Social Media Monitoring: Still a difficult topic for companies…

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social-media-monitoringReading the latest posts on social media and social networking, should make social media monitoring companies really happy.

A recent informal, small poll by MarketingProfs shows that companies are not measuring their social media ROI in an adequate way. Plus: The fourth “Power to the People: Social Media Tracker” study by UniversalMcCann shows that more and more internet users worldwide are engaged in social networks. For companies this makes it even more difficult to monitor the activities of their employees – if at all possible for big companies…

The MarketingProfs poll states that 80% of respondents replied that social measurement was either „important“ or „somewhat important“ to their business. But 70% admitted that their companies are not doing enough to track their social media activities – if it was blogs, Twitter, Facebook, content-sharing sites. So the final conclusion is that ROI results are not promising business success. Herein lies the future of social media monitoring companies.

The reason for this discrepancy between success and measurement ROI results is not the lack of resources only. The main leading problems are…
30% lack of resources
25% „don’t know what to measure“
20% „social media isn’t primarily about ROI“
14% lack of tools

„While social media marketing remains hugely popular, it’s clear from these results that few have confidence in their ability to track and measure it from an ROI perspective,“ said Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer for MarketingProfs. „Until marketers figure out the measurement game, brands may resist increasing their social media investments.“

activity-wwTaking this from a user perspective, the UniversalMcCann study shows that 62,5% of active worldwide internet users ages 16 to 54 have a social network profile. Thus, companies are in need of evaluating and listening to their employee’s activities on these social networks – especially to their top manager’s words. At some of these networks it is easy as these platforms can be monitored quite easily but others have ‚closed front-doors‘ which makes it easy to monitor the words being chatted on these platforms.

Spot On!
To have a social media monitoring strategy in place becomes more and more important for companies. Although there is a decline, consolidation or stagnation in the growth of social networks and social media activities as of the impossibility to be everywhere… – the challenge for companies to know how their employees are talking about brands, products or the company is still an important part of the modern web strategy, and their brand and product reputation. Web-strategist Jon Samsel just published which social media monitoring tools are being used by the top agencies and brands at the moment. Some good orientation for companies and some interesting reference for social media monitoring companies…

PS: Some days ago, I found this presentation on social media monitoring which gives some kind of overview on some of the well-known players and what social media monitoring is all about. A good point to start thinking about your company, right?

News Update – Best of the Day

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Retweet becomes more powerful to many people who want to support and show their honor to, in most of the cases user-generated, tweets and posts. Jon Samsel wrote on the power of ‚Retweet: Harnessing the Word of Mouth Marketing Power of Twitter‘. A must read…

In an AdAge interview the selfless guru of wisdom-of-the-crowd publishing Jimmy Wales talks about ‚How marketers get things wrong‘. It becomes obvious again that the loss of control is the critical point in the discussion around enterprise 2.0 and social media. This loss of control through social media cannot free brands for an open dialogue with customers.

Nokia goes Web 2.0 with TV spot. No, not sponsored by Nokia in my favor, but carrying a good message.

Top IT Consultants: What is your Twitter strategy?

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Yesterday, we were focusing on the Twitter strategy from top strategy consultants, today we will finish this report with checking the activities from the top IT consultants. If these companies don’t use Twitter there is no reason saying they are the ‚technical specialists in communication‘. We will merely focus on the official company accounts and the possible company brand accounts.

One thing before we start: Compared to the strategy consulting companies, IT consulting companies are quite ‚open-minded‘ about the share economy. There is no hiding in the communication fields of the old economy. This is -in most cases- talking markets, showing transparency, creating value for the web busisness community and believing in the power of social software.

Let’s make the case…

Top IT consultant companies (in alphabetical order)
The questions that The Strategy Web asked these companies were like… Do you have a corporate Twitter account, how do you use it and what is your strategy behind it? Please find the answers, some were translated into English by The Strategy Web …

Company Account
The first impression counts in business, the people say… „My personal Twitter strategy I learned directly from MC Hammer – ‚Forget the number of Tweeters – just stay interesting!‘.“ Paul Dunay, Director of Global Field Marketing at Bearingpoint, knows of personal branding, reputation marketing and the changing world of communication in the sense of ‚getting things gone differently‚.

Let’s talk about the GovTwit account first. This is one of the most excellent examples of a Twitter directory that probably exists on the web with Twitter IDs and links to official government blogs and URLs noted in Twitter bios. Beraingpoint knows how to share and all companies can learn from that example..
Nevertheless, the second one, the brand Twitter account, seems quite down to earth like a simple press release-RSS-push. But there is a clear strategy line as this Twitter account is the access point and traffic driver for the corporate blog which lives and broadcasts social media.

Company Account
So, there are two different interesting Twitter streams: the first one for press releases, news on personal and management changes, and it picks up RTs of stories around Cisco from followers (Nice give-and-take scenario!). The second one (start Dec. 2008) pushes their Cisco AXP contest for application developers who are meant to „think outside the box“. No, the top brand account belongs to someone else. And Cisco started early sending tweets out… so this is to everone: you better hurry up to get your brand account.

Cisco has defintely entered the web 2.0 scenario big way. Using different social media like blogs, FlickR and sure, Twitter – to get all these activities around modern communication and messaging fly high. Twitter seems to be adding value to their marketing, their pr, and pushes corporate branding.

Company Account

The man behind the corporate Gartner account is Andrew Spender -Vice President, Corporate Communications- and this company has more than 60 analysts (!) on Twitter. The corporate Twitter account from Gartner mixes internal knowledge, pr releases, communication on consulting issues, hints to their analysts and shares company experience from events and career opportunities. It’s the aggregator of their global Twitter and business knowledge satellites.

„Briefly, we use Twitter to communicate with a broad range of people. This includes IT end-users, technology providers, journalists, bloggers, etc. It has become a very effective way of developing a direct, credible, authentic two-way relationship with people who have an interest in what we have to say about the business of technology. Twitter is a great way for anyone to engage directly with our analysts and we’re always listening for feedback!“ (Andrew Spender)
PS: Again, the most obvious account belongs to someone else

Company Account
Many! – … and the brand account…?

There is nearly nothing that Twitter does not support for IBM: business sections here, here and here, events here and here plus community building accounts here. Is the brand account changing it’s owner? There were more follower, there is no actual IBM logo and there is definitely something going on…

IBM is a very active user of Twitter. It becomes obvious from the named examples that IBM uses new media for their communication strategy – not surprising as collaboration software is part of their business. „Social media tools are impossible to be taken away from an innovative communication concept.“ says Petra Bauerle, Web Managing Editor at IBM – yes, she twitters as well.

Company Account

Similar ’strategy‘ that IBM has: Twitter for big events like Open World and it’s push as well as it’s blog), for tech communities around Oracle Technology Network (OTN) as well as an ‚cocktail-mixing‘ aggregator account. Wanna see all Oracle Twitterati? Go ahead… and check their wiki with Oracle and non-Oracle people.

„Generally, as a company, we encourage communication among our employees, customers, partners, and others – and blogs, social networks, discussion forums, wikis, video, and other social media can be a great way to stimulate conversation and discussion. They’re also an invaluable tool for experienced Oracle users who want to share information and tips on the use of Oracle products. (…) I’m not aware that we have a formal, documented plan for the use of Twitter, just as we don’t for other social media, but we definitely have a level of participation, since it can be a good way to reach out to and engage with a variety of communities.“ Steve Walker, Vice President EMEA

Company Account
None – brand account options difficult.

„At the moment, the trend washes Twitter in the spheres of a brand name like Google: Twitter is not only seen a web-service for micro-blogging but a synonym for for the dialog in 140 words – you „twitter“ like you „googled“! This trend makes the service and the micro-blogging attractive for a bigger user group.“ Torsten Schollmayer, Senior Associate Marketing & Analytics

Sapient sees the value of also for business accounts for the benefit of social information finding and -exchange, and supporting own brand building – Twitter offers direct and konvergent 1:1 and 1:n-dialogue with clients, competitors and specialists. That’s the reason why Sapient will be on Twitter in a short time period in order not to lose innovation leadership in te market of interactive consulting. BUT: The brand account is gone, so we will wait and see what the digital consulting experts will be doing… The question remains: Why do they start so late on Twitter?

Company Account
Many – company does not make them public as project-based…

„The motivation for our involvement in Twitter and other micro-blogging tools is connected with expertise. Through the use of these tools, experts of Siemens IT Solutions and Services can not only exchange information or present their expertise, but also interact with customers and stakeholders. Networking and open innovations play an important role within the Siemens group, therefore we also designed the open source tool ESME (Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment), which can be use by every enterprise.“ Janine Krebs, Media Relations

Company Account
None – brand account options difficult… or not?!

Unisys pr agency answered briefly: „Unisys has decided not to go with Twitter. The companies opinion goes along the lines that Twitter is interesting, generally speaking, but up to now, there is no response from clients to head for Twitter.“

I am sure there will be some activity when they have been reading about the Twitter options in this post… if so, tell us in a comment, ok?!

Spot On!
We can learn a lot about the pr and career chances, capabilities and possibilities of Twitter from the IT consulting companies, and nearly all of them are using Twitter in a big way. If you need some more background on the Twitter effect for the benefit of your marketing, you should listen to Jon Samsel’s advice. Generally, the especially the real-time business benefit is obvious…

Before companies even join, they can search on Twitter and monitor what people are saying for any term or terms about their employees, their company, their industry, their branch etc. – and then simply put the results into a RSS feed reader.

The real time focus makes it one of the most valuable resources in fast moving industry days. And it tells companies very early when customers have a problem with their communication (see Johnson&Johnson Motrin example) or customer service.

Seeing all the positive aspects… there is one thing that needs to be said about the no. 1 micro-blogging tool: All the positivism in mind and seeing the wonderful new world of communication, Twitter can also be a time-thief if not treated carefully. For some managers professional support will make sense. Tweets attract your personal psyche, shake their body of words and love the power of anticipation in dissipation just like … does.

Anyway, happy to hear what you think of these IT consultants strategies…

The Twitterview – web-strategy by Jon Samsel in 140 max

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One-on-One Interview with Jon Samsel, Webstrategist

Jon Samsel is a social networker, blogger and author with 16 years of experience as a senior- online marketer and tech consultant at Fortune 100 companies like Ford, Apple and Countrywide. He is currently a Senior Vice President at Bank of America. Jon is the author of four books and tweets on a regular basis on topics such as social media, SEO, user experience design, website optimization and the art of writing.

As Jon Samsel is a bright writer, we have given him the challenge with my version of ‚The Twitterview‘. Why this…? The world loves Twitter – so, Jon please each question in 140 characters max…

Q: What does web-strategy mean to you?
Jon Samsel Web strategy is a set of guiding principles defining the course of an online venture that generates a desired pattern of decision making.

Q: Why does web-strategy become more important for companies?
Jon Samsel A good web strategy provides a clear roadmap so that resources can be aligned & goals achieved. The web=$. Revenue gained or costs saved.

Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges for a web-strategist?
Jon Samsel The biggest challenges are 1) Changing old school corporate thinking, 2) Finding the time to be smart about everything, 3) Proving results

Q: What are the 3 trends for web-business 3.0?
Jon Samsel The three trends for web-business 3.0 are: 1) Ubiquitous connectivity, 2) Multi-dimensional publishing, 3) Practicing transparency.

Q: What are the 3 most important technologies for your business?
Jon Samsel Tech tools I rely on: 1) Coding PHP, WordPress, AJAX, Flash), 2) Data feeds (XML, RSS, API), 3) Analytics (Omniture, Google Analytics)

Q: What is your advice on social media activities for companies?
Jon Samsel My advice is simple: 1) Experiment & participate, 2) Liberate your data and content, 3) Listen to your customers & fulfill their needs

Q: Will every company have a web-strategist in the future?
Jon Samsel Successful firms will embrace their web constituents, especially the key influencers, who will help guide their strategic decision-making.

Q: Why did you do the interview with The Strategy Web?
Jon Samsel I enjoyed the challenge of answering your questions in 140 characters or less. It forced me to be succinct & choose my words wisely.

If you want to learn from Jon Samsel, start reading his version of the updated book Interactive Writer’s Handbook. Writing For Interactive Media which is available in a neat 3D pdf-format on Jon’s blog.

Jon and me got tho know each other through my discussion on What is the biggest business benefit of Twitter?. He shared his good post The Twitter Effect: How 140 Character Micro-Blogging Can BeneTweet Your Company via a LinkedIn comment on the poll.

Jon, thank you very much for your time – good to be connected.

Note: The views expressed in this article do not represent the advice, views, opinions, or beliefs of Bank of America. Bank of America makes no claim of accuracy, takes no responsibility, and has no liability for any content on this page.