Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Survey Results Show Market is Unclear where Social Media is Headed

Marketing Pilgrim cites interesting content from Pivot's 2011-2012 social marketing report. Pivot's report notes several interesting social media findings. Notable findings within Pivot's report include the following:

  • Companies feel they know their social consumers well, despite not asking social consumers what they really want

  • Social media helps brands because of the ability to interact with consumers

  • Money, ambiguity hold back social media growth and development

  • 2013 is considered the year social media will break through

Marketing Pilgrim focuses on one specific question where Pivot asked brand managers, agency professionals and marketing experts whether social media will become mainstream in 2012. Results show the market is split about whether social media become mainstream in 2012. Budget, lack of clarity and skepticism inhibit social media advancements.

As a rule of thumb, businesses strategy can provide a clear vision about the best way(s) to leverage social media. For example, a company focusing on providing excellent customer service (e.g., Disney, Nordstrom) can use social media to engage and interact with consumers. Companies promoting low prices can feature special deals through social media; however, companies should remain transparent with intentions to use social media for marketing purposes.

Understanding business needs can provide vision, help prioritize tasks for budgeting purposes and alleviate doubt for social media endeavors.

Where do you think social media is headed in 2012? Is your company currently using social media? If so, how?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Retailers Fail to Respond to Facebook Complaints; Other Sites Matter Though

Several sources, including Huffington Post, cite a Reuters article highlighting a recent study about the percent of Facebook complaints retailers fail to respond to. The study revealed that Kroger responded to the fewest Facebook complaints. Other retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Macy's, responded to some.

Many retailers recognize the importance of responding to Facebook complaints; however, they are currently developing tools and processes making it easier to facilitate communication through social media channels.

Facebook tends to receive the bulk of attention from retailers looking to capitalize on social media to enhance the shopping experience. More than 147 million U.S. consumers visit each month (Source: Given that, companies should to find ways to service customer complaints emerging on the popular social media site. Other social media sites receiving notable website traffic exist though. As a result, retail marketers should consider monitoring complaints appearing on social media sites like the following:

Companies should monitor complaints appearing on other social media sites, not just Facebook. Keeping an open dialogue with customers, regardless of the social media platform, will ultimately help mitigate the potential for a complaint to go unresolved.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Should the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout be Sponsored by P&G's Puffs?

Being from Cincinnati, I can assure you there is no greater college basketball rivalry than the Xavier Musketeers and UC (University of Cincinnati) Bearcats. These two teams play each other in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout every year. UC beat Xavier 66-46 this year.

I have some sympathy for Xavier fans, so I am offering a Puffs tissue so they can wipe their tears away from the loss.

On another note, I found an interesting correlation between blog postings about Xavier and tissue paper (see graph below). Could this indicate an opportunity for Cincinnati's own Proctor and Gamble (P&G) to sponsor the event in the future? I think the "Puffs Tissue Crosstown Shootout" has a nice ring to it. Fans rooting for the losing team could get free tissue paper after the game.

Don't worry Xavier fans. I say these things jokingly. Or am I?
Do you have any thoughts on the graph above? Feel free to comment.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Social Media Predictions in 2011

Last year I wrote a blog posting, Social Media Predictions in 2010, on New Year's Day 2010. Given that, it only makes sense that I review last year's predictions while offering several for 2011.

2010: Year in Review

2010's predictions consisted of the following:

  • Mobile News Apps will Gain Popularity
  • Mobile Usage Increases in 2010
  • Video Blogging Increases and Gains Popularity
  • E-mail will become more "Real-Time"
A few of my predictions for 2010 held true, while others did not. The success of the iPad, iPhone 4G and Droid X mobile devices was attributed to the growing popularity of apps. In fact, I recently switched from a Blackberry Storm ll to a Motorola Droid X based on the number of apps available. Numerous apps allowing consumers to view news content on their mobile devices became available this past year. 2010 holiday promotions for reading devices, such as the Amazon Kindle, illustrated consumers have an appetite for reading on the go.

Mobile usage increased in 2010, according to some sources.

News about Facebook beating Google in website traffic also revealed YouTube's popularity as a top five site, in terms of web traffic.

My prediction of e-mail becoming more "real time" dwindled with the short lifespan of Google Wave. All is not lost though. Video and e-mail are predicted to drive social media in 2011.

2010 Conclusion

Based on the above, my 2010 predictions were not a complete disaster. Perhaps my biggest oversight pertained to geolocation services. I did not include any prediction about geolocation services, despite website traffic to Foursquare increasing significantly. I made sure to redeem myself with a blog posting titled, "Intro to Geosocial Networking for Marketers" in April 2010.

Overall, 2010 was a year of mixed successes as it pertained to my social media predictions. Fortunately, I am not going to let that stop me from going out on a limb in 2011.

2011 Social Media Predictions:

2010 placed a lot of economic demands on people. It was no different in the social media landscape where Facebook battled Google to become the leading site for website traffic. The claim for most website traffic will continue throughout 2011, but I think Facebook will hold the title throughout 2011. This is largely due to the Facebook bringing out the best aspects of search, social media and marketing. Facebook's unveiling of E-mail should more than solidify its position as the leading site in 2011.

I have several other predictions, besides Facebook retaining the number one position for website traffic in 2011. These include the following:

  • Tumblr will emerge to help rejuvenate blogging; Twitter will need to modify its business model as a result - Tumblr .com is gaining website traffic at an alarming rate. It could overtake Twitter at some point in 2011. Several bloggers already point out why Twitter users should switch to Tumblr. Twitter will not being going away in 2011; however, it will need to modify its business model due to increased competition from social networks like Tumblr.
  • Mobile advertising spending will double in 2011 - It is estimated that total mobile advertising spending will reach $11-$20 billion. This is up from $6.5 billion in 2010. The advent of geolocation services in 2010 will further refine where mobile advertising dollars are spent.
  • Mobile photos will catch on - Ben Parr of published his own predictions for social networks in 2011. Among those include the growing popularity of mobile photos. Ben says, "While social photography is nothing new (Flickr and Facebook dominate), mobile photography is just beginning to blossom, thanks to apps like Instagram, PicPlz, Path, and Dailybooth. Other services like Tumblr, Gowalla, Posterous and most recently Foursquare are only pushing the trend further. 2011 will be the year mobile photo sharing becomes all the rage. These services will hit critical mass as smartphone users install apps in order to keep up with their friends."
I hope everyone likes my predictions. Hopefully a few of these will come to fruition. If not, I'll be here January 1, 2012 owning up to my miscalculations. And like many people, I'll be starting over. What are your predictions for social media in 2011? I'd love to hear.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

New DROIDX will make blogging easier

I got the new DROIDX for Christmas 2010. I find this device to be truly phenomenal and a huge upgrade over my former Blackberry Storm ll. I like the Andro Blogger application as well. I think this unique application will help tremendously with blogging on the go in 2011.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Media and Entertainment Peaks Consumers’ Interest, but not for Long

Media and entertainment are a big part of our lives. It is often the one thing many of us have in common. Music, sports, technology and television contribute to entertainment within our lives. And for the most part, gaming is entertainment. The popularity of next generation consoles, including Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii, has enhanced the entertainment value through increased social interaction. Millions of gamers load up to play their favorite games every day. In doing so, players engage in live chat or converse over microphones. The growing popularity of games, like the Halo saga, is fueling this need for increased social interaction.

Halo: Reach has received many accolades for its outstanding gameplay and graphics. Halo: Reach is considered a profound and influential game. found the game most impressive. In fact, reported Halo: Reach gaming statistics made available through Perhaps the most interesting statistic pertains to the fact that gamers exhausted more than 2,000 years in live game sessions within the first week of Halo: Reach being launched. On top of that, some sources claimed Halo: Reach will be the game of the decade.

Understanding the impact of Halo: Reach requires a further understanding about media and entertainment in general. How much buzz do recent released games receive compared to other entertainment options, especially during an event or at launch? Furthermore, does Halo: Reach even receive more online buzz than other major games released over the past year? A quick search using NM Incite’s BuzzMetrics tool offers some insights. The graph below depicts online buzz two weeks before and after a particular event occurred or product launched.

As we see here, Super Bowl XL IV receives the most online buzz prior to the main event, Super Bowl Sunday on February 7, 2010. Online buzz for the iPad built up prior to launch and extended about a week before dwindling down. In terms of games, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ll receives more pre and post launch buzz than Halo: Reach. The pie graph below shows the trended data above from a different perspective. Similar to the graph above, it looks at the percentage of discussion that each entertainment option receives within two weeks of its event or launch date.

Here we can see that the iPad receives the most buzz around its official launch, which occurred on April 3, 2010. Halo: Reach receives more buzz than Madden 2011, but it only receives about a third of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ll.

Halo: Reach is a great game in its own rights. It offers a compelling storyline, excellent gameplay and wonderful graphics. Despite its hype, it is clear that Halo: Reach does not receive as much online buzz as other entertainment options, including other games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ll. It appears to be much more of a middle-of-the-pack entertainment option, receiving buzz levels closer to that of Justin Bieber’s recent album released, My World 2.0. While the longevity of the Halo saga illustrates its popularity among gamers, online buzz for Halo: Reach does not “reach” as high as many may have thought.

Similar to other media and entertainment options, Halo: Reach buzz begins to rise and lower within a week of launch. This begs a few questions. What can marketers do to help create and sustain buzz during pre and post launch phases?

Creating buzz during pre-launch is somewhat easier than post-launch; this is due to the consumers’ anticipation of an upcoming event or product launch. Unfortunately, few products or events take advantage of this scenario. Online buzz for products and events in the trend graph above does not begin to rise noticeably until a week or so from launch. Marketers can help create increase pre-launch buzz by participating in industry-related events (e.g., Consumer Electronics Show), releasing interesting product information at specific intervals, inviting consumers to participate in live demo sessions, creating microsites, identifying opinion leaders and getting them on-board early, taking pre-orders, and turning a product launch into an event.

Sustaining buzz post-launch requires a different set of techniques. Some of the better known approaches include making additional content available at specific intervals post-launch, creating online communities and participating in social media discussion.

Media and entertainment are an important part of consumers’ lives. The growing number of entertainment options means it will be harder for marketers to get their message through the clutter. Implementing a plan to foster and nurture buzz before and after launch should be a key component of any entertainment marketing strategy. Such efforts could help sustain buzz and the product life cycle beyond anticipated timeframes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Marketers Express Interest in Location Tracking Services

Adrianne Jeffries on Read Write Web posted a good read on the growing popularity of location-based services. Jeffries points out several reasons contributing to the growth of location-based marketing, including:

  • Growing usage of mobile devices
  • Excitement around location-based tracking
  • Ability to measure ROI (Return on Investment
Jeffries warns that location-based ads are currently in the honeymoon stage. Consumers and marketers may find location-based ads less appealing over time. While the emergence of the geolocation market segment is exciting, taking baby steps may be the best approach for consumers and marketers.