Brand Marketers Embrace Social Media – eMarketer

AUGUST 26, 2009

Measurement remains a challenge

The social media marketing bandwagon is filling up, according to the “2009 Marketing Industry Trends Report” from Equation Research. The survey of US brand marketers found the majority already using social media.

Some marketers were planning on adding social media activities over the next year, including 15% of respondents in businesses with fewer than 50 employees and 24% of those whose companies had at least 500 workers. But most brand marketers interested in social media were already using it.

US Brand Marketers Who Use Social Media Marketing, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

The most popular social media channels for brand and agency marketers were Facebook, Twitter, online videos and blogs—each used by more than one-half of respondents.

Respondents reported many common barriers to social media adoption. Among brand marketers, 37% did not know enough about social media to begin, and another 37% said there was no good way to measure its effectiveness. Agency marketers reiterated those concerns, and were also likely to say that social media was not proven or tested as a marketing strategy (31%). Funding was also a problem for about one-quarter of brand and agency respondents.

Barriers to Social Media Adoption According to US Brand Marketers and Ad Agencies, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

Despite reporting trouble with measurement, marketers do track various social media metrics. More than six in 10 brand and agency respondents reported tracking Website hits—rudimentary, perhaps, but a start. Marketers also monitored feedback, links and mentions on other sites, and sales.

Methods Used by US Brand Marketers and Ad Agencies to Measure Their Social Media Marketing Efforts, June-July 2009 (% of respondents)

Just 14% of brand marketers and 12% of agency marketers reported not measuring social media efforts at all.

“With different tools and tactics in wide use, measurement is understandably dispersed,” wrote the report authors. “Yet there is an acceptance that both hard and soft measures need to come to bear in order to assess success.”

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Social Media Is for Narcissists ? (Source: Mashable)

 

STUDY: Social Media Is for Narcissists

A national study fresh out of SDSU is confirming that Generation Y really is Generation Me. The jaw-dropping conclusion? 57% of young people believe their generation uses social networking sites for self-promotion, narcissism and attention seeking.

Jean Twenge, an SDSU Psychology Professor and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, collaborated on a national poll with Youth Pulse that surveyed 1,068 college students. Students were asked about their social media usage, generation attitudes, whether or not sites like Twitter(Twitter) and Facebook(Facebook) were used for self-promotion, and if social media attention-seeking is helpful for success.

sdsu study

While it’s no surprise that social media would cater to a more self-promotional audience, it’s certainly interesting to note that not only does Gen Y think of their social behaviors as narcissistic, but almost 40% (39.27%) agree that “being self-promoting, narcissistic, overconfident, and attention-seeking is helpful for succeeding in a competitive world.”

The study also found that 92% of polled students said they use MySpace(MySpace) or Facebook regularly, and 84% of respondents go online several times per day. Survey respondents were supplied by Youth Pulse, whose SurveyU panel consists of students who were recruited both online and off.

Twenge had this to say about the study results:

“College students have clearly noticed the more self-centered traits of their peers – it’s fascinating how honest they are about diagnosing their generation’s downsides … And students are right about the influence of social networking sites – research has shown that narcissistic people thrive on sites like Facebook, where self-centered people have more friends and post more attractive pictures of themselves.”

While we tend to take a more positive view of social media usage, and believe it to be great for personal and professional branding, as well as social good, it’s hard to not to have a strong reaction to the survey results and Twenge’s commentary.

Where do you weigh in? Social media: is it for those of who are narcissistic and attention-seeking, or is there something more going on?

Discover : Pigspigot: User-Generated Greeting Cards (source: PSFK)

August 24, 2009

pigspigot-user-generated-greeting-cards

Pigspigot is a user-generated greeting card site that allows people to send  custom digital creations to friends and family for free. It also has other social features, such as design rating and Twitter integration. For a minimal cost, users have the option to send their creations by snail mail as well. The only other site that comes remotely close is Moon Pig, but though it allows customization, card designs are not user-generated. From that point of view, Pigspigot definitely seems to have the upper hand.

Pigspigot Greeting Cards

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.