April 10th, 2012 by Sten Franke
It is proof for the success of a young, ambitious web service, when others are being built on its basis augmenting it. Looked at it this way, Pinterest seems to become a huge success story in the net, as ever more services integrate the online pin wall.
The most exciting tool amplifying Pinterest is PinReach. The new service measures the reach a member of the hyped network attains. The US-Americans developed the PinReach Score depicting the latter.
PinReach doesn’t reveal how this score is evaluated, though. Nevertheless they explain that, for instance, repins are more important than own pins. “Once members start repinning your item your score will increase much quicker. Another similar relationship exists between followers and who you follow. Simply following 500 members will do far less for your score than having 500 new followers on your account“, an illuminating text states.
The tool integrates the amount of pins, repins, likes, followers, followings, comments and boards in one piece. Extra graphics are analyzing the pin-history on top of it and identifies the most popular boards.
Never mind the statistics and analyses, the experts of PinReach are aware that Pinterest is all about easy stuff: „Ultimately, the goal should be to produce and share great content on Pinterest.“
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 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 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 20th, 2012 by Sten Franke
How to reliably measure the success of your own social media campaigns? Still many decision-makers take the numbers of fans and followers as a serious indicator for your brand’s success in social networks.
Return on Investment (ROI) in many businesses is set as a Standard-Key Performance Indicator (KPI), not including social media campaigns and activities, though. King Fish Media found out not even half of businesses measure the ROI of their respective social media campaigns.
This is a fact irrespective of social media intelligence or rather monitoring tools like the gridmaster that are available for a long time already and can analyze your ROI or KPI’s easily. In addition to these tools, the free ethority Social Media ROI Calculator may be used.
These 5 Standard-KPI’s can be applied to most relevant social Networks.
1. Rate of interaction (Conversational exchange) – Amount of replies and comments
The amount of Replies to a tweet for Oosterveer is the most important social media KPI. The answers to a tweet of your brand show how many are willing to engage with the brand, to interact with it or rather exhibit an increased interest in it.
2. Direct Reach – Amount of fans and followers
Even though you should be careful not to take the quantity of your fans too serious when they have been amassed via lotteries and other campaigns, the reach – i.e. the number of individuals who might be reading each tweet or post – remains an important indicator.
3. Sharing or content amplification
The number of shares per post. Each post or tweet creates its own tiny social network, as it is shared, retweeted, or given a +1 via Google+. Each recommendation by a fan reaches out to his entire personal network. This number depicts how often a post has been shared, retweeted of recommended on Google+. No matter where you posted initially.
To measure the sentiment or tonality of a post or tweet a complex analytical tool like the gridmaster is required. A decent analysis of tonality long ago had to become a standard at reputable measurements of KPI’s in social media campaigns, as everybody should be interested whether those innumerable conversations about your brand or campaign tend to be positive or negative.
5. Likes or content appreciation
This is a factor especially for twitter. How often did somebody favor your tweet? This shows inhowfar your messages are useful or entertaining. Only those tweets that entertain or contain relevant information are being favored.
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.
March 2nd, 2012 by Mathias Buerk
We are honoured to interview Lon Safko (@lonsafko) in today’s Friday5. He invented “the first computer to save a human life” (Steve Jobs) and numerous other software and hardware solutions for the physically challenged. 18 of his inventions and more than 30.000 papers are in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington. Furthermore he is the author of “The Social Media Bible” that ranked #1 in both marketing and business on Amazon, and is available in four languages. Moreover, Lon Safko founded 14 successful companies.
1. Which 5 recent numbers in social media impressed you most?
1) Of course the number of Facebook members always impresses me, especially as they approach their 1 billionth member.
2) Myspace is still out there and growing with over 200 million members.
3) Twitters is still going strong with their 106 million users and active use.
4) It’s China that surprises me. Their Qzone has 190 million members and RenRen with 170 million members. This surprises me because Facebook is still banned and doesn’t compete, and they also have 1.3 billion people! I would have thought their two largest social networks would have larger memberships.
5) Lastly, the number of people calling themselves “social media gurus”.
2. Social Media Trends – which is the “next big thing” in your opinion?
It’s what my next book is about, “The Fusion Media Bible”. If you are still calling yourself a “Social Media Expert” then you’re announcing to the world that you have been left behind. Fusion Marketing is the next step that brings our 6,000 years of traditional marketing, the exciting digital marketing tools of the Internet, and social media together, and fully integrates them into one seamless tool set that will accomplish every goal you set. Fusion Marketing is about looking at all of your campaigns, conversion strategies, tools and tactics as one integrated marketing strategy. If you have a V.P. of social media, then why don’t you have a V.P. of billboards? Traditional, Digital, and Social Media is all just media; technology that allows us to communicate with our customers.
3. Will mobile use change social media?
It already has. The Nielsen Company announced in 2011 that for the first time in history the number of televisions in America dropped from 98% to 96%. We are rapidly moving to mobile for our news, television show, movies, and social connections. The rest of the world is driving this phenomenon as most of the world’s population cannot afford a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, and broadband, but they can afford one smartphone. Smartphone marketing is growing exponentially and smart marketers today have to embrace mobile.
4. Will Google+ challenge facebook seriously?
I think so. This is reminiscent of the Apple vs. Windows battle of the 80’s and 90’s. When you have $24 billion in contextual advertising at stake, there will be war. Both Google and Facebook have been knocking off each others features / benefits for the past three years. This also part of a trend where the technologies are also integrating such as Google Hangouts Skype like video chat and Twitter like chat. When you have the kind of budgets that Google and Facebook have, you can afford to reverse engineer the best features of each others platform. This is only the beginning of the battle.
5. Social Commerce – what do you expect in the future?
Absolutely! We’ve seen the power of “reviews” and “Others who have purchased this has also purchased these…” what technically isn’t social commerce, but it was the beginning and heavily influences purchases. We will see more NFC (Near Filed Communication” or “Tap-&-Go” payment systems. Again, Europe is way ahead of of implementing NFC than the U.S. The smartphone will someday replace the credit card much the same way the credit card replaced the personal check.
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.