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10 social media facts you might not know

(Social Media) Ten facts about social media that you probably don’t know, but definitely should.

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social media facts

social media facts

Social media facts you might not know

Social media has become the mainstream way to market in the digital age. There seems to be a platform for every social need. Connecting with friends and family: Facebook and Twitter have you covered. Looking for a new job, or new colleagues: LinkedIn is great for forging new relationships; wondering how to save all those promo photos: Instagram and Flickr can keep them save while freeing up space on your devices.

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Regardless of which social media platforms we interact with, they are a part of daily life. According to a study by FastCo, there are a handful of facts about social media you likely do not know, but should.

1. Your advocates’ follower counts

First: your biggest advocates have the fewest followers. Less than one out of every ten mentions will come from power users. 91% of mentions have less than 500 followers and 6% of all mentions were deemed overly negative and therefore of no use in regards to marketing.

2. Different types of crowds

Second: Twitter has six distinct communication networks, with six distinct types these are: polarized crowds: politics or divisive topics; tight crowds: hobbies or professional topics; brand clusters: brands, public events, or trends; community clusters: global news events; broadcast networks: media outlets, famous individuals;support networks: companies or services with customer support (read more about these types and what they mean to your marketing efforts, here).

3. Which is better – visual or written content?

Third: marketers say written content trumps visuals; 58% prefer original written content, 19% original visual assets. This seems difficult to believe in our highly visual world, but perhaps it is because we are so overrun with visuals, written content stands out from the crowd.

4. You have a limited amount of time to respond

Fourth: to optimize your marketing opportunities, you have less than one hour to respond to a Tweet on Twitter. The study found 53% of users who tweet a brand, expect a response within the hour. If this Tweet happens to be a complaint, an astounding 72% of people expect a response within the hour. This means you need someone, or some application, dedicated to responding to social media posts, if you truly want to keep your customers happy.

5. Best time to retweet?

Fifth: the best time to retweet is late at night, particularly between 10 to 11 p.m. This advice follows the late-night infomercial effect (share when share volume is lower, and your content has a greater chance to stand out), so it makes sense to see that this type of engagement would be highest after hours. Try this out with some of your Tweets and see if your level of engagement changes based on the time of day.

6. When to Facebook?

Sixth: Fridays are Facebook’s best day for engagement. Friday all three types of content (comments, likes, and shares) are high. The next best day is Sunday. You might trying saving your best stuff for the end of the week when people are truly ready to engage with your content and see if it changes the amount of engagement you receive.

7. What’s making Facebook Pages successful?

Seventh: photos are driving engagement on Facebook pages. As of March 20, 2014, 75% of page updates are photos. Try posting more photos on your Facebook feed, but keep in mind the third suggestion: written content trumps visual, so while more people are sharing photos, make sure you include a line of text relevant to your product or service.

8. Where is all of the traffic?

Eighth: Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter drive the most traffic. These three offer the most referred traffic, whereas, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn ranked as the top three sources for referrals in terms of time on site, pages per visit, and bounce rate. According to Fast Company if you’re after a big reach and spreading brand awareness, go with Facebook and Twitter, and think long and hard about joining Pinterest, too. If you are interested in more qualified traffic, then be sure to invest time in Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Wherever your business needs traffic, social media can assist.

9. Why can’t you reach fans on Facebook?

Ninth: As Facebook rules have changed, page reach has dwindled. Fast Company suggests new per post goals: aim for 28, 118, or 385 interactions per post, depending on your total fans. Pages with 1 to 9,999 fans: 28 interactions per post; 10,000 to 99,999 fans: 118 interactions per post; and 100,000 to 499,999 fans: 385 interactions per post. Interactions include comments, likes, and shares. These are not hard and fast rules, but can serve as guideposts to know if you are heading in the right direction.

10. Winning on Pinterest

Finally, studies have found there is an optimal day for almost every category on Pinterest. Monday is fitness. Tuesday is best for technology. Wednesday is best for quotes. Thursday is best for fashion. Friday is best for humor. Saturday is best for travel. Sunday is best for food and crafts. If your brand fits one or more of these categories, make sure you are pinning something on the appropriate day to optimize your reach.

While these finding can give you a good starting point, they may not work for every brand and every situation. Test them out and see if you can expand your reach by change the day you post, what you post, or what time you post. Simple changes could make a big difference.

10 social media facts

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Justine Espersen

    July 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    This is something definitely to keep in mind the next time I engage on social media (which will probably be at the most 30 seconds after I post this). Thanks for sharing your insight!

  2. Luke Arthur

    July 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm

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  3. Yogita Aggarwal

    August 27, 2014 at 3:53 am

    Great Post Jennifer for social media freaks like me 🙂

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Social Media

Instagram announces 3 home feed options, including chronological order

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is allowing users to choose how their home feed appears so they can tailor their own experience… and chronological is back!

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Instagram home feed options

Break out the bottle of champagne, because they are bringing back the chronological order in Instagram!

About time, right? Well, that’s not all. Per Protocol, Instagram has announced that they are rolling out three feed options in the first half of 2022. What?! Yes, you read that right.

3 New Feed View Options

  1. Home: This feed view should feel familiar because it’s the algorithm you already use. No changes to this view.
  1. Favorites: This feed view option presents a nice and tidy way to view creators, friends, and family of your choosing.
  1. Following: Last, but not least, is my favorite re-boot, the chronological view of every account that you follow.

Per Protocol, recent legal allegations have been made that Instagram and Facebook have been prioritizing content viewed as harmful in the algorithm and specifically in Instagram. Instagram is widely believed to be harmful to teens. Per the American Psychological Association, “Studies have linked Instagram to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems”.  They have been under scrutiny by lawmakers and in response are posing the chronological feed as a solution.

However, this won’t fix everything. Even if the algorithm isn’t prioritizing harmful posts, those posts will still exist and if that account is followed it can still be seen. The other issue with this solution is the knowledge that unless Instagram lets you choose your default feed view, they could still cause the algorithm view to be the automatic view. Facebook doesn’t allow you to make the chronological feed your default view. This means you would need to choose that view every time. This bit of friction means there will be times it is overlooked and some may not even know the functionality exists. Knowing this information about Facebook, prepares us for what’s to come with Instagram. After all, Facebook, or Meta, owns both.

While as an entrepreneur, the chronological view excites me, I know the reality of it being used is questionable. I would love to know others can see the products and services I offer instead of hoping that Instagram finds my content worthy to share in the algorithm.

As a human being with a moral conscience, I have to scream, “C’mon Instagram, you CAN do better!” We all deserve better than having a computer pick what’s shown to us. Hopefully, lawmakers will recognize this band-aid quick fix for what it truly is and continue with making real changes to benefit us all.

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Social Media

Facebook’s targeting options for advertising are changing this month

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Do you market your business on Facebook? You need to know that their targeting options for ads are changing and what to do about it.

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Laptop on lap open to Facebook page representing ad targeting.

Meta is transforming Facebook’s ad campaigns beginning January 19th. Facebook, which has been infamously battling criticism regarding election ads on their platform, is revising its limited targeting ad campaigns. Per this Facebook blog post, these changes eliminate the ability to target users based on interactions with content related to health (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”), race and ethnicity, political affiliation, religious practices (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”) and sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”).

These changes go into effect on January 19, 2022. Facebook will no longer allow new ads to use these targeting tools after that date. By March 17, 2022, any existing ads using those targeting tools will no longer be allowed.

The VP of Ads and Business Product Marketing at Facebook, Graham Mudd, expressed the belief that personalized ad experiences are the best, but followed up by stating:

“[W]e want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”

To help soften the blow, Facebook is offering tips and examples for small businesses, non-profits, and advocacy groups to continue to reach their audiences that go beyond the broad targeting of gender and age.

These tips include creating different types of targeting such as Engagement Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Website Custom Audiences, Location Targeting, and Customer Lists from a Custom Audience.

Here’s the lowdown on how it will happen.

Per the Search Engine Journal, changes can be made to budget amounts or campaign names without impacting the targeting until March 17th. However, if you go to change the ad set level that will then cause changes at the audience level.

If you need to keep that particular ad to reuse, it may be best to edit the detailed targeting settings before March 17th in order to ensure you can make changes to it in the future.

I believe it was Heraclitus that declared change is constant. Knowing this, we can conclude other social platforms may follow suit and possibly adjust their targeting in the future as well.

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Social Media

Hate speech seemingly spewing on your Facebook? You’re not wrong

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook (now Meta) employees estimate its AI tools only clean up 3%-5% of hate speech on the platform. Surprise, Surprise *eye roll*

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Facebook being crossed out by a stylus on a mobile device for hate speech.

As Facebook moves further toward Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, concerns about the efficiency with which the company addresses hate speech still remain, with employees recently estimating that only around 2% of offending materials are removed by Facebook’s AI screening tools.

According to Wall Street Journal, internal documents from Facebook show an alarming inability to detect hate speech, violent threats, depictions of graphic content, and other “sensitive” issues via their AI screening. This directly contradicts predictions made by the company in the past.

A “senior engineer” also admitted that, in addition to removing only around 2% of inappropriate material, the odds of that number reaching even a numerical majority is extremely unlikely: “Recent estimates suggest that unless there is a major change in strategy, it will be very difficult to improve this beyond 10-20% in the short-medium term.”

The reported efficacy of the AI in question would be laughable were the situation less dire. Reports ranging from AI confusing cockfights and car crashes to inaccurately identifying a car wash video as a first-person shooting are referenced in the internal documents, while far more sobering imagery–live-streamed shootings, viscerally graphic car wrecks, and open threats of violence against transgender children–went entirely unflagged.

Even the system in which the AI works is a source of doubt for employees. “When Facebook’s algorithms aren’t certain enough that content violates the rules to delete it, the platform shows that material to users less often—but the accounts that posted the material go unpunished,” reports Wall Street Journal.

AI has repeatedly been shown to struggle with bias as well. Large Language Models (LLMs)–machine-learning algorithms that inform things like search engine results and predictive text–have defaulted to racist or xenophobic rhetoric when subjected to search terms like “Muslim”, leading to ethical concerns about whether or not these tools are actually capable of resolving things like hate speech.

As a whole, Facebook employees’ doubts about the actual usefulness of AI in removing inappropriate material (and keeping underage users off of the platform) paint a grim portrait of the future of social media, especially as the Metaverse marches steadily forward in mainstream consumption.

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