A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.
Each week at Ford, I compose a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, social media, mobile, communications and marketing in order to keep the wider team up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in their jobs. These are those links.
If you have additional links, sources or ideas that might be helpful, I'd encourage you to add some via a comment below or tag me in Google+.
- Social network usage rates for seniors ages 65 and older have tripled since 2009, one in every five Internet users is now on Twitter and 72% of online adults are social networking users, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project's latest report. Fascinating statistics, particularly about the age of Twitter users.
- eMarketer's new report "The Global social Network Landscape: A Country-by-Country Guide to Social Network Usage" takes a look at the differences around the world.
- The Vietnamese government is banning the sharing of news on social sites unless you own the content.
- And in Thailand, you can get yourself thrown in jail for liking political rumors on Facebook.
- This year, the amount of time spent on digital will surpass the amount of time spent on TV, and mobile will overtake desktop. And the gap is only going to widen.
- Related: only one in three broadband users under the age of 35 get all of their TV the traditional way.
- A SocialBakers study shows that "socially devoted" brands say that social customer care drives ROI.
- The average prestige brand has a presence on seven social platforms.
- LinkedIn has launched new Company Page analytics for tracking follower growth, post performance and more.
- A Nielsen study shows that Facebook reach and TV reach across age groups vary, as you'd expect - but more importantly, that it's a disproportionate imbalance (in Facebook's favor) because typically Facebook and TV media buys aren't in the same universe.
- That media buy imbalance may change, though: Bloomberg reports that Facebook may feature 15-second spots by brands later this year, at the cost of between $1 million and $2.5 million a day. Smart brands may want to leverage their Instagram accounts for free instead.
- Facebook has its first CMO: Gary Briggs, formerly of Google's Motorola Mobility group, has joined the company.
- Facebook announced that it in response to user feedback, it is changing how its News Feed works. One change is that "story bumping" will bring stories you haven't seen to the top of your feed. Another, called "last actor," will take the previous 50 actions you've taken and uses those to rank your feed. Preliminary results indicate that people have gone from reading 57% of the news in their feed to 70%.
- Facebook's new testing ground is India.
- In another Nielsen study, researchers determined that live tweeting during a television show can boost the show's ratings.
- WeChat and Line are Asia's two fastest-growing platforms for social marketing.
Metrics / Measurement / Big Data
- Facebook ads are undervalued by the last-click attribution model; it's likely that Facebook ads see better interaction earlier in the purchase funnel, which is confirmed by the Google white paper on the Customer Journey to Purchase
- What data are marketers interested in? Surveys and third party research are falling, with social data and the interrelation of online channels up.
Legal / HR
- According to a FindLaw study, 20% of social media users say they’ve posted something on a social media site that could someday negatively affect an employer’s decision on whether to hire them for a job or allow them to stay at an existing job were they to see it. Related: 20% of consumers regret following a brand on social media sites, saying that they're suffering from "marketing fatigue."
- The Oreo tweet heard round the world (the Super Bowl "dunk in the dark" tweet) caused one ad executive to claim that he would quit his job in advertising if it was granted an award at Cannes Lions. It won, and he's done just that. His claim (not all that unreasonable, actually): "In bestowing this award on this piece of work, we’re actually exposing a really sad truth. That the advertising industry has become so top-heavy with cost and process and approvals and meetings and waste, that the idea of just making a simple image, and deploying it to a simple platform at an opportune moment, is considered at this point to be ground-breaking."
- Cottonelle scored big with a post-publishing advertising strategy. Five days after Gawker published a piece deriding flushable wipes, Cottonelle approached them to advertise on the story and put it back on the home page of the site. It was a win for the brand and the publisher.
- The prevailing wisdom from behind the GE Reports blog is that they wouldn't mind retiring the press release. With the entire company - including support from their Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer - focused on storytelling, it's not surprising. They also provide a look at how their content team operates.
Bookmark / Read / Watch Later
- Can you actually teach a millennial how to use social media? Hint: they already know the tools and platforms; the trick is helping them understand strategically how it all fits together, not to teach them the ins and outs of the tools.
- Fascinating look at how Food52 combines content and ecommerce and is able to activate its advocates.
CommentaryAs you're aware, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post earlier this week. Rich individuals or dynasties owning newspapers isn't news; what makes this deal more interesting is that a digital magnate was interested in buying one of the most venerable institutions in the country (and yes, it has a thriving digital presence).
Some speculate that the transaction was to "re-invest in the infrastructure of our public intelligence," while others think it was more of a play for "distribution mechanisms for short-form, timely, and topical content." While the former would be magnanimous, it's more likely that this savvy businessman, who has bucked the trend for so long and who has been relentless at focusing on the importance of content, customer experience and distribution rather than hardware (i.e. books rather than Kindles), is dabbling in an experiment of sorts that will weave smartly into his existing empire.
One thing is for certain: the move has surprised nearly everyone, and it shakes up a town that seems complacent in its snug interrelationship between politicians, lobbyists and the local media. Should they be apprehensive about what happens next? Perhaps not. That might be a feeling reserved for other newspapers. That's not likely the intention behind Bezos's purchase, as he seems very deliberate about his intentions.
Or it may just be that he clicked on it by mistake.