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The Social Media Path

to Customer Engagement

Paul Gillin
Author, The New Influencers
AOL Hell
AOL Hell

June 20 Vincent Ferrari

June 21

June 23

June 24

June 26

July 14

Meet the new influencers

Paige Heninger &

Gretchen Vogelzang

Steve Hall
New Influencers are
Passionate – Both Pro and
Active Traditional Influencers
Authoritative 3rd parties, community leaders, press, gov’t.

Haters Lovers

Desire to
Influence Critics Enthusiasts

Others Skeptic Mainstream


Dismisser Followers
Reject Favor

Brand Engagement
Source: Sean Moffitt, BuzzCanuck
The numbers
 Active blogs on the Internet: 23 million
 MySpace/Facebook members: 150 million
 Flickr/YouTube members: 25 million
 % of Facebook members who log on
daily: 65
 Growth in US newspaper circulation since
1990: -8 million
 Average age of a network evening news
viewer: 60
What is Web 2.0?

According to Wired magazine:

 Participation
 Openness
 Conversation
 Community
 Connectedness
Seeds of change
 Web 2.0 is the greatest experiment in
group self-organization in history
 Sophisticated patterns of influence
 Personal publishing will completely
disrupt the mainstream media; many
won’t make it
 Everyone is now a potential content
producer; this will fundamentally
Dell Hell

“Dell said that it found no

pattern of battery failure and
that the Pennsylvania
incident publicized by the
Inquirer Web site was caused
by a chip problem and not
June 24
NY Times
July 10
More Dell Hell
June 14, 2007

“Please remove the posting located at the following link:
It contains information that is confidential and proprietary to Dell.”

Dell's 23 Confessions
Now's not the time to mince words, so let me just say it... we
blew it…. instead of trying to control information that was
made public, we should have simply corrected anything that
was inaccurate. We didn't do that, and now we're paying for it.

June 16, 2007

But today Dell is a convert

"These conversations are

going to occur whether you
like it or not…You can learn
from that. You can improve
your reaction time. And you
can be a better company by
listening and being involved
in that conversation."
Michael Dell, 10/17/2007
Blogs – global podium
International flavor

Source: Technorati, April, 2007

Action moving to b-to-b

Accenture Professional Services

Air Conditioning Contractors of America

National Assoc. of Manufacturers

Emerson Process Control

Extended Stay Hotels

Thomas Nelson Publishers

Owens Corning
The new craze: social
What’s popular overseas

Brazil Poland

Latin America




Consumers in control
Time pressure
9:41 a.m., Oct. 26, 2007

3:41 p.m., Oct. 26, 2007

Whom Do Consumers
Percent who trust each source

Source: Forrester Research, Jan., 2007

The power of peers

“In the U.S…a ‘person like yourself or your peer’ was

trusted by 22% of respondents as recently as 2003,
while in this year's study, 68% of respondents said
they trusted a peer.”
Richard Edelman
On the Trust Barometer Survey

“[A software company] told me they got 140 visitors to

their website from a single mention on my blog. An
article in [prominent technology journal] sent one
Blogger Robert Scoble
Why now?

 Cheap technology
 Fast networks
 Google
 “The Long Tail”
Source: Pew Research

It’s now cheaper to keep

information than it is to
throw it away. It’s also
easier to publish
information than ever
before. This is an explosive
new combination.
Media revolution
Mainstream Social media
media economics economics
 Rooted in mass markets  Rooted in small markets
 Delivery network is  Delivery is cheap and
differentiator outsourced
 High reader/viewer  Limitless choice;
retention rates; lack of retention driven by
customer choice content
 Fat margins, high fixed  Fat margins, low fixed
cost cost
 High barrier to entry  No barrier to entry
Let’s get small

 Engaged customer
 Technology enabled
 Well-informed
 Opinionated
 Focused
 Passionate
Intentions ≠ Reality…yet
Word-of-mouth marketing is expected to surpass $1 billion in 2007, making
it one of the fastest-growing alternative media formats. In a new research
report, PQ Media also predicts that spending on word-of-mouth marketing will
grow at an annual rate of 30.4%, and will hit $3.7 billion by 2011.
MediaPost, 11/6/2007

• 58% of marketers have implemented user-generated content or reviews.

• 31% have implemented a blog
• 25% have implemented RSS feeds.
Coremetrics, Nov. 2007

81% of all respondents project that by 2012 they will spend at least as
much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing.
Society for New Communications Research, Oct., 2007
Intentions ≠ Reality…Yet
Average Allocation of Online Marketing Budget by US Marketing
Professionals, by Strategy, Q3 2007 (% of total)

Source: Coremetrics, “2nd Annual ‘Face of the New Marketer,’” provided to eMarketer, October 30, 2007
Action items
Use the Tools
IBM’s internal podcasting
library has more than
100,000 unique members and
12,000 files. It has had no
internal promotion.
“This isn’t about knowledge-
sharing; it’s about
community-building,” says
George Faulkner, who leads
the initiative.

“Many organizations will build a shared

repository of information about the
organization. By 2010, wikis will be the
natural vehicle for such ‘internal
-David Ferris, Ferris Research

Source: CIO Insight, 8/27/07

Tap in

Action: Listen to the

Tools: Google, Technorati, Bloglines, Facebook

Objective: Find out what’s being

said; learn the language and the

Result: Understand
Online tools

Action: Talk to the influencers

Tools: Comments, groups, blogs, “friends”

Objective: Identify brand

advocates; contain and educate

Result: Influence the conversation

Leverage existing
Join the conversation

But that doesn’t mean

you should just start a blog…
 Activist, left-
leaning agenda
 Comments on
human rights,
political issues
 Reflects profile
of company’s
Southwest Air
 Reflects fun,
playful spirit of
the airline
 Lots of travel
stories, feel-
good customer
 Written by
Microsoft has more than 3,500 bloggers
Microsoft blogs

 Connect to customers, humanize the company

 Blogging policy is two words: “Be smart.”
GM Fastlane blog

 Wide-ranging
commentary on cars,
the company,
government regulation
and the media
 A way to bypass
mainstream media,
whom GM believed
was hostile
 Has outperformed PR
campaigns in some
important respects
Corporate Extended
 Tips and advice
for frequent
 Useful content,
low-key sell
 Intended to
connect with high-
value customers
 Frequently
Butler Sheet

 Compelling
argument for
small business
 Good for
 Distinctive
voice, witty

Action: Turn enthusiasts into

Tools: Widgets, tchotchkes, access, retreats

Objective: Build low-cost virtual sales force

of informed customers

Result: Brand visibility; sales leads

Customer enthusiasts
In summary…
 At the very least, these are the greatest
market research tools ever invented
 Audience engagement is the goal;
message delivery is declining in
 Markets will become more segmented,
focused and conversational
 Leadership will be difficult to sustain
online because of low entry/exist costs
 Content and credibility are king
Thank you!

Paul Gillin

Now available
from Quill Driver Books
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