Facebook Is, Like, a Big Deal

June 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

5133070639_e19172367b_mWelcome to the new Clearing Customs, with a new look, a new logo, and a new Facebook page!

I heard Facebook is getting kind of popular, so I thought it was about time this blog got on board. (Actually, I’ve been posting to Facebook on my personal site for some time, but now I’ve created facebook.com/clearingcustoms and will switch over completely soon.)

Your likes are appreciated.

8 Keys for Reaching the Facebook Masses

Facebook. It’s a big deal not just in the US, it’s a big deal all over the world . . . except in the four countries that, according to Mother Jones, currently are at least trying to block it: China, Iran, North Korea, and Vietnam.

The Guardian reports that at the end of 2013, there were 1.23 billion people in the world using Facebook, with 556 million of them getting it on the go, using smartphones and tablets to access the site every day.

Reaching all those people, and getting them to respond, doesn’t have to be hit or miss. According to a new study released by TrackMaven, there are 8 keys to Facebook success (and maybe they’ll help my blogging out, too):

1. Thursday is the most popular day for posting on Facebook, but posts on Sunday get the most interactions. (check)

2. 88% of posts include photos, and they garner 37% more interactions than posts without.

5133070639_e19172367b_m 5133070639_e19172367b_m 5133070639_e19172367b_m 5133070639_e19172367b_m 5133070639_e19172367b_m (check, check, check, check, check)

3. 67.3% of entries are written at or below the 5th grade level, with the highest percentage (17.5) composed at a level comprehensible by an average first grader. Facebook is easy. Facebook is fun. Facebook is easy and fun. (got it)

4. About 94% of posts have 49 or fewer words, but posts with 80 or more words average twice as much engagement as those that are shorter. (already there)

5. Share is the most effective call-to-action word for garnering interactions, compared to pleaselike, and now. I thought I would share this with you, so please share it with others. Share and share alike, I always say. (done)

6. 84% of posts have no hashtags, but those that do get more audience engagement. #Seven #hashtags #is #the #most #effective. (#saynomore)

7. Likewise, for maximum interactions, seven exclamation points—That’s right!! Seven!!!—is the best number! (great!)

8. And, now, are you ready for the last one? Are you sure? OK, here it is: The best amount of question marks is—are you really ready?—nine. Can you believe it? Do you agree? Yes? No? Maybe? (could it be any easier?)

Hey, now that I know the secrets of Facebook, maybe I should take a look at that Twitter-thing.

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(Dana Liebelson, “MAP: Here Are the Countries That Block Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube,” Mother Jones, March 28, 2014; Jemima Kiss, “Facebook’s 10th Birthday: From College Dorm to 1.23 Billion Users,” The Guardian, February 3, 2014; The Marketing Maven’s Guide to Facebook, TrackMaven, 2014)

[photo: "Like," by Adam Fagen, used under a Creative Commons license; illustration: "Facebook Like Button," by Patrick Nouhailler, used under a Creative Commons license]

Sprechen Sie Facebook? “Cyber Seniors” Learn a New Language

May 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

They are people worlds apart, speaking different languages, living out cultures foreign to each other, coming together in an unlikely place—in the assisted-living center across town.

Cyber Seniors is the story of teenagers who introduce a group of senior citizens to the internet: to YouTube, Skype, and that “Face something,” you know, the one with the friends.

In her new documentary, Canadian director Saffron Cassaday presents a great picture of learning, communicating, expanding horizons—and culture shock. It’s what crossing cultures is all about.

It’s so much fun to watch, and it’s got to be a lot of fun to join in.

How’s this for cross-cultural communication? It’s hard to ask questions when you’re not bilingual.

And here we see that you really are never too old—or too young—to learn a thing or two. Hallelujah!

These clips leave me with the question, When the two groups go “home,” what does reverse culture shock look like?

Global Stats and Stuff: Technology and the Internet

July 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

  • “In October 2011, 1.2 billion users around the world visited social networking sites, accounting for 82 percent of the world’s [internet] population. Nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online around the world is now spent on social networking sites, making Social Networking the most popular content category in engagement worldwide.”

(“Carmela Aquino, “It’s a Social World: A Global Look at Social Networking,”  comScore Voices, January 6, 2012)

  • Any two people in the world on Facebook are separated by an average of 4.74 “hops,” meaning that for “even the most distant Facebook user in the Siberian tundra or the Peruvian rainforest, a friend of your friend probably knows a friend of their friend.”

(Lars Bakstrom, “Anatomy of Facebook, November 21, 2011)

  • 60 Second Marketer contributing writer Nicole Hall took a deep look at the claim that the world has more mobile phones than toothbrushes. Her conclusion is “that there are almost certainly more mobile phone subscriptions than there are toothbrushes on the planet. And, if you make some additional assumptions based on our research, in all likelihood, more people own a mobile phone on the planet than own a toothbrush.”

(Nicole Hall, “Are There REALLY More Mobile Phones Than Toothbrushes?60 Second Marketer)

  • Globally, “22% of online shoppers made their first online purchases within the past year.”
  • Chinese online consumers lead the world with an average of 8.4 purchase online each month. This compares with 5.2 purchases in the US and 4.3 in the UK.

(“Global Multi-Channel Consumer Survey 2011,” PwC)

[photo: "Internet & Tacos," by lecates, used under a Creative Commons license]

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