By Liam Dowd - October 29th, 2014

Finding and retaining influential customers, Twitter Q3 results and why businesses still struggle to show social value

Record sales at Twitter, but business slowing

Twitter has reported its Q3 sales showing strong growth with an increase of 114% to £224m). This is also a near (23%) increase year-on-year. Twitter continues to slow its expansion attracting 4.8% of new users, but this is slowing when compared to last quarter’s 6.3%. Also, the company is not yet in the black posting a loss of £109m up from £39.7m when compared to last year.
Third Quarter 2014 Product Highlights
Users: Twitter launched its biggest update to the profile experience on the iPhone with an increased focus on bios, tweets and photos, making it easy for users to get a glimpse into the people they care most about on Twitter, resulting in an 83% increase in profile impressions on iOS.
Advertisers: Twitter launched a number of new advertiser tools, including: a Promoted Video beta, which streamlines video playback and brings a one-tap viewing experience to users' timelines; a test of the "Buy" button, allowing users to complete an entire purchase directly from a tweet; objective-based campaigns, reports and pricing, which make it easier for advertisers to create and optimize successful marketing campaigns and pay only for the actions that are aligned with their marketing objectives; and new tools to make it even easier to create, manage and activate tailored audiences on Twitter.
International Expansion: Twitter continued the international expansion of Twitter Ads to 12 additional markets in Central, Continental and Eastern Europe.
In addition, Twitter entered 12 new countries with its self-service ad products for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs): Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru in Latin America, and Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in Europe. Twitter's self serve ad products now serve marketers in 20 countries that, in aggregate, account for more than 45% of its global monthly active user base.
Developers: Twitter announced its first mobile developer conference, Flight, where it subsequently unveiled Fabric, a modular, integrated SDK that combines the functionality of Crashlytics, the MoPub ad serving platform, and a new Twitter SDK to help developers build and deliver scalable, stable apps with state of the art app monitoring, mobile identity and monetization services.
Acquired Companies: Finally, Twitter closed the acquisitions of CardSpring, a payments infrastructure company, TapCommerce, a leader in mobile retargeting and re-engagement advertising, and SnappyTV, a platform for video editing and distribution.
Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, said: "We had another very strong financial quarter. I’m confident in our ability to build the largest daily audience in the world, over time, by strengthening the core, reducing barriers to consumption and building new apps and services."


Finding and retaining influential customers

Every corporation has come to realise that advocacy is a powerful marketing tool that can be leveraged to deliver wide commercial advantages. Locating, maintaining and nurturing these influential groups of consumers are the subject of an infographic from Ninja Metrics.
Ninja Metrics suggests three tips to find and retain these influential customers.
Find influential customers with big data analytics
When a company integrates big data platforms into their business model they can see a 23-fold increase in customers.
Mobile advertising campaigns
After identifying influential consumers, it’s best to target them with share friendly advertising. More than 50% of sharing comes from mobile devices.
Be visual
Posts that contain visual content, like images or video, receive 6.5 times the engagement of plain text posts.


Businesses still struggling to show social value

The Hootsuite Social Business Benchmark showed that the majority of organizations surveyed believe social media is critical to staying competitive and engaging audiences, yet they face challenges in deriving value from the data they mine from social and aligning departments.
  • Organizations realize the importance of social media, however, many struggle to capitalize on the data mined from users.
  • Organizations cite social as important: The majority of respondents (88%) agree that social media is important to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Data insights are rarely used: Less than half (40%) of these organizations said they were using data gained from social media to improve their bottom line. Sixty per cent stated they were challenged to find actionable use for data collected.
  • Use of social media is becoming more widespread across all departments, yet departments are not always working together.
  • Social is increasing across departments: Nearly three in four respondents (72%) agree the number of departments using social media is growing.
  • Aligning campaigns is a challenge: A majority (64%) of respondents whose social media strategy is at least somewhat aligned stated that aligning strategy across departments was difficult.
  • Strategy does not come easy: 62% of respondents said that creating a social media strategy was difficult in the first place.
  • Social media is the new way to interact with customers and influencers.
  • Building relationships and reputation: A majority of respondents (84%) view enhancing relationships with existing customers as an area social media can contribute value to, as well as the ability to learn about the company’s reputation (81%), and to monitor external communication (79%).
  • Social viewed as best vehicle to engage with audiences: 73% of respondents value social media’s capability to resolve customer complaints and questions.
“While social media is a part of everyday life for consumers, effectively integrating social in the workplace hasn't been as easy,” said Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite. “Nearly all survey respondents agreed that social data can improve the bottom line, yet turning that data into something actionable can be a challenge. Our focus on building an intuitive platform and education solutions is to address this problem and help organizations unlock the rewards of social media across the enterprise.”
The full infographic can be downloaded here

Businesses still don’t consider themselves to be social

IBM Center for Applied Insights study, “Charting the social universe: Social ambitions drive business impact,” found that as many as 74% of social decision makers recognized that a social business uses social technology to foster collaboration among customers, employees and partners, but only 20% felt their companies were truly social.
According to the study there are five specific business goals:
  1. Drive internal and external collaboration
  2. Build, educate and protect the workforce.
  3. Understand and engage customers.
  4. Mine community expertise.
  5. Improve business processes.
“There’s no uniform order in which organizations pursue the five social ambitions,” the study concluded. “Each company chooses where to begin based on its own unique needs and the market conditions in which it’s operating. However, the most commonly deployed social capabilities are those required to drive internal and external collaboration. This is a logical starting point for many enterprises, since it provides a robust foundation for accomplishing higher-order social ambitions. Conversely, the least commonly deployed social capabilities are those required to improve business processes, implying that it’s the most challenging social ambition to attain.”
IBM Social Insights
Until next time….
The Useful Social Media team.

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