Thanks to Roger for the link to “7 Secrets About Social Media, Revealed” from businessinsider.com. But the post was based on 2009 data, so I’m not sure the link is worth forwarding without comment. Here, though, are a few points that may relate to the AAUW Social Media discussions. My point of view is that of a member of the AAUW communications team, and here are four of the seven points that resonate with me.
Facebook is all about pictures.
Yep, I can’t tell you how many of my friends joined Facebook only to view the photo albums posted there. Pictures get more comments and likes than status updates. And my “top comments” recent post was a video.
What does this tell us? Include pictures with the AAUW news and notes!
90% of twitter posts are from 10% of the users
Again the study is a bit dated, but since this follows the general rule of content creation in other contexts, it’s probably generally right. I’m not sure what this tells us. Since I’m not a power user of twitter –
- I follow about 200 people, but just take snapshots of the whole list, without trying to use multiple lists for different purpose
- That means I’m not really taking advantage of twitter as a listening post
- I don’t make much effort to increase my followers
- I feel much closer to the “friends” on Facebook (where I made a conscious choice to allow them to read my posts), so I often send my tidbits out into the Facebook world rather than twitter
So who actually reads all of those posts? As Kivi Leruox Miller pointed out at NCTech4Good 2010, it’s perfectly okay to repeat yourself on twitter since no one catches everything you say each time you say it.
My current view is that as @nes49 I’m writing for a very few people. As @aauwnc and @ncwu I leverage the tweets to a broader audience (@aauwnc goes to facebook.com/aauwnc and to the weekly newsletter generated from that; @ncwu gets archived for the NCWU e-newsletter).
Most people don’t click on ads in Social Media networks
Well, yeah. Most people don’t click on ads anywhere. But the numbers can work for you if your expectations are realistic. The AAUW Social Media Task Force discussions have some examples of using ads.
At the 2009 AAUW convention, I discussed an experience with Facebook events (see slides 13-17) and it might be instructive to run an experiment to see how running an ad improves attendance at an event.
Social networks are most effective when they address failures in offline networks
The AAUW Social Media Task Force’s Facebook page may be an excellent example of how offline networks need a supplement. How would all of those folks have found each other without something like Facebook? While I have AAUW friends from around the country because I’ve been active at the national level and have attended national conventions, the earlier way of connecting (e-mail lists) just doesn’t hold a candle to being able to connect with people on Facebook.
What I hear from the Facebook averse is a fear of more information overload and that they “just don’t have the time”. However, what I find with Facebook is that it is much easier to “keep up with” friends by skimming their short posts and comments. But the real benefit for me, again as a member of a communications team, is that it’s easier to put information out into the world where those who consider it interesting can find it. And I don’t have to worry about its being just “more e-mail clutter” that everyone will ignore.
Perhaps social media doesn’t make sense unless you are one of those who see its benefit as a publishing platform, who have things to say that aren’t directed to particular people, who want to get on board with this “anyone can be a broadcaster” new world. If that’s not you (yet), I recommend reading Clay Shirky — either Here Comes Everybody or the newer Cognitive Surplus (which I’m just starting).