True Life: My Mom Receives More Facebook Engagement Than I Do

My mother’s name is Loretta- you never forgetta (try using a heavy New York accent with that one). She’s the type of Long Island Italian mom that knows everything about anything happening around town. Now…she’s had a Facebook account for a about a year, initially created to satisfy her addiction for Candy Crush and other notoriously pointless games.

But when she’s not casting out hundreds of game requests, she’s getting tons of likes, comments and shares on her posts. In fact, with her mere 487 friends, her posts tend to receive more engagement than mine, and I work for an online marketing company! What gives?!

“Got the flu! I have been sick since Sunday… Can’t get up out of bed … I’m wiped out!”

This gem of a post received over 60 comments and 8 likes. Granted she replied to a few comments, but most of the comments were from different friends. This isn’t a sporadic example. Her updates generally always get more reactions than mine or any other twenty-something I know.

While my mom could be considered the unofficial mayor of Long Island, her Facebook prowess is a direct effect of the social network’s aging demographic.

The Facebook Age Shift

Once abundant with young millenials, many of Facebook active users are older. According to a Pew Research study last year, 60 percent of Internet users ages 50-64, and 43 percent of users over the age of 65 interact on Facebook.  Older people are using Facebook to not only connect with family members and friends, but to share photos and videos. As older people become more technologically savvy, they are beginning to see the value in social networking. In fact, since May 2013, senior social media use has skyrocketed in the last four years. The amount of people over 65 using social media tripled from 13 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2013.

Social Media Demographics

As the number of seniors increase on social media, the number of teens decrease. With the social media industry flooded with a variety of apps, it makes sense that hoards of teens seem to be leaving Facebook. In just the last three years, the number of teens has decreased about 25 percent, equating to about 3 million people. In addition, research from iStrategy found that the amount of young adults, ages 18-24, has also decreases about 8 percent. Teens and young adults are shifting to more visually based apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

However, could this mass exodus of teens be a direct effect of the growing number of older individuals and parents on the social network? Probably. Facebook’s privacy settings and its eagerness to know everything about its users most likely deterred teen usage. Teens, a demographic known for wanting to hide things from their parents, don’t like the fact that Facebook wants to make their information available to all, regardless of its privacy settings. Older people, known for their lack of Internet intelligence, enjoy sharing everything, commenting on everything, and liking everything. Hence why my mother gets more engagement than I do as a young twenty-something.

Why Brands Should Care

As Facebook ages, it’s important for brands to change their social media strategies and adhere their content for the older demographic. For instance, if a brand has a great deal of older fans on Facebook, it should propose more questions or prompt fans to answer them in the comments section. Because older fans tend to be more likely to post comments and reply to posts, it’s best to create posts that call for that type of response. Since likes are also valued less by Facebook’s algorithm, gaining more comments can help the brand pump up its engagement and boost awareness.

Brands that target younger demographics should obviously be focusing on new ways to use Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. However, they should also make adjustments to their Facebook stratefy as well. Younger Facebook users will probably like something over commenting. But keeping in mind that younger users value more visual stimulation, brands attempting to reach teens should create a highly visual Facebook campaign with infographics, quizzes, photos and videos. They LOVE quizzes.

As technology advances and becomes more integrated into our everyday lives, we can expect the number of older users to rise… just be sure to keep an eye on your mom’s Facebook activity for the new trends.

Is Tumblr The New Social Music Source?

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When MySpace re-launched last year, it seemed like it found its niche as a music portal of sorts. This wasn’t to say that it would take over the more renowned platforms like Facebook and Twitter in terms of popularity but it didn’t necessarily have to.

All that it would have to do is offer something unique compared to the competition. In my view, neither Facebook nor Twitter explored the music spectrum at length. With this in mind, shouldn’t MySpace be considered a “social music source” of sorts?

If Tumblr has a say in it, perhaps not the greatest.

According to an article on Forbes, the Arctic Monkeys were able to gain tremendous traction this past June. The reason for this was the release of their music video for, “Do I Wanna Know?” Even though it was able to attract 45 million views, it gained even more through a different platform. On the microblogging site known as Tumblr, users not only liked and reblogged the video but created sets of .gif images depicting the video in question.

The power of Tumblr is a force that’s hard to deny. Users who frequent this particular social media platform can make even the most seemingly mundane pieces of content popular. For example, you probably wouldn’t think that a .gif of a dog rolling over on a rug until it was rolled up in it would be so popular. It would be endearing, yes, but to say that it would gain traction would be tough to predict. However, with the right amount of followers and captions that are able to grab anyone’s attention, such content can become viral.

Music is no exception, which is great for those who are not exactly limited with their hobbies. This is especially noteworthy when considering that online marketing firms might have seen an outcry in response to Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr. Would Tumblr’s content be negative affected? Marissa Mayer, CEO and President of Yahoo made it a point to stress, “We really want to let Tumblr be Tumblr and let Yahoo be Yahoo.” It’s understandable that there are still those who are apprehensive about taking the word of Yahoo officials. So far, though, there haven’t been any life-changing ad placements or saturation that users might have been fearful of.

Back to the subject of music, can Tumblr knock MySpace off of its pedestal and seize its niche in the process? Tumblr is in the fortunate position of ownership underneath a global entity in Yahoo. What this means is that Yahoo’s services stand a chance of being utilized. One can make the argument that Yahoo! Music can serve a purpose but the way in which it could be implemented would have to be taken into heavy consideration. Would it become a vital part of Tumblr’s structure going forward or would it be, more or less, its own entity?

Do you feel like Tumblr has the ability to become a more audio-focused social media channel, if that endeavor is undertaken? Please leave your thoughts below!

Facebook’s New Look and 3 Social Layout Tips

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Just recently, Facebook rolled out its newest layout; something that I am sure most social media enthusiasts have grown accustomed to. After all, it seems like every other week there’s something different on a particular site where there’s a massive audience, so news like this isn’t totally surprising. With that said, Facebook executed a layout change that could best be called ‘minimalist’. My take on the matter?

The layout looks fine. It doesn’t look sloppy or extravagant, which is fine on paper. As long as the overall functionality of the site is kept intact and the buttons remain where they were before, you will not hear many individuals complaining about a layout change. However, there are those who have taken to airing their grievances about this particular shift. Facebook now looks more like its mobile version on laptops as opposed to a proposed format which would feature prominent media like photos and videos.

Discussion regarding which layout would have been best is subjective, but it does raise a point that any online marketing company should be aware of. What makes a good layout on any social media platform or any website in general? What is it that drives visitors to come back time and time again?

Here is a list of 3 tips for those who would like to create the best possible layout.

1. Keep your layout aesthetically simple

One of the biggest turnoffs for me regarding any website is clutter. It doesn’t matter how well-designed certain images are or how many colors are utilized; if the layout itself is too busy, chances are that my attention is not going to be kept for long. While certain companies may want to go big – and understandably so – I’d argue that it’s much more effective to keep layouts more basic. Yes, identities should be clear on any website, so brand logos and aspects of that nature should not be cast aside. However, they have to be integrated in ways that doesn’t make the visitor feel overwhelmed.

2. Lower the number of pages as much as possible

Another aspect that should be seen in the way of simplicity is a minimal amount of pages to click between. There’s nothing wrong with a broad scope for your website but, ultimately, adding too much can wind up turning many people away. For example, what if you wanted to start a business that focused on repairing computers? Those who are tech-savvy may not be turned away by multiple pages but what about those who wouldn’t know the USB port from the HDMI port? The latter may feel intimidated to visit your page as a result, so it’s important to minimize the number of clickable links, which is a challenge that the strongest designers can overcome.

3. Make sure your layout is mobile friendly

CNN.com recently posted an article that covered how mobile app usage is greater than that of Internet through PCs. More specifically, this past January, 55% of Internet usage came from mobile devices like smartphones. It’s clear that there is a shift occurring in this regard and companies have to account for it. When they create layouts, they have to make sure that their layouts will not only fit computers but iPhones and other such phones with Internet access. If you are unable to cover both fields, the number of visitors that you retail might not be as high as your competition, so be mindful of various platforms.

Social Media Marketing: 5 Ways Tumblr Can Boost Your Brand

Tumblr as a social media marketing tool has grown over the last twelve months.

When it comes to business matters for any online marketing company, Tumblr is a social media channel that seems to go largely overlooked.

This isn’t to say that the site isn’t useful, though, as it can prove to be exactly that when in the hands of the right authorities.

However, it simply does not have the same level of popularity as some of the heavy hitters, Facebook and Twitter arguably the two authorities positioned highest on the proverbial mountain.

5 Ways To Utilise Tumblr To Boost Your Brand

However, there are ways to utilise Tumblr if a brand were to look into increasing its awareness. While a more underground site by comparison to other social channels, it has a usefulness that cannot be denied.

If you’d like to know the ways in which Tumblr can help your brand and allow it to stand out, here is a list of 5 ways that it can accomplish this goal.

#1). You can make the most out of tags on Tumblr

Whenever you create an account, the ability to make posts on your company’s behalf will feature the addition of tags.

While these are optional, it’s strongly recommended that you utilise these since those who search for certain keywords will have an easier time picking up on them.

For example, if you are running a steakhouse, chances are that you will want to place such terms as “cooking” and “steak” in the tags section. The more fitting your tags are, the more likely it is that potential consumers will come


#2). Easy to engage other blogs and users who are in your field

Any online marketing company can attest to the idea that the best way to build credibility in your given field is to network.

You will want to communicate with those very people and one of the best ways to do this is to actively search for reputable blogs.

While it might seem like a challenge on a largely hobbyist site like Tumblr, there are legitimate blogs that attempt to reach an audience through its content. It is up to you to not only comment on posts but like and reblog them.

Reblogging is more important, though, as this will allow posts to attract the attention of more people. This will also boost your reputation in whatever industry you find yourself in.


#3). The best layout for your blog is subjective

Typically, people are going to come across new Tumblr posts through ether their own newsfeeds or the search function. What this means is that users will see much of the standard blue background that Tumblr is known for.

However, if users are inclined to visit your blog itself, you have to select a lay out that is aesthetically pleasing. Fortunately, Tumblr has both paid and free options, each of them appealing to certain tastes.

For example, if you want to keep the general appearance of your blog clean but uncomplicated, there are one-column options to choose from. While the paid options are, by and large, worth their prices, the free options are nothing to sneeze at either.


#4). Posts are snappy and to the point

For those who are familiar with Twitter, Tumblr shouldn’t prove to be too much of a departure. While posts on Tumblr can certainly prove to be extensive, most users on the site will be more inclined to view posts that are condensed.

This is tremendous because it allows you to convey whatever message you have in mind to a wide audience with as few words as possible.

However, this also means that you have to be creative as far as content is concerned. With a smaller window, it is important to not only speak about what it is that you’re offering to your audience but to do so while retaining their attention. What are the specific kinds of posts that are best for this, though?


#5). The best blogs on Tumblr aren’t afraid to be silly

From .gif sets to memes, Tumblr is a site that can best be described as a breeding ground for humour. It’s easy to say that anyone will be drawn in by posts that are made with a lighthearted frame of mind but this truth is magnified several times over on Tumblr.

Not only will users like the posts that make them smile or laugh but it is likely that they will reblog said posts as well, extending their reach further.

Unless you’re willing to cut loose on the site, chances are that you won’t attain the results that you’re looking for. However, if you can approach Tumblr with a sense of humour, the odds of boosting your brand will be in your favour.

Online Peace During Safer Internet Day

If I were to tell you that companies like Facebook, Google, and others would have the ability to work together, you might think that it’d be a silly claim to make. After all, these are companies that are looking to make it to the top and the only way that they can be at their best is through competition. That being said, it appears as though they made peace, at least for one day. This is where a particular time called the Safer Internet Day has to be talked about.

Those who have been bullied know all too well about the physical – not to mention emotional – trauma that it can cause. However, these days it’s like the bullying does not end at school, as the online world has been both a blessing and a curse. For as much software as there is as far as communication is concerned, there have been a number of stories of young men and women being harassed through the Internet. Stories like the one about five-year-old Disney star Mia Talericobeing sent death threats shows that this problem hasn’t faded entirely, regardless of the level of awareness it’s garnered.

According to a report on Forbes, Safer Internet Day was founded in Europe a little more than a decade ago. It was recognized throughout many places in the world but it wasn’t until recently that the United States climbed onboard the proverbial ship. Many different companies that have been in competition over the years will put their differences aside for a day in order to celebrate this day. From Twitter to Sprint, the list of supporters is more like a who’s who of global entities.

Not only does this act show goodwill on the part of the companies, but it’s easy to say that this is being done in order to keep consumer trust. Any social media agency can tell you that platforms like Facebook and Twitter are hotbeds for networking, though this can be a negative at times. What’s stopping a schoolyard bully from logging onto one of these patforms and continually harassing someone else on his or her page? The promotion of a greater level of personal security and safety on this day is understandable.

Yesterday was Safer Internet Day and the list of companies that were in support of this day is hard to overlook. While it’s likely that these companies want to appeal themselves to current and potential consumers, it’s apparent that they recognize the situation at hand. There is a clear problem with matters such as bullying and the fact that individuals can be targeted through their computers and phones is unfortunate, to say the least. The tagline for SID is, “Let’s create a better Internet together,” and it’s hard to imagine a nobler endeavor in the online world.

Nintendo’s Mobile Efforts: Salvation or Ignorance?

With the current generation of gaming platforms on the market, Sony and Microsoft seem to have so much attention on them that it’s easy to forget about Nintendo. It’s not for any supposed lack of quality, either; the titles that Nintendo creates are still viewed by many as top of the line. With the competition coming up with new ideas and keeping up with trends, though, Nintendo remained traditional for better or worse. With the mobile market in Nintendo’s sights, is the company’s luck about to change?

It’s been reported that Nintendo is looking into the smartphone market, though in a way that not everyone would have expected. While the company is not looking to port “The Legend of Zelda” for the NES over to Apple’s App Store, for example, this doesn’t mean that content wouldn’t be created. Reggie Fils-Aime, the President of Nintendo of America, said that smaller experiences would be seen. The goal of this, according to Fils-Aime, would be to, “…drive you back to your Nintendo hardware.” After the initial reports, I was left hopeful and concerned for the company’s endeavor.

In one respect, Nintendo getting into the smartphone market, at least to some degree, is a sign that the company wants to keep up. Ever since the arrival of the Wii, it seemed, Nintendo was looked down upon for dragging its feet in terms of gaming in general. Whether it’s been the lack of powerful hardware or region-locked systems, a company shouldn’t stay rooted in its ways. In order for Nintendo to keep up with the rapidly changing market, the well-known company cannot simply stay the course.

That being said, is a shift in smartphone focus the best choice to make? Keep in mind that Nintendo’s current home console, the Wii U, hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire as of late. In fact, a few weeks ago Nintendo cut the global sales forecast for the system from 9 million to 2.8 million. While the proposed smartphone apps would serve as bite-sized experiences of sorts to drive people to purchase Nintendo hardware, how effective will this be? Can a small experience drive a casual gamer to spend close to $300 on a console – in addition to $60 for each new game – that’s been looked at unfavorably by the media?

Nintendo’s foray into the smartphone market is one that I hold a moderate amount of hope for. To me, there should be more focus placed on the Wii U situation itself as opposed to looking into an entirely different market. Why isn’t Nintendo putting more of an emphasis on creating extra games for that particular system and advertising it in a way that a social media agency would approve of? Even so, Nintendo has fought out of dire predicaments in the past and now it’s a matter of seeing if they can do it again.

Has Social Media Impacted “Sherlock?”

The work that is created by fans of a particular show can be a strong creative outlet. If the show, movie, or what have you is engaging enough, chances are that a select number of people will be driven enough to create works of their own based off of it. Everything from graphics to stories can be created but it seems like the latter became a subject worth talking about as of late. In particular, it is the collection of stories based off of the British TV series, “Sherlock.”

Based off of the crime/mystery series of the well-known detective, “Sherlock” earned a strong following from its start in 2010 to now. The show is about to begin its third season on the 19th in the United States but what’s just as impressive is the creativity – and the vocal opinions – of the show’s fan base. Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat spoke about the claim that the show pulled its ideas from microblogging social website, Tumblr.  At the recent BAFTA screening, Moffat addressed a member of the audience on the matter.

“No, we don’t get our plotlines from Tumblr,” Moffat said. This does not mean that he hasn’t visited the site at all. He made it a point to mention that he did visit the site once before and joked that it seemed like, “…a place where people who really want to kill me gather.” As those who work within a social media agency can attest to, when one’s work is out in the public, they are exposed to criticism from all sides. The fact that “Sherlock” has not only drawn criticism but immense praise has seemingly only left Moffat with satisfaction.

Moffat took the creation of fan fiction and the like based off of “Sherlock” in stride, which should be the case. This is evidence that there are people who enjoy the show and its many characters, turns in the story, and what have you. However, like with any show, there will always be fans that are turned off by a particular episode or storyline and believe that they can do better. While their stories may not reach the eyes of PBS executives, the fans can still showcase their work on Tumblr, in addition to other platforms where fans roam.

While it doesn’t have the same scale as Twitter, for instance, Tumblr is still a community that houses fans of various shows. “Sherlock” is easily one of the most popular and I have to believe that it’s because of this show that fans can create their own concepts. Yes, they may start off writing stories about finding clues and seeking culprits but what happens if their creativity is given fewer binds?

This is when more “creative responsibility” – in the words of Moffat – is seen.

Tumblr Can Make Theses Fun

When you think about school at the end of the semester, what are some of the ideas that come about time and time again? I have to believe that “finals” and the sort are the ones which are the most common. Stress is going to be constant and tension is going to be high, so why not kick back and try to find humor in the assignments that seem to bring students so much grief? This is where Tumblr has come into play and the results have cracked more than a couple of smiles.

Harvard College senior Angela Frankel took it upon herself to start a Tumblr blog entitled “LOL My Thesis” last month and she described it as, “…a means of procrastination from my own thesis.” Basically, it’s a blog that calls for people to give one-sentence summaries of their own theses. When you think about these kinds of papers, typically images of long, drawn-out narratives form in your mind. However, these summaries ranged from humorous to surprisingly insightful.

From Marine Biology at St. Andrews, one summary was, “Jellyfish don’t like it when you acidify their tank.” It’s absurd in its own right but strangely captivating enough to where you might actually want to click on the thesis in order to read what exactly happens in this case. From Philosophy at Reed College, another thesis had the summary of, “Numbers either exist, or they don’t. Depends on how you look at it.” It’s such a vague sentence and yet it’s interesting enough to where you may have the desire to see what it means in context.

In the end, though, “LOL My Thesis” wasn’t exactly made for those on the outside to look in and have a good laugh. It certainly succeeded on that front but the object was to give students an outlet. It wasn’t created to necessarily make fun of the assignments given but to ease the tension that comes with writing multipage-long papers. Frankel created something unique and the Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology major deserves recognition for that.

A social media agency can tell you that certain vehicles are more useful for brand awareness than others. While Tumblr is more hobby-esque by comparison to Facebook, for example, it can still attain popularity if an idea is creative enough. From what I have seen, “LOL My Thesis” brims with creativity and the fact that it racked over 50 pages of sentences three weeks after its launch speaks volumes.

In short, when others are in the same spot as you, it doesn’t pay to be distressed all the time.

Facebook & 3 Concerns With Video Ads

As it seems, Facebook is climbing onboard the video ad boat and it is a move that is actually very fitting. With such a large audience to consider with this particular website, it was only a matter of time until videos would start to constantly appear on the newsfeeds of users. This is a great financial move on the part of Facebook but I have to wonder how much this move will impact the user base at large. While these concerns have been confirmed, they are concerns with the upcoming change nonetheless.

  1. The change will not bode well for the faltering teen demographic. As it’s been reported in the past, those within this group have utilized the site less and even Facebook itself confirmed the matter. While some of this could be considered a result of young men and women wanting to get away from the vigilant eyes of their Facebook-using parents, it can also be argued that they have started to see more in the way of advertising on a site that is meant for social engagement. If there’s one things teens enjoy, it isn’t a litany of advertisements, in video form or otherwise.
  2. These videos may not be too friendly to older computers. Your typical laptop is not going to sputter out of control and combust if only one website is open but think about the common Internet user. Is that individual going to have one tab alone open on their browser of choice? When that individual is moving from page to page, they expect a smooth experience. While videos can come together as arguably the greatest platform for marketing, it’s reasonable to worry about how much bandwidth it will consume.
  3. No one really asked for video ads on Facebook. Yes, it is true that the videos on a user’s newsfeed will play silently at the onset, which is a smart move that any Long Island advertising agency can support. That being said, Facebook stated that, “Compelling sight, sound and motion are often integral components of great marketing campaigns.” While this might be true, is there a chance that Facebook will implement a change where videos are no longer mute to begin with? The idea of this social media mogul forcing video advertising in the faces of its users will do more bad than good in the long run; this won’t apply to only teenagers, either.

When considering the idea that Facebook will sell these ads for $2 million a day, it’s clear that the company stands a great chance of coming into money. Companies have to understand that this site is where most individuals on the Internet frequent. The idea of utilizing video content for awareness is understandable. Hopefully I am wrong about the concerns listed above and that these ads can benefit everyone.

Does Facebook Need the Power of Television?

It goes without saying but the conventional way of watching television has slowly but surely faded away. With such services as Netflix and Hulu, people do not have to worry about setting up schedules for the sake of catching the latest episodes of the thrillers that they enjoy. However, does this necessarily mean that TV has become useless in the way of marketing? For those who are doubtful, Facebook plans to make the most out of this medium as possible.

It was recently announced that Facebook would go after TV advertising, which will be done through a rather unique system. Its video ad strategy will cover three different points that will come together in order to help make said strategy effective. Firstly, the market will be seeded with an initial campaign; a teaser of sorts, one could say. Secondly, a huge advertising spend will be put into place in order to direct attention to the product or campaign being targeted. Thirdly, and finally, awareness will continue through “sustained” media.

It’s not hard to see why Facebook has decided to make this change, especially when considering just how much time people spend online every day. For example, on my off time, it’s not uncommon for me to surf Tumblr while paying little to no attention to the television. It serves as background noise but nothing more. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean that TV, in general, has become a fruitless tool. If anything, other types of platforms have expanded so much that they offer services which TV on its own cannot.

Not only did the video deck made by Facebook spoke about the marketing behind video ads but how they compare to TV networks in general. According to a particular graph made possible by Nielsen statistics, Facebook can reach 70% of people between the ages of 18 and 24. Major TV networks, on the other hand, can only reach anywhere from 55% to 61% of individuals in that same group. For the longest time, only TV could appeal to an entire populace. To say the least, Long Island marketing – as well as other forms of marketing – has changed.

When looking at this system, one can present the query, “How can any company make use of this concept?” Facebook is different than most, seeing as how it has a dedicated user base that very few companies can claim to possess. In addition, with fewer people spending time watching television, the fact that they will spend time utilizing other platforms for their enjoyment can support multiple claims. Amongst them has got to be that Facebook chose the ideal time to go after TV advertising dollars.