Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Dell’.
Burson-Marsteller Fortune Global 100 Social Media Study
Burson-Marsteller released the findings of their Fortune Global 100 Social Media Study which looked at the social media usage of the 100 biggest companies on the Fortune 500 list. The study found that 79% of the companies use at least one of the most popular social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs.
Like the Fortune 100 study found, Twitter is the social media platform of choice among the Fortune Global 100. The study found that 65 percent of the largest 100 international companies have active accounts on Twitter, 54 percent have a Facebook fan page, 50 percent have a YouTube channel, and one-third (33 percent) have corporate blogs. Only 20 percent of the major international companies are utilizing all four platforms to engage with stakeholders.
Social media participation by companies varied globally by region, and it appears that large firms are getting more comfortable using social media and are broadcasting less, and engaging more. You can download the complete analysis of these findings as a PDF.
Sony generates over £1m in sales through Twitter
Speaking at the Marketing Week Social Media for Brand Building event, Sony revealed that they generated over £1m in sales through Twitter. Nick Sharples, head of corporate communications has said that Sony sees Twitter “as a viable sales platform, as well as a tool to amplify PR activity.” This revelation by the tech giant echoes the headlines made last December, when Dell announced they had driven US$6.5 million in revenue thanks to Twitter.
Facebook page updates to appear in Google
Last week, Google began indexing status updates from Facebook Pages and including them in its real-time search results. This marks the first time that Google has integrated information from Facebook, and follows similar announcements in recent months that Google had integrated Twitter and MySpace updates in its results.
The information it is allowed to integrate is more limited than the deal the social network has in place with Microsoft’s Bing. Google can only index status updates from Facebook Pages – which are ‘for organisations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information to fans in an official, public manner’, according to the network’s own definition, and act more as marketing tools.
Yahoo! signed a deal its own last week with Twitter, “which not only takes in search, but also a deeper integration of the microblogging service’s tools.”
So, here’s the big one, does spending on social media really pay back? A fresh MBA graduate from MIT, Niki Gomez, passing through London and We Are Social on her way to Mumbai, gives her views.
At last, a study quantifies what many of us felt must be true, that social media does translate into increased sales. As Violette mentioned last week, a study by Wetpaint and Charlene Li’s Altimeter Group shows an extremely strong correlation between engaging in different social media and earning higher revenues. The study looks at the engagement of top 100 brands from the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands report and ranks them from 1 to 127, based on how they use social media channels. It finds that the top brands with their rankings in brackets are:
- Starbucks (127)
- Dell (123)
- eBay (115)
- Google (105)
- Microsoft (103)
- Thomson Reuters (101)
- Nike (100)
- Amazon (88)
- SAP (86)
- Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)
The most engaged brands experienced revenue growth in 2008 of 18% whilst the least engaged brands experienced losses of negative 6% over the same period.
Also interesting is that only arguably half of these are internet companies. The study categorizes the brands, a la Malcolm Gladwell, into mavens, those heavily engaging in 7 or more channels, such as Starbucks and Dell; butterflies, such as American Express and Hyundai who engage with seven channels but with less engagement; selectives who engage in six or less but do some on a deep level such as H&M and Philips; wallflowers like BP and McDonalds who engage with six or less but with a light touch. My question was whether social media pays off because of lower marketing spend, as there is a shift from spending on more traditional channels. However it seems, revenues, actual sales are up on previous years, even boom times!
Their findings conclude that it is not how many social media channels you use, but how deep that engagement is: so being social pays, but it’s the quality rather than quantity of these conversations that seems to triumph yet again. So, please think before you tweet… a good piece of advice for brands and individuals alike.
They’re also not the sort of company you would immediately assume would be ahead of the curve in terms of social media – they’re the world’s largest multi-channel home electronics retailer (similar to Currys or Comet in the UK) who have recently made moves into Europe with the acquisition of 50% of Carphone Warehouse’s European stores (and with rumours they may go further than that).
It’s also worth finding out more about Best Buy Connect, Blue Shirt Nation (a community for Best Buy Employees), how they use customer reviews, their recently launched API and looking at how they use their own forums and Get Satisfaction to support their customers.
Let’s finish with a 4 minute video looking at Best Buy’s internal use of social media followed by a 20 minute interview with Best Buy’s CEO Brad Anderson talking about the issues in detail:
The feature article in today’s Marketing, ‘Twitter enters the mainstream for brand communication‘ covers work we’ve done for three of our clients, with the obligatory introductory mention of Stephen Fry and his 130,000 followers, moving on to part of what we do for Skype:
Robin Grant, managing director of social media agency We Are Social, agrees that, if used wisely, Twitter can help reduce negative word-of-mouth online and assist with brand building. We Are Social client Skype, for instance, uses Twitter to ‘respond to people having issues with or asking questions about Skype’, according to Grant. ‘If we can respond, they tell their friends what brilliant customer service they’ve had from Skype.’
And then some of the work we’ve been doing with Ford:
Ford took more of a campaign approach to promote its latest Fiesta. It backed its ‘This is Now’ TV campaign with blog and Twitter activity encouraging consumers to submit photos and art and design-related discussion posts. Despite Ford’s Twitter activity, though, the car marque’s communications manager Lisa Brankin claims Twitter remains ‘niche in its appeal’. She adds: ‘By itself it is not strong enough but it can be valuable as part of a wider campaign.’
Twitter’s growth is heading in the right direction, but as We Are Social’s Grant argues: ‘Brands need to think carefully about what impact any commercial use of Twitter is likely to achieve before investing any significant resources in it.’
The cover story from Fiona Ramsay about Twitter’s plan to start charging brands (subsequently picked up by Techcrunch and others), starts from a quote straight from the horse’s mouth:
Co-founder Biz Stone told Marketing: ‘We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts.’ He would not be drawn on the level of charges.
Stone said it could also create revenue-generating features to tap into the way brands use Twitter as a hybrid marketing and customer-service tool.
But Bob Pearson, vice-president of communities and conversations at Dell, said: ‘If it becomes complicated and costly, our instinct would be to move elsewhere.’ Robin Grant, managing director of social media agency We Are Social, said Twitter could charge for display ads or to access customer information for marketing.
I had quite a long philosophical conversation with Fiona about this when she was writing the article, and expressed my scepticism about Twitter charging for brands using Twitter normally (which is not entirely summed up with the quote she used, but it least got across the idea they’d look at charging for added value services rather than the standard free functionality). As I said in the comments of the article:
The challenge Twitter will face is that there’s such a grey line between personal and commercial use.
Aside from the celebrity issue, where they are clearly individuals, but using the service for commercial gain, it’s grey elsewhere too.
If I spend a lot of my time on Twitter talking about business related stuff, where does that leave me?
For brands overtly using Twitter, it’s not black and white either. Look at Ford’s Scott Monty for example (@ScottMonty), who uses his personal account to represent Ford. Even the account we run for Skype (@PeteratSkype) is as an individual not a brand (as is the same for most of Dell’s accounts). And of course Zappos famously have hundreds of employees on Twitter.
Let’s face it, one of the reasons that Twitter is popular is because it’s such an interesting mix of both your personal and your business life – in fact, unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, it lets you be the whole you. Twitter will be risking a lot if they try to change this.
Which has since proved to be correct, with Biz Stone publishing this clarification on the Twitter blog:
It’s great that both individuals and organizations are finding value in Twitter and there may be ways we can enrich the experience. In fact, we hope to begin iterating on revenue products this year.
However, it’s important to note that whatever we come up with, Twitter will remain free to use by everyone – individuals, companies, celebrities, etc. What we’re thinking about is adding value in places where we are already seeing traction, not imposing fees on existing services.
You may remember that Peter spoke at Disruptive Media in Stockholm in early December. During the conference he was interviewed by the Editor of Sweden’s Internet World magazine, and the resulting article hit the presses a couple of weeks ago (original version in Swedish).
He talked about the need for organisations to be open and honest about the way they act and communicate with the people who care about them – whether they be customers, suppliers, shareholders or the general public. Talking to these people on their own turf, whether that be using blogs or other forms of social media, is a good way to start.
I’ve been bugging Peter to blog about this himself for a while, but he’s obviously too modest about his new found fame in Sweden.