Welcome to our In the News Page

All media inquires should be directed to:

Megan McManaman, Content Marketing Manager

How Can we help?

describe the image

Contact us to see how we can help with your upcoming segmentation, customer loyalty, product development, social media, and brand research projects.

Browse by Tag

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Small Business Tip Tuesday: Repeat Customers vs. New Customers


Originally posted on business2community.com

small business tip tuesday repeat customers vs new customersOne of the biggest decisions that we often have to make when running a small business is determining what type of customers we want to focus on. Are we going to seek out new customers, or should we spend our time getting existing customers to come back?

Certainly, in the bigger picture, we need both. We need our existing customers to come back, and we certainly want a healthy influx of new customers (who will hopefully also become repeat customers). But how should we spend our time, money, and energy? On what should we focus?

While this may vary across business categories, I think most small businesses need to focus more on existing customers, and working to get them to come back. And your online presence and Social Media can be at the heart of that.

Think about it this way: when you visit a business, what is it that makes you come back? Probably some combination of great products/services, great price/value, and great customer service. Add all of these together and what does it come down to? Great customer experience.

Now, take the next step: when you visit a business for the first time, why did you choose that particular business? If you’re anything like me, the overwhelming reason I try a business for the first time is: word of mouth. Someone has recommended that business to me. And that someone is an existing customer who has been on the receiving end of that great customer experience.

OK, now take off your customer hat, and put your small business hat back on. What are you goals? Who do you want to see come through your door? Are you focusing your resources and energies on attracting new customers or repeat customers?

At times it feels like many small businesses spin their wheels in search of those new customers. But honestly, that’s a lot more effort for less payoff.

What if you were to spend more time and money producing great products, offering great value, and providing great service? Your existing customers would not only come back, but they would tell others about you. And those other people are more likely to trust the word of your friends over any sort of marketing or advertising you might do on your own.

In fact, a recent study from Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey indicates that the number one reason people will follow your brand on Twitter is because they are already a customer. And if they follow you on Twitter, the study shows that they will also be more likely to recommend your business. And there are similar findings regarding why people “like” your business on Facebook.

Take care of your existing customers.

They will come back.

They will talk about you, and THEY will do the marketing work for you.

The payback is certainly much greater, and there is less chance that you’ll have to do damage control either online or offline, because you’ll be focusing on making people happy, not just on making the sale.

And don’t separate how you conduct business in your office/store from how you conduct business online. Social platforms offer you an incredible opportunity to really beef up your the customer experience quotient. That includes not only having a presence on platforms where your customers are spending time, but also using that presence to communicate properly with them. Of paramount importance is responding to their questions (and complaints) in a proper and timely fashion.

Remember: What happens online, on Facebook or Twitter, happens in public. Both good and bad customer experiences will be seen by more than just the parties involved. And either way, word will spread. The good news is, if you’re creating a great customer experience, you’ll have the ability to generate positive word of mouth that money can’t buy.

Are you spending more time trying to attract new customers, or is your focus on providing the best possibly experience for your existing customers?

Sunday's Zaman: Digital marketing to grow more in Turkey as firms discover Twitter


Originally published on Sunday's Zaman

The share of digital marketing in the overall marketing mix in Turkey is expected to grow with the use of such new social media tools as Twitter, observers argue.

Studies show that digital marketing, which has emerged as a relatively more efficient and more affordable means of marketing, could deliver high returns in a very short time. This is proof that more companies are gravitating towards digital marketing in Turkey than in the past. Digital marketing -- which covers promotion through the Internet, cellphones and other interactive channels -- accounted for 7.1 percent of overall marketing in Turkey as of June 2011, according to the latest figures compiled by the Turkish Association of Advertising Agencies (RD). In separate data, the total amount of money that companies in Turkey spent on marketing increased by 20 percent in the January-October period over the same period in 2010. Social media experts say digital marketing is poised to secure steady growth in Turkey as the marketing tools in social media are quickly diversifying. This growth, however, may not help digital marketing replace conventional marketing -- TVs, papers and magazines -- in the medium run since traditional ways of marketing still have the strongest share in Turkey. The share of television marketing is, for instance, 58 percent, in the same RD survey covering the first six months.

Among the most preferred new social media marketing tools in the world, Twitter has an important place. Companies use Twitter by opening their own accounts to reach out to “followers,” a majority of whom are customers looking for the latest updates on products. Having a Twitter account can be relatively new for Turkish businesses, but some of the leading firms have already started using this method. Turkey’s largest GSM operator was the first Turkish company to open a Twitter account, and it has reached 40,000 followers in a short time. Other companies that followed Turkcell were Efes Pilsen and Garanti Bank. Turkcell has 38,200 followers on Twitter, while Efes follows with 13,280 and Garanti with 12,070. Company officials were not immediately available to comment on the benefits of their Twitter accounts for their businesses. The Media Monitoring Center (MTM) told Sunday’s Zaman that it would conduct a survey to examine this specific issue.

According to Günseli Özen Ocakoğlu, executive editor of Marketing Türkiye magazine, companies’ Twitter accounts may evolve into attractive digital advertising platforms. “When we asked Twitter’s founder how he planned to make money out of this media three years ago, he had no idea. But today it has become a prominent arena appealing to many firms.” “Twitter is still a credible social media platform that hosts many well-qualified, target-user profiles. Companies would love to reach these people,” Ocakoğlu commented. She said engaging with potential customers could attract new ones. One critical issue Ocakoğlu stressed is that companies should manage their accounts well -- i.e., they should post frequent updates if they want to see benefits in the long run.

Social media expert Zeki Gülen said companies, particularly those that think they lag behind rivals in social media, find such new tools as Twitter very attractive. “They are expecting to increase the popularity of both their companies and brands through various means, and Twitter is one of the best known examples of this. He joined Ocakoğlu and said companies should focus on maintaining sustainability and the popularity of their brands by an efficient use of Twitter. “It is crucial to maintain their credibility, and companies can do this by not harming privacy rights in the digital world.”

Buy a follower to boost your business?

However traditional it may sound, utilizing word of mouth has always been an effective marketing method for companies to increase their business, and the same trend works in the digital world, too. But there is one critical difference when it comes to the digital world. The grocery store in your neighborhood would not pay you for recommending his products to others, but companies in digital realms do. A software programmer from İzmir, who asked to remain anonymous, told Sunday’s Zaman he “sells followers” to companies on Twitter. “Some companies may opt to either pay a small fee to people to follow their accounts or simply ask us to do the same for them. … We have developed a new computer program that enables us to find followers and direct these to certain people, and firms on Twitter for a set amount of money in return.” He also has his own price chart: “We offer 500 followers for TL 20 and 1,000 for TL 40.” He shares the chart on his Twitter account. Noting that his method was first criticized by some at the beginning, he says this has helped companies increase their business to some extent.

Recent studies show following brands on Twitter can actually motivate people to recommend those brands. People who follow brands on Twitter say they are more likely to buy products from the brands they follow and are more likely to recommend those brands to friends, according to a new study by Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey. Among surveyed Twitter users who follow at least one brand on Twitter, 50 percent said they are more likely to buy products from brands they follow on Twitter.

Gülen said attracting followers in return for money may not be a reliable and permanent marketing style since “followers are not fully controllable, and they could easily ‘unfollow’ the firms.” “Buying followers on Twitter may not be a sustainable marketing option for companies in this regard. The companies should spend their time and money on finding and working with the right persons [social media experts] and better manage their accounts,” he added.

Moral discussions aside, there are people who support the “buy-follower” trend on Twitter. At the end of the day, getting an extra 10,000 followers is a great boom. No one follows a company with only, say, 100 followers, they say.

35% More Webmasters Use Twitter Than Facebook On Contact Forms


Originally Published on MediaBistro.com

By Lauren Dugan on November 30, 2011 12:10 PM

http resized 600Facebook might be the bigger network, but several industries are betting on Twitter. According to Outreachr, 35 percent more websites in the travel, finance and motoring industries include Twitter on their contact pages than Facebook.

This datacomes from over 100,000 websites evaluated for their social integration in the month of October, 2011.

A full 54 percent of those websites examined included an external link to their Twitter feed, and only 35 percent linked to their Facebook page. These figures don’t include plugins for the respective social sites on areas other than the website’s contact page, which were common for both.

But, the research went on to show that approximately 40 percent of Facebook users will interact with a brand, and only 25 percent of Twitter users will do the same – which throws into question why webmasters are choosing Twitter over Facebook.

However, as a possible explanation, previous research by Chadwick Martin Bailey suggests that Twitter users (while perhaps not interacting with the brand directly in as high volume as Facebook users), are extremely likely to recommend that brand to their peers if they follow it. This word of mouth recommendation process is extremely valuable on the social web, as a friend or colleague’s recommendation is more likely to lead to a purchase than many other kinds of advertising.

In any case, the Outreachr data does show that social is popular for webmasters across several industries – even more popular than email now. On the contact pages for the websites examined, less than 20 percent displayed an email address, instead preferring to use a contact form or social media to connect with their visitors.

Research shows the value of followers


Originally published on CorpComms

Customers who follow brands on Twitter are more engaged

Consumers who follow brands on Twitter are more likely to both buy from and recommend Twitterthose brands, according to a new study of consumer behaviour conducted by Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.

The study's key findings mirror a previous study conducted by the same two companies, which analysed consumer behaviour on Facebook. The research also revealed that more consumers are turning to Twitter to connect with their favourite brands: one-third of those brand followers surveyed reported interacting with brands more this year than they did last year.

Over half of brand followers are more likely to buy from a brand after following them on Twitter. And the research found that consumers follow brands on Twitter for exclusivity and promotions. The research also shows that consumers are selective: nearly 80 per cent of consumers on Twitter follow fewer than 10 brands.

'For brands, simply broadcasting content and talking at consumers doesn't fly anymore. Consumers want more than just good content; they want interactive content. And they don't just want to hear from brands; they want to be heard and acknowledged by the real people behind the brands,' said Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media at Constant Contact.

'Similar to what we saw in our previous study of behaviour on Facebook, the quality of relationships between brands and consumers on Twitter is high. Consumers are selective as to which brands they follow, but they are extremely loyal to those that they do follow. Consumers are both more likely to buy and recommend products from a brand they follow on Twitter.'

Chadwick Martin Bailey's vice president of marketing, Kristen Garvey said: 'It's also important to realise that consumers are selective—they really want the inside scoop about the brands they follow. Social media platforms like Facebook, and increasingly Twitter, offer companies an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage.'

Marketing Profs: Twitter Brand Followers More Likely to Recommend, Buy Products


Originally published in Marketing Profs

People who follow brands on Twitter say they are more likely to buy products from the brands they follow and more likely to recommend those brands to friends, according to a new study by Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey.

Among surveyed Twitter users who follow at least one brand on Twitter, fully one-half (50%) say they are more likely to buy products from brands they follow on Twitter. Interestingly, male brand followers are more likely than their female counterparts to buy a brand's products after following it on Twitter, 55% vs. 45%.

Below, additional findings from a survey of Twitter users in the US from Constant Contact and Chadwick Martin Bailey, which explores how Twitter users who follow brands interact with those brands.

Recommending Brands to Friends

Following brands on Twitter motivates people to recommend those brands: Fully six in ten brand followers say they are likely to recommend a few (42%) or many (18%) brands to friends after following them on Twitter.

Older brand followers (age 35-49) are less likely to recommend a few (14%) or many (33%) brands to friends after following them on Twitter.

Being the First to Know

Most (64%) Twitter users who follow brands say they do so because they are already a customer, but early access to information is key for many Twitter followers: 61% follow brands in order to be the first to receive information about the brand, while 48% are motivated by discounts and promotions.

Roughly one-third of brand followers want the inside scoop: 36% follow brands to gain access to exclusive content.

Followers Tend to Stay With Brands

Only 13% of brand followers say they have "un-followed" a brand, whereas 75% have never done so with fans over age 35 the most likely to remain a brand follower, according to the study.

Brand Followers Are Few, Selective

Only 21% of surveyed Twitter users say they follow brands on Twitter. Moreover, such followers are selective about the brands they do follow on Twitter: 79% follow fewer than 10 brands.

Younger Twitter users are more likely to follow brands on Twitter: 26% of those under age 35 do, compared with 17% of those age 35-49, and 13% of those age 50+.

Twitter Still Gaining Momentum

Brand followers are becoming more active with brands on Twitter: 33% of such followers report interacting with brands more this year than they did last year, whereas 57% are interacting at the same level. Men are increasing their rate of brand interaction more than women, 38% vs. 27%.

In addition, nearly half (47%) of Twitter users have been tweeting less than one year.

Looking for real, hard data that can help you match social media tools and tactics to your marketing goals? The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs, gives you the inside scoop on how 5,140 marketing pros are using social media to create winning campaigns, measure ROI, and reach audiences in new and exciting ways.

Other key findings: 

  • Twitter users are active Internet users overall: 50% go online more than once an hour.
  • Brand followers read brand posts more than they tweet about brands: 84% read tweets posted by brands, whereas 23% tweet about the brand. 

About the data: Findings are from a survey of 1,491 US consumers ages 18 and older, conduct via the Research Now online panel by Chadwick Martin Bailey with Constant Contact, January 2011.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2011/6195/twitter-brand-followers-more-likely-to-recommend-buy-products#ixzz1bLPSMF7F

The Drum: Third of brand followers interacting more with brands this year


Originally published on The Drum

Research by Constant Contact and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey has found that 79% of consumers on Twitter follow fewer than 10 brands, with a third of brand followers interacting with brands more this year compared to last year.

The US research based on 1,491 consumers ages 18 and older on Facebook found that 60% of brand followers are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after following them on Twitter, with 50% more likely to buy from a brand after following them on Twitter.

It was discovered that the main reasons for following a brand were exclusivity, promotions and to be “in the know”, with consumers more likely to read a post about a brand than write about it.

Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media for Constant Contact, said: “Similar to what we saw in our previous study of behaviour on Facebook, the quality of relationships between brands and consumers on Twitter is high. Consumers are selective as to which brands they follow, but they are extremely loyal to those that they do follow.

“For brands, simply broadcasting content and talking at consumers doesn’t fly anymore… They don’t just want to hear from brands; they want to be heard and acknowledged by the real people behind the brands. More than ever, marketing is about building relationships, and Twitter is a great channel for this type of two-way interaction.”

Brafton News: Social media marketing with Twitter leads to more sales


Originally Published on Brafton News

Twitter is becoming more popular.

New research from Chadwick Martin Bailey and Constant Contact reveals that consumers who follow a company on Twitter spend more money with the brand and recommend it to a friend than the average consumer, demonstrating the value of social media marketing.

According to a release from the companies, 60 percent of Twitter users following a brand are more to recommend it to a friend. The accessibility offered through Twitter helps these users develop a greater sense of connection with the brand. This often results in their advocacy of the company when speaking to friends or family.

Following a brand on Twitter often provides the impetus in itself for a consumer to make a purchase with that company, Chadwick Martin Bailey and Constant Contact.

The two primary reasons people end up following a brand are for new promotions and offers and for greater access to information from the company. However, people are quite selective in the brands they follow with 79 percent of users reporting they follow 10 or fewer brands. Once a user followers a brand, they rarely look elsewhere for the product or service they sought. Additionally, 75 percent of respondents said they have never unfollowed a brand.

As more people use Twitter, they are interacting with brands more frequently, according to the report, with one-third saying they have increased their engagement in the last year.

“For brands, simply broadcasting content and talking at consumers doesn’t fly anymore. Consumers want more than just good content; they want interactive content. And they don’t just want to hear from brands; they want to be heard and acknowledged by the real people behind the brands. More than ever, marketing is about building relationships, and Twitter is a great channel for this type of two-way interaction,” Mark Schmulen, general manager of social media for Constant Contact, said in the release.

The two companies collaborated on a similar study centered on Facebook last month. Brafton reported that 56 percent of Facebook users who become fans of brand Pages have recommended the companies they Like to a friend.

Technorati: Tweet, Follow or Get Out of the Way


Originally published on Technorati

tweetWith over a 50 percent increase in growth since the beginning of 2011, Twitter is reinforcing its importance in social media marketing.

According to Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO, Twitter boasts 100 million active users daily, meaning they log into the platform at least once a month and 50 million users log in every day.

Small business owners should take these numbers very seriously. According to the 2011 inbound marketing report done by HubSpot, an online marketing software company, 42 percent of companies said they have acquired a customer through Twitter. 

Your customers all use Twitter in a different way. According to Costolo, a lot of people log into Twitter but don't necessarily tweet. Many users simply follow, but most non-tweeters eventually move from consumption to production.

According to Chadwick Martin Bailey Research Technologies, 79 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend the brands they follow.

For small business owners, whether the users move from consumption to production is irrelevant. The fact that 100 million users are on twitter following brands and celebrities they like is more than reason enough to become an active brand on Twitter.

Making your brand available to 100 million active users is a good use of resources.

With so many social media tools to choose from, it's important to recognize that you shouldn't try and do it all. Before you begin, define your goals on Twitter and whatever other social media platform you use for your business, this way you know what success looks like before you get started.

"A Small Business Guide to Success" is a good article to read for tips on how to begin using social media marketing for your small business.

For more information on how to use Twitter as part of your social media marketing mix, sign up to receive a free webinar on demand, that walks you through social media marketing for your small business.

Article Author: Mikaela Louve

Business Insider: The Smart People Are on Twitter and Other Online Strategies


Originally published in Business Insider

By now all of us – or at least most of us – know that we need a website and that the question is what we should do with it, not whether it should exist.  Yet I meet small business owners, almost weekly, who don’t have websites and are still deciding what to do about it (if anything at all).  On the flip side, I also meet business owners who have brochure sites—the kind of Web presence that never changes, never shares and never connects.  It is better than having nothing.  But in a world that seems to crave more and more connection, adding something more than just directions to your website is important.

Sure, it is easier to build a brochure site and forget about it (been there, done that). But the bottom line for small businesses is this: We cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to connect with our people (target market) on their terms.

So where are they? Online? On blogs? On Facebook? On Twitter?

To know where your clients are, you have to know who they are and this includes

  • what they like
  • where they shop
  • how they spend
  • what they like to do
  • the kinds of things they talk about

If you can put yourself in their shoes (which is easier when you are a part of the market you serve), then you can figure out where they are and what they like — and cater to it.

Hubspot.com recently released 100 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts & Graphs. This report is a synthesis of marketing data from sources like BlogHer, MarketingSherpa, Comscore and Ad-ology. They say that their sources used original data and research to support their conclusions.  In other words, Hubspot did the heavy lifting and consolidated what they consider to be the key online marketing information into one place.  The list gives some insight into where people are online and what they are doing.

A few things stood out to me.

1. Millions Are Online

There are a lot of people online (75 percent of U.S. adults) searching for products, local stores, news, advice and more. As small business owners, our products, our local store, our news and our advice should be online too. But it needs to be relevant and put into a language that connects with the reader.  In other words, our news doesn’t matter unless it’s important to our audience.  How you say it makes the difference.

2. Most Are on Facebook

Chances are that if your people are online, then they are probably on Facebook (93 percent of U.S. adult Internet users).   You may want to get that fan page up and give your (potential) clients a chance to “like” you and connect.

3. Email Still Matters

Email is still the preferred way of sharing content.  It is the top activity that people engage in online and the top way they share information (Slide on page 95, Chadwick Martin Bailey, September 2010)

4. The Smart People Are on Twitter

I am not trying to be funny (well, a little).  Hubspot referenced a report from Edison Research that highlighted the education level of Twitter users. It seems that in comparison to the general population, they are more educated and early adopters who are ready to test and respond to the latest products and services. The Twitter community (21 million) is not the large volume that the Facebook community (152 million) is, but they are educated and focused, making Twitter the perfect place for business networking and relationship building.

4. You Need a Web Home

You need a place online—a website, a blog—that your Facebook and Twitter accounts can send people to. You need a spot that adds value to your clients and gives them a reason to remain connected to you before, during and after purchases.  And you need to own that space, build it up and strategize around it (your website).

We have to work to do. But with the right advice, the right tools and a consistently applied strategy, we can get it all done–and get results.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-smart-people-are-on-twitter-and-other-online-strategies-2011-6#ixzz1PTb48FzW

Fast Company: The Business Guide to Facebook Part 1: Your Brand Page for the Social Web


Originally Posted in Fast Company by Brian Solis 

Facebook is, at the moment, the most important social network in the world. Over 500 million people connect to one another in the "Social Network." And, with the introduction of the Open Graph, we are interacting with our Facebook connections on our favorite websites where our social graph and the corresponding activity of Likes, interaction, and commentary become the centerpiece for social curation and more importantly, our focused attention. We are putting our social network to work and we are learning how to share, discover, and collaborate in public.

Brands, regardless of size and focus, are converging on Facebook where the idea of connecting with customers and prospects represents a potential boon for both earning relevance in a new domain as well as expanding overall reach. Facebook is a sparkplug for word of mouth and when engaged, contributes to the end of business as usual and the beginning of social commerce. If fact, the top 10 brands on Facebook today host over 100 million "Likes" on Facebook.

The Top 10 Brands by Population (Rounded Out)

1. Starbucks--16 million
2. Coca-Cola--15 million
3. Oreo--12 million
4. Skittles--11.5 million
5. Red Bull--10.2 million
6. Victoria's Secret--8.4 million
7. Disney--8.3 million
8. Converse All Star--7.3 million
9. iTunes--7 million
10. Windows Live Messenger--6.8 million

With that said ...

By This Time Next Year

By this time next year, you as a brand or as a brand representative, will spend more time and resources on Facebook than you will on Twitter.

Allow me to clarify this statement as it's easy to misread. My sentiment is merely a reflection of the maturation of the social web and the commitment and attention required to cultivate communities, inspire advocacy, and foster engagement. Facebook and Twitter are unique in their design and their culture and each offer distinguishing opportunities for businesses. As such, they demand a dedicated focus, strategy, and approach.

Twitter is important and essential to learning, engaging, and cultivating customer communities. I believe that Twitter is your window to relevance, both understanding how to identify and earn it.

Facebook, as both a network and a platform, is unlocking new and important connections between people, brands, content, and data. The technical and creative aspects of what Facebook is capable of facilitating on behalf of your business and the people who define your markets, requires indoctrination. And, once we explore the culture and technical advantages of Facebook Connect, Likes, and the scope and possibilities of the open graph, we get an idea of the deepening emphasis required to transform Facebook from a "Fan Page" to a bona fide brand page, creating nothing less than a social epicenter for business.

If Twitter is your window to relevance, Facebook is your focal point for the social web.

Nothing goes without saying here. It is also important for you to invest in learning about where, when, and how your social consumer engages with peers as they most likely connect in other networks beyond Facebook and Twitter. It was after all, the inspiration for the Conversation Prism. Facebook is just one, albeit pivotal, pillar in your socialized business strategy.

The State of The Facebook

With over 500 million active users, Facebook is by far one of the most important networks in the world. 5o% of those active users log on to Facebook in any given day. And in total, people spend over 700 billion minutes per month posting, sharing, Liking, commenting, poking, playing games, and interacting with one another as well as the content and applications that define the pervasive social ecosystem.

The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events and creates 90 pieces of content (social objects) each month. If you follow Zuckerberg's Law, then we will double the amount of content we share every year. When combined, the numbers are staggering. More than 30 billion social objects (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each month. Facebook is a vortex for content.

Everyday individuals on Facebook maintain a social graph of 130 people, which is in line with Robin Dunbar's theory (Dunbar's number) of the maximum number of relationships we can effectively manage. However, with suggested friends, I believe that number will push us to expand our networks from relationships (strong ties) to relations (focused, weak, and temporary ties). I call this Social Graph Theory. And much like Zuckerberg's Law, Social Graph Theory suggests that the size of our network will grow, but more importantly, become much more complex, yet focused. We will maintain relationships, but also expand into a thinner form of relations that include interest graphs, nicheworks (contextual networks) and temporary connections. What's important for businesses to realize, is that individuals now maintain peer networks that resemble engaged audiences where interests are the axis of conversational rotation.

Brands are increasingly globalizing and Facebook scales with the reach that they need. Currently over 70 translations are available and more than 70% of all Facebook denizens reside outside of the United States. And more than one million developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries support Facebook as a "platform" with greater than one million websites integrating Facebook sharing, liking and visualized social graph features into content discovery and consumption. So, what does that mean? Integrate Facebook functionality into your online properties (in addition to other relevant social presences of course). Two-thirds of comScore's U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore's Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook.

And what of mobile?

Smart phones are the new sub-tablet so to speak. There are as many active users accessing Facebook on their mobile device as there are active users of Twitter. And that's a powerful statement. Today 150 million people access Facebook actively and they're twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.

May I Have Your Intention Please?

Many brands underestimate Facebook and what's truly required to attract and captivate the social consumer. In my research, I find that a significant number of brands focus their efforts primarily on Twitter, treating Facebook as an afterthought. Rather than engage in each community with purpose and dedication, examples are abundant where companies are simply syndicating tweets to Facebook rather than updating each network individually. When people reply on Facebook, representatives are usually unaware as they're mostly monitoring Twitter responses rather than Facebook. In these cases, Facebook becomes a graveyard for tweets instead of a community where likes are earned and conversations are fostered. After all, how do we expect to trigger the social effect without investing time and attention in the people who define the very social graphs we're hoping to engage and activate?

Facebook success is defined by our investment of time, resources, energy and creativity. In other words, we get out of it what we put into it. In Facebook, it's not just about who we're connected to, it's about those we're not. What started as "Fans" has evolved to "Likes" and in that simple shift in phraseology comes something quite profound. "Fans" implies a hierarchical relationships where brands publish at will to a community that feels a bit more like a traditional audience. "Likes" begets a linear form of relationships where we earn the endorsement of a social consumer, but in order to foster a community, we have to continue to do so. This introduces a peer-to-peer (P2P) dynamic where rather than program our Facebook activity from a top-down perspective, we now have to consider an active participatory role in earning Likes, attention, and hopefully advocacy much more frequently than we may have anticipated initially.

Likes become a form of social currency and contribute to the overall social capital earned by a brand within Facebook.

In February 2010, market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey along with iModerate Research Technologies, surveyed over 1,500 individuals online as well as conducted one-on-one discussions to contextualize social media behavior. Their research shows us that social commerce and quite specifically, F-commerce (Facebook Commerce) is bursting at the seams.

Since actions speak louder than words, the study sought to answer the question of whether or not engagement actually leads to purchases. The answer is yes. An impressive 51% of Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers indicated that they are more likely to buy since connecting online.

U  2010 Website CMB1 resized 600

Success begins with a plan, which serves as a roadmap to reach customers and those who influence them. On the road to success, it is wise to refer to the map routinely to ensure that we stay on course. Doing so, reminds us why we're here in the first place.

The roles of the social consumer are distinct and the reasons for connecting with a brand are equally diversified. It's our job to cater to each segment to earn their Likes and attention now and over time.

 U  2010 Website CMB2 resized 600

On Facebook, existing customers topped the list with 49%. Following with 42%, consumers felt compelled to show support for the brand. In third with 40%, individuals admitted that they hoped to receive discounts and promotions.

Other stats worth mentioning, 27% and 26% of respondents stated that they would like to be among the first to know information about the brand and also to gain access to exclusive content respectively. And, 17% claimed that they were referred to the page by someone that they knew, which already demonstrates word of mouth at work.

Facebook is changing the way we think about business, customers and community and as such, there's much to learn. Everything begins at the beginning and together, we will earn relevance and expand business opportunities in a new social marketplace one Like at a time.


Reprinted from BrianSolis.com

Brian Solis is the author of Engage and is one of most provocative thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis's research and ideas have influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSolis and at BrianSolis.com.



Originally Posted in Fast Company by Brian SolisMon Oct 25, 2010

All Posts