Social Media in the Workplace

Does social media have a place at the office? Some organizations definitely don’t think so. A recent report from Clearswift, an IT security firm, found that 19% of companies are blocking employee access to social media sites at work, up 10% from last year.

But wait… Is Cyberloafing’ Good for Productivity?  discusses web surfing at work and its effect on output. The conclusion? It “serves an important restorative function and can actually refresh workers and improve performance”. The article summarizes a recent study by Don. J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G. Kim which found that the amount of Internet browsing a person does during the day, including visiting social media sites, is significantly and positively related to such upbeat mental states as excited,  interested, alert, and active, and inversely related to such negative mental states as distressed, fearful, hostile, and jittery.

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10 Facts About Consumer Behavior on Facebook

A new study by marketing firm Constant Contact and research company Chadwick Martin Bailey sheds light on how consumers interact with brands on Facebook. According to 10 Quick Facts You Should Know About Consumer Behavior on Facebook (below), it turns out that people engage with their favorite brands on Facebook far more than on any other social network.

CMB asked 1,491 respondents to share their social media habits. The data shows that more than half of Americans over the age of 18 spend an hour or more each week on Facebook, and over a quarter of them are connecting with their favorite brands.

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Social Media Sites Are Now Used by 65% of Adults Online

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on social media reveals that nearly two-thirds of adults on the Internet say they use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, up slightly from a year ago. Drilling down further, the research also shows that social media use among Baby Boomers is growing at a faster clip — among users aged 50-64, 33% say they visit a social network daily, a 20% increase from last year.

Among online adults:

  • 83% of 18-29 year-olds
  • 70% of 30-49 year-olds
  • 51% of 50-64 year-olds, and
  • 33% of those ages 65 and older

use social-networking sites.

Users generally enjoy their experiences, describing them as mostly “good”:

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How Airlines Use Social Media: Lessons for Everyone

In an effort to build customer engagement, an increasing number of airlines are creating an active social media presence — Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and check-in locations for location-based apps. SimpliFlying, “a unique blog offering insights, hindsights, and foresights into the world of airline and airport branding”, has created an infographic that shows how the airline industry has allocated resources to social media. We all know that it’s easy to set up social media profiles, but many brands fail to follow through and dedicate the huge amount of time and energy it takes to gain followers and create meaningful dialog. And who could forget the string of recent airline-industry PR debacles that had the companies scrambling to redeem themselves? These days, a social-media presence is vital for public relations, branding, marketing — everything, really.

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Facebook Stores Deliver Sames Sales Rates as Web Sites

According to a new white paper from Webtrends, Facebook stores now have the same sales conversion rates as e-commerce Web sites. “The Effect of Social Networks and the Mobile Web on Website Traffic and the Inevitable Rise of Facebook Commerce” was created in conjunction with Adgregate Markets, a leader in distributed Web commerce that creates Facebook storefronts for its customers.

Findings from the report indicate that e-commerce may be one of the factors protecting Web sites from the influence of Facebook:

  • Among the 44 companies examined, 18 of them (about 40%) exhibited extremely high traffic to their Facebook page compared to their Web sites. Not only were their Web sites accounting for fewer unique visits than Facebook, but many were also showing a decline in visits over a three-month period.
  • Of the 22 categorized as ‘Non-E-commerce’, 13 companies (about 65%) received more unique visits to their Facebook page versus their Web site:

  • Two companies that exhibited extremely high Facebook traffic were Coca-Cola and Walt Disney:

  • Of the 22 companies that offer e-commerce transactions, only five exhibited promising Facebook trends, while the rest (about 77%) had very consistent traffic to their Web sites. Even though these sites currently fare better than Facebook, their future growth is questionable since many have started to experience significant drops in unique visits compared to last year:

The report’s found that while many Facebook stores have a nascent operating history, several important trends are emerging:

  • Facebook stores are efficient at acquiring visitors cheaply through wall posts, with post-launch wall posts generating on average 1,673% spikes in store traffic.
  • One month after store launch, the base level of traffic equals 1 to 10% of fan base.
  • Facebook stores on average generate a 17% social engagement rate (merchandise “likes” and “shares” per visitor).
  • Facebook stores generated on average Earned Media Reach to friends of fans equal to 25% of fan base. (Earned Media Reach is defined as additional reach to friends of fans through fan activity within a store, e.g. when visitors “like” and “share” products.).
  • Facebook stores generated on average 5.9 pages views per visit.
  • Facebook store dwell times average 2:50 per visit, growing 50% over the last three months.
  • Facebook commerce conversion rates range from 2% to 4% and are on par with e-Commerce Web sites. (avg. 3.4%, according to Forrester/Shop.org).

So the game is no longer about the comforts of your Web site’s ‘Walled Garden’, but about the risks and rewards of arriving on the social network. Read the full report to see all of its conclusions, including the fact that social and mobile networks will dominate the online traffic landscape in a big way, decreasing traffic to content as well as e-Commerce Web sites

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Are You Obsessed With Facebook? [Infographic]

Are you one of the 48% of Americans who check their social media apps in bed, during the night, or as soon as they wake up in the morning? Would you use the term “obsessed” or “addicted” to describe this behavior? The folks at SocialHype and OnlineSchools.org have compiled some compelling statistics about Facebook that detail our fixation with the platform… We’re hooked, for sure.

Takeaways:

  • 1 in 13 people on Earth are on Facebook
  • 71% of U.S. Web users use the platform
  • 48% of 18- to 34-year-olds check Facebook as soon as they wake up
  • About 28% check Facebook on their smart phones before getting out of bed
  • 30% of Facebook users are 35 or older
  • 48% of young Americans said they get news about current events through Facebook
  • There are 10 million comments posted on Facebook every 20 minutes — that’s 500,000 comments per minute

Which of these statistics apply to you? And what do you believe is responsible for making Facebook this successful? Is Facebook an amazing way to connect or does it foment addition?

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Average Age of a Facebook User? 38. [Infographic]

The demographics of the most popular social networking sites are changing quickly and, once again, the team at Flowtown has done a great job of compiling the latest statistics about Facebook users and social network usage in general.  Did you know that the average age of a Facebook user is 38 years old?  Even more interesting is that 61% of Facebook users are now older than 38 — the company has come a long way since first launching exclusively to an audience of college students.

And what about Twitter? The average Twitter user is 39, and 64% of tweeters are 35 or older.

Another interesting statistic found in the data is that social media users who are 18 to 29 use social networks almost as much as they use e-mail; other reports have recently suggested that users under 18 use social networks more than e-mail.

Check out all the details below!

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Social Media Ad Spending Will Hit $3.3 Billion in 2010

Social networks worldwide will rake in $3.3 billion in advertising dollars this year, according to updated estimates by eMarketer. That’s a 31% increase from 2009′s $2.5 billion. And Facebook is the biggest winner — 39% of that amount, or $1.3 billion, will go to the social-media juggernaut.

In the U.S., social ad spending is expected to rise 20% to $1.7 billion and Facebook has an even larger market share — 50 percent of that amount ($835 million), versus a 36% share last year (when its U.S. advertising revenues were estimated to be $500 million out of a total of $1.4 billion).

The big loser in social ads this year? MySpace, whose share is estimated to drop from 32% in 2009 ($445 million) to 19% in 2010 ($323 million).

Online social games and applications are becoming a more important part of the mix. Advertising is not a primary revenue stream for game companies like Zynga or Playdom, but their large audiences are interesting to marketers. eMarketer expects companies like these to attract $293 million in spending worldwide in 2011, up from $220 million in 2010.

Twitter, which finally launched its ad business earlier this year, is part of eMarketer’s forecast for the first time. Although worldwide ad spending on Twitter will be under $50 million in 2010, the potential for 2011 and beyond could be dramatic if its “resonance” model of measuring advertising effectiveness works.

Here’s a nice infographic from Flowtown that does a great job of summarizing all of eMarketer’s data:

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Social Media and Older Adults

Pew has just released the latest results from its Internet and American Life Project survey, which found that the fastest growing demographic adopting social media is people over 50.

All age groups continue to jump on the social networking bandwagon, and young adults still dominate. But social media use among Internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled — from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010. In the 50- to 64-year-old bracket, the figure leaped from 25% to 47%, and for those over 65 the figure shot up from 13% of the population using social nets to 26%. By way of comparison, 76% of users 18 to 29 used social nets in 2009 and this group’s usage rose to 86% this year.

“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and the report’s author. “E-mail is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families, and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”

Other data from the survey of 2,200 American adults revealed growing interest among older users in social status sites like Twitter: 11% of them now have used Twitter or a similar site this year, versus just 5% last year — and 6% of them do so on a daily basis, compared to just 1% in 2009. Here’s some interesting info about how various age groups leverage various social platforms on a daily basis:

Pew doesn’t analyze the reasoning behind the upward trend of social media usage by older adults, but it’s likely that it’s partly a natural progression — adoption of new technology is propagating up through the age groups, similar to the “silver surfer” phenomenon described among British users. And services like Facebook and Twitter are expanding the scope of their platforms as business-to-consumer branding, promotional, and contact management tools.


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