Monthly Archives: August 2012

Top 20 Facebook Facts

Facebook is experiencing a topsy-turvy year.

The social network has reached nearly 1 billion users worldwide, yet reports have suggested its growth in the U.S. has slowed.

With much fanfare it went public in May, but its stock price has fallen to new lows.

After some brands’ executives questioned the effectiveness of Facebook advertising—chiefly General Motors—the website Digiday pondered this week whether the social network is suffering an image problem.

Despite the setbacks, Facebook remains a behemoth in the social media space, as organizations (and the people they employ) continue to wrestle with finding new ways to engage audiences on the social network.

With that in mind, PR Daily looks at 20 recently updated statistics about Facebook:

There are 955 million monthly active users as of June 2012.

And 552 million daily active users on average in June 2012.

According to one estimate, the average value of one Facebook account is $115.43.

The price of a share of Facebook upon its initial public offering was $38.

The price per share of Facebook at one point on Friday morning was $19.05. 

81 percent of Facebook’s monthly active users live outside the U.S. and Canada.

The average number of friends per user is 229, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. (Another study put it at 245 friends.)

46 percent of Facebook users are older than 45.

The average age of Facebook’s board of directors is 49.

1 woman sits on Facebook’s board of directors.

57 percent of Facebook users are women.

The total annual carbon footprint per monthly active Facebook user is 269 grams, the equivalent of making and consuming a couple glasses of wine, three bananas, or one medium latte.

70 percent of Facebook members use the social network to flirt.

25 percent of those Facebook flirters are married.

694,980 status updates occur every minute.

271,069 people “like” Michael Phelps’ Aug. 5 Facebook post: “‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’ – Dr. Seuss.”

There were 51,997 comments to Chick-fil-A’s July 19 Facebook post, in which it offered a statement about its presidents remarks on traditional marriage. Nearly all of the comments are charged with emotion.

7 percent of online purchases are influenced by Facebook.

The Coca-Cola Facebook page has 48,054,180 “likes,” making it the most “liked” Facebook page among brands.

The Edelman PR Facebook page has 17,916 “likes,” making it the most “liked” public relations firm on Facebook.

 

This post was originally written by founding editor Michael Sebastion and originally posted on PR Daily.

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Facebook Faces Click Fraud

 

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg

In a  recent post on its company page, Limited Run—a New York company that offers  website solutions to artists and musicians—claimed 80% of the clicks from its Facebookads were  from bots.

Limited Run said it could only verify 15-20% of the clicks on its site  through a host of standard analytic solutions, which led to it building its own  custom software for tracking.

The company explains:

Unfortunately, while testing their ad system,  we noticed some very strange things. Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we  could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site. At first,  we thought it was our analytics service. We tried signing up for a handful of  other big name companies, and still, we couldn’t verify more than 15-20% of  clicks. So we did what any good developers would do. We built our own analytic  software. Here’s what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging  us for, JavaScript wasn’t on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn’t have  JavaScript, it’s very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click.  What’s important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2%  of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks  coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a  page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we’d keep track of it. You know what we  found? The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots.

Limited Run claims they contacted Facebook, who “wouldn’t  reply.”

Facebook declined to respond immediately on this issue when reached by  BI.

In an e-mail, Tom Mango, co-founder of Limited Run, explained further:

Technically speaking, we used about 6  different analytics services as well as built our own analytics system to try  and confirm the ad click throughs from Facebook. The way client side analytics  works is that it will try and load some JavaScript on the page and, if that  doesn’t work, it just loads a single image. On about 80% of the incoming page  requests from our ad campaigns, neither the JavaScript or the images were being  loaded. Normal web browsers, used by normal people, will load both JavaScript  and images. However, bots, such as ones that crawl the web or bots that attempt  to hack into websites to leave spam comments on blogs, don’t usually load those  extra things like JavaScript and images. This is how we came to the conclusion  that the majority of the click throughs we were getting were from bots. We have  no idea who the bots are run by and don’t think Facebook has anything to do with  it.

As it turns out, this issue—while not everyday news—is not new for Facebook.  In June of 2009, complaints arose regarding discrepancy in ad clicks versus what  clients could verify. Facebook verified  a discrepancy and claimed to be implementing appropriate changes.

A month later, RooZoo  and Unified  ECM filed lawsuits alleging fraud. In April of this past year, the two  companies along with others were denied  certification for a class action suit in a District Court in California.

The final straw for Limited Run came unrelated to the click issue, it was  regarding changing the name on its company page:

While we were testing Facebook ads, we were  also trying to get Facebook to let us change our name, because we’re not Limited  Pressing anymore. We contacted them on many occasions about this. Finally, we  got a call from someone at Facebook. They said they would allow us to change our  name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month.  That’s correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage

In regards to that specific issue, Facebook gave us the following  statement:

We’re currently investigating Limited Run’s  claims. For their issue with the Page name change, there seems to be some sort  of miscommunication. We do not charge Pages to have their names changed. Our  team is reaching out about this now.

Unlike others, Limited Run isn’t accusing Facebook of fraud. The company told  TechCrunch it could have been a competitor attempting to sabotage the firm  through increased ad costs. Nonetheless, Facebook admits it might have as  many as 50 million fake users.

Mango reiterated that it wasn’t the clicks that led Limited Run to leave  Facebook, it was the customer service. While he acknowledges Limited Run is  smaller than a lot of Facebook’s clients, it raises questions over how  widespread the problem might be, even if it’s not widely reported. At a time  when effectiveness of the social network’s ads are constant debate—this surely  doesn’t help.

This post was written by Charlie Minato and the orginal article can be found at Business Insider.

The Sound of Silence

“Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to pitch to you again.”

You cut to the core of me, Simon & Garfunkel! You really understand what it’s like to send researched, targeted pitches to the right media contacts and get no response!

Oh, I’ve botched the lyrics? Paul and Art weren’t too concerned with pitching? (Are you sure? I mean, “Scarborough Fair” does seem to build awareness of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…)

But “The Sound of Silence” plays in my head sometimes after I’ve been pitching endlessly with no responses.

I’m not a newbie, and I’d like to think I’m pretty ok at this media relations thing. I pitch all sorts of clients to all sorts of media outlets. I research. I make sure the angle is something the outlet would cover. I try to find a news connection and interesting statistics. I search for the proper contact.  I offer the necessary interview opportunities. I may pitch a lot of people in different markets, but I never do a “mass pitch” – they’re always tailored.

And yet sometimes…NOTHING!

No responses.

I call. Maybe they say it’s interesting. They tell me to email. No one says “no” outright. I email again.

And then comes the retooling and following up. Then the inevitable questioning of whether you even know how to do your job, wishing you had come up with the idea for Pinterest, wondering if you have enough saved to start a vineyard…

You’ve been there, I’m sure.

A lack of response is wildly frustrating and really hard to explain to someone in need of an update, whether it’s your team, boss or client. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you quit and head out to Napa on a “fact-finding” trip.

Remember that timing is critical when pitching. Earlier this year I started pitching something in central Florida the day before the Trayvon Martin story broke loose. Terrible timing.

I’ve worked with reporters who get in touch after a few rounds of pitches because Sweeps is coming up or the station owner is coming and wants to hear some hot new ideas. Everyone has to answer to someone, even the media, and it’s difficult to know what’s of interest in every newsroom at every moment.

Sometimes it takes a while, too. A reporter I recently worked with got back to me three months after my initial pitch. A reporter in a different market emailed me almost immediately after I’d sent out a similar pitch.

It’s not always about timing, of course, so trust your instincts. If you don’t feel confident in a pitch angle, change it up. We can get so caught up in “getting the pitch out” and getting results that we become blind to possible flaws or areas where the story could be stronger.

Throughout the pitching process, I try to envision how it could play out as a story, even down to the introduction (e.g. “Jeannie Clary used to get frustrated by pitching great story ideas and not getting a response.” Yeah, I can totally see that on the local news.) Try to keep an open mind to allow new ideas to flow that make might for a crucial “tweak.”

Regrouping with colleagues always helps if you need a new perspective. If you’re on your own, reach out to friends in the business or even run some ideas by family members. They may not know “how to pitch,” but they know what they read and watch. Plus, they’re your targets’ target audience. (I know, the audience is your ultimate target – just go with me here.)

This post was written by Jeannie Clary of the Pitching Notes blog, where it was originally published. 

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