The Harvard Business Review is out with a report called"The New Conversation: Taking Social Media From Talk To Action" that is worth a read talking about the growth of social media usage among companies: The exponential growth of social media, from blogs, Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and YouTube, offers organizations the chance to join a conversation with millions of customers around the globe every day. This promise is why nearly two-thirds of the 2,100 companies who participated in a recent survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services said they are either currently using social media channels or have social media plans in the works. But many still say social media is an experiment, as they try to understand how to best use the different channels, gauge their effectiveness, and integrate social media into their strategy. But when they say experimenting, it really sounds like feeling around blindly hoping to find something according to some of the results: Three-quarters (75%) of the companies in the survey said they did not know where their most valuable customers were talking about them. Nearly one-third (31%) do not measure effectiveness of social media. Less than one-quarter (23%) are using social media analytic tools. A fraction (7%) of participating companies are able to integrate social media into their marketing activities. These should all be huge red flags in any experiment as they represent numerous missed opportunities to capitalize on their efforts in the future. Follow me below the fold for more.Business themselves admit their efforts are still flawed: “It’s hard to define value when we are still trying to measure it. We will get it eventually, but right now we are stabbing in the dark for measurement criteria.” The difficulty in measuring is the frequent desire for instant results. Traditional marketing efforts have been built over time, but adopting new media doesn't lead to instant gains. It's the self described "effective users" that are beginning to get it: Within the survey, a small group of companies (12%) who identified themselves as “effective users” of social media shared some common practices. (Figure 8) They have moved beyond seeing social media as a “shiny object” or fad, and have started to see it as another part of their overall marketing strategy. While experimenting with their own social media offerings, they were more likely to be measuring their efforts as well as the social conversations about them. Like anything with business, you have to make the investment before you can realize a payoff. The only way to stop stabbing in the dark is the turn on the lights and bring in a guide. You wouldn't have someone that fixes the plumbing build the whole house, you would want them to focus on the plumbing because it's what they know. Until businesses come to this realization, they will continue to have difficulty trying to define success. The Business report review contains a good deal more information and like I said, is worth a read.
An interesting story in Forbestakes a look at the top 25 business schools and how they are embracing, or failing to embrace social media in their course offerings: According to ComScore, social media now reaches over 82% of the worlds online population. Nearly 1 out of every 5 minutes spent online is used to engage on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn – along with other social media activities. Approximately 33% of US mobile users access social media on mobile devices. And a century of video is uploaded to YouTube every 10 days. Yet 36% of the top 25 business schools do not have a single social media or social business focused class. And most of the rest have only cursory coverage. Only one of those schools even had social media as a required course, the rest have it as an elective in their marketing programs. You can see a good INFOGRAPHIC on which schools are buying in:
Edison Research released their 2011 Social Habit study, looking at the usage of Facebook, Twitter, mobil social usage and location based services. Here are some highlights: Social Media now reaches the majority of Americans 12+, with 52% having a profile on one or more social networks. This figure is driven largely by Facebook, which is now used by over half (51%) of Americans 12+. Twitter is as familiar to Americans as Facebook (with 92% and 93% familiarity, respectively); however, Twitter usage stands at 8% of Americans 12+. Approximately 46 million Americans 12+ now check their social media sites and services several times every day. Much of this frequent usage is driven by mobile access. 56% of frequent social network users own smartphones, and 64% of frequent social networkers have used a mobile phone to update their status on one or more social networks. Location-based sites and services (such as Foursquare and Facebook Places) are familiar to 30% of Americans 12+, and used by 4% of Americans 12+. One in four social network users knowingly follow brands, products or services on social networks. For those who use these sites and services several times per day, this figure increases to 43%. You can see the full study below, but it's clear there is an audience using social media that your business or organization should be communicating with. The Social Habit 2011 by Edison Research View more presentations from webby2001
The NHL and NBC Sports have announced that they are going to try and further engage their viewers by integrating social media into the TV broadcast of their 2011 Winter Classic hockey game between the Penguins and the Capitals. We get the news from MediaPost.com: "We're running the social and broadcast integration to test the effectiveness and examine the data," DiLorenzo says. "It should grow our Facebook Fan base, because people must 'like' the page to play. It also will build a window into the event for those who may not be in front of the television." I'll be interested to see whether they release any analysis of what the data shows and how effective the campaign really is: "Aside from looking at how people interact in social communities, this campaign will determine how to leverage fans to influence connections from offline to television to Facebook or Twitter," says Eric Vieira, associate director at Rocket XL. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so if this endeavor is successful, we should all get ready for efforts like this in other sports and shows. It seems like a logical next step in integration, but making sure businesses are able to see the benefit to the bottom line will certainly determine the true impact of this latest experiment.
Gilbert Direct Marketing posted this very well done presentation on slideshare looking at how LinkedIn lets you network in the 21st century: In the presentation, they classify users of LinkedIn as casual users or power users and identify ways to help make yourself a power user of the platform. Businesses are increasingly utilizing Linked in to explore career opportunities, find groups and individuals of similar interests, or just expand their network in general. LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool if you decide to use it and this presentation helps you to use it well should you choose. They close with this summary slide: That last point is really the most important if you want to realize social media success. One piece of the puzzle will not create the full picture.