Infographic: How to get more clicks on Twitter

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a great empirical study by Buddy Media which outlines ways in which to optimise the engagement of Facebook wallposts. So what about Twitter?  Well there’s an infographic for that too, courtesy of Hubspot.

via www.vincentabry.com

This is pure gold dust

If you’re responsible for fan engagement on Facebook, read this report by Buddy Media now!  It’s a statistical study based on all the rich data Buddy Media have at their disposal, so if you need evidence or insights to help improve engagement strategies on your wall, this is a great place to start.  These are some of the questions it aims to answer with some revealing results:

  • What is the optimal length of a post?
  • What is the impact of URL shorteners?
  • When is the best time of day to post?
  • What is the best day to post content (by industry sector)?
  • How should open-ended questions be constructed to solicit the best response?
  • What keyword phraseology gets the best results for promotions or action-orientated posts?

You may have the answers to these types of questions already having conducted your own analysis but if not, read on!

via Techsavyagent

10 most popular reasons for ‘unliking’ Branded Facebook Pages

There’s a tendency when setting up a branded Facebook page or Twitter account to view this as simply another advertising channel to broadcast streams of content about the brand, products and latest offers. After all, these social handraisers have actively ‘liked’ your page so they must be receptive to this kind of content, right? Well not entirely. Unlike us, the average customer on the street doesn’t live and breath your brand every day and rarely gives two hoots about that latest press release or product video, let alone those glamorous photos from that launch party they were never invited to.

In fact, a new study by ExactTarget and CoTweet (via webpronews) has identified the 10 most popular reasons why people ‘unlike’ brands on Facebook. The biggest contributory reason is because the company posted too frequently or the content becomes too repetitive and boring. Other highlights from the study include 81% of consumers have either “unliked” or removed a company’s posts from their Facebook news feed and 41% have “unfollowed” a company on Twitter.  No real surprises there but it’s a helpful reminder to all of us that we need to try harder to engage and retain social handraisers than simply broadcasting brand announcements or promotional messaging.

Fanpage attrition rates is probably quite a new concept but it’s something I predict will become increasingly important as brands invest more of their precious marketing budgets on building social databases.  The good news is that it follows exactly the same principles behind any traditional  CRM programme.  So if you send them relevant, timely and engaging content, you can expect the brand relationship to grow.  But as soon as you start focusing on what you want to say rather than what they want to hear, your social handraisers will start to lose faith in this relationship and opt out.

9 essential tools to understand your customer’s social media behaviour

Before a brand commits to any social media campaign, activity or platform it’s clearly essential to understand how their target audience behaves in these environments.  For example, where is your target audience predominantly online? How active are they in this space? Are they the types of people who proactively share and contribute to the conversation or do they prefer to observe by the sidelines?  Are they likely to invest time and energy in UGC or would such an invitation fall on deaf ears? What digital platforms are they most comfortable frequenting online? And what are the motivations and key drivers that lie behind their social media behaviour?

Unless one can answer these types of questions, there’s a fair chance your social media efforts could all be in vein. The good news, however, is that there are a number of sources, tools and frameworks available which can help us build a fairly informed picture of our target audience’s social media profile. And the best bit, most of them are completely free! Outlined below are the ones I’m most familiar with or have found to be most useful over the years. I’ve also restricted the list to tools which can be applied across Europe markets and not just the US.

1. The Global Web Index

The Global Web Index (Lite) is a nifty little free tool recently published by Trendstream to help you view the social media profiles of different online audiences across Europe. It’s based on a quantitatitive survey and manages to overlay social media behaviour and motivations by country, age and attitudinal profiles. The full version will have a lot more meat on the bones but for a quick snapshot this Lite version can be quite an insightful tool, particularly when comparing against different markets.

2. Universal McCanns Social Media Tracker

This in my view is the holy grail when it comes to tracking trends in social media from a global perspective.   It’s been going a few years now and is an essential point of reference for anyone trying to identify behavioural trends in social media. There’s a free Silverlight-based tool here which is quite fancy but for usable insights and stats you really need to read the Wave 4 report . Considering it’s free, it’s absolute gold dust!

3. Forresters Social Technographics Tool

Forrester’s social technographics tool has been around for a while but is still a great way to map your target audience’s propensity to participate in social media.  With this tool you can get a decent idea whether your audience over indexes for certain types of behaviour. So for example, if they over index as ‘creators’ there’s a fair chance they’d be receptive to getting involved in a crowdsourcing or  UGC project. Conversely, if they’re predominently spectators and inactives, don’t even go there.

Unfortunately some European markets are not covered for some age profiles which I assume is because they don’t hold enough survey data.

4. Altimeter’s Engagement Pyramid

This isn’t a data analytical tool as far as I believe but rather a strategic framework to help map the different ways in which consumers engage in social media. I’ve reported on this before when it first came out as I liked its simplicity.  Even though there’s no data to substantiate this, it’s good common sense and highlights the importance of socialgraphics to help inform social media strategies rather than simply relying on traditional demographic and psychographic profiles.

5. TMW’s Motivational Drivers to Social Media Participation

Understanding ‘how’ your target audience participates in social media is important but only one piece of the jigsaw. It’s also important to ask yourself ‘why’.  At TMW, we conducted some research in conjunction with research agency ICM to help identify the motivations behind social media participation. We concluded there are 6 key motivational drivers for participating in this space.

  • Discovery: for self-development or to learn from others
  • Altruism: to help others make the right decision or become involved in the brand’s product decision
  • Social: to connect to the like minded, reinforce tribal identity or gain a sense of belonging
  • Fame: for personal notoriety or to challenge their ability against others
  • Escapism: for entertainment and an escape from the daily routine
  • Expression: as an outlet for their imagination or expression of personal identity

The interesting thing is that these motivations change according to different demographics. You can read some of insightful results from this study in a previous post here.

6. TGI Net Europa

Launched in September 2008, with new data released twice a year, TGI Net Europa combines the full TGI Europa database with extensive detailed information on internet behaviour and attitudes.  This isn’t a free tool unfortunately so you may have to ask your media agency nicely if you can use it!

7. Social Media Statistics Compendium by econsultancy

The Social Media Statistics Compendium is one of the reports bundled with the eConsulancy’s Internet Statistics Compendium.  It costs £250 on its own but is jam packed with useful stats on social media from a variety of third party sources.

8. CheckFacebook.com

If  you want to understand the profile of Facebook users within your market and compare this to your target audience profile, it’s worth visiting Check facebook. It’s free too.

9. Nielson’s Global Faces & Networked Places Report – March 2009

Finally, Nielson’s Global Faces and Network Places report looks at the social media market as a whole but does have a useful section on how the audience is changing and starting to mature.

Summary

So there you have it – a mix of tools and approaches to help you build up a social media profile of your target audience. It’s not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination so if you know any more I may have missed feel free to add them below.

Gartner’s mobile predictions

I thought this was worth sharing – Gartner published last month their IT predictions for the next few years. Of particular note are their mobile phone /user devices predictions at the end of the report (section 10).

In a nutshell, they anticipate that in the next 3 years mobile will surpass the PC as the most common web access device worldwide.  They’re not saying that mobiles will replace PCs as the primary way to browse the web, but rather the sheer penetration of smartphones and browser-enabled enhanced mobile devices by 2013 will ultimately mean that more people will be accessing the web on their mobiles than on PC.

When I shared this report with Douglas McDonald, the Head of Mobile at TMW he suggested we should use some caution using global numbers as much of that growth is in emerging economies where mobile is the only option for connectivity. Fixed line will be far more important in the short term in US, Western Europe.  That said, it’s very clear that brands need to seriously consider developing a mobile website strategy if they haven’t done so already.

The full report can be accessed here or you can review the relevant extract below:

GARTNER EXTRACT: KEY REPORT FINDINGS

  • According to Gartner’s PC installed base forecast, the total number of PCs in use will reach 1.78 billion units in 2013. This figure comprises desktops, notebooks and mini-notebooks (netbooks). All of these devices are capable of being used for Internet access, even if some are not.
  • Gartner’s smartphone installed base estimates indicate the number of smartphones in use will reach 1.32 billion units in 2013. All smartphones (e.g., the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S, HTC G1 and Touch HD, Nokia N97, Palm Pre, Research In Motion BlackBerry Storm, Samsung Omnia and Omnia HD, and Sony Ericsson Satio and Experia X1) are equipped with Web-browsing capabilities.
  • Shipments of enhanced phones (which have media or application capabilities but no local operating system, such as the LG Arena and Samsung Jet) peaked in 2008 and will decline from 2009 onward. The installed base of enhanced phones also peaked in 2009. A growing percentage of enhanced phones are equipped with advanced Web-browsing capabilities. By 2013, over 40% of the enhanced phone installed base (1.26 billion units) will be equipped with advanced browsers — 505 million units.
  • By 2013, the combined installed base of smartphones and browser-equipped enhanced phones will exceed 1.82 billion units. From 2013 onward, this combined installed base will be greater than the installed base for PCs.
  • Although few users exploit smartphones or enhanced phones for extended Web access, most use them occasionally to access information, Web-based applications and social networks on the move. For example, in September 2009, 65 million of the 350 million registered Facebook users used the mobile device application.

Market Implications:

  • Although the bulk of page views will continue to occur through larger-format devices (PCs), from 2013, mobile phones will drive the higher number of website accesses due to the sheer weight of device numbers.
  • Most users in 2013 will use a PC as their primary Web access device and their phone as a secondary access device. However, as takeup of smartphones spreads globally, there will come a point in 2015 when the mobile phone will overtake the PC as the most common primary device for Web access worldwide.
  • In 2009, the majority of organizations do not have mobile-friendly websites. Among others without a significant mobile presence are Ikea International, Samsung Electronics, Apple, Samsung, H-P and Pitney Bowes. But many leading organizations are now re-evaluating their website design to improve accessibility from mobile devices.
  • Mobile Web users are typically prepared to make fewer “clicks” on a website than users accessing sites from a PC. Although a growing number of websites and Web-based applications offer support for small-form-factor mobile devices, many still do not. Websites not optimized for the smaller-screen formats will become a market barrier for their owners — much content and many sites will need to be reformatted/rebuilt.
  • Organizations in geographic regions where the PC is not as prevalent will face the most need to invest in mobile browser access to their websites. Organizations with consumer-facing websites and portals will be more at risk of reduced customer interaction and fewer transactions than business to business. Many information portals used by educational institutions and the government sector will also require reformatting and restructuring. Online retailers, banks and financial service providers will be the most exposed to this risk.

Recommendations:

  • Re-evaluate your websites, customer portals and Web-based applications to ensure they provide adequate support for access from smartphone and other mobile devices.In most cases, websites and Web-based applications should be designed to be device-independent. Consider using mobile consumer application platforms for this.Where redesign for mobile phone access is required, consider both format (to fit the restricted user interface capabilities) and information structure. Unless absolutely required, commonly accessed information and resources should not be positioned more than “three clicks away” for the user.

European social media trends

Tom Smith from Trendstream gave this presentation to the IAB Europe Council recently which outlines key research findings on social media participation and behaviour across Europe (with particular emphasis on Russia).  He also outlines the impact this has on consumer buying behaviour and how social strategies will become ever more important in the digital age.

Tom Smith specialises in social media research and seems to be presenting quite a few interesting findings at the moment. I posted about one of his other reports here which is also worth a look if you get time.