Does number of Facebook fans reflect brand’s awareness?

19 Oct

Most of the time, organizations recognize the success of their social media strategy through the number of fans in their facebook pages. They explain that the more fans you have mean the more awareness have been gained from the community.

However, recent study conducted by Napkin Labs on facebook shows that only 6% of the fans would actually engage with the brands on facebook via likes, comments, or answering polls. They also suggest that having more fans also does not means having more engagement, in fact, the more fans a brand have, the lower percentage of engagement form them would happen. For example, they found out that the brands with 900,000 fans or more had 60% less engagement with 500,000 fans.

In fact, several weeks ago, I had read an article that most of companies now paying money for additional ‘unreal fans’ for a very cheap rate at $5 per some hundreds. They do that because they think more fans would help their facebook pages look more influenced and thus attract more ‘real fans’. However, we should remember that engagement/interaction but not a fake ‘reputation’ is one of the main reasons for these companies go social; and thus the measurement of effectiveness need to base on that.

Well, I believe that after this study, some companies need to change the view in their measurement method upon their social media strategies. They also considers the target when going social, because if you just want customer know about your brand, but not much interaction, you should rather going with an attractive website than. What do you guys think about that?

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Facebook is really addictive as cigarette and sex? Hmm I doubt that.

18 Oct

How often do you use Facebook?

A study conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that the desire to check social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter were among the “toughest-to-resist” temptations — equivalent to cigarettes and sex.

Really? I mean it’s a great finding but wonder their research’s limitation is even greater? Lets find out.

In facts, subjects for the study were German between ages 18 and 85. They were given BlackBerry devices and told to let the researchers know every 30 minutes if they felt a desire to drop by their social networks. They were also asked to document other impulses, like smoking, drinking and sleeping, among others, and rate them from “strong” to “irresistible.” Eventually, the research concluded that the temptation to visit social media platforms was more difficult to resist than the rest.

What do we think of when looking at the age range of subjects they conducted their study on? 85 year-old?  I reckon it is a bit ambiguous to say that a 85 year-old person would rate “social media” as more difficult to resist things like “sleeping”. Most elders need a good sleep rather than engaging in their social media platforms.

In term of cigarette, people like me don’t smoke so the finding is not applicable.

In term of sex, I guess this study might be true in a certain extent but still it is relatively controversial. Sex is a nature of human-being, and also hard to resist for most of people.

So, further research on larger scale might be needed to provide a more compelling conclusion, don’t you think?

Facebook’s “Want” button, is it good or bad?

16 Oct

I read news on Forbes the other day about the idea that the proposed “Want” button on Facebook is rather a scary idea.

According to Reuters, Facebook is currently working with seven retailers on their newly proposed feature, “Collections”. This tool lets users mark pictures and create wishlists of products he or she might want, and then they can buy these items through the social media site.

The author argued Facebook has been successful in the way it creates revenue from ‘Link Bait’ advertisings, while allowing users to freely socialize. He said now Facebook wants users to spend money too and that is a bad thing.

I however think differently. Are those advertisings and the proposed wishlists basically the same thing? Well, lets discuss this further.

The outcome of these two features is for Facebook to get revenue from brands that want to advertise on their site. The only difference is now users can view and buy stuff directly from Facebook page instead of clicking on the link to get to the advertised brands, so it is appropriate to think that users feel a bit like being pushed to buy products.

Nonetheless, users don’t have to create their own wishlists if they don’t want to. Also, not all users are feeling the same way. Some may like it because it is convenient, less time-consuming and so Facebook still achieve its main objective, “serve customers better”.

By the way, I think it is not a bad idea, at least from Facebook’s perspective.

Prince Harry, you’re now even more famous!

16 Oct

Prince Harry was reported to have “multiple engagements” with the Taliban during his time in the war zone all over mainstream media.

Harry is currently more than one month in to a four-month tour of duty as a chopper pilot in Afghanistan. He is stationed at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, on the front line. He is part of a four-man team on around-the-clock standby to both fire at the enemy and provide cover for aircraft rescuing wounded soldiers.

Taliban representative, Zabihullah Mujahid said before the news of Harry’s direct engagement that they would use all of their strengths to capture or kill the prince.

However, Harry was still rolling with his job regardless direct threaten from Taliban. The significant part of this news in regard to social media is the news flew so fast and generated lots of engagements.

On the Yahoo! News site (considered as a social media platform because it provide users tool to interact) where I got this news from, received more than 2 thousands comments within just 3 days after the news was out while other considerably “attractive” news received about 20 comments after all.

It is still interesting to see how “breaking news” plus “social media” = viral effect (more than 2,000 comments within 3 days)

Zindigo, you’re spoiling people!

11 Oct

Sales commission given to sellers in reference to social media has been relatively new. The ones I know are like Amazon affiliates give 4% to 8% to sellers, depending on product category; StyleOwner encourages users to sell products via their own online fashion boutiques. They offer a 10% cut of sales made on behalf of its partners, which include big-name retailers like Saks and Nordstrom.

However, Zindigo, a new online direct-selling platform, are developed to operate through Facebook. Two fashion industry gurus, Michael Bereck and Neiman Marcus got together with $ 4million to fund the platform.

How does Zindigo work? It is to say that consumers are about to open their own shops as business pages on Facebook. They can stock their shops with a great range from more than 80 apparel and accessories designers, including Kara Ross, Fenton/Fallon, Erickson Beamon and Isabella Fiore. For every sale they make, they will receive a 40% commission.

How does that sound? To me, it is absolutely spoiling.

Some people might think that Zindigo is developed to compete in the fashion industry, focusing on social media. I however have a slightly different view.

The question is why Zindigo gives customers 40% commission in advance to compete with others while page like Amazon and StyleOwner give around 4% – 10%? They can still win over with offering 20% or 25% instead of 40%, so why they give sellers such a generous offer which seems unnecessary?

I would say they might have a bigger ambition of not just selling fashion products online, but also to “biggest online direct-selling platform” on a “billion users” social networking page. Having said that, I mean once their generous offer has created a massive degree of awareness, attracting lots of sellers and consumers into their Zindigo site; they then may leverage their great consumer base of sellers and expose them to other product lines later on such as travel, hospitality, entertainment.

Bereck has said in an interview that they are not trying to be an ecommerce on Facebook but instead to build is a system that connects and utilises brands (of sellers) with 2,000 followers on their Facebook page. Sellers need a system that helps them get to other sellers’ consumer base, and that’s what Zindigo is striving for building.

So, everything is not really as it seems at the first place I think. But, great idea!

Oops….sorry Hallmark but it is time to do something :)

9 Oct

Let’s just say today is your birthday or you might have just got engaged. Most of your friends at this time would preferably send you an msn or instead jump on Facebook, write down few words or clicking ‘like’ on the updated status.

The issue here is “how many of us would think of sending a greeting card?”

I myself optimise Facebook as a “relationship-keeping” tool. By saying that I mean things like posting ‘happy birthday’ or ‘how are you doing’ or even a virtual greeting card on my friends’ wall are just so common. It is quick and it works. 🙂

Nonetheless, there are still a large number of people who use greeting cards to express their caring to the loved ones, so it is not to say that the industry is dead but rather facing a biggest threat ever from its ‘indirect competitor”, social network.

It is best reflected through words from Pete Burney, Hallmark’s senior vice president. He said that the greeting card industry is ‘formidable’ because people now have a ‘great’ and ‘free’ chance to connect digitally and online and through social media. This had resulted in greeting cards sold in the U.S. has dropped from 6 billion to 5 billion annually, by Hallmark’s estimates. Also, the Kansas city based Hallmark is about to cut 300 jobs to cope with the drop in sales.

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Well, what do greeting card companies like Hallmark need to do to change this awkward situation?, I ask myself.  Perhaps thinking about creating new and really cool digital greeting cards with cheaper prices?

What are others’ thoughts?

Social Media on Religion Sensitivity

27 Sep

I went ‘wow’ when seeing how Muslims matched up for protests in Sydney on Saturday nineteenth of September. It was hundreds of Muslims clashed with the Sydney police and left 6 officers injured. Police had to use pepper spray to defend the crowd.

The thought came to my mind is not about the protest in Sydney itself but the fast spread around the world. The US Embassies in Paris, Sydney, Lybia, etc were under attack in response to an anti-islam movie found on Youtube, called “The Innocence of Muslims” and the flood of violence came to Australia just a few days after.

The film was produced in the US and mostly non-existent in some places. I myself haven’t noticed that there is such movie until the incident happened. The protests occured on 11/9 which is the anniversary of the day Taliban attacked the World Trade Center so people suspect that these were all planned beforehand. The question is how did Muslims around the world at once get noticed about the movie and called up for protests within a very short period of time?

In fact, the answer came up as right as i suspected. The motive was initially created by a small group of Muslims who had watched the movie then placed it on Youtube and spread out the anti-American messages in other Social Media pages. Muslims with the fame of great pride and worship would be more likely to be aggressive in showing the opposition to the Americans as they believe the movie is to insult their holy Mohammed. Foreign Minister in Lybia, Chris Steven and two other officers were dead due to the Muslims attack on the US Consulate and other US Embassies were under threat of further attacks.

Once again, we see the power of Social Media in spreading the words and creating such influence…