Archive for “April, 2012”

B2B Social Media Webinar with SAP CMO Jonathan Becher 05/01/12

Every month or so I have the privilege of hosting the Social Media Today “Best Thinkers” webinar series; on Tuesday next week we have an especially great lineup for you, and I’m hopeful you can join us!

Our topic is B2B social media (“What are the Best B2B Social Media Practices?“), and the plan is to do something a little differently. We’re going to start the webinar with a 1:1 interview with Jonathan Becher, the CMO of SAP. Mr. Becher has some very interesting perspective on the changing nature of B2B marketing generally and how SAP, a market leader in enterprise application software, is shifting its focus from more outbound to inbound marketing (what role social can and will play in that).

The second half of the session, we’ll move back to our more traditional panel discussion format. Jonathan will leave us and we’ll be joined by author, noted speaker and just generally great guy Paul Gillen, as well as Jason Breed, an extremely senior digital and social marketer, and the Global Lead for Social Media at Accenture. Three of us will have a more hands-on discussion about social in the enterprise, the disruption and opportunity that brings, as well as examples of B2B firms who are really hitting the ball out of the park in delivering business value via social.

I hope you can join us Tuesday May 1st at 12EDT – sign up here!


Social Media Roundup for April 27: Social Media ROI for B2B Organizations

For this week’s Friday round-up we’re trying something new. Today’s topics focus on B2B with case studies of social media ROI for B2B organizations. (Let us know what you think of the new format!)

How Social Media Helped Cisco Shave $100,000+ off a Product Launch

B2B Case Study: How Kinaxis Uses Social Media

A different kind of ROI  – How IBM uses social media to spur employee innovation

A few B2B case studies from a social media think tank – Thinque and SR7

Marketing Sherpa: CMO perspectives on Social Marketing ROI

B2B Social Media: Lead Generation & ROI for brands

Crowdfunding is on Steroids thanks to Social Media

Wangari Kamande is a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

Have you ever had what you thought was a really awesome idea, business, hobby or otherwise that you would have loved to bring to life but the thought of raising the money to execute made you want to take a very long nap and just dream some more? Well, that does not have to be the case anymore.

Social media and the Internet have made it much easier for people to access financial resources, talent, customers and everything in between to move a great idea into reality. The backbone of this process is in Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding has been described the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

This idea is really not that new, communities have been pulling resources together for charity, to develop community projects such as schools or theatre for many years. In fact, growing up in Kenya I was raised to value the Harambee spirit which literally means “all pull together” in Swahili. This is a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events, e.g. fundraising for development activities and is also the official motto of Kenya and appears on our coat of arms. This was how the country was able to develop the community post-colonialism.

Today, there are quite a number of crowdfunding platforms in the non-profit sector there is Lendforpeace, Microplace, Kiva (my personal favourite) etc while in the for-profit sector there is Indiegogo, WeFund, Kickstarter just to name a few.

An image of the world map cross-referenced against number of crowdfunding platforms

Source: PleaseFund.Us

Here are few interesting facts on crowdfunding platforms:

  • According to Gartner research, in 2009 the estimated value of money generated from crowdfunding platforms was $1.6 billion. The forecasted value of the same is expected to be $6.2 billion in 2013.

According to an infographic commissioned by

  • The biggest crowdfunding platforms are located in the United States and the UK.
  • 49% of all sites that use crowdfunding are for creative purposes, not social or business for the most part.
  • One of the best crowdfunding success stories is the Nano Wrist Watch which received $942,578 for its Kickstarter Campaign, which is 6300% of the $15,000 they asked for.
  • 2011 has seen the highest number of crowdfunding platforms launched ever, with a whopping 67 sites compared to in 2007 when only 19 sites were launched.

In my opinion, there are three factors that have and will continue to stimulate the growth of crowdfunding platforms, this include:

1. High Speed Internet and Social Media

This has allowed for people from all over the world who have similar interests and passions to connect and build communities. In fact, while there are varying statistics on how much of funding comes through social media connections, (the leading industry resource on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding has described social media as the cornerstone from which crowd funding is built on.

2. Online International Payments

The ability to make secure online payments with a credit card and even debit card means that money can travel across borders. People can now come together and support ideas, projects that would otherwise not be funded through traditional means e.g. bank loans or venture capital.

3. Macro- Economic Policies

In early April, the US president signed a law called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS). In summary, this allows small companies to raise up to $1 million in equity on an annual basis through crowdfunding, without having to go through the rigorous disclosure process by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For anyone looking to get that dream idea up the pipe, spend time building your social network and community, build trust, provide relevance and engage consistently. Your dream idea could be a tweet away…literally.

Instagram's Path to Glory

The emerging social photo app Instagram is having its moment in the sun.  First, there was the long awaited release of the Android application, which finally extended the service to over half of the new smartphone handset market.  Then, just a week later Mark Zuckerberg hands the 13 person Instagram a check for a cool billion.  What a week!

In taking the pulse of the blogosphere, there were a couple of surprises that caught our attention.  First off, was the amount of chatter that was created in response to the Android release.  In comparing the six days following both news events, mentions of Instagram following the Android release actually exceeded the volume of chatter post Facebook acquitision by 3%!    My immediate reaction upon looking at the data was there must be some kind of mistake.  After all, being mentioned in the same breath as Facebook is second only to being associated with Apple, or in a YouTube context some kind of cute kitten.  Being acquired by Facebook is an instant ticket to awareness and recognition with a whole new audience based on coverage by mainstream media.  Heck, even my mom asked me about Instagram!

Click image to enlarge.

After confirming the validity of our findings, I started to think of how and why this could be.    In my mind, there are several factors behind this result:

  • Android has a very active community of content creators and critics online, many of whom have been eagerly awaiting the Android release.  Proof point – Instagram surpassed 5 million Android downloads in less than a week after launch.  It took Instagram seven months to acquire 5 million on iOS.
  • All was not rosy for Instagram post Android launch.  Witness the daily sentiment scores spike with negativity on April 3 and 4, as  as people complained that the app was buggy and didn’t function properly.  Instagram reacted quickly, pushing out several updates in the first few days.
  • The majority of social mentions of Instagram on Facebook would likely be shielded from social media monitoring tools, due to the fact that Facebook is a “walled garden” or password protected site.  This is an important distinction that isn’t widely understood by the marketing industry, and presents a significant blind-spot for brands


Click image to enlarge.

So, what are the key takeaway for brands regarding the relative success of the Instagram Android launch versus Facebook acquisition?

  • Know your audience – who they are and the extent to which they are active and participating on social channels
  • Offer them something of value, and if you slip up, perform mea culpa and quickly make good
  • Be aware that not every social media conversation is a public one, make sure you do your due diligence on all social channels!


Social Media Round Up for April 20

Social Media Event Of The Week: Foursquare Day

Foursquare enthusiasts worldwide observed Foursquare Day on April 16, 2012. As part of the celebration, Foursquare announced it now has over 20 million users who have checked-in over 2 billion times.

Radian6 took a look at the social media conversations generated around Foursquare Day 2012 and provided some interesting stats on their blog this week.

On April 16, Foursquare Day was mentioned 322,274 times in social media channels, with conversation peaking between 7-8am EST at 25,226 mentions. The United States led the way with over 14,000 mentions, with Brazil coming in close behind, followed by Mexico, Indonesia, Chile, Turkey, Japan, the UK and Thailand. The 25-34 demographic led the conversation with 48.1% of Foursquare Day mentions.

For more insights on social media conversation around the 2012 Foursquare Day event, check out Radian6’s blog.

Klout Launches Brand Pages to Connect Companies with Influencers

Klout announced the launch of a new feature called Brand Squads, which is basically a brand page for companies to engage with users whom Klout has indicated as influential. They are kicking off this new feature with Red Bull as a launch partner. Take a look at the Red Bull ‘brand squad’ to see what they’re rolling out to their Klout influencers over the next few weeks. (Some influencers will get a trip the upcoming X Games.)

Google’s Cloud Service (Google Drive) Interface Leaked in Employee Presentation

It was rumored this week that Google will soon be launching Google Drive, its own cloud service. Yesterday Mashable posted an exclusive screen shot (shown below) of a Google employee’s screen during a presentation at a university in Brazil. It shows the presenter accessing the file IA Google Drive. A Google spokesperson responded by simply saying “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.”



The Future of Advertising at a Glance

Jordan Benedet is a Manager on the Client Strategy and Innovation team at
Social Media Group.

No, I’m not talking about Catvertising. The online advertising landscape is changing at a staggering pace. A recent report from mobile analytics company Flurry provides a great visualization that illustrates how long consumers spend consuming TV, Print, Radio, Web, and Mobile media against how much advertisers are actually spending within each media category.

The results are clear. Print advertising is getting a substantial amount of advertising dollars, but consumers are no longer spending much time consuming that type of content.

Mobile and Web categories are where things get interesting, showing huge gaps between advertising spend and consumer time on each medium. Advertisers continue to pour money into traditional mediums, despite the fact that mobile and web platforms offer better engagement opportunities. This trend cannot sustain itself. Sooner or later, all advertisers should understand that their advertising budgets need to be adjusted to compensate for the migration to web, social media, and mobile platforms.

Media Spend vs COnsumer Time on Media

Mobile & Tablets

Mobile is a different advertising beast compared to traditional search and display ad units, and it’s projected that in 2012 mobile ad spend will reach $6.5 billion! The question is not whether your company should invest in mobile advertising, it’s how much should be invested.

Currently, the total amount of mobile ad impressions being served is somewhat limited. This is a result of mobile advertising still being in an infant stage, and also because screen real estate on smartphones and tablets is much smaller than the average computer screen, reducing the amount of total amount of ad impressions per page view. The limitation of available impressions is not necessarily a bad thing, however, since it will motivate advertisers to ensure ads and content are highly relevant to the audience being served.

Marin Software reports that ad clicks coming from smartphones cost 35% less per click, and produce 72% higher click through rates compared to desktop advertising. Unfortunately, that’s not the whole story—Marin also reports that computers and tablets produce conversion rates that are 160%, and 145% higher than smartphones, respectively.


Although the gaps in conversion rates are wide, it should be noted that smartphone conversion tracking can be much more difficult to achieve in comparison to standard desktop ads. Leo J. Shapiro and Associates has recently reported that 66% of smartphone owners use their devices to research products while shopping. If customers make their purchase in-store rather than online, this would result in conversions that cannot be tracked back to a mobile ad – essentially lowering mobile ad ROI.

Mobile ads are not just about search either. Neilsen recently released a study which states that Android users spend twice the amount of time in apps compared to the mobile web. This puts even more pressure on brands to ensure their mobile advertising strategy includes 3rd party mobile ad networks such as AdMob or iAd.

My point is that mobile and web advertising is where real growth is happening. It’s essential for advertisers to start exploring new ways to serve ads in mobile search, within apps, and on various social media networks to truly understand what budgets are required to achieve specific campaign goals (be that awareness or conversion). Now, if only those cool cats at the new Catvertising agency could figure out how to use a mobile phones and tablets…

Cat Tablet



An Update on the U.S. Digital Divide

Michelle McCudden is a Manager on the Client Strategy & Innovation team at Social Media Group.

As part of their role in documenting internet use, the Pew Internet & American Life project released a report last week on Digital Differences. Here are a few of the key findings from this research:

  • One in five American adults does not use the internet.
  • Among those who don’t, nearly half report that the main reason is that “they don’t think the internet is relevant to them.”
  • Adults living with disability are less likely than adults without a disability to go online.
  • These who are online are doing more.

Looking at the data, it’s clear that the digital divide is still alive and well for some groups. Traditionally, the digital divide has been thought of in terms of access–the gap between those who are have access to the infrastructure and tools associated with information and communication technology. However, the cause of the gap between the 80% of American adults using the internet and the 20% who aren’t is about much more than access; it’s about cultural use, ability, cost, time, and a host of other factors. In the Pew study, age, income, and education were all strongly associated with a lack of internet use, meaning that older Americans, and those with lower income and less education were significantly less likely to be online.

When asked why they did not go online, participants reported the following reasons:

Only 6% reported that a lack of access is the main reason they’re not online, challenging those who would continue to define the digital divide as being access-based, rather than influenced by cost, ability and demonstrated value associated with internet use.

For those who are online, they’re engaging in more and more activity – and building their skills in the process:

“While internet adoption has been more or less stable over the past few years, there has been significant growth in the activities internet users engage in once they are online. As a result, the gap in technical experience—and general understanding of the internet—between online adults and offline adults is increasing.”

So what does this all mean? Younger Americans, those with higher income, and those with more education are more likely to be online, and increasing their activity there. Those who aren’t online will continue to have decreased access to the information, socialization, and development of online skills, mirroring divisions in age, education and class groups that exist offline. But it’s not all bad news; more people are online than ever, and the gap is smaller than it was when Pew began the Internet & American Life project in 2000.

What do you think? How does this impact your thinking as someone active in the field?

SuperNova Awards 2012

Constellation Research has announced their second annual Constellation SuperNova Awards to celebrate and recognize leaders and teams who have overcome the odds to successfully apply emerging and disruptive technologies for their organizations. Our own Maggie Fox will be part of the all-star judging panel in search of these innovators.

Do you or anyone you know embody the spirit to innovate, overcome adversity and successfully deliver market changing approaches? Think you have what it takes to be subjected to a vigorous set of criteria that reflect real-world and pragmatic experience? Then you could be a SuperNova and represent the best of the best among the early adopters and innovators in the market.

Deadline is May 31 and semi-finalists will be announced June 29. Apply today!

Happy Foursquare Day (Be There and Be Square!)

Karly Gaffney is a Manager on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group.

Social media enthusiasts are gathering worldwide today to celebrate the third annual Foursquare Day.  Foursquare Day is held every year on April 16th (i.e., 4/16) and was started as a grass roots event in 2010 by Tampa Bay fans of the popular location-based app, foursquare. The event quickly spread to communities all over the world.

I am a self-proclaimed social media addict, and have been on the organizing committee of Foursquare Day Toronto (#4sqdayYYZ) since 2010.  Last year was a huge success worldwide for 4sqDay with 3,073, 635 check-ins, 781 parties and 19 real city mayors who issued proclamations.

4sqDay 2011 By The Numbers

Last year, our Toronto organizing team was proud to make Toronto one of the top ten cities worldwide for check-ins/attendees with about 150-200 attendees throughout the night. We’re hoping to exceed our numbers this year. (Check out the recap video below)

For those of you in the Toronto area, you’re invited to join us at 6 p.m. this evening at The Pilot Tavern at 22 Cumberland Street in Yorkville. Nat & Marie, Toronto’s sassiest sweethearts to take a byte outta’ the world wide web, will host the event. Sponsors of the event have provided multiple giveaways, including prize packs from Fairmont Royal York hotel, Jugnoo, iSkin and ContactMonkey. Creemore Springs Brewery has also been a huge support through securing the event venue and providing additional hospitality highlights.

Be there and be square! *insert cheesey music*

[googleMap name=”The Pilot Tavern” description=”The Pilot Tavern”]22 Cumberland Street Toronto[/googleMap]

It's a Happy/Sad Day at SMG

It’s one of those days – the days where something amazing is happening for someone you like and respect (which is fantastic!), but it means parting, which is always sad.

It’s my bittersweet pleasure to announce that as of today, the fantastic, amazing Leona Hobbs, formerly VP at Social Media Group (“great team and the best clients”) is setting off to begin a career as an independent consultant. As I said, it’s bittersweet – sweet because Leona is an amazingly talented strategist who will absolutely rock it, and be incredibly happy, as she cuts her own path. Bitter because she made such a tremendous contribution during her 3+ years here at SMG and we’ll really feel her absence, both in our work and in our working lives.

Nevertheless, life happens, and as long as it’s for the better, you really can’t complain. The team will miss you, Hobbs, but you did your job well – you leave behind you an amazing group of people who know exactly what awesome is and how to deliver it, without fail.

Thanks for the last three years, we wish you every happiness and success!