June 19th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Social Media and Human Resources: When I’m right, this is going to be one of the coming boom topics in the next months, as more and more blogger and relevant media cover it. Recently I read on Futurebiz.de: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are employed to win young talents and meet employer needs. Who is surprised by that, as the lack of skilled personnel no longer is refined to engineers, IT, and health care, but threatens the growth potential of the German economy owing to the over-aged population.
Furthermore, Europeans biggest marketing magazine “Werben & Verkaufen” wanted to know my opinion of this topic. Out of my and ethority’s point of view HR and social media is particularly interesting and hardly covered in regard of monitoring and measuring aspects. Not only social media campaigns of most businesses lack KPI’s in this field, to even measure success and reach of single employer branding and recruiting campaigns.
What are the relevant KPI’s to measure success of social media activities in human resources and employer branding?
The KPI’s at first are similar to monitoring brands:
- Buzz volume – How often is HR of my company talked about?
- Share of Voice – Are different businesses talked about more often considering this topic?
- Popularity of the employer brand – Which degree of sympathy, intensity, enthusiasm is at play when users talk about it as an employer?
- Sentiment concerning the employer brand in the single social networks, forums, blogs – How positively or negatively do the users talk about it on LinkedIn, XING, Facebook?
- Social Referrals of your employees – recommendations of vacancies in their own social networks – where, how often, and how successfully are vacancies distributed by your co-workers?
- User numbers of HR- or recruiting-apps for job offers
- Number of Followers/Fans on especially established HR-Twitter accounts, -Facebook Pages, or HR-channels
- Reach of single HR-campaigns
Ultimately, each HR manager will measure social media activities against hard facts like
9. Quantity (total CV-uploads) and
10. Matches – quality of received applications – amount of applicants fitting to the respective vacancyAre the criteria different to those of brands and products?
As yet mentioned of course a lot of identical KPI’s are applied to employer branding that as well are employed in the brands and products sector, although the data basis is different, and cannot begin with mentions of your business. Looking at the “where” and “how”, the context in which your company is mentioned is of key importance. Besides, “soft” criteria need to be defined that are tailor-made for the enterprise and the particular campaign.
Can you measure this success: Which tools are at your service?
Alongside these KPI’s it is important, to integrate methodological knowledge from market research in order to read strengths and weaknesses as an employer, find out needs and expectancies of potential applicants, and accordingly take the proper steps to your HR-strategy. A social media monitoring tool like the gridmaster is very useful to do this: The tool delivers KPI’s for HR-area and serves as an analytical instrument for campaigns and activities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, XING, and their prospective alumni networks, as well as particular, topic-related blogs, forums and communities.
The gridmaster gathers KPI’s for the success of activities on the networks, or rather especially tailor-made job postings for social media, analyzed, and talent-screening is performed web-wide.
What do businesses need to consider from the beginning, to measure the proper results for their social media undertakings?
Each business has to know right away which goals it wants to reach with social media. Equally important are the appropriate platforms, your target audience, which topics to engage. All in all you always have to reconsider that social media steps do not necessarily have immediate effect on e.g. revenue, or rather – to stick to HR – amount of applicants. Social media actions need to be thought of as long term, and will bring the expected success with continued engagement. Next to analytical technology, in the past years we have reacted to the needs of the market and created a consulting-unit with analysts, planners, and community managers, to be able to offer the suitable strategies and activities to our clients and partners out of the analyses. What leads to success are finally the fitting mechanisms and sustainable community management, e.g. to get recommendations (so-called social referrals) of your community’s members, in order to reach the ideal candidates.
As I said in the W&V: At the end of the day, what counts are the hard facts like quality and quantity of the received applications, against which each HR-manager will measure his or her social media activities.
June 7th, 2012 by Sten Franke
As soon as a McKinsey-study names big data, digital marketing / social media, and cloud computing as megatrends, it will be recognized among most old economy enterprises. A recent investigation by the consulting firm concludes that most C-level executives see foremost three key trends in the digital business:
- Big data and an appropriate analysis of the data
- Digital marketing and corresponding social media tools
- Usage of new platforms like cloud computing and other mobile offers
The expectancies to these three mega trends are high. For instance a third of the questioned believe, via the mentioned trends operational revenue can be increased by more than 10 percent. Managers of privately held businesses expect an even bigger growth potential than their colleagues at companies or publicly held organizations. 39 percent of the “privates” see a growth of over 10 percent thanks to the three above defined trends. At public decision-makers this figure is only 24 percent.
How strong the pressure in these trends is can be seen by the fact that more than half of the respondents said, at least two of the three trends are among the top ten of their strategic business objectives in the coming years. The digital marketing, as well as big data, already belongs to top 3 priorities at 25 percent of all companies.
It may be interesting, whether the planned investigations can cope with the reputed reality. A mere 25 percent of the interviewed declare that more than 3 percent of the company budget is allocated to the digital business. For 29 percent this value only is 0.9 percent.
Tantalizing: A third considers the planned investments as sufficient. However, a half is speaking of too little financial resources.
The actual benefit businesses want to extract out of the three mega trends are – logically – widely varied. E.g. in the big data sector 49 percent state they will focus on customer insights. In digital marketing predominantly it is about further integrating consumers in the field of social media.
At the end of a highly appealing study the authors give an outlook: They see numerous challenges enterprises will have to face. „Also required is a new approach to managing talent by utilizing flexible team structures, engaging outside collaborators, and increasing corporate tolerance for failure.“
Based on my experience and variable discussions I had with executives of companies, brands, and agencies I assess the situation of Germany’s market as follows:
- More than 95% of the businesses will lag behind these mega trends, although the topics have gained awareness in the top management. Most of the times their relevance is being rated down, although. Owing to a lack of know-how they are not being approached or rather realized consequently. The jeopardy especially for exporting companies is very high, as they, first, disregard the chance to strengthen their leading position in the market, and second, risk to lose ground to direct, more innovative contenders in the global competition.
- The budgets for digital marketing have increased the past years, although far away of what would have been necessary to comply with the altered patterns of media usage of consumers. Established B2C-brands bet on modeling tools to fathom budget allocation best, although the tools often miss the input of social media data. When it comes to the creative realization, in my view too often the antique sender-receiver principle is being applied. A good bit of the digital budget is allotted to further development and launch of websites, while the initiation of branded communities in social networks is neglected. Too little significance is given to the important community management.
- Sure, big data is a hype topic in the media, but yet hasn’t arrived in the daily business. First tries to mount and interpret the massive data treasure can be identified, mostly in the US, where intern data are combined with consumer insights generated in social media, and so increasing the efficiency and output of campaigns. In Germany many companies still are in search of an argumentation to conduct a first professional social media analysis, above all against the background of identifying emerging crises. To get access to the nuggets – the customer insights – more than monitoring of keywords is needed. High analytical and technological competence, considerable comprehension of how consumers think nowadays, and which marketing tools deliver best leads is what it takes.
Conclusion: Indeed, most businesses will have a hard time building the required know-how, and the appropriate structures, in an acceptable time frame. That’s why top management will buy the competences externally. Ergo, service and solution providers in the above mentioned sectors may look forward to above average raising budgets in the coming years.
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.
April 4th, 2012 by Sten Franke
This catchphrase has the potential to become an all-time classic on all conferences from Hamburg to San Francisco: Digital Darwinism. Creator of this saying is Brian Solis, one of the most interesting thinkers in the digital era, Principal Analyst of Altimeter Group, bestselling author and keynote speaker.
What he means by Digital Darwinism is the excluding competition around awareness which brands in the social web are facing. Now all of a sudden extremely hungry and customer focused newcomers compete with established brands that long profited of their tradition, reputation and their rather sedate product cycles. Now the latter notice that the former are growing excessively, and are only one click away of heralding their decline.
An important factor is the new power of the consumers – so to speak the right to communicate and co-determine that is being lived on social media platforms for long.
In Solis’ point of view on Facebook & Co. an excluding competition is fought that only those companies will survive that are willed to accept this change and think differently. To consist in this competition there are 10 principles to abide by that he had articulated. Among them there is strategy, culture, people, and vision. In respect of the last point Brian asks rightly, when one has read the mission statement of his company lately? Whether you live by them and whether they are matching the times. Basically he says that an enterprise has to be able to create a working environment that leaves each employee the room to invest his entire creativity and innovation.
A business that strives to maintain in the Digital Darwinism, always has to question itself, and has to be ready to adapt their business goals and strategies anytime. Further keywords that are of huge importance to Brian Solis are: Localization, Philanthropic Capitalism, and Intelligence. On it is is said:
„One of the biggest trends in 2011 was the development of social media command centers. At the heart of these sophisticated data gathering silos were conversations and tools that allowed community managers to listen, respond, and promote engagement within the company. While social media is introducing the art & science of monitoring to marketing and service teams it is the organizations that invest in technology, teams and processes that will translate activity into actionable insights.“
However, the most exciting thought of Brian Solis is to demand more leadership qualities by the Top-Management. They have to provide the strategy and exemplify them through their own life. They have to cater the adequate corporate culture, and should be the first to listen to users and consumers in social media.
The US-American reaffirms a trend we have covered only recently. According to a study by Brandfog, the social media awareness of a brand is influenced positively by the circumstance whether the CEO engages on Twitter, Facebook, and Co. personally. For instance 78% think, it has positive consequences when the boss hits the keyboard or smartphone on his own. 71% believe this improves the brand image and 64% are sure a twittering and facebooking management’s business is perceived as more transparent than others.
Brian’s approach is extremely fascinating to me, so I want to dig deeper into it in further blog articles. Though, it has to be admitted that these principles apply foremost to consumer-centered business models.
April 2nd, 2012 by Sten Franke
Years ago Mark Zuckerberg surprised with his notion of turning Facebook into its own systems software, on which all applications run and get connected that Homo Sapiens 2.0 needs for his happy and fulfilled web existence.
In spite of all discussions about the new timeline, or the question which brand has most fans, it has been lost sight of Facebook’s continuation of exactly this project. Or rather: how it lets others continue it. Indeed in the past months a multiplicity of new web and mobile applications emerged that turn personal data of Facebook into a decisive part of their own network. That’s how Facebook is becoming the foundation of a whole new generation of fresh social networks and offerings.
The two most popular ones surely are Pinterest and Spotify. But there are further thrilling networks: For instance the business networks BranchOut and Identified. “Identified already has 2.9 Mio monthly users, according to numbers by AppData, BranchOut even 11.2 Mio – to be on a par with Xing”, Basic Thinking has investigated. “Both Apps give something to Facebook users that the social network has missed out on: a formal career network besides the fun.”
Applications like Highlight and Glancee, for their part, offer a lot of fun. To Marcel Weiss they are “a perfect example of which new things become possible at the intersection of mobile and social web”.
Highlight and Glancee, in his opinion, distinguish themselves “by not only taking the relations of Facebook and tell who of their friends or of their friend’s friends is near (which is how Sonar.me works). They also use the data of their ‘likes’ to point to individuals sharing their interests.”
From a social media intelligence point of view these offerings are an incredibly fascinating field, as they access a multitude of data that the Facebook-API supplies. This demonstrates the value of the user information the US-network provides.
March 28th, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
It’s time again. The social media landscape develops at an enormous velocity. All the time new platforms are emerging and gain significance, while others disappear off the screen. That’s why we offer Version 4.0 of the German Social Media Prism.
In our Blog we already covered Pinterest, which wasn’t included in Version 3.0 yet. The image sharing platform was the fastest standalone network to reach to 10 Mio users globally. At the end of February it had 17.8 Mio users worldwide, while in Germany it has 1.4 Mio.
Our Top 20 social media sites featured social media sites that increased in importance since our Version 3.0 of the Social Media Prism Germany. Among them DailyMotion, Orkut, and Photobucket are to be found. They had to be included in Version 4.0 of the German Social Media Prism.
Here you can download Version 4.0 of the Social Media Prism Germany. Share it with your friends and feel free to comment below.
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 21st, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
Networks and videos dominate in social media. They combine for more than 50% of the worldwide usage of the Top 20 social media platforms. Wikis, blogging platforms and micro-blogging services follow. The aim of ethority’s study about the usage and importance of the variable platforms and channels was: Which platforms are being used most each month and how high is the number of unique visitors? The latter tells more about the success of a platform as, for instance, the number of registered (active/inactive) user accounts (e.g. facebook: 850 Mio) or of page views.
The Top 5 surprise little: Facebook ranks 1st place with 950 Mio unique visitors, YouTube ranks 2nd with 880 Mio, and Wikipedia is 3rd with 410 Mio unique visitors. Blogspot, accounting for 340 Mio unique visitors is the biggest blogging platform worldwide and takes the 4th place, Twitter being 5th with half of that, 170 Mio unique visitors.
Google+, which has been written off by many, at least conquered a respectable 8th place considering their short existence. Soon, then, a channel hardly known in most of the Western World follows: Dailymotion, in Tunesia, France, Turkey, Belgium, Morocco, Algier, and Pakistan according to Alexa among the Top 50 sites, in the USA only takes 214th spot. Badoo, popular in the Mediterranean region, Cameroon and Latin America, and Orkut in Brazil are further channels to be mentioned here.
The graphic shows in the first place, which platforms the Top 20 social media platforms are. Furthermore it lays out how the usage is distributed among variable categories of social media usage. Networks account for 36% of it, and 27% to video sites. Blogging platforms surmount Wikis in their importance, 15% and 12% of social media usage respectively. 5% is allocated to micro-blogging services. Others is made up of picture platforms like flickr and Photobucket, pinning site Pinterest, review site tripadvisor and the content platforms Scribd and Slideshare.
Related to this we want to point to the fact that very common apps like Foursquare and Instagram do not appear here. The do have relatively few unique visitors (5.6 Mio and 9.9 Mio, respectively), but many more registered accounts (15 Mio and 27 Mio, respectively). As they are used on mobile devices they do not require a visit to their website. This is why the number of unique visitors is not as relevant to those services as to others to capture their significance. In future articles we will consider the numbers of the mobile use of apps we do not have at the moment, though.
March 16th, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
Dave Kerpen is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm, NYT Best-selling author and speaker. In his book “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook and other social networks.” he reveals the secret to successful word-of-mouth marketing on the social web.
1. Which 5 recent numbers in social media impressed you most?
- 11.7 million – the number of active monthly users that Pinterest reported in February, making them the fastest growing website ever to 10 million users.
- 75% – the percentage of Facebook likes that their new advertising product “Reach Generator” promises to reach. This ad product manages to collect revenue by allowing brands to reach their own fans in the News Feed (most of which have been generating by Facebook ads to begin with!) – and yet will massively appeal to most large companies.
- 50 million – the most recently disclosed number of Twitter’s daily active users. Twitter remains the 2nd most important social platform for brands across the globe, outside of China.
- 250 million – the number of registered users on Weibo, a Chinese social network akin to Twitter operated by public traded company Sina.
- 66% off – the discount I receive off at Gilt Group, thanks to my Klout score. A recent promotion gives each person a % off equal to their Klout score. This influence-based promotion not only gives Justin Bieber free swaq – it may be a sign of things to come in social commerce.
2. Social Media Trends – which is the next big thing in your opinion?
- The next big thing in social media is the rise of the interest graph. The rise of Pinterest is proof that people like paying attention to people with similar interests – so much so that interest graph data may end up proving a more viable indicator of social commerce than social graph data. In other words – are you more likely to purchase something if your cousin, the novice golfer, likes it on Facebook – or if someone or plays golf all the time like you do and that you follow on Pinterest – pins it? The combination of the interest graph and the social graph will likely be most potent.
3. Will mobile use change social media?
- Mobile use has already changed social media, and it will continue to do so. Half of all Facebook’s nearly 900 million users access the social network from mobile devices. Designers and developers must create products with this is mind – simple, and useable via mobile – is always best.
4. Which is your favorite social media tool?
- My favorite social media tool is Buffer. It allows you to easily schedule Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates ahead of time, spacing them out with minimal effort.
5. Will G+ challenge facebook’s “like”?
- Google Plus and their +1 will challenge Facebook’s like, due to Google’s search dominance. But ultimately, this will make for healthy competition, and both platforms bettering their products for consumers and advertisers alike. In the end, Facebook’s “like” – and maybe even Pinterest’s “pin” – or another interest graph’s light indicator – will prevail over the +1.
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.