Technorati Media just shortly released its 2013 Digital Influence Report which is replacing the former annual “State of the Blogosphere” periodical.
The report explains in detail why inbound marketing is on the rise at the moment, and how it influences consumer behaviour.
“When it comes to community size, 54 percent of consumers agree that the smaller the community the greater the influence … The survey findings also indicate that many of those consumers are turning to blogs when looking to make a purchase. Blogs were found to be the third-most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, only behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). In fact, blogs were found to be the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for information on the Internet.”
Technorati makes clear what the real top influencers in digital marketing are doing in a different way than other marketers: 88% of the top influencers blog for themselves, and 52% have more than one blog. Furthermore, top Influencers are evaluating content differently when blogging. They keep monitoring different people, different blogs, different content sources in order to boost some extraordinary blogging experience.
When Richard Jalichandra, CEO of Technorati, was interviewed by Social Media Examiner, he states that close to 90% of all professional bloggers and 73% of bloggers are using Twitter as opossed to 14% of the general population. This also shows the high popularity and growth of the micro-blogging service.
But watch yourself what Richard tells us about influencers…
As I am doing many webinars and seminars on B2B Social Media, it is always good to get and share some of the information and data that will help marketers understand the opportunities of Social Media. The expensive outbound marketing tactics will lack behind to the cost-effective inbound marketing efforts that micro-blogging, blogs, videos and webinars could provide to prospects.
The challenge will be to enbable a cultural change inside the company where content, context and collaboration can grow. Where employees can create intelligent, educational, entertaining and remarkable input for their customers – and ideally they share it with the quantity and quality streams of their networks and social graphs.
The below infographic includes many of the B2B social media statistics. A clever approach from them to create an infographics which other people will be sharing, and thus spreading the word in favor of B2B Social Media blog, published by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen.
For some years, I have used a graphic by ShareThis to show how content is distributed, or as we say today: How content is shared. And sharing is important to generate buzz, companies and brands thought and Social Media experts made us think so. It still is but there a tiny differences which might affect your business impact…
ShareThis is sharing their latest sharing insights in cooperation with Starcom MediaVest Group and Rubinson Partners, and it seems the social web sky is not as blue as people thought. The ShareThis button offers many insights to the platform owners and how people use social tools and networks to share “their” content. And when you have the ability to analyse the sharing habits of over 300 million people and 1000 publishers a month who pass links with a ShareThis button, resulting in 7 billion pageviews a month, then there is definitely some trends you can make out…
The study shows that sharing now accounts for an estimated 10% of all Internet traffic and 31% of referral traffic to sites from search and social. However, search still is twice as big as social.
It is not surprising that Facebook rules the sharing process these days. In terms of clicking through to sites, Facebook now generates 38% of all sharing referral traffic. Email and Twitter come in at second with each 17%. However, Facebook does even better. 56% of all shared content comes from the leader in social networks. Email do 15% (down from 34%!) and Twitter at 8% (down from 12%).
But which social network does better in actual clicks? Twitter is better here: Links on the micro-blogging platform are clicked 4.9 times each, Facebook 4.3 times and email 1.7 times. It would be interesting to see if there are no numbers for social bookmarking platforms. I would like to see which of these platforms are resources for those who are the “first clickers and sharers”.
Why? The study puts a question mark behind the sharing philosophy that talks about the viral capabilities of networks. If people share a link, then the first level of people who get the link will click but if these firtst clickers pass it on, then the chance to get more attention and clicks falls massively. This shows the importance of brand advocates for the distribution of content but also for the pocesses inside your sales, marketing, HR and customer service teams. Most companies and brands still don’t understand the value of these business enablers.
The study gives advice which social networks are good for which sharing topics. On Facebook people like to share entertainment and shopping links whereas Twitter is more for business and health topics. People tend to share what they are most involved in, or what their conversations with friends, fans and followers are about. No difference to the offline world. Sharing is the future of business approval, and the modern definition of personality. People are not sharing everything, although some companies would love to see this. 80% of people share only one category of links. It is even less when it comes to clicking: More than 70% will just click on one category.
Do these numbers surprise us? Or would you share something you don’t LIKE?
Some Twitter campaigns from companies and brands are outstanding and become brilliant case studies. This one from a Turkish telecoms company keeps users engaged on the micro-blogging platform by using most common Twitter features. Just by removing post-it’s for a chance to win the phone, Twitter users spread the word around the new technology with 56,000 Tweets around the competition over the 3 days that the activity was run. The “crossword puzzle like” competition ended with users trying to get a celebrity to Retweet them to win the phone. Nice idea…!
However, there are some questions that arise from this Twitter campaign case study for me…
Are such campaigns only possible with heavy Twitter and mobile users?
Is this campaign buzz getting out of the inner circle of the heavy social web users?
What is the long lasting ROI effect this creates (if at all it does)?
Are such campaigns more efficient from a branding perspective than using PR briefings?
I am sure you can think of many more questions…, right?
If this is an outstanding social media case study, then it would be good to hear what makes this campigns so compelling? Wanna watch the video and give me your views? Really looking forward to it…
LuxuryDaily reports today that a 2010 Booz&Co. survey finds 27% of respondents would be willing to buy physical goods through social networking sites. The post advices luxury brands to start finding ways to turn “likes” into “buys” as social media is evolving as a direct commerce channel.
“Social media is likely to have its broadest and most measurable impact in the lead generation, conversion, and loyalty/service elements of a purchase transaction, not as a brand building or awareness activity. (….) Luxury brands often benefit from the social aspect of shopping – sharing shopping experiences, seeing what others have purchased and et cetera.” Fabian Seelbach, Senior Associate, Booz&Co.
China is obviously “not zuckerberged”. Qzone is the main social networking site by Chinese Internet giant Tencent (over 600 million QQ instant-messaging users). QQ accounts are a similar login hub like Google. With one account users can access Qzone and many other services the company offers (ecommerce, email, games, music, etc.). The most popular and expanding micro-blogging service seems to be Sina (Twitter is blocked in China). The saturation point for social networking in the top five EU countries is expected to come 2015.
Some people worry about Big Broter visions when talking about Social Media. The Pentagon created a robotic Hummingbird which can spy out gently, elegant and intelligent in a more traditional way…
The World Economic Forum will host its annual meeting in Davos from 26-30th of January 2011. Year on year prominent business people and politicians discuss at the event the state of the world from economics to political issues up to environment topics. In 2008, I have written about the first Social Media approach of the WEF. It became the most read blog post until today, probably as of the event’s popularity.
At the end of last year, I met Matthias Lüfkens at the LeWeb10 in Paris and I wanted to get some input on their Social Media learnings.
About two years ago, I have written about the World Economic Forum and your open social web-strategy. How do you think about your approach in 2008 today?
I think it was the right decision to engage the World Economic Forum on social networks. We are present on the key networks and now have 15.000 fans on Facebook, 13.000 subscribers on YouTube and 1.4 million followers on Twitter. We have shown that our engagement on social networks was not a short-lived PR operation but is a continuous effort to participate in the conversation.
What are the main achievements of your social web activities?
Beyond the number of friends, fans and followers the main achievement is to have given the general public a voice in the Forum. For three years running we have invited citizen journalists to attend our meetings. In 2010 Julia Lalla-Maharajh from the Orchid Project won the YouTube contest and had her own panel in the programme addressing her cause, the fight against female genital mutilation.
Where do you see the difference between PR people and bloggers from today’s point of view?
Social Media has blurred the lines between bloggers and PR people. Today anyone can have his voice heard through blogging or micro-blogging: the consumer, the blogger, the PR representative but also the CEO directly. If there is citizen journalism, there must also be room for CEO journalism, a new more transparent and engaging form of public relations.
What will be your highlights of the WEF 2011?
My highlight is to see how much Social Media has become part and parcel of our events. At the Social Media Corner participants are encouraged to reply to questions on YouTube and Facebook. Many are actively using Twitter to share their thoughts about the meeting. It will be interesting to see how many will check in on Facebook Places and Foursquare.
What is the value of the social web and active social medians for an event like the World Economic Forum?
Social Media has opened up the World Economic Forum events. We have effectively created a two-way direct dialogue between our participants and the general public.
Thank you for your time, Matthias!
It is undoubted that the Twitter users are the most influential crowd of people. A recent research by ExactTarget discovers now the outreach of the influence that these people have. It goes well outside the micro-blogging platform into blogs, forums and even the living room.
In it’s fourth study of their “Subscribers, Fans and Followers” research series, ExactTarget takes a deeper look at what makes Twitter users a special community crowd compared to other online channels. The study shows that the news that the users grab from the micro-blogging platform don’t stay on Twitter.
The news are spread via the following communication channels…
- 72% publish blogs at least monthly
- 70% comment on blogs
- 61% write at least one product review per month
- 61% comment on news sites
“While the number of active Twitter users is less than Facebook or email, the concentration of highly engaged and influential content creators is unrivalled – it’s become the gathering place for content creators whose influence spills over into every other corner of the Internet.” Morgan Stewart, Principal, ExactTarget’s research and education group
The study also provides insight that daily Twitter users are six times more likely to publish articles, five times more likely to post blogs, seven times more likely to post to Wikis. For business it has to be stressed that these daily Twitter users are three times more likely to post product reviews at least once per month than non-Twitter users.
Interested to know if Twitter users really create so many reviews and ratings? What’s your view on this topic?
A new report by Barracuda Networks on the company’s newly launched security research portal unveils a truth that was already found in this Harvard study some months ago: Twitter users are not as social as they might seem.
Although Twitter is probably the fastest growing social network, most of its 50 million accounts seem to follow other users – instead of posting their own messages. In some way this sounds positive, as it shows that we are not living in a pure self-referential world.
The Barracuda study states that in December 2009 73% of Twitter accounts have tweeted fewer than 10 times. Only 21% of Twitter account holders are “true users” as Baracuda defines them. The “true user”, according to their definition, is someone who has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people and has tweeted at least 10 times. Now, we may argue differently about that, but it definitely shows a trend.
Paul Judge, author of the report and chief research officer at Barracuda, thinks that Twitter is becoming more of a news feed channel than a social network. That indicates that most Twitter users “came online to follow their favorite celebrities, not to interact with their buddies the way they would on Facebook or MySpace,” said Judge.
The follow-only trend might be part of the is part of Twitter’s “red carpet era” when celebrities pushed their microblogging account into the mainstream during the six-month research period of Barracuda.
From November 2008 to April 2009, some celebrities, like Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey and John Mayer, joined Twitter. In these days the micro-blogging service grew 21.2% in the month of April 2009 alone.
The question remains if Twitter will be able to get more of these followers activated to become “true users” and to start tweeting themselves. Or if security risks will keep users away from becoming the active Twitterati. In combination with news about sites like Pleaserobme.com people have scared of users not to tell to much about their real-time privacy. In my eyes Twitter should be making the main benefit clear to their potential users and show some monetization strategy for companies and users. Why should someone use a platform that does not show a valid business reason?
A recent study became of interest for me after having visited the Caveman show around Christmas. As we all know, and the comedy show makes this clear in a spectacular and funny way, men speak 2.000 and women 7.000 words on a normal day. Comparing this with the annual social media study by Shespeaks, it might sound obvious why Facebook is more for women, and Twitter the preferred social network for men.
Though having the proof with the study now, we might also argue that this is a prejudice. But let’s agree this is true for today…
The study has asked 1.559 women of the Shespeaks community which social network they are using. And, thinking about the above words, the result is not surprising. Facebook is the preferred platform for women: 95% of the surveyed women say that they have a Facebook profile. But only 38% are micro-blogging on Twitter. But why?
On Facebook women find what they want and need while not underlying any technical length restriction in communication (Sorry, Twitter is a 140 characters only platform…). Thus, social networking -at least for the moment- gives the proof for a long mystery. But there is more in the study from a business perspective!
Social media is becoming more and more a “strong driver for purchase decisions”. As the Shespeaks study states, with social networking women can satisfy their shopping behavior in a much better way. From a woman’s perspective, especially Facebook offers the right platform for brand commitment… and even more for recommendations. 80% have become fans of products and brands and 72% of the women said that they learn about a new product on Facebook. A dream-land for every marketer, right?!
Nevertheless, Twitter is the still very powerful for pr and marketing efforts – also if marketers want to reach women. Receiving coupon-codes is as popular on Twitter as it used to be (and still is) in the offline world. And when we look at the fact that 30% have purchased directly via Twitter or used a coupon-code therefore (27%), we might also argue that Twitter is a useful sales tool.
The good news? Budgets for social media will increase. The bad news? Companies are struggling to find the time and resources to handle their activity, according to the “Social Media and Online PR Report” by Econsultancy and bigmouthmedia.
The research aimed at finding out how companies are using online PR tactics and social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) for marketing and customer service. The result of the survey shows that the majority of companies (86%) plan to spend more budgets on social media next year 2010 – 13% are not changing their budgets and will keep the same level of spendings.
The biggest challenge for companies is resources: 54% see this as a significant problem. And 90% say it is more time-consuming internally than last year. The named benefit is remarkable: One-fourth of companies found they have achieved “real, tangible value” from social media; 60% say they have bained “some benefit but nothing concrete.”
“The reality is that most businesses understand how to listen, what to measure and where to engage but are struggling to define the value of engagement and reputation in social spaces,” said Michelle Goodall, Econsultancy’s social media and online PR consultant.
One of this companies is definitely Dell. They just announced to have sold PCs, accessories and software for 6,5 million USD via Twitter.
Some Twitter results…
- 78% use Twitter as a social media tactic and 74% of agency respondents
- 65% social network profile creatio n and management
- 62% use the micro-blogging site for publicizing new content
- 54% use the channel for marketing
- 47% for brand monitoring
Only 27% take the advantage of using Twitter as a customer service (and 25% as a customer feedback) tool for reacting to issues and inquiries. And when 31% see “tremendous opportunities” available in using Twitter for customer contact, but only half reporting that their companies are “open-minded but not fully convinced about the value to the business”, it tells the story: We all need to create results and cases in order to provide the positive proof. Especially, when 7% say their organization feels that Twitter is over-hyped and a fad.