Social media marketing: 2 trends for 2010

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2009/11/12 · 29 comments 11,014 views

in b why benchmark failures,e marketing 101 style matters

Image - High heels - the House of Versace is faced with the sober reality of a severe global economic downturnVersace, the Italian fashion house beloved by Hollywood celebrities, unveiled a sweeping restructuring in late October that included shedding 26 percent of its workforce.

Recently, a fashion celebrity asked us what changes to their social media strategy would most help during the financial crisis and in 2010. We consulted our crystal ball and present you with our 2010 brand and blogging predictions for 2010. This is what we told our luxury-brand fashion designer over dinner.

Awareness and consideration of data bias: Test failed
Using data from services like Alexa, Omniture, WebTrends, Coremetrics or Unica requires addressing some basic statistical issues. For instance, it is important to identify any possible biases and keep them in the back of your mind when interpreting data and findings from any one of these services.

Some have gone on record suggesting:

    “…the goal of third‐generation digital analytics is to bring rigor and mathematical precision to a practice that has otherwise been somewhat sloppy and imprecise.”
    => The coming revolution in web analytics

While we agree with this statement, the fact is that statistics have been correctly used by many web analytics experts for ages. But we must understand what the bias in our data could mean. To illustrate, unless you have the Alexa toolbar installed in your web browser, your visit to a webpage tracked by Alexa is not registered by the service. Because companies do not allow the installation of the toolbar, those users are excluded from its data.

So, is Alexa data useless? Not if you are focusing on those who are most likely to have installed this toolbar: home users in the US.

TREND: Putting a greater focus on data bias in social media.

Biased data is not necessarily a problem if you know what the bias is and how it might effect your data. For example, users of the Firefox browser are quite likely to have a no-script plugin installed that makes tracking by cookie a bit more difficult.

The above could result in data bias, since more security savvy Firefox users may not be part of your sample. You would certainly want to know what this means for sales of your brand’s perfumes or the latest fashions.

Listening to your customers and building trust: Hit or miss
We will see clients put more emphasis on understanding the basic assumptions and biases in data about social media usage. Besides this trend, systems and processes have to be created that can empower consumers and facilitate their participation and attachment to your luxury brand or company.

Image - access to white paper from Allegiance; the power to engage. Here the user must choose a state (US) or province (Canada)... what if you want to engage and are from another country? You have to choose a state or province to get access, making the road to engagement obstructed by hurdlesBut this requires that engagement is a smooth and painless experience for the client. SNAFUs (Situation normal, all f*cked up), such as requiring one to choose a US state or Canadian province in order to access a white paper even if you live in Japan does not qualify (see image at right).

Listening to the voice of the customer would also require that you not send very polite emails seven days after the white paper was downloaded by the customer. Such a hard sell hurts the company’s reputation, unless the client opted to get such emails.

TREND: Defining your audience and learning to join conversations are key.

Your real and true reputation is built by being an engaging and transparent provider of information that people can trust.

But building trust requires that the company refrain from using hype. For instance, reporting that 64 percent of consumers made a first purchase of a certain brand because of the digital experience is interesting. But our fashion designer immediately asked about the demographics of those users, including their level of Internet experience.

Listening to clients and giving them a voice requires respecting them which, in turn, enables their trust of the brand or fashion label. But this takes careful work and not respecting privacy or making the online experience cumbersome does not help.

More resources about 2010 social media trends, including customer voice, engagement and data bias:

Bottom line
By New Year’s Eve we will once again have resolved that in 2010 we will exercise more and lose weight. But our fashion designer was not willing to wait and has started implementing a few of the things below before the year is out.

Take-aways

    1. Managing data bias – starting in December, the company will compare this year’s monthly data with last year and management will request information about possible factors that could influence results (e.g., press coverage, blog post, success in viral marketing – being lucky, and so forth).
    2. Listening to the customer – to improve engagement, the company will put more emphasis on responding to comments made on blog posts and if helpful, approach clients directly to address their concerns. Results will again be reported to the public via the blog.
    3. Building trust – the company intends to better enforce its opt-out policy, whereby white papers, pictures of dresses and so forth can be downloaded by clients, while divulging a minimum of personal information to the company.

Some top-end brands have been trying to make better use of social media to help sales during this economic downturn. By implementing the above three take-aways our fashion executive hopes to improve the bottom line.

P.S. – And for those who always want data, generally we end up with more data than we need, but probably not the right data to get the answers we are looking for.

Your turn. Are you ready for 2010 and how will you address data bias in your web analytics and Key Performance Indicator(s) (KPIs) to benchmark your blog? What will you do to improve customer engagement? We look forward to your comments, insights AND opinions on this issue.

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  • http://www.ericamcclenny.com Erica McClenny

    From a business standpoint, marketing departments are going to continue to fine tune conversations and collaboration from their consumers vs. marketing AT them. Feedback and contests for input are going to be on the rise for sure.

    I think your blog/article is on the money.

    The major shift I am seeing is all the social realms merging. I think the “connector” factor is going to be accelerated in 2010. Sharing vs. Competing
    .-= ´s last blog ..Wake County Public Library Booksale 2009 =-.

    • http://info.cytrap.eu Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear Erica

      Thanks for the comment (flowers). I find your comment about sharing vs. competing interesting but do you see sharing between:

      - company and its clients,
      - between companies,
      - both or
      - some kind of other combination?

      I see more sharing between professionals (or micro companies /self-employed individuals) on networks like LinkedIn or XING but between large companies in the same industry?

      Thanks for sharing. I hope you will reply to this question providing me and the readers with an answer.

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  • http://www.pookymedia.com/ Pooky Amsterdam

    I see the growth of 3D immersive environments like Second Life being used as media platforms.

    Virtual worlds will be very big in 2010 because they afford dynamic, real time interaction. AVATAR the Movie comes out in December, the iTunes trailer was the largest trailer download in its history. This sets the pace for 2010

    So will Machinima – cinema done on machine, that is.

    PookyMedia has been doing this and winning awards for it too. And the reaction on a business and entertainment front is stunning. We are building branded communities. Highly targeted, high concept and very cost-effective.

    http://www.the1stquestion.com/
    http://www.pookymediafilms.com/

    • http://info.cytrap.eu Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear Veronica
      1st thanks for this comment.
      Sometimes I get the impression that virtual worlds came and went again …. a fad whose time has passed.
      For instance, car manufacturers fell all over themselves to join Second Life but have now pretty much left (e.g., car suppliers left the latter again we tweeted about it see also here:

      http://commetrics.com/articles/2009-week-39/

      As well, once it was a fad to have your deplomatic representation on Second Life – first one was opened by the Maledives that beat Sweden by a day or so … Today, countries have abandoned thier virtual consular representations pretty much….

      http://commetrics.com/articles/4-lessons-we-can-learn-from-mercedes-benz-aol-and-wells-fargo/

      Regardless of the above, however, I look forward to see this idea take off and your company making a splash.

      I hope you agree that that Machinima – cinema done on machine – is something for a brand in the B2C field of business but less likely for a B2B venture. Am I wrong? Pls let me know.

      Thanks
      Regards
      Urs

      • http://www.pookymedia.com/ Pooky Amsterdam

        It is both, as the very cost effective, importing of documents is a great feature and 3D modeling capabilities of Second Life are quite superior.

        Check out:
        http://www.yourbusinesschannel.com/show/theweb/1422/creating-business-video-in-second-life

        This is a video that provides social marketing advice how to use Second Life.

        There is more interesting stuff providing reasons to use Second Life as a media platform right here:

        http://www.pookyamsterdam.com/2009/07/5-reasons-to-use-second-life-as-media.html

        I agree with your previous post on the over hyping which had companies and countries in the flawed mindset of “build it & they will come.” Would you put up a building in real life and just expect people to go to it without proper staffing or events helping people get the most of what is being offered? I hope not.

        Virtual Worlds are having a re-emergence as places to facilitate business as well to launch product and media.
        .-= ´s last blog ..Live Online Virtual Entertainment =-.

        • http://info.cytrap.eu Urs E. Gattiker

          Veronica
          Thanks for this information above, really helpful…. maybe also this virtual show – helping people learn through virtual reality ….
          http://www.the1stquestion.com/
          Your show is really interesting.
          Thanks so much for sharing.
          Ciao Urs

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  • Robert Portman

    I tried to test this, nice post… like your ideas. Thanks

  • http://www.theinmatelookup.com Elaine Zimmermann

    Very thoughtful piece. 

    • http://commetrics.com/articles/2011-trends-get-better-roi-with-facebook-twitter-and-youtube/ Urs E. Gattiker

      @elainezimm:disqus Thanks for taking the time to write a comment to one of our archived posts.  I really appreciate the feedback and I hope you will be back soon for more of our ideas and thoughts.

      Maybe I could interest you to have a look at this post about Google+?Article source – Google+ brand pages: Why SEO is deadPlease let me know what you think.  Merci.

      • http://www.theinmatelookup.com Elaine Zimmermann

        I can’t seem to find the post.  Can you send me a link at elainezimm@aol.com

        • http://info.cytrap.eu/articles/social-media-marketing-fur-den-kmu Urs E. Gattiker

          I sent you the link to hear but if you click on Google + above it connects you to the post I was talking about :-)  or just click on ComMetrics at the top (header) and you see other posts 

          Best subscribe and get the latest updates via e-mail.  Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones from us in Bosco Gurin Urs @ComMetrics:twitter 

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