(c) Can Stock PhotoWelcome to the 52nd Wrap—a full year of social/digital media news curation! This past week has seen the introduction of upgrades and new features across a number of popular social sites, along the release of studies that correct some popular misimpressions. I collect these stories throughout the week on my link blog, LinksFromShel.tumblr.com, and choose those for the Wrap you might have missed in the wake of other, bigger stories. Enjoy!
Study reveals how teens use social media
“Teens are abandoning social media!” a lot of people proclaim. “In droves!!” I have always had a problem with this. Even if teens are moving to messaging apps like WeChat and Kik, flocking to Twitter, or adopting any of a number of other tools, they’re not necessarily abandoning Facebook. While they may not use it to connect with their peers, where else will they see pictures of the family reunion that Aunt Martha shares? Now there’s real data to help understand teen behavior with social media, thanks to The Pew Internet and American Life‘s new study, “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” According to the report, teens “have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful ‘drama,’ but they keep using it because participation is an important part of overall teenage socializing.” Teen adoption of Twitter has, indeed, surged, from 16% in 2011 to 24% in the new study. The assumption that teens are wantonly sharing information that could hurt them later also turns out to be, at least partially, a myth. According to the report, “Teens take other steps to shape their reputation, manage their networks, and mask information they don’t want others to know; 74% of teen social media users have deleted people from their network or friends list.”
Marketers prefer organic posting, but paid advertising works better
It seems antithetical to all the perceptions about the nature of social media where brands engage authentically with customers. But while marketers prefer organic posting—items like blog posts, status updates, tweets, YouTube videos and the like—paid advertising on social platforms produces the best results. That’s the result of a Forrester study conducted for Kenshoo Social, reports Bulldog Reporter. “The findings emphasized the increasing needs for more sophisticated social advertising tactics and methods to better match tactics to objectives,” according to the report.
Another brand embraces Vine
You still can’t create a Vine video if you don’t have an iPhone, but that’s not slowing the brand adoption of the six-second video service from Twitter. The latest company to jump on the Vinewagon is Dunkin’ Donuts, which “has launched a Vine contest that challenges fans to show how its iced coffee puts a spring in their step,” writes Rimma Kats for Mobile Marketer. To participate in the contest, you would create a Vine and post it with the hashtag #iceDD.
Pinterest has made it easier to get information about those images
In collaboration with brands with a strong presence on its site, Pinterest has launched an upgrade designed to improve the ease with which users can gather information. “Instead of exclusively linking back to the original source, pins from certain brands will now display information such as recipes, movie reviews and price information,” according to Mashable‘s Nora Grenfell. Pinterest hopes users will see more useful content when they first spy a pin. For example, rather than having to click a photo of a dish in order to visit the site where the recipe resides, the recipe will appear beneath the photo. In other Pinterest news, the site has also added its ubiquitous Pin It button to pins on its mobile app, and “Rich Pins” will supplement images of some products with information such as price, availability and where they can purchase the pictured item.
It’s time to set up new processes for routine responses to trademark issues
When an unauthorized use of a trademark hits a company’s radar screen, routine processes kick, often without the added benefit of a critical look at the violation that could avoid customer blowback and hinder potential advantages for the brand. That’s what Nutella learned this week as those routine processes kicked out a cease-and-desist to a fan who took it upon himself to establish World Nutella Day back in 2007. When Ferrero, the maker of the hazelnut spread, decided the fan-led celebration was out-of-bounds and instructed her to stop, Rosso wrote on a site dedicated to the day, “On May 25, 2013, I’ll be darkening the World Nutella Day site, nutelladay.com, and all social media presence (Facebook, Twitter), in compliance with a cease-and-desist I received from lawyers representing Ferrero, SpA (makers of Nutella).” Fans piled on, mainly on Nutella’s Facebook page, prompting a review by Ferrero and ultimately an expression of gratitude to Rosso and a suspension of its effort to put the brakes on the celebration, according to Danny Sullivan on Marketing Land. That’s well and good—an example of a company responding to its customers—but wouldn’t it be better if the process that resulted in the takedown notice in the first place was updated to reflect the more social nature of the world? Getting on board with a fan’s proclamation of love for the product in the first place would have been much better than backing down.
Have you set up Twitter authentication procedures for your brand accounts?
Twitter’s new two-step authentication scheme is great for consumers tired of having their accounts hacked. For brands, though, the new procedure could cause problems, especially when more than one person uses the account, a pretty common situation in a lot of companies. The process isn’t original; Bank of America has been using it for years for its online tools and Facebook adopted it not too long ago. AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac explains in a Wall Street Journal article, “When users try to log in, they are asked to provide a cellphone number. Twitter then sends a code via text message to that number, and the user is asked to enter the code to complete the login.” Consequently, a lot of organizations may not opt into the process, leaving business accounts vunlerable. Twitter has recommended limiting tweeting to a single computer. There’s more Twitter news: Michael Learmonth writes for AdAge that Twitter’s new Lead Generation Cards feature a button that, with a single click, lets users share their name, email address and Twitter handle to a company in order to request more information or take advantage of an offer.
IBM’s Watson goes all social on us
You no doubt remember the IBM stunt that pit its Watson computer against two Jeopardy superstars. Watson was able to parse a question (or, in Jeopardy’s case, an answer), sift through staggering amounts of data and come up with the best answer. Watson handily beat its human competitors. Since then, we haven’t heard much about IBM’s plans for Watson, but now we learn it’s being applied to the oceans of data created by social media. Dubbed the Watson Engagement Advisor, the computer will “social-media data and publicly available data in conjunction with proprietary data from clients and their partners such as response data from previous marketing efforts and continuously learns from that information using its natural-language processing and machine learning capabilities,” writes Kate Kay in AdAge. The service—already being used by Nielsen, ANZ and Royal Bank of Canada, among others—will allow marketers, planners and others to ask a question and get answers based on data people may never see.
Storify becomes more relevant to brands
I’ve been a Storify fan since its early days. The curation tool makes it drop-dead easy to create and maintain a “story” by adding blog posts, articles, images, tweets, videos and other content from anywhere on the Web. While most of Storify’s users focus on reporting short-term events, most of my stories are long-term archives on topics like content marketing, social media research and employee access to social media. Storify remains free for individuals but recently announced pricing for business use. Making that fee-based service more appealing is a new partnership with Adobe’s Typekit that will let brands tailor the look of their stories to better match their own sites. (One of Storify’s features that made me a fan is the ability to embed a story just like you can embed a YouTube video.) The Typekit feature is only available to business account holders, according to The Next Web.
Voice metrics gain favor in social media measurement efforts
When you get frustrated enough to abandon a product, you’re as likely to express your reasons as simply turn to a new alternative. If the company behind the product is listening, your voice can lead to changes and improvements. Social media has provided customers with a platform for that expression, making it easier for more and more people to go public with their dissatisfaction. And, based on the most recent CMO Survey, brands are listening, emphasizing voice metrics in their efforts to measure the ROI of social media. “The emphasis on pure financial metrics is waning,” writes Christine Moorman in Forbes. “Companies are increasingly using voice metrics—such as referral and buzz indicators—to measure the impact of social media. The number of companies using ‘net promoter score’ increased 30% while the number of companies using the number of followers and friends increased 27%. Buzz indicators increased less dramatically but still grew by 3%.”