tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/enterprise-social-networking Latest Enterprise social networking content from Econsultancy 2017-05-08T01:00:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69046 2017-05-08T01:00:00+01:00 2017-05-08T01:00:00+01:00 Has WeChat beaten Facebook to the enterprise? Jeff Rajeck <p>Facebook aims to change this with its new service, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/workplace">Workplace by Facebook</a>, which launched in October 2016. The new social network aims to provide companies with a way for its staff to collaborate and form tighter social ties with fellow employees. To see where this all might be headed, it's worthwhile to have a look at what is happening in China. The ultra-popular Chinese messaging platform, <strong>WeChat, has become as much of workplace tool as a social network to many in the country</strong>.</p> <p>One section of an <a href="https://www.chinatechinsights.com/report/21370582.html">April 2017 report</a> by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) focused on how important WeChat has become in the enterprise and how Chinese office workers are using it.</p> <h3>The survey</h3> <p>For the report, CAICT surveyed more than 1,000 WeChat users and 9,000 business account managers using WeChat's integrated survey tool (<a href="http://re.qq.com/">Penguin Intelligence</a>) in March 2017.</p> <p>Here are a few of the findings which offer insights into the future of messaging and the workplace.</p> <h3>1) WeChat is massive in China</h3> <p>For those unfamiliar with the platform, simple usage stats will give you some idea of the scale of the platform. WeChat has 890m monthly active users as of Q4 2016, 28% more than it had Q4 2015. This means that <strong>WeChat will likely hit a billion monthly active users at some point this year.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5799/1.png" alt="" width="800" height="234"></p> <p>While it's unknown how many of those users are outside of China (as there are only an estimated 731m Chinese internet users) it is likely that <strong>nearly everyone on the internet in China is on WeChat.</strong></p> <h3>2) New WeChat contacts are largely work-related</h3> <p>While the percentage of WeChat users with over 200 contacts (43%) has never been higher, interestingly <strong>it seems that people are adding fewer people every month.</strong></p> <p>Of those that are being added, though, <strong>more than half (57%) say that their new contacts are mostly work-related.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5800/2.png" alt="" width="800" height="426"></strong></p> <p>For those at management level the percentage is even higher (74%) indicating that <strong>WeChat-at-work is a phenomenon that is affecting all levels of the enterprise.</strong></p> <h3>3) Almost all WeChat users use it for work</h3> <p>When asked about which work-related actions users had accomplished through WeChat, <strong>fewer than 20% of WeChat users said that they don't work on WeChat at all. </strong>Additionally, more than half (58%) said that they use the platform daily for work-related communications.</p> <p>This figure is backed up, anecdotally, by the FT which <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/a7f851a2-1118-11e6-91da-096d89bd2173">reported last year</a> that "at almost every Chinese workplace, WeChat has become the primary means of communication."</p> <h3>4) More people use WeChat for daily work than email, phones, or any other messaging service</h3> <p>Probably the most surprising finding is that <strong>WeChat is more commonly used as a 'major communication tool' than telephone, SMS, or email.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5802/4.png" alt="" width="800" height="218"></strong></p> <p>Nearly 90% of respondents use WeChat for daily work, demonstrating that the platform has now reached a tipping point and will likely remain dominant.</p> <p>To capitalize on that trend, WeChat launched a 'Slack-like' <a href="https://medium.com/startup-life-in-china/enterprise-wechat-is-not-wechat-enterprise-right-83c18c55ef6a">Enterprise WeChat</a> recently, though there is some skepticism that the platform will be successful – or that it is even necessary.</p> <p>Marketers should still take note of the ubiquity of WeChat at work as reaching a desirable office worker consumer base requires having a presence on WeChat. For more on how to use WeChat for marketing, please refer to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report">Econsultancy's China Digital Report</a>.</p> <h3>5) Enterprise users use WeChat to coordinate tasks and send out notifications</h3> <p>So how exactly do people work on WeChat? As nearly everyone is on the platform, <strong>WeChat is used largely to coordinate tasks and send out notifications</strong>, similar to how office workers worldwide use WhatsApp.</p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5801/3.png" alt="" width="800" height="478"></strong></p> <p>Interestingly, though, a significant number also use WeChat for transactions (38%) and transferring files (33%) which indicate that <strong>the next stage for messaging apps is to become part of the daily workflow, in direct competition with email and websites.</strong></p> <h3>6) Business owners use WeChat for making transactions</h3> <p>For individual proprietors, conducting transactions on the platform has become even more important. <strong>Half of all small business owners surveyed use WeChat for commerce</strong>, more than even use it for coordination or notifications.</p> <p>This is one example of how WeChat differs from its Western counterparts. Facebook only launched payments via messenger in April 2016 and a payments feature was only added to chatbots in September. While Facebook is arguably launching into a larger base, it has a lot of catching up to do in this area.</p> <h3>7) Many join large groups for corporate internal communications</h3> <p>Another interesting new behaviour is that <strong>office workers join large (100+) chat groups in order to keep up on corporate internal communications.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5803/5.png" alt="" width="800" height="216"></strong></p> <p>While in the West company announcements are made via email, in China it seems 40% of respondents report that <strong>companies and large teams use WeChat for large scale notifications.</strong></p> <p>Also interesting to note is that<strong> over one in three (34%) use WeChat as a way to network professionally,</strong> which may explain LinkedIn's struggle to match its success elsewhere.</p> <h3>8) Most Chinese office workers find WeChat 'helpful'</h3> <p>Finally, respondents were asked to comment on whether they found WeChat helpful for work. Interestingly, only around one in four (24%) indicated that it was a place to get 'high quality information' and only slightly more (35%) said that it was good way of managing office work from their mobile.</p> <p><strong>But more than four in five (81%) said that WeChat 'offers a useful communication tool' for work</strong>, meaning that nearly all of the 90% who use WeChat regularly for work find value in the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5804/6.png" alt="" width="800" height="234"></p> <p>This is another indicator of the strength that WeChat has in Chinese companies and, perhaps, is the most telling sign that we should expect the same in the West in the future.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>While China lagged the West in online services for many years, it now appears that they are the leading in many areas. With nearly the whole country on a single platform with integrated payments, <strong>China is now pulling ahead by adopting new online behaviours that, until recently, were not even possible in the West.</strong></p> <p>This was initially apparent in how consumers were using the internet, but <strong>it is now true in the enterprise as well.</strong></p> <p>And though it's not likely that Western companies will follow China exactly, marketers should be aware that messaging apps have the potential to displace the communication mediums which may seem to be with us permanently – namely the telephone, email, and even the web.</p> <p>For those who conduct business in China or want to know more about the digital landscape there, we encourage you to download the <a href="https://www.chinatechinsights.com/report/21370582.html">original CAICT report </a>and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-china-digital-report">Econsultancy's China Digital Report</a> as well.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68939 2017-03-28T15:01:42+01:00 2017-03-28T15:01:42+01:00 Five things to know about the possible Twitter subscription service Patricio Robles <p>Here's what you need to know about "Twitter Pro."</p> <h4>1. Twitter is currently researching whether there's enough interest to make a go of it.</h4> <p>First things first: while the possibility of a paid subscription offering is more than rumor – Twitter itself made an announcement – the company says that it's currently conducting research and asking users for feedback, so there's no guarantee that it will move forward with the concept.</p> <h4>2. The offering would likely be an enhanced version of Tweetdeck.</h4> <p>In 2011, Twitter acquired TweetDeck, a Twitter client for iOS and Android that had become the most popular Twitter app in the world. Today, Tweetdeck, which Twitter dubs "the most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement," is most frequently used by power users and celebrities to manage and post to their Twitter accounts.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39376379">According to</a> an email Twitter sent to select users, an enhanced, paid version of Tweetdeck would "provide valuable viewing, posting, and signaling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard.</p> <p>"It will be designed to make it easier than ever to keep up with multiple interests, grow your audience, and see even more great content and information in real-time."</p> <h4>3. Such a paid offering would face stiff competition from third-party solutions.</h4> <p>Although Twitter would obviously be able to add new functionality to Tweetdeck that others can't, those who Twitter would be targeting with its paid offering, including corporate and celebrity social media managers, already often use third-party social media management tools including HootSuite, Buffer, Sprinklr and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.</p> <p>These third-party social media management tools offer support for multiple platforms, making them ideal for users managing accounts across services. Previously, Tweetdeck offered support for other social networks including Facebook, but as of mid-2013, Tweetdeck works exclusively with Twitter.</p> <p>This limitation could present a big challenge for Twitter if it tries to convince existing customers of those third-party tools to pay up for an enhanced version of Tweetdeck.</p> <h4>4. Twitter isn't going to try to get average users to pay.</h4> <p>Not surprisingly, there's no indication that Twitter's paid offering would be aimed at average users, as Twitter would not want to scare off new or casual users with a hard sell for its paid offering. </p> <p>Instead of changing its business model, which is still driven by ad revenue, Twitter is interested in the possibility of adding incremental revenue from pro users.</p> <h4>5. Nobody knows what Twitter might charge.</h4> <p>None of the reports about the paid version of Tweetdeck discuss cost. If Twitter moves forward with a paid service, its direct access to its firehose will give it the ability to add features that might not be available elsewhere, particularly around alerts, analytics and sentiment analysis.</p> <p>On one hand, exclusive features could be extremely valuable, justifying higher pricing, but on the other hand, if more and more of its power users are shifting their resources to competitors like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter might find that the market size for an expensive offering could be increasingly small.</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide/"><em>Social Media Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/social/"><em>Social Media Training Courses</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68548 2016-11-22T16:00:00+00:00 2016-11-22T16:00:00+00:00 Novartis launches a social network for heart failure Patricio Robles <p>It partnered with the American Heart Association and actress/singer Queen Latifah to be a part of their <em>Rise Above Heart Failure</em> initiative, which includes events, media outreach and digital content distributed on the American Heart Association's website.</p> <p>And, last month, it supported a panel discussion broadcast <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68403-pharma-company-novartis-taps-facebook-live-event-to-promote-heart-failure-drugs/">through Facebook Live</a> on World Heart Day that featured Queen Latifah and medical doctor Karol E. Watson, a professor of medicine/cardiology and the co-director of the UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology.</p> <p>Now, Novartis has launched <a href="https://www.togetherinhf.com">a dedicated online social network</a> for heart failure patients and caregivers. <em>Together in HF</em>, which debuted late last month, aims to connect those affected by heart failure, provide heart failure resources and offer content from medical experts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1663/novartissocial.jpg" alt="" width="910" height="430"></p> <p>The social network features dedicated sections for heart failure patients to share their stories and discuss how they live with heart failure. There is also a section for caregivers to interact with each other.</p> <p>Novartis has a team of community managers who oversee the social network, and experts, such as Dr. Bob Hilkert, a cardiologist with Novartis, contribute content.</p> <h3>Facebook isn't always <em>the</em> social network</h3> <p>To launch <em>Together in HF, </em>Novartis teamed up with a number of organizations, including the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, Association of Black Cardiologists, American College of Cardiology and WomenHeart. </p> <p>While companies frequently create communities on existing social platforms, like Facebook, because they come with built-in audiences that can be tapped, Novartis and its partners decided to launch their own social network. Two of the biggest reasons: privacy and control.</p> <p>Registration on <em>Together in HF</em> is open only to individuals located in the United States, content is private and only available to other members. Healthcare practitioners are not permitted to sign up in their capacity as healthcare practitioners; they can register in the capacity of a patient or caregiver.</p> <p>Novartis has established its own set of community guidelines and allows users to delete their accounts at any time, promising that "all [account] information will be removed from the server."</p> <p>Ensuring privacy, establishing and enforcing its own set of policies and maintaining ownership and control of its data are obviously important to any pharma company operating an online community, and these would have been all but impossible to accomplish had Novartis not built its own social network.</p> <p>While the cost of that is certainly higher – <em>Together in HF</em> was two years in the making<em> </em>– Novartis' effort demonstrates that there are use cases for which dedicated, self-hosted online communities are worthwhile investments, particularly in health and medicine.</p> <p>After all, Entresto is expected to generate $200m per year in revenue for Novartis, so building out its own products to support the heart failure community clearly has the potential to deliver a return if those products are well-crafted.</p> <p><strong><em>More on healthcare:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68411-the-doctor-is-always-in-baidu-to-launch-medical-chatbot/">The doctor is always in: Baidu to launch medical chatbot</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68346-new-data-shows-why-digital-is-now-critical-to-pharma/%20">New data shows why digital is now critical to pharma</a> </li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68430 2016-10-25T11:40:37+01:00 2016-10-25T11:40:37+01:00 Social selling: What it is, and what it definitely isn't Maz Nadjm <p>This is just one of the many indications that show how hot of a topic social selling is right now.</p> <p>With so many people talking about social selling and its “powers”, there is also a lot of (often uninformed) noise to cut through.</p> <p>Large conversations usually carry the risk of huge misunderstandings, a little like Chinese whispers.</p> <p>The more people get in contact with soundbites about social selling, the less clear it becomes what this strategy is all about.</p> <p>For instance, it is not uncommon to come across the misconception that social selling is all about blasting product updates and marketing campaigns on social media through sales reps’ personal channels, in the off-chance that one of their connections may be interested in it.</p> <p>Another misconception I have heard more than once is that social selling programmes require a dedicated team of millennial social media gurus and huge budgets to put together ad hoc content packages.</p> <p>Trust me, if that is what you have been told, forget it.</p> <p>Having trained thousands of sales professionals in real social selling best practices, I have come to realise it is needed to take a step back and differentiate between what social selling is and what it definitely isn't.</p> <h3>1. Social selling is a customer-centric way of reimagining sales</h3> <p>Starting with an accepted definition of social selling (in this case, Wikipedia’s) can help in this case:</p> <blockquote> <p>Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process.</p> </blockquote> <p>The key concept here is “developing relationships” with your prospects and existing customers.</p> <p>Through a proper social selling programme, companies can empower their sales teams to become more effective in understanding their clients’ needs and challenges (existing and prospective), and offer products and services they can truly benefit from.</p> <p>When that happens, results follow (a Forbes study found that salespeople using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers).</p> <h3><strong>2. Social selling is the best way to align sales and marketing</strong></h3> <p>As I wrote in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67617-bridging-the-gap-uniting-marketing-and-sales-with-employee-advocacy/">a previous article</a> for Econsultancy, factors like low digital confidence, lack of time and poor quality control are frequently stopping sales teams from engaging effectively on social media with their prospects and clients.</p> <p>But when a social selling programme is in place with a defined framework (from training, to enablement through adequate tools, all the way to performance reviews), what happens can be extraordinary.</p> <p>In one of his articles, Jason Burrows writes that “sales and marketing won’t exist as separate functions in a business. It’ll be the same department.”</p> <p>Without going as far, there is no doubt that an optimised channel of communications between the two departments can really benefit both by aligning their goals and improving performances and ROI for both their daily activities.</p> <p><em>(For more on this topic, see Econsultancy's report on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-convergence-of-marketing-and-sales/">The Convergence of Sales and Marketing</a>.)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0471/The_Marketing_and_Sales_Funnel_2.png" alt="" width="567" height="566"></p> <h3><strong>3. Social selling is an assessable strategy</strong></h3> <p>When it comes to social selling, real results will show especially when companies set up a programme with defined objectives, onboarding and KPIs.</p> <p>When marketing and sales collaborate to put together a structure that can benefit all the stakeholders involved (whether by helping marketers showcase the ROI of their content better, or by supporting salespeople with the content they need to grow their pipeline faster), that’s when magic happens.</p> <p>Please note that when the right tools are in place from the start, assessing the success of social selling is not a costly or time-consuming effort.</p> <p>Marketing can monitor which content is being shared the most by their colleagues in sales, while sales reps can quickly share posts and see which ones are most engaging for their prospects on an on-going basis.</p> <p>It is a learning process, but one that shows results straight away if there is a good framework in place.</p> <p>Now that we have seen what social selling <em>is</em>.</p> <p>Let’s clarify a couple of misconceptions around it that it is not unusual to run into, especially online.</p> <h3><strong>1. Social selling is not something completely new</strong></h3> <p>Wait, what? Didn’t I just spend the last few paragraphs describing how innovative and effective social selling can be?</p> <p>Yes, and I stand by that.</p> <p>But what I think is essential to remember when we talk about social selling is that a lot of its guiding principles are very much in line with human good practices in general.</p> <p>Let me share an example: trying to sell to someone as soon as you connect with them on LinkedIn without nurturing the relationship or trying to understand their needs won’t do you any good, in the same way that 100% “cold” calling has a very low success rate compared to better targeted campaigns.</p> <h3><strong>2. Social selling is not blasting content on social media</strong></h3> <p>If the plan is to simply use your sales reps as human billboards, asking them to blast promotional content about your latest products on their social media channels, then it probably won’t work.</p> <p>It is universally acknowledged that people are getting more impatient with being “sold to” indistinctively and expect brands and salespeople to tailor offers to their specific needs.</p> <p>Proper social selling focuses on the prospects, building a long-lasting and customer-centric relationship, which makes it the perfect strategy for the times we live in.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68000 2016-06-28T01:00:00+01:00 2016-06-28T01:00:00+01:00 Three social media lessons from Asia-Pacific travel sites Jeff Rajeck <p>To help out, here are three examples of Facebook posts which have outperformed, contrasted with three which have not worked out so well and a takeaway lesson from each.</p> <h3>Background</h3> <p>It's easy to find examples of social media posts which have really taken off. There are many lists of these, and they all seem to include 'Don't dunk in the dark'.</p> <p>But these examples are typically one-offs. <strong>What worked for that brand in that instance is highly unlikely to work for your brand today.</strong></p> <p>Additionally, such examples don't help with the day-to-day social media postings. Most brands have guidelines about what type of content should be posted and, hopefully, few say 'post something viral'.</p> <p>So, instead, it's more interesting to look at brands that:</p> <ul> <li>Have a large audience.</li> <li>Post regularly.</li> <li>Rotate content. </li> </ul> <p>Then, have a look at the brand's posts. Compare ones which have a lot of likes, shares, and comments with those which do not, and try to draw some lessons from them.</p> <p>And it's not hard to do. Anyone can do this analysis just by surfing brands on Facebook.</p> <p>To make it a bit easier, though, I used the paid version of <a href="http://www.socialbakers.com/">Socialbakers</a> which makes it easy to find brands which are active on social media and then neatly organises social media engagement data.</p> <h3>Why Asia-Pacific travel sites?</h3> <p>In theory we could use this method across any brand, in any country, but it's sensible to focus on a particular industry and region. </p> <p>The reason is that brands in the same sector are trying to attract the same audience, so it should be possible to see some similarities and elicit trends.</p> <h3>The lessons</h3> <h3>1. Share the fantasy, not the reality</h3> <p>Headquartered in Singapore, COMO Hotels and Resorts offers 'handcrafted hotels and luxury travel experiences designed just for you'.  </p> <p><a href="http://www.comohotels.com/">The company website</a> is stunning and you almost couldn't invent a brand more suitable for social media.</p> <p><strong>So what can we learn from the brand's posts?</strong></p> <p>The posts with a lot of likes and shares show off the fantasy of the COMO Hotels and resorts.  </p> <p>They capture scenes of the brand's properties which people do not see every day and receive comments such as 'I don't know where this is but let's go there'.</p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6514/test2.png" alt="" width="800" height="270"></p> <p>Those with fewer shares and no comments are still beautiful pictures, but <strong>less popular posts are about things which people encounter frequently in their everyday life</strong>.  </p> <p>They show thingss like food, restaurants, and pretty, yet unremarkable, views.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6508/2.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="301"></p> <p>The lesson?  <strong>If you got it, flaunt it.</strong> Don't waste your posts on pictures of everyday things.</p> <h3>2. Highlight what makes you unique</h3> <p>Resorts World Genting is a resort in Malaysia which targets a budget-conscious traveller.</p> <p>Though the brand doesn't have the drop-dead gorgeous scenery of COMO to draw on, its marketers post regularly and the posts have a wide variety of engagement.</p> <p>Through looking at the brand's posts, it is clear that <strong>those which highlight unique aspects of Resorts World Genting do well</strong>.  </p> <p>Its audience seems to enjoy reminiscing via social media about things which they cannot experience elsewhere.</p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6509/3.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="390"></p> <p>Posts which perform poorly feature things which are easily available elsewhere and do not draw on the unique personality of the brand.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6510/4.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="378"></p> <p>The lesson? <strong>You don't have to be fancy to be shareable on social media, just unique.</strong>  </p> <p>You have to emphasize what distinguishes your brand from all the others on social media.</p> <h3>3. Be different, but pleasant. Avoid disturbing, shocking, or disgusting topics.</h3> <p>TravelBook.ph is a Philippines travel site run as a joint venture by a number of large conglomerates in Asia. </p> <p>The brand marketers post regularly on social media about a variety of travel-related subjects.</p> <p>Many of the general travel posts do okay, but <strong>the posts which get the most likes and shares link to original content about places to visit in the Philippines.</strong></p> <h4>High-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6513/test.PNG" alt="" width="800" height="316"></p> <p>Occasionally the marketers will shake things up a bit and post something a bit more challenging.  </p> <p>Posts which are about unpleasant topics tend to perform much worse.</p> <h4>Lower-performing</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6512/6.JPG" alt="" width="800" height="299"></p> <p>One example of a recent post which performed poorly was about balut. Balut is a Philippine delicacy which consists of a developing bird embryo still in the eggshell.</p> <p>It's hard to think of anyone who would appreciate such a photo on their timeline.</p> <p>Other more challenging posts may have their place, of course. But <strong>when engagement is the main criteria, keeping the subject of your posts pleasant is the way to go.</strong></p> <p>The lesson? Be unique, for sure, but also try to fit in with what people want to see in a social media newsfeed.</p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So the main social media lessons from Asia-Pacific travel sites are that posts on Facebook which are attractive, pleasant and emphasize what makes your brand unique will deliver the highest level of engagement.</p> <p>All of this makes sense, yet it is surprising to see how many brands don't adhere to these rules and have reduced engagement as a result.</p> <p>Low social media engagement is discouraging for the team and also means that more posts will be required to get your audience's attention.</p> <p>Without doing this sort of analysis (i.e. finding what types of post are successful and doing those types of posts more often) marketers will be making an already hard job, harder.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67455 2016-02-03T02:03:00+00:00 2016-02-03T02:03:00+00:00 Is LinkedIn still useful for marketing in Asia-Pacific? Jeff Rajeck <h3>First, the criticism</h3> <p>In Q3 2015, LinkedIn reported that it has 396m members globally, up from 81m five years earlier. Impressive growth indeed, but <strong>success has not come without some issues.  </strong></p> <p>Most of the problems seem to come from the open nature of the network.</p> <p>Members can be found easily through searching on LinkedIn or Google and then contacted without too much difficulty.</p> <p>As a result, members have become overwhelmed by anonymous contacts and so a few justified critiques have emerged lately.</p> <h3>1. Users are plagued with random link requests</h3> <p>Anyone can try to connect with you on LinkedIn and so members often are overloaded with random connection requests.  </p> <p>LinkedIn members have seen the phrase "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" so often that it has taken on meme-like status.</p> <p>So much so, that The Atlantic recently <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/all/2016/01/the-greatest-universal-new-yorker-cartoon-caption/423759/">ran a piece</a> showing how the ubiquitous phrase could be used in just about any New Yorker cartoon, with comedic effect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1149/professional-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="136"></p> <h3>2. InMails have become hopelessly compromised</h3> <p>InMails were originally just a way for LinkedIn members to contact each other.  At some point, though, the messaging capability was sold to businesses, specificially recruitment firms, as a way to message people who had not accepted a connection request.</p> <p>But <strong>InMails seem to have been oversold</strong>.</p> <p>Many members LinkedIn inboxes are now clogged with unsolicited messages and they, too, have become a well-recognized point of frustration with the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1150/twitter-linkedin-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="322"></p> <h3>3. Many updates are meaningless and annoying</h3> <p>LinkedIn users are long familiar with the silly math puzzles...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1153/linkedin.jpg" alt="" width="355" height="368"></p> <p>But lately there has been a new source of annoyance - useless updates from LinkedIn itself.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1152/linkedin-update-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="456"> </p> <h3>But...</h3> <p>These are all valid points from the perspective of the end user. LinkedIn is, or has become, annoying to use.</p> <p>But though there are complaints about usability, does this compromise it as a marketing platform? That is, are brands still able to use LinkedIn to communicate with potential customers?</p> <p>I think so - and here are three<strong> very good reasons to keep using LinkedIn, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.</strong></p> <h3>1. LinkedIn's growth in Asia-Pacific has outpaced its growth in the West</h3> <p>LinkedIn has been experiencing growth globally and since <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65145-facebook-vs-linkedin-which-is-better-for-b2b-marketing/">I last wrote about the network</a>, its user base has grown even more in Asia Pacific.</p> <p>Below are numbers for the population of LinkedIn users who are in the IT industry.  </p> <p>The first column is from my last survey in July 2014 and the next is from January 2016.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1155/linkedin-it-growth-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="221"></p> <p>What it shows is that, whereas USA growth has been single-digit, most countries in Asia-Pacific have enjoyed double-digit growth.  </p> <p>Great news for those wanting to reach people on the platform. </p> <h3>2. There are now many more ways to target people on LinkedIn</h3> <p>LinkedIn has made a number of changes to the way that you can reach people on the platform.</p> <p>Whereas they used to only allow for small ads on the side, you can now promote updates directly in the feed, where people actually look, in many different formats (link, photo, text).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1156/linkedin-sponsored_update-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="286"></p> <p>And if you haven't used the ad platform lately, it has been improved in the past year and is much easier-to-use now. </p> <h3>3. LinkedIn is the only place you can effectively target professionals</h3> <p>But the single greatest benefit of using LinkedIn for marketing is that you can target professionals.</p> <p>Sure you can proxy this capability by targeting the right keywords in Google or interests in Facebook, but neither of these compare with being able to target someone's job title, company size, seniority, etc.</p> <p>That is, if you are targeting people who work in the IT industry in, say, Singapore, you simply cannot find them as effectively anywhere other than on LinkedIn.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1157/capture-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="150"></p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So I think the demise of LinkedIn has been greatly exaggerated, at least in Asia-Pacific.  </p> <p>It's growing in the region, the marketing options are getting better, and it is still the only place that you can reliably target professionals.</p> <p>So, for now, ignore the haters and use LinkedIn to connect with your audience and get your brand message out there.  </p> <p>(Even if it does annoy you at times!)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1158/add-professional-network-linkedin.PNG" alt="" width="509" height="689"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66918 2015-09-16T15:02:13+01:00 2015-09-16T15:02:13+01:00 How employee advocacy can strengthen your communications Maz Nadjm <p>Employees often create and share content about their company, whether it's by promoting a new campaign, expressing excitement about some company news or just talking about their days at work.</p> <p>For this reason, many companies find themselves facing a specific challenge: they are not able to acknowledge and measure their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66806-how-to-turn-your-employees-into-company-advocates">employees’ brand advocacy</a> even though it's already happening.</p> <p>There is a vast network of channels, so how would you possibly go about influencing them efficiently? Also, what are the actual benefits <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66320-who-understands-the-why-of-your-company-a-portrait-of-an-employee-advocacy-champion">advocacy</a> could bring to your brand?</p> <p>If used to its potential, social media can help spread your messages further, contacting people you would never normally reach.</p> <p>A great way of doing this is through an employee advocacy platform. Granting access to a repository of approved, relevant content to their colleagues, a communications department to influence their external messages and monitor the consequent digital image of the brand.</p> <p>Here are some ways that an employee advocacy platform can help steer communications in the right direction:</p> <h3>The informed advocate</h3> <p>Informing employees on all the latest company updates helps to keep them in the loop about the most exciting company news.</p> <p>Using an employee advocacy platform, you can easily share and promote the messages that you want your stakeholders, clients and prospects to hear.</p> <p>Also by keeping employees informed, they are more likely to want to talk about their company and reach out to the wider community.</p> <p>Your employees’ social networks expand into all sorts of various routes from a prospect to a family member, thus expanding your company message into their personal networks.</p> <h3>Competitive edge</h3> <p>Many companies are yet to venture into the field of employee advocacy. When it comes to external communications, engaging your employees in the company message can demonstrate that edge over your competitors.</p> <p>Research shows that socially engaged companies are <a href="https://soamp.li/cjK">40% more likely to be perceived as more competitive</a>. This means that employees are talking about their brand and displaying passion for their work.</p> <p>This kind of activity is a reflection of the true nature of the company, something that your prospects will hopefully be interested in connecting with.</p> <h3>Preventing and correcting miscommunication</h3> <p>Although social media can be a wonderful method of promoting company content, it can be dangerous and prone to misuse.</p> <p>Employees will use social media to talk about their personal and professional lives regardless of whether it is supported by a company or not, but often company encouragement is exactly what they need. 38% are more likely to share relevant company content with co-workers and customers when the company shares content in social media.</p> <p>Using an employee advocacy platform will enable administrators to approve the content that their colleagues suggest, allowing them to be a vital source of information while making sure the out-going message stays always accurate and on-brand.</p> <p>Providing this kind of filter, the company significantly lowers the risk of miscommunicating messages. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66853 2015-08-24T15:40:00+01:00 2015-08-24T15:40:00+01:00 What can brands learn from automotive website trends? Geoff Turral <p>In Britain, JD Power is well known for its annual car buyer satisfaction reports. The results matter. They’re the subject of intense scrutiny by the automotive and mainstream consumer press, with the winning brand trumpeting the achievement across mainstream media.</p> <p>The global automotive industry is equally transfixed by JD Power’s manufacturer US website study. Now in its 16th year, the study scores four core areas: information/content, appearance, speed and navigation.  </p> <p>For 2015 the results cover 34 brands, with <a href="http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2015-manufacturer-website-evaluation-study%E2%80%94summer">Porsche and BMW coming joint top</a> and Chevrolet, Subaru and Honda at the foot of the table.</p> <p>Despite being a US market study, the results are dissected in detail by the European, Japanese and Korean car brands because their website presence is broadly global.</p> <p>The key 2015 finding according to senior director of JD Power Arianne Walker is that,</p> <blockquote> <p>Manufacturers can influence shoppers by creating an emotionally connected online shopping experience through compelling, visually appealing storytelling to engage, entice, and reassure shoppers that they are making the right decision.</p> </blockquote> <h3><strong>The evolution of the brand website</strong></h3> <p>In context of the evolution of car brand websites, this is fascinating. As with many product sectors, the first car websites were merely digital brochures.</p> <p> Moving into this century, sites became (and many remain) aggressive offer and pricing platforms, driving potential customers into a world of pricing confusion, well before they’ve established that the brand and a specific model can meet their needs.</p> <p>With over 2m US sales in 2014, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66809-why-is-chevrolet-s-content-marketing-so-compelling">Chevrolet is a huge player</a>, second only to Ford but ita website illustrates the problem with a barrage of retail offers and very little context, reflecting the position of chevrolet.com at third from bottom in the rankings. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6476/chevy.png" alt="" width="1073" height="787"></p> <p>At the other end of the scale, the approach of BMW owned Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is interesting and instructive.  </p> <p>Inside Rolls-Royce is a global programme focusing on the iconic significance of the brand and the stories behind the beautiful, obsessive and compelling craftsmanship in every one of their cars.  </p> <p>The communication target is not the prospective Rolls-Royce buyer, but the ‘choir’. </p> <p>As transport, our car is one of a few possessions that we constantly present to people we will never know, but these strangers are increasingly likely to be not just content creator and publisher, but judge and jury.</p> <p>Rolls-Royce understand that the future sales limitation won’t be money. There’s plenty about and for their target demographic it’s increasing. The limitation has become ‘permission to own’.  </p> <p>Rolls-Royce hits the challenge head on, curating the best of the advocacy content from the non-buyer audience. The choir that sets the agenda for ‘permission to own’, driving social acceptance, and publishing in real-time on Inside Rolls-Royce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6480/Inside_Rolls_Royce.png" alt="" width="1194" height="993"></p> <p>Among global car markets, the US has historically been the most commoditised. </p> <p>The arcane European brand snobbery that allows big margins for the premium brand versions of technically equivalent products from the same group, doesn’t cut much ice in the land of smart buying, where customer service, product reliability and value rule the roost.</p> <p>So, JD Power’s assertion that an emotionally connected story and visual storytelling are key to purchase consideration is even more compelling in the context of the US market.</p> <h3><strong>What makes Porsche’s website so compelling?</strong></h3> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6472/Screen_Shot_2015-08-24_at_10.50.59.png" alt="" width="1432" height="630"></strong></p> <p>Topping the results, Porsche has arguably the most compelling storytelling platform.  </p> <p>Through the Porsche Live platform, they ensure that every market website has an engaging live content mix that is always relevant for the user. The age-old problem of global vs local is eliminated, as the live story is always built on a global brand foundation, but is then embellished with a mix of brand, 3rd party editorial and user-generated advocacy content, at the market and retailer levels.<br> </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6473/Screen_Shot_2015-08-24_at_10.52.33.png" alt="" width="1600" height="985"></p> <p>It’s intriguing to see how Porsche Live works across 2 markets as diverse as the <a href="http://www.porsche.com/uk/%20">UK</a> and <a href="http://www.porsche.com/china/">China</a>, delivering dynamic, relevant content that drives high levels of engagement.  </p> <p>Cutting through the noise to bring a compelling but controlled <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66846-five-triumphant-content-marketing-campaigns-from-the-automotive-industry">content narrative</a> to every decision point used to be very difficult. Porsche Live shows how it can done, and the implications and potential for every brand are clear to see.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66688 2015-07-14T09:53:00+01:00 2015-07-14T09:53:00+01:00 Wimbledon and brand marketing: serving up a match made in heaven Kasia Piekut <p dir="ltr">No matter if you watch it at home, at work or on the court, brands are there to celebrate tennis’s golden moments with you through the use of content, cutting-edge technology and agile social marketing. </p> <h2 dir="ltr">Jaguar tests technology for real-time sentiment discovery </h2> <p dir="ltr">To find Wimbledon’s hotspots, Jaguar Land Rover has introduced biometric trackers designed to track, measure and record the crowd’s emotions during Wimbledon 2015. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0C4ujBBlqFM?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">To understand how real-time events influence audience, Jaguar, first time official car sponsor of Wimbledon, used a mixture of the latest technology and sociometric tracking.  </p> <p dir="ltr">Each day 20 fans were given biometric wristbands which monitored the wearer’s heart rate and excitement.</p> <p dir="ltr">Noise and crowd movement, ‘sociometric’ data generated from engagement on social media, were measured by atmospheric sensors. Those were placed around the venue with an aim to detect changes in relation to events happening on the court during tournaments.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5049/jaguar-wearable-tech-wimbledon.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="467"> </p> <p dir="ltr">The information provided by users, from pulse in real-time, mood and excitement level, mixed with various activities on social media, became part of live <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66131-17-visualisation-tools-to-make-your-data-beautiful">data visualisations</a> gathered on <a href="http://jaguar.wimbledon.com/en_GB/wrapper/jlr/index.html" target="_blank">Jaguar’s microsite</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The discovered sentiment and other insights were shared on Jaguar’s social media with the use of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FeelWimbledon?src=hash" target="_blank">#FeelWimbledon hashtag</a> which fans unable to attend the event were able to use to get involved in the Wimbledon’s spirit and join those in the stands. </p> <h2>Robinsons’s treasure hunt </h2> <p dir="ltr"> To draw attention of a wide range of younger tennis fans, Robinsons launched a multi-channel campaign '80 Years at Wimbledon'. </p> <p dir="ltr">Using the power of short video and animated GIFs the brand grew excitement to the launch of Wimbledon with '<a href="https://www.robinsonssquash.co.uk/HuntForWimbledon/default.aspx" target="_blank">The Great Robinsons Ball Hunt</a>'.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5042/great-robinsons-ball-hunt.png" alt="" width="586" height="342"></p> <p dir="ltr">Followers on Twitter were asked to discover locations of giant tennis balls hidden across the country for a chance to win prizes from tennis merchandise to VIP tickets to The Championships.</p> <p dir="ltr">Everyday, s series of clues and teasers were revealed on the company’s Twitter encouraging others to join in. The hunt was endorsed with the appearance of British number one tennis player, Tim Henman, who became the ‘face’ of the campaign and presented clues on Twitter while asking the public to find the balls and tweet a picture of them. </p> <p dir="ltr">This rather simple idea became a great way of building up anticipation for a major sporting event while the competitive angle encouraged fans to become more involved in the hunt.</p> <p dir="ltr">For some, it was also a chance to be closer to an experience they always dreamed about and swap the TV screen for the actual court. </p> <h2>Stella Artois virtual reality experience </h2> <p>This year Stella Artois brought again something rather new to Wimbledon by taking inspiration from legendary hawk Rufus, who helps keep pigeons away from Wimbledon’s grounds.</p> <p>To allow tennis fans to get a bird’s eye view of Wimbledon’s court, the brand introduced 'The Perfect Flight’' virtual reality (VR) app.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GuZ2_rsv0VI?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>With the use of Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and 360° technology, Stella Artois created an immersive experience which gives tennis enthusiasts the chance to admire London’s Waterloo Station in a 360 degree video from above the courts.</p> <p>Using the app, available on iTunes, Google Play Store and cardboard googles, users can fly like Rufus from the comfort of their living room while admiring Wimbledon's iconic sights.  </p> <p>The VR kit which enables the app to work on smartphone was up for grabs on Stella Artois’s Twitter. In order to win it, the brand asked for retweets reaching in total 1,845.</p> <p>If you scroll over Stella Artois’s social media you will be able to discover <a href="http://tandcs.stellaartois.com/" target="_blank">other giveaways</a> from cider hampers, Cidre Le Poolwear, to Wimbledon accessory set giveaway’s. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5043/stella-artios-wimbledon-competition.png" alt="" width="580" height="473"></p> <h2>Evian’s celebrity content series aimed at raising emotions </h2> <p dir="ltr">To empower tennis enthusiasts’ to share their emotions from this year’s Wimbledon, Evian boosted these efforts with daily video series hosted by celebrities, bloggers and tennis fans which express their reactions to the events on Wimbledon’s court.</p> <p dir="ltr">Every morning a show recorded at the brand’s onsite ‘Live Young Suite’ is released on <a href="http://www.wimbledon.com/index.html" target="_blank">Wimbledon’s website</a> while mobile users can access them using Shazam’s new visual recognition feature available on Evian’s print adverts.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5044/evian-wimble-watch-social-media-campaign.png" alt="" width="581" height="396"></p> <p dir="ltr">Using the power of social media, Evian is encouraging fans to show their Wimbledon reactions on Twitter and Instagram with the use of <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23wimbledonwatch&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#wimbledonwatch hashtag</a> with a promise of making the most engaging ones into a video leading up to the finalists.</p> <p dir="ltr">By merging fan emotions with the potential of getting some of the Wimbledon limelight, the brand hopes to unite closer fans at home with those on the court while driving genuine examples of the sport’s excitement. </p> <p dir="ltr">Creating ‘Live Young Suite’ and filming celebrity comments from Wimbledon’s daily events allowed the brand to tap into the power of influencer endorsement while expanding the campaign's reach through celebrity recognition. </p> <h2>Paddy Power supports mischief at Wimbledon’s ups and downs  </h2> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5045/paddy-power-wimbledon.png" alt="" width="585" height="542"></p> <p>In this crowded space where brands try to steal the limelight from Wimbledon’s fever, Paddy Power differentiated itself by bringing a mixture of humor and sarcasm. Starting with '<a href="http://blog.paddypower.com/2015/06/29/you-cant-be-serious-paddy-powers-creepy-wimbledon-quiz/" target="_blank">Paddy Power’s creepy Wimbledon quiz</a>', using Vine to have a laugh from from TV presenters, to posting updates on Facebook like this one:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nick Kyrgios, just like the rest of us, can't be arsed with work on a Monday morning’</p> </blockquote> <p>(This generated 268,651 views and 5,290 people likes).</p> <p>is the best proof that some brands don't need high tech solutions or fancy campaigns in order to engage its audience. What works for them is staying original to their branded personality with cheekiness and reactivity in messaging. </p> <h2>Expanding the reach of real-time campaigns  </h2> <p>Every year, to enhance Wimbledon’s spectator experience, brands work on their real-time marketing proposition to deliver campaigns which can help them own this unforgettable moment.</p> <p>But in order to make it work, they have to earn tennis enthusiasts’ attention with useful, relevant and entertaining experience. </p> <p>There’s going to be a lot of pressure to succeed at Wimbledon 2016 with real-time campaigns and solutions that can hit people with the right emotions and energy while reflecting the mood of the game.</p> <p>By getting it right, brands are able to gain some significant benefits but achieving them will be only possible by merging together technology, content and social media.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66594 2015-06-17T11:20:56+01:00 2015-06-17T11:20:56+01:00 Can sales teams afford to miss the social amplification opportunity? Maz Nadjm <p>There is no way around it: the purchasing process has fundamentally changed over the last few years. Being offline is not much of an option for brands anymore.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/HubSpot/the-social-lifecycle-consumer-insights-to-improve-your-business">studies</a> show that 95% of Millennials expect brands to be present on Facebook. But it’s not only them: 87% of 30- to 44-year-olds (the so-called Gen X’ers) and 70% of 45- to 60-year-olds agree that all brands should have at least a Facebook page.</p> <p>In this landscape, brands who enter the online conversation are presented with an incredible opportunity: an immense, unlimited sea of possibilities where they can find plenty of people, insights and relationships to fill their pipeline.</p> <p>As a strategy to amplify the reach of a company’s message, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66320-who-understands-the-why-of-your-company-a-portrait-of-an-employee-advocacy-champion/">employee advocacy</a> through social media benefits a company’s sales team in three key ways:</p> <h3>1. It boosts brand awareness</h3> <p>When employees share company’s news with all their connections, brands reach a much broader audience than what they’d otherwise do.</p> <p>Not all employees’ personal connections will be interested in the same piece of content in the same way, that’s for sure.</p> <p>However, simply by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66218-the-five-types-of-content-employees-love-to-share-on-social-media/">sharing company’s content on social media</a>, employees increase awareness about their company.</p> <p>As a result, the brand finds itself on the radar of new prospects that would otherwise have taken much longer to discover a specific service or investigate the company’s culture.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1166/Untitled.png" alt="" width="796" height="449"></p> <h3>2. It powers social selling</h3> <p>In a nutshell, social selling can be defined as the use of social media by sales to find a direct channel of interaction with their prospects.</p> <p>The attention is shifted from ‘pushing the sale’ to ‘building relationship’, turning occasional customers into loyal ones.</p> <p>By interacting with prospects or acquired customers on social media, a sales team can add new value to an old conversation. The prospect-salesperson relationship becomes much smoother, including helpful content and assistance on top of numeric talks and negotiations.</p> <p>The impact of active social media action on customer acquisition is not a matter of opinion anymore.</p> <p>For instance, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2013/05/19/study-78-of-salespeople-using-social-media-outsell-their-peers/" target="_blank">studies</a> show that:</p> <ul> <li>78.6% of sales people engaged in social selling outperform those who weren’t using social media.</li> <li>More than 40% of sales people close between two and five deals as a result of their effort on social media.</li> </ul> <p>Employee advocacy platforms empower business developers to take ownership of this innovative kind of customer communication.</p> <p>They receive input and insight from other members of their team as well as from colleagues working in different departments. This process enables them to quickly gather the kind of information they need to face the exciting challenge of social selling.</p> <h3>3. It helps salespeople establish themselves as thought leaders</h3> <p>When active on an employee advocacy platform like SoAmpli, sales teams gain direct access to a pool of interesting and relevant content they can easily share with all their connections.</p> <p>We are not talking only about company-generated posts or offers; even external industry-focused content has a direct positive impact on an individual’s reputation and credibility as expert and influencer.</p> <p>Through their online presence, sales people can also research information to prepare for sales conversations much more efficiently, while building a strong network of online connections.</p>