Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Twitter isn't making money

Twitter – an innovative micro-blogging service - has become the new darling among social media marketers and internet geeks. According to comScore, over the last year, Twitter's traffic has exploded 15X to 44.5 million worldwide unique visitors in June, according to comScore. But Twitter's growth story isn't just limited to the U.S. and North America, where only about half its traffic comes from, according to comScore. In June 09, Twitter attracted 11 million visitors from Europe, 7 million from Asia Pacific, and 4 million from Latin America -- a total 22 million unique visitors from those three regions, up from about 2 million the year before.

Everyday there are more than 100+ stories circulated across various news and blog platforms highlighting how companies are leveraging Twitter either to increase sales or to raise awareness or just to be visible. Unlike its other counter parts like Facebook or LinkedIn, every now and then people raise questions like…

“Do they make money…how do they survive?”

“There aren’t any ads or subscription fees, how these guys manage their salaries?

“Is it a charity…Google is the most generous of all but still it knows how to make money”

So…the big question is Why Twitter doesn’t make money if it is an industry synonym for Web 2.0 or Social Media????

According to Daniel Riveong, an Internet Marketer working at e-Storm International in San Francisco, California, twitter has to start making money else…
“Maybe Twitter won’t be around to see 2010, yet many major brands have moved in to communicate with consumers and the world via Twitter. He categorized some of these companies under three types of twittering brands:
# 1 Conversational Twitters: H&R Block, Zappos, 10 Downing Street
# 2 News Item Twitters: Amazon.com, New York Times
# 3 Reputation Monitoring Twitters: Radian6 & GeekSquad”

There are many well wishers of Twitter on the web who suggest various way through which twitter can make money. On such supporter is Mashable blogger Adam Ostrow, who feels that Twitter could “couple e-commerce with advice from other shoppers, an element that most search engines do not offer.”

Steven Verbruggen feels that if they want to make some money quick, premium services like Google Analytics could generate quite some cash flow. He further suggests that Twitter can make money by:
1. Acquiring a company that is interested in data and relations and leverage Twitter as a research platform.
2. Advertising route
3. Turning it into a commercial service, let users pay for the use, or let them pay if they want to go over a certain threshold like following xx people or posting xx tweets per month.
4. Introducing commercial features
5. And last but not the least, by introducing Twitter Analytics.

Sarah Milstien, program founder for Just Food, a local-food-and-farms non-profit, and co-founder of Two Tomatoes Records, feels that
“Twitter could make money in a number of ways, from selling data to selling services (it recently posted an ad for a Business Product Manager, calling the role "Twitter's first product manager focused on revenue generation" and then describing a product that sounds like competition for Yammer and Present.ly). Indeed, Blog posts and articles speculate constantly, and comments around the Web range from curious to seemingly angry that Twitter is not yet generating serious cash.”

Is too late for Twitter to monetize from its business model which has already been copied aped and experimented by different companies.

Few companies are already experimenting with business models, creating a situation where these sites have monetized before Twitter itself (Mashable, for instance, launched the Twitter Brand Sponsors ad format recently). The ad network Federated Media is taking a shot at making money from Twitter; FM has launched ExecTweets. A site created by Federated Media, in partnership with Microsoft, ExecTweets is a platform that aggregates the tweets of top business execs and empowers the community to surface the most insightful, business-related tweets.

Even more interesting: Twitter will officially endorse ExecTweets today and encourage brands to create portals like this.

There are several such sites floating around leveraging on the Twitter mania. In an interesting development, Twitter’s legal team sent a cease and desist order to New Yorker Dean Collins telling him that his mytwitterbutler service has to go because it has the T word in its URL and the domain must be handed over before August 24 or else.

So...what’s stopping Twitter to start making money???

I would like to draw an analogy on Google’s growth in the recent times. Be it Google’s business model, industry buy-ins, favorable developments and later on the migration of its services from a free-for-all to a money making machine. Google started off as an innovative concept and introduced its marvelous search engine, on similar lines Twitter introduced an innovative service that gave the birth of the new buzzword Web 2.0. Google had an instant hit in its kitty with its search engine and suddenly VCs, companies and investors were knocking on Google’s door. Twitter’s story is very similar as well. Twitter has already received funding of $20 million (initially) and $250 million (recently). Like Google, Twitter recently turned down a half-billion dollars from Facebook.

After this phase, Google instead of adopting the traditional money making business models waited patiently and used initial funding to ensure that salaries and sustainability are not serious concerns. They used this grace period intelligently to conceptualize and design state-of-the-art innovative technologies. The company knew that it has struck gold with its most innovative web technology of the decade, so they have to live up to their expectation.

Mantra was to go slow and step by step. Leverage on what they know best and introduce offsprings of the mother – The Search Engine. They invested most of their time on conceptualizing innovative technologies and they took their good long time to introduce them. Today when people talk about innovation, Google, 3M and Apple are always mentioned.

Twitter started off on a similar note. They just can’t follow something that has already been introduced, leveraged and exploited. What would be new (read Twitter) about it? I strongly feel that Twitter is not in a rush as of now and would be using this honeymoon time to do its home work properly and thinking about new innovative web 2.0 technologies and platform.

Twitter will definitely start making money but only with its own innovative tools and applications. To my mind, it will introduce something else to make money only if it can take the legacy of Twitter to the next level of innovation – something that is quite synonymous with its brand name.

I am not an expert in web technologies but I strongly feel that Twitter core mantra is sharing information and all its future endeavors would be around this core concept only (after all Web 2.0 is about it as well). Going forward, I feel Twitter could be thinking of something on these lines: -

1. Authentication – Today anyone can create a login and start using Twitter. Twitter can think of introducing the authentication or verification angle to it so that the analytics chalked out using Twitter would become more reliable.

2. Subscription based tweets – Tweets are the main weapon in its arsenal. All successful case studies on leveraging Twitter had one thing in common i.e. Tweets. Twitter may club it with its Authentication service and start offering specific and customized user tweets for specific reasons. It could be either surveys, analytics, customer service, sales etc.

3. Search Engine – Twitter can integrate a powerful search engine that gives the functionality to filter tweets and get only the most relevant ones as per the specific search criterion. This could become a powerful tool for the enterprise users of Twitter that can be made fee based gradually.

4. Twitpic – An interesting service to move beyond the 140 limit on Twitter and add some personalization to a dull Twitter user home page. Taking it to the next level, Twitter could think of introducing a platform for not only integrating pictures but also videos and files.

5. Another out of the box concept could be “Breaking News” service – Most of active Twitter users will validate this statement that Twitter has become an internet channel which gives them the news faster than any other news channel or resource. In real world we have plethora of TV channels and print media resources but as we are moving to the new internet world with Web 2.0, news about people who aren’t known to many, news that the whole world may not be interested in but you would, news about your friends, families, peer-group…will make the difference and who else can do this better or is equipped to do better than TWITTER.

Will surely love your thoughts and ideas on my thoughts. In case you have something interesting, not done before and goes well for Twitter, lets connect and suggest some good and innovative ways through which our dear friend Twitter can take its legacy to a new height – “Google of Web 2.0”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Now Air New Zealand is leveraging facebook to promote its Hong Kong London route targeting young professionals

Companies from different industry verticals are coming up with innovative ideas to leverage Web 2.0 wave. Joining Lufthansa and Emirates Airways, Air New Zealand has launched an application and a fan page to promote its Hong Kong London route targeting young professionals.

“This is the first time the company has rolled out a Facebook focused campaign and wants to use this channel as a test platform. Facebook can reach her target audience, comprising frequent independent travelers between 25 to 34 years old that makes up the bulk of Facebook users here” - Prudence Lau, marketing manager in Hong Kong & Southern China for Air New Zealand

BIG Idea - "Explore the other side of London"

The theme of this Facebook campaign is called "Explore the other side of London" that will run until the end of next month. The campaign is supported by PR activation to invite key media influencers and bloggers to participate.

The application encourages its customers to come up with an idea to travel in London besides the typical tourist spots. It allows consumers to pick a travel companion and create a dream trip where the most unique and wacky trip will stand a chance to win free air tickets and accommodation to London.

Measurement metrics
Lau is also excited about setting up a fan page for Air New Zealand Hong Kong, which she said would be more than just updates on the latest fares but include the latest happenings and trends in New Zealand and England. She would use the number of fans recruited on the Facebook fan page as one of the KPIs on the effectiveness of this campaign.

Rudi Leung, communication planning director for Agenda Hong Kong, said Air New Zealand will benchmark results of this campaign with its previous consumer engagement activities in traditional media, which will help to decide how they would allocate more budgets for social media in the future.

According to Check Facebook, there are almost 2.2 million people using Facebook in Hong Kong.

Ref: Marketing-Interactive.Com

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New profile additions in the C-suite – Chief Growth Officer (CGO)

In recent months, organic growth has risen to the top of the corporate agenda. A Marakon survey in April 2004 found that organic growth is the key issue for 59 percent of the senior executives running US, European and Asian companies. For 57 percent, the priority has increased over the past year. Other studies highlight similar sentiments. For instance, a recent IBM survey of CEOs worldwide found revenue growth is the top agenda item for four of five.

Most if not all of a company's resources are spent moving through its corporate lifecycle, and that movement is typically fixed along a predetermined path. What happens when that company experiences rapid sales growth and an immediate change is required?

What happens when a rapid shift must occur due to unexpected competitor activity or due to a recent exodus of staff in light of the current labor shortage?

The challenge today is that with companies running lean and efficiently they cannot typically afford the time, money, and people required to deal with these issues effectively. They usually cannot afford the expensive trial-and-error associated with both learning and implementing new best practices, either. This is as true for Fortune 500 companies trying to reinvent themselves as it is for startups just entering the marketplace and experiencing fast growth.

Growth has become so important that an increasing number of companies--H.J. Heinz, Interpublic Group and Hain Celestial, among them--have carved out a new executive position: "Chief Growth Officer."

Popularly termed as Mr. Idea, this profile is basically to have one person in charge of all-around growth helps you to look at business processes holistically. Typical role entails creating new products, finding new ways to repackage old products, or just enhancing relationships.

A CGO is like having 5 key positions in one:-
1. Chief Growth Officer/Organization Development Director
2. Chief Information & Technology Officer
3. Chief Learning Officer (Top HR Executive)
4. Chief Operating Officer
5. Strategic Advisor

Generic job responsibilities:
- Evaluates the corporate structure and ensures that the structure is aligned with the company's objectives.
- Analyses effects of proposed changes to structure and its effect on the motivation and work/life balance of employees.
- Works with managers to develop effective line of communication and chains of responsibility.
- Requires a bachelor's degree with at least 10 years of experience in the field.
- Familiar with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures.
- Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.
- Performs a variety of tasks.
- Leads and directs the work of others.
- A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.

Fig: Org Structure

Companies like Colgate Palmolive, Dentsu Media, Thomas Group, Zurich Financial Services, Hershey Company, TradeKing, H.J. Heinz, Interpublic Group and Hain Celestial etc. have already hired renowned professionals for this profile.

According to a recent job post for this profile, following are the expected qualities of this profile: -
# Identify root causes for missing opportunities and create conditions for growth
# Focus on new business models that leverage enabling trends, solve customer problems in larger potential markets and rapidly assemble internal and external capabilities required to build the platforms
# Validate ideas and achieve milestones in the development and execution of new business opportunities
# Promote new product development
# Design and build an organization to screen, select, fund and deliver the company Enterprise Growth
# Agenda and support Group Growth Agendas; define the mission of the organization and establish budget and investment requirements
# Support the CEO and Group VPs in shaping their enterprise and group growth agendas and related plans and priorities
# Understand future trends and targeted domains/markets and related dynamics
# Identify domains in which the company should seek opportunities to build a leadership position; explore big potential opportunities, (which customers could the company work with to prototype/build out the opportunities? what core capabilities can be leveraged in this new and emerging opportunity space?)
# Identify the systemic and interrelated challenges that drive towards and away from growth; align key elements of infrastructure and culture/behavior to the growth goals and agendas
# Mobilize business building leaders and teams to build out new targeted businesses/growth platforms

Requirements: Critical Traits for the CGO Role:
# Abstract reasoning, flexibility and idea orientation (able to 'connect the dots')
# Assertiveness and aggressiveness (can state opinions forcefully and deal with resistance or confrontation effectively)
# Self-discipline and urgency (sense of time pressure and motivation to complete activities)
# Risk taking (willing to try new things and explore new domains)
# Natural curiosity with bias for action exploring possibilities
# Ego drive and ego strength
# An undergraduate degree is required

Critical Experiences:
# Experience in strategy development with a history of innovation and passion for growth
# Track record indicating focused time to the external environment, customers, and external networking

Monday, August 17, 2009

Singapore’s FairPrice leveraging Facebook – An impressive Social Media Marketing Strategy

Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice has entered social media with a Facebook profile 'That's My FairPrice', already supported by a huge fans base. According to press statement the supermarket chain acquired about 1,000 fans just three hours after its launch. As on 18th August, it had 7,595 fans on facebook.

Presently, it is running an online contest, “That’s my Family” Contest, where it is inviting its fans to post their & their family’s photo on the wall and add a short caption.

Once the photo is uploaded, users are then asked to share their post with their friends and tag at least 20 friends to get them to “Like” your post. If any particular user has the most “Liked” entry at the end of the contest, that user will win the Grand Prize - S$1,000 NTUC FairPrice Gift Vouchers! Also, if any user is among the Top 3 “Liked” entries of the week, he/she stands to win S$100 NTUC FairPrice Gift Vouchers!

Initially, to promote the Facebook profile, NTUC FairPrice also launched an advertising campaign featuring a TVC. The campaign was developed in partnership with iHub Media and FairPrice's media agency MPG. The new Homepage Reach Block Video Fan ad unit, claims to ensure two million impressions and up to a maximum of five impressions per user.

“This debut into social media is yet another channel for us to enhance our relationship with customers, so as to understand and better serve their needs. We will continue to explore new channels to engage our customers, fulfilling our brand promise in delivering excellent customer service.” -- Jeremy Khoo, deputy director of marketing communications at NTUC FairPrice

In Singapore, Facebook reaches more than 1.4 million internet users, or 50 per cent of the web population (comScore Media Metrix, May 2009), with an almost even representation in each age group. On average, more than 366,000 Singapore users log in to Facebook every day.

Last year NTUC Fairprice appointed Euro RSCG and MPG as its creative and media agencies following a six-way review. The retailer also appointed local interactive shop Manic for a website revamp.

References: Brand Asia and Marketing-interactive.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Indian tax law set to come of age

The government has proposed a dramatic makeover of the country’s 48-year tax law, bringing it on a par with the new economy and also with what prevails in the rest of the world.

The draft of a new direct tax code introduced by the finance ministry on Wednesday has suggested significant cuts in tax rates for individuals and companies, pruned exemptions, choked loopholes for foreign companies and radically changed definitions, all of which are likely to have a mixed impact on companies and individuals. Together with greater surveillance, it would ensure greater compliance and thereby reduce the risk of any loss in tax revenues due to a cut in rates.

“The underlying philosophy of the code is the philosophy of the government. (It is) wedded to a well-regulated free market system,” P. Chidambaram, current home minister who was involved in preparing the draft code earlier, said at a press conference called by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to release the draft code. Mukherjee said he would strive to introduce the draft legislation in the winter session of Parliament.

Source: Livemint

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cisco Unveils Vision of Future Cities at Incheon Global Fair & Festival

SEOUL, Korea - August 6, 2009 - Cisco will demonstrate its Smart+Connected Communities vision for cities of the future at the Incheon Global Fair and Festival.

The Cisco® Smart+Connected Communities initiative aims to help cities and communities around the world use the network as the platform to transform how citizens use utilities, safety and security measures, connected real estate, transportation, health care, learning, sports venues and government services. Smart+Connected Communities solutions address the demand of increasingly urbanised populations by providing a network-enabled blueprint for successful 'smart' cities of the future that run on networked information.

Cisco will present its Smart+Connected Communities vision at the Cisco 'Global Cities of the Future' pavilion at the Global Fair & Festival, which opens Aug. 7 and runs for 80 days.

Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president of Cisco Services, said, "We believe the network can truly be the platform for transforming cities, communities and countries. Cisco's presence at the Incheon Global Fair and Festival is further evidence of our commitment to collaborate with the Incheon Free Economic Zone and cities around the world to help them use technology for increased environmental, social and economic sustainability."

The Cisco pavilion showcases six solutions: Cisco Virtual Information Desk, Cisco TelePresenceTM, Cisco community and connection services, security operations, building control, and green energy.

# Cisco Virtual Information Desk provides remote management functions that allow a receptionist to effectively welcome visiting customers from multiple locations.

# Virtual Information Desk is an environmentally friendly solution that helps reduce commuting and labor costs as well as energy consumption.

# Cisco TelePresence is a cutting-edge video conferencing solution with full high-definition video and high-quality audio combined with interactive conferencing functions that maximize the feeling of in-person interactions.

# Cisco community and connection services allow citizens to get remote health care and public services at home through Cisco Customer TelePresence by directly connecting to hospitals and public organizations.

# Cisco security operations are shown in building management and monitoring systems based on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. A closed-circuit television gives an operator in a control room the experience of real-time security and precautions. The comprehensive Inno-Watch solution can control CCTV images and external signals.

# The building control center allows visitors to experience IP-based intelligent building systems that address a number of integration, security and centralized monitoring issues. The building control center integrates IP operations and management to reduce operating costs and increase the asset value of buildings. Users can also access services such as meeting room reservations from their IP phone, digital media systems or PDA.

# The green energy exhibit showcases the Cisco EnergyWise solution, which deals with energy savings and environmental issues in office buildings and homes. Based on Cisco's router, switch and data center platform technologies, Cisco EnergyWise helps monitor energy consumption thus prevents unnecessary energy consumption.

In line with its pavilion, Cisco will provide a comprehensive Customer Briefing Center program for enterprise customers. Cisco is also scheduled to hold the Sustainable Cities of the Future Conference in Incheon on Sept. 18, which will bring together thought leaders from government and developers.

As part of the Cisco 'Global Cities of the Future' pavilion opening event, Cisco will provide free entry tickets to 50 people for the Incheon Global Fair and Festival and an opportunity to use Cisco TelePresence to meet with friends and relatives abroad.

About Incheon Global Fair and Festival
With the theme of 'Lightening Tomorrow', Global Fair & Festival 2009 Incheon will take place from Aug. 7 to Oct. 25, 2009. Hosted by Incheon Metropolitan City and organized by 2009 Incheon Global Fair & Festival Organizing Committee, the Incheon Global Fair and Festival will be held in Songdo International City.

Source: Official Press Release, Cisco

Web 2.0 Marketing Strategies

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Publicis Groupe's acquisition of Razorfish: the Asian angle

Following the news that Microsoft will sell digital agency Razorfish to Publicis Groupe for US$530 million, sources expect it to be "business as usual" for the agency under its new ownership, including in Japan, where Razorfish is engaged in a joint venture with Dentsu.

According to the global agreement, Razorfish will become part of Publicis’ VivaKi, joining Digitas, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia in the region, and is expected to keep its current leadership worldwide.

In Asia-Pacific, Razorfish’s agencies are Hong Kong-based e-Crusade, which handles Nike among other clients, Amnesia Razorfish in Australia and a joint venture with Dentsu in Japan.

Publicis is slated to take full control of the agency, which was sold to Microsoft in 2007 as part of the $6 billion acquisition of online advertising group aQuantive, in the fourth quarter of this year.

According to Razorfish’s regional president Lee Sherman, the leadership in the agency’s regional office will stay the same, and “the agency is very excited about the agreement” because it will be able to expand its capabilities by using the VivaKi network, “as it makes sense for our clients”.

Amnesia Razorfish’s founder Iain McDonald added that the partnership is advantageous because it perpetuates a relationship with Microsoft – from which Publicis has agreed to buy search and display advertising – and “will help accelerate our plans for growth in the region”.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Razorfish noted it will be “business as usual for Dentsu Razorfish”, and anticipates that Publicis will continues the joint venture’s management with rival holding company Dentsu, which had also bid to buy Razorfish from Microsoft.

The spokesman added that the specifics of the deal are still up in the air. “It’s too early to speculate on possible working arrangements for our various brands around the world with the deal just having been signed,” he said.

A regional representative for Publicis said he expects Publicis and Dentsu to work together on the venture, pointing out that Dentsu holds a minority stake in Publicis Groupe and the two holding companies work together globally on public relations and sports marketing initiatives. “We are used to working together,” he added.

However, agency sources within the region also say the deal gives Publicis little leverage in Asia-Pacific’s digital arena outside a few key markets.

According to Barney Loehnis, Asian network director of Aegis Group’s Isobar Global, outside of a bolstered presence in Australia, Hong Kong and Japan, “I don’t think this deal gives Publicis a firm dunk in Asia”. “My personal observation is that $530 million is not cheap and Publicis is paying the price of its lack of vision from a few years back,” Loehnis said of the deal. “More than anything, this deal is interesting from a media-strategy perspective as it will still be working with Microsoft. But, this absolutely does not increase Publicis’ ability to go to market with a strong digital case.”

Source: Brand Republic

Collection of Interesting Case Studies on Social Media Marketing

List of interesting case studies on Social Media Marketing

Crispin Porter’s viral Subservient Chicken garnered about 14 million unique visitors and 396 million hits to date, through Adweek here (March 7, 2005). http://www.adweek.com/aw/national/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000828049

Up Your Budget Treasure Hunt for Budget Car Rental in 2005, the first ever blog-based viral marketing campaign, promoted entirely through bloggers and blog advertising - with no traditional marketing whatsoever. The results: one million unique visits to the site, 2,000 registered treasure hunters, and over 10 million page views in only four weeks. The clue videos were downloaded a total 43,000 times. There were 19.9 million blog advertising impressions at an average cost of 33 cents. Created by BL Ochman.

Click TV - Blogger Relations for Click TV (April 17, 2006): An outline of a blogger relations campaign for a Web 2.0 company, Shel Holtz, results here http://blog.holtz.com/index.php/blogger_relations_for_clicktv/

Fiskateers for Fiskars, who make crafting tools. Branded mentions of Fiskars products are up more than 400% on a per-week basis since the program began, from Brains on Fire (2007) http://brainsonfire.com/blog/

Coca Cola’s Community Approach to Second Life (April 17, 2007): Coca-Cola’s new social media strategy in Second Life featured an approach other than buying real estate and creating a store, Shel Holtz & Crayon http://blog.holtz.com/index.php/coca_colas_community_approach_to_second_life/

SeaWorld San Antonio: Journey to Atlantis (May 3, 2007): The launch and results of an “event” site to support the opening of a new ride, My PR Pro http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com/2007/05/anatomy-of-social-media-campaign.html

Splashcast’s Social Media for Marketing: (May 16, 2007): Splashcast used social media for marketing purposes, and succeeded by directly engaging the community, Marshall Kirkpatrick http://marshallk.com/social-media-for-marketing-what-weve-done-at-splashcast-so-far

GeoCommons Social Media News Release (May 29, 2007): An outline of the pitfalls and successes of releasing news via SMNR, Livingston Communications http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/blog/2007/05/29/geocommons-social-media-release-a-case-study/

New Adventures of Old Christine (June 14, 2007): The show was about to get a new day and time, and she thought outreach to parent bloggers was a perfect fit, CBS via Marketing Roadmaps http://getgood.typepad.com/getgood_strategic_marketi/2007/06/defining_social_1.html

Sci Fi Channel Digital Press Tour (July 12, 2007): Sci Fi channel begins blogger relations program by providing access to filming setsSci Fi, Channel via Marketing Roadmaps http://getgood.typepad.com/getgood_strategic_marketi/2007/07/sci-fi-channel-.html

Goodwill’s Social Media Strategy (August 29, 2007): How Goodwill used social media to rebrand its vintage clothing, Livingston Communications http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/blog/2007/08/29/case-study-goodwills-social-media-strategy/

Five Lessons from the SIGGART Online Word of Mouth Campaign (August 30, 2007): Thiseco-friendly aluminum water bottles company chalked up tons of quantifiable results, including 8000 unique visitors who visited for an average of 17 minutes, Gold Group http://goldgroup.blog.com/2045504/

Hugh Macleod at gapingvoid has done a spectacular job of marketing Stormhoek wine entirely through blogs and social networking, vis a vis BL Ochman (Sept. 17, 2007) http://www.whatsnextblog.com/archives/2007/09/with_as_many_as_1200.asp

Gates Foundation ED in ‘08 (Sept. 25, 2008): This very successful case study shows social media tools from video to Facebook, and calls to action like ordering endorsement kits, Mindshare Interactive http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/blog/2007/09/25/era-of-conversation-case-study-gates-foundations-ed-in-08-campaign/

Social Media Case Study: CMP’s TechMash (September 27, 2007) Social media forms used to garner attendance at CMP event, Horn Group http://www.engageinpr.com/?p=348

A Social Media News Release from Eurekstar (October 2, 2007): Shift Partner and Father of the SMNR breaks down form and function in this one, SHIFT Communications. http://www.pr-squared.com/2007/10/a_social_media_release_work.html

Marketing Pro Lewis Green discusses how his BizSolutionsPlus blog yielded four clients in one year (October 15, 2007). http://lgbusinesssolutions.typepad.com/solutions_to_grow_your_bu/2007/10/a-case-stufy-bl.html

Squidoo is profitable, and without venture capital, Viget Labs and Seth Godin (December 18, 2007)

The White House uses social media to get the word out on drug policies (December 18, 2007)

ITToolbox, who’ve grown their social network for IT professionals into multi-million business with more than $8 million in ad sales, and 1.7 million pages of user generated content as of Jan. 1, 2008.

Sony drives approximately 11,000,000 million visits to 30 Days Night moviecontests page using Facebook widget (reported by Jeremiah, January 29, 2008) http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2008/01/29/case-study-how-sony-leveraged-a-popular-vampire-facebook-widget-to-reach-its-community/

Nokia’s Mosh creates more than 200,000 rabid friends, almost 30 million downloads through crowd-sourcing initiative (reported by the Buzz Bin, March 3, 2008) http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/blog/2008/03/03/nokia-mosh/

The Human Capital Institute uses its liveblog to engage its membership, determine if they are social media savvy, Livingston Communications (March 18, 2008) http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/blog/2008/03/18/case-study-national-human-capital-institute-liveblog/

H&R Block Friends Stressed Out Taxed Americans on Twitter (reported by Social Media Explorer, March 21, 2008) http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/2008/03/21/case-study-how-to-blatantly-advertise-through-social-media-%E2%80%A6-and-get-away-with-it/

Disney’s continued MySpace Step Up 2 the Streets success yields a surprise box-office hit; it also managed to expand the movie’s already sizeable and enthusiastic group of fans. The movie’s MySpace profile has more than 156,000 friends (March 24, 2008, AdAge via Social media Optimization).

Neat Receipts Becomes a Hit with Mommy Bloggers (SHIFT Communications, April 2, 2008).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog: HHS engaged national leaders and the online pandemic flu community through its 5-week blog summit (June 2007 by OgilvyPR). http://blog.pandemicflu.gov/

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company drove traffic to their site, increased buzz and branded in social media and the blogosphere using a beta test. More than 1500 blogs participated (Pierson Grant Public Relations, June 3, 2008). http://thefuturebuzz.com/2008/06/03/a-case-study-in-building-buzz-in-the-blogosphere-joffrey%E2%80%99s-coffee-tea-company/

Scripps Networks - HGTV’s Rate My Space. Online community creates prime advertising real estate, generating ROI within weeks and creating continuous stream of advertising revenues. Success leads to companion television series - social media successfully serves to bridge gap between online and on-air (NY Times, June 19, 2008). http://tvdecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/a-home-improvement-web-site-begets-a-tv-series/

Adidas leverages mobile social media to increase retail revenues 20x around NBA All Star game in Vegas (Event Marketer, June 24, 2008). http://www.eventmarketer.com/viewmedia.asp?prmMID=2107

Network Solutions is using a monitoring program to turn around a negative blog post ratio in the 58 percentile range (Livingston Communications, August 8, 2008). http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/2008/08/07/network-solutions-changes-perceptions-with-new-actions/

The Nature Conservancy leverages Facebook and Digg for cause marketing: How TNC raised nearly $75,000 through Facebook Causes and a partnership with Lil Green Patch, a popular Facebook application. The group has also built significant brand awareness through the social news site Digg! (As reported by Jonathon Colman of TNC, September 29, 2008). http://www.slideshare.net/jcolman/fundraising-on-facebook-a-new-model-for-fundraising-on-facebook-using-an-old-skool-tool-causerelated-marketing-presentation

JetBlue Twitter – Case Study: When JetBlue joined Twitter in the spring of 2007, it was one of the first major brands to do so. Today, the company has nearly a million of followers, and its account is often cited as an example of smart corporate twittering. But the company started out on Twitter with modest goals. It wanted to help customers. http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_jetblue

Teusner Wines Twitter – Case Study: Teusner Wines, a boutique winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley, has three employees. Dave Brookes is the sales and marketing department. A cycling fan, Brookes was watching the Tour Down Under in January 2009 when he noticed that Lance Armstrong was on Twitter. “I followed him,” says Brookes, “and I starting thinking Twitter would a good tool to tell people about the winery.” http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_teusner

Current Media Twitter – Case Study: For the 2008 presidential elections, Current knew it had to do something different. The media company, headquartered in San Francisco, would receive the same live feed of the debates as every other broadcaster. Unless Current distinguished its coverage, viewers would have no particular reason to tune in. http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_current

Tasti D-lite Twitter – Case Study: The popular dessert franchise Tasti D-lite offers customers over 100 flavors of guilt-free frozen treats. Tasti has been beloved by customers in the greater New York area for over 20 years, growing to 50+ locations and continuing to open new locations while expanding its geographic reach. http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_tastidlite

CoffeeGroundz Twitter – Case Study: CoffeeGroundz is a popular, albeit modest, Houston, TX based independent coffee shop that sells a variety of locally roasted coffee, tea, pastries, sandwiches, and alcoholic beverages. There are a couple of booths, 16 tables and another ten on the patio. If you come to CoffeeGroundz, J.R. Cohen, its general manager, strives to make sure “you feel at home.” http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_coffeegroundz

Etsy Twitter – Case Study: Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade. Since launching in 2005, the Brooklyn, NY company has grown to over 65 employees. More importantly, over 250,000 sellers have opened up shop on Etsy to sell their handmade goods.

NAKEDPizza Twitter – Case Study: Founded in late 2006 as one small store in New Orleans in an area that flooded during hurricane Katrina, NAKEDPizza (originally named World's Healthiest Pizza) was launched as an ambitious business model that seeks to change the nutritional profile of fast food in America.

American Apparel Twitter – Case Study: The Los Angeles company and leading basics brand provides hip clothing for people of all ages. Vertically-integrated American Apparel is the largest clothing manufacturer in the United States. http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_americanapparel

Pepsi Twitter – Case Study: Pepsi may be a classic brand, but it’s using 21st century tools to collaborate and build relationships with customers.

Social Media Assessment Case Study Citrix Webex

Fundraising on Facebook: A Case-Study on Cause-Related Marketing

Case Study: The Barack Obama Strategy

More to follow...

Dell Twitter Case Study

First adopters of social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and blogging understand that their success can be measured and based on audience engagement, recognition, and involvement. Yet, Social Media’s Achilles heel, in the eyes of corporate decision makers who still utilize Web 1.0 analytics and measurement for their marketing, sales, and promotion efforts, is the lack of compelling ROI case studies: until now.

The fundamental recommendations from Twitter can be summarised in four simple steps
- Listen to what people are saying about your brand on Twitter
- Set up your own presence and be honest about who you are
- Follow people that are relevant to you
- Respond to discussions about your brand and business

Dell leveraged Twitter perfectly to generate sales. In December 2008, InternetNews reported that Dell has produced $1 million in revenue over the past year and a half through sale alerts via Twitter. People who sign up to follow Dell on Twitter receive messages when discounted products are available the company’s Home Outlet Store. They can click over to purchase the product or forward the information to others.

Dell Outlet faces a common but vexing challenge. A division of the giant made-to-order computer business, Dell Outlet carries refurbished equipment and other inventory that it needs to sell quickly. Because the division has to get the word out fast, it doesn’t have the luxury of hiring an agency and developing an ad campaign. Instead, the outlet relies primarily on email marketing, paid search results, search-engine optimization and affiliate links to raise awareness and drive sales. It’s always looking for new, cost-effective ways to reach people.

Dell's worst problem had been that customers were having too many of the wrong conversations with too many service technicians in too many countries. "It was a real mess," confesses Dick Hunter, former head of manufacturing and now head of customer service. Dell's DNA of cost-cutting "got in the way," Hunter says. "In order to become very efficient, I think we became ineffective."

Hunter has increased service spending 35%, cut outsourcing partners from 14 to 6 (and is headed to 3), and retrained staff to take on more problems and responsibility (higher-end techs can scrap their phone scripts; techs in other countries learn empathy). Crucially, Hunter also stopped counting the "handle time" per call that rushed representatives and motivated them to transfer customers so they would be someone else's problem. At Dell's worst, more than 7,000 of the 400,000 customers calling each week suffered transfers more than seven times.

Today, the transfer rate has fallen from 45% to 18%. Now Hunter tracks the minutes per resolution of a problem, which runs in the 40s. His favorite acronym mantra (among many) is RI1: resolve in one call. (Apple (AAPL) claims it resolves 90% of problems in one call.) He is also experimenting with outreach e-mails and chatty phone calls to 5,000 selected New Yorkers before problems strike, trying to replace the brother-in-law as their trusted adviser.

What did Dell do to make it happen, while others are still playing the wait and watch game.

- Fast to adopt:
While its competitors watched how the new entrant to the social media scenario would perform Dell set up its strategy and used Twitter as a channel of distribution to sell their products, taking the leadership stance and approach.

- Segmentated users:
Dell had a very clear strategy and focus to leverage Twitter, its stretegy revolved around studing the model and its users. Dell segmented twitter users demographically by setting up different twitter accounts ( ie. They started Dell Twitter for NZ users , Dell Twitter for UK users, Dell Twitter for Canada users ) Each of these twitter accounts spoke to users in a different country with localised product offerings.

- Created special offering for each of its segments :
With the segmentation strategy was adopted for different markets, it backed it up with special offers for each of these segments. Thus adapting the ‘Think Global, Act Local’ approach for their overall Twitter marketing strategy.

- Created a following and build a trust factor :
Companies that have built communities have always been succcessful in selling their products. Dell leveraged its online brand identity and trust factor to create and build a large community on Twitter. They built a strong and loyal following of more than 2000 users.

- Targeted Sales messages to the community :
Once they had a following they strategically leveraged their offers and promotions in form of Tweets or messages on Twitter to their following.

Holding Conversations: When company employees discovered Twitter at the South by Southwest conference in 2007, they thought they’d hit on a good channel for pushing out information.

“We thought, ‘Great—this has a really short lead time, and it will let us communicate our message effectively,’” says Stefanie Nelson, manager of demand generation at Dell Outlet. “We started using it for one-way communication.” The company was surprised when people responded. “They wanted to ask questions. They wanted to share their experiences, good and bad,” says Nelson, who’s based in Austin, TX. “We realized that people were really interested in talking with us.”

Raising awareness: So instead of using Twitter just to let people know about deals, the company has come to think of it as a good place to interact with customers—and to raise awareness about the brand. “When we respond to people on Twitter, they get really excited, and we gain advocates.”

That doesn’t mean Dell Outlet has abandoned the deals. In fact, the company often posts offers that are exclusive to Twitter. They twitter only a few times a week so as not to spam their followers, and they use tracking URLs to gauge what followers find most appealing.

Increasing sales: Do the coupons work? Big time. Not only do they get retweeted and picked up by coupon sites—both of which spread the brand name—they also drive sales. Dell Outlet has booked more than $3 million in revenue attributable to its Twitter posts. In addition, the division has done research showing that awareness of the outlet has grown, too.

“The uplift has been more than we dreamed,” says Nelson.

Connecting with customers: Dell now has more than 80 Dell-branded Twitter accounts (including @dellhomeoffers for new system deals) offering everything from videos of new technologies to promotions for Asia-Pacific customers. It also encourages employees to twitter, and has well over 100 employee accounts. Dell uses many of those accounts (with names like @StefanieAtDell), primarily for customer service exchanges that require direct messages (Twitter’s private channel) and to reach out to people who are twittering about Dell (which they find via Twitter search).

@DellOutlet now has over 15,000 followers who are receiving these marketing messages from Dell. So while Twitter is trying to figure out how to make money from its service, it is interesting to see that Dell recognizes that Twitter is a marketing channel, and more importantly, it is a channel that can increase revenues.

- At start of program, 49% of blog posts were negative. Today, overall tonality is 22%negative.
- Direct2Dell currently ranked about 700 on Technorati, among the highest corporate blogs.
- Direct2Dell gets more than 5 million unique views per month
- Over 7000 ideas have been submitted via IdeaStorm
- Studio Dell is gets more than 200,000 views per month

Dell has over 650,000 followers on Twitter. Although they are only following 23, they are known as a value provider:
Coupons: Dell distributes valuable discount coupons through Twitter
Customer Service: Dell answers questions and solves problems by engaging with their audience
Crowdsourcing: like their efforts at Ideastorm, they crowdsource their Twitter network for ideas on products, services, processes, and anything related to making their consumers satisfied
Network: Dell brilliantly and seamlessly integrate their Twitter network of followers with their Facebook fans for their Facebook company page. They convert many Twitter followers to Facebook fans and vice-versa

Nelson has learned when starting a new account on Twitter, it’s smart to reach out to your current customer base. They’re already interested in chatting with you, and they’ll tell other people about you. But no matter who’s following you on Twitter, she says, “offering relevant information that people are interested in is key.”

Interesting Social Media Trends - A Study

Social media trends indicate that online marketing is set to undergo a dramatic makeover. Businesses are increasingly integrating social networking websites into their marketing strategy. A recent study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (a representative body of American marketers) revealed that 26% of marketers found trends in social media taking it towards further growth.

Recession has called for accountability and efforts are being made towards innovating measurement techniques. This would help in calculating the ROI from marketing through social media. The Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2009 (conducted by Econsultancy in combination with Lynchpin) recorded that the proportion of firms looking at social media metrics has doubled during the course of a year from 21% to 40%.

The popularity of tools monitoring the buzz continues to rise. Be it staying alert with Google or inhaling the web on Addictomatic, such tools have become essential to internet marketing. Influence has emerged as a main indicator of success. The authority an account exercises over its followers and the networking activity as a whole are becoming the measurement tools.

# Social Media Engagement Trends
Over 60% of young consumers use social networking sites at least weekly, and about 40% check their networks every day. These young creators grew up in the age of personal computers, graphical user interfaces, and digital social annotations. The social computing boom of the past few years has created an online identity and digital hub, altered as frequently as one's clothes.

Adults are also researching news and creating content online. 22% of adults read blogs at least monthly, and 19% of adults surveyed are members of a social media site. Customer ratings and reviews was the most popular online activity, with about 40% of survey participants utilizing sites such as Amazon to read the thoughts and opinions of peers before making a purchase.

Forrester analysts identified six levels of social media participation in ascending levels of sophistication: inactives, spectators, joiners, collectors, critics, and creators. The categories are not mutually exclusive, as a blog author (a creator) will likely read other blogs (as a spectator), occasionally comment (a critic), and perhaps use web feeds or annotation tools (a collector).

These varied levels of social media participation highlight the need to better engage your audience across the board, easing them into the social media experience. Many social media sites focus on the joiners and creators, setting high barriers of entry and participation. A casual reader might mark a story or video as a personal favorite, or share a collection with friends. A collector might engage more audience members, creating a more focused community for a niche audience. Businesses and websites can engage multiple market segments and open up their community to wider participation.

# Comparative Analysis of Top Social Media Networks

# The Rise of New Business Models?

Frankly, predicting new business models within the media industry is difficult with its complex web of content distribution relationships spanning theaters, international distribution, cable and satellite distribution. However, with the success of industry ratified models like Hulu and the sense of inevitability that content is destined towards freedom, 2009’s recession will force new media models into play because the old models aren’t working any more.

Business Week’s Steven Wildstrom notes that consumers can’t find many great old movies on DVD or online in this era of the long tail retailing.

The battle is between an industry that wants to tightly control who gets to see what when and customers who want to watch what they want wherever and whenever. This clash is slowly being resolved in favor of consumers. Movies are becoming available for download and on DVD more quickly after theatrical release. Director Steven Soderbergh has a deal with Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theatres and HDNet that allows some of his movies to be released on disk and online the same day they show up in theaters. I expect more movies to be launched this way.

The day you can choose to see a new movie in a theater, on your TV, on your laptop, or on your iPhone is still some time off, but it is coming.

# The 2009 Recession will Elevate Social Media Marketing as a Corporate Cost Control Measure

Brand advertising has generally employed one-way messaging to consumers who typically respond to brand commercials as agenda-laden, or even spam. That’s why Tivo fast forwarding of ads is a value proposition. Brand advertising developed in the 1950’s with Madison Avenue’s recognition of the power of the new visual media to branding. It worked because broadcast TV was, at the time, the most optimal means to distribute the message.

Brand advertising is expensive because it employs the vertical professional services of advertising agencies – creative, research and production – to develop “campaigns”, and ad budgets for mass market placement. Social media in part threatens to disintermediate advertising professionals by leveraging “crowdsourcing” to test marketing and advertising concepts more quickly and cheaply.

# Entertainment Bubble
“Content creators are layering a multitude of media into entertainment for simultaneous consumption and engagement. For example, “LittleBigPlanet” users are gamers, social networkers and content creators, “The Hills” ‘Backchannel’ social networking site is where fans can gather to talk about the show as its happening on TV, and author StephenieMeyer has a playlist that readers can listen to while they’re reading the Twilight series. People are almost in an entertainment bubble of sorts”. -- Ann Mack, Director of Trendspotting, JWT (Source: sctimes.com)

# On Mobile
Social networks are going mobile. With devices such as the iPhone closely integrating the Web and cell phones, social networks like MySpace are working towards establishing their mobile presence.
“..Next year your media friend might start collecting dust when a mighty mini version takes hold, with the iPhone, the Bold and the Google phone, we’re beginning to truly be able to take our shows on the road. For example, the iPhonecan be a baby monitor and a Google phone, such as the T-Mobile G1, has a bar code scanner which allows you scan any bar code at the store and then immediately compare prices online. People are cutting their Internet service to save money and relying on their phones. After all, an iPhoneis much easier to fit into your pocket than an iBook”.
Mobilize Me
-- Jane Buckingham, President, The Intelligence Group
Source: sctimes.com

Companies will continue to place a high priority on mobility initiatives primarily for productivity increases, with mobility activities heating up in emerging markets. In addition, we will see growth in the mobile "wannabe" user segment as employees bring their personal devices, such as the iPhone, into work and expect organizations to develop ways to support these new devices —even with the slowdown expected in consumer mobile device purchases. -- Forrester

# On Engagements
“The recession will put consumers in a more powerful position. Feedback 1.0 was the lone customer posting a review or complaint and companies ignoring him. Feedback 2.0 was when millions posted, with companies largely ignoring them.

Feedback 3.0 finds companies listening and replying. For example, Starbucks lovers can already “help shape the future of Starbucks,” by sharing their ideas online, and hotel managers can respond to complaints and praises posted on TripAdvisor”.
-- ReinierEvers, Founder, TrendWatching.com

# “How Social Media is helping businesses?”
Facebook Connect, and its social network cousins Google Friend Connect, and the still obscure MySpace ID will facilitate the portability of social networks, or the “social graph”. This will be one of the most powerful applications towards creating a social media business model in 2009, but is hard to explain to social media newbies. What does it mean?

Through Facebook Connect, consumers log into other sites using their Facebook login details. Once inside the site, users can discuss or post their activities in real time to their Facebook network. The effect is to bring in their network of friends into the hosting site. For example, a teenage girl may visit a Facebook Connect – enabled retail fashion site like Forever 21, buy an awesome sweater at a deep discount sale price, and broadcast this fact to her large Facebook network. A few of her Facebook friends do the same thing, and by extension, you can imagine the instant viral marketing power of each new succeeding Facebook network put “into play” for a good sweater deal.

# Crowd sourcing will be a huge social media trend for 2009.

Crowd souring has the potential to take off pretty big, although i don’t see the online movement in that direction. The launch of Predictify suggest such a conclusion. Also, Idea Blob has been fairly successful. There are a number of crowd sourcing creative (graphic design and video) that are bubbling to the surface beyond the e-lance model. This will only continue to increase as the need for outsourcing and budget cutting continues in 2009. The trend known as crowd funding may also see an upward and exciting trajectory.

# Rise of video driven communities
Video driven communities that drive conversation will take off in social media. Winelibrary TV, Epic FU, and The Politico Playbook (aka Kotecki TV) have shown what video can do. Momversation, sponsored by Target, is driving conversation and community around the issues of moms. The video serves as a fantastic differentiator, creates emotional connection, and is potentially truly remarkable content.

Twitter under microscope - An HP Research Study

A study of social interactions within Twitter (via Snake Coffee), conducted by B. A. Huberman, D.M. Romero, and F. Wu (HP Labs) reveals that the driver of usage is a sparse and hidden network of connections underlying the “declared” set of friends and followers.

In a paper named Social networks that matter: Twitter under the microscope (PDF) the researchers investigated how relevant a list of “friends” is to members of the network. Practically, they were interested in finding out how many people each user communicates directly with through Twitter. They have defined user’s friend as a person whom the user directed at least two posts. By that the researchers were able to compare number of friends to number of followers.

Research Findings:

1. Saturation of delivered content:
The researchers expected that users who receive attention from many people (hold many followers) will post more often than users who receive little attention. Indeed, the total number of posts increases with both the number of followers and friends. However, as Figure shows, the number of total posts eventually saturates as a function of the number of followers. This implies that users with a large number of followers are not necessarily those with very large number of total posts.

On the other hand, the number of total posts does not saturate as a function of number of friends, as seen on Figure below.

The researchers concluded that in order to predict how active a Twitter user is, the number of friends is a more accurate signal than the number of his followers.

2. Social saturation:
The research shows (see Figure) that even though the number of
friends initially increases as the number of followees increases, after a while the number of friends saturates. This trend can be explained by the fact that the cost of “declaring” a new followee is very low compared to the cost of maintaining friends. Hence, the number of people a user actually communicates with eventually stops increasing while the number of followees can continue to grow indefinitely.

3. Reciprocity:
The research presents evidence to reciprocated attention. On average, 90 percent of a user’s friends reciprocate attention by being friends of the user as well (see figure).

Research Conclusions:
1. Twitter users have a very small number of friends compared to the number of followers and followees they declare. This implies the existence of two different networks: a very dense one made up of followers and followees, and a sparser and simpler network of actual friends. The latter proves to be a more influential network in driving Twitter usage since users with many actual friends tend to post more updates than users with few actual friends. On the other hand, users with many followers or followees post updates more infrequently than those with few followers or followees.

2. A link between any two people does not necessarily imply an interaction between them. In the case of Twitter, most of the links declared within Twitter were meaningless from an interaction point of view.

Sources: HP Twitter Study

About the authors
Bernardo A. Huberman is a Senior HP Fellow and Director of the Social Computing Lab at Hewlett–Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, Calif.
Web: http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/idl/people/huberman/
E–mail: bernardo [dot] huberman [at] hp [dot] com
Daniel M. Romero is a graduate student at the Center for Applied Mathematics of Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) and also a researcher in the Social Computing Lab of HP Laboratories.
E–mail: dmr239 [at] cornell [dot] edu

Friday, August 7, 2009

Measurement Metrics of Social Media

According to Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group, deep engagement with consumers through social media channels correlates to better financial performance. The ENGAGEMENTdb study (www.engagementdb.com) showed significant positive financial results for the companies who measured as having the greatest breadth and depth of social media engagement. These "Social Media Mavens" on average grew company revenues by 18 percent over the last 12 months, while the least engaged companies saw revenues sink 6 percent on average over the same time period.

The ENGAGEMENTdb study reviewed more than 10 discrete social media channels, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums for each of the 100 most valuable brands as identified by the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking. Activity in each channel was ranked for depth of interaction on measures that corresponded to that specific channel. Scores for overall brand engagement ranged from a high of 127 to a low of 1.

The top 10 ENGAGEMENTdb brands with their scores are:
1. Starbucks (127)
2. Dell (123)
3. eBay (115)
4. Google (105)
5. Microsoft (103)
6. Thomson Reuters (101)
7. Nike (100)
8. Amazon (88)
9. SAP (86)
10. Tie - Yahoo!/Intel (85)

Qualities of Success Companies that scored well in the study generally have dedicated teams, however small, active in the social media channels they utilize. The study found that the most successful teams evangelize social media across the entire organization to pull in a broad range of stakeholders. These companies view social media as an indispensable tool to help them achieve results, and their approach is conversational. This mode of operation differs from the approach of traditional communications and early corporate blog experimentation, which emphasizes messaging and talking points.

"This is the first study of this depth on the top global brands and we think the results provide a good guide for corporations and brand marketers in every industry," said Charlene Li, Founder, Altimeter Group. "The success stories we have uncovered provide a blueprint for companies making decisions about how to best apply their marketing and consumer relations resources." "The ENGAGEMENTdb study goes a long way towards validating the importance of social media for business," said Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint.

"The closer any company is to its customers, the better, and it's hard to argue with the ability for social media to create such proximity. In this day and age, companies should feel much more comfortable investing in social media -- the correlation to results is so clear." Four Quadrants of Engagement While each company in the study received a quantitative score, the ENGAGEMENTdb study revealed that companies fell into four specific categories in terms of their breadth and depth of investment in social media channels -- Mavens, Butterflies, Selectives, and Wallflowers.

Mavens -- brands that have made social media a core part of their go-to-market strategies and are very active in many channels; usually driven by dedicated teams assisted by company-wide awareness and participation.

Butterflies -- brands that recognize the need to be in many channels but have only met with real success in a subset of their activities; these companies are usually spread a bit too thin.

Selectives -- brands that focus on just a few channels and excel in those; these efforts are usually initiated by an internal evangelist.

Wallflowers -- brands present in only a few channels and very lightly in those; these brands are sitting on the sidelines and are wary of the risks. They are still trying to figure out the best next steps and investments in social media.

Source: www.wetpaint.com

Top Twenty Five Social Networking Sites – May 2009

According to comScore, Facebook totaled 70,278,000 unique visitors, up 97% from May 2008 to May 2009. MySpace audience shrank 5% over the same timeframe, falling to 70,255,000 unique visitors.

In April, MySpace visitors viewed 31.8 million ads, accounting for almost 47% of the total social network advertising space. Facebook was second, serving nearly 25 million ads and making up about 37% of the sector. In third place surprisingly was Tagged, which served 2.4 million ads, or 3.6% of publisher views.

eMarketer expects that the revenue gap will likely close in 2009-2010. MySpace entered into an advertising agreement with Google in 2006 that would pay the social network roughly $300 million a year, ending in June 2010. But TechCrunch reported that a new deal between Google and MySpace would be worth only $50 million to $75 million yearly, punching a big hole in the social network’s revenues.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Word of mouth (WOM) is the most trusted form of advertising in India

According to the Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, conducted by Nielsen Consumer Research company that provides insights on the preferences of internet consumers across the world, word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising in India with 93% votes, followed by editorial content such as articles in newspaper with 87% votes and Brand websites with 78% votes. This comes at a time when internet advertising is booming, with newer brands associating themselves with internet and testing new waters.

“The main problem is that there are too many online users and just very few websites, this results in just the same ads on every website or a great clutter. So the ads don’t attract the audiences at all, hence not serving the purpose they should,” says Rammohan Sundaram, Founder of Networkplay.

Alok Kejariwal, CEO, games2win.com, feels that internet is at its nascent stage, so it will take some time for internet advertising to catch. “Any medium takes at least 20-30 years to develop. Further more, internet advertising intrudes personal space. It strikes when you are reading your personal mail or browsing through the net; it gets very irritating.”

According to Sundaram, there are many ads which are placed just to have an online presence. The advertisers don’t get into a deep research as to which site will suit the product, the placement of the ad.

But does this mean that online advertising is not on the right track? “There’s no major flaw in online advertising or its approach, it’s just that people find word of mouth more credible since it’s an unbiased and unpaid review. There’s no hidden motive behind it, which makes people trust it blindly. This difference between the trust on word of mouth and any form of advertising will remain forever,” says Mudit Khosla, Founding General Manager, Strategic Relations Group, Yatra.com
“The only way one can improve the trust is by involving the audiences. In my website we invite our audiences to write comments of services they have used.
This not only gives these audiences a platform to speak up but the others also get a chance to read unbiased opinions on the same website, “asserts Khosla.

Harish Bahl, MD, Quasar Media has a positive outlook, “According to me, the search results are very contradictory. A major portion of online advertising are the social websites, where audiences write blogs, connect and exchange information, or in other words, spread word of mouth. The Nielsen report saying that word of mouth is more trustworthy than online advertising proves that it’s a win-win situation for online advertising.”

“Internet is definitely growing fast and so will internet advertising, it just that products should be sold in a better way to gain the consumers’ trust,” believes Khosla.

Indian entertainment and media industry to reach Rs. 929.5 billion in the next 5 years

The Indian E&M industry is estimated to grow from Rs. 563.9 billion in 2008, at a CAGR of 10.5% for the next five years to reach Rs. 929.5 billion in 2013, says the PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Indian entertainment and media outlook 2009.

Over the next five years, television industry is projected to continue to be the major contributor to the overall industry revenue pie and is estimated to grow at a stable rate of 11.4% cumulatively, from an estimated Rs. 244.7 billion in 2008.

The overall television industry is projected to reach Rs. 420 billion by 2013. In the Television pie, distribution is projected to garner a share of 60% in 2013. On the other hand, television advertising industry is projected to command a share of 41.0% in 2013, having increased from a present share of 39.0% in the total ad industry pie. The relative share of the television content industry is expected to remain constant at 4%.

The Indian film industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% over the next five years, reaching to Rs. 185 billion in 2013 from Rs. 107 billion in 2008. The relative shares of the film industry are expected to shift marginally from the traditional revenues to the new emerging revenues.

The Indian film print media industry is projected to grow by 5.6% over 2009-13, reaching to Rs. 213 billion in 2013 from Rs. 162 billion in 2008. The relative shares of newspaper publishing and magazine publishing are not expected to remain the same at around 87%, in favour of newspaper publishing. Magazine publishing is expected to grow at a higher rate of 6.5% as compared with newspaper publishing which is expected to grow at 5.6% for the next five years.

The radio advertising industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 18% over 2009-13, reaching Rs. 19 billion in 2013 from Rs. 8.3 billion in 2008; more than double its present size. In terms of share of ad pie, it is projected that the radio advertising industry will be able to increase its share from 3.8% to 5.2% in the next five years.

The animation, gaming and VFX industry will continue to maintain its growth pace and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22% to Rs. 42.5 billion in 2013 from Rs 15.6 billion. In the animation space, domestic demand will create the fillip in its growth, as well as contribution from international co-productions, in the film and television space.

The Indian gaming industry is projected to grow from an estimated size of Rs. 3.9 billion in 2008 to an estimated Rs. 16.3 billion by 2013; translating into a cumulative growth of 32.7% over the next five years . Mobile gaming will dominate the segment with 74% share , driven by the growth in the high end segment of the mobile users, new content by mobile operators and the availability of 3G spectrum that enables easy of play.

Online gaming will be the next highest contributor followed by console gaming. This will be fuelled by the growth of internet users and especially the growth of the target segment of users aged between 15-34 years. The growth in solo gaming will also be aided by falling cost of console prices and availability of local games.
Given the trends of increased internet usage, internet advertising is projected to grow by 32% over the next five years and reach an estimated Rs. 20 billion in 2013 from Rs. 5 billion, currently. The share of the online advertising too is projected to grow from 2.3% in 2008 to 5.5% in 2013 of the overall advertising pie.

The estimated size of the OOH industry is Rs. 15 billion, which is projected to become almost twice its current size in 2013 to 25 billion. Its share in the total ad pie is expected to go down marginally to 6.8% in 2013 from 6.9% in 2008.

The key growth driver for the music industry over the next five years will be digital music, and its share is expected to move from 16% in 2008 to 60% in 2013. Within digital music, mobile music will continue to increase its share and maintain its dominance.

Source: http://www.audiencematters.com/newsdetails.aspx?tbl_type=news&n_detail=2551&news_type=Media