While the vast majority of business-to-consumer brands are using social media to interact with customers, business-to-business marketers are lagging behind when it comes to using social media, particularly for conducting market and competitive research, according to a new survey of over 100 B2B marketing executives by SiriusDecisions.
One of the world's oldest and most respected financial institutions, the Bank of England, is embracing social media as a tool for gathering information about a range of economic indicators, according to Sky News, which first reported the news. The social media initiative is part of a larger "Big Data" push aimed at measuring and predicting economic activity more precisely, in order to set interest rates more effectively.
Many people distort reality when they post content to social media in order to present the best possible image of themselves -- but they may be fooling themselves as well, via a process of false memory formation leading to "digital amnesia," according to a new study conducted by Pencourage, an anonymous online journal.
In a new study, researchers from Cornell University and Sapienza University of Rome analyzed data from social networks and developed an algorithm designed to account for the mechanics of personal decision-making -- how an individual's attitudes and choices are affected by the prevalence of attitudes among their peers, as well as the element of timing, or how scheduling of campaigns affects their subsequent spread or failure to spread across social media. The goal was to determine how to produce social "cascades" in which the behaviors of large numbers of people became coordinated over time.
Possibly the only thing growing faster than social media usage is the number of social media technology companies out there, suggesting a marketplace ripe for consolidation. This week brought a promising glimpse of a potential future shakeout with acquisitions by Social Reality and SeaChange International.
It was a busy year in social media -- so busy that inevitably I missed some cool stories. Here's a neat one from this summer that flew under my radar: it seems one of the world's largest hospitality chains is getting into the social media business, with Marriott's ongoing experiment to create a social network for guests staying at its hotels, focused on the hotel lobby as a place to mingle and meet other guests.
While Facebook's penetration rate among teens remains high, it may be starting to slip, as yet another study suggests teens are leaving Big Blue and gravitating toward a number of newer, more youthful social networks. At the same time, Facebook's popularity is also dipping among the population in general.
Whether you're watching at home or at the arena, spectator sports are pretty much made for social media, and vice versa. This week the Cleveland Cavaliers joined the list of professional sports teams moving to encourage social media activity around their games through a partnership with TigerLogic Corp., which has installed large screens to display fans' social media posts.
While it's a huge headache for Sony, the massive leak of its internal documents is an early Christmas present for reporters and bloggers, who got an inside look at the workings of Sony, its business partners, and other companies only tangentially related to it -- for example, through investments by employees. That last category includes visual messaging app Snapchat, which showed up because Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is an investor and board member.
There's no question that social media is doing a lot of good in the world. However, because I am a Debbie Downer with some Scrooge-like tendencies, I feel I cannot let the Time.com cheerfest pass without a rebuttal, so without further ado here are 10 Times Social Media Made the World Worse in 2014 -- the point being not so much that social media is actually bad, but rather that it is morally neutral, meaning that its worth depends entirely on how we use it.