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General Sentiment: Social media more optimistic
It may not sell newspapers or physical goods - although optimism doesn't stop sales, either - but according to General Sentiment, optimism did 'sell' more social media interest in 2011. General Sentiment reports that social media showed an increase in positive content throughout 2011 while traditional media continued to focus more on negative happenings.
Throughout a year that was marked by the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Japanese Tsunami and the 10 year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks in the US, many would think the overall sentiment through the year would be negative, but General Sentiment's findings indicate that despite natural disasters, terror attacks and rebellions, the general public remained optimistic, at least within the social stratosphere.
As for trends within social media, where more and more people are spending time, sharing ideas and information and playing games with one another, the big trend was time. Greg Artzt, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of General Sentiment, social networks aren't the only things becoming more 'social'.
From product launches and ad campaigns to television programming, major brands and smaller businesses pushed into the social space in 2011 to engage with people, and that didn't push those social networkers out of the space at all.
On average, Twitter users send more than 250MM tweets each day, Facebook has surpassed 500 million unique users, and more consumers purchased or converted to smart television sets where they can watch programming and interact with their favorite online apps at the same time. Those who haven't upgraded to smart TV are using tablets or laptops to remain connected to social networks while watching programming, creating a unique opportunity for some brands.
"TV is becoming more social," said Artzt. "Viewers have a 'second screen' available and are reacting interactively. . .opening up great advertising and intelligence gathering opportunities. Product launches and advertising are almost universally laying in a social component."
And that social component, Artzt notes, will become even more important in 2012 when social media blurs to include television and print media, public relations, advertising and marketing as well as the simple sharing of content and information.
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