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Research: How to Drive Engagement Through Social Media 2014

IDG Connect 0811 Research: How to Drive Engagement Through Social Media 2014

In January 2006 Twitter didn’t exist, blogging was mocked, and Facebook was for students. Over the following five years social media took off, but still many people questioned the importance of social networks in the B2B space. Now in 2014, its usefulness has been proven over and over again and it continues to gain momentum. In fact, as content marketing gradually grows in importance, social media is playing an even more significant role.

Summary

New research conducted in November 2013 by IDG Connect shows that 86% of B2B Information Technology (IT) buyers are currently using
social media networks in their purchase decision process. Social media is not only important for companies, but it is now a necessary investment and crucial element of any go-to-market strategies. And findings suggest this is only set to increase over the next couple of years.

  • 86% of IT buyers are using social media networks and content in their purchase decision process
  • Social media is used most often in the general education stage of the buying cycle
  • 89% of IT buyers prefer educational content to promotional content in their favored social media channels
  • 62% of IT buyers are most interested in seeing e-seminars (virtual events) from social channels
  • Product/Service reviews are the content types that IT buyers prefer to see links from via social channels
  • In two years, social, peer-generated content will have greater weight versus editorial and vendor content in making IT investment decisions

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Screen Shot 2014 01 13 at 4.39.11 PM Research: How to Drive Engagement Through Social Media 2014

Facebook will be mostly video in 5 years, Zuckerberg says

IDG News Service

If you think your Facebook feed has a lot of video now, just wait.

“In five years, most of [Facebook] will be video,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday during the company’s first community town hall, in which he took questions from the public on a range of topics.

He was responding to a question about whether the growing number of photos uploaded to Facebook is putting a drag on its infrastructure. But Facebook’s data centers have it covered, he said. The real challenge is improving the infrastructure to allow for more rich media like video in people’s feeds.

Zuckerberg took questions from a group of users who were invited to its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and people also submitted questions online.

One of the most popular online question was why Facebook forced users to download its Messenger app for mobile.

The 30-year-old acknowledged not everyone was thrilled with the change.

“Asking everyone in our community to install another app is a big ask,” he said. But Facebook thought it could provide a better, faster messaging product if it split it off from its own app.

“We really believe this is a better experience,” Zuckerberg said.

One user in the audience asked him if Facebook is losing its charm or becoming boring.

The question of Facebook losing its “cool” gets raised from time to time, Zuckerberg said, but “my goal was never to make Facebook cool,” he said. Instead, he wants it to be a helpful service that just works.

Another asked why he always seems wear the same t-shirts and hoodies. Zuckerberg said he wants to spend as much time as possible on things that matter, like how to build products, even if it means thinking less about what he wears.

“Steve Jobs had the same approach,” he said.

View the original article and related links… 

Inbox, Paper, And Sway: Why Tech Giants Are Suddenly Reinventing Their Core Apps

Fast Company

If you look through the App Store reviews for Facebook Paper, it doesn’t take long to find the recurring theme.

“So much better than the main Facebook app,” one user wrote.

“It is light years ahead of the standard Facebook app and everyone that can should delete the native app and use this one,” wrote another.

A third user was blunt: “Facebook should strongly consider making Paper its official iOS app instead of the awful main app.”

With Paper, Facebook has effectively rebooted its core News Feed product on the iPhone. Although Paper is built largely around the same photos and status updates you get from Facebook’s main app, it doesn’t feel like something that was merely retrofitted to the phone. It emphasizes large photos and swipe gestures, and lets you add general news sections for when you need a break from your friends. It could easily stand in for the main Facebook experience, even if it doesn’t have all the same features.

Facebook isn’t alone. Last week, Google announced Inbox, which is built around Gmail but with a different approach to displaying and handling messages. Instead of showing every email in reverse-chronological order, Inbox intelligently sorts messages into groups like “Travel” and “Purchases,” and in a nod to Dropbox’s Mailbox, lets you snooze or pin important emails for later.

On October 1, Microsoft revealed Sway, a modern take on presentations with an emphasis on style and ease of use. Whereas PowerPoint makes you obsess over every line and transition, Sway does all the heavy lifting automatically, and it’s designed to be just usable on phones as it is in a web browser.

While I hate to pull the old “three is a trend” journalist hat trick, it seems like more than a coincidence when Google, Facebook, and Microsoft reinvent core apps in such close proximity. And when you look closer at the motivations and goals of each project, there’s more than just a little overlap.

Read on…

Credibility of mainstream news media fares better among mobile media users

RJI Mobile Media Research Project

Mobile media users are more likely than nonusers to give higher credibility rankings to national newspapers and most other mainstream news media (see charts 9.8 and 9.9), according to the latest mobile media news consumption survey from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). They also tend to place greater importance on getting news every day and on the source of news (see charts 9.19 and 9.20).

Women also were found to be more likely than men to give most mainstream news media higher credibility rankings (see charts 9.7 and 9.6), and to want news every day and value the source of news (see charts 9.18 and 9.17).

Participants in the 18-34 age group gave national newspapers the highest credibility ranking (see chart 9.3), but placed a lower importance on getting the news every day and on the source of news than participants in the older age groups. They also indicated that they were somewhat less inclined to prefer news stories produced and selected by professional journalists (see chart 9.14).

Survey participants who did not use mobile media or subscribe to newspapers were the least likely to disagree with the statement: “News is news; it doesn’t matter to me who produced it” (see charts 9.20 and 9.23).

Social media networks — Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. — were considered less credible than mainstream news sources by a majority of participants (see chart 9.2), even among those who said they read news found on social media (see chart 9.10).

Given the much higher average credibility rankings for mainstream news sources — often referenced by users of social media — the less credible ranking probably relates more to the individual comments made by social media users and the embedded links to alternative news sources, such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

Read on…

Snapchat rolls out non-‘creepy’ ads that still might get creepy

ComputerWorld

Ads are officially coming to Snapchat, in a form the company says is not “targeted,” but Snapchat’s own terms of service suggest it could do something very much like that.

The first ad will appear this weekend in the U.S., in the “recent updates” section of the app. That means it won’t be pushed to users like a personal message, and users can choose whether to open it or not. It will disappear after it is viewed or within 24 hours, the same way the “Stories” feature works, the company said Friday in a blog post.

The company did not say who the first advertiser would be, and a spokeswoman declined to comment further.

How Snapchat will determine which ads to show users is not clear. The company said its ads would not be “creepy” or “targeted,” probably an allusion to Facebook or Google. However, the best ads should promote “stuff that actually interests you,” Snapchat said in its announcement.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the company will use any information about users to choose ads for them. But Snapchat does have a decent pot of data on some users that might be employed for targeting ads, even if the company doesn’t like the word “targeted.” According to its own terms of service, with users’ consent, Snapchat may collect users’ location data and information collected by cookie files and other tracking technologies.

Read on…

IDG’s Social Media Marketing Success Story

Media Shepard

IDG worked with Samsung late last year to promote the company’s 10.1 Galaxy Note tablet. For Samsung, the goals were clear: promote the product during the holiday season in order to reach the campaign’s target business audience. IDG’s job was to leverage its industry contacts and brand following to create awareness and engagement.

That job fell to Colin Browning, marketing services director at IDG, who heads the Performance Marketing group within IDG Strategic Marketing Services. Browning’s team is responsible for the implementation, management, analysis, and optimization of social media and lead generation programs for clients.

mediaShepherd asked Browning to explain how IDG designed and implemented an effective B2B social media campaign: platforms used, specific approaches, goals, strategies and results.

mediaShepherd: What were the goals of the campaign? How were you defining “success” both for your client and IDG?

Colin Browning: The overall campaign goal was to increase the IT leadership’s awareness of Samsung’s new 10.1 inch tablet as a superior device for use in the workplace. For the social component we wanted to get the target audience discussing the broader advantages and flexibility of tablets while including Samsung’s messaging.

mS: There is often a fine line between promotional and valuable content, especially with custom marketing campaigns. How did you ensure that you would be pushing out valuable content to your audiences to facilitate real engagement? (Did the survey(s) you conducted play a role in this?)

CB: The program content, including the Twitter chat topics, were designed to be thought leadership based. While these are all informative pieces and conversations, they were also aligned to the key value propositions of the Samsung Tablet. This enabled us to have broader audience conversations about the use of the tablet in the workplace and what IT’s needs are, without coming across as overly promotional.

Continue reading…

China’s social media adspend to triple

Warc

HONG KONG: Advertising expenditure on social media in China is forecast to triple over the next five years, overtaking Japan to become the region’s largest market, new figures have shown.

Data from analyst Forrester Research indicate that spending by advertisers in this channel will grow from $535m in 2014 to $1.7bn in 2019. In comparison, spending in Japan will double over the same period, from $864m to $1.6bn.

“Chinese consumers are addicted to social media,” Wang Xiaofeng, Forrester Research analyst, told the South China Morning Post, as she estimated that upwards of 95% of metropolitan internet users were on social networks.

Accordingly, marketers are following them onto the various domestic platforms that have sprung up, although sites such as Sina Weibo, QQ and Renren have been in danger of falling out of fashion as messaging apps like WeChat gain in popularity.

They have reacted with new initiatives and new focus. Thus, for example, Renren made a strategic shift earlier this year to focus on college students and the younger generation, while Weibo looked to integrate itself with TV shows and live events.

Read on…

With New Ad Platform, Facebook Opens Gates to Its Vault of User Data

The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook built itself into the No. 2 digital advertising platform in the world by analyzing the vast amount of data it had on each of its 1.3 billion users to sell individually targeted ads on its social network.

Now it is going to take those targeted ads to the rest of the Internet, mounting its most direct challenge yet to Google, the leader in digital advertising with nearly one-third of the global market.

On Monday, Facebook will roll out a rebuilt ad platform, called Atlas, that will allow marketers to tap its detailed knowledge of its users to direct ads to those people on thousands of other websites and mobile apps.

“We are bringing all of the people-based marketing functions that marketers are used to doing on Facebook and allowing them to do that across the web,” David Jakubowski, the company’s head of advertising technology, said in an interview.

Continue reading…

Africa’s Digital Future Remains Bright Despite Myriad Challenges

IDC PMS4colorversion no shadow 300x98  Africas Digital Future Remains Bright Despite Myriad Challenges

Spurred by increased infrastructural investments, improved connectivity and affordability, positive government interventions, and the spread of mobility, the African digital media landscape is rapidly evolving, according to global IT market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its ‘Assessment and Outlook of the Digital Media Ecosystem in Africa’ report, IDC today said the future remains bright for the continent, although key challenges such as low propensity to pay for applications and content as well as lack of ubiquitous high speed broadband infrastructure continue to hamper progress and will take a while to resolve.

“The digital picture in Africa is changing rapidly,” says Leonard Kore, a research analyst for telecommunications and media at IDC East Africa. “Internet penetration is on the rise, buoyed by increased infrastructure investments, while the landing of undersea fiber-optic cables connecting Africa to the rest of the world has greatly reduced transmission time and costs while increasing bandwidth capacity. Although only an estimated 19% of the continent’s 1 billion population is online, this situation is expected to improve as investments in infrastructure continue to gain momentum; this includes 2G and 3G network infrastructure expansion and fiber to the x (FTTx).”

Mobile usage has had a transformative impact in Africa. Other key factors include the high digital appetite for social media and the impending digital migration, while other sectors such as ecommerce have had a tough time gaining traction. The digital disruption has significantly changed consumer behavior, and service usage patterns have altered as a result, with consumers now seeking devices with intuitive interfaces, content-rich applications, and faster connectivity capabilities as they spend more time online.

Continue reading…

Instagram begins serving ads in the UK

The seven UK advertisers are trialling Instagram’s new “Sponsored” paid-for ad unit to increase the reach of their content on the platform, which now has more than 200 million monthly active users.

The Facebook-owned photo app first began trialling the format in the US in November.

The units are charged on a cost-per-mille basis and brands can currently choose to target audiences by age, gender and geography. A threshold has not yet been set for the number of ads a user is likely to see on any given day, but this is likely to remain minimal as Instagram continues to roll out advertising “deliberately slowly”.

Waitrose was interested in being among the first brands to trial the format because it believes Instagram can help the retailer build on its already-existing “Love Food” brand platform in a highly engaged social environment, Rupert Ellwood, Waitrose head of marketing communications, told Marketing Week.

Read on…