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30Mar/111

Social media in B2B: “Conversations help you leverage the things you are already doing.”

Polle de Maagt, Marketing Consultant at InSites Consulting:

Never. Ever. Come to me with the excuse that it's difficult for B2B organizations to do marketing or advertising and to make use of social media or conversations. Most things that are normal for B2B, are skills B2C is struggling to implement.

More in Social media in B2B: "How conversations help you leverage the things you are already doing." for InSites Consulting

28Mar/111

Study: audience attention, opinion leaders, and content lifespan on Twitter

A study conducted by Yahoo Research looked at 260m tweets sent on Twitter between July 28, 2009 and March 8, 2010 containing bit.ly-shortened URLs.
They identified five categories of Twitter users:

  1. media (examples: cnnbrk, nytimes, asahi, BreakingNews, TIME)
  2. celebrities (examples: aplusk, ladygaga, TheEllenshow, taylorswift13, Oprah)
  3. organizations (examples: google, Starbucks, twitter, joinred, ollehkt)
  4. bloggers (examples: mashable, problogger, kibeloco, naosalvo, dooce)
  5. ordinary

The study focuses mainly on the "classic" questions of communications research. In short:

  1. Although audience attention has indeed fragmented among a wider pool of content producers than classical models of mass media, attention remains highly concentrated, where roughly 0.05% of the population accounts for almost half of all attention. Within the population of elite users, moreover, attention is highly homophilous, with celebrities following celebrities, media following media, and bloggers following bloggers.
  2. Almost half the information that originates from the media passes to the masses indirectly via a diffuse intermediate layer of opinion leaders, who although classified as ordinary users, are more connected and more exposed to the media than their followers.
  3. Content lifespans. All categories devote a roughly similar fraction of their attention to different categories of news (World, U.S., Business, etc). There are, however, some differences. Organizations, for example, devote a surprisingly small fraction of their attention to business-related news. Different types of content can also exhibit very different lifespans. In particular, media-originated URLs are disproportionately represented among short-lived URLs, while those originated by bloggers tend to be overrepresented amonglong-lived URLs. [Note: URLs with lifespan=0 are those that only appeared
    once]
  4. The longest-lived URLs are dominated by content such as videos and music, which are continually being rediscovered by Twitter users and appear to persist indefinitely.

Further reading:

Filed under: Report, Social, Twitter 1 Comment
28Mar/110

B2B case: Flanders Investment & Trade’s Vreemdgaan Loont! campaign

Flanders Investment & Trade is a government agency supporting Flanders-based companies doing business abroad and foreign companies looking to invest in Flanders.
One of their most important events towards Flanders-based companies is their De Leeuw van de Export award, which awards Flemish entrepreneurs with a flair for export in two categories: small and mid-sized to large companies. The creative concept behind this campaign was developed internally.


FIT obviously launched a microsite (http://www.vreemdgaanloont.be/ ) for this campaign, but for the first time they're mainly focussing on their presence in social media.
Some of these efforts are in the small details: twitter.com/fitagency keeps connecting and inspiring entrepreneurs and the key players in the field as it always has, but has adapted its Twitter background to match with the campaign.

But FIT also uses its own YouTube.com/FITagency channel, which at the time of writing contains no less than 11 short movies with testimonials and appeals from jury members and previous winners of the award. This is one of these YouTube movies, featuring their CEO Koen Allaert.

By the way: if you're an entrepreneur based in Flanders or if you know one, the registration for the award candidacy closes on Friday 29 April 2011.

28Mar/110

The state of Facebook: infographic

Facebook Infographic from Jean-Jacques Parys on Vimeo.

26Mar/111

Adidas most successful German brand in social media

According to a survey by communication agency Vierpartner, German sportswear company Adidas is the most popular German brand in social media worldwide. Adidas has 17.6mn of internet fans, subscribers and followers worldwide and is thus the company using social media online most successfully. Adidas employs 25 staff for its conversation management, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The internet is the company's key marketing medium, especially to reach consumers under 19. The survey by communication agency Vierpartner includes the DAX 30 companies.

Top 5 German brands:

  1. Adidas 17.632.221
  2. Siemens 10.351.950
  3. Volkswagen 8.966.364
  4. BMW 6.411.064
  5. Deutsche Telekom 5.683.377

Source: Social Media: Adidas hat die meisten Fans im Netz @ wiwo.de

Filed under: Case, Presence 1 Comment
25Mar/110

Innovation is the real ROI of social media

If your company is serious about introducing a social dimension to its activities, this dimension must be embraced by every department and embedded within the company culture as a whole. This means that everyone in the organisation at every level of the organisational structure must change the way they work. But the good news is that the companies which make the effort will soon be able to discover the real return on investment of social media: innovation.

Below are the slides I used during my "Social media drives innovation" talk at Sanoma Magazines Belgium - including some examples from within the company itself.

Filed under: Innovation No Comments
25Mar/110

B2B case: SteelMaster Buildings on Facebook

Selling in a business-to-business environment is different from selling to consumers. One of the most striking differences, for example, is that the lead time is much longer. It is also true that b2b industries are generally not yet very active in social media – with the exception of advertising and marketing, and ‘tech’ industries such as software, it and telecommunications. In this latter category, companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems and Intel are leading the way.

And yet there are quite some inspiring examples of B2B companies active in social media outside of the technology/telco sphere.

From  7 Awesome B2B Facebook Pages @ blog.hubspot.com:

There are a couple features that make SteelMaster Buildings' page stand out to me. The request a quote and the find a Steel Building near you pages are another great example of making the visitors visit as enjoyable as possible. Instead of requiring you to call someone for a quote, go to their homepage, or go to Google to search for the closest location you can do this all from within their Facebook Fan Page.

More inspiring B2B cases in my presentation below:

25Mar/110

Perception versus reality – what consumers really want

Companies have some serious misperceptions regarding why consumers interact with them via social sites.

From From social media to Social CRM. What customers want. by IBM Institute for Business Value (.pdf)

We discovered significant gaps between what businesses think consumers care about and what consumers say they want from their social media interactions with companies. In exchange for their time, endorsement and personal data, consumers expect something tangible. But businesses rank getting discounts and purchasing as the least likely reasons consumers interact with them.

Consumers want...

  • To buy
  • To get discounts
  • To get reviews and information

Companies believe consumers want....

  • To learn about new products
  • To submit comments
  • To feel connected to the brand
13Mar/110

Case: Dell adapting to the importance of active listening

From socialbrands100.com:

We all remember the ‘Dell Hell’ of 2005, where journalist and blogger Jeff Jarvis vented about his frustrating dealings with Dell on his blog. This sparked a ‘blog storm’ as Dell consumers with similar frustrations linked to Jarvis’ blog, which eventually received widespread press coverage.

In a 2007 BusinessWeek article ‘Dell learns to listen’ Jarvis visits Dell and spends time with CEO Michael Dell to take stock of the company’s efforts in engaging with its consumers and the wider community. He opens the article with the statement that ‘[i]n the age of customers empowered by blogs and social media, Dell has leapt from worst to first’.

The Social Brands 100 was compiled over a period of three months with the contribution of an external panel of social experts drawn from business, academia, media and communications, and Brandwatch, the social media analytics data provider.

9Mar/111

Facebook Pages from Belgium: stats & examples

Belgian blogger BVLG has once more made a insightful analysis of the Belgian Facebook ecosystem. One of the most interesting pie charts in his Facebook Pages uit België post shows the page categories for Belgian Facebook  top pages. (In this context: "Belgian" pages with over 10,000 likes).

BVLG's analysis is not entirely consistent with the results from an older Sysomos report on Facebook pages with over 1 million fans. Categories like "music" and "celebrities" however, a somewhat more fuzzy.

Here are some examples of very popular Belgian Facebook pages, one for each "category":

Walibi (154,414 fans - Attractions/Things to do · Wavre)

Duvel (115,853 fans - categorised under "company" but really a "product")

Studio Brussel (147,281 fans - media brand)

De slimste mens ter wereld (130,758 fans - unofficial page for tv show)

Jean-Claude Van Damme (508,583 fans - Belgian Hollywood actor)

RSC Anderlecht (126,366 fans - football club)

Filed under: Facebook, Infograph 1 Comment