Twitter Facts And Figures For Businesses And Brands [INFOGRAPHIC]

Did you know that a recent survey showed that people are 25 percent more likely to buy a product that they would be proud to own if it has social media buttons next to it? Conversely, the same study revealed that users are 25 percent lesslikely to buy an embarrassing product if it’s placed anywhere near a social sharing tool.

Of course, this conflict presents something of a problem for brands. Used well, social media can empower businesses of all shapes and sizes, allowing them to reach vast audiences and shift huge amounts of product. Used poorly, and it’s going to have the exact opposite effect. Egg? Meet face.

It’s certainly true that there’s a steep learning curve. For example, while 26 percent of businesses regularly include “call to action” messages in their tweets, if brands do this too often they’ll drive away large sections of their community. Equally, brands that never issue calls to action – which amounts to almost half (49 percent) – are missing out on a golden opportunity.

It’s not all about marketing and sales, either. Amazingly, some 70 percent of brands ignore complaints on Twitter. Not only does this mean they’re saying goodbye to tons of repeat business, but when you consider that 83 percent of people who complained on Twitter loved the response from those companies that did make the effort, well… you do the math.

This infographic from Webpresence.TV takes a closer look at social media facts and figures for brands.

Is there still one decision-maker or is it a consensus decision?

Is there still one decision-maker or is it a consensus decision?

Selling is different today than it has been in the past. There is a dramatic shift. I see the change as being more difficult to find and connect with decision makers through traditional routes. Email is one of these road blocks; it’s less responsive and there are dramatic shifts in the way it is being used. Also different is how information is making it’s way to the decision maker; the catalyst that is forcing these changes is the abundance of information.

Google indexes two billion websites that’s twelve times the population of the world. A lot.

This is changing the behavior of your buyers. At one time, the biggest currency that a sales person had was information. That is why buyers would call us. They would say, I want to know about your products, want to know about this or that. Now what are they doing? They use a search engine and research about your brand, your company, and who you are.

A huge percentage of their decision has already been made before they engage with you. They are doing this online and not connecting with you to find out more. So the other thing information affects is abundance – the amount of information is so great that people aren’t sure they are getting the correct information. They think they are, but to check, they ask their friends, colleagues, trusted sources, and anyone who can bring clarity to their question.

The decision-making process has also changed regarding this question: Is there still one decision-maker or is it a consensus decision?

So we have massive amounts of information that is the meteoric rise of a grand thing called social media. How do we deal with this? People are social animals by nature — they want to connect, understand, know, and relate to others.

Here are some amazing statistics (taken from an event I attended):

  • Ninety-six percent of the online population in the US used social media in January 2012.
  • Time spent on social media is three times that spent on email.
  • Fifty-three percent of active social networkers follow a brand but only thirty-two percent follow a celebrity.

The use of and need for email is changing greatly. One generation of users does not want email; certain education facilities no longer provide email accounts to students. To this younger generation, email is a thing of the past. Social media is change and it’s happening now.

Another wild statistic is that 294 billion emails are sent each day. It is believed 90 percent of them are spam.

Other aspects to think about:

  • Social media is an important channel.
  • Social media is used more than email.
  • Following a celebrity is nascent and already insignificant

The three big players in social media are FaceBook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All of them have done tremendously well and are very successful. They each service separate markets, which is why they have done so well. Twitter is a fantastic broadcast system and should be used in your sales process for getting the messages out. LinkedIn focuses on your professionalism. So if you’re selling business to business, this is the place you need to be. It services the professional and not seen as a typical social media platform but a social networking platform. All said, together they can service industries very well depending on what your message is. You need to think content and context; whichever medium you are going to use to send your message is very important.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn for a moment. The conversion rates of individuals successfully using LinkedIn is very high. Recent figures from LinkedIn demonstrate that the success rate is three times that of other platforms. LinkedIn has some great tools that can help you capitalize your network.

Social selling. I hope many of you have heard of the phrase. Social selling is taking the forces of social media and the new buying tactics, and blending them. Taking social media channels and being able to reach out and provide information to your buyers will be key in this new era. The flip side to social selling is social buying, which your buyers are already thinking about and doing, in your marketplace.

What I want to do is give you a framework of how to think about these aspects in social selling and how you can use social media to your advantage.

To be continued…

Not when… but how to do social business

The data is clear: social business propels results. Fifty seven percent of companies who invest in social business outperform their peers. They see real business value, whether it’s a 25% increase in business or a 20% drop in the time it takes to manage projects.

Social business is no longer “nice to do,” it’s a necessity to survive today’s volatile business climate. According to Forrester Research, spending on social business software is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016.

So what does a social business look like?

A social business isn’t just a company that has a Facebook page and a Twitter handle. A social business is one that embraces and cultivates a spirit of collaboration and community throughout its organization—both internally and externally.

There are three distinct characteristics of a social business:

  • Engaged—deeply connecting people, including customers, employees, and partners, to be involved in productive, efficient ways.
  • Transparent—removing boundaries to information, experts and assets, helping people align every action to drive business results.
  • Nimble—speeding up business with information and insight to anticipate and address evolving opportunities.

Social Business is about moving beyond the social media tools you’re currently familiar with to unlock the potential of the people and gain a competitive advantage. Today, by combining social networking tools—internally and externally—with sophisticated analytic capabilities, companies are transforming their business processes, building stronger relationships among their employees, customers and business partners and making better decisions, faster. This is what makes a social business—embracing networks of people to create new business value and opportunities.

What other charateristics do you think there are for a social business?

Social Networking for Sellers, A Point of View

Everyone is talking about being social, but what does that mean to you, a seller? How can it help you? Where do you start? These and many more questions are also being asked.

Lets cut to the chase, Social Media, Social Business, Social Networking, what ever you want to call it, put simply its just another form of communication. You have been doing it for years, its just the growth in technology has just made it easier to be louder and reach a wider audience.
Some of the benefits will include; efficiency, collaboration, identification and not least, trust.

BUT these benefits will not will not happen overnight, it is a journey you will have to undertake. Some will adopt to this new way of communicating quicker than others but make no mistake we all need to be on this road.

Why? Lets look at some reasons:

Having a digital presence is one of the best ways to be found, creating your personal brand that in turn will help you become eminent in your field of expertise.

A recent study has shown that the role of the buyer (seeker of information) has changed. No longer so they pick up the telephone to you (do they know you even) and ask “is this the right thing I need”. They are looking for this information online. Eighty five percent of the buying decision has already been made before you the sales person even get involved.

We Sell or Else (#wesoe), lets face it. If you can utilise another channel to assist in growing your business then its a no brainer.

If your still wondering can social technologies really help grow your business, there are a whole raft of success stories that can be found on online. Personally, I have seen and experienced $millions of generated business

Where do you start? Firstly understand the tools. Identify which platforms you customers are on and participate in. Places like LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook or Google+ for instance. Start with three or four and ensure that one of your choices includes blogging.

Whats on offer?
LinkedIn – For a seller this should be the most important place to start. The team will help shape your profile from a resume style to a value proposition to a client. Help you understand how to utilise your network and what additional applications will work best for you.
Twitter – Lets call this an information portal. Are you advising your network what we do, what you do, the latest news, information that grabs your attention. Let people follow you and manage your reputation.
Blogging – This in my humble opinion is going to be paramount to building your eminence, creating digital footprints that allows you to be found when someone searches for you. Now whilst the premise for these tools is business, I do advocate the creation of personality, so if you want to talk about something non business (yet professional) do so.

Thoughts for your next steps?
Find your focal team, the ones that are early adopters are normally the best, teach teachers spread the word or ground swell. Get to grips on what to measure.
Lastly if you need advice or tips on best practice drop me a line.

Why not share some of your thoughts and questions below..

Social Myth Busting [Video]

A valued colleague of mine put together a small deck addressing some of the Myths we experience when talking about Social Business. I have converted it into a video for you all to enjoy. I am sure you have come across many more, why not let us know what myths busters you have to share below.

Thank you Luis Richardson and Jon Mell

You might have to pause it to read some of the slides!

Take care.

Free Event [24/05] – Insights from the Global IBM CEO Study

The new buzzword for today’s modern leader is Connections.

I would like to encourage you to join the event tomorrow at 12pm ET 7pm BST and participate in the conversation with four remarkable thought leaders:

Kris Pederson – VP North America Business Transformation Leader, IBM Global Business Services
Bryan Kramer – CEO + President, PureMatter
Dorie Clark – Strategy Consultant, Author, marketing & branding expert
Melissa Schilling – professor of strategic management and innovation and technology at New York University Stern School of Business
Feel free to share this invite with others. There is no registration required so just visit this Livestream Channel to attend the event.

I look forward to seeing you today. Have a wonderful day!

 

If You Don’t Have a SOCIAL CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive

Mark Fidelman Guest Post: Mark Fidelman

IBM STUDY: If You Don’t Have a SOCIAL CEO, You’re Going to be Less Competitive

The list of the world’s CEOs regularly includes celebrities, billionaires, big egos, risk takers, and failures. What it does not include are social media experts; but that’s about to change. When IBM (NYSE: IBM) conducted its study of 1709 CEOs around the world, they found only 16% of them participating in social media. But their analysis shows that the percentage will likely grow to 57% within 5 years.

Why? because CEOs are beginning to recognize that using email and the phone to get the message out isn’t sufficient anymore.

The big takeaway: That using social technologies to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will enable the organization to be more adaptive and agile.

“As CEOs ratchet up the level of openness within their organizations, they are developing collaborative environments where employees are
encouraged to speak up, exercise personal initiative, connect with fellow
collaborators, and innovate,” the IBM study concluded.

Simply put, CEOs and their executives set the cultural tone for an organization. Through participation, they implicitly promote the use of social technologies.  That will make their organizations more competitive and better able to adapt to sudden market changes.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • The study reveals that CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency and employee empowerment to the command-and-control ethos that has characterized the modern corporation for more than a century.
  • Companies that outperform their peers are 30 percent more likely to identify openness – often characterized by a greater use of social media as a key enabler of collaboration and innovation – as a key influence on their organization.
  • While social media is the least utilized of all customer interaction methods today, it stands to become the number two organizational engagement method within the next five years, a close second to face-to-face interactions.
  • More than half of CEOs (53 percent) are planning to use technology to facilitate greater partnering and collaboration with outside organizations, while 52 percent are shifting their attention to promoting great internal collaboration.
  • Championing collaborative innovation is not something CEOs are delegating to their HR leaders. According to the study findings, the business executives are interested in leading by example.
  • CEOs regard interpersonal skills of collaboration (75 percent), communication (67 percent), creativity (61 percent) and flexibility (61 percent) as key drivers of employee success to operate in a more complex, interconnected environment.
  • The trend toward greater collaboration extends beyond the corporation to external partnering relationships. Partnering is now at an all-time high. In 2008, slightly more than half of the CEOs IBM interviewed planned to partner extensively. Now, more than two-thirds intend to do so.
  • CEOs are most focused on gaining insights into their customers. Seventy-three percent of CEOs are making significant investments in their organizations’ ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data.

I’ve often held IBM as the best example of a Social Business and a company to emulate rather than Apple. I believe this study and the analysis behind it, reinforces that view.

The IBM study shows that CEOs and the companies they manage must constantly evolve to stay competitive. Partners, suppliers, employees and customers want CEOs to communicate with them on a personal level to build trust and to help align them to the organization’s strategy. There is a lot at stake here. And if CEOs continue to hide in their Ivory Towers under the guise of some old command and control mentality, the next chapter in their career might be written somewhere else.

No one wants that.