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I’ve never been a heavy Facebook user — I’ve had an account for a very long time but I mainly used it to share posts from CN and to “friend” people who request that I friend them. Over the years I’ve changed my personal settings to be able to see the different types of ads that are displayed. Up until this month I’ve never had a profile picture and have appeared as women and men of all different ages.
Whenever I take a look at the main feed on Facebook, it’s mostly content imported from Twitter. I’ve written about this before and wish that Facebook allowed you to turn off certain sites from displaying in your feed (e.g Twitter, pinterest, etc.).
(As an aside, I have noticed that techies seem to like and share content a LOT less than people in other demographics.)
So why I am using Facebook more often than I ever have? Simple, the people that I am now interested in following and interacting with are on Facebook and don’t use the other networks, Twitter and Google+, as often or at all.
Some of you know that I am working on my health in a big way and I have been studying and researching all sorts of health and fitness topics across the web and in print. Most of the people and brands I want to interact with have popular Facebook pages. For example, my nutritionist has a very popular Facebook page and she does a good job of interacting with the people who like and comment on her content.
Whether I am looking to interact with people around a Vitamix blender, a Breville juicer or why candida is bad for you, there are pages on Facebook with people who are willing to reply and provide feedback when needed. What’s great is that unlike Twitter where you just talk to talk, on Facebook you expect to have a conversation.
The only area I’ve noticed so far that needs serious work is the search function and specifically with regards to Facebook Groups. Here is a sample of the search results for the term “fitness” – notice that every single result is exactly the same – and it is like this on every page of the results. I want to join groups but where do I even begin when every single one looks identical?!? Groups search should function in a similar fashion to how Meetup.com works.
If I was in a management position at Facebook, I would certainly be asking why we haven’t created a YouTube competitor. So many of the health brands have tons of videos and they all live on YouTube yet the brand uses Facebook to promote their messaging.
It will be interesting to see if Google+ can draw more normals (both people and brands) into their network. I haven’t seen the health and fitness brands pushing their G+ pages (if they even have them).
This post written by Dan Lewis – he wants you to learn something new every day.
The news is behind the times.
Look at the bottom graph of the top picture. Relative to Twitter, there’s been virtually no news pickup of Tumblr. It’s a flat blue line. On the other hand, search volume shows that Tumblr’s been a “thing,” relative to Twitter, for almost two years. The news is two years behind.
The second picture is Tumblr v. Instagram. Outside of the sale, Tumblr’s been crushing Instagram on search volume — steeper slope and everything. And yet, until the sale, both “news” graphs were relatively flat. Instagram spiked — but only after the sale.
The third one show something different: Tumblr v. Pinterest. Similar slopes, with Pinterest perhaps a bit steeper but with less staying power, it seems. The news noticed it… which underscores how invisible Tumblr is to them. But why’d they notice Pinterest? I have a few theories, none of which are flattering to the news industry.
Fascinating. And amazing.
Alternative title: Are Facebook and LinkedIn the largest Twitter aggregators?
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all provide streams of content – the content can either be created on the service or the content can be posted automatically from outside sources – typically either RSS feeds or from one of these services to another. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have content outside of the stream while Twitter is completely based on the content stream.
What I’ve noticed more and more over the past few months is that the stream on both Facebook and LinkedIn is dominated by Twitter updates. And since I follow basically the same set of people on all 3 services, I see the same update over and over again. I understand that everyone is different but I have to assume that for many people, their overlap is somewhat similar.
This overlap of content creates several issues – I’ve discussed a few of them in years past when FriendFeed was still an active service.
The biggest issue I see with the mass sending of content updates to every possible social network is: where to comment to get a reaction from the status creator. As a basic example, if you look below, Anil Dash has posted an update on Twitter which was sucked into Facebook. Three people have commented on Anil’s content. Will Anil respond to these comments? Does he even know that these comments have been posted? And do the people commenting understand that Anil may not even know that these comments exist? While it might not be important for a typical status update, if I ask a question seeking help, then it is important that I see the replies.
There is always talk that some updates belong on Twitter, some on Facebook and some on LI. But the truth is that it seems like people just want to pass along their content to whatever service will take it (most of you know my view is that 99% of updates are not needed). I am hoping that in 2012 both Facebook and LinkedIn will offer the option to turn off third-party aggregation. Such an option would instantly clean up my streams on all three services. The downside from the company perspective is that they would lose the updates that are so important for monetization.
During one of the cases on Judge Judy, the plaintiff provided a printout of some messages from Facebook. After the judge went over the messages related to the case, she spent the next 30 seconds providing possibly a great overview of the majority of messages, photos and videos posted as “social media”. Below is the video clip and here is a transcription:
- Judge Judy: can I ask you a question?
- Plaintiff: yes
- Judge Judy: this is your Facebook page?
- Plaintiff: yes
- Judge Judy: and this is you in this bathing suit?
- Plaintiff: yes
- Judge Judy: and i just want to know
- Plaintiff: yes, it is me up there
- Judge Judy: is there any reason you think this is an appropriate picture to send around the Internet?
- Plaintiff: I did modeling and this is a picture that I like and I feel that I wanted to post it
- Judge Judy: (breathes) I need to take deep breaths, I need to take deep breaths
- Bailiff Petri Hawkins-Byrd: It’s only going to get worse
Maybe the next time you post something on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Path, etc., ask yourself this question before clicking the submit button, “Judge Judy is wondering, is there any reason you think this is an appropriate x to send around the Internet?”
Continue reading “Did Judge Judy Just Sum Up Social Media? (video)” »
Another day, another battle of “Google+ is the future” vs. “Google+ is dead”. I am guessing we will see these back-and-forth posts for a long time. This week the hot thing to do on Google+ is to make circles of the same brands everyone else has and then share those circles with your followers who have probably already created the same brand circles.
One of the earliest supporters of Google+ was Edelman EVP Steve Rubel. Steve heads up the Global Strategy and Insights division for the global agency. Steve is a good speaker and I have always found Steve to have interesting insights and enjoyed our in-person conversations. He seemed to post/re-share to Google Plus numerous times every day throughout the earliest days and summer. Then slowly his postings started to become less frequent. If I remember correctly, Steve held multiple internal conferences with his colleagues to educate them about Google+ shortly after launch.
In early September, Edelman announced that they were selected as Twitter’s new PR firm. Did this new client signing influence Steve to spend more time on Twitter than Google Plus? Some of the conversations I had since the announcement seemed to think so but I am not sold on this idea because Steve’s job requires that he understand all of the networks so he can position them properly to Edelman’s staff and, in-turn, clients. Google evangelist Louis Gray noted the new Twitter-Edelman relationship when Rubel shared a post that questioned whether Google+ would be around for the long-term.
On October 20th, Rubel asked if, “Anybody Home” and he received over 20 responses including one from me. There have been no posts from Rubel until one early this morning where he posted the following message:
I have decided not to post here for the time being. I will leave my profile up. Google+ is great. I wish them luck. Really i do. But I have to make choices about where I spend my time and for me that’s Twitter, Facebook and soon Tumblr – where I will be doing more so. It’s where I get the most value for the time invested. So, adios for now. See you on one of those networks. I may change my mind one day, but right now this is my plan. See you online. / Steve
Some have asked me if this is a bad sign for Google+. I am not sure if this should be considered any sort of death sign because I know Steve is crazy busy as it took me quite a while to get on his calendar a couple of years ago. It would be interesting to hear from Steve about how he will position Google+ to his colleagues and to all of Edelman’s clients going forward. I guess I will have to find him on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr to attempt to get the answer to this very important question.
If you are considering posting a deal online, whether on your own website or using one of the deal sites including SlickDeals, Fatwallet, Groupon or Living Social, you MUST consider the “Vulture Effect”. The vulture effect is a term I use when a deal goes bad for the merchant. And it seems like the Vulture Effect is getting worse and worse over the past year or so.
What’s the “Vulture Effect“? It’s where a deal is posted without strict rules enforcement and so deal hunters will take advantage of the deal over and over and over until there is nothing left…just like a vulture does to a carcass. While this may not seem like a big deal for large companies (it is), it most certainly is for a small business. One deal gone wrong and it could mean not just some unhappy deal hunters, but negative reviews, negative social media press, etc.
We’ve seen the Vulture Effect a lot lately including big time with the Living Social deal with Amazon. The good news for merchants is that the big deal sites are getting smarter with how to deal with the Vulture Effect – a good example was Living Social’s deal with Whole Foods — they had much more strict requirements than with the Amazon deal. With the Amazon deal, the Vulture Effect came from deal hunters creating tons of email addresses and then using the deal-referrer scheme to get free deals and then pay for other deals. Some report walking away with over 100 deals but Living Social did work to remove a lot of the purchases that should not have been accepted.
This weekend I saw an amazing amount of Vulture Effect activity with a deal at Casual Male/Rochester Male. This deal was by far the worst level of Vulture Effect activity I have seen this year. On Thursday, someone posted a coupon for $75 off a $100 purchase at Casual Male and/or Rochester Male (same parent company) on SlickDeals. From what I could tell by looking at the coupon itself and the link, the coupon was apparently intended to be sent to some email subscribers as an incentive to get them to come back and shop at the store. I could be wrong but I am quite sure that the coupon was NOT intended to be released for public consumption. But because CM/RM didn’t consider the Vulture Effect, the coupon moved around the deal circuit very fast. You can see some of the deal sites that this coupon spread to in a Google search.
People on the deal boards were redeeming this coupon multiple times, both online and in-store (I used it only once). Eventually Casual Male turned the coupon off and began calling customers who ordered more than once and canceled some of the extra orders. Some deal hunters wondered which VP would be fired over this vulture effect.
How to prevent the Vulture Effect
Preventing the vulture effect on your deal takes time and effort. You need to make sure that the terms of the deal are strict enough that they alone will prevent mass redemption. In the case of the Casual Male deal, they gave out a 75% coupon on any goods which meant not only could their target of large and tall men use the coupon, but practically anyone could redeem for shoes. Had CM offered 50% off, their redemption level would have been more reasonable. Or a deal offering “spend $100, get $50 gift card in December” would have also limited redemptions but still provided excellent value.
If you plan to use a deal service like Groupon or Living Social, make sure you put pressure on your sales reps to provide ways to limit any excessive use on your deal. Both Groupon and LS can track deal purchases back to users which can help eliminate some of the excessive purchases.
At the end of the deal, there will always be vultures out there – your goal as a merchant is to make sure you limit the Vulture Effect while still offering a sexy deal that provides the return you are looking for.
Facebook is holding an all-day, free event on November 2 in Austin at the Sheraton hotel (would have been great if the event was held at the Facebook office). The day will start at 9:30 AM and end at 5PM and will include lunch. The event will center around the Facebook Open Graph and will include talks on games, mobile and marketing. There is a keynote presentation but the speaker was not noted.
If you want to meet a Facebook developer, this looks like a great opportunity to get some time with their team. It looks like the event will host about 100 attendees so it might be a good chance to meet other local developers.
Here is the overview of the event from Facebook:
“This is a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience with the new Open Graph technologies recently launched at f8, Facebook’s Developer conference. During this all-day program, Facebook will host technical deep-dives, a Q&A with our Developer team, and an opportunity for you and your team to share 1:1 time with Facebook Engineers during ‘Office Hours’.”
You can register for the Facebook event here.