Should Fortune 1000 Companies be Active on Social Networks?

July 28, 2009
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Who Should Have a Social Network App/Widget?

I was asked to comment on MasterCard’s new iPhone application “Priceless” in this week’s Adage. Since publishing of the article I’ve received some questions on whether or not certain companies should be involved in social networks, specifically do they have any business building apps?

Based on our recent research as well as our personal experience in building SNS Apps is that, yes in many cases apps can be a good tool for companies in providing something of value to their customers on social networks. However, companies do need to be careful in deciding what kind of applications to build and how they execute these.

Why should companies be active on social networks?

In a recent survey on social networks Anderson Analytics asked whether or not social network users would like to see the brands/companies they normally purchase products from become more involved in communicating with them on social networks. As expected when asking about advertising, which at some level commercial involvement entails, a third of SNS users were negative (35%). However, the real story is that most were neutral (45%), and there were nearly as many that



Who Should Have a Social Network App/Widget?

I was asked to comment on MasterCard’s new iPhone application “Priceless” in this week’s Adage. Since publishing of the article I’ve received some questions on whether or not certain companies should be involved in social networks, specifically do they have any business building apps?

Based on our recent research as well as our personal experience in building SNS Apps is that, yes in many cases apps can be a good tool for companies in providing something of value to their customers on social networks. However, companies do need to be careful in deciding what kind of applications to build and how they execute these.

Why should companies be active on social networks?

In a recent survey on social networks Anderson Analytics asked whether or not social network users would like to see the brands/companies they normally purchase products from become more involved in communicating with them on social networks. As expected when asking about advertising, which at some level commercial involvement entails, a third of SNS users were negative (35%). However, the real story is that most were neutral (45%), and there were nearly as many that were for it as against it (20% wanted more involvement). Put in other words, the majority (65%) are open to greater commercial communication on social networks!

The story was similar, and even more positive, when we asked whether seeing products/companies and their services on social networking sites influences their trust/buying decisions positively or negatively. Only 19% were negative. Again the majority of social network users were neutral (64%), and there were almost as many for it as against it (17% wanted more commercial involvement). Put in other words 83% are open to commercial involvement in SNS; a great opportunity! [see charts below]

I believe widgets/applications, if designed in the true spirit of social media, in other words if offering some value to the user, is a great way for companies to get involved in social media. This is the reason Anderson Analytics has begun to offer help with application/widget development as part of our new AA-Social Media offering.

Why is a market research company building social media applications?

The game rules for social media and social networks in particular are changing on a monthly, even weekly basis. It is not possible to run exactly the same social media campaign this month as you ran last month. Social Network Service API’s as well as following limits/rules at Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter are changing constantly.

By measuring campaign effectiveness through surveys, and text mining communities online we’ve been able to get a data driven understanding of what works well and what doesn’t on a broader level. More importantly, social network applications/widgets provide a benefit other than pr/advertising. These applications often provide a data stream which can be analyzed and add a whole new level of insights previously not available to market researchers. This is why we’ve decided to help companies with more tactical SNS offerings.

@TomHCAnderson

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Link to original postTom H. C. Anderson – Anderson Analytics

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