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Red Lobster a fish out of water on social media, but did it work after all?

Posted on February 11, 2016

American seafood restaurant Red Lobster was presented with an opportunity to rule the social media roost after being name-dropped during Beyoncé’s performance at last Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, but while the singer’s performance was typically raunchy and risqué, the restaurant’s Twitter response was more like lukewarm bisque than prime Lobster Thermidor.

During a performance of (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Facebook halves the six degrees of separation

Posted on February 8, 2016

Back in 2008, Microsoft’s research boffins conducted an analysis of the world’s 6.6 billion people, and theorised that any one person is just six introductions away from anyone else in the planet. This theory was known as the ‘six degrees of separation’, and research suggested it was fairly accurate.

However, new research spearheaded by social media giant Facebook now challenges Microsoft’s theory and suggests that a person is just 3.57 people away from anyone else on the planet. The gap between people in the US was even as few as 3.46 people. Although it’s nice to know we’re all closer than we thought, the 3.57 degrees of connection doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

To arrive at this figure, the social networking site collated a ‘friends graph’ using data from the 1.6 billion people who are registered to the site worldwide. The company has also suggested that the gap between people will diminish as more people sign up to the site, which is the largest social network of people online.

Each person’s degree of separation is based on the number of contacts or friends you have on the site, meaning that the more connections you have on Facebook, the fewer the number of people you are away from anyone else. The friends graph shows that the vast majority of Facebook users are an average of between 2.9 and 4.7 people away from any other person.

In a blog post containing its findings and a picture of the friends graph, Facebook reveals that it has drawn its conclusions through the use of the Flajolet-Martin algorithm, a formula used to calculate the degrees of separation. If you want to read it, you may want to clear your mind beforehand as it can get a bit confusing. The word ‘friends’ is thrown about more than the football at the weekend’s Superbowl game!

One term used in its explanation is ‘friends-of-friends-of-friends’ which already gives you the idea that the algorithm could just loop on forever, just like in the episode of Friends when Phoebe and Rachel theorise that Monica and Chandler “don’t know that we know they know we know” about their relationship.***

Facebook’s findings suggest that the saying “it’s a small world” isn’t so inaccurate after all. It may take you a fair few hours to travel to the other side of the world, but in terms of finding your path to a complete stranger, the world isn’t as big as you thought.

As Facebook has demonstrated, being on social media can see you connected with anyone else on the planet with just a handful of introductions, so just think what it could do for your business. This news may open the eyes of business owners and entrepreneurs who are yet to create a social media account for their company.

With nearly 75% of the world’s adult population now active online, creating and maintaining an online presence has become just as important to businesses as attending a networking conference, as the world of business slowly moves online.

Digital agencies such as Engage Web are dedicated to creating and implementing social media strategies to help businesses grow their online reputation and become a dominant force online and in social media.

Posted by Alan Littler

In chasing the ‘big two’, don’t forget LinkedIn!

Posted on February 5, 2016

At the risk of using a niche analogy that only somebody exactly my age and with my exact interests would understand, LinkedIn is to Facebook and Twitter what Pulp were to Blur and Oasis in the 1990s. While droves of people fawned over the ‘big two’, keen to see which of them would get bragging rights, there was a third (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Alphabet pips Apple as most valuable company

Posted on February 4, 2016

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has been named as the most valuable company in the world, successfully overtaking Apple to the title.

The creators of the iPhone had (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Facebook announces record quarterly sales

Posted on February 2, 2016

Social media giant Facebook announced last week that its revenue surpassed $5bn (£4.1bn) for the final quarter of 2015.

The company announced its (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Can your business become an online trendsetter?

Posted on January 29, 2016

Perhaps one of the biggest trends resulting from the rise of the internet and social media is the change of use of the word ‘trend’ itself. Did it ever used to be a verb? Once a pretty oafish word that your parents might use when they wanted to show off their latest dress sense or taste in popular music, it now refers to (more…)

Posted by John Murray

Google Glass to switch target markets

Posted on January 28, 2016

It has recently been announced that search giant Google plans to relaunch its Google Glass product, but to an entirely different market.

The company revealed at the start of 2016 that it intended to cease the production of the eyewear technology to the general public, and has since began to close social media accounts dedicated to the product.

There were accounts on social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google’s own Google+, but these profiles have now been removed. Only the product’s Google+ page even acknowledged that its social media campaign was coming to an end, leaving a message for followers of the account thanking users for supporting the product and providing a link to the company’s help and support page for the product.

Google Glass was launched back in 2013 and received a mixed bag of reviews from experts and the general public. There were issues with the price of the product, which stood at around £1,000 each, as well as security concerns with people seemingly having the (more…)

Posted by Alan Littler

Three ways social media can do the hard work for you

Posted on January 27, 2016

A lot of businesses are put off social media because they simply see it as an irritating fiddly bit in broadcasting their content. They think that it’s one thing to update their blog with fresh and interesting material, but to then have to go and log in to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. is just more (more…)

Posted by John Murray
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