Facebook’s UK user figures don’t add up

I’ve been working on some UK specific Facebook usage figures. By collating the information provided by Facebook and the figures from the ONS, I get a pretty confusing picture. The trends are as we would expect to see from everyone’s anecdotes (2% of users are 65+ etc) but the specifics are a bit muddy.

Specifically, when we look at the relationship between Facebook users and total UK population. Is it really possible for 117% of women between 19 and 24 to have an account?

Clearly not, so why the dodgy figures? Here are my top guesses:

  • UK population figures are impossible to get right
  • People are lying about their age (younger people saying they’re over 13 to get an account and older people pretending they’re younger)
  • Foreign students skew the figures
  • People have more than one account
  • Of course, Facebook could be inflating their reach figures when reporting to their advertisers but that wouldn’t be cricket would it!

I’m sure its a mixture of all of these guesses but the last one is worrying if we’re basing online advertising decisions on the figures Facebook are publishing.

You can get all the figures in a handy pdf from my UK web usage statistics page.

3 must-have plugins for setting up your business blog with wordpress

If you’ve installed WordPress for your business’ website, blog or news section, you’ll need to install some extra plug-ins to really get the most from this excellent software. They’re all free (although a donation is welcome) so install them right now.

Greg’s High performance SEO

Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t insert some common meta tags in your pages. Although the importance of these (specifically keywords & description) has been reduced since the early days of SEO, they still hold some value and it is just general good practice. This plugin has a wealth of features (and documentation) to help make your site a bit more Google friendly and to get it set up properly took me about 15mins. If you only have time to install one plug in, this is the one – it really is superb.

Google XML sitemap generator

To make sure that Google (and Bing and Yahoo!…) knows where all your pages are, you can submit an XML sitemap. However, editing the file manually every time you create a new post is a major pain. This plug in does the editing and submits the new sitemap to all the search engines automagically! Make sure that you take a couple of minutes to configure the plug in to get all the categories and tags that you want into your sitemap.

Wordtwit

There are a whole host of ways to integrate your WordPress blog with Twitter but this plugin gives you a couple of powerful features that are really slick. Once installed, you can create your own url shortening structure (now, that looks pro doesn’t it!) and you can track clicks from Twitter in your Google Analytics account. You can also restrict the posts that are tweeted by including or excluding a specific tag/category.

Make your site social for free

Feb 17 2009 Published by under Improving your site

Social media is a term you’ve probably heard but if you haven’t it broadly means allowing users to engage with website content and each other. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are known as social networking sites because their primary purpose is to allow people to make contact and share thoughts, comments & content. Other sites like The Guardian or YouTube allow comments to be added around their content thus making their content ‘social’. So why not let your website users comment on your content, share ideas & thoughts etc. In other words, use the features of social networking on your own website.

One of the ongoing annoyances for committed users of the web is the number of user profiles we need to create to engage with the all these websites. Fortunately, Google’s recently launched social networking platform, Friend Connect allows us to embed social networking tools into our websites without the need to ask users to create a new profile when they want to use the features.
Adding the various free widgets will allow you to create a plug & play community for your website without the barriers usually associated with setting up and using a social network. You won’t need any programing skills but you will need (ftp) access to your server to set it up.

Check out this intro video from Google:

Adwords advice