May 14th, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
Good numbers, bad numbers: Two recent studies are the first to offer a comprehensive overview of the status quo of Germany’s businesses’ social media efforts.
For instance our industry’s association Bitkom found out that 47 percent of the 3,6 Mio businesses in Germany uses Facebook, Twitter, or Blogs. “This number at first sight doesn’t look bad”, net economist Holger Schmidt writes. “How little serious businesses take social media can be seen in staff numbers”. Another result of the survey is that 80 percent of the businesses leave their social media management to only one or two employees.
Graphic “Social Media Campaign – The Big Idea”
“Especially low the staff numbers are in manufacturing sector, while relatively moderate in the service industry”, Schmidt writes. What is missing most is a clear-cut organizational structure and the lack of any goals or rather Key Performance Indicator’s (KPI’s). “Two thirds of those questioned didn’t delineate definite goals of what should be achieved. Even in harsh antagonism to the means applied, the expectancies are high: Almost 90 percent of enterprises assume increasing relevance of social media.”
Especially the lack of KPI’s might constitute a serious problem soon, as only distinct indicators measuring and analyzing success and impact of social media campaigns, allow to seriously calculate the Return on Investment (ROI). Indispensable to it logically is a solid social media monitoring evaluating the respective KPI’s (gridmaster KPI Dashboard).
The current inquiry “Turning Buzz into Gold” by business consultancy McKinsey & Company details out, how big the need to catch up in the German economy is. Only 37 percent of the businesses communication via Facbook, Twitter, and blogs defined KPI’s for their social media usage. A mere 20 percent measure the ROI.
The hopes lying on social media, nevertheless, are very high. 71 percent of the 200 businesses that have been asked in the survey speculate on a “significant profit potential”.
However, most companies remain realistic in terms of their status que. E.g. only 10 percent of the German businesses believe they can increase their results with their actual social media activities.
The solution: Companies have to invest in manpower and monitoring. Only this way the particular activities can be improved and their success measured.
May 2nd, 2012 by Sten Franke
A literally beautiful mapping and monitoring tool for Twitter: Mentionmapp. Professionals will hardly take it seriously. Nevertheless it looks damn cool and is fun to web and marketing experts – at least for the moment.
Vancouver-based Mentionmapp does one thing alone: It designs a graphic out of the tweets, replys, and retweets of a twitter profile. This way a visual overview of your personal micro-blogging communication is generated. Well done: When clicking on another twitter-user in your map, his 140 character communication is shown.
Contrary to many similar offerings not only your own personal twitter account can be analyzed and picturized, Mentionmapp also draws each different twitter account you wish. Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, you just need to type their twitter account into the search field, and the tool draws their twitter maps. This function can be quite useful to monitoring professionals, who want to get a glimpse on their competitors.
Mentionmapp still is in Beta status, but a demanded business for long. It already has been acquired by OverInteractive Media Inc. The Vision of the Canadians: „Take information beyond columns and rows, graphs and charts and create engaging interactive data stories.“
When they succeed in living up to their vision, we can look forward to many more great tools!
April 3rd, 2012 by Sten Franke
In the social web the boss can make a difference. According to a study by Brandfog the social media perception of a brand is influenced positively, when the CEO engages on Twitter, Facebook & Co. personally. 78% of those questioned hold the opinion that it has positive consequences for the business, when the chief hits the keyboard of his computer or the touchpad of his smartphone. 71% reckon that it improves the brand image, and another 64% are convinced that the business in question is perceived as more transparent, when the manager facebooks or twitters.
Once being asked after it, 82% answered that it is “important” or even “very important” when the CEO engages in social media. A particularly astonishing result of the study furthermore is that a CEO, who is representing the interests of his enterprise on Twitter or Facebook, increases the trust of his employees in the respective business. At least that is the persuasion of 82%.
Nevertheless it is of major difference, whether the boss twitters, comments, and posts personally or has entrusted it to an external agency. At least a current Swiss study by Zurich-based Bernet PR proves once again that authenticity generally is one of the most important currencies in the social web. “This only works with the personal voice”, Micheal Walther writes. “It is possible to depute concepts, strategies, and programming, on your own you should speak.” In the beginning it would suffice, if a spokesperson or a close colleague would do the talk.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and her spokesman Steffen Seibert constitute a good example. Since the former ZDF journalist twitters, she is – at least perceived – closer to the citizen.
In the end – at least in businesses – it always is about sales and profit. Here, again, a CEO can assert improvements. The study by Brandfog concludes that around 77% of the questioned buy a brand’s or business’ commodities, whose marketing team engages in conversations with the consumers about their own products.
Having read these results, we ask ourselves: Which CEO of a enterprise twitters personally? Not many, that’s for sure! Although it is apparent which huge potential almost all businesses leave untouched.
>>CEOs and Top Executives on Twitter:
March 27th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Google has identified the signs of the time. The question to Return on Investment (ROI) in social media campaigns probably is one of the most important topics this year, as many enterprises crave for simple and working solutions.
For instance a recent research by Iron Mountain concludes that most European businesses yet don’t know how to handle data of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. “Indeed 94% of the questioned German companies (Europe: 86%) are aware to file communication in the social media channels as a formal business process” the paper states, but “at the same time 72% of the German businesses (Europe: 63%) don’t consider themselves as capable to capture the shared data and information of social networks accordingly”.
In fact tools and solutions that measure the ROI of almost all social media campaigns exist for long. Our gridmaster is an example to mention here.
Offers like ours and those of other monitoring tools satisfy an ever growing need. Google wants to have their share of the market and consequently drill with Google Analytics. Soon it is supposed to measure ROI, only on least significant sources like Blogger.com, however. It cannot perform a deeper analysis of top players like Facebook or Twitter yet.
“Google Analytics claims to close the gap between social media and hard business KPI’s”, t3n writes. “It shall be accomplished by not only measuring the traffic that arrives via different social media channels, but also tracking it further.” That’s how direct inferences onto conversion rates become possible.
Though, the ROI is only one side of the coin, the other are Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). They cannot be neglected in relevant and traceable measurements of success of social media campaigns. If you want to quantify the latter, Google Analytics doesn’t help you yet. Then you better turn to established monitoring tools, like our gridmaster for instance. They can assess buzz, demography, sentiments and semantic data on top of it. Only they enable you to place activities sustainable and targeted. Considered globally it’s all about the increase of brand awareness, sales, profit, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Still countless businesses evaluate the success of their social media campaigns with the mere mass of the three f’s: Friends, Followers, and Fans. Whether on Facebook or Twitter – the bare amount of them doesn’t indicate their interaction rate.
The new Google tool apparently can’t handle the Standard KPI’s. I.e the new tool only touches the surface of social media data. As easy to navigate Google Analytics may be, it can’t replace a complex professional tool. Indeed, the new service of the web company can possibly give the lots of rudimentary monitoring offerings lacking depth a hard time.
March 26th, 2012 by Sten Franke
The media have a new favorite web topic: Pinterest. For days they cover the image-based network over and over again. The amazing recent development shows the potential of the web pin board and has become a hype topic, in my opinion rightly so. However, most only capture a small part of the current news. If you summarize all reports, a thrilling news mosaic emerges.
The dpa – Germany’s biggest press agency – initially looked at the judicial challenges of pinterest. “Most German jurists conclude that Pinterest violates the copyright” the agency quotes lawyer Carsten Ulbricht. Though, he doesn’t see a wave of dissuasions rolling. Especially as the principle “Nullo actore, nullus iudex” applies. Where there is no claimant, there is no judge.
Irrespective of these concerns the web pin board is a true social media phenomenon. In no time the image pin board turned hot topic in the web 2.0 world. The least know exactly what they talk about, though. That’s why we offer the 3rd part of the Pinterest story (in German: 1st part, 2nd part) with further facts about the usage and demography.
- The image site attracted 17.8 Mio users in the USA according to Focus Online, which signifies an increase of the factor 44 since May ‘11
- According to a study by Shareaholic, Pinterest generates more referral traffic than twitter or Google+
- The boom could pay off soon: apparently venture capitalists are willing to invest at US $ 1 billion+ rating
March 23rd, 2012 by Sten Franke
A topic has been neglected a little in the many discussions about social media ROI’s or the proper direction of social media campaigns that is of immense importance to businesses, especially in the social web: the credibility or online reputation.
Every company that takes care of their image and web awareness is using social media monitoring tools like the gridmaster for long in order to be sensitive of their actual online reputation and to be able to identify those issues that could worsen it. Microsoft, in collaboration with the American Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, published an interesting study to this topic.
The scientists and the software architect examined which factors determine the credibility of a tweet or its twitterer. Briefly: the determining factors are the profile picture, the follower, and the quantity of orthographic and grammatical mistakes.
In respect of the profile picture those users are trusted the least that use the standard twitter-egg. Following this are pictures of avatars or cartoons. Ranking on top regarding the credibility are twitterers who use photos showing themselves. “Concerning the name, users trust those twitterers most with a topic-related name, ordinary names coming next, and the least trust is put into users having internet fantasy names”, WirtschaftsWoche summarizes a further result of the study.
Additionally, the amount of followers is important. Twitterers following more accounts than they are followed by are seen as less trustful. This is seen as a hint on artificial reputation building on twitter.
It is important for your own authenticity and the standing in the community that you only retweet at best persons you know or are sure to trust.
Very interesting: “84% of twitter users direct their attention to posts via the twitter search and the same number via by twitter recommended topics. Another 72% by Google and 82% by general web searches” WirtschaftsWoche writes. I.e: In fact most twitter users do not only read the statuses on their twitter own stream.
Who wants to raise his number of followers should therefore engage in twittering all trending topics.
March 14th, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
Getting into China’s social media market is not easy. The market is massive with over 500 Mio. internet users so it is hard to keep track of its developments. Furthermore censorship is high in China. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and so forth are banned. In most other countries they are the dominant players, but in China they only play a marginal role as they are hard to reach. And last but not least the language barrier for Westerners is huge.
Nevertheless, our Global Scalability allows us to overcome these frontiers. With native speakers in 70+ languages, ethority is able to get into China’s Social Web.
In the first step, we should take a quick glance into social media platforms offered in China. Here the prism by ethority gives us a clear view with 171 platforms sorted according to category in China and at the same time it shows the Chinese social media behavior. The quantity of platforms offered in each category, tells us how relevant and important the respective categories are. Compared to the German version, this is a whole new world.
In China, there are many copies of the platforms we know. The strict government control from China urges a unique formation of their own social media world. But it doesn’t stop the great interest in web 2.0. On the flipside of the coin, it creates a new market. Since China’s market is closed, an opportunity is given indirectly to Chinese platforms to grow and to cover the national demand. In this case, the Chinese platforms have a better chance to improve and gain a big market share of the global internet market. That’s why 3 of the Top 10 most valuable Social Media enterprises worldwide are Chinese.
Since the Social Web is growing rapidly, the information in the prism might necessitate slight changes over time. We are happy to read your comments on our blog. You find the download of the Chinese Social Media Prism here.
March 1st, 2012 by Sten Franke
As crazy as it sounds: Even global enterprises, who never would make the least decision without investing in extensive prior data analyses and tools to fend off all eventualities, invested in social media campaigns and activities without targeting aims, and define and measure the success thereof.
Though, every responsible marketing, PR or social media manager has to abide to the demand of Return on Investment (ROI) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). ROI in many companies still is a term that not all decision-makers can depict. King Fish Media found out that not yet half of the companies measure the ROI of their social media campaign, disregarding social media intelligence and monitoring tools – like the gridmaster – that can analyze ROI easily. The free ethority social media ROI calculator can be used anyway.
Of those companies that are measuring the ROI of their campaign, a third stated that their activities worked or rather proceeded according to their plan. 13% even had results exceeding the expectancies.
Of particular interest is the latter group as the future is theirs. King Fish Media – for instance – found out that 29% of the questioned have to account for a positive ROI to receive a social media budget the following year.
ROI is only one point though, another are the KPI’s. Without them, hardly any relevant and comprehensive measurement of success of social media campaigns is possible. Only that way, activities can be placed sustainably and targeted. Globally what counts is to increase brand awareness, sales, profit, customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, many businesses define the success of their campaigns only by amassing the three f’s (friends, follower, fans). No matter whether on facebook or twitter, the mere amount of the fans or followers doesn’t illustrate the level of interaction. Often, it is standard marketing to increase number of a brand’s fans by advertisements or lotteries. The mass of generated fans amounted like this doesn’t tell how valuable and sustainable it is, when your aim is to increase brand awareness, sales, profit, customer satisfaction and loyalty. I.e. fans recruited by lotteries show actually little interest in your brand. Community management that is authentic and based on dialogue can animate your fans to raise their level of interaction: you’re winning when your fans become so-called superfans, who contribute to building and creating a worthy brand-community by showing above-average engagement. Whether your own community has reached this state, or rather how your community matured already can be seen with global and industry-specific KPI’s. ethority over the past years has developed a substantial set of tools and industry-specific standard KPI’s. We will report further about them in this blog.
I am convinced that the coming 18 months ever larger budgets will be allocated to social media campaigns. This, in turn, means that general, and at the same time individual KPI’s have to be defined urgently, to actually measure the success of social media activities and campaigns.
February 17th, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
A SOMEMO study revealed lately which criteria varying Social Media Monitoring tools fulfill. It turned out that “ethority‘s gridmaster offers nearly all this evaluation framework considers. The only limitation is that image-data of photos or video files are not analyzed, which none of the vendors offers at the moment.” Out of 26 global Social Media Monitoring providers ethority scored highest although offering an average price.
Further conclusions that can be drawn out of this analysis are that free basic listening tools do not offer an appropriate quality of Social Media Monitoring. The user has to do a lot of data analysis by himself. In case you want a professional solution, you have to get a professional tool. The overview of the results of the analysis is to be found here. Decide what you want, and who you want to do it.
September 30th, 2011 by Nelli Ranck
For the first time in the history of the IAA electric cars got their own exposition hall. These vehicles carry nowadays the hopes of the automotive industry and have a permanent place in the social web as well.
The Volkswagen E-Up, which is not on the market until 2013, is already the most discussed and recommended electric car on Facebook & Co. The Opel Ampera, scheduled for German market release in November, makes up the second biggest volume on the social buzz.
Two Audi models, the new A2 and the Urban Concept, hold the third and the fourth place, while the fifth position is occupied by the electric car pioneer Toyota Prius. Smart Fortwo ED, Nissan Leaf, BMW i8, Mitsubishi i-MIEV and VW single-seater urban study Nils complete the list of the most discussed and recommended cars in social media.
These are the results of an exclusive car study, which ethority conducted for the magazine “auto motor sport”. During the IAA, we analysed what electric and hybrid car models get the most attention from the visitors.
The percentage of buzz volume in social networks is an important indicator of brand strength. Sentiment analysis provides evidence for the effective design of communication messages and the expansion of a unique positioning of the car brand to fans and potential buyers. Trend forums provide insightful information on relevant topics of the future.
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