July 26th, 2012 by Alexander Becker
Burson-Marsteller took a look at the Fortune 100 companies and identified five social media findings for 2012. Among them are that the users speak a lot about them, that video content constitutes a huge growth factor, and that engagement has become a “second nature” of companies.
Of particular interest is the fact that ever more businesses maintain channels on ever more social media platforms. They settle more quickly on new platforms like Pinterest, or Google+ and use them actively. This shows: the challenges to social media and community managers are rather becoming more complex than easy.
But have a look by yourself:
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.
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 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 19th, 2012 by Sten Franke
Facebook still is the most underestimated platform for corporate communications. This may sound odd, yet most companies and brands don’t exploit social media platform’s potential sufficiently.
A research by Recommend.ly shows 82% of all facebook fanpages are updated less than 5 times a month. A surprisingly low number. Even worse are accounts of local businesses. Only 6% of them engage in conversations on their fanpages.
Furthermore, Recommend.ly found out that on average 91% of comments of facebook fans remain unanswered. As a basis of this analysis 1.7 Mio. fanpages of enterprises serve.
Most companies apparently don’t know how to use their facebook account, these results show.
The conversion into new timeline gives reason to expect better. It forces businesses to reflect on their facebook strategy. Indeed ever more companies evaluate the challenges the social network poses.
Allfacebook.de reports 8 Mio pages have switched to the new design in the first fortnight. I.e. “of the 37 Mio pages with more than 10 fans (December 2011) 20% shifted to the timeline voluntarily”, experts say. Further it reads: “The remaining 80% hopefully are planning the makeover right now.” Otherwise on March 30 there will be a rude awakening: At the end of this month all pages are converted automatically. Futurebiz offers a worthy tutorial.
6 steps to change your fanpage successfully:
- Adapt your cover and profile image
- Create highlights and allocate pictures
- Look through and highlight past posts
- Prepare your community management to the new communication channels
- Optimize tabs
- Evaluate Concepts for campaigns à integrate your chronic
August 13th, 2008 by Sten Franke
|In June, Manager Magazin presented ethority’s reputation index. Next to “image” data, it also displays the overall buzz the CEOs’ names generated. The analysis of over 60,000 contributions in forums and blogs yielded the following ranking:|
|Furthermore, we conducted a topic oriented analysis of those blog postings. The following graph shows what topics bloggers addressed in combination with the different CEOs:|
|The findings of this study clearly show that the “commanders” of German corporations are discussed intensely in consumer generated media. Therefore, the question for corporate communication should no longer be if those channels should be integrated but rather how soon the monitoring of social media can be started. Whether you choose to listen to it or not – the buzz concerning companies and their leaders will not stop. And to bury your head in the sand is certainly not the right strategy to achieve new goals. Weblogs, forums, twitter and social networks with their online conversations have long surpassed the state of being marginal phenomena. Today and in the future, public is created and happening online. Therefore, being aware of such channels and monitoring them can only be the first step in this context. Corporate communication departments and PR agencies have to go even further: only the ones that “listen” to discussions in social media and actively communicate online will be able to participate in building the image of their company in this rapidly growing part of society.|