Facebook announced a new partnership program with local community organizations, committing $20 million toward affordable housing, job training, and legal services available to more people in the area surrounding its Silicon Valley headquarters. The effort involves groups such as Youth United for Community Action, Faith in Action Bay Area, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, and Comité de Vecinos del Lado Oeste — East Palo Alto, along with the local governments of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.
Browsing Facebook has become a daily activity for hundreds of millions of people. Because so many people engage with the website daily, researchers are interested in how emotionally involved Facebook users can be with the social networking site and how regular use can affect their mental health. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that Facebook use can lead to symptoms of depression if the social networking site triggers feelings of envy among its users. Margaret Duffy, a professor and chair of strategic communication at the MU School of Journalism, says that how Facebook users use the site makes a difference in how they respond to it. [Read more…]
Users of Facebook and other social networks should beware of allowing their self-esteem—boosted by “likes” or positive comments from close friends—to influence their behavior: It could reduce their self-control both on and offline, according to an academic paper by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia Business School that has recently been published online in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Titled “Are Close Friends the Enemy? Online Social Networks, Self-Esteem, and Self-Control,” the research paper demonstrates that users who are focused on close friends tend to experience an increase in self-esteem while browsing their social networks; afterwards, these users display less self-control. Greater social network use among this category of users with strong ties to their friends is also associated with individuals having higher body-mass indexes and higher levels of credit-card debt, according to the paper.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I serve as the spokesperson for American Career College and West Coast University. On Friday I came across this public post on Facebook from a woman who lives in Chino, saying that she had paid for the gas of a stranded student in American Career College scrubs:
I reached out to her on Facebook to say thank you, and asked for her address so we could send a thank you note and repay her kindness (but we planned to do much more than that). It turns out that Staci is unemployed, but still found it in her heart to buy gas for the stranded student.
Study: PR professionals can improve public attitudes by communicating through Facebook during times of crisis
Social networking sites have become incredibly popular in recent years, with Facebook now ranking as the third most popular website in the U.S. With so many people spending so much time on Facebook, public relations professionals are using the site more and more to communicate to the public. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that posting public relations information on Facebook during a time of crisis can improve the overall image of the organization that is experiencing the crisis.
The Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project released a new report today, which analyzes the role of news across social media platforms. Researchers found the level of news consumption varies considerably on different social networking sites —roughly half of Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites while only a fifth of YouTube users do so.
The report also looks at the demographics of different social networking sites; how many people engage with news across multiple social sites; and social media users’ news consumption habits on traditional platforms. Research was conducted by Jesse Holcomb, Jeffrey Gottfried and Amy Mitchell in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. They analyzed the characteristics of news consumers and the size of their population across 11 social networking sites.
“News plays a varying role across the social networking sites.1 Roughly half of both Facebook and Twitter users get news on those sites, earlier reports have shown. On YouTube, that is true of only one-fifth of its user base, and for LinkedIn, the number is even smaller. And Pinterest, a social pin board for visual content, is hardly used for news at all,” the report shows. [Read more…]
On Facebook, the largest social networking site, news is a common but incidental part of the experience, according to a new online national survey. The study is the first in a multi-part research project by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, examining the role of news on Facebook and other social networking sites.
The new survey finds that roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use Facebook, and half of those users (47%) “ever” get news there. That amounts to 30% of the overall population who are “Facebook news consumers.” Among this group, roughly 8-in-10 (78%) say they mostly get news when they are on Facebook for other reasons, such as seeing what friends are up to or sharing photos. [Read more…]
According to the first major study by Nielsen, the company that has been monitoring TV consumption for decades, Facebook attracts more 18- to 24-year-olds during prime-time viewing hours than any of four major television networks. Data collected shows that in the area of demographics and viewing, the largest social networking site is the favorite source of entertainment in that demographic (who would normally watch television during prime time hours in the past).
“Established as a bastion of direct response advertising and long considered the home for niche audiences, online has lagged behind other media, namely TV, as a channel for broadly messaged, brand advertising. The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment,” the report authors say. [Read more…]
Admit it: every time you post something on Facebook, you hope it will get “likes” or comments from your friends. In a previous blog I wrote about a study that found using online social networks can have a positive effect on self-esteem and well-being, especially for those who have high levels of attention (likes and comments) on posts deemed ‘life events’ by the social platform.
Have you ever felt disappointed by the lack of attention from your friends on Facebook? When you post something and it gets no attention from friends in the form of likes or comments, does it make you think nobody saw it? The average Facebook user has very little information about who actually sees their content, and a new study from researchers at Stanford University addresses the seemingly invisible audience when there is low reaction to a post. The study was conducted in tandem with Facebook’s data science team, which looked at 220,000 users over the course of a month. They discovered that Facebook users drastically underestimate the size of their general audience by a factor of three, with “Facebook users reaching 35% of their friends with each post and 61% of their friends over the course of a month.” Researchers found that social media users consistently underestimate their audience size for their posts, guessing that their audience is just 27% of its true size.
Facebook connections can help first-generation college applicants believe in their abilities to both apply to school and excel once they’ve enrolled, according to a new study from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
“We are very excited by these findings, because they suggest that the kinds of interactions supported by Facebook and other social media can play a role in helping young people, especially those who are traditionally less likely to go to college, feel more confident about their ability to get into college and to succeed there,” said Nicole Ellison, associate professor at the U-M School of Information.
First-generation applicants might not come into contact on a daily basis with people who support their interest in college or who can answer questions about it, Ellison said.
New research suggests that looking at your Facebook profile can be both psychologically good and bad for you.
A Facebook profile is an ideal version of self, full of photos and posts curated for the eyes of family, friends and acquaintances. A new study shows that this version of self can provide beneficial psychological effects and influence behavior.
Catalina Toma, a UW-Madison assistant professor of communication arts at UW-Madison, used the “Implicit Association Test” to measure Facebook users’ self-esteem after they spent time looking at their profiles, the first time the social psychology research tool has been used to examine the effects of Facebook. The test showed that after participants spent just five minutes examining their own Facebook profiles, they experienced a significant boost in self-esteem.
The test measures how quickly participants associate positive or negative adjectives with words such as me, my, I and myself.
“If you have high self-esteem, then you can very quickly associate words related to yourself with positive evaluations but have a difficult time associating words related to yourself with negative evaluations,” Toma says. “But if you have low self-esteem, the opposite is true.”
With nearly one billion users worldwide, Facebook has become a daily activity for hundreds of millions of people. Because so many people engage with the website daily, researchers are interested in how emotionally involved Facebook users become with the social networking site and the precursors that lead to Facebook connections with other people. Russell Clayton, now a doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that anxiety and alcohol use significantly predict emotional connectedness to Facebook.
Clayton’s master’s thesis, conducted under the supervision of Randall Osborne, Brian Miller, and Crystal Oberle of Texas State University, surveyed more than 225 college freshmen students concerning their perceived levels of loneliness, anxiousness, alcohol use, and marijuana use in the prediction of emotional connectedness to Facebook and Facebook connections. They found that students who reported higher levels of anxiousness and alcohol use appeared to be more emotionally connected with the social networking site. Clayton and his colleagues also found that students who reported higher levels of loneliness and anxiousness use Facebook as a platform to connect with others. [Read more…]
VerticalResponse announced the results of an exclusive survey on how much time and money small businesses spend on social media. The company surveyed 462 small businesses on how much time they spend on social media activities, including finding and sharing content on popular social networks and blogging, and what tasks take the most time. VerticalResponse also inquired about marketing budgets.
The data are compiled in a social media infographic (with social sharing enabled and embed code) and reported below.
“Our survey confirms that small businesses are understanding the value of social media,” said Janine Popick, VerticalResponse CEO/founder. “They’re spending more time doing it, and investing more money into it at a faster rate. But the extra work will likely lead to time management issues, especially for the small business owner who’s handling social media on top of all the other responsibilities of running a company. This implies that small businesses are in need of tactics and tools now to help them save time.”
According to a new study from NM Incite, the leading social media consumer insights provider and joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey, nearly half (47%) of U.S. social media users today actively seek customer service through social media (a.k.a., social care). Revealing new data about how customers perceive and engage in social care, NM Incite’s study uncovers that nearly one in three social media users (30%) prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel compared to the phone, marking a dramatic shift in how people expect customer service from the brands they engage with.
Social media came to a much different initial verdict about the first presidential debate than did the early polls and the conventional press, according to an analysis of the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and blogs by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
On both Twitter and Facebook, the conversation was much more critical of Mitt Romney than it was of Barack Obama. And when the criticism of one candidate and praise of another are combined, the conversation on Twitter leaned Obama’s way. On Facebook it was something of a draw.
CNN and Facebook today unveiled the Facebook-CNN Election Insights. This tool displays the real-time number of people talking about President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan.
Facebook-CNN Election Insights – found at CNN.com/FBinsights– displays dynamic, real-time charts and visualizations using Facebook Insights to gauge the volume of Facebook activity surrounding the election and candidates. CNN will use the tool, which also allows people to view data by geography and demography, during their coverage of the presidential election.
CNN, America’s “most trusted source of news and information for the 2012 presidential campaign” and Facebook have partnered to offer America’s Choice 2012, an interactive and uniquely social experience for CNN’s on-air, mobile and online audiences and Facebook’s more than 160 million U.S. users.
In this partnership, Facebook and CNN are teaming up to take the pulse of the American electorate and amplify the voices of the social site’s users as they share their thoughts and feelings on candidates and critical issues facing the country ahead of Election Day. This innovative multi-platform partnership will include:
2-in-3 Readers Get the Low-Down on Brands to “Like” From Blog Content, With Moms and 18-34 Year Olds Especially Influenced by Brand Mentions
Burst Media released the results of a survey covering the social media preferences, habits and actions of independent web audiences. Conducted in May, the study of 1,453 U.S. online adults aged 18 or older found that three-quarters (76.3%) of respondents visit social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and foursquare–though it’s clear that women are more active social media users than men. One-half (49.0%) of female respondents visit social media sites at least a few times per day, versus just one-third (34.0%) of men.
“With tweets buzzing onto our phones by the minute and every daily occurrence becoming fodder for Facebook, our survey has confirmed just how deeply engaged we are with social media,” said Mark Kaefer, marketing director, Burst Media. “And for some audience segments, such as moms, social media is a constant presence in daily life. Given this close relationship between consumers and their online communities, our study also found many opportunities for both online advertisers and web publishers to inject social vehicles into their efforts to drive user engagement.”
National survey finds teens’ widespread use of social networks is mostly positive, though many claim “addiction” to technology and express a desire to unplug
Nine out of 10 teenagers in America have used social media, and the majority of them perceive it to be a more positive than negative influence in their lives. But in spite of their widespread use of today’s technology, teens prefer talking in person over texting, tweeting, or connecting on Facebook, and many describe themselves as “addicted” to their digital devices.
Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives, a new report from Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media, provides the latest insights on teens’ use of media and technology and how they think it affects their relationships and feelings about themselves. This large-scale, nationally representative quantitative survey of more than 1,000 13- to 17-year-olds reveals that most teens think that social media has had a more positive than negative effect on their social and emotional well-being. Key findings include:
90% of teens have used some form of social media; 75% have a social networking site, and more than half (51%) of all teens check their social networking site at least once a day.
52% of all teens who use social media say that it has mainly helped their friendships, while only 4% say it has mainly hurt their friendships.
Facebook announced today that Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, has joined the company’s board of directors.
Sandberg oversees Facebook’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, legal, human resources, public policy and communications.
“Sheryl has been my partner in running Facebook and has been central to our growth and success over the years,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook in a company press release. “Her understanding of our mission and long-term opportunity, and her experience both at Facebook and on public company boards makes her a natural fit for our board.”
“Facebook is working every day to make the world more open and connected,” Sandberg said. “It’s a mission that I’m deeply passionate about, and I feel fortunate to be part of a company that is having such a profound impact in the world.”
Prior to Facebook, Sandberg was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, where she built and managed the online sales channels for advertising and publishing and operations for consumer products worldwide. She previously served as Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and began her career as an economist with the World Bank. She received B.A. and M.B.A degrees from Harvard University.
Sandberg also serves on the boards of The Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day.
Along with Sandberg, Facebook’s current board members are: Mark Zuckerberg; Marc L. Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz; Erskine B. Bowles, president emeritus, University of North Carolina system; James W. Breyer, Accel Partners; Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO, The Washington Post Company; Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO, Netflix; and Peter A. Thiel, Founders Fund.
Report Presents Framework for Optimizing Earned and Paid Media Reach to Fans and Friends and New Research on Sales Lift Analysis
comScore and Facebook today released the second white paper in The Power of Like series, The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works, including original analysis demonstrating ways in which exposure to earned and paid media on Facebook drives behavioral lifts in purchase behavior. The analysis leverages data and insights from the comScore Social Essentials™ and comScore AdEffx™ products. To download a complimentary copy of the report, please visit: www.comscore.com/like2.
“Social media continues to emerge as an important marketing channel and major brand marketers are devoting more time and attention to understanding its impact on consumers,” said Andrew Lipsman, comScore VP of Industry Analysis. “While marketers understand the importance of a channel that now accounts for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online, many are challenged to quantify its effectiveness. The Power of Like research sheds new light on how brands are able to deliver earned and paid media at scale, amplify its effects from Fans to Friends of Fans, and understand how exposure to these media can drive the desired consumer behaviors, including online and in-store purchase.”
13th Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll Shows Opportunities for Businesses and Political Leaders, But Authenticity and Openness Are Key
Americans believe participation in social media makes them more informed and influential as both consumers and citizens, even as they express clear skepticism about the trustworthiness of the information they find there, according to poll results announced today by The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and National Journal.
The 13th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explored how Americans incorporate social media into their consumer and community behaviors. Its findings reveal important themes about trust and influence, even as leaders in the public and private sectors increasingly use social media to engage consumers and voters.
Nearly two out of three American adults surveyed used social media in the last month. Although social media users are somewhat younger, more educated and more affluent than non-users on average, they closely align with the overall American public in their opinions about politics and the economy, as well as their perceptions of major institutions.
However, social media users report significantly higher levels of political and community activity, including volunteering for a community organization (69% of social media users versus 49% of non-users), signing campaign or community petitions (68% of users versus 50% of non-users), or attending a campaign rally (32% of users versus 22% of non-users). Social media users also are more likely to consult with others about buying a product or service (79% of users versus 60% of non-users) or change their minds about a product or service because of others’ opinions (64% of users versus 47% of non-users).
Social media is showing signs of connecting with TV viewers as nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. consumers surveyed recall seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “Likes” while watching television, according to an Accenture study. Moreover, one in three viewers (33 percent) have interacted with social media after seeing a social media symbol on their TV screen.
Accenture conducted this survey of U.S. television viewers to better understand the public’s perception of social media symbols that appear during programming and how effective they are. The survey found that among the 1,000 viewers surveyed, the majority said they had noticed and were also familiar with how to interact with social media symbols while watching TV, including the Facebook “Like” symbol (42 percent), QR codes (28 percent), Twitter Hashtags (18 percent) and Shazam symbols (9 percent).
One-third (33 percent) of those surveyed said they had actually interacted with the symbols while watching TV by “liking” the TV program on Facebook (20 percent), scanning a QR code (11 percent), searching for the Hashtag on Twitter (7 percent) or scanning the Shazam symbol (5 percent).
“Social media and social networking are exploding across television screens as networks use social media to enable audiences to interact directly with related content for a richer viewing experience,” said Robin Murdoch, Accenture’s global Internet segment managing director. “This has huge revenue growth potential as social media applications build program viewer loyalty and drive online advertising opportunities.”
New Social Media Study: Significant Increase in Use of Social Media for Job Searching, Networking by Healthcare Professionals
The second annual survey on “Use of Social Media and Mobile by Healthcare Professionals” released today by AMN Healthcare shows significant increase from the prior year’s results in use of social media by job-seeking healthcare professionals. According to the results of the 2011 survey, physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists are networking with colleagues, tracking down job leads and applying for new positions at a significantly higher rate year-over-year.
The social and mobile media survey provides healthcare employers and leaders a snapshot of how clinicians have increased their use of social media and mobile devices for networking, job hunting and other career development activities.
As healthcare professionals continue to migrate to the larger social networking sites, opportunity exists for employers to move into social recruiting and sourcing of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists. Job candidates spent more time on social media sites and/or on mobile devices in 2011 and reported an increase in securing interviews, job offers and positions through the use of mobile job alerts.
Susan Salka, AMN’s president and chief executive officer, said, “We are not surprised that healthcare professionals continue to adopt social media as a mainstream method for job searching. Our innovative social and mobile methods have been successful in connecting job seekers to opportunities. We plan to continue reporting on significant changes and new, innovative opportunities affecting healthcare professionals and their careers.”
Companies that fully embrace social engagement are experiencing four times greater business impact than less-engaged companies, according to a new study conducted by PulsePoint Group, a management and digital consulting firm, in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit.
The research identifies six types of socially engaged enterprises and provides insights for organizations that want both to measure themselves against peers and find the right strategy for improving business and economic impact from their investments in social engagement.
“We believe this research is essential to assure companies that their investments in social engagement can be rewarded, provided they do it right,” said Paul Walker, a partner with Austin-based PulsePoint Group.
“We felt this was an opportune time to conduct this research and to focus on C-suite executives, because it is clear that there is a growing list of high-performing companies that are achieving superior economic returns from the use of social engagement with key internal and external constituents,” Walker continued. “We believe we are seeing an inflection point at which many organizations are moving from an experimentation phase with social technologies to achieving tangible and measurable returns on the investments. Most notably, they are achieving enterprise-level scale that is impacting marketing and sales efficiency, increased sales and market share, and speed to market with new products. ”
New Devices, Platforms Spur More News Consumption, But News Industry Loses Ground to Technology Rivals
A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism. But the evidence also shows that technology companies are strengthening their grip on who profits, according to the 2012 State of the News Mediareport by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
More than a quarter of Americans (27%) now get news on mobile devices, and for the vast majority, this is increasing news consumption, the report finds. More than 80% of smartphone and tablet news consumers still get news on laptop or desktop computers. On mobile devices, news consumers also are more likely to go directly to a news site or use an app, rather than to rely on search — strengthening the bond with traditional news brands.
While technology may be adding to the appeal of traditional news, technology intermediaries are capturing even more of the digital revenue pie. In 2011, five technology giants generated 68% of all digital ad revenue, according to the market research firm eMarketer — and that does not include Amazon and Apple, which make their money from devices and downloads. By 2015, roughly one out of every five display ad dollars is expected to go to Facebook, according to the same source.
The display of a social media icon such as a Facebook “Like” button or a Twitter symbol on a shopping website increases the likelihood that consumers will buy some products, and reduces the likelihood that they will buy others. That is a key finding of a study conducted by the University of Miami School of Business Administration, Empirica Research, and StyleCaster Media Group as part of the State of Style Report.
The study found that consumers who saw a social media icon near a product that might embarrass them were significantly less likely to buy that product than those who saw the same product without the icon. On the other hand, consumers who viewed products they would be proud to show off were significantly more likely to buy than those who saw the same product with no such icon.