Posts tagged social networks
Odds are you’ve heard of Pinterest over the past few months. The social bookmarking site, where users collect and share photos of their favorite events, interests and hobbies, has become one of the fastest growing social networks online! In fact, it’s the third-largest such network behind only Facebook and Twitter.
Are you on Pinterest? We are, too! Follow us to get a behind-the-scenes look at MBS, find pins that promote your store to share with students, learn the latest campus trends and more!
- Interesting Infographics
- To Share with Students
- Rush Motivation
- The Many Uses of Used Books
- For the Love of Reading
- Around MBS
- Campus Life
And the list goes on…
Check them all out and be sure to follow us!
The Web moves fast, so you want to tweet and Facebook post that great content or announcement in quick succession the second it comes to you, right?
Not so fast.
It turns out that there are ideal times to tweet and post—and they are not the same, suggests analysis from Bit.ly. The URL shortening service has been studying how content goes viral through social networks.
Recently the company analyzed retweets and clickthroughs that tweets get when they’re posted at certain times of the week and times of day. (Trivia alert: It discovered that the half-life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours.) Bit.ly also analyzed Facebook links.
Time to Tweet
For Twitter, your best chance at getting the most clickthroughs is 1 to 3 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday. Posting after 8 p.m. should be avoided. Added Bit.ly in a blog post: “Specifically, don’t bother posting after 3 p.m. on a Friday, since as far as being a gateway to drive traffic to your content, it appears that Twitter doesn’t work on weekends.”
Peak traffic time for Twitter in general is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday. One point Bit.ly says to consider, however, is that, “Posting on Twitter when there are many people clicking does help raise the average number of clicks, but it in no way guarantees an optimal amount of attention, since there is more competition for any individual’s attention. An optimal strategy must weigh the number of people paying attention against the number of other posts vying for that attention.”
Landing More Likes
For Facebook, the absolute highest number of clickthroughs comes at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, with links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. picking up the highest average clickthroughs. Links posted after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. may struggle for attention. As with Twitter, weekends are not ideal. (For tips on writing the perfect Facebook post, click here.)
Facebook traffic starts to pick up about 9 a.m., but Bit.ly suggests waiting to post until 11 a.m. Facebook traffic begins to fade after 4 p.m. And despite similar traffic at 7 and 8 p.m., Bit.ly’s analysis shows that a link posted at 7 will pick up a lot more clicks than will something posted at 8.
Bit.ly adds that it is important to keep in mind that these times are meant only as a guide, and may not apply to breaking news. In addition, the ideal post times may vary by your particular business, customer or type of content.
A study that showed differing data was performed last month by Buddy Media, showing that Thursday and Friday were better for engagement on Facebook. One possible reason for the difference: Buddy analyzed 200 clients’ Facebook posts over a two-week period, in addition to the comments and Likes spurred by those posts, whereas Bit.ly focused just on the sharing of links.
When do you post to your social media pages? Share your strategy in the comments section below!
Visual content, curation and storytelling are the three major trends for 2012 when it comes to emerging niche social networks. Unlike content-based forms of networking (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,) services like Pinterest, Posterous, Instagram, and Tumblr allow users to share visually in a way that bypasses personal networks, commentary and conversations, and instead relies on viral spread.
In fact, in Tumblr’s own words, they are about “millions of people sharing the things they do, find, love, think, or create.” The curation and identity points are so strong that some Tumblr authors have found themselves with book deals based around the concept of their micro-blog.
But what exactly is Tumblr?
Tumblr is a bit like a Twitter and WordPress mash-up. Tumblr is both a microblogging platform and a social network where “short form” content rules. Anytime a user sees something interesting online, a quick click on a “Share on Tumblr” bookmarklet posts or ‘tumbles’ the snippet directly. Unlike the “web logs” of yesteryear, wordy personal reflection and super-techie customization are considered passé on Tumblr. As David Karp, the CEO of Tumblr puts it, “All blogs took the same form,” he notes. “I wanted something much more free-form, much less verbose.
Introduced in 2007, Tumblr has steadily increased in population as mobile and smartphones have become incorporated in everyday life. The site saw hockey stick growth in late 2009, as college students and tech-lovers world-wide adopted the platform.
Per the comScore, users spend an average of 89 minutes a month on Tumblr. Quantcast tells us that the demographics are split fairly evenly between men and women, with the majority of users falling in the 18 – 34 age range. Approximately 50% of the traffic currently comes from the US, with the remaining percentage being international.
What’s on Tumblr?
The world of Tumblr is a wide and varied one. Personal blogs often center on a meme (aka, a single topic blog.) Design, fashion, and music all are popular focuses of the Tumblr audience. A separate style of Tumblr blog is one devoted to reblogging, or internal curation and sharing, where a member neither posts original content nor commentary on outside content, but instead “reblogs” from within the Tumblr community. Like the members of Pinterest, Tumblr users have a constant stream of new and interesting content flowing on site.
Is Tumblr right for your brand?
The best Tumblrs are full of small snips of media that come from original content, reblogs and added opinions on content that is shared. Some brands have enthusiasts ready to blog, but without a built-in audience (General Electric‘s Tumblr is a prime example.)
Without a committed curator, however, no Tumblr blog is successful. The content stream has to remain constant and engaging, otherwise even strong starts can end with a string of unfollows. That kind of creative output can be taxing, though, so ensure you have a dedicated employee or employees willing to put in the effort to maintain it before beginning.
Do college stores use Tumblr?
You bet! For two great examples of how your store can use Tumblr, MBS suggests checking out how Chico State Wildcat Store and The Skidmore Shop are engaging with their students through the microblogging platform. If your store is on Tumblr, too, be sure to share a link in the comments section below so others can take a look!
Thinking about joining Tumblr?
eModeration offers a free eBook with details on how to get started! Download it here.
This article offers great advice to keep in mind as your store enters textbook rush. Your store will likely receive the most complaints during this busy time of the year, so remember that responding to criticisms that occur after a student has left the store can be just as important as offering good customer service in the store!
For many social network users, Twitter is both a water cooler and a complaint department. Although most are there to engage with peers, many consumers are using Twitter to talk about their experiences with brands—and from time to time share their grievances. As more and more brands have joined Twitter, consumers’ expectation for interaction with brands has risen.
According to customer experience research company Maritz Research, nearly half of consumers who tweeted a complaint directed toward a brand expected the company to respond—or at least to read their tweet. However, only a third of those consumers received a tweeted response from the mentioned brand.
Consumers ages 55 and older are particularly expectant of a company to read their complaint on Twitter. Gen Y and Gen X consumers, who tend to be more active on Twitter, were less hopeful that a company would read their complaint—perhaps because they believe those expectations will not be met.
Despite the gap between consumer expectations and brand delivery, consumers are overwhelmingly positive when brands take the time to actually respond to them on Twitter. The Maritz study indicates that 86% of Twitter complainers would have liked or loved to hear from the company regarding their complaints—and out of those who heard back, 75% were satisfied with the company’s response.
Many brands are responding to tweets and mentions in order to maintain their reputations and sustain important customer relationships. According to a Forrester Consulting social media report commission by Dell, 58% of US marketers believe that listening and engaging with consumers through digital media will help with customer perceptions of their brand. Also, 56% said their social media efforts would aid in building long-term customer relationships.
Responding to customer complaints, although often thought of as a customer service function, can help increase positive branding—and therefore work in a marketer’s favor. Social media-savvy airline Virgin America has found that engaging with consumers via social networks helps build loyalty.
When consumers tweet @VirginAmerica during their travels—whether it be a question about the airline’s in-flight entertainment or a complaint about a flight delay—the airline does its best to respond.
“People are surprised that anyone there is listening, especially in the airline category,” Abby Lunardini, vice president of corporate communications, told eMarketer in a September 26, 2011, interview. She added that the engagement bolsters positive experiences and helps the airline improve its services. It also leads customers to fly with Virgin America again.
“Engendering loyalty is really important and definitely has a strong economic component,” Lunardini said. “Because once people fly with us, they usually stick with us.”
The following article, 4 Ways Brands May Benefit From Facebook’s Timeline, was written by Lior Levin, guest writer, for iBrandStudio.com.
It’s not even a certainty yet – whether or not the new feature from Facebook, called Timeline, will be even offered to brands for their commercial purposes. However, the buzz has already started about how and why brands – large and small – could benefit from the significant changes to the look, feel, and functionality of Facebook profiles that Timeline will bring.
Timeline is a new Facebook feature that allows profile owners to dramatically change the look of their profile, and in doing so, how they interact with their friends and profile visitors. If Facebook does deploy the same features to Facebook pages as they are planning to with profiles, brands may benefit from the change. Here are four ways the changes could help.
1. Tell a Story
From top to bottom, Timeline is all about building a story around an identity. For brands, this could mean a significant improvement to the existing Facebook Pages tool, which is basically like a restricted profile and not much more.
With Timeline, brands could have the opportunity to really focus on telling their brand’s story, starting with the extra large image at the top, which, by the way, is an improvement even over the existing custom welcome screen, because the extra large image will be seen all the time by everyone.
From there, the rest of the page tells a story via the updates, photos, activities, likes, and events that are displayed. The layout of Timeline aids in the story-telling, as the linear page dominated by time-stamped status updates is eliminated, and a more compelling, tied-together look (with a smaller box for updates) is displayed instead.
2. Implement More Control
While the name “timeline” implies chronological order, the actual implementation is anything but restrictive in that sense. Timeline will allow users to pick out updates, photos, and activities that they want to highlight, giving them a lot of power over what gets displayed.
All too often with brand pages, the really significant things get pushed way down the page and eventually out of sight, especially if brands use Facebook to do a lot of customer service and communication. If brands have the opportunity to take advantage of Timeline’s new “highlight” feature, brand social media managers can pick and choose the photos, status updates, and activities that best tell the brand’s story.
3. Expand Branding
Features are only special if they are taken advantage of, so it should probably be said that brands would be missing out on a huge opportunity if the changes coming with Timeline were ignored. There are huge opportunities for branding– including the massive cover image, the profile image collage, cherry-picked activities and updates, and numerous other things that would be in total control of the page owner.
The key for brands, large and small, will be to not limit the features to what they are at face value, but to discover how they can be used to create one cohesive brand image, so that no feature goes ignored or underutilized.
4. Centralize Focus
Perhaps the single most important change coming with Timeline is that profiles – and hopefully brand pages – will have much more focus. Timeline is being developed for profile owners – people – to help them showcase more of themselves and what they love and who they love. If Timeline is deployed to brand pages, brands will benefit from this singular, centralized focus as well. With the existing page structure, the focus is clearly on one thing – updates. But if Timeline is made available to brands, updates will be just one part of the activity, allowing brands to draw attention to other things while still providing fans the opportunity to interact with them via the wall like before.
With Facebook, a change is inevitable and usually right around the corner. While some of the recent changes have been received less than enthusiastically, this is a change many brands would quickly welcome and adapt to. Whether they get the opportunity to do so, however, is still to be announced.
What do you think of Facebook Timeline? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
The following informative article offers a great perspective on upcoming trends that apply to this year’s fall rush. The information was published on InternetRetailer.com and was written by Thad Rueter, Senior Editor. Click here to view the article.
Smartphones and social networks will play prime roles in back-to-school shopping this year, according to a new survey from Deloitte LLP.
The consulting and accounting firm says that 64% of consumers with web-enabled smartphones will use the devices for back-to-school shopping; 61% will use their mobile devices to find the best prices for school products. 43% of consumers will use their smartphones to download discounts, coupons and sales information; 37% to locate a retail store; 29% to receive product information; and 25% to access a retailer’s web site.
“Price-conscious and time-constrained, consumers are navigating virtual and physical storefronts to get the information they want quickly and easily,” says Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Deloitte’s retail & distribution sector leader. “Retailers need to respond with an integrated experience. In short, they must unite the store with their online and mobile channels to enable consumers to easily access product availability, promotions and information.”
Deloitte based its findings on surveys conducted between July 5 and July 11 of 1,000 parents of children in kindergarten through the 12th grade. The survey offered no historical data about smartphone use during the back-to-school shopping season.
But Deloitte did find that more consumers will turn to social networks this year for back-to-school shopping. 35% of parents who took part in the survey plan to use social networking sites during their shopping, up from 29% last year. Most parents—69%—will use social media to sniff out promotions, while 44% will use the likes of Facebook to browse products. 28% will seek out product reviews and recommendations via social media. 12% will watch product or retailer videos, while 9% say they will use social networks to post comments and reviews about back-to-school products.
To stay up to speed on these new back-to-school trends, here are some of MBS’ suggestions:
•Integrate QR Codes onto shelf-talkers or in-store signs with additional product information. Learn how.
•Place price comparison information on your inSite e-commerce page through the MBS-Verba integration.
•Talk with your inSite Client Representative about enabling the newly enhanced mobile capabilities of your inSite page.
•Ensure your location information is easily searchable on websites such as Yelp.