6 Things You Must Know About Social Media and Your Workforce

By Eric B. Meye

Cisco just completed this study, which shows just how much social media, device freedom, and mobile work means to the next generation.

Thinking about banning social media in the workplace? Before you flip the kill switch, read this:

More than half of students (55 percent) and an even larger proportion of end users (62 percent) indicate they could not live without the Internet; and one-third of respondents in each subgroup consider the Internet to be as important as water, food, air, and shelter.
Half of those surveyed would rather lose their wallet or purse than their smart phone or mobile device.
More than two out of five 20-somethings would accept a lower-paying job that offered more choices in the device they use at work, social media access, and mobility compared with a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

Can you handle a productivity hit?

So it would appear that your young workforce seemingly can’t live without a Facebook fix. But can you handle the productivity hit? Consider these numbers:

Nearly three quarters of your young college-educated workforce indicate accessing their Facebook page at least once a day or more frequently. 1 in 10 have their Facebook pages up all day.
Seven in ten young college-educated employees have friended a co-worker, manager, or both on Facebook.
Approximately 43 percent of college students admit being distracted or interrupted by social media, IM, phone, or a desire to check Facebook, at least three times per hour.

For a good summary of the Cisco survey, click on the infographic below or click here for a summary of these surprising numbers

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Whatever your position on social media in the workplace, address it at the job interview.

The reality is that even if you restrict network access to social media, employees — young and old — are going to whip out their smartphones and hit up Facebook, Twitter and the Internet.
A question for the job interview

Obviously, each company has to decide for itself, whether employee use of social media is a good thing for business, a bad thing for business, or no thing at all. For those who consider it a bad thing, consider asking about social-media usage during the job interview. If you don’t bring it up, expect that college-grad candidate to broach the subject. The Cisco study indicates that two-thirds of college grads ask about social-media policies in job interviews.

When the topic of social media comes up, don’t ask candidates for their social-media logins and passwords to access to their private sites. That shows a complete lack of trust and, frankly, a candidate who takes precautions to protect what they post on the Internet from your eyes shows good judgment.

But, much like candidates will want to know whether Facebook at the office is feasible or firewalled, you should ask questions about the quantity — not quality — of social-media use. This will help you to determine whether these candidates, if hired, will devote more time in the office to work versus commenting on Facebook from work about workr

UK Retailers must prepare for mobile and social media Christmas rush

Sales driven by social media, and mobile retail are both set to play a bigger role in this year’s Christmas shopping season according to the IBM Coremetrics 2011 UK Christmas Season Readiness Report.

Using data gathered from more than 150 contributing UK retailers, IBM predicts that mobile traffic as a percentage of all retail site visits will hit double figures by Christmas 2011, having grown from just over 4 per cent to 7.2 per cent between November 2010 and May 2011. In the same time period, the contribution of mobile as a per cent of all online site sales nearly doubled, from 3.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent, which suggests further growth for mobile as a sales channel is likely in the run-up to Christmas.

The benchmark also found that mobile users exhibit a trend for fewer page views (5.8 compared with an average of 8.4, across all means of going online), spend less time on websites (4 minutes and 13 seconds, versus 6 minutes and 24 seconds across all means of going online) and display higher bounce rates to other sites (39.6 per cent compared with 32.8 per cent).

“Despite the attractiveness of engaging with customers on the move, mobile brings with it unique considerations and challenges,” said Marcel Holsheimer, global marketing executive for Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) for IBM. “Using a mobile device to browse, compare prices, check availability and store locations or make a purchase is convenient for the consumer, which can translate into significant conversion opportunities – but only if the etailer delivers a compelling mobile experience. Etailers therefore need to monitor and optimise the mobile browsing experience to counteract mobile users’ tendency for short and erratic periods online.”

Social media contribution to retailer site traffic also grew consistently during the 7 months covered by the report.

From a social media perspective, users behave in a more efficient manner in terms of sales conversion. They are twice as likely to convert, at an average rate of 11 per cent versus 6 per cent overall. This conversion rate, when viewed in conjunction with other behaviour, also suggests social users are more receptive to offers. Their high bounce rate of nearly 62 per cent, coupled with a low average time spent  on the websites of just over 3 minutes, suggests they are responding to social media-only offers – such as Facebook coupons or exclusive offers advertised on Twitter.

“With the recession still very much front of mind, many savvy e-shopper are buying surgically,” said Holsheimer, “They know what they want and can hone in on it with far less browsing than in previous years. Smart etailers still have time to step up and expand their mobile and social networking platforms in time for this year’s festive season, as way to deepen engagement with their prized customers, strengthen their long-term loyalty – and, convert sales via the customer’s personal channel of choice.”

The IBM Coremetrics 2011 UK Christmas Readiness Report is available to download in full here http://measure.coremetrics.com/corem/getform/reguk/holiday2011-wp

About IBM Coremetrics Benchmark

The findings in this press release is based on data collected by Coremetrics Benchmark between November 2010 and May 2011. Coremetrics Benchamrk captures online marketing results and commerce data from more than 150 contributing UK retailers.

IBM study: 68% of global CMOs are ‘under prepared’ to manage social media

According to IBM‘s new, inaugural Global Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Study, 68% of CMO’s are under prepared to manage the impact of key changes in the marketing arena that relate to social media.

The survey, based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,700 CMOs worldwide, highlighted that CMOs see four challenges as pervasive, universal game-changers in the world of marketing:

1.The explosion of data
2. Social media
3. The proliferation of channels and devices
4. Shifting consumer demographics.

When it comes to social media, CMO’s are acutely aware that social media is challenging older, mass-marketing assumptions, skill sets and approaches, and while the most proactive CMO’s are mining new digital data sources to discover what individual customers want, relatively few CMO’s are exploiting the full power of the digital or social media.  In fact, only three-quarters use customer analytics to mine data, only 26% track blogs, only 42% track third-party reviews and only 48% are tracking consumer reviews. The reasons behind this are attributed to the fact that the tools, processes and metrics that CMO’s are using are not designed to capture and evaluate the unstructured data produced by social platforms.

More than half of all CMO’s think social media is a key channel for engaging with customers and four-fifths of respondents plan to use customer analytics, customer relationship management (CRM), social media and mobile applications more extensively over the next three to five years.

Of the top 10 priorities for managing the shift to digital technologies, 4 relate directly to social media, with another 3 potentially being impacted by social media. It’s also interesting to note that social media metrics appear as one  of seven important measures for gauging marketing success – two years ago this would never have been the case.

The fact that so many global CMO’s are concerned about the impact of social media, and how they are going to resource, manage, analyse and measure it, highlights that social media is finally moving beyond the numbers of views or fans on various channels. CMO’s are starting to realise that social media can help achieve strategic objectives and transform their business if they invest in the right resource and planning and set metrics that match their key business goals.

Click Here For the Full Study

“The World is Hanging Up”

Written by Jeff Bullas

I was involved recently with a telecommunications company that had been operating with no web site  for nearly a year and its main form of marketing was cold calling …you know the type that call you in your office or home and offer you… that special latest mobile phone deal. So what was their target market.. every business that drew breath… and what value did they offer the cusomer except maybe a cheaper price… very little. So their marketing was made up of one strategy, cold calling.  The marketing department consisted of staff  calling for up to 6 hours per day and only booking one appointment in that time. People were literally hanging up on them. There is a better way!  Our lives are so busy now and and with so much media noise and clutter that traditional marketing is becoming less and less efficient.

So how would a company stand out from the pack by using Internet Marketing such as a search engine optimised (SEO) web site,  low cost blogs and inbound marketing instead of expensive traditonal marketing .

10 Tips To Stand Out From The Crowd In Your Industry

  1. Have a web site that helps your buyers and provides value with new interesting content  that assists your buyers.. not just a static web site that doesn’t change.
  2. Offer content that shows how to do something with step by step instructions that adds value to your customers, or potential clients.
  3. Have a video on the web site showing something interesting about your industry, this can be even a Youtube video  that you just provide the video link for.
  4. Target a Segment and really understand it by producing content on the web site that addresses their needs specifically.
  5. If you are passionate about your business, contribute to the conversations in the other blogs in your industry so you can start becoming known as a thought leader.
  1. Create a blog that keeps adding new content that helps place you further up the search engines rankings as search engines love new content.
  2. Create Links to sites that are also well known in your industry this will assist in your Search Engine Optimisation and get you up in the Google rankings.
  3. Join Twitter and start experimenting like putting links between twitter,  your blog and web site.
  4. Join a social media site like Facebook and then join groups in your industry that are part of Facebook.
  5. Offer an E-book subscription that captures email from your online inquiries so you can start engaging with your clients and potential buyers .

Ths challenge with anything is just.. doing it…  You can research  forever but just start the journey. The one thing that a company can easily do is start a blog, and add a content to that blog and update it regularly. It is easy to do you, you can go to WordPress and set up a blog for free and be up and running within a very short time frame.

Executives Flock To LinkedIn

Corporate leaders are shying away from Twitter, Facebook, and other consumer-oriented sites and embracing LinkedIn and specialty business networks, according to the Society for New Communications Research.

Decision-makers are using social media as knowledge and communication networks, primarily visiting these Web sites to access the wealth of available thought-leadership content, according to a report published Thursday by the Society for New Communications Research.

In the second annual New Symbiosis of Professional Networks Study, SNCR polled 114 executives across 10 countries, most of whom were key decision-makers at companies ranging in size from fewer than 100 to more than 50,000 full-time employees.

Interestingly, executives have decreased their use of all social networks other than LinkedIn, the report found. Almost all — or 97% — of those surveyed used LinkedIn in 2010, compared with 92% in 2009, according to the study, released Thursday. By contrast, Twitter use dropped to 33% last year vs. 40% in 2009; Facebook usage fell to 20% compared with 51% the year prior, and Plaxo decreased to just 5% from 14% a year ago, the report found.

“Hundreds of other networks were mentioned, many by only one or two respondents,” wrote SNCR fellows Donald Bulmer, VP of global communications, industry, and influencer relations at SAP, and Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks.

Today, 55% of executives surveyed participate in three to five social networks, slightly up from the 50% who were involved in that number of social media sites in 2009. Eighty-four percent of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with online professional networks, the report found.

Apparently there is room for specialty social networks that focus solely on particular issues or vertical markets. Although most executives polled participate in large professional networks such as LinkedIn and 65% are active in open social networks like Yelp and Twitter, 48% of respondents said they were involved in “midsize or specialized membership-specific industry, roles, or interest-specific groups online” and 26% said they “prefer to engage with a smaller peer group in a private and confidential exchange.”

These professional social networks have become a trusted environment for relationship management and decision support, the study said. In fact, 60% said one benefit of participation was increased competitive brand monitoring and performance; 60% said it was to establish or increase their professional network.

Professional collaboration is changing from a small professional exchange into an interaction with content in more public ways,” said DiMauro, in a statement. “The consequence of sharing content online is enhanced influence.”

Networks also give executives access to information they otherwise could not get, said many respondents. Eighty percent of respondents are able to accelerate decision processes and information or strategy development by participating in online communities, according to the study.

“Business professionals are changing how they collaborate as a result of online professional communities and peer networks,” said Bulmer, in a statement.

Not surprisingly, almost all — or 97% — of executives log-on to social networks via a PC or Macintosh. Mirroring the consumer world, a growing number of professionals now visit these sites using mobile devices: In 2010, 59% used a mobile device compared with 44% in the prior year, according to the study. More than half, or 52%, used an iPhone; 37% used a BlackBerry; 15% relied on an Android; and 15% used an iPad, the report said.

To keep up with their colleagues, the world, and their business, executives check-in frequently, with 43% logging on more than three times per day, according to the study. More than one-third log-on once a day, and only 2% said they check-in occasionally, the report found.

Article Courtesy of By Alison Diana InformationWeek