Twitter

Twitter Conversation Archetypes and What They Mean for Your Brand

By on Mar 12, 2015 in academic studies, online community, public relations, social business, social software |

Back in the mid-to-late 1990’s, I was one of what seemed like a small handful of social scientists investigating the structures of conversation and community in online spaces. Fast-forward nearly twenty years and I’m fairly certain social media is now one of the most popular areas of study amongst sociologists. Last year, Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the Social Media Research Foundation, used Network Analysis to develop six archetypes of conversations on twitter. It strikes me that insight from the research would be particularly useful to brand managers and their social media teams as they develop a channel strategy for their brand, so I’ve posted what I hope to be a helpful guide to understanding the connection between your brand and the archetypes of twitter...

internet, social and mobile usage statistics for europe

By on Jul 23, 2014 in academic studies, social software |

I’m always on the hunt for fresh, well presented, statistics on the use of the internet, mobile and social in different countries and regions. There are loads of sources, some presenting conflicting views. Regardless, it’s handy to have a single go to point when you’re in a rush and just need some top-line insight. Kudos, then, to the people at WeAreSocial who have created a treasure trove of such insight: Social, Digital & Mobile in Europe from We Are Social Singapore There’s a blog post with highlights here:...

measuring the roi of social media… or not

By on Sep 24, 2009 in academic studies, blogging, headshift, online community, social software | 12 comments

This week I've had the pleasure of lecturing on the Master in Digital Marketing course at the IE Business School, which offers the #3 ranked MBA course in the World according to Forbes. It's a daunting task – these people know their business, and are already far more knowledgeable about social media than most people I've presented to or taught in the past. Which is why I need your help. In session one, we did an indepth exploration of the theory behind, and practice of, social media both consumer/audience facing and inside the organisation (eg. "Enterprise 2.0"). In the second session I showed them – some of them already knew how to do much of this – how to use the whole web as their canvas. But, as you'd expect from a top notch group of students, they rose up in unison at the end, and asked me to come up with real hard data on the ROI of social media. Now everyone in the social media industry knows that there are plenty of vendors, service providers and social media gurus who claim to know the answer, yet I get the feeling that most of these "infuencer metrics" and long tail curves just aren't going to cut it with this audience. And they shouldn't. But there is growing evidence that, although social media spend is said to be growing, few of those spending the dosh have worked out a way to measure the ROI. Indeed, a study – and I don't put a huge amount of faith in the results of a single study, but it is noteworthy regardless – suggested as few as 14% of professionals across a range of industries claim to measure ROI for their social media activities. For as long as I can remember, the main benefits of hosting a community on a site, or otherwise engaging via social media, have been to: increase brand loyalty and affinity increase the number of opportunities to sell to consumers (by increasing repeat visits) get users involved in creating fresh, new content on the site learn more about users – primarily demographics, but also observing behaviour in a few instances, it's also about crowd-sourcing customer service and/or innovating new ideas for service delivery and products reach out to new audiences, and better serve captive ones Inside the enterprise, it's all about making efficiency savings by bubbling content and knowledge to the top, increasing connections between staff, and supporting useful behaviours such as group collaboration, sharing, etc. I have over simplified, of course, but those are the main things I hear the industry saying. Now don't get me wrong – I very strongly believe that all of these things are worthwhile. Social media can help organisations reach out to new audiences, embrace existing ones, and there's nothing at all wrong with being more open, honest and transparent no matter what business your in. And within the enterprise, I hate nothing more than beareaucratic structures that stifle, rather than assist, people who hold the knowledge, creativity and skills that a business needs to thrive. However, when it comes to actual, concrete metrics, there are little. Social media doesn't always increase sales by x percent. Enterprise collaboration systems aren't necessarily responsible for a x percent reduction in cost base. It might be because we're trying to measure something that can't easily be measured. It's taken for granted that word of mouth advertising is the most effective marketing tool, yet we don't, as far as I'm aware, have a way to measure it. And on the Enterprise side, we can't measure the value, or savings, of two employees dreaming up a creative solution or new product during a fag break. Probably because, in most instances, there is no cost involved in implementing it – it just happens. But that's a tough argument to make with shit hot marketing students who are used to measuring the effectiveness of campaigns and other activities. Which leaves me – and our whole industry – in an awkward position:  Plan A: I can either go back to them tomorrow and tell them that, actually, it wasn't their wonderful £3 million campaign that increased sales by 20% year on year, or their new management structure that led to greater effectiveness and efficiences, it was the fact that it was sunny outside, interest rates were low, and people just generally felt happy in themselves. Implying, basically, that you simply can't measure this sort of thing effectively. Plan B: I come up with some compelling evidence, both anecdotal and hard quantitative data, to prop up our argument – one I strongly believe in – that social media, and enterprise social media, not only genuinely make an impact, but that its ROI can be measured. So I need your help. Help me come up with a strong, evidence based argument(s) for either Plan A or Plan B – by 15.00 London time (BST) Friday or I'm toast. In return for your efforts and insights, I'll post the results of this research, as well as output from the discussion, right...

revealed: groundbreaking study of user generated content use at the bbc

By on Apr 28, 2009 in academic studies, BBC, citizen journalism, journalism | 2 comments

In July 2007, as I announced here, the BBC/AHRC partnership selected eight projects to go forward. I was, along with Liz Howell and Robin Morley, the primary BBC sponsor for the largest of those projects, the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of User-Generated Content and it's Impact upon Contributors, Non-Contributors and the BBC. The study was awarded £90,000, a clear demonstration of the importance of this piece of research both to the BBC and to the academic community. The study was completed last summer but, until now, I've been unable to blog about it. Don't read between the lines – the report wasn't buried, I simply didn't feel that I had the necessary permission to blog about it but that all changed yesterday when the BBC and AHRC, who co-funded the research, held an event open to invited members of the public, including myself. Claire Wardle from the Department of Journalism at Cardiff University, who completed the ground-breaking research along with colleague Andy Williams, revealed in this first presentation of the findings, the following. The project was truly groundbreaking in that researchers had unparalleled access to BBC journalists, editors and audiences – allowing for: 10 weeks of ethnographic shadowing in BBC newsrooms interviews with 115 journalists interviews with 12 senior managers content analysis of a range of radio and television broadcasts as well as online content a MORI poll representative of the British public at large an online survey 12 focus groups The access we were able to provide the researchers with was exceptional – no previous researcher or research group had been given such an opportunity, at least not in so far as any of us was ever aware. The main findings of the research were that: There are 5 main types of "UGC" and they fulfill 6 different roles within the BBC Journalists and audiences display markedly different attitudes towards the five types Technology is changing the volume, ease and speed of gathering news material and sources, but traditional journalism practices still important "UGC" at the local level is particularly interesting Overall there is support from the audience for the ways in which the BBC has been using "UGC" Specific calls to action are most useful for news gathering and when eliciting high-quality relevant comment only a small, select group of people submit "UGC" UGC should never be treated as representative significant barriers to participation: digital divide, social economic background, lack of impetus, and – most interesting for me – negative perceptions held by general audience of contributors contributors want a real world impact for the contributions – eg. "If it was going to be read by Gordon Brown, then of course I'd submit it…" The study also identified a typology of audience material: audience content audience comments collaborative content networked journalism non-news content ("photos of snowmen") The majority of respondents to the MORI poll commissioned had favourable views of user generated content and thought it played a positive roll in reporting yet few have actually contributed. One of the questions was whether people would take a photo if they saw a fire break out – just 14% said they would, and just 6% of those said they'd send it to a news organisation. Great differences were seen across classes – 16% of higher management would take a photo, with all saying they'd submit it to a news organisation, but in other groups (middle-management to manual laborers) only between 4 – 5% would take a photo. There's lots of other interesting findings in the full-version of the study which, so far as I'm aware, hasn't yet been published publicly although it's my hope that it will be made available...

crowdsourcing a university journalism lecture

By on Nov 18, 2008 in academic studies, blogging, blogging techniques, citizen journalism, headshift, journalism, social software | 1 comment

Today was my first day teaching on the MA International Journalism programme at City University London. In preparation, I’ve been asking my twitter and facebook followers to help me come up with an outline for the lecture and received an almost overwhelming amount of feedback, much of it very useful indeed. I asked, in various ways, what I should show journalism students – some of them already accomplished journalists in their own right – from the worlds of blogging and social media. My session, the first of four I’ll be teaching between now and the end of the Spring term, was tentatively billed as an introduction to "social media journalism" or, depending on who you might have asked, "social networking for journalists". Anyway, here’s the helpful advice that my twitter followers shared (I’ve not posted the facebook responses, of which there were at least a dozen, because they are essential private where as all of these come up in a public tweet search). Thanks to all those who helped!             egrommet: @Cybersoc yay! say hello from sunny Cardiff. we’re using all the things you suggested yesterday plus Mento to allow team chat on bookmark               about 7 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet           · Show ConversationHide Conversation                                  noodlepie: @Cybersoc I guess you chose to start with Twitter :) Go teacher !               about 7 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           hazel: @Cybersoc, I’m sure they will learn a lot from you :-)               about 7 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           eamonncarey: @Cybersoc fun and games. there’s nothing like standing in front of a class and hoping that you can keep them interested and entertained!               about 8 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           paulmartinsmith: @Cybersoc I’d start with the why – ‘why is social enterprise technology and its use important’ – sets context for what follows, grip em ;)               about 18 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           kittenhotep: @cybersoc even s’thing as simple as comments on a news article – facts checked by audience/corrected by journalist = relationship developed.               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet           · Show ConversationHide Conversation                                  kittenhotep: @cybersoc even s’thing as simple as comments on a news article – facts checked by audience/corrected by journalist = relationshop developed               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet           · Show ConversationHide Conversation                                  arvind: @Cybersoc I would start with delicious, easy for people to understand bookmarks (old school), and gets them into tags (new school)…               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           lorrvid: @Cybersoc show them ping.fm it links the whole lot lol               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           hrheingold: @Cybersoc RSS, pipes, map mashups (Chicagocrime), widgets (Sproutbuilder is nice way to intro), delicious               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet                           kittenhotep: @cybersoc would also point out examples of citizen journalism, but perhaps not in 1st lecture. Also, how news spreads in SM/long tail, etc.               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet           · Show ConversationHide Conversation                                  kittenhotep: @cybersoc all of the above, and maybe throw in something about how new/social media is shaping journalism (Christian Science Monitor, etc).               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet           · Show ConversationHide Conversation                                  jeton: @Cybersoc I suggest you just skip Facebook . ;)               about 19 hours ago ·         Reply     · View Tweet         monkeywatcher: @Cybersoc learn them what RSS is and how to use it (monitoring, alerts, aggregators,…).That’s something they don’t teach us at our univ        ...

glocal 2.0 day two: dragan varagic on tracking balkan blogs

By on May 9, 2008 in academic studies, blogging, blogging techniques, conferences/events |

  Dragan Varagic is describing the Balkan blogosphere at (g)local 2.0: "In Serbia there are maybe 20,000 bloggers… maybe 50 who are very good bloggers." The most popular of these blogs websites in the Balkans can have as many as 150,000 visitors per day. [Added Correction: Dragan informs me that he was quoting figures for websites, not blogs. Blogs, he tells me, can get as many as 1500 visitors per day.]  There are busy blogs and influential blogs, according to Varagic, and they aren’t necessarily the same. Dragan’s presentation walks us through all the different blog tracking and ranking tools – technorati, alexa, bloglines, google blog searches for links, linkhounds, Brendan Cooper’s PR Index, etc – most of which he says are indicative of traffic and influence but none of which are able to give the entire picture on their own. Who is visiting is also important. Based on Technorati rank alone (approx 92,000) the most influential blog in the Balkans is Borja.org. Dragan’s own blog is 6th. But in Dragan’s opinion, and he’s a leading regional expert in blog tracking, the "most influential" blog in Serbia is probably mooshema, which ranks 3rd out of Balkan blogs on technorati. What I find most interesting about Dragan’s research is that although some Balkan blogs are getting large numbers of visitors, they aren’t getting very many inbound links – so even the top blogs would rank way behind cybersoc.com. Paul Bradshaw, who contributed to (g)local 2.0 yesterday via Seesmic, has been doing his own research on the leading UK Journo Blogs. Cybersoc appears in the top five on each of the different rankings he’s Paul’s looked at – technorati, page rank, alexa, google results and "blog authority", a combination of Alexa and PageRank. Varagic ends his presentation by saying that metrics related to number of links aren’t so relevant, but their combination can give us some answers. The lack of standardised measurement techniques is a problem but by combining the use of different buzz tracking tools and techniques, you can start to understand where particular blogs sit amongst their peers. He says that the key to becoming more visible online is "to know who influence the influencers" to become more visible. Stats p0rn is useful if PR or Search Engine Optomisation are you’re business – as they are for Varagic – and it’s kind of fun for us Journo Bloggers to see how we’re doing within our peer group, but I’m still quite skeptical of validity or usefulness of this type of information for most bloggers. Personally, I’d prefer to have a small number of highly engaged regular readers who take what they see here and do things with it than thousands of visitors and thousands of random links. [You can track blog posts, flickr uploads and tweets from (g)local 2.0 using this buzz tracking pipe....