Tag Archives: social networking

Social Media Leaders and Laggards: Healthcare, Retail Sprint Past Financial Services, Energy

It may be early on in the race to Social Media marketing success, but there are already some notable leaders and laggards emerging.  Which industries are the ambling tortoises, and which are the speedy hares?

In this post, we will review the findings of a recent report from intelligence provider Social Media Influence (SMI), and share our own analysis to help you handicap this race to success.

In their June report entitled “The State of Social Media Jobs 2010,” SMI surveyed the marketing departments of all Fortune 100 companies, to find out whether they have in-house social media resources, outsource their social media campaigns, or have little to no investment in social media marketing.

The graph below shows the results of their survey.  The blue line represents the total number of companies in that industry, while the red line represents those companies in that industry that SMI deems “social media-savvy” (i.e. they devote significant in-house resources to social media marketing efforts).  As you can see, the leaders of the group include Tech/Consumer Electronics, Healthcare, Retail and Automotive.  On the flip side, the laggards are Petroleum/Energy, Financial Services/Insurance and Utilities.  (Click to enlarge image.)

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Still Looking for the Definition: What is Social Media?

Social Media may be one of the most written about topics out there and yet what’s so interesting is that people are still looking for ways to define and implement it into our lives. Last week, Mashable asked readers to define social media and submit their answers via Twitter—which was a good idea, too, to limit the responses to 140 characters. Tweets are very effective, done nicely they make everything seem so profound!

That’s how I felt about the 20 best reader responses when I read them, which Mashable has classified with key characteristics such as: collaboration, network, conversation, sharing, etc.

I’d add to their list: Timely: Social Media is all the news fit to blog, tweet and post.

What about you? What would you add?

P.S. Tell Your Friends & Followers & Join in the Celebration of Social Media Day on June 30th!

Using Foursquare to Reward Customers

With 1 million users and counting, Foursquare is touted as the next hot social media tool.  But is there a business application?  Should marketers care, or is it just another passing fad?

Foursquare is a location-based social networking service for the web and mobile devices, as well as a game.

The mobile app, calculates your location, and provides you with a list of restaurants and stores in the area.  You find your restaurant in the list, select it, and touch “Check-In Here.”  If you are hoping to locate people, you can include a brief “shout-out” message – “mini college reunion with Rachel and Pam!” -  which quickly spreads to your friends on Foursquare, and also Facebook and Twitter.

This is just one example of why city dwellers are tapping into this new service.  In addition to this friend-finding aspect, Foursquare is also a game.  Users compete citywide to earn the most points each week.  Each check-in earns that user one point.  Extra points are earned through “badges,” awarded to the user after certain events (25 different places checked-in, out four nights in a row, etc.)

As the number of users has grown, the rewards have become more tangible.  A user becomes the “mayor” of a location if he or she has checked-in there more than any other user.  Businesses in turn are rewarding their mayors with real-world benefits.  Local bars and restaurants are offering free or discounted food and drink, and chains like Starbucks and Whole Foods have launched coupon programs for Foursquare mayors.

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Gather Ye Social Networking Profiles While Ye May

If you spent 2009 making a business case for using social media marketing here are some tips to help you create your social networking profiles.

Before you begin it’s always a good idea to plan your pages in advance and gather the company information, usernames, profile images and other assets you will need.

For one thing the number of characters in usernames differ from network to network, the size of profile images are different dimensions, and some pages are more forgiving in terms of editing than others. Below are some guidelines for pages as well as a list of helpful resources.

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How To Balance Your Media Diet: Wired Magazine's Suggested Servings

laptop-balancingWired Magazine’s article in Issue 17-08, “How to Behave: New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans” contains great advice on blogging, twittering/following, googling, facebook friends & photos and more.

One of my favorite parts of the article is Steven Leckart’s piece, “Balance Your Media Diet.” Leckart says, “When you add it all up the average American spends roughly nine hours a day glued to some kind of screen, and like your diet, quality is as important as quantity.”

While Wired Magazine offers their suggested servings for optimal media health, I think it’s worth stating, if you’re not spending as much as nine hours a day in front of a screen—no one is advocating for you to add more time. The message here is to keep it under wraps, and find balance where you can. So, dear readers (and family members who by chance are reading), here’s my promise; I will try to practice what I preach!

Wired Magazine’s Suggested Servings for 9 Hours of Total Daily Media Intake:

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Keeping up with the Social Networking Joneses

I spend several hours a week reading RSS feeds and the links which come in via Google Alerts. In my opinion, in order to blog on a regular basis, it’s helpful if you enjoy reading as much as writing.

This is where social bookmarking comes into the picture. As I’m reading each week, I bookmark urls to our delicious page, linking to posts which have made an impression on me. By linking to the pages, I can easily share the resources with my colleagues, our readers, my online and offline friends. When another delicious user bookmarks the same link, you can click on their page; and voilà, it’s like opening pandora’s box, being able to access material you may never have come across.

Blog Writing

A blog post doesn’t need to be very long; in fact, 350-500 words is a good length.  But how you acquire the information to write interesting content, will tack on a few more hours per week. If you’re serious about keeping up with the subject matter of your blog, the reading and research requires ongoing time and commitment. If you’re in a business environment, it likely will become (if not already) someone’s job.

This week, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about social networking–and while I’m still digesting the content and implications for use in business and personal pages–I thought I’d come up for air a minute, and share with you.

I’ll be back next week, with some further insights.  For now, put your feet up and enjoy.

Recommended Social Network Readings for this Week:

Nielsen’s new report, “Global Faces and Networked Places: A Nielsen Report on Social Networking’s New Global Footprint.”

AllFacebook’s post, How to Develop a Facebook Page that Attracts Millions of Fans

And Facebook Pages Product Guide (like reading a manual but pretty important)

Showing the Bigger Picture with LinkedIn Applications

show and tellLinkedIn, a professional network with over 28 million members, has been credited as a place where users can “exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with your trusted contacts.”

In order to keep up with the needs of its users,  LinkedIn has developed ways to further engage participants, by expanding the user experience beyond introductions to new business contacts and playing catch-up with former colleagues.  LinkedIn’s applications are helping us heed the advice of our teacher’s–show, don’t just tell.

LinkedIn has recently launched nine applications to help users show the bigger picture of themselves via their presentations, blog posts, travel destinations, reading list recommendations, twitter activity, workspaces for project collaboration, and content sharing.  LinkedIn’s applications give us a bigger picture of our social network.

For more information about the applications check out Michael Singer’s post on Information Week’s blog.

What are you doing?

I’ve been hearing a lot about Twitter these days. I should probably clarify –I’ve been reading a lot about it. My friends aren’t sending tweets yet; and my business contacts–some are just beginning to get their feet wet. The thing is, I’m intrigued by the way Twitter has taken off.

Marketing Sherpa describes Twitter in a recent article as a “social networking and micro-blogging service” which can be used for personal use as well as for marketing a company. Twitter is being used by “hundreds of thousands of people and companies, including several presidential candidates….”

Twitter text message have a 140-character-limit text box (about 25-30 words), and revolve around the question: “What are you doing?” Like other social media, some people are using it to communicate valuable messages and some– well let’s say are twittering to their heart’s content. Not only am I intrigued by Twitter’s rapid growth—I’m fascinated by the question which drives it.

As long as I can remember, people have asked, “What are you doing?” Parents, teachers, bosses, friends—my husband, my daughter. I’m sure people asked the same question of famous influential people like Christopher Columbus. Or say, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi–to name a few.

To be honest, at times the question “What are you doing?” feels like an invasion. You’re sitting there in the privacy of your own home, the phone rings and someone says, “Hi, what are you doing?” Or what about those lazy days of summer, when you could be out swimming, walking, bike riding, weeding your garden and even working, and instead you’re lying on a hammock– someone comes along and asks, “What are you doing?”

Of course, tone of voice matters here. The question can sound judgmental, inquisitive, loving, concerned. I guess when you get right down to it, nothing against Twitter here, but I’m more interested in questions like, what matters to you? What are your values? Purpose in life? Business’ mission? Don’t get me wrong, I’m interested in what people are doing. But do I want or need a blow-by-blow description, 24/7?

Marketing Sherpa advises business users to, “Keep posts valuable…find out what interests other Twitterers… make it something your followers might benefit from knowing as well.”

The words which drove this post come from a real-life example from yesterday after I read an editorial in the Sunday Boston Globe by Ed Siegel (okay it wasn’t a tweet). My point being, it was a mere fifteen characters, two words beginning with the letter E– “Enjoy Everything”, which helped to turn my outlook for the day 180-degrees. I think it’s fair to say if I’m still thinking about them today, then they may have had a more lasting effect.

If you’re going to take the time and effort to twitter about what you’re doing, make your messages count— really count.

photo credit: jaysk

Facebook: What’s Good for a Political Campaign is Also Good for Business

Facebook

If you’ve been thinking about creating a Facebook page for your business and haven’t had a good handle on what the benefits of using Facebook are, a good article to read is The Facebooker Who Friended Obama, published today on NYTimes.com.

While your business may not resemble anything close to running a political campaign (and neither does ours), what you may find of interest is the ways in which Barack Obama has been using a “new-media strategy.” It’s important to mention that Mr. Obama has had the benefit of Chris Hughes’ expertise, one of the four founders of Facebook, to spearhead these initiatives!

The most encouraging aspects of their strategy for me are the value the campaign has placed on social networking, and the ways in which a large community of supporters have been using it. Mr. Obama respects and believes in social networking tools, and “credits these tools with a ‘big part’ of his primary season success.” Mr. Obama said in a statement, “One of my fundamental beliefs from my days as a community organizers is that real change comes from the bottom-up…and there’s no more powerful tool for grass-roots organizing than the Internet.”

Mr.Hughes created My.BarackObama.com (known within the campaign as MyBo) where supporters can join local groups, create events, sign up for updates and set up personal fund-raising pages. Mr. Obama’s presence on Facebook
is maintained by other staff members, purchase online advertising, respond to text messages from voters, produce videos and email millions of supporters.

Building Facebook Business Pages

If your interest has been peaked in creating a Facebook page for your business a good place to learn more is Facebook Pages: The Insider’s Guide. It’s important to note (to avoid confusion), Facebook pages differ from user profiles. Pages are public, anyone logging in to Facebook can see the pages. A user profile can only be seen by the user’s friends, and others in their networks.

Applications can be used on your Facebook page to share information, sell products, and engage consumers with rich media. Several applications are included with a Facebook page, mini-feed, photos, events, notes, video, discussion board, wall, and reviews. There are thousands of other applications you can add to your Facebook page and if you don’t see what you want, applications can be developed for your specific needs.

We recently published a Facebook page, which currently includes videos of interest, discussion questions, and rss feed of blog posts — and can be viewed here. We look forward to posting upcoming events and other social media interests. Facebook’s founding principles were to “keep it real, and keep it local.” If it works for Facebook, and apparently has worked quite well for Barack Obama–sounds like good advice to me.

We’re interested in hearing from you about your Facebook business experiences, with your own page and ones you’ve visited. What applications have you found most helpful? Or, if you’re still on the fence about whether to create or not to create…we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Your Enterprise 2.0 Story in Six Words– and a chance to win a Platinum Pass to Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston

Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking their readers for their own six-word memoirs.

Now we are taking it a step further. Interested? Read on>

What’s Your Six-Word Enterprise 2.0 Story?

Many people have a desire to learn how to leverage new social tools and technologies, and reinvent the way work is done. When you get right down to it, many people have a reason why Enterprise 2.0 matters to them.

Can you tell yours in six words? Submit your story by using the comment link at the end of the post to be considered for a Platinum Pass to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, June 9-12, 2008.

Whether you are leading the effort or exploring your options, the Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings the newest trends and practical information together in one place.

Entries must be received by Tuesday, May 13th, 5 pm (EST). The winner will be announced Thursday, May 14th and awarded a Platinum Pass to the Conference. This special pass includes access to all tutorials and conference sessions across all 4 days!

Go ahead, tell us in six words why Enterprise 2.0 matters to you.