Main social networks

The Death of Facebook and the new players in Social Media

‘The Death of Facebook’… Sounds a little harsh, but as a social media channel Facebook is dying. There I feel better now I’ve said it out loud. There’s plenty to replace it mind you, so if you’re a social media junky you’ll be just fine.

Why is Facebook dying?

You might think the horrendous data breaches, the court cases in the USA (as well as other parts of the World) and scandalous disinformation would be the top three reasons for the goliath social media platforms downfall. But it’s far simpler than that. Facebook is such a large part of people’s lives it will actually take far more than that to kill off a brand completely. So, what is it…?

The main reason is simply the Facebook generation are using it less. Facebook to a 15-year-old is almost uncool. Unless it’s your local bike or gymnastics club then why would the youth of today use it when their parents use it? It is naturally dying a death.

Having visited two separate school career fairs (October 2018), we conducted some market research with the students. The questions were; “which social media platforms do you use” (aged 14-18). There were no other prompts. Below are the results:

Student Employer Evening

Market research with students from two separate schools

We also asked the students why they don’t use platforms such as Facebook and the top of the reasons were:

  • My mum & dad use it – this makes it very ‘uncool’. The current up and coming social media platforms would do well to address this challenge ASAP
  • Too many adverts – this was also specifically relevant to YouTube

Other reasons Facebook has fallen by the wayside is:

  • start-ups and innovators would utilise Facebook for its ability to project great new innovations/stories for free. This no longer exists and has been brutally restricted to enhance Facebooks advertising offering. This viral ability for great innovative ideas to spread is now contained, you now have to pay! A little bit of its raison d’etre has been lost.
  • the Facebook user has gotten wise to how much time Facebook can take from their day. It is easy to get sucked in to the Facebook feed…and what was meant to be a quick message check turns into ½ hour of your life you will never get back! Facebook users are more disciplined on how much time they allow themselves on the platform.

Social Media is such a large topic, never-ending and constantly changing. To write an article on Social Media requires discipline as to become side tracked is easily done. However, here’s a little more information you should enjoy reading….

A little bit of Social Media history

Each era has its giants that sooner or later are replaced by new ‘heroes’.  The Skype and MySpace era began in 2003 and were soon followed by Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006), which gradually became leaders in the world of social media. Since first launched in 2003, Skype became a very popular instant messaging and video/voice calling service, whilst Myspace became one of the most popular social network sites in history.

MySpace

MySpace was regarded as ‘the most visited social networking site in the World from 2005 until early 2008. Myspace was still more recognisable in USA than in Europe. However, in April 2008 it was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors. Myspace has never come back to its previous level.

Skype

Skype another founding revolutionary social media member, still holds significant influence. This is due to the improvements continually implemented and despite the appearing of some strong competitors; such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime and WhatsApp, Skype has stood the test of time.

Facebook

So… we come to the gladiator of all social media so far – Facebook. The era of story-telling, strange, innovative, different… images and posts that a whole generation grew up with. Even if you are not the kind of a Facebook maniac who checks the profile every second, you definitely have all those Facebook friends that post; their daily food or ‘easy solutions’ for global political problems or crises that the smartest people (are they the smartest?) cannot (or do not want to?) solve for months or years.

The era of Facebook is remarkable, as this social media led to; arrests, convictions, noble initiatives, propaganda, military use and being utilised to influence ‘real life’ at all levels. Like it or not, Facebook has played a part in almost all of a whole generation.

Gradually (as mentioned earlier in this article) Facebook steps aside and is replaced by the likes of Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat. Whilst the first 2 are already owned by Facebook, the latter turned down Facebook’s offer for ownership on November 15, 2013, and Google’s offer the next day. The owners of Snapchat are more than happy now as their company is evaluated few times more expensive today!

What’s new and more attractive in Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber and Snapchat over Facebook?

Viber versus WhatsApp

As WhatsApp and Viber (another platform not owned by Facebook) are considered more an instant message platform, their ‘Social Media’ status is arguable. Anyway, the influence of both of them is strongly high as WhatsApp is used more in USA, Europe and the Middle East. while Viber is used more often Asia and some parts of Eastern Europe. They both offer sending of instant text, image, video messages, as well as voice and video calls. They are arguably both as good as the other, and many use both. Whilst in the UK WhatsApp is definitely used more, in some area of Europe like the Balkan area you might find impossible finding somebody’s number on WhatsApp, just because Viber has many more users.

Instagram vs Snapchat

This is definitely the social media battle nowadays. Snapchat’s more famous amongst the young people. Please see recent research of Statista below:

Social Media preferences

Snapchat & Instagram are the favorite social media platform amongst US teens

Instagram is preferred by a wider age group. The main reason is that Instagram allows you to monetize your presence. You can find thousands of fitness models, life coaches, yoga teachers, etc. that use this platform for profit. It is also the preferred choice for the rich and famous models, actors or sport stars. As this post would probably be missed by Cristiano Ronaldo, David or Victoria Beckham or even Cara Delevingne (shame on them!), we will focus on how ordinary users utilise Instagram.

The Instagram Stalkers/Followers – yes, there’s an actual name for them!

These Stalkers & Followers are users who signed in to follow other people. Yes, there are plenty of people there that show zero activity but follow many celebrities and/or fitness models. Their presence might seem not that important, however it is these that help project and amplify the ‘Instagram Stars’ status!

The Typical Instagram Social Media user

The second type is The Typical Instagram Social Media user that are using the platform to communicate and mainly ‘be informed’. Informed about news and what’s going on in the life of close and not so close friends. You will definitely recognise them for the Private Accounts or low and usually equal number of Followers and Followings.

The Instagram Stars

It is not hard to recognise the Instagram stars. You will find their accounts public (meaning that anyone can see their posts), with very high activity (especially Instagram stories) and lots of photos to garner interest of their followers. The reason of this type of Instagram users is to reach the highest level of an Instagram user – Instagram Celebrity.

The Instagram Celebrities

Step in The Instagram Celebrities, who are divided into two groups.

Group One are people who somehow have reached this prestigious level and usually come from being an Instagram Star. Their aim is to monetize their presence online whilst doing something they love, being social. It is not necessary to be famous for this group as it’s largely Instagram that makes you famous. You’ll need to find a way how to show your talent or a great product in appropriate way. Often, some of these users are being sponsored directly by Instagram for high number of followers and post engagements.

Group Two are people who were successful in business before the Instagram revolution and/or through other channels. They use Instagram as another touch point to reach their current followers and gain new followers.

Now…we did mention earlier how easy it is to get side tracked when it comes to Social Media. The social media space is huge, always changing. So back to where we started, Facebook.

What will FB become?

Facebook still has some life in it yet. Those who use Facebook correctly from a business perspective utilize the platform as a replacement for a website. Encapsulating the ‘community feel’. Particularly pertinent for local small businesses from coffee shops to cleaning services and clubs to neighbourly groups. Facebook provides excellent Search Engine (Google & Bing) potential if you’re one of these local Facebook groups.

Our prediction is that people will continue to use Facebook but far less as the years go by and it will eventually become another MySpace unless they address the current trends.

Paid for Social Media Analysis Tools Picture

Top 3 Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools

Top 3 Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools

If you are thinking about investing in a social media monitoring tool, it can be hard to determine which is best for you. Below in our Top 3 Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools article we’ve listed three different types of paid-for tools that could help you maximise your social media status. This is the sequel to our 6 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools article. They all offer a free demo so you can try before you buy.

Sysomos

Sysomos prides itself on being an all-inclusive social media analytics tool, breaking it down into 5 key areas: research, listen, curate, engage and analyse. They claim to be “The world’s largest independent social intelligence platform” and have a broad client base including Porsche, NBC Universal and Heineken.

Now they don’t offer a price list on the website and so you need to speak to them with your budget in mind before you know how much you’ll pay. They do have multiple tools within their offering so depending on your needs, you may not have to pay for the whole package.

Sysomos MAP is their research platform, where you can view analytics for Boolean search queries relevant to your business from across the web.

Sysomos Heartbeat is their social media listening platform, where you can view mentions across multiple social media networks as well as forums, blogs and news sites.

Sysomos Expion is their social campaign manager, where you can schedule content calendars and engage with your audience directly.

Sysomos Analytics is their paid marketing analytics tool. This tool monitors the success of paid ad campaigns in real-time across multiple networks.

Sysomos Scout is their specific Facebook insights platform, pulling in all the data you need from your Facebook pages and managing it all under one roof.

Lastly, Sysomos Gaze is their visual marketing tool, pulling in analytics from images and video content.

Sysomos has a lot to offer and multiple tools to pick and choose from. All these tools certainly have their uses, and those with a big budget may like to have everything in one place. However, for those with lighter pockets, you might like to combine some of the Sysomos tools with some other free ones.

What we like: Analyses and gives insight into almost everything on the web which is relevant to your brand. Having everything in one place makes it very easy from a workflow perspective.

What is missing: Some social monitoring options are available elsewhere, some even for free. For example, Facebook insights vs Sysomos Scout and Hootsuite vs Sysomos Expion.

Sysomos Social Media Monitoring Tool

Sysomos Social Media Monitoring Tool

(Image courtesy of https://sysomos.com/products/heartbeat)

Brandwatch

Second place on the list of Top 3 Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools out there is Brandwatch. Brandwatch does not have the plethora of services that Sysomos offer, instead it focuses on two main areas of social monitoring: social listening and finding your target audience. This is certainly not a one-stop-shop platform for social media monitoring and you will need to use other tools in conjunction with it. Similarly to Sysomos, Brandwatch does not offer a price list but they have three tiers of plans with varying data access rights. The plans are based on number of mentions starting with 10,000 then jumping to 1 million and finally unlimited. Their current client list includes top brands British Airways, Sky and ASOS.

Brandwatch Analytics can track social media campaigns, offer competitor benchmarking, influencer identification and outreach, market research and reputation management. They seem to place most emphasis on finding influencers and reputation management which is great if you are a controversial or highly talked about brand. Their reputation management tool allows you to set up queries to pick up on important topics and you will be sent alerts immediately so that you don’t miss anything important.

Brandwatch doesn’t offer much in the way of scheduling or engagement from the platform, so another tool will be required to manage the day-to-day social media conversation as well as campaigns.

What we like: Uncomplicated and visual reports which are great for sharing with the wider business, one of Twitter’s official partners with access to the Firehose, historical data.

What is missing: No ability to manage social platforms from within the tool, no data for forums, blogs or news sites.

Brandwatch Social Media Monitoring Tool

Brandwatch Social Media Monitoring Tool

(Image courtesy of https://www.brandwatch.com/brandwatch-analytics/)

 

Hootsuite

And…Number three on the list of Top 3 Paid Social Media Monitoring Tools  is Hootsuite. Featured in our Free Social Media Monitoring Tools blog post, Hootsuite is a social media monitoring and engagement platform where you can manage all your social media accounts from one dashboard. As with Brandwatch, you will need to use other tools to discover deeper data about your social media presence.

The free plan has it’s limits so venturing into the paid plans unlocks a lot of other features. The plans are split into four and are priced based on the size of your business.

Professional £7.99 per month (1 user)

The professional plan offers users 10 social profiles to monitor on the system, along with content scheduling, content suggestions and real-time analytics.

Team £27.99 per month per user (1-5 users)

The team plan includes everything in the professional plan, bulk scheduling, customised analytics, a little bit of training and up to 20 social profiles.

Business £69.99 per month per user (5-10 users)

The business plan includes everything in the team plan as well as analytics exports, priority support, more training and up to 50 social profiles.

Enterprise Contact for pricing (10+ users)

Hootsuite say “Hootsuite Enterprise empowers large teams, departments and regions to drive results by safely and securely scaling social media across their entire organisation”. It seems you need to give them a ring to find out what this actually means in terms of features.

What we like: As with the free option, we like the ability to manage all your social media accounts in one place. Data exports are great, but only available on the more expensive plans.

What is missing: Hootsuite isn’t offering the vast volumes of data the other tools can provide.

Hootsuite Social Media Monitoring Tools

Hootsuite Social Media Monitoring Tools

(Image courtesy of http://signuptoday.hootsuite.com/pro-gbr-eng-br-pplans/)

 

If you would recommend any other paid social media monitoring tools, let us know in the comments!

Find out more about 6 Social Monitoring Tools

6 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools

6 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools. The internet is awash with social media monitoring tools but most of them are quite costly. The paid tools do give a much more in-depth view of your social media standing than the free versions, but the free tools have some good insights to offer too. When measuring your social media success, engagement is your key KPI. This includes likes, follows, shares, mentions, video views and clicks, to name but a few. Depending on your goals, you may have other non-social KPIs such as traffic referrals, conversions and page views which will be available through analytics tools, such as Google Analytics. Here is a list of our favourite free social media monitoring tools that can be used alongside your website analytics to give you a rounded view of how well your social media is performing.

1. Facebook Analytics

Facebook Insight gives you useful information about your fans, engagement and reach.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook insights have come on leaps and bounds over the years and is now full of useful information about your fans, engagement and reach. You can only view data from the last 28 days on Facebook but there is a handy export button where you can view the raw data for the last six months.

What we like: Export function, post engagement information, fan demographics

What is missing: More detailed information on your fans and what they like, most engaged users

2. Twitter Analytics

Twitter doesn’t seem to shout about its analytics offering but it does contain some useful information. Along with the standard engagement and reach metrics, it also shows you who your most influential followers are. This is really helpful when building your outreach programme.

What we like: Top tweets, conversion tracking, Influential followers, export function

What is missing: data beyond the last 28 days, more information on followers

3. Hootsuite

Manage social media much more efficient with Hootsuite

Add all your social media accounts to one dashboard and manage them from one place.

Hootsuite has been around for a long time and there is a good reason for that. The primary benefit of using Hootsuite is that you can add all your social media accounts to one dashboard and manage them from one place. This makes managing social media much more efficient as not only can you monitor the accounts but you can engage with them from one place too.

What we like: One destination for all your social media accounts, monitors social media mentions, generate reports from social analytics and export them as PDFs

What is missing: A lot of the options are only available if you upgrade to a paid account so you can only get basic monitoring for free.

4. Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck - free tool for Twitter management

Manage your Twitter account for free with Tweetdeck.

As the name suggests, this free tool is for Twitter management only. It is very similar to Hootsuite in its layout, with a dashboard to pull in your streams where you can view your notifications, messages and activity all in one place. You can also use this for scheduling tweets.

What we like: Simple to use, easy to view all activity in one place, create streams for trending topics

What is missing: No insights

5. Mention

Mention - great for when you’re running a big PR campaign

Show you social mentions, web, forum and news mentions – great when running a big PR campaign

Similar to Google Alerts, you set up your account using your brand name and it will pull in all the information relating to your brand. Not only will this show you social mentions but will also show you web, forum and news mentions – great for when you’re running a big PR campaign. The caveat is that it’s only free for 14 days.

What we like: Influencers ranked by authority score, mentions from across the web not just social

What is missing: only free for 14 days

Image from Mention

6. Simply Measured

Simply Measured - your tool for Facebook, Twitter and Google+

The reports cover a range of platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Technically this isn’t a free tool, however they do have free downloadable reports. The reports cover a range of platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. If you are interested in the other services that Simply Measured has to offer, you can request a free demo.

What we like: Free in-depth reports

What is missing: Nothing missing but it is a bit of a long-winded, data capture fuelled process to download your free report.

Image from Simply Measured 

 

If you would recommend additional tools for our 6 free social media monitoring tools, then we would love to hear from you and your comments!

Lecturing at University College London about the power of Social Media

Lecturing at University College London & power of Social Media

Lecturing at University College London (UCL) and the power of Social Media

I recently had the pleasure of lecturing at University College London (UCL) and the power of social media was again at the forefront of discussion.  When I asked these simple questions:

  1. 1) ‘who here trusts what they see & read on social media’, no one raised their hand.

I then followed this up with:

  1. 2) ‘how many of you get your news from social media’, almost all of them raised their hand.

With the recent Trump campaign for the US Presidency and the equally feisty BREXIT campaign, we should be under no illusion how influential social media channels have become. Facebook has even stated it will try and weed out fake news which, in my view, is a near impossible task. However, I am pleased to see them acknowledging and addressing it.

BREXIT produced a sensational amount of false news and scaremongering from both sides. Some of the apparent ‘explainer’ videos I saw were literally shocking and President Obama was absolutely right to hold students accountable for finding out the truth and ‘digging deeper’ in one of his many speeches. We are accountable and responsible for finding out the truth, as best we can.

I appreciate one lecture room of 20 students is not the biggest nor most conclusive survey by any stretch. Perhaps more research is needed. However, you cannot dispute that it is a definitive indicator and, from what most of us have seen, probably true of most similar age groups.

We do, after all, tend to believe what we want to believe. If this statement is true, it suggests that if we’re fed news we want to believe, we are more likely to trust it, share it and unwittingly peddle it (sometimes even before we read and fully understood it).

To state what I deem is the obvious: we can create stories online which people want to believe are true and are inline with our brands mission and vision. We can then positively or negatively influence opinion.

Lastly, a brand is not exclusive to just businesses; it is also Nations, Religions and Political Parties.

What do you think?