How Our 5 Challengers Are Surviving Without Social Media

Could you disconnect from social media for two weeks?

We asked Mashable readers to tell us why they would want to do just that, and after reviewing the answers we received, we chose five brave individuals to partake in the challenge. It’s been one week since those individuals temporarily severed all social media ties, so we contacted them via email to see how they are dealing with the disconnect.

So far, their experiences have generally been positive. However, there have been a few things that make life without social media difficult. Here are some of the recurring themes the came up in their responses.


Communication Has Become More Personal


Multiple participants mentioned that they’re having more one-on-one conversations with friends and family, through texts and phone calls. Andrea says, “I have some friends who have already emailed me or started texting me directly for interaction. Which I’m finding is nicer. It’s a more personal connection, which is something we should strive for with people we are friends with.”

One of our challenge participants even had a birthday celebration this past week. While he received more text and phones calls from friends and family, Javier says he probably missed out on at least 80% of his birthday wishes because he was not able to log on to Facebook. He added that it was a bit awkward to receive phone calls from people he normally only interacted with on Facebook or Twitter.


Missing Status Updates


Participants also reported that they missed not being able to post status updates, share photos or post to their blogs. Andrea wrote that she was at a Radiohead concert this past weekend, but wasn’t able upload a photo that she was especially proud of. Vincent also lamented being unable to check in when he was flying across the country this past week — looks like he missed out on valuable Foursquare points.


Social Media Is Everywhere


The disconnect challenge has made participants realize just how much social media is integrated into almost everything online. Jaime writes, “I’m struck by how much social media permeates almost everything I do online.” When she went to read an article on a news site, she noticed that there were comments and share links for every article she read.


Will People Forget About Me?


Not using social media has made communication more personal, but many challenge participants reported the fear that their acquaintances and contacts would forget about them. Natalia even worried that readers of her blog would stop following because she wouldn’t be posting content for two weeks. She says, “It’s quite crazy how you can ‘exist’ without actually seeing people in person. It’s like social media created a space between reality and fiction.”

Vincent describes his experience with the challenge so far. “I think it’s a pretty exciting feeling right now, knowing that no one knows where I am or what I’m doing,” he says. I feel like I have much more privacy and freedom than before. I would almost recommend that everyone try this at some point.”

It’s only been a week into the challenge, and the participants have another week to go. We are interested to see how the habits of the participants change, or don’t change. Will their views on the use of social media in their everyday lives change? Check back next week for another recap of the challenge participants experiences.

Do you have any predictions for our challenge participants next week?


Comment


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7b3af_javier-edit2.jpg

Javier is a young digital journalist and community manager, among other things. He wants to disconnect for two weeks to discover how he’ll share his ideas and opinions with out social media.

Javier’s Facebook Profile

Javier’s Twitter Profile


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7b3af_andrea-edit2.jpg

Andrea is a hobbyist photographer who uses social media when she first wakes up in the morning and before she goes to bed. She wants to take the two-week challenge to see what kinds of things she’ll get done without social media.

Andrea’s Twitter Profile

Andrea’s Facebook Profile


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7b3af_vincent-edit.jpg

Vincent is a young filmmaker and marketer who uses social media for both promotional and personal uses. He sees this two-week experiment as a productive challenge.

Vincent’s Facebook Profile


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7b3af_natalia2-edit.jpg

Natalia wants to partake in this two-week challenge in order to to find inspiration in the offline world to use for her blog.

Natalia’s Facebook profile

Natalia’s Blog


http://joshaersocialmediasolutions.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/7b3af_jaime2-edit.jpg

Jaime is a stay-at-home mom who uses social media every day to stay connected with her friends. She wants to take the two-week challenge to see how productive she can be and how difficult life can be without social media.

Jaime’s Twitter Profile

Jaime’s Blog

View As One Page »

View As Slideshow »

Javier is a young digital journalist and community manager, among other things. He wants to disconnect for two weeks to discover how he’ll share his ideas and opinions with out social media.

Javier’s Facebook Profile

Javier’s Twitter Profile


Andrea is a hobbyist photographer who uses social media when she first wakes up in the morning and before she goes to bed. She wants to take the two-week challenge to see what kinds of things she’ll get done without social media.

Andrea’s Twitter Profile

Andrea’s Facebook Profile


Vincent is a young filmmaker and marketer who uses social media for both promotional and personal uses. He sees this two-week experiment as a productive challenge.

Vincent’s Facebook Profile


Natalia wants to partake in this two-week challenge in order to to find inspiration in the offline world to use for her blog.

Natalia’s Facebook profile

Natalia’s Blog


Jaime is a stay-at-home mom who uses social media every day to stay connected with her friends. She wants to take the two-week challenge to see how productive she can be and how difficult life can be without social media.

Jaime’s Twitter Profile

Jaime’s Blog


Social Media Supports ‘Hunger Games’ More Than ‘Potter,’ Less Than ‘Twilight’ [CHARTS]

Social media users are more positive about the upcoming Hunger Games movie than they were about the final installment of Harry Potter, but not quite as stoked as they were for the first Twilight: Breaking Dawn film.

The Hunger Games, set for release this weekend, is the latest fantasy-oriented picture to feature a teenage or pre-teen protagonist, so it’s interesting to compare its buzz on social media with the two most recent similar blockbusters. The first of two Twilight: Breaking Dawn films was released last November, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 debuted in July.

Mashable tapped social media analysis company Fizziology to look at sentiment on Twitter, Facebook and blogs for the Hunger Games. Here are highlights of their findings:

  • Nearly twice as much of the coversation on social media has revolved around buying tickets early for The Hunger Games than was the case for Twilight, at 7% to 4%. But that’s still a good 2% less of a role than than getting tickets played in the Harry Potter conversation.
  • 4% of social media buzz for The Hunger Games talks about seeing midnight shows. That’s good for a tie with Harry Potter, and double what the rate was for Twilight
  • Social media sentiment for all three films is and was overwhelmingly positive, but Twilight engendered the most negative talk, at 7% of all conversation. The Hunger Games comes in at 3%, while just 1% of conversation surrounding Harry Potter was negative.

Check out the Fizziology graphic below for a full picture of how social media sentiment for The Hunger Games stacks up against Twilight and Harry Potter. Do these findings match what you’ve been seeing in your social feeds? Let us know in the comments.

Twitter Expands the Boundaries for Promoted Tweets

Every couple of months, Twitter inches slightly closer to their goal of becoming an advertising force in social media.

This week’s action was pushing Promoted Tweets out to the mobile apps. More importantly, they expanded who sees the ads and that’s great for marketers.

Previously, Promoted Tweets only showed up in your stream if you followed that brand. Now, advertisers can choose to show Tweets to anyone with similar interests.

The way I interpret this is, if I’m following Coca-Cola on Twitter, then Pepsi can choose to send me their Promoted Tweets.

Twitter says they decided to make this move because the response they got to their mobile testing was positive. Will it stay that way?

It does seem that people have stopped carrying on about the presence of advertising. Perhaps they’ve finally realized that it’s not only necessary if they want the app for free, but it can be helpful.

Yes, I said it. Advertising is a good thing. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but perhaps my word will spread to the masses and people will learn to embrace ads, not run from them.

Twitter says 55% of the more than 100 million regular users check in at least once a month using a mobile app. With the upgrades in navigation and presentation, this number should continue to climb.

I had a real love affair with Twitter at the start, then broke away for several months. Now, I’ve found I really enjoy sitting on the couch, flipping through the day’s tweets with my iPad. The app allows me to easily click through to read submitted articles and I feel like I’m getting more out of Twitter than ever before.

How about you? Do you use Twitter on mobile? How does it fit in to your marketing plan?

Marketing Pilgrim’s Social Channel is proudly sponsored by Full Sail University, where you can earn your Masters of Science Degree in Internet Marketing in less than 2 years. Visit FullSail.edu for more information.

Pinterest Posers Present Possible Problems

It comes as no surprise really and it may even be a sign that you have truly arrived, but Pinterest is seeing a proliferation of people serving as proxies for brands and celebrities.

Ars Technica reports of this growing concern that Pinterest is permitting to play out for now at least.

Each new social media service that crosses the threshold of public awareness sees two things: brands and celebrities rushing in to find out if they can use the service to their advantage and, right before that, squatters and jokers who got to the brand name first. The latest to experience this Wild West phenomenon is the visual bulletin board service, Pinterest, which recently announced a brief policy statement on usernames that hardly clears things up for companies, celebrities, and satirists alike.

I admit that I am not that interested in Pinterest quite yet on a personal level. That is not a cynical take on the service at all. There is no denying it is making an impact and that it can be good for users and marketers alike. I’m just not the right demographic as of yet.

But since people are flocking there in droves that means that the celebrities and brands are not going to be very far behind (oh happy day!). It’s at this point that things can get prickly for Pinterest. Just ask an other social media player just how troubling the identity side of the coin is. Cyber squatters are not generally folks of the highest moral make-up either which doesn’t give much hope to this situation ending well unless Pinterest steps in quickly.

So will they?

Pinterest recently posted an exceedingly brief statement of policy on “Trademark Infringement Usernames.”

“Pinterest respects the trademark rights of others. Accounts with usernames, Pin Board names, or any other content that misleads others or violates another’s trademark may be updated, transferred or permanently suspended.”

Those who feel their usernames have been affected can register a complaint via Pinterest’s Trademark Complaint Form. Exactly what Pinterest will do remains vague. The company’s public relations firm, when asked about the exact process of investigating a complaint, simply directed Ars back to the following statement on their Trademark page.

“Pinterest will review your submission and take whatever action, in its sole discretion, it deems appropriate, including temporary or permanent removal of the trademark from the Pinterest site.”

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to rapid growth and a “Wild West” mentality like that of the Internet. If we expect people to be respectful and simply “do the right” then we will get what we deserve. On the other hand, ask Google how it worked out for them with their real name policy.

In the Internet space there is no pleasing everyone. Pinterest may simply need to pin their hopes on the potential for people to move past the possible pilfering of their precious personality.

Marketing Pilgrim’s Social Channel is proudly sponsored by Full Sail University, where you can earn your Masters of Science Degree in Internet Marketing in less than 2 years. Visit FullSail.edu for more information.

Your thoughts?

Was Analytics Google’s REAL Social Media Missing Link?

We all like to debate the merits of Google’s social media efforts. It makes for some spirited back and forth but the truth is that Google is not a social media giant today and may never be.

With today’s announcement of social media integration into Google Analytics we may now have a vision into one way that Google could put a hurt on the likes of Facebook and Twitter without having to be a social media giant. You see, the world of social media is a lot of hype and promotion. However, the industry gets painfully clumsy when talk of measuring success and failure comes around the table. With this product introduction, Google could hold an important key for marketers. As a result maybe, just maybe, marketers will be looking more closely at more social media channels (including one Google+ ) and see the value of being in even more places. The Google Analytics blog tells us

…. as the social industry matures, marketers and web analysts need true outcome-oriented reports. After all, although social is growing in popularity, brand websites – not social networks – remain the place where people most often purchase or convert.

That’s why we’re releasing a new set of Social reports within Google Analytics. The new reports bridge the gap between social media and the business metrics you care about – allowing you to better measure the full value of the social channel for your business. We wanted to help you with 3 things:

-Identify the full value of traffic coming from social sites and measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions

-Understand social activities happening both on and off of your site to help you optimize user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs)

-Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs

I think by now you get the idea that you can find plenty of deep dive blog posts for report details around the industry blogs. That’s not necessarily where we play so I do invite you to “get into the weeds” with various reports like the Overview, Social Sources and the Activity Stream. All very cool things for sure and ones that will be jumped into with gusto by marketers who are starving for this kind of data.

What strikes me about this entire thing is the list of Social Data Hub partners that is included in the Google Analytics offering that allows for further examination of social media impact with partner social outlets that include Blogger, Delicious, reddit, Google+, Read It Later, Disqus and about 15 more. Missing from that list, however, are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

So is this important? I believe so. If marketers will have a chance to find out more information about how certain social channels contribute to true KPI’s (like revenue and anything that drives it) they may start to pay more attention to these channels. Will that mean they will ignore Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Of course not! That’s crazy talk.

It could, however, help to shift their mindset away from the Big 3 a little bit more and help them discover ways to reach better sources of more measurable, and possibly more passionate, consumers. And it doesn’t hurt the folks in Mountain View that marketers can now see Google+ impact more directly either. With these reports available, Google may get brands to promote a Google+ presence more which, in turn, could bring more people to the social network thus growing numbers in ways that are impactful (ie more than just Internet industry insiders) rather than just for hype. Imagine if WalMart wanted to see the impact on sales of smaller outlets and started to say “Join Us on Google+” in their ads? Do you think John Q. Public might start to take a look? It makes sense if you think about it.

While the ability to measure the impact of social media more precisely is indeed big news, the bigger story could be that Google has truly capitalized on what it does best: make sense of a lot of information. Let’s face it, even if Google hired the top social media minds the market’s preconceived notion of Google and social is that they are not in the same room together. Maybe Google has recognized that rather than fight that battle they can flank their social adversaries by doing what they do best rather than doing what they aren’t so great at.

What’s your take on this offering? Are you excited? Would you like to see more insight into other smaller (and possibly more manageable and profitable) social options? These are interesting times we live in, aren’t they?

Marketing Pilgrim’s Social Channel is proudly sponsored by Full Sail University, where you can earn your Masters of Science Degree in Internet Marketing in less than 2 years. Visit FullSail.edu for more information.