It’s important to know your audience. Who is using social networking sites
Social networking site usage is most popular with those ages 18-49, those with some college education, and those with a household income of less than $30,000 per year.
An interesting piece of information for MTA to note is that 60% of people use social media to learn more about consumer products and over 60% read consumer feedback. 54% use social media to provide positive feedback and 51% use it to provide negative feedback.
Social media is changing every day. From Facebook to Google+, Pinterest to Instagram,Reddit to Tumblre.And that doesn’t even include some other biggies such as Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.That said, they’re all moving forward in new directions, and here’s what’s happening.
Matt Goddard, Chief Executive of Baltimore’s R2i, predicts that the social media pyramid is flipping, and we’re just seeing the beginning right now.Brands have approached social media the same way they approached advertising, PR and other marketing functions – from the top down.They Build followers, Tweet something out, publish on a Facebook fan page, post a comment or two and call it “engagement.” This needs to change in order to move forward; and that’s exactly what’s starting to happen.This new paradigm puts consumers and their individual networks of “people, places and content” at the top of the pyramid, driving the conversation rather than being on the receiving end.
A meme (pronounced meem) is a idea, style or behavior that is transmitted from person to person in a given culture. It can take the form of an image, hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag.Memes gain popularity in a similar manner to how a video goes viral. One person shares it with another and another and another, etc. What was originally shared may have very little resemblance to the end result (or product). It is sort of like the telephone game.Marketers have found that playing off memes is an effective way to insert themselves in popular online conversations -- and pick up a little press.See, for example, the Obama campaign's response to Clint Eastwood’s "Invisible Obama" routine, which took place at the 2012 Republican National Convention in August. The next day, staffers tweeted a picture of Obama in a chair marked "the President" with the caption, "This seat’s taken.“In other instances, PBS purchased the keyword "Big Bird" on Twitter after Mitt Romney said in the first presidential debate that he wanted to withdraw government funding from PBS despite his affection for the Sesame Street character. Wonderful Pistachios has played off a number of others, including Honey Badger and Keyboard Cat.
Pinterest is now the number three most-popular social network in the U.S., behind Facebook and Twitter. It beat it’s next closest competitor, LinkedIn, in total visits this past FebruaryThe site skews female with a 60/40 ration of women to men visitors.Brands are capitalizing on its appeal. Marketers developed a number of ways to engage fans on the platform, from contests (like Guess's, pictured) and puzzles to visual hacks.Many retailers -- around one in 10 -- as well as publishers added "Pin It" buttons to their own websites.Gucci even developed a pinnable banner ad.Transportation
Companies are quickly learning that visual media is one of the most effective ways to share their stories. In a study of the top 10 brands on Facebook, users liked photos twice as often as text updates. And they shared videos 12 times more than photo and text posts combined. On Facebook’s Top 10 Brand Pages:Photos & video drive the most engagementVideos are shared 12X more than links and text posts combinedPhotos are liked 2X more than text updatesThe world’s biggest social media properties have quickly made visual content a huge priority, often designing or re-designing their entire platforms to nurture such media. Pinterest proved that stunning visuals generate monumental engagement, and YouTube continues to produce hoards of original content in response to user demand. As a result, brands like Red Bull and Oreo are investing heavily in image and video creation for the platform, as well as other visually oriented platforms like Tumblr and Pinterest.
It has become customary for brands to thank their followers when they hit big milestones.After hitting 5 million Facebook fans, Old Navy made a complexly choreographed video that offered a 30%-off coupon at the end. AT&T made 500 customized YouTube videos thanking fans in song after it surpassed 2 million fans on Facebook in May, and Febrezegathered hundreds of team members to utter "thank you" to fans 1 million times over a video livestream in June.
Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) section has become a promotional tool for a range of personalities, including the President. TheAMAs are a kind of crowd sourced interview where users pose questions to a celebrity or other interesting figure. It has become particularly popular in the entertainment space: Comedian Louis C.K. used it this year to promote his two audio comedy specials Shameless and WORD – Live at Carnegie Hall for HBOThis American Life host Ira Glass also used Reddit to promote releases this past year.Many people use Reddit for business and it is a great tool that is worth exploring. If you use it consistently, you can boost your business’s exposure and reputation.Reddit can be an extremely useful social media tool if it fits into your strategy. You are given the opportunity to submit original content and get votes from other members of the Reddit community. It’s a media channel that deals with news where people can post links to content online. Once you have posted your content, other people can vote for the content, which will affect whether the content appears more prominently or less prominently. Reddit also has areas where people can interact by leaving comments. If a discussion gets enough attention (through comments), it will be displayed by default. This can work with discussions that get positive or negative publicity. Interestingly, Reddit also has sections called “subreddits,” which concentrate on specific topics, such as programming, politics and science.Reddit is a very popular social media tool that has a profound influence on online communities. Although many people have a good idea about what Reddit is and how it works, they may not be aware of some of the more sophisticated and exciting features that are not necessarily obvious.
On social media, some brands have stopped behaving like generic spokespeople and more like people you'd want to hang out with.They’re giving some latitude to their social media reps to not just respond to customer service-related questions, but to the pop culture enthusiast as well.In a great social move, AMC Theatres voiced their displeasure with Oreo after Nabisco asked followers if they ever sneak cookies into a movie. Over night, the reply have more than 200 retweets. And, after the author of the tweet posted it on his Facebook page, the story was picked up by AdWeek catapulting the tweet to over 1,000. – HUGE virilityAs marketers’ understanding of online social networking evolves, their use of various platforms has become more sophisticated. Many brands and public figures, after ascertaining that consumers respond well to images and humor, for instance, have begun to use both. Others have found that new channels, like Pinterest and Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” section, are effective promotional tools.
Listen to what consumers are sayingabout MTA and its resources and give feedback to EVERY comment that’s posted on its wall. Zoom in on relevant content to create stories that interest and engage your audienceLearn where consumers are focusing their attention on in pop culture, the news and in the worldBe creative and ‘Memeetize’ Get noticed!MTA has 2,042 fans on Facebook, and only 52 people have been talking about the brand latelyPut up large engaging images with posts that stand out in newsfeeds and capture attentionAgain, use images that people can relate to Do something newPinterest activity is growing every day. Create a presence that supports your website efforts and more. Create boards such as:The history of transportationShows transportation around the worldLife in BaltimoreGo Green Thanks passengers, advertisers and consumers in BIG waysLet them know that they’re important and that MTA is working for themLaunch a social campaign that grabs their attention and is streamed across multiple platforms Start a discussionWhether you use AMA on Reddit or a live Facebook chat, schedule monthly discussions that consumers can interact with to know that their voice is being heardPost questions on FB with/images that allow people to respond = Fill in the blanks, open ended, opinions Keep a sense of humorThere’s enough going on in the world today to keep people on edge.Schedule stories that let people know about the good stuff going on with MTA in between the stories that tell them their train or bus has been delayed Use fun images of Baltimore, animals, people – whatever makes you smile
Trends in Social Media
Trends in Social Media Presented by Gerri Baum October 29, 2012
February 2012,66% of online adults use social networking sites Source: PewResearch Center, 2012
As of August 2012 As of August 2012• 66% of online adults say they use Facebook• 20% use LinkedIn• 16% use Twitter• 12% use Pinterest• 12% use Instagram• 5% use Tumblr Source: PewResearch Center, 2012
What Social Media is Used For Source: NM Incite
Flipping the Social Media Engagement PyramidConsumers and their individual networks of “people, places andcontent” are at the top of the pyramid, driving the conversation rather than being on the receiving end. Source: Matt Goddard, CE, R2i
Memes gain popularity in a similar manner to how avideo goes viral. One person shares it with another and another and another, etc. What was originallyshared may have very little resemblance to the end result (or product).
Brands Are PinningVisits as of March 2012Facebook: 7 billionTwitter: 182 millionPinterest: 104 millionLinkedIn: 86 millionTagged: 72 millionGoogle+: 61 millionSource: Experian
Facebook Pages Get More Image-Heavy In a study of the top 10 brands on Facebook, users liked photos twice as often as text updates. And they shared videos 12 times more than photo and text posts combined.
Brands Celebrate Milestones With Elaborate Thank-Yous
Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” Becomes Promotional ToolThe AMAs are a kind of crowdsourced interview where users posequestions to a celebrity or otherinteresting figure.
Brands Gain a Sense of HumorOver 200 retweets in less than 12 hours - Over 1,000 retweets = a WHOLE LOT OF REACH
Steps to Consider• Keep up with the trends.• Listen to what people are saying and respond.• Zoom in on relevant content – Get ‘Memeetized.’• Get noticed!• Do something new.• Thank people in BIG ways.• Start some discussions.• Keep a sense of humor.