Pete Carroll | “Social Media Is Very Volatile”

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll isn’t about to ban his players from using social media (like several college and professional coaches have). Heck, the guy even has a Twitter account of his own. All he asks is that his players don’t cause any distractions with their actions. But when you have a confident group of youngsters, that’s not always easy to avoid.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is Seattle’s ”most wanted” suspect right now. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s causing distractions, but he’s been making plenty of national headlines with his social media use lately:

Richard Sherman | U Mad Bro?

The controversial picture Richard Sherman posted on Twitter

The first incident came after Seattle’s upset win against New England on October 14th. Sherman posted a picture of himself in the face of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with a quote he added saying, “U mad bro?” In his tweet Sherman wrote, ““He told me and [safety Earl Thomas] to see him after the game when they win. . . I found him after.” It was the tweet heard round the NFL (everyone and their mother were talking about it), and Sherman has since deleted the tweet from his account. However, you can still find a different picture on Sherman’s account of a dejected Tom Brady walking off the field with a tweet saying, “Brady sure looks like a man who turned the 12thMan against us.”

That was just the start for Sherman. Two weeks later, he was back at it again. For the Seahawks showdown against Detroit, Sherman changed the name on his Twitter account to Optimus Prime, the Transformers nemesis of Megatron, which is the nickname given to Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. It was so highly publicized the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen actually called Sherman before the game to share his support. The Detroit players didn’t think Sherman’s antics were quite as funny.

“He took a shot at Brady, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play,” Lions center Dominic Raiola said, “Take a shot at coaches. Whatever. That’s disrespectful to this game, but maybe he doesn’t have a lot of respect, who knows?”

Sherman is actually a smart guy. He took a path unlike anyone else before him. He is the only kid from his high school in Compton, California, to ever go to Stanford University (which isn’t easy to get into even as an athlete). He played five years for the Cardinal as a wide receiver and a cornerback. He majored in communication, and it now looks like he’s the ultimate self-promoter. His tweets — and his solid play this season — have put him on the NFL map.

“Social media is very volatile,” said Carrol, “It’s something to be dealt with in respect, because you can make mistakes. You have to know what you’re doing. We have a way that we operate and our guys are learning how to do it.”

Sherman isn’t the only one to make waves in the Twitterverse lately. University of Idaho tight end Taylor Elmo might not see the field for the rest of the year because of a tweet. After head coach Robb Akey was fired two weeks ago, Elmo reportedly sent out a message saying, “U of idaho is stupid as hell for what they did. Fire a man to keep your own job???” The tweet was targeted at Idaho athletic director Rob Spear, who obviously didn’t take to kindly to Elmo’s remarks.

Elmo’s tweet is generally viewed as immature, and you should chalk it up as a college kid making a mistake. But believe it or not, Richard Sherman isn’t that far removed from Elmo, who is a redshirt junior, in terms of age. Sherman is only 24-years-old (Elmo is 22), playing in his second season in the National Football League. Sherman is actually one of 21 players currently on the Seahawks 53-man active roster who are either a rookie or second year veteran.

Pete Carroll Seahawks Head Coach

Pete Carroll

“When you have a bunch of young guys trying to figure it out – figure out what it takes — they’re trying to feel their way a little bit,” Carroll said. “I want us to speak as much as we can as one, and represent all of us when we send our messaging out. Sometimes the way it comes out — we’re learning.”

While social media has opened a door into athletes’ lives that we’ve never seen before (we get to see their Halloween costumes, hear their opinions, etc.), it’s also caused plenty of problems. Athletes were under scrutiny before, but now they’re in the public eye even more with social media. Someone (usually those jerks in the media) is always looking for them to make a mistake.

“It takes savvy,” said Carroll. ”savvy is usually gained through experience.”

In a sports world of “coach speak” and clichés, I’m all for athletes using social media. It allows us to see who these guys really are when they’re not on the field or speaking into a microphone. The only problem is, many athletes don’t realize that Twitter is the podium of social media. Tweets are used as quotes by the media all the time now. Nothing on social media is ever off the record.

Yes, social media can cause problems, but it also helps fix problems. Richard Sherman made headlines for his smack talk, but he didn’t make headlines for his retweet that helped raise money (and encouraged others to do so as well) for the American Cancer Society. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald just wrapped up a social media campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research. Love even let Fitzgerald shave his head for the effort — a video you can watch on YouTube. There are numerous examples of athletes stepping up for a good cause all over social media.

Just like Pete Carroll, I’m a proponent of athletes using social media. It’s a relatively new concept to everyone and it’s bound to evolve over time. The cool thing is — from Joe Shmoe in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, to Tim Lewis in Seattle, Washington, to the President of the United States, we’re all learning how to use social media together.

What do you think about athletes using social media? I would love to hear your opinion on either side of the issue. You can leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of sports, travel, music and more.

Twitter Analytics | Who Uses Twitter?

Twitter recently passed 500 million users (although only 176 million are considered “active users”). Until now, those 500 million people/companies/organizations seemed like a mish-mash of accounts spread around the world to me. I know my little corner of the Twitterverse, but I didn’t know much about the average Twitter user. I’ve always wondered — who uses Twitter? Beevolve is here with the answer. They recently broke down the Twitter analytics to give us a “large-scale in-depth study of Twitter users.”

Taking information from 36 million Twitter profiles around the world, Beevolve broke down “every minute detail…to generate statistics ranging from bio, tweets, account types, categories to even the background color preference of Twitter users.” So, who uses Twitter? Here are some of the most interesting things Beevolve found:

25% of Twitter users have never tweeted

It’s easy to look at an account with 0 tweets and think that person is “inactive”, but in reality they are just as active on Twitter as someone who tweets 100 times a day. Instead of making their voice heard; they’re just taking in the conversation. I’m honestly the same way with Facebook. I rarely post anything on my personal page, but I enjoy keeping up with friends on my news feed.

Twitter Analytics | Who Uses Twitter?53% of Twitters users are women

According to Beevolve, ”gender information is not readily available on a Twitter user profile,” so they determined gender by looking at user names, profile pictures and other parameters. So, this figure probably isn’t precise, but when you look at it in voting terms, I’m sure there’s a +/-2% margin of error (I pulled that figure out of nowhere). In other words, women might not exactly make up 53% of Twitter users, but it’s probably close.

74% of Twitter users are 15-25 years old

Beevolve admits that more teenagers are willing to include their age on their Twitter profile and in tweets than us “older” folks, but at least this gives us a feel for who’s romping around the Twitterverse. Here are the rest of the Twitter analytics by age: 26-35 (14.9%), 36-45 (5.5%), 46+ (6%).

The average Twitter user has 208 followers and follows 102 people

That’s the “average” Twitter user. The majority of Twitter users (81%) have less than 50 followers (6 out of every 100 have no followers) and are following fewer than 50 users (1 out of every 10 don’t follow anyone), leading Beevolve to determine that “there seems to be a strong co-relation between the number of followers and following.”

On average, females send more tweets than males

Over the duration of Beevolve’s Twitter analytics breakdown, the average female tweeted 610 times, while the average male tweeted 567 times. So, not only are more women using Twitter, but they’re also more active than men on the social network as well.

Who Uses Twitter | Twitter Analytics

Tag cloud showing the most frequently used words in a Twitter user’s bio

What’s important to the average Twitter follower?

The question now isn’t just “who uses Twitter?” It’s what are people using Twitter for? Analyzing keywords in a Twitter profile, females talk more about family than anything else (with arts, entertainment (music, movies, etc.), education and publishing rounding out the top five in order), while men are more likely to mention technology (with entertainment, arts, family and sports following in that order).

70% of twitter users don’t have their bio specified

This is one of the craziest stats in the entire study to me. I can understand not writing a bio for yourself if you use Twitter for fun, but this is ridiculous if you’re using Twitter for business. It’s important to pack your Twitter bio with searchable keywords. If you do that, people can actually find you (which is the whole point, right?)! Beevolve also mentions that about 12% of Twitter users protect their tweets. Again, this is fine if you’re using Twitter for fun, but it’s foolish for business. In my work with PowerUP Social Media (social media for real estate), I found that thousands of real estate professionals protect their accounts. That’s basically like sitting in your office with the door locked, watching a perfectly good client come to the door and not letting them in. It doesn’t make sense.

The Beevolve study goes much deeper into breaking down Twitter analytics (click here to see the entire study), but these were some of the most interesting stats I found. The information at the minimum gives us a glimpse into the most active demographic on Twitter and what’s really important to them. That is crucial information to any personal brand or business trying to monetize/market on Twitter. If you’re Justin Bieber — Twitter is your haven (which explains why he has nearly 29 million followers). But if you’re trying to sell Depends on Twitter, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree.

I’d love to hear what you think about the Beevolve study! You can leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to check out more social media madness on http://allaroundtim.com!

Google+ Outranks Facebook In Recent Survey

I was waiting for my sportscast last night at work, so I decided to peruse our show’s rundown (list of stories running in the newscast) to see if there was anything interesting. I quickly found a story titled ‘Google+ Beats Facebook’. I’m a social media geek, so I clicked to read it. I was stunned by what it said – so much so that I went immediately to the internet to make sure his information was correct — and it was.

Google+ Better Than FacebookIn a recent survey, Facebook ranked lower than Google+ in customer satisfaction. In fact, Facebook was the lowest ranked of all measured social networks, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the firm that conducted the survey, says Facebook was the lowest scoring company of the 230 they measured.

According to the report, “Google+’s strong showing is a result of an absence of traditional advertising and what is seen as a superior mobile product. Google+’s strengths may be Facebook’s weaknesses, as users complain about ads and privacy concerns. However, the most frequent complaints about Facebook are changes to its user interface, most recently the introduction of the Timeline feature.”

The report, which is based on 5,000 surveys from the second quarter (whatever that means), lists Google+ and Wikipedia as the highest ranking social media sites. Both received a score of 78 (out of 100). YouTube (73), Pinterest (69), Twitter (64), LinkedIn (63) and Facebook (61) rounded out the list. For the first time since 2010, when the category was first measured by the ACSI, MySpace was not included in the rankings (and that’s not a surprise to anyone).

What Facebook lacks in customer satisfaction, Google+ lacks in actual customers. Facebook expects to reach one billion users by August, while Google+ claims to have 170 million users. Google can say any number they want, but as far as I’m concerned, no one uses Google+. I can post a million links, videos, comments, etc., on Google+ and not one of them will get a response. I honestly think people signed up for Google+ to see what it was about, and now their accounts just sit there stale. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I know I’m not the only one who has this opinion.

No matter what the customer satisfaction survey says, Facebook will always reign supreme over Google+. That’s because Facebook users already have a firm foundation planted on the network. That’s where all their friends are (who knows if they’re signed up for Google+ or not) and where all their pictures, videos, etc., are posted. I don’t know one person who wants to start from scratch again — including me (even though you can still find me on Google+ if you want to connect).

Aside from a customer satisfaction survey, it’s unfair to compare Facebook with anyone other than Google+. Google intentionally set out to compete against Facebook when they started their quest last year. As far as what you get out of every social network, trying to compare Facebook or Google+ with Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or LinkedIn is foolish. It’s like trying to draw a comparison from a bear, an eagle and a crocodile. All have a place in the food chain — although some are more important than others.

What do you think about this customer satisfaction survey? Are you happy with Facebook right now? Do you actively use Google+? I would love to hear from you about this! You can leave a comment right here, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. While we’re on the topic of social media, you can also find me on YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram @AllAroundTim. I have all the bases covered!

Connect With Me On Social Media

I definitely wouldn’t call myself a social media expert, so I stick with social media geek instead. I don’t know what it is about social media — it just draws me in. One day Twitter is my favorite, the next day it’s YouTube, and the next it’s Instagram. I’m always down to learn about the next big thing in social media.

Social media plays a key role in the television news business. Most importantly it’s immediate. Breaking news no longer has to wait until the 6pm newscast, instead information is constantly being posted on Twitter, Facebook, etc. If there’s an Amber Alert these days – I guarantee you hear about it first on social media (long before you see anything on television or even hear about it on the radio). Social media is an outlet that wasn’t available in the past, but it just might save a life now.

The other cool part about social media and broadcasting is that it has opened a line of communication between news personalities and the viewers. It used to be that the viewing audience got to know their favorite newscasters every night watching TV in their living room, but now us newscasters can get to know our fans and followers. We can have actual conversations with people we had absolutely no contact with in the past. That’s been the most fun part for me — truly making new friends over social media.

I was working in Spokane for the last five years, but I was just hired as a sports anchor/reporter in Seattle. That means a major jump in market size for me. Before I made the move to Seattle though, I had more Twitter followers than any other television personality in Spokane (as brought to my attention by WA-list.com). I’m not trying to boast; I’m simply showing you how much passion I have for social media and how much I respect the role it plays in my profession.

Just like the thousands of followers and friends I already have on social media, I would love to get to know you too! There are plenty of places you can find me on the internet these days. Instead of searching around, I’ll make it easy for you with the following links:

Facebook | Tim Lewis Page
Google+ | Tim Lewis Page
Twitter | @AllAroundTim
LinkedIn | Tim Lewis Profile
YouTube | Tim Lewis Channel
Instagram | @AllAroundTim (no link since it’s only an app)

It’s going to be interesting to see what comes up next in social media, and how it’s going to affect the broadcast industry. I can promise you this — I’ll be all over the next “big thing.” It’s becoming more clear that social media is not a fad; it’s here to stay forever (and I think it’s to the benefit of everyone).

Let’s enjoy the social networking ride together. Leave your social media information in the comment section of this post, and I’ll be sure to follow you too!