"We found that tweeting is both common and encouraged among a select group of companies we call Social Media Customer Leaders, or SMC Leaders for short."
"...SMC Leaders are the companies where employees "strongly agree" with the survey statement: "our organization has embraced social media (like Twitter, blogs, and Facebook) to improve its responsiveness to customer needs." At the other end of the spectrum are SMC Laggards, who strongly disagree with that same statement."
"...Leaders also say they are putting more sweat equity into retaining customers, and social media is one way to keep in touch with clients: "In these uncertain times our company has invested more in client relationships and building stronger client teams," noted one respondent."
"...For some SMC Leaders, social media is a core growth strategy, or it is closely tied to new potential sources of revenue. For example, one respondent from an SMC Leader told us that his company is "extremely proactive in [linking] new products to...Twitter and Facebook."
But more often social media is just one of many tactics companies use to grow sales under a broader strategy. For example, several respondents noted that their organizations' main growth engine is globalization. One firm has decided to shift its client acquisition and retention resources away from the US toward Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
These companies are using social media as part of that bigger global strategy. Twitter, Facebook and blogs extend global reach, but also function as a way to carry on conversations with local customers. Summarizing her company's globalization strategy, a respondent from a SMC Leader says: "Each country's [marketing group] must be effective in detecting what its customers need." And the direct contact with customers afforded by social media is a useful tool for this detection.
Correlation isn't causality, of course. Aggressive adoption of social media can be a signal that an organization is more dynamic and innovative in the first place. For instance, SMC Leaders are two-and-a-half times more likely to strongly agree with the statement, "My company puts more emphasis on innovation and growth today than before the recession" (43% vs. 17%).
As we suggest in the title, we are still in the early stages of looking through our survey data. Of interest next is the performance of the 38 percent of SMC Leaders (compared to 2 percent of Laggards) that also use social media internally for CEO-employee and employee-employee interaction, such as strategy communication and knowledge sharing.
Have you ever wondered whether your boss's boss recognizes you from your company's internal Facebook account?
Proving the value of social media is always a challenge - how do you prove that hours spent combing Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, forums, podcasts, etc etc for opportunities to proactively engage with your customer actually turns into sales/business? It's often hard to point to specifics: "this Tweet caused this sale" (other than platform-specific promotions, i.e. available only via Twitter). I think what's necessary is being open to the idea that social media can be a valuable marketing tool, and being willing to experiment. Try posting specials on Twitter and on a Facebook page; see how traffic and business reacts. If something works, do it again, and more of it. If something doesn't work, try changing the offer (maybe you didn't hit your customers' need right then).
What do you think? How have you experimented with social media marketing? What's worked for you (and what hasn't)?
Indeed, the future of marketing starts with publishing, and as such, brands must contribute to the evolution of social media in order to truly socialize media and galvanize communities to create more informed and active markets.
With my interest in business blogging, I'd have to agree. Plus, I'm all about content development!
How is your company contributing "content with context"?
While LinkedIn is a social media tool, it’s not designed for open networking. Mostly, I don’t know the people contacting me. Depending on my mood, I’ll just click on the “I don’t know this person” button...
...this is what LinkedIn advises about connecting with people:
Only accept an invitation if you know the sender and want them in your network.
Accept invitations when:
Do not accept invitations when:
- You want to stay in touch with the inviter
- You know and trust their judgment and expertise
- You’ve worked with them and would recommend them
- They know your work and can represent your potential
- You don’t know the sender well (consider replying or deciding later)
- If you don’t know the sender at all, click on the “I don’t know” button or “Report as spam”
She goes on to explain situations when she refuses a connection, and her reasons why. Read the rest of this post at globalcopywriting.com.
What do you think? Do you accept LinkedIn invitations from people you haven't actually worked with? Why or why not?
For nearly two weeks, environmental activists have been using social media to wage war against Nestlé over its purchases of palm oil for use in KitKat candy bars and other products, catching the Swiss food giant off guard.
Protesters have posted a negative video on YouTube, deluged Nestlé's Facebook page and peppered Twitter with claims that Nestlé is contributing to destruction of Indonesia's rain forest, potentially exacerbating global warming and endangering orangutans. The allegations stem from Nestlé's purchases of palm-oil from an Indonesian company that Greenpeace International says has cleared rain forest to establish palm plantations.
From this article, I'd say Nestle responded appropriately. They recognized the issue, stated their position, and were transparent about how they were going to address the issue moving forward.
Would you have responded differently? How?
There's still a great deal of misinformation about the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guidelines for Endorsements and Testimonials (FTC Guides or Guidelines) wafting around on the Internet, and from time to time, it makes its way into mainstream media stories.
We're trying to chip away at it. Blog With Integrity did the two free disclosure webinars last year. My colleagues and I leave comments with accurate information when we find posts and articles with errors. Just about every blogging conference since the beginning of the year has had a session about the guides, and we're doing the Bridging Brands and Bloggers webinar for PR, marketing and advertising professionals next Tuesday.
But the misinformation persists. So, it seems like the time is now for a little debunking of the urban myths about the FTC guidelines.
MYTH: There's an $11,000 fine for violations of the guidelines.
How have you changed how you post content online due to the new legislation? What facts/myths have you read, or have you been most worried about?
Gaming is no longer just an escapist outlet for Mountain Dew-guzzling teens spending twilight hours playing Warcraft. It’s a venue for everyone. And Gen Y is the first to grow up with video games from the point of birth. According to video game developer Electronic Arts, video games are a community of one billion worldwide users as of 2009. And it’s not all shoot-em-ups. Some have character roles and don’t even need a virtual world to inhabit.
Mob Wars, for example, is one Facebook’s most popular role-playing games. It’s a simple role-playing game. Players interact with other players, either by sending them messages or by attacking them. Like many Facebook applications, most of the play revolves around having friends join the player’s “mob”.
Here's a great example of a business using their blog to engage their audience in conversation, centered around their product line.
What I like about this blog marketing technique (asking open-ended questions of your readers) is that it has the power to draw people in - whether or not they participate by leaving a comment, readers are likely to read other people's comments, because this is a topic they're passionate about, too. You may notice that Lion Brand got 251 comments on this post - that's some great community participation!
I also like, in this case, that while they show a picture of their own product examples, the question wasn't "Why are our needles the best?" or "What do you like best about Lion Brand needles?" - the question was simply "straight or circular?" This left the conversation open to any knitter, helping readers to feel a sense of community, even if they don't (currently) buy Lion Brand products.
Of course, by continuing to post other similar community-building content (such as their free online pattern archive), Lion Brand can (continue to) grow their brand, and readers are more *likely* to do business with them in the future.
So how could you engage your customers/audience in conversation on a topic about which they are passionate? What feedback could you solicit that would become a resource for your readers? Consider requesting:
Reposted from 2/2009