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How online social media have changed the way we receive news and respond to current event?

March 13, 2011 Leave a comment

March 11th was an unfortunate day for Japan. An 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan, and tsunami followed. Remembered how we used to get all the news from? For me, it was mostly through CNN or other major news network. For years, it was not CNN the news network TV anymore, but online news sites like CNN and BBC instead. However, the source that I get my news from has once changed again, with the rise of social media. Social media has changed the way we live, including the way we get our news from.

When the natural disaster occurred, I found out via Twitter; I saw my friends were twitting about Japan with the tag #prayforjapan. And then I went on YouTube, on the very top of the page, there’s a caption “Breaking News:…”, when I clicked that, there’s the video that’s filmed during the earthquake, by a Japanese who experienced it all. I suddenly thought that social media has not only changed the way we get our news from, but it serves an important role when something like this happens.
It also changed the way of how we receive and react to the news; for example, YouTube, provides a platform for Japanese citizens to upload their captures of the natural disaster, and YouTube also allows people to go on the site and see these unedited real-time captures. These captures filmed by citizens were uploaded without edit, and they are just so real, without any exaggerated element that you may find in CNN, BBC or other news channel. It was so terrifying watching the video Japanese citizens posted, because they are so real.
Other social media such as Facebook and Twitter also serves an important role as a communication tool. Because many cell phone networks were down and unreachable, people send Facebook/Twitter message to their friends in Japan to see whether they are okay. People in Japan use Facebook/Twitter to broadcast if they are fine via Facebook/Twitter, and this way ALL of their FB friends/ Twitter followers will know.
Google also provides the Google People Finder for this earthquake in Japan.

Although Groupon is not a kind of social media, I want to include it because it allows you to donate to support International Medical Corp’ Emergency Relief Efforts in Japan and Other Affected Areas. It would be good if they would do a donation-match program, but too bad they are not doing it; Corporate Social Responsibility of Groupon = ?

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Categories: Uncategorized

Facebook Ads and Facebook Page 101

February 3, 2011 1 comment
The Wall Street Journal recently published the article How Much Does A Facebook Fan Cost? $1.07, provided some interesting statistics about Facebook Ads. Based on the research done by Webtrends, brands are paying $1.07 advertising cost for encouraging people becoming a fan on Facebook. Did you know that your “like” actually cost that much money? I’ve always thought the “like” is just a button that I can click. But, in fact, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Brands use Facebook page rather than Facebook profile for a variety of reasons, and one reason is that having a Facebook page allows brands to place Facebook Ads on Facebook. A Facebook page is actually very different from a Facebook profile as a Facebook page is much more flexible than just a profile. Through a Facebook fan page, brands can update their news, communicate with their fans, create contest pages, provide coupons and use other kinds of promotion tactics. More importantly, a Facebook page provides insights. How detailed are the Facebook insights? They are VERY detailed.
There are two sections: users and interactions. The graph is a page insight overview. On the top right-side you can choose the time period to see the results, and the insight will show you how many new likes, lifetime likes, and monthly active users you have during the time period you’ve selected. It also shows you the interactions such as how many people view your posts and how many people post feedbacks. Well, that’s not it!
If you click the “See Details” beside Users or Interactions, you can see a the Daily Active User Breakdown (# of people view the posts, # of people post on the wall, # of people like the posts, and # of people leave a comment) with a graph provided. There’s also a graph just for New Likes (daily likes and daily unlikes), and provided with like sources (e.g., page, search, request). Then, there’s a demographic section: age, gender, countries, cities and languages. The last section in user details is Activity, which shows the page views, tab views and external referrers. In the interaction details, in addition to the # of post views and # of feedbacks, it provides the impression (# of views) of your every post and the feedback (in percentage). The insights are important for brands because then they are able to see the user’s demographic breakdowns and how their page is doing.
Facebook Ads is a way to drive traffic to the Facebook page, and it allows a brand to select its own target, from user demographics to user interests. The narrower the target is, the higher bid (higher cost) it would be. There’s two ways a brand can pay for the ads: one is to pay per impression (1000 views), and the other is to pay per click; pay per click would be more expensive than pay per impression, but then a brand only needs to pay when the ad gets a click (like). Depending on the purpose of the ad campaign, brands need to measure which one is more suitable/cost-effective for them.
However, does a “Like” or a fan essentially mean anything at all to the brand? Will the fans keep coming back to check the fan pages? Brands need to carefully monitor their Facebook page and insights. See 4 Common Mistakes Brands Make on Facebook.