Did You Know These 7 Social Media Statistic That Could Change Your CEO’s Mind?

For many C-level executives, statistics are often the basis of “proof” required in order to launch a social media campaign or ongoing social network marketing efforts. Everyone wants a ROI metric like conversion rates or response rates that prove the influence social networks have on consumer sales. Yet for every brand that waits for “proof” that social influences consumers to purchase their products or services, there are hundreds of their competitors engaging the same consumer audience, influencing sales for their brands, and creating a life time value metric that only comes with long term concerted marketing efforts within the social channels. What’s a CMO to do? Here are some interesting statistics worth considering at your next big meeting. The revolution continues.

Social Media Usage

  • Small Business: the use of social media  has grown in recent years, rising from 12 percent in 2009, to 24 percent in 2010 to 31 percent currently Search Engine Watch
  • Facebook Users: the ubiquitous social network of our times, so far, now has 750 million users Techcrunch
  • Google Search: Google handles over 11 billion queries per month comScore
  • Social Media Advertising: spending for advertising will quadruple from $2.1 billion in 2010 to $8.3 billion in 2015 Direct Marketing News
  • Buying Habits: online users say they are more likely to buy from a brand that answers their questions on Twitter Techcrunch
  • Mobile: 40% of US subscribers regularly browse the internet on their phone 60 Second Marketer
  • Mobile Purchasing: 12.5% of all e-commerce transactions will be performed on a mobile phone by the end of 2011 60 Second Marketer

CNET Increases Social Media Reach 5x Through Organic Growth Strategies

The following is a guest post written from the archives of Innerarchitect and modified for deansguide. The study centers around social media ROI and case studies of success stories within the tech and media industries. The example below, CNET’s successful campaign which yielded a five times increase in social network growth, is further proof and indication that social media activities can lead to profits. What is most important to remember is that ROI studies must examine specific actions taken by marketers within a strategic framework.

Are you are in-charge of your company’s social media marketing program? If so you have a difficult decision tree to maneuver.  You must figure out if you should rely upon a massive ad campaign to drive consumers to your Facebook page and follow your Twitteraccount? Or should you instead implement a grass roots, multi pronged, organic approach that utilizes fundamental principles with testing as the backbone of your program? The decision was easy for CNET’s new social media manager Nathan Bransford: go organic and don’t throw cash at the challenge.

CNET Social Media Program Results

Since his hire and take over of the CNET social media marketing program in December of 2010, Nathan Bransford has accomplished the following growth by utilizing a grass roots, advertising cost free, organic social media program:

  • Facebook Page: increased likes from 69,000 to 430,440
  • Twitter Followers: increased from 24,000 to 106,222

Organic Social Media Marketing Strategies

The following are some of the strategies implemented by Bransford

  • Facebook and Twitter Buttons: include these buttons in your sites toolbar and make them available on every page
  • Customize: optimize the size and look of the Facebook and Twitter buttons
  • Testing: monitor what works and what does not work aka test and observe
  • Over messaging: post no more than 4 to 6 times per day on Facebook and tweet between 10 to 20 times per day on Twitter (Note: in the case of a media firm posting 4 to 6 times per day on Facebook is permissible but this is a violation of Facebook etiquette for virtually every other business niche)
  • Interact: social media is about interacting with people not simply and repetitively broadcasting of your message
  • Tools: use Hootsuite and Bit.ly to schedule posts and track links
  • Competition: utilize Wildfire to understand how your competition is performing on Facebook and Twitter

Inner Architect Testing Tips

We believe the most important strategy highlighted by Nathan is testing. The following are some tips to keep in mind when testing your messaging on any channel:

  • Subject Lines: do you utilize email as a channel to engage your customers? If so testing copy for the subject line can make the difference between a consumer opening your email or sending it to the trash
  • Time Frame: do you analyze the best times and days to post your Facebook messages, Tweets, blog posts and other communications?
  • Call to Action: do you test your call to action copy to determine the best method to ask for a consumer to perform a specific act?
  • Control Group v Test Group: are you setting up your testing with the correct parameters? You should have your control group, consumers receiving messaging you have utilized, and test the results against a test group of consumers who receive new messaging
  • Keep Your Laboratory Clean: assuming you are utilizing a control and test group to understand the effectiveness of your testing, are you keeping the “laboratory clean” by ensuring each group is the exact same sized population? Are you sending the messages out at the same time on the same exact day?
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20 Answers That Test Your Social Media IQ

If you are learning and consuming information about social media you understand how it is an ever changing landscape. For that reason, I wrote “20 Questions to Test Your Social Media IQ” as a way to measure your basic knowledge. The following is the answer key to the first post. Please let me know if you feel you have a better answer to the questions.

20 Answers to 20 Questions About Social Media

  1. Many people have been credited with coining the phrase Web 2.0 yet one man is most recognized for this phrase and concept- name him. A: Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media
  2. What does the acronym RSS mean? A: Really Simple Syndication
  3. The term “blog” is short for what term? A: Web-log
  4. What is a hyperlink? A: a way to for a reader to reference  a blog post, profile, or other document
  5. Facebook requires that you create a ____________ before you can create a business _____________ A: profile.  .  . page
  6. Define SMS A: Short Message Service
  7. Twitter is based on SMS but is considered a micro version of ? A: microblog
  8. How many characters can you use when creating a Twitter “tweet”? A: 140
  9. When creating a blog article you need to tag the article- Why? A: Keywords or short phrases that describe your post topic. Helps readers find old posts
  10. What is the difference between a blog article and a blog post? A: None they are both the same thing
  11. Define the word “ping” as it relates to blogging A: Pinging notifies the search engines your blog has new content for indexing
  12. Which social network had the first IPO? A: LinkedIn
  13. What country did the company Baidu originate and what does it do? A: It’s China’s version of Google
  14. Google owns Youtube but what is the most important thing they have in common? A: Youtube, like Google, is a very active search engine
  15. Google owns Orkut; what is it and what country is it most popular? A: This is a social network very popular in Brazil
  16. What is Hootsuite? A: Tool to manage your social media network messaging
  17. Name the “B” grade actor that beat Larry King & CNN to 1,000,000 Twitter followers A: Ashton Kutcher
  18. What is Quora? A: A collection of questions and answers created, edited and organized by Quora members aka answer machine
  19. What is Foursquare? A: Geo-location based mobile platform
  20. What is a WAN, LAN, and wifi? A: Wide Area Network, Local Area Network, Wireless Local Area Network

20 Questions to Test Your Social Media IQ

What is your social media, social networking, Web 2.0 IQ? If you are selling services or products to anyone under the age of 60 then you need to have at least a cursory understanding of social media. The following test is a simple tool meant to help you gauge your overall knowledge. If you have better questions please leave your questions in the comments. The answers will be forth coming in the next post on social media IQ. If you are unable to answer all of these questions it may be a sign that you could brush up on your knowledge.

Test Your Social Media IQ

  1. Many people have been credited with coining the phrase Web 2.0 yet one man is most recognized for this phrase and concept- name him
  2. What does the acronym RSS mean?
  3. The term “blog” is short for what term?
  4. What is a hyperlink?
  5. Facebook requires that you create a ____________ before you can create a business _____________
  6. Define SMS
  7. Twitter is based on SMS but is considered a micro version of ?
  8. How many characters can you use when creating a Twitter “tweet”?
  9. When creating a blog article you need to tag the article- Why?
  10. What is the difference between a blog article and a blog post?
  11. Define the word “ping” as it relates to blogging
  12. Which social network had the first IPO?
  13. What country did the company Baidu originate and what does it do?
  14. Google owns Youtube but what is the most important thing they have in common?
  15. Google owns Orkut; what is it and what country is it most popular?
  16. What is Hootsuite?
  17. Name the “B” grade actor that beat Larry King & CNN to 1,000,000 Twitter followers
  18. What is Quora?
  19. What is Foursquare?
  20. What is a WAN, LAN, and wifi?

7 Must Read Social Media Sites for the Beginner

How often do you seek out new sources to read in order to educate yourself on social media and the rapid changes in social networking? Do you get comfortable with the long time favorites or do you seek out new sources. For those of you just beginning to follow the sea change in communicating and connecting we are experiencing, the following list should give you a basic starting point from which to draw.

Social Media Reading

Fastgush.com: a small site but very active, Fastgush often presents article from a different perspective than the big boys

Venturebeat.com: Venture capital news, funding, startups, reviews, gaming and so much more

Mashable.com: the biggest most successful social media blog, Mashable has a Webster deep library of how to guides, breaking news, and content avalanche

Techcrunch.com: the granddaddy of technology news blogs, Michael Arrington made a fortune and name for himself

Alleyinsider.com: easily the most entertaining, snarky, serious social media news source of the bunch. Fantastic writing, analysis and breaking news

Readwriteweb.com: excellent analysis, how to guides, and breaking news. Well written and diverse resource

SocialMediaToday.com: solid how to guides, articles, and objective analysis of social networks and 3rd party applications

Social Media Research to Make You Smarter

A huge part of learning more about the Web 2.0 revolution is staying informed about the trends and developments. The following is a research list of sites I read to stay up to date as much as possible. Are you reading about social media? Here’s where I began.

Top Social Media Web 2.0 Research & News

Jyri Engstrom’s Ditto: Future Check-ins Changing Geolocation

Combining both the algorithmic recommendations with recommendations flowing in real time from people you actually trust on your social network. That’s the holy grail, potentially that could replace the Google search we do todayJyri Engstrom

In his interview with Robert Scoble, Jyri Engstrom described what he called the “holy grail” as combining both the algorithmic recommendations with recommendations flowing in real time from people you actually trust on your social network. As a marketer, I have been waiting for somebody to provide a geolocation tool that gives us what Foursquare can not: future actions. Ditto the new geolocation iPhone app, created by Jyri Engstrom, is about to revolutionize the geolocation world and that of marketers.

What is Ditto?

Ditto is an iPhone app built by Co-founder of micro-blogging platform Jaiku and former Google executive Jyri Engstrom. Robert Scoble broke the news about Ditto and summed it up best:

“Foursquare lets you tell friends and businesses where you are. But today Ditto (an iPhone app) lets you tell those same people and businesses where you’ll be.”

Ditto: Leveraging the Future

Here are some of the interesting facts, significant differences, advantages, and benefits of Ditto for marketers:

  • Social Objects: unlike Foursquare, Ditto is not just about location. Social Objects according to Jyri are those things we “hang conversations around and pivot around”
  • Decision Points: people checking-in on Foursquare have already made their choice. Ditto allows marketers to “catch people before they arrive at a location or decision”
  • Discovery: according to Jyri, Ditto is about discovery. “It’s about a book to read, music to play and download, a movie to see, or a restaurant to go to
  • Lead Generation: it allows marketers to provide “advanced offers” that may solidify a future check-in
  • Competition: unlike Foursquare, Ditto allows marketers to compete for consumers and persuade them to change their decisions about a social object or location. Bring people to your product or service
  • Stream: a huge advantage Ditto has over Foursquare is the fact that Ditto allows users to see the stream of their friends and the stream of future check-ins by people they are not connected to in any way. Users can access information of future check-ins by vicinity
  • Partnership: Ditto has a syndication deal with Foursquare where upon arrival at a location of your future check-in, once within a predetermined distance, your arrival will be streamed to Foursquare as a Foursquare check-in