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Social Media 101: Things Have Changed Since School Let Out - John Blue


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This presentation was shared via a National Agri-Marketing Association webinar on September 14, 2017. This SlideShare contains the slides and notes of the presentation, typos and all.

Links mentioned in the presentation can be found at

John Blue, with Truffle Media Networks, offers information on how social media from the last couple of years has changed and what those changes mean to your practices in public relations, marketing, and advertising.

Additionally, John provides strategic digital planning information on monitoring & measuring the social spaces of the future, along with approaches to understanding a social channel's value for campaigns.

Published in: Social Media
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Social Media 101: Things Have Changed Since School Let Out - John Blue

  1. 1. Welcome to the NAMA webinar "Back to School for Social Media 101, What’s Changed?”
  2. 2. Hi, My name is John Blue and I work at Truffle Media Networks, an agriculture media company focused on agriculture animal health issues.
  3. 3. This presentation’s PDF and recording will be made available to all registered attendees. Also, the reference links mentioned are located at some-101-ref-info
  4. 4. I want to share a perspective: It took 191 years to get from the first American newspaper to a newspaper that had a peak circulation of 63 million people.
  5. 5. In contrast to newspaper, It took 15 years to go from the first internet newspaper to get to a single digital service having 63 million users. The speed of technology adoption and use will continue to be fast.
  6. 6. People have moved from utilizing media based on time and location to discovering and finding information in real time through multiple channels and various sources of authority. Information media has become time free, virtual, digital, and very participatory. (next)
  7. 7. There are many more options for people to receive information faster.
  8. 8. We have had social media for a long time Polaroids, Postcards, Sheet music, Mix tapes, and Jokes But the speed and scale of sharing that media was very limited.
  9. 9. Today, the ability to share has speed, scale, and selectivity because the channels are digital. We can reach far more people with digital media than we could a decade ago.
  10. 10. Why do people use social media? People love to share things. Think about the time you spend on Pinterest or Facebook reading what your friends and family are doing.
  11. 11. People want to be entertained. This is Neal Patrick Harris’ family at halloween, posted on Instagram.
  12. 12. People want their news on channels that fits their time and schedule.
  13. 13. Some people want to help others get better.
  14. 14. And others just want attention. This Paris Hilton and Perez Hilton.
  15. 15. And, yes, people want to make money using social media. Taylor Swift is using her social media to generate demand and pre-orders for her next album ‘reputation’. Social media is a core element in the album’s PR, advertising, & marketing campaigns.
  16. 16. This infographic highlights the many channels and connections available to people today.
  17. 17. The infographic, called Conversation Prism, by Brian Solis, categorizes the various apps, channels, platforms, and uses.
  18. 18. Each channel and app have their own audience & culture.
  19. 19. And each of the listed categories offer unique features and functionalities for specific audience.
  20. 20. Finally, the infographic shows that in any given space, there are competitors, frenemies, and partners.
  21. 21. This info is always in a state of change. New apps are invented and others die off. People support what they like and move away if something is not of value to them anymore. The upper left is the infographic from ~ 2012, the upper right is early 2016, middle bottom is this month. You can find this at
  22. 22. To get an sense of what people are doing, I want to share with you some metrics on the US use of social media, via the Pew Research Center. This chart shows the % of American adults who use social media by age. 18-29 year olds are near 90% use of social media, and those 65 and older are not quite to 35% use of social media.
  23. 23. And here is the % of American adults who use social media by community. urban & suburban people are near 70%, and rural people are just at 60%.
  24. 24. this chart for 2012 to 2017 shows the % of American adults who use social media by platform & year. Growth is slowing for Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter; and for Pinterest and Instagram, growth has doubled since 2012.
  25. 25. And finally, 67% of Americans say they get news from the web.
  26. 26. An here is how people get that news on social medai. Overall, Facebook outstrips all other social media sites as a source of news; YouTube now reaches second highest percentage. Again, these charts can be found at the Pew Research Center,
  27. 27. This presentation is about looking at Social Media and what has changed. To help, I’ll share what social media has been like over the last several years.
  28. 28. For example, participation in social and digital media used to require large amounts of effort. Many websites and apps required you to create an account, password, confirm by email, and possiblly supply some additional information. (cont)
  29. 29. Many people would stop in the middle of joining because of the efforts to participate were too hard.
  30. 30. Between 2006 & 2012 there was lots of money and resources spent setting up websites and thinking about how people were going to join in, signup, participate, and keep coming back.
  31. 31. Blogging really took off in the 2006 and spread to every subject and idea. In 2012 it was thought every business needed a blog. And that every person on the web should be blogging!
  32. 32. People at companies spent a large amount of time figuring out to help you find things. Search engines, like Google, shared best practices and set the rules for being found. Companies worked to figure out the Google secret sauce and be at the quote top un-qoute of any search.
  33. 33. And finding things was closely related to selling things. The Internet has been well established as the go to place to buy things. Part of the selling process was setting up and running digital marketing, advertising, and PR campaigns.
  34. 34. Now we’ll look at some of the “now” trends for 2017.
  35. 35. Today, participation has become pain free (in most cases) because websites and apps are leveraging existing relationships with current large sites like Facebook, Google, LinkedIN, and Twitter. A large majority of people have at least one social account they can use to signup to new apps and services.
  36. 36. Much of day to day social and digital activity is spend sending messages to one another. in 2015 there were 8.3 trillion messages sent. (cont)
  37. 37. And in those messages we share many things. Sharing is a key element of sending a message.
  38. 38. Reminder: There is a lot of activity on the Internet today. The Internet minute inforgraphic covers 2014 to 2016, highlighting the enormous amounts of video, tweets, and photos being shared!
  39. 39. Discovery is the new way people are finding things. Instead of searching specifically for something, discovery is seeing what your friends share and that is how you discover new ideas or things to buy. Pinterest and Facebook have made sharing and discovery a core part of their culture.
  40. 40. While buying things is still a key element of the internet, the path to buying has changed. Discovery of your friends’ interests, and promoted posts, help guide you toward shopping sites and helping close the sale.
  41. 41. There are many more private, velvet rope digital communities (cont)
  42. 42. Velvet rope communities are private groups where conversations happen out of the public eye. These groups exist on Facebook (as secret and private groups), LinkedIN (as discussion groups), and many other platforms. They are easy to setup but do require community building skills to develop and sustain the conversations. For velvet rope
  43. 43. The next several slides look at some very specific “then” and “now” activities and changes that one should consider.
  44. 44. For example: Then: Anyone with an interest could pick up the company's social media activity. Now: If you run a business, you need dedicated people to plan & manage your social presence. (cont)
  45. 45. Why is this?: Social media engagement & listening takes real time. If your company has planned for social media in its marketing & PR then a real person with available time is a must. The larger the company or goal, the more time is required. Plan to spend time and dollars to get effective results on social media.
  46. 46. Then: Everyone sees what you post, in the order you posted it. What happens today? People only see what the service lets them see, in what ever order the service thinks is best for them. Put simply, not everyone will see everything you post or share. And the posts they do see may not come in the order they were posted. Blinders are being applied to information to
  47. 47. Why is this? Facebook (and everyone else) is making money on selling access to people. If you want something to be seen by more people, then you will have to pay. For example, you can boost your post or setup promoted posts on Facebook. Also, Facebook is prioritizing posts to fit people’s interests and filtering out posts by people who are not meeting
  48. 48. Another reason for the filtering of posts by services like Facebook is they believe algorithms and data can be a better predictor of what you like then you do. These approaches are focused on learning what you like, bringing you more of that, and keeping you engaged in the posts longer. And Facebook uses its data on people’s activity to help marketers to do better targeting. (cont)
  49. 49. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, (and others) continue to roll out new algorithims to enhance that engagement. From Instagram ,they say quote “To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.” un-quote. This amplifies the Instagram’s advertising options available to advertisers. (cont)
  50. 50. For deeper insight to understanding the approaches social channels are using to grab your attention, read “This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit” by Tobias Rose- Stockwell
  51. 51. Then: Everything on social media stays there, mostly. Now: Temporary Social Media posts are a feature in several social media apps. (cont)
  52. 52. Why: Temporary Social Media has an appeal for some people; they don’t have to think about its longevity; more like real life in some ways. If you plan to take on a channel that has Temporary Media, like Snapchat and Instagram, then you need to plan for someone’s time to engage people in a real time fashion.
  53. 53. Then: The top channels were Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and G+ Now: The top channels are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit (cont)
  54. 54. The big players, Facebook and YouTube, are still at the top. After them the mix of channels shifts. In another two years will the top continue to be the same? Maybe. (cont)
  55. 55. FYI: the middle ground of channels maybe a place to invest some of your attention. That is where new opportunities might appear to help support your campaigns.
  56. 56. Then: Search Engine Optimization, aka SEO, "Rules" of thumb called for action on content Quality, web architecture, HTML, and links. Now: SEO "Rules" of thumb for action still include: contrent Quality, web architechture, and HTML. But the weights have changed to reflect Google’s changes. (cont)
  57. 57. Why: Google continues to stop the game playing people do to rig search ranking. Google continues to implement new algorithms to remove spam, subdue link farm values, stop cloaking, pop-up ads, and bring focus to value content, quality, and relevant information. Google will continue to review their approach and introduce new features or internal scoring to
  58. 58. This Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors, by SearchEngineLand, is one of the best tools to enhance your content plans and focus on the things you can control. You can find this table by googleing “ Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors”.
  59. 59. Then: Page rank is important and you can quote "control it" un-quote today: Page rank is still important, but you will never know your page rank ever again. (cont)
  60. 60. Why is this: Google felt people fixated on pagerank and gamed their approaches. The PageRank idea still exists only internally to Google. You still control the quality, relevance, and technical parts of your web & social information. But there is no scoring metric from Google, like page rank, that you can check. (cont)
  61. 61. What should you do? Focus on the factors you can control=>Content, website HTML, good structure, and faster page load speed are good starting points. Again, review the Periodic Table Of SEO Success Factors
  62. 62. Then: Content was content, ads were ads. And they never cross their streams. Now: Custom content, advitorial, native content, or sponsored content are the norm.(cont)
  63. 63. On the left is the 2012 BuzzFeed with no sponsored content, compared to 2017 BuzzFeed on the right. They now publish sponsored items mixed in the regular posts, looking much like other posts. This example shows an article titled "11 Scientific Facts That Will Change The Way You Listen To Music”, sponsored by M&M/Mars.
  64. 64. Why: Money. Click through rate of display ads is less than 0.06%. Ad blockers are the norm, and 18- to 34-year-olds are far more likely to ignore online ads. Media companies like Mashable, BuzzFeed, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times are all using some form of native ads, often with the help of their editorial staff working with advertisers. (cont)
  65. 65. What does this mean for you? From a campaign development point of view, keep in mind the potentials of native content for some campaigns. From an audience point of view, beware the content reader backlash; many people feel betrayed when they discover an article is just a sponsored post that got its exposure because of pay to
  66. 66. Then: People went to the media and marketing sites. Now: Media and marketers must go where the people are. In this example, Market Place publishes news where people are hanging out, instead of only posting on their website.(cont)
  67. 67. Why is this: Maintaining a site and convincing people to stop in 24x7x365 is very difficult to do. People want to be where the information takes them and where other people are gathering. Reading on Facebook or Twitter a Market Place article is far easier then going to the Market Place website and reading it there. (cont)
  68. 68. Facebook is making it easier for media companies to publish and share on Facebook via Instant Articles. Media like BuzzFeed and Vox have implemented quote “push to be everywhere their audience is” un-quote strategies. Some media is doing this because they are loosing audiences on their websites. Other media companies are doing “the push to be everywhere” approach
  69. 69. What this means for you is that you need to think about where and how your content gets in front of your audience. No longer is publishing it to your blog enough. You have to proactively plan and promote when, where, and how your content is shared and delivered.
  70. 70. Then: You used to create content once and post it once Now: You create multiple bits of content around the same story or idea then share it In this example, BuzzFeed created several media elements of the same story for various channels, like their website, Twitter, and Instagram. Each of the elements were created to appeal to the
  71. 71. Why is this: You need to be where the people are & offer them the things they want. Each channel has its own flavor and culture. Each offers a different audience demographic. (cont)
  72. 72. This is an extension of the “go where the content conversations are” slide. Some channels are better suited to specific media elements. This multi channel sharing of various media nuggets must be part of your thinking for content campaigns. Warning: More channels means more planning & resources. You can’t be everywhere so choose the ones that best fit your campaign goals.
  73. 73. Remember that anyone with an interest could pick up the company's social media activity? And they probably said what ever was on their mind? There were no rules or guidance on how that person used social media.
  74. 74. Now: If you run a business, you need a social media policy. This xkcd comic highlights how social media can skew conversations and perceptions about how organizations operate.
  75. 75. Why is this important? While people run the social media activities, it is the culture and public face of your company or organization that is being seen and heard. There are probably things you don’t want said, mentioned, or brought up through social media. And the only way your social media team will know that is through a social media policy.
  76. 76. There are several sources to get started creating a social media policy. This one from Social Media Examiner, walks through several items to consider and why they are important. It also highlights specific companies and how they have developed social media policies.
  77. 77. Switching gears, as part of this back to school theme, I’m going to highlight items that are not going to change much over time, as it relates to using social media for PR, marketing, and advertising.
  78. 78. While the metrics' meaning and collection approaches have changed, developing campaign metrics are still important to help understand where you are and if you are reaching your goal. Each social media channel will have some form of metric to consider to help understand your campaigns progress.
  79. 79. These are some examples low cost or close to free metrics tools to consider. Many of the major social media channels offer data for free.
  80. 80. There will always be new channels, platforms, and approaches. You must plan to investigate them; understand their features, weaknesses, and strengths; and then decide if and when you integrate them into your current mix of channels. (cont)
  81. 81. It is important to develop a sense of experimentation and “try it out” culture. Talk with others, attend conferences to see new things in actions. Develop a process around staying a head of the curve. Be a trend follower.
  82. 82. Current channels, platforms, and approaches will change. You must plan to review them; understand how they have changed and decide if and when you remove them from your current campign mix.
  83. 83. Rules of thumb on getting ahead on digital and social media will always exist and they will change regularly: You need to critically review them for relevance, accuracy, and truthiness.
  84. 84. The "top" channels will always change. Plan for it. Facebook may look to get bigger... But so did MySpace.
  85. 85. Trolls will live on. Have a plan to work through and around them. Understand the culture around comments and directed criticism. Each social channel has its own flavor of trolls, plan on how to handle them when they arrive.
  86. 86. Privacy of information will always be a topic of conversation and debate. Know that this issue will always impact social media and think about how you will handle these kinds of conversations when they occur.
  87. 87. When it comes to identifying the future, these are some key sources I use and recommend. SpringWise has 20,000+ spotters across the planet to offer an international perspective on trends And the MIT’s Open Course ware is a great way to learn about deep topics like technology.
  88. 88. This Week IN Tech (TWiT) is a podcast network focused on technology, media, and culture related to social and digital media. And Guy Kawasaki, author, speaker, and product evangelist, is a fountain on information about the culture of digital.
  89. 89. Also, events like these are great places to identify trends in development. For example, TEDx are localTechnology, Entertainment, & Design (TED) events to share challenges, innovations, and future of design learning from people in that region.(cont)
  90. 90. Powderkeg is a mostly a midwest regional event series to share ideas, host product idea pitch sessions, and learn more about startup issues. Confab is a series of conferences focused on understanding content and its design. And Maker Faires are events that show off the maker community efforts.
  91. 91. These are some additional media resources to offer different perspectives and discover ideas. Wired and Fast Company are print and digital magazines that aim to be on top of what’s hot, tredny, and the next thing. Mashable and TED are media companies that share presentations and articles from interesting people about interesting topics.
  92. 92. And finally, two ebooks that are great resources to understand social/digital Return On Investment (ROI) and measurement are Christopher S. Penn’s Marketing White Belt and Marketing Blue Belt.
  93. 93. To close, here are some take aways: Develop a way to stay connected to trends in your area of interest or need. Take advantage of opportunities to try out new approaches to discover and play. Implement with measurable goals in mind. And Always ask “Is it still 'Worth It'?"
  94. 94. And if you still wonder what social media is, this “Social Media Explained via Donuts” can help you.
  95. 95. Now is the time for questions. (go to next slide for contact info)
  96. 96. Contact Truffle via Phone: (877) 558-7833, Twitter: @TruffleMedia, Facebook: Facebook, and web:
  97. 97. Close on Truffle team.
  98. 98. Thanks again for your time.!