December 22, 2009 by George Eberstadt
A new Forrester report predicts that 2010 will be the break-out year for social marketing. Online retailers, presumably, will be affected by this more than anyone. Internet Retailer has a nice write-up of the report. Forrester subscribers can get the full version. Here’s the summary:
In 2009, the majority of interactive marketers tested Social Computing tactics, ranging from Facebook pages to blogs and communities. In 2010, marketers will move out of test phase and treat Social Computing as a mature channel, setting budgets and establishing formal listening and measurement plans. This maturation will push the value of Social Computing and its insights deep into company departments beyond marketing, setting up organizations to fully embrace Social Computing and becoming more transparent and interactive with consumers. As Social Computing matures, both marketers and vendors will feel pressure to not only prove its profitability but also ensure consumer privacy.
October 12, 2009 by John Swords
According to a new Nielsen report, 20% of “social consumers” now discover content through their social contacts, instead of through search engines or content portals. Commerce is a type of content. This means that for “social consumers” (defined as those who spend 10 percent or more of their online time on social media), Social could become the new Search. What can online retailers do to tap into this new trend? Deploy tools that let your shoppers discover your products by looking at what friends and neighbors bought.
September 19, 2009 by George Eberstadt
From The Internet Retailer survey of IRNewsLink e-newsletter readers conducted in August 2009 with e-mail marketing and survey firm Vovici Corp:
Social marketing was a top priority for 49.5% of survey respondents this year, compared with 35.7% for video, 34.1% for blogs or customer ratings and reviews, and 22.5% for live chat or product personalization.
October 16, 2008 by George Eberstadt
The communications agency Universal McCann recently published a report called “When Did We Start Trusting Strangers?” looking at how much more influential the advice of strangers has become in purchase decisions since the rise of social media. Brands better not ignore this call to action — like it or not, the phenomenon is real and powerful. And in many ways it’s a good thing, putting more pressure on brands to produce superior products instead of just superior marketing.
But it’s not entirely a good thing. To the degree that these anonymous interactions replace authentic, personal ones, they represent lost opportunities. We end up with better stuff and fewer friends. When we get advice from strangers on a blog instead of calling our friends, is it because we trust strangers more? Because we enjoy the experience more? Or just because it’s so easy? Hey, there are a lot of strangers in the world – some have already written down their opinions on whatever product you want to know about.
But if it were just as quick and easy to find advice from friends as from strangers, which would you ask? If you said “friends”, why? Because you trust friends to give it to you straight? Because you know them well enough to calibrate their advice? (e.g. I know Gwen is picky, so if she says it’s good, it’s good.) Because it gives you a reason to check in with someone you care about? Even in the McCann study, in response to the question, “How I share opinions of products, brands and services”, the personal forms of communication (e-mail and IM) rank 50% higher (!) than the impersonal ones (blogs, reviews, comments). (Page 29.)
In the next phase of the web, we’re going to see our real world relationships woven into our on-line experience everywhere we go. (Charlene Li says social networks will be like air – they’ll just surround you.) And when that happens, we’ll see the pendulum swing back from stranger-advice towards friend-advice. And that will be a good thing, too.