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 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 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 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
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 7th, 2012 by Sten Franke
We have been teaching it a while already, in the meantime most businesses seem to have understood. The acknowledge that their own social media activities, and of their employees, are a huge treasure of data that yet has to be heaved, ordered an analyzed.
Latest research supports this thesis. For instance a new Iron Mountain study concluded that most European businesses still do not know how to deal with data stemming from social networks like facebook, twitter, or linkedin. “Although 94% (Europe: 86%) of the German businesses asked in this study are aware of the fact that communication via social media channels can possibly be classified as a formal business process” the paper states. “At the same time 72% of German businesses (Europe: 63%) do not consider themselves as being able to capture the data and information exchanged in social media accordingly”. The authors see this as one possible reason why 90% of businesses ban the use of social media while working to their employees.
However, this hardly affects ever more individuals using social media. A current analysis by Statista depicts how regularly users surf their favorite networks by now:
In their examination the colleagues of Iron Mountain picture the situation very negative. They believe that facebook and Co. constitute a similar problem to companies than when email was introduced to the business world. Nevertheless, this example convinces only partly. Even though when emailing started it posed a difficulty to businesses, then firms could not handle the data for analysis properly.
The data and information social networks can provide surmount in importance multiplicately. Social media monitoring and intelligence tools (e.g. the gridmaster) allow the analysis of tweets and posts extensively and to continue working with the gained data.
At Iron Mountain the generated data is perceived as highly huge and unstructured that it is hard to control. Hera again I have to object and refer to our gridmaster. Nevertheless the study is right in remarking that the immediateness and informality in social networks raise the risk of violating copyright or revealing confidential information.
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.