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THE POWER OF REAL-TIME SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
How to Attract and Retain Customers and Grow the Bottom Line in the Globally Connected World
By BEVERLY MACY, TERI THOMPSON
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Copyright © 2011The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Real-Time Marketing: The Now Lens
Consider the following:
* One tweet—a message with no more than 140 characters—turns into $33 million-plus in disaster aid.
* A town hall meeting on transportation systems in Orange County, California, is viewed in Russia, Western Europe, and Asia.
* Formerly struggling competitors are thriving by sharing customers.
Real-time marketing is the unlimited, boundless opportunity of now. This book explains why the time has come for marketers to plant a stake in the ground as thought leaders for the businesses they serve and transition their companies into this new zone. It also reveals in broad terms what is changing in the global business landscape and how businesses can adapt their strategies to maximize the power of real-time social media marketing for the present and future.
In addition, the selected case stories in Chapter 5 represent real-world stories that are just beginning to surface and illustrate the explosive power of real-time marketing. They provide exclusive insights from innovative companies and organizations that are realizing significant benefits by applying new real- time strategies. Their stories highlight specific solutions and tactics used for tackling the complex and exciting opportunities that the use of real-time and the power of social media present.
Corporate executives, small business owners, entrepreneurs, marketers, advertisers, and consumers are actively seeking education and information on exactly what is required to join the conversation and harness the potential of real-time social media marketing because the world has changed forever. There is no going back. You cannot afford to be a wallflower. Step into the conversation now.
People all around the world are connecting via social networks and communities with lightning speed. Every day it seems that the numbers build. The swiftness is exhilarating because real-time is what is happening in this instant, where you are or where someone else is at the exact same moment, next door or on the other side of the world. This new speed is being combined with the development of free social media platforms that create virtual water cooler spaces where people share similar interests, opinions, reviews, and conversations. These two elements—real-time and social media platforms—deliver information faster than television or radio, with a broader reach and at dizzying speeds.
The merging of real-time with social media–empowered conversations has become rocket fuel for the world of marketing. Marketers now have the ability to target consumers with laser accuracy and link them to a brand with relevant and ongoing dialogue on platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube. The conversation chain has no limits in its capacity to sweep up every demographic and ethnicity. Facebook was started by Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg as a proprietary way for friends to stay in touch and foster relationships, regardless of the dramatic liberties taken in the film The Social Network, released in fall 2010. In late 2009, Facebook's fastest growing segment was baby boomers. As of July 22, 2010, Zuckerberg announced that the number of Facebook profiles worldwide had exploded to over 500 million. That number is larger than the U.S. population. To put it in perspective, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world's third largest.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Interactive International Data Map, 52 percent of the world's population was under age 30 in 2010. These global digital natives are mobile, socially networked, and live fluidly in real-time. The human need to connect and share is evident in the various platforms that are being embraced around the world. OhMyNews is a favorite all-digital citizen journalism community in South Korea with tens of millions of profiles, while Renren.com and its new merger partner Kaixin are a leading force in China along with Kaixin001.com and 51.com. Google's Orkut is still Brazil's top social network. Hi5 is the hub of choice in Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, and Mongolia. Maktoob is the place to be in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. V Kontakte just passed Odnoklassniki as the most popular social site in Russia, areas of Eastern Europe, and Turkey. StudiVZ is exclusively for college students in Germany. The digitally socially active in Japan are on Mixi.
The map in Figure 1.1 shows social media around the world.
1.1 World Social Media Map as of June 2010
Since this human tsunami is occurring in real-time, marketers, content creators, and enterprises must view their world through the Now Lens. Consumers want directions now, search now, movie reviews now, personalized news now, sports scores now. People want it on their screen of choice—the TV, computer, smartphone, iPad, or Xbox—to share with friends, fans, and followers now. Consumers are creating or clamoring for content that is personalized, sharable, and available anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
Those who provide content and capabilities to these demanding consumers in real-time will capitalize seemingly overnight. Corporations that are prepared will discover that "conversations" are one of the most powerful brand accelerators and business development tools to appear in years. Conversations in real-time are shoring up customer retention and brand loyalty. More than ever, real-time marketing must be viewed as a business management function that contributes to the bottom line.
Companies that quickly learn how to master the art of attracting and retaining customers in real-time will be ready to generate sustainable, profitable growth and will end up winners in the globally connected world. Companies that don't, won't. It's really that simple. That is why it is imperative to take a moment to understand the following facts about and insights into these digital natives from around the planet. These are the people you will be marketing to and the companies you may be working for sooner than you think.
Mona is an 18-year-old Chinese native who is studying science at a community college in Southern California. Before her arrival in the United States, she had traveled extensively throughout Europe, Dubai, and Mongolia. As is typical of digital natives, borders are insignificant to her. Though she is far from her friends in China, she uses social media as a tool to stay close and see what they are doing by means of their status updates and photos. She uses the Chinese instant messaging service QQ and Renren, which is similar to Facebook. All her friends use those social platforms to avoid making expensive phone calls. Mona's goal is to continue her undergraduate and graduate work in America and then secure a job. If that does not happen because of fierce international competition for opportunities in the United States, she will return to China.
Sam Flemming is based in Shanghai and is the chairman of CIC, a company he founded in 2004 as the first and leading social media research and analytics firm in China. CIC is at the forefront of exploring Chinese digital culture, helping leading brands in that country such as L'Oreal, Pepsi, and Nike understand how social media can be leveraged across the entire organization. Sam provides this insight into the state of social media in China today:
According to the government run China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), which serves as the de facto source of China Internet statistics, China has over 420 million Internet users as of July
Excerpted from THE POWER OF REAL-TIME SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING by BEVERLY MACY. Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
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