This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published April 1, 2011)

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, April 1, 2011
Metro section

Sharing is essential on Twitter

There’s a well-known and extremely successful local charity that has started to become quite active on Twitter. First, that’s a great thing! Their efforts to reach out in the area of social media should help them create better relationships with donors, potential donors and other supporters.

There’s one little snag in their strategy, though. I’m not sure if they do this for everyone, but after I followed them, they sent me a message thanking me for following them (very good), asking me to help promote them (not a problem – they’re a great cause), but then when I checked to see if they were following me back, they weren’t (not good).

There’s nothing at all wrong for local organizations to ask local, active Twitter users to help promote them. This is a good organization that it would be difficult for anyone to oppose. In fact, regardless of religious or political beliefs, race or any other differences we have with others, the organization’s popularity crosses all lines and is very well respected. That’s all good.

But… it’s not really a good idea to ask someone to help promote you on Twitter if you don’t bother to even follow them back. It’s just common courtesy. No one expects payment for helping to promote a charity’s Twitter account, but the least the charity can do is follow those from whom they are requesting help.

If I were running the charity’s account, I would follow as many local people as possible, i.e. everyone in their charity’s catchment area, for possible donations. Also, I would most especially follow the Twitter users from whom I’m asking for support. It’s just the polite thing to do on Twitter, where sharing and co-operation rule the day.

Hitwise statistics

If you aren’t familiar with Hitwise, the company keeps weekly track of the most popular websites, search terms and visits among website niche markets.

The most recent list available is for the week ending March 26. Some of the findings are quite interesting. I’m always surprised at how popular some sites still are even though you don’t hear much about them anymore, i.e. Yahoo! I don’t know anyone who uses Yahoo! for searching, but obviously people still do.

The top 20 websites for the week in Canada were: 1) Facebook (11.83 per cent of all Internet visits); 2) Google Canada (9.17 per cent), 3) Windows Live Mail (4.67 per cent) 4) YouTube (3.73 per cent); 5) MSN Canada (2.12 per cent); 6) Google (1.78 per cent); 7) Yahoo! Canada (1.58 per cent); 8 ) Yahoo! Mail Canada (1.37 per cent); 9) Bing (1.26 per cent); 10) MSN Sympatico (0.95 per cent).

Rounding out the list were 11) Gmail (0.94 per cent); 12) Wikipedia (0.48 per cent); 13) Yahoo! Canada Search (0.45 per cent); 14) TD Canada Trust Online Banking (0.44 per cent); 15) Ask (0.42 per cent); 16) Royal Bank of Canada Online Banking (0.41 per cent); 17) The Weather Network (0.35 per cent); 18) Yahoo! News Canada (0.35 per cent); 19) Plentyoffish.com (0.32 per cent); 20) Google Maps Canada (0.31 per cent).

When it comes specifically to search engines, Google Canada and Google together pummel the competition with 77.62 per cent of all visits. Bing is in third place.

As for social networking, it should come as no surprise that the Facebook behemoth crushes here, too, with 65.41 per cent of all visits, followed by YouTube at 20.62 per cent and Twitter at a relatively measly 0.89 per cent in third place.

In the world of Canadian banking, TD Canada Trust Online Banking rules with 13.01 per cent of all banking site visits, followed closely by RBC Online Banking at 12.02 per cent. The next three are relatively close in percentages with Desjardins (7.53 per cent), TD Canada Trust (general website) (7.38 per cent) and RBC (general website) (6.9 per cent).

In the real estate field, Realtor Canada (MLS) was tops with a commanding 25.41 per cent of all visits. Moncton’s own Property Guys was in 12th place with 1.34 per cent.

In search terms, Facebook once again dominated with four related terms in the top 10: 1) facebook (3.56 per cent of all search terms in Canada); 3) facebook login (1.19 per cent); 5) www.facebook.com (0.21 per cent); and 6) facebook.com (0.19 per cent). YouTube ended up with two search terms in the top 10: 2) youtube (1.32 per cent) and 7) you tube (0.18 per cent). So, two websites made up six of the top 10 search terms. Also placing on the list were “kijiji,” “plenty of fish,” “yahoo” and “msn.”

If you’re married or not looking, you may be wondering what Plentyoffish.com is. For those who don’t know, it’s the world’s most popular free online dating site with 145 million monthly visitors. Chances are, if you met someone online in Canada, it was probably through Plentyoffish.com! When I visited the site (purely for research, of course… purely for research…), there were nearly 215,000 people online at that moment.

In entertainment websites, People Magazine tops the list with 12.02 per cent of all visits, followed by TMZ.com, CelebEdge – Canada and PerezHilton.com

Apple dumps “gay cure” app:

After complaints and a petition that received 146,000 signatures, Apple has removed an app from its iTunes store that claimed to cure homosexuality. The app was developed by Exodus International, which calls itself “the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality.”

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