I talk, I watch, I tweet…

I was looking into some stats the other day around the usage of social media and how it’s shaping how we use (and discuss) the big events in the news.

If you start off and use the latest Kate / William Royal wedding saga it’s evident how much digital chat it got purely from looking at your own social media pages but, in actual fact it score 74 updates  per second (facebook) and 68 updates per second (Twitter) – Unbelievable numbers but still only rated as Number 6 in the top 10 web events of all time. 

Kate and WIlliam Royal wedding balcony kiss

Royal wedding: 2011.

So what was the top 3 (according to Akami)

  1. World cup qualifiers/Wimbledon match   (June 24th) :   10m vpm (meaning 10 million page views per minute: to the web)
  2. Champions league / European cup   (Nov 3rd):                     6m vpm
  3. Wold cup championships   (June 3rd):                                       6m vpm

Interestingly again is that this trend appears to only be going from strength to strength as all of the top 10 happened in the last 12 months (suggesting ongoing growth or accessibility of WWW) but also 4 were current affairs driven and 6 were sport driven.

Even when we can’t be out of home, involved in the action be it with mates or in the local – we’re still craving opinon, debate and banter – and logging in is giving us the ability to do just that.

For brands the impact of real time advertising to move to the next level is immense (for brands brave enough to take that leap) and, for people, we continue to shun real world and become more involved than ever in relationship with our brightly lit, temptingly tappable, laptop friends.


The 80/20 rule

When you consider the web you think of it as an immense amount of endless possibilities and, in many respects it is. We talk to clients about a multitude of ways they can use to digital to in their brand strategy, the vast amount of specialist niche sites that see their audience demographic index in a way that no other media could replicate and we push that it’s this diversity, and this targeting, that makes digital so effective.

This chart, produced by Hitwise is particularly interesting to put this fragmentation into context: –

It depicts well that despite the diversity of the web it’s actual a core number of properties that are delivering the reach – something not that disimilar from the more traditional media planning we’ve seen for years in ATL.

But for marketers what it (hopefully) does is refocus that digital plan. Whilst finding out the small niche properties that deliver results, and running small tactical campaigns is undoubtedlly going to return results, creating multiple campaigns, for multiple channels, is a production nightmare in comparison to working some of these bigger players well.

The chart is dominated by Google, Facebook , MSN, Ebay and YouTube but also reminds us of those other properties that we almost forget to remember as trends come in (and out) of fashion.

Myspace falling just behind Twitter , and AskJeeves higher than Flikr.

Its quite easy to get side tracked in digital by trends and the “press friendly” crazes that come and go over time. These vehicles, whilst tactically important at specific points in time, shouldn’t distract from your overall strategy. Work out the key channels that your mass audience is consistently using and stick to channeling the majority of your energy into building the brand engagement there.

The mass of other sites, and the opportunities that they offer are tactics and syndication opportunities NOT going to deliver the big wins (unless it’s a very specialist product or brand we’re talking about). Dont forget that whilst fragmentation is undoubtedly occuring it’s a costly strategy to be following and diagrams, such as the above, are a strong reminder that whilst the world wide web might have billions of pages – there’s still some variant of the 80/20 rule happening.

Just remember:

the top 100 sites currently account for 42.5% of all UK Internet visits – Robin Goad, HitWise.

Mobile and Internet growth

I work in a full service digital agency  but, arguably due to the client I focus on, I deal mainly with with web – focusing on site build, advertising and social media as opposed to other channels such as interactive TV or mobile.

Interestingly its mobile that I’m begining to find more and more interesting and the recent information on accountability and mobile metrics begins to make it a channel that coud be taken more seriously by clients who in the past saw it as a nice to have add on.

 I think its safe to say in the last 5 years its been one of the topics that the industry has said “will become big” but bubbled along quietly without hitting the big time (in terms of marketing investment).  As Steve Heald from Orange UK said:

We’re now in an era of less hype and more reality when it comes to mobile advertising.

As a consumer I’m also a heavy mobile user. I rely on my blackberry to get all my emails delivered on time and, more recently, to use my twitterberry application – allowing me to post my tweets on the move.

With this in mind I found the stats produced as part of a recent GSMA study interesting.

It stated that facebook users spend 24 minutes a day (on average) browsing the site through their mobile – compared to just 27.5 minutes a day on web – a massive win for mobile. Likewise its focus on youth (defined as LDA – 34) is equally strong with 48% usage (mobile) compared to 40% (fixed internet) and 29% (TV).

Its this move that sees the need for advertisers (and agencies) to begin  to see mobile as a communications channel that should be taken seriously. If you can get the application or service right there is revenue (be it cash or equity) to be had. Interestingly its unlocking a tool that is appropriate to the audience and remembering that balancing something that is simple to use and useful on the move – as food for thought check out the Top 10 mobile sites (Dec 2008).

Top 10 Mobile Sites                   
1)  Mobile Operator Sites                  
2)  Google Sites                           
3)  Facebook.com                          
4)  Yahoo! Sites                           
5)  BBC Sites                              
6)  Apple Inc. Sites                      
7)  Microsoft Sites                        
8)  Sony Online (inc. Sony Ericsson)      
9)  Nokia                                  
10) AOL (inc. Bebo)