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Webinar FAQs

Page history last edited by John S. 12 years ago


Frequently Asked Questions from the webinar
Question: Can you give us some examples of tools and techniques available for measuring social media?
Fannick: There are tools that allow you to gather data, count that data and track it over time. Allows you to get a snapshot that shows where you started and see where you are going as you go along. There are tools that include that track things like sentiment and velocity. And some people like to track something called a Media Indexes that roll all these different data points into one magic number. that number represents your overall media footprint and if it's trending in the right direction or the wrong direction I've heard just as many people that love it as hated it. There are a whole host of approaches out there. Some of them are valid and some of them we think perhaps are not. The more traditional way of Advertising equivalence to ascribe a certain about of advertising dollars to a volume of media coverage. Some people have questioned its accuracy, but being one of the only tools out there that are available. Many companies, including Dow Jones Factiva, have tried to come up with various concrete ways to make the numbers accurate. I know Jeremiah has blogged about a lot of the vendors and tools and I would suggest you check out his blog (http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/)
Question: Can B2B companies have a presence in this space. Do you have any examples of B2B companies getting involved with Social Media
Owyang: I just spoke to Intel's marketing department in Vegas last week and they are doing a lot. That is a B2B company that has a lot more challenges than most B2B companies because their product is a component of many products. So they are using these tools to reach out to what I'd call the lifestyle. They are looking to reach the people making the decisions for those products. They've launched forums and blogs and podcasts and second life. Microsoft, Sun, IBM, Intel. I'm from Hitachi Data Systems. Primarily we're seeing this in the tech industry as these tools are a little bit more acceptable there.
Fannick: We have just as many clients in the B2B space as in B2C
Question: What about the Fast Company article about research by Yahoo that refutes the "influencer" thesis?
Fannick: The article questions some of the conclusions in Malcolm Gladwell's book Tipping Point, which pushed the idea that a small number of influential people can create massive change. Duncan Watts from Yahoo! has conducted network models showing the average person is just as likely as a well-connected person to start a huge new trend. I don't know which is true, I'm not a scientist. Perhaps the truth lies in the middle. But what is true is that we are seeing the individual having an impact. We are influenced by our peers our equals people who we trust tend to influence us, Whether or not these mavens, these super influencers, pay a role is perhaps still to be chewed over. This book partially inspired a push toward the massive investment in Word of mouth marketing. So perhaps too much reliance WOM is a bit dangerous,
Owyang: Absolutely, we did research on Forrester about trust. Who do people trust. And the highest rated is that you trust your friends, your acquaintances or someone you know. Someone like you. So if that's the case and people are using these tools then that shows people are influenced by these networks. Social Media is clearly an impact in the buying decision according to our research.
Question: What are the geographic trends in social media adoption. This stems from someone saying that Asia Pacific was "slower" at adoption as compared to the U.S.
Owyang: I've done a little bit of research around that. It depends. What you should do is look at a specific country and dive down into techno-graphic data. And see how do they use these social media tools. For a while it was said that blogging’s most common language was Japanese and that's because the high use of mobile devices that allowed you to publish directly to the Web. Also within China social networks and online forums -which have been around for about a decade- are raging. user groups and bulletin boards are very popular. In South Korea a social network called CyWorld (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyworld). As many as 90% of people under 30 are on CyWorld. It's a kind of virtual network where people can connect and create their own little houses. I'd like to debunk the myth that you can look at these in large geographic areas. Let's take a look at EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the UK: face book is very hot followed by Bebo (http://bebo.com/) And in Germany there is a very popular business networking site. So it depends on the specific culture. In Turkey, Facebook is apparently really exploding.
Fannick: We've seen for example in Italy message boards are really important to the automotive industry where message boards in the U.S. in other industries might not be as important.
Q: Is there any data to suggest that the Target example you gave, as well as DellHeaven adversely affected revenues or where these passing PR snafus?
Fannick: It’s a difficult question to answer because we don't necessarily have access to internal sales figures and the like and it’s hard to extract causation where there might just be correlation with dropping stock prices and media issues.
Owyang: What happens with some of these PR snafus that they are actually a symptom that something is wrong with the product or service. When a battery blows up, unlike a Dell laptop, that is going to have a direct impact on something that will impact sales. But companies spend a lot of money on SEM and these snafus can really change that ranking. But it does impact revenues, but it does impact how resources are devoted internally and that costs time and money. It does impact the overall health of the company.
Fannick: If you have somebody searching for your brand, the last thing you want (as the company that owns that brand) is someone’s blog coming up as the top response. You don’t want a negative conversation being in the top 10 on Google for your brand
Owyang: Here's a case example: If you search for "dell support" on the first page you will see a blog post "why is Dell so great!". At one point that result was higher than the company's Dell Support official page. Now don’t tell me that doesn't impact your brand with the final sales. That’s a real good way of a new customer reading that post to find out what's going on.
Q: My b2b clients have been reluctant to enter the Web 2.0 world because they can't see investing in an initiative without being about to define success. So, what do you see as ways to help them conduct a pilot program?
Owyang: So the first thing is go to your client and ask them what are their goals. Increase in a certain market area? Increase perception? Start a pilot program in a corner of the company and encourage them to make mistakes and take corrective action. Then launch and go from there.
Q: How can I get my bosses to use embrace social media? Right now they are so afraid of stakeholder backlash that they are afraid to let us use it at all despite it’s potential benefits.
Owyang: If you can't solve this and you are up against cultural problems, you might want to look for another place. But what you should do is ask your executives about how their kids communicate. 'Oh they use text messaging, on the couch with their laptops, have a mobile phone in one hand and have the TV on in the background and doing their homework at the same time and their IM'ing friends.' Well you know, they're eventually going to enter the workforce. They are the future communication tools. There are the digital natives - those that were born with these tools. Just like the internet was in the 90s.
Q: Have we seen the application in non-profit organizations? Are there differences?
Fannick: Non-profits are often connected virtually and use things like wikis to communicate with their volunteers. They also used things like Facebook to raise money. And use new media as a way to find volunteers.


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