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Twitter Followers or Facebook Fans: Which is better?

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The answer is Twitter according to research from ExactTarget. According to the study and reported on by Social Media Today, “Twitter followers are more likely to induce advocacy and future purchases” than those on Facebook. Social Media Today reported that “according to their data, 37% of respondents were more likely to purchase from a brand after following them on Twitter as opposed to only 17% of those that “like” a brand on Facebook.”

When the respondents were asked if they were more likely to recommend a Brand after following them on Twitter, 33% of Twitter followers were more likely to recommend a Brand compared to 21% of Facebook fans.

What has been your experience?

Social Media: The Eight Stages of Listening by Jeremiah Owyang

Forrester Predicts Social Media Marketing to Hit $3.1 Billion by 2014

Forrester Research has just released “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 To 2014” and is forecasting that “Interactive marketing will near $55 billion and represent 21% of all marketing spend in 2014 as marketers shift dollars away from traditional media and toward search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, social media, and mobile marketing. This cannibalization of traditional media will bring about a decline in overall advertising budgets, death to obsolete agencies, a publisher awakening, and a new identity for Yahoo!.”

According to Mashable’s  Adam Ostrow, in the report Forrester estimates that:

Social media marketing to grow at an annual rate of 34 percent – faster than any other form of online marketing and double the average growth rate of 17 percent for all online mediums. Of course, social media is starting from a smaller base. Forrester estimates that $716 million will be spent on the medium this year, growing to $3.1 billion in 2014. At that point, social media will be a bigger marketing channel than both email and mobile, but still just a fraction of the size of search or display advertising ($31.6B and $16.9B, respectively).

What are your company’s  short and long term plans for integrating social media marketing?

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Questions Brands Should Be Asking About Twitter

I had other plans for my blog today but on my way to writing I stopped by Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang and read his blog “7 Questions Some Brands are Asking about Twitter.” This is an excellent blog for any company contemplating their Twitter strategy to read.

Below are the questions that Owyang wrote that a handful of others brands are starting to ask:

  1. Should we create multiple accounts for different divisions? How should we name them?  How should the content be different?
  2. Is it ok to just tweet out news on our main corporate account? Or should we be conversational?
  3. How do we get our corporate reps (sales, product teams) to use this tool, and be conversational?
  4. Should we follow folks? If so, what’s the protocol? Should we only follow folks that follow us? We don’t want to appear like ‘big brother’
  5. What are the tools to use to manage multiple authors/tweeters?
  6. How can we find other examples of B2B twitter examples?
  7. How should we brand our Twitter backgrounds images?

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Based on my experience with clients, Brands should also consider asking:

  • Whose voice should we be using? CEO, Marketing? Should we identify who is posting?
  • How do we jump into conversations? And should we?
  • How much time should we be spending on Twitter?
  • What image for our Brand should we be using? Should it be a photo of the author or company or brand logo?
  • What’s the proper balance on our Brand’s tweets? Should it all be self promotion or should we be informational?
  • What is our purpose?

Any questions I missed?

Pharma and Social Media; Can They Coexist

For nearly five years (2003-2008) I was the Public Relations counsel for a provider of predictive analytics and reporting software solutions that counted many of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies as its customers. My client’s software enabled life science and pharmaceutical researchers and analysts in drug discovery, development and clinical trials to more efficiently and accurately mine their data and utilize predictive analytics for their analysis. The work these researchers and analysts are doing is exciting and newsworthy.

However, there were many obstacles we ran into in getting the news out about the progress and innovation these researchers were achieving. The biggest hurdle was not with the individual researchers and analysts, but instead with the pharmaceutical companies’ corporate public relations and legal departments. So this week I was intrigued to see on Twitter that the April issue of Pharma Marketing News was “all about pharma & social media.”

Creation of Adam
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John Mack sets the stage for the issue by writing in the article “Social Media Opportunity or Nightmare” :

“Michelangelo’s nightmarish painting Last Judgement includes the image of a poor soul being dragged down to Hell by the devil’s agents. That image often comes to mind when I hear proponents of social media trying to persuade pharma marketers to just “dip their toe” in the social media waters. The other image I see is a shark lurking just below the water’s surface!”

Mack went on to argue:

“Many pharma marketers within drug companies and within agencies that work for drug companies are trying to move the needle forward to develop guidelines that the industry can follow. So far, however, they have left patients, physicians and other stakeholders out of the discussion. They have forgotten that patient empowerment built the very social networks that they wish to engage in. Personally, I believe pharmaceutical companies need to become truly patient-centric companies BEFORE they can even consider engaging in social media.”

Mack’s article reminded me of Jeremy Owyang’s blog “Troubled, Some Pharmaceuticals Turn a Blind Eye to the Blogosphere” from June 14, 2008 . In Owyang’s blog he reports:

“While this may not hold true for every pharmaceutical company, I recently met one who had banned it’s employees from monitoring blogs, social media and the online conversation.
[Why did this pharma company ban their employees to monitor blogs? If a patient complained about a treatment or medicine having ill-effects, then the pharma would would be liable to take action]. Responding to every customer can be very, very costly, considering how many people may be talking about medicines, often anonymously in online forums.”

It’s exciting to see that the pharmaceutical industry is now realizing it needs to be discussing and establishing guidelines for social media. Will pharma and social media be able to coexist? What do you think?

PR 101: Articles Win Over Ads to Get Consumers to Act Study Says

What is the best way to get consumers to visit your website and follow your brand? The answer–not advertising but public relations efforts resulting in articles mentioning your brand.

eMarketing reports this week in “Brand Mentions Preferred Over Ads” that according to ARAnet, based on polling by Opinion Research Corporation:

Compared with banner ads, pop-up ads, e-mail offers and sponsored links, articles that include brand information were most likely to lead US Internet users to read-and act. When it comes to getting someone to read or take action after viewing content, it turns out PR related functions – namely, placing your client in a story – are more effective than online advertising tactics.

Headline News
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The eMarketing article quotes ARAnet president Scott Severson:

“A key finding for marketers is that younger audiences respond to information that reaches them in the form of articles. More than two-thirds of the respondents between 18 and 34 said they conduct Internet searches for products or services they read about in online articles either very frequently or somewhat frequently.”

How about you? Do you react to company pitches more often through advertising or by articles?

The Social Reef from Jeremiah Owyang

How to Construct an Elevator Pitch Online? Try the Harvard Business School Elevator Pitch Builder

When was the last time you had to describe yourself and what you do in order to get something you wanted? Were you successful? Do you know the key ingredients of a successful elevator pitch?

According to the Harvard Business School, “You have one minute to explain yourself, your business, your goals, and your passions. Your audience knows none of these. Are you prepared? Can you present your vision smoothly, enticing them to want to know more?”

Man on the Mound
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To make it even easier to craft your pitch, the Harvard Business School has an online tool that explains the mechanics behind the pitch and then steps you through creating your own pitch–even suggesting key words for you to use. Once you are done, the Harvard Business School Pitch Builder will  then analyze your completed pitch. Try it out here.

Should Your Company be Tweeting

Last month it did seem that no matter where you went or whatever news channel you watched, the conversation was all about Twitter. According to Compete, a stat tracking service, the conversation was really about Twitter. From February to March, Twitter grew 76.8% and now reaches more than 14 million Americans monthly. My social network
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But is Twitter the right place for your company? It all depends. What are your reasons for joining Twitter? Does your company already have an online presence? Will you have to have each tweet approved by legal and or by Marketing? If so, Twitter is probably not the place for your company.

In Advertising Age today B.L. Ochman wrote the  “Top 10 Reasons Your Company Probably shouldn’t Tweet.”

Here are my four favorite reasons from the article on why your company shouldn’t tweet:

You plan to use Twitter for nothing but broadcasting headlines or deals. People follow people they find interesting. Followers are earned on Twitter. Be interesting, make only every 10th tweet about you, and you’ll gain and keep a following. If all your tweets are a one-way street: Block!

You think all that matters on Twitter is getting a lot of people to follow you. Quality trumps quantity.

You want to protect your updates. If people have to ask permission to see what you’re posting on Twitter, you’re defeating the purpose, which is conversation.

You think you can just jump in and start tweeting. Listen first. Monitor what’s being said about your brand, your industry, your products. Then join the conversation and become part of the community. Then your occasional marketing messages will be accepted, or at least tolerated because you also add value to the community.

Beautifully put B.L.

Anyone else?

During the Downturn–Where Marketers Spend

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A new study from the Aberdeen Research, “Recessionary Marketing: How Best-In-Class Companies are Weathering the Storm” found that 82 percent of companies have redistributed their marketing budgets because of the Recession.

Elizabeth Glagowski reported in the current issue of 1to1 Weekly in the article “Where Do Marketers Spend their Money During the Downturn ”  that according to Jeff Zabin, research fellow in Aberdeen Group’s Customer Management Technology Practice:

There is momentum away from traditional media toward online marketing activities that allow for customer behavior tracking and concrete metrics. The report found that a majority of best-in-class companies have cut their traditional media -60 percent have cut television and print advertising, 45 percent have cut trade promotion, and 62 percent have cut their event budgets. Many of those who have cut traditional advertising are increasing their investments in infrastructure and technology to enable social media (68 percent), email marketing (47 percent), online promotions (41 percent), search engine marketing (38 percent), and mobile marketing (16 percent).

Glagowski reported in her article that Zabin found that a lot of companies are starting over. Zabin said, “A lot of organizations are completely revamping their marketing plans from the ground up. Companies are now trying to figure out how to drive consumer demand without incurring as many costs, or making sure the costs they incur are worthwhile.”

How are you driving consumer demand without incurring as many costs?