Hope everyone is well?
Your news update across the social web this week…
Social media proliferation out of control in corporations
A report just out from Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimeter Group has shown how many corporations have let their social media involvement run out of control. In the report Owyang says:
“Like a disease, social media proliferation will leave companies crippled — unless they develop a strategy to manage now. Some companies have opened a virtual Pandora’s box: We found that global corporations are struggling to manage an average of 178 business-related social media accounts — a number likely to grow if unchecked. Beyond coordination challenges, unchecked accounts and disparate customer interactions expose brands to a host of legal, compliance, and fragmented brand-perception risks.”
The report also looked at how effective corporations were at coordinating their social media efforts and found that many enterprises struggle to make sense of the social networks they use. In fact, the report states that on average a corporation will spend $272,000 attempting to manage their social presences. Owyang also pointed to the lack of maturity in the applications that are currently available for tracking and monitoring social media.
Bad reviews are good for business
The positive effects of negative publicity have been highlighted in a new report from the social commerce software company Reevoo. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the company has found that 68% of consumers are more likely to trust the reviews they see when they see negative as well as positive reviews on a company’s website.
In fact, a whopping 95% of consumers stated they would be suspicious that the company had faked the reviews if they were all positive. Consumers spend four times as long on site when they interact with bad reviews, trust the reviews they see far more and convert nearly 70% more often.
Also, the research has highlighted some interesting customer behaviour: When a consumer sees a negative review, they move onto another product on the same site and don’t instantly click away from the retailer. Less than 1% leave a retailer after seeing a badly reviewed product.
The report states: “It’s always hard to listen to criticism. However, the criticisms in bad reviews can be an incredibly valuable early warning system from your customers – if you’re listening to them. Bad reviews provide the kind of highly detailed feedback you’d normally get from thousands of pounds worth of market research. Negative feedback helps you improve everything from marketing to customer service to product design, while giving you the opportunity to demonstrate how responsive you are to your customers.
“Higher conversion is the natural consequence of consumers spending longer on your site, viewing more pages and trusting what they read. Consumers who seek out negative reviews outperform the average visitor to your site on all of these metrics, leading to a 67% rise in conversion rates for these shoppers compared to those that don’t look for negative reviews. Strange as it seems, bad reviews are one of the most effective conversion tools out there.”
Inbound marketing works
Businesses that have believed that if they build a credible and engaging online presence consumers will come to them with little or no marketing may be right. According to a new blog post and infographic from HubSpot, inbound marketing can be highly effective. HubSpot also have a free eBook about how to develop an inbound e-commerce marketing strategy.
The infographic is interesting as it restates that referrals and personal recommendations are powerful marketing tools that all corporations should be making the most of. Certainly disruptive marketing such as banner ads should be in your marketing mix, but again, social media reins supreme as the most direct method of influencing inbound marketing activity.
HubSpot states: “Consumers connect, rate, discuss, and consume product information and reviews like never before, making a strong online presence paramount for all sizes of ecommerce businesses. E-commerce inbound marketing makes it possible for online stores to take advantage of the emerging social revolution by gravitating consumers to their own brands and products, driving organic and social media traffic and sales, lowering COCA (cost of customer acquisition), and increasing the adoption of customer retention along the way.”
Luxury brands missing mobile commerce
In the first ever Prestige 100 Mobile IQ report, New York based research company L2 has revealed that many of the world’s top brands are missing the boat when it comes to mobile commerce. Ranking 100 top luxury brands, the report labels nearly half of those assessed as ‘feeble’ in their m-commerce initiatives.
While more than half the brands in the Index maintain both an app and a mobile site, 16% of brands have yet to produce either. Icons such as Hermès, Patek Philippe, Bottega Veneta, and Marc Jacobs rely exclusively on their traditional site experience, which in some cases proves inaccessible on mobile devices.
Ground zero for growth in prestige exists in emerging markets among a burgeoning middle class who are increasingly turning to a small screen to learn about and ultimately purchase prestige brands’ products.
Said Scott Galloway, Founder of L2: “Our thesis is that competence in mobile is inextricably linked to shareholder value in the prestige industry. Key to managing and developing a competence is an actionable metric. This study attempts to quantify the mobile and tablet competence of Prestige 100 brands. Our aim is to provide a robust tool to diagnose strengths and weaknesses and help managers achieve greater return on incremental investment.”
Integration of social networks remains low in corporations
The distinction between a corporation engaging with social networks, and integrating these spaces into their business strategy has been highlighted in a new report from InSites Consulting. The report’s headline figure is that only 16% of senior marketers in the US are fully integrating social networks in their companies.
The piecemeal approach to social marketing is stark: Over three quarters of those surveyed had a Facebook page but only a third are fully integrating social media across their organisations. And the main reason for companies not fully integrating social media is a lack of clarity about the financial gains that can be made. Read more about ROI and social media in our recent feature on this subject.
In addition, companies are managing their social media activity by creating new posts and departments. Over two thirds of those surveyed said they had a person dedicated to managing their social media. But it appears that corporations still see social media as a bolt on to their marketing activity and not an essential component of their wider commercial strategy.
Hootsuite have released an interesting infographic that shows how popular Twitter is on Twitter. The graphic illustrates how the social networking site continues to be massive popular right across business sectors, but tech brand are the most popular with the most followers that the infographic uses to assign its points and ranking. The data was compiled in December 2011.
A new report from Dell has revealed that businesses are paying more attention to the exposure their companies have online, but the report also states that only 6% consider this kind of engagement as central to their organisation’s activities.
The new online presence of the luxury hotel chain Four Seasons is now live. The company has invested heavily in the new site that is also optimised for mobile access. The company is pushing hard to expand its online presence, as currently only 12% of its revenue comes from bookings made online.
The leading IT giant IBM has continued with its shopping spree last month spending $387m on Algorithmics to give the company a set of tools it hopes will make it the go-to company for corporates that want to build their next generation social networks and analytical platforms. IBM hope that its Lotusphere 2012, SmartCloud for Social Business and IBM Connections will offer corporations the networking and social media tools they need to grow their enterprises over the next few years.
That’s all from us for this week. Stay tuned for more news next week.
The Useful Social Media Team.