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Social Media, Social Engagement News & Guidance

The Good - and Perplexing - News About Corporate Social Media

Like many of us, corporate social media is maturing. But a new report from social consultancy Useful Social Media sends some confusing signs about social media's trends in companies.

"This year," The State of Corporate Social Media/2014 states, "we appear to have reached something of a fork in the road."

In this last three versions of the report, the firm noted, "it has been evident that social media use was scaling up rapidly across businesses around the world."

But now:

  • The size of the social media team is falling. Does this show that social is being dispersed within businesses, or that companies are losing their interest?
  • Fewer budgets are growing. Does this mean that infrastructure costs have already been covered, or that fewer companies are seeing a return?
  • Fewer KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are being measured. Is this a sign of less interest in measurement, or just less interest in measuring KPIs as they relate to social?

Aha! Social Can Transform Businesses - and Create Value, Too

2014-15-July-teamwork.jpgGo ahead. Make collaboration a priority at the next meeting with your senior leaders. New research confirms what people like Oscar Berg have long been preaching. In fact, there is clear evidence companies across industries are creating value with social business. 

That's the key finding from the just released third annual Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project. Conducted jointly by the MIT Sloan Management Review and two subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP — Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte Services — the report is based on insights from surveys, interviews, literature and what the authors describe as "robust debates."

Social business has come of age, the report finds. What's more, proponents no longer have to feel like they are talking to the wind when they argue its merits. "Increasingly, corporate leaders realize that social business is changing the way organizations operate and the experiences they provide to their customers and constituents."

What's the Most Popular Social Login on B2B Sites?

What's the most popular social login on B2B sites? We know ... and we will share the findings, based on a new report from social login provider Janrain.

The report, "Social Login Trends Across the Web for Q2 2014," also found that Facebook is bouncing back after six straight quarters of falling market share in the realm of social logins on all sites. The report notes that over half of new users employ social login, because it eliminates the need to "remember yet another username-password combination."

Discussion Point: What's the ROI on B2B Social Media Marketing?

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I always tell the story of the day a supervisor at a former company told me, "We should get on Twitter."

Get on Twitter. Why? Because others are doing it, of course. 

There was no game plan. How much should we tweet? When should we tweet? What should we tweet? Are our clients on Twitter? Nope, not even that question was considered. 

Today, of course, social media seems to be all we can talk about when it comes to marketing. Even B2B marketers have caught on. Having a presence in social circles is a must.

Crowdsourcing Startup Wants Clarity for Flooded B2B Software Market

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An Israeli crowdsourcing website startup that launched today will be a hub for those in the market for B2B software and even reach B2C-level success like Amazon or Ebay, its founder boasted to CMSWire. 

Chekkt, which includes reviews and ratings on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and outsourced services, launched www.chekkt.com. It is designed to help companies, from startups and mom-and-pop shops to businesses with thousands of employees, discover, compare and purchase the best SaaS solutions for their needs, according to Chekkt CEO Ori Manor.

"The problem is quite simple," Manor told CMSWire. "Businesses today really don't have a go-to destination to compare services. It's unbelievable what you see in the B2C realm with Amazon. Everything is accessible, and you have a huge inventory at your fingertips. In the B2B sector, it's hard to discover these things, and it's hard to tell whether a certain software is relevant for your needs."

Denmark-based Social Management Platform Enhances Platform

This week, Denmark-based Falcon Social released new technology for its social media management platform to allow social logins for websites, combining social profiles with analytics to better tailor customer experiences.

CEO Ulrik Bo Larsen told CMSWire that its Connect technology allows companies to find such correlations as "the size of checkout baskets for customers that 'like' [that company's] Facebook page versus customers who don't."

Denmark-based Social Management Platform Enhances Platform

This week, Denmark-based Falcon Social released new technology for its social media management platform to allow social logins for websites, combining social profiles with analytics to better tailor customer experiences.

CEO Ulrik Bo Larsen told CMSWire that its Connect technology allows companies to find such correlations as "the size of checkout baskets for customers that 'like' [that company's] Facebook page versus customers who don't."

Facebook's Mind Experiments: Just Media As Usual

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Yes, "furor erupted" over Facebook's massive psychological experiment to control user emotions by changing the configuration of posts.

How naive are we, really? Of course Facebook wants to control your thoughts — that's the whole point of media.

Emotional manipulation in the media is nothing new. That's why we have Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps Facebook's experiment was more disturbing because of its scale, and the fact that it failed to alert or gain the consent of its users.

But anybody thinking that the trend of media companies using real time user data to control reactions of its audience is something new is mistaken. 

Why Sitecore Invested in Danish Social Media Marketing Platform

Sitecore took a large minority investment into a Danish social media marketing platform two years ago.

It still likes it.

The San Francisco-based customer experience and digital marketing provider announced today it has acquired a majority stake in Komfo, the Danish social media marketing and community engagement application provider. Sitecore's investment, officials say, will extend Komfo's presence in global markets and forms the basis of Sitecore's social media product roadmap through a product called Sitecore Social Powered by KomfoTM.

Smoke, Fire and American Apparel: Avoiding Social Mistakes

2014-07-July-house-on-fire.jpgThe scariest words an executive can hear just might be "Your brand is trending on Twitter."

Absent a viral video, strategically planned marketing campaign or the spontaneous heroism of an employee, a global cacophony of disturbing tweets can mean only one thing. 

Somebody screwed up.

Somebody said or wrote or posted something racist, sexist, ageist, insensitive, political incorrect or, perhaps worst of all, simply stupid. 

And you have to look hard to find an example of greater stupidity than American Apparel's latest mistake — confusing an image of a space disaster that took seven lives with a fireworks display.

5 Things Marketers Can Learn on the Fourth of July

2014-4-July-fireworks-in-Hobokan-NJ.jpgIndependence Day is an uniquely American holiday, replete with examples of exactly what happens when you give freedom to a rag-tag group of descendants of fanatics, misfits, debtors, dreamers and people relocated against their will.

There's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, held at the fast food restaurant's original location on New York City's Coney Island every year since about 1972. The world hot dog eating record is held by Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., who ate 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes — a feat that at best can be considered bewildering.

News Bites: Salesforce Mobile Reports, Sitecore Partnership, More

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Heading into July, the news keeps flowing. This week: Salesforce introduces mobile reports while Useful Social Media and Millennial Media issue free reports.

Braindigit launches SageCMS, Sitecore and ADAM join forces, text donations grow up and Shufflrr releases its PowerPoint tool.

Separating Fact from Fiction in Social Comments

Yelp, Angie's List, Amazon -- these companies and many others offer user reviews of local businesses. But the authenticity of many of those reviews is questionable, which is why an Israel-based company is offering a new service that it claims provides "honest, authentic referrals."

The company, WhoDoYou, uses machine learning and natural language processing to collect and sort public conversations -- mostly from Facebook, and mostly positive recommendations -- about painters, lawn services, restaurants and the like.

How to Set Social Media Marketing Goals

2014-26-June-Goal.jpgI have a lot of conversations with B2B marketers. And you know what? They’re all struggling to figure out what the right goals are for social media.

I’m not saying they don’t know what they hope to achieve (hint: leads). It’s just that these smart marketers seem unsure of themselves when it comes to setting measurable goals for social media. No wonder there’s still confusion about Social ROI!

So what’s going on?

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

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