By Nick Johnson - October 19th, 2010

Hi everyone, This  is the first of our weekly Updates - collating the biggest stories in corporate social media over the last week. So, without further ado...   Social media drives sales... There...

Hi everyone,

This  is the first of our weekly Updates - collating the biggest stories in corporate social media over the last week. So, without further ado...


Social media drives sales...

There's an increasing amount of evidence about that suggests that social media is transforming the way we purchase our products and services. Consumers are increasingly interacting online with the companies they buy from and becoming more relaxed about spending money through the pages of social media networks. Sony and IBM have recently seen a direct links between their efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

Sony attribute a $1.5m increase to their work on Twitter. And IBM's Ed Lindle claims that they've made millions though 'listening for leads'  via social media - getting the 'conversation starters' in the company to watch out for potential leads, not just asking the sales team to do it. More in a great post from The Next Web here. is it surprising that spending's set to increase?

According to results from a recent survey by Econsultancy, there is to be a marked increase in online PR activity for 2011. The ‘Social Media and Online PR Report 2010’, is based on results from more than 800 senior industry figures and shows that investment in social media is predicted to increase - both by agencies and their clients. 83% of in-house social media professionals are predicting that spending at their company will increase over the next year.

In real terms however the amount being spent is fairly modest. And more than a quarter of firms say they're not spending on social media at all. For summary highlights and insights into disparities see here.


Mind the Gap

Something rather odd is going on at the Gap - and it has created an interesting case study for crisis management through social media.

The company was recently faced with an online backlash via Facebook and Twitter of consumers attacking their new logo. Gap responded,  apologised and attempted to swing the focus towards the huge amounts of  'passion' there was for their old logo. They then went even further and abandoned the new (and probably expensive) design entirely, engaging with the angry Twitter followers by asking for a fresh consumer inspired design.

Nick wrote a blog post on this very issue on Friday - which runs counter to the "'what a great example of a company realising the power of social media!" school.  He thinks Gap should have stuck to their guns.


Big names utilize Facebook Places

Facebook Places, the location based media tool is gathering momentum. Different organisations are starting to leverage the new functionality to offer promotions and activities.

Focusing around the ‘check in’ function, Red Bull organised a scavenger hunt around San Francisco to promote the San Francisco Giants player Tim Lincecum. The University of Kentucky is using the tool to remind students to check in and out by planting life-size wooden signpost replicas of those on Facebook on campus. And 'musician' James Blunt is showing his digitally savvy by rewarding those who checked in to see his album launch with three free songs.


Heinz launch first UK digital campaign

Global brand Heinz is using social media for its new ‘Secret Ingredient’ campaign with celebrity chef Paul Rankin. Aiming to inspire people to use Heinz classic ketchup in homemade dishes (?), this is the brand's first UK social media push (subscription required for that link).

Supermarket sites will host videos of Rankin talking to online customers and distribute Recipe Cards in store hoping to drive people to the campaign site.

This is the company’s biggest digital campaign for the brand, focusing on changing consumer behavior and increasing engagement. As the Heinz marketing manager noted “the interactive element helps embed this change in consumer behavior, things you wouldn’t get through other media”.


Klout now measures your Facebook influence too

Klout – the app that brought us a tool to measure our “overall online influence” on Twitter can now be used to assess our Facebook influence. It enables us to see the effect of what we release and could be an invaluable tool for those starting out at social media measurement.

It assesses ‘achievements’ by noting Comments and Likes inspired by the content posted - and the likelihood that it will spur people on to engage in further conversation.

One (rather huge) drawback is the inability to analyse Facebook Pages or Groups. Though I suppose you can always use it to judge the success of your personal life…


Would love to hear back from you on any/all of the above.



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