graph-search Saturday Social: Facebook rolls out Graph Search, Over 65s use of social triplesForrester report on social, over 65s use of social triples, Facebook rolls out Graph Search, Twitter affects TV ratings,

A new report out from Forrester Research claims that many marketers remain unsure when it comes to the value created by social media. This may be true of some marketing departments that are struggling to get to grips with marketing in the modern world, but overall, it seems a little misleading.

 Saturday Social: Facebook rolls out Graph Search, Over 65s use of social triples

However, the report does point out that “rather than recognizing that social is just another marketing channel, many marketers see it as unique,” meaning that some believe social to be a standalone solution when it comes to digital.

Of course, this is far from the case, social is a powerful tool, but it’s just one cog in a larger machine and most marketers recognise this. This means that:

“To succeed with social media, marketers must understand how it supports each part of the customer journey. That means not just offering engagement, but also enabling discovery and supporting exploration and purchase with social.”

Forrester claim that a decade in, more marketers are failing with social than succeeding. This may be true, if you look at the amount of people that claim to be social experts, compared with professional marketers, but overall the medium has come a long way. Social media ROI is provable, real results can be seen in terms of traffic and conversions, so I’m struggling to understand Forrester’s take on this.

Marketers-Remain-Unsure-Forrester-2013 Saturday Social: Facebook rolls out Graph Search, Over 65s use of social triples

Looking at the survey of top challenges, that old chestnut ROI seems to be still problematic for some, but the “lack of internal resources” answer would seem to point towards internal social marketing, rather than specialist agencies. This raises questions over the methodology of the investigation and if the researchers surveyed any agencies or just departments within large organisations.

For large research houses such as Forrester, this is often the case. The types of companies that are subject to studies don’t tend to be in the SME space, but in corporate environments. This means that a lot of the time, whilst research might point to certain results, it doesn’t give an overall accurate picture.

This was illustrated by the recent Guardian article that claimed SEO to be dead and social media to be taking over. The piece caused quite a stir in the digital marketing arena, with one response describing the findings of the post as “taken out of context and highly misleading”.

Interestingly, The Guardian piece stated: a recent Forrester report on how consumers found websites in 2012 shows that social media is catching up with search, accounting for 32% of discoveries“.

So which is it Forrester? Is social taking over from SEO (which is a discipline made up of many parts), or is it failing? You can’t have it both ways.

I think that in general, before any research is applied to real-world situations, it’s really very necessary to find out how the study has been carried out and which sectors of industry it’s addressing. We all know that there’s a huge difference between how a marketing department behaves at a corporation compared to SMEs and agencies.

Over 65s social media use triples

A study from Pew research centre’s Internet & American Life Project, the number of people over 65 years using social media has risen from 13% to 43% since 2009. It was also found that 6 out of 10 people aged between 50 and 64 now use social.

internet-use-on-the-rise Saturday Social: Facebook rolls out Graph Search, Over 65s use of social triples

It seems that this is especially the case when it comes to Facebook, which is seeing an “explosion” in older users, whilst Twitter still has a relatively young audience in comparison.

It was also found that overall, 72% of all adults now use some kind of social networking site. Women remain in the lead as 74% of them use social when compared to 70% of men and while use amongst older people is increasing, younger people between the ages of 18-29 years still make up the majority at 89%.

Facebook rolls out Graph Search

Facebook rolled out Graph Search on Wednesday to all US English Facebook users, although it has been available in beta form in January for selected users. This means that now everyone using Facebook US will now have the ability to search more accurately for things which have been recommended by friends. While the search works on content that is available on Facebook itself, outside searches can also be performed using Bing (via redirect).

According to Mashable, users should look through privacy settings in the wake of the roll out to ensure that no changes have been made that they’re not aware of. It’s thought that the feature will continue to evolve and that Facebook will “continue to work on other improvements to Graph Search, such as searching for posts, comments and mobile.”

It’s not yet known when the feature will become available to the rest of the world.

Twitter conversations and TV ratings

Yet another study from Nielson suggests that Twitter conversations can lead directly to a boost for TV show ratings. The study looked at tweets alongside 221 prime time TV shows and up-to-date ratings.

This, according to executive vice president Mike Hess, revealed that there was a “significant increase” in ratings when the TV show was being discussed on Twitter 29% of the time.

Nielson and Twitter teamed up in late 2012 as the social network has long been considered to have an influence on ratings due to the nature of the platform and number of users. This led the two companies to announce a new measurement in December known as the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating.”

This is officially due for launch in the second half of this year and is aimed at helping networks and advertisers a better discussion measurement around TV shows.

Who dunnit?

Denver the Lab is a great example of the personality of dogs. Whilst Macy sits there quietly accepting no responsibility, Denver cowers in a corner when the ripped up cat treat bag is found.

As the owner of a black Lab, I know just how guilty dogs can look when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have. I once worked out that my dog had tried and failed to get in a box containing a roulade just from the way she buried her head in the corner when I entered the room (I otherwise wouldn’t have known and probably eaten doggy-licked cake).

Did he eat them? Was it him? His face says it all…