By adaptive - February 29th, 2012
Hi all, Hope everyone is well? Plenty of activity across the social web this week… Social media users rationalising their groups [P]romoting a corporation’s social media presence is now...
Hope everyone is well?
Plenty of activity across the social web this week…
Social media users rationalising their groups
Promoting a corporation’s social media presence is now the focus of all organisations, but a new trend is emerging that all brand owners should be paying close attention to. The latest survey from Pew Internet illustrates that social media users are becoming more discerning about which companies and individuals they follow.
About two-thirds of Internet users use social networking sites (SNS) and all the major metrics for profile management are up, compared to 2009. What is telling is that 63% of them have deleted people from their “friends” lists, up from 56% in 2009; 44% have deleted comments made by others on their profile; and 37% have removed their names from photos that were tagged to identify them.
Clearly brand owners now need to do much more to engage with their followers to not only hold their attention, but to ensure their relationship is long and productive. Privacy is still a major concern for social media users, with more than half of social networking site users (58%) say their main profile is set to private so that only friends can see it; 19% set their profile to partially private so that friends of friends can view it; and 20% say their main profile is set to be completely public. Women who use SNS are more likely than men to set the highest restrictions (67% vs. 48%).
Analysing your users journey
With so many social media platforms available to consumers, tracking which services they use and how they arrive at your site is vital information that all corporations should be tracking. Often forgotten is the journey that a customer will take to arrive at a transaction with your company. Many steps could have taken place before any interaction is possible. Understanding that journey is now vital.
The EPiServer study – The rise of the community manager – reveals the majority of businesses are still turning to in-house marketing employees to manage communities and social media. At the moment, 51% of social media or community management is carried out by a marketing manager, 21% by a PR executive and 21% of respondents admitted the role was given to someone in IT. However this looks set to change, as 28% of businesses already employ someone dedicated to social media in-house, and a further 41% said they were looking to appoint one in the next year.
"These results clearly show that social media is no longer the new kid on the block," said Maria Wasing, VP of Marketing Europe & Sales Operations, EPiServer. "However, while an increasing number of businesses are embracing social media, there are clearly areas for improvement if they are to take full advantage of these channels. Managing social media can be challenging and time-consuming, so it's vital to put in place a dedicated resource, along with the right tools and platforms to ensure multiple channels can be updated and managed with ease."
Much has been made about the ‘conversations’ that companies now need to have with their customers. Engagement can result in positive sentiment that has a real-world commercial component. Companies must follow their customers as they move across the social network space to understand their journey and ultimately to promote commercial relationships based on personal interactions and not just marketing messages.
Online gaming users fall in 2011
The latest statistics to come from HIS that looked closely at online gaming on Facebook reveal that the honeymoon period may be over. The last two years has seen growth, but figures from 2011 show a marked decline in numbers.
Steve Baily, Analyst, Games, HIS said: “2011 serves as a reminder of how dynamic an opportunity Facebook game operation remains, but also highlights the risk of dependence on a non-specialist platform. With the gaming audience of the social network having shown little evidence of growth when compared to the previous two years, a certain ceiling has quickly fallen into place, raising barriers to entry and forcing operators to find ways to up their capability for acquisition as well as deepen tactics for retention and monetisation.
“Facebook has made modifications to its platform to encourage uptake of its game apps (such as its launch of the mobile SDK in the fourth quarter), but the major impacts of 2011 will be that of overall slowdown and further downward pressure placed on prospective return on investment. Regardless, the year still has some lively movements, with several operators seeing strong growth, and others sitting out a consistent decline."
Gamification does, however continue to be one of the touch points that corporations can use to gain instant recognition. Just as with other forms of entertainment, the users of a platform will move as new titles are released. The chart below illustrates this perfectly showing how the users of the Zynga platform move as new games appeared.
What impact the IPOs by Facebook and Zynga on their performance remains to be seen. Says Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games at HIS: “Not only will this preliminary filing completely legitimize the social network games market, which has experienced tremendous growth since its inception three years ago, it will also underline the game sector’s increasing shift away from a traditional product-based business to a digital, online and service-based growth opportunity. The filing will also demonstrate the games sector’s central role in growing and engaging users of social networks. I believe that Facebook’s incredible growth in users has been aided significantly by the rollout of its app platform, a central element of which is represented by gaming titles from Zynga and other companies.”
Video is now a mainstay of all corporations’ social media output. Unruly Media have quantified the value of video stating in their white paper that brands can expect around a 7% uplift in brand recall after a consumer has watched a video. What’s more video that has been recommended by others is infinitely more powerful, as viewers pay more attention. And Burst Media found that nearly a third of users would watch more video if the quality was better. Viral videos continue to be popular, but the trend is for longer videos of much higher quality.
Marketing budgets of corporations in the Middle East are expected to grow this year with social media expected to play an increasing role in this market sector. The State of Digital Marketing in MENA report shows that company culture is preventing 29% of companies from investing further in digital, indicating that some companies may be slow to adapt to the changing digital environment. However, social media is still in its infancy in this region. Middle Eas, companies will invest in the analytics tools to make the most of the wealth of data available to them
The massive surge in popularity that Pinterest is enjoying could be masking copyright infringement on a massive scale. As the service encourages users to pin interesting images, photos and other materials that interest them to their board, but that they may not own the copyright of, a legal issue may soon arise. Pinterest may not be in the same league as Napster, but until a test case comes to court, the jury is still out on how legal its activities actually are.
Until next time….
The Useful Social Media team.