers say News Feed (native) ads are more effective than other placement options. But when you look closely at specified News Feed placements (desktop News Feed vs mobile News Feed vs desktop/mobile News Feed) it becomes clear that marketers aren’t able to distinguish between the three placement types. This points to the fact that marketers are still evolving and learning to fully leverage improved ad targeting provided by leading social networks. The majority have yet to discover the benefit of creating mobile specific content and CTAs.

However, if we compare similar data from a survey conducted in January 2013, we can see that marketers are getting smarter. Then, 81% of Facebook ads used “Facebook All” placement. As of December 2013, that number has been reduced to 42% and News Feed ads lead the way for effective social advertising by a landslide. Right-hand side ads were so 2009.

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The fact that brands are not flocking to Twitter’s adver­tising platform may not speak directly to the platforms’ ability to offer something of value, but rather, to marketers’ inability to effectively adapt to this new form of social advertising.

Twitter launched promoted posts and promoted tweets in March 2012 to a select number of small business and has cautiously expanded this select group to include beverages, athletic apparel, and even a certain Commander-in-chief. Despite Twitter advertisings’ unique appeal, advanced targeting, and proven ROI for a number of brands and verticals, most brands have been quicker to adapt to social advertising on LinkedIn, YouTube, and the Mother of Platform Monetization, Facebook.

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13.5: that’s the average number of social media pages managed by marketers in our survey. That’s more than 13 different pages (potentially of various countries, languages, and products) that all need to publish and promote content at the right time, to the right audience. But even so, the majority of marketers replied that they manage their social advertising via native platforms!

While many social networks, such as Facebook, have made leaps and bounds to improve their advertising platforms, this approach does not provide any efficiencies for managing multiple pages across multiple social networks. Using a 3rd party application for social advertising simplifies the experience giving marketers more time to do what they do best – create amazing and engaging content for their audience.

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One might conclude that along with company growth and expanded resources, something like social media – a function so close to the heart and soul of brand’s identity – would be reigned-in and managed in-house. This data, however, paints a different picture of social media outsourcing: the bigger the company, the more social media work is outsourced. But if you take a closer look at the data, something changes when it comes to post boosting. When compared to ad management and performance reporting, many brands that prefer to outsource social marketing elements chose to keep post boosting in-house. Perhaps this speaks to the holistic approach of boosting “good” content. When marketers see something going well, they know it, and want to support it with ad spend immediately.

Who Did We Ask?

When we say global, we mean global. 82 countries are represented in this survey reflecting a variety of industries including Education (13%), E-commerce (9%), Software (9%), Travel (9%), Nonprofit (9%), and Retail (7%). Company size doesn’t matter when it comes to social media presence so we asked the Davids (less than 50 employees) and the Goliaths (over 5,000 employees). We owe a great debt to the 500+ marketing professionals who contributed to this report. As a thank you, they received the complete survey results in advance of this release. So, don’t miss out next time and take part in our upcoming surveys.

 

[Source: The State of Social Marketing 2014 and The State of Social Advertising 2014 – SocialBakers]

Icons of the Web: the top million web sites for 2013

Icons of the Web from the open source Nmap Security Scanner Project (http://nmap.org)is an update to the hugely popular project from 2010. This update brings all new data, a n updated interactive viewer and printed posters available for sale through Kickstarter for a limited time (until January 17th!)

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[Source: Icons of the Web]

State of Social Media 2013

What a wild year it’s been. You could say that 2013 was the year of social media and you’d be correct. What was once a novelty for people bored and surfing on the ‘net has risen to be an industry in and of itself that companies large and small have embraced around the world as a powerful cornerstone of their marketing initiatives.In case you got lost in the details of 2013, we’ve laid out all the notable moments of the year, month by month, in this handy infographic.What was the most notable social media moment in your life in 2013? Let us know in the comments.

[Source: infographicpromotion]