Study: C-level executives still unsure how to leverage Social Media for business growth

It seems to be a love and hate relationship: Executives and Social Media. On the one hand, companies see how critical a social business strategy is for their business. On the other, they still don’t know how to harness the value of the new modern media landscape and the feedback channel online world. This is the insight we get from a survey of C-level executives conducted by Harris Interactive for Capgemini.

The findings, which are part of Capgemini’s Executive Outsourcing Survey, were published with their launch of the social media management service. The survey asked 302 senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies.

The question where to position Social Media inside the company seems to be omnipresent: Marketing? Customer Service? Corporate Communications? Or really change the company to become a social business operation? Does someone have a crystal ball? More than half say that Social Media is a part of their company’s customer care operations. However, 64% of those responded that it is a pure responsibility of their social media marketing department.

Surprisingly enough, 74% executives stated in the study they were not even sure how many employees are dedicated to customer care via the Social Web activities of the company. The value of Social Media can be seen by 57% of responding executives who think that it is “inviting customer input on product and services, lead generation, responding to complaints, internal reporting, and measuring customer satisfaction.”

And it is best to forget the 13% who still believe that Social Media is not important for future success of the company.

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The attitude from executives towards Social Media also describes the fact that less than half of executives (41%) are monitoring online conversations about their brand, product and/or services. They only respond to an online conversation when a customer poses a direct question, representing a significant missed opportunity for companies to proactively solicit feedback and enhance the customer experience. The ooportunity to engage with the customer is there but executives (and probably their management teams) need to embrace the opportunity and change their business into a social business strategy and align it with their web strategy team.

News Update – Best of the Day

Although the mobile hype is massive, there are studies that question the power of smartphone mobile advertising and it’s efficiency. A new research from YouGov shows consumers accept placements as part of their day-to-day mobile experience but consider them intrusive (79%) and tend to ignore them altogether. Only 5% think mobile ads are a good idea and welcome them. However, the general apathy smartphone users have toward seems to equal ignorance: 88% ignore ads on applications and 86% have ignored placements on the mobile internet.

The security company Imperva released a study that states “web applications, on average, experience twenty seven attacks per hour, or roughly one attack every two minutes.” Imperva monitored 10 million attacks between December of last year and May of this year “targeting 30 different enterprise and government web applications.” Of the 27 attacks per hour most of them are trying to identify vulnerabilities on websites. If a vulnerability is found, attacks can increase to 25,000 per hour which would be seven attacks per second.

What is the future of Twitter? During a keynote interview at Fortune BrainstormTech in Aspen, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gave insights in his vision of the company’s business model.

PS: Just in case you ask why Twitter is cool, Steven Winterburn has got the answer: “”Twitter is like a fridge. If you’re bored you keep opening & closing it every few minutes to see if there’s anything good in it.”

The Social Travel Revoluton (Infographic)

There is not one industry today that is not effected by the way we interact through Social Media. The Swedish start-up Tripl illustrates with a fantastic infographic how much the travel industry is influenced and effected via modern online conversations and check-ins. The necessity for hotels, airlines and restaurants to engage and understand Social Media is obvious: 50 Mio. reviews have been created on tripadvisor only 495.000 rated hotels!

Some key facts…
– On a daily basis, 72% of social network users access their social network sites while travelling
– The top 5 airlines have 2,566,000 fans on Facebook
– 200 Mio. passengers will board GOGO-WiFi flights in 2011
– Traffic growth of travel companies from social networks? Facebook 69% and Twitter 46%!

…and that is only 7% using mobile internet while tarvelling internationally!

Can I be your friend?

The English National Opera is making fun of our odd social web online lives with the new opera production of Nico Muhly’s new opera ‘Two Boys’. This film is a great trailer that everybody should see, and think how much fun it is to transfer the online to the offline reality. Can you be a friend of somebody you don’t know in real life…? I know you will say “Yes!”, right…?

Well, watch the video… and always remember my lead theme: Online is just a catalyst of the offline reality! Especially if you log into real life in a 1-to-1 online mode like the guy in the video…

Honesty – The ambient campaign driver that brings virtues back…?

Some years ago, Billy Joel sang his song “Honesty” and I always remember this one first line… “Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue.”. Apparently, it seems that Billy was not quite right with his statement (although he took a different approach to his somng argumentation). It is interesting to see that more and more campaigns seem to pitch with that virtue proof…

I wrote about the interesting HonestTea campaign. That campaign not only proved the value of Earned Media but more importantly how honest people in the world were. And it also pointed out that honesty as a virtue might become a wonderful topic for campaigns – a real ambient campaign driver.

The National Australia Bank (NAB Group) is another example how companies come up with that topic. Some while ago, the NAB was shaking up the financial services industry by encouraging the customers of other banks to “break up” with their bank. The campaigns continues now to a next level now…

The NAB is challenging the honesty of consumers with a series of social experiments on the virtue of honesty. The honesty project of the NAB proves that Australians are very well behaved and very honest.

The bank is publishing the results in little clips. Watch the results…

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This modern ambient approach to make a change in the communication to consumers from banks I found quite refreshing, compared to the traditional annoying and boring print letters I still get today. If banks open up to customers with some clever ideas like these it will be a perfect way to get Earned Media which leads to Owned Media and puts a question mark behind the honest value of “Paid Media”. And that is a fact, that is my honest truth.

PS:: What is your view on the campaign? The honesty approach? The value of honesty from a bank’s perspective?

Study: More companies succeed in recruiting via social networks

Social Media is becoming the new talent aquisition tool for companies. A recent study by Jobvite states that almost 90% of companies are planning to use social networks to find job candidates. This is an increase of 7% to last year. Two thirds of employers said they had successfully filled a job position via social networking.

The study that polled 800 human resource staffers and headhunters in the U.S also illustrates the importance of personal branding which I proclaim for years now – also with the vision of a personal scoring index. Job seekers should understand the importance of having an active profile on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. However, this is essential and career benefitial, the study also warns that what you say and do on those sites has an impact on your career.

Running the survey in their fifth year, Jobvite is seeing a steady increase by employers in the use of social media.

“Employee referrals are the highest quality hires. (…) They last the longest, have the best match with expectations, and churn the least.” Dan Finnigan, CEO, Jobvite

According to Jobvite’s own client data, 70% of companies examine candidates’ social media profiles after getting a referral. Which means you never know who is checking your latest party pictures and how much you ruin your reputation by updating embarrassing information

“Don’t post any picture, say any words or take any actions that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see,” advises Finnigan.

Some interesting finding shows that Facebook is not the main place to look for job candidates. However, LinkedIn went up from 78.3% to 86.6% (inclusive of all possible usage like search, job postings, etc.).

Having said that, Jobvite also asked their own customers how many actually hired staff using social referrals from various social networking sites. 43% of referrals that resulted in hires came from Facebook versus 41% from LinkedIn and 16% from Twitter.

Spot On!
For the Social Society in which we are living social engagement become an asset bonus but also a challenge for job seekers. Today, it is still difficult to understand for many recruiters why you have a personal brand. In the future, this will change and show your affinity to a topic, to brands and to modern business tactics. People might be addressed or recruited by younger hiring managers who are more tolerant of social media failures or side steps but the more senior a position gets, the pickier recruitment managers are getting.

How do you see the future of personal branding and how recruiters are checking your capabilities via social networks?

Study: Will the traditional office be extinct by 2021? Yes, say 58% of UK workers…

Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de

How long will we continue working in traditional offices? How long is commuting still a must to keep a good job? A question that I got asked quite often in the last months. My view is, it won’t take another decade to understand that there are several ways to establish a new and more efficient work-life balance instead of commuting in the office every day. However, I see many challenges for our social society when thinking about jobs and social engagement

A recent study by Virgin Business Media now shows some similar insights. It states that 58% of U.K. workers think offices of today will not exist in ten years’ time. The study was commissioned to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the British sitcom The Office (basis for the U.S. show).

The findings are based on a research that surveyed 1,000 U.K. workers that gave feedback on how their working lives have changed over the last ten years, and how they expect them to change over the next ten years. It has to be said that it was predominantly based on the impacts of technology…

Working remotely will be the new trend. Commuting and traditional offices will be out soon. At least that is what UK workers predict: 56% of respondents are not seeing themselves commuting in 2021 like they do today. An impressive 83% respond that technology enables them to become more productive in the last ten years. Productivity in the future means (62% say so) they would use just one device to handle both their personal and work life in ten years’ time.

The question will be if people will want to work from home, or prefer to continue commuting. Having someone to talk to, not being forgotten and having a need to show somebody that you are really “at work” might be reasons against the future outlook with no traditional offices space.

Spot On!
In May a report from Regus and Unwired called VWork: Measuring the benefits of agility at work makes clear that only 12,3% of respondents want to work from home. It will be interesting to see whether companies offices will extinct, or if companies will give their employees money to find coworking space (like the car allowance concept), or if they host coworking space (in order to recruit new people…). The virtual office will be the future for many people. I just can see lawyers, controllers or HR people who might need their traditional offices. The rest will be able to work remotely… It is more flexible, more agile for marketing, sales and business development, and people are motivated to have more meetings.

Would you agree? Do you see this development as dangerous? What is your view on the extinction of office space?

Social Media Evolution at EMC (Video)

Many companies have started showing case studies, infographics, or videos to present their latest Social Media activities. Now, EMC comes up with a great video that explains nicely how the copany leverages the power of the social web.

In a “comic-style” video a Neanderthal man (what a nice metaphor) explains how Social Media has changed the way EMC engages with its audiences, how it helps to strengthen their relationships with customers and partners, and the public. However great all their success might be, they also highlight the responsibility which comes along with the Social Web engagement.

The EMCCorp YouTube channel states that the “brief training video is designed to communicate the key points of proper social engagement while not losing sight of the ‘fun’ side of Social Media”.

I remember a social media training day I have given their marketing team about one year ago and how much they liked the power of virals I have shown them. Don’t know if this can be connected to the training, but I have to ask… Isn’t this a nice way to illustrate the social media evolution in the business arena? Well done, EMC!

PS: Some bits and pieces in the video could be discussed from a social media strategic perspective as I would not always agree with them…