Infographic: Social Media & American Users

Social Media keeps us connected. It keeps us informed and up-to-date on the latest news– be it local, national, or personal. And now, by properly studying the use of social media, Hasai social media firm has learned a bit more about American Society as a whole.

Hasai is a social media strategy firm located in California. They specialize in networking, promotions, and content creation/curating via social networking platforms. Recently they conducted an informative study that identifies some of the more common habits of American users on such platforms.

Below is featured an infographic, but I’ve also listed a couple of my favorite facts:

  • 48% of bloggers are U.S. based.
  • 65% of social media referencing the royal wedding (April, 2011) came from the U.S.  The U.K. accounted for only 20%.
  • 77% of Americans use social media to share their love for a favorite television show.
  • New Jersey and North Dakota are some of the most socially active states in the country.

via Mashable

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Polite Tweeting

Twitter is big in the social media world, and what better way to spread your message than the coveted Retweet. But how exactly do you get the Retweet? Trying using your manners.

In a recent study by Internet marketing company HubSpot,  results showed that those who simply asked for the retweet, while using the magic word “please,” were those most often to get retweeted.

The study analyzed more than 10,000 tweets before noting that:

“51% of tweets that included ‘Please ReTweet’ were retweeted more than once, 39% of those including ‘Please RT’ were retweeted more than once, and only 12% of tweets that included neither were retweeted more than once.”

Of course, the tweets’ content and intended audience must also be taken into account when measuring the effectiveness of the simple “please.” Yet there is a statistical significance that undeniably supports the theory.

Still, it never hurts to spice up your messages: make it entertaining, interesting, relevant, humourous– whatever your audience would most want to see. I personally always enjoy interactive tweets, such as those that ask for my opinion or a response. Interesting links and attention-grabbing tags also tend to win over followers.

And, of course, when it comes to retweets, it never hurts to be a super famous celebrity with millions of doting fans and followers who hang on your every word/tweet, no matter how unimportant or nonsensical. For the rest of us– it just takes a bit of manners.

Twitter’s Timeline

In March, Twitter celebrated its 5th birthday, and my-my, how far it has come.

Despite its short lifespan, there’s no denying the site’s maturation. From changes in design and popularity, to celebrating memorable events such as the first tweet from space, here are some of the highlights of Twitter’s half-decade of existence:

March 2006: Jack Dorsey creates Twitter. On March 31, he publishes the first tweet ever, which says, “just setting up my twttr.”

Just as an interesting comparison, it was on March 10, 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell spoke into the first telephone. His words were: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

April 2007: Twitter becomes its own company.

November 2008: Twitter passes the 1 billion tweet mark!

July 2009: Twitter is welcomed into the English language, being officially recognized by Collins English Dictionary as both a noun and a verb.

October 2009: Less than a year after passing the 1 billion tweet mark, Twitter passes the 5 billion mark. Talk about growth!

January 2010: NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, on board the International Space Station, communicates from space via Twitter.

July 2010: Twitter introduced the “Suggestions for You”  feature, offering personalized suggestions of users that may interest you.

August 2010: Twitter surpasses MySpace in the number of unique monthly visitors.

April 2011: The new twitter homepage is introduced. A new and improved look calls for new features as well, including the Local Trends feature, which expands to more than 70 cities and countries.

And of course, on May 1, 2011: Twitter is all a’twitter with speculation and then confirmation of the death of terrorist Osama Bin Laden. At one point, 5,106 tweets per second are recorded. This is the third highest tweeting rate, falling behind the numbers registered during New Years ’11 in Japan and the fatal tsunami there in March.

And it seems that Twitter’s success continues to grow substantially. More and more companies, celebrities, and average individuals are hitting the site to share their 140 character opinions. As for myself, I’ve been a member since 2008 and haven’t looked back since. I still rely on Twitter for news, both of substantial quality and the fluff celebrity pieces. As for the events of this past May 1st, I actually first heard the news from Twitter. I also first heard of Michael Jackson’s death via Twitter. It’s such a convenient source for news, often providing you with the perfect amount of headline and a link to more information. I’m a big Twitter fan (as may be apparent from my ramblings), what about you? Will it live on? Or are its days numbered?

Jersey Shore: How Wilde!

While I personally do not watch Jersey Shore, I have unfortunately been subjected to a few episodes due to my friends’ obsessive fascination with the show. During the off seasons, I am treated to ridiculous phrases and catcalls, all said in a terrible fake jersey accent. I hate to admit it, but these ridiculous little sayings become quite catchy…annoyingly so.

The other day I stumbled across the following video. Playbill has created a hilarious short series called “Jersey Shore Gone Wilde.” To promote Oscar Wilde’s great play The Importance of Being Earnest, now showing on Broadway, these professionally trained actors can be seen reciting lines from Jersey Shore episodes in the style of the great playwright. British accents? Check. Cheeky conversation? Check. Pencil Mustache? Check. Outfits that Oscar Wilde himself would covet? Double Check.

I shamefully recognized many of the references, but I have to admit that the quotes didn’t seem half so terrible when spoken in a proper British accent. In fact, some of the sounded half-way intellectual– then again, I may just be going crazy.

So what do you? What would Wilde think?

And don’t forget to check out all of the videos in the series!

Lessons Learned: Gotham Inc.

Remember this post? Where I gushed on and on about how neat it was that Denny’s was doing a web series for their social media campaign? I mentioned that DumbDumb, a group started by actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, was responsible for the videos. Apparently, however, I failed to dig further and discover the true group responsible for bringing this hilarity to the web.

Then, yesterday, I attended a guest lecturer at our school–an alumni who has made quite a name for himself in the marketing and advertising industry. His name was Peter McGuinness and his company is Gotham Inc., an integrated marketing company. The presentation was spectacular and thought-provoking, and while it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite part, I was especially interested when McGuinness started talking about Gotham’s own work. Lo and behold, they were the masterminds behind the Denny’s campaign.

McGuinness and his group were given the daunting task of completely revitalizing a great American brand that had lost its heat. Focusing on the idea of “openness,” the group enlisted social media, marketing and advertising. The success was evident and the media were enthralled.

For my part, I was bit starstruck when I found out they had been responsible for the “Always Open” videos that I love so much. It took all my willpower to resist shouting out: “I blogged about that!” I managed to resist making a fool out of myself, while taking away a few valuable lessons in the process. Here are some of those lessons:

  • Evolution and innovation are continuous
  • Social media is more than a fad. It is pervasive and powerful– and here to stay.
  • Brands have become democratized: The consumers are in control and companies must work to “earn” their time.
  • The foundation of a successful brand/consumer relationship is reciprocity.
  • When executing a campaign, truth is more important than ever.
  • It’s important to remain curious, personally and professionally. Broaden your perspective and horizon.
  • And finally, when applying to jobs “package yourself in a unique and compelling way.”

While I never got to ask the most burning question on my mind (Is your company’s name a reference to Batman?), the event was certainly valuable. In the end, it got me all the more excited to enter the career world!

Old Religion Meets New Media

Years ago, the concepts of tweeting, poking, and tumblr would have just seemed like derogatory terms. Certainly not actions condoned by the Church. There’s no denying that life is not the same as the world depicted in traditional holy texts; but now, in the changing world, religion has found its own use of new media.

While the Vatican has long embraced social media such as YouTube and FaceBook in an effort to stay relevant in a media manic society, smaller factions have only recently come to discover the possibilities of the world-wide web.

A group of Benedictine monks residing in Portsmouth Abbey in Portsmouth, R.I. have turned to the internet to solve a problem of their own. Totally 12 in all, the monks are aging, with five octogenarians and the youngest being a nimble 50. While their peak numbers were no more than 24 in 1969, the monks still feel an added isolation that has kept modern-day society from inquiring about their faction.

Said Abbot Caedmon Holmes,head of the abbey since 2007: “We’re down in numbers, we’re aging, we feel the pressure to do whatever we can. If this is the way the younger generation are looking things up and are communicating, then this is the place to be.”

The monks have hired Partners and Simons, an advertising agency, to help recruit members and instill interest in the Abbey. Their campaign involves an ad campaign featuring videos, blogs, and even a Gregorian chant ringtone for those true devotees. The campaign revolves around portraying the monks as approachable and friendly. On their Facebook page, they have uploaded photos and testimonials. A new website has also been set up and answers questions the public might have, specially in relation to becoming a monk.

“If 500 years ago, blogging existed, the monks would have found a way to make use of it,” Abbot Holmes said. “Our power is very limited. In the end it’s God who is calling people to himself and calling to people to live in union with him. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do our part.”

For more information about this story, check out the New York Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/business/media/18monks.html?_r=1&ref=media

“Cars n’ Deals”: Pixar works the web

I absolutely love viral movie campaigns, and Pixar has yet to disappoint (see Toy Story 3 social media campaign. No, seriously– click the link and check it out. It’s great!).

The first Cars movie, much like all Pixar movies, received rave reviews and prominently displayed Pixar’s unique ability to simultaneously entertain both children and parents. It’s 5 years later, and expectant audiences are eagerly awaiting the sequels upcoming release.

Trailers have been showing for a while now, promoting the film in the regular way. Pixar, however, is anything but regular. After the success of the Toy Story 3 viral campaign, the company has turned once more to director Chris Cantwell. Together with Pixar, Cantwell has put together faux car advertisement to promote the new Cars film. The video is complete with corny sales pitches, editing gaffes, and cheap-looking production quality. This ‘ad’ makes all those other annoyingly tacky bargain car commercials look award-worthy– and I say that as a great compliment. The video is hilarious and well worth a watch, for Pixar fans or those just looking for a laugh.

Pixar and Cars fan, however, are in for a special treat. Hidden within the video is link to a site where you can watch exclusive footage from the film (hint: 57 second mark). Also, if I’m not mistaken, some of the actual cars seen in video might look a bit familiar to anyone who has seen the trailer…just saying.

Sprinkled throughout the video are also hints to the new movie’s plots. Make sure to watch it more than once to make sure you catch everything. Plus, apparently the phone number they give at the end of the commercial is a working line. I might have to pick up a phone and check this out for myself!

Cars 2 opens June 24, 2011.

P.S. My favorite parts: “Lion of a deal” as he wears a tiger costume and the jingle at the end (“but don’t go too far or you’ll miss it”).