By Nick Johnson - May 17th, 2011

Hi everyone, Quite a 'geeky' Tuesday Update this week. We're focusing more on macro-trends than on corporate case studies this week. There are some really interesting pieces of analysis, surveys an...

Hi everyone,

Quite a 'geeky' Tuesday Update this week. We're focusing more on macro-trends than on corporate case studies this week. There are some really interesting pieces of analysis, surveys and studies that have just come out. And they all seem relevant for the Social Media Manager.

But if you're desperate for case studies, then 1) sign up for our new 'Social Media Trends' briefing, which features six corporate case studies and 2) Never fear, normal service will return next week.

On to the stories:


Facebook Brand Tagging: Great innovation or next on the social media scrapheap?

Somewhat surprisingly, it appears Coca Cola fans are enthusiastically tagging not only themselves in their Facebook pictures, but the bottles of Coke they're drinking. Zappos and Starbucks customers are doing the same.

These pictures then appear on said brand's Facebook page - in the photo tab.

An interesting way for big corporates to encourage interaction without relying on wall posts and 'likes'. Will probably make rather good marketing material too....

More here.


UK companies shoot themselves in the foot by forbidding social networking at work

Another post from the world of big companies shooting themselves in the foot. This time, a new survey by HCL Technologies and Lewis PR finds that 48% of UK businesses have banned social networking sites from the workplace.

A further 63% say they try to discourage employees from accessing Twitter, Facebook, et al because they fear their reputation is at stake.

One doesn't need to point out the fallacy of this decision to readers of this blog. But it becomes alarmingly clear quite how much work the social media practitioner has to do to secure internal buy in.


'Coverage gap' as social media activity outstrips provision of internal resources for adequate responses

As companies jump into social media, a common mistake to make is starting an awful lot of conversations and then looking surprised and scared when people talk back. 

In this article, Leo King reports that whilst marketing teams have taken on social in a big way, customer service teams haven't kept up. There's now a 'coverage gap' as consumers start making customer service queries on a brand's Facebook and Twitter pages. There are some obvious incentives to address the gap:

1) Negative comments spread - fast. Without a properly equipped and resources customer service department on Twitter, criticisms will spread like a virus

2) Companies that are proactive in engaging with customers tend to experience more customer loyalty and brand awareness


Starwood Hotels incorporate Foursquare checkins into its loyalty program

Foursquare's assault on large brands continues unabated. This week, they've managed to put together a partnership with Starwood Hotels. Starwood loyalty programme participants now get Foursquare badges and Starwood loyalty points for checking in at the company's hotels.

Starwood leverages both the cool points of working with Foursquare, and develops a more comprehensive loyalty program to further engage their customers.

Starwood seems confident of success - there's plans for another campaign in August.


Social media's integration into 'traditional' marketing campaigns has a long way to go

A huge challenge for the social media practitioner within big companies is to better integrate social media into existing marketing campaigns. It appears that there's a lot of work needed to do this.

72% of companies participating in a recent Econsultancy survey say that they don't measure how email marketing impacts on social media activity.

Getting ROI from email campaigns is something any marketer worth their salt can do with confidence. Social media ROI is an altogether more elusive goal. Surely a closer integration of the two channels will shed light on what works - and what doesn't?


That's all for this week guys. For additional stories and opinion through the week, check out our Twitter account - @usefulsocial.

Until next week!


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