Not the prettiest nor most effectively designed infographic, but data rich nonetheless; Dream Systems Media launched an infographic last week illustrate numbers from the largest social media networks, based on AdAge data. Some of the more interesting highlights are below, see the infographic for full details and sources:

  • 95% of Facebook Wall posts are not answered by brands.
  • Twitter updates that include verbs have a 2% higher shareability than the average tweet.
  • 30% of B2B marketers are spending millions of dollars annually on social-marketing programs, though nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of social-media programs on lead generation and sales.
  • More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products that purchasing them – 80.8% compared to 41.4%.
  • The Mobile Marketing Association of Asia stated that our of the 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 have a mobile phone while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush.
  • 56% of college students said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or they would find a way to circumvent corporate policy.
  • You can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on Facebook than if you post on Twitter.

http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8584-mapping-the-social-media-lands…

Via eConsultancy

@jacqui_fleming

no answer

The quote in the title was an interesting comment from my LinkedIn Marketing Solutions client Joshua Graff which really got me thinking about why brands would and debatably should use professional networking platform LinkedIn over social networking site Facebook to market their brands.

Facebook can of course sometimes be a good forum for brands to engage with customers, but it isn’t always. Research and my personal experience shows that people primarily use Facebook to be sociable, whether that is organising your Saturday night plans or messaging old friends users are in different frame of mind to when they log on to LinkedIn where they go to search for jobs, make business decisions and primarily to gain insight – 85% of members.

LinkedIn is arguably a more professional and safe place for brands – whether they are consumer or commercial – to engage with customers. It offers marketers a powerful audience of educated and affluent business influentials (80% of decision makers being on LinkedIn). 42,000 of the Business Elite in Europe (BE Europe) visit LinkedIn everyday creating a forum where business decisions are made. Marketers can also gain really rich data about their followers, for example how senior they are, how much their average income is etc.

Be great to get other people’s opinions on the benefits/pitfalls of these two social platforms for businesses -so tell me what do you think?

Is Facebook a content or conversation source?

Back in May, Matt Locke, Richard Sambrook and I had a conversation about the future of Social Entertainment.  (In case you are thinking “My that’s a wonderfully catchy, if opaque, buzz word. But what on GoogleEarth does it mean?”; Social Entertainment is a term we coined a few years back to represent the idea that as social networks grow to parallel the influence of mainstream media channels, so too would traditional media companies need to progress their content and communications to fully embrace the social sphere).  Not rocket science, perhaps, but we’re interested in the implications of Social Entertainment, especially with regard to how entertainment companies communicate with audiences.

It’s highly probable that no one listened to the podcast back in May (I haven’t asked for the statistics lately, in case my worst fear was confirmed and we had chopped down trees, but no one was around to hear the loud thud of timber on the forest floor).  So if you didn’t, let me summarise: We talked about some meeja things and at the end Matt and I made some predictions for the next 12 months.

The erudite Mr Locke suggested that the talent rather than the media brand would continue to increase in influence and that this posed both a problem for the brand and an opportunity for talent looking to take advantage of the currency of their social profiles.  The case of @ITVLauraK (nee @BBCLauraK) perfectly illustrates this issue.  Both Tom Callow at TheWall and Jemima Kiss at the Guardian sum up the ramifications better than I could.  Congratulations Matt.  You were right.

Back in May, I felt the interesting shift would be the inverse of our original Social Entertainment theory.  I.e. Social Entertainment originally concentrated on how traditional entertainment companies could leverage social channels to engage audiences.  I predicted (again, perhaps not radically) that Social brands would expand to become fully fledged media channels and businesses.  This was based on increasingly professional content finding its way onto YouTube – but I thought that Facebook, Twitter and the like would increasingly become media channels – producing and distributing content, not just hosting conversations around it.

Interestingly, our annual research shows a conflict in consumer perception, here.  As this graph shows, consumers now think of social networks as a form of entertainment.

However, when asked who are the top-of-mind entertainment companies, consumers do not name new social or internet brands.  No Facebook, no YouTube, no Spotify.  Only the old dogs are named (I can’t actually show you the brands, but we do have this info should it be of interest.  Let me know if so).

And so here we are at the 22nd September 2011 and the f8 conference.  Much has already been written about the social updates (I’d recommend the Mashable picture gallery, if you’re looking for a quick summary of what it’s all about).  But I’m most interested to hear about how content companies and entertainment channels are going to be integrated in Facebook. Is this the coming of age for Social Entertainment?  True my prediction, unlike Matt’s, has yet to come to full fruition.  But with the f8 announcement, we may well be one step closer. The integration, assuming the often vitriolic users embrace it, will mean that Facebook becomes a powerful, if not the de facto, promotional channel for content owners and publishers.  This presents an opportunity but also a challenge for entertainment brands.  Content has always driven conversations. But some content is more naturally geared to social conversations and ‘lean forward’ programming than others.  For all entertainment brands, programs and channels, not applying Social Entertainment is, from today, arguably not an option.  It’s a simple dilemma; innovate and  collaborate, or risk not being talked about at all.

Last week I was speaking with a ‘social media pro’ who informed me that I shouldn’t bother with blogs as its all Quora nowadays.

At first hand it’s not such a silly statement – may people instinctively believe that the volume of blogging has fallen massively since 2007 at the expense of the shiny toys of Twitter, Quora, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. If all the conversations are happening in other channels why should we bother to blog at all?

This view is short sighted. In fact, blogging for marketing purposes has increased:

A common mistake people make is that people live in a “field of dreams” world whereby they think that simply blogging about a subject will make people come and visit. Blogging is great for telling prospects about what you are selling but it does not bring people to your site.

In fact a blog is a focal point and acts as a base of operations for communications. Even though you may use Twitter and Facebook there still needs to be landing point – a place that people end up when they click on the link.

 

image

Writing as a blogger, I an confirm what many people know, in that it takes a great deal of effort and dedication to compose a blog post. it’s not like twitter where brisk thoughts can be jotted down in 140 characters – instead a blog is a place where context is added to headline, where ideas are fleshed out and where structure is given to a proposition. Twitter and Facebook are not the right platforms for this – this is where a blog shines and becomes a library of all your thoughts and ideas. In essence it is where ‘idea starters’ reside.

What’s more a blog can also address questions or concerns your audience find important. By all means people use amplification tools like Twitter and Facebook to draw their attention to your blog post, but the thoughts reside in one place.

SEO is also vital. New, focussed and relevant content will always be picked up by Google which will in turn bring extra traffic. It is here where the second stage of engagement takes place – directly on the blog. This is often more in-depth and focussed than through other channels like Twitter. How often have we all felt that 140 characters is not enough to give a detailed opinion. Facebook too has its limitations – even though you can write as much as you like, many find lengthy wall posts unappealing – it really is a case of the right message for the right channel.

At no stage i am suggesting that a blog is used in isolation. As if proving my own point, when i raised this question on Quora, i received in depth replies. Priit Kallas, Founder and CEO at dreamgrow.com explained his reasons why Blogs are important:

  • Create an image of an expert
  • Interact with clients and prospects
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Spread the word
  • Talk about more than just products and services
  • Solve client’s problems
  • Build trust
  • Stay on top of your field
  • Build brand
  • Exercise your creativity
  • Put a human face on your brand
  • Proving ground
  • Foundation for social media activities
  • Differentiate from competition
  • Educate clients, prospects, stake holders
  • Increase traffic
  • Make money

And here is a real life screen shot straight from Google Analytics (points are weeks):

The increase in traffic was 3 to 4 times and leads grew even more. Not too shabby.

So how should a blogger blog?

  1. Write informative and relevant posts
  2. Use social media to amplify the post

Blogging takes time and effort. Whereas a quick tweet may be insightful, the dedication to compose and elaborate on ideas takes in the form of a structured blog post is incredibly difficult. To all those people who do this regularly or even as Jeremiah calls it – a ‘casual career blogger’ , truly salute you for bringing opinion and content. Where people talk of information overload, they forget that all the info points somewhere – and that more often than not is a blog.

Recommended reading:

29 Ways to Keep Me Coming Back to Your Blog Again and Again

Corporate narcissism: The single biggest mistake made on corporate blogs?

The State of the Blogosphere 2010

21 Tips To Create A Brilliant Business Blog

Corporate Blogging Goes Mainstream

 

Originally posted on Technobabble 2.0

In the social media bubbles which we all now populate, the quest to reach an online idyll of collaboration and sharing has long been alluded to. The empowerment the internet has provided has made the recommendations of friends and those in our networks a very strong currency. Yet there is a gap between how well this can actually be integrated beyond certain silos, but a gap which looks to have been closed somewhat by announcements this week from Facebook and Spotify.

Announced at the company’s f8 conference, the Open Graph from Facebook lets users ‘like’ something outside of the Facebook platform. This is then shared with a URL on their profile, whilst visitors to whichever website has taken your fancy will also flag which of their friends have liked certain content or any comments that have been left.

This is big news for brands in terms of cross promotion as it provides a simple way of harnessing the golden egg that is word of mouth marketing. Whilst any good company  is already on top of this, these changes will also expose any brands who aren’t on top of their social media profile. Facebook now has the capability to implement user recommendations and flag advocates in your network automatically rather than relying on users to proactively share, something which adds huge value to consumers in terms of integration and collaboration.

Spotify is looking to do the same with music with the unveiling of its upgraded services this week. The changes look for the first time to make music genuinely viral. Whilst the original service may have already changed the way we listen to music, it is now looking to push iTunes out of the way by doing everything it does and more by synching with Facebook to pull in your friends playlists and then allowing you all to swap, recommend, vilify…..

The video above explains it better than I will but all in all it strikes me as a very strong reason to make the move to the Premium version of the service and, like the Facebook development, takes out one of the processes between your friends recommendations and the content you are consuming.

No doubt this trend of simplifying the journey and process between our ‘networks’ and our ‘content’ is one which will continue with rapid pace -  there are the expected rumours that Apple is due to bringing out its own offering on the music sharing side of things, whilst as ever, it is only a matter of time before Google tries to assure us that it owns the internet, not Facebook.

@AJGriffiths

Here’s a PR joke: What’s worse than calling a journalist to check they received a press release? Calling a journalist and offering a marketing director as a spokesperson.

For some reason, the idea that a spokesperson has under their remit, control over messaging and how it’s delivered elicits a Pavlovian response from journalists, almost always in the negative. Marketing is a dirty word – unless we’re talking about the marketing press, obviously.

But should this PR axiom remain unchallenged? Is it time to re-appreciate the value that a marketing spokesperson can bring to the table? In a world that’s turned from spin and hyperbole to influence and trust, are the marketing managers and directors the new gatekeepers to not only company insight and vision but also wider industry expertise and experience?

I’d argue yes. It’s the marketing teams – and their subdivisions of PR, corporate comms etc. – that have been tasked with finding new ways to get messages across in an age where traditional communications channels are shrinking and new channels are coming on stream on almost a daily basis. To be successful in this environment, the marketing leads have to have not only a thorough understanding of growth strategies, product roadmaps and overall business plans but crucially how these elements fit into the bigger industry picture, how they size up against the competition, challenges to adoption and opportunities for success.

CEOs apart, marketing leads perhaps more than any other role in an company, are the gatekeepers to the bigger picture and we should be listening to them a lot more.

Take Twitter as an example. The most erudite and insightful Tweets I receive are, by and large, from people with a marketing remit. Yes, I’m biased because I work in the industry, but I follow CEOs, product managers, sales directors and yet the more informative and engagement posts come from marketeers.

You can argue that it’s part of their job. True, but if that’s the case the preclusion from being media spokespeople makes no sense. Perhaps they’ve got too much time on their hands? Maybe, but if my CMO was growing a network of business contacts using Twitter (or blogging or Linked.In or anything else for that matter) then I’d give full license to procrastinate providing I saw the benefits reflected in sales or changes in behaviour among my target customer base.

I don’t actually know the real reason why snobbery exists around using marketing professionals as spokespeople, but exist it does and I say it’s time for a change.

Hopefully, we’ll see something of a shift when we release the findings of our own Twitter Tech Influencer survey http://thenakedpheasant.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/the-importance-of-being-influential/at the end of Jan. We’re on a mission to find the top technology influencers telling their stories in 140 characters or less and I’ll lay a shade of odds that marketing and PR people are high up in the list, perhaps even displacing some journalists and CEOs/CTOs. You can suggest Tweeters for inclusion by mailing their Twitter name to techinfluencers@edelman.com.

Imagine that eh? PRs being more influential than the media they’re supposed to serve! I can see the heated blog posts already.

But seriously, in an age where influencer can be exerted from anyhere, and trust built between people with no previous connections or even commonalities, the notion that insight and opinion can only come from certain tranches of a company or organisation is frankly laughable.

A little like MC Hammer’s trousers.

@PaulWooding

It is fair to say that the question is often raised: Why the pheasant?  And why naked? 

Well it is my belief that those who live in the world of making decisions about technology or even giving opinions on decision-making live a life that is best represented by the analogy of the pheasant’s existence;  be they CIO, CTO, analyst, social media guru or Marketing Director.  The crux is that all of these people essentially have to make decisions today about what is likely to be the need and best solution for the foreseeable future.    So they are all there to be shot at – especially given open season of a recession.  But it also goes beyond this shared vulnerability.  In the good times all of these birds were well fed,  indeed over fed, and this too has it’s down side: How do you keep all that ballast in the air come shooting season?

So if the pheasant explanation isn’t tenuous enough, here’s the Naked story.   The world of 2.0 is often characterized by its transparency yet I am not sure about transparency as a word.  Maybe it’s translucent?  However, Naked is my favoured descriptor.  Not just because of the implied vulnerability but also because of the common threat that, to me, seems to stalk all things social media-esque: The Emperor’s New Clothes.

However, if this is all too much post-rationalised posturing for you my final point is this.  Let it be said that as a group IT decision-makers are an eccentric bunch not unlike a flock of pheasants.  And what is more strange than a naked pheasant?

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