Friday Wrap #41: Facebook exposure, Twitter gloom, the worst layoff communication ever, and more2013-03-08
This week’s wrap features some particularly intriguing items, all drawn from a wider selection I collect on my link blog at LinksFromShel.tumblr.com. That’s also where I find the stories I’ll cover on my podcast. I’d be honored if you’d give my co-host and me a listen at For Immediate Release.
How many people saw that picture of your dinner you shared last night?
Data scientists have Facebook have crunched the numbers and come to the conclusion that one out of three of your friends sees every update you post to the social network. The analysis of 220,000 Facebook users’ posts last June found that, over the course of the month, users reached an average of 61 percent of their friends, according to a
New York Times blog post. The study also found that users routinely underestimate the number of people they believe see their posts.
Doom and gloom is more prevalent on Twitter than the general population
For years, an assumption has gained credence that opinions shared on Twitter are a predictor of what the general public thinks. A year-long study from the Pew Research Center has reached a different conclusion. Comparing public opinion polls around eight major news events with the reactions to those events on Twitter, researches concluded, “At times the Twitter conversation is more liberal than survey responses, while at other times it is more conservative. Often it is the overall negativity that stands out. Much of the difference may have to do with both the narrow sliver of the public represented on Twitter as well as who among that slice chose to take part in any one conversation.” The full study can be found here.
Is there a correlation between Facebook likes and the quality of your business?
In the case of New York hospitals, the data suggests that the hospitals people are inspired to like on Facebook are the ones that have the best healthcare outcomes, at least when it comes to mortality rates from heart attacks. Buzzfeed‘s Anna North reports that researchers found “more Facebook likes meant lower mortality — every 1% drop in mortality rate was associated with 93 extra likes. The study authors think hospitals with lower mortality rates also have better patient satisfaction, and that satisfied patients are more likely to turn to Facebook to positively rate their experiences.” Based on the nature of your business, the research suggests that looking at the number of likes you’ve received compared to your local competitors could give you a clue about which business better serves its customers. Improve the quality of your service and you could see the number of likes start climbing organically.
Getty Museum gets its social media initiative just right
While a lot of big brands stumble over themselves to establish newsrooms—the latest social media marketing shiny object—the Getty Museum has looked at the kind of social behavior that would resonate with its audience and implemented a small scale program that is bound to get a lot of attention from art lovers. The museum, nestled in the Sepulveda Pass that separates downtown L.A. from the San Fernando Valley, will be the lone U.S. facility to display Vermeer’s Lady In Blue as the painting makes a world tour. The painting of a woman in a blue dress reading a letter invites a question: What’s in the letter than has caused the reaction immortalized in her face? The museum has invited fans to share their thoughts about what might be in the letter, generated hundreds of responses of all kinds—some set at the time the painting was created, others imagining the future. According to Edward Boches, writing in Social Media Today, “he Getty actually encouraged people to think about the painting, the moment captured, Vermeer’s intentions, the story that might be contained in its 270 square inches. It gave Vermeer fans a reason to pay to attention, participate and engage. And perhaps more importantly it didn’t ask for much in return. No likes. No follows. No pleas to purchase a ticket or visit the exhibit.” Not every social media effort needs to start with a hashtag, a real-time opportunity or a QR code. Knowing what will excite your audience and inviting them to share can take a lot less work yet produce better results that more deeply engage your audience.
Video among the highest producers of ROI among content types
CopyPress asked marketers which types of content produce the highest ROI. Featured articles came out on top. But right behind the 62.2% of marketers who see value accruing from articles are those in the 51.9% who said video produces great ROI. The study also shined the light on problems with video. It was the highest-rated channel described as “difficult to create.” It was also perceived as “overpriced,” according to a report in the Video Marketing Blog.
In case you thought you’d already seen the worst layoff communication possible…
Daily Voice, a network of hyperlocal news sites in the Northeast U.S., welcomed a new CEO who distributed a heartening email upon his arrival. Carll Tucker told employees in his missive, “Monday morning we will share with you the news about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. The news is good -— but you’ll need to sit tight while we finalize our plans.” His email concluded: “I am pumped about the prospect of working with you to build a great company.” What actually happened on Monday? Layoffs with no severance packages, according to Gawker and several other reports. On the day the good news was supposed to come, the company instead closed down all 11 of his Massachusetts facilities, and more staff were canned in New York. “Make no mistake,” writes internal communications expert Robert Holland; “Daily Voice management flat-out lied to employees.” Says Holland, “I’m guessing this mess will stand for many years as the best example of how not to communicate and carry out a layoff. Critiquing it is like shooting the proverbial fish in a barrel.”
Some women like social networking more than dating
PR agency Weber Shandwick has looked into the hearts of women using social media and founds those hearts filled—so filled, in fact, that some women prefer their social networks to going out on dates or spending time with a husband or boyfriend. (Is it that the social networks are so awesome? Or is it that the dating scene leaves something to be desired?) Designed to figure out which segments of women online wield influence, the study of 2,000 North American women—when extrapolated across the population—found that 82 million women in the U.S. who enjoy the time they spend on social channels. According to a Bulldog Reporter item, “The women of social media enjoy their online networks nearly as much as they enjoy live social activities (75 percent and 77 percent, respectively) and, notably, slightly more than dating or spending time with their partner (72 percent). In fact, one-quarter of Women of Social Media (24 percent) prefer to socialize online rather than in person.” The report also highlights ways to engage this audience, focusing on “building more emotional ROI into their social media brand platforms.”
$299 a year gets your brand a lot from WordPress
Automaticc—the company that owns the WordPress blogging platform—has unveiled a new WordPress.com for Business service that costs just $299 a year. The fee gets you advanced design tools that support custom web fonts, 50 premium themes and unlimited storage for audio and video, along with live chat support and a custom domain name. Similar services with other hosting companies are considerably pricier, and the audio and video hosting is particularly valuable, given that most services charge based on the amount of data downloaded from the site. Premium themes bought a la carte are $50 each and 200 GB of storage runs $290, so the $299 for the bundle is pretty impressive. Writes