Personality Types and Social Media

Following some discussion with friends, I made a chart comparing the general prevalence of MBTI personality types with their prevalence on Facebook (using data from this report). The first of each pair of bars is general prevalence, and the second is prevalence on Facebook.

It can be seen that extroverted types are more likely to be on Facebook than introverted types. However, the IN-J types swim against the tide. The chart below provides a bit of a summary.

The third chart shows the results for Twitter. Here extroverts are also over-represented, especially the EN-P and ESTJ types, but not the other ES– types. Among the introverts, the ISTJ type swims against the type, and is in fact the most common personality type on Twitter.

Media teams and the World Solar Challenge

In the lead up to the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October, wise solar car teams are building their media and social media presence. This has all kinds of benefits. It grows the fan base, and fans sometimes respond to crowd-funding campaigns. Even if they don’t, fans provide moral support. A media/social media presence also helps to attract sponsors, either as a result of a potential sponsor reading a story, or as a result of a potential sponsor googling a team.

Two solar-car media stories, the left from Algemeen Dagblad in the Netherlands (January 2019), and the right from the New Straits Times in Malaysia (September 2018). The orange team shirt on the left has instant brand recognition for both the team and the major sponsor.

Above are two good media stories, one from the champions in Delft, and the other from the newer Ecophoton team in Malaysia. It often helps to place a story if there is a local connection. It’s big news in Zwolle (population 127,000) that a local girl is team leader of Vattenfall Solar Team. It’s even bigger news in Abcoude (population 8,800) that a local student is on the team. During the American Solar Challenge, solar car teams spending the night in a town are pretty much guaranteed to make the local news as well. This benefits a team’s university, in that children are likely to remember the big event when they later go to college.

Other kinds of media story are technology-focused, highlighting the role of in-kind sponsors, such as Sonnenwagen Aachen and Covestro. Transportation and logistics sponsors, like Michigan and Höegh Autoliners, also generate stories of an obvious kind. In all cases, a good team photographer contributes greatly to a good story.

Michigan loads up their famous semi trailer in June 2015 (image credit)

I’ve often pointed out that a solar car team is more like a startup company than anything else. Sponsorship and media is just as important as building and racing the car. The top teams provide a model to follow for all of these activities. Conversely, those teams which fail to recruit a subteam for sponsorship and media should not be surprised if they struggle to find sponsors (which is my cue to mention this great trio of posts on sponsorship from Australia’s Team Arrow).

ASC 7: Social Media

Having a social media presence is an important part of running a solar team, and generally requires a dedicated social media manager. Social media keeps the fans happy, and it keeps the sponsors happy. Of course, for teams that do crowdfunding, the fans are also sponsors!

Some recent tweets in #ASC2018

A team’s university is generally an important sponsor too. To satisfy the university, a team must achieve both reputation and recruitment goals. For reputation purposes, a team must portray students who are hard-working, talented, and professional in the way that they work – qualities that future employers of graduates would like to see. For recruitment purposes, a team must portray students who are doing fun and interesting work – things that future students would like to see. These two purposes are not necessarily best served by the same social media platforms.

Nuon’s 2015 flightcase being loaded (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)

For industry sponsors, a quid pro quo for sponsorship is generally required. Often, this takes the form of showing how the sponsor’s product has contributed to team success. Classic examples include Twente mentioning their kangaroo-proof carbon fibre shell, Punch extolling the shipping expertise of DHL, Michigan explaining how their semi traverses the planet, and Nuon showing how their flightcase moves around (above). Having a superb photographer on the team helps with this!

Social media platforms being used by ASC teams this year are shown in the chart below. The proportions are quite similar to WSC 2015. However, Picasa is gone, Snapchat has arrived, and the Russian team is using VK.

For the actual team social media links, please visit my annotated teams list and click on the social media icons next to each team name.

Social Media, Marketing, and the Fyre Festival

In traditional Christian theology, Satan is the ultimate marketing genius. Not being able to create, Satan has no actual product to sell – merely illusions. However, being a fallen angel, he does have supernatural intelligence. He also has a large crowd of “influencers” willing to endorse the nonexistent product. The book and film of Stephen King’s Needful Things illustrate the concept brilliantly, as the main character (played to perfection by Max von Sydow) uses his supernatural marketing genius to con people into trading their souls for useless bits of junk:

Of course, that kind of marketing is an ideal that mere human beings cannot achieve. Beneath the ridiculous Kendall Jenner advertisement, Pepsi has an actual product to sell. It may only be flavoured sugar-water, but that’s not a product to be sneered at – I remember a hot day in rural Thailand some decades ago when it was the only safe thing to drink.

Yet we may be closing in on what Max von Sydow could do. Browser history analysis and sophisticated predictive algorithms can stand in for the supernatural intelligence. YouTube helps to sell the illusion. And Instagram provides influencers galore. The recent Fyre Festival is perhaps the closest approach ever to the ideal. The musicians, accommodation, and food promised to the paying clientele do not appear ever to have been organised (although there apparently were a few waterlogged tents and cheese sandwiches). But the promo was great.

Social media around the world

Sticking with the social media theme of my last post, here is a nice pair of maps by social media guru Vincenzo Cosenza of the most popular and 2nd most popular social media platform by country:

For much of the world, including Australia and the USA, it’s Facebook followed by Instagram (although the Sensis Social Media Report suggested that LinkedIn actually comes second in Australia). China has Qzone on top, while VK and Odnoklassniki are big in the former USSR, and Facenama is big in Iran. Orkut, once hugely popular in some countries, has of course been closed down.

Social media in Australia

I have just been reading the 2015 Sensis Social Media Report, which contains all kinds of interesting facts. For example, out of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Tumblr, Facebook is the most heavily used. Also, the cliche “Men are from Mars, women are on Pinterest” turns out to actually be true:

Other data shows that Facebook usage is trending slightly downwards over time, while use of LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ is increasing. After rising up to 2014, Twitter usage is also down. Consistent with this, many Twitter users report deleting their profile. To a lesser extent, Facebook and Snapchat users also report this.

Data on age shows that under-30s are particularly active on Instagram and Snapchat:

Bar charts were produced using R. Read the report for more details.

Update: For comparison, here are corresponding charts for the USA:

Data for these second two charts is from a report by Pew Research.

World Solar Challenge: Social Media

It’s interesting to look at the social media platforms used by teams in the World Solar Challenge. Out of 47 teams, I was able to find the following social media pages (see also the clickable icons on my team lists):

FaceBook – 45 teams (96%)
Twitter – 37 teams (79%)
Instagram – 23 teams (49%)
YouTube – 22 teams (47%)
Flickr – 13 teams (28%)
LinkedIn – 7 teams (15%)
Picasa – 2 teams (4%)

Obviously some technologies are “in,” and others are either passé or still on their way up. According to the Pew Research Center, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter are all increasing in popularity, with FaceBook still the most popular. I guess it’s time for me to join Instagram!