This session will outline Outsell’s most recent research on the use of social media by information users in corporate, government, healthcare and education settings. The session also includes case studies of the social media activities of three key providers of news and business information, comparing these activities with the ways in which we know social media is being used by information professionals. Finally, the session will present Outsell’s Essential Actions for publishers looking to kickstart their social media activities.
Bit of background: About me About Outsell Explain Graydon relationship with Outsell
Combine finite money, time, and attention with a seemingly bottomless supply of data and information, and the result is more pressure; there is more pressure on end-users to filter and absorb the multiplying bytes of information, and more pressure on publishers to deliver just the right byte, in just the right place, and at just the right time. The old differentiators – trusted brand and market share leader – will take industry players only so far. Content isn’t the answer and older technologies aren’t the answer (that argument about which of these is king is passé). But to use experience-based technology to create both online and offline experiences that bridge the two worlds in ways that dazzle and delight, to open and share, to help organizations make money, to save money and mitigate risk – those are the experiences that differentiate in the new dawn and new day in the coming decade. Experience becomes the driver of growth. Interactivity online is a crucial ingredient of a good experience. That interaction may be with the service itself, or, more likely, with other users of the service. As feelings of real world communities fade in the networked world, online communities are coming forward to fill that gap, and to enable us as human beings to do what we do best – interact, work together, communicate, and learn from each other.
However, while publishers may understand the need to deliver a compelling experience, possibly including some kind of social media offering, the web remains a difficult and dangerous place to exist. There are massive amounts of media piracy The price model is, arguably, broken We are without the prospect of a regulatory framework that governs the networks globally . We have tended to lose touch with our customers , with intermediaries from Amazon onwards taking increasing control of them. It is now ever harder to judge demand, or even define the needs of users. But delivering community services can solve many of these problems: Pirates cannot copy the provision of a meeting place between like-minded peers Effective business models can already be seen surrounding online communities, and many of these don’t rely on advertising Providing a community puts you back in the centre, communicating with your customers Evaluating community interaction can provide invaluable feedback for research and product development
Outsell fields an annual web survey to a panel of approximately 6,000 information users. The survey is fielded to 20 functional groups of knowledge workers in 40 vertical segments within corporate, education, government, and healthcare markets. We survey users to learn more about information uses and spending; we address topics including information needs and dependencies; information use habits and behaviors; problems and obstacles using information; use of wireless devices, search engines, blogs, RSS feeds, and workflow applications; information spending patterns; and activity. This research comes from December 2008 – an update has just been fielded, so results from that will be in shortly.
Approximately 28% of those surveyed indicated they used social networking sites. Out of this total, Facebook was by far the most utilized social network (used by 51% of those who used social networks), compared to LinkedIn (which was second with 28%), Bebo (3%), Ning (2%), or Twitter (7%). 28% is not that high. Social networks are important, but you haven’t missed the boat if this is an area you haven’t investigated yet. In some segments, usage of social media may be far higher. Pearson just released the findings from a survey of higher education in the US and found that more than 80% of respondents had an account with one or other social media site, and that 25% had accounts with four or more services. However, the value is not definitely proven yet, despite the high take-up, as 25% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that social networks are valuable for communicating with students.
What was evident from the Pearson study, and has also been proven in other Outsell research, is that age is a poor indicator of likelihood to use social media. As expected, Facebook is used by more millennials (74.1%) than generation Xers (48.5%) or baby boomers (27.6%). But still, that means almost half of generation Xers and over one-fourth of boomers are users . All across the information chain, providers must account for the fact that social networks are heavily trafficked by users of all ages. Facebook and other social networks are quickly becoming legitimate distribution channels for work and academic content, as well as places to find potential new users and provide additional services to existing ones. Bucking the conventional wisdom, the older cohorts are basically as likely as millennials to use social networking services for personal reasons; and conversely, millennials just as readily use such services for professional reasons as the older sets. Baby boomers are a little more likely than the younger segments to use Twitter for professional reasons, but the difference is not outstanding.
When comparing personal to professional use of social networks, as shown in Figure 3, LinkedIn is clearly the winner in professional use. The other platforms, Facebook, Bebo, Ning, and Twitter, are primarily for personal use. It can be a difficult task for end users to keep their personal and professional personas separate online, despite their best efforts. I have colleagues as Facebook friends, and my daughter’s dance teacher on LinkedIn, but these are exceptions. Social networkers usually go to a social networking site to do something specific (catch up with friends,, look for a job etc), and keeping work and personal lives separate can be very important. Publishers need to make sure that, if building a networking environment, that it fulfils users needs in a certain aspect of their lives, whether that’s business or personal. Don’t try to cross those boundaries, since users will just pull away, as they did with Google Buzz. The danger in creating an instant social network around email contacts, as Google Buzz does with Gmail, is that the boundaries between what is private and what is public are not always clear. One issue raised earlier today is that the people you follow and who follow you are made public by default on your profile page, but are based on people who you email the most in private. You can make these lists invisible , but it remains an opt-out process instead of an opt-in one.
Sermo is an online physician community with 112,000 registered physician members across 68 specialties and 50 US states. that provides a venue for physicians to: aggregate observations from daily practice allows the discovery of emerging trends provides new insights into medications, devices, and treatments harnesses the power of collective wisdom to enable physicians to discuss new clinical findings, report unusual events, and work together to improve patient care. Sermo is a real-time meeting place where physicians get help with everything from patient care to practice management. They’ve described it as “therapeutic,” a “virtual water cooler” and “vital to my everyday practice.” Physicians on Sermo rank their colleagues for the value of their postings and the quality of their answers to posted questions. Highly ranked community members are turned to for respected answers and advice. Sermo is free to physicians and completely free of any advertising. Revenue is generated as healthcare institutions, financial services firms and government agencies purchase Sermo products to access this elite group of practitioners. For physicians, the two-sided Sermo marketplace provides a unique online environment in which clinical observations can be exchanged in real-time. They can build consensus on products and issues, take advantage of financial opportunities and improve patient care by working directly with colleagues and industry leaders. For Sermo clients, Sermo offers a revolutionary way to target and engage physicians on-demand by leveraging social media. In doing so, they can instantly capture real-world physician insights into treatments, medications and devices that support a broad range of objectives. In Sermo’s model, physicians must register and qualify to gain access to the “gated” community. But, this community is free for them – while marketers, researchers, and investment bankers pay for access to information from physicians and to monitor their dialogue. We love that this organization created a community to help practicing physicians with the everyday issues of running practices. While it was stereotyped as “the place for digital native docs,” the reality is that the early adopters were 40- and 50-somethings who were in individual practices with no in-house network. This alone makes it interesting, but the business model requiring doctors and other community members to register to participate adds to our interest. Heightening this story is that funding comes from organizations that want to monitor physician dialogue or get in front of them with research questions. It not only is a disruptive force to disruptors such as Epocrates; it will also be interesting to see how long, and if, physicians are okay with this funding model. Sermo’s approach for monetizing its network of doctors by aggregating and anonymizing the data, then selling it to the pharmaceutical and medical community is a true win-win-win. Doctors get to learn from their peers; drug manufacturers get to learn from their distributors; Sermo gets paid for bringing them together.
Founded in 2001, InnoCentive built the first global web community for open innovation, enabling scientists, engineers, professionals and entrepreneurs to collaborate to deliver breakthrough solutions for innovative R&D-driven organizations. InnoCentive Seekers, who collectively spend billions of dollars on R&D, submit Challenges to the InnoCentive Marketplace where more than 200,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business people, and research organizations in more than 200 countries are invited to solve them. Solvers who deliver the most innovative solutions receive financial awards ranging up to US$1,000,000. InnoCentive’s Seekers include commercial, government and non-profit organizations such as Procter & Gamble, Avery Dennison, Pendulum, SAP, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, Solvay, GlobalGiving and The Rockefeller Foundation. Awards generally range from $10,000 to $100,000, although Prize4Life, Inc, a non-profit organization founded to accelerate Lou Gehrig’s disease research, has offered a $1 million “purse” to help advance the treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, which it is spreading over a series of awards. Companies using InnoCentive, which include Boeing, Eli Lilly and Procter & Gamble, pay InnoCentive a commission. The map on the slide represents all of the challenge solution submissions as of February, 2010, displayed by the Solver's country of origin. In InnoCentive’s model the seeker is funding the solution and placing a bid on what the solution is worth. Thus, solvers know the monetary award their solution will be worth. This is an example of the crowdsourcing model in action, in which companies tap into “the wisdom of crowds” in order to design products, create content and even tackle corporate R&D problems, rather than rely solely on paid-for staff. In March 2009, Nature and InnoCentive announced a collaboration which aimed to stimulate the involvement of scientists worldwide in solving global scientific challenges, via an online marketplace for problems and their solutions. NPG and InnoCentive intend to jointly produce an online platform for open innovation challenges in the coming months, to facilitate the participation of NPG’s large expert audience. InnoCentive moved from a subscription model to a transactional model so that it is remunerated when solvers are remunerated. The entire community and the sponsor share the same goals for success. It is also looking at its model as a fundamental way to reinvent how R&D, problem solving, and innovation occur globally. InnoCentive is a disruptor – evaluating how to advance an entire process globally instead of marketing itself as knowledge exchange. The mission is compelling. Scaling is the item to watch.
Blogs, social networks, and such are not just the passing fancy of the millennials. These media are being adopted by users across all age groups, and in substantial numbers. The new social media are increasingly used for both personal and professional purposes, across generations, reflecting the diminished boundaries between work and home life. Think Platform and Network In community environments, the application and platform trump traditional core competencies (editorial creation, manufacturing and distribution processes) of many information providers. The rise of strategies that exploit user-for-user markets and the development of platform strategies that drive innovation and performance excellence are paramount in this next wave. Owning a platform or community also allows for unique ways to recombine and leverage content within and across communities, and further embeds and strengthens the community – creating an upward spiraling, positive momentum cycle. Think beyond Information to Reinvention Organizations like InnoCentive and NowPublic are using the power of the community to reinvent the way work is being done. The power of Web 2.0 in professional environments comes from its content, software, community, and platform coming together to fundamentally redesign business processes. Thinking of InnoCentive as a knowledge exchange is very different than realizing InnoCentive’s platform and community fundamentally re-engineers the way R&D and innovation is done globally. Similarly, Sermo re-inventing the way medicine gets practiced ups the ante on productivity. Serve a Legitimate Need, Identify a Champion, and Nurture Community Communities have formal and informal leaders, take time to develop, and are nurtured. Publishers and information providers who have natural offline communities can migrate them online, but they must be patient in their zeal to drive revenue and ensure there are legitimate, valuable reasons for the community to form. Just like in physical communities, living in the neighborhood together is great, but doing crime watch, caring for each other’s children, having block parties, and borrowing sugar drive the spice of life. Online communities, especially for professionals – whose time is money – are no different. The human side of the community and how it feels can’t be overlooked. Online communities are fundamentally driven by and for members; the best ones behave that way. The essence of volunteerism, stepping up to stop disruptive behavior, and self-policing are essential. Providers who go beyond facilitation and nurturance and lean too far toward authoritative roots will risk their attempts at success. Experiment and Be Realistic As the next wave of professional communities matures, so will community on the web. Some of what is special today will just become expected. In our opinion, some semblance of community will be expected in online venues and it won’t be its own event. It is important to be realistic about goals, particularly monetary ones, and experiment while making achievements mainstream. To be relevant in coming eras, businesses will have to have an offline or online community component. We believe having low revenue expectations is essential. So, too, is recognizing that a vibrant community will do wonders for the core essence of which so much of a brand or other aspect of the business thrives. Communities are often a means to an end, not an end themselves. Social Networks Are Marketing Opportunities Facebook is becoming a more popular place for businesses to hang out, especially those that are consumer facing. Twitter has become increasingly important in business. LinkedIn is clearly leading for professional networking purposes. Leveraging social networks in the right way as a marketing tool is still in the exploratory stages. The advantage that information providers and publishers have is their own information, which they can use in a variety of ways for marketing campaigns. Research firms’ use of the press release as a tool dulls in comparison to more interactive tidbits of information that can be released on Twitter. Our research shows that social networks continue to gain in popularity and provide a new avenue to explore for marketing. These networks also provide the platforms for word of mouth marketing to take hold in a way that wasn’t possible before. Differentiation between Work and Personal Is Disappearing Mobile devices and smartphones are being used interchangeably for both work personal use – we don’t have two separate environments anymore. Social networks mix personal and business affairs as well. An information provider needs to understand that it is reaching individuals, not a corporation, and that it must communicate to them directly and serve their needs. Doing this takes a different interactive approach and it takes a deeper involvement (in something like social networking) to get their attention. Drop Generation-Based Stereotypes Age-based generalizations about end-users are becoming less useful to product and service planners. The greater differentiators are users’ roles and sectors. Millennials, of course, still represent the coming wave so it’s important to monitor their behaviors and preferences, but as an age group, their attributes are increasingly representative of the workforce at large.
Kate Worlock - #smib10 presentation
Social Media in Business 21 May 2010 Social Networking in Action Kate Worlock Director/Lead Analyst [email_address]
Our Company <ul><li>The only worldwide business information firm serving the media and information industry </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Global team of 50+ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Track 9 segments in the US, Europe, and Asia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide fact-based analysis of markets, companies, trends, technology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deliver actionable advice to CEOs and their teams in 300+ firms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offer subscription, membership, and custom consulting services </li></ul></ul></ul>
The Age Of Experience… <ul><li>Users now experience information </li></ul><ul><li>And information now shapes experiences </li></ul><ul><li>These, plus the experience of doing business are becoming the competitive differentiators for 2010 and beyond </li></ul>
Outsell’s Research <ul><li>Annual survey </li></ul><ul><li>Panel of c.6000 information users </li></ul><ul><li>20 functional groups, in 40 vertical segments within corporate, education, government and healthcare </li></ul><ul><li>Data that follows is from December 2008 </li></ul>
Essential Actions <ul><li>Think Platform and Network </li></ul><ul><li>Think beyond Information to Reinvention </li></ul><ul><li>Serve a Legitimate Need, Identify a Champion, and Nurture Community </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment and Be Realistic </li></ul><ul><li>Use Social Networks as Marketing Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the Positioning of the Different Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Drop Generation-Based Stereotypes </li></ul>
http://www.outsellinc.com Outsell, Inc. 25 Floral Street London, WC2E 9DS Tel. +44 (0)20 8090 6590 330 Primrose Road, Suite 510 Burlingame, CA 94010 Tel. +1 650 342 6060 Fax +1 650 342 7135 Thank you!