Friday Wrap #18: Facebook brand pages, mobile-friendly suites, Twitter-fearing execs, Klout/Bing2012-09-28
(c) Can Stock PhotoIs it Friday already? Where did this week go? While the days have been zipping by, news has continued apace in the worlds of digital and social media, PR and organizational communication, and business. Here’s this week’s wrap of what I found most interesting (but didn’t use as blog fodder). You can always keep track of what I put in the hopper for the Wrap (as well as my podcast) at my link blog.
Maybe you should give that Facebook page more attention
As companies began promoting their Facebook pages a couple years ago, a chorus of criticism arose arguing that a property someone else owned was a poor choice for your business’s online presence. Results of a new study suggest that your brand or company Facebook page is at least as important as your website from your customer’s perspective, and therefore deserving of as much attention.
According to a survey shared by Lab42, half of consumers find brand Facebook pages to be more useful than their websites. (Of course, this could mean that the company websites suck, but I doubt that’s what prompted the response.) More statistics from the study, according to Mashable‘s report: 82% of respondents view Facebook as a preferred place to interact with brands; 77% of people who have liked a brand say that doing so has saved them money, and 73% don’t mind un-liking a brand that hits them with too many updates. There’s a lot more data in the infoposter.
Evidence mounts in support of mobile-friendly sites
Building on the knowledge that consumers increasingly expect to find information they need quickly, Google conducted a study to find out how that expectation applies to mobile. The results: 67% of consumers are more likely to buy from a mobile-friendly site, while 61% said they wouldn’t hesitate to find another site if the one they’re doesn’t immediately help them find what they’re looking for. More people (96%) report finding sites that weren’t designed for mobile devices than reported a preference for mobile-friendly sites (75%). Nearly three-quarters said they’re return to a mobile-firendly site while nearly half said they’re frustrated and annoyed with sites that don’t accommodate mobile (and even more said they’d be less likely to engage with those companies).
The key takeaway, according to Marsha Fisch, with Google Mobile Ads Marketing: “It’s a sobering reminder of just how quickly and deeply users attitudes about companies can be shaped by mobile site experiences. Having a great mobile site is no longer just about making a few more sales. It’s become a critical component of building strong brands, nurturing lasting customer relationships, and making mobile work for you.”
Execs still fear Twitter
Fear is still leading a number of CEOs to avoid tweeting, according to a Wall Street Journal article that notes seven in 10 of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence on social media networks. Despite pressure leaders are feeling to be more authentic, social media continues to pose risks “in the form of lawsuits, leaked trade secrets or angered customers,” according to reporters Leslie Kwoh and Melissa Korn. Other CEOs continue to use the “not enough time” argument.
I’ve never bought into either of these excuses. Using social media actually saves time for many executives who employ it, since they don’t have to use older, more time-intensive communication tools (like one-on-one phone calls and meetings) when a tweet or a blog post can reach more people more quickly. As for the risk, I know that CEOs have fiduciary responsibilities, but you have to believe they didn’t get where they are by not knowing the rules.
It’s good to know I’m not alone in my thinking. The article quotes former Medtronic CEO Bill George, currently teaching management at Harvard Business School: “People want CEOs who are real. They want to know what you think. Can you think of a more cost-effective way of getting to your customers and employees?”
The article looks at a number of CEOs engaged in social media, including some cautionary tales, like the Francesca’s Holdings CFO who was fired “after he took to Facebook and Twitter with posts about earnings calls, snide remarks about short sellers, and self-congratulatory comments after the company completed a secondary share offering.” What was that I said about executives having the smarts to earn their positions?
Bing and Klout: together at last
Frankly, it never occurred to me that Klout, the increasingly important service that purports to measure reputation, could play a role in a run-of-the-mill search. But Bing is now using Klout “to sort through which people to highlight in its social search offerings,” writes Liz Gannes on All Things D.
I’ve run a number of Bing searches, and if Klout influenced the “Friends Who Might Know” listing in the right-hand column, it’s invisible in the results. Nevertheless, it’s one more sign that Klout scores matter, regardless of how accurate you believe them to be.
HootSuite goes head-to-head with Yammer and Chatter
HootSuite has unveiled Conversations, a free real-time in-app collaboration tool designed for the enterprise. “If you’re in HootSuite monitoring your social media accounts and you have a question on how you should phrase a public message, you can click the mesasges icon in the upper-right corner next to the search button,” explains PC Magazine. “That will enable quick conversations amongst members of your organization” enabling you to hold team conversations. The article notes that there’s plenty of competition for conversation/collaboration apps and services (like Yammer, recently purchased by Microsoft, and Saleforce.com’s Chatter), but “none of them…combine private conversations within your team or organization with public conversations done on many different social media neetworks that your organization needs to monitor as well.”
The service is in public beta.
Business Process Management the next frontier for gamification
Gamification—the practice of applying game principles to non-game situations—has made inroads in a variety of enterprise activities, including training and wellness. Gartner believes Business Process Management (BPM) is potentially the next big discipline to benefit from the practice. In a report by Elise Olding, a Gartner research director, gamification is identified as a means of creating a culture of continuous improvement, sharing best practices and making processes more visible. “Furthermore,” reports The Gamification Corporation’s blog, ““gamification may also provide quantifiable measurements for work activities which in turn enables real-time feedback for both employees and management.” Gamification can also serve as a strategy for achiving business outcomes.
Olding cautions businesses to be serious in their approach to BMP gamification rather than succumb to the sizzle associated with a lot of the consumer-focused implementations. Olding wrote, ““It’s important for the business process professional to understand what the tools are, how they work, and how to map the right game technique to the right action/behavior for the task.” And that’s just the first of five steps she recommends. The rest: Understand what will work you your culture, assign value to each activity or task, plan for iterations and intensifying challenges, and make sure you have the skills needed to produce an effective interface.
LinkedIn endorsements simplify skill-based recommendations
It was one of those “ah-ha” moments: I was wondering about a flurry of “recommendation” emails I received, then as I was perusing my link blog for items to include in today’s wrap I found one on a new LinkedIn feature that explained everything. Endorsements make it easy for people to recommend people in their network without having to write a testimonial.
Each profile page now includes a list of skills. When you visit a profile, you’ll be asked to choose those you endorse. YOu can also review endorsements others have given. And, according to Mashable, “LinkedIn will notify the user by e-mail when he or she has been endorsed by someone.” Hence the flurry of emails. Now I’d better reciprocate, don’t you think?
Rachel King, writing for ZDNet, asserts that an endorsement “gives more credibility to skills and expertise listed on a profile in comparison to what might be listed on a paper resume.” The concept, she says, is not dissimilar to features on sites like Airbnb and TaskRabbit.
StumbleUpon’s redesign borrows from Pinterest
The impact of the current social visual communication trend is manifesting itself in all kinds of places. The most recent is the redesign of StumbleUpon. The site, once responsible for a significant share of referral traffic, has suffered in the wake of an earlier redesign misstep and the departure of its CEO. The new beta design, according to The Next Web, looks to “Pinterest’s successful and highly mimicked design for inspiration.” The format features “color-coded and category specific stumbles which can be organized into lists.” The stumbles are the equivalent of pins and lists are like boards. “Lists will soon become a very important aspect of the StumbleUpon experience, and StumbleUpon has informed TNW that they will soon arrive in the company’s mobile applications and browser extensions.”
TNW also reports that another feature of the redesign is “the ability to stumble pages your friends have recently liked, commented on, or shared through Facebook and Twitter.” That, along with “the interesting usage of the new Stumble DNA,” could be what StumbleUpon needs to return to its former status, but TNW worries that the “proliferation of Pinterest-like elements and the usage of three confusing stacked navigation bars” could spell trouble.
Moo Cards experiments with NFC
My Android smartphone has an Near-Field Communication (NFC) chip in it. When I buy a pound of coffee from Peet’s, I just hold my phone to the payment device by the cash register and it deducts the price from my Google Wallet account. It’s easy, convenient and completely awesome. Why Apple decided to leave NFC out of the iPhone 5 is beyond me. So presumably it will be only Android users who can take advantage of the NFC-enabled business cards Moo.com is planning to introduce next year. When you order your cards, Mashable explains, you’ll specify the action the NFC tag should take, such as play a video, download an app or present contact information. Recipients of your card will tap it against their phone for the action to happen. You should also be able to reprogram the NFC chip to customize individual cards. “A global manager might want to change the material presented depending on what part of the world he’s in, or, if you have the cards for a while, you’ll probably want to switch up the projects you present to new clients. Or you could just have fun with it and show a different random YouTube video on each card.” Prices haven’t been announced, but expect them to be higher than a typical business card order.