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23 page briefing on social media uptake both sides of the pond

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A a new briefing we have just put together here at USM that delves in and compares the level of social media integration for big brands both sides of the Atlantic. It features insights, answers and …

A a new briefing we have just put together here at USM that delves in and compares the level of social media integration for big brands both sides of the Atlantic. It features insights, answers and conclusions drawn from over 300 surveyed USM community members.

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  • 1. FollowingUncleSam: National SocialMedia Marketing Based in North America? Then check out our Corporate Social Media Summit San Francisco at www.usefulsocialmedia.com/sanfrancisco Based in Europe? Then check out our Corporate Social Media Summit London at www.usefulsocialmedia.com/europe facebook.com/usefulsocialmedia @usefulsocial linkd.in/USMgroup Join the community on: A best practice report on the uptake and integration of social media in 2013: Conclusions drawn from over 300 surveyed USM community members – comparing Europe to that of their North America counterparts. FollowingUncleSam: National SocialMedia Marketing
  • 2. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 2 Welcome to our report looking at social update – on both sides of the pond. Social media may transcend national boundaries, but the recent conclusions from our study highlight the clear difference with the approaches businesses are taking to their social media activity cross Atlantic. What has become clear is that social media is now not just a marketing or PR function within corporations. Indeed, 67% of companies now use social media within customer services departments, with over half using the social networks to profile their customers. Surveying over 300 USM community members has revealed that business have taken a quantum leap forward with how they view and use social media across their businesses. The concepts of big data – with social media driving this explosion of customer information – are now forming an essential component of strategic planning within corporations. However, our survey clearly shows that there is still a great deal of work to be done, as 60% of businesses report big data has little impact on their day-to-day activities. However, North America, when compared to their European counterparts, is leveraging this information source more effectively. In addition, the USM research has also revealed that CRM and specialist tools are in use across corporations to help them manage and leverage their social media activity, but only a third of respondents use these tools today, which is the experience of US and European companies alike. Over three-quarters of the USM community members that responded stated that they have changed the internal structure of their businesses to take advantage of social media. However, both the US and European companies still struggle to integrate social media into their wider business operations and departments. Companies may have a better understanding of what social media means to their businesses overall, but it’s implementing the changes – and using the tools that are now available – that still need to move forward at a more rapid pace. From the research that we has carried out, the US clearly leads the world with not only its development of social media skills, but more importantly, transforming their businesses into social enterprises. European businesses have some way to go in order to catch up, but as the rules of engagement continue to be refined, the gap between the US and rest of the world will narrow. In this report we will delve a deeper into the social update among North American and European corporations alike. I hope you find the briefing of use. Read on to find out more… Hello Harry Rollason Head of Community Useful Social Media
  • 3. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 3 When it comes to social media, corporations are quickly realising that one size doesn’t fit all. Social media may be in its infancy, but what is becoming abundantly clear is that businesses have to be more intelligent with the social media content they are creating to reach specific national and international audiences. And audience is everything when developing a social media campaign. The ONS has identified what it calls ‘Generation Z’ who is 16-24 year-olds and are now the most connected age group in history thanks to social media. For businesses looking to tap into this potentially highly lucrative consumer base, the content they are creating for their digital assets has to speak to these groups, as well as communicating brand values. What is now apparent is that these messages have to be much more tailored to their audience demographics than previously thought. Social networking activity in the UK by age group (ONS, 2011). 25-34 76% 35-44 58% 45-54 42% 55-64 30% B2B 18% 16-24 91% SOURCE: Sociagility. What is becoming clear is that social media will only be a successful channel for a brand if the profile of each group on individual networks is understood. It is a mistake to believe that all Facebook users are the same. Conversion and engagement will only take place if well-crafted messages reach the right groups, but more importantly, understanding the economic and cultural diversity these groups represent will bolster these engagements. And the stakes are high. It is estimated that total global e-commerce sales will be $1.4 trillion by 2015. The social media networks will in a large part drive this massive potential. Understanding why global shoppers add items to their shopping carts and then check out will become more commercially imperative than ever, especially when consumers will find the goods and services they want to buy via their favourite social media networks. Also, eBay has made a prediction that social shopping will top £3.3 billion by 2014 – doubling its current estimates. Head of mobile shopping at eBay, Petra Jung, commented: Building a Social Business
  • 4. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 4 “There’s a billion pound prize for UK retailers in using social to help customers make up their minds when they’re looking to buy something. Generating direct sales is part of the prize in social shopping but using peer-to-peer networks to influence purchasing decisions is the far bigger opportunity. Many shoppers, particularly women, want fun and inspiration as much as information when they shop, and social networks are a great way to seek out a friend’s advice, see other people’s style, and get ideas.” US versus international consumer e-commerce behaviour. SOURCE: Monetate Social media has developed new rules of engagement when the sales funnel is considered. As the Awareness Network concluded: “The social funnel as a marketing tactic is the variable length of time users spend and their unique path through the social funnel continuum. The breadth of different types of users and the interactive and personalized nature of social media means that each person’s path through and endpoint within the social funnel is unique. This path helps to paint a picture of a user’s interest, intent, preference, and behaviour. A company’s ability to capture these unique paths and respond effectively based on activity within the social web will become the new frontier of successful marketing.” Loic Moisand CEO, Synthesio also commented: “US brands are six months to one year ahead of European brands. In Europe, social media initiatives is very often led by marketing teams, while other departments are still rarely involved. It’s something that we are expecting to change. Some early adopters such as British Telecom and Nissan are leading the way and converting their peers to cross-business social media initiatives.
  • 5. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 5 “We’ve seen in the US the rise of social media teams overarching all departments with the mission of training and helping businesses on how to use social more efficiently. The point here is to consider social media as just another channel for brands and consumers to start engaging in dialog. Though, we anticipate these social media teams to disappear in a couple of years when businesses have the maturity and expertise to integrate social into all of their activities in a similar way they did with the phone or email, decades ago.”
  • 6. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 6 Any discussion of how social media differs across national and cultural boundaries will inevitably focus on what is happening in the US, and how this is influencing Europe and the rest of the world. All social media is not made alike, but this truth is taking time permeating through the strata of brand management. The Social Media Listening Maturity Curve SOURCE: Synthesio As Synthesio conclude: “The US and Canada are today the most advanced nations when it comes to social media listening and engagement. With a 50% penetration rate of social networks across a population of 350 million people, brands have at hand hundreds of actionable insights coming from millions of conversations. “Brands in Europe have to deal with different adoption rates of social media across countries. For years, the cultural differences and the variety of languages slowed down the deployments of vast social listening programs. Today, leading brands manage to overcome differences by relying on tools offering strong local coverage with advanced geolocation Following Uncle Sam
  • 7. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 7 Does your business use specialist tools to segment and target groups of customers across social platforms? 27% YES73% NO 27% YES73% NO 27.5% YES72.5% NO SOURCE: USM The latest research from Pew Internet (http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Social-media- users.aspx) reveals for the first time the social breakdown of network users across the US. Some of the key results include data that shows the 18-29 age group is the most active users of social media. Just over 10% more women use these networks than men, with an almost even number across highly diverse income bands. A similar even spread of users can also be seen when location is considered. It seems that whether you are in a rural or urban environment, social media is an important communications tool. Combined, Europe and North America Europe North America
  • 8. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 8 One of the key results from the Pew Internet survey is an almost even split between the genders and a clear preference for Facebook SOURCE: Pew Research Center Focusing on the commercial aspects of the demographic profile of social media users reveals that the most active 18-29 year olds are also high consumers of specific goods. The annual PiperJaffray [http://www.piperjaffray.com] assessment of the teen market reveals the usual suspects including fashion and personal care as the categories attracting the highest spend in this group. PiperJaffray states: “Teens have cited ‘friends’ as the strongest influence over their purchase decisions for the duration of our survey history, but ‘Internet’ is quickly rising in profile. Approximately 53% of females and 52% of males indicate that social media impacts their purchases with Facebook being the most important, followed closely by Twitter and Instagram. But the popularity of Facebook is waning among teens with 33% citing it as the most important, down from 42% six months ago.”
  • 9. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 9 Household income, education level and race are all factors that need to be considered when using social media to reach specific groups. SOURCE: Pew Research Center
  • 10. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 10 “Our spring 2013 survey results suggest teens have a heightened sense of awareness surrounding seasonal spending fluctuations and broader macroeconomic sensitivities,” said Steph Wissink, Co-director of Research and Senior Research Analyst at Piper Jaffray. “Spending has moderated across discretionary categories for both upper-income and average-income teens when compared to the prior year and prior season. Yet nearly two- thirds of respondents view the economy as consistent to improving, and just over half signalled an intent to spend ‘more’ on key categories of interest, particularly fashion and status brand merchandise.” As businesses are now awash with data, they have an opportunity to identify the national markers that will inform each aspect of their social media marketing. And new research carried out by Avanade a business technology solutions and managed services provider, has revealed that corporations are indeed levering their big data with positive commercial results. Eighty-four percent of respondents believe big data helps them make better business decisions. And 73% of companies have already used data to increase revenue by growing existing revenue streams (57%) or creating entirely new sources of revenue (43%). “Big data has gained a top spot on the agenda of business leaders for the real value it has begun to create,” said Tyson Hartman, Avanade, global CTO and corporate vice president. “Today, the technologies and skills used to leverage big data for business purposes have reached a tipping point – new types of data supported by better tools to leverage it, enable companies to find financial and competitive benefits from their data.” Research from Trovus a provider of customer intelligence services through the analysis of profiles of visiting organisations to company websites shows that companies may be ‘data rich, but insight poor’ but are far from powerless to act on the data they have. Says Caspar Craven, Co-Founder of Trovus: “Our research highlights that analyses of customer intelligence from their website profiles reveal who is interested in what and when. This is a powerful weapon. It tells you which clients and prospects to engage now. The most innovative companies use this customer intelligence to understand vertical market trends and client needs, gaining insights into interests and behaviours and targeting engagement activity and messages appropriately.”
  • 11. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 11 How Big Data is impacting how businesses carry out their social media activity. 40% YES60% NO Combined, Europe and North America 39% YES61% NO Europe 42% YES58% NO North America SOURCE: USM TAKE ACTION The clear take away from the research that has been completed so far is that social media as a marketing channel is of course maturing fast, but so must each corporation and the brands they have created. The profile of each individual and the groups they belong to must be handled intelligently and within the context of their nationality. These groups must not be treated as a homogenous whole, but discrete consumers with specific needs – not least of which will be coloured by the nationality.
  • 12. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 12 How does your company speak to its customers? It may be an obvious question to ask, but for many brands developing a coherent brand voice that is then communicated across their social media networks, is easier said than done. Where within a corporation’s hierarchy should social media reside? Who should have responsibility for generating new content? Marketing, PR or an entirely new department specifically tasked with cultivating social media? Has the continued rise of social media had an impact on your internal structure, departmental organisation and responsibilities? 75% YES25% NO Combined, Europe and North America 68% YES32% NO Europe 82% YES18% NO North America SOURCE: USM The last state of CSM report stated: “In 2012, most companies had 2-3 additional executives acting as a ‘spoke’ and using social in a professional capacity. The number of spokes has rocketed in the last year, with 58% of our respondents declaring that 4+ individuals within their company use social media professionally. Who controls social media?
  • 13. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 13 “This increase in executives using social media professionally, but without it being a named focus of their role, suggests a somewhat organic journey towards ‘social business’. Had this been a top-down strategy, one would expect far higher numbers of people working on social as a specific focus of their role instructed, in effect, by their superiors. But our figures show that in reality, the majority of growth in social media adoption by business comes when individuals decide to use it professionally, but without it as a specific part of their role.” Where businesses locate social media responsibility Businesses with 4+ executives working on social in a professional capacity B2BB2C 57%51% There has also been a noticeable jump in companies with 6+ employees using social in a professional capacity 2012 36% 42% 2013 SOURCE: USM Says Xabier Ormazabal, Head of UK Marketing at Salesforce.com: “The role of CMO has always been a fast-paced and varied one, but social media has blown the CMO job description wide open. A survey conducted by salesforce.com and Booz and Co. revealed that 81% of marketing departments are now responsible for social media activity. Now the CMO is responsible for creating and managing a range of new roles within the company, including a head of social media – 35% of companies have already recruited for this role and 50% believe that this role is critical to social media success.” The role of the CMO is changing. How marketing content for their organisations should be created in a new world dominated by social media is on their agendas, but as Forrester in a joint research project with Heldrick and Struggles point out, internal relationships are still the focus of many CMOs: “The role of the CMO is changing, as empowered consumers and customers use technology to drive their voice into the conversation with brands. Business strategy and the execution of digital initiatives top the list of priorities for CMOs, ahead of brand building efforts and
  • 14. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 14 pricing decisions. And despite the rise in importance of technology and digital media, CMOs remain focused on their relationships with the CEO and CFO, ahead of the need to partner with other executives like the CIO. Most importantly, CMOs recognize that they need to act as company leaders, not just CMOs, to help their companies grow.” Is social integrated tightly enough into your broader business practice? 35% YES65% NO Combined, Europe and North America 36% YES64% NO Europe 33% YES67% NO North America SOURCE: USM Also, TNS state in their 2012 study TNS Mobile Life: “Few CMOs see standalone functions remaining in place for many years to come. The broader focus is on the role digital should be playing as an enabler across all functions of the business, having typically made its presence felt originally in the marketing function. This is blurring organisational boundaries as digital is making horizontal links, where there used to be silos between business functions – for instance between core marketing and retail or shopper marketing.” Jon Machtynger, IBM’s CTO for IBM Collaboration Services explained their approach to mapping their organization’s structure and how social media is placed within that hierarchy:
  • 15. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 15 “This is an interesting question because a map assumes that you know how you want people to behave and how they want to interact. This also assumes that you can see into the future and understand what maps will address future need. There are some general connecting principles and they support business processes, corporate policies, and organisational silos. “There are many other maps that aren’t so obvious. There are informal maps that allow the ‘right thing’ to be done on behalf of an employee or a customer. These have always been there. Aligning formal structures can be difficult, organisations run up against many ill-defined problems. There are some very structured tasks that need to be structured for many good reasons such as legislative compliance, reduction of fraud, accountability of resource, highlighting risk etc. However, creating structure is an easy trap to fall into. Many things don’t need over-formalisation. “Organisations tend to hire bright capable people who are motivated to do the right thing for the right reasons. An informal framework doesn’t mean that there is no accountability, or guidance from above. It just means that there are many ways of achieving the same objective. Process is like security. The instinctive thing is to lock everything down at the cost of access to valuable data. Some information certainly fits into that category, but a lot doesn’t. Process and a social support system is the same. Profiling what goes where helps reduce the cost of managing this. How systems then integrate securely within that web of social connectivity is more appropriate.” ThestateofCSMreportconcluded:“Itappearsthatnotonlyhassocialmedia’sorganisational structure within a business evolved and matured (hub and spoke becoming the core model, spokes increasing implying embedding across departments, and increasing direct reporting to the upper echelons of a corporation implying an increasing recognition of the value of social from senior management), but social has actually impacted on the organisation and structure of the entire business, and has wrought meaningful change on broader organisational models. Fundamentally, social has forced different departments to work more closely together to become more responsive and better able to serve a consumer that expects social proficiency and one-to-one communication.”
  • 16. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 16 Is social data integrated into your business’s CRM system? 36% YES64% NO Combined, Europe and North America 32% YES68% NO Europe 40% YES60% NO North America SOURCE: USM TAKE ACTION Social media marketing is now not simply a bolt on to PR or marketing, but should be approached as a holistic component that proliferates across every business department. Corporations in the US and Europe have taken some time to deconstruct what social media means to their businesses, and have concluded that every element of their enterprise should have a social media component. A social business isn’t just one that has dedicated staff to create and respond over social media networks, but is one that understands that social media is now part of the fabric of their corporations.
  • 17. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 17 In their study into how marketers intend to approach their content marketing this year, CopyPress concluded: “Half of marketers are changing their channel focus in 2013, and of those surveyed the biggest focus will be on content marketing. Over half of marketers are investing $2,000 or more on marketing per month this year. Featured articles still yield the best ROI across industries. Videos are an ROI rich media format, but marketers are having issues finding them, and within budget. And authorship is a big focus for marketers this year, but overall they aren’t willing to pay more for a premier author to create a piece of content.” Social media as a content creation platform has a while to go yet to reach the maturity that other traditional channels have enjoyed, but it’s developing at a far faster rate than the other channels did over their lifecycle. Key bloggers for instance offer the potential for a perfect storm of ideas, content and followers that brands can tap into. Care of course needs to be taken in order to avoid blatant sponsorship of this content, but even here, consumers understand that premium content has to be paid for at some point. Content with the best ROI Content is still king
  • 18. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 18 SOURCE: CopySpace When quizzed about whether their businesses had a content creation strategy, the USM survey showed a stark difference between the US and Europe. Two-thirds of US companies now have a content creation strategy in place, with less than half of European businesses stating they had developed an approach for their businesses.
  • 19. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 19 Do you have a content strategy in place? 67% YES33% NO Combined, Europe and North America 65% YES35% NO Europe 70% YES30% NO North America SOURCE: USM Content also need to have ownership. Forrester state: “Corporate marketing’s social efforts are often disregarded by sales professionals, regardless of how effective the efforts are. Sales and marketing are known to have a long-standing antagonistic relationship, with leaders from both sides expressing a lack of alignment between the two organizations that has been true for years. This remains true as sales begins to use the same social channels that marketing uses today.” Also, “Sales professionals don’t want to be marketers, and the ability to schedule their content for their public social network pages enables them to limit the number of times per day they think about content creation; they’re freed up to have more personal conversations on both social and traditional channels. “Along with content scheduling, this capability speaks to the complicated relationship between sales and marketing. Sales professionals know that when they handcraft content
  • 20. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 20 it is more successful, however modifying pre-created corporate marketing content for their personal audiences is still effective and both faster and simpler.” The types of content that are being creating for marketing purposes are also expanding. Text-based content still has a place in the marketer’s armoury, but increasingly content is becoming more visual. The rise of Pinterest can be thanked for that. Video content is also highly popular, but remains difficult to create, but this will rapidly change as new tools come onto the market. However, the change that Instagram have made to video creation has already seen brands take advantage of these 15-second video snippets to great effect. Of course content creation is designed to build brand advocacy. Gaining brand loyalty has a number of strands that come together across the social media networks. Often cited is the driver of promotions, discounting and gifts that are behind the uptick that brands see on their Twitter feeds and their Facebook pages in particular. This isn’t a manipulation of the consumer, but an appreciation of their propensity to gravitate towards a brand that offers immediate gratification in some way. And of course if this is well received, these consumers will communicate this to their connections over social media.
  • 21. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 21 Do you have a clearly defined outreach strategy for engaging with brand influencers? 36% YES64% NO Combined, Europe and North America 34% YES66% NO Europe 28% YES61% NO North America SOURCE: USM Research by PunchTab has revealed that mums are a huge market when it comes to brand advocacy. Over 80% of those surveyed would respond positively to brands that offer incentives. Most respondents (73%) said they were interested in loyalty programs. “Moms are the most critical demographic segment for many brands,” stated Angela Sanfilippo, CMO at PunchTab. “They are the primary decision makers when it comes to household purchases, and influence $2.4 trillion in spend every year. Everyone wants to engage this audience segment. The question is: what motivates moms to take action? This study offers definitive evidence that providing moms with the right incentives can boost word-of-mouth and drive sales across a company’s entire brand portfolio.”
  • 22. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 22 TAKE ACTION For all social media marketers developing campaigns now, their content calendar will clearly have several well-understood components, but often overlooked is the subtle cultural differences that can make all the difference to the target audience. Social media may be international in nature, but content still needs to be tailor made for specific groups. Brand owners would like to create generic content, but this doesn’t perform as well as content that speaks directly to an audience. Here, big data analysis along with listening to an audience will deliver the insights that brands need. Europe for instance isn’t one market, and should be approached as individual campaigns to ensure high levels of ROI are obtained.
  • 23. Join the Debate! @usefulsocial usefulsocialmedia.com 23 What is clear from the research USM has carried out is that US companies are still ahead of their European counterparts with the leverage of social media across their entire organisations. Social media that was once seen as a marketing tool is now appreciated as an engagement channel that is used right across a corporation’s activities. And where social media activity was centred on marketing or PR, social businesses are now being developed that place social media at the heart of every consumer touch point. Also, the advent of big data has provided an opportunity to analysis these new relationships in unprecedented detail. Here, US and European companies are more comparable, as big data analysis tools have become freely available to all. Social media it now not an American phenomenon, but a business objective that all corporations are actively pursuing. The construction of truly social businesses is an evolving process, but one that US and European companies are embracing. The rules of engagement over social channels are now clearer than they have ever been. It’s up to each business to understand how these rules can be applied to their consumers. Uncle Sam may be the father of social media, but it’s the rest of the world that is shaping how it grows up. Report written by David Howell of Nexus Publishing, contributing writer to USM. Conclusions

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