Tag Archives: social media trends

More from #TMRE14: Social Steganography – How Youth are Tricking Social Media Analytics

Danah Boyd
My biggest takeaway from the fascinating
keynote by social media and youth culture expert Danah Boyd, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Founder of the Data &
Society Research Institute
, was that we need to be very careful about
analyzing social media, because apparently we misread a lot.
Boyd, an anthropologist and author of ‘It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens,’ noted that social media use
by young people has gone from a consolidation phase (Facebook) to a state of
complete fragmentation as young people dabble in a variety of platforms to meet
their needs.
As such, it’s no longer simple to optimize
analytics for social media because these platforms differ by structure, format
and, importantly, the use or purpose for which young people have deemed each
best suited, respectively.
Much of the migratory behavior we’re seeing in
young people on social media these days is a response to a lack of privacy and
the consequent desire to exert more control over what is shared with whom.
Boyd said young people care deeply about
privacy, but not in the sense we ‘grown-ups’ might think. She said they want to
be in public, not to be public, and they’re migrating from
platform to platform in an effort to exert control over their social situations.

Young people are increasingly speaking in a sort of code or ‘social steganography’
Boyd cautioned the audience to not to take
what’s posted online too literally, as young people are increasingly speaking
in a sort of code or ‘social steganography’: much of what they post is a
message hiding in plain sight intended for and whose meaning may only be
deciphered by select insiders.
‘My job as an ethnographer to get in deep and make sense of things has
gotten harder. We’re missing things.’
‘My job as an ethnographer to get in deep and make sense of things
has gotten harder,’ Boyd said. ‘We’re missing things.’
They’re also gaming algorithms in ways that
might throw you off. For example, Boyd said young people often insert brand
names randomly in status updates because they know that it will bump them to
the top of their friends’ lists.
‘Youth know Facebook and other platforms use
algorithms for commercial purposes,’ Boyd said.
They do the same thing with Gmail, she added,
whiting out text and pasting it into emails they send friends to trigger ads that are clearly targeted for other people for laughs, for example.
Boyd closed with a note about how young people are organizing by
networks instead of traditional groups.  ‘They get networks; they
understand how to flow things,’ she said.
The move from groups’characterized by established boundaries’to
networks, which are porous, constitutes a radical cultural shift, Boyd
The shift has implications for business culture, in particular. 
Boyd noted young people are voracious learners, which in part explains why
those who’ve entered the work force now switch jobs every couple of years. And
true to networking, they retain the ties they’ve made at their old jobs while
forging new ones, which may seem innocuous but may really not be.
Boyd noted that in Silicon Valley, for example, the new generation
of hi-tech industry workers doesn’t see a problem exchanging, say, code with
peers over coffee.
‘They’re fundamentally networked,’ Boyd explained.  ‘They see
no issue in meeting with friends from their old company and sharing information
that might be considered intellectual property.’

The transient nature of the emerging labor cohort and the free
flow and exchange of knowledge and experience inherent in the networked ethos
will completely change the culture of business, she concluded.

Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication
project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research
Business Report
, a confidential newsletter for the marketing
research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

What’s your Digital IQ?

Think tank for digital innovation L2 is predicting that, amongst other digital trends, mobile and iPad commerce will triple in 2012. In this blog post, they cite the facts that “For the first time ever, global shipments of smart phones and tablets exceed shipments of PCs. And this past December, Americans averaged 22 more minutes a day with mobile apps than browsing the web” as key indicators of this trend.

Other predictions include the growth of social platforms Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram and Facebook finally achieving status as a key traffic driver as more prestige brands build their presence on the site. So what’s your brand’s digital IQ? Will your marketing plans take these predictions into consideration in 2012?

Professor Scott Galloway, author of the Digital IQ Index?? which provides brands with a benchmark to measure digital competence against peers, will be speaking on the move towards mobile and on ranking and evaluating the business world’s iconic brands’ digital footprint this March at The Mobile Marketing Conference. Scott will also discuss how digital is reshaping business and how best practices can guide a managers decision making (i.e. what do I do next?).

For a sneak peek at Scott’s upcoming presentation topic, watch this video from L2 detailing their 5 boldest digital brand predictions for 2012 and start to measure your own Digital IQ.

For more from Professor Scott Galloway on how:
 ‘ Corporations are lagging the consumer, not investing in platforms that consumers are
flocking to;
‘ Digital competence will be the primary differentiator between firms that increase their
stakeholder value, vs. those that leak value; and
‘ We will look back on this era as the ‘salad days,’ an exceptional time to build communities
on emerging platforms and exploit new technologies

Join us for his session “Digital IQ & Shareholder Value” at The Mobile Marketing Conference. Save 15% when you register with code TMMC12DIGITAL here.

P.S. Join our social media community! Our new LinkedIn Group is a place to share expertise and brilliant ideas on anything mobile marketing and you can also follow us on Twitter or on Facebook for conference updates and industry insider news.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com 

How Do Trending Topics Pick Up Steam

The Holy Grail of Twitter awareness comes in the form of the 10 Trending Topics that appear on most peoples home profile screen (unless you have it filtered by city in which case your topics are going to be slightly different from the worldwide default).

If you’re looking to use Twitter’s Trending Topics to give your latest campaign a little push, you might be out of luck. These topics reach the eyes of millions of users, but could be one of the hardest clubs to infiltrate in the entire web.

But let’s at least take a look at what gets them started and who is responsible for making them take off.

General Popularity
When you are talking about Trending Topics you are talking about a global (albeit very United States-centric) consciousness. This is not a small community concerned with a single topic, Twitter attracts every type of online user and as such their Tweets are equally as diverse.

Until an algorithm change by Twitter earlier this year you could expect that whatever was a popular thing worth mentioning would be a trending topic; and it would stay that way for a long time. Credit goes to Justin Bieber, who rose from the Internet-celebrity ranks to become a bonifide superstar in the real world. But once he was there you couldn’t scrap the teen heartthrob off Twitter’s sidebar.

With Twitter’s algorithm change the topics are forced to be of recent popularity and topics that have trended before are rarely seen again. But that doesn’t mean that popular culture still doesn’t hold a permanent stake on the trending list.

Popular News Events
With Twitter’s main purpose being an online extensive of real-world conversations it is no surprise that popular news events will naturally become Trending Topics.
And even with Twitter’s demographic statistics, National news stories are still a major concern for all groups. You can bet news to be a constant on the Trending list.

Large Networks
The most curious Trending Topics are the hashtags that seem to spring from nowhere and elicit action from other users; the #CoolestMovieLine and #MyGirlfriendLikesMy type hashtags.

These tags seem to appear naturally and really get people involved in the conversation; a marketers dream come true! But just how do these work?

If you click on any such hashtag and search through the people that are tweeting them on Twitter you can scroll back to the beginning. You can see the first group of people who started using the tags. And more often than not these people will share a lot of similarities; they might show the interest in the same things in their tweets, they will be high volume tweeters, they will have a decent amount of followers, and they will usually be black. But who are these people?

They are huge networks of people that really grabbed hold of Twitter and made it their own. As first adopters interest waned, this group chose it as their new favorite Internet community. They made lots of friends, they participated A LOT. And the Truth or Dare style hashtags were their idea as well. And unless you are part of the group (which could take a lot of time being involved in the Twitter community) you aren’t going to influence their hashtags.

Twitter Celebrity
The question of how to become a Twitter celebrity is often answered with, ‘Be a real world celebrity first.’ Consequentially the question of how to start a Trending Topic can be answered in much the same way, ‘Be a Twitter celebrity.’

There are countless examples of Twitter accounts with 100,000 and over followers simply starting a trend by asking for their followers to play along. It is that simple.

Frank Anderson is a social media and tech analyst. He also works on email exchange hosting with WebHosting.net.

Small businesses and social media – 5 ways to start now!

Mashable has a great article today on how small businesses can adopt the social media trends from younger generations to help their businesses. One main objection to social media is the lack of time; however, as David Stark points out “…people don’t realize how much time they’re wasting by sticking to the tools of the old guard. Think of how many e-mails you send out on a daily basis. How many phone calls you make. Well, social media can not only cut down on those time-sucks, but also help you connect to a wider group of people on a more personal level. Moreover, it’s a hell of a lot more fun to keep up a fan page complete with FAQs and videos than it is to answer 1,000 e-mails all related to the same issue.” Good point.

Here are their top 5 trends to consider with social media:

  • Listen to Gossip
  • Share Content
  • Have an Attitude
  • Hang Out
  • Play Nice with Others

To learn more about these trends in detail, visit the Mashable article.

5 Teen Social Media Trends that Can Be Applied to Small Business

What other trends do you see that can help small businesses grow?