Here are all of the posts tagged ‘listening’.
Mobile internet has grown immensely in 2009 and according to the latest TrendsSpotting report it will be at the heart of social media in 2010:
Mobile social media
In the report, David Armano says “mobile becomes a social media lifeline”: on the basis that nearly 70% of organisations ban social networking in the workplace, mobile internet will be a lifeline for addicted workers and what was once a cigarette break could turn into a social media break.
Dan Zarella predicts that with the rise of augmented reality, the border between the web and reality will become increasingly blurred.
As people trust other people online when it comes to forming an opinion about a product or service, the growth of the mobile internet will mean this increasingly occurs at the point of consumption. Imagine you’re in a shop, hesitating between two vacuum cleaners. What do you do? Do you ask the salesman or you check out independent consumer reviews via your mobile?
With the development of geolocation apps, this principle also applies to restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.. You’re travelling to Paris for business, you’ve just finished your meeting in a neighborhood that you’re not familiar with and you’re looking for a restaurant to have lunch? What do you do? Check out the reviews of the local brasseries on your mobile on Yelp, of course.
Social media goes up the agenda of organisations
The good news is that in 2010 companies seem to have plans to invest seriously in social media. According to BizReport, social media is a priority for marketers: more than half of respondents (56.3%) had planned to include social media in their marketing mix.
This is in line with the TrendsSpotting report where many social media players talk about the growing importance of social media for organisations.
According to Charlene Li, “social media will become part of everyday lexicon for business in 2010″ while for Adam Cohen, “Social media gets smarter”: companies will start using social media more strategically.
For Connie Benson, “social media will shift from being experimental to metrics and the loop will be closed so that social media monitoring is necessary and actionable”.
David Armano highlights that as of today, very few organisations have used social media beyond campaigns. He uses Best Buy as a benchmark of a company that has really managed to leverage social media strategically (Robin wrote about Best Buy and social media a few months ago).
David Armano goes further by predicting the mass adoption of social media policies in companies in 2010: specific rules of engagement across different social networks, rules on how employees’ participation in social media.
I agree with David. This year, companies will understand the importance of investing for the long term in social media rather than just on specific campaigns – as Robin put it, “stop campaigning and start committing”.
What was already important for brands in 2009 becomes crucial in 2010: listening to and participating in online conversations as they have a real impact on people’s opinions. Even more so now that Google and Microsoft have incorporated the real-time social web at the core of their search algorithms: Today, when researching a brand, you’ll surely find tweets about it.
Already this year Pepsi has dropped its Super Bowl advertising spend (after 23 consecutive years) to invest in social media in 2010, which implies these predictions may have some weight…
Social networks are making people more likely to complain online
LexisNexis last week announced the results of a survey that should make brand managers / online marketers / customer service departments take notice:
- Just over half polled said that if they are unhappy with something they have bought or used they will complain about it online
- 60% of people have chosen not to buy or use a product or service after reading negative comments about them online
- 67% of complainants made online were ignored, leaving customers to act as detractors online
The lesson is that companies who fail to monitor their brand online are missing an important opportunity to turn unhappy customers around, or gain new ones if negative comments aren’t addressed.
PR community split over paying bloggers in PRWeek poll
A straw poll run on PR Week about whether it is acceptable to pay bloggers for favourable coverage divided the PR community last week. 57 per cent agreed that it was unethical to pay blogger, but “a significant minority (43 per cent) believed that it was acceptable for bloggers to accept such payments”. A surprising finding indeed, and Robin was quoted in the article responding:
The results of the PRWeek poll only show the naivety towards social media in the PR industry; they haven’t got their heads round it and aren’t set up for it.
ITV.com on social media and engagement
This interview with ITV’s social media manager Ben Ayers makes for an interesting read, as he discusses key platforms used by ITV to get closer to fans (notably Facebook and Twitter) and his views on future growth areas for social media in general. Listening to the opinions of fans and feeding this back into production is a core element of ITV’s online activity, as is working with a wide variety of stakeholders (web editors, operations teams, show producers) in order to maintain their social media presences.
The Battle of Big Thinking
Last week was Campaign and APG’s Battle of Big Thinking at the British Library, an annual event where leading strategists compete for the coveted ‘biggest thinker’ prize. We Are Social’s very own Sandrine Plasseraud was up against Jeremy Ettinghausen, digital publisher at Penguin and VCCP’s Amelia Torrode. In case you missed it, Gordon Macmillan, Haymarket’s social media & international editor, captured it all in his ‘live blog’ of the day.
Study: Inc. 500 CEOs Aggressively Use Social Media for Business
The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth conducted a study for the third year in a row, about the usage of social media among Inc. 500 companies. Respondents were asked about their usage and familiarity with six types of social media tools (blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards, and wikis) and according to the study, social media usage has definitely grown in the last year:
- 91% of companies (compared to 77% in 2008) reported that they use at least one social media tool
Some other interesting finds:
- 44 percent of companies without a company blog say they plan to start one
- 34 percent of companies reported that they were using social media to communicate with vendors and suppliers
The key takeaway is that smaller organizations are innovating with social media marketing strategies, as there is more room to “for innovation because it requires less processes to adopt”.
LinkedIn hits 3 million members in the UK
Professional social networking site LinkedIn reached an important milestone last week, when it announced they’ve racked up 3 million members in the UK on the company’s blog.
We’ve watched the British professional community take to the site with the sort of industrious enthusiasm that typifies the way business is done in this country.
On that note, perhaps this is a good time to mention our LinkedIn group?
Twitter Declared Most Popular English Word of 2009
And last but not least, the Global Language Monitor, which tracks language trends, declared Twitter this year’s Most Popular Word in English… Enough said.
Monitoring Social Media 09 is taking place in London this coming Tuesday. The organiser, Luke Brynley-Jones, talks about the inspiration for the event and what it aims to achieve.
In the dying days of the summer, Asi Sharabi wrote a late night rant about the state of social media monitoring. He directed his anger squarely at the many social media monitoring services that have emerged in recent years, highlighting dodgy results, issues with data, limitations in sentiment detection and often somewhat overblown claims of what can be achieved.
As it turns out, Asi wasn’t alone in his frustration. His post struck a chord with people that resonated across the blogosphere. The debate began and is now up to 50 comments on his original post. Suppliers, agencies, brands, bloggers and data-heads: everyone seems to have chimed in with their views, gripes and come-backs. It was this frenzied discussion that led me to believe there was room for a conference that focuses squarely on social media monitoring, it’s goals, it’s potential, how it works, whether it works, it’s impact on organisations, it’s costs and how to gauge ROI.
Tuesday’s MSM09 will not be a typical social media conference. We won’t have a spew of incumbent-funded sales pitches. We aren’t beholden to any particular viewpoint. In our lead Panel discussion “What’s Wrong with Social Media Monitoring Services?”, Asi will be joined by Amelia Torode (of Compare the Meerkat renown) to debate the issues with the CEO’s of two leading monitoring services, Mark Rogers (Market Sentinel) and Nick Koudas (Sysomos). Equally we won’t have any long, self-obsessed presentations. Our speakers get just 20 mins to make clear points and recommendations before the mic is wrestled off them.
While our focus is on monitoring and measurement, we also plan to cover important related topics, such as: the truth about data (sources, quality and accuracy); monitoring for reputation management; and “beyond brand”, i.e. how to implement monitoring as a key business process. One of the things I heard repeatedly during my consultation process was the need for experience-sharing and case studies, so we will also have a number of “live” case studies on the day and be providing attendees with a pack of case studies to read through (or watch) afterwards.
One of our “live” case studies will be provided by We Are Social’s very own Robin Grant. He will be spilling the beans about their work with Skype – explaining how they helped Skype to set-up and run their own real-time social media listening and responding programme, which tools and methodologies they used and how this helped the world’s leading VoIP provider contain a major crisis. Other “live” case studies include, Chris Thomas from The Conversation Group – who will present a social media-driven competitive analysis of the launch of the first Google Android phone – and Celia Pronto, Marketing Director of STA Travel, who will demonstrate how her team embraced social media monitoring and reaped the benefits.
Lastly, we will have a bunch of tools for attendees to try out. Visible Technologies, Brandwatch and White Vector (to name a few) will be showing off their wares in the break-out room. Hopefully, at the very least, we’ll save a few people the tiresome process of beauty pageants by getting these guys in one room. Hope you can make it!
Luke has kindly offered We Are Social readers a 10% discount on the MSM09 £195 ticket price, by entering the discount code MSM0910 when buying a ticket direct from the MSM09 site.
I popped along to give the keynote speech at a symposium on measuring online political behaviour yesterday organised by Royal Holloway University‘s New Political Communications Unit.
In keeping with true keynote style I only managed to get along to the afternoon sessions at the event, but I still managed to catch a couple of interesting presentations: one from Rob Pearson at the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office examining the evaluation of its G20 London Summit web presence; the second from Simon Bergman from strategic communications outfit, Information Options.
I was presenting findings from some research I’ve been conducting into the use of online monitoring by the UK’s three main political parties: The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats which is an area without any in-depth study to date.
I’ve embedded my presentation above, but be warned – it’s text heavy (hey, it’s tricky articulating research findings using fancy images) – but here are some of my main findings:
- All political parties report that they track online influencers qualitatively (e.g. Iain Dale, Guido, Political Betting, etc) but they also reported that they engage with these blogs to help set the national media-agenda (which nicely supports my earlier research). Equally, all online or influencer monitoring by parties is performed informally – that is, not using paid for or third party tracking tools.
- One respondent told me that monitoring is about “a gut feeling about what’s going on” and also the UK political blogosphere is small and well organised. In my opinion, using influencers this way suggests that parties are perhaps only scratching the surface of influencer engagement. In my day job I would advise clients to establish a conversational position within influencer networks and build trusted relationships. This is key to developing successful long-term engagement programmes – arguably the only real way to change behaviour.
- Parties do engage directly to a limited extent with individuals online, particularly at a local level. However, The Labour Party appears to be closest to participating in real-time within online networks by engaging non-political networks, e.g. marketing/PR and media networks to leverage news or content.
- Interestingly Labour also use quantitative tracking to identify popular or trending issues and content on the Labour Party website and to identify ‘content gaps’ on the Labour website. This insight is used to create new content to meet demand.
- The Liberal Democrats use qualitative monitoring in a different way altogether: as an internal communications or customer service tool. By reading and staying on top of what Lib Dem campaigners and activists are saying, thinking and doing, the party can help out or resolve any issues that are emerging at a grassroots level. Really interesting use of monitoring.
I started from the position that political parties monitor online networks to ensure they can engage effectively with the aim being to exert influence influence in the network.
One of the most important measures of influence – or more accurately – power in networks is defined by Castells as “networking-making power” = that is the ability to establish and control particular networks.
This ability is further categorised into two processes: programmers and switchers.
- Programmers have “the ability to constitute network(s), and to program/reprogram the network(s) in terms of goals assigned to the network”
- Switchers have “the ability to connect and ensure cooperation of different networks by sharing common goals and combining resources, while fending off competition from other networks by setting up strategic cooperation”
Based on my findings I hypothesise that the Tories are Programmers while Labour are Switchers:
- Conservatives – early political online networks in the UK were (and still are to an extent) right-wing or anti-Government. This meant that the Conservatives were able to program the network and assign goals that were largely identical to its own. This would potentially explain why the Conservatives focus online engagement with influential nodes in the network rather and not primarily engaging in wider debate around issues.
- Labour – Labour are Switchers as they are seeking to cooperate with strategic partner networks through shared goals. For example, identifying media networks interested in specific issues and leveraging them by combining resources.
Anyway. Those are my main findings. Feel free to challenge, share, agree with, etc. As always, they open up more questions for further examination than they answer. But that’s the beauty of research.
Last month in Cannes, Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola’s VP of global advertising strategy, admitted the multi-national corporation had been slow to embrace social media and historically, they did make some mistakes. However, if you scratch the surface a little, they’re doing some interesting things.
In April they created a new office of digital communications and social media within its public affairs and communications department, giving Adam Brown, digital communications director, and Anne Carelli, digital communications manager, oversight of corporate digital and social media communications efforts.
It’s worth watching Adam speak about Coca-Cola’s social media strategy at the recent BlogWell New York conference (start 50 secs in):
You can also see Adam’s slides here.
Coca-Cola Conversations is the blog Adam mentions, check out the Coca-Cola Facebook page, and for a UK perspective it’s worth looking at this article about ‘Let’s get together’ and the Coke Zone blog.
Of course, there’s also the famous story of the Coca-Cola Facebook page:
Update 2: Coke’s new social media policy
Update 3: Coca-Cola and social media: Fans first
Update 4: Coca-Cola builds new social media model
Last month we were proud to be one of the agencies working for Dunlop, and their specially-commissioned loop-the-loop stunt created by BBH. An ordinary car with Dunlop tyres was driven round a custom-built loop by Steve Truglia, one of Britain’s top stuntmen – not only to demonstrate Dunlop’s quality and endurance under pressure during the peak period for tyre sales in Europe, but to stoke the ‘wow’ factor and passion amongst fans of driving stunts and Dunlop’s brand adherents. It was shown across multiple media, including a dedicated microsite, a spot on TV’s Fifth Gear and social media outreach to car and viral fans in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to spread the message. That last part was our job, and as simple as it sounded on paper, we had to be quick on our feet throughout.
We had planned to build up anticipation about the outcome of the stunt prior to its debut on web and TV. However five days before the stunt went live, a national newspaper leaked photographs of the stunt, and as the day rolled on, the story was picked up by an increasing number of blogs and Twitter users. Months of careful planning was being undone, all without a mention of Dunlop in the coverage or Dunlop branding in the leaked photos.
To turn things around, we tracked down the key blogs and started a conversation with them about the video, introducing them to the microsite, talking about Dunlop’s involvement. We used the immediacy of Twitter to join the conversation about the stunt by setting up an official Twitter channel for Dunlop, talking with people who had spread the link and offering them more information about the stunt, while being as conversational as possible.
Having steadied the ship somewhat and set the record straight, we were then able to use the momentum created to reinforce our original idea, contacting driving and stunt video bloggers in five territories, providing them with photos and videos that were exclusive to Dunlop, and giving them the chance to ask questions the team behind the stunt.
The results were fantastic, and we’re really happy with them given the tight turnaround time. Not only did we get some great enthusiastic reactions on Twitter from the people we got in contact with, but we got great coverage in the blogosphere, with 60 blogs in five languages linking to the microsite, and at least another 24 discussing the stunt with Dunlop branding associated – amongst them blogs such as Gizmodo who had initially reported the leak were more than happy to set the record straight, strengthening the Dunlop brand association. And it wasn’t just about the sentiment – the total reach of the blogs involved was 8m unique users/month and 420k RSS subscribers, far outstripping the reach of the initial misinformed coverage from the leak – and almost all of the coverage was positive to boot.
There were several things that the video’s success brought out. Not only was it a demonstration of the power of social media to create and develop the conversation around something people love, but also a testament to the power of listening and responding to quickly and decisively correct mistakes or misconceptions. Social media offers you the opportunity to react and turn around a conversation at lightning speeds compared with more traditional messaging. However, you have to be friendly, open and willing to listen to and converse with the enthusers around your brand if you want them to listen and contribute back.