Posts tagged social media

Using social networks to get that job!

Social networks are proving to be more powerful than any other recruiting channels for planned investment by employers as the economy rebounds, according to a new survey from recruitment platform Jobvite.

The survey found 83% of respondents use or plan to use social networks for recruiting this year with 78% preferring to use LinkedIn, 55% using Facebook and 45% using Twitter. News Corp’s MySpace was also used by 5%.

jobvite-graph

Furthermore, 92% of those actively hiring in 2010 currently use or plan to recruit via social networks.

Among this group, 86% plan to use LinkedIn, 60% use Facebook and 50% plan to use Twitter for future recruitment drives.

In addition, 50% of hiring companies plan to invest more in social recruiting while only 17% will spend more on job boards and 36% will spend less.

Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite, said, “While the economy begins to recover, companies looking to make new hires are seeking the most cost-effective, efficient ways to find new talent. As our third annual survey shows, social network recruiting has become a mainstream channel for employers who need access to talent.

“Job boards launched a revolution in recruiting more than 15 years ago. And now, social networks are doing the same — but in a targeted way. Through social recruiting, companies are learning they can find the best talent efficiently, without making a major investment.” Read the rest of this entry »

Brands are not seizing online opportunities for customer engagment

Many online brands are not seizing the opportunity to engage with visitors to their website by not integrating with social media channels, running online communities, blogging or providing ‘sticky’ and personalised content, says a new study.

Only 34% of eighty leading companies – which include M&S, Carphone Warehouse, nPower, Tesco, Sky Sports and Asos –feature a community on their website.

The Engaged Web report, published by EPiServer, reveals that while blogs feature on 40% of sites, only 39% update their blog on a regular basis and only 19% clearly promote it to site visitors.

The report analysed 80 companies, ranked by Hitwise as being the most visited in the UK, spanning the telecoms, charity, retail, sport, travel, public, finance and utilities sectors.

It then scored them against criteria for an in-depth assessment of their online engagement strategies. The criteria assessed a wide range of different components that make up an engaged website including communities, multimedia content, personalisation and social media.

The scores amongst the sectors vary considerably. For example, every one of the ten sport sites feature a blog, and community and travel sites are close behind with 60% maintaining a blog to engage with their audience. Elsewhere however, the results are less impressive, with finance and telecoms failing to provide any ‘sticky’ content on their websites.

When it comes to the use of social media however, overall the scores plummet considerably, with brands seemingly failing to encourage online interaction with their customers and integrate their online presence.

Only 15% of companies advertise their Twitter account directly on the homepage and only 19% draw attention to their Facebook fan page.

But is having a web presence for your customers really essential for every business – I certainly wouldn’t visit a Facebook fan page for Transport for London, for example. Or British Gas.

However, Maria Wasing, VP of Marketing Europe at EPiServer, says that as the web continues to grow in importance, delivering engaging online experiences will become increasingly key for businesses that are looking to engender brand loyalty and improve their business online.

She explains, “The companies that topped the research demonstrated a unique ability to easily engage in a dialogue with visitors that is sure to deliver results. However, there’s no reason why the other brands we looked at can’t take steps to better engage with their website visitors and develop a sense of community. Companies can become more efficient by using an online platform to publish information quickly, introduce multimedia content and build and host online communities.” Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter’s going Places. Finally

Twitter Places, announced back in April and in partnership with TomTom and Localeze, launches globally today as location based social media hits a new high.

twitter-follow-meLocation based social networking has taken off in the US with sites such as FourSquare and Dodgeball – now, Twitter wants ‘in’ with its Twitter Places.

The sector is expected to be worth some $3.3 billion by 2013 and has advertisers excited.

The idea of location based advertising has been touted for some time. Pretty much since the advent of the mobile phone advertisers have pondered how to deliver ads based on a users location without being too intrusive.

But location based social networking seems to be opening up the doors for advertisers who wonder that if these social networkers don’t mind sharing their location with their mates, surely they don’t mind being advertised there too?

Location based advertising doesn’t have to be intrusive. It can be as simple as icons on a map. For those who opt in, it can also be awfully convenient and helpful.

To launch Twitter Places, Twitter is using the World Cup to lure in tweeters and advertisers to draw attention to the new location app.

It says on its official blog: “When turning to Twitter to keep up with the current game, it helps to know where a Tweet is coming from—is that person watching the game on TV or is he actually in the stadium?”

From today, Twitter users can tag Tweets with specific places, including all World Cup stadiums in South Africa, and create new Twitter Places.

Users can also click a Twitter Place within a Tweet to see recent Tweets from a particular location.

Several other features of the launch include:

Foursquare and Gowalla integration

Many Foursquare and Gowalla users publish check-ins to Twitter. Location is a key component of these Tweets, so Twitter has worked closely with both companies to associate a Twitter Place with Tweets generated by these services. This means that if a user clicks on a Twitter Place, such as “Ritual Roasters,” users will see standard Tweets and check-ins from Foursquare and Gowalla.

API

Twitter is releasing API functionality that lets developers integrate Twitter Places into their applications. 

Support for more browsers

Now users can add location to their Tweets from any browser—Safari and Internet Explorer, in addition to Chrome or Firefox. 

Over the next week, Twitter will roll out Twitter Places to users in 65 countries around the world. Keep an eye out for the “Add your location” link below the ‘Tweet’ box.

RESEARCH WATCH: Who wins the social media crown?

A recent survey of brands on social media has revealed that Seatle-based coffee chain Starbucks is the most popular consumer brand on the social web.

Based on analysis that indexes consumer brands against the most popular personal brand on the planet, the research placed Starbucks as number one among consumer brands by having 7.4 million Facebook fans, 901,925 Twitter followers and 6,509 YouTube subscribers.

American brands dominated the top 10, with Red Bull the only non-US brand to make the top 10.

UK-based Famecount took a snapshot at the beginning of June of brands’ followers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to come up with its ranking, a quantitative snapshot with no qualitative look at how brands engage with their fans, followers and subscribers across the social web.

Top 10 Consumer Brands on Social Media

Ranked by Famecount Index Across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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Top 10 Media, Sport and Game Brands on Social Media

Ranked by Famecount Index Across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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Are BP’s social media efforts wasted?

BP doesn’t just have a criminal investigation and environmental disaster to battle through, it’s also got a PR disaster on its hands and its attempts to fight in on the frontline using social media isn’t proving to be much of a solution.

bp-logoLast month, Greenpeace launched a new competition inviting designers and industry experts, as well as members of the public, to redesign BP’s logo to better reflect the company’s operations abroad. See the video here.

The charity says the winning logo will be used in ‘innovative and confrontational’ ways as part of an ongoing international campaign against the oil company. To kick off the campaign, an oil drenched flag was hung outside the BP HQ in London.

It was probably the first campaign to really draw attention to the oil giant outside of America – where the crisis is taking place.

When news of the oil spill broke, many thought it would be over and done with in a matter of days – no one expected the scale of devastation that is currently still going on.

For this reason, BP was vague on the details. Something it is now making up for in its PR offensive. Unlike what happened with Toyota earlier in the year, or even with the airlines during the volcanic ash disaster, BP won’t be forgiven no matter how much PR it pumps out.

But the oil giant is certainly trying. BP spent in excess of $100 million on advertising last year and is no stranger to damage control.

Its website is running regular updates, news feeds, press releases and information on the latest technologies being developed in order to help plug the leak.

Its Twitter feed is updated every two hours with various information including links which direct followers to live video footage of the leak in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The oil giant is even sending out text message updates to people who sign up and has gone on the media offensive by appearing on CNN, CBS and the Today Show in the US.

On Facebook, BP has regular updates, videos and blogs. It has a Flickr page and a YouTube channel. Will all this ever be enough though not only to forgive, but to restore any reputation that BP ever had. Will people forget the crisis because of a few friendly updates and the perception that the company is doing all it can?

After all, more than 6,500 people ‘like’ BP America on Facebook. But how to restore faith in your business when you never really had it in the first place?

Perhaps it would look worse if the company had no presence at all. At the very least, it is finding a way to communicate with the public and keep them informed. However, it makes no difference to the end result – the biggest environmental disaster of all time.

If BP can survive this, despite the criminal charges and costs of the clean-up, I’d be very surprised. As it looks now – BP is going under.

Advertisers will always turn to Facebook – despite all that privacy stuff

Facebook, despite its constant battle with users over privacy controls, has seen its advertisers more than quadruple since the start of 2009 as marketers aim to get their products before a growing global audience.

mark-facebookGrowing you ask? As it turns out, Quit Facebook day on Monday failed to gain momentum as ComScore revealed the social networking site now boasts 519.1 million users worldwide.

The user growth presents a big enticement for advertisers.

Better news for Facebook is companies are boosting ad spending after a lull during the recession.

Facebook ran 176 billion display ads in the US alone in the first quarter, up from 70.7 billion a year earlier, according to ComScore. 

In a bid to reach consumers who spend long stretches on the internet, advertisers are using Facebook as a means of targeted the right consumer demographic.

Ads are showing up next to profile pages, based on a user’s information such as gender and birth date.

Facebook sells ads that are placed on the home pages of users, where the latest comments, pictures and links from their friends are posted.

Among the worldwide advertisers are Procter & Gamble, Toys ‘R’ Us, Adidas and Virgin. The social networking site (which has always struggled to make a profit and monetize since its public launch in 2006) is relying on ads to maintain sales growth and lay the groundwork for a possible initial public offering.

The site’s growth is a constant threat to rivals Yahoo! and Microsoft as it has last month emerged as the largest site for display ads, with a market share of 16%, rising from 11% in the fourth quarter.

Yahoo! has a 12% share, down from 13% in the previous period, Microsoft had 5.5%.

Facebook also became the most visited website in March, overtaking longtime leader Google for the first time, according to Experian Hitwise. 

Even as companies ramp up spending, privacy challenges threaten to curb advertiser interest if it leads to a slowdown in Facebook’s user growth.

Companies should keep a close eye on user growth numbers in coming months as users begin to hide some personal information used by advertisers to target them.

B2B social media spend on the rise

Despite the take-out of social media strategies by consumer advertisers, business-to-business companies have been a bit slow off the bat. But that’s all about to change, according to a new report.

A new report from Business.com reveals 73% of B2B respondents who were using social media had less than two years of social media marketing experience.

Now that social media has caught on in the sector, spending forecasts suggest that big increases are coming.

Evelyn Jung, eMarketer author of the new report, said, “B2B participation in social media marketing is steadily increasing, and marketers are beginning to see opportunities to generate quality leads and position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. B2B Social Media Marketing Heats Up.”

Paid advertising on social networks—banners, text ads and search advertising, as well as the more targeted advertising being deployed by Facebook and MySpace—is a small portion of B2B marketers’ social spending, says eMarketer.

When companies budget for social media marketing in 2010, a substantial portion of their expenses will go toward other initiatives, such as creating and maintaining a branded profile page or managing promotions.

In 2009, B2B marketers spent the largest portion of their social media budgets on customer communities, followed by podcasts and blogs, according to the report.

These tactics allow B2B marketers to share more relevant product or service information with their customers than they could with other social tools.

Jung added, “B2B companies tend to have longer and more complicated messages to convey, and these longer-form tactics enable them to position themselves as thought leaders with their customers.”

Marketing on social networks is predicted to grow 43.3% in 2010, says Forrester Research. It predicts that B2B firms will spend $54 million (£36.7m) on social media marketing by 2014, up from just $11 million (£7.4m) in 2009.

So, you want to quit Facebook?

Following CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement at F8 that he would be changing the privacy controls on Facebook, 25,418 users signed up to stage a protest today and quit. But will they actually pull the plug?

facebookQuitFacebook.com says that user should quit for two reasons:

1) Fair choices and best intentions. In our view, Facebook doesn’t do a good job in either department. Facebook gives you choices about how to manage your data, but they aren’t fair choices, and while the onus is on the individual to manage these choices, Facebook makes it damn difficult for the average user to understand or manage this. We also don’t think Facebook has much respect for you or your data, especially in the context of the future.

2) For a lot of people, quitting Facebook revolves around privacy. This is a legitimate concern, but we also think the privacy issue is just the symptom of a larger set of issues. The cumulative effects of what Facebook does now will not play out well in the future, and we care deeply about the future of the web as an open, safe and human place. We just can’t see Facebook’s current direction being aligned with any positive future for the web, so we’re leaving.

With a user base that is approaching 500 million worldwide, 25,418 is a very small amount that seem so concerned (in percentage terms its 0.006%).

And why should more be, Zuckerberg has done a back flip on the controls and promised to make them more simple.

In a Washington Post editorial, he claimed it was never Facebook’s intent to be seen as an entity which deliberately collected and shared personal information to be sold.

Whether that’s enough to limit any damage done to the site by movements such as Quit Facebook Day will be anyone’s guess, as Facebook doesn’t include deactivated accounts when it comes to its “how many million users” milestone announcements.

It’s possible, of course, that the number of Facebook quitters will rise dramatically today, but the lack of interest thus far is a telling indication of the average Facebooker’s indifference to the ongoing privacy debate.

Furthermore, Google has released web traffic data over the weekend that indicate Facebook is king when it comes to online visitors.

Facebook.com is visited monthly by 540 million people, or slightly more than 35% of the internet population, according to Google Ad Planner worldwide data gathered using recently-acquired Double Click.

Approximately 570 billion pages are viewed monthly at Facebook.com, more than eight times as many pages as are viewed each month at second-place Yahoo.com, which gets 490 million visitors, according to Google.

UTALK’S WEBSURF: Web analytics, stats and resources for marketers

This week in our websurf we came across Sysomos – an online resource library for social media.

32305v1-max-450x450Sysomos is redefining social media analytics by giving corporations, marketers, public relations agencies and advertisers the intelligence and insight needed to make smarter business and strategic decisions.

The site brings business intelligence to social media, providing instant and unlimited access to all social media conversations to quickly see what’s happening, why it’s happening, and who’s driving the conversations.

What caught our eye was this brilliant post on Twitter: An In-Depth Look Inside the Twitter World.

It includes all sorts of facts about the microblogging site such as:
–      72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009
–      85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one update/day
–      21% of users have never posted a Tweet
–      93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people
–      5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity (see the report on analysis of top-5% users)
–      There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)
–      Of the people who identify themselves as marketers, 15% follow more than 2,000 people. This compares with 0.29% of overall Twitter users who follow more than 2,000 people.

Sysomos also has a great blog and really is proving to be a fantastic industry resource.

Zynga takes it’s Mafia War offline with 7-Eleven

Zynga, the social gaming giant that has just struck a five-year partnership with Facebook, has also this week announced its first retail partnership.

The gaming giant has gone from strength to strength thanks to its increasingly popular FarmVille and Mafia Wars and now has a deal with 7-Eleven in a bid to attract new users.

7-Eleven will offer FarmVille, Mafia Wars-and YoVille-branded items on many of the convenience store’s products, including on Slurpee and Big Gulp cups in its 7,000 stores.

In total there will be more than 30 branded items in store, ranging from cups, bottles water, a signature ice cream and more.

Consumers will be able to connect back to the social games by using their product redemption codes for limited edition 7-Eleven goods.

The campaign kicks off on June 1 and will last for six-weeks.

According to TechCrunch, Zynga says the partnerships represents a way for it to bring its brand to the masses offline.

Ten per cent of the US is playing FarmVille and 80% of its players are engaging every day with either FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and YoVille.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! has also just announce a partnership with Zynga that will integrate Zynga’s popular social games through Yahoo!’s global network.