Google, Facebook, Twitter, the web, internet, email – they ALL live!

No, neither the internet nor the web “are dead” and certainly not even dying! EVERY eComm in our headline is GROWING and exponentially.

So let’s ignore the lazy journalists in the news media (newspapers, magazines, tv). And let’s ignore those shallow thinkers that pretend to inform the tech blogs.

pie chart exampleHere’s the thing:

Google = bank

Facebook = hairdresser

Twitter = coffee shop

Every person will go to any one of the six examples as many times as they need. What makes the difference? Easy:

  • current age
  • current economic status
  • current location
  • current culture
  • current technology
  • current peer group

But even more important, most people in developed and developing countries will go to all of them! So the numbers don’t really matter.

Just because more people go to the coffee shop doesn’t mean it is more important than the bank. It doesn’t even mean the coffee shop is more popular.

So ignore the pretenders. An ‘expert’ is really a ‘tryer’ if you go back to the origin of the word. They are trying to make you believe something is important when it is not. They are left behind in their muddled ‘thinking’ while Social Media streaks ahead.


American Social Media statistics are seriously misleading

There is a problem with most tech blogs and poll results about social media – they are almost always a reflection of American statistics and American point of view. Which would be fine if that was noted and explained.

So the next time you see headlines in a blog or newspaper or on a tv tech program, check to see the source of the data. In the meantime here’s a reality check on some real Social Media trends:

graph iconTwitter gains huge response

Coca-Cola decided to sponsor a “trending topic” using Twitter’s promoted tweets and gained “phenomenal” results. The tweets were integrated into online discussions related to the World Cup and realized 86 million impressions or views of the ads within 24 hours.

Facebook fails with Brand Pages

In contrast to the Twitter success noted above, Coca-Cola has achieved only a 1 percent response to its Brand Page on Facebook. Depending on who you believe there are allegedly nearly 600 million Facebook “users” (although there are many reports of false and fake “identities”). The fact remains, however, that Coca-Cola has only about 6 million “fans” of its Brand Page.

Facebook and MySpace fail in Japan

The hype about Facebook and, previously, MySpace, did not work in Japan, the second most important Social Media country. Only 3 percent of Japanese web users are on Facebook (compared to 62 percent in America). MySpace has under 3 percent of web users (compared to 35 percent in the US.)

graph icon 2Twitter far more popular in Japan

Tweeters in Japan represent over 16 percent of  web users (the ratio among Americans is only 9.8 percent). However, Twitter in Japan has also equalled the top Japanese social networking site, mixi, with monthly visitors between 9 million and 10 million each.


Finally, don’t get too impressed by the numbers being trotted for Social Media influence. According to a recent report from Forrester Research a mere 16 percent of online consumers generate a total of 80 percent of peer-to-peer online impressions. In other words a small proportion of “activists” generate the most noise. Also it has been suggested that over 60 percent of all these impressions are restricted within Facebook.


Twitter gains huge response:

Facebook fails with Brand Pages:

Facebook fails in Japan:

Twitter more popular in Japan:

Top Social Brands exposed – what the statistics really mean

The ongoing attempts of social media marketeers to hype themselves may be failing. The much-discussed Top 50 Social Brands is no such thing. Yes, Social Radar may have done all the right things in terms of gathering information, but the results are disastrous.

First of all, the numbers. As the chart below clearly shows, only the Top 10 have any real significance. Thereafter everything is squabbling over half percentage points. Being below No.15 and being below 16% “score” of the leader is irrelevant.

Excerpt from Top 50 Social Brands

Excerpt from Top 50 Social Brands

The next issue concerns the Top 3 – they are enablers. The product or service of Twitter is not social media – only 4% of tweets are retweets, therefore tweets are an online soapbox. Tweets are a public version of a text message – 96% are ephemeral and inconsequential.

Google is also not social media. Google gathers information about web content, whatever and wherever. There is no social structure or filtering and therefore no social media benefit. Providing a list of 33,900,000 results of a search for “social media” is meaningless.

Facebook is an extensive federation of private clubs, each discussing their own introspective interests. Millions of people have joined Facebook, but millions of people have also joined large denomination churches. To say one is social media and the other not is to reveal the fallacy behind the way statistics are being filtered.

Excerpt from Virtue 100 Top Social Brands

Excerpt from Virtue 100 Top Social Brands

There are some very interesting and relevant results in the surveys, however. And they’re all from the same supplier:

  • iPhone
  • Mac
  • Apple
  • iTunes
  • iPod

For any one brand to receive multiple entries in the Top 10 lists of social media from a variety of sources is of enormous importance. Apple have dominated every sector of business they enter in terms of quality. They have consistently been the Rolls Royce of computer companies, but iTunes revolutionised digital music and went on to become the leading retailer.

The iPhone revolutionised mobile phones, bringing the Macintosh quality, ease of use and market-leading features to set levels well above those previously achieved. Similarly the iPod set new standards of quality and profitability for portable digital music players.

BUT and this really is a big BUT, which other brands appear on both lists in the Top 15?

None? So we’ve said a score below 16% of the leader is irrelevant. We’ve said the Top 3 of the Social Radar list are not “true” social brands, which seems to be supported by Virtue who say: “The Vitrue 100 is measuring companies that are using social technology, not those who are the technology.”

We would argue that YouTube should be included in the Virtue results as it provides actual product and its service is public and definitely one of the best examples of social media.

In short, then, there are only two TOP social brands – Apple and YouTube. Let’s see what 2010 and the rest of the twenty-tens reveal.

Facebook Top Status Trends of 2009 – Parochial? Moi?

The conclusions in our previous post relating to Facebook (see below) have been supported by the platform itself. In releasing their Top Status Trends of 2009, Facebook confirm the generic and parochial nature of its content.

As you can see from their chart, Facebook is overloaded with its “applications” which in most cases are self-play games that users try to get their friends to join. The No.2 concern of Facebookers is self-woe in various forms, courtesy of the F**K My Life tag, with No.3 continuing a more specific self-concern.

We’re still not cheerful even at No.4 with its obsession over Celebrity Deaths and self-focus continues at No.5 with Family. Facebookers manage something other than self at Numbers 6 and 7 and then it’s back to self-concern with No.8 Health Care.

Facebook top status trends 2009

While it may seem harsh to say most Facebookers are concerned with self and family, No.9 is the self-referencing FB and No.11 is also a focus on self in relation to milestones. No.13 is undoubedtly my-Yard and No.15 is as explicit as can be – “I”.

Conclusion: Facebook is the place to be if your interests are yourself.


Why YouTube is more important than Facebook

Why YouTube is more important than Facebook – Social Media 2009 part 2

The inter-relationship between MySpace and YouTube may be almost equal. The much better delivery of music videos on YouTube has probably helped reduce the number of views on MySpace, so contributed to the large increase in views on YouTube. The user experience on YouTube for someone who wants to hear and view music is also much cleaner and faster than on MySpace.

While MySpace remains a useful fanspace and gig resource, the decline in popularity has resulted in significant lost revenue, followed by the purchase and collapse of imeem. MySpace will remain relevant for music and niche marketing but:

  • many bands now use blogs for key information delivery
  • many bands now use Facebook for status updates

MySpace and Facebook continue to provide marketing and fanspace updates, yet YouTube captures astonishing numbers of viewers, again reflecting positive choices. Compared to Facebook, however, YouTube offers the high quality of a subscription service, without cost to the users:

  • YouTube Channels
  • YouTube Playlists
  • YouTube integration with other social media

The YouTube numbers are staggering. Yes, Facebook may have achieved monthly traffic of 90 million in 2009 but YouTube can achieve 90 million views on just one clip. For example Miley Cyrus has achieved 146 million views in 2009 with just two songs – The Climb (64m) and Party In The U.S.A. (54m) and those numbers will continue to rise.

Conclusion: YouTube is currently the most important social media platform.

MySpace, YouTube, Facebook statistics for 2009

MySpace, YouTube, Facebook statistics for 2009

Why WordPress and YouTube matter more than Google – Social Media 2009 part 1

Yes, there has been an explosion of users on Facebook and Twitter during 2009, yet other statistics drop those two platforms into the background. Even with millions of users and rapid growth, the monthly traffic on Twitter has already started to decline.

Our three linked posts provide a thumbnail sketch of growth and change at the end of the decade. They are approximations, best-guesses based on a wide variety of data collection methods. However, even if the numbers are incorrect by a few percent, we are not looking for numerical accuracy. Our interest is in comparing the trends and the relationships between the different platforms.

The chart below shows monthly traffic on Google has increased slightly over the past 2-and-a-half years. The more significant numbers are:

  • twice the number of people now use YouTube
  • WordPress has trebled its international user base

Google, one could argue, should have increased as a result of the increased usage on the other major platforms. Our hypothesis is that Google only provides links to content, while the other platforms have distinct advantages:

  • YouTube and WordPress are destinations, positive choices
  • YouTube and WordPress provide better context
  • YouTube and WordPress provide their own internal search and browse functions

In other words we suggest that Google is used mainly by newcomers or by those searching for content types that are new to them. Even Google being pre-loaded onto new PCs and browsers has not resulted in a dramatic rise, despite millions of new PCs and users over the chart period. Conclusion: Google is actually in decline.

Google, YouTube, WordPress statistics for 2009

Google, YouTube, WordPress statistics for 2009

2 years of astonishing growth – YouTube and FaceBook crush MySpace

At the start of 2007, MySpace, Google and YouTube were close to level-pegging for worldwide web traffic. FaceBook was barely on the radar.

One year later, YouTube was running at twice the traffic, while FaceBook had caught up with the other two.

At the start of 2009, FaceBook has caught YouTube, while MySpace is close to declining. The success of YouTube started with a lot of fairly juvenile and fun content, but now it exceeds MySpace for great music content, and good film resources, and, well, the whole of life – almost.

YouTube probably has the market locked tight for genre and niche content – all readily available, easy to find, and with good stepping stones to similar items. FaceBook, on the other hand, has captured both the tweenies market – great networking and mesmerising apps – and the family networking crown.

Prediction for the next 12 months: Blogs will catch up with MySpace, especially if FaceBook ever work out how to get a Blogroll to work properly.