Ann Arbor, MI, June 17, 2010 — In a day and age where people are leading parallel lives via the Internet, it’s not shocking that researchers are frequently finding new trends pertaining to social media. It’s also no surprise that with so much new information available to the public, controversy surrounding Internet privacy has surfaced. Eiler Communications finds that with the social media being such an important tactic for marketing, it is imperative that company employees manage their online content. Failing to do so not only puts your personal reputation at stake, but your company’s as well.
“As new media is evolving as another public relations tool it is imperative that clients are educated on proper usage,” explained Larry Eiler, Chairman of Eiler Communications.
With that said, the younger half of the millennial generation has been accused of putting too much information about themselves on the Internet. However, new research from the Pew Research Internet and American Life Project suggests that part of this age group (18-29) is savvier with regulating their online content than their elders.
Not just bosses and friends are interested in checking out your photos, lifestyle approach and posts online. Given that the younger millenials are putting a ton of information on display, they are limiting what other people can see. They are more likely than any other age group to remove names from photos with beer cups and delete embarrassing rants with friends.
The study done by Pew found that 44 percent of young adult Internet users limit their personal information online, while only 33 percent of users ages 30-39 claimed they did the same. The numbers lessen as the ages of users increase. In the same study, 71 percent of 18-29 year-old social networking users surveyed said to have changed their privacy settings, almost 20 percent more than those surveyed aged 50-64. The youngest age group also beat out the other age brackets in other categories such as deleting unwanted comments and removing names from photos.
At Eiler, we endorse monitoring your online content. Although privacy settings differ with each social networking sites, and some privacy policies can be complicated (Facebook). It’s an area worth looking into. Just because young Internet users have grown up using social networking sites doesn’t mean that older users aren’t capable of limiting their personal information too.
It seems Internet users ages 18-29 are motivated to manage online content because they are likely trying to find a job, internship or other work-related gig. This means that these users are consistently aware of what content their potential employers could find. In fact, 26 percent of working Internet users have employers that instill policies about online content.
If you’re not changing your privacy settings out of caution, do it for love. The Internet makes it
simple for everyone to do scouting reports. People are checking up on their love interests. According to a study done by McKinsey, 1 in 8 of couples married in the U.S. in 2006 met online. Pew’s study shows that 16 percent of all Internet users search online for additional information about somebody they are dating or in a relationship with, and about one-third of those using dating Web sites check out their dates online as well. If you wouldn’t want your potential mate to see it, it probably shouldn’t be online.
Hats off to the young millenials; they’re keeping their content controlled- and it’s for their own benefit. Let’s commend them and copy them. It won’t hurt.
Using Facebook used to be so simple. I would log in, check my news feed, write on my friends’ walls and post photos without worrying about everyone knowing where I lived, what my interests were and how I felt at that very moment.
Another issue: your status updates and wall post aren’t just for your friends’ eyes. If you post something that says, “I hate the police!” your post will show up on a specific Facebook page for police. We’ve got to be more careful than ever. The problem is that we’re so used to be able to share our information; it’s hard to start putting it on lockdown.
Yet, we don’t pay for Facebook (but rumor has it we may have to start paying soon). We don’t own Facebook, either- so we have the right to complain? Has Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made it too hard for us to privately create content or are we making it too easy for our content and profiles to be taken advantage of?
I’ve been trying to explain Twitter and Facebook to my parents for some time now, and despite my best efforts, they still find the lack of privacy a little unsettling. “You mean everyone will know when you go to the bathroom?”
Not exactly Mom, you don’t tell people everything you’re doing. But her point is a good one. Social Media (SM) allows individuals to effortlessly communicate and share ideas across broad networks, but some recent news has shown what happens when social media goes wrong.
Twitter’s rapidly growing population consists of celebrities, presidents, companies, neighbors and even pets. Charlie Villanueva, Forward for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, has become an infamous Tweeter after two incidents last month. First, Villanueva or CV31 as he’s known on Twitter, posted a Tweet at halftime of a game against the Boston Celtics. Bucks’ head coach Scott Skiles quickly reprimanded these actions. (The Tweet can be read here.) For an encore, CV31 cited an inside source when he announced that Jim Calhoun, the coach of his Alma mater would coach in the next game of the NCAA Tournament for the University of Connecticut after health complications kept him out of the previous game.
“Juror Jonathon” ran into trouble in March for Tweeting details of a $12.6 million case from his cell phone. These Twitter updates, while not explicitly forbidden by courts, are believed to be grounds for a mistrial.
These two incidents are yet another example of technology moving faster than regulatory rules (or just a lack of common sense). Social media is a great public relations tool, providing ways for businesses and individuals to control their messages. But as more companies and businesses enter the social media circus, they must be wary of information leaking to the public through blogs, podcasts, Facebook pages, MySpace, Twitter, etc. The traditional walls of privacy my parents are familiar with are being torn down in favor of faster communication. Until rules are in place to control the expansive social media capabilities, remember to balance networking with personal responsibility and common sense.
Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Blogging &Business and Economy &Business of PR &Corporate Communications &Leadership &Marketing &Public Relations Tools &Social Media &Technology PR Insights 24 Mar 2009 04:26 pm
“What’s on your mind”? With this simple query that appears on the front page of Facebook profiles, Facebook has thrown down the gauntlet. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has had Twitter on his mind for a while now, and struck back at the up-and-coming social networking site two weeks ago. The much anticipated and incredibly hyped Facebook profile changes appeared on browsers everywhere on March 13. How BIG were these changes? As you can see here, the evolution of Facebook’s façade earned Zuckerberg an invite to appear on Oprah. Clearly, dorm room tech geeks aren’t the only ones noticing the social media frenzy.
Where’s all this buzz coming from? Well, Zuckerberg’s changes mark the latest chapter in the clash between Facebook and Twitter. Twitter has built its reputation on simplicity since CEO Evan Williams launched the site in 2006. Zuckerberg threw subtleties aside when he joined the 6 million on Twitter with a username of his own (thezuckerberg), apparently researching the micro-blog from the inside. (For those scoring at home, add “Espionage” to the list of professions social media has transformed.) The most obvious examples of Facebook’s robbery: When users sign on to Twitter they are greeted with the eerily coincidental question, “What are you doing?”. Facebook’s revamped look helps companies develop a presence on the site beyond the traditional “Fan Pages”. With Facebook’s improved business-oriented functionality, look for Facebook’s membership to spike in the upcoming months.
In the past six months, Twitter has really found its stride attracting celebrities, musicians, politicians, professional athletes, news agencies, businesses, and even President Barack Obama (username: BarackObama). This diverse, informational, and entertaining Twitter population was growing so much (752% In the last year!!) that Facebook looked to purchase the site last year to the tune of $500million in stock. Twitter and Williams rebuffed the offer, proclaiming that “Twitter is just getting started”. Facebook’s offer and subsequent rejection is even more astounding when you discover that Twitter is not a revenue-generating machine. Perhaps these are the changes Williams’ and his team foresee.
What’s the next step in this titanic clash of social media giants? It’s hard to speculate, but definitely fun to watch. Stay tuned.
What Does Twitter Do For My Business?
According to the IDC (Premier Global Marketing Survey Company)Internet users spend an average of 32.7 hours online each week. That’s close to half the time they spend on any media (70.6 hours), twice the time they spend watching TV (16.4 hours) and close to eight times as much time as they spend reading magazines and newspapers (3.9 hours). The two fastest growing categories are video and social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Wikipedia, Blogs, YouTube, etc).
Clearly, attention is shifting on-line for all of our social and business needs.
Abrams Research recently asked over 200 social media leaders at the Social Media Week 2009 conference, what social media site would you recommend your business to pay for
(if they had to)? Twitter beat Facebook by more than two to one. Why? One of the most typical responses was, “ It is the quickest way I’ve seen to spread information virally to a wide scope of people attached in a lot of random ways.”
So, what is Twitter?
Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time and is one of the fastest growing communities online. It allows people to send public or private messages in 140 characters or less via the web or mobile phone. Think of it as a Facebook status update on steroids. The idea is to sign up and find people that you want to follow. Once you follow them, you receive updates minute by minute on whatever they “tweet”. A “tweet” is a 140 character or less statement or link to information.
For instance, I follow people that are relevant to my business. By sharing quick bits of information, I can stay connected to them, know their interests and appeal to them for my professional or personal needs. The key is to “tweet” about relevant topics. No one cares if you are having coffee (unless of course you own a coffee business and are sharing your favorite brew). As a Twitter courtesy, if you follow someone they usually follow you back so, get out there and start following and watch your site grow! Think about this. If you send out one “tweet” that directs your followers to relevant news about your business, which directs them to you or your website- you can reach thousands of Twitter followers by the minute.
The key: No one likes a constant sales pitch. Twitter about relevant issues that pertain to your business or your interests. This will position you as an expert and drive traffic to your site.
I was recently reading an article in Fast Company magazine about the most influential women in technology. The article was the second in a series that was originally called,
“ The Most Influential Women in Web 2.0.” The first article became a heated debate on many social media networks, including Digg because some readers felt the article was sexist. Sexist? Come on.
This lead me to think about what a disadvantage that women have had in the technology department by any metric: average salary, top-management representation, board memberships and many geographic areas like Silicon Valley are still just a boys club. In fact, most of technology seems to be a “boys club.”
The fact of the matter is now that social media has taken off with such rapid fire, women are becoming very influential and making a dent in the technology world. For instance, look at some of the executives of large social media and technology firms. Susan Decker, President of Yahoo, Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook, Megan Smith VP, New Business Development of Google.
What about some of the fastest growing social networking sites? Caterina Fake
Co-founded the photo-sharing elephant Flickr and then sold it to Yahoo for a reported $35 million. Everyone is buzzing about her highly anticipated project called Hunch, which is in development.
Women Bloggers? Look at the site http://www.blogher.com/ and you will find over
2,200 women bloggers and counting. This site has become its own community that even has its own blogging conference. Anyone can sign up and have your blog posted. There are even large advertisers on the site such as Cover Girl and Oil of Olay. Wonder what Eilsa, Jory and Lisa (the founders of Blogher.com) made on that contract?
It’s not just about money, although that is a great perk. Blogging allows us the freedom to write and discuss things that are relevant to us and to have them published. Anyone can blog and anyone can use blogging to drive traffic to his or her site, develop their own company or just have an opinion. It has become the way of communicating these days and it would be a shame to not take advantage of this great tool in marketing and PR.
Jennifer L Peak
It’s no question that Barack Obama is our most technologically savvy President. From his campaign to planning the first few days of his presidency, he has used more technology than any President in our nation’s past.
President Obama raised $750 million for his campaign mainly by using the Internet; this is six times more money than any prior presidential candidate has raised.
The most effective way that the Obama campaign used the Internet was through Social Media. Many believe that his victory over John McCain in November was partly due to the use of social media. The Obama campaign was far more effective of the two presidential candidates in terms of using social media as a way to engage and motivate voters.
Start with blogs. There were close to 500 million blog postings that mentioned President Obama since the end of August while McCain was mentioned about 150 million times.
On MySpace, Obama had 844,927 friends compared to McCain’s 219,404. Between November 3rd and 4th, Obama gained over 10,000 new friends while McCain gained 964.
President Obama also held the lead on Twitter with 118,107 followers while McCain had 4,942.
Even with the campaign finished, President Obama is still using the same means of communicating that helped lead to his presidential victory. The website change.gov has the Obama administration asking the US public to share its stories and goals.
A big issue in the media is whether or not he was going to be able to keep his beloved BlackBerry. It is believed that he should not be able to use the device due to security issues. The messages he sends and receives could be intercepted; his account could easily be hacked into, no matter how strongly it is protected. The decision is not yet decided.
Obama is not the first President to question whether or not to communicate via email. Eight years ago, George W. Bush debated over the issue. He chose to stop communicating over cyberspace with the fear of his private conversations being looked at by the public.
We also have to consider when Bush made the decision to give up communicating online. Since then, the use of email has dramatically increased and BlackBerrys have become a necessity for many due to their convenience. During his campaign, President Obama’s memorandums and briefing books were rarely printed out and delivered to his home or hotel room, they were simply sent to his BlackBerry for him to review.
Even with all the controversy surrounding his use of technology, President Obama still hopes to be the first e-mailing President. He also hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office; he would be the first American President to do so.
President Obama is all about change, whether or not he is able to keep his BlackBerry or have a computer in the Oval Office, he is very intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century.
Social Media is the big thing these days. Although I have been using it for a couple years now, I don’t think I quite realized the extent of how beneficial it is until I started interning at Eiler Communications.
Social Media is Internet and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information with other people. There are many different forms of this; Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace and Blogging.
Lets talk about blogging. A benefit of your company writing blogs about various topics is to get your name out. It’s like a form of marketing that you don’t have to pay for. If you write about a topic and someone searches for that topic on Google, your blog is going to come up and direct that person to your website.
How is Facebook beneficial? Almost everyone I know has a page on Facebook. Companies can do the same thing. An organization can create a page saying what they do, where they are located etc. You can also link your website to your page to generate more traffic to your site.
I think Social Media is one of the best ways to get your name today and best of all, it’s free! Now isn’t that something good to hear in today’s economy?
We have been covering “The Magic to Brand Yourself.”
Why … reasons to do it … the necessity of having a strong “name” for what you do.
Here are some ideas of how to build your own brand.
1. As noted in the Dec. 24 blog, make a list of 20-25 organizations or people that you want to build ties with to get your name known. Like me, figure creative ways to get with these groups and people.
2. Speak to target groups of people that are important to you, on your target list.
3. Write for periodicals, blogs and other online or traditional media that are read by the groups and people you seek to reach.
4. Do your own web site and blog your ideas.
5. Don’t just join target groups. Be a DOER. Get engaged in a meaningful project that you can engage in. Such groups may be non profits, community forums, educational institutions.
Why would anyone want to brand him or her self? It seems quite self-serving. It implies arrogance to believe anyone would care.
Branding yourself is the way to become known.
Given the fact that we all now can be commentators, “journalists” if you will, because of the Internet, and especially blogs, it is simple logic to be able to create a “name” of your name. This new movement in PR has helped to establish a bunch of names – people in their 20s to 90s and all between. It is a movement not just for companies doing PR in Michigan and the Midwest, but the world. Not just for techies doing PR, but for business people and executives.
If you can make a “name” for yourself through your commentary, you get more audience for your blogs or other writings. You make a name for yourself, your business through an article or book you author, organizations to are involved with, teaching speaking to various groups.
It is wise and prudent in this situation to create your own brand, build and promote your own name by branding yourself.
Paul Gillin is one of the pre-eminent brands in the blogosphere. As a former editor of Computerworld, once the core computer trade pub, Paul got into speaking, writing books, blogging and becoming an expert commentator on new media over the past decade. He does it right, authoring books and blogs at these sites:
Paul Gillin Communications
New Influencers book
Secrets of Social Media Marketing book
Innovations (Ziff-Davis Enterprise)
Mediablather weekly podcast
Geocaching Secrets (my next book)
Newspaper Death Watch
Paul and Dana’s Blog
He also speaks across the nation and here are a few current examples.
PRSA Teleseminar: Secrets of Social Media Marketing – Dec 2
New Marketing Summit, San Francisco, April 28-29, 2009
Getting Started with Social Media – Lessons from the Frontlines – Dec. 11, 2008
Secrets of Social Media Marketing Webcast with Paul Gillin – Listrak
How Businesses View Social Media – Gilbane Boston 2008, Dec. 4, 2008
I’ll write lots more about “the magic of branding yourself” — including tips from speeches I’ve given — in coming blogs.