text/html; February « 2011 « Conversity.be

What my social graph says about Belgium’s favourite pastimes and tv shows

When I'm logged in to Facebook, the top 5 list of favourite pastimes of Belgians appear to be:

  1. Droge Humor (Dutch for "dry humor")
  2. Uitslapen (Dutch for "sleep oneself out")
  3. Doe nekeer zot (Flemish for "let's go a little crazy")
  4. Pintjes (Flemish for "pints of beer")
  5. Op vakantie gaan (Dutch for "going on holiday")
  6. Verwend worden (Dutch for "being pampered")
  7. Nekeer goe gaan eten (Flemish for "eating out")

OK, that's a top seven but I thought the last one was so typical I just couldn't delete it.

The top Belgian media brand is StudioBrussel, and (still according to my social graph), the most popular Belgian tv programmes/events are:

  1. Studio Brussel Music For Life (yearly charity event)
  2. De Slimste Mens Ter Wereld (tv show/quiz)
  3. Benidorm Bastards and the only slightly less popular Benidorm Bastards Official Page (hidden camera comedy programme)
  4. Het Eiland (comic tv series 2004-2005)
  5. Basta (comic tv series)


  • Facebook Page marked as "Belgian"
  • over 100,000 fans

What exactly is "social graph"?

‘Social graph’ is a term first used by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in 2007. It is often described as ‘the global mapping of everybody and how they are related to each other’, or in other words: as the social network of on-line relationships between people. Paper.li and FlipBoard make use of my Facebook and/or Twitter networks to filter out the content that interests my friends. And since they are my ‘friends’, there is a good chance that this content will also interest me (it often does).
Have a look at http://paper.li/bnox , also known as ‘The Clo Willaerts Daily’.

See also:


The 5 most popular Belgians on Facebook

Based on a quick scan of the Belgian Facebook universe, these are the five most popular Belgian celebrities:

  1. Martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. "Muscles from Brussels" does have an international audience, too.
  2. Comedian and actor Francois Damiens, even more popular than JC Van Damme if you count his character Francois Lembrouille's page too.
  3. [EDIT] Singer Stromae (thanks for the tip, Sam Feys)
  4. Stand-up comedian Philippe Geubels
  5. Actor and comedian Benoit Poelvoorde

Criteria I used:

  1. Being a Belgian celebrity of some kind.
  2. Having over 100,000 "likes" on their "official" Facebook Page.

Special mentions for these two fictional characters:

  • Kabouter Wesley (a series of comics and short animated cartoons about a grumpy and violent gnome - 162,330 fans)
  • Het is ook uw vader he (refers to a fictional character in a tv ad for telco Belgacom - 123,108 fans)

Anyone I missed?

Tomorrow: Belgium's favourite pastimes as based on Facebook Likes.

Filed under: Facebook 4 Comments

Facebook by the numbers

The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.


What are t-shirt brands and why are they so popular on Facebook?

The inspiration for this slide deck was Do you know the top FMCG brands on Facebook? by socialbakers.com. In these slides, I look at the social media strategy of a couple of big (mainly U.S.) brands in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods category: Coca-Cola, Oreo, Red Bull, Skittles, Pringles, Monster Energy, Dr Pepper, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Starburst. My main focus: what social media tactics and channels do they use? And what can we learn from their success cases and mistakes?

In my first slides, I mention "t-shirt brands". From "The Conversity Model":

If you want to know about people’s favourite brands, the brands that are at the very top of their list, the easiest way is to check which brands they are a ‘fan’ of. This is an example of explicit data: by filling in details of their favourite movies, music, products, services, etc., people are (more or less) aware that are leaving behind proof of the brands which form part of their ‘preset’.
Some people, especially young adults, use brand names as guideposts, as a method of orienting themselves in the world. They are dependent on brands for their self-presentation. This is why some companies seek to provide consumers with ways to find meaning in the meaningless, thereby allowing them to forge identities in a faceless modern world.
Some of these brands have even become credible sources of communities (because they create a sense of belonging). I call them ‘t-shirt brands’, because the ‘fans’ of these brands would (if they could) happily wear a t-shirt with the logo of their favourite, defining brand.

In his book ‘Crowd Surfing’, author Martin Thomas writes:

For many people, this sense of community is reinforced through the brands that they choose to align themselves with. Our relationships with brands may not be as deep and meaningful as those we have with people, but they share many of the same characteristics, especially the desire to belong.
Brands play an important role in people’s lives by providing both a sense of community that comes from being aligned to a particular group, and a feeling of superiority over the masses. This is, after all, the way that trends start.’


YouTube factsheet

Who started it?

YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. The very first video uploaded was called ‘Me at the Zoo’, on 23 April 2005. By June 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day. In November 2006, YouTube was bought by Google.

What is it?

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos. YouTube is available in 19 countries and 12 languages.

How can it be used?

Music videos account for 20% of uploads. Popular genres include:

  • Music videos, film trailers
  • Cuteness: cats and babies
  • Violence: fails and explosions
  • How-to videos
  • Bikini babes

YouTube videos can be displayed on web pages outside the site, once they have been embedded into social network sites and blogs. In order to embed, YouTube users simply copy the html code that accompanies each YouTube movie.

Who uses it?

Every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube. YouTube receives more than 2 billion viewers each day. YouTube now uses the same amount of bandwidth as was used by the entire internet in 2000.
The U.S. accounts for 70% of YouTube users. Over half of YouTube’s users are under 20 years of age.

What other applications does it work with?

There are numerous web sites, applications and browser plug-ins that allow users to download YouTube videos – a feature that YouTube itself does not offer. Since June 2007, YouTube’s videos are available on a range of Apple products, even though these do not support Flash.

Should you use it?

Whether your aim is to entertain or to inform (or both), video is a powerful channel for quickly engaging your customers, responding to their complaints, and demonstrating your social media prowess.
For brand exposure, YouTube is one of the most powerful branding tools on the web. Not only is YouTube the second biggest search engine (just behind Google itself ), but its videos also rank high. But what I most like is the way in which advertisers can be creative with some of YouTube’s lesser known features, such as interactive video games.
A great example (which I discovered by chance while researching for my book) is the Trivial Pursuit YouTube game.

Further reading:


6 social media hits and misses from the car industry

From How the Auto Industry Is Embracing Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] @ mashable.com:

1. A huge win for Ford

Ford gave 100 folks Ford Fiestas 18 months before they were released and asked that they share their experiences online.

It resulted in:

  • 11 million impressions
  • 11,000 video views
  • 13,000 photos
  • 15,000 tweets

2. Chevy's road trip results

Last year Chevrolet sent out eight teams of social media folks on a road trip/scavenger hunt competition. They had to complete challenges and interact on social sites.

It resulted in:

  • 61.1 million impressions
  • 1,216 video views
  • 8,764 new Facebook likes
  • 13,400 tweets

3. Volkswagen's "The Force" video

While most companies keep their Super Bowl ads a secret until game time, this video was intentionally released earl to create pre-game buzz. It lead to millions of views, thousands of likes and the miniature Darth Vader, actor Max Page, even appeard in the Today Show.

4. GM's viral plan backfires

In 2006, GM teamed up with "The Apprentice" to create a site that allowed Chevy Tahoe fans to make their own commercials online. However, the reponse was largely negative as SUV critics made films bashing the Tahoe and others made satirical ads.

Chevy Tahoe Apprentice Commercials - Watch more Funny Videos

5. Honda's cyber critique

In the summer of 2009, Honda created a Facebook fan page to help promote the new Crosstour. However, it turned sour when "fans" outside of the target demographic only had negative things to say. Honda didn't issue a response until september.

6. Toyota's Flickr flop

In 2009, Toyota and its ad agency put together a Web site for the Toyota 4Runner. The problem was that the images had been stolen from Flickr and were used without the photographers permission. Toyota soon removed the images and apologized.

See also:

Filed under: Case, Conversation No Comments

Social etiquette: why do people unsubsubscribe, unfollow, or unlike?

From: ExactTarget/cotweet "Subscribers, Fans & Followers report #8: The Social Breakup (.pdf)

We sometimes hear marketers talk about "authenticity" as a key component to engaging consumers. However, the consumers we spoke to [...] talked about caring, and caring goes much deeper. Caring conveys the sentiment that brands place the best interest in their customers ahead of their own balance sheets.

So where do corporate email, Facebook and Twitter communications go wrong?

  • Failure to engage, or lack of follow-through. Example: creating a Facebook page, but never updating it.
  • Being too self-promotional. [...] Hard sell tactics can work in person, but they fail online because you lack the personal interaction to counter the hard-sell message.
  • Unclear message. [...] If product information is unclear, incomplete, or difficult to find, the brand may be seen as careless, irresponsible, or untrustworthy.
  • Breaches of social etiquette. Example: 


Social media are not free

The following was once overheard at an advertising agency: ‘So this marketing manager tells me we should do a fanpage on Facebook. And he tells me not to ask for extra budget, because he knows that Facebook is free!’
Social media are, obviously, not free. Their development requires resources – real people spending real time and real money – for planning, creative insight and actual product management. These costs may be hidden costs, but they are costs nonetheless, and need to be calculated.

The excellent How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets by Jeremiah Owyang and Charlene Li sees three major social business spending areas:

  1. Internal Soft Costs: Staff to Manage the program, Education and Training, and Research and Development.
  2. Customer-Facing Initiatives: Ad/Marketing Spend on social networks, Traditional Agencies (deploying social media), Boutique Agencies (specializing in social media), and Influencer/Blogger Programs.
  3. Technology Investments: Brand Monitoring, Community Platform, Custom Technology Development, Social CRM (SCRM), and Social Media Management Systems (SMMS).

Their seven key trends for 2011 are:

  1. All corporations will gear up on Staff to manage social business, yet investment in Training and Education will be low.
  2. Corporations will invest heavily in Ad and Marketing on social networks, though fail to truly engage or leverage the social graph.
  3. Advanced buyers will spend nearly 3X more on Boutique Agencies than Traditional Agencies.
  4. Nearly all buyers will invest in Brand Monitoring, but don’t expect the ROI problem to be solved.
  5. Community Platforms become a mainstay of Marketing and Support.
  6. Advanced corporations will invest in Custom Technology Development, including integration of social networks on the corporate website.
  7. To scale, more mature programs will invest in nascent systems, such as Social Media Management Systems (SMMS) and Social CRM (SCRM).


Facebook Demographics worldwide

Facebook is technically a social networking website, privately owned by Facebook Inc., with more than 500 million active users (621,743,220 at the time of writing). However, if you look at the user-side features, Facebook is becoming more a platform for publishing and sharing mainstream and social media, and less a hosted service for managing your contacts on-line. That is why I classify it under ‘social media’.

Who uses it?
According to PewInternet.org, 61% of Facebook users are 35 years of 30 age or older. The average age for Facebook users is 38 years old.
According to the Facebook press office, the average Facebook user has 130 friends and is connected to 60 pages, groups and events.

On 15 January 2011, strategic planner and digital specialist Amodiovalerio Verde has compiled some of the global demographic data of Facebook. Some highlights:

  • The average of age in the world is 28,2 while in some countries average age is lower (Southern-eastern Asia 24.1) and higher (Northern America 31.2).
  • 42% of all Facebook users is located in America, 27% in Asia and 25% in Europe.

The top 20 countries list includes:

  • 8 american countries (U.S., Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela)
  • 6 asian countries (Indonesia, Turkey, India, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia)
  • 5 european countries (U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain)
  • 1 oceanian country (Australia)

More in this slide deck:


Creating a thriving online community for your business is hard work

In his early work, ‘A Slice of Life in My Virtual Community’, U.S. critic, writer, and teacher Howard Rheingold described on-line communities (or ‘virtual communities’, as he called them) as ‘cultural aggregations that emerge when enough people bump into each other often enough in cyberspace.’
He did not say ‘sit down in a meeting and write down a business case’. He said ‘bump into each other’. If you look at their history, many of the web’s most successful on-line communities (and social networks, for that matter) were started by chance – usually by a few people with common interests who found (or built) the right technology to connectwith like-minded souls. On-line communities are not necessarily a place, virtual or otherwise. They are a relationship between members of a group based on mutual interests. A state of mind.

U.K. online community consultant Richard Millington explains in his keynote speech at the CSN Conference in Amsterdam last week that most online communities fail because they were started for the wrong reasons:

  • to attract new customers
  • SEO
  • Sales & PR
  • Short-term thinking

So what are the "right" reasons for an online community to start an online community?

  • Great ideas
  • New sources of revenue
  • Recruitment
  • Sales leads
  • Integration

More in this slide deck: