Inside the Profession

Friday Five: Social Media Movers and Shakers

Even though social media has become an everyday tool for public relations professionals, it takes time and training to keep up with this constantly evolving technology. As it grows, the various platforms will continue to develop based on the needs of its users. While the changes are often welcome, it can become difficult to keep track of all that is happening in the realm of social media.

In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at current news from the big names in social media from this week. The fastest growing applications, how publishers can benefit from Pinterest, Facebook’s sharing capabilities and the growing availability of Instagram are all covered in this week’s post. We’ll also look at the latest news from Twitter’s road to IPO.

The 10 Fastest Growing Apps This Year (Mashable)

Mobile and tablet applications are major drivers of users to social media platforms. According to data from the GlobalWebIndex, between Q1 and Q3, Vine is the fastest growing app in the world, followed by flickr and Instagram.  The apps for these social media platforms experienced between 130% to 430% growth during this period. This article lists and ranks the growth of other major social media apps, like Facebook and Twitter.

Not so Fast, Twitter. Pinterest is Driving More Traffic for Publishers (PR News)

A recent study done by Shareaholic shows that Facebook and Pinterest are driving more traffic to publishers’ homepages than Twitter. While Facebook delivers more traffic to publishers than Pinterest, both outlets drive twice as much individually than Twitter and LinkedIn combined. The article highlights Pinterest and the different ways it allows users to display, distribute and “repackage” content.

This is good news for public relations professionals manning their social media outlets. “Communicators rely on publishers to spread their message through both paid and earned media coverage, thus Pinterest is an important channel to boost impressions, engagement, and brand lift,” said Caysey Welton, author of the article.

Facebook Average Referral Traffic to Media Sites Up 170% This Year (Mashable)

On Monday, Facebook reported that “the average referral track from Facebook to media sites jumped 170% last year.” Sites like, BuzzFeed and the Bleacher Report all had significant referral traffic between September 2012 and 2013 due to Facebook referrals. Andy Mitchell, director of partnerships for Facebook, credits Facebook’s News Feed algorithm for its success because it has enabled the site to deliver relevant information to the right people.

Page managers also gained access to Facebook’s Stories to Share, a feature that provides recommendations of pages to share, aiding in the referral process. The site encourages media firms to keep sharing, and to increase the amount they’re sharing if possible. Mitchell does note, however, that “the law of diminishing returns applies: At some point, you can overload fans with too many posts,” so share strategically.

At Long Last, Instagram Will Arrive for Windows Phone (ABC News)

One of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram, will finally be offered to Windows Phone owners in a few weeks. An app with 150 million active users– on iPhones and Androids– Instagram has become a popular, creative photo sharing tool. Availability on Windows phones will allow Instagram to be used by the Nokia Lumia device, which has powerful camera that is better than many of its competitors’ cameras.

“Our ultimate goal is to bring Instagram to everyone who wants to use it,” Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to watching the Windows Phone community use Instagram to capture and share beautiful moments in the coming weeks.”

Twitter Secures $1 Billion Credit Line Ahead of IPO (Bloomberg Business Report)

Twitter has announced that it received a $1 billion credit facility as it nears its initial public offering. It is taking a similar approach to Facebook and Zynga Inc. which both received lines of credit from underwriters when they went public. Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase & Co. are among the underwriters for the credit facility. “It sounds like much, much more than they need to fund their operations,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities Inc. “Twitter is planning to raise more than $1 billion in the IPO, according to people with knowledge of the process.”

In the third quarter, Twitter’s revenue reached $168.6 million, with average revenue per user of 73 cents. Twitter is increasing its use of mobile advertising, which makes up 70 percent of ad revenue. The social media platform recently acquired MoPub for $300 million in stock, which will help with its advertising efforts. With MoPub, “Twitter will be able to extend its advertising across other mobile applications and add real-time bidding to its platform, so advertisers can automate purchases based on events, the company said in its prospectus.”

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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Faith Goumas

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