How does social media in the U.S. help brand building?

Social media is pervasive in the U.S. and is becoming increasingly integrated into the entire media landscape. From a consumer point of view, people use social networks in a few primary ways:

Connection: Facebook is far and away the most popular social platform; as it’s grown over the last 8 years, Facebook has gone from connecting college classmates to being the central social network. Facebook’s wide reach means many people are becoming more selective about what they share, and have higher standards for what they consider relevant or interesting on the platform.

Nicheworks: More active social users are turning to what we call “nicheworks” that have a more specialized interest or functionality and smaller circle of sharing. Sometimes this means sharing similar information, but more in-depth or with a different audience (for example, professional information on LinkedIn). Other platforms, like Instagram or Pinterest, are focused more on image sharing where users upload and post content based on certain topics – like recipes, crafts, travel, or other hobbies and interests.

Discovery & Sharing: Twitter is the most open information platform and has become a cascade of data consisting of personal updates, news and politics, and TV. But it also tends to be the sharing platform of choice for users of nicheworks: when those users create or find something cool, they share it more broadly on Twitter. As Twitter has grown both as a “pure-play” social medium and as a distributor for many smaller networks’ updates, it’s become a microcosm of what’s happening across nearly all of social – and traditional – media.

What do consumers think about brands using social media to reach them? What challenges do brands face in the U.S. when using social media?

Consumers are tolerant of brands but tend to be somewhat transactional in terms of what they want in exchange for their “likes” – they want something back for their attention. Ultimately, almost no one voluntarily wants to interact with ads, so it’s up to brands to change their messaging strategies to offer something genuinely interactive and interesting. This also means brands must have a much stronger arsenal of content at the ready, and they need to be limber and experimental in how they deploy it.

Facebook Like Can Get You Fired!

Your First Amendment rights are probably the last thing you think about when you click the Like button on Facebook.

But just in case you were wondering, that innocent little blue thumbs-up logo is not constitutionally protected free speech. At least, not according to a district court judge in Virginia, who was the first to decide such a question in federal court.

The case before Judge Raymond Jackson was this: a local sheriff had fired six of his employees, some because their actions “hindered the harmony and efficiency of the office,” according to the New York Times. One of those employees, it turned out, had clicked the Like button on the page of the sheriff’s political opponent.

That may sound like a firing offense. But here’s the tricky part — not if the Like button counts as free speech. Public employees in Virginia are free to speak out on political matters, even if that means supporting the guy who wants to replace your boss.

How To Get More Likes On Facebook

There are many stuff already about how to get more likes and followers. It has been discussing by industry leader since the raise of socail media. As a rule, the main question that tends to crop up is ‘how do I get more likes/followers?’ To be fair, its a valid question as more followers means more people get to see your messages which means more popularity for your business.

But the problem is that social media isn’t about how many fans you have, but how you interact with them, a point that is sadly missed by those resorting to desperate measures, all in the name of an extra fan.



Interview: Why Facebook Is Moving Beyond the “Like” (And Why This Isn’t Beacon 2.0)

Two years after the Facebook “Like” button launched for publishers and brands, for a user to “Like” something is so generic and widespread thing that it hardly means anything.

But with Facebook’s new Timeline apps, users don’t necessarily have to press those “Like” buttons anymore. They can choose to share with Facebook everything that they consume, purchase, record, create or bookmark.

Facebook thinks its users will get value out of having a centralized visual record of their online and offline activity that friends and family can see and comment on (and yes, “Like”).

These new Open Graph apps are likely to give rise to way more sharing than had occurred on Facebook before, which is not something many people think they want or need.

It’s the responsibility of Facebook’s Carl Sjogreen, who is director of product management for the company’s platform, to give application creators the tools and settings that ensure that all this recording and sharing of activities is appealing to users.

He explained to us tonight how Facebook is going beyond the “Like,” and why the new Timeline apps aren’t a repeat of the much-hated Facebook Beacon.

At the top of Sjogreen’s priority list is respecting users’ privacy and expectations, he said. (That may come as a surprise to the many Facebook skeptics out there, but you can watch my video interview and judge his sincerity for yourself.)

“No one should be surprised by what’s shared,” Sjogreen said. “That’s not good for us, that’s not good for users, that’s not good for application partners.”