Facebook – To stay or not to stay?!

Facebook’s new privacy settings are causing their users a lot of headaches. PCWorld has summarized the changes with good links to further information.

The Quit Facebook Day site is probably the “loudest” result from the privacy setting changes.

And some people already think about the perfect social network. Maybe Gink is the answer…?!

And some students in San Francisco made it easy for companies, partners or profs can to find out about status updates of their employees, friends or and what they are saying about their them. They just need to check Openbook

Maybe Facebook should just think about the intelligent user, his new role inside the conversation model and especially how social networks are supposed to work from a users perspective.

To stay or not to stay? Maybe we just ask all of you Facebook users what you think about the privacy changes. Appreciate your thoughts…

Im Kommentar Social Media Newsroom promoten

Es freut mich immer wieder, wenn meine User mir mit Kommentaren interessanten und neuen Input liefern.

Manchmal überlegt man, wie man jetzt auf einen Kommentar reagieren soll. Da mir das in nachfolgendem Beispiel schon mehrfach so gegangen ist, brauche ich mal Input von meinen Usern und Social Media Experten.

Das Beispiel des Kommentars bezieht sich auf das Phänomen der Promotion eigener Social Media Newsroom. Und die Frage ist, ob und wenn ja, wie man auf diesen Kommentarfall reagieren und eingehen soll.

Dem Verfasser möchte ich für die ausführlichen Infos danken. Ein wahrlich interessanter und diskussionwürdiger Ansatz, den die DVAG da fährt und der mir bisher unbekannt war. Dort werden wahrlich alle sozialen Medien als Kommunikations-Channel bespielt.

Nun aber eine grundsätzliche Diskussion hierzu…

Inwieweit sind Blogs dazu da, seine unternehmerischen Botschaften und klassischen PR aktivitäten in aller Ausführlichkeit dazustellen und zu platzieren?

Wäre der Hinweis auf den Social Media Newsroom genug gewesen, indem ich EINEN Link setze? Wenn ja, wo setze ich diesen Link: Bei der Angabe meiner Daten (Name, Email und Webadresse) oder erst im Text oder an beiden Stellen?

Ein Social Media Newsroom sollte alle Verlinkungen in die soziale Web-Welt in sich bergen. So kann jeder Web-User sehen, was das Unternehmen im Social Web so macht.

Sieht man sich die Seite der DVAG an, so ist das auch der Fall. Und dieser Lin wurde ja auch angegeben. Nur ist mir unklar, ob man dann die anderen Link ebenfalls benötigt (Gefahr des “Linkschleuder-Ansatzes”)?! Sollte man trotzdem alle Social Seiten einzeln auflisten?

Wäre es ein gutes Vorgehen gewesen, mal via eine Business Networks wie XING oder LinkedIn die Konversation mit mir zu suchen und auf die Präsenzen hinzuweisen?

Diese Fragen gingen mir durch den Kopf als ich kommentieren wollte. Der kommentar wäre zu lange geworden. Dieser Post kam zustande…

Ich denke, es hilft allen, wenn wir hier mal Feedback sammeln. Freue mich auf Eure Meinungen…

Study: Comparison Twitter vs. Facebook

A recent study by Irbtrax, a SEO Internet Marketing firm, tries to determine which platform is the best fit for a particular business application or niche. So, the results of the study is not saying the one or the other is better, but the results give some good basic orientation for marketeers.

Category 1: Traffic ranking and user metrics
Traffic Ranking US and Global traffic ranking:
Facebook 2 – 7 day average daily time on site by users: 32.2 minutes
Twitter 12 – 7 day average daily time on site by users: 7.8 minutes
Facebook has the lead due to its sheer size, traffic volume, and time on site.

Category 2: Online destination for potential clients in the B2C market
Facebook offers more potential as of the option to include photos, detailed information, multiple outbound links, videos, and other business to consumer apps. The study states it is easier to build a larger network of followers in the shortest amount of time to help market a consumer product or service.

Category 3: Online destination for potential clients in the B2B market
The advantage is on Twitter as it provides more viral marketing flexibility while requiring less followers. Viral Marketing is a core business to business social media application for service recognition and other benefits. Popular industry related tweets are redistributed creating a domino effect even if you don’t have thousands of followers.

Category 4: market research benefits
Again Twitter shows more potential. Its search features can be efficiently used to monitor what people are saying about a company, service, product and competitors. Increasing or declining trends can be tracked effectively as well.

Category 5: internal viral marketing benefits
Facebook is top as it’s much easier to build a larger following. Plus, Facebook ‘wall’ feature is much more interactive than Twitter’s internal communication features.

Category 6: external viral marketing benefits
Twitter offers a greater external internet reach – no front door. Google’s ‘Real Time’ search feature often streams live tweets. A comparison of the number of tweets an independent article/release receives verse the number times they are shared by Facebook accounts appears to strongly favor Twitter.

Category 7: Use of each platform for direct internet communication
Facebook offers an instant message feature which allows you to communicate with other users globally.

Spot On!
The study concludes that in order to maximize your social media marketing results companies ideally create a presence on both. And I am happy that a study mentions this: Which platform a company engages first, or where to spend the most amount of available time or budget depends on your customers!!! Businesses should be checking their web-analytic metrics to apply the findings to your target group, and evaluate the potential and strengths of each platform.

Study: Twitter users not as social as they seem?

A new report by Barracuda Networks on the company’s newly launched security research portal unveils a truth that was already found in this Harvard study some months ago: Twitter users are not as social as they might seem.

Although Twitter is probably the fastest growing social network, most of its 50 million accounts seem to follow other users – instead of posting their own messages. In some way this sounds positive, as it shows that we are not living in a pure self-referential world.

The Barracuda study states that in December 2009 73% of Twitter accounts have tweeted fewer than 10 times. Only 21% of Twitter account holders are “true users” as Baracuda defines them. The “true user”, according to their definition, is someone who has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people and has tweeted at least 10 times. Now, we may argue differently about that, but it definitely shows a trend.

Paul Judge, author of the report and chief research officer at Barracuda, thinks that Twitter is becoming more of a news feed channel than a social network. That indicates that most Twitter users “came online to follow their favorite celebrities, not to interact with their buddies the way they would on Facebook or MySpace,” said Judge.

The follow-only trend might be part of the is part of Twitter’s “red carpet era” when celebrities pushed their microblogging account into the mainstream during the six-month research period of Barracuda.

From November 2008 to April 2009, some celebrities, like Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey and John Mayer, joined Twitter. In these days the micro-blogging service grew 21.2% in the month of April 2009 alone.

Spot On!
The question remains if Twitter will be able to get more of these followers activated to become “true users” and to start tweeting themselves. Or if security risks will keep users away from becoming the active Twitterati. In combination with news about sites like Pleaserobme.com people have scared of users not to tell to much about their real-time privacy. In my eyes Twitter should be making the main benefit clear to their potential users and show some monetization strategy for companies and users. Why should someone use a platform that does not show a valid business reason?

LinkedIn – The importance of using invitation texts

In the last months, all social business networkers on LinkedIn have shared the same experience. They have received different invitations from people all over the world with the following invitation text…

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
– Surname Name”

Short, targeting, and easy to understand – for everybody all over the world. Hmmmm….?!

This raises some questions in my head on the importance of invitation texts. And I would appreciate your views and get some feedback of people who also use LinkedIn for social business networking.

Is it ok to use the standardized version of the invitation text by LinkedIn? We are all marketers and we know that personalization is key. So, isn’t it better to re-phrase the standardized text version and write a short PERSONAL message?

If somebody is not writing a personal message, is it a sign that this person wants me to respond to him/her, and ask WHY this person wants me in his/her business social network? Even think about the impact on playing a psychological game on hierarchy thinking. Or is it just the peek a boo effect? Or is it just a hunters and collectors business?

If somebody leaves the standardized personal message, the contacted person might think this is a TEST on his/her social networking capabilities. So, companies might check how serious job applicants take social networking, how quick potential employees respond, or how much somebody is engaged in social media in general. Or just to test if this person understands effective lead generation?

Spot On!
Should not LinkedIn change its service? The one who is contacted cannot see what the contacting person has ticked in the box in terms of the business relationship, he or she is referring to.

What is your view and experience on invitations by social networks – especially from a business perspective.

Social Engagement is Changing

The web service company Flowtown has created a nice piece of visualization about the way in which social engagement is changing. You should also read the comments on their blog post to get some more numbers and insights on how the social web world is changing today.

Moms access point for engagement? – Social Networks!

If your company sells children (car) seats, diapers, baby buggies or lipstick, when it comes to engaging at-home moms you may think about social networks. At least two recent reports from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) conducted by BIGresearch as well as another one conducted by Lucid Marketing and analyst Lisa Finn in the US make clear that moms are more likely to be on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter than other moms.

Moms log on almost daily
And moms are using social networks quite often. A Lucid Marketing study states that 80% of Facebooking moms log in at least daily. Even more, 30% of the responding moms login more than five times each day. Also mobile logins are quite popular: About 40% login from smartphones and computers.

The future seems to belong to Facebook. 90% of the moms say the Facebook benefit is that its easy contacting friends/family. 26% mention they like the apps (games and quizzes).

Social web for at-home moms important
– 60% more likely to use Facebook
– 42% more likely to use MySpace
– 16% more likely to use Twitter
– 15% maintain their own blogs

“Retailers who aren’t engaging customers through social media could be missing the boat” (…) “Twitter, Facebook and blogs are becoming increasingly popular with moms as they search for coupons or deals and keep in touch with loved ones. The web provides efficient, convenient ways for brands to stay in front of their most loyal shoppers and attract new ones.”
Mike Gatti, Executive Director, RAMA

Spot on!
Now, the most interesting part for marketers: 64% like ads (or feeling neutral about) on Facebook, says the Lucid Marketing study. Meaning, Facebooking moms are apparently open to get in touch with brands and marketers – if they take their wants and needs into account. The ‘social moms’ are getting engaged when they search for exclusive deals (i.e. coupons and discounts). Apart from that, these studies indicate that companies addressing moms could replace old loyalty programs. I am sure, this is a great opportunity. But don’t forget to provide sustainable conversation – moms hate it not to be taken serious in their job at-home.

Case Study: Social Media zur Lead Generierung

Eine aktuelle Fallstudie von Breakingpoint (THX to Jeff Bullas) unterstreicht die weitreichenden Möglichkeiten, die das Social Web bei der Lead Generierung offeriert. Im Mittelpunkt der Strategie stehen dabei als taktische Massnahmen integrierte Emailkampagnen und Social Media Ansätze, welche über verschiedene Plattformen angegangen werden. Die Messung der Ergebnisse zeigt vorzeigbare Zahlen…

55% aller Leads kommen von Inbound Web Visits
75% der durch Marketing beeinflußten Pipeline kommen von Inbound Web Leads

Das Fallbeispiel “verordnet” 6 Social Media Schritte, die den Sales Funnel füllen:

1. Erstelle ein Blog, um anzufangen und nimm an der Konversation teil.
2. Setze einen aktiven Twitter-Account auf.
3. Erstelle eine LinkedIn Gruppe (oder Facebook Page, abhängig von deiner Demographie) – Anmerkung: XING Gruppe in Europa ist sicherlich auch nicht verkehrt.
4. Modifiziere Deine Strategie für Pressemitteilungen für Blogger Coverage
5. Promote Social Media Channels auf Deiner Firmen Webseite und in Email Signaturen
6. Messe die Größe der Social Media Accounts und des Web-Traffic

Die Ergebnisse der Social Media Kampagne machen klar, daß es einen starken Zusammenhang zwischen der Nutzung von Social Media Channeln und dem Wachstum des Web-Traffics sowie der Leads gibt. Das Besondere daran ist, daß der Zuwachs des Traffics sich in der Mehrzahl der Leads niedergeschlagen hat. Hier die Ergebnisse nach sechs Monaten Laufzeit:

10,230 Unique Blog Page Views in Q3
280 Twitter Follower
141 Mitglieder in ihrer LinkedIn Gruppe
155% Erhöhung der Unique Visitor

Die Aufsplittung der generierten Leads…

55% Inbound Web
23% Messen
20.5% Email
1.5% Seminare

Durch Marketing beeinflußte Pipeline…

75% Inbound Web
17% Email
4% Seminare
4% Messen

Spot On!
Die Zahlen wirken sehr überzeugend und zeigen die Möglichkeiten, die dem Social Web bei der Lead Generierung beigemessen werden können. Man darf bei der gesamten Euphorie ein paar Dinge nicht vergessen: Die saubere Trennung der Lead-Ursprünge dürfte noch schwierig nachzuvollziehen sein. Und es stellt sich immer die Frage, wieviele der generierten Kontakte man als bestehende Kunden hatte oder ein Salesteam als “Datenbank-Leichen” über Jahre mit sich herumschleppt. Dennoch kann man die Aktivierung solcher Kontakte mittels Social Media als einen fast noch größeren Erfolg im Vergleich zu kostspieligen Outbound-Aktionen werten. Natürlich wäre es wichtig zu wissen, welchen Aufwand an Personal und Budgets man hinter die Anstrengungen gepackt hat im Vergleich zu traditionellen Marketing-Strategien zur Lead Generierung.

PS: Da habe ich Kyle Flaherty (Marketingleiter von BreakingPoint) mal drauf angesprochen. Hier ist seine Antwort

Study: Social Network access at work? Teens expect it!

social-networks-sepia1Your company thinks about limiting or restricting the access of social networks during working time? You better have a second thought about it…

A recent study states that for the net generation social networking has become a crucial part of their business life. It is so central to their lifestyle that it becomes one of the main decision criteria when weighing job offers.

The Junior Achievement/Deloitte Teen Ethics Survey shows that 88% of teenagers use social networks on a daily basis. 58% of the teenagers surveyed said that they would consider the ability to access social networks when considering a job offer.

Business decision makers in companies should be aware of the fact that this might become a central question in recruiting talks. Teenagers will definitely make decision pro or contra a job on considerations about having the ability to access Facebook, Twitter, and the lot when applying for jobs.

Spot On!
Teenagers don’t use social networks to waste time witht heir peers, or even be unproductive. The main reasons for the use becomes clear when taking a close look at the results. 51% of the surveyed teens use social networks to help others. And 29% use the social benefit to create awareness for a cause. So, if you think of improving customer service, you should consider these facts and try to transfer the social abilities of the networks in order to build a stable customer communication world – with the net generation.

IKEA, Facebook and photos

The ‘mantra’ of this blog and my vision is: connecting offline and online. I remember being at IKEA some days ago and thought about the idea to take photos of typical IKEA people.

So, there was this mid-aged couple sitting on a sofa in the middle of the big round tour paths. They did not bother about the hundreds of people passing by. I saw them and thought: How long have they been sitting there? And all of a sudden the woman takes out of her ruck-sack a thermos jug, two mugs and sandwiches. No lie! And be sure… these two were really relaxed and it seemed to be ‘living’ the IKEA dream.

I would have loved to take a picture of them but they did not want to be ‘in the internet’. Shame…

Why do I tell you that? IKEA started a well-thought promotion that let’s users win stuff by tagging photos of IKEA rooms on Facebook. (Agency: Forsman & Bodefors).