Posts Tagged ‘timeline’


Social Media: Reflecting Room or Eye Opening Forum

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Kelly Mulholland*

networkingAn overwhelming amount of news has been about Facebook’s new Timeline, a feature which all users will be required to implement in the near future. (If you are unfamiliar with the Timeline layout, please check out my colleague Andrea Corbo’s blog post for a detailed explanation of this new debatable feature.) Other headlines have focused on Facebook’s Rise From Start-Up to Establishment and its latest IPO.  

Personally, I’m much more interested in Facebook’s recent study on how the social giant has changed the way we gather and transfer information.

In a 2011 study conducted by Facebook’s Eytan Bakshy — which I found when I subscribed to Mark Zuckerberg’s statuses via Facebook this past month — the  author debates whether or not social media acts as a reinforcement of our own ideas we share with “strong ties” (such as friends, family, coworkers, classmates) or  a tool that broadens your view of the world by taking in new opinions from “weak ties” (strangers or acquaintances) and asks us to Rethink Information Diversity in Networks. Bakshy’s study was inspired by a 1973 American Journal of Sociology study conducted by economic sociologist Mark Granovetter called, The Strength of Weak Ties. In Granovetter’s study, documented well before the Internet, stronger ties flock together sharing similar information while weaker ties aren’t as prominent and withhold eye-opening news.

Fast-forward to the age of social media … Interaction is often compared to that of a party-like setting in which you must interact and share information with people in a similar manner. Bakshy conducted his current study to measure to and/or from whom at this “party” we are more likely to share information. With the help of Facebook’s newsfeeds feature, the study measured how often a Facebook member would re-share their weak ties links versus their strong ties links. While it was found that strong ties’ links would be reposted more often, it was the weaker ties that were the ones who provided the most information. How? While the strong ties may have more interests in common and a stronger influence,  Facebook friends are more likely to have a majority of acquaintances invited to their metaphorical social media bash than close friends.

The majority of a person’s newsfeed will contain new information from more dissimilar members via new updates posted throughout the day. Now more than ever, “weak ties” are able to share information spread throughout a social group. Whereas before this segment would not have the capability to reach a broader audience without the assistance of a larger media outlet, but now thanks to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and any other social network site that has a newsfeed element these “weak ties” are spreading their influence. I can say that Bakshy’s theory explains why I read his article in the first place from Mark Zuckerberg, a “weak tie.”

 Do you believe we are more likely to spread information due to the quality of the connection or the quality of content? Have you found that you are more aware of opinions that differ from your own, now that use of social media outlets has increased as opposed to face to face interactions? Most importantly, did you read or share my article because of this theory?

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Bio: Before joining the BurrellesLuce team in 2011, Kelly interned at CondeNast’s Glamour magazine as an editorial intern to the senior style writer and was an editor of her college newspaper. She received a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Business, Society and Culture from Drew University with honors. After graduation, she worked as a sales associate at Nordstrom and took a month off to travel abroad throughout Europe. In Kelly’s free time, she enjoys traveling, fashion, reading, bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, running 5Ks, baking and social media. Twitter:@miss_mulholland Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: Kelly Mulholland

Rebranding Your Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

What would you do if you had to start a new Facebook page for your organization and convince all your fans to like a new page? This is the reality for the athletics department of my alma mater, the University of North Dakota (UND). The university is going to stop using the “Fighting Sioux” as its nickname, and so they need to convince the 48,285 fans (and counting) of University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux to “like” UND Sports instead. To date only 2,296 fans have “liked” the new UND Sports page.

This brings up an important, but often forgotten, point about Facebook pages… You need to choose your Facebook page name carefully, because, as I discussed in my BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas post, Facebook Tips for PR Pros, you cannot change the page name once your page has 101+ fans. If UND had used “University of North Dakota (UND) Sports (or Athletics)” or some variation originally, this situation might not be happening. Remember, you can change the “About” and “Company Overview” at any time, so consider using these for more creative names and information.

Diane Thieke, founder, Simply Talk Media and Mike Schaffer, director of social media, iostudio have both recently helped clients make a Facebook page change. Both advocate a well-developed communications strategy, which should include:

  • Clear messaging: Why is a new page needed? What new benefits will it offer?
  • A transition timeline: Allow enough time to communicate the change. This can be as little as eight weeks, for a small fan base, up to six months or more for a large following. It is very important to give an end date for when the old page will no longer be updated, and stick to it.
  • Integrated marketing: Communicate regularly, and often, through multiple channels (email, newsletters, website, etc.) about the transition. You want to reach as much of your fan base as possible to let them know about the page change.
  •  A content strategy: Drive people to your new page. For example, post identical content to both pages until the end date is reached, but gradually phase out content on the old page. Eventually, your new page should offer unique information not available elsewhere. Expanded content, like HD video, pictures and polls, will give the new page more value.
  • A “like” campaign. Consider offering incentives. For example, you can donate $1 for every “like” to charity. Branded swag can help rebuild the emotional connection. Be sure to promote all campaigns across all channels of communication.

Thieke says, “Remember that social media is a conversation. Respond to the comments on the old page and acknowledge how your fans feel, but avoid engaging in arguments. Often, people just want to know they’re being heard.”

Rebranding is never easy. Schaffer confirms, “The key to remember is that the loyalty isn’t to the name, but to the institution.” If the new Facebook page is going to allow fans, students and alumni to gain information and insight to the teams, then they will make the transition. Eventually, the old name will become less important.

Have you had to change Facebook pages for your organization or a client? Can you share some lessons learned and best practices with the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers?

Facebook Timeline: Exciting Users or Making Them Unhappy?

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Andrea Corbo*

Facebook has described it’s new timeline as a way to “tell your life story.” If you have any presence on social media sites, you’ve surely been hearing the hype from friends and online articles alike.

Users will now be able to display their likes, photos, apps, and more from the beginning to the end in timeline format rather than a traditional profile. This leaves many users wondering if the site will display things from the start of their account or if they’ll be asked to fill in the blanks from earlier moments in life. Of course there are other questions:

  • Will there still be a newsfeed?
  • Will there still be status updates?
  • How does this new type of profile influence the way we connect with friends and fans?

The company itself seems pretty confident in the new layout and timeline. They’ve even released a promotional video in anticipation of its launch.

With the countless changes to Facebook in the past, the most recent being the addition of a ticker of real-time updates from connections, I can’t recall a video for any of those new features.

With all this hype over timelines, I’m left wondering, what is the damage verses the gain when changing a social media site? Each time Facebook makes even a small layout change, users post angry statuses complaining about what they don’t like. When Facebook first added the newsfeed back in 2006 it seemed that everyone was outraged. Now, users are comfortable with the newsfeed (despite the latest updates that change the way posts are displayed in a feed) and expect to see it. So, do users just want to keep things the same for the sake of comfort? Or are these new projected changes really a negative thing?

With the new timeline, some current users fear threats to privacy, dislike the open display of too much information, and dread adjusting to the differences. Yet, others seem excited to relive moments with friends and embrace a new approach to display their info. I can guess that once the timeline is launched to all users, people will reject the change at first and then eventually learn to love it.

But for now, we will have to wait and see as Facebook Timeline Has One Week Time-Out and has delayed beta testing in order to sort out issues over possible trademark infringement.

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After receiving a B.A. in communications, and briefly working at a TV production studio, Andrea began volunteering abroad. This lead her to work in the non-profit world, where she was fortunate enough to learn about international education, women’s empowerment and social issues for the elderly, while traveling to over a dozen countries.  Since joining BurrellesLuce in 2011, Andrea is excited to share her thoughts and views on branding, social media, and communications with the growing Fresh Ideas audience, as well as her passion for cultural awareness, volunteerism, and sustainable efforts. Twitter: @AndreaCorbo; Facebook: BurrellesLuce; LinkedIn: BurrellesLuce