By adaptive - December 20th, 2011

Hi all, Hope everyone is well? Plenty of activity across the social web this week… Social media recommendations lead to purchases A new report that has also been turned into a great i...

Hi all,

Hope everyone is well?

Plenty of activity across the social web this week…

Social media recommendations lead to purchases

A new report that has also been turned into a great infographic shows that social media in part fuelled the recent shopping frenzy over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The infographic from Mr Youth shows that social media users were 1.5 times more likely to make gift recommendations to family and friends with the recipients of the recommendations twice as likely to make a purchase.

What’s more, the research also showed that brands that interact with their customers saw 80% of these interactions result in a transaction. However, only half of all customer questions received on a brand’s social networks are ever responded to. These figures clearly show that brands that make interaction with their customers a priority can reap the commercial rewards.

BMW tests f-commerce

Brands have been attempting to understand and define the rules of engagement across social networks since their inception.

The full commercialisation of Facebook may be some way off, but this hasn’t stopped Facebook itself testing the theory with the likes of Payvment and the independent Shopcade. We also have that is trying to harness the concept of flash sales via social networking and the invitation only approach of its marketing.

Facebook continues to be a focus for brands. F-commerce has yet to make significant sales levels for larger corporate brands, but BMW is levering its Key2Joy initiative to sell personalised and exclusive branded merchandise to its followers.

BMW clearly understand that they should focus their attention on brand loyalty and customer retention. Customer acquisition – especially for premium luxury brands – has been less of a focus for some time, as it’s significantly more expensive to obtain a new customer, than retain an existing one.

Initiatives like BMW’s enabled them to develop advocacy that can lead to long-term loyalty, which is what every brand values most. And with Amazon handling all the purchasing mechanics, BMW can concentrate on developing their brand to their most valued customers.

Gamification goes mainstream

Many of you may have read our recent post that focused on gamification that is gaining pace as a marketing and brand engagement tool. You can also check out our 2012 conference schedule, which will cover every aspect of social media marketing including the growth of gamification.

Corporations that have thought that gamification is not for them, and has little commercial advantages, should think again. A new infographic clearly shows that gamification has gone mainstream, and could form part of your corporate social networking. However, the recent IPO of Zynga that has specialised in social gaming illustrates that gamification is still finding its core markets, but this form of social engagement continues to grow in popularity.

Most corporate intranets now have social media tools

A new report from International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has clearly shown that corporate intranets are now filled with social media tools. A summary of the report can be downloaded from the IABC website here.

Some 61% of companies reporting at least one social media tool available to some or all employees. The most popular intranet 2.0 tools are blogs (75%), discussion forums (65%), instant messaging (63%), and wikis (61%) while social networking for employees and microblogging are on the rise at 43% and 42% respectively.

The leading need or reason behind intranet 2.0 implementations is employee collaboration (78%), followed closely by employee engagement (75%). Of organizations that do not have at least one social media tool, 18% cite lack of executive support as the primary barrier to implementation, and the same number cite other, bigger priorities preventing them from implementation.

"While the popularity of social media tools on corporate intranets is rising, only about one-quarter of frontline employees and executives alike rate their intranet social media as good or very good. Dissatisfaction rates are even higher. Without a proper plan, adequate investment, and the requisite change management and communications, most intranet social media initiatives will fail," says Toby Ward, President of Prescient Digital Media.

Don’t drown in your social media feeds

One of the major issues for corporations that have moved into social media is that they must manage a torrent of information. With potentially hundreds of different conversations and interactions happening simultaneously, a tool to mange this information is a must.

Bottlenose is a new social media dashboard that aims to deliver intelligent management to your social media deluge. At the moment the tool is free, with an ‘enhanced’ pro version coming in Q3 of 2012. The entire dashboard is hosted in the cloud. The platform uses the amount of storage your corporation needs to determine the cost of the paid service.

Another tool worth keeping an eye on will be from SAP that is currently developing its Social Media Analytics platform that it hope will rival the marketing leaders such as Radian6. The tool will use NetBase coupled with SAPs business intelligence to deliver what the company hopes will be an enterprise-level analytical tool.

Byron Barnes, SAP's vice president for business analytics solutions marketing told ReadWriteWeb: "Think about a 30-terabyte database that is populated with all kinds of social media posts - Twitter feeds; Facebook comments; blogs like Huffington Post, Gizmodo; news site feeds like,; - and we refresh this environment with 95 million postings every single day.

“And the environment contains about a year of information. It's all been normalized, it's already categorized by topics, brands, vendors, areas of interest. And we also provide the customer with a set of dashboards and metrics so they can come in through a browser and have immediate access to a year's worth of social media data, to start to understand, what are the trends? What are consumers talking about? What things do they like?"

In Brief…

Six social media lessons from 2011

In 2011 we learnt that outsourcing social media marketing, collaboration was all the rage this year and the acquisition frenzy that saw Radian6 bought by for $300m. Not surprising as over half of all Fortune 100 companies track and analyse their social networking using this tool

F-commerce grows by 8.8% over the last four months

Additionally, 12% of social media users have been encouraged to make a purchase from a Facebook store after seeing something on the site, according to the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG.

Chinese consumers post more user reviews than their American counterparts (pdf)

A report from the Boston Consulting Group states that 40% of Chinese consumers read and post online reviews. This is twice as many as the US.

Over 50% of consumers are logged onto Facebook whilst on e-commerce sites

Sociable Labs have illustrated that online retailers that can make connection with Facebook can gain a commercial advantage. Nisan Gabbay, CEO of Sociable Labs said: “People look at Facebook’s active user count but don’t quite get how pervasive the service is in people’s lives. It’s there all the time in any activity they do online.”

Video continues to be massively popular online

The latest figures from comScore for November suggest that 15% of all online video viewed in the month were ads.

That's all from us for this week - and year - everyone. Thanks for reading in 2011 - stay tuned for much more best practice, insight, case studies and analysis next year. The first Tuesday Update will be on Tuesday 10th Jan.

See you then!

The Useful Social Media Team

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