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Netimperative Social Media Report 2009  Final Netimperative Social Media Report 2009 Final Document Transcript

  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 1 Netimperative Sector Seminar: Engagement through Social Media Sponsors of today’s event are:
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 2 Netimperative Sector Seminar: Engagement through Social Media With Social Networks becoming the day to day norm and a way to communicate to your networks both through work and personally. We talk today about how we can harness the power of the social networks to promote and advertise our businesses. How communicating with your customers day to day can achieve a higher return on investment, trust, generate great ideas and place you at the top of your game . 2:00pm – 2:30pm Registration 2:30pm – 2:35pm Chair‟s Introduction & Overview Andrew Gerrard, Consultant, D-marketing 2:35pm – 2.55 pm How to advertise using Social Media Simon Podd, Head of Sales UK & Ireland, Bebo 2.55pm – 3:15pm Case Study: Targeted Advertising Campaigns through Social Media Oisin Lunny, Country Manager, UK & Ireland, Sulake Corporation & Emily Knee, Senior Digital Account Manager, NSPCC 3:15pm – 3:35pm Successfully tracked results for your Social Media Campaigns Paul Taylor, Managing Director and Matthew Brazil, CEO, 6 Consulting 3:35pm – 3:55pm Your customers are your best sales channel: How to use social media to build reputation and advocacy Ivan Croxford, General Manager, BT Tradespace 3.55pm – 4.15pm Coffee & Networking 4:15pm – 4:40pm Reach is now irrelevant and engagement is key to brand value Katy Howell, CEO, immediate future 4.40pm – 5.00pm Case Study: Yomego works with Eircom to create a new home for Irish Soccer Steve Richards, Business Director, Yomego 5.00pm – 5:25pm Panel Debate: Do social media ads work or just wind users up? Andrew Gerrard, Consultant, D-marketing Simon Podd, Head of Sales UK & Ireland, Bebo Oisin Lunny, Country Manager, UK & Ireland, Sulake Corporation Emily Knee, Senior Digital Account Manager, NSPCC Paul Taylor, Managing Director, 6 Consulting Ivan Croxford, General Manager, BT Tradespace Katy Howell, CEO, immediate future Steve Richards, Business Director, Yomego 5:25pm- 5.30pm Chairman‟s Closing Remarks 5.30pm – 6.00pm Wine Reception & Networking
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 3 Speaker Biographies Andrew Gerrard, Social and Digital Media Consultant Oisin Lunny, Country Manager, UK & Ireland, Sulake Corporation Andrew Gerrard is a Social and Digital Media Consultant, As UK Country Manager of Habbo UK, Oisin combines 19 years of helping clients understand how to take part in the experience in the media, music and technology industries to lead the conversations that their audiences are having, and growth of the UK site. In addition to the day-to-day running of Habbo converting them through social and digital channels into UK Oisin oversees the deployment of strategic marketing and mutually profitable long-term customer relationships. With integrated advertising campaigns to encourage site visitors and user nearly 20 years of unparalleled experience in the digital, activity. Prior to Habbo Oisin was Global Product Manager, Online online and social media industries, Andrew provides his Distribution and Media Services for Interoute Communications clients with a wealth of strategic and tactical knowledge that Limited, owners and operators of Europe's most advanced voice and data network. Their products and services include bandwidth, virtual lead to effective and practical business activities that create private networks, high speed internet access and transit, managed opportunies and produce measurable results. With a strong hosting, communications services and media streaming. Oisin is a background in technology and the internet, and a career that successful musician in his own right, having worked as a spans senior marketing roles with Microsoft, professional DJ and producer, and continues to explore his passion CompuServe/AOL and DoubleClick, Andrew was also for music in his spare time. responsible for launching LunarStorm, a major social network for young people, and has advised numerous clients on how to adopt and integrate social media into their day-to-day business and company culture. He is currently working on a project using social and digital media to drive and effect a measurable and sustainable real-world behaviour change within local communities. Emily Knee, Senior Digital Account Manager, NSPCC - National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Emily joined the Digital Communications team at the NSPCC in Simon Podd, Bebo, Head of Sales UK & Ireland February 2007. A key part of her role is reaching and engaging with children and young people through digital channels in order to raise Simon took up the role of Head of UK Sales. Simon joined Bebo at awareness of ChildLine and educate about issues of abuse. Prior to the launch of its commercial operations in January 2007 as a UK joining the NSPCC she was Programmes Manager at the Internet Sales Manager. In his position, Simon is responsible for working Advertising Bureau (IAB) where she ran their programme of industry with clients and advertising agencies alike through sponsorship of working groups. Bebo's engagement marketing solutions and original commissions while managing the UK sales team and UK revenue. During his first year at Bebo Simon secured large scale 'media first' sponsorships with multinational brands including Disney, Cadbury and Toyota. Bebo‟s first, and the Internet‟s most successful serialized drama, KateModern was nominated for two BAFTA (the British Oscars) awards and generated over 70 million views. KateModern was followed by Sofia’s Diary, the first online show to cross over to TV in the UK, The Gap Year, the most successful reality show not on TV and The Secret World of Sam King, the first co-production between Universal Music and a social network. Podd previously worked at the London Evening Standard as Head of Agency Sales, in a challenging and demanding market. Simon was responsible for creating and managing excellent and ongoing client relationships while overseeing the entire agency sales process. More recently, Simon worked on the launch of News International‟s first ever newspaper launch in the UK with the London Paper and was part of the management team responsible for devising, planning and shaping the commercial launch proposition.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 4 Ivan Croxford, General Manager, BT Tradespace Ivan Croxford is the Head of BT Tradespace http://www.bttradespace.com, a place for small businesses to promote themselves using social media and business networking tools. Ivan has seen BT Tradespace grow from the spark of an idea to a flourishing community of over 350,000 members and rising. Prior to joining BT Ivan worked in the wireless and broadband services business in both the UK and France. A keen (though somewhat irregular) blogger [link http://www.fumoir.com] he can also be found on Twitter - http://twitter.com/croxy Katy Howell, Managing Director, immediate future With over 20 years‟ industry experience, Katy is renowned for her insight and knowledge of online PR and social media. Highly- respected in her field, she manages the online PR diploma module for the Institute of Direct Marketing and the Institute for Sales Promotion. She is an active member of the social media council at the Internet Advertising Bureau and is invited to speak at many conferences including Marketing Week and CIPR. immediate future‟s client experience includes; Sony Europe, BT, Diageo, PSP, NSPCC, BBC, Cancer Research, Boxed up, Kinder Bueno, CW Jobs, Mirror Group, Hotel Chocolat, Sara Lee, bmibaby www.twitter.com/katyhowell www.linkedin.com/in/katyhowell Paul Taylor, Managing Director, 6 Consulting Managing Director of 6Consulting, Paul Taylor has a process improvement management consultancy background. Paul has extensive experience working with a number of marketing, brand, digital and PR agencies as well as leading corporate organisations implementing applied social media monitoring campaigns Steve Richards, MD, Yomego Steve Richards is managing director of social media agency Yomego; a position he took up in July 2008 to drive the growth of the company‟s work across virtual worlds, user generated content platforms and social networks. Steve began his career client-side with HSBC before moving on to sales promotion agency, IMC. In 1998, he co-founded award-winning London agency, Swordfish, working with clients including BBC, Channel 4, First Direct, Reckitt Benckiser, Sony and Warner Bros. Over 50% of Swordfish‟s output was across digital media. Since joining Yomego, he has overseen the development of groundbreaking community sites including Ruumz, Soccer Republic and the soon to be launched virtual world Matthew Brazil, CEO, 6 Consulting dPals. Matthew has over 18 year‟s commercial experience and is a respected consultant who has led a number of software as a service (SaaS) projects. Matthew regularly works with a number of major marketing agencies to shape the digital offering. His understanding of the processes and methodologies behind social media are frequently used by agencies across a range of clients from different sectors.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 6 Introduction Welcome to Netimperative‟s Sector Report on Social Media 2009. With social networking and user generated content an established part of the digital landscape, rules for marketers have well and truly changed. In this report, you'll find an overview of the social media sector as it stands, supported by trends from recent months and some future predictions. Next, we have commentary from number of industry experts offering their views on the pitfalls and opportunities of social media. We have also included a comprehensive arsenal of data to help decipher some key trends from the early part of 2009, before concluding with some case studies from recent social media campaigns to get your creative juices flowing. We’d like to thank our co-sponsors, Yomego and BT Tradespace for their help in putting this report together. Social media and Web 2.0 is fast becoming crucial to Yomego is a social media agency working with brands every business's marketing strategy. And tools such to build, retain and monetise digital communities. It as blogs, podcasts and videos play a critical part in works closely with broadcasters, brand and media building trust online and getting that all important sale. owners and their agencies to design and build social Understanding what Web 2.0 is and how you can networks, UGC platforms, virtual worlds and other make the most of the tools on offer to help promote bespoke digital applications that engage audiences. and grow your business is essential. BT Tradespace Yomego‟s client list includes MTV, Eircom, Durex, is one of them: a thriving online community for SMEs Entertainment Rights, Five, GMTV, Ladbrokes and to meet like-minded people - whether you're buying, ITV. To find out more about Yomego visit selling or just networking. If you're looking for an www.yomego.com or contact Steve Richards on 0141 opportunity to get your business noticed - this is it, 582 0600 or steve@yomego.com. www.bttradespace.com. To find out more contact team@bttradespace.com
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 7 YouTube video showing Domino‟s employees Social Media- A Sector Overview „tampering‟ with food). So with this in mind, just how are marketers supposed to target consumers in this new user-controlled environment that can be very hostile to ads? With this level of control, will consumers want any place for adverts in their own media world? Since the likes of Flickr, YouTube and Facebook caught the public‟s imagination back in the mid- The social media landscape noughties, social media has fast become a major part of the online landscape, bringing with it new Social media is now the forth most popular activity challenges and opportunities for marketers. online, following search, portals and PC software use, and ahead of email (Nielsen Online, March 2009). In Spurred on by the young and the geeky, the medium fact, the same research found that Brits typically now touches upon nearly all aspects of modern life, spend one of every six of their minutes online visiting from politics and business, to celebrity culture and a social media site. This growth trend is set to breaking news. At the time of writing, a Facebook app continue. eMarketer estimates by 2013, the social is mapping the swine-flu outbreak based on user networking population in the UK will reach 21.9 million comments, Ashton Kutcher has just become the first and represent 50% of Internet users. Twitterer to gain one million followers and Gordon Brown is in trouble for opting to break his MP expense So what are the most popular forms of social media in reform plans on YouTube (he‟s just been forced to the UK? The eMarketer poll, conducted in April 2009, disable viewer comments due to abuse). found that 37% of UK adult Internet users had visited a social networking site in the previous month, while The phrase „social media‟ means more than just 29% had viewed or contributed to an online forum, online networks of friends and associates. The and 26% had visited or posted a comment on a medium encompasses a range of platforms, including message board. Fewer than one in five had visited or blogs, photo and video sharing sites, wikis and social added to a wiki (19%) or a blog (16%), or checked bookmarking tools. All are linked by the concept of into a chat room (13%). One in ten (10%) said they user participation helping to shape and distribute the had visited a business networking site. content on display. In terms of social networks, industry stalwart The popularity of social media is at least one area of MySpace remains the most popular in global terms growth that looks recession-proof, even if only in and goes toe-to-toe with Facebook in the US, buoyed terms of scale rather than sterling. According to by its highly successful music platform. However, Datamonitor, by 2012, 70% of online content will be Facebook currently leads the UK market in terms of user-generated. Technorati estimates that there are users, along with much of Europe. 171 million blogs worldwide. In fact (and perhaps most tellingly) Brits are now more likely to visit social Looking at stats on Facebook‟s market leading status networks than porn sites (Hitwise, October 2008). in Blighty shows just how deeply entrenched social media has become in the UK online sector. According This surge in „people-power‟ has marked a to Hitwise, Facebook is not only the most popular UK fundamental shift in the industry. The traditional media social network, it has also become the most searched model of „one-to-many‟, where controlled editorial for brand in the UK, ahead of YouTube, eBay, Bebo content is posted on a specific timescale, has mutated and the BBC, attracting 2.39% of all searches on to a landscape where publishing becomes a Google (Hitwise, March 2009). constantly evolving, „many-to-many‟ conversation. The rules have changed, and consumers now expect Facebook also accounts for one third of all social this level of control as standard, be it online, via networking in Europe (Comscore April 2009) mobile devices, and even via TV as interactive representing 1.1% all online time in Europe, and a technology becomes more prevalent. massive 4.1% of all time spent online in the UK. The site also commands a lead in nearly all European For marketers, this elevation of social media in the countries with the notable exceptions being Germany th th public consciousness has so far presented a double- (4 ) and Russia (7 ). In the UK, nearly 23 million edged sword. The medium offers unprecedented people visit Facebook a month, representing more insight into consumer attitudes and behaviour, while than a third of the country‟s population, according to at the same time leaving brands more vulnerable than comScore. ever to bad publicity (as exemplified in the recent
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 8 The rise of the Twitterati those ads (63%) were integrated as part of a wider campaign. The majority of those interviewed forecast their social media marketing budgets to grow and take While Facebook remains top, Twiiter has undoubtedly between 20- 40% of their total online marketing been the social media success story of 2009 so far. budget in 2009. The micro-blogging site has been bubbling under the mainstream since its inception in 2006, yet recent celebrity endorsements have boosted its popularity to Outside of social networking ads, media sharing sites over 5 million users worldwide (comScore, April (such as YouTube and Flickr) were the most popular 2009). If it‟s good enough for Stephen Fry, it seems, form of social media-based advertising (62%). This it‟s good enough for the rest of us. was very closely followed by micro-blogs (such as Twitter) with 60% of votes, and corporate and campaign blogs (59%). Crucially, the site has found its own niche within the social media sector, straddling both the personal space offered by Facebook and the professional So what are the typical UK marketing budgets for space offered by business-based social networks social media? A recent eConsultancy report found such as LinkedIn, Xing and BT Tradespace. As such, that budgets for social media remain relatively small. the site arguably lends itself more towards marketers‟ 55% of company respondents are spending less than goals, being more of a „lean forward‟ medium than the £5,000 per year, while just 4% were spending more online hang-outs of Facebook and Bebo. than £50,000 in this area. Indeed, the rapid growth of Twitter is reflected in the The metric currency by which success of these new attention paid to it in companies' marketing strategies. solutions is measured is also changing, with the role of a Technorati-style „buzz‟metric to gauge a brands According to a recent eConsultancy poll of agencies, 49% said they were including the site in their social status in the blogosphere is growing in popularity. media marketing during 2009, compared with just 3% Companies are also wising up to the power of last year. This placed it as the second most popular negative mentions in community sites, countering with proactive online campaigns centred around the „word social media platform behind Facebook for marketing of mouse‟ power of social media. campaigns. Emerging platforms- the next step? While the signs indicate that marketers should ignore Twitter at their own peril, new data from Nielsen Online shows that Twitter's audience retention rate is Emerging platforms can take advantage of social just 40%. This means just two in five users that networking technologies in ways that the internet can‟t „twittered‟ in March went on to make another micro- match. The advent of Smartphones such as Apple‟s blog entry in April. Nielsen said Twitter‟s average iPhone mean mobile social networks and blogging retention rate for the year has been 30%, far below communities are gaining momentum, especially the likes of Facebook and MySpace. Time will tell if among teenagers and early-adopters who are more the site will meet its potential as a mainstream likely to spend time on their mobiles than PCs. communication platform to rival texting, but for the time being at least, it remains a cost-effective way of Meanwhile, as IPTV bridges the gap between the reaching potential customers. Internet and TV further, to what extent will social networks be integrated into this convergence? Are TV The UGC video ad conundrum schedules going to make way for programme or genre-based streaming video channels, with social As user generated video becomes more prevalent, networks built-in for fans? And if so, where would advertising fit into this mix? more pressure is being placed on video sharing sites such as YouTube to generate revenues to compensate for massive bandwidth requirements. But Social networking has come a long way since the this has not been without its own problems for early days, and its potential, both culturally and marketers. Can brands face the possibility of being commercially is now huge. Those that can associated with harmful or inappropriate content? For successfully predict and harness the latest example, can a sports brand be seen advertising in a innovations and trends in social media are those most clip of a skateboarder wearing a rival brand‟s t-shirt? likely to emerge as winners, as the industry reaches its next critical phase. How are marketers using social media? A February 2009 study of UK marketers conducted by Sapient found that over half had run a campaign on a social networking site in the past 12 months. Most of
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 9 The vast majority of the highest ranking teams in the The Monetisation of Social Media: online game are now fully kitted out in Adidas wear. In Digital‟s Holy Grail the minds of players it creates an unconscious link between the brand and high performance, both within the game and in the real world. But beyond this, embrace a community and they will often make quick, reliable and cost-effective product- testers. Critical considerations such as which colours or designs are likely to be a hit can be assessed with online fans in a much more collaborative way and at a fraction of the offline cost. Win over this community Marketers have spent fortunes and you‟ll recruit an impassioned army of well- trying to target “the right demographics”. But just connected brand ambassadors. when they were getting good at it, along comes social media. Steve Richards, Managing Director at Yomego, looks at the key challenges facing Eighteen months ago, major NFL American football marketers in this new web 2.0 world. team, the Indianapolis Colts, were one of the first sports brands to launch their own dedicated social network for fans (http://www.mycolts.net). Four weeks One billion consumers regularly use social networks. after the site‟s launch, it already had a loyal online Here, people happily give personal – even intimate – audience in excess of 10,000. It has now become an details about themselves. But in these democratised ideal platform to sell merchandise, update fans on environments, people don‟t want to be overtly sold to. special events and most importantly to get instant and In fact, they‟re actively against it. Often adopting direct input from fans about the future of the franchise. radically different personas simultaneously on different networks, users are also extremely difficult to pigeon-hole. In fact, the opportunity to develop a direct relationship with an online community united by a common interest is open to all brands through the creation of a It‟s a beguiling challenge, then: how to tap into the unique social network. commercial potential of such vast numbers of people expressing personal preferences, without them Some universal marketing principles apply –the space turning against you? Very few brands have worked it out and the majority of operators are yet to make their has to look good, the content needs to be compelling social networks pay (just ask the accountants at and refreshed regularly. When creating your own Facebook). social network as opposed to joining others, the creative control over your site and the quality and uniqueness of content you can provide is a massive But progress is being made and there are now advantage. The site also needs to present a clear examples of online brand building which are proposition or purpose that the audience can buy into. producing astonishing results over traditional And online, expectations tend to be higher, so any advertising. brand entering this world needs to do so with complete conviction. The world of sport is leading the way. Yomego has been working with Irish telecoms Sports fans form some of the most passionate groups provider, eircom. As sponsors of the Republic of of people and social media can easily re-create online Ireland national football team it was looking for a way what they do naturally offline – by providing a virtual to recruit, engage, empower and enlighten a digital gathering place that‟s open all day, every day. community of fans. In its first few weeks of going live, soccerRepublic.ie had attracted over 100,000 unique Adidas has created an application for Chinese visits. Thousands of fans now use the site as a website Xiaonei.com‟s hugely popular game knowledge source, sounding board, swap-shop and „Basketball superstars‟, which already boasts 150,000 destination to get behind-the-scenes access to the dedicated basketball fans. The game allows players to players and backroom staff. eircom promises to shape create their own virtual basketball team to play the future of the site directly in tune with what the fans against other users. Adidas has added virtual branded want. gear including trainers and clothing to the game, which players can then purchase using virtual credits. But what does eircom get out of it commercially? In The more Adidas equipment a team wears, the higher short, lots. its stats go, in turn improving the team‟s chances of winning.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 10 For a start, on a specially catered site of this type, Monetising Social Media- Join the display advertising can work much more successfully Conversation than has so far proved to be the case on generic social media networks. Provided the selected brands fit the site‟s overall editorial profile and the advertising is not over-intrusive, users will tolerate it much more than they would on the likes of Facebook or Myspace, where attempts to target advertising according to a user‟s profile have been viewed as in invasion of privacy. Meanwhile, partnerships are proving to be a How can brands make money particularly productive way of raising brand through social media? By Mark Redgrave, CEO of awareness. The success or failure of these tailored Amplify, argues that to engage customers, you sites hangs entirely on the added value of the content. By adding real value to the community – via an offer, must first understand the conversation before you join it. competition prize, game or other relevant and engaging feature – the community‟s enthusiasm ` for the site continues to be reinforced. Ultimately, this is Social networks are here to stay, that much we know. what will keep them coming back. Human beings are „social‟ creatures that want to share their ideas, plans, intentions and emotions. People want to connect and engage with other people Positive brand engagement, however, is the most obvious benefit – existing and potential customers are and social networks create powerful environments for this to happen. But one of the biggest challenges entering into meaningful dialogues and interactions in facing brands today is how to effectively monetise an environment built and facilitated by eircom. The these social properties. value of such interaction for the brand and the reward for the consumer is huge. According to the latest figures from Hitwise (Feb 2009), Facebook is the second most popular website Whilst no one has yet developed a definitive metric to in the UK behind Google, with 17.6 million unique quantify the benefits of this new model of social users in the UK. Access to the huge audience and marketing, widespread brand advocacy is every marketer‟s dream and fan-based networks can deliver rich user data that social networks offer makes them very appealing to brands, but how can firms unlock short term boosts and long-term sustainable sales growth. this potential? The key to monetising social networks lies in engagement. Not some sort of superficial „brand‟ engagement, but in deep, personal Then there‟s one final factor – what would be the cost engagement through real dialogue with users. Brands if you‟d sat back and watched your nearest need to be joining the conversation – but to do that, competitors get socially networked instead? they first need to understand the conversation. They need to understand what is being discussed, where, By Steve Richards when and how. Managing Director Yomego Sophisticated understanding www.Yomego.com Easy to say, not so easy to do. Publishers have been looking at advertising as a means of monetising social networks for some time now, but high-profiled bungled attempts such as Facebook's Beacon highlight the challenges they face. A key barrier is the way users think about social networks - people see their online space as something quite private and this, coupled with a lot of media attention around online privacy, has led people to have an emotional reaction towards advertising on social media networks which is both immediate and negative. This is an understandable, and yet unreasonable reaction - social networks are ultimately providing a service that needs to be paid for. Just like TV. Just like radio.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 11 The trick lies in understanding the conversation that is assessing brand safety based on samples of content. raging and engaging the user with highly relevant, Move to Natural Language Processing and targeted advertising that actually enhances the user computational linguistic technologies that are experience. Understanding the conversation is not available today and which can surface the significant about identifying keywords. It has to be much more topics, attitudes and pending decisions within any text sophisticated than that. If someone is talking to remove the guesswork from brand safety and enthusiastically about going skiing in France in March, targeting decisions and enable social networks to realise their financial potential. they will react positively to skiing advertising and specific ski travel offers. If, however, they are talking about how they hate the cold weather and just don‟t By Mark Redgrave understand why their friends spend money on skiing CEO and winter holidays, those same skiing ads will have Amplify the opposite effect. This creates an experience that is bad for the user and bad for the advertiser. That‟s why www.openamplify.com/ the technology used to understand the conversation and to serve the ad must be sophisticated. Just latching onto the keyword „skiing‟ is not sufficient. And that‟s why current efforts are falling short. Fear of the unknown The sheer volume of largely unregulated content makes it very challenging for publishers to monetise social networks. Brands want to participate, but they simply can't afford to take the risk of exposure next to offensive or inappropriate user generated content. What‟s the solution? Once again, understand the conversation. If you can really understand what‟s being discussed – dynamically, as the content is actually being created and as the conversation is actually evolving – then you can make instantaneous decisions whether or not to serve an ad at all – and, if so, which ads, which creative and which promotion to serve. The opportunity presented by social networks is too large for brands to ignore. They want and need to participate. To make this happen, publishers must provide advertisers with insights into the meaning of all the content on their site. Only by having a true understanding of content can brands engage users with relevant and useful ads that enhance – not detract – from the user experience. Amplify is the only technology available today that can understand the meaning of content in real time, and provide ad servers with the information they need to ensure highly relevant, premium ads are served to users based on their own expressed interests, desires and intentions. Top tips for publishers The key to monetising social media from a publisher‟s perspective is to understand your content! Arm online advertisers with a full appreciation of the meaning of text – so go beyond existing tools that rely on categorising content according to keywords or
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 12 Likewise the Labour party recently unveiled its social The Power of Social Media networking site Labourspace.com, which along with the existing LabourList.org, invites individuals to bring issues to the attention of Labour politicians. Members can upload their own campaign ideas and communicate with the Labour Party on why they think these ideas should be implemented. This helps the Government to understand exactly what the general public really want from them and what issues they feel 2009 has seen the power of most strongly about. social media reach an all-time high with many of us dedicating our precious time daily to blogs, However, the power that social media invites means it chat forums and popular social networking sites has to be handled responsibly. Marcus comments such as Facebook and Twitter. Rob Marcus, “Government campaigns in particular can generate director at Chat Moderators believes that social some heated opinions, as such they must be careful media is a great and powerful marketing tool, but to strike the perfect balance between allowing their also believes that with great power comes great audience to express their opinions and make responsibility… suggestions while ensuring that they are taking a responsible attitude to moderation. Taking As the popularity of social networking, blogging and responsibility for what information appears is the only web chat continues to rise, it is no secret that those way to create a safe place for users to interact and a brands who fail to embrace such concepts will find place that they will want to visit again.” themselves lagging behind competitors and possibly losing out altogether on what is an extremely powerful Back in November 2008 a Spanish website generated method of customer engagement and some media attention as it was found to be displaying communication. some racist comments directed at Lewis Hamilton after he won the Brazilian Grand Prix. At the time, Although there are possible risks for any business this website was not being moderated and the involved with a social networking initiative, the inappropriate comments had gone undetected. Such rewards and positive impact on brand identity can be situations can be avoided if a stringent moderation substantial. Social media allows businesses to process is put in place, whether that is in-house or via connect with audiences in new ways and unlike some third party moderation. traditional marketing tactics, paves the way for an interactive two-way conversation. Marcus explains “Despite this starting off as a seemingly innocent website around motor sport, it Marcus comments “Brands are beginning to quickly escalated into a community for racist abuse. understand the potential of social media in cementing Allowing comments like this to go undetected can ongoing relationships with their key target audiences. severely damage the brand of the business in Interestingly, it is not just commercial brands that question and in some cases the damage can be have been getting in on the act; from Barack Obama beyond repair.” to the Labour government a wide spectrum of organisations have begun to harness and build on the The dark side of social media effects that social media can have on their marketing campaigns.” Cyber bullying is another example of the dark side of social media. Google has recently been taken to court Jumping on the bandwagon by a Canadian model claiming that an anonymous blogger has been trying to defame her. The model In particular, Barack Obama‟s presidential campaign wants Google to identify the blogger and have the now has presence on no fewer than 16 social media website shut down. “Being associated with this type sites including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Not of negative publicity it is damaging for Google‟s only is Obama able to reach the general public on reputation even though the comments were made by these popular social networks, he is also connected a third party. Brands need to realise that being with specific ethnic groups online such as, associated with any negative story is enough to ruin a BlackPlanet for the African-American population. reputation, regardless of whether they were actually Obama has fully embraced social media throughout involved in making the comments,” remarks Marcus. his campaign and has continued to do so since the election by updating his Twitter regularly and “I have seen various examples of social networks engaging in discussions on forums with the public on which are bringing positive benefits such as one by issues that are important to them. the health sector which is encouraging people to stop smoking and one by a charity which is giving the
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 13 public access to free advice and information. A survey be as a result of a number of factors. Marcus concludes “As long as a responsible attitude is taken highlighted in eMarketer found that 85 per cent of marketing executives have cited customer along with regular, targeted moderation, social media engagement as the main benefit of using social can bring great power to any organisation. It can also media. As well as this, 51 per cent found the low cost mean the difference of reaching a global audience, of social media initiatives appealing and 48 per cent motivating user interaction and establishing a lasting dialogue with customers. Whether it‟s a product, found it useful for building their brand awareness,” said Marcus. brand or campaign, done well, it is possible to positively steer your brand into the spotlight”. Into the spotlight… www.chatmoderators.com Observing the results that social media has already achieved for organisations can really help a brand decide what route they would like to take themselves. However, with every success story there are a number which have gone horribly wrong and this can
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 14 1. Get on there! Get involved! There‟s no better Top Five Twitter Tips for Brands place to start than with yourself. Sign up for an account, follow some people - you can start with me: www.twitter.com/tomgriffola, I talk about digital marketing, rugby and music - and get tweeting a little. Find some people or brands in your sector and watch what they‟re doing. You can gain a lot from interacting and watching before you reveal a brand presence. How can brands get the most 2. See what people are saying about your brand out of Twitter? Tom Griffiths, Business using http://search.twitter.com - grab the feed and Development Manager at CheezeDMG, offers watch it for a while. Is the conversation positive or some tips to generate conversions through negative? This will help you define what your conversations. presence on Twitter needs to be. It may also help you quickly find brand ambassadors who can amplify your Twitter‟s here. You can't visit a website or turn a page, presence. Don't forget the detractors - connecting with digital or otherwise, without reading about it. Whether them on Twitter and helping them may create a rapid it‟s Jonathan Ross‟ banter or breaking news stories - turnaround in their opinion. Sky has a Twitter correspondent and CNN has one of the largest followings of any user ; yet it‟s the user 3. Work out what you‟re going to say, and who‟s who‟s breaking news before the news agencies - the going to manage it. In some cases an agency can plane dumping in the Hudson River being the most help get you off the ground and hand over the running high profile example. once you‟re familiar with the process. You can stick to a content theme, or a reason as to why you‟re on Twitter‟s being used as a news channel, an Twitter, but don‟t use it as a broadcast channel. All information hub, but the user has more power than tweeting and no listening will lose you credibility - very ever. Of course brands are keen to follow this trend quickly! and harness it to their own benefit. So how can brands make their voices heard in a world where the 4. Get your brand onto Twitter. Grab a name - user, your potential customer, doesn‟t have to listen? ideally www.twitter.com/yourbrandname, set up your It‟s a level playing field, so your brand has to operate logo and a template design and start twittering. If you at the consumer‟s level; don‟t simply broadcast offers can reference your brand on your own corporate page and „news‟ - become part of the conversation. Some that will help establish credibility for the brand on brands have been active for a while - smaller ones Twitter. At this time there are no regulations or checks like eSpares are doing a great job of harnessing the - it‟s up to you to manage your brand on Twitter. channel, larger brands like Canterbury of New Connect it to your other channels - you can feed your Zealand are just starting; and then you‟ve got huge Twitter stream into a Facebook Fan Page or your own global brands like Dell that have already seen over website. $1m of revenue from the channel. 5. Start talking - follow people you find interesting, Charities are at it too - Dogstrust are doing a fantastic have a conversation. If you‟re sending links to your job engaging with their „followers‟, and PDSA are site, think about adding tracking tags. URL etiquette in starting to get involved off the back of their Facebook Twitter‟s 140 character dialogue is to use a shortened success. All these brands are seeing success through URL via tinyurl or similar, so add your tracking in engagement – involve yourself, provide advice, before converting the url. This can help you respond to questions, „react‟ to your customers, and understand what value this channel is delivering for the proactive nature of marketing becomes flipped. you, over and above interaction, enabling you to track However, the effectiveness of building brand traffic from conversation through to conversion. advocates, raising awareness and ultimately promoting your products and services by „stealth‟ is By Tom Griffiths huge – subtle branding, who would have thought it? Business Development Manager, CheezeDMG Set to grow even further, Twitter may also spin out www.twitter.com/tomgriffola with the associated growth of similar 'tools' like www.Identi.ca, www.plurk.com and www.jaiku.com - www.twitter.com/CheezeDMG owned by Google. Having a presence on Twitter now will help you understand the medium and benefit your brand and the consumer. So, if you‟re looking to harness Twitter, where to start? Here are five tips to get you going:
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 15 Monitor forums and review sites How to Manage your Reputation Online Google Alerts are an excellent way of monitoring what is being written about on the web. These will flag up any instances of specified keywords (such as your company name), ensuring that anything negative can be counteracted and positive stories or postings can be optimised. By making sure that any positive pages are well optimised, these will appear higher up in the search engine rankings, therefore pushing anything Brands that ignore social that is negative further down the listings. media do so at their own peril. Darren Jamieson, Senior Creative Developer at Just Search, looks at Embrace social media the growing importance of managing your brand‟s reputation online. Aside from social networking sites, there are a number of other social media that can be used to help With the huge rise in user-generated content and boost your web profile. Social bookmarking is a way freedom of the web, Internet users have much more to store and share web pages, so links to these sites control and power than ever before. This means that are saved on the public Internet, meaning web all the hard work that goes into search engine crawlers can find them easily. Use sites like optimisation, PR and marketing activities can be del.ici.ous, StumbleUpon and Digg.com. undone with a single negative forum thread or blog post. With online reputation management, there are Write a blog and keep it updated several easy ways that marketers and businesses can ensure Google and the other search engines display positive content. Blogging provides a channel for reaching a wider audience. Blogs that are regularly updated with interesting and relevant content will be placed higher Make the most of social networking in the rankings. Search engine spiders place more importance on blogs with fresh content, which helps Many companies will not see the value in using social to manage online reputation by ensuring that a blog is networking in the business environment, however ranked highly over any other potentially negative these sites can be a useful marketing tool. Creating a content. Blogging also provides the opportunity to profile on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook can increase incoming links and build relationships with help reach a wider audience and increase visibility. other key bloggers. Niche social networking sites are often overlooked. Find sites that are relevant to your industry or By Darren Jamieson community as this will help build up relevant relationships and increase the number of links coming into the site. Senior Creative Developer, Just Search Boost positive pages through SEO www.justsearch.co.uk By optimising positive reviews, posting media coverage on a website and having a well-optimised blog you can help ensure that Google displays the content that you want people to see. These practices should be adhered to regularly, not just as a reactive measure to negative online content.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 16 without even reading the content, as long as the How to Drive Traffic on the Cheap with headline is engaging. Social Media 2. Keep the content concise and to the point. In a nutshell, the attention span of social media surfers is very short. In fact it would barely fill a nutshell. Quickly fulfil the promises made in the headline in a timely and concise manner. Lists work really well. Most people when landing on a web page, don‟t read How can brands unlock the it, they scan it for relevant information. Give them potential of social media sites? William Peebles, what they want quickly, then they‟ll give you what you SEO Executive at Top Click Media, offers five tips want quickly - a vote! to get the most out of social media campaigns. 3. Choose your topic wisely. Different network sites are disposed to different types of subjects. For Companies and SEMs who can harness the various example, articles about technology or left wing politics social media platforms, such as Digg or Stumble, can tend to score well on Digg. Take your time to research drive vast quantities of traffic to their sites, what types of articles feature well on your chosen site. dramatically extending their company brands and Articles that comment on topical events often score even improving their search engine rankings. well. If you can respond quickly to an event that On such sites content is dictated by users rather than everyone is familiar with people will read and vote for editors. If users submit a story, and if other site it. members like it, they vote for it. The more votes a piece gets, the more prominently the site will feature 4. Get your article submitted by a powerful it. Stories with enough votes can end up on the front digger/stumbler. Social network sites are page. Because these sites are so popular, the sites communities. As in all communities, some members containing these stories can receive server-busting hold more sway than others. Individuals who have levels of traffic (50,000 visitors in a day is not strong track records in making submissions, which unusual). The attraction then for businesses to garner such levels of traffic is clear. What‟s even more have bought in numerous votes, will be highlighted on most sites as high profile submitters, so it will figure appealing, however, is that it can cost very little to do more prominently. If you don‟t know such a high so. power digger there are companies with high profile accounts who will submit your site for a fee – just Whereas SEO is becoming increasingly expensive, don‟t get caught! with large corporations splashing vast amounts of cash to cement page one positions, social media is, 5. Make your article as easy to share as for the most part, about content. If the content possible. In order for an article to score well, submitted, in the form of articles, videos, etc., is obviously it needs votes, and many of them. suitably engaging and tailored to the preferences of a Therefore make it as painless as possible for particular social networking site, then a company can someone to vote for your content. Place submission prosper without busting the bank. For the social options directly below the article. Also give readers media spendthrift, article submissions are certainly the facility to email your article to a friend. The code the way to go. They require very little but some required is very simple and will go a long way. creativity and the following killers tips: And that is basically it: A bit of creativity, patience, study and smarts can go a long way in this 1. Use a tasty headline. Headlines are certainly a burgeoning universe. What‟s great about these sites major factor in scoring big in the social media sites. is that their algorithms are set up to enhance the People will click on your article based on the headline, community. If you can create something that adds so it must be as appealing as possible. Keep it brief, value to the community then you can certainly prosper as time is of the essence. The social media surfer has without digging (excuse the pun) deep into your a serious case of ADD. They want to be engaged 3 pockets. seconds ago. Describe in as few words as possible what your article is offering and how the next five By William Peebles minutes of reading will improve their lives, or at least SEO Executive, Top Click Media entertain them. www.topclickmedia.co.uk „How to‟ headlines and articles are great. For some reason, as long as the subject matter is sufficiently interesting and people can find out how to achieve something important, they will generally read on. Sometimes diggers or reddites will vote for your site
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 17 individual profile, but the number of followers they How to Find and Engage with the interact with and how often their messages are Influencers Online passed on are also key. On Twitter the ratio of followers vs following can also indicate influence, with the more people following, the more influential that person us. There are also tools like www.twinfluence.com which aim to deliver a picture of reach and authority on Twitter. Simon Quance at You can get a more managed and detailed picture of HyperlaunchDMG looks at the difference between influence by using a range of services and tools that popularity and influence in social media circles... help to organise and rank social media users using combinations of many of the above processes. These include paid-for services such as Brandwatch, As consumers continue to flock to social platforms like Buzzmetrics and Onalytica, who will analyse data and Twitter to communicate with friends, meet people, produce results for you, identifying a picture of who is gather news, research products and services and influencing conversation. Services like Radian 6 and generally fulfil their information needs, they leave a Sysomos provide a more DIY approach, enabling you 'digital trail' of who they are across the web - what to analyse conversation yourself. they like, what they don't, what's important to them, what's not; and it invariably highlights their preferred (or not so preferred) brands and services. With all these measures it's important to consider the difference between popularity and influence. Simply defined, popularity delivers basic impressions on a This digital trail creates opportunities for businesses campaign, but influence un-locks the far greater to engage with consumers - from simply answering potential of engagement in peer networks, and this is questions at a point of need, to building sophisticated a direct catalyst for word-of-mouth activity. advocacy programmes - brands and companies can talk to people about what they really want to talk Engagement effort also varies per channel. In forums about. So, how can marketers identify and engage and message boards registration on the board and with the influencers of social media platforms? What constitutes „influence‟ and how is it measured? then a private message to the moderator is most likely to illicit a response. In blogs a simple email to the blog owner is often the only option, although a considered In the quot;us spacesquot; - groups, forums and message comment can also create dialogue and an opportunity boards - the community moderators and to engage. administrators are often the most influential. They‟re seen as the guardians of the community and are often As Twitter is inherently quot;opt-inquot;, personal outreach is the most knowledgeable on a topic too, but can be a limited to those users quot;followingquot; you back. The key challenging group to create an engagement with. Be here is to create a channel that is regularly updated, mindful that you're trying to participate in someone else's conversation. Don‟t butt in. relevant to your product or service and its customers, and ideally reflects your personality or creates one for the business. In the quot;me spacesquot; - social network profiles and blogs etc, the likes of specialist search engine Technorati After you‟ve indentified the influencer, all engagement produce a measure of authority for all the blogs it searches, using the inbound links to an individual blog needs to be carefully targeted, considered and personalised to any channel. Relevance is critical. to generate a measure of its influence. The increasing adoption and use of social channels For social networks, simple measures like the number by mainstream consumers means that all brands of friends an individual has on their profile can help to should know what is being said about them in social define influence, but this can also be a measure of an media, even if it's just from a monitoring and PR individual's popularity, which is not the same as perspective. influence. There are also emerging tools like www.facebookgrader.com that try to calculate an individual's authority and influence using some of the By Simon Quance application metrics available on Facebook. Head of Digital PR and Engagement HyperlaunchDMG Finally in the quot;muse spacesquot; (conversational channels combining parts of the 'me' and 'us' spaces) - virtual www.hyperlaunch.com worlds and micro-blogs like Twitter - influence can again be measured in terms of basic followers of an
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 18 make purchases over the Internet – the largest Using Social Media for Product percentage of online shoppers and sharers in the Development world, according to a Pew survey last year. Nip it in the bud - Engaging influential social media commentators in product focus groups offers a way of involving vocal taste makers early on in product inception. Since these are the people who will be talking about you online, it only makes sense to engage them from the beginning. Are social media surveys the Future Advocates - There is also the dual benefit of new market research panels? Graham Lee, joint relationships being built that continue on when the Managing Director at onlinefire looks at ways product is released. If an influential blogger has been online communities can be used to shape product personally involved in the product conception stage, development. they are far more likely to view it positively and report online accordingly. The social media commentators Social media has made real steps of late to becoming themselves become loyal advocates for the product or more integrated into marketing activity. But there is service still one area where we have not even begun to realise the potential presented by consumer- Forward Planning - Incorporating social media generated media: product development. movers and shakers can help develop future marketing campaigns. For years, product development groups have been conducted behind closed doors or with carefully At onlinefire, we recently completed a campaign for selected focus groups - but as other disciplines of Panasonic called the Next Generation Talent marketing have advanced, product development competition, which asked UK students to design the seems remarkably stagnant. There are a few reasons next ad for the Panasonic Viera Home Hub for this: television. The student-submitted entries were judged by a social media panel of tech, advertising and marketing bloggers, with the winning ad shown on Awareness - Even though most agencies have some Channel 4. This resulted in over 10 pieces of degree of digital capability, there is still a general lack coverage, including a 6-page spread that would have of understanding of all the different ways social media never been seen without prior involvement in the can be used to a marketer‟s advantage. planning stages of the competition. Control - Many companies still exhibit an Social media-based focus groups will never and unwillingness to let go of even the smallest amount of should never replace 100 percent traditional control. The idea of opening up product development controlled focus groups, but marketers need to realise to online influencers falsely implies that all power is that to fully understand their audiences, they have to lost. know how those audiences interact online. Working with bloggers and social media gurus helps give an Trust – For the uninitiated, there is a lack of trust that insight into the early-adopting public who quite often comes with working online – together with the general make or break products in theses fast-moving times. understanding that information spreads quickly To ignore them not only cuts off invaluable insight, but online. For companies interested in keeping product hinders the inevitable benefits of positive word-of- information tight-lipped, this can be a nerve-wracking mouth and buzz you should be receiving. thought. But like most misconceptions of social media, the points above are nothing to worry about. In By Graham Lee fact, the benefits of incorporating social media into Joint Managing Director, Onlinefire product development far outweigh any negatives. www.onlinefire.co.uk A new perspective – So much of today‟s information is shared online – to shut off involvement with the online community when developing your product is tantamount to crossing the road wearing a blindfold. If you‟re not engaging online, you could be excluding as much as 96 per cent of online UK population who
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 19 others, especially if they are directed at individual Top Tips on Moderating Social Media employees. An in-house moderation team must Initiatives In-House quickly identify undesirable comments, without becoming a censor, whilst understanding that justifiable criticism of their brand must be allowed. Otherwise the integrity of the whole initiative can be compromised. A sophisticated set of rules for in-house Social media continues to be a growing trend for moderators is needed before social media is businesses that are keen to maximise brand introduced exposure within existing customer communities as well as entice new prospects. It is essential that before a social media initiative is set up a stringent set of rules are agreed by the Done well, social media initiatives can open up many organisation and the moderators. Even though the new opportunities for businesses but done badly, it moderators may be existing employees, it is not a can leave them wide open to brand damage beyond given that they will understand exactly what the brand their control. finds acceptable when it comes to content on their website. This will allow the moderators to make Such possibilities shouldn‟t discourage businesses judgements which are fair and consistent and most from instigating new social media initiatives as they importantly in line with the brands message. The can be very lucrative. What is important is that moderation policy should be a written document, businesses approach such initiatives cautiously, signed by all parties, illustrating the rules with carefully and with serious thought. examples of acceptable and unacceptable comments. The most effective way to minimise the possibility of Taking no interest post-launch is a dangerous brand damage is to take some initial steps to control game and moderate your social media initiative. This can be done on a basic level in-house if the resource is After all of the hard work which has gone in to available or by bringing in an outside expert planning and executing the new social media initiative moderation company. In the current climate you must stay close to it. The early days of any new businesses are likely to be worried about the venture are important and the same goes with social additional cost implications of outsourcing a media. It is important that cliques of troublesome moderation company to monitor a relatively cheap users are not allowed to develop and keeping on top new scheme. of submissions from the beginning can help. It is easy to get distracted after the initial launch but it is in the However, this is not a good enough reason to leave organisations interest to keep the momentum going in submissions unchecked. This is why in-house order to reap the real benefits of social media and moderating can be a good option for many avoid associated problems. businesses who are either embarking on social media for the first time or do not have the budget to Once an in-house team has been decided they outsource moderation at this stage. As your social must keep their mind on the job media initiative grows in success so does your requirement for expert moderation to maintain it. It is very easy to look at moderating in-house as an easier and cheaper alternative to bringing in a Outlined below are few basic tips that businesses specialist moderation company. To ensure a should consider when embarking on in-house successful in-house moderation process a permanent moderation: team must be put in place. Moderation must be their priority, not simply their part time job to look over Be aware that any skeletons in your brand submissions if and when they get the chance. cupboard won‟t stay undiscovered for long Moderation must be consistent and therefore have a team on board who are dedicated to moderating the submissions. Even when your brand is doing everything right there will always be the odd person wanting to poke fun at it. This can quickly turn from a few light hearted comments to abusive and brand damaging comments. This can encourage brands to shy away from introducing social media as it can be deemed too risky. Although engaging in social media does not mean having to publish the unrestrained rants of
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 20 How are Brits using the Internet? eMarketer estimates that 39% of UK Internet users, more than 15.4 million people, will use social networks at least once per month in 2009. The research, conducted in April 2009, broke-down UK internet use as follows: The April 2009 report, UK Social Media: Joining the Conversation was commissioned by eMarketer and conducted by TNS. The report is available at www.eMarketer.com
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 21 Facebook dominates European social networking market Facebook has catapulted to the number 6 ranked Web property worldwide with 275 million visitors in February, a 175% increase versus year ago, according to April 2009 research from Comscore. One of the global regions that best illustrates Facebook‟s growth is Europe, where the site has seen a 314-percent increase to nearly 100 million visitors. Not only does Facebook have a growing audience, it is also a highly engaged audience with the average user spending three hours per month on the site. One year ago, Facebook usage accounted for 1.1% of all minutes spent online in Europe, but by February 2009 that number had increased to 4.1% of all minutes. Facebook also accounts for a full 30.4% of minutes spent in the social networking category, up from 12.3% a year earlier. The site‟s audience is largest in the U.K. with 22.7 million visitors (up 75 percent versus year ago), followed by France with 13.7 million visitors (up 518 percent) and Turkey with 12.4 million visitors (year ago data not available). Most recently, Facebook captured the top spot in the Spanish market in February with 5.7 million visitors, representing a dramatic tenfold increase versus year ago. It has also soared in Italy, growing more than 2,700 percent to 10.8 million visitors. The only countries in which Facebook does not hold the #1 or #2 position in the social networking category are Germany, where it ranks fourth, Russia (#7) and Portugal (#3). Facebook Growth in Europe, February 2009 vs. February 2008 Total Europe, Age 15+ - Home and Work Locations Source: comScore World Metrix Unique Visitors (000) Rank in Social Facebook.com Percent Feb-08 Feb-09 Networking Change Category in Feb-09 Europe 24,118 99,776 314% 1 United Kingdom 12,957 22,656 75% 1 France 2,217 13,698 518% 1 Turkey* N/A 12,377 N/A 1 Italy 382 10,764 2721% 1 Spain 515 5,662 999% 1 Germany 680 3,433 405% 4 Belgium 327 2,308 607% 1 Sweden 1,211 2,298 90% 1 Denmark 533 2,022 279% 1 Switzerland 282 1,690 499% 1 Norway 819 1,479 81% 1 Finland 555 1,341 142% 1 Netherlands 236 1,031 337% 2 Austria 112 663 491% 2 Ireland 203 512 153% 2 Russia 117 478 309% 7 Portugal 72 193 169% 3 Source: *Turkey is a newly reported individual country in comScore World Metrix; year ago data not available www.comscore.com
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 22 But these barriers are surprising considering that 50% How are marketers using social of the respondents feel that 2009 will be the year of media? social networking for marketers. It is encouraging that in the past six months, 54% of respondents to Sapient Interactive‟s survey had run a social networking Almost half of UK marketers (41%) have stated “lack of understanding” as the top reason campaign. preventing them from investing in social networks for their marketing campaigns, according to However, of these campaigns, 63% were as part of a February 2009 research from Sapient Interactive. wider marketing campaign rather than a standalone campaign, which highlights the cautious approach that UK marketers are taking to social networking. The survey quizzed the views of UK marketers and directors. Sapient Interactive argues that such barriers need to be overcome because one in every Outside of social networking campaigns, the most 11 minutes spent online is now on social networks like leveraged social media by marketers is media sharing Facebook and LinkedIn (Neilsen Online, 2009). sites like YouTube and Flickr (62%), followed closely by micro-blogs such as Twitter (59.8%) and corporate/campaign blogs (59%). The survey revealed that the other barriers to investment in social networking behind “lack of understanding” were “no clear measurement/ROI” Source: www.sapient.com (19%), the fact that social networking is still in an experimentation phase so is “not proven yet” (17%) and markerters “don‟t know where to start (there‟s too much out there)” (14%). The proportion of traffic that online retailers receive Social media driving traffic to from social networking websites - such as Facebook, retailers as search rates decline Twitter, MySpace and YouTube - increased from 5.2% in March 2008 to 7.1% in March 2009. A year Brits are spending less of their online time ago online retailers received a similar amount of traffic shopping, but are clicking-through to online from both social networks and webmail services (such retailers from social networks at an increasing as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and GoogleMail), but social rate, according to April 2009 Hitwise research. networks now account for 58.3% more traffic than webmail providers. The retail categories that received most traffic from social networks during March 2009 The research also indicates that paid search rates were Auctions, Fashion and Department Stores. have declined for online retailers and UK websites in Together they accounted for over half of all general. UK Internet users are spending less of their downstream visits from social networks to an online online time shopping and more time browsing online retailer. media. During March 2009, 8.6% of all UK Internet visits went to online retail websites and 9.8% to social networking websites, according to Hitwise. A year Top 10 online retail websites receiving traffic from ago, in March 2008, the figures were reversed: online social networks retailers accounted for 9.7% of all UK Internet visits, (March 2009) and social networks 8.2%. 1. eBay UK (1.94%) 2. Amazon UK (0.40%) Over the same time period, the share of UK Internet 3. Play.com (0.19%) visits attributed to Entertainment websites (11.4% in 4. ASOS (0.13%) March 2008, 11.6% in March 2009) and News and 5. eBay (0.10%) Media websites (5.0% in March 2008, 5.6% in March 6. Argos (0.09%) 2009) has also increased. Electronics retailers and 7. Gumtree.com (0.09%) department stores have experienced the most 8. Amazon.com (0.08%) significant declines in traffic since Christmas. 9. TopShop.com (0.08%) 10. HotUKDeals (0.08%) The amount of traffic that online retailers receive from paid search has fallen over the last 12 months. During Source: www.hitwise.com March 2009, 8.9% of all UK Internet visits to online retailers came from a paid search listing, down from 10.1% in March 2008.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 23 Twitter traffic boosted by older users Worldwide visitors to Twitter approached 10 million in February, up a massive 700% compared with a year ago, according to new data. The research, from comScore, follows a blog post from Reuters reporter Alexei Oreskovic that indicates that it is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving this trend, rather than younger users that are traditionally associated with social media audiences. February and March 2009 alone have seen worldwide visitors climb more than 5 million visitors, according to comScore. US traffic growth has been just as dramatic, with Twitter reaching 4 million visitors in February, up more than 1,000% from a year ago. What Reuters reporter Alexei Oreskovic discovered was that 18-24 year olds, the traditional social media early adopters, are actually 12 percent less likely than average to visit Twitter. It is the 25-54 year old crowd that is actually driving this trend. More specifically, 45-54 year olds are 36 percent more likely than average to visit Twitter, making them the highest indexing age group, followed by 25-34 year olds, who are 30 percent more likely.comScore attributes this skew towards older visitors to the fact that so many businesses using Twitter, along with the first generations of Internet users “growing up” and comfortable with technology. Source: www.comscore.com
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 24 Facebook now „most searched for brand in the UK‟ 10 most searched for brands by UK Internet users Facebook is now the most searched-for brand by (Ranked by market share of UK Internet searches, UK Internet users, according to April 2009 12 weeks ending 3 January 2009): research from Hitwise. 1. Facebook (2.39%) The social network is already Britain's favourite social 2. YouTube (1.57%) network and the second most visited website in the 3. eBay (1.25%) UK after Google.According to new Hitwise data, 4. Bebo (0.96%) during the 12 weeks ending 3 January 2009, 1 in 5. BBC (0.86%) every 42 Internet searches in the UK included the 6. Amazon (0.47%) term 'facebook'. Facebook received 52% more 7. Argos (0.44%) searches than the second most popular brand, 8. Sky (0.27%) YouTube. 9. Tesco (0.26%) 10. Yahoo! (0.26%) The third most searched-for brand was the auction site eBay, while British social networking site Bebo Robin Goad, Research Director for Hitwise in the UK. ranked fourth. The BBC rounded out the top 5, and Said: quot;Social networks now account for 1 in every 10 was also the most searched for 'offline' brand during UK Internet visits and 1 in every 5 page views. Only the 12 weeks ending 3 January 2009. Facebook's UK search engines receive more UK Internet visits than Internet traffic has more than doubled over the last social networks. During February 2009, social year and it is now the second most visited website in networks received 13.1% more UK Internet visits than the UK after google.co.uk. The social network online retail websites, and 27.9% more than Adult accounted for 1 in every 24 UK Internet visits during websites, which they overtook in September 2008quot;. the month of February and traffic to the site has already increased by 18.6% during 2009. Source: www.hitwise.com Social networking and blogs „more one in every six minutes. The social network and blogging audience is becoming more diverse in terms popular than email‟ of age: the biggest increase in visitors during 2008 to “Member Community” Web sites globally came from Two thirds (67%) of Brits are now using „member the 35-49 year old age group (+11.3 million). communities‟ (such as social networks and blogs, boosted by growing mobile internet users, Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in according to March 2009 research from Nielsen social networking. Nielsen found UK mobile Web Online. users have the greatest propensity to visit a social network through their handset, with 23 percent (2 „Member Communities‟ now make up the fourth most million people) doing so, compared to 19 percent in popular category online – ahead of personal the US (10.6 million people). These numbers are a big increase over last year – 249 percent in the UK email. The top three online categories are search, and 156 percent in the US. portals, and PC software, according to Nielsen. Among the markets Nielsen measured, penetration of According to the Nielsen report, Facebook - the world‟s most popular social network - is visited visits to social networks and blogs was highest in Brazil, where 80 percent of the online audience visits monthly by three in every 10 people online across the such sites. The share of overall Internet time for which nine markets in which Nielsen tracks social social networks and blogs account is also highest in networking use. Facebook has its greatest reach in Brazil, where nearly one in four (23 percent) of the UK market (47 percent). Orkut in Brazil has the minutes spent online is spent on these sites. largest domestic online reach (70 percent) of any Following Brazil was the UK, where over one in six social network in these markets. minutes (17 percent) is spent on these sites. Other key findings include: One in every 11 minutes online globally is accounted for by social network and Source: www.nielsen-online.com blogging sites. In the UK, these sites now account for
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 25 Case Study: eircom and Yomego A niche social network and fan site sponsored by Ireland‟s leading Telecoms company, eircom. Soccer Republic brings Irish soccer supporters closer to their national team, its players, and each other. The challenge Results As lead sponsors of the Irish national soccer team, In just under two weeks, the site saw 1m page eircom wanted to create a place where fans of the impressions and almost 100,000 unique visitors. The Republic of Ireland football squad could get together Twitter feed is proving a great hit and YouTube and support the team on its 2010 World Cup generated over 5,000 views of the tour video in the campaign. eircom understood from day one that fans same time period. And, on the run up to and following will only accept branded social media if it‟s on their the Italy match, visits to the fanzone increased by terms - a far cry from „make my logo bigger‟ corporate 310%. sponsorship. It‟s still early days for Soccer Republic and as with Yomego‟s response any social media project and any good relationship for that matter, you‟ve got to keep working at it – and that‟s exactly what we‟re doing. We‟ll keep you The challenge was to position the client as the „facilitator‟, and present a raft of exclusive benefits for posted. eircom customers. The hook was eircom‟s exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the team‟s players, Michael Kennedy, Marketing Director at eircom, said “Soccer Republic has all the bells and whistles of a management and backroom staff (Two seats on the Irish team to the away game in Italy, anyone?). contemporary social network. It gives fans the The front-end content of the site features news that opportunity to be part of a vibrant and engaging digital fans can‟t readily access from other sources – it is the community, with a host of exclusive benefits.” It‟s important that the momentum is kept going, as inside story from within the squad. The site is also careful to provide a fans‟ perspective on the main Michael Kennedy, marketing director at Eircom stories – even down to analysis of items in the foreign explains: “We‟re actively encouraging users to give us media. open and honest feedback on what they like and dislike about the site. Future development of the site Then, in the „Fanzone‟, bespoke social networking will be democratised, and we‟re determined to stay functionality is provided for fans so they can meet, true to the original plan; to develop a site for the fans, by the fans.” upload and share content, comment, rate content, chat and join groups. To drive traffic, Soccer Republic Steve Richards, MD at Yomego: “In sponsoring this is featured on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, bebo, YouTube and various blogs. kind of destination; by creating a place dedicated to a „passion‟; by inviting fans to take control of the site An online ad campaign was also created by Yomego, and become stakeholders in its future development, as well as a viral game involving video clips and an eircom has firmly understood the principles of social intriguing „What Happens Next‟ mechanic. media and between us, we‟ve started something big.”
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 26 Case Study: The Blue Cross and Chat Moderators The Blue Cross is a registered UK animal charity which aims to ensure the welfare of animals by providing practical care and promoting a sense of respect and responsibility towards animals in the community. The Challenge Results As part of a mission to increase brand awareness and Chat Moderators moderate the forum every day of the extend its charitable work and educational advice year and up to several hours per day. As an additional service, it also undertakes „community management‟ further to a much wider audience, The Blue Cross launched a social networking initiative; All About Pets. services, which involves answering queries and even The initiative is operated as a separate website pro-actively helping people on behalf of The Blue community but with links through to The Blue Cross Cross. This can be anything from ensuring that a user‟s post is on the correct part of the site where website. It encourages users to post and share information and advice with other pet owners with the others are able to view it, to directing users to online main objective being to promote responsible pet care. leaflets from the charity if their problem is quite sophisticated. Zak Akhimien, website editor of All About Pets explains: “We wanted make people aware of the Zak explains: “While we are keen to encourage positive work that The Blue Cross does as a charity, independent debate on All About Pets, we have a but also to offer something additional to the animal responsibility to our members to make sure all loving community. We felt the best way to do this was communication is clean and safe, particularly when to create a social network where we can engage with some of them are children. The service we receive users over a longer period, offering a range of useful from the Chat Moderators team has helped us facilities and a safe place for them to meet other pet achieve this and as well as policing the forum, they lovers.” offer us constructive guidance on how we can improve the site based on patterns and trends they Chat Moderator‟s Response have been noticing.” Prior to the launch of the site, The Blue Cross realised The site has been running for ten months to date and that if it was to create a stable and supportive in that time it has over 10,000 members, as well as environment for all users to interact, the forum many more guests who visit the site on a daily basis needed close moderation. As a result, Chat to access the forums and read the advice shared Moderators was appointed when the site launched in between members. All About Pets continues to grow March 2008. and develop more features and in the process it is attracting a far wider audience to The Blue Cross, The Chat Moderators team plays a key role in including a pet owner on a remote farm in South ensuring that the All About Pets forum operates Africa who used the forum for emergency advice after smoothly and within the policy rules. They moderate his dog had been bitten by a snake. Although The the site to ensure that anything of concern is Blue Cross is a UK based charity, it is now able to immediately highlighted to The Blue Cross in order for help pet owners all over the world. them to act on it swiftly. This could involve a user Zak concludes, “We are delighted with the success of posting advice that could be potentially dangerous to an animal in which case The Blue Cross would All About Pets and look forward to continuing our approach its network of vets to seek the best advice. partnership with Chat Moderators as the site Chat Moderators also ensures that any inappropriate continues to grow and improve. We have been so language is taken down as quickly as possible in impressed with the moderation team - they are accordance to the rules of the site. professional, prompt and efficient; without them we simply wouldn‟t have the time or resource to make All About Pets the huge success it is today.”
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 27 Case Study: Times Online and eModeration The Times has relaunched its website with a „news plus views‟ editorial strategy in 2007, opening up parts of the site to user comments and including features such as a web TV show on London neighbourhoods and a blog for working mums. The Challenge works 24/7/365, reacting to peaks in demand by putting extra resources onto the project at very short notice. Soon after the creation of Times Online, the volume of comments being posted began to outstrip our client‟s Results ability to handle them in-house, so outside moderators were appointed. Staffed by an international group of highly-skilled eModeration‟s response professional moderators located in Europe, North and South America and Australia, we cover all time-zones and bring an educated, multi-cultural focus to the Since the launch of their new website in February work. 2007, the number of reader responses has soared: on average the moderators are now processing around 3,000 comments a day, and in the last twelve months When controversy breaks out, we make sure our we have dealt with just over one million comments. moderators understand the context so that they are in a position to judge the comments. Our job is to reject for publication anything which is A spokesperson for Times Online said: “Ultimately, libellous, defamatory, racist, abusive, obscene or couched in intemperate language. eModeration gives us confidence and removes the burden and worry associated with moderation. The company fully understands our needs and has dealt A good feedback loop with Times Online helps us with them in a very efficient and professional hone our instincts and ensures we are attuned to manner.” what should and should not be allowed through. The team (closely managed by a UK-based team leader)
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 28 Case Study: Northcliffe Media and E3 Northcliffe Media is one of the UK‟s largest newspaper publishers, publishing 113 regional and local newspapers. E3 were approached by Northcliffe‟s South West division to look at creating a re-usable platform for presenting regional entertainment content online. The Challenge: Results: Historically entertainment content was published as a Core to the site is the rich content and functionality weekly supplement to the newspaper. However this available to users which includes: provided a number of challenges and opportunities. Editorial content produced by the newspaper Content was only published and distributed journalists covering news, interviews, once a week reviews across: restaurants, pubs & bars, clubbing, gigs, comedy, film, theatre, days The audience was limited to existing local out, community events and arts newspaper readers User generated ratings, reviews and Little opportunity was available for consumer comments feedback and opinions A myriad of search and browsing options Advertising opportunities were limited within including dynamic „tag cloud‟ navigation the supplement based on live user searches and dynamic E3‟s response: listings based on user ratings Google maps mash-up allowing users to Through a series of collaborative workshops the view and search for everything from local concept for a new entertainment portal was bars to events based on their location developed to be the definitive entertainment guide for Offers engine allowing retailers to upload the region. Key to the site would be a mix of the rich their offers at any time for users to download editorial content produced by journalists and the vast amount of archive content available, matched with To make the site easily updateable, the open-source user generated content to give consumer views and community platform Drupal was used to deliver the provide additional content. core site and content management functionality. A new brand was developed by E3 for the portal and Significant additional development was then required newspaper supplement with the retro name to provide integration with the newspaper publishing „Crackerjack‟, based on the name of the long running platform, provide e-commerce facilities and integrate Friday evening TV show. This matched the concept ad servers. for the site which was hoped to be the destination for consumers on a Friday night as they planned their Since the launch of the Bristol portal, Northcliffe weekends and a name which would be nostalgic for Media has added Gloucestershire and there is the the key audiences. ability to roll out into further regions. The portal provides a wealth of new advertising and promotional opportunities for businesses and not-for- profit organisations. These range from user-generated event listings through to „paid for‟ profiles for bars, clubs and restaurants and standard banner ad inventory.
  • Netimperative Sector Report: Social Media 2009 29 Case Study: Alison Yule Textiles and BT Tradespace Alison Daykin, a 53-year-old textiles designer, has boosted her business and increased sales through BT Tradespace, the online networking site for small businesses and individual sellers. The challenge Results Last October, Alison‟s book Creative Spinning was Alison, from Willington, Derbyshire, has been weaving since she was eight years old. Having completed an published. She now plans to use BT Tradespace to HNC qualification in a Hand Woven Textiles course in promote the book in addition to her business. Bradford five years ago, she set up Alison Yule BT Tradespace is a unique platform that brings Textiles. businesses who want to focus on business promotion In 2005, she developed her own website, realising the and individuals who are looking for products and potential for publicity through promoting her business sevices together; making it easy for them do business online. However, she felt she needed some online. BT Tradespace members can use social assistance to promote her company – and last year, media tools such as blogs, photos, videos and she received an email about BT Tradespace. podcasts to promote their business, products and services. Working with BT Tradespace Alison concluded: “I have set up a page on Facebook, “I thought BT Tradespace was a really good idea, and and it‟s great for keeping in touch with my friends – a great marketing opportunity for a company like but I‟m not convinced it‟s as relevant to businesses as mine,” said Alison. “It was really easy to set up my BT Tradespace!” Tradespace page – much easier than developing my other site.” Alison has since found several other benefits of BT Tradespace: “I now use the BT Tradespace blog to stimulate more interest in my products – something I‟ve never done before. I‟ve also used the site to link to complementary businesses, so it‟s also helping me build up a company network.”