- Online Marketing
I found another great article on business insider, and it speaks directly to post of the past.
Not long ago I wrote an article on the use of social media among CEOs and how many often talk the social media talk on behalf of their brands/companies but very few actually walk the social media walk for their own personal use.
Today comes results of a survey conducted by Bazaarvoice of 100 members of The CMO Club. Now while I realize the sample size is small (100) it is worth nothing that 56.1% of the brands represented have more than $1 billion in annual revenue while another 36% have $100-999 million in annual revenue, and just 7.9% have annual revenue of $0-100 million.
As for the impact CMOs believe social media has on sales:
While I’m not sure why the folks behind this survey/white paper decided to “water down” the confidence quotient, if you will, by inserting the word “somewhat” in the subhead in the chart above, especially when they did not use the word in the headline – but regardless the fact that so many of the CMOs surveyed identified social media as having such a profound impact on sales, as well as brand awareness and loyalty speaks volumes.
It speaks volumes in that CMOs, perhaps unlike their fellow C-suite residents (CEOs), realize that social media is here to stay – yes there are those still on “it’s a fad” bandwagon, and that it can have a significant impact the things that matter most, AKA the bottom line and brand loyalty.
It would also appear that CMOs realize that social media is a direct reflection on the world around them – the world where consumers live, work and play. While not crazy about the use of the word “somewhat” again, the graph below shows that a large number of CMOs surveyed believe that social media is effective for identifying discernible trends among consumers with the word “discernible” being the operative word for sure.
DALLAS, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Social media technologies have re-shaped how we interact. But do they help salespeople sell?
Not according to the results of two surveys presented at the 2012 annual convention of the Southwestern Psychological Association in Oklahoma, City. The surveys, reported by behavioral scientists, Trelitha R. Bryant and George W. Dudley at Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas, were presented April 13, 2012. Bryant and Dudley asked 4,768 salespeople (67% men, 33% women, average age 40) in more than 1,000 U.S. companies which form of client communication is most helpful for generating new sales. The salespeople were surveyed as part of a standard assessment protocol for sales professionals which included the Sales Preference Questionnaire (SPQ*GOLD®), a psychological test used worldwide to detect emotional discomfort associated with prospecting for new business. Almost 70% (+/-1%) said established forms of communication (face-to-face and telephone contact) were most helpful generating new sales. Only 10% (+/-.14%) claimed email was most effective and less than 10% said other forms of computer-mediated communication were most effective. Results were not age-related.
“Further analyses uncovered another relationship,” Dudley said. “Salespeople claiming social media is most effective might be struggling with sales call reluctance®, an emotional impediment to production characterized by apprehension, conflict, hesitation or avoidance specifically associated with sales prospecting. They had elevated prospecting distress scores on eleven of the twelve forms of sales call reluctance measured by the test.”
To confirm their results, the research team conducted a follow-up study of 1,512 additional salespeople (64%male; 36% female, average age 40). The outcome was essentially the same (68% said conventional, 2.8% computer-mediated). “The second study confirmed what we learned in the first,” Bryant said, “including the link with sales call reluctance. Computer-mediated social media may help find a date, keep tabs on old friends or support a political campaign. But most salespeople don’t think it’s as helpful as conventional person-to-person contact for generating new sales.”
Moving to the forefront of social media privacy law nationwide, the Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting employers in the state from asking current and prospective employees for their user names and passwords to websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
If Gov. Martin O’Malley signs the bill — his office said it was one of hundreds of bills it has yet to review — the bill would make Maryland the first state in the nation to set such a restriction into law. Other states are considering similar legislation, including Illinois and California.
The bill, drafted in response to a state agency’s scouring the personal Facebook posts of prison guard applicants, also could be a bellwether for federal action. Two U.S. senators — Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, both Democrats — have asked the Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate the issue.
“Right now we protect our physical homes, but it’s my thought that we need to protect our digital homes,” said Bradley Shear, a Bethesda social media attorney who advised state legislators on drafting of the bill. Shear said federal law is indeed needed to address the problem because “the Internet knows no bounds.”
But while Facebook criticized the practice of employers viewing employees’ personal accounts and civil libertarians hailed the state legislation, business groups including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce pointed out that there may be instances when an employer needs to access such accounts. Some employers say that what potential hires post on social media pages could provide useful information to weed out unwanted candidates.
The bill in Maryland passed unanimously in the Senate and by a wide margin in the House of Delegates last week, and lawmakers successfully reconciled the bills before the legislative session ended Monday at midnight.
Del. Shawn Tarrant, a Democrat from Baltimore City who was one of the bill’s lead sponsors in the House, called the practice of employers asking for employees’ passwords “ridiculous,” and compared it to employers’ eavesdropping on private phone conversations.
“No one has the right to know what they’re talking about,” Tarrant said.
“We just think this is a really positive development,” said Melissa Goemann, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland’s legislative director, “because the technology for social media is expanding every year, and we think this sets a really good precedent for limiting how much your privacy can be exposed when you use these mediums.”
The state’s ACLU chapter initially raised concerns about employers’ demanding personal social media passwords when it took up the case of corrections officer Robert Collins, who contacted the chapter after being asked for his Facebook password in a re-certification interview with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Goemann said.
“Collins felt he had no choice but to provide his password, even though he knew it was not right, because he needed the job to support his family,” the ACLU said in a statement. “Collins had to sit there while the [interviewer] logged on to his Facebook account and reviewed his messages, wall posts and photos.”
The ACLU complained about the practice to Gary Maynard, secretary of the state corrections department, and the agency temporarily suspended and then revised its policy to allow applicants to “voluntarily participate” in a review of their social media accounts.
The department said the policy was effective, and had been a factor in the denial of employment to seven individuals out of 2,689 applicants over the course of a year, some of whom had “utilized social media applications which contained pictures of them showing verified gang signs.”
The revised policy did not satisfy the ACLU and Sen. Ron Young, a Democrat from Frederick, drafted legislation to outlaw the practice entirely. Young introduced an unsuccessful bill in the Senate last year. This session, Young introduced the bill again, and Tarrant cross-filed it in the House.
In late March, Erin Egan, Facebook’s chief privacy officer, wrote about the issue on Facebook, calling the practice of employers requesting potential hires’ Facebook passwords “alarming” and “not the right thing to do.”
Goemann said the ACLU of Maryland received another call from a state employee, also from the corrections department, complaining of being asked for social media passwords. Other instances of employers’ requesting the private online information of potential hires began popping up around the country — Egan said Facebook had noticed “a distressing increase” in such incidents in recent months — and the issue became a priority for the ACLU’s national network, Goemann said.
Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn’t see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.
Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn’t want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.
In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person’s social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.
“It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys,” said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it “an egregious privacy violation.”
Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.
Since the rise of social networking, it has become common for managers to review publically available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other sites to learn more about job candidates. But many users, especially on Facebook, have their profiles set to private, making them available only to selected people or certain networks.
Companies that don’t ask for passwords have taken other steps — such as asking applicants to friend human resource managers or to log in to a company computer during an interview. Once employed, some workers have been required to sign nondisparagement agreements that ban them from talking negatively about an employer on social media.
Asking for a candidate’s password is more prevalent among public agencies, especially those seeking to fill law enforcement positions such as police officers or 911 dispatchers.
Back in 2010, Robert Collins was returning to his job as a security guard at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services after taking a leave following his mother’s death. During a reinstatement interview, he was asked for his login and password, purportedly so the agency could check for any gang affiliations. He was stunned by the request but complied.
“I needed my job to feed my family. I had to,” he recalled,
After the ACLU complained about the practice, the agency amended its policy, asking instead for job applicants to log in during interviews.
“To me, that’s still invasive. I can appreciate the desire to learn more about the applicant, but it’s still a violation of people’s personal privacy,” said Collins, whose case inspired Maryland’s legislation.
Until last year, the city of Bozeman, Mont., had a long-standing policy of asking job applicants for passwords to their email addresses, social-networking websites and other online accounts.
And since 2006, the McLean County, Ill., sheriff’s office has been one of several Illinois sheriff’s departments that ask applicants to sign into social media sites to be screened.
Chief Deputy Rusty Thomas defended the practice, saying applicants have a right to refuse. But no one has ever done so. Thomas said that “speaks well of the people we have apply.”
When asked what sort of material would jeopardize job prospects, Thomas said “it depends on the situation” but could include “inappropriate pictures or relationships with people who are underage, illegal behavior.”
In Spotsylvania County, Va., the sheriff’s department asks applicants to friend background investigators for jobs at the 911 dispatch center and for law enforcement positions.
“In the past, we’ve talked to friends and neighbors, but a lot of times we found that applicants interact more through social media sites than they do with real friends,” said Capt. Mike Harvey. “Their virtual friends will know more about them than a person living 30 yards away from them.”
Harvey said investigators look for any “derogatory” behavior that could damage the agency’s reputation.
E. Chandlee Bryan, a career coach and co-author of the book “The Twitter Job Search Guide,” said job seekers should always be aware of what’s on their social media sites and assume someone is going to look at it.
Bryan said she is troubled by companies asking for logins, but she feels it’s not violation if an employer asks to see a Facebook profile through a friend request. And she’s not troubled by non-disparagement agreements.
Wikipedia: Reuters is an international news agency headquartered in London, United Kingdom owned by Thomson Reuters. →
A great infographic from mashable
More than 66% of adults are connected to one or more social media platforms, but who exactly are these people?
The infographic below, created by Online MBA, breaks down the demographics, including education level, income, age and gender of social media users, along with other miscellaneous facts.
Some sites’ users are more demographically alike than others. One thing is the same for most social sites — college students, or those who have completed some college, represent the majority on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg and Reddit. Among Facebook users, 57% have completed some college, and 24% have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Although, people 45 and older make up 46% of Facebook users.
(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.”
The document adds, using more plain language, that such monitoring is designed to help DHS and its numerous agencies, which include the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage government responses to such events as the 2010 earthquake and aftermath in Haiti and security and border control related to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A DHS official familiar with the monitoring program said that it was intended purely to enable command center officials to keep in touch with various Internet-era media so that they were aware of major, developing events to which the Department or its agencies might have to respond.
The document outlining the monitoring program says that all the websites which the command center will be monitoring were “publicly available and… all use of data published via social media sites was solely to provide more accurate situational awareness, a more complete common operating pictures, and more timely information for decision makers…”
The DHS official said that under the program’s rules, the department would not keep permanent copies of the internet traffic it monitors. However, the document outlining the program does say that the operations center “will retain information for no more than five years.”
The monitoring scheme also features a five-page list, attached to the privacy review document, of websites the Department’s command center expected to be monitoring.
These include social networking sites Facebook and My Space – though there is a parenthetical notice that My Space only affords a “limited search” capability – and more than a dozen sites that monitor, aggregate and enable searches of Twitter messages and exchanges.
Among blogs and aggregators on the list are ABC News’ investigative blog “The Blotter;” blogs that cover bird flu; several blogs related to news and activity along U.S. borders (DHS runs border and immigration agencies); blogs that cover drug trafficking and cybercrime; and websites that follow wildfires in Los Angeles and hurricanes.
News and gossip sites on the monitoring list include popular destinations such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and “NY Times Lede Blog”, as well as more focused techie fare such as the Wired blogs “Threat Level” and “Danger Room.” Numerous blogs related to terrorism and security are also on the list.
Forbes posted another great article on Social Media Trends. I thought it was a must read for business looking at embracing social media in their advertising programs this year.
2012 is primed to be the year of social. In particular we can anticipate a blitz of publicity around social business. But social media too still has room to surprise. Talking with a group of people recently including Lloyd Armbrust at OwnLocal and Tom Smith of Global Web Index(and reading his blog) I picked out four megatrends that will shape social as it truly comes of age.
The growth of the transmitter ecosystem
Facebook, Twitter, Google have brought many more people into the online conversation. They’ve pretty much minced the barriers to creating online content – which is also good news for brands that are smart enough not to throw too much money into too many channels.
But another part of the story is that more channels create a larger need for content. Many millions of those people now active online are not, however, content producers. They are sharers and curators.
We have a content discovery challenge and we have curators to manage it. The importance of their role is on the rise.
But does this mean we are migrating from a peer-to-peer conversational network, to a more top down one, where we become increasingly dependent on those curators with large follower groups? Does that make Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus top down networks?
Tom thinks so but I have my doubts. Blogging too was very top down and I sense, by way of contrast, a strong peer culture in Google Plus.
Around the time Facebook became famous a well known blogger told me – why do I need Facebook? I know how to set up a website. The answer of course is that Facebook, then Twitter and now Google Plus provide you with the tools to communicate and the audience to talk with. Bloggers had to go out and find that audience and it was uphill for those who came even slightly late to it. There is no uphill in 2012 but there will be a growing role for the transmitter ecosystem.
The age of global
When American broadcaster ESPN wanted to extend its remit outside North America, it bought cricket blogging site cricinfo. So now a major US network is big in a sport that Americans don’t follow in a country half a world away.
One of the most telling examples of a new emerging global culture can be found in a sport. When website cricinfo set up initially it was a placid English affair. But cricinfo pioneered live blogging of cricket matches and began to make the web relevant to sports fans without national boundaries or national broadcasting rights getting in the way. The site eventually found a market in India where cricket is treated almost like a religion.
Separately, PlayUp is now building out the social network for global sports fans, more of which tomorrow. One of the beauties of cricinfo, and the same applies to all sports, is that reporters can follow and report on the tweets of celebrity sports people or tweet themselves from the training ground or nightclub. When English players misbehaved in New Zealand during the recent Rugby Word Cup it was global news immediately. A club bouncer uploaded CCTV footage to YouTube. Content is instant, continuous and pervasive. There is no reason why a national boundary or national broadcasting rights should exclude me from engagement.
In the start-up community even Silicon Valley start-ups now want to hire talent from wherever, as long as it’s the best. Nairobi and Instanbul are, along with numerous other cities, start-up hot spots attracting American and European interest. The start-up is suddenly a global culture.
There’s a new internationalism that segues with what is happening in the economy: more global, multi-polar, more equal – see this thread on Google Plus which discusses whether Google Plus is responding quickly enough to this desire to engage with global audiences. People care about this new globalism whether it arrives at their desk through sport or business or fashion or food. We need to work out how to become global online citizens.
Many restaurants are using social media to enhance an age-old marketing technique: Making customers and their experiences the face of their brand.
Let’s YO Yogurt, which launched its first franchise location in Marlboro, N.J., and has about 30 more units sold and preparing to open in New Jersey, New York and Florida, is using social media as a main driver to grow the business. Owner Eric Casaburi, who also founded the RetroFitness franchise, said social media is the best way for a brand to truly connect with customers. The Let’s YO logo is in the form of a text message, while a 48-foot billboard in Monmouth County, N.J., reads, “Like Us on Facebook,” and “Make ur own ”
“You know that smiley face, you’ve typed it a thousand times. I’ve now connected with you on a social level,” Casaburi said. “I feel I have to make sure people have the most creative way to hear about our brand. In today’s world, the most creative way to talk about branding and getting your customers engaged … is social media.”
Let’s Yo holds “Let’s YO Fan of the Week” contests on Facebook that involves customers taking pictures of themselves with their favorite yogurt flavor, posting it, and having people vote on their favorite picture. The winner gets a free week’s worth of yogurt, or a similar prize, if they get the most votes.
Customers also get hit with social once as they walk through the doors—stores have 70-inch TV screens that show live Facebook and Twitter feeds of what people are saying about the company. Customers can immediately post their own reviews or show off their new flavor concoction with the iPads installed in each table or their own mobile devices. Afterwards, dad can read the Wall Street Journal on the iPad, while his kids play Angry Birds. Kids beg parents to bring them into the store, said Casaburi, and parents willingly oblige, since there’s entertainment for the whole family.
“You talk about the social media promoting your brick and mortar–we promote social media with our brick-and-mortar,” Casaburi said.
Let’s YO also features the “Let’s YO! Name Fame” game on Facebook, that picks out a name every day and customers with the same name get 50% off a cup of yogurt that day. When people with the name of the day come in to redeem their discount, they often bring non-qualifying customers with them—increasing foot traffic. Casaburi said this promotion is very popular with the younger crowd.
“This customer for Let’s YO yogurt is just a huge demographic and the way we communicate with them … we’re just going to market so many different ways, talking to people who we know are customers because we’ve identified them,” he said. “We know how to speak to them – that’s key. We have the message in the right place.”
Emareketer released this article on the heals of StrongMail’s, (attached to the bottom of this post) findings yesterday. It seams as if companies are ignoring the gut feeling about Social Media paying off, and investing in it anyway, latest studies show that business still don’t feel like Social Media is effective but other studies show that they are still going to invest in it.
Marketers know that counting fans, “likes” and followers is not the best way to measure success in social media marketing. Yet these metrics are often the top benchmarks for performance. It’s not surprising, then, that marketers consider calculating return on investment to be the biggest challenge of using social media, and that a majority of them believe they cannot measure social media campaigns effectively.
“Marketers often think of social media measurement as listening and monitoring. But that is only one part of a fragmented process, which has contributed to a lack of focus for both marketers and vendors,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, “Social Media Measurement: Getting to the Metrics that Matter.” “It has also created a culture of data overload, in which metrics that do not have much business value have more importance than those that contribute to the bottom line.”
Research from Chief Marketer found that two in five marketers have little confidence in the effectiveness of their ability to measure social media campaigns.
Social media measurement has evolved significantly in its short history, but the need to prove effectiveness is more important than ever. As top marketing executives plan how much to invest in social media and whether to shift funds from other marketing channels, they need metrics that show not only that their brands have a lot of friends but that those friends actually affect the bottom line.
MarketingSherpa found that measurement effectiveness correlated with experience with social media and how strategic marketers were in their social marketing implementations.
“Marketers must apply business-level analysis to social media measurement to determine its true impact,” said Williamson. “Going beyond brand metrics to understand social media’s effect on a company’s bottom line is critical. And it’s getting easier to consider the relative influence of social media on lead generation and sales.”
Social media and mobile are quickly establishing themselves as more than marketing channels simply worthy of a test budget. And, as marketers continue to understand how to leverage both social and mobile to meet their overall marketing objectives, they are looking to better integrate them into their overarching marketing strategy, tying them to other more established digital formats, such as email.
According to StrongMail’s annual marketing trends survey, conducted by Zoomerang, the majority (68%) of business executives worldwide said they plan to integrate their social media marketing efforts with email in 2012. In addition, 44% plan to integrate mobile with their email campaigns. Executives were less likely to focus on integrating more tenured online ad formats, such as search and display, into their email strategy, perhaps indicating such integration consideration and action has already taken place.
Additional data sheds insight on similarities in how valuable each of these channels is to meeting overall objectives. Business executives said email, social media and mobile were all effective marketing channels for building customer loyalty and retention. In fact, 67% of business executives worldwide said email was a valued asset to achieving this goal, with 48% saying the same for social media and 35% for mobile.
Almost half of respondents looked to social media to build customer loyalty, while most executives (64%) said social media was most valuable for awareness-building. Awareness-building was the second most-mentioned value for email (51%) and the third most-mentioned for mobile (28%), slightly behind expanding brand footprint (29%).
Another great article from emarketer. Social media marketing has been debated for the last two years about how to tie an ROI to it. It seems as if the ROI battle has been decided but business are will to invest in social marketing.
Social media is becoming an important part of business around the world, and companies in many regions are planning to increase their use of it in the coming months.
For its “International Business Report,” Grant Thornton LLP spoke to senior executives from across the globe in August and September 2011 to determine how their companies used social media.
Companies in Latin America were the most likely to use social media, as 53% of respondents there said their companies currently do so and 78% said they planned to increase its use. Businesses in countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and those in Nordic countries also planned to increase social media use in the coming months, at 75% and 72% of respondents, respectively, according to the Grant Thornton report. Comparatively, 47% of companies in North American countries currently use social media and 60% planned to increase use.
As emerging markets grow economically and internet access becomes more widely available in their countries, companies in Latin America and the BRIC nations—Brazil, Russia, Indian and China—are leveraging social media to reach their target audiences.