Consumers Want Social Media, Businesses Say Not So Fast

facebook-blockedDespite the fact that the average customer wants to interact via social media, 30 percent of companies don’t have a program in place to handle the demand. That’s according to a study by Yankee Group and it’s not really surprising. Many companies still see social media as a time-waster that keeps their employees from getting their work done. Some companies have even gone so far as to block sites such as Twitter and Facebook, but in cutting off their employees, they could be cutting off their virtual noses to spite their user profiles.

The Yankee Group study found that nearly 60% of customers feel company outreach via social media would improve their loyalty to a company.

70% said they want and trust company information that comes to them through social networks and most respondents said companies should monitor social media for customer feedback.

Fear Doesn’t Stop Social Media Users from Revealing their Location

youarehereSusan is having coffee at Starbucks in Santa Monica. Mike is seeing a movie at Edwards Fashion Island. Cynthia is at Home feeling Left Out!

Geolocation applications are taking hold of the social media world thanks to the proliferation of smart phones and wifi hot spots. Now it’s not enough to Twitter what you had for lunch, you have to have an application that announces the exact restaurant for all to see. It’s a strange trend, given the number of people that are constantly taking aim at Facebook’s privacy issues. What’s even stranger is that, according to a survey by cyber-security firm Webroot, 55% of people who use geolocation applications are actually concerned about the lack of privacy.

Chinese Social Media Users: Can We Be Frands?

ogilvyoneDespite the government’s alleged attempts to control Internet usage in China, social media continues to flourish in the country and that’s good news for anyone with a product to sell.

According to the new “OgilvyOne Connected” report, 1 in 4 social media users in China is an “initiator,” a member of the “cool group” who is capable of swaying public opinion with their views on products or people. This number is huge, given that in offline marketing, only 1-2% of consumers fall into this category.

The study further goes on to say that users not only tolerate marketing online but that they actually enjoy the process of learning about new products and sharing them with others. Said one respondent, “Great products and services bring people joy and happiness. This is something that can be shared among friends.”

Twitter Beautifies Follower Notification Email

tweetmessageWith absolutely no fanfare at all, Twitter has thrown the switch on an updated Follower notification email that tells you everything you wanted to know about a person and more.

The old notification email greeted you warmly then announced that NAME HERE is now following your tweets on Twitter. After that was a snapshot of their current followers, tweet and following stats.

The new format does away with the warm greeting and puts the name of the Twitter account in the notification line:

Cynthialil (@Cynthialil) is now following your tweets (@TWITTERACCOUNT) on Twitter.

That’s followed by the person’s avatar, Twitter name, location and bio info before moving on to the stats which now include lists. The stat layout is now a table that resembles the layout in Twitter.

Starbucks Takes the Prize for Top Brand on Facebook

starbucks-facebookWhat do Family Guy, Lady Gaga and President Obama have in common? They’re three of just a handful of Facebook fan pages with more fans than Starbucks. The coffee giant has just crossed the 10 million mark making them the most popular brand on Facebook, beating out Coca-Cola by several million.

What’s the secret to their success? Media Post News says it’s a steady stream of promotions.

“Last July, it added 200,000 fans in one week through its Free Pastry Day promo, allowing fans to print out coupons for complimentary confections with a beverage purchase.

More recently, it used Facebook to run a “Taste Challenge” tied to the rollout of its VIA instant coffee, offering participants a free brewed coffee on their next visit and a $1 off a VIA purchase.”

The @Earlybird Gets the Sponsored Twitter Ad

earlybirdIn an effort to turn Twitter’s captive audience into dollars, Twitter has launched @earlybird, a new account that give followers exclusive deals from a variety of sponsors. Up first is Disney Pictures and a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal on tickets to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

The account has only been live for a week and this is the first deal to be sent through, but already they’ve picked up nearly 50,000 followers. The irony is, these same 50,000 people were probably the ones complaining about Twitter’s decision to add sponsored tweets to their feeds earlier this year. Now they’re paying (granted, not in cash) for the privilege of having ads sent their way.

But just because a 50,000 tweeters clicked the follow button, doesn’t mean that @earlybird will be a success. That will depend on two factors:

HootSuite Update Gets You Down with the In Crowd

andybealTwitter dashboard HootSuite added a new layer of functionality this week that emphasizes the influencers in your social media crowd and further lays the ground work toward becoming a pay service.

Like high school, social media users fall into cliques and everyone wants to hang with the popular kids because they’re the ones that have the most influence on those around them. HootSuite has made it easier to locate and pitch to those popular peeps with their new Klout Score filter.

Located on the home feed tab, the filter allows you to sort your incoming Twitter tweets by scope of influence as determined by HootSuite’s super secret algorithm, aka Klout. You can then use a slider to eliminate people under a particular Klout score, isolating only those people you really want to associate yourself with. In my case, I don’t have anyone higher than a 69 in Klout value with Andy Beal coming in just below a contact who calls herself a “bacon queen.” I’m just saying.