Category Archives: social media strategy

Social Media: From IdeaStorm to DellSwarm

As marketing students we all probably remember the four Ps: Product, Pricing, Placement and Promotion – the traditional model of marketing.bee

Today marketing has been reinvented and the Ps are being replaced with Cs – Collaboration, Creativity, Connection and Communication.  Brands now need to tap into those online community connections and hence the term Swarm Marketing was born.

Recently Dell revealed Dell Swarm a new marketing scheme in Singapore. As discussed by the Ebiquity Blog it goes like this: If you agree to buy a laptop on Dell Swarm, the discounted price drops as others join your “swarm” and also buy.

Here’s how the Dell system is described:

-Start by picking the laptop you would like to purchase. Be the first buyer to join a Swarm and you’ll enjoy a price lower than Dell.com’s best discounted price (after cash rebates).

-Join a Swarm after, and you’ll enjoy a new, lower price – as will all previous buyers. 

– Once the swarms closes – which is when the limit of 15 buyers or 72 hours is reached, whichever is the earlier, the price is then finalised. This final, lowest price now becomes everyone’s purchase price – including yours!

-To get the maximum discount, grow the Swarm by Sharing with your friends. You can share via Twitter Or post a note on your Facebook® profile and tell all of your friends Point others towards your Swarm using Digg, del.icio.us and other tools. Or simply send your friends an email directly! Not ready to buy yet? You can also choose to Follow the Swarm. You’ll then receive updates via email. As well as through free SMS alerts.

What other examples do you have of swarm marketing? are there examples in Australia?

Could your business benefit from a Swarm marketing approach?

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Social Media: The week of Online Influence

It has been a week of ‘Influence’ locally with Ross Dawson launching the Influence Landscape Framework and Gavin Heaton summarising and commenting on some of the recent findings and blogposts.

Internationally ‘influence’ was also being discussed in a  paper by the Harvard School of Business and in the latest issue of Business Week where the cover page stated “What’s a friend worth”.cover

The Harvard Paper

The Harvard School of Business paper entitled  Do Friends Influence Purchases in a Social Network? (by Raghuram Iyengar, Sangman Han, and Sunil Gupta) undertook research to to look at the influence of friends on purchasing decisions.

The Study

Using data from Cyworld, (a very popular Korean social networking site) the study empirically assessed if friends indeed influence purchases. Using 10 weeks of purchase and non-purchase data from 208 users they built an individual level model of choice (buy-no buy) and quantity (how much money to spend).

Findings

The key takeouts of the paper were:

  • There is a significant and positive impact of friends’ purchases on the purchase probability of a user.
  • The study identifies three distinct group of users
  • However, there are significant differences across users. Specifically, this social effect is zero for 48 percent of the users, negative for 12 percent of the users, and positive for 40 percent of the users.
  • “Moderately connected” users exhibit “keeping up with the Joneses” behavior. On average, this social influence translates into a 5 percent increase in revenues.
  • Highly connected users tend to reduce their purchases of items when they see their friends buying them. This negative social effect reduces the revenue for this group by more than 14 percent. This finding is consistent with the typical fashion cycle wherein opinion leaders or the elite in the fashion industry tend to abandon one type of fashion and adopt the next in order to differentiate themselves from the masses.

The researchers said: “…The members in high status group have an influence on those in the middle status group for the diffusion of a new product. However, a successful diffusion in the middle status segment may make high status members lose interest in the new product.”  

The findings naturally have implications for the way you engage differing users within the social networks.

You can download the full report  to read more.

Business Week

In addition to the Harvard paper above the cover story on the June 1 BusinessWeek edition,  asks “What’s a Friend Worth?” 

The article examines how  “Companies are working fast to figure out how to make money from the wealth of data they’re beginning to have about our online friendships“.

The article is of note as it not only examines networked relationships in the external world (around social networks and marketing) but also examines them within companies from a knowledge management – KM perspective (ie how can we more effectively transmit knowledge around the organisation). 

Many years ago when I was involved in developing Knowledge Management strategies understanding social network analysis theory and identifying the ‘connectors’ within an organisation was vital in understanding knowledge flow and who would ideally make the ideal ‘knowledge champion’ within each companyand division.

The same connector/influencer knowledge was then applied when I crafted Internal Communication plans – particularly around ‘Change Communications’ or introduced a new decentralised Intranet that need the ‘influencers’ involved.

Social Network Analysis (SNA) has been around for many years its not new but with the focus on online social networks researchers are now scrambling to crack the code.

About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy .  Enjoy the article? please subscribe to the RSS Feed

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Online Review Sites Gain Importance in Tight Economy

Yelp

I recently read a fascinating  interview from econsultancy with Laura Nestler, Community Manager of Yelp. Yelp is an online review site that started in the US in 2004 and recently launched in the UK with new features. It is interesting to see how the site has been continually developing and adding new elements over the years.5-24-2009 10-03-54 AM

The most interesting aspect of the new version of Yelp is the additional functionality that gives business owners the opportunity to respond to reviewers favourable or unfavourable reviews.  This is a key development and I believe much overdue. The ‘two way dialogue’ model that forms the foundation of Social Media needs to occur to ensure continual dialogue and transparency.

So what else is new for Yelp? as with many online applications they have now launched our most recent iPhone application – Yelp for iPhone – and they expect to roll out further apps for other devices in future.

Review Sites in a Tight Economy

As the economy tightens consumers are spending more time on the internet researching product purchases before they buy.  Online product review sites are one of the leading types of user-generated content on the web today and their role will become increasingly important.

The following figures show the significance of review sites for consumers.

Does your website have a review element?  it might be a great way to start engaging with your customers today.

Review Statistics

  • Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • 64% of consumers reported wanting to see user ratings and reviews, based on a study of 5,000 online shoppers. (Forrester, 2008)
  • 94% of UK online researchers use online customer reviews. (JupiterResearch/Bazaarvoice, January 2008)
  • 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content. (Forrester)
  • Article of note: Tips on building your review site

    About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy .  Enjoy the article? please subscribe to the RSS Feed

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    Social Media – Why it’s not all about you.

    How many times have you heard marketers or pr professionals say:

    – “Social Media is so hard to get over the line’  and -‘Its hard to demonstrate the ROI of Social Media’ or

    -‘The CEO is just not on board with the Social Media idea’

    These comments typically come from individuals that do not have the full business picture in mind when they are talking with their client.

    As marketers we often think of Social Media as part of our own personal toolkit – albiet a growing and quickly developing one. Via Social Media we have the capacity to reach consumers,  with some prs still aiming to get a few messages across  (yes very old school) and ideally raise the brand profile and ultimately sell the item that we are marketing.

    So what is wrong with that notion? After working in traditional media, online pr, market research 2.0 and knowledge management it is clearly evident that we need to recognise that Social Media touches all the above disciplines within a business including R&D and CRM.  As individuals within those disciplines we need to step outside our own areas and look at how we deliver business value across many areas of the business  – a much more wholistic approach.

    So how is this relevant to you as a marketer? First understand that the Twitter account that you are trying to sell in for pr purposes can also be used for CRM and that means working with those relevant internally to support customers if complaints arise.  That branded Online Community that you are thinking about will provide ROI for many elements of your business including innovation and R&D. It is not just about your big shiny idea or your pr/marketing silo, or for that matter (and this is positive) the marketing budget.

    Finally social media strategies can be devised and initially implemented by agencies but collaborative maintenance must come from the company itself.   What is maintenance? after the initial burst of creative activity is the hard yakka of continuing the conversation with your consumers, listening to them and embracing what you learn. If your social media marketing agency is simply selling you a one-off campaign and not educating you along the way they are doing you a disservice. Sure campaigns such as World’s Best Job have a finite time period but most customer engagement strategies should be for the long-term.

    Social Media has the power to transform a company,  break down internal silos, deliver excellent ROI, engage with consumers and deliver more relevant products to the marketplace but we need to first recognise its not all about us.

    About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy . Enjoy the article?please subscribe to the RSS Feed .

    Update May 9 Mashable produced an excellent article using Twitter for customer service well worth a read!

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