Friday, 18 October 2013

Social Media profiling and the Ad targeting that's needed. One size doesn't fit all.

Business Insider has produced a really interesting report as part of their BI Intelligence work about the general profile of Social Media sites.

It's not exactly shocking but, it allows us to consider the different profiles of each site rather than consider them all, just as "Social Media". As Social Media develops, it's clearly going to become more niche.

More sites targeting specific interests rather than how it all started as "catch all" sites. They each have a different audience with different beliefs that we need to understand better.

This should be of real interest to brands and advertising.

Here is the broad analysis extract from the Business Insider website;

*Facebook still skews young, but the 45- to 54-year-old age bracket has seen 45% growth since year-end 2012. Among U.S. Internet users, 73% with incomes above $75,000 are on Facebook (compared to 17% who are on Twitter). Eight-six percent of Facebook's users are outside the U.S.
  • Instagram: Sixty-eight percent of Instagram's users are women.
  • Twitter has a surprisingly young user population for a large social network — 27% of 18 to 29-year-olds in the U.S. use Twitter, compared to only 16% of people in their thirties and forties. 
  • LinkedIn is international and skews toward male users. 
  • Google+ is the most male-oriented of the major social networks. It's 70% male.
  • Pinterest is dominated by tablet users. And, according to Nielsen data, 84% of U.S. Pinterest users are women.
  • Tumblr is strong with teens and young adults interested in self-expression, but only 8% of U.S. Internet users with incomes above $75,000 use Tumblr.
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    The Facebook profile data (young but broadening) comes as no surprise.

    Instagram users are 68% women is a surprise because it basically started as a photographic nerd site that has developed into general photo sharing. Why that should be more women users, seems to reflect that women like to share their pics more (aka Facebook). So perhaps that's just a trend or reflects the scourge of selfies. 

    Twitter is younger largely, because younger people are early adopters and they are the SMS generation but again, it's broadening. More older people and business see the benefits of tweeting. 

    LinkedIn being more international and male, reflects their business ethos and positioning as a place to connect businesspeople. So that's fairly obvious.

    Google+ being more male is unfathomable. Google+ I mean is unfathomable. It has members who don't know they are (like me) and a manner of connecting up your Social Media that no one understands but that seems to screw up everything else. So really, anything to do with Google Circles is beyond me.

    Pinterest users are female and that is no surprise either (84%) as the site has been dominated by Fashion, Cooking and more female activities. But being dominated by tablets usage, is. So perhaps more women are using Tablets like Ipads and traditionally better at keeping, taking and sharing pics than blokes?

    Tumblr is micro blogging, so perhaps teens and younger adults are more prepared to show and share their feelings to the world and perhaps they have more time to do so. Although my experience of blogging, is that it's an older profession. But Tumblr as a brand, is very cool in the blogosphere so that too could be the attraction.

    What of course that means, and excuse me for stating the obvious, but different Social Media networks reach out to different demographics for different reasons. Hardly earth shattering but often not understood. And it's more crucial than it sounds.

    Ad Campaigns tend for example, to be one creative treatment pushed out everywhere. Where in fact, it would be far more effective to have different, more relevant copy, for each platform. 

    The Ad on Pinterest for example, should talk more to women and possibly featuring high end visuals. Whereas the Ad on LinkedIn should have a business slant.

    But we don't do that. We use Ad networks to push it all out uniformly because we see it as all being "impressions" or as all being just Ads for the "samey Social Media" when it's not. Or shouldn't be.

    Like traditional Media, different newspapers reach different audiences. Online is no different. When Streamabout do video for example, it may be that a video needs a different edit or a different take, depending on what site it's being shown on. Rather than the same video for everyone. The same thing applies here.

    And it's a sign that Digital Advertising and Marketing, is maturing when we start to see coarse data like this. Because we're moving from trying to keep up with what's out there, to understanding what they do.

    Exactly as traditional media started.

    So we just need to understand it all better to do it better as the fog of an all-embracing Social Media lifts.

    Thursday, 17 October 2013

    Whatever happened to IBM?

    IBM (International Business Machines, in case you're wondering) is a company you hear very little about these days and yet, growing up, it was the talk of the town.

    'Big Blue' was the share to hold and considered to be the high flying tech company of its age. Although in my view, it's one company that missed the digital boat. However, it has a 20 billion usd war chest for acquisitions.

    Interested (and surprised) to see that new figures on Q3 show revenues falling by a billion usd largely due to a fall in hardware sales. They also point out a slowing of emerging markets, notably China.

    Although I was surprised that the 9 month revenues were 72 billion usd - only a 4% decrease - nothing to be sneezed at. They expect to be in profit in 2014.

    The figures were however, below expectations.

    The fall in hardware sales is driven by the switch to the cloud where data storage is cheaper and probably, more effective through easier access. Indeed, probably more secure. IBM is also in that space to be fair and in these numbers, their cloud division exceeded 1 billion usd revenue for the first time.

    But the once giant has fallen off the news pages without a high profile CEO or indeed, high profile products. You don't see a lot of it about. But clearly they're still doing some very good business and will achieve profitability.

    In fact, it surprised the hell out of me. Strong business here from a sleeping giant.

    Possibly, it's their lack of Social credentials.
    Possibly, it's a lack of PR and Advertising.

    They seem to have their business fixed, just the profile needs work.

    Monday, 14 October 2013

    The Trouble with TV.

    The role of "Television" or "Broadcasting" is changing and indeed, those terms need new definitions. No longer should we think of "Television" being the sole domain of "Television stations".

    After all, consumers are now watching content in a variety of different ways. It's these changes in distribution, that's the core issue.

    Whether we watch content through a traditional TV set currently, it's more likely that viewers will be watching via a connected device such as Xbox or the very excellent, Apple TV next. Indeed, the myriad of choices offered by Apple TV alone, encourages viewers to watch other content than traditional TV broadcasts. It brings a lot of movie sites, YouTube channels and Social Media into the livingroom, which in turn, brings consumers massive choice. Apple TV, for a low investment, is just stunning.

    Where there's global choice of content, there's likely to be less viewing of domestic traditional TV "broadcasts" and the major US networks continue to lose audiences. 

    Social Media is also getting in on the act.

    Twitter is trying to close the gap by becoming more involved in traditional TV through real-time conversation. Mind you, a tweet yesterday from Twitter UK saying "great to see the Xfactor bringing audiences closer and turning up the show's social soundtrack" was instantly slammed by users. Twitter are trying to become friends of the TV industry and it will fail.

    Twitter wants to be the 'TV Social network' that helps build audiences which in turn, means bigger audiences for Twitter. Indeed, they're showing 60 second Ads during TV shows on Twitter as an "add on" to the programming and encouraging advertisers to sync their advertising. Take a spot at a particular time on the traditional TV show and sync it with one on Twitter.

    In my view, they've tied their colours to the wrong mast.

    What connected "broadcasting" devices are bringing is choice and choice that may come without Ads (such as the current online DVD boxset "binge"). A choice that means you never miss the start, the end, or forget to record a programme because online content is not hamstrung by TV schedules. 

    In the online world you get content, when you want it, rather than when a broadcaster decides to push it out. That is the main structural problem with traditional TV - Scheduling....rather than viewing freedom. And it's a difficult problem for TV stations to deal with, being so ingrained in their culture.

    Of course too, content makers (which includes traditional TV stations) have to get used to a new model, where they're prepared to give out that content to other networks, with the copyright/royalty issues that come with that. But they will in effect, become content providers rather than "broadcasters". 

    BBC are starting on this path allowing 30 days access to content rather than a week, announced last week. Moreover, they'll allow some content to be viewed online before it has been traditionally broadcast. That's the sort of thinking required.

    The development of "live" programming (notably Sports) is going to be interesting too. At the moment, few online channels, outside of traditional TV stations, have shown an interest in providing live content because of both cost and technology issues. But they might buy it in.

    The difficulty with "TV" is that distribution has changed and will change completely. If TV stations are to survive it, they have to be prepared to change their model and few, it seems to me, are. They'd rather rubbish the online experience in the hope that it will go away, which it won't. And whilst they take the seat of Nero, everything changes around them, quickly.

    Netflix develop original, exclusive content (winning Emmy's for their content such as 'House of Cards') but they're not the only ones as Amazon and Hulu now do the same. Big budgets too, so their content is real TV competition.

    Binge viewing is driving online as well, as all the content of a particular show (the full series for example) is available same day. No longer do you have to wait for weeks to get to the ending. Movie releases are following suit with some Studios releasing Movies online first.

    YouTube channels are developing at pace allowing ordinary content providers (be they members of the public or production companies) opportunities to broadcast. Awesomeness TV, a children's channel, now has a staggering 60 million viewers a month on YouTube. One YouTube gaming channel has 251 million. So these YouTube viewers have to be watching less traditional TV.

    Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook are venturing into the space albeit in a collaborative way, for now. But they will develop their own content in time with News content being their initial entry.

    Without any doubt, traditional TV has to change and become more online enabled and involved. Rebroadcasting of today's programmes via an App or online, doesn't cut it. It requires a complete re-think about how they create content, how they broadcast it and how they need to ditch their scheduling.

    Perhaps too, they have to re brand and realise that their future lies not on what they broadcast on TV sets, but rather through their website. It's their website that's king and critically, how that content is being made available. To prioritise the web over traditional, will require in traditional broadcasters, a massive mindset shift.

    All in all, it may be too late.....and in the eyes of this writer, it probably is because there is no sign of any dawn of realisation. 


    It's gone past time to fight it.