Archive for “October, 2011”

Social Media Roundup for Oct 28, 2011

#occupywallstreet: where it all started

Last week SMG provided  National Post with insights behind the Occupy Wall Street movement using English language Twitter data. We know that the whole thing started with a single tweet from Adbusters (Vancouver-based, not-for-profit magazine) on July 4th.

I don’t know that anyone could have predicted that a simple Twitter hashtag #occupywallstreet could spread across Twitter and ignite a global movement.  This week Mashable did a Q&A session with the Co-Founder of Adbusters, Kalle Lasn -  providing  insights from the architect behind this huge trending topic. Like the rest of us, when Lasn first created the hashtag, he didn’t expect that it would cause this much attention, at least not globally. Below are some of the quotes from Lasn:

“I think that social media played a critical part, but I think it was triggered, it was catalyzed, sparked by creativity, but also people coming up with magical hashtags and posters and above all, having the geopolitical savvy to realize that the moment was right on September 17.”

“It started off with a poster in the middle of Adbusters magazine and #occupywallstreet with the hashtag on our cover and then it started off when the Twitter feed started going crazy with that hashtag. Then of course after that it began to have a life of its own.”

“I wasn’t surprised that it created a big havoc in New York because we knew this [was an] invitation to occupy the iconic center of global capitalism, Wall Street. I knew that was a very provocative move and if we could get a few thousand people out there that this would be an incredible moment. But when it started to spread to Chicago and Los Angeles and San Francisco and now it’s creeping across the border to Canada, then I just sat there in front of my TV set in wonder.”

Steve Jobs Biography finally hits the shelf

Everything about Steve Jobs hits the front page, even after his death. Steve Jobs’s biography by Walter Isaacson finally hit the shelves (physically and virtually) on Monday, Octobar 24th. Like most of his products, the book immediately climbed to the top of the charts and is believed to be this year’s top seller. Some highlights from the book that got a lot of buzz this week include: Jobs’s take on Android as a “stolen product”, and Apple’s secret development of a TV-Set with the “the simplest user interface you could imagine.”

On our reading list, this book is not only about Steve Jobs as a individual, but also the history and future about Silicon Valley and personal computing.

Topguest’s upcoming white label service

Topguest is a loyalty program which rewards users for engaging with brands on social networks.  Customers collect airline, hotel and other travel reward points for their social networking activities. The company just revealed that it has five million Facebook users in its database.  The company has announced this week that they will release a new white-label service this fall which will allow brands to to integrate with their services and to offer rewards to engaged customers.

In a study released by Bain & Company this week, we again see the direct correlation between consumers engaged with brands via social networks and sales:

People who engage with brands via social media demonstrate a deeper emotional commitment to those brands, and they spend between 20% and 40% more than other customers on the products and services offered by the brands, according to a report by Bain & Company.

Using the Net Promoter Score* (NPS) method to measure customer loyalty, the study found that  on average, customers who engage with companies via social media (e.g., following a brand on Twitter, liking a brand on Facebook, or joining a branded community) spend more buying products and services than other customers.

 

Facebook’s new way to recover a lost password

I keep a spare key at a close friend’s place in case I get locked out of my home. Have you ever imagined that we could (or should) do the same in digital world? I wouldn’t think it was necessary to do so before Facebook became pervasive. But for the past six years, Facebook has been brought our real life and digital life together, now it is going to move a little step further.

Facebook is testing a new method for users to recover their password. Instead of going through the ‘forget your password’ process, you retrieve a code from your Trusted Friends (Users first have to designate three to five friends they trust) to access their Facebook account.

 

Announcement: Social Media Group Teams Up With FPinfomart

Today, we’d like announce an exciting new partnership between Social Media Group and Canada’s leading media monitoring service, FPinfomart.

FPinfomart, a division of Postmedia Network Inc., is a one stop resource for traditional media monitoring, covering print, newswires and broadcast in a single integrated platform. Our partnership brings together industry leading mainstream media coverage with SMG’s social media Research and Insights Practice whose principal job is to help clients understand and act upon conversations in social media.

Why are we so excited about this new venture?

  • It recognizes the convergence of channels.  Social and traditional media are now inextricably linked and analyzing them separately no longer makes sense. Social media pundits often reference the decline of traditional channels, but a more honest appraisal of the landscape would still recognize to the mass power of print and broadcast and the conversation it triggers online.
  • Insights from social data now have greater context. Looking at social media data alone is the equivalent to a horse wearing blinders. Brands need to see the bigger picture. At SMG, we’ve witnessed social media groundswell lead to coverage in mainstream media, and vice versa. With integrated measurement, clients can see the entire landscape, not just a sliver.
  • We will deliver extra value to our clients. SMG is all about helping clients succeed on the social web.  Increasingly, the social web is populated by the media and responses to mainstream media activity.  Being able to tell a story and take action based on a holistic view of influence and issues is a powerful, unique and creative offering.

Together, Social Media Group and FPInfomart will now provide a complete, holistic view of the communications landscape that is unmatched in the marketplace, enabling our clients to understand and act upon what’s being said in any channel.

To find out more about this unique offering, please email me at patrick [dot] gladney [at] social media group [dot] com, call +1 416-703-3764 or Contact Us.



Social Media Round Up Oct 21st: Content marketing around the 'net

“Content is King”

Content marketing is one of the most discussed topics at SMG everyday, and this week we would like to share some of the conte-related items that caught our attention with you. For those of you not entirely familiar with content marketing, I think this short interview Social Examiner did with C.C.Chapman, co-author of Content Rules,  should provide the basics.

From the interview, Chapman explains his definition of content and why it is important for brands,

“Content has been around forever, since we were kids. We’ve been creating content whether we called it content or not. We email newsletters, print ads, radio ads, all that is content. So it’s nothing new, we’ve known content marketing forever. The problem is, now in the internet, anybody can create content, publish content, get it out there. And let’s face it, there are a lot of them coming out, there is a never ending stream of content coming out. So doing content marketing and doing it smartly and strategically is the thing that’s hard and gets people lost. You maybe doing it, but you maybe doing it the way you did 10 years ago, but your customers are not the same as they were 10 years ago.”

He makes good points. Now with social networks it takes a lot more consideration and planning for brands to create content, even for the entire marketing strategy.

What does Content Marketing mean for B2B companies?

Now let’s take a look at content marketing for business-to-business companies.  Research conducted by eMarketer.com has presented insights on how Content Marketing helps B2B companies to boost their lead generation effort. eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher, author of this new report says:

“Informative, nonpromotional content in the form of webinars, white papers, videos, blogs and peer recommendations on social networks and forums can attract prospects,”

“It can also be used to build and maintain ongoing relationships with potential buyers—a must for remaining top of mind throughout the purchase process.”

The figure below shows the different effects generated by different types of contents for B2B and B2C  companies.

Based on the research, Fisher continued:

“Online content is the fuel for the new B2B marketing lead generation engine,”

“In creating informational, educational and actionable content in the form of white papers and webinars, marketers can effectively lure early-stage buyers into their sales pipeline.”

“By mixing this content with comparative, company-specific and interactive content—and regularly sharing it via email or e-newsletters—marketers can build relationships designed to nurture prospects throughout the sales funnel.”

Content Marketing and  SEO

Good content assets go far. This infograph from Brafton shows that a good content marketing strategy helps brands to deeply engage with their customers and helps the brand to boost SEO ranking on search engines.

 

Social Media Roundup for October 14th

Apple’s Releases

With the release of iOS 5 to the public on Wednesday and the iPhone 4S hitting stores today, there has definitely been some Apple buzz and excitement around the office. It’s been reported that pre-orders for the iPhone 4S have broken the company’s records from previous years, which I find quite interesting after all of the complaints and disappointment expressed last week when the iPhone 4S was unveiled instead of the iPhone 5. Check out this Funny or Die video taking a crack at all the disappointment.

But despite the lack of an iPhone 5, it seems people just cannot help themselves but to upgrade! I have to say, Siri sounds pretty cool and could definitely provide some amusement. Even just going through this blog is a good time-waster. What would you ask your iPhone?

And the phone can’t be too much of a let down if the Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak was first in line at the Apple Store in Los Gatos, California! He tweeted, “The long wait begins. I’m first in line. The guy ahead was on the wrong side and he’s pissed.” He’s obviously a long-time Apple fan and I think its great that he wants to join in and stand in line with the rest of the fans!

RIM’s Outages

While things are all happy over at Apple, RIM has taken a hit this week due to their service disruptions and outages worldwide. Many Blackberry users took to their Facebook and Twitter accounts to complain and there was even talk about finally being fed up and switching to the iPhone or Android. (Maybe this contributed to Apple’s highest pre-orders record?) Both Maggie Fox and Leona Hobbs were quoted in the press this week, in The Star and Financial Post respectively, commenting about how RIM’s CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie handled the public relations fallout. See what Maggie had to say here and what Leona had to say here.

Wall Street Protests

Also in the news this week has been the Occupy Wall Street protests and the use of social media in its organization. There are many angry people and there are no signs of their confrontation going away, not when almost all of the protesters have a smartphone and are active on social media networks to regularly spread the word as far as they can. More people are engaging in social networks to get people to come out and join them. Some commented that they heard about it through a friend on Facebook or Twitter and that the turnout was so strong due to social media. We can really see the significance of social media and why engaging in it is so important to stay in the know and up-to-date. It really is the strongest tool today to bring people together and connect with others that are feeling the same way as yourself.

 

Best Thinkers Webinar Series: Disclosure, Transparency and Ethics in Blogging

Join Maggie Fox on October 18th at 12pm EST/9am PST as she hosts an exclusive, live webinar from Social Media Today on Disclosure, Transparency and Ethics in Blogging.

On the social web, it’s not always easy to distinguish marketers from regular citizens. With the explosion of online marketing in recent years we’ve seen all sorts of ethically dubious practices, like PR agencies posting “impartial” product reviews about their clients and “independent” bloggers failing to disclose freebies and other considerations from the companies that they write about. In the latest installment of Social Media Today’s Best Thinkers series, ethics guru Randy Cohen (former ethics columnist for the New York Times Magazine), and marketing expert Paul Rand discuss the emerging ethics of blogging.

Our panelists will explore the following questions, and yours:

  • How do we distinguish opinion, information and marketing in the blogosphere?
  • What are appropriate disclosure requirements for corporate bloggers?
  • Can you be an objective blogger?

Maggie Fox and fellow panelists, marketing expert Paul M. Rand and ethics guru Randy Cohen as they discuss these emerging ethics of blogging.

Will definitely be a great discussion! Register now, click HERE!

Social Media Roundup for October 7th, 2011

The Shift of Marketing

Marketing channels are shifting as more and more people are starting to realize where they can achieve the strongest effect on their target audience. Recent research conducted by Jonas Colliander and Micael Dahlen from the Stockholm School of Economics compared the publicity effectiveness of social media (blogs) vs. traditional media (online magazines). It was found that blogs can result in a special type of relationship between the blogger and the reader, called a parasocial relationship. This is the illusion of a face-to-face relationship, where readers have a feeling of closeness towards the blogger as if they were friends. On the other hand, magazine writers are seen to just be completing a job and so they are not as trusted.  It is clearly important for marketers to find bloggers that are honest about disclosure and genuine in what they write about brands and products because this is what will build that parasocial relationship and level of trust, making it more likely for readers to then build their own relationships with the brands the blogger has endorsed.

We know that agencies need to put time and effort into researching each blogger and what they are all about before pitching them to promote a product.  Build a relationship with them: get to know them, actually read their blog posts, follow them on Twitter and Facebook, send them an email to introduce yourselves and ask questions. If not, things could take a bad turn for your company and your client. Learn from “The Bloggess” about what not to do when pitching a blogger here or you could be very sorry, about 3 million people sorry. Caution: some of the language may not be SFW!

To further show the shift from traditional marketing channels to social media, check out this Infographic on the ROI of Social Media: Is social media marketing effective? Looks like companies are catching onto this shift in marketing channels, as we can see that 75% of companies plan to increase their use of blog marketing in the coming year!

Taking a closer look at the infographic, we can also see that the majority of marketers are integrating social media into their marketing plans. And not only does social media result in significant drops in marketing costs over the long term but 72% of the marketers researched said social media helped in closing business!

 

The Great Steve Jobs

This was a very sad week for Apple and everyone really, as we have lost the great innovator, Steve Jobs. My Twitter timeline was filled with tweets about Jobs, everyone tweeted, replied and retweeted until Twitter froze because it could not handle all of the updates! His products have changed our lives and I think he deserves some thanks for the growing numbers in the above Infographic of the ROI of social media because Apple products played a big role in the rise of social media. What are you using right now to read this? Your iPhone, iPad, Macbook? Of course he is not the only maker of this technology but without these devices, I don’t think I would spend as much time on social networks as I do. They definitely make checking your favorite blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts a lot more convenient! And when you like your device you want to spend more time on it.

Take a look at this incredible tribute to Jobs that Twitter employee Miguel Rios put together using all of our tweets expressing love, support and condolences.

Not only did he personally read the 1,000+ tweets in the image, he took the time to order them starting with the most retweeted ones at the top. View the original image on Flickr and  you can actually read the tweets yourself. It is quite amazing.

Best Thinkers Webinar Series: Where Have All the Hippies Gone?

Join Maggie Fox on October 11th at 12pm EST as she hosts a webinar: Where Have All the Hippies Gone? to explore the topics of Monetization, Data and Social Media.

We define “hippies” as individuals who are not centered around making a profit or having a “revenue model.” In the early days of the social Web, strategies for making money took a back seat to building traffic and refining the software platform. Many companies focused on giving the platform away for free and serving users well in order to win their loyalty and perhaps even their dependence on the social platform. The next stage of the social web is monetization, or figuring out how to profit from the presence of many habitual users and the information gathered about those users. In this webinar, the panelists will explore the various strategies that companies are adopting to pay their way on the social web.

We’ll cover the following questions as well as yours:

  • What are the leading monetization strategies for social media companies?
  • What’s the future of online advertising?
  • How can companies formulate appropriate data management policies that allow them to monetize user data without violating the trust of their users?

Panelists Mike Edelhart, Judy Shapiro, and Brett Shellhammer will explore where all the hippies have gone!

It promises to be a lively discussion. Join in. Sign-up here.

Financial Post features Maggie Fox as leading Canadian innovator

We’ve got some exciting news to share! Maggie Fox and Social Media Group are featured in a new series appearing in the Entrepreneur section of the Financial Post, entitled FP Innovators. The weekly series showcases a Canadian company that excels in innovation. Social Media Group’s unique approach to human resources and the introduction of the “Unlimited Vacation Policy” is the topic of this week’s edition.

For the full scoop on the ups and downs of this flexible policy, check out the full article and video:

FP Innovators – Sound mind over money