Facebook

Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

Reposting my post originally shared on the AMP blog, with a couple of updates:

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CocacolatimelineAs you all know now, Facebook made the switch for all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I’m not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship. Does it get any better than that? Isn't that exactly what brands have been claiming to strive for? Then why have so many of them just allowed ths witch to happen without doing a thing to prepare? 

Here are the top 5 things you’ll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality – and you do need to work to make  your page shine in the new Timeline layout! Simply allowing the switch to happen is not enough and you’re NOT doing your brand any favors if you didn’t put any thought into making the switch!

  1. Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook’s rules on what your cover photo may not contain:
    • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
    • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
    • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
  2. Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image.
    • Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear – be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I’d recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top – don’t you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page?
    • You’ll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight – make this a priority given it’s placement on your page, as it’s one of the first things visitors will see
    • You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand
  3. Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience:
    • Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose  your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand
    • The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide – this means you’ll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they’ll center within the 810 pixel width
  4. Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand:
    • What are our brand goals and objectives?
    • What matters to our target audience?
    • Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.?
  5. Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you’re adjusting to this new functionality you’ll want to consider:
    • Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries
    • Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages

For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out:

  • Coca Cola – With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality.
  • Barack Obama – Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they’re doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They’ve peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They’re also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year’s campaigns.
  • Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) – The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product’s history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They’re using their cover photo for new product awareness – a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Subway – Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons!
  • Burberry – The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating theHeritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they’ve also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline.

All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it’s also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It’s an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way.

What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

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The Rise of Social eCommerce in an Age of Dwindling Consumer Loyalty

The challenge of brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is harder to obtain than ever before. In fact, in our research study, Inside the Buy, AMP Agency found that only 3% of consumers say they are loyal to a brand and never buy anything else. A Contemporary Loyalty has been born where consumers are somewhat loyal to a product, but open-minded to similar products that are new or better. As such, companies need to differentiate themselves like never before to remain in the consumer’s consideration set at the time of purchase.

What’s in it for me?

The higher the perceived value a product or manufacturer offers, the more stickiness it has for a consumer. Consumers expect to be able to find information about products when they search, and where they search. In the same study, AMP Agency discovered that 43% of consumers always do research before making a purchase.

Instant gratification

In the same way that consumers expect to be able to find information on products when they search, they also want and expect to be able to buy things where they want, when they want, and how they want – and yes, that means on Facebook and other social networking sites if they so choose.  

Enter Social eCommerce

Companies that got ahead of this curve early on are seeing some great results in their consumer engagement, purchases, traffic, loyalty and word-of-mouth. Here are a few examples of successful social ecommerce stores on Facebook (also called f-stores):

1800Flowers f-store – the first f-store on Facebook opened in 2009

1800Flowers

Delta Airlines f-store – Delta was the first airline to offer ticket purchase capabilities thru Facebook

Delta

Best Buy f-store – Given their mantra of “shop & share,” Best Buy is taking advantage of their fans purchases by encouraging them to share their purchases with their Facebook friends – a pretty neat word-of-mouth strategy.

BestBuy

NBA Fan f-store – Great place for their 10MM+ fans to shop for their favorite teams’ logo merchandise

NBAStore

Lady Gaga f-store – Lady Gaga is the 2nd most popular female celebrity on Facebook, so her store is sure to get some engagement

Gaga

At the end of the day, It’s all about providing the right content to the right people at the right time in the right place! These are not new notions when it comes to the business and consumer landscape – the only thing that has changed is the storefront!

Questions to consider before launching your own f-store:

What do we hope to achieve?  

You’ll want to define the goals you have for your f-store. For example, is it strictly a revenue generation too, or do you intend to use it to help generate buzz and awareness about your brand, as well? Be honest about the amount of revenue your f-store will actually bring in. It should be viewed as an opportunity to realize additional incremental revenue, but not a primary revenue driver. You’ll be able to determine trends after it has been live for a period of time.

How do we intend to measure success?

You’ll want to define your measures of success and tie them back to your goals. What measures will tell you that you made a good investment and how long do you intend to give them to see the trends?

How does this tie in to my larger social media marketing strategy?

Your Facebook store should complement your overall social media strategy, not be a result in and of itself. How can  you use your Facebook presence, and therefore your f-store as a part of a larger strategy, campaign, contest, etc? You’ll also want to consider how you intend to market your f-store. 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

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A little social media marketing helps EMC Break Records

EMC Breaks Records

Last week, in case you hadn’t heard, EMC launched a record 41 products. You can view the Record Breakers simulcast replay on EMC.com, if you’d like. But, I’m not here to talk to you too much about the product side of things – I’m no product expert although I think that there are some awesome new products out there from EMC. Instead, I’d like to talk to you about the social media side of things that went very well, and that I’m extremely proud of. It’s also a demonstration of how well things can go when you have the passion and drive to move them forward, budget or no budget.

How things came together

Pre-Event: January 3 – January 17

First off, we started out with a direct mailer of “broken record puzzles” to key folks around the industry. The feedback was positive on these, and the intent was twofold – 1) Invite them personally to the Record Breaking event on January 18th, and 2) Encourage them to tell others about it in the hopes that their networks would also be interested in the event and accompanying announcements – this is WOM (word of mouth) marketing at its best! (Photos courtesy of Michael Cote)

Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327583777/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5327584807/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235196/in/photostream/   Photo Courtesy of Michael Cote: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cote/5328235628/in/photostream/

EMCCorp Facebook Challenge Close on the heels of the puzzle, we launched a nifty little Facebook game to drive awareness and encourage fans (yes, I still call them fans!) to break their own records! It’s still up there if you’d like to give it a whirl. Warning: It’s rather addictive!

At the same time, we launched a couple of viral videos on EMC’s YouTube channel, which have accumulated over 700,000 views between the two of them, and successfully drove registration to the EMC event.

All this time, we were also tweeting about the event using a common hashtag - #EMCBreaksRecords - to drive awareness, registration and buzz. We were sharing the videos, making folks aware of the game, and also tweeting world records that had been previously broken – asking them in the form of questions in the morning to gain responses, and giving the answer at the end of the day.

I should also mention a practice that has worked very well for us to keep EMC employees around the globe in the loop of our activities in the social space, as well as enable them to join in on the activities in a consistent and measurable fashion – “social media activation kits.” These kits contain a high level overview of the program at hand, as well as links to content and collateral (both traditional and social), tracking links, hashtags, suggested tweets/posts, social hubs and just about anything else you can imagine to participate in a truly organized social marketing campaign. These are hosted the internal employee community that I used to manage, EMC|ONE – now thoughtfully managed and curated by our own community manager extraordinaire, Michelle Lavoie. Michelle was kind enough to host a front and center widget on the home page to drive further awareness of the activation kit, as well as the overall social media plan for the launch.

In-Event: January 18

The tweeting continued around things that were going on during the simulcast – EMC actually arranged to break a couple of world records with the folks at Guinness during the event. I’ve shared the videos of each within this post – check them out.

 

#EMCBreaksRecords The tweeting during the event also resulted in EMC’s first ever trending topic on Twitter across the entire United States. Last may, we reached trending in Boston for EMC World 2010 – but this is the first U.S.-wide achievement – so you could say we set a record in social media, as well!

EMC Community Network Also, for the first time ever, we held a live Q&A session within our own EMC Community Network. Envisioned and championed by the folks on the ECN team – this was the company’s first ever live simultaneous Q&A session – so another record for us, in a matter of speaking!

Also, the day of launch, our super stellar EMC Blogroll of subject matter experts along with other industry folks produced over 40 blog posts released on the day of the launch, further generating buzz, awareness and affinity for the EMC brand.

So what does all of this mean?

Well, at the end of the day, it means that social media engagement played a critical role in generating awareness and buzz about EMC’s most important and most impactful launch!! Here are a few key statistics and milestones:

  • 1,000+ Broken Records Mailed out to key influencers >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, and ultimately registrations for the event
  • EMC’s first Facebook game generated 80,000+ tab views and over 6,500 new fans of the EMC Facebook page >> generated buzz, awareness, brand affinity, event registration and increased our social audience and the potential realm of our future conversations with these enthusiasts
  • Thanks to our viral videos, EMC’s YouTube channel was ranked #55 in the Gurus Category on YouTube >> increased awareness, buzz, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The #EMCBreaksRecords hashtag achieved trending status across the entire U.S. during the event on January 18th with over 1,500 tweets across multiple geographies around the world! >> increased awareness, buzz generation, brand affinity, and free advertising
  • The EMC Community Network attracted new users to the community with the live Q&A –in fact, 42% of the visitors that day were new users to the ECN! >> Increased awareness, affinity and exclusive access to the subject matter experts people wanted to talk to the most!
  • EMC bloggers, as well as other bloggers generated over 40 blog posts on the launch >> generating buzz, awareness, and access to the SMEs on the topics surrounding the launch, as well as the products announced.
  • All of this amounted to thousands of mentions in the social space – blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and shares, and industry articles amount to an uber-magnified awareness of EMC and the company’s offerings, messaging and plans for 2011. Heck, even our stock price reached one of the highest points in the past 10 years.

Up Next?

With all that activity and success, you might be wondering what’s next – how will we keep the momentum going?

RBTour1

The EMC Record Breaking Tour, of course! You’ll be able to follow the tour drivers around the world as they make stops, break records, and demo all the latest and greatest from EMC! You can follow the drivers on the Twitter account we set up for them, and keep an eye out for the Record Breaking Tour blog coming soon! There will also be Facebook components, and an invite to all EMC customers, partners, and enthusiasts to share their own record breaking moments!

I’m looking forward to seeing what this next chapter holds!

 

 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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My Social Media Christmas Wishlist

In the spirit of the holiday season, and in the spirit of reflection on the past year, I thought I'd compile my social media wish list for 2011. These things will not only make my job easier, I think they'll improve the overall impact of social media. 


Facebookglobe Analytics! Analytics! Analytics! It's still more painful that it ought to be at this point to both gather analytics from social media and community sites, and to integrate them into existing BI systems. I would love the ability to more easily not only gather analytics in an intelligible format from the sites we use for business - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, EMC Community Network - but also the ability to more easily track how these sites are driving traffic, leads or even increasing SEO. Right now, Facebook is way ahead of the pack with their analytics, in my opinion, but it's still very difficult to tie any of our activity on Facebook back to our internal systems for more analysis. 


Anyone have any good suggestions on how to do this? What are you doing now for analytics? Is it still manual, or have you been able to automate to some extent?


Deliciousglobe A Social Media Budget! While we've taken major strides in becoming a part of corporate communications at EMC, we still have to beg, borrow, and steal to do any sort of compelling social activity - a cool video, an infographic, data visualizations, playbooks, etc. You name it, and I want it because we have a business need. Unfortunately, lots of folks still have the notion that "this social stuff is free" -- you and I both know it's not, so I'm looking forward to the day when social gets a line item in the budget for specialized marketing programs, and I'm looking forward to the day when I have a budget to do things better, faster, smarter, and in a way that makes them exponentially bigger and more compelling for those "everyday activities," as well.


Twitterglobe A one-size-fits-all monitoring tool! It still troubles me that we have to have many different monitoring stations set up to catch all the stuff going on in the social space, all the mentions of our brand, all those conversations we're interested in keeping up with and participating in. There are tools that are good for snapshots over a period of time - we use them. There are tools that are good for real time monitoring - we use them. There are tools that are good for seeing trends over time - we use them. There are tools for analytics and numbers - we use them. There are tools for tracking sentiment - we use them. Why can't I find a tool that does all of this for me? Sigh. I'll keep wishing on this one. And I'm almost inclined to move it to number 1!!


Diggglobe A way to keep track of all my social activity, or the activity of those I want to follow - all in one place. For those of us that have way too many social accounts, it's hard to keep track of folks, and who's where, and what they're doing, and what they're not doing, and...I could go on and on. Point here is that there's no easy way for me to just check in to see what's going on in the social world and see if I want to jump in. I have to login to my different accounts, check on my friends and network, nearly independently in each of them - even after all this time. Why, oh why, hasn't there been more done to integrate the primary tools together to give people the option of a social snapshot? 


Flickrglobe Friend Synchronicity. Following closely on the idea above - I want a button that finds all my friends, on any social network that I belong to, and enables me to connect with them on all of them at once, if I so choose. It's so hard when folks are are multiple networks and don't even use the same user name on them all - to find the people I want to stay connected with, where I want to stay connected. Where's my magic button to find them and connect to them in all of those places? 

 

Rssglobe More folks dedicated to social media strategy in their org or geo - full-time. Over three years into the "official" social journey and I still see folks only doing social media strategy part-time in their roles, and only because they've expressed an interest in doing so and have risen to the occasion. If we're ever going to be in a position to truly execute a synchronized social media strategy, I need a virtual army of full-time folks living within the business units and geos to help take things to the next level. We need to get folks out of the mindset that social media strategy is a "nice to have" and elevate it to the integrated and critical status deserving of serious marketing and communications efforts. And we need a team of folks who are able to focus on doing so!


Stumbleglobe Social Spamming Policing. I wish there were more attention paid to all the spammers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, pick your tool. Where do those notices go when I flag someone's content as spam? It seems they float around in cyberspace, and never actually prevent the person from doing the same thing a bazillion more times. This request is probably a never-ending battle, but seriously - there's gotta be something that can be done to stop the bikini babes on Twitter from harrassing me with "get a million followers in a day" ads or the faceless stalkers on Facebook from posting the latest "get rich quick" schemes onto my Facebook pages. 


Youtubeglobe Less emphasis on consultants and more emphasis on practitioners. Anyone who knows me knows this is a hot button. I am routinely shocked and disappointed that so much emphasis is placed on people who consult in social media and community, but have never actually managed a community, served as a community manager, driven adoption within an organization, or made a post to a company account in their lives. I wish, very much, that we start seeing more balance in this world in that we elevate the practitioners - the folks that have actually done all of the above and then some - to the same level that we seem to worship the folks that talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. It's nothing personal - really. I just sincerely hope that we get to a place where we value practitioners as much, if not  more, than folks who've never done the stuff. 

 

Technoratiglobe4 More collaboration. Every week we have new accounts cropping up - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, you name it. While I love the passion and enthusiasm of the folks that decide to take that leap and get engaged in social media, I am a firm believer that less is more in the social space. Too many accounts are confusing and frustrating to our stakeholders. Fewer accounts makes it easier to stay engaged with us, know when it really is us, and keep up with the latest and greatest. My hope is that in 2011, we see more teams collaborating on accounts together than wishing to own a little slice of the digital universe and continuing to spin up new accounts. 


How about you? What would be on your social media wishlist? 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas

 

 

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Mixed Feelings on The Social Network : A Movie Review

Courtesy of http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com/ My husband and I went to see "The Social Network" this past weekend. Admittedly, I had mixed feelings about the movie. When he mentioned that he wanted to see the movie, I wrinkled my nose and sighed an "Oh no....Really?" Turns out he was most interested in the movie more because of it's soundtrack by Trent Reznor than the "story of Facebook," although that was an interesting aspect, as well.  Admittedly, the Reznor angle got me a little more interested, as well (Nine Inch Nails is one of my favorites).

The good news is that the movie wasn't as bad as I was anticipating it would be - the story is a mildly interesting one, even if Mark Zuckerberg does call it fiction

It wasn't a horrible movie, but it didn't make me walk out of the theater thinking "I'm going to recommend that movie to everyone" either. The notion of it being a "picture of the year" candidate is laughable. It's certainly nowhere near that caliber of movie.

I like Facebook as much as the next person. Probably more if you consider the fact that I opt to use Facebook as a part of my job - in fact, I develop and execute the social media strategy, inclusive of Facebook, for EMC Corporation. But this is not a "picture of the year" candidate, folks. There is, frankly, nothing about this movie that screams picture of the year to me. I just don't get that notion. Not one bit. Are we "there" now -- where the fad of social media has everyone raving over a mediocre story? Really?

Putting aside the fact that we watched the process of website development for over 2 hours, and a bunch of teenagers teeter between loving and hating one another (not all that uncommon -- or interesting, either), and selfishly vying to be the "owner" of the next-big-thing -- what I did like about the movie was the wit in some of the characters and the moments when there was clever banter back and forth. Although the movie's "Mark" was a jerk in the opening scene, the banter back and forth with his girlfriend was amusing to follow. Do people really talk like that? 

There were also even some emotional moments along the journey. I teetered between thinking Mark was a two-faced jerk and feeling sorry for him for for essentially throwing all of his friends away in the effort of claiming credit or owning the idea and creation of Facebook, or so the story goes in the movie. It's just sad, all the way around to see how people can fall apart under pressure. 

So at the end of the day, I was entertained during some parts, bored or annoyed during others, and overall would say this wasn't a horrible movie, but wasn't great either. I'd say that the $22.4 million it brought in over the weekend agrees. 

 

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Jamie 

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas



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Reblog: Coffee With Thomas Episode 8 - EMC's Social Media Maestros

Had an absolute blast catching up with Thomas Jones (aka @Niketown588) last week along with social media cohorts @LenDevanna and @ThomLytle. Check it out and let us all know what you think! 

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Reblog: Coffee With Thomas Episode 8 - EMC's Social Media Maestros

This weeks special guests are Jamie Pappas (@JamiePappas), Len Devanna (@LenDevanna) and Thom Lytle (@ThomLytle). Jamie is the author of Social Media & Enterprise 2.0 Musings. Len is the author of Confessions of an eBiz Junkie. All three are the maestros of social media integration at EMC. Tune in and listen to this special podcast as Jamie, Len and Thom give us insight into:
  • How EMC|ONE is the catalyst to blogging 
  • How social media ties into peoples sense of belonging
  • How to make social media a value add for you
  • Social Networking and Your Personal Brand
  • Jamie's role in social media adoption among women
  • EXCLUSIVE EMC World 2011 Bloggers Lounge Update
  • Similarity between Jamie's childhood and mine
  • Thom's new blog site
  • and much much more

You can subscribe/listen to Coffee With Thomas via iTunes.

Link to Podcast: Coffee With Thomas Episode 8 - EMCs Social Media Maestros

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Jamie

Blog: www.jamiepappas.com

Twitter: @JamiePappas



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Social Media is key at the 100 largest Fortune 500 Companies - A Burson-Marsteller White Paper Review

Burson-Marsteller White Paper "The Global Social Media Check Up"I read a very interesting white paper this week “The Global Social Media Check Up” by the folks at Burson-Marsteller, a global PR and communications firm, regarding a study they did assessing social media use at the largest 100 companies in the Fortune Global 500 index, and it was very good news indeed, which is why I’m sharing it with you!

 

They start off with a quote that I completely agree with: 

Start_quote It is time for companies to embrace, not fear, emerging media. There is no other way to remain competitive.

Global Companies Using at Least One Social Media Platform - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" Their study takes a look at these companies use of specific social media tools – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogs – all things that I evangelize for and develop use cases, best practices and guiding principles at EMC, so this study was of keen interest to me.  Amazingly, of the companies included in the study, a whopping 79% of them are engaging in at least one of the social media platforms mentioned previously!  

Percentage of Fortune Global 100 Companies with... - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up"


Corporate Blogs

What did surprise me about the study was that only one-third of the companies were using corporate blogs to reach their audience. This number was much lower than my expectation for blog engagement, although if one takes into account the time and effort commitment to sustain a blog, it’s not such a surprise. Still, I was thinking the number would be at least 50% of companies, if not higher. The other surprising corporate blog statistic for me was that the utilization of corporate blogs is higher in the Asia-Pacific companies at a rate of 50% of the companies having blogs, than the 34% in the U.S.

Corporate Responses and Retweets - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" Twitter

Twice as many companies overall use Twitter to engage with their audience, which is not all that surprising to me, as Twitter is relatively easy to sustain given character limits – short and sweet is easier than what’s expected (although certainly not required) for lengthier blog posts.

The beautiful revelation about Twitter use is that companies are responding and retweeting others and engaging in genuine dialogue. It’s all too easy for a company to simply use Twitter as nothing more than another broadcast channel without actually retweeting or engaging with their followers, but the study shows that is not the case with these companies! Yay!

What I would like to see across these companies is a more balanced reciprocation of following those that follow them on Twitter. In their summary deck (embedded below) Burson-Marsteller states “[companies] are taking the initiative to follow others, building a more symbiotic relationship with Twitter users” but I do not think that companies are where they need to be with this. Unfortunately, the companies were following less than half of the people that were following them, which still shows a bit of a bias towards a one-way relationship – a huge opportunity for improvement, in my opinion.

The neat thing is that of the companies using Twitter, forty-two percent of them are being tweeted about by others, so there’s clearly an interest in engaging with companies on Twitter.

Start_quote The study demonstrates… that simple, responsible engagement in social media can reap big rewards in building relationships with stakeholders online.

Facebook Fans - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" Facebook

Over half of the companies surveyed are using Facebook Fan Pages as a way to engage with their audiences. Again, I would have thought this number would be higher, but what it tells me is that Facebook is still facing the challenge of overcoming the perception that it’s not a business tool or is “just for college kids.”

What is neat to see though, is that 43% of the Fan Pages out there had posts from fans – so when the fans are there, nearly half of them are posting, and considering that the fan page average for these companies is 40,884 (wow!) – this is total goodness!

Companies with YouTube Channels - Burson-Marsteller "Global Social Media Check-up" YouTube

YouTube is a popular venue for sharing content and engaging with stakeholders, with 50% of the companies having a YouTube channel and several hundred subscribers. Shockingly, the average number of views per channel is nearly 39,000 and over half of the channels have comments from viewers! That’s much higher than I would have guessed, and tells me that we are not utilizing YouTube as much as should be at EMC.

Renegade Accounts

I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw that most companies have multiple accounts on each of the social media tools, but that the averages were so much lower than our totals on each of these platforms – 4.2 Twitter accounts, 2.1 Facebook Fan Pages, 1.6 YouTube Channels, and 4.2 corporate blogs. Oh, how I wish that our numbers were that low!

The study also indicates that it was sometimes hard to determine which accounts were “official” accounts versus which accounts were rogue accounts. As Burson-Marsteller indicates, this is incredibly problematic for someone looking to engage with a company on any social platform and encountering many accounts, some even duplicate – the risk is that the person could get misinformation from a non-official account and/or just get frustrated and not try to engage with the company via social media. This only serves to re-emphasize the importance of the work we’re doing now to step back, inventory, and evaluate all of our existing social media presences and re-engineer where we can.

In conclusion

I found this study to be very interesting and informative, and I’d recommend it for anyone wanting a better view into the social media activities of the largest Fortune Global 500. It was a great way to sanity check my own thinking, as well as reinforce existing areas in need of much attention and improvement.

While only 20% of the companies are using all 4 platforms simultaneously, I still think this number is full of hope. There is opportunity to integrate the platforms with other social media platforms, as well as more traditional forms of media, such as press releases. Our strategy from the beginning has always been that social media activities cannot live in isolation, and this study supports our strategy:

Start_quote No single social media tool can stand on its own. For a company that wants a truly effective communications strategy, leveraging multiple social media tools for their individual strengths is required.

The end of the white paper offers invaluable advice that all companies thinking of engaging in social media must take into account to be successful:

  1. Monitor your own – and competitors – social media presence
  2. Get top management “buy in”
  3. Develop a social media strategy
  4. Define and publish a social media policy
  5. Develop internal structure
  6. Contribute to the community
  7. Participate in the good times and in bad
  8. Be prepared to respond in real time
  9. Beyond monitoring, measure the impact of social media engagement

Check out their summary slide deck (full report linked above):

Global Social Media Checkup

View more presentations from Burson-Marsteller.

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ComScore: The 2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review "Social Networking Remains One of the Web’s Top Activities in 2009"

ComScore According to comScore's "The 2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review" report nearly four out of five US Internet users visited a social networking site in December 2009. To put that in perspective - nearly 80% of internet users visit social networking sites. Social networking activity now represents 11% of all time spent on the internet in the U.S., making it one of the most popular web activities. In fact, the sub-title of their section on social networking says "Social Networking Remains One of the Web’s Top Activities in 2009." No surprise here.

From a social networking perspective, the report primarily touched on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. I'm going to focus my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, since those are two we focus on at EMC, as MySpace really does not reach our target market.

097124-3d-glossy-blue-orb-icon-social-media-logos-facebook-logo Facebook

Facebook surged to the #1 position among social networks for the first time in May and continued substantial growth throughout 2009, closing out with 112 million visitors in December 2009, up 105% from 2008. 

I was surprised to see that the average number of minutes people spend on Facebook each day is only 23.7 minutes. That seems rather low to me, but comScore attributes that to the increase in frequency of visits, which could make sense. It just seems to me that so many people are on there so often, how could it only be just over 20 minutes per day? What are your thoughts on this number?

Facebook Demographics

Facebook demographics remain relatively split between those over 35 and those under 35, which is also not really surprising to me.

Twitter Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter's visits also surged in 2009, finishing out 2009 with nearly 20 million visitors, up from just 2 million visitors in 2008.

Twitterdemo

Twitter demographics remains relatively split between those over 35 and those under 35, which is somewhat surprising to me because I would have thought the split would lean higher for those over 35. Twitter experienced the largest increase in people aged 18-24, which is also interesting to me, as I've not really seen this shift. I guess that's just my network experience though! 

Overall

I'm very pleased to see that use of these sites continues to grow, especially since we focus some energy on them at EMC. I'd love to see more information on the quality vs. quantity of posts and users. I'd also love to see some information on participant vs. lurker statistics. I'm always curious to know if the folks out on these sites are actually using them, or just perusing and consuming, but not necessarily creating new content. It changes how you engage with folks when they're lurkers vs. creators. 

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How about you? Anything here surprise you? Anything you weren't surprised by? What do you think this means for the future of social media and social networking sites? My personal opinion - it's great to see the growth continue!


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Social Networking Rocks EMC World

EMC World is just around the corner, and we’ve got tons of exciting things going on in the realm of social networking opportunities for attendees and non-attendees (although we hope you’re going to be there!) Also exciting are the conversations on EMC|ONE around all these good things going on at EMC World. This is collaboration in action if I’ve ever seen it!

Lounge


First off is the Bloggers Lounge, hosted by Len Devanna – a venue to show some love to our blogger and microblogger friends. 

What is the Bloggers Lounge, you ask?

Think big. Think members only. Think a place to chill, charge, and network with like-minded folks who share your same passion for blogging. Think exclusive access to EMC leadership. Think “I’ve totally gotta check this out!” Just sign up over at Len’s blog, and you’re in. So, what are you waiting for? Update: It's open to anyone attending EMC World with a blog or Twitter account - customers, partners, employees, you name it - so come on, already - no excuses!

Flip3 Oh yeah, and think Flip. As in, we’ll be giving away some of these babies to folks who stop by. Of course, with this cool new gear in hand, we’ll be expecting some wicked videos of World.




Showing our Support Forums Folks Some Love, too!

We’re also hosting an exclusive meet up for Powerlink Support Forums users to show them some love. So, if you use Powerlink Support Forums, you’ll definitely want to check this out! Think of all the stories you can share with folks who experience it every day, just like you. If you're not checking this one out...well, need I say more?



VivaECN

ECN is bringing their game, too!

And last but certainly not least, our EMC Community Network (ECN) is featuring a Viva! ECN video contest – So, if you’re feeling creative and wanting to express what ECN has helped you to do in the past year, then jump on in and get creative! And don’t forget to stop by the ECN Lounge at EMC World, as well!

Hey - maybe you can use that Flip you won to shoot your video for Viva! ECN...I'm just sayin'...





Network with EMC World Online

Here’s the quick rundown of all the tools online to check out EMC World:
EMC World on Facebook
EMC World on Twitter
EMC World on YouTube
EMC World on Flickr
EMC World on LinkedIn