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A recent study by SmartBrief revealed that there are eight social media trends that provide greater insight into the social media behaviours, beliefs and challenges of the businesses that utilize the medium. The study which was conducted in participation with Summit Limited carried the survey out among 6000 of its readers across various industries utilizing the social media. The first of the trend is the fact that companies are still new to social media. More then 66.5% have adapted to social mediums in the past 1 and half years. Out of which half of them stated they had started utilizing the medium only in the last year or so and around 20% stated they were on to it only in the past 13 to 18 months. The second trend stated that most companies seemed to rely on the ‘Big 5’ of social media i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Blogs as practically the whole world is logged into one or the other or all of them at once. But this may not be completely ideal as niche groups like Flickr get left out. The third trend suggested that companies required at least 2 years to make them completely acquainted and acclimatized to the social media optimisation domain and gain suitable confidence. More then 20% of the companies using social media for two odd years stated that the whole period was required to incorporate the social media into their business model while 50% stated that they had a fully developed social media strategy in that period. An unfortunate trend that seems to come fourth on this list is the fact that companies prefer to broadcast rather then connect with their target audience. As brand building seems to be the most required service from the social mediums, companies prefer to bombard the user with product information instead of understanding their needs and problems. The social media prides itself on connecting individuals globally to not take advantage of this unique connectivity is huge deterrent for all companies. The fifth and most interesting trend is that any  SEO company prefers to internally adopt social media practices rather then outsourcing to agencies proficient in social media optimizations. Most of the surveyed companies opted to create and execute their social media strategy using internal resources. Marketing, communications and advertising agencies seemed to prefer agencies while businesses find it more comfortable to internalize the social media service. Taking help from specialized agencies could help build the business confidence in social media faster then the current speed. The obstacles in the path of social media adoption seem to feature as the sixth trend wherein lack of management support and confidentiality create the main problems. 33% of the respondents were revealed as non decision-makers and 14.7% stated “management resistance” as one of the obstacles. To add to this, 33.1% pointed to “confidentially issues” as a reason for not adopting social media. Companies still find it difficult to cope with employee social media usage. Seventh trend is the lack of social media measurement on the return on investment of businesses. Less then 15% of the businesses measure their return on investment, while over 33% do not do so. The struggle involves the identifying what to measure, method of measurement along with the interpretation of the data. Measurement seems to be focused on usage and incoming traffic. Lacking confidence in their social media strategy seems to be the eighth and last trend on the list. More then 60% of the surveyed respondents do not seem to have faith in the social media strategy adopted by their organization. 14.2% described their strategies as “very effective,” while a low 7.3% described them as “very revenue generating” on average. The most obvious reason being the internalized resource being used by the businesses instead of specialists who understand social media. Previous Post: Varying roles of Social Consumer
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Branding has always been vitally important for any product or company. Branding through social media has just become the latest fad. Of course that depends on the understanding and imbibing the new media as an effective branding medium which is more or less based on the organization’s culture and the region its present in. But it’s a given fact that branding using Facebook and Twitter has gained a steady momentum. Understanding that the online medium is quite different from the traditional medium is quite imperative to the understanding of its target audience. Companies are still traditionally stuck on the fact that they want to reach their ‘audience’ without realizing that branding through social media reach people with their own personal agendas. This divides the social media audiences into fans, followers and friends which narrows the brand reach effect and value. Therefore it would be seemingly wise to differentiate the online target groups based on the varying social consumption i.e. influencers, decision makers, peers, advisers, idea generators, adversaries, advocates and customers. Business promotion using the social mediums requires the conversion of the 3fs i.e. friends, fans and followers to the 4As i.e. action, advisor, affinity and advocacy. In a recent study by ExactTarget, differences between the 3Fs were discussed keeping in mind the unique attributes of consumers using Facebook, email and Twitter. The study also includes the customer loyalty that each influence. Two questions were put forward by the study: – Are internet users more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a subscriber, fan or follower? – Would you recommend a brand or product after connecting with the company on Twitter, Facebook, or through opt-in email? Analysis on the first question revealed that on Twitter 37% said yes, 31% were indifferent and 32% said that it was unlikely; Users on Facebook revealed that only 17% agreed, 34% were on the fence, and a staggering 49% disagreed; while analysis on email users revealed that 27% agreed to make a purchase, 41% remained on the fence and 32% stated they wouldn’t purchase. The second question analysis came up with a much closer set of statistics. On Twitter users revealed that 33% agreed to promote the company products after becoming subscribers, 35% were unsure while 31% refused to recommend the products. On Facebook 21% users were ready to promote, 32% were on the wall, and 47% were against the idea of promotion. Email user analysis revealed that 24% would promote the company they liked, 40% were unsure and 36% stated their disagreement to promote. The study of the two questions reveal that though Twitter has a much smaller group of subscribers as compared to Facebook and email, Twitter subscribers are more likely to turn influencers compared to the other two mediums. Influencers it should be noted are ideal targets of all companies looking to advocate their product. Twitter has started that business.twitter.com which offers information regarding Twitter features, tools and promoted products which will enable companies to optimally use Twitter. The study concludes that social consumers require information, direction and unique incentives which will influence their viewpoint on a product. previous Post: Blogging, a Key Marketing Tool that needs to follow Continuity
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