This infographic shares insight into the range of languages being spoken on Twitter, together with data on the most popular social networks putting Twitter in fourth place behind Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
This great video explains, in an easily understandable way, why YouTube views on popular videos get stuck for a while at 301 views.
This infographic shows what happens in 60 seconds on some of the most popular domains/apps. Some stand out stats include the fact that in 60 seconds there are 278 thousand tweets, 20 million photo views on flickr, 2 million searches on Google and 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube. Rising social stars such SnapChat and Pinterest feature as well with 104 thousand photos shared on SnapChat and 11,000 active users on Pinterest.
So how do you get a viral hit? Grumpy Cats seem to be doing really well but maybe the secret is dancing babies.
Evian has been getting babies dancing for years as one their early videos show.
This video, at the time of writing this post, had over 15 million views after four years. Their latest video had over 41 million in ten days.
So many marketers go to an agency asking for a viral video without really understanding what that means. So many agencies hate that. So many videos don’t go viral because quite simply they are not as good as this.
There are thousands of social media sites, which for someone who hasn’t even got a Facebook profile must be overwhelming. Whilst I have written about creating a profile network I realise that to start with many politicians will need to take a few ‘baby’ steps into the realm of social media and enabling their constituents to find information about them and their work on-line.
The reasons for doing this is to both ensure that when users of a particular social network search for you they find content that you have produced and control. Additionally search engines will crawl these sites frequently so when a constituent searches for you they will be offered several options to gain access to your content.
I take for granted that you already have a website. If you do not I no longer think this is as essential as it once was and a well formed blog can actually do the same if not better job than any website.
Five Social Media must do for politicians
If you do nothing else, you should do the following now:
1) Write your social profile, this will be invaluable when you add your details to any social networking site as all you will need to do is copy and paste the same details into the description or about me box. Think about how you would sell yourself in a couple of hundred words. Remember to ensure that anything you write is as non-time specific as possible as you may not revisit the content for a long time if at all.
2) Set up a blog, use the social profile that you have created to create an about page. Include a contact page with details of how constituents can reach you. Don’t write ‘Welcome to my blog I will update this frequently’ and then don’t. Pointless introductions are a waste of both yours and the readers time – get straight in there with the content and add periodically.
3) Set up a YouTube page, recording at least three short videos about key local issues. A good example of this would be the Val Shawcross YouTube Channel. Enter details from your social profile into the description section.
4) If you have not already create a Facebook profile that is publicly viewable. If you already have a profile and wish to use it for both personal and professionals reasons ensure that you utilise the Facebook privacy features. Whilst you are at it create a Bebo profile as well. Bebo is bigger among younger people and if you are not in this environment you will miss this key audience. Bebo also often performs better on Google for search results with the whole of your profile visible to the search engine where Facebook only provides full details when you are signed in and therefore not seen by the engines crawler.
5) Start Twittering. Twitter is a microblog which is quick and easy to update with messages about
you. This is a very effective and easily manageable method of keeping constituents informed about the work you are doing.
YouTube is an excellent way to quickly and easily get across a message. When creating these you need to take some of the following into consideration. Setting up an account or ‘channel’ is free and is very easy to do.
Even if you have video on your own website you should also put this content on YouTube. By doing this YouTube users will find your content during YouTube searches, an audience you would otherwise miss.
YouTube places a restriction on file size. Your videos can be up to 100MB for standard upload or up to 1GB using the YouTube Uploader.
Your video cannot be longer than 10 minutes (there is no way around this and your upload will fail).
File formats suitable for YouTube include .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG transferred from most digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones.
When creating your video you should place the URL of your site and the start and end of the video (not everyone will watch the whole video).
If you have a company logo if possible add this as a watermark throughout the video. You should try and ensure this is unobtrusive but it is useful to include as if someone edits or takes a snapshot of your video a connection to your brand will be retained.
Think about how your video will be viewed out of context, when others place your video within their site they may not include any description that you place in YouTube.
Edit the sharing options. I recommend enabling comments after you have reviewed them. This is purely to stop offensive comments and should not be used to stop critical debate. Do allow others to embed your video into their page
Shortly after adding your video you will find that the content will appear in standard search results on sites such as Google (who own YouTube) again spreading your message to a wider audience.
As your video is now suitable to go anywhere think about also adding your content to Facebook by creating a Facebook page.
In recent months the prominence of the internet in elections has become increasingly evident. With increasing numbers of voters using the internet the need to get your online campaigning strategy right is more important than ever before.
In the 2008 London Mayoral elections I spotted that both Conservative Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick were using the Facebook pages service, with Brian running Facebook and Google adverts. I immediately set up a page for Labours Ken Livingstone and at that time Boris had around 5,000 supporters and Brian around 1,000.
By election day Boris had over 9,000 supporters, Brian around 2,300 and Ken nearly 3,000. By not being there at the beginning and without a clear link with Ken’s only profile page a huge opportunity to reach out to supporters was missed. With Facebook pages I was able to easily email supporters who had signed up to the page and their support was clearly demonstrated on their own Facebook profile in a box that shows which pages they are subscribed to.
During the election I spent many hours collecting, sorting and delivering leaflets – many of which would have gone straight into the recycling. On election day I spent the whole day knocking on hundreds of doors of people who were mostly out and would be surprised if I reached more than a hundred to remind them to vote.
When I set up the Facebook page for Ken it must have taken less than an hour. On election day his page had over 1,000 views and over 13,000 in 8 weeks. If the page had been officially recognised with fresh content of photographs and video footage added on a regular basis the number of views would have been even higher. Discussion boards could have been used to garner opinion on key issues and the emailing facility used to encourage supporters to help with the campaign and keep them informed of progress.
It seems ridiculous spending so much time attempting to reach those who in the majority are not interested and no time at all on those who clearly are looking for the information within their network. It is not sufficient to just create a website you need to go their networks creating facebook pages, a blog and create a YouTube Channel. Each time you add new content to your site it is then quick and easy to add this to the appropriate network as well.
I am not suggesting that because the Facebook page was not utilised properly that Ken Livingstone lost the election. I am not suggesting that Facebook replaces leaflets and other traditional forms of campaigning. The fact is though, with very little effort, new technologies can be used to reach potential and current supporters. If you do not utilise these and keep abreast of how they are changing and the opportunities these changes give you – your opponents will.
In my experience the politicians who claim that online is not important this is more to do with their lack of knowledge and fear of the technology. What I say to them is that you do not have to understand everything, but trust those that do, and spare some of your very busy time to learn what you can. If you do not you will have a lot more time on your hands when the opponent who is ahead of the game beats you.
The campaign for 2012 London election has started already with the creation of the Boris Watch Facebook Page.
Update: 4 May: Boris Watch Facebook page now has over 1,000 fans, it took 24 days to reach that number of supporters for the Ken Livingstone page that I set up during the election campaign. Clearly the level of passion and interest is currently at its highest, however it is also interesting that a negative page (against Boris) should grow faster than a positive page (for Ken).