Posts Tagged ‘social networks’
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).
March 23rd, 2012
This post has been written as a follow up to our â€˜Defining Social CRM‘ post, which was developed to overview the basics of what is often a confusing but essential function for any brand that wishes to engage with the social customer.
In this post we want to look beyond defining Social CRM and offer a brief guide to developing Social CRM, identifying relevant focuses to allow you to get to grips with your brand’s requirements. But first, let’s remind ourselves of exactly what Social CRM is:
Mitch Lieberman defined it thus: “Social CRM is about bringing “me” [the social customer] into the ecosystem… It is not about the technology, it is about the people, process and cultural shifts necessary to support and grow a business.”
Or as Paul Greenberg put it: “Social CRM is the company’s response to the customer’s control of the conversation.”
Needless to say there has been a major shift in the way we communicate with our customers and we want to use this post to explore the technologies, people, processes and cultural shifts a little further.
In our last post, we referenced Esteban Kolsky’s four key areas of Social CRM as follows
1. Community management
2. Social analytics engine
3. Actionable layer unit
4. System-of-record integration layer
In this post we will break down each area and look at the relevant services/focuses that brands should be considering. Therefore we’ve re-developed the four key areas into the following action points, and offered key service areas under each:
1. Listen (to our customers and wider community to understand issues and identify pain points)
2. Capture (actionable and relevant data)
3. Learn (develop a Social CRM philosophy across the organisation.)
4. Engage (using knowledge built through phases 1-3, engage in a relevant and useful manner)
Let’s look at each area in more detail:
As with any area of social media, or any conversation for that matter, the best place to start is by listening. In terms of customer relationship management, the importance of listening cannot be over-exaggerated. We should only engage and add value when we have listened to and understood the issues that our customers are experiencing.
Services focuses/audit areas:
Digital / social infrastructure – Trying to run a Social CRM campaign without a socially-enabled website, relevant social profiles and the ability to engage is very difficult.
Before you go any further you need to build your brand’s Social CRM tools:
â€¢ Audit your website – are you open to customer listening/engagement?
â€¢ Audit your SEO – can your digital touch points be found online?
â€¢ Audit/build social channels – are you open and available for customer engagement and listening outside of your direct website?
Social Media monitoring – Social CRM is often confused with Social Media Monitoring. Let’s be clear, although Social Media Monitoring is a crucial element of your Social CRM armoury, and will form a central part of the campaign, it is not enough to use monitoring alone. You must identify the relevant mentions, use the data and build that into your organisational approach. The data is only relevant if it is acted upon.
Team - Does your Social CRM response team consist of one marketing / customer services junior? This is not acceptable. Consider your customers, consider the amount of conversation about your brand, do you have the team to support this volume of data and conversation?
Training – Remember Social CRM is not a marketing or customer services tactic alone, your business needs to understand the key elements of Social CRM and act upon them. This means training and understanding needs to be organisational.
Once you have the platform, processes and people in place to listen, you need to feed this infrastructure with actionable and relevant data. This is the fuel that drives the Social CRM engine and the quality of the fuel will relate directly to the effectiveness of the Social CRM process.
The first stage is to capture the data and process it into the relevant focuses for your business.
Once you have the data you will quickly realise that much of it is irrelevant. It is crucial that time is not wasted feeding this information through the business and bringing on analysis paralysis.
Therefore in this layer the focus is identifying and actioning the useful data that will tell the business something about its customers, identify issues to be remedied or help to build the business by way of market research or insights.
Services focuses/audit areas:
Data Capture - Social Media monitoring will play a key role here, but we need to go deeper. Website analytics and data captured from any customer communities will be vital along with metrics available through LinkedIn groups and associated networking tools/ industry bodies.
Data Analysis – Data analysis is crucial. Do not overlook this phase as you could either strangle the process with too much data, or starve is of any useful information by only feeding it with the basics. Use experience here, make the most of your data and it will drive you to real success. If you don’t have the in-house skills utilise experienced consultants or agencies. The value you derive from the data can be extremely powerful for the business as a whole.
The third layer is the key to Social CRM success, which is taking Social CRM beyond a marketing or customer services specialism, and building a philosophy that translates across the organisation. If Social CRM is purely a function of customer services we are missing the point and will ultimately fail to achieve the brand’s CRM potential.
In today’s socially connected world, customers can intersect and engage with an organisation at many different points, and social customers do not follow traditional channels of communication. Therefore, the Social CRM strategy must be implemented across the business to succeed.
Service focuses/audit areas:
Internal communications of findings – There must be a process in place by which each message gets automatically routed to the right person, classifying it by type (question, complaint or compliment), content (what it actually said), sentiment, action needed, and influence. This helps to smooth the process, as you push your business towards a more open and responsive way of thinking about your customers.
Workflow tools – these tools will ensure that information created is accessible to everyone in the organisation in the same way. This creates a context for each interaction and will enable the social customer to engage with you in way that he/she finds most relevant.
Business-wide social strategy – A social business strategy is the ultimate goal. This is the heart of social conversation and the essence of a social business. If an organisation’s Social CRM strategy cannot positively impact this process then it is failing, and to succeed it must be implemented across the board.
We now learn from and engage with our customers more than ever before, but if these learnings are not translated throughout the business, we fail.
Social CRM isn’t just about engaging consistently, within a reasonable timeframe and adhering to corporate guidelines. The engagement needs to be relevant and useful, and not always in the form of a simple text-based response. Content can be used to engage without a complaint and to convey a key part of your offering. So don’t just think of engagement as a response. Think of it as an opportunity to build a conversation.
Let’s also be clear that you should not hold back from engaging until you have completed the three previous phases. Of course you need to engage before you have successfully implemented your social business strategy, otherwise it could take some time before we actually respond to our customers. However, the point remains we should not look at engagement as the quick fix or the first action point. It is important to respond to customer issues, but as we have said above, engagement is so much more than just responding.
Social media guidelines – These shouldn’t be an onerous book of dictations. The social media guidelines are important to communicate key aspects of the business dos and don’ts but they are not a script. The key here is â€˜guideline’ we are not trying to stop our brand from engaging with humans as humans. Do not be tempted to speak in rigid legalese.
Content development – Content can be extremely powerful, from expressive video to simple slideshares, your content will make your brand more accessible, better understood and more useful. Think of content as your social currency, build it up, but don’t rely on irrelevant and slapdash content. Take quality over quantity every time. Not all content is the same, poor content will encourage a negative response, so get the right advice from those that have done it before and take the lead from the listening phase where you should understand exactly what it is that your customers want. You can find a recent case study example of a content community here.
Social tool management – this is very simple part of the process, but again it is very easy to mess up. Tone, frequency and unwritten rules are subtleties that can make all the difference. Just because someone in your team understands Facebook, it does not qualify them for the role. Invest in experience and training and heed the many case study examples of success and failure. Allocate resource relevant to your social/digital footprint and customer base. Look outside of the business if the skills are not in-house, do not give this job to the intern, because if/when something goes wrong, blaming an intern will only make the situation worse.
A thought to leave you with
If you’ve reviewed this post and ticked off the elements you want to take with you for your business or reconfirmed elements that you have already got in place, I hope the information was useful and best of luck. However, if you have written off Social CRM because your customers don’t act â€˜that way’ think again. Your customer is no different, you are now dealing with the social customer who doesn’t play by traditional rules and does not accept that your brand is in charge. The social customer owns the relationship, and you need to earn his/her trust.
This post was not been designed as the definitive guide to each service area of Social CRM, but offers an introduction to reflect the activity required to build successful Social CRM.
To learn more about Social CRM, or if you would be interested in discussing any of the areas raised in this series of posts please get in touch.
We will also be taking part in the upcoming â€˜Social Customer‘ event in London on March 29th, where we will be live blogging, so if you’re unable to attend please keep an eye on our blog for updates on the sessions and learnings.
November 10th, 2011
The findings of TNS’s Digital Life study, A global survey that is billed as the most comprehensive view of how more than 72,000 consumers in 60 countries behave online and why they do what they do, were revealed today.
The full details on the research can be seen here and in brief the survey found that 57 per cent of people in developed markets* do not want to engage with brands via social media – rising to 60 per cent in the US and 61 per cent in the UK. Of the 72,000 surveyed between June and September 2011, 2,093 were Britons.
However, the research also shows 47 per cent of digital consumers now comment about brands online, and 54 per cent of people admit social networks are a good place to learn about products, which shows a willingness to get involved where there is relevancy or a reward for doing so, proved by the following stat: 61 per cent of consumers are driven to engage with brands online by a promotion or special offer.
The figures are a little more encouraging in Fast growth markets** , which were found to be far more open to brands on social networks. Just 33 per cent of Colombians and 37 per cent of Mexicans said they don’t want to be bothered by brands online, while 59 per cent of people across fast-growing countries see social networks as a good place to learn about brands.
Interestingly, the findings showed that more people like to praise than complain online (13 per cent vs. 10 per cent), which goes against the old understanding that people are more likely to complain, if only just.
So does this mean that brands are wasting their time and money by developing social campaigns? Well, if they are doing it just to tick a box, or simply to say to the MD â€˜we have a Facebook profile’, then yes, they are. This is not a new learning, bad social campaigns do more harm than good, and taking a broadcast methodology online will only serve to highlight the lack of understanding of the brand, and return little in the way of results.
Although there are many social commentators banging on about the importance of the theory of social communications and the importance of listening to a community, understanding its needs and holding a two-way conversation, none of which is new or exciting, the message doesn’t seem to be getting through.
There are many more bad examples of social brand campaigns than good ones, and research such as this only goes to prove that education isn’t getting through to those that hold the budgets, and perhaps also a reflection to those that the brands trust to carry out social campaigns.
There is no doubt that individuals as a whole do not particularly wish to engage with a brand online for no reason, unless of course they have an offer or reward, why would they?
However, if a brand, individual or charity is truly engaged with its community, offers relevant and useful content, understands the platform on which they are communicating and actually listens to its audience, the likelihood of engagement will be higher. Not because it’s a brand, but because the individual believes the engagement is worthwhile.
So, should we all go away and give up on social communications, or should we just start being social in our communications?
*TNS defines developed markets as: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.
** Fast growth markets: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Egypt, Estonia, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam.
September 14th, 2011
A man in the UK has just been jailed for 18 months, is banned from using social networks for the next five years and has to inform police of any phone he owns or buys that provides internet access.
The man in question is Sean Duffy and the reason for his punishment is internet trolling. To be more precise, Duffy mocked a dead teenager who had committed suicide by posting offensive remarks on a page dedicated to her memory, and creating a YouTube parody of Thomas the Tank Engine with the deceased girl’s face in place of Thomas.
After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector James Hahn, of Thames Valley police, said “Malicious communication through social networking is a new phenomenon and unfortunately shows how technology can be abused. However, our investigation shows that offenders cannot hide behind their computer screens.“
February 11th, 2011
Have no doubts about it. The deposition of Egyptian President Husni Mubarek signalled a fundamental change, not only in Middle Eastern politics and culture, but also in the way we view social networks.
Wael Ghonim today (Friday 11th February) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Facebook was a key to the success of the Egyptian people’s uprising.
Ghonim is a marketing manager for Google and played a leading role in organizing the January 25 protest by reaching out to Egyptian youths on Facebook. Shortly after that first protest, Ghonim was arrested in Cairo and imprisoned for 12 days.
Since his release, Ghonim worked hard to dismiss the notion that he is a symbol for the Egyptian freedom mobement.
“I’m not a hero. I was writing on a keyboard on the Internet and I wasn’t exposing my life to danger,” he said in an interview immediately after his release. “The heroes are the one who are in the street.”
[Thanks to Huffington Post]
We know that progress is not linear. There will be setbacks and even a bloody reckoning that re-establishes the corrupted classes in Egypt. But whatever happens at the blood and flesh level in the short term will not affect the cultural dominance of social networks.
The speed at which Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other social platforms have been transformed from simple sharing tools to revolutionary engines is astonishing. And we also bear in mind that states under pressure have used every traditional means to block these platforms.
It took the traditional tools of communication â€“ the Press and Broadcast – centuries to achieve this level of authority and power. By the time they had achieved this, most were diminished because they were owned by or in the pay of power brokers in the countries in which they operated.
What is strikingly new about the social platforms is their agnostic, non-judgemental nature. Indeed, their very survival depends on this. Many millions of voices can group to form a new ground for the process of change â€“ and answer the criticism of that process.
This is truly an exhilarating time in the culture of transmission; more fluid, engaging and productive than we have ever witnessed.
We should celebrate with the Egyptian people and at the same time pay a discreet homage to Facebook and the other social networks for their (our) part in the process of change.
Weâ€™ve watched the transmissions and debates on broadcast networks but we always got our information about the Egyptian peopleâ€™s struggle first through the social networks. This is one communiquÃ©. Enjoy this tonight:
October 13th, 2010
Networking is a must for businesses of all types.
Although making contacts on Twitter and other social networks is a great help, getting out there and developing a real connection builds strong relationships.
We have listed five sites to help you find and promote relevant networking events. What sites do you use?
August 25th, 2010
One of the more visible social media professionals has decided to disengage, citing the pointlessness of the platforms. Is this the beginning of the end of â€˜social mediaâ€™?
The agent of change was his discovery that a glitch with Google Buzz â€“ a social platform he has championed – meant that everything he had posted there for over two weeks hadnâ€™t been seen by anyone. Worse still, no-one noticed.
Is Leo right? Are we all, effectively, talking to nobody when we engage online?
It often feels like that â€“ but we have no real idea about who we have connected with through our ideas, unless we have engaged directly.
The power of social networks really lies in their universality and commonness. If you wanted an analogy, you could say that social networks allow millions of people to â€˜overhearâ€™ conversations in the way that we listen and learn from people talking on the train, the Tube, in cafes, restaurants and pubs.
This information is often of no immediate use, might be flippant, irritating or noisome but itâ€™s also often very beneficial. It might colour our days, make something more understandable, or simply give us pause for thought.
More than that, the sharing of information, directly or indirectly, informs and celebrates the way we live. We like to share because it is a benefit. If no-one is listening, if the chatter machine has broken down temporarily (ie the pub had to shut its doors for a while) then definitely we lose an outlet for our egos.
But it does not mean that being social has no purpose and I think maybe itâ€™s the reverse. It reminds us that weâ€™re not special, individual or separate and we need to share together.
February 26th, 2010
This week Facebook was awarded the patent for the News Feed – a feature common to Facebook as well as other social networks such as Twitter and MySpace, and a number of social media apps and startups.
The patent refers to the method of displaying stories/news items relating to online activities to a predetermined set of viewers, and “assigning an order to the news items”. According to reports, the patent also covers the auto-generation of a userâ€™s activity and the display of that to friends. That means the news updates you get when your friends upload videos and accept friend requests is covered by Facebookâ€™s new patent.
It’s true that Facebook pioneered the News Feed technology back in 2006, and so on the face of it deserves to own the patent…but what does this mean for the rest of the social media industry? Facebook is currently the world’s largest social network, and so if it’s going down the road of seeking patents for its technology, this could really hamper innovation and progress within social media, and render networks such as Twitter useless.
It’s currently unclear what Facebook plans to do with this patent. It could take the hard line and pressure Twitter, MySpace, Google etc into taking down their News Feed features, or at the opposite end of the scale it could choose not to exercise its patent.
The reason why social media has evolved so quickly is all down to collaboration, the mashup of content and technology and the sharing of creativity. Patents are arguably not a good thing in this space, but what can we do to stop them?
At the moment this is primarily an industry story, but should Facebook choose to make use of the patent, it’s likely to reach the attention of a wider audience. Ultimately the power rests with individuals to stop Facebook from agressively patenting its technology – if the business becomes too commercial in its focus, it will lose popularity, and could suffer massively in terms of online PR.
January 15th, 2010
Comments by Mark Zuckerman, founder of social network Facebook, have reignited the debate on the value of individual privacy, an argument expanded in an elegant blog post by Kieron Oâ€™Hara, senior research fellow in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.
Kieron argues that privacy is actually essential, not only for the individual to act freely but also for society to function effectively. While his argument addresses broader issues than the impact of social networks, it acts perfectly as a test for these communities.
Social networks redefine the notions of individual privacy. We join tribes of people who we may have never met and who do not â€œbelongâ€ to our physical community. Our individuality is reshaped as we adopt new or different personas to mesh with the norms of these groups and to engage successfully with these tribes, we need to disclose â€˜personalâ€™ information.
In these exchanges, the essential, private â€œmeâ€ is revealed to be a chimera. Online, we are who we choose to be and we do so because it a benefit to aspects of our multi-faceted selves, and to the communities we belong to. The selective disclosures we make blur the line between private and public spheres in positive ways for both us as individuals (playing the game) and our communities.
Of course, communities are not simply atomised â€œgame playersâ€; they are also host to business entities, and the individuals who play the role of corporate sentinels. Communities have swiftly educated companies who thought that they could hide their commercial purpose and the sentinels also find that the selfish, disingenuous strategy has no place in these open, sharing groups.
In this sense, communities are self-healing and corrosive activity, which damages the tribal members and the tribe as a group is kept to a minimum. Information is exchanged â€œon my termsâ€.
The isolated, private individual whose engagement is limited mainly to passive adoption of social and commercial transmission is the ideal consumer unit. Association with social networks, with a subscription paid in the currency of disclosure, is clearly a benefit to both individual and community, offering multiple reference points for informed choice.
Does the Zuckerman imperative then present challenges to the legal concept of â€œreasonable expectation of privacyâ€? Responsible consent informs this challenge and there is little doubt that unwitting disclosure of personal data by an individual â€“ and its misuse by third parties â€“ would be deemed unreasonable. If the agent enabling that misuse is a commercial entity, like Facebook, then the consequences for that company would be terminal.
Facebookâ€™s business strategy is almost wholly dependent upon the currency of disclosure. It is in Zuckermanâ€™s interests, and indeed all those leaders of social networks, to ensure that this currency is exchanged equably.
There are certainly issues over how the multi-faceted individual reforms and represents aspects of his/her online selves. The networks archive snapshots of personas, which do change and the management of these progressions is complex. It requires continual disclosure and responsible openness â€“ neither of which is in itself harmful; quite the opposite.
Unexpected and catastrophic use of personal information by government or commerce must surely educate individuals to understand the true value of their personal information, which persona they adopt and how much they give away.
There is a recent and shocking UK legal case in point where a woman who alleged she was raped by a group of men had IM messages she had posted used against her by the defence. According to reports, her credibility was â€œshot to piecesâ€ with the submission to the court of excerpts from her MSN messages, which showed that she was â€œprepared to entertain ideas of group sex with strangersâ€. The judge at Preston Crown Court ordered the jury to return â€œnot guiltyâ€ verdicts.
Should the messages â€“ fleeting representations of her changing thoughts and ideas â€“ have been kept private? There is a strong viewpoint made on the F Word about the case. I personally find the court judgement extraordinary and dangerous. Whatever the view, the judgement is a clear lesson on the need to understand the currency of disclosure.
A regular guest on the Liberate Media blog, Lorraine Warren,Â Director of Postgraduate Education and senior lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the School of Management at the University of Southampton,Â has blogged on the complexities of privacy, freedom of speech and management of relationships on social networks like Twitter. We’ll be picking up the arguments and discussion on privacy with her and hopefully with Kieron over the next few weeks. There’s a world of ideas to explore – and we’d love to hear your views.
February 24th, 2009
As the BarcelonaÂ Mobile World Congress chatter echoes into silence for another year, and the winner of the MOFILM grand prize celebrates her short-film success, thoughts turn to other conversations more local and urgent.
In just over three weeksâ€™ time, Tom Watson MP, UK Cabinet Minister for Transformational Government will join leading thinkers in education, gaming, social media and consumer electronics for an extended conversation on game based learning.
Graham Brown-Martin, director of the Game Based Learning Conference could not have chosen a more appropriate time to extend the remit of his event organisation from the widely respected Handheld Learning conferences. For there are dark mutterings from the House of Horrors in Westminster concerning the effects of social networking on the nationâ€™s youth.
Baroness Greenfield, a scientist, this week waded into the debate on the potential psychological and physical outcomes from â€œtoo much SMâ€. From the reports Iâ€™ve read so far, there was little in the way of objective research data to back up the argument to the Lords but I will keep searching. It does make you wonder whether too much Lordism is damaging for older people’s minds – but I’m sure that is more than likely a line of thought sparked by a moral panic and nothing more.
Meanwhile, we can look forward to a different type of debate and conversations in three weeks at the educational London conference, where I believe the beneficial, even mildly revolutionary, effects of Social Media in extending the boundaries of learning will be more fully explored.