Web Communications Tip of the Week
Today's report from the Pew Center indicates that 65% of adults use some kind of social networking site. The core audience for social sites remains young, but the growth continues to come from older users.
But measuring the effectiveness of social media continues to be a hot topic. This thoughtful article on social media measurement myths crossed my desk last week. Among the myths are one that echos my last post - "Likes do not equal engagement."
Mix in Google's strong foray into social search. Add the near constant refrain that Facebook is dead, or at least on the ropes. Sprinkle with Facebook's overwhelming user numbers, and you have recipe for consternation.
What is the savvy communicator to do? The reality is that the landscape is changing faster than most institutions can react. My mantra remains - know your audience. Know where they are. Use every arrow in your quiver, but aim carefully, and know why you're using each and every one.
[Via: Single Grain]
A lot of us are using social media tools to communicate, but questions about how to measure the effectiveness of these new tools linger. CASE has published the findings of their most recent survey on institutional use of social media and finds that while 96% of those surveyed are using social media tools, many are struggling with the staffing, resources, and expertise needed to maintain the effort (sound familiar?).
And while many institutions are using social media for outreach, few are measuring effectiveness. According to Michael Stoner, president of mStoner a marketing consulting firm associated with the study, "Institutions are looking at the number of ‘friends' and ‘likes' and the level of participation, but they're still trying to figure out how to measure the impact of social media on behavior. There are very few institutions measuring the impact of their social media initiatives on institutional goals, such as recruiting students or alumni participation."
The Public Policy Institute of California released its annual statewide survey of Californians and Information Technology today, and the findings are once again noteworthy.
Key findings of the survey include:
- The use of mobile devices to access the Internet is accelerating—Californians are twice as likely to use mobile than they were just 3 years ago. Californians are still most likely to connect from their desktop, but 40% now connect via a mobile device.
- The use of cell phones to go online has increased across racial and ethnic groups. Today, 57 percent of blacks (31% in 2008), 43 percent of whites (18% in 2008), 41 percent of Asians (24% in 2008), and 32 percent of Latinos (16% in 2008) say they have accessed the Internet this way.
- Across racial and ethnic groups, Latinos (55%) are the least likely to have a broadband connection (74% blacks, 76% Asians, 81% whites) or to use the Internet (70% Latinos, 85% blacks, 86% Asians, 92% whites).
- Californians are more connected than the national average: Californians in the PPIC survey are more likely than U.S. adults in a recent Pew survey to have Internet access (76% to 68%) or a broadband connection at home (72% to 61%).
- A majority of Californians say people without broadband connections are at a major (62%) or minor (20%) disadvantage when it comes to finding information about job opportunities or gaining new career skills. Across racial and ethnic groups, blacks (71%) and Latinos (68%) are more likely to say that people without high-speed Internet access at home are at a disadvantage (62% Asians, 57% whites). Californians 18 to 34 years old (70%) are far more likely than those over age 55 (49%) to hold this view.
"The growing use of cell phones for accessing the Internet is changing the way that Californians relate to work, and this trend also has promise for reducing the digital divide,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO.
I've been getting a lot of questions about SEO lately (something must be in the water) and Brenda Dawson sent me this great Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors. Besides being clever - the information contained is worthwhile!
This comes from the folks at Search Engine Land and they also have a great site on how to use the factors.
Keep in mind that we always have a leg up because our sites contain or link to .edu sites, those sites will automatically help increase your rank.
Google, as you might imagine, also has great resources on SEO. Visit Google's SEO page in Webmaster Central or just download a copy of their Starter Guide either from their site or below.
Remember that post holiday hubbub about how JC Penney gamed Google's algorithm to produce higher search results? The resulting tweak in the way Google determines search results has had effects far beyond large retailers.
NPR's Morning Edition had an interesting report this morning about a small retailer who found their search results dropping as a result of the change. Not because they were linking to content farms, but because of their site's content. Google's new algorithm was pushing low quality content to the bottom. Moral of the story - well written, original content is still king!