January 17, 2013

S.M.U.T #1 (Social Media Update Time)

I have decided to create a regular feature called S.M.U.T that identifies recent social media updates to Facebook, Google, Twitter etc that I consider to be significant.

The goal of these posts will be to provide my marketing/media friends with  latest social media changes in a concise, visual way with videos, images and examples.

Today in S.M.U.T #1, I shall explain the following 3 interesting social media updates:

  1. Facebook Social Graph Search
  2. Increase in size of Facebook link previews
  3. Different Facebook post organic reach, by post type

So here goes :

1, Facebook Social Graph search

  • Launched in small beta on January 15th to ‘hundreds or thousands of Facebook users'(very small test)
  • Allows Facebook users to search for various things such as music, restaurants, bars and much more,  based on what their friends like and have interacted with –  this social context makes search results more credible to the user

Here is an excellent video (that my good friend Carlos Pacheco) made me aware of that I find is an excellent demonstration of its functionality/capabilities – click on image below to view it.

If you want an excellent textual summary of ‘4 reasons why marketers should be interested in Graph search’ (when it becomes available), click on our Dentsu partner’s, 360i, logo below to go to concise blog post about it:

2, Increase in size of link previews in Facebook

  • According to Facebook, it seems that they are increasing the size of link previews when you post a link (other than a Youtube video link.)
  • Size of image to double from 90 x 90 pixels to 154 x 154
  • More space for text
  • Greater chance that fans (of brands) or friends (of individual Facebook users) will see their posts and links, due to greater visual visibility on page

Here is the difference in size with the new 154 x 154 pixel link preview format vs previous 90 x 90:

An example of a Jame Oliver post link preview (not exact size but just to show what an actual link preview looks like) :

3. Facebook post organic reach – different by post type

It seems that Facebook organic post reach is different according to post type (eg the number of friends or fans who are exposed to your Facebook posts, without you increasing post reach by paid advertising .)

  • For video, images and link posts: 8-9% of your Facebook fans or friends will see them
  • For text status posts, 11-19% of your Facebook fans or friends will see them

Here is a post from social bakers that shows the decrease in overall organic Facebook post reach up to October 2012  – it contains the following very interesting visual for marketers


I shall try in future to regularly give social media updates in a clear concise fashion that requires little effort on your part, that will allow media, marketing and brand strategists to retain key takeaways quickly. I hope this was a helpful post. Everybody loves SMUT !




Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Media | No comments yet - be the first

November 15, 2012

20 Sexy Social Facts

We read a lot about Social Media but I thought I would compile 20 lesser known facts to surprise the non-believers. So here they are:

  1. Links about sex in Facebook are shared 90% more than any other type of link
  2. 7% of Americans have never heard of Facebook (What?!!)
  3. There are 10 likes in Youtube for every 1 dislike – a bit like real life actually !
  4. 5,3 billion searches in LinkedIn annually
  5. Google+1 button is used more than 5 billion times a day
  6. 97% of fans on Pinterest Facebook page are women
  7. Earlybird is the most popular filter in Instagram (12% )
  8. 500 years worth of video are shared every day in Facebook
  9. Facebook acquired 1 new user every second for 3 years from 2009-2012 (and that is just in US)
  10. 2,7 billion Facebook likes per day
  11. >1 million linked in groups
  12. In 2011, Youtube had an average of 140 video views for every person on earth
  13. 829 000 videos uploaded to Youtube daily
  14. 30 billion pieces of content are shared in Facebook each month
  15. 34% of social media users never post anything – Cyber voyeurs or what ?!!
  16. >1 million LinkedIn groups
  17. Twitter handles more search queries than Yahoo and Bing combined (24 billion vs. 4,1 and 9,4 respectively)
  18. Average age of a Facebook user is 38, average age of a Google+ user is 28
  19. Average time spent by a user on Pinterest per visit is nearly 16 minutes
  20. Gangnam Style is the most viral video ever with 679,620,147 views although my favourite is Charlie Bit Me with only 494,074,850 views !!


  • Google Blog
  • Google Investors report
  • Tech crunch
  • Pinfluence
  • Edison
  • Instagram Press centre
  • Linkedin press centre
  • Power Formula Linked In User study


Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | 4 comments - read them or leave a reply

January 5, 2012

Buzzwords and Bullsh#t

The Ad industry is at the beginning of an explosive revolution, not seen since the start of the industrial revolution where processes, technology, innovation all changed so dramatically that the way that business was done and information & products were distributed, were transformed forever.

In 2012, there are lots of similarities to that epoch.

Like our predecessors, we are also continually looking for innovative ways to evolve away from existing paradigms that have existed since the first days of advertising with regards to:

  • technology
  • measurability
  • processes,
  • procedures,
  • skill-sets perceived by the industry to be valuable,
  • different ways to distribute messages and products,
  • changing role of the consumer  and 
  • participative nature of the consumer in creating and distributing the brand message etc.

The earliest days (and we are still in the early days!) of internet as a medium, were very crude, very raw, and very non strategic in many cases, and when it evolved from the ‘push’ of web 1.0 information to the multi directional, participative communication of web 2.0 and beyond, many of those original online pioneer publishers fell by the wayside.

Many made millions and continue to make millions, but many others simply went out of business because of the rapid change. The strongest have survived…for now.

And I think to a lesser degree, that this is going to happen with those claiming to be ‘social media experts‘ in our industry.

We are currently  in a phase where there are thousands of individuals/companies/organizations claiming to have the required skill-sets to exploit these ‘social media ‘channels for brands but at the moment, our industry is simply reacting to ‘Buzzwords and Bullshit’ (a term that I think would make a great album title by the way!) and many ‘experts’ are being hired based on very little or no substance, and lots of hot air.

In many instances, he who shouts the loudest, is getting the Lion’s share (in the short term.)

But in the same way that the Phoenix rose from the ashes in Greek and Roman mythology, and in the way that healthy green tree chutes eventually grow back after a forest fire, in my opinion, this is what we shall experience in the coming years with regards to the 2 magic catch all words – ‘social media.’

Out of the carnage, the strongest will survive and the best social media people to help brands will remain.

My belief is that with data being the driver behind everything in the future in terms of communications/marketing/advertising and even creativity, it is the concrete numbers that will define which ‘experts’ in social media are truly ‘the experts’ in the long term.

An additional important point to mention is that social media is currently treated by many companies as a separate medium that is mutually exclusive from all other media.

However, realistically Social Media is becoming more and more integrated into traditional media channels –  Google predicted in 2010 that 75% of all online display ads shall be social in nature by 2015.

Any company that is able to seamlessly integrate ‘social functionality’ into their corporate culture and their brand communications, and have the numbers to back it up, will be the winners. Consequently, a knowledge of the workings of other mainstream media such as TV, radio, out of home as well as new media platforms, will certainly be an asset.

Example – I believe that in the future, Video content across all media could and should regularly be used to simply kick off an engaging brand initiative to the masses, and that the internet can then take it to another level in terms of a greater depth of engagement, sharing and use of social channels. A knowledge of only online social media will not be enough in such a scenario to maximize the brand benefit.

And don’t forget, that there will be a time soon when the term ‘social media’ will no longer exist because most communication will inherently contain a social element.

So all I’m ultimately saying to brands is, please be careful in 2012 of ‘B and B !!!’

What do you guys think?










Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

November 23, 2011

Top 5 weirdest Facebook Pages

In what may well become a regular feature on Robservations, I thought you’d like to see my random Top 5 bizarre Facebook pages . Click on each one to check them out :


#5. Only join If your name starts with A, C, D, F, H, I, J, K, L , M, N

  • >1,3 million page likes


#4. I hate getting texts that only say ”k”

  •  >4,57 million page likes


#3. Saying ”I dunno” when I can’t be bothered to explain something

  • 1,8 million page likes



#2 Saving a file as ‘dyjjyggffj’ because I’m too lazy to write a proper name

  • >3,2 million likes


#1. The guy who discovered milk – what was he doing to that cow?

  • 1,49 million page likes


Moral of this top 5?

Facebook allows you to reach out to a huge number of internet, smart phone and tablet users about ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING! Often, the more out of the box and more abstract, the better to really gain traction.

As I mentioned, this could become a regular feature, I think !! There are some amusing/crazy people out there!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, General, Top 5-10 lists, Useless but amusing | 1 comment - read it or leave a reply

February 19, 2011

A Facebook share creates >3 times online revenue than a Tweet

Fascinating research out today that attempts to estimate and compare the revenue generated from Tweets and Twitter follows vs. Facebook shares and likes.

Although I’m a little sceptical about their methodology, it may be a good starting point for comparison.

It makes sense to me that Facebook’s value of shares and likes could potentially be higher than both Tweets and follows in Twitter since as a generality, I believe that we have a stronger relationship with Facebook friends than we do with our Twitter connections. A share from a Facebook friend comes with a certain level of credibility.

For more information on the study, click here: Social Action Value Study

This follows an October 2010 study by online ticketing service, Eventbrite, who calculated that everytime someone shares a link about an upcoming event in the main social media channels, it generated the following $ amount in ticket sales:

  • $2.52 in Facebook
  • $0,90 in Linked In
  • $0,34 in Twitter

Neither of these studies, however, take into account the value of building a long term loyalty programme between a brand and a consumer via these powerful channels.

Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the incredible power and value of these social channels. After all, they have even been known to bring down Egyptian governments.

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Media, Useful | 2 comments - read them or leave a reply


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