Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Social Media & EMEA: redefining regional business for multi-nationals

October 8th, 2010 Comments


It was my first time this year at the Inbound Marketing Summit. The venue was at the Gilette Stadium. A very good conference with rich content and great speakers…US and/or Canadian speakers in majority. I was probably the only ‘foreign European’ speaker. Thanks to the @nmlteam (New Marketing Labs) for the invitation. I’ve appreciated the 2 days, have met live many people I read their blogs, follow on Twitter, get to discuss with companies such as Compete and Radian6 on the challenge for these companies to come into Europe…kind of the subject of my presentation. Here it is. Looking forward for all your comments.

View more presentations from 90:10 France.

Are businesses embracing Social Media?

November 9th, 2009 Comments

In 2009 we saw exponential growth of social media. Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blog sites such as Facebook and MySpace from a year ago, according to Nielsen.  In August 2009, 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet was at social networking sites. European are not that different. According to a report “Europeans Have Adopted Social Computing Differently” by Forrester Research, 60% of European online consumers are taking part in Social Computing activities such as reading or writing blogs, listening to podcasts, setting up RSS feeds, reading and writing online customer reviews, or taking part in social networking sites.

But is this enough for businesses to embrace social media?


Survey results from a recent Deloitte study (2009 Tribalization of Business Study), point to some key challenges that businesses are facing as they move toward integrating online communities into their social media strategy. The three areas they have identified as obstacles are:

Keeping visitors engaged:  30%
Getting people to join:  24%
Encouraging return visits to the online community:  21%

In addition, they agreed that the following are key business outcomes for their online communities:

Increase word-of-mouth:  38%
Increase customer loyalty:  34%
Increase brand awareness:  30%

Liana Evans is her last post starts by saying rightly:

If your online marketing agency has advised you to have a blog, a Facebook fan page, or a Twitter account so that you can get more content just to attain additional search engine rankings, you might want to stop and ask why.

What You Deem Valuable Could be Worthless to Your Audience

You may think that PDF spec sheet of the 10 best of features for your product or service is the best marketing slick ever. You’ve spent hours designing the marketing look and feel around it, you want to make sure that it’s on your Web site and it’s put into every sales packet. You believe this is the most valuable piece of content there is to sell your product.

Listening to your audience talk about what the best features are of your product in social media communities should give you insight into how to provide them with valuable content. It can also help you improve your marketing efforts to reach and engage more people. Utilizing this kind of knowledge can help your marketing efforts in social media reach new engagement levels.

Unfortunately, you aren’t thinking from the end user’s perspective.

A list of specs of features doesn’t do the end user a bit of good if they can’t even figure out how to use your products or services. Many times, companies mistakenly believe that adding more bells and whistles to their products is what customers find valuable. Customers use the product the way it gives them value. Most of the time, the bells and whistles don’t give the value.

How we share ideas and connect with one another has dramatically changed. Previously media was limited to one-size-fits-all broadcast messaging sent out from the center. Businesses had to follow the same model in their communication with both employees and consumers. Social technologies – from forum to Facebook and Twitter to text messaging, means now things can improve.

Now everyone can and does join the conversation.

This explosion of these new communication methods bring people together in  an instant around any interest or passion – no matter how niche. In order to capitalise on these opportunities businesses must prepare to recalibrate with new  thinking and processes. The prize is greater efficiency and innovation.

“The enterprise is waking up to the fact that it needs to listen and that it needs business intelligence” for the communities, said Ed Moran, director of product innovation for consultancy at and one of the study authors.

This is what we offer at 90:10 Group.

Businesses have long had to close a gap between themselves and their consumers with a number of activities that are  inefficient and wasteful. These processes are dependent on  a series of expensive mediators: media owners, advertising agencies, marketing, PR and research companies.

90% of the energy to move from concept to sale is input by the business and its mediators. The consumer gets to join in for the last 10% – the purchase decision.

With the advent of social technologies you can now enjoy direct and real-time relationships with the consumer throughout the whole supply process.

The 10:90 ratio is flipped on its head.

process 9010

Now the willing consumer can join in with ideas, provide feedback through out their development and help market them the end product to their peers. This can deliver a never-ending feedback loop of improvement , innovation and  efficiency.

Many examples show that consumers are increasingly demanding participation. They expect the ability to co-create and lead innovation, and their volubility has forced companies to devise creative solutions to be competitive in a new bottom-up age. Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Dell, Best Buy and Nike have all created digital platforms that allow customers to help them create new products and messages. Starbucks received over 17,000 coffee ideas in the first 14 months since the launch of its proprietary online forum,

Forrester recognizes that the past five years of social media evolution have focused on growth and adoption. It predicts the era of social commerce.

Forrester 5 Overlapping Social Eras

Brian Solis thinks that

The Social Web is distributing influence beyond the customer landscape, allocating authority amongst stakeholders, prospects, advocates, decision makers, and peers. SRM recognizes that whether someone recommended a product, purchased a product, or simply recognized it publicly, in the end, each makes an impact on behavior at varying levels.

Therefore customers are now merely part of a larger equation that also balances vendors, experts, partners, and other authorities. In the realm of SRM, influence is distributed and it is recognizes wherever and however it takes shape.

John Winsor in his article Business Week said:

There’s a delicate balance between encouraging participation and maintaining clarity of overall business objectives. As with any good conversation, a give-and-take dialogue is necessary, and every company will develop its own way of handling that debate. Most excitingly, new forms of social editing will emerge that allow customers, experts, and brand advocates to curate crowd-created ideas to sort through the ideas and stay on strategy. For now, the most important thing is to jump in and try.

European Social Media Trends

October 27th, 2009 Comments

Few days ago, Tom Smith, Managing Director of The Global Web Index, has presented  his company’s insights to the IAB Europe Social Media Research Showcase. The presentation focused on Social Media involvement across Europe, motivations to get online, the impact of social media and the evolution needed from companies and brands. The Global Web Index is a unique research service providing leading edge data, insights and thinking on web behaviour, social media, motivations and impact from 16 key markets and 32,000 consumer surveys.

Tom Smith looked at three big future trends:

The first big trend is that the passive impact of social media is bigger than the active one. By passive we mean the exposure and aggregation of opinions, reviews, ratings and recommendations to impact every web user, regardless of their personal social media involvement. In the short term this is through search; already in 2009, 85% have “searched last month” for information about specific products and 49% for “product recommendations”.  Increasingly these searches are dominated by consumer generated reviews or recommendations. Just try searching for a brand or specific product and you can see this impact. As the volume of consumer content continues to outpace professional, this trend will only increase.

Ultimately this means that consumers will increasingly define the first perception of a brand. In the future this will be dictated by social data being overlaid onto mobile devices through Social Augmented Reality, meaning every consumer getting geo relevant recommendations from their immediate network, distant network and people like them. Social will impact every decision we make.

The next big trends is that we increasingly consume content and information based on the consumer network of recommendation and consumer meta data rather than a professionally dictated decision. A consumer recommendation was the top ranked factor for consumers choosing music or videos. For news it was narrowly behind ‘professional’, ‘from a site I know’ and unsurprisingly along way behind ‘it’s recent’.

The future of content will not necessarily be ‘consumer’ created or ‘professionally’ created; it will however be dictated and controlled by the social environment. Take for example your current television service; the likelihood is that you access it via an Electronic Programme Guide. In ten years this EPG will have recommendations from consumers, top viewed programmes and programming tagged with key words. Viewing will be unpredictable and consumer driven. This will also happen with e-readers in the next 10-20 years, meaning that the “social” will eventually impact all aspects of media.

The last big trend we explored was how our digital networks are much now bigger than our face to face ones, for example in the US, the average face to face network is 21.4 and a Social Network one is 49.3. This changes the nature of our social groups and influences to include people we would have lost touch with, distant friends and people complete unknown to us in real life. This is a first in human history and has a significant impact by familiarising us with strangers and broad networks. This is important as we begin to build trust with other consumers and make big decisions based on what they say and we place less emphasis on what the traditional pillars of society say.

According to a report “Europeans Have Adopted Social Computing Differently” by Forrester Research, 60% of European online consumers are taking part in Social Computing activities such as reading or writing blogs, listening to podcasts, setting up RSS feeds, reading and writing online customer reviews, or taking part in social networking sites.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Reading peer reviews is the No. 1 Social Computing activity, with nearly 1/3 of European online consumers taking part in that activity.
  • Consumers in the UK and Sweden are embracing social networking sites, while users in Germany and France are far less impressed. More than 1/3 of UK consumers take part in social networking sites, double the European average.
  • 9% of all Europeans maintain blogs or publish Web pages. The Dutch are the most prolific, with 15% of users in the Netherlands taking part in this activity.
  • The Spanish actively comment on Web sites, while Germans are, by and large, reluctant to offer their opinions online.

There are many reasons for the differing behaviour in Social Computing, according to Forrester Research as countries are at different stages of internet adoption. Only 40% of Spanish consumers and 44% of Italians are online regularly.

Definition of Social Media? Social Media is ________ ? (fill the blank)

October 5th, 2009 Comments

Several days ago, Stephen Nold on LinkedIn posed the question “Social media is ________? (fill in the blank)”.
Roger Harris, an independent social communications consultant has reviewed the 68 answers posted on LinkedIn and came up with the following results:

A word cloud of the 68 responses reflects the business orientation of most LinkedIn users. From the cloud of responses, social media looks to be “marketing communications that reach people as individuals.”

tag cloud social media definition linkedin

he continues by saying:

‘But the LinkedIn respondents show no evident consensus on defining social media. Moreover, what about social media that is not about marketing? This got me thinking. Do we need to define social media? If so, can we agree on a definition?

Social media seems a simple enough idea. But it can be hard to sell to colleagues and C-suites who see it as just a fad, something that teens do. So maybe we do need a definition.’

David Cushman who last Friday was giving a conference Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Social Media But Were Afraid to Ask defines social media as:


Roger Harris in his post continues his analysis:

‘So how about Wikipedia? Surely the world’s largest online reference source would have something meaningful to say. The closest it comes to a definition is: “Social media are media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.” Um, okay. But how do you convey that to execs? But the article seems to cover the basics. Let’s take it as a starting point.

tag cloud social media definition wikipediaA word cloud of the 382 words from Wikipedia’s page (excluding references and the words “social” and “media”) shows the four commonest words are (1) community, (2) information, (3) sharing and (4) technologies. These strung together make a straightforward definition “Community information sharing technologies.” (Note: the prominence of the word “industrial” results from considerable space being devoted to distinguishing social media from traditional media such as print, television and radio.)

In her updated presentation ‘One year later – What the F**K is Social Media’, Marta Kagan gives the following definition for Social Media:

  • SOCIAL MEDIAPublic Relation
  • Customer Service
  • Loyalty-building
  • Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Thought Leadership
  • and Customer Acquisition

But she says, ‘don’t assume Social Media is the Answer to Everything.’

David Cushman’s sees Social Media as Social + Media, where:

Social = Group, people, us, what we choose to do together.

Media = Content, distribution, them, what they would seek to do to us.

Roger Harris has a succinct oneliner definition for socila media: “community information sharing technologies.”

My definition …  social media enables you to share content created by you or others using set of highly accessible and scalable (publishing) technologies transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many),  replacing broadcast networks into (powerful) conversation communities.

What is your definition of social media?

VODKASTER: take a movie shot

September 28th, 2009 Comments


Who haven’t dream of finding that famous scene in that specific film?

Who haven’t repeated hundred times with friends the dialog of those two actors from that great movie?

Today, your dream came true… at least for French film lovers (to start). Vodkaster, the video collaborative platform has launched its beta service this morning. Users can watch thousands of film extracts, can help indexing them (tag, actors names, category/type of scene), commenting them, linking different scenes together, and sharing their findings with other members of the growing Vodkaster community.

Users have as well the possibility to upload extracts of films from YouTube, limited to 3 minutes length.

Users can create their own playlist from the thousands of film extracts available on Vodkaster and share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.


At this stage, it is difficult to evaluate the future success of Vodkaster, which seems to be related to the number of fans that will freely register to the platform and collaboratively help uploading and indexing movie excerpts. The challenge will then be to monetize this audience and catalog of film excerpts. Probably licensing them to VoD platforms as additional teasers selected by film lovers … will see.

CallSpark: will social media transforms your phone call?

September 24th, 2009 Comments


CallSpark, headquartered in San Francisco, California, makes your phone calls smarter, with its new launched two killer features (as summarized by Ben Parr):

1. Help find a phone number: This feature is essentially a super-smart search engine for phone numbers. It will look through “white pages, yellow pages, Facebook, Salesforce” and more info that relate to the person you were searching for. It then uses GPS to help rank the results so that you get the most relevant.

2. Social media information: When you call a friend, CallSpark will display their Facebook status, LinkedIn and Salesforce info, and even their latest tweet. This can help you figure out your friend’s mood or the past history of the client you’re calling so you have the edge.

To get a better explanation of CallSpark, Ben Parr from Mashable took his flip cam and asked Adrian of CallSpark.

Here’s the video:


Want to try it? Point your iPhone, Android or Palm Pre phone at their web search to get started!

The Social Profile of Your Customers

September 22nd, 2009 Comments

As we all know, people increasingly use technology to get what they need from each other, instead of relying on companies and businesses.

“Customers are writing about your products on blogs and recutting your commercials on YouTube. They’re defining you on Wikipedia and ganging up on you in social networking sites like Facebook. These are all elements of a social phenomenon — the groundswell — that has created a permanent, long-lasting shift in the way the world works. Most companies see it as a threat. You can see it as an opportunity.” In Groundswell, two of Forrester Research’s top analysts, Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, show you how to turn the force of customers connecting to your own advantage.

Social media gives a voice to buyers who can now describe their experience and disappointment to a global audience. And, wow, are they saying a lot.
This is a social trend accelerated by technology, not the other way around.

Companies are more stretched than ever on staff that delivers products and services, as well as support for them. At the same time, due to the fragmentation of media and customer interests, their marketing dollars are not going as far as they used to when broadcasting was considered the way to go.

The good news is that businesses can reach customers where they are, and take advantage of the very same tools to not only satisfy their requests, but to gain insights about their buying habits – something that in the past could be done only with expensive research.

Forrester surveyed more than 1,200 business technology buyers and found that they exceed all previous benchmarks for social participation.


Social participation data for other countries are also available. Try their profile tool here.

Forrester’s Social Technographics classifies consumers into six overlapping levels of participation.


Forrester isn’t the only one diving in to research in the social space. Brightkite, which bills itself as a social discovery network and GFK also did some research lately. The ‘big’ insight wasn’t really big at all. It appears 87% of people prefer face-to-face interactions than spending time online and would rather talk in person at a rate 44 times more than through online means. An interesting article by Jason Falls analyses this for us.

In conclusion, social media, this is where consumers are and thus where marketing is going.