Friday Wrap #37: Execs should go social, most worker social use is for work, Hangouts get better2013-02-08
(c) CanStock PhotoThe Wrap comes to you this week from Orlando, Florida, where I’ve been presenting at a Ragan/Disney social media conference. As always, I’ve drawn from my link blog for this week’s items. You’re always welcome to peruse all the stories I found interesting enough to collect at LinksFromShel.Tumblr.com.
More data supports executive social media presence
Last November I reported on preliminary results of a study from Stanford’s business school that revealed C-suite occupants and members of boards of directors largely dismiss social media as something marketing deals with. Senior leaders push back against participating themselves for a number of reasons, from lack of time to fear of regulatory fallout. Chief Marketing Officers—also occupants of the C-suite—see it differently. More than 82% believe social data has a measurable impact on brand awareness, reports Intel social media innovator Ekaterina Walter, writing for FastCompany. The data comes from a Bazaarvoice study conducted last summer. “More than 89% said that social data has influenced their decisions and 21% of those surveyed said social data affected at least one in five decisions they made,” says Walter. That and other studies, like one from BRANDfog (which found that 80.6% of respondents believe social media is an important channel for executives) lead Walter to conclude executives should embrace social media to amplify their voices, stay connected to peers, obtain relevant information in real time, and (most importantly) to humanize the brand.
Facebook brand pages don’t resonate with Millennials
All the time marketers invest in Facebook brand pages could be a huge waste if Millennials are their target audience. A study from InSites Consulting found that only 4% of Milliennials find brand pages to be worth their time. That should give pause to those who have replaced their URLS with a Facebook link on television advertising. According to Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog, Americans 15-25 see Facebook’s ubiquitous pages as “no more credible…than advertising or than what a competitor would say about the brand.” Of course, these numbers generalize; some companies engaging well with Millennial audiences undoubtedly do better. But still, it’s data worth considering as you plot your engagement and content strategies.
Google’s mobile ad plan a great deal for PR
Advertisers are already griping about Google’s plans to require those who buy AdWords to pay concurrently for the same ads to appear on mobile devices. Even if they just want to reach PC and laptop users, advertisers will have no choice but to pay for the ads to appear on tablets under its “enhanced campaigns” plan, according to a Wall Street Journal article (and hundreds of other reports). But for PR practitioners who are spending small sums to draw attention to non-advertising content, the extra price means more exposure to your content on multiple devices. Increasingly, PR no long means “earned” as using Google’s AdWords and other platforms (such as sponsored and native ads) help spread company messages. The more people who see the microsite, blog or whatever you’re promoting, the more opportunity for engagement and sharing. So while advertisers complain, PR practitioners should rejoice.
Employees mostly use social media at work for work
Despite the flood of reports decrying the lost productivity from employees who spend work time on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites, new research from SilkRoad Technology shows that most of that time is spent on work-related activities. Sixty percent of employees access social sites multiple times daily, but “nearly half of those people are logging on to connect with coworkers, with connecting with customers the third most popular reason, at 44 percent (simply connecting with others was number two, at 47 percent),” according to a report by Allison Reilly appearing in Technorati. Reilly says this means that “people are using social media at work to do their jobs, and to do their jobs better, not necessarily for personal reasons.”
Social media replaced by content marketing as digital marketing priority
Digital marketers are shifting gears, channeling investment away from social media and into content marketing efforts, according to a study from eConsultancy and Adobe, reported by eMarketer. Content marketing is the top priority for 39% of digital marketers, a 10-point boost from last year. “At the same time, marketers were placing less importance on social media analytics, named as important by only 9% of marketers this year, compared with 19% a year ago,” according to the report, but 38% still see social media engagement as an important element of their content marketing strategies.
Hangouts gets better and better
We can talk all day about the merits and drawbacks of a Google+ presence, but for Google+ Hangouts I have nothing but praise. I said early on it was a game-changer and continues to prove its worth almost daily. Not content to rest on its laurels, Google has just introduced some nifty Hangouts enhancements. The most significant for me is the introduction of an audio-only mode, which would let you participate when you don’t have the bandwidth for video or even when you’re driving (though I should probably advise against it for safety reasons). There’s also a new bandwidth “slider” you use to adjust you bandwidth preferences “from high all the way to audio only,” according to Google. “This makes it easier to keep Hangouts going, even in areas of poor connectivity.” If you haven’t held a video conference, panel discussion, training session or any of the other myriad things you can do on Hangouts (and, for broadcast purposes, Hangouts on Air), what are you waiting for? I first learned of the upgrades from Techcrunch.
Don’t let Quora be the “one-too-many” social media site you ignore
Despite an attention-getting launch and a couple years of activity, Quora is still unknown to a lot of communicators. When examining it, many are inclined to shrug it off in favor of better-known venues like Facebook. But Jesse Stanchak, writing for SmartBlog on Social Media, says that could be a mistake. “Quora is an excellent platform for organizations interested in showing open and transparent thought leadership,” he writes, a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. “If you really know your subject matter, it can be an amazing way to establish your authority in a given field.” As subject matter experts grow in importance for organizations seeking to build stronger reputations and closer ties with customers, Quora could also grow more important in the years ahead. Better to establish a presence now—especially by training your company’s SMEs to use it—than to scramble to establish yourself there later. The Q&A site has recently introduced blogging as a way for brands to “express a viewpoint.” Now could be a good time to start exploring Quora’s potential for your communication endeavors.