Make Social Media Facts Work for You

It’s been an evolutionary year for social media. Many new trends and facts have been published that may help you shape your 2010 marketing and PR plan.  We have included a sampling of these facts and our recommendations on how you can use them when developing your 2011 plan.

FACT:  25% of search results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
Source: Social Media Revolution 2 Video, based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman



User-generated content (UGC) is more about creating a “playing field” for the visitors rather than creating material for them to consume. UGC has been called conversational media. Use the following tools to create a two-way dialogue.

  • Discussion boards/forums
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Four Square, etc.)
  • News sites
  • Trip planners
  • Customer reviews
  • Any website that offers the opportunity for the user to share their knowledge and familiarity with a product or experience
  • Games
  • Microsites

Your marketing plan should incorporate a number of avenues for your customers and potential customers to have conversations. There are many benefits to opening up this two-way dialogue including:

  • Understanding what your customers think and feel about your company, services and products
  • Addressing issues or concerns immediately
  • Increasing your search engine optimization (which directly relates to our fun fact)

FACT:  78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, only 14% trust advertisements.
Source: Social Media Revolution 2 Video, based on the book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman

Word of mouth is king. Getting your loyal customers to talk about you on the internet goes a long way in creating continual buzz and promotion that will benefit a company or product, as long as the talk is positive.

As discussed in Fact #1, user-generated content is a great way to offer platforms for those coveted conversations/recommendations. Give your customers tools to talk about you. These conversational media will be perceived as more trustworthy than an ad you place or an event you sponsor. Thus, Fact #2 reinforces the benefits of acting on Fact #1.

FACT: 42% of blogger respondents say they blog about brands they love or hate. 34% of bloggers blog about everyday experiences in stores or with customer care.
Source: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010

Getting news releases and information out today is not just about print publications, websites, and news outlets. The “blogsphere” is a very important component when disseminating information about your company, services, or products. There are bloggers who specialize in certain industries, those who attract a specific target audience and those who are known for their expertise.

Your publicity plan should include a targeted list of bloggers that may serve/specialize in your industry or reach your target audience. It isn’t as easy as just sending them info and hoping they talk about it or visit your facility. Create a conversation with the blogger. You may realize that you have industry knowledge to share or you know someone that would be a good connection for him/her. By offering assistance and creating a relationship now, you will likely have the chance to tell your story when the time comes.

FACT: Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated with Facebook.
Source: Statistics from Facebook press office

There is a lot of talk about Facebook and the need to have a presence on the network. If Facebook fits your marketing goals and objectives the next step is to figure out how you can integrate it into the rest of your marketing plan.

From this fact we glean a strong direction of national and international companies integrating their websites with their Facebook pages. A few examples are Kohl’s department stores, who offer a Style page with a number of interactive features and links to the website for shopping; and Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, who’s Welcome page looks like an extension of their website. Visitors may click and go seamlessly to their website reservations page. (The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Facebook page also displays photos guests have posted after their stay. Refer to Fact #1.) Facebook is another strong tool to create that conversational media, as discussed in Fact #1.

FACT: Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are on LinkedIn.
Source: Statistics from LinkedIn press centre

If you are trying to gain access to that hard-to-reach executive so that you can sell your wares, or pitch a partnership or you want to reach out to others in your industry to see how they solve a problem, LinkedIn is the ideal tool. If you haven’t already done so, create a LinkedIn profile for your company as well as for yourself. Your company profile allows you a place to promote your company to other business executives; add white papers, employee’s links, videos, etc. On your personal page you can link with people in the industry, answer questions in your field of expertise, and share your thoughts.

As the end of the year arrives, and you are reading the lists of “the best”, “top 10”, “the most fascinating”, keep in mind what they mean for you and your business and how you can use them to generate revenue. Trying what others have done isn’t bad business… it is ok NOT to re-invent the wheel.


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