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Facebook Responds to Princeton Naysayers: ‘I Know You’re Doomed, But What Am I?’

facebook-middle-fingerICYMI, earlier this week the nerds at Princeton University produced a study comparing social networks to viruses and predicting that Facebook would become a virtual ghost town by 2017 via dubious growth model data. It got a lot of attention for turning all those “Facebook is doomed” stories into “real science.”

Of course the Facebook team noticed it too—and yesterday data scientist Mike Develin responded with a “study” of his own that provides us with a pretty cool example of less-than-traditional damage control.

Develin and his fellow scientists created their own series of charts graphing, for example, the number of studies released by Princeton compared to its Google search rankings. Using the “correlation = causation” principle, they predicted (in jest) that the school’s student body would decline by 50% by 2018—and that it wouldn’t have any students at all by 2021.

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Here’s Why Your Facebook Engagement Numbers Are Way Down

One fact we didn’t know: the average Facebook user still shares nearly four posts every day.

One fact we did know: no one sees any of those posts anymore, especially if that user happens to be a client who doesn’t care to pay for each update.

We’ll let blogger Derek Muller explain why in greater detail:

So, while your friends may well have reached peak reproductive age, that’s still probably not the reason your personal feed is all babies and weddings right now.

You can also blame this new engagement-based algorithm for actively pushing your client’s promo posts away from the eyeballs they pay you to earn. We sort of knew this already, but we do appreciate Muller breaking it all down for us.

Now that you mention it, we’re also glad we didn’t buy any Facebook stock.

(H/T Slate; the story original appeared on Business Insider)

Facebook’s ‘Relationships Guy’ Would Like a Word with Your Clients

Handshake

You may have heard that Facebook‘s undergoing yet another series of tweaks to its news feed and advertising services, the most significant of which will be a new “what’s trending” feature that could theoretically place more of your content in front of targeted users’ eyes. We just hope it’s better than the company’s hashtag #fail.

On a more “on the ground level” level, Reuters reports that Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships for the Blue Dude Group, is on the lookout for brands and celebrities to form partnerships like the one that allowed Beyoncé to surprise everyone by announcing her new album release on Instagram.

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Top 10 Social Media Wins of 2013

Next round of likes is on us

The next round of “likes” is on us…

We already shared the worst of social media in 2013, so here’s to the best…or at least our own approximation of it.

OBVIOUS DISCLAIMER IS OBVIOUS: Yes, this list is highly subjective and you’re going to see some repetition/glaring omissions. But such is the nature of year-end clickbait, no?

Here, then, are the stories that demonstrated what social media meant to us and our industry in 2013.

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Why Facebook’s New ‘Donate’ Feature Isn’t All That Charitable

...for nothing.

…for nothing.

Earlier this month The Big Blue Monster made some changes destined to annoy everyone who organizes a charity or works with nonprofit clients by making it harder for fans to see unpaid posts. This week the company followed that move with the announcement of its new “donate button” feature, which seems generous on its face but probably won’t minimize the backlash.

Why? It’s a classic case of “If a tree falls in the forest…”

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PR Win: Company’s Zinger of a Reply to Angry Customer’s Facebook Rant Goes Viral

liberty-response-hed-2013_0It’s so easy (and usually consequence-free) for a dissatisfied customer to hurl a sputtering rant at a company via social media, a few simple facts are often forgotten: 1. There are exceptions to the rule that the “customer is always right”; 2. There are often real human beings who run and monitor those social media pages and who are on the receiving end of such rants; 3. Said human beings have fingers, can type, and are fully capable of responding to tirades; And 4. A skewering review by a customer is not necessarily always bad PR for a company.

Take, for example, a recent Facebook interaction between a disgruntled customer and small Washington-based business Liberty Bottleworks — this back-and-forth took the stereotypical image of a soulless company stepping all over a little customer and flipped it on its head, proving that sometimes the customer is the bully, while the company is the one valiantly sticking up for the little guy (its employees) and good, old-fashioned values.

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Does Everyone Else Hate These Facebook Changes As Much As We Do?

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We’d say he’s laughing with us, but we’re not laughing.

Notice anything different about your brand/blog/client Facebook page recently? Uh huh. Take a look at these reach numbers:

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 12.46.46 PM

Versus statistics for the same page just a couple of weeks ago:

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 4.37.29 PM

Yeah, the numbers are small because whatever. But that’s a pretty big difference, and we have a sneaking suspicion it can all be attributed to Facebook’s new algorithm. A recent report from Ignite confirms that brand pages have suffered a 44% decline in exposure in the last nine days alone.

How’s that “tinkering with our revenue streams” experiment going, Mark? Let’s take a dive into the big blue rabbit hole…

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‘Duh’ Moment of the Day: Marketing Doesn’t Work on Facebook

like_icon_largeThere’s this tool called Mark Zuckerberg … eh, Facebook. Since Zuckerberg began comparing ugly women to pretty chicks with whom he couldn’t score, Facebook has always been an e-Storehouse for the ego. So, suffice to say this report from Facebook (via Ad Age) is not really breaking news.

According to the Big Eff Bomb (see what I did there), “Organic reach doesn’t work on our contraption so please — puh-lease — buy advertising.” Okay, that may be a slight paraphrase, but I know they are feeling it.

The thought is that fan posts are not being seen by fans. And now, people are speaking out about it and causing Eff-acebook to eat a nice, healthy batch of crow.

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The ‘Zuckerberg Selfie Stick’ Is the Gift You Need This Holiday Season

Today in Clever, Shameless Self-Promotion news, the CEO of an Australian tech retailer called Kogan has introduced the gift that you didn’t even know you needed: the “[Mark] Zuckerberg Selfie Stick.”

KHSLFSTIKMR-webres

What is this curiosity, and how does it relate to everyone’s favorite Jesse Eisenberg look-alike?

You know you want to click through.

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Journalists Prefer Twitter to Facebook, and Here’s Why

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Do you follow any of your favorite journalists on Facebook?

The ‘book made it pretty easy for journos to create a “community” by allowing people outside their friend list to follow them and check out the stuff they share. Twitter also only gets about 10% of the traffic, so wouldn’t it make sense for every aspiring journalist to use Facebook for self-promotion?

Not really—and Ezra Klein of The Washington Post explained why:

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