This week’s social media links

From the Zazoo blog:

Here are a few interesting stories about social media that have been published in the past few days:

Social Media Benchmarks: Realities and Myths

“….many clients still ask about benchmarks. They ask, ‘What are good CTRs, CPCs, CPMs, etc. so I know how my programs stack up?’ Well, there’s good reason those benchmarks are hard to find. Lacking a reliable source, I ran my own analysis over the last three years and came up with many eye-opening results…”

Australian Social Media Statistics Compendium

“With so many new social sites emerging it is very important for marketers to have Australian specific intelligence to determine which channels are the most attractive to pursue as part of your marketing strategy….”

How Accurately Can You Gauge the ROI of Social Media Tactics?

“Marketers are under constant pressure to measure everything they do. The result is often a default to tactics that are more easily and accurately measureable, regardless of their effectiveness. This is especially true in social media marketing which often requires qualitative measurement rather than quantitative metrics that are more familiar to online marketers….”

Online Marketing’s Evolution

“What’s the future of interactive advertising? Executives from interactive agencies and marketing technology tech companies tried to answer that question at two conferences this week in New York City. Discussions ranged from the challenges of working in social media, risks for agencies in using pay-for-performance models, one online marketing sector that’s thriving, and’s crowdsourcing initiative. Here are some takeaways….”

Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium, Report Likens Twitter To TiVo: More Hype Than Reality

“Social media has reached critical mass, with 83% of the Internet population now using it… But for all the media industry’s hype and buzz surrounding social networks, microblogs, and other social networking platforms, the genre has failed to become much of a marketing medium, and in the opinion of the Knowledge Networks’ analysts, likely never will. The report, “How People Use Social Media,” finds that social media is having a profound impact on the way people connect with each other, but that it’s not becoming a very meaningful way for people to connect with brands, or advertising promoting brands….”

The Social Data Revolution(s)

“In 2009, more data will be generated by individuals than in the entire history of mankind through 2008. Information overload is more serious than ever. What are the implications for marketing?….”



An e-health model for Australia?

CNET has published a long analysis of Google and Microsoft’s efforts at dominating the e-health market in the US. Apparently, the two technology giants, at war on so many fronts, are having a love fest when it comes to e-health.

An excerpt from the article: “‘I love Google Health,’ said Sean Nolan, the chief architect of Microsoft’s HealthVault service. ‘What they are trying to do is a good thing…We are in the same boat. We’re not really fighting with these guys. We’re all trying to make it work.’

“The love, apparently, is mutual. ‘I think it is critically important that there is more than one company trying to do this. (Personal health records) are very hard to get right,’ Google Health product manager Roni Zeiger said. ‘We certainly haven’t done so yet.'”

Hunh? What’s this about? Apparently they have a few common enemies in this territory. “Perhaps mutual interest comes before brass-knuckled competition. Google and Microsoft face many of the same issues–privacy, bureaucracy, and technological intransigence in the health industry–as they attempt to put their own spin on e-health.”

Read the full article for a detailed look at all the issues raised by Health Vault, Google Health and all their competitors.

Community building: Do customers want another social network?

Reprinted from the Zazoo blog:

With the recent explosion in Facebook and Twitter use (the media hype and recent stats are backed up by anecdotal evidence such as the stream of high school and uni friends that have discovered me on Facebook and a bevy of would-be porn stars following me on Twitter), it’s inevitable that some pundits are starting to ask if we’re reaching social media overload.

Judy Shapiro, writing in Ad Age, writes that, “We use our different social networks to enrich different dimensions of our lives. Therefore, as you would expect, we want different things from our different social networks…. This is the heart of the problem. As marketers, our knee-jerk reaction to every community we create is to motivate members to create rich and robust profiles of themselves so they can connect with each other in new and powerful ways. While this approach may be desirable to us as marketers, it may not be best for consumers. We need to be mindful and respectful of the realities our customers live in and the truth is that managing all these social profiles is none too easy, the technology and tools notwithstanding.”

She suggests marketers take a close look at their community-building strategies, asking “Are we being practical about what we expect users to reveal about themselves in our communities? Is our community a hub where users will congregate regularly, where rich profiles are of value or are we creating a secondary ’spoke’ community meant to address narrow or temporary niche needs? In short, as marketers do we demand that users create too many profiles in all our community-building programs?”

The Harvard Business Review has also discussed this issue recently, recommending that companies treat communities as a high-level business strategy that is integrated across business functions, rather than just being the domain of the marketing department. A Facebook group or a Twitter account is not good enough.

The HBR authors advise that companies shouldn’t try to control communities, and should view online networks as just a tool for community building, not an entire strategy. In other words, get out there and meet people face-to-face rather than just via the Internet.

It concludes: “Although any brand can benefit from a community strategy, not every company can pull it off. Executing community requires an organization-wide commitment and a willingness to work across functional boundaries. It takes the boldness to reexamine everything from company values to organizational
design. And it takes the fortitude to meet people on their own terms, cede control, and accept conflict as part of the package”

Anyone up for the challenge?