Presenting: 10 of the Smartest Big Brands in Social Media

 

Presenting: 10 of the Smartest Big Brands in Social Media

 

As we battle a global recession, corporations are looking for new ways to sell their products and engage their consumers. Many have turned to the Internet, with Social Media in particular, to market their goods. Let’s take a look at 10 companies that have done a phenomenal job of taking advantage of social media platforms.

Retailers Shift Marketing Dollars Towards Social Media

 

Study: Retailers Shift Marketing Dollars Towards Social Media

 

Although many retailers are reducing their online marketing budgets, spending on social media is falling at a slower rate than spending in other online marketing channels.

Moreover, amongst companies that are weathering the current economic storm and expanding marketing budgets, investments in social media are generally on the rise. This according to a new study released today by The National Retail Federation’s Shop.org and Forrester Research.

Overall, the study found that 30 percent of retailers plan to reduce their online spending this year, while 24 percent plan to increase it and 46 percent are keeping their budgets the same. However, the stats get more interesting when you drill down to how both the successful and the struggling retailers are allocating their marketing dollars.


Key Findings

Amongst retailers that are reducing spending, 56 percent are cutting spending on search engine marketing, while only 24 percent will cut their social media marketing budget.

Amongst retailers that are performing well (“beating expectations” according to the study), 12 of the 20 will increase spending in social media marketing.

Further, amongst retailers that are increasing budgets, 80 percent will put more money into search, while 65 percent will put more into email marketing.


Surprising? Not Exactly

While this report shows continued strength in social media marketing, it’s important to note that search marketing is still a much bigger space. Hence, there is generally more money to be cut from search budgets than social media budgets, which explains in part why search dollars are being cut faster than social media dollars.

Additionally, as you can see, retailers that are increasing budgets are putting money into search advertising at a higher rate than social media – again, not surprising because there are simply still more eyeballs to reach through search.


Conclusion

Consistent with other statistics we’ve observed, social media marketing budgets are generally on the rise in spite of an overall slowdown in spending.

Further, the trends in search marketing are consistent with other statistics as well. For example, Google’s most recent earnings report showed the company’s first ever sequential decline in sales due largely to a slowdown in search ad spending.

While money might flow back into search at a quicker rate than social media as the economy recovers, social media remains a growth area, that on a percentage basis is weathering the storm better than other areas of online marketing.

Discover shesconnected: Social Networking Site for Women

 

Social Networking Site for Women | Busy Women

 

Social Network dedicated to woman mixing Private & Professional issues

As a member of the community, you’ll be able to connect with other women in personal and professional circles, create and join groups, read articles from the web’s top publishers, and plan events and to-dos.

 

What Women Want from Social Sites – eMarketer

 

What Women Want from Social Sites – eMarketer

 

Women who are core social network users expect a lot, according to “The Power of Social Networking For Women Research Study” from female-oriented social networking site ShesConnected. Participants in the survey were recruited through several social networks and were encouraged to share it with friends.

ShesConnected respondents were heavy users of social networks: 59% reported visiting such sites multiple times per day, with a further 14% logging on daily.

Frequency with Which US Female Social Network Users Visit Social Networks, April-May 2009 (% of respondents)

Unsurprisingly, Facebook was the most popular social network among these users, with 83% belonging to the site. Nearly three-quarters (73%) were members of LinkedIn and 55% were on Twitter, while just 41% belonged to MySpace. Almost one-half of respondents (48%) reported belonging to four or more social networks—the most common response.

Professional networking and staying up-to-date with friends were the most compelling reasons to visit social networks, according to the respondents. Substantial majorities also considered researching products and services (79%) and finding deals and discounts (64%) important.

Reasons US Women Visit Social Networks, April-May 2009 (% of respondents)

Despite their enthusiasm for joining, female social network users are concerned about privacy issues. Fully 93% of respondents said control over privacy settings was “very important,” and another 6% rated it “somewhat important.” The ability to block specific users from contacting them, presumably also for privacy reasons, mattered to 96% of users.

These concerns spill over into the marketing side of social media. While the vast majority of respondents were fine with social networks displaying advertising, the prospect of the sites selling data to advertisers was another story. More than four in 10 respondents said they would not be comfortable with the idea, and nearly as many—36%—said they would refuse to use a site that sold their data.

Methods of Social Network Revenue Generation with Which US Female Social Network Users Are Comfortable, April-May 2009 (% of respondents)

“Advertisers should strive for engaging and useful communications on the site so that it is viewed as an enhancement to the community rather than a painful requirement,” noted the ShesConnected report.

While users understand the need for revenues, networking, self-promotion, keeping in touch and privacy remain their top priority.

IKEA Fans … the real brand fans

 

IKEA Fans … the real brand fans

 

Written by Nicole Niemann on August 12th, 2009

What will happen if you as a brand don’t create an online social hotspot for your fans? What about a space where your brand fans can gather and you can facilitate them with the latest news about your products? A spot where fans can generate their own ideas or follow the discussions around your brand? IKEA did not seize this opportunity, but their fans fans did!

ikea_fans

IKEA fans personalized the IKEA experience and created their own spot online; here you can follow or join the latest discussions about IKEA, its furniture, kitchens etc.

You can see the latest blog posts, stories about IKEA online and they even have the IKEApedia!

Very nicely done and you wonder whether this is a missed opportunity by IKEA. Did they forget about their fans or did IKEA leave it up to its fans to create their own social hotspot? Wouldn’t it have been better to facilitate their fans with all materials available by IKEA?

8 Social Media Sins To Avoid | socialmediaBiz.com

Great article by Chris Aarons 

8 Social Media Sins To Avoid | socialmediaBiz.com

Article Highlights:
  • Good social media strategies result in viral, but viral is not a strategy
  • Money isn’t the best social currency; relationships and knowledge are
  • Social media is a strategic amplifier for your campaign, not the entire campaign

 

As marketers continue the rush to enter the social media space and implement social media components into their marketing campaigns, the success stories and case studies are piling up. But, for every success story, there are dozens of failures, which include campaigns that spent far more than they returned.


Co-author Geoff Nelson is co-founder of Ivy Worldwide.

When setting out to create and deploy a social media marketing campaign, it is important to keep in mind the social media integration required to emerge as a success story. And this balance becomes even more challenging to maintain as the drive to join the space enhances.
According to Adam Sarner, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, while more than 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies with an existing online presence will have undertaken some kind of online social-networking initiative for marketing or customer relations purposes, some 50 percent of those campaigns will be classified as failures.
As brands are strengthening their campaigns, this legacy of success — or more likely, failure — will follow them in their new online marketing efforts. If you’re a part of one of those companies that have been in the space for a while and may have seen some success, it’s fairly certain that you often ask yourself, "What could we have done differently?" And rightly so. After all, those who fail to learn from history should be prepared to repeat its lessons.
Below, we delve into the eight deadly sins of social media — the most common mistakes that turn companies anti-social in a social world — as well as provide some tips on how to overcome these sins so you are better armed to pacify this nagging dilemma.

1. Viral equals social success
Viral is an outcome from a solid social media and marketing strategy. If you believe you can extract a positive outcome from a viral effort, you may find yourself in the same situation as Elfyourself.com — a lot of content and participation, but very little sales or even brand awareness from the campaign. In fact, test your friends. Ask them if they remember the campaign and ask them which brand did it? When we have asked this question, about 1 in 500 knew it was OfficeMax. Did you?

While thinking outside the box is critical in the creation of a viral campaign, going too far away from the grain of social media may ensure the campaign fails to deliver the ROI that will justify budget approval for next year. Walking this line is difficult, and failing to recognize that viral does not guarantee social success will ensure social failure.

(To be continued on socialmediabiz.com)

Case Study: Edinburgh International Festival – Twitter + I phone + …

Every August, the Edinburgh International Festival transforms one of the world’s most beautiful cities, presenting three exhilarating weeks of the finest creators and performers from the worlds of the arts – for everyone.

Edinburgh’s six major theatres and concert halls, a few smaller venues and often some unconventional ones too, come alive with the best classical music, theatre, opera, dance and visual art from around the globe.

Edinburg Internatinal Festival is highly playing with mobile / Social Network / Augmented reality tools :

1. EdTwinge – (extract of mashable.com) – If you’re lucky enough to have made it to Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival, the world’s biggest arts festival, you might have a little trouble working out what acts to see. Never fear: there’s now a service that scans Twitter for reviews of Fringe performances and assigns a score to each.

The service, called EdTwinge, was developed by Mike Coulter, Andrew Burnett, Jim Wolff and digital agency Blonde. They say of the site:

EdTwinge.com is a Twitter-powered review service that collects any tweet that mentions a festival show, then does some clever analysis on whether people like or dislike it,
and provides a realtime Top 10 of acts in each main genre. You can also see what people are saying about each show, and connect with any acts that have a Twitter name.

This “karma” system is particuarly intriguing: if proven to work, it could be extended to hundreds of Twitter (Twitter) topics from restaurant reviews to concert ratings.

edtwinge2

 

2.  The Festival Program and more is an iphone app – Edfest (The Gardian Extract)

In the 18 months I’ve owned it, my iPhone is solved numerous problems I didn’t know I had. There’s the MiniPiano application, with its tiny virtual keyboard – perfect for picking out a tune with one finger, should I ever feel the need. There’s Shazam, which does what my brain used to: listen to any song and remind me what it’s called. Now there’s a new free app called EdFest, offering to be my "guide to the festival city". Do I need a guide to the festival city? I look at my tattered fringe programme, its pages curled from too much rain. Maybe I do.

My iPhone odyssey begins on the Royal Mile. I hit the button marked Edfest, it asks me where I am, and a menu of genres appears. This looks hopeful: I can search events not only by title, start time and rating, but by proximity. Daniel Kitson is only 721 metres and 22 minutes away, and presumably this is the show rather than Kitson himself (the comedian stalker app isn’t yet available). Stacy Meyer is closer (just 24 metres away at the Underbelly), but she doesn’t start for another eight hours.

image

That’s too long a wait, but I’m enjoying the festival satnav. I meander down Chambers Street, giddy with possibility. A blues bar is just 324 metres away, my phone says. Tales of the Apocalypse – "gravity-defying aerial circus conjuring up imagery of imminent doom" – is even closer, at 232 metres, and about to start. This is tempting, but I’m nearing the Pleasance and only sketch-based comedy will do. I’m homing in: 84 metres and counting to Late Night Gimp Fight. The box office still has tickets. Victory for the iPhone.

image

But in the bustle of the beer garden, I feel a little sad pawing away at my tiny screen. I get chatting to a mother and daughter from Belfast. They rely on old-fashioned tips, such as word of mouth and flyers. "We read the reviews carefully," the mother says. Would they take advice from a phone? The daughter looks at me: I detect pity. "Only if I had time on my hands," she says.

MediaPost Publications CPSA: The New Pricing Model For Social Media? 08/04/2009

 

MediaPost Publications CPSA: The New Pricing Model For Social Media? 08/04/2009

Hugues Rey Comments: “extremelly interesting – KPI’s are a must”

What’s the best way to price social media advertising or marketing programs?

image

That’s one of those questions that screams for the ever-honest "it depends" answer. Maybe that’s because we need a new pricing model. Let’s first take a look at some current options and review their strengths and weaknesses in this context:

  • Cost Per Impression (CPM): It’s great for branding, which is the overarching strength of social media. But the value marketers get from social marketing isn’t just exposure — it’s something deeper.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The model that made Google what it is won’t do the same for Facebook, at least not on the same kind of scale. CPC is tailor-made for direct-response marketers, while social media is centered on building relationships. This is the classic "square peg/round hole" issue.
  • Cost Per Action (CPA): We should be able to put this to rest easily, as marketers shouldn’t be driving a relationship-building vehicle on a conversion track.
  • Cost Per Engagement (CPE): This gets closer, as some engagement metrics translate well to various social marketing programs, such as time spent with a widget or percentage of a shareable video viewed.

    When you want exposure, traffic, conversions, or interactions, each of these four pricing models comes in handy. But social marketing, when done right, achieves something much different: relationships. How does that fit in neatly with these pricing models?

    To that end, I’ll throw out a fifth model: Cost Per Social Action (CPSA). It’s for any action with a distinctly social quality that leads to either new relationships (such as through "viral" referrals or acquiring new followers and fans) or deepening existing relationships (such as through "likes," comments, responses, and ratings).

  • image

    The main benefit of CPSA is that marketers know they’re paying for something social and relationship-oriented. More importantly, marketers know they’re not specifically paying for exposure, traffic, conversions, or interactions (though those can all provide additional value). It’s an acknowledgement that social media is something else, so it’s deserving of a new model, one that stresses relationships above all else.

    Hype or not ? Gartner Graph Technology 2009

    Gartner 2009

    “If you think there’s too much talk about augmented reality these days, the good news is that you are not alone, and the bad news is that it’s far from over. Gartner has released its latest and retweakedHype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2009” report, and AR is right there, climbing steadily towards the Peak of Inflated Expectations (definition).  One change from the last year’s graph is the estimate of years to mainstream adoption: from “more than 10 years” to “5-10”.

    I haven’t read the complete report, so I’m making this up, which I shouldn’t, but plenty of surprises in this edition: 3D printing doesn’t really feel quite so hyped yet to be that far up the slope; ditto mobile robots (?). And what’s Behavioral Economics doing there?  If we graph theories, shouldn’t the “Free” movement be there as well?

    “And has Tablet PC already passed the trough of Trough of Disillusionment? ”

    Full article:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XJseql2u5l0/SniEAW639dI/AAAAAAAAFok/ZKDTiZ1rGww/s1600-h/gartner-emerging-technologies-hype-cycle-2009.png

    Digg Ads To Begin Testing This Week

     

    Digg Ads To Begin Testing This Week

    Digg has just announced that it’s going to begin rolling out Digg Ads, the site’s innovative and experimental advertising product that invites users to vote on which ads they like best, over the next week. Digg first announced the new advertising product in June, and they were briefly spotted in the wild in July, though Digg claimed at the time that the ads were limited to an internal test. Digg plans to roll the product out gradually over the next few days to a small subset of users, with plans for a larger deployment over several months

    image

    What is digg (wiki) ?

    Digg is a social news website made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the Internet, by submitting links and stories, and voting and commenting on submitted links and stories. Voting stories up and down is the site’s cornerstone function, respectively called digging and burying. Many stories get submitted every day, but only the most Dugg stories appear on the front page. Digg’s popularity has prompted the creation of other social networking sites with story submission and voting systems