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  • feedwordpress 19:50:07 on 2015/04/01 Permalink
    Tags: april fool's day, , , Movingbox, Mustang, Social Networks   

    Facebook Wants To Play Too – Possible Autonomous Car? 


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    Facebook has been known to revolutionize the way we communicate with our friends, family and other loved ones, as well as meet new people online. With the vast bankroll, and technological knowhow, is too far off to think that Facebook may want in on the autonomous car action? It doesn’t really seem so if you think about it. Google and Apple have been dabbling in the driverless car market, so why not Facebook?

    The people at Facebook are busy fending off the rumours of an autonomous vehicle and have said that this project is not happening. Mark Zuckerberg has been on the record about not creating their own car, but insiders say otherwise. What is unknown is whether the vehicle will simply be electric, or autonomous, and how far along they are on the project. Are they ahead of the race, or far behind? No one really knows.

    A Facebook employee advised that they do in fact have a project in the works and it is code named Movingbox. It is said that 200 people are on the project and that Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson has been consulting on the project since being fired from the company for punching a producer in the face. Ouch!

    So what kind of vehicle would Facebook bring to the Movingbox project? None other than a Ford Shelby Cobra of course. It is rumoured that the Shelby Cobra has been the vehicle that is in testing by an employee who wished to remain anonymous. An announcement is expected to be made on April 1st, 2016. Whether it is about project Movingbox, no one knows. Maybe it will all be a big planned April Fool’s joke, but I suppose we will have to wait and see.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:19:44 on 2015/03/29 Permalink
    Tags: , social analytics, , , Social Networks, social tools   

    Not All Social Media Platforms are Equal – How to Pick the Ones That Work for You 


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    Launching a new business? Or promoting an existing one? Either way, my guess is that social media figures pretty high on your priority list when it comes to marketing your brand.

    Over 70% of all online adults in the United States have a Facebook account. For the first time ever, 56% of senior citizens are on social media. That figure stands at 89% for young ’uns, or users from 18 to 29 years of age. The millennial generation, consisting of young adults born between 1980 to 2000 and accounting for nearly 30% of the US population, see social media as their primary means of connecting with brands. Over half of them claim that “social opinions” directly influence their purchase decisions.

    So we all agree that being on social media is unavoidable if you want to be relevant to today’s consumer.

    With the explosion of social media platforms, the question now arises, “which social media platforms will give me actual results?” And this, my friends, is the most sensible place to begin your social media journey.

    Research Your Options

    The first step to social media success lies in being active on the right platforms and engaging with your target audience in the form that they prefer best. But before you make a choice of which platform would work for your business, you need to first figure out what each platform has to offer you and then proceed by eliminating the least attractive ones.

    Before we analyze each platform’s pros and cons, let’s see where they all stand with respect to each other.

    The data above clearly shows Facebook as the leader in terms of number of users, followed by LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter – in that order. This data also shows us how in a matter of a couple of years, Twitter has gone from being the third largest network to a lowly number five. At the same time, we see Facebook stagnating in its usage figures in the last year with a barely-there upward blip in 2013.

    Let’s arm ourselves with some more facts about the top five social networks before we decide which ones work best for our business.

    Facebook offers brands the widest possible reach – with 1.34 billion active users per month, Facebook is light-years ahead of competition. As a platform it is marginally more popular with women than men, it’s also more popular among Hispanics and Whites as compared to African Americans. A trend that has been accelerating in recent years is the exodus of teens from the site with 3 million teens dropping off in the last three years.

    The days of sailing along on Facebook only on organic content are history. The team over at Ogilvy Social discovered in early 2014 that organic reach via Facebook had dropped to just 6% for the average brand. For brands with larger followings (over 500,000 followers) this figure dropped by two-thirds to become just 2%.

    To make matters worse, Facebook has ensured that advertising on it is not cheap. Price per ad on Facebook increased by 247% in 2014 as compared to previous years.

    So in short, Facebook is a must-have for all social media marketers –B2B or B2C. However, to get tangible results Facebook demands some skilled handling to strike the right balance between paid and organic content.

    LinkedIn is the professional social network that is great for building the top of your funnel and following up on leads. Being a professional networking platform, the followers you attract on LinkedIn typically have vested interests in your business and tend to be easier to influence. From a demographic perspective, LinkedIn is home to more college graduates and high income individuals than any other. It’s also the only network where 30-64 year olds outnumber 18-29 year olds. LinkedIn offers active groups and communities devoted to specific business topics, thus offering businesses a very targeted audience to converse with. It has also vastly improved its publishing platform Pulse making content marketing a bigger focus than simply job hunts and P2P networking. The downside? LinkedIn offers the lowest daily engagement among its users with only 13% of its members logging in on a daily basis.

    LinkedIn works beautifully for B2B businesses and professional service providers. Content that works well on this platform includes industry news, facts and figures, long form articles, expert advice and so on. This is the platform to build your reputation as a respected brand, not one that specializes in cat memes.

    Pinterest’s astounding growth in the last few years continued in 2014 and it stands neck to neck with LinkedIn as the second favorite social network among Americans. Pinterest is credited with reimagining site design and for revolutionizing social media with overwhelmingly image driven content. It’s still disproportionately skewed towards a female audience; however, its male membership did see an 8% growth over 2013. Pinterest is often compared to an online shopping wish list, making it one of the forerunners in the area of social commerce. A whopping 70% of Pinterest users use it to get inspiration on what to buy. In comparison, just 40% of Facebook users feel tempted to spend by viewing posts on Facebook. With the introduction of Rich Pins, Pinterest has morphed from being a pretty catalogue of images to an actionable marketing platform that can lead to direct purchases.

    Pinterest is a must-do for online retailers, fashion and luxury brands, travel and hospitality companies, and nearly every business that focuses primarily on women buyers and has the ability to put a visual spin to their marketing.

    Instagram has been long known as a niche image sharing site that was populated by teeny boppers and (extremely) young adults. However, all of that changed in 2014, when Instagram overtook Twitter in terms of active users and now stands proud at the 300 million users mark. Instagram has a more international profile than Twitter, with 70% of its users outside the United States. Instagram doesn’t just offer brands a wider reach than Twitter, they also see engagement rates up to 50 times higher on their Instagram profiles than those on Twitter!

    Instagram is not just the world’s largest photo sharing site, it’s also a great place to build a “look” for your brand and create your own visual fingerprint.

    Twitter has a strong core following of tech savvy, news hungry opinion leaders, but in its attempt to become more and more like Facebook, it’s been losing some of its original sheen. The 140 character limit on Twitter enforces discipline on brands that like to ramble endlessly, while its new image heavy timelines offers some visual succor to readers and brands alike. Like LinkedIn, Twitter attracts a larger proportion of college educated users, but unlike LinkedIn, Twitterati tend to be young movers and shakers.

    Twitter is often seen as a social customer care hub, a platform where users tend to directly converse with brands instead of simply ‘sharing’ or ‘liking’ branded content like they do on the other social platforms. Twitter timelines tend to be extremely crowded and to make your presence felt among your followers’ timelines, Twitter demands a lot more bite-sized content than all the other social networks put together.

    Considerable Overlap in Social Network Membership

    As you may be aware already, social media platforms are not mutually exclusive in terms of their membership. According to the latest data from Pew Research, 52% of all social media users are active on two or more social networks. In the case of users who use just one social network, the network of choice remains Facebook for at least 79% of users.

    When you decide on your social media strategy, try and pick at least two sites instead of focusing on just one. Keep in mind the quirks of each site and then proceed to select your weapons of choice.

    The Deciding Factors

    The question remains, ‘What will work for me?’ Well, now that we know what the top five social networks have to offer a business, you need to take three simple steps to zero in on the final answer.

    1. Know Thy Audience

    Dig deep and figure out who your business targets. Do you speak to soccer moms or construction supervisors? Is it school teachers or CEOs that your brand addresses? Once you know your target demographic, match it to that of the most popular social networks to begin with and move ahead from there. Check for specific quirks like the soaring popularity of SnapChat among teenagers and young adults to help you along the way.

    2. Look at the Data

    Your audience may tell you what they think they like, but your data will tell you what they really do like. Once you choose a social media management platform, you’ll be able to analyze which networks your traffic originates from, and how valuable (in terms of ROI) it is for your business. For instance, Oktopost is a social media management tool aimed specifically at B2B marketers, whereas Hootsuite is mostly oriented towards B2C. And then there’s always the old workhorse Google Analytics.

    Digging deep into the numbers provided by these tools enables you to better manage your social media presence, learn about what type of content works well, and get real-time opportunities for conversions.

    Also check out which platforms your users share your content on. All of these signals will come together and offer you a complete social profile of your target audience – a much more accurate picture than what you can glean from asking your users directly or following third-party research data.

    3. What’s the Competition Up To?

    Finally, before you commit your time and energy to any one or more social network, take a quick peek at what the leaders in your industry are up to? Which platforms are they most active on? Where do they get most engagement out of? Tools like SocialMention or SimplyMeasured offer detailed intelligence on competitor tactics that will help you decide what works for your audience and what you ought to run a mile from.

    Happy socializing!

     
  • feedwordpress 08:24:07 on 2015/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , Dark Posts, , , Public Posts, , , , , Social Networks, , Unpublished Posts   

    If a Social Media Company Doesn’t Offer Both Sides of the Posting Coin, Run Away 


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    It’s hard to pick a better Joker from the Batman movies. The original Jack Nicholson version was dark and funny and had the psychopathic flare that only Jack can bring to the table. Heath Ledger’s Joker brought critical acclaim and an Oscar win because of the raw grittiness in the way he threw himself into the role.

    We shouldn’t choose. We shouldn’t have to. Both performances can thrive on their own merits and be watched for generations to come.

    The same sort of toss-up applies to Facebook and Twitter posting, particularly when it comes to advertising for business. Everyone knows about the public posting component. These are the posts that appear on the Facebook pages or Twitter profiles of the business and fill the news feeds and timelines of the business’ followers. The unpublished side, known to some as “dark posts”, are usually not known by the business community and often ignored by marketing companies.

    If a social media company isn’t taking advantage of both of them, you should run away and pretend like they don’t exist. Both are extremely important to the success of a business’ social media presence. If anything, the dark posts are even more important than the public posts. Let’s define them, then go into why they’re both so important.

    Public Posts

    Not much to say here since you all already know what they are. If you post to your “wall” on Facebook or to your Twitter profile, you’re posting publicly. These posts appear whenever anyone visits your page or profile. They also appear on the Facebook news feeds and Twitter timelines of those who are following you (though your actual reach with advertising on either platform is normally pretty abysmal, even embarrassing).

    Dark Posts

    These are the unpublished posts on Facebook and Twitter. They’re the ads that don’t appear on your page or profile, but fill the news feeds and timelines of the audiences you select. They aren’t bound by time – they run until you replace them or tell them to stop.

    Dark posts are avoided by many companies for three reasons:

    1. They aren’t automated. You can’t schedule them with Buffer or Hootsuite, for example, and an API feed doesn’t work. This makes them non-scalable, which means that only nimble companies like the automotive social media folks, our friends at Dealer Authority, have the ability to manage them for their clients.
    2. They aren’t popular. For whatever reason, both Facebook and Twitter have done terrible jobs at letting businesses know the power of dark posts. This is good for those who are taking advantage of them because the competition in most industries is minimal. Of course, that also means social media companies can get away with not selling them because few businesses are asking about them.
    3. They aren’t profitable… for the social media company. Unlike Google PPC where even small businesses can have monthly budgets in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, social media dark post advertising is usually in the hundreds or thousands per month. Those charging a percentage can’t make much money and those charging a flat often have to overcharge to make them worthwhile.

    The thing is that these types of posts have the strongest ROI, higher than with public posts. For this reason, social media companies must offer them if their goal is to truly help their clients.

    Why You Need Both

    By themselves, neither is exceptionally effective. Sure, you can get incredible branding and exposure through a public posting strategy with a small advertising budget and you can get great traffic to your website through a dark posting campaign with a slightly higher budget, but it’s in the combination of both types of posting that a proper strategy can be delivered.

    Get the buzz with public posts. Get the traffic with dark posts. It’s not a hard concept to understand, but it’s strangely a hard service (for some) to deliver.

     
  • feedwordpress 10:00:25 on 2015/01/11 Permalink
    Tags: Elderly, , , , , Pew, Social Networks, statistics   

    Over Half of Internet Users Over 65 Use Facebook 


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    The trends have been pointing to older generations jumping on Facebook for a while. Now, the latest numbers from Pew show that over half of internet users over 65 use Facebook.

    Overall, Facebook’s growth slowed but engagement levels increased. On other networks such as Twitter and Pinterest, the number of users rose more dramatically but engagement decreased. While some say this is due to fatigue and accounts going dormant, we speculate that the users are getting more efficient at using the networks. The can be seen in the dramatic rise of adults using multiple networks – 52% in 2014 versus 42% the year before.

    Social Media Statistics 2014The most important finding of the study surrounds the rise in Facebook engagement. 70% of users access the site daily. That’s huge. That means that once Facebook gets its hooks into users, they tend to crave it in much the same way that people watch television daily. This is a sharp contrast to recent speculation that Facebook is suffering from being antiquated and too “uncool” for younger users.

    That may be the case, but as they get older and are forced to expand their social circles through work and adult groups, it’s likely that they will be forced to come back to the “old person’s social network” if they want to engage with their adult peers.

    There are definitely some gems in the exhaustive study, but overall it’s not really anything new. Facebook is huge. We knew that already.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:28:30 on 2015/01/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , small business, , , , , Social Networks, , , While You Were Away   

    ‘While You Were Away’ Will Make Twitter More Important for Business 


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    Twitter was tiny. Then it was huge. Then it was irrelevant. Now, it’s on the verge of landing somewhere in between “huge” and “irrelevant” with the rollout of their “While you were away” feature.

    Businesses have had a love/hate relationship with Twitter since its birth. It can be a tremendous communication tool, of course. That hasn’t changed. However, it seemed to only be of true benefit for big companies. Local businesses outside of real-time floaters like food trucks or music bands had a hard time generating a true return on investment.

    The problem has been that for a local business to have any chance of getting noticed on Twitter and generating proactive benefit, a lot of time was necessary. Unfortunately, the return did not always justify the time spent. What’s worse is that it became painful for some who were finding that the positive things they tried to do went nowhere while anything negative about them that went out on Twitter seemed to go viral.

    Bad news flourished. Good news got buried.

    That’s in the process of changing. “While you were away” will bring real ROI for local businesses.

    Start Paying Attention to Twitter Now

    Twitter While You Were Away

    One of the most appealing aspects of Facebook is its extremely intuitive algorithm. Most people take for granted the amazing complexity and uncanny accuracy of the algorithm that powers the news feed.

    On the other hand, Twitter has always maintained strength in real-time exploits. See what’s happening now… and now… and now again. This meant that local businesses would have to Tweet several times a day in order to get any traction, plus engage in conversations, plus monitor for mentions, plus several other little annoying activities that made it more cost- and ROI-effective to simply maintain a basic presence and monitor briefly every day.

    The new feature means that quality could trump quantity, or rather add to it. On Facebook, it’s better to post less and make it meaningful. Posting too much can hurt. With the new Twitter, it will likely make sense to focus on quality first but with the understanding that quantity will still help. In essence, “While you were away” means that you want to do whatever you can to generate some sort of interactions on some of your Tweets. If you do, your Tweets from minutes, hours, or even days ago have an opportunity to be seen by your audience in ways that were impossible in the chronological-only world of old Twitter.

    Quality is new Twitter’s best friend.

    Here are a few anticipatory best practices. We can’t be definitive at this point because the feature is still limited, but we can anticipate some things that you’ll want to do to bump up your Twitter quality.

    • Include images whenever appropriate. By keeping them the proper size (2-to-1 ratio) and compelling, you’ll get more attention while it’s live, giving it more potential engagement and increasing its chances of being seen by people when they log into Twitter next time.
    • Post often but spread it out so as to not get unfollowed. Every guru has an opinion about frequency. I like to keep at least an hour between standard Tweets (not including @replies).
    • Do not ask for retweets. Here’s the thing. It works. Unfortunately. Then again, panhandling at the subway station can work as well, but it’s not something that you want to do for a living. Rely on your content. They’ll retweet it if they love it.
    • Retweet and favorite others’ posts aggressively. I’m a little worried about using the word “aggressively” in this best practice because it can definitely be taken too far, but helping others will encourage them to help you. Don’t do it randomly, though. Whatever you retweet will appear on your Twitter profile. Be selective and only retweet the best content from good sources. That doesn’t necessarily mean big sources. A Ford dealer will probably notice if you retweet them. Ford corporate most likely will not.
    • Use hashtags, but don’t overdo it. Reading these, one would think that it’s written by Goldilocks. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just right. That’s really what you want to do with Twitter – find the sweet spot for all activities.

    I hate to admit it, but I lost love for Twitter over the last couple of years. The love is getting renewed. Twitter is going to be effective for small businesses once again if they do it right.

     
  • feedwordpress 06:50:36 on 2015/01/04 Permalink
    Tags: , engagement, , , , , , reach, Social Advertising, , , , , Social Networks,   

    Getting More People to Like Your Facebook Page is 99% Worthless 


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    Someday, I will have the opportunity to prove to a client or prospect beyond any reasonable doubt that this is true. In the meantime, I will continue to write about it in hopes that the facts will win out.

    To prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, I would have to take a page that has zero fans and send massive engagement and traffic with a small budget. Then, we’d need to look at the statistics to show that a page that starts off with zero likes can have more than just paid reach. It can have more organic reach than pages that have tons of likes.

    We do have examples, not to the extreme of having zero fans, but by demonstrating that through strong content and proper use of advertising we can get strong organic reach. Here’s a quick one that’s pretty clear:

    Facebopok Page Likes

    As you can see, this page has 2,458 people liking it. However, you’ll see that the small budget, in this case around $15, was able to get it good paid exposure. More importantly, it generated more organic reach than the number of people who like the page.

    Now, let’s look at a different page. It has nearly 8 times as many likes, but the reach is minimal.

    Facebook Page Likes are Worthless

    The gap is crystal clear. Facebook has been pulling back on organic reach for some time. While many will say that it’s all about greed and the bottom line to force pages to use money to get exposure, it’s more likely about what the users want. When they see page posts on their news feeds, they are much less likely to engage with those posts than the posts of their friends and family. Still, they’re a business, so the reduction of organic reach and the rise of sponsoring posts is the end result.

    You’ll notice that I said that page likes are 99% worthless. There’s one minor benefit. Some would call it credibility. Others would call it ego. Either way, having a page that people are liking gives a psychological boost to the page to let people demonstrate how popular their page really is. While likes are infinitesimal in importance compared to reach, it’s still a benefit.

    Focus on content. Put a budget behind it. Give your page real reach rather than the artificial benefits associated with page popularity.

     
  • feedwordpress 19:59:18 on 2014/11/18 Permalink
    Tags: automation, , , , Posting, , , Social Networks   

    How Social Media is Shifting From Marketing to Targeted Digital Advertising 


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    Targeted Digital Advertising

    The trends have been pointing in this direction for a while, but now many social media companies are making it official. The “pay to play” model is in full swing, and despite how this might make social media content companies feel, this is a really good thing for businesses.

    Facebook is the most recent to announce that spam from businesses won’t be tolerated. This has really been the unspoken case for a while, but now they’re upping the ante by threatening to remove posts from brands that are too promotional.

    For businesses, it really comes down to two options: pay to play or keep it simple. Some are proposing abandoning the site altogether, but until search engines and the users stop putting so much credibility in the site (it ranks for most businesses on Google and Bing when people search for the company by name), abandoning the site would be a poor idea.

    Here is a breakdown of the two options:

    Pay-to-Play

    If Facebook is going to prevent unpaid posts from being seen or even allowed on its site from brands, then the first valid option is to start paying for placement. The bad news is that the platform has been free for many businesses for a while, so paying is a hard pill to swallow. The good news is that it’s cheap, especially when you compare it to other forms of digital advertising like banner or PPC advertising.

    Businesses that adopt pay-to-play can take advantage of social media without it hitting their advertising budget too hard.

    Automate

    Yes, I said it. For years, I’ve been against automation on social media. I’ve written about how bad of an idea it is. Today, there’s a valid reason for the right type of automation to fill the gap for those who do not want to advertise.

    Let’s look at the automotive industry as an example. The social solution by LotVantage is a perfect way for dealers to make it happen without spending much money. It fulfills the three basic needs of automation: relevant content, diversity of sources, and scaling levels of control by the user.

    The content is relevant; it focuses on automotive websites, a dealership’s videos, their blogs, and the inventory from their website. This wide range of content types also fulfills the diversity of sources necessity for proper automation. Lastly, it allows dealers to set it and forget it, manually vet every post, or anywhere in between. This last part is important because the goal of automation in the first place is to be able to establish a strong presence without investing much money or time into social media.

    The Future

    This is a trend that isn’t going to change. Those who believe that they can work their way into social media success without spending money are not being realistic. It’s spreading to other networks. It’s the end game that has always been planned (in some cases unwittingly) by social sites since the dawn of Web 2.0.

    Even though the direction of social media has been set, there are still very valid options available for businesses. That won’t change until they start charging users or decide to become non-profit… and those things will likely never happen.

     
  • feedwordpress 00:21:32 on 2014/10/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Social Networks   

    Why Social Media Won’t Die Any Time Soon 


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    Hula Hoop

    I remember the first “social media is dying” post that I read. It was early 2008 and MySpace was already showing signs of starting to implode upon itself. The article I read (wish I would have saved it) gave a very compelling argument about how social media was a fad and that privacy would eventually prevail once the glow of the “look at me” mentality that drives social media wears off.

    It never did. It never will.

    There’s no going back. Social media is the ultimate legal voyeurism into the lives of those we care about, whether we like them or not. We can see what our old high school friends are doing now. We can monitor the activities of our friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else of interest. We can keep track of the news as it’s unfolding, not told by a news anchor but told by the reactions of people we may or may not know.

    Most importantly, it gives a permanence to our escapades that the majority of humans like. We want to show everyone the cake we made for our kids. We want to let everyone know that we’re at the big concert and they’re not. We want to show off our dog (because everyone has the most awesome dog in the world).

    I used to be one who believed that social media would eventually be replaced. It will change, but the concept has grown on us and will stay in one form or another throughout our lives until a major event changes everything. That major event would need to be extremely major – a cataclysmic infrastructure meltdown that takes out the grid, a meteor, the end times, etc.

    Even as technology evolves to the point of near sentience, we’re still going to be social online (or through whatever eventually replaces the internet). The cat is out of the bag. The genie is out of the bottle. Pandora’s box has been broken down and tossed in the cardboard recycling bin.

    For people, this is a good and bad thing. It’s good that we can communicate with more people. It’s bad that we’re no longer communicating as much or as meaningfully with the people who are close by.

    For businesses, it’s a rockier road. There are too many factors that could take out the business benefits of social media long before the actual medium itself ever dies. This isn’t a warning to tell people that they shouldn’t be investing in social media for their business. It’s a statement of complete transparency; we’re one major hack, sustained outage, or obtuse piece of legislature away from Facebook crumbling to business-relevant dust.

    It won’t be dying in the foreseeable future, but even something as sustainable as social media will eventually end.

     
  • feedwordpress 04:06:21 on 2014/07/02 Permalink
    Tags: Emotions, , , , , , Social Networks, Spotlight,   

    Facebook Admits to News Feed Experiment Meant to Control Emotions 


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    Mind and Heart

    Recently, some social media users have been in an uproar after Facebook admitted to carrying out a secret experiment in which the news feeds of more than 600,000 users were filtered to see if those individuals would have differing emotions based upon what they saw on the screen. For example, it was determined if a person was exposed to more positive news from friends, he or she would be less likely to post something negative as a status update. The opposite was also found to be true.

    “Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion”

    On a smaller scale, most of us are already familiar with this phenomenon. Spending time with a friend who is in an abundantly good mood probably makes you feel similar, even if you were previously feeling a little down in the dumps.

    For the purposes of this study, the changes in a person’s emotions were collectively called “massive-scale emotional contagion.” Put simply, scientists determined it was not necessary for a person to interact on a face-to-face basis, and that an individual only needed to read about an emotion being expressed in order to be potentially influenced.

    Fears About Future Data

    As soon as the study made it into the public realm, it was met with a great deal of concern. As quoted in a piece from The Guardian, a spokeswoman for Facebook clarified how the study took place in order “to improve our services and to make the content people see on Facebook as relevant and engaging as possible.”

    However, some people around the world have protested in earnest, especially considering the experiment took place without a user’s knowledge. Selection for the experiment was randomized and based on a person’s user ID. Some people worried future manipulation of news feeds could potentially be very powerful, especially if it occurs in conjunction with political campaigns.

    Attempts to Influence Emotions Are Not New

    It’s important to remember that ever since advertising has existed, there have been efforts made to create emotional responses in people who see the campaigns. Usually, the most memorable advertisements are ones that resonate with you on a deep level.

    Trying to tap into the emotions of a user base certainly doesn’t have to be connected with sinister goals. If you’re an athlete who’s thinking about using a therapy pool during a rehabilitation process, you’d probably really appreciate if the respective website had testimonials from fellow athletes who have depended on aquatic therapy to get back to top form.

    Reading about the experiences of people who might have been in similar situations to the one you’re now facing would almost certainly incite a sense of hope, especially if you’re already wrestling with a lot of doubt and are wondering if you’ll ever be able to perform well again.

    Carefully Read the Terms and Conditions

    Facebook, like other social media websites, has terms and conditions that users must agree with before getting permission to use the site. If news of Facebook’s experiment makes you feel uneasy, maybe that’s a good reminder that it’s time to revisit the user agreements for all the sites you frequent, and make sure you’re still OK with what’s stated there.

     
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