Social media comes of age


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This white paper by Paul Kennedy, Head of Consulting at Callcredit Marketing Solutions demonstrates that social media is no longer 'new' and has evolved in many different ways, therefore challenging businesses who, going forwards, will need to embrace a variety of tactics in order to engage and measure success

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Social media comes of age

  1. 1. White Paper Social Media Comes of Age The new “business as usual” By Paul Kennedy, Head of Consulting at Callcredit Marketing Solutionsplan acquire verify manage collect
  2. 2. // 01 // White Paper // are clear signals that social mediais now being accepted as just anotherelement within the marketing mix.
  3. 3. // // White Paper // 02 Social Media Comes Of Age The new “business as usual” By Paul Kennedy, Head of Consulting at Callcredit Marketing SolutionsUK Facebook adoptionpeaked at just over 30m Every new medium eventually and Groupon (whose margins are startingin early 2011, but July becomes ‘not a new medium’ and to slip) currently in the spotlight. Is thenumbers were lower. social is no exception. There are bubble about to burst? clear signals that social media In June of 2011 there were a number of is now being accepted as just news stories reporting a decline in the another element within the mobile number of Facebook users for the first marketing and general marketing time. This too is another sign of a level mix. This is evident across most top of maturity or saturation being reached – UK brands in one form or other. The Facebook fatigue? Some commentators novelty may have worn off but the believe that as UK Facebook adoption commercial exploitation has only peaked at 50% (give or take, dependingWe see the valuation of just begun. on the level of internet access) in anythe latest generation of In 2011, social media has become the country, growth generally starts to media companies single biggest category online, taking For the UK, customer analysis shows thatreaching an all time high,with LinkedIn and Groupon over the top spot from the entertainment adoption peaked at just over 30m in earlycurrently in the spotlight. categoryi. Other sourcesii confirm that we 2011 according to Socialbakersiv but in are entering an age of social business, July, the numbers were lower. where a social way of doing business is The instantaneous and peer to peer successfully combined with a personal nature of social communication lead to its feel. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet. catalytic role in civil movements – most As if to confirm that social media is no notably the Iranian Green Movement, longer the next shiny object, we see the Arab uprising and more recently, the books such as “How to Leave Twitter” by London Riots of August 2011, dubbed by journalist and author Grace Dent being some as the “BlackBerry Riots”. published. Moreover, we see the valuation of the latest generation of new media companies reaching an all time highiii, with LinkedIn (who recently had to back down on a personalised ad campaign) © 2011 Callcredit Information Group Ltd. All rights reserved
  4. 4. // 03 // White Paper // networking is the most commoninternet use on mobile phones.
  5. 5. // // White Paper // 04 CONSUMERS BRANDS PLATFORMS Consumers, brands and platforms across the UK are all showing signs of social maturityTake up rate of social For many brands, social media has Brands: The average company now hasnetworking for UK internet become business as usual. It is just 29 Facebook pagesxiii. Even the mostusers is now 46% another tool in the marketer’s battle conservative business sectors such as to acquire and retain customers, financial services are adopting social especially as newer, more nimble media in innovative ways, e.g. First players attempt to steal a march. Direct’s crowdsourcing campaignxiv and the appointment of its social media This maturity can be viewed from consumer, savvy marketer, Mark Mullen, as CEO. Platform and Brand points of view. Barclays is one of the top 10 Financial Consumers: In its 2011 Communications Service providers on Facebook and their Report, Ofcom has confirmed that take up application is one of the most liked of allFor every brand post on rate of social networking for UK internet timexv. Noddle, a new consumer financialFacebook, fans write an usersv has now reached 46%. There are service in the UK, has used social mediaaverage of 100 comments almost 30 million Facebook usersvi in from the very beginning by interactingin response and for every the UK. Social networking is the most with its users on Facebook, Twitter andfan of a brand, there are anadditional 34 friends of that common internet use on mobile phonesvii Google+. The social media team post andfan that can be reached and conversely mobile use of social respond to enquiries at all hours of thewith a marketing message. networks is 80% up on last yearviii. day to maintain the level of immediacy Platforms: New merchant portals have and strong user engagement that social been introduced by Facebook and media offers. Indeed, many UK businesses Foursquare and will shortly be launched are now hiring social managers of various by Google+ix. In Facebook’s own wordsx, typesxvi. According to The FTxvii, for every they have “…invested in new ways to brand post on Facebook, fans write an help advertisers to think beyond the average of 100 comments in response click”. The cost of Facebook ads is going and for every fan of a brand, there are upxi (determined partly by auction and an additional 34 friends of that fan that partly by the network itself), another can be reached with a marketing analysis sign of rising demand. BlackBerry message. Far from being free, marketers Messenger 6xii is socialising the way are realising that social requires consumers use applications. UK based investment – time and money. company Autonomy has launched its own augmented reality platform Aurasma, which allows users to create their own virtual worlds via smartphone application. © 2011 Callcredit Information Group Ltd. All rights reserved
  6. 6. // 05 // White Paper // is importantbut despite its reach, it isnot the silver bullet manyinitially may have hoped forUK financial servicesfirms like Twitter more Social is now a normal part of marketingthan Facebook due tobeing more content Siloed social marketing is doomed brand presence. Insight into what is bestthan relationship driven to failure. Instead, initiatives for your proposition can, for example be which have been based on clear gleaned by undertaking social profiling of commercial objectives (e.g. data customer groups. captured, opt-ins gained, trackable But it is about more than just statistics customer journeys, or direct or anecdotes – there are some underlying marketing sales measures) and a trends which confirm the arrival of social coordinated approach across the media into business as usual marketing business have the best probability activity. These include: of success. Sure, Facebook is important but despite 1. nhancing established engagement E its reach, it is not the silver bullet many and marketing techniques initially may have hoped for, e.g. UK 2. Encouraging real participation financial services firms like Twitter more 3. Transacting socially than Facebookxviii due to being more content than relationship driven. Some 4. Mobile displacing desktop time advertisers are looking beyond Facebook 5. Growing role of location to alternatives such as YouTube and Foursquare. There is even evidencexix 6. Evolution of social monitoring that Facebook may not be so good for 7. ntegration of social data into I some brand categories. Yes, it’s a good customer databases idea to have a presence on Facebook 8. Social Relationship Marketing for most businesses, but that alone is not enough. You must understand your target audience’s preferred social behaviours and reflect those within the
  7. 7. // // White Paper // 06 1. nhancing established engagement E services (often by point solution and marketing techniques: providers) is gradually being replaced by M arketers in the UK are still most service providers offering deeper insight, reliant on email lists and targeted email evaluation (the ‘so what’ and ‘what next’) marketing according to recent researchxx. as well as building metrics which are Social functionality and principles are consistently trackable and aligned to being wovenxxi into the fabric of existing existing marketing KPIs. communications and touchpoints – from 7. ntegration of social data into customer I email to retail and even direct email databases:Brands have begun to marketing. Brands have begun to puzzle out how topuzzle out how to link 2. Encouraging real participation: link conversations, posts, blogs, check-conversations, posts, blogs, ins and other social data elements to In the early days, social was seen by somecheck-ins and other social as another way of pushing communications traditional offline data. For example,data elements to traditional out to audiences. Marketers are realising Callcredit holds over 30 fields for eachoffline data. however that social just does not work like social data record and has a range of this and are devising innovative tactics options for matching these into customer to tempt consumers into participating databases, and enabling analysis and in brand activities whether it be posting informed engagement. pictures, entering competitions or 8. Social Relationship Marketing: providing new ideas. Within the context of CRM, new measures 3. Transacting socially: of influence and relationship are now used The rapid rise of brands setting up alongside value. Relationship levels can transactional applications within Facebook be calculated based on sharing activity has been one of the strongest statements and influence measured on publishing of commercialising social. In the UK, this frequency and social graphs, e.g. Klout has been led by brands such as ASOS who scores. are seeing incremental uplifts in revenues Obstacles to using social marketing still as a result of broadening access options remain. They include concern about being ahead of their traditional competitors. able to address specific groups sufficiently, 4. Mobile displacing desktop time: ROI measurement, insufficient expertise The boundaries between mobile and social about how to undertake social marketing continue to blur. This together with the and worry about being able to control boom in demand for tablet devices has consumer perceptions of the brand. dramatically changed how consumers Through our experience of working through across the UK are choosing to view, these issues with clients, Callcredit has compare and shop. the experience and knowledge to address 5. Growing role of location: all of these by helping you understand There are many location platforms offering the current social landscape, affordability, consumers the opportunity to register at developing social strategies, piloting venues, places and spots to interact with initiatives and scaling up engagement. their network but also to receive special This approach makes the transition from deals. But which location based service a series of social tactics to becoming a has the edge – Facebook, Foursquare, business which is intrinsically social less Google, Gowalla or Yelp? The reality is risky and more commercially interesting. that businesses need to engage using It’s time for marketers to learn from early all services as different consumers use mistakes and adopt what econsultancy different platforms. callsxxii ‘fast follower’ status. 6. Evolution of social monitoring: The cottage industry that quickly emerged to provide stand alone social monitoring © 2011 Callcredit Information Group Ltd. All rights reserved
  8. 8. To find out more about Callcredit’s Digital Solutionscall 0845 60 60 609. Visit email info@callcreditmarketing.comCallcredit Information GroupEnabling Smarter DecisionsAbout Callcredit Information GroupCallcredit Information Group has a leading edge approach to using consumerinformation in credit referencing, marketing services, interactive solutions andconsultative analytics. This enables our clients to cost-effectively identify,engage and convert more new customers and optimise existing customer revenues.Callcredit offers intelligent solutions across the customer lifecycle as follows:• Plan• Acquire• Verify• Manage• CollectReference[i] Figaro Digital[ii] David Armano, HBR Blog Network[iii] PR Newswire[iv] Socialbakers[v] Ofcom[vi] Social Bakers[vii] Ibid[viii] comScore[ix] Figaro Digital[x] The Financial Times, 28th July 2011[xi] The Financial Times[xii] Mashable[xiii] Financial Times[xiv] Marketing Week[xv] The Street[xvi] Real Wire[xvii] Financial Times[xviii] DMA News[xix] Forbes[xx] The Drum[xxi] See the Author’s previous paper ‘Marketing with a Digital Heartbeat’[xxii] Econsultancy Blog © 2011 Callcredit Information Group Ltd. All rights reserved