Social Media trends for 2014

9 01 2014

The Social Media Today website recently published a very interesting article on UK Social Media statistics for 2014.

Some noticeable trends that interested me:

  1. Facebook’s growth has come to an end as it is now fully “mainstream”
  2. 40% of Twitter users prefer to simply read content and use it as a way to curate news feeds
  3. LinkedIn is by far the most effective social media platform for driving visitors to corporate websites which also reflects a move away from using LinkedIn as an online CV
  4. No confirmed user statistics for Google Plus
  5. Pinterest and Instagram are growing quickly but from very small bases
  6. Snapchat and WhatsApp are growing also, especially among younger age groups

What struck me most, however, is the lack of hard statistics for most of the platforms. One of the great strengths of digital marketing is its ability to provide measurable numbers but they seem to be sadly lacking here.

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Is Graph Search a game changer?

18 02 2013

Niall Harbison, co-founder of Simply Zesty, will be a popular speaker, I suspect, at DMX Dublin 2013. The Simply Zesty story is fantastic and it’s great to see an Irish company doing so well. Niall recently spoke at a PM Forum event in the newly refurbished offices of Ernst & Young. He gave the following advice which I thought cut through the haze that often surrounds social media.

  1. Pick one channel and get it right
    The four dominant social media channels are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn with Google+ coming in fifth. Niall’s advice was to ignore this months trend and get one of these channels right.
  2. Blog
    Simply Zesty owes its success to top quality blogging. If you blog then you own the content, it is always yours.
  3. Set goals
    It might be a bit of a cliché but how many so-called social media experts fail to set real, meaningful goals that make a difference to your business. Collecting ‘likes’ or followers is not a real goal.
  4. Avoid the “arms race” for Facebook likes
    The new Graph Search feature currently being rolled out by Facebook will make chasing vast numbers of ‘likes’ almost irrelevant. Facebook will allow users to search based on what their friends recommend rather than the quantity of likes.

I was very struck by how powerful Niall believes Facebook will become. He cited the example of Netflix using Facebook logins to illustrate how he believes that Facebook will soon be the real backbone of the Internet. Combined with the potential of Graph Search Niall sees a strong future for Facebook.





Dublin SEO Summit

28 09 2012

I attended the Dublin SEO Summit last Friday which was organised by e-Celtic.

I was particularly interested in the presentation by Niall Harbison, founder of Simply Zesty. Simply Zesty are pioneers in the use of Social Media and built the business through social media rather than via more traditional means. This made some of Niall’s comment all the more interesting.

Use Google if you want to drive traffic

I was surprised at Niall being so strong in his support of search over social but he pointed out that 75% of traffic to websites comes from Google. This is because when we want to find something we go to Google. We search. We find. We click through. We are comfortable leaving Google once we have the answer. In contrast we are not comfortable leaving Facebook. When we are in Facebook we like to stay in Facebook and do not want to click on external links.

Use social media for brand build

Simply Zesty used social media to build awareness of their brand. They combined blogging with sharing through various social channels to grow the business. This approach works because once a potential customer engages (share, like, follow, etc.) then they are interested and you can draw them in with relevant content.

Social media takes time

Simply Zesty typically have 3 to 4 people working for a day on each blog post. This is the secret to their success. Well researched, well written, relevant content. Many people believe that social media is quick and instant. Simply Zesty show that it is not but it can be very successful.

Email is massively powerful

I couldn’t agree more with this. Email gives you the power to control the message you are sending. It gives you the power to segment your audience. It gives you the power to be relevant and direct. It also gives you great analytics and the ability to react quickly to the insights you receive.





Mobile is on the move

20 04 2012

At the Digital Marketing Institute members event, held in Google’s European HQ in Dublin, the rapid growth of mobile was highlighted. If fact, for the first time ever, the number of daily searches from a mobile device exceeded those from a desktop device. This happened on one particular day but is likely to be repeated. The good people from Google highlighted a few things that everyone should be aware of.

Targeting options

You have four specific targeting options. These are

  1. Device (e.g. iPhone or Android) and operator (e.g. Vodafone, O2, etc.)
  2. Location
  3. Keyword bundles
  4. Time of day/Context (WiFi or 3G)

The practical use of this, for example, is if you have an app for an iPhone for a sporting event you can set up your campaign so that the ads only appear when someone with an iPhone searches for that particular event while on WiFi. This means your ads are reaching the most relevant audience when they are most likely to download your app. You can also set up a ‘click to download’ link so that the visitor can go directly to the App Store or Google Play Store.

Hyper local ads

One in every three searches is local so targeting by local area is a strong tool for some companies. A good example of this would be a florist. In general, flowers are an impulse purchase and tend to be done locally. A florist can set up their ads so that they appear only on devices that are, say, within 750 meters of the location of the shop.

How does your site look on mobile?

This is vital. If your site does not render properly on every device out there then you could be in trouble. Driving visitors to a mobile site that looks bad will cost you business and is a waste of your ad spend with Google. Test your website using the How To Get Mo website.