This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published February 4, 2011)

Social Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, February 4, 2011
Metro section

Facebook founder Zuckerberg gets in on joke on SNL

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL) last week during guest host Jesse Eisenberg’s opening monologue. Eisenberg is nominated for a best actor Oscar for his unflattering portrayal of Zuckerberg in The Social Network.

Despite being a boy-faced billionaire and Time’s Person of the Year, Zuckerberg hasn’t exactly been known for his sense of humour. Apparently, he was none too pleased with Eisenberg’s portrayal of him in The Social Network.

But he did the right thing by taking part in Eisenberg’s monologue. Taking himself too seriously isn’t going to win him any sympathy. I mean, the guy’s a 26-year-old billionaire, so getting kicked around a bit in a movie isn’t going to bring people to his pity party.

With that said, he finally decided that the only way to beat ’em is to join ’em… and it worked like a charm. Embrace the controversy. Be self-deprecating. Learn to laugh at yourself. At least people will give the guy the benefit of the doubt. SNL cast member Andy Samberg (who plays Zuckerberg in skits) said it best during the monologue when Zuckerberg appeared on stage with him and Eisenberg. “Awkward!” But it was a funny awkward and Zuckerberg did his image a huge favour by appearing on the show.

With that said, last week’s episode of SNL has been causing a storm of controversy online with one of its skits, a parody television ad for Estro-Maxx, an estrogen drug for male-to-female transgendered individuals. While I can understand why some people would be upset, it was a typical envelope-pushing SNL parody ad that was so ridiculous and unbelievable that it seems difficult to understand why anyone would be upset. Sarcastic parody ads aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, obviously, and besides – SNL skewers everyone.

Current most popular Facebook pages

The 10 most popular Facebook pages this week according to AllFacebook.com are: 1) Texas Hold’em Poker (34.8 million “likes”), 2) Facebook (32.96 million), 3) Michael Jackson (27.82 million), 4) Lady Gaga (27.39 million), 5) Eminem (26.91 million), 6) YouTube (26.48 million), 7) Family Guy (24.95 million), 8 ) Rihanna (22.99 million), 9) Coca-Cola (22.15 million) and 10) Linkin Park (21.84 million). Texas Hold’em Poker is growing by 100,000 “likes” per day!

What do the above numbers tell us? Well, there’s a huge and growing market for Texas Hold’em Poker, obviously. That’s a no-brainer. If you’re in the gaming business, you may want to pay attention to that. Even in death and despite controversy, Michael Jackson remains a huge star. Eminem, Rihanna and Linkin Park don’t appear in Twitter’s Top 10, but the younger fans on Facebook sure like them!

Part of YouTube’s and Coca-Cola’s monetary value can be considered to be the huge size of their Facebook groups. What’s the value of putting out a message for free to 22.15 million people who want to read about your brand of soda? It ain’t nothing, is all I’m saying.

And if you’re an executive of the Fox network, I would think twice about cancelling Family Guy again lest you unleash a torrent of online rage. With nearly 25 million followers, it makes marketing DVD boxed sets a lot easier!

Current most popular tweeters

Celebrities continue to dominate the list of the world’s most popular tweeters. According to a recent list on Twitaholic.com, the top 10 tweeters are 1) Lady Gaga (7.96 million followers), 2) Justin Bieber (6.95 million), 3) Britney Spears (6.72 million), Barack Obama (6.48 million), Ashton Kutcher (6.28 million), Kim Kardashian (6.09 million), Ellen DeGeneres (5.79 million), Katy Perry (5.53 million), Taylor Swift (5.17 million) and Oprah Winfrey (4.97 million). Ironically, Twitter itself doesn’t appear in the Top 10. It comes in at eleventh place with 4.24 million followers.

The top media outlet is the CNN Breaking News feed with 3.77 million followers, while the top non-media/non-sport corporate tweeter is the U.S. organic grocery store chain Whole Foods Market all the way down in 81st place with 1.85 million followers.

Celebrities (actors, musicians), media and sports figures dominate the Top 100 Twitter feeds. Corporations? Not so much, except for the niche-market Whole Foods.

TV ads will continue to dominate in Canada

While online advertising is growing in leaps and bounds, especially on Facebook, Deloitte Canada Research’s Duncan Stewart believes that television will continue to be the outlet of choice for global ad buyers, according to reports on a speech he recently gave in Vancouver. Stewart cites the cost of Super Bowl ads and the fact that television is growing in population globally – by 40 million more people just this year. Only one per cent of global ad sales are through social networks, he says.

He also believes that no one single system will dominate the tablet/smartphone space and that businesses will be investing more and more in tablet devices this year.

Congratulations again to Lymbix

Congratulations go out to Moncton-based Lymbix for once again being mentioned on the venerable Mashable.com news blog – this time after having “entered an agreement Tuesday with software-maker Sherpa Software to bring (Lymbix’s) ToneCheck’s sentiment analysis technology to IBM’s suite of Lotus products,” according to the article. This is great international publicity for Lymbix!

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