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The Social Media Path

to Customer Engagement

Paul Gillin
Author, The New Influencers
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
Traditional influencers

Authoritative 3rd parties, community leaders, press, gov’t.

Haters Lovers
Desire to Influence Others

New Influencers
Critics Enthusiasts

Skeptics Mainstream

Dismissers Followers

Reject Favor Source: Sean Moffitt, BuzzCanuck

Brand Engagement
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:

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
change the way businesses market and
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 batteries.”
NY Times
July 10
June 24
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

Air Conditioning Contractors of America Accenture Professional Services

National Assoc. of Manufacturers

Emerson Process Control

Thomas Nelson Publishers Extended Stay Hotels

PriceWaterhouseCoopers 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
Opinion of a friend 83%

Media review 75%

Company website 69%

Expert review 63%

Reviews on company site 60%

Online consumer sites 50%

Editor reviews at opinion site 49%

Chat/discussion comments 37%

Blogger review 30%

Percent who trust each souce

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 visitor.”

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
Action items
Use the tools
Web 2.0 Apps that CIOs Use
IBM’s internal podcasting library
has more than 100,000 unique
members and 12,000 files. It has
had no internal promotion. “This Web video
isn’t about knowledge-sharing;
it’s about community-building,“ Wikis

says George Faulkner, who leads B logs

the initiative.

P odcasts

“Many organizations will build Social

a shared repository of networks

information about the Virtual

organization. By 2010, wikis worlds

will be the natural vehicle for

such ‘internal wikipedias.’” 0% 20% 40% 60%
-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
 Frequently
Butler Sheet

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

Action: Turn enthusiasts into

Tools: Widgets, tchotchkes, access, retreats
Objective: Build low-cost virtual
sales force of informed customers
Result: Brand visibility; sales leads
In summary…
 Social media is greatest market
research tool ever invented
 Messaging will be increasingly irrelevant
 Markets will become more segmented
and focused
 Leadership will emerge but landscape is
permanently fragmented
 Content and credibility are king
Thank you!

Paul Gillin

Now available
from Quill Driver Books
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