Here are all of the posts tagged ‘US’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #4

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

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. 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.

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Corporate comms have radically changed

by Robin Grant in News Google+

“Corporate communications have radically changed” says Andy Sernovitz, chief executive of the Blog Council, an organisation for heads of social media at big companies. “It’s no longer just companies talking to the press, and customer service talking to customers. All these other people showed up in the -middle. They may not be press and they may not be customers, but suddenly their collective voice is bigger than the traditional channels.”

The essence of social media is conversation. Rather than a one-way stream of information, where companies make announcements to the press and customers, social media enables a great deal of interaction, where companies are in constant dialogue with the public. “We’ve seen a shift from doing things the old way to now having conversations with our customers,” says Jeanette Gibson, director of new media for Cisco Systems.

The above comes from an article in today’s FT, about as mainstream a business publication as you can get, a sign that perhaps Europe is beginning to hear the siren call of the changes that social media is bringing to business. Again, Twitter is on the agenda:

Companies are using Twitter to douse public relations fires before they erupt. Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motors, used Twitter to appease users who were angry after the carmaker sued an enthusiast website that was selling unauthorised Ford merchandise. When fans of the enthusiast site posted angry messages, Mr Monty “tweeted back” to explain the company’s position.

Bonin Bough, who was appointed director of social media for PepsiCo last year, also used Twitter to defuse a brewing crisis after the company released a series of advertisements depicting a cartoon calorie character committing suicide.

We’d not disagree with this – in fact we’ve been pioneering this approach on behalf of Skype since last year (and Scott Monty is a friend of the family, so to speak), but the focus should be on the overall conversation, of which Twitter is yet just a small part – forums and blogs are likely to remain the most significant venues for some appreciable time (this will vary, of course, depending on the sector you’re in – for example, if you’re Sony BMG, MySpace won’t have lost its significance just yet).

However, Melissa Bounoua’s article in Forbes earlier in the week makes a valid point:

Most European companies haven’t even heard of Twitter, and some might think it’s a time waster. A spokeswoman for energy firm Total says that Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie has no idea what Twitter is. British Telecom says it doesn’t have a Twitter account and doesn’t plan to open one. Nestle’s communications manager says using Twitter “just never came up within the group strategy.” In general, experts say Europeans don’t latch on to new social networking technologies as quickly as Americans.

I’d swap ‘Europeans’ with ‘European companies’ – as far as the general population is concerned, Europe is ahead of the US – with a higher proportion of the UK population using social networking and Twitter than the US (and the rest of Europe broadly comparable) and all of Europe but Germany and Austria way ahead in terms of blog readership.

However, despite the FT’s urging, her analysis is sadly correct when it comes to European companies. We are here to help…

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Twitter grows 974% in the last 12 months

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Following on from our recent compendium of social media traffic growth, Robin Goad has posted Hitwise’s latest stats about Twitter’s phenomenal growth in the UK:

Twitter's UK traffic growth

Twitter was one of the fastest growing websites in the UK last year, and it shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, the service is even more popular than our numbers imply, as we are only measuring traffic to the main Twitter website. If the people accessing their Twitter accounts via mobile phones and third party were included, the numbers would be even higher. Many people seem to find Twitter addictive: the average amount of time that people spend on has more than trebled from less than 10 minutes a year ago to half an hour now.

Twitter receives the largest amount of its traffic from the USA, but its penetration is greater in the UK market. For the week ending 17/10/09 ranked as the 291st most visited website in the UK, accounting for 0.024% of all Internet visits; while in the USA it ranked 350th, picking up 0.020% of all Internet visits.

Twitter is still most popular with younger users in urban areas, but its appeal is broadening as it grows. The fastest growing age group of users is 35-44 year olds, who now account for 17.3% of UK visitors to

Twitter is becoming an important source of Internet traffic for many sites, and the amount of traffic it sends to other websites has increased 30-fold over the last 12 months.

This follows on from yesterday’s US Hitwise data from Heather Dougherty, pointing out that Twitter is now more popular than

Twitter's US traffic growth vs. Digg

We’ve been experimenting using Twitter as part of our campaigns for a while now, and also helped Stephen Fry get going on Twitter, but although these figures are heading in the right direction, Twitter is still far from mainstream and you need to think carefully about what impact any commercial use of Twitter is likely to achieve before investing any significant resources in it.

While we’re on the subject, you could find out why people use Twitter, see Chris’ commentary on why the British tabloids are so hostile towards Twitter or even follow me on Twitter.

Update: also see Twitter: was there a Ross / Fry effect? and more recently, Twitter’s UK traffic trebles in a month.

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US social media spend to rise in 2009

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Hot on the heels of of similar UK predictions from Econsultancy, comes this from Brian Morrissey in Adweek:

According to researcher eMarketer, [US] online ad spending will climb 8.9 percent next year, from $23.6 billion to $25.7 billion.

Old school methods like display ads and microsites will come under pressure. Social media looks set to remain on the top of advertisers’ agendas, as they look to apply the lessons of their early missteps in the area while adding real measurement to what have been experimental forays to date. As the Internet becomes more social, there will likewise be an acceleration of a move from purely technical implementations to using the Web’s emerging social infrastructure to connect on a more human level.

Combined with the phenomenal growth in people’s usage of social media and the impact this has on their purchase decisions, this makes us even more confident that the help and advice that we’re able to offer brands means that we’re in the right place at the right time…

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Happy Christmas from We Are Social

by Sandrine Plasseraud in News Google+

I can’t believe it’s already Christmas, but here it is so as we’re wrapping up for a few days, we thought we’d take the opportunity to wish you all an amazing Xmas… And so here is Robin and I in a little ‘Christmassy’ video:

The app we used for the message is actually something we’ve been busy over the last few days helping Skype launch in time for Christmas, with a small influencer campaign covering the US, UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

We’ve had a great response so far, with stories from TechCrunch, TechCrunch UK, Girly Gadget, Geekissimo, Pixel y Dixel, Frankwatching and many others.

The video messaging application is available via and also via a dedicated Facebook app.

If, like me, you still haven’t had the time to send some real Christmas cards to your friends and family, why not send them your wishes via a Skype video card.

Happy Christmas everyone!

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