Tag Archives: social media

Most Americans (Not Just Millennials) Get News From Social Media

Where do you find your news? From newspapers and radio, to smartphones and smart home devices – there are seemingly endless ways to stay in the know these days. As the news landscape continues to change, the primary way readers consume the news has evolved, too.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found two-thirds (67%) of Americans reported that they got at least some of their news on social media. For the first time, more than half (55%) of respondents ages 50 or older said they got their news on social media. Guess that means social media just isn’t for millenials anymore!

Let’s take a look what else we can learn from the Pew Research Center’s report, “News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2017”:

Key Highlights From the Report
NO FOLD ICON 15x15
About one-in-four (26%) now get news from multiple social media sites

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 About three-quarters of minorities (74%t) get news on social media, up from 64% in 2016

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 More Americans now get news on multiple social media sites, as about one-quarter of all U.S. adults (26%) get news from two or more of these sites

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Twitter and LinkedIn have the majority of college graduate among their news users – 59% of LinkedIn’s news users and 45% of Twitter’s have college degrees

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Respondents under 50 years old still remain more likely than their elders to get news from social media (78% do, unchanged from the 2016 report)

NO FOLD ICON 15x15 Snapchat has the youngest group of of news users, as 82% are ages 18-29

Which Social Media Platforms are Popular for News?
A whopping 45% of U.S. adults get news on Facebook, making it the leading social media site as a source of news. This is largely due to Facebook’s massive user base (66% of the population), compared with other social platforms.

Although more than half of Americans use YouTube (58% of the population), a smaller portion of the population consumes its news there. At second place – but still far behind Facebook – 18% of all Americans now get news on YouTube.

Despite the fact that news often hits Twitter first, only 11% of U.S. adults get news on the social platform. Almost three-fourths (74%) of Twitter users say they get their news on the site. Its audience is significantly smaller because only 15% of Americans use the site.

What Does This Mean for PR Pros?
PR professionals are accustomed to thinking outside of the box when it comes sharing news. With a strong social media strategy, a PR pro is used to sharing client and industry news across all platforms. It’s critical to make sure the news your sharing stand out among the clutter. More than 5 billion pieces of content is posted on Facebook every day, along with 500 million Tweets.

Don’t forget to think about how social users on mobile compared versus desktop. Pew previously reported that 85% of American adults got their news from mobile devices. Keeping your content concise and engaging will increase the chances of the user to return to your client’s feed for more news. If the post is too long to read on a smartphone, you’re likely to lose the user’s interest.

Traditional Media Still “In the Mix”
Now, don’t give up on pitching to traditional media yet. Just because more people are getting news on social media doesn’t mean traditional news is being ignored. Many social users also get their news from other platforms, although data shows there are some difference among users of the various platforms.

For example, Twitter users are more likely (55%) to also get their news on news website and apps, unlike Facebook (33%) or YouTube (44%) users. Facebook news users are more likely (33%) to get their news from local TV, compared to those on YouTube (25%), Twitter (21%) and Snapchat (22%).

What About “Fake News” on Social Media?
Americans are losing their confidence with traditional news, which may be why more people are going to Facebook for news. A 2017 Gallup poll found that 27% of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in newspapers than did so last year (20%). The declining trust in mainstream media could be a consequence of fake news gaining more traction, especially on social media.

Fake news is defined as “news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false, and could mislead readers,” according to recent research from Stanford University. What sets fake news apart from propaganda is the speed in which is spreads and is replicated, as it is fueled by the use of social media.

Facebook is making strides toward fighting against fake news, but misinformation is still rampant on newsfeeds. As Americans stray away from traditional journalism, it’s crucial for social media users to learn how to spot fake or biased news, and to seek out information from an array of credible news sources.

Now that getting news on social media is more popular than ever, it’s time to start thinking of new ways to convey your client’s stories and ensure that it stands out among the noise. How do you plan on sharing their news? Let us know in the comments below.

By Katrina Cameron

Who’s Afraid of the Dark (Social)?

“Dark social” – sounds dangerous, right? Although it may sound like a new hacking technique, it’s actually a recently developed term that refers to social media links that are shared outside of the social platform, which prevents tracking.  Meaning – you are getting shares that lead to website clicks – but you are in the dark as to where the traffic has come from.  For an official definition, Techopedia suggests:

“Dark social […] refers to the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by Web analytics programs. This mostly occurs when a link is sent via online chat or email, rather than shared over a social media platform, from which referrals can be measured.”


Let’s Break This Down a Bit

So, essentially dark social refers to sharing social links that marketing analytics miss when people share content through private channels such as instant messaging programs (Skype, Join.me), messaging apps (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack), and email (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc.). The ‘dark’ traffic originates from someone sharing a URL but is essentially “miss-marked” as direct traffic by marketing platforms and tools. Why does it matter? Direct traffic arrives at a site without a referrer and, of course doesn’t contain referrer data. This means that instead of going through a URL, the user directly types (or copies) the URL address into the search bar. As noted by Simply Measured:

“In the early days of the web, everything was link-based, so we either discovered something via search, via link, or we went to the site directly by typing it into the browser or via bookmark. […] if a site visitor arrived at the site without a referrer s/he had to be a direct visitor. But this is […] before the rise of mobile.”

Dig In: 3 Best Practices for B2B Social Media

Now with the help of private, mostly mobile, channels there are many new ways a visitor can arrive at a site without going to the site directly (for example, a colleague Slack messaging a recent industry announcement). “These methods don’t automatically attach any tracking tags unless the shared link was copied with the tag included (if you were to copy the URL of an article that I originally found on Twitter, including the UTM parameters attached to it)”, says Hootsuite. According to RadiumOne, dark social shares as a percent of on-site shares jumped from 69 to 84 percent globally over the last couple years. If you notice a large amount of traffic labeled ‘direct’ in Google Analytics, dark social may be the reason.  The problem is, of course, it’s hard (meaning:  nearly impossible) to replicate the techniques you used to get the “direct” traffic — so if 20 percent of your sales are coming from ‘direct’ there’s very little you can do to repeat that performance.

Now that we know what Dark Social is…how can you shine the light on the data?
If your day-to-day job includes publishing content online (marketer, social media manager, entrepreneur, content specialist or something similar), you want to know where your traffic is coming from. Encouraging social sharing is the primary goal of your efforts, and tracking how people (ideally prospects) are finding you matters more than ever.  Furthermore, understanding your audience and their sharing habits will significantly improve how you reach them in the future.

Dig In: Becoming an Industry Thought Leader

The good news? There are strategies that will help you qualify where website visitors came from.  Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Shortened URLs – use Bitly (also included in Hootsuite) which creates a unique link – averaging between 15-20 characters – with tracking capabilities
  2. Social share buttons
  3. Specific analytics tools (for example Simply Measured, Buffer, or Oktopost)
  4. Also, SearchEngineLand offers a straight forward formula for you to identify your estimated dark social traffic:

When properly mined, dark social data can provide the same interesting insights about your prospects that our clearly marked referring traffic provides.  It may take a bit of work, but it is definitely valuable to identify these visitors, and how you can use this information to further improve your social reach and create better connections with your audiences.

For more information about dark social and the latest and greatest in social media, watch this:

By Kyra Tillmans

Looking for more great insights? Check out some of our other content here.

3 Best Practices for B2B Social Media

Are you like so many others who have had trouble succeeding in the social media realm? We all know that social media marketing is a must-have component in any communications strategy, but without a game plan to drive growth and engagement you are unlikely to succeed. Social media strategy is incredibly important to keep your profile front and center in your prospects’ view and in reaffirming your expertise with current customers.

Platforms
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be your primary platforms in distributing content, getting your message across, and building relationships with followers. These three have been found to be the most used social sites by B2B firms, and this is where you will need to be the most competitive and most active.

Frequency and Timing
You should aim to post at least once every week day, and don’t forget weekend’s if you see that’s when your followers (or would be followers) are most active. Posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for any one day do not have to be different articles. It’s fine to use one article across all social platforms per day, but do take the time to customize your actual posts – each platform has a slightly different style and of course, length for content. This will allow you to maintain your clout in your follower’s feed when they tend to be most active.

FollowerWonk offers many services, including graphs of follower data.

So how do you find out when to post for the biggest impact on growing your social profile and influence? There are many third-party applications available that are both free and paid that allow for in-depth analysis of your follower activity across different social platforms. Buffer has put together a comprehensive list of many of these applications here.

RELATED: Content Is Still the King!

Content
Social content should not just be all about you. Try to keep self-promotional content to about two days per week, or no more than around 25 per cent of your posts. This can be promoting your company’s product or services, or a particular section of your website. Posts about you at an industry event, depending how you craft them, can fit under industry news.

Thought leadership posts are another way to establish credibility and authority over the issues that your clients or prospects care about. While still self-promotional, showcasing your or your firms expertise in a niche industry or subject demonstrates proficiency in your services and give a sense of authenticity to your target audience.

Industry news articles, especially when you add commentary versus a simple retweet, share or like, should be the majority of the social content that you post. Try to keep up with trending topics and news coverage so your posts are “fresh” and relevant – basically no more than about one week old. This will allow you to stay on top of current events and move with the news cycle to maximize the attention your posts receive.

Stay tuned for more of these B2B think pieces, including information on video marketing, content curation, and much more!

Gain some good insights from this piece? Check out some of our other content here.

Contributions from Fran Lowe.

10Fold- Security Never Sleeps- 107

A Security SSHowDowN:  IoT devices Targeted

“Over a decade long vulnerability found and exposed’

The emerging Internet of Things market (IoT) connects WiFi networked devices that operate many different systems automatically. While this is an incredibly simplifying and innovative process, the security of these devices becomes critical as they are integrated into more and more of our everyday life. The finding of a twelve-year-old vulnerability shakes the security confidence of the industry, and leaves our personal data at risk. The uptick in recent hacks has illustrated the need for more advanced security protocols in order to offset the risk that is now being posed.

Leaky IoT devices used by hackers to infiltrate e-commerce servers

“Millions of devices could be at risk”

Default administration settings on IoT capable device may allow hackers access to eCommerce accounts that leave them vulnerable to cyberattacks. This has been an issue for about a decade, when Akami Technologies observed cyber-attacks that challenged user’s basic username and password preferences.

Vera Bradley Payment System Breached

“Potential customer data theft causes delays and concerns”

Hackers may have gained credit card information, names and internal verification information on thousands of customers from July to September of this year. Website purchases have remained safe; however, in-store purchasers may have been compromised. An investigation by the firm has been launched to find where the hack may have originated.

Several Social Media Sites Deny Permission to Surveillance Program Used by Authorities

“Facebook, Instagram and Twitter among firms involved”

High profile social media sites have been giving police agencies information related to the monitoring of protesters. Geofeedia, the tool in question, harvests social media posts and surveils the account associated and reports it to over 500 agencies, according to an ACLU report.

 

Building Influence on Twitter

Recently we posted a few tips that covered the basics of growing your Twitter presence. This blog offers a few more ideas that will boost growth and build your influence.

Use Nuvi, TrendKite, Zignal or Another Metric Tracking Application to Guide Your Strategy
Metric applications are a nuvi snapconvenient way to track how your audience is responding to your content, so that you can focus and prioritize your efforts. These tools most importantly allow you to analyze success or failures of your posts by measuring the impact your content had with your audience from an engagement (e.g. shares, likes, retweets) perspective. Most find that visuals, recognition of a person or a team, and the occasional personal picture or thought all enhance engagement.  But, every audience is different and the only way to find out what works for your “peeps” is to measure their responses.

Evaluate Your Follower Base
The point is that bigger isn’t always better.  It’s exciting to see growth in followers, but have you taken the time to see what type of people or companies are following you?  If you gather followers that look like bots or the followers link to inactive or spam accounts, remove them from your list. While reducing the number of followers you have may sound counter-intuitive, Twitter’s news feed algorithm explains that these non-user accounts can become a significant percentage of those that see your posts – meaning your posts were not seen by nearly as many people as you had planned. This is because Twitter allows only a select few of those who follow you to see your tweets without being directly on your page, and the greater amount of inactive followers you have the greater the chance that your tweets won’t reach the engaged portion of your follower base.

Keeping it Simple
unfollowLuckily, this can be remedied quite easily. Some applications such as ‘Unfollowers for Twitter’ have specific filters that allow you to find ‘Inactive Users’, which also typically capture the vast majority of fake or spam accounts. The filter allows for varying lengths of time to find and unfollow relevant followers. There is another way to remove these accounts as well. Simply find the follower you believe is inactive and click on the gear icon by the follow button and click the block button. This will remove the follower from your followers list, and can always be undone if you feel as though you have made a mistake.

Set Up an Auto-Messaging System
message snap Short messages to followers engage users personally in your content. This step is a basic, yet important step in making new followers feel welcomed. Constructing a personalized message sent when you receive a follower gives each new user a sense of your sincere gratitude and encourages them to return to your content because of a perceived personal connection to the content creator. There are many applications you can use with your Twitter account that will automatically send a message you draft yourself if you experience large quantities of new followers, but isolated drafts to individual followers of such messages work just as well!

There is no question that Twitter has become a very important publishing mechanism for many.  Everyone from Hollywood stars to corporate giants are using the social media platform to build influence and status.  There’s so much noise, it’s hard to know how to get ahead and build your own following.  Using these three simple tips:  measure, evaluate and respond – you too can become influential on Twitter.

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3 Easy Steps to Maintain an Effective Twitter Strategy

Have you been trying to grow your Twitter presence with little success? You are far from the first, and absolutely not the last, to face such a challenge. Not to worry friends, Twitter can be a confusing place to be. 10Fold has a few quick and simple tips to help you build a consistent and growth oriented follower base.

1. Find the Right Time to Post to Your Audience

Hubspot recently released a report on social media best practices, including optimal times to post on Twitter. Weekdays on average are best during the lunchtime hours, where potential viewers are taking a break from the usual work activity and checking out their social media feeds instead.

best time to post twitterAdditionally, specifying times around hour and half hour marks (i.e., 12:03pm or 2:27) allows those just heading into or just leaving a meeting or appointment to catch your posts without having to scroll too far down their newsfeed. Applications such as Hootsuite allow you to plan content posting when desirable while also remaining user friendly and relatively simple to use.

2. Focus On Quality

While maintaining a steady supply of material is necessary to keep up a reliable base of viewers, releasing subpar material is a great way to chase away potential followers. Clickbait posts, misleading headlines and simply irrelevant topics are a signal to viewers that your content is not worth their time in the long term.

sme ex twitter growth Concentrated topics boost growth.

Additionally, rushing out material that is not fully fleshed out or is littered with factual or grammatical mistakes looks sloppy, and is more likely to put off those looking for consistent and insightful content.

3. Find Your Niche

Concentrating your efforts on a particular topic is paramount to building repeat viewers and audiences. Well rounded knowledge is an admirable trait, but is not consistent with the real world.  Your followers have specialized their skills to fit into a certain occupation, and expect the same level of professionalism in blogs or accounts that they follow to help advance their own careers. Social Media Examiner provides great examples of this, and they are rewarded with high interaction rates for each of their posts.

While Twitter may be a tough place to navigate, following the simple steps of focusing on timing, quality, and staying within your field of expertise will help to keep your voice heard and maintain a consistent and growth-oriented following.

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