Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

NewImageA new study by McKinsey & Company reveals that less risky and potentially more beneficial realm of Big Data software is a higher priority today than social media integration. The study consisted of 1,500 surveyed CEOs, CFOs and CIOs between April 3 and April 12, 2012.

Almost 50% of respondents stated that they are currently using Big Data to “understand their customers better”, whereas 32% stated they are using social media for “interaction and promotion purposes.” The survey also found:

— 13% did not consider Big Data a priority, so far as stating it was “not on the agenda”
— Over 50% state that flexible delivery platforms are a priority for the next 1-2 business years
— 19% of respondents have deployed digital marketing practices across the enterprise
— 4% used location-based software to target customer promotions

The study also found:

— 52% believe that organizational structures not designed to take advantage of either Big Data or social media priorities 
— 51% say that lack of technology infrastructure and IT systems are a significant challenge
— 43% and 31% are having difficulty in finding functional and IT talent, respectively 

Big Data and social media do not ave to be mutually exclusive. A number of businesses are beginning to integrate the two, using Big Data solutions to analyze business content based on their social media activity.


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NewImageCurtis Hougland, the CEO of Attention (PR firm), spoke at Wire’s Disruptive By Design Conference about social media strategies being used by marketers (see video of speech here). He has an outstanding understanding of what social media is and isn’t, but more importantly how it is reshaping advertising and marketing industry. 

Beth Carter also covered the session and noted these take aways: 

1. Social media is technology: “We argue the opposite,” said Hougland. Instead, “social media is biology and consumer behavior.” He cited the addictive qualities that we display when we check our e-mail and our texts: “Dopamine is being released in our brain, which is the same process an addict goes through. Without this, we feel lonely.” His advice, then, for marketers, is to relate to consumers at a really personal level.

 This is a key observation that biology and sociology are at the core of social media. 

2. Social media is a bubble: Hougland would argue that it is “absolutely” a bubble, and that social media is going to alter the marketing landscape for years. Media behavior doesn’t drive consumer behavior, it is reflective of consumer behavior.

Advertiser and marketers need to better appreciate that they can only add to a community, but not shape it. 

3. Brand matters more: Social media is actually largely dilutive of brand. When we share a brand to our friends, it’s our brand — people matters more than a corporate brand. Your brand is nine times more important than the opinion of a stranger. Brands see erosion if they don’t adhere to this. Brands needs to create a one-to-one relationship with everyone in the world.

 Again, this goes back to understanding the fundamental of influencing people through psychology and sociology.

4. The web site is the center of the customer journey: The customer journey is alinear, and we don’t know the zero moment. The world is social, and we must socialize every step of the customer journey, leaving no dead ends. The average attention span has shrunk in 10 years from 14 minutes to four, which should change everything we do in marketing. “Influence is Money Ball for marketers,” said Hougland. “We can measure campaigns in real-time through social data.”

With attention span exponentially decreasing, no single event will effectively shape an individual opinion. As such, one needs to think about the complete social value chain in terms of multiple points of contact.

5. Great creative drives disruption: Science and math are trumping art, and social media is the world’s biggest focus group — data will decide creative decisions. Your marketing organization may be digital but not social. The best model we found is to organize your brand like a social network, and the companies who use social data in real time for feedback are running better businesses.

This is so true, math and science are now trumping art, and is why big data is becoming the primary delivery means through which social media will be valued.

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If you have an interest in creating a social enterprise based on social media and network capabilities, the you should checkout this Oldie but Goldie article 2011 article “Accelerating Your Social Maturity,” by Sean Corcoran and Christine Spivey Overby.” In it they describe 5 maturity levels of social media adoption that every enterprise to be aware of: 2012 03 13 09 39 38


>> Experience. If your company isn’t using any social applications, then you can’t even reach an early stage of maturity. But it’s not just implementing technologies; it’s also documenting and sharing learnings across the organization

>> Resources. Social maturity requires new responsibilities and skills. Not only are new people needed to manage technologies and the conversation created, but many current employees will need training and guidelines.

>> Process. You can plan and organize for social applications, but if you haven’t created the workflow for how to manage them, then you cannot advance.

>> Measurement. Valuing social tools and contributions is critical.

>> Commitment. To mature, management must commit by creating a companywide vision and developing a long-term plan for empowering employees and customers.6.

>> Culture. A socially empowered culture is both top-down and bottom-up. Senior management sets the social priorities relative to other strategic programs. At the same time, the groundswell must also take hold organically with more employees buying into the benefi

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NewImageDr. Andrew Currah, Social Media Leadership Forum, in conjunction with Natalie Cowen, Head of Brand and Communications at first direct, has just release a excellent report, “Future Customer Service: The Rise of the Social Customer.” The report looks into the role playedby social media within the evolving landscape of customer service.While commissioned by first direct, it is based on the insights of executives, technologists and theoretical experts across the fields of customer service and social media.

The report recommends that leaders in companies need to support the move to social business

  • Make themselves more visible, especially when public crises occur.
  • Provide all employees with the training, tools and authority to engage with customers.
  • Look beyond standard metrics to the value of brand loyalty, advocacy and a sense of community.

Currah explains that building the social enterprise will rely on a combination of cultural, functional and technical changes. He uses the graphic below as a visual framework, which identifies the key components of the social enterprise with respect to customer service.


The key point is that social CRM technologies are integral to every level of the customer service model in a social enterprise. However, the key is the “realtime flowof information between the customer service operation and the rest of the social enterprise.” In doing so, service organizations are equipped with the right information, at the right time, that is necessary to sustain the customer relationship.

The report also emphasizes the importance of CRM software as a means to harness the collective knowledge within the company.

  • The customer service operation is equipped to monitor and engage with a targeted spectrum of media.
  • Companies fully understand where, why and how their customers are using social media before making any changes
  • A balance is struck across different types of media – telephone, email, web, social and mobile.
  • The power of online communities is recognised, and customers are encouraged to help each other.
  • Relationships are nurtured with advocates who wield particular influence on the Internet.
  • Specialist tools are used to measure the impact of customers’ online activity

The report concludes with a belief that the social media will become the center piece of modern customer service activities. Currah say that the “rise of the social customer has powered a broader transition to the social enterprise, which is seeking to emulate the speed and simplicity of the social web.”



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Social network demographics

While these are powerful statistics that speak for themselves, Alexia Nielsen, Social Media, has written a great article that briefly highlights there meaning of this Pew Internet study. The bottom line is:

– 65% of online adults use social networking sites, and most describe their experiences in positive terms.

– Two-thirds of adult internet users (65%) now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. That’s more than double the percentage that reported social networking site usage in 2008 (29%).

– More half of all adults (50%) use social networking sites.

So, what does this mean to the average company? A lot. For the first time, the majority of people who are using social media have money. That’s right – they HAVE MONEY.

We are no longer talking about kids and young adults chatting away with their friend (AKA FaceBook). You can social market to them all day long, but capturing 100% of a market that has $0, still gives you Zero Revenue.

We now have a opportunity to help mature communities solve their needs and potentially make money at it. This is a good position to be in, if you are listening to your communities, have a great product/service, and are in a position to deliver it at an acceptable price.

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NewImageSocial media adoption has seen an exponential growth over the past few years.  YouTube is now the second-largest search engine on the Web; 50 percent of its 300 million users visit the site at least once a week.  Facebook usage is up 40 percent over 2010, with 65 million users accessing their pages through mobile devices and 2.5 billion photos being uploaded to Facebook each month.  Nearly 96 percent of 18- to 35-year-olds in the U.S. participate in some form of social network, with one in five Americans in that age bracket using Twitter.  Finally, 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations, driving user-generated content accounting for 25 percent of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands.

These impressive, as well as amazing, statistics are now driving the way businesses are looking at social media.  Two years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find any large-scale corporate implementation of social media.  Today, companies like Best Buy and Jet Blue are more than leading the way; they have clearly defined how to perform at scale through transforming customer sentiment into profitable top-line revenue.


Social media is now turning into social business.  Through geographically-based push technology, businesses are looking over the next 12-18 months to Foursquare for their consumer-oriented products/services, proactively pushing real-time, instant-access sales.  With 70 percent of organizations banning access to outside social media networks, in 2012 we will see the mobile platform (smart phone, tablet) establishing its dominance as the connected mesh that keeps the social/business network together.

Social Media is more than just a trend.  What we are seeing is the emergence of stable and mature capabilities (business process and supporting technology) that are driving real, measurable business value.  It is an ideal time to start looking into social media strategies and policies, and to take advantage of the innovation and early adopter efforts that laid the ground work for Social Media 3.0.

Please check out other blog articles at LiquidHub.

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NewImageAliza Sherman has an excellent new book on the dynamics of crowdsourcing, The Complete Idot’s GUide to Crowding. While I have never been crazy about “Idiot” guides to anything, this book is far from a guide on an idiot would use. As Sherman points out, crowdsourcing leverages social networking ecosystems and tools, as Facebook and Twitter, in order to tap into the power of many people. In this guide, Sherman explains not only the the theory, but athed practice of crowdsourcing and actually shows readers how to use it. 
• A practical, prescriptive guide for those who want to put the ideas in such books as The Wisdom of Crowds and Here Comes Everybody into action.
• Step-by-step instructions. 
• Insightful anecdotes from the world of crowdsourcing.

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