Archive for the ‘Social CRM’ Category
April 12th, 2013
It’s that time again when we look at the latest case study of someone that should know better using social networks to vent personal beliefs/opinions that reflect negatively on their employer.
No prizes for guessing what happens next.
This time, the brand in question is Microsoft, specifically Xbox, and a recent conversation in relation to the next Xbox, which will be released on May 21st, and its probable always-on feature.
For those that are familiar with always-on gaming, it has been far from a smooth path, and games fans are wary of related issues, especially in light of problems with titles such as SimCity and Diablo 3.
In this instance the conversation was U.S. –based where Internet connectivity varies depending on location, and some parents have also expressed worries that an always-on connection would break broadband caps without their knowledge.
The issue began when A creative director at Microsoft, Andrew Orth, appeared to confirm a rumour that the next Xbox will require an always-on internet connection. Orth has been working as a creative director at Microsoft Studios on a game, which is yet to be revealed, since February 2012 and he was involved in a sarcastic exchange about the benefits of being connected. This was seized on by games fans, which in-turn triggered an online debate.
The discussion, which can be seen below, took place between Orth and Manveer Heir, a senior game designer at BioWare. Orth and Manveer are apparently close friends who seem to have been making fun of each other, but sarcasm does not always translate well, especially when Orth commented “why on earth would I live there?” when asked about towns that do not have good levels of connectivity such as Janesville, WI and Blacksburg, VA.
After a week of controversy, Gameinformer reports that Adam Orth has now voluntarily resigned from the company, which had been forced to apologise for his comments and indiscreet references to the new Xbox project, as below:
“We apologise for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday,” said the company.
“This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer-centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
This may have been a case of a sarcastic conversation that went wrong, rather than an attack, but the outcome was the same; damage to the brand, resulting in the individual leaving the organisation.
The lesson is simple, Social networks are not private, and anything you write is accessible, so think before you tweet, and remember Twitter Tirades never work!
Read more at:
February 19th, 2013
The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.
You can download the full report here:
In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.
Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.
Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.
Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.
13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.
40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.
The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:
As of August 2012:
â€¢ 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
â€¢ 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.
Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).
January 25th, 2013
(This post was originally published on Mob76 Outlook as a guest post)
HMV’s recent demise was hardly a surprise. The writing has been on the wall for so long that it’s been painted over and graffitied many times since.
If we rewind ten years to 2003, the conversation around retail was focused on the importance of the web , and although not all major retailers had made the move to reinvent their web presence, it was on the agenda.
In many cases this move took some time to happen and latecomers lost market share and revenue opportunities… but those up against the online leaders such as Amazon (launched 1995) and Play.com (launched 1998) lost much more. They eventually lost a business.
To read the full post please click here Mob76 Outlook
January 14th, 2013
According to J.P. Morgan, online advertising will pass a key milestone during 2013, accounting for one out of every four dollars spent by U.S. advertisers, as they increasingly follow consumers online.
Internet sector analyst Doug Anmuth has highlighted the importance of Internet-connected mobile devices, as well as the continuing momentum of social media platforms as a key part of online’s growing influence.
Writing in a report released to investors last week, Anmuth confirmed: “As consumer behaviour and time spent online rapidly shifts towards mobile, we expect advertising dollars to follow. We are projecting Internet advertising in the U.S. to grow to $43.5 billion in 2013.”
This represents a 17.4% growth on 2012 online ad spending levels and puts online media at 25% of all U.S. ad budgets.
To underline the influence of mobile, Anmuth estimates about half of the projected growth will be coming from mobile web ad spending. Without the mobile stimulus, online ad spending would grow by roughly 10% from 2012.
The importance of online is nothing new, but it’s continued solid growth and our demand to be connected everywhere is impacting all forms of media, and dictating the development of the advertising that we consume.
Ad funds will always follow the consumer, and the consumer is staying connected, no matter where they are.
Full story here.
December 21st, 2012
As we quickly approach 2013, many people are in reflective mood as they look to round-off their year with a 2012 summary post.
I’m going to keep it simple and avoid the fluff by hitting you with some of the statistics that evidence the ever-widening reach of social networks.
So sit back and spend a few minutes taking the numbers in while we rejoice in the fact that the world didn’t end today, at least not yet:
- 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. (source: AllTwitter)
- Monthly active Facebook users now total nearly 850 million. (source: Jeff Bullas)
- 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile. (source: All Facebook)
- More than 1 million websites have integrated with Facebook in various ways. (source: Uberly)
- 77 percent of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
- 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored. (sources: AllTwitter)
- 32 percent of all Internet users are using Twitter. (source: Marketing Land)
- Twitter is projected to make a total of $540 million in advertising revenue by 2014. (source:Web Analytics World)
- In 2012, 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday. (source: Infographics Labs)
- 34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. (source: Digital Buzz Blog)
- Instagram was one of the largest acquisitions of a venture capital-backed consumer Web company since Zappos was bought by Amazon for $1.22B in 2009. (source: Factbrowser)
- According to Followgram’s research, 37 percent of Instagram users have never uploaded a single photo and only 5 percent of users have more than 50 pictures. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- It took just 10 months for Instagram to reach the milestone of 150m pictures uploaded. (source: Siliconrepublic)
- 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, while 50 percent of all Pinterest users have children. (source: Search Engine Journal)
- The average Pinterest user spends 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. (source: Arik Hanson)
- The Google +1 button is used 5 billion times per day. (source: AllTwitter)
- Google+ pages appear in search results for 30 percent of brand term searches for brands with G+ pages, up from 5 percent in February 2012. (source: Bright Edge)
- 48 percent of fortune global 100 companies are now on Google+. (source: Burson-Marsteller)
- Google+ cost $585 million and took 500 employees to build. (source: Social Media Delivered)
- Google+ is expected to attract 400 million users by the end of 2012. (source: Remcolandia)
Source – Huffington Post
November 15th, 2012
Earlier this week, a rather impressive online sales record was set by Taobao, a Chinese e-commerce service owned by Alibaba, one of the world’s largest ecommerce groups.
Taobao reported $3 billion of sales in a single day (November 11th).
That’s not a typo, the day’s sales were recorded at $3 billion and according to Chris West, blogger at West is East and owner of the Min River Tea Farm, in Fuzhou, China the closest competitor to this sales figure was 2011 Cyber Monday in the US, where total sales across all retailers was $1.25bn according to comScore.
So why such a massive sales figure on this date?
Taobao.com held a discount promotion to celebrate what’s known as ‘double sticks day’ in China, a Chinese holiday for singles similar to Valentine’s Day.
Here is a breakdown on the figures from the day’s trading, and if further proof is needed on the growth of Chinese ecommerce; last year’s “Double Sticks Day” saw $380 million in sales for Taoboa, so this year’s sales have grown by just over 360 percent.
â€¢ $3.06 billion in sales
â€¢ 109 stores with more than $1.6 million USD in sales within 12 hours
â€¢ One brand (Tmall) with more than $2.1 billion in sales
â€¢ 213 million active accounts
â€¢ 105 million orders
â€¢ 7 million mobile accounts active in the first hour
â€¢ $84 million in sales via mobile just by 2 p.m.
We wait to see what next year brings.
November 13th, 2012
This article was originally published on Wired UK, November 12th, 2012 as a Guest post by Lloyd Gofton:
As we move from an age of mass media to one of social media, are we experiencing a rebalancing of cultural communications towards disintermediated storytelling?
In today’s technology-enlightened civilisation, many believe that changes to the way we communicate are being driven by global networks and new technologies.
Conversely, it has also been argued that our approach to storytelling in the digital world is in many ways similar to that of the mediaeval era where information and stories were shared orally among distributed communities.
According to that rationale, technology is merely the facilitator of our natural urge to tell stories, not the raison d’Ãªtre. After all, are we really that far removed from our humble beginnings? Have oral traditions merely been replaced, or possibly enhanced, by digital networks? Could it be the case that mass media was a step too far and are we now experiencing a re-balancing of our cultural communications as we find a new equilibrium of information vs. conversation?
To identify why we are so reliant on mass media, it’s important to understand how we got to our current situation.
Read the full article on Wired
October 26th, 2012
Yesterday we attended Social Media Marketing 2012, which promised to take a more critical look at social media marketing by focusing on the realities, challenges and what we need to do better, not just the positive stories and back-slapping habits that have become the staple of social conferences.
I have summarised six of the presentations from the day’s discussion,but you can see the full programme here.
1. First up was Mat Morrison, head of social media, Starcom MediaVest Group, who told us: nearly Everything you thought you knew about Facebook is wrong.
Mat kicked off by making some very pertinent points about Facebook marketing, including: “It’s all about the newsfeed not the page.” And confirming that asking people to click the â€˜button’ on the left or above, which is a common instruction when encouraging participation, is fine on the page, but doesn’t work in the newsfeed.
In other words, when you are talking to customers, don’t assume they are on your Facebook page, they are probably seeing it in their feeds.
He also reminded the crowd that Facebook apps can be difficult to use on mobile, and with such significant traffic coming mobile users, the potential wastage is significant. Therefore, always think
When he asked if everyone knew what Edgerank is, only one soul was brave enough to say no, to which Mat nailed the explanation with: “Facebook Edgerank is a gnome that decides what stories you see.”
Mat proceeded to take us through a few examples of brand engagement with Cineworld and ASOS, who make mistakes early and fix fast, and are a great example of a consumer Facebook page. You can see these in his presentation (see title of his presentation in this post)
Mat asked us to remember:
1. A page isn’t a destination
2. It’s all about the newsfeed
3. A Page isn’t a community
4. Almost no one sees Fan posts
5. Think mobile first
2. We then moved onto our second presentation from Ruth Coates, marketing programme manager – Europe – Staples and Katy Howell, MD, Immediate Future, who gave us an insight into Social strategy in practise: How to meet the challenges of adopting a Social approach
Katy Howell made a good point in relation to strategy to kick-off, focused on where to start in social. She confirmed it’s not just about â€˜listening’, it’s about understanding the organisational opportunity for social media.
This means an internal as well as external audit is important, looking at how the organisation uses and wants to work with social, and how social impacts many different elements.
She also suggested that an audit should look at 2-3 years of data, not just 2-3 months, which will not account for seasonal or event-based variations.
Ruth Coates from Staples identified the main internal challenges that she had experienced in relation to developing a social media strategy:
1 Change management & selling the concept
2. Business value: making social ROI-able, i.e. what does social mean to the organisation, not just metrics, but how does social impact organisational value?
3. Harnessing resource in a decentralised organisation, which was amplified by Staples’ huge challenges with multiple territories, multiple offices, multiple languages.
Katy then identified the four steps in establishing that there are enough conversations around the issues related to the brand to justify a social campaign:
1. Shouting out and asking questions – what are these conversations about? Are they just mentions or is there depth, are there questions? Understand this first, then roadmap.
2. Who is talking? Not just who has influence? But who are these people connected to, what are the communities?
3. Diving into the detail – how are they talking?
4. Social media is leaky – social now impacts what goes instore, online, direct mail, photos on Pinterest etc.
Katy summarised this by confirming that social media is data and spreadsheets, and that you need statistically-relevant samples, which confirm the tones of discussions, impressions and ideas, passion, points what are they saying, associations, what specifics are they looking for, behavioural trends.
You then need to create taxonomies to identify correlation and trends.
Strategy is a lot of heavy lifting on the data if you want to get to the goal of adding value to the business.
Once the strategy was ready to roll out, Staples then identified recommendations to move forward:
1. Pilots to validate – Set timeframes, set outcomes, lower investment to see how it works.
2. Phase your approach – in this case a multi-year phased approach, looking at this over time to develop at the pace of your business so that it can integrate with business communications and existing focuses.
3. Tiered implementation – don’t force people to get involved. Pick out pockets where there is eagerness and resource, and demonstrate learnings to the wider business to enable overall internal sell in.
1. Structure the programme and measurement – set up forums to discuss social on a monthly basis internally with teams, best practises, ideas, development.
2. Intensive training framework – ongoing training across the business to continually move forward.
3. Set out the polices and escalation - from guidelines to appearance of profiles and how to react to crisis.
- Cross functional groups – don’t miss out on ideas and opportunities for the business.
- Great communications – communicate the results of social and let people know how the social focuses are going.
- Ideas forum – cross-team and territories to develop ideas.
Since beginning the new social strategy in February 2012, Staples’ EU presence has grown by:
â€¢ 9 x FB profiles
â€¢ 5 x Twitter profiles
â€¢ 7 x G+ profiles
â€¢ 6 x YouTube channels
Staples closing comment: “It’s not about building 8 million fans, we would rather have 100,000 fans that deliver value”
3. The next session that I covered was on The Olympics: Big data meets Big event, presents Big challenges by Naomi Trickey, Sales Director for EMEA, Brandwatch
Naomi gave us an overview of data from recent events and news issues, e.g. U.S presidential election, superbowl, etc and confirmed that big data presents big challenges.
She also asked the question; What is Big Data? Suggesting size is not the only thing that matters, it’s also variety, volume and velocity.
She backed this up with a quote from Scott Thomson, head of research, Hypernaked: “Reality is easily accessible data, but you have to frame the right questions”
Naomi confirmed that Big = Relevant and data needs to be relevant. She also confirmed that greater social buzz does not result from a higher advertising spend, a recent example of which has been advertising around the Superbowl.
4. Jeremy Waite, Head of social strategy Adobe EMEA
What’s the Real Value of 1 million Fans?
Jeremy, who is always entertaining and informative in equal measure kicked off with a great quote on social media from Scott Stratten “Social media doesn’t fix anything. It just amplifies things. If your restaurant sucks, it just sucks harder in social media. IT doesn’t make your chicken fingers taste better or your beer taste bolder. social media is not a good place to go if you’re terrible at what you do.”
He also gave us an excellent example of useful content in the form of the recent 007 Skyfall ticket give away video by Coke Zero.
Jeremy suggested that Coke understand it’s all about content and achieved 4 million views in 4 days, probably with a hefty seeding budget.
Jeremy then moved onto the focus of his presentation, which was ROI, quoting both:
Forrester “90% of content marketers only track engagement metrics”
Michael Lebowitz, CEO of Skittles’ ad agency “Anyone who says they can track Facebook activity to sales is in a bubble and living on a spaceship.”
To make his point about the mismatch between traditional ROI and social metrics.
Traditionally the metrics that marketers have used to put a value on a relationship, (that don’t work):
- Fans, followers, subscribers
- Impressions and reach
- Change in sentiment
- Click through rates
- Share of voice
- Dwell time
Jeremy also used a trailer for the movie Money ball to illustrate the importance of ROI.
In brief, Moneyball is a film about the Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that followed a revolutionary way of buying a winning baseball team, with a tight budget, based on player analytics and a supporting algorythm
Jeremy confirmed this is basically a film about ROI
“This is getting everything down to one number. Using stats the way we read them, we will find value in things that nobody else can do.”
He made the point that we can compete in social with those on bigger budgets.
So what is ROI? Jeremy confirmed ROI in social media is the same as ROI in any other area of business.
“How much do I spend, how much do I make, what’s the difference?”
Jeremy confirmed we shouldn’t confuse social media measurement with ROI, the two are separate.
He recommended Olivier Blanchard‘s book: Social media ROI and ran us through an example of ROI on an Angry birds campaign.
5. Michael Litman, senior social strategist, AnalogFolk gave a great presentation on
Pinterest, what is it and why should you care?
He offered some great statistics, including 51% of interbrand top 100 have presence on it and Pinterest is growing, while Twitter, and other network growth is slowing.
He also highlighted that the usage of Pinterest differs from the UK to U.S, e.g
- U.S 83% female
- UK 56% male
- UK interest sectors – Venture capital, PR, content management
- U.S sectors – retail, creative
- 30% of UK users in the highest income bracket vs 5% in US
- Age group of users is mostly 25-44
- Pinterest first social network to reach 10m unique users
- Pinterest is in fact a power channel to build a strong social brand.
- Pinterest is taking traffic away from ‘traditional’ engines and delivering to retailers
6. Squeezing the social SEO value out of your social media campaign
Kelvin Newman, Strategy Director, SiteVisibility
Google is trying to do something that we can all do instinctively – i.e. identify that this website is better than that website.
Google believes the way it is going to improve its algorithm is to understand the social web.
This is the future of what Kelvin referred to as off-site SEO, focusing on three key areas of Author rank, links and social shares.
He believes that G+ is essentially a tool to answer these focuses as it helps Google to find your content quicker and gave us a number of practical implementation points to make the most of Google+, which you can see on the presentation and include:
- Use chrome plugin – Bit.ly/do share to schedule updates
- Add Google+ sharing buttons to your website
- Use opengraph protocol
- Use Rel author mark up
Overall he suggested we Ignore the haters, because although Google+ isn’t as popular as other networks,Â it is hugely relevant to your Google ranking and that is essential.
He believes Google+ is here to stay, will only become more important and is having a bigger influence than most of us realise.
Kelvin also believes that search marketers make good marketers because people that understand search, understand people, which makes them great marketers.
Social Media marketing 2012 was a great success, and everyone that we spoke to thought it had delivered on the objective of taking a harder look at social, so congratulations to the Our Social Times team.
September 11th, 2012
Jeremiah introduced the post as follows: “The purpose of this post is to be a living document and industry reference on the topic of social media teams, as part as my ongoing coverage of corporate social media programs. This perspective stems from industry research and deeper client engagements.”
He also offered the following definition of a corporate social media team: “The Corporate Social Media team is business program lead by a corporate social strategist that achieves business goals using social tools by coordinating with multiple business units across the enterprise.”
As you can see from the image below, Jeremiah has defined the average team size as 11. Now before you comment that a social media team of that size is very rare, please note in the definition above, and throughout the piece, that the team is rightly made up of the coordination with multiple business units across the organisation.
As he notes: “In most cases, we see this team as a centralized resource that’s often cross-functional working closely with a number of corporate functions as well as business units ranging from product teams, geographies, the field, and departments.”
This the reality of the social media team, and although current actual team size is not as big as it is likely to become, we need these cross-function and cross-discipline teams to pull together the disparate elements and departments affected by social.
Jeremiah’s breakdown of the corporate social media team is one of the better resources that I’ve seen, covering: strategy, anatomy, matrix breakdown by role, team characteristics and a selection of resources and further research.
This post equips any organisation to not only begin developing a social media team, but re-work an often shambolic internal communications process and introduce socially-motivated conversations and connections between teams that would otherwise repeat or contradict each other.
Our recent whitepaper on Social CRM touched on this issue and contains further useful information on the types of information that should be shared and which departments should be involved.
The reasons for this approach and the cultural change required are summarised in this post.
Furthermore, if you’re not part of a corporate and don’t have the capacity to put all of the recommendations into action, the social media for Start-ups post that I wrote recently for TechCrunch should also be helpful.
August 28th, 2012
Engaging with your target audience through social media is one of those actions often pushed to the bottom of the pile for Start-Ups, or even worse, it is assumed that social comms will be covered by the knowledge of existing team members. Unfortunately that rarely turns out to be the case.
If you haven’t developed a plan for social, you may be leaving the communication of your product, conversations with your customers/potential customers, and potential investors, to chance.
Let’s start by clearing up a few misconceptions about what social communications are. Brand communications in a social environment should be focused on customer need. This need is not motivated by being a fan or friend of your organisation but by deriving value from the customer’s engagement with the organisation.
Before you decide that you don’t have time, perhaps ask yourself what you are making time for.
Last year, the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services survey of 2,100 organisations discovered that 79% are currently using social media channels. They also asked them what they saw as the benefits of social media. Here are the top 5 results and feedback from the real world. You can see the full list here:
The major benefits of Social Media, include:
1. Increased awareness of the organisation
2. Increased traffic to website
3. Greater favourable perceptions of the brand
4. Able to monitor conversations about the organisation
5. Increase in new business
So assuming you’re ready to invest some time, what are the options for Start-Ups?
You can read the full post on TechCrunch