Native advertising was all the rage this past year, as online publishers and marketers grappled for new (or repackaged) ways to get the attention of ad-weary consumers. Brands and publishers created entire divisions to produce the ads that mimic editorial content, while vendors sprang up to try to scale their distribution. The IAB took steps to demystify the format by offering standardized language, while watchdog agency FTC raised concerns about the potential for consumers to be deceived by the ads. We asked some active users of the form to predict what’s up ahead in 2014 for the trend.

Matt Turck, publisher, Slate: Custom experiences will continue to grow in 2014; however, advertisers will demand a better understanding of how custom helps their marketing efforts. Creating great content is essential, but expect an increased focus on the metrics and what those metrics really mean moving forward. For scale and economic reasons, more advertisers will create their own content and simply use publishers as distribution systems. And, effectively adapting the custom experience to mobile is a must next year, if it isn’t already. Clarity in demarcating custom content will remain strong with credible publishers, but vary by publisher, as will format, promotion, style, etc. It should, as it is customized to meet specific needs for brands, environments, consumers and advertisers.

Stephanie Losee, managing editor of Dell global communications: I don’t know if this is a prediction or a wish, but I hope, or think, brands are going to understand the value of adjacent content. I continue to be amazed at what continues to be a misunderstanding of what native advertising should showcase. People are using it to say, ‘I can say anything.’ Advertorial is soul-destroying. The content should not be promotional. It’s an opportunity to publish content that’s interesting to an audience that is interested in your company. At [Forbes] BrandVoice, we were inviting Pulitzer Prize winners, The Wall Street Journal writers, to write about thought leadership. We were asking them to write about their expertise on a page that just happened to have Dell’s name.

Steve Rubel, chief content strategist, Edelman: The big thing that’ll happen next year is, some equilibrium will come in where the prices will fit in with what marketers feel they should be paying. We know [native] is great for thought-leadership, but I don’t think it’s been proven yet. The sell side and the buy side are not in sync yet. I suspect some of the publishers may be having a tough time selling this in because they’re ahead of the buy side. With that, pricing is higher. Case studies will come into the marketplace. The Sharethroughs, the Outbrains will take some of the margins. There’ll be more case studies. That begins to create a marketplace.

Joe McCambley, co-founder, creative director, The Wonderfactory: Demand for native content will outstrip the supply of creative talent. As a result, most native experiences will be unremarkable. Consumers will begin the inevitable process of learning to avoid native content the same way they’ve learned to avoid banners, email ads, radio and TV ads, and direct mail. Some intrepid advertisers will spend the money necessary to attract the right talent, and will create native experiences that are so entertaining, informative, or educational that they rival the quality of the world’s best journalism. Like all advertising, some native will be great, but most will be unremarkable.

Kevin Gentzel, chief revenue officer, The Washington Post: 2014 will see the emergence of the “native product.” Native products are start-to-finish collaborations between news, technology and advertising that take content marketing beyond text, images and video. They leverage tools, platforms and technologies for a better user experience and greater audience engagement. If display advertising and programmatic buying are about scale, native products are about deepening relationships with a more targeted audience.

Mike Kisseberth, chief revenue officer, TechMedia Network: With the recent release of the IAB’s Native Ad Playbook, we’ll see continued standardization of native ads and native ad serving. Disclosure and transparency in native advertising will continue to be top-of-mind for the industry. Expect stronger guidelines and standards to be considered by the FTC in the New Year, with the industry encouraging self-regulation, as seen with the IAB’s playbook.

Source: By Lucia Moses (retweet)

There was a tipping point last year that has major implications for business and brands. It will impact publishing and marketing strategies and tactics in the future.

One of the worlds biggest music stars ignored the traditional mass media product launching process. She bypassed the “normal” mass media release of a radio campaign, multiple TV appearances and retail and consumer brand promotions. Instead she announced it on Instagram to her 8 million followers with the word “Surprise” and proceeded to launch the 14 songs and accompanying 17 videos on iTunes.

It was a success and it exceeded the album downloads of the previous album which had used the traditional marketing model. Its a trend that is not going away anytime soon.

Build your own networks now!

Businesses who are relentless in building a following on social media are in fact creating their own publishing platforms, growing their marketing channels and content distribution networks. It is a digital asset that grows every year. Over time it can can provide huge leverage and marketing independence if done right.

So with that in mind let’s have a look at where the major social media networks are up to at the start of 2014.

Social web demographics

Social media is a blur of tweets, shares and content. No longer is it just used by the young and the restless. It is global and embedded in every corner of the web.

So some questions. Which age groups are using social media, what countries are big Facebook users and what percentage are using mobile to access social media?

This is the who and the where of social media users.

  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
  • 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage
  • The 30-49 bracket sits at 72%
  • 60 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media
  • In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media
  • Time spent on Facebook per hour spent online by country. Here are the top three. USA citizens get the top gong at 16% followed by the Aussies at 14 minutes and the Brits at 13 minutes.
  • 71% of users access social media from a mobile device.

The paradigm of social media only being used by the younger generation should be put to rest now.

Facebook

Facebook is still the biggest kid on the block, but there are some pundits predicting that by 2016 Google+ will surpass Facebook on “social sharing”.

Here are some of the latest figures to mull over.

  • There are now over 1.15 billion Facebook users
  • One million web pages are accessed using the “Login with Facebook” feature
  • 23 percent of Facebook users login at least 5 times per day
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases
  • 70% of marketers used Facebook to gain new customers
  • Google+

Prying the numbers out of Google for Google+ has always been a challenge. A bit like getting a date with the prettiest girl in the class. Not impossible but it doesn’t happen very often.

So what are the latest numbers?

  • There are now over 1 billion with Google+ enabled accounts
  • It has reached 359 million monthly active users
  • Google+ is growing at 33% per annum.
  • The 45 to 54 year old bracket increased its usage on Google+ by 56% since 2012
  • When you consider that Google+ has only been around for less than three years, then it is a success on many levels. So Google must be happy with with its investment, which is north of $500 million that it initially invested in Google+

Twitter

Twitter has to be taken seriously. Last year it took off its short pants and become a public company. So what is happening in the Twittersphere?

  • There are now over 550 million registered users
  • 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads
  • Twitter was the fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013
  • 215 million monthly active users
  • Twitter has also made some changes in the last few months that has made it more visual and engaging. Business should no longer be ignoring the 140 character pip squeak.

The others

We haven’t mentioned some important social media channels. These include. Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Slideshare and many others.

This year expect the visual social media networks to hit more home runs.

Keep an eye on these two:

  • Pinterest with 20 million active monthly users
  • Instagram with 150 million active monthly users.

Here is an Infographic from Search Engine Journal that provides a visual medium for the social media facts and statistics you should know in 2014.

20140119-132046.jpg

Source of Infographic: Search Engine Journal

Read the complete article from Jeff Bullas here  (Reblog).

In 2013 we had a massive feedback on this “Battle of the Brands” etween Tesla and BMWi. Due to the several happenings influencing both (BMWi launch, Tesla “catching fire”, etc) we decided to reblog this article and try to figure out if the results of the polls included to that article may change or not. So enjoy reading once again, and of course – vote!

 

Having a brief review of this year’s car shows, it becomes clear that electro mobility is facing a small decrease in terms of production and market demand. General Motors (GM) is pausing its production of the Chevrolet VOLT for a couple of weeks, and also the other electro cars and its companies cannot impress the visitor with its model (Source: SZ). But, two car makers of the premium class in specific do not contribute to this development: Tesla and BMWi.

Click to expand

Electromobility: Facebook Likes per Brand (July 2013).

Tesla Motors is one of the first US car makers that bring electro mobility on the road: they have already several models using solely electro mobility concepts: the roadster, the model X and the model S, which is the first model on sale since June 2012. Since its sale, the model S has received some good marks in several different categories and test-institutes (e.g. Consumer reports, 2013). This 5+2 seater can speed up to 200 km/h, with a range of up to 480 km, and an acceleration of 0 to 100km/h in 4,4 seconds depending on the battery in use (Source: Tesla). The in Palo Alto based company has planned to deliver at least 500 cars to Europe starting in the mid of 2013 – all cars are designed and produced in California. The official prices for the model starts at 71400€ (Source: Tesla). In contrast to the Nissan Leaf or the Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt, the model S may be due to its design competing with models of the premium class such as BMW, Mercedes Benz or Audi. Using a very similar construction approach as the BMWi series, we compare the model S this time on “The battle of the brands” with the BMWi models.

BMWi is planning to sale their first cars on autumn 2013. There will be two models out in sale this year: the i3 and the i8. Further models (i1 and i5 are planned for the future). The i3 is designed to cover the future needs of driving in cities. The i8 is the premium sport version, using a hybrid drive. To set up the comparison properly we want to have a closer look on both, the i3 and the i8 to cover design and reputation driven influences in this article.

The i3 delivers This 2+2 seater brings up to 224 PS, with a range of 35 km with the electric drive, and an acceleration form 0 to 100km/h in under 5 seconds (Source: BMWi). The “megacity vehicle” i3 will provide enough space for four persons and covers a range of up to 160 km and the coupe version will bring 170 PS to the street (Source: BMWi). The official prices for the model are not communicated yet, but it is assumed that the i3 will definitely lie beyond, and the i8 above the Tesla model S.

When it comes to social media marketing now, we need to draw the comparison back on the level of the (sub) brands. So, in the following comes a brief comparison of the social media metrics of their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Crystal clear, BMWi is taking the lead over Tesla with an enormous amount of follower on as well Facebook (+1049514) as Twitter (+56489).

Monthly Averages per Brand (click to expand)

Monthly Averages per Brand (click to expand)

This is, in a way interesting as Tesla is sitting at the heart of the 2.0/social media world: in Palo Alto. To get an idea how efficient the brand management of the two companies is, we need to have closer look on the timeframe of social media marketing: Both companies joined the social web quite soon: Tesla started its activities on Facebook as well as BMWi in December 2010. The Twitter accounts have been activated at April 2010 (Tesla) and April 2011 (BMWi). Since then, both had a steady increase of their profiles. This creates roughly 31/33 month of activity on Facebook and 27/39 month of activity on Twitter (both BMWi/Tesla). Calculating the average rate of likes on Facebook the result shows again a strong ratio for BMWi: 40919/6642 (BMWi /Tesla). A similar pattern appears for the average amount of follower on Twitter: 5336/2325 (BMWi/Tesla).

Having mentioned that the US car sales began for Tesla in June 2012, it would be interesting to compare the period of 2012 until now. When we have a close look on the metrics on twitter we recognize, that the difference between BMWi and Tesla is starting to decrease: While BMWi had a lead of 60540 followers, the number decreased to 56489 followers. This equals a difference of 7% in 1,5 years. This might not seem a high rate at first glance, but when taking a look on the development of the curve, we recognize that the amount has started to increase exponentially since this year.

Taking the hypothesis of regional influence as granted, the comparison of the account BMWi USA with Tesla would be quite interesting. It could be assumed that the results are rather in similar range than the major brand BMWi. Further it could be assumed that the regional environment of Tesla influences the way social media marketing is processed at Tesla. Hence the results show at least a small win for Tesla: with 18141/7518 followers (Facebook/Twitter) BMWi USA is way beyond the amount of Tesla followers.

What might be the conclusion of this comparison?

  • In the first part we have provided a background of the three models being on sale at the end of this year. We found that there are some similarities between the different products of the two different brands. When it comes to brand management in social media, we were a little bit surprised finding a brand without a single car on the street having higher social media metrics results than a brand that already has started its car sales.
  • Nevertheless, it let us only speculate if there is a regional influence on social media marketing on the two brands. The values of the BMWi USA seem lower than the regional competing ones of Tesla, but as we all know, social media is a global marketing channel – a lot of supporter may be following the general profiles of BMWi. Therefore it can be highly suspected that the spill over effects of the BMW classic brand may provide a more logical explanation for the great difference in the amounts of likes/follower.
  • Further we have seen that the twitter account of Tesla accepted the challenge to take over the number one position. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the near future when BMW has its cars on the street.

So of course you are the one who has the last word in my blog:

Der Begriff „Second Screen“ taucht in der Mobile-Branche schon seit einiger Zeit immer wieder auf, weshalb ich die Thematik des „zweiten Bildschirms“ diesen Monat auch in unseren Mobile News einmal aufgreifen möchte.

Denn mittlerweile nehmen sich nicht nur einige Start-ups, sondern z.B. auch TV-Sender oder eCommerce-Unternehmen dem Thema immer intensiver an und „Second Screen“ entwickelt sich zu einem immer wichtiger werdenden Thema mit dem sich die „Mobilisten“, sowohl in der Fachpresse als auch auf vielen Veranstaltungen, zunehmend auseinandersetzen.

Unter dem „Second Screen“ versteht man (derzeit*) in der Regel ein Smartphone oder Tablet, das als „zweiter Bildschirm“ parallel zum TV genutzt wird. D.h. der User nutzt sein mobiles Gerät, während er sich das aktuelle TV-Programm ansieht – sei es in der Werbepause oder auch während einer Sendung, um im Internet zu surfen, sich mit Freunden auszutauschen, E-Mails abzurufen etc.

(*“Derzeit“ deshalb, da einige in Smartphones und Tablets das Potential des „First Screens“ sehen und sich z.B. in den USA der Trend bereits in diese Richtung entwickelt.)

Ich schließe mich im Folgenden der Definition der Unternehmensberatung Anyweb an, wenn ich von „Second Screen“ spreche: „Second Screen meint die Nutzung des Internet während des Fernsehens mit Bezug zum aktuellen Programm“. 

Second Screen gewinnt an Relevanz – immer mehr Apps von TV-Sendern und eCommerce-Unternehmen

Der „zweite Bildschirm“ sei vor allem für die „jüngeren“ Onlineshops und TV-Sender ein Thema, so Anyweb. Laut deren Studie nutzen in Deutschland 62% der Tablet-Nutzer und 54% der Smartphone-Nutzer zwischen 14 und 49 Jahren ihr Gerät während des Fernsehschauens. Unter den eCommerce-Seiten sind dabei Amazon und ebay an der Spitze der parallel genutzten Shops, gefolgt von Zalando, Tchibo und Otto. Besonders gern surfen Zuschauer von Sendern wie Viva, Super RTL, Tele5, DMAX und 3Sat während des TV-Programms. Aber auch bei TV-Sendern wie Pro7, RTL, ZDF oder Das Erste liegt der Anteil der Second Screen-Nutzer unter den Zuschauern bei 45%-50%. 

Immer mehr TV-Sender bieten daher spezielle Apps um ihre Second Screen User abzuholen und direkt mit ihnen in Kontakt zu treten. Besonders beliebt sind Apps zu Casting-Shows wie z.B. “Das Supertalent”, “The Voice of Germany” etc. Aber auch für „Wetten, dass…“ oder dieses Jahr erstmalig für den “Eurovision Songcontest” wurden bereits Second Screen Apps entwickelt, die z.B. das Abstimmen über Wettkönig oder Contest-Sieger ermöglichen.

Teils haben die TV-Sender auch Apps, die das gesamte TV-Programm begleiten und dem User die Verbindung mit Smartphone, Tablet oder SmartTV ermöglichen, so z.B. ProSiebenSat.1 mit deren „Connect“ Apps (ProSieben oder Sat1).  Zuschauer können sich mit anderen Fans austauschen, Fragen stellen, Abstimmen oder Zusatzinformationen erhalten. 

Großer Markt für Start-ups 

Wie eingangs erwähnt tummeln sich auch junge Start-ups im Bereich der Second-Screen-Angebote. Eines davon wurde von deutsche-startups.de sogar zum Start-up des Jahres 2012 gewählt, das Münchner Unternehmen wywy (http://wywy.tv/) mit seiner gleichnamigen Sender-unabhängigen Second-Screen App. Neben dem Chat mit Freunden ist hier die Besonderheit, dass Zuschauer sich bei einer Sendung „einchecken“ können, um so Punkte zu sammeln, die dann in Prämien wie Gutscheine von Lieferando, Amazon oder Zalando eingetauscht werden können.

Weiterführender Artikel: Start-up WyWy: Der Kampf um den zweiten Bildschirm

Allein ist wywy damit nicht, Start-ups die in eine ähnliche Richtung denken, sind z.B. Zapitano, Shazam oder Couchfunk.

Dass das Konzept der Parallelnutzung tatsächlich erfolgreich sein kann, bestätigte z.B. Zalando mit einem interessanten Einblick in deren Zahlen. Nach Aussage von Christian Meermann, Chief Marketing Officer von Zalando, steigt deren Zugriff auf die Website über Tablets und Smartphones auf ca. 25% des Gesamttraffics, wenn ein Zalando-Spot im TV läuft, was eine fast dreifache Zunahme des mobilen Angebots bedeutet. Und dabei hatte Zalando zum Zeitpunkt dieser Messung noch nicht einmal eine mobile App, d.h. die Zahlen beziehen sich nur auf die zunehmende Nutzung des mobilen Webangebots während einer TV-Spot-Ausstrahlung.

Das Beispiel zeigt: Auch wenn der Markt um den zweiten Bildschirm in Deutschland noch recht klein ist, gibt es viele denkbare Ausbauszenarien, die vor allem auch neue Möglichkeiten und Potentiale für Werbetreibende bieten. Es bleibt weiter spannend zu beobachten, welche Apps, Angebote, Anbieter, TV-Sender oder auch Online-Shops sich hier durchsetzen und davon profitieren werden.

 Den ganzen Artikel gibt es wie immer hier: LINK.

Brand manager are in a quite tricky situation at the moment: They need to take the risk to push their brand through a sea of overcrowded information without getting their brand drown. Read this article to get a guided route to the harbour.

Don't drown your brand - use the 5 SMBR steps instead!

Don’t drown your brand – use the 5 SMBR steps instead!

In reality this can be described as the trade off between the creation of so called social buzz and the publishing of marketing content which fits the brand identity closely.

First serious scientific publications on social media marketing can be dated on 2006. But still the topic has not reached the C-Level completely. We are in times where “brand community” (Muniz, 2011) describes the latest step in the evolution of brand management (Heding et al, 2009). The focus is not any longer solely on the sender or the receiver itself, but rather on the interaction of both. Nevertheless social media marketing seems still risky to business and even to marketing departments of big firms. Maybe for the reason of not knowing how long the current landscape of social media networks will sustain – in fact it’s a volatile game to settle a long-term communication strategy – but this cannot be the reason to leverage the crowd of late movers: Social media impacts our businesses whether the brand managers are controlling the communication or not. We better understand which risks and which benefits we gain from it.

In a study run by KPMG in 2011, certain risks have been evaluated by leading automotive CIOs. These have been among others the loss of internal knowledge, protection of sensitive data and against negative content, and others. In articles like “branded in social media networks – what are the risks?“ SMBR conducted an analysis of the different risks that might affect the brand through social media marketing from a user perspective. The above stated results show the current status of this article.

In the end, each risk category might brush brand reputation. So responsible marketers often ask themselves about the benefits of their social media marketing efforts – is it even worth it? Due to an exponential development of technology (big data) in the last decade, and the fact that controlled interaction seems to be such a noble good, marketers strive to take the chance of understanding their customers without even knowing their names – and social media is helping them to achieve it.

In fact, there are multiple ways of structuring a social media strategy – not every social footprint requires exorbitant amount of money and human resources – there are smart ways to handle it without them. Let’s take Coca Cola for instance: a global player in business that disables the functionality of user generated content on their facebook page – but, is this clever or risky?

In discussing these two ends we soon get to the point where we need to start the p/l statement for our brand individually, because each brand needs different actions to achieve their social media target. Like back in the days of Keller and Aaker, the journey starts with looking at the brand identity. From this company core asset, you can consider the pros and cons, and thou their potential profits and losses. In the following SMBR presents 5 science insights you should include in your social media brand’s Profit & Loss statement:

  1. Values: Check your company values that are applicable to your customer – are these fitting with a lax humour and small talk conversations? If not, your range of topics might narrow sooner than expected.
  2. Implementation: is your company good in IT support and technological background? The higher you score here, the more convenient it will be for you to create individual support solutions for scheduling, maintaining and monitoring your data in the social web.
  3. Customer Relationship: Check your general customer relationship and try to evaluate the measure of communication intensity you may interact with your customer in social media. An intensity-gap may estrange your current brand identity.
  4. Organisation: how strong is the social media strategy perceived and anchored in your company’s top management? The more the better you can face complex obstacles like the compliance with regulatory requirements.
  5. Flexibility: how much flexibility does your company provide to its employees? These may affect internal guidelines as much as the allocation of resources to implement the social media strategy.

Use these science insights to start your social media P/L statement. The conclusion of this work should not be to avoid implementing a social media strategy.

Instead it should guide you to a more company tailored target which you can achieve  successfully then!

Be smart, and don’t drown your brand

use the 5 SMBR steps instead!

SMBR authorAlex

If you run an e-commerce based online business and do not have a lot of cash to spend on your marketing budget you have to find creative ways to gain traction on your website without spending a lot of money on SEM, display ads, social or affiliates. For our venture pauschalreise.de where we offer great package holidays & last minute trips we searched for such a good working tool. Our aim was not just to gain traffic… but more important: sales!

The solution

Deal community sites (find the top five deal sites in the US on Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com/5962699/five-best-deal-sites or for Germany http://goo.gl/oexKDp) could be your best new buddy for bootstrapped marketing activities if you do it smart. The clue here: community members post deals from all over the web and click, comment, vote and share these deals. The pages show a lot of traffic and engagement on a daily basis (just checked the active online users on our favorite deal page: >10K). One of the biggest obstacles here is to trick the admins of the deal pages that they do not recognize you as a marketer (spam!) and that your deal will make it to the “Hot Deals” section. A prominent position for your deal is crucial to generate a lot of clicks, comments, votes and social shares.

Besucherübersicht - Google Analytics 2014-01-05 12-52-02

Follow these easy steps for smart digital marketing with deal communities:

  • Create an account on your preferred deal community. Publish deals from other websites (not your own website!) and vote/like/share/comment on other deals. Do that for 3-4 weeks on a daily basis and grow your account regarding realness and trust.
  • Make sure that your first deal (and all the others you will post) is absolutely awesome and offer the user a real advantage in terms of price and value. Do not use your usual marketing terms and USPs for your wording because community members (and admins) are very sensitive when it comes to spam. Think, act and write like a community member.
  • Engage with users who comment on your deal.  There are a lot of flamers and trolls in forums so make sure that you always act like a member of the community. Your official aim is to help others to make a good bargain.
  • Post your deal on all available social media channels, blogs (comment on related articles and include a link to your deal) and whatever channels you got in your pocket.
  • Check the KPIs in your analytics software (take a look at the real time reporting). If you won´t make any sales in the beginning…do not worry. Successful marketing with deal community sites will take some time.

Conclusion

If you can offer real value to the user you will definitely generate leads such as sales, newsletter subscriptions, likes, followers or retargeting for future sales with this method.

Do you have similar or completely different experiences with deal community marketing? Where do you see the biggest chances and the possible risks here? Share your wisdom below in our comments or shoot me a tweet @bukaai.

SMBR author: Bernhard Kalhammer

We suppose that everybody of you saw the “WestJet Christmas Miracle” video which hit the 33 mio. views on youtube lately. We as SMBR team take the chance to evaluate the impact of this gorgeous campagne from WetJet in this article.

The most valuable outcome of this video was that everybody talked about it, even the TV news showed parts of it. This phenomena is called viral marketing. According to an broad definition, the objective of viral marketing is to…

produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses orcomputer viruses (cf. Internet memes and memetics). It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips,…

In order to evaluate the impact of this viral marketing campagn, we have checked the social stats of Westjet on facebook, twitter and google+.

Analysis

When it comes to the analysis of this metrics we need to understand which effect we can measure in social media. What we cannot measure is the cognitive influcence and emotios that will influence the westjet customer in the future. But we can very clearly measure the number of recipients that showed positive reaction to that campaign during it was all over the media in december. This is what all three curves above show: a strong increase of brand awareness starting on december 9th until th end of decembre. During decembre 2013, WestJet increased its brand awareness on facebook of more than 16k (3,3%), on google+ more than 330 and on twitter of about 17,7k follower. In total this means an additional direct reach of more than 33.000.

In order to benchmark these measures, it is interesting to see which impact it has onthe brand awareness itself. One way to measure this digitally is to score the “people talking” metric on facebook. The following chart shows know what are the conversion rates of talking about

WestJet SMBR

WestJet Facebook People Talking

Further it can be excpect that the social media metrics presented above are indicating only a part of all of the customer reached by this clip. So when it comes to marketing metrics, of course the social media measures are only depicting a small excerpt of the whole truth.

So what is your opinion? Do you think the efforts of buying that big TV was worth the outcome of the campagn? Let us know and share your comments and your vote in the follwoing.

 

SMBR author: Alex

It was a big year for social media. Twitter made its successful debut on the stock market while Facebook recovered from its troubled IPO a year earlier. We also saw the launch of Vine, the rise of Snapchat and the acceptance of social media by the SEC, which said public companies could use these sites to disclose information.

And that was just in the United States.

In China, which has the world’s biggest population of Internet users, ecommerce giant Alibaba spent $586 million for a stake in Weibo, the country’s top microblogging service and a rival to Tencent’s popular WeChat instant messaging app. Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, mobile phone operators were expecting a boom in data traffic as protests against the country’s president were organized over social networking sites, similar to the Arab Spring of 2011.

All of which is to say that if 2013 showed us one thing, it’s that there’s a growing global business in accumulating friends and followers.

Of course, similar to previous years, there were also social media gaffes and hacks mixed in, along with plenty of celebrity narcissism and, unfortunately, twerks. We still have a ways to go in understanding and applying social media to the business world, but there was no shortage of lessons to glean from 2013.

Social Media Can Move Markets

On April 23, the Associated Press’ Twitter account was hacked, sending a fake tweet that there were “two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” In a matter of seconds, the Dow dropped 150 points.

Then in June, activist investor Carl Icahn joined Twitter, first using it primarily as a megaphone in his battle with Dell and later to announce his stake in companies, most notably Apple. On Aug. 13, Icahn tweeted that he had a “large position” in the iPhone maker, pushing the shares of the tech titan up about 5%.

Witnessing a single tweet swing the pendulum of markets proved that social media is every bit as valuable to day traders as it is to newsmakers.

Social Media Is Increasingly Visual

Sure, you can say a lot in 140 characters, but a picture is still worth a thousand words. In January, Twitter-owned Vine launched as a mobile service for sharing six-second looping videos. Then, in June, Facebook responded by enabling video on Instagram.

We also saw the rise of Snapchat, a service that allows users to share photos and videos without the permanency of other social networks. That’s because users control how long (one to 10 seconds) the recipients can see their “Snaps.” Once the time is up, the photo or video disappears. The service has become so popular among young Internet users that Facebook reportedly recently offered to buy it for $3 billion. Snapchat declined.

And days before its IPO, Twitter launched a product update so that tweets with Twitter photos or Vine videos display a preview thumbnail. While this facelift is still in its early days, it’s already made Twitter feel like a more visual and less-textual platform.

Social Media Isn’t Just for the Kids

From Warren Buffett joining Twitter to Jamie Dimon joining the LinkedIn Influencer program, 2013 showed us that global leaders are embracing social media.

Sometimes, the business impact can be unpredictable, as Rupert Murdoch’s tweets have shown.

Social Media Advertising Is Growing, Evolving

During the Super Bowl, the most talked about advertisement wasn’t a coveted 30-second TV commercial, but rather a tweet. After a power outage at the Superdome prompted a 34 minute break in play, Oreo responded by tweeting “No power? No problem” and an image of an Oreo with the text “you can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet generated strong press and proved a turning point in the opportunities for advertising on social media.

2013 also showed how much money could be made from social media advertising. In the third quarter, Facebook reported revenue grew 60% compared with a year earlier, with a large piece of that from mobile advertising. Around the same time, Facebook-owned Instagram announced sponsored posts would be coming to user newsfeeds in the United States.

Social Media Could Be TV’s Best Ally

In October, Nielsen Ratings released an analysis showing a correlation between live-tweeting during TV and having a larger, more engaged audience.

The data illustrated that 19 million people in the U.S. composed 263 million tweets about live TV in the second quarter of 2013.

Source: KATY FINNERAN for Bloomberg (retweet)

Social TV is still in the early days but with television as the home to coveted big dollar ads and social media as the venue for audience amplification and engagement, this could be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.

Samsung was the most popular social-media brand worldwide in 2013, according to Starcount, which compiled data across Facebook, YouTube and other sites to come up with its top 10 list.

Although Samsung wasn’t the most popular brand on any particular social network, it earned 16 million new followers across multiple platforms in the past 12 months
— enough to get data aggregator Starcount’s top spot.

Walt Disney came in second place, largely due to a one-million-follower increase on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site. National Geographic grabbed the bronze after its top-rated YouTube channel got 160 million views this past year.

Check out the other companies that made the list for this year’s top 10 brands on social media, below.

Source: mashable.com

20131225-141739.jpg

Mobile-Nutzung von Google

Schon bei der Desktop-Suche ist Google weltweit eindeutiger Marktführer und lässt seine Konkurrenten meist weit abgeschlagen hinter sich (einzige große Ausnahme ist China, wo Baidu noch die Marktführerschaft unter den Suchmaschinen hält). Auch wenn ein weltweiter Marktanteil von 90,61% bei der Desktopsuche nicht mehr allzu viel Spielraum nach oben lässt, schafft es Google diesen Anteil mobil noch zu toppen. In diesem Bereich hat die Suchmaschine einen weltweiten Anteil von 95,54%. Besonders deutlich wird dies eben gerade in Ländern wie China oder auch Russland, wo Google bei der stationären Suche entweder nur auf Platz zwei ist oder keinen ganz so deutlichen Vorsprung hat wie in den meisten anderen Ländern. So hat beispielsweise Google unter den Desktop-Suchmaschinen in China nur einen Anteil von 15% (Baidu 69,09%). Bei der mobilen Suche legt Google jedoch auch in China um über 15 Prozentpunkte zu und liegt derzeit bei 31,49%, Tendenz steigend. Die Zahlen findet ihr hier.

Dieser Trend ist recht einfach zu begründen – durch die hohe Verbreitung der hauseignen Android-Geräte, gerade eben auch in Ländern wie China, kurbelt Google natürlich auch die Nutzung seiner Suchmaschine an. Zudem ist Google (noch) die vorinstallierte Suchmaschine auf iOS-Geräten, wofür der Internetriese jährlich über eine Milliarde Dollar bezahlt und zusätzlich die Nutzung in die Höhe treibt. Mobil ist ein weltweiter Anteil von 95,54% durchaus zu erreichen.

In Deutschland ist laut comscore die Zahl der mobilen Google-Nutzer im Jahresvergleich um 80% auf 14,8 Millionen gestiegen (während die Konkurrenz jeweils die eine Millionen Grenze nicht überschreitet).

Ebenso ergab die Studie, dass der Zuwachs der mobilen Suche tatsächlich teilweise zu Lasten der stationären Suche geht, wo Google-Suchanfragen im Vergleich zum Vorjahr um 500 Millionen auf 4,1 Milliarden pro Monat gesunken sind. Weitere Infos gibt es in einem Artikel auf focus.de.

Wen obere Zahlen und weitere Diagramme näher interessieren, dem kann ich diese Seite empfehlen. Dort sind die Marktanteile zu Browsern, Suchmaschinen, OS, Social Media, Mobile usw. weltweit und nach Land ersichtlich.

Aktuelle Nutzerzahlen von WhatsApp

Früher waren die wichtigsten Funktionen eines Handys Telefonieren und SMS, auf heutigen Smartphones sind dies eher E-Mail, Facebook und sogenannte „Over-the-top-messaging (OTT)“-Dienste, Deutschland bekannt als „WhatsApp“. Der Dienst gab im Juni erstmals seit Firmengründung offizielle Nutzerzahlen bekannt und diese sind beachtlich. So sind es nach  Angaben des Unternehmens weltweit monatlich 250 Millionen aktive Nutzer, womit sie beispielsweise 50 Millionen User mehr als Twitter verzeichnen können. Davon sind nach Hochrechnungen von Focus 13,7 Millionen deutsche WhatsApp-User, was bedeuten würde, dass mehr als jeder dritte Smartphonebesitzer den Dienst installiert hat.

Generell wurden bereits im letzten Jahr mehr Nachrichten über OTT-Services (WhatsApp&Co.) verschickt als reguläre SMS. Weltweit sind es täglich 19 Milliarden im Vergleich zu nur noch 17,6 Milliarden SMS.

Weitere Informationen auf welt.de, süddeutsche.de und gfm-nachrichten.de.

Prognose: Bald werden mehr Tablets als Notebooks verkauft

Auch spannend ist, dass der Absatz von Tablets im ersten Quartal 2013 erstmals fast genauso hoch war wie der von Notebooks. Diese Zahlen veröffentlichte Statista im Juni. Im Vergleich zum ersten Quartal 2012 ist der Absatz so um 145% gestiegen.

Tablets sind nicht nur bei Privatnutzern immer beliebter und ersetzen dort oft schon den häuslichen PC, auch werden Tablets immer häufiger in der Geschäftswelt anstelle eines Notebooks eingesetzt. Sie ersetzen diese in vielen Nutzungssituationen voll und ganz (oder bieten gar erweiterte Services).

Auch belegt durch untere Grafik ist es daher durchaus realistisch, dass der Schnittpunkt noch dieses Jahr erreicht wird. Damit würden mehr Tablets als Notebooks verkauft werden.

Quelle und Bild gibt es hier zum Download.

50 Millionen App Downloads bei Apple

Nicht zuletzt gibt es auch aus dem Hause Apple neue Zahlen. Am 10.07.2013 feierte ihr AppStore fünften Geburtstag. In Sachen App-Downloads wurde bereits knapp zwei Monate zuvor Mitte Mai eine neue Marke geknackt: Nach nur vier Monaten wurde die nächste zehn Milliarden-Grenze erreicht und Apple verzeichnet nun mittlerweile über 50 Milliarden App Downloads (im Januar 2013 meldete das Unternehmen 40 Milliarden heruntergeladene Apps). Jedoch ist die Konkurrenz zum selben Zeitpunkt mit 48 Milliarden Downloads im Google Play Store nicht allzu fern.

Mehr dazu auf internetworld.de.

Für iOS gibt es aktuell rund 900.000 Anwendungen. Die Welt berechnete in ihrem Geburtstags-Artikel, dass pro Sekunde 800 Apps auf die Smartphones dieser Welt geladen werden.

Doch was sind unter dieser Vielzahl wohl die beliebtesten Anwendungen der deutschen iPhone-Nutzer? Dies beantwortet Statista mit den jüngst veröffentlichten Top20 – ist eure Lieblings-App dabei?

Den ganzen Artikel könnt ihr ebenfalls hier einsehen: Link (scout24.de)

SMBR Author: Conny

Brand manager are in a quite tricky situation at the moment: They need to take the risk to push their brand through a sea of overcrowded information without getting their brand drown. The challenge for most of the marketers is that they do not know their route to the harbour.

In reality this can be described as the trade off between the creation of so called social buzz and the publishing of marketing content which fits the brand identity closely.

SMBR - Alexwjonke.com

SMBR – Alexwjonke.com

First serious scientific publications on social media marketing can be dated on 2006. But still the topic has not reached the C-Level completely. We are in times where “brand community” (Muniz, 2011) describes the latest step in the evolution of brand management (Heding et al, 2009). The focus is not any longer solely on the sender or the receiver itself, but rather on the interaction of both. Nevertheless social media marketing seems still risky to business and even to marketing departments of big firms. Maybe for the reason of not knowing how long the current landscape of social media networks will sustain – in fact it’s a volatile game to settle a long-term communication strategy – but this cannot be the reason to leverage the crowd of late movers: Social media impacts our businesses whether the brand managers are controlling the communication or not. We better understand which risks and which benefits we gain from it.

In a study run by KPMG in 2011, certain risks have been evaluated by leading automotive CIOs. These have been among others the loss of internal knowledge, protection of sensitive data and against negative content, and others. In articles like “branded in social media networks – what are the risks?“ SMBR conducted an analysis of the different risks that might affect the brand through social media marketing from a user perspective. The above stated results show the current status of this article.

In the end, each risk category might brush brand reputation. So responsible marketers often ask themselves about the benefits of their social media marketing efforts – is it even worth it? Due to an exponential development of technology (big data) in the last decade, and the fact that controlled interaction seems to be such a noble good, marketers strive to take the chance of understanding their customers without even knowing their names – and social media is helping them to achieve it.

In fact, there are multiple ways of structuring a social media strategy – not every social footprint requires exorbitant amount of money and human resources – there are smart ways to handle it without them. Let’s take Coca Cola for instance: a global player in business that disables the functionality of user generated content on their facebook page – but, is this clever or risky?

In discussing these two ends we soon get to the point where we need to start the p/l statement for our brand individually, because each brand needs different actions to achieve their social media target. Like back in the days of Keller and Aaker, the journey starts with looking at the brand identity. From this company core asset, you can consider the pros and cons, and thou their potential profits and losses. In the following SMBR presents 5 categories you should include in your social media brand’s Profit & Loss statement:

  • Values: Check your company values that are applicable to your customer – are these fitting with a lax humour and small talk conversations? If not, your range of topics might narrow sooner than expected.
  • Implementation: is your company good in IT support and technological background? The higher you score here, the more convenient it will be for you to create individual support solutions for scheduling, maintaining and monitoring your data in the social web.
  • Customer Relationship: Check your general customer relationship and try to evaluate the measure of communication intensity you may interact with your customer in social media. An intensity-gap may estrange your current brand identity.
  • Organisation: how strong is the social media strategy perceived and anchored in your company’s top management? The more the better you can face complex obstacles like the compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Flexibility: how much flexibility does your company provide to its employees? These may affect internal guidelines as much as the allocation of resources to implement the social media strategy.

Use these categories to start your social media P/L statement. The conclusion of this work should not be to avoid implementing a social media strategy.

Instead it should guide you to a more company tailored target which you can achieve  successfully then!

Good Luck!

SMBR authorAlex

This week we received more than 1500 likes on our Facebook page of Social Media Brand Review

alexwjonke.com

We are explicitly happy and appreciate your interest on social media brand management!
We can be quite open to you here – we share your interests and accept the challenge to keep you happy as well!

Further, we welcome additional authors on SMBR to challenge our mission and continue the SMBR Story. So say hi to Laura and Christian! Both have different focus areas that fit quite well in the SMBR culture.

Check out their profiles on the SMBR‘s authors site.

Once a night when we were in deep discussions about SMBR’s “Battle of the brands” my friend fabin asked me: Why is this useless hashtag-trend used in facebook so often? And although it was long before Facebook added this specific twitter functionality to its own system, he was kind of right: A trend was born to hashtag each single word of a comment, regardless to its further usage or sense.

#Overrated?

Of course one can argument that the early adopters of the  hashtag trend in facebook were using scheduler-tools (like hootsuite, buffer and others) that combined facebook and twitter messages – but let’s stick to this later in this SMBR Social Media Governance contribution. At least the second adopters in this trend have been driven by this trend and used it inflationary. This became so popular, that it even entered the world of comedy which the video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show us:

Advantages for markters?

In order to understand the advantages of the hashtag functionality for marketers, we need to take a look at the origin usage of it: twitter. Like no other social network, twitter shows an overcrowded information flow in its general stream. The reason for this can be seen in three certain facts:

  • the limited amount of text and
  • the amount of user,
  • as well as the combination of both influencing the user behaviour to tweet more often than others.

To improve the convenience for the user, the hashtag functionality was added and accelerated the search of content immediately. In 2013 facebook adapted this functionality and made it applicable for web and app usage of its services. Ok, information transparency as an advantage makes sense. But doesn’t this benefit also provide the search functionality of each social media network?

Here is a SMBR summary of common ground why this is more than just searching functionality:

#-functionality creates value because…

  • …it offers you the entire information labled with the certain “#” by members of your tribe in a chronological order.
  • …you can create your own stream to a certain topic in monitoring tools like hootsuite, e.g. and reduce the social buzz in your general streams/feeds.
  • …you get to know your peer group better: comparing the amount of your posts and the ones of other marketers who are using the same hashtag, provides you the opportunity to benchmark your content and publishing frequency against them.
  • …you reach your customer more exclusive: user that are aware of the functionality are gathering your information dominant to others as these might be filtered out by the hashtag.
  • …you can use multiple apps and web services to create one single newsfeed in social media networks: you already can combine e.g. instagramms, foursquare check-ins and facebook status on your pin board. But, with the hashtag you may include also other storytellers to contribute and start a multi-sourced information feed.

Do you see other advantages in your personal way of working with social media? Let SMBR know. Futrther SMBR wants to know how your usage behaviour of the hashtag functionality looks like – vote in the following SMBR poll for it:

#Conclusion

Concluding this post’s message, one could say: use the hashtag, but use it wisely!

Otherwise your brand reputation and the content of your campaign may soon be affected negativley which results in a huge risk to your social media work.

SMBR author: Alex

In June, we had a very interactive SMBR Battle of the brands exchanging about the social media presence of the two champions league finalists BVB and FC Bayern Munich. In this week’s SMBR article we want to focus on the start of the UEFA Champions Leauge season: What has changed since last season during the summer? Who is the leading brand in the social web of this years teams? And what are the secrets of brandmanagement in the football industry?

UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League

What has changed?

At the end of last season SMBR noticed the difference between the two teams concerning their followers on facebook and twitter. Since then, FC Bayern has reached 8,1 mio., and Borussia Dortmund 3,6 mio. follower on facebook. Comparing the monthly groth rates before and since the Champions Leauge final, one can say that both teams have profited from their final in terms of brand awareness in the social web. The ranks of both seem to remain the same, although the SMBR study has revealed a completely different result in terms of brand perception in the social web.

SMBR Survey FCB VS BVB

Nevertheless when comparing these scores also to the UCL competitors they seem quite realistic: two Spanish teams and one English team, are setting the benchmark concerning their brand awareness and followers on facebook: FC Barcelona (44,64 mio.), followed by Real Madrid (41,65 mio) and Manchester United (35 mio) are all in the top field in terms of the amount of follower on facebook. After these three teams, a huge gap separates the next field of competitors, leaded by Arsenal FC (14 mio.), Galatasaray (8,47 mio.), FC Bayern Munich (8,1 mio.), Manchester City (6 mio.) and Borussia Dortmund with 3,5 mio. follower. All other teams of the top ten social media brands are beyond the threshold of 1 mio. user.

SMBR Battle of the Brands

Infographic CL Leaugue Ranking by facebook likes

What are the social media secrets of the footbal industry?

How influencing these social indications on the brand strength of the different clubs are in reality can be seen when comparing the figures with their total value of football brands. The following ranks display the different teams concerning their total brand strength measured by FORBES:

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mlm45eigjk/5-bayern-munich-3/

Beside the seasonal performance of the teams, one reason for strong brand equity can be of course the amount of time a brand is actively using social media as marketing channel. Further reason might also be language issues which increases the audience in following a brand. Nevertheless, Galatasaray is a brand that contradicts both, the language issues and the amount of time.

So of course it is now up to you SMBR followers – Which UEFA Champions League team has the most social media influence on your perception?

SMBR Author: Alex

SMBR Best Practice Example: “Share a Coke with…” Campaign
Brand: Coca Cola
Website example: http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/share-a-coke/share-a-coke.html

Even thou this campaign is not really new up to this date, it is the first article on Social Media Governance after SMBR summer holidays. And there is a reason for it – because this campaign followed us through all cities and countries in which the SMBR team spent its holidays. Worth an article, we thought.

What is the campaign about?
This campaign was launched in Spring 2013, across Europe with a really huge success. Instead of the coca cola logo, well known with for its strong image and brand heritage, country typical male and female names are printed on the bottles. The campaign is communicated in several channels: print, tv, and social media like Facebook or twitter.

Why is this campaign so successful?
The reason for it is simple: this campaign is the most integrated, innovative and intuitive campaign, I ever saw. It intertwines the different communication channels and especially the channels of social media, because it sets a stimulus to the customer to become and brand ambassador by itself.

This is what happens to the customer:
First, customer see the ad/product with different names, they try to check if one is showing a familiar name on it and get attracted. In case that the customer found additional familiar names, he tends to buy more/all of them, instead of priveleging one over the other. Think of the mother who buys coke for her kids, she won’t just choose the bottle with the name of her boy, but also the one with the name of her girl. Through this step, an strong emotional benefit is generated for the customer.
In reaction to buying decisions or printed ads, people start taking pictures of the ads, or the products. They send it across facebook or twitter to let the ones, whose names are placed on the bottle, know that the are thinking of them. Through this step, the so called self expressive customer benefit gets achieved – getting awareness, likes, shares, and so on.

Social Media Focus:
Coca Cola even made through the hashtag #shareacokewitth a smart bundling of the access to their real brand awareness and to the customer reactions on this campaign in social media. To me this is a very smart way to measure the social buzz and the success of the campaign.

My personal experience:
I really liked the idea of sharing…especially if you know somebody whose name is on the coke you will post a picture on Facebook or send it with what’s app. It happened already to me when I had a coke with “share a coke with your sister”. I sent her the picture and she felt quite happy for the reason of thinking of her and saying “hi”. Nearly as logical consequence, she felt also to have a coke and bought one right away. Also with other friends or relatives, I shared pictures and enjoyed it each time when I received one.

But there are also critical voices out there. I had a conversation with a good friend of mine, who seemed a little bit undecided about the sustainable depth of the campaign. Further there are several articles and blogs out there naming different countries in which people claim that certain names have been ignored.

So of course SMBR wants to know your opinion. Is this campaign a genius “2.0” campaign or is it complete nonsense which costs to much to produce?

SMBR Author: Alex

Welcome back SMBR follower!

Summer is nearly over, and so is our SMBR summer vacation.

Since this week we are again working heavily on new and fantastic articles about social media governance and about some new battle of the brands.

During holiday, we gathered some new ideas on the SMBR site, so stay tuned to get the innovation right in time. Some ideas have already been implemented:

We have reworked our SMBR services page, click here.

we have updated the SMBR About, click here.

And finally you can find SMBR now also on Facebook: click here.

The complete SMBR team wants explicitly thank all of you for their positive feedback and for the fantastic input we have received for this blog!

We are looking forward to keep you excited!

Battle of the brands - drivenow vs. car2go

This week on the battle of the brands, it is up to car sharing. Thou it is not a new service of future mobility, the market of car sharing supplier is getting already quite narrow. Just this summer the company “car2go” entered especially cities in the German market with some remarkable campaigns.

Before June, there have been solely a few provider of car sharing services in Munich: drive now (BMW and MINI), flinkster (Citroen, Mercedes Benz) and in addition a small number of local provider, of which some have already been closed due to the competitive pressure in the market. With car2go a new player is now entering the market in Munich. Like in each market that faces a high competitive pressure, it can be the brand influencing the customer’s preference.

A reason worth for the SMBR to analyze how the brands set up their strategies on their social media marketing in this week’s “Battle of the Brands”. As usual we concentrate on to competitive brands; in this case it will be drive now and the competitor from Daimler car2go.

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drivenow adheres several advantages in Munich due to their role as local hero. But also in further cities like Palo Alto, Berlin, Düsseldorf, the concept is successfully implemented. When trying to find different profiles on twitter or facebook for the respective cities, one can search quite long – there is only one central profile and one for drivenow USA. A complete opposite social media strategy is following car2go hence: For each city in which the car sharing service is available, a single twitter and facebook account exists. In total car2go is offering car sharing in over 10 cities in the US and since this year in German cities like Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart and Ulm.

When comparing the brand awareness on facebook and twitter between the central accounts of both companies, it becomes very clear without any calculations, that car2go is winning the race over drivenow. Drivenow is counting under 1700 follower on twitter and even less on facebook compared to car2go which counts over 5000 follower on the central twitter profil (the local adapted accounts are even higher e.g. @Car2govancouver with >12k) and over 11.000 on Facebook.

The remarkable notice here might be the different approach of how the brand is presented on social media: the local adaption of car2go seems to spill over likes on the central profile, while the limited awareness of drive now, cannot compete with the total amount of likes and follower of it. To be fair one need to keep in mind the different timeframe both brands are providing their service: car2go offers cars after finishing two pilot projects before 2012 while drivenow started its first pilot in June 2011 in Munich. Further, the effect of the total amount of cities that have been taken into the program might contribute to the brand awareness.

Concluding this week’s battle of the brands, we need to confess when taking it to the social media strategy of both brands, car2go is the clear winner measured by the criteria of brand awareness. Nevertheless, this might not reflect the actual usage behaviour or the customer satisfaction of both services. So you have the chance to state your opinion about this interesting field of future mobility:

In several articles on SMBR we have conducted the tough fight between the different social media teams of a brand, fighting through the forests of metrics and waves of followers and unfollowers.
In this week we want to have a closer look on the organisational aspects of social media teams that are in charge for the appearance of their brand in certain social media networks.

Independent form the amount of networks a brand decides to publish content, it becomes clear that even for a single network an organizational structure has to be defined to be in charge for social media marketing. Authors like Oliver Blanchard describe different methods of starting a new social media channel, e.g. taking over an existing and non-paid page which was run by motivated employees, or starting with using the greenfield approach. For most companies, the journey has just begun after starting one page or account successfully and several further questions arise:

– which social media networks are we entering?
– what is our code of conduct in terms of user generated content, especially customer care – and complaint management?
– what is the frequency of published content by the brand?
– what is the companies target and what are the expectations of the different stakeholder?
– what are the obstacles when entering social media marketing?
– how do we track the success of our social media campaigns?
– and many, many more.

These questions should be posed and answered very crucial by the top management o the company. Consequences of a laissez-faire behaviour by the top management can have a huge impact on the brand reputation.

Very specific when it comes to the questions how large firms handling the gap between local adaptation and central thoughts of brand identity. This thought should be discussed within this article.

When we have a look on SMBR’s different Battles of the brands, we already noticed brands that have a central account for all languages and countries, and some that have one in each country.

Some brands even try to reflect the organisational structures within their social media appearance. So does BMW have an account for the BMW Group, one for each brand, and the most frequent selling subsidiaries of the countries. Others are using also their pre-cut portfolio as leading instrument for social media appearance: so does Renault have one for formula 1, for cars, for electro and so on. So far, so good. But which implication does it have on the brand reputation?

But when comparing the different accounts with some, very limited criteria, it becomes clear that the organisation beyond the brand is not the same. So do frequency, language and tone, used material, and involvement of the customer already indicate a gut feeling for the follower. In a globalized world this might cause some negative effects on the brand itself: from marketing theories we know that integrated marketing is the key to success in a very overcrowded world of information.

Watch out follower because this week it is Burger time on the “Battle of the Brands”!

SMBR- Battle of the Brands
For you a Burger tastes always yummie? Well continue reading and find out why you might not get one so easily at your local Burger King store.

Referring to current announcements, Burger King is facing a hard fight to stay competitive with Mc Donald’s. The announcements states the general strategy of a central cost cutting plan as reason for a decrease of stores, losses of quality and decreasing image reputation. We assume this information as interesting enough to take the both brands to the “Battle of the Brands” on Social Media Brand Review!

The metrics state an interesting result on the above mentioned strategy. In contrast to the expectation, the social media appearance of the both brands on facebook is not reflecting the loss of image reputation: Burger King is leading the race, with nearly twice the amount of likes than the brand of Mc Donald’s. Analyzing these numbers in detail it can be assumed that Burger King has an average amount of 199.158 likes per month and 6.639 per day. Compared to Mc Donald’s this Burger King is taking a 64 % share of the likes between the both brands.

In regard of the development the figures in the last two years, Mc Donald’s shows a really steady increase of likes. Burger King instead, had a harsh raise from January to July 2012, but could not keep the high growth rates in 2013. With an average difference of 88069 likes per month, Burger King shows still an impressive distance to the competitor which they have missed to catch in terms of sales in the past years. But still, when regarding the trend of the both regressions, it could be estimated that Mc Donald’s is narrowing this distance in the upcoming months.

SMBR - Battle of the Brands

Comparison between Burger King and Mc Donald’s on facebook and twitter.

Compared to twitter, the metrics do indicate then an expected result: Burger King counts a total of 217.380 followers, compared to Mc Donald’s with and 1.399.276 which provides an really small share of 13 % for Burger King. Isn’t this odd? What might be the reason for such imbalanced strategies of social media?

We have conducted a list of reasons why these results are so different give us your vote and state your reason for this miracle:

In part 1 of “Branded in Social Media Networks“, I have concluded that beside benefits of social media marketing some effects must create an enormous threat or potential risks to the global brand manager.

At the end of the day the brand manager needs to decide which side of the balance sheet is counting for more: the profit or the loss? To find a solution for this miracle on SMBR in this week, we illuminate the risks right away:

So, whether you are private person, a B2B company or whether you have experience with an end customer – what are the risks you and your brand have faced on social media? Go ahead and give it a quick vote on the following poll:

 

 

Having a brief review of this year’s car shows, it becomes clear that electro mobility is facing a small decrease in terms of production and market demand. General Motors (GM) is pausing its production of the Chevrolet VOLT for a couple of weeks, and also the other electro cars and its companies cannot impress the visitor with its model (Source: SZ). But, two car makers of the premium class in specific do not contribute to this development: Tesla and BMWi.

Click to expand

Electromobility: Facebook Likes per Brand (July 2013).

Tesla Motors is one of the first US car makers that bring electro mobility on the road: they have already several models using solely electro mobility concepts: the roadster, the model X and the model S, which is the first model on sale since June 2012. Since its sale, the model S has received some good marks in several different categories and test-institutes (e.g. Consumer reports, 2013). This 5+2 seater can speed up to 200 km/h, with a range of up to 480 km, and an acceleration of 0 to 100km/h in 4,4 seconds depending on the battery in use (Source: Tesla). The in Palo Alto based company has planned to deliver at least 500 cars to Europe starting in the mid of 2013 – all cars are designed and produced in California. The official prices for the model starts at 71400€ (Source: Tesla). In contrast to the Nissan Leaf or the Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt, the model S may be due to its design competing with models of the premium class such as BMW, Mercedes Benz or Audi. Using a very similar construction approach as the BMWi series, we compare the model S this time on “The battle of the brands” with the BMWi models.

BMWi is planning to sale their first cars on autumn 2013. There will be two models out in sale this year: the i3 and the i8. Further models (i1 and i5 are planned for the future). The i3 is designed to cover the future needs of driving in cities. The i8 is the premium sport version, using a hybrid drive. To set up the comparison properly we want to have a closer look on both, the i3 and the i8 to cover design and reputation driven influences in this article.

The i3 delivers This 2+2 seater brings up to 224 PS, with a range of 35 km with the electric drive, and an acceleration form 0 to 100km/h in under 5 seconds (Source: BMWi). The “megacity vehicle” i3 will provide enough space for four persons and covers a range of up to 160 km and the coupe version will bring 170 PS to the street (Source: BMWi). The official prices for the model are not communicated yet, but it is assumed that the i3 will definitely lie beyond, and the i8 above the Tesla model S.

When it comes to social media marketing now, we need to draw the comparison back on the level of the (sub) brands. So, in the following comes a brief comparison of the social media metrics of their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Crystal clear, BMWi is taking the lead over Tesla with an enormous amount of follower on as well Facebook (+1049514) as Twitter (+56489).

Monthly Averages per Brand (click to expand)

Monthly Averages per Brand (click to expand)

This is, in a way interesting as Tesla is sitting at the heart of the 2.0/social media world: in Palo Alto. To get an idea how efficient the brand management of the two companies is, we need to have closer look on the timeframe of social media marketing: Both companies joined the social web quite soon: Tesla started its activities on Facebook as well as BMWi in December 2010. The Twitter accounts have been activated at April 2010 (Tesla) and April 2011 (BMWi). Since then, both had a steady increase of their profiles. This creates roughly 31/33 month of activity on Facebook and 27/39 month of activity on Twitter (both BMWi/Tesla). Calculating the average rate of likes on Facebook the result shows again a strong ratio for BMWi: 40919/6642 (BMWi /Tesla). A similar pattern appears for the average amount of follower on Twitter: 5336/2325 (BMWi/Tesla).

Having mentioned that the US car sales began for Tesla in June 2012, it would be interesting to compare the period of 2012 until now. When we have a close look on the metrics on twitter we recognize, that the difference between BMWi and Tesla is starting to decrease: While BMWi had a lead of 60540 followers, the number decreased to 56489 followers. This equals a difference of 7% in 1,5 years. This might not seem a high rate at first glance, but when taking a look on the development of the curve, we recognize that the amount has started to increase exponentially since this year.

Taking the hypothesis of regional influence as granted, the comparison of the account BMWi USA with Tesla would be quite interesting. It could be assumed that the results are rather in similar range than the major brand BMWi. Further it could be assumed that the regional environment of Tesla influences the way social media marketing is processed at Tesla. Hence the results show at least a small win for Tesla: with 18141/7518 followers (Facebook/Twitter) BMWi USA is way beyond the amount of Tesla followers.

What might be the conclusion of this comparison?

  • In the first part we have provided a background of the three models being on sale at the end of this year. We found that there are some similarities between the different products of the two different brands. When it comes to brand management in social media, we were a little bit surprised finding a brand without a single car on the street having higher social media metrics results than a brand that already has started its car sales.
  • Nevertheless, it let us only speculate if there is a regional influence on social media marketing on the two brands. The values of the BMWi USA seem lower than the regional competing ones of Tesla, but as we all know, social media is a global marketing channel – a lot of supporter may be following the general profiles of BMWi. Therefore it can be highly suspected that the spill over effects of the BMW classic brand may provide a more logical explanation for the great difference in the amounts of likes/follower.
  • Further we have seen that the twitter account of Tesla accepted the challenge to take over the number one position. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the near future when BMW has its cars on the street.

So of course you are the one who has the last word in my blog:

The new season of European football is starting in a couple of days, yet a lot of teams are already preparing to fight again for glorious titles, the fame of their fans and the best goals of the months. This year, it will not only be a battle among the teams and their players, it will also be a battle of the brands.

In the recent years European teams have adapted far more marketing experience from the US sports: the leagues are promoted all over the globe, the sponsors even identified the last spot in the stadiums or on the shirts so that the marketers think further what to promote. Finally they have also reached social media. All major European soccer teams do have a respective (mere) presence, but only some use the channel as intensive instrument for brand management. Why? An answer might be found when looking to the UEFA Champions League Final (#UCL Final) this year:

The official twitter account of the UEFA Champions League illustrates the main numbers of their twitter account (@champions league) and its hashtag #UCLFinal. The teams that profitted the most from this initative are the two teams fighting each other in the finals: Borussia Dortmund (BVB) and FC Bayern Munich (FCB).

This battle started way before the final actually began with the battle of the brands. Both brands tried to push their teams and its fans using social media presence. On twitter for instance, the fans were involved, to support their teams by mentioning the hastag #BVBWin or #FCBWin. It was a neat race. But lets have a look on the different sites of the two brands in detail. Here are some facts about the two teams concerning their facebook and twitter accounts: FC Bayern currently counts 7,494 mio. likes, BVB instead only 2,89 million. Also on twitter, FCBayern is leading the race by 439K follower before BVB with 388 follower.

When comparing the metrics from the week of the final (using wildfire, by google), we do see a very interesting developement. Compared with the amount of likes on May 20th, 2013 (7,089 mio.) the number rose by 177K likes until May 28th, 2013. BVB instead just increased their likes from 2,58 mio. to 2,708 mio., which is an increased value of 128K. Nevertheless the total percentage of the of likes in the final week, to the amount of likes before that week shows a different view: The table suddenly turns and BVB seems to take over the lead (BVB 5%, FCB 2%). A similar scenario appears when comparing the two official twitter accounts: both increase the amount of their followers by 14 %, with FCB taking the lead, because of a majority of followers at the begin of the week (35K).

But! There is still room for improvement. Let’s have a closer look on the different ways the two teams attacked each other using communciation and social media marketing.

FCB has developped a slogan for their campaign: #packmas: This slogan was consequently used to combine the print and outside advertisement with the virtual social media marketing. A link that was also forced by BVB: based on the brands major slogan “True love” BVB created a campaign that gathers different motives together combining different advertising forms. On twitter and facebook, the pictures are broadly communicated.

FCB has definitely developed a slogan for their social media campaign that is strongly building a relation with the core values of the brand (#Miasanmia, #packmas). A strong identification of all supporters was increased and the feedback mostly overwhelming. This was also achieved by integrating former top stars and VIPs strongly related to the brand: Hassan Salihamidzic and the local stadium speaker (FCB social Media team) and the FCB legend Franz Beckenbauer were integrated to contribute their content to the campaign. Apparently the missing point is that the campaign launched for the UCL final is definitively followed by user around Europe and some less around the globe. Do they understand “#miasanmia” (and later “#miasanchampions”) or “#packmas”? Both terms are influenced by the Bavarian language and some might assume that not even the people of the north of Germany might understand the meaning if not interested in football. Nevertheless one needs to agree that the social media team of FCB stayed true to their core values of the brand.

BVB instead used a more international form for their social media campaign: #fairytail. This formulation was a smarter choice, for two reasons: first, it underlined the psychological position of the “underdog”, which was strengthened by the coach, and secondly it increased the Even people who might not have been real fans, but rather noticed from the edge of the football festival, were probalby laughing about the seat reservation using a BVB towel or showing a modified album cover of the beatles. This campaign enriched the core values of BVB’s brand identity “true love”. Nevertheless, the slogan “true love” was perceived to be less integrated in social media channels than in the official merchandise or classic advertisement channels, which have been set up with creative effort. Further, the gap between print/outside advertisement (truelove/from dortmund with love) felt often far away from the social media channels: pictures have been communciated quite often, but a direct link form outside ads was solely missing on the motives.

Future Outlook and hypothesis:

Both strategies had brilliant elements, we loved to explore in our tweetlists or facebook sites. Both teams made a huge step in the direction of socialmedia marketing. But at the end of the day, one needs to confess that both have not reached the end of the road for social media and cross channel marketing yet.

It seems that the Football Clubs’ brand manager have just jumped on the train for social media marketing and might need to improve their concept of integrated marketing during the next season. Nevertheless, as fans we do not criticize you too much Mr. & Mrs brand managers! Please overwhelm us again with the thousands of emotions and impressions from the teams we passionate so much!

What do you think? Which brand has stronger influence on you as a brand in social media?

Follow this blog to remain up to date in the battle of the football brands in the upcoming season!

The automotive sector is using social media quite frequently. Especially premium car seller like Audi, BMW, Ford or Toyota are represented not only by company owned pages. Most brands are represented in one or more social media network (e.g. facebook, twitter, Linkedin etc.) to provide customer with their latest information and emotion of their brand. Brand manager using social and psychological techniques to influence the customers perception differently: Some posts are for fun, some are embedded in a strategic and streamlined marketing purposes. Let’s have a closer look on their engagements this week.

Life is getting fast but social media is still faster – therefore this recurring post should offer the possibility to have consolidated retrospective about the most frequent discussed but most stickiest posts of the week.

  • Using “meetup“, BMWi Ventures invited entrepreneurs, investors, developers and mobility enthusiast to New York City. It was promised an evening of live demos, discussions and networking. Check out the responses at the following link: BMW Ventures – meetup
  • Volkswagen (VW) announced the new advertisement of the new VW Beetle. Find the new video on youtube.
  • Mille Miglia took place in Italy. Watch out some nice impressions found on youtube.

Your favourite posts from the automotive brands on social media this week are missing above? Let me know and share your posts in the comment.

It is nothing new that social media is getting more interesting for businesses, the better businesses learn how to use a social media network like Twitter or Facebook. A specific factor that still keeps CEOs away from publishing on social media is the unexpected risks that may occur with their decision to run a social media strategy.

But, isn’t it interesting to see which different behaviours of brands and their brand manager are occurring even among mass media channels? Advertising in TV or radio is already perceived as old fashioned, but does not too much differ in the idea how to advertise in a mass communication channel – and so does the usage of advertising among social media networks.

Concluding my thought, I hypothese that among the possibilities of each user being able to create content (user generated content),  there must be some effects, leveraging an enormous threat of potential risks in the minds of the global brand managers.

What do you think? Is it this easy to ad, or is social media a channel which needs a complex pattern of social and psychological techniques to consider all possible risk, that may be occurring through network effects? What are the risks, brand manager have to face on social media? What are the threats that hamper the manager to run an integrated, social media strategy that is consistent across the globe?

I am so looking forward to your answers!

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