Amazing Facebook Facts and Stats 2012

1.) As of December 2011, Facebook has 845 million monthly active users worldwide, and 483 million daily active users worldwide.

2.) Mobile accounts for half of Facebook’s user base at approximately 425 million active monthly users.

3.) There were 100 billion friend connections on Facebook as of the end of 2011.

4.) In Q4 of 2011, there were 2.7 billion likes and comments per day on Facebook.

5.) 250 million photos are uploaded every day on Facebook.

6.) More than 100 quadrillion bytes of photos and video were shared on Facebook in the last quarter of 2011.

More facts about Facebook available here.

Social Media Policy Workshop Approved for HR Recertification Credit

According to a recent study, the rate of social media usage in the workplace has increased 35 percent. Many surveys indicate the rate to be much higher. Despite this growth and the pervasiveness of social media in our everyday lives, less than half of businesses have no social media policy and less than 10 percent adequately address potential problems. Several recent course and NLRB rulings have brought this issue to the forefront. One thing is for sure….employers just can’t say NO anymore.

Developing policies that can be enforced and embraced without stifling productivity and morale can be a challenge. During this workshop you will discover the pitfalls and areas of concern in order to implement an effective policy for your workplace.

Where: Wor-Wic Community College, WDC 203

When: November 9, 2011; 9 AM to Noon

Course # 2722

Instructor: Ira S Wolfe, Social Media Architects and Success Performance Solutions

Note: This program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

Questions: Call (410) 334-2815 or go to www.worwic.edu

 

 

Social Media Architects Kicks Off Fall with Full Workshop Schedule

When Ira Wolfe offered his first social media workshop on the Eastern Shore in 2008, Facebook had a mere 100 million users. Eight local business people signed up for his first class at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Salisbury University.  Today Facebook touts over 750 million users and Wolfe has trained over 500 local business people on how to use Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, YouTube as well as Facebook.

To accommodate a growing demand, Social Media Architects of Delmarva has partnered with several local organizations to offer additional classes on more topics. Beginning September 13, Wolfe kicks off a busy fall schedule with “The Power & Importance of Social Engine Optimization,” sponsored by Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE) and SBDC.  This lunch n’ learn is the first of seven monthly workshops that will run through March 2012. This is the second year for the series held at Salisbury Chamber of Commerce on the second Tuesday of each month. 

Wor Wic Community College also has been a popular venue for social media training. Classess are held in the Workforce Development Center where students receive hands-on training, creating and marketing business Facebook pages, as well as learning how to optimize their websites for better search engine ranking. 

A new offering this year will be “Social Media Policy: You Just Can’t Say No!”   According to Wolfe, many employers just want to ban social media from the workplace.  “Unfortunately, several recent court rulings and NLRB decisions protect an employee’s right to use social media,” Wolfe says.  “Besides, social media has become so integrated in the everyday lives of people that just saying no could be a marketing disaster.” This program will be offered at Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and Wor Wic Community College.  The targeted audience at Community Foundation is non-profits. Employers and human resources professionals are invited to attend the workshop at Wor Wic Community College.  HR recertification credits are available for those attending the Wor Wic workshop.

MCE and SBDC have also announced a new social media series to be held in Easton.  The first lunch ‘n learn will take place on September 28.  In the past, Wolfe has also conducted workshops for the Berlin, Ocean City, and Ocean Pines Chambers of Commerce.  He hopes to announce a few new workshops in that area soon.

To register for any of the programs, interested parties should contact the sponsoring organization. You can view the full fall social media schedule here. When Ira Wolfe offered his first social media workshop on the Eastern Shore in 2008, Facebook had a mere 100 million users. Eight local business people signed up for his first class at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Salisbury University.  Today Facebook touts over 750 million users and Wolfe has trained over 500 local business people on how to use Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, YouTube as well as Facebook.

To accommodate a growing demand, Wolfe, founder of Social Media Architects of Delmarva, has partnered with several local organizations to offer additional classes on more topics. Beginning September 13, he kicks off a busy fall schedule with “The Power & Importance of Social Engine Optimization,” sponsored by Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE) and SBDC.  This lunch n’ learn is the first of seven monthly workshops that will run through March 2012. This is the second year for the series held at Salisbury Chamber of Commerce on the second Tuesday of each month. 

Wor Wic Community College also has been a popular venue for social media training. Classess are held in the Workforce Development Center where students receive hands-on training, creating and marketing business Facebook pages, as well as learning how to optimize their websites for better search engine ranking. 

A new offering this year will be “Social Media Policy: You Just Can’t Say No!”   According to Wolfe, many employers just want to ban social media from the workplace.  “Unfortunately, several recent court rulings and NLRB decisions protect an employee’s right to use social media,” Wolfe says.  “Besides, social media has become so integrated in the everyday lives of people that just saying no could be a marketing disaster.” This program will be offered at Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and Wor Wic Community College.  The targeted audience at Community Foundation is non-profits. Employers and human resources professionals are invited to attend the workshop at Wor Wic Community College.  HR recertification credits are available for those attending the Wor Wic workshop.

MCE and SBDC have also announced a new social media series to be held in Easton.  The first lunch ‘n learn will take place on September 28.  In the past, Wolfe has also conducted workshops for the Berlin, Ocean City, and Ocean Pines Chambers of Commerce.  He hopes to announce a few new workshops in that area soon.

To register for any of the programs, interested parties should contact the sponsoring organization. You can view the full fall social media schedule here.

Hurricane Emergency Checklist: Milk, Bread, Toilet Paper, Internet, and ….

I think it’s safe to say that most people today use a mobile phone, cable phone, and the Internet to communicate – at least those people reading this email. So as we prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, don’t forget to consider back up for your communication needs.  Here are some things to think about:

Internet  – If your internet goes down, do you have a backup system?  Most mobile providers like Verizon and ATT offer Mobile Wifi devices, which allow you to create your own wireless hotspot should you lose your cable or DSL.  These devices are inexpensive and price plans generally start at around $50.

Landlines – Most everyone has a cell phone. Make sure it’s charged.  In fact, you might want to keep it on the charger as the storm approaches so if the electricity goes out, you have a full battery. You can also use a car charger.  These usually cost about $20 and plug into the car’s “cigarette” lighter.

iPads and other Tablets – In case of power outages you may lose access to your desktop computer or laptop due to no/poor battery life.  By purchasing a tablet with internal wireless, you can have a device that is internet ready, has radio capability, a long-life battery, and you can charge up cheaply by using a car charger.

Radio: You might want to consider purchasing a Red Cross Emergency preparedness radio. These radios have a rechargeable battery, plus a compartment for AAA batteries, plus a “crank” for a quick charge.  The new version has a USB too so you can do a quick charge of a mobile phone.  Home Depot and Lowe’s usually stock these, as well as many local offices of the Red Cross. Also make sure you have extra batteries for your radio and other devices.

And finally, here’s a good preparedness checklist from the Red Cross too.

Social Media Garners More Traffic, More Leads: What R U Waiting For?

Are you one of those business owners who have been avoiding social media like the plaque?  Well, new marketing research reveals staggering statistics why businesses who use social media are dominating the competition.

For instance, businesses who blog 16 to 20 times per month get 2 times more traffic than those who blog weekly or less. Compare that to businesses that blog more than 20 times per month and the numbers will blow you away:  the frequent blogger gets 500% more traffic than those that blog less than 4 times per month.

More traffic is one thing but where’s the money?  Lead volume grew consistently among businesses who blog over 5 times per month.  Business who blogged 16 to 20 times per month got 3 times more leads than those who didn’t blog. Increase the blogging frequency to more than 20 times per month, lead generation increased 4 times.

Frequency isn’t the only factor in traffic and lead generation. This sounds obvious but the more you blog the more content you have on your website.  That’s important because businesses with over 200 blog posts get 4.6 times more traffic and 3.5 times more leads than sites with fewer than 20 blog posts.

Blogging is just one way to generate more traffic and leads.  Facebook is beginning to pay dividends for businesses that build an active community.  Businesses with 501 to 1,000 Facebook fans had 3.5 more traffic and 4 times more leads than those with 1 to 25 fans. That’s a drop in the bucket for those businesses who build a community of over 1,000 fans. The reward for businesses with over 1,000 is enormous:  22 times more traffic and 12 times more leads.

Now here’s where the rubber really hits the road… or should I say where social media puts a jingle in your pocket.  Using strategies that attract visitors through organic search engine optimization, blogging, and other social media sites, businesses can lower the cost of a lead by 60%, or from $332 per lead to $134.

With the decline in newspaper readership and pending extinction of advertising media like Yellow Pages, online marketing is exploding.  Once a competitive differentiator, a static website these days is the equivalent of a 4-color company brochure stuffed in a closet. It might look great but if no one ever gets to see it, what good is it?

Getting found on the Internet when a customer searches for what you sell requires a combination of a search engine friendly website, a blog for posting frequent content, and engagement of customers via social networking.

Social media marketing has become a powerful and essential business tool.  Success stories are starting to surface regularly.  But developing a loyal following of customers is not something that happens overnight.  The train is starting to pull out of the station.  Don’t be left behind.

Press Release: Cyberbullying Prevention Expert Reveals What Parents Should Know

As cyberbullying has become more frequent and increasingly vicious, the importance of educating parents about how to protect their kids is of paramount importance, says social media expert Ira S Wolfe. This epidemic of online bullying is what got Wolfe, managing partner/founder of Social Media Architects of Delmarva, involved with National Cyber Safety Awareness Day on May 17.

After listening to a recent radio interview about the threat and consequences of cyberbullying, Wolfe picked up the phone and called the radio guest, Shawn Edgington, America’s leading cyberbullying prevention expert.  The timing was perfect because Wolfe was about to give a presentation to local high school students and their parents about the threats and risks of cyberbullying.  Edgington shared with him her just released book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World.  “I immediately became immersed in the book, Wolfe said. “I rarely sit down and read a book but Shawn’s research and statistics were startling.”

Wolfe immediately agreed to help promote National Cyber Safety Awareness Day which coincided with a book drive for The Megan Meier Foundation.  On that day (May 17), donations of 1,000 copies of Edgington’s book are being sought to help the foundation’s founder,Tina Meier,educate parents about how to prevent cyberbullying. Meier created the foundation after her 13-year-old daughter committed suicide because she had been cyberbullied on a social network by a neighbor. This tragedy has been the impetus for Meier’s drive to warn parents of the hazards kids face growing up in a digitally connected world.

Wolfe hopes to have more opportunities to speak with parents about how to use social media safely.  “I’ve been helping hundreds of business people who attend workshops and classes at local Chambers of Commerce and Wor-Wic Community College understand how to use social media effectively and safely. Most of the participants are also parents and grandparents which makes what I teach in class touch them personally too. Helping children navigate online safely is also a great way to give back to the community.”

Book donations are 100% tax deductible and any individual or organization that donates a case of  books or more will be thanked in Edgington’s next printing of her book.  Books can be purchased  at:  https://secure4.planetlink.com/shawn_edgington.

About Shawn Edgington: Shawn Edgington is America’s leading textpert and cyberbullying prevention expert, and the author of the newly released The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media and Read Between the Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style. She is also the founder of The Cyber Safety Academy. Her mission is to raise public awareness about textual harassment, online predators, sexting, and cyberbullying prevention. Edgington has been featured in the upcoming documentary Submit:The Reality of Cyberbullying, and by Fox Business, Imus in the Morning, ABC-7′s View from the Bay in San Francisco,KRON4News in SanFrancisco, CNN Radio, the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Diego Union-Tribune, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, NPR, andThe Leslie Marshall Showamong others.

About Ira S Wolfe: Ira Wolfe is the managing partner/founder of Social Media Architects of Delmarva (www.socialmediaarchitectsofdelmarva.com).  Wolfe has been described as a “Gen Y operating in a Baby Boomer body,” a name aptly given to him after writing his book, “Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization.”  Wolfe is also president of Success Performance Solutions (www.super-solutions.com),  a pre-employment and leadership consulting firm as well as the author of several books including “The Perfect Labor Storm 2.0” and “Understanding Business Values and Motivators.” He has also been recognized by several human resources organizations as one of the most influential bloggers and is a sought after speaker at many CEO, business, and human resources association meetings.

To help both adults and teens protect their privacy when using Facebook, order a step-by-step guide on how to “Network Safely When Using Facebook.”  It’s available now for only $5 by clicking here.

Press Release: Social Media Architects Is Open For Business!

Ocean City, Maryland (April 18, 2011) – Social Media Architects of Delmarva is open for business. The newly formed social media marketing agency is a partnership between Social Media Expert Ira Wolfe and Marketing & PR Consultant Deserie Lawrence.

When Wolfe and Lawrence first met, they shared similar stories about their clients’ frustration with keeping up and managing their social media marketing campaigns.  “Opening social networking site accounts might be free and easy,” Wolfe contends, “but success does not come without effort.  Adding a few social media icons to your website and posting an occasional sale announcement on Facebook is not social media marketing.”

Just a few years ago, a website with a few good keywords was good enough for a business to be found when customers searched.  Today a website just sits there unless a business is “serving fresh content daily,” according to Lawrence. A robust social media presence is a requirement if a business expects to be seen and heard. “If a business isn’t engaging and interacting with customers, the silence is deafening,” Lawrence tells her clients.   Wolfe agrees: “A website without a social media plan is the equivalent of an attractive 4-color print brochure stored in a closet –it doesn’t do a thing if no one sees it.”

Social Media Architects delivers a simple solution for marketing a business online – offer fresh, relevant content.  “It doesn’t really matter what you say and where you say it as long as a customer finds value in it and … you feed the social media monster frequently,” says Wolfe. “Social media marketing done right is affordable and effective. The other option is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) programs such as Google Adwords.  PPC unfortunately is trying to buy your way to the top. It’s the lazy man’s approach to marketing and gets expensive. It’s also not sustainable – once you stop paying, your online marketing comes to a screeching halt with new content.”
Wolfe’s personal experience is a testament to how a small business can leverage social media marketing and outrank much larger competitors who have much bigger budgets and more staff.

As the president and founder of a small business (Success Performance Solutions), he personally engineered his company’s website into the top 3 percent of all websites in the United States and has been recognized as one of the top bloggers in the human resources industry. For the past two years, Wolfe has been sharing his experience by teaching social media workshops and classes to local business people at local Chambers of Commerce, Wor-Wic Community College, and SBDC at Salisbury University. Lawrence also has been incorporating social media into her clients’ and employers’ marketing plans. “The time for talk is over,” she says. “Reputation management and brand awareness are not just buzz words anymore; they are critical functions required to protect and grow a company’s customer assets.”

Social Media and Telephone – Is History Just Repeating Itself?

Some people believe that social media is killing personal relationships, corrupting society, and eliminating privacy. Many wish that we could go back to the good old days when life was simpler and slower.

So let’s roll the clock back to the good old days and take a look at the uncanny similarities between the telephone and social media.

talking on telephone-vintage85 years ago, adults were asking, “Does the telephone make men more active or lazier?” and “Does the telephone break up home life and the old practice of visiting friends?” The telephone was described as a fad and time waster.  There was fear that the telephone would erode privacy, fuel the rumor mills, distract employees and family from daily chores, and result in idle chit-chat. Business people complained that the telephone would allow false rumors to travel faster and result in disruptive, bothersome requests. 

So goes social media. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? History has a tendency of repeating itself.

3 Biggest Myths Broadcast About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing, for the most part, has an enticing entry fee – Free!  For that reason social media is ubiquitous and popular. Its use grows exponentially each day. Facebook alone has 600 million users and yet it is just one small segment of a very expansive revolution in how customers communicate and make decisions. Two billion videos are watched per day on YouTube. Three thousand images are loaded to Flickr every minute. Sixty-one percent of U.S. households use social networks.

Despite these startling statistics many businesses are still kicking and screaming against the value of social media in business.  This article dispels the three biggest myths and bad assumptions being circulated in the business community about social media.

  1. Social media is free.  But businesses should not confuse free with effortless.  It might not cost you money to launch a Facebook page, Twitter account, or Your Tube channel but turning social media into a revenue or customer loyalty generation machine is a different story.  Converting a follower or connection into a business asset takes time and resources.  Not having the time or resources to get started or keep current is no longer a viable excuse.  If you do, you’re telling your customer, he or she isn’t worth it. Social media marketing has become as vital a function as sales.  Social media has gone mainstream and “no time-no money-and- no resources” does not give you permission anymore to avoid using social media to market your business, build customer loyalty, or recruit candidates. 
  2. My customers aren’t using it.  Who are you kidding?  Every time a customer leaves a review about a book they read, a hotel or restaurant they visited, a product they just purchased, they use social media.  Sites like Yelp, Amazon, and Google Places have put your business on social media without your permission and there’s nothing you can do about it … except manage it.  Customers are leaving messages about your business for millions of other people to read and many businesses aren’t paying attention. Research by Convergys Corp. has shown that a negative customer review on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook can cost a company about 30 customers. What it means is poor service and/or a lousy product cannot escape the eyes of potential consumers in today’s digital age. Google and social sites facilitate all sorts of reviews about your company. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to getting the attention of customers.
  3. Build it and they will come. Just as you are short of time, so are your customers. Unless you give them a good reason – a really good reason – to read your blog, watch your video, or like your Facebook page and then stay connected, they won’t do it.  Even when customers have made social media a subconscious activity, every business is vying for their attention.  Customers want to feel you are listening to them. Even if it’s only for one brief moment, they want to feel like they have your undivided attention.  Did I mention your content has got to be so good that it gives customers a reason to visit your site and return often?

Social media has inverted the marketing funnel.  Mass marketing is dying.  Inbound marketing – aka 1:1 marketing or permission marketing – is thriving.  Customers will choose to spend time on your site and less time somewhere else only if they receive value or feel part of a special community.

Facebook Page Migration – Not A Good Idea

As of Friday (April Fool’s Day), Facebook disabled the Facebook Profile to Page Migration Tool.  The new tool was launched just a few days earlier to help brands and organizations migrate personal profiles, being used for business branding, over to a business page.

But as I mentioned in my previous post, the migration wasn’t perfect. Now we find out that nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Based on the experience of a contributor on the Mashable blog, avoid using the tool (if it’s brought back) unless you are desperately on the verge of losing your account. (Unfortunately you likely don’t know how close you are to getting your account suspended because Facebook doesn’t generally offer you any warnings.)

For many companies it seems like a trivial problem to have friends or fans. But Facebook’s terms of service (TOS) specifically state that inanimate objects, pets, and businesses can’t have personal profile pages.  Many organizations have had their accounts suspended for using a personal profile to represent their business.

So, I’ll reiterate my recommendation.  The best way to changeover from a profile to a page is to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Create a new business page
  2. Announce to all your friends on your personal profile that effective immediately, your business is now represented at <Your company> business page. Request they “Like” the page to keep receiving updates and posting their pictures/videos/comments.
  3. Change the name of your personal page back to your name and remove the logo of your business as the profile picture.

Tip: How do you know? If you have “collect” Friends, you have a personal profile; if people “Like” you page, you have a business page.