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June 1st, 2012 by Tan Wei Shen under Commentary

The price of engagement

How much are our efforts on the social media worth?

For some time, I’ve been unable to answer clients’ questions on how they should value the entries they obtain through the social media. “How much is this blogger’s post worth?” “How much is a tweet about my client’s product in financial dollars?” Here at JamiQ, we deal with a lot of measurement and big data, but because of the different context of these posts (for instance, how would you differentiate the value between a Foursquare check-in on Twitter vs an actual Tweet about your client’s F&B outlet? Hint: I don’t think you can! Not yet anyway.), it’s often really hard to ascribe a fixed value to these posts.

But we all have to start somewhere. Cloud security company Backupify takes a more general approach in calculating the value of social media posts – taking each company’s estimated annual revenue and dividing it by the number of items of content.

This allows us to arrive at these magic numbers: a Tweet is worth USD$0.001; while a Facebook share, USD$0.024. Which means realistically, if you wanted to get 10 USD$ worth of value from Twitter alone, You would need a staggering 8,896 tweets about your product or brand.

(You can view the infographic here and the original post on it here!)

Of course, this is a really base calculation that doesn’t take into account the more indirect aspects of social media, such as the value obtained from additional eyeballs from the post, number of conversions to direct sales, etc. What it does show however, is the staggering amount of chatter and data present across the various mediums – and how the true value of engagement is often lost against the backdrop of the sheer total volume of chatter across social media.

How do we determine “true” value then? There isn’t a standard answer across brand or industry, but I can tell you – I am pretty sure it involves taking a stab in the dark and spending an arbitrary amount of money first.

More to be shared on this next week!

May 25th, 2012 by Tan Wei Shen under Commentary

Traditional Social Media vs Visual Media

Pinterest_Logo instagram

Is Pinterest and Instagram really the way forward for social media marketing?

Facebook yesterday announced the launch of its Facebook Camera app for iOS users, less than 2 months after the social network giant made headlines around the world with the news that it was acquiring Instagram, the popular photo sharing service, for a staggering 1 billion.

Besides the fact that the Facebook IPO isn’t reaching the valuation investors initially suggested, the Facebook Camera app – which by all accounts contains functions and filters which are mostly similar to Instagram – comes at a time when social media users remain highly enamoured by images, and the messages/brands/feelings they can convey. Wanna push your brand new product through social media using Facebook and Twitter? You’re more likely to enjoy greater success nowadays by snapping pictures of your product (artistically of course), choosing a nice filter, and posting it on Instagram and Pinterest. Congratulations, you’ve become a saavy visual social media marketeer!

Melodramatics aside, the rise of visual social media does pose a threat to the more traditional (you never thought you’d see the day when both of these words are used in the same space, did you?) social mediums, notably Facebook and Twitter. Already, Google+ has seen a decrease in activity since Pinterest started appearing on everyone’s social radar (report here). Sure, you can post and share photos and images on these services, but it’s not nearly the same thing. The main difference is, communities like Pinterest and Instagram were built from the ground up, with a focus on image sharing, not with the image added as an afterthought. Oddly enough, that proved to be more than enough.

So now that we know that Visual Social Media will probably be the Next Big Thing in every social media manager’s portfolio, what are some of the pitfalls we should avoid?

1) Don’t over-saturate your feed with branding

Ok, this seems like the very opposite of what you should be doing. What this basically means though, is that if your company already has a highly visible logo and brand (think Mcdonald’s golden arches for instance), the last thing you’d want to do, is to bombard your feed with more photos of those arches. A little goes a long way when it comes to images, and in this case, it’s often better to find meaningful images that will tie your brand and consumers together rather than go trigger happy with posting mundane images.

2) Don’t re-use content

Some brands make the mistake of sharing ALL their content across ALL their social media identities. One thing to note that since Instagram and Pinterest are mostly image sites, content should for the most part be different. If the same images are used across all your identities however, you’re not creating any intrinsic value for your consumers to follow all your social media identities. If a consumer could see the same photo on Facebook, why should he or she follow you on Instagram and Pinterest and be flooded by the same images when he checks in?

3) No press shots

Taking a photo that was included in a press release and uploading it on your Instagram or Pinterest profile (even if you add a filter, it REALLY doesn’t count) just smacks of laziness. Users follow brands on Instagram or Pinterest mainly because they hope to see photos or images that are less run-of-the-mill and which better reveal the inner workings of the brand or corporation. It could be just as innocent as inpromptu shots of employees preparing coffee in the morning, or the unpacking of products – shots like these are what create connections with followers.

4) Don’t ditch the community

If you start with these communities, attribute the same amount of time and effort you would to your Facebook and Twitter profiles as you would to your Instagram and Pinterest profiles. It’s really easy for followers to tell the sincere brands from the insincere ones – especially when the feeds stop coming.

June 1st, 2011 by Mythreyi Krishnan under Commentary

Social media across Asia : China

In countries across Asia, young people have made similar number friends offline as they have made online. But, in China, youngsters actually have made a larger pool of friends online as a combination of socio-economic factors coupled with higher rate of internet penetration has led to a union of online and offline lives. Due to rural-urban migration many youngsters are separated from their families and find social networking a convenient way to keep in touch with those back home. Another reason often cited is the one child policy which has resulted in most young people growing up in single child homes. Social media has given them a chance to connect to people and share information on a daily basis.

Note that compared to internationally popular sites like facebook, myspace, YouTube and twitter, home-grown social networking sites are used heavily by the Chinese population. After the government disabled these platforms, numerous home-grown clone sites sprung up catering to various segments of the market. Some sites are more popular among 1st tier cities while others cater to 2nd and lower tiered cities. Accordingly, preference varies according to age as well. Techrice used their data to come up with the distribution across segments shown below.

China segmented

Qzone : Launched in 2005, this is the biggest site in terms of number of users which ranges anywhere between 300-480 million registered users according to various reports. Users are able to write blogs, keep an online diary and listen to music. This site is most popular among 2nd tier and 3rd tier cities in China.

Pengyou : Launched by the same company as Qzone, Pengyou meaning “friend” caters to both students and white collar workers. Pengyou is a networking platform for friends in real life whereas Qzone is mostly a network for instant messaging friends on QQ, the most popular IM platform in China.

Renren : this site has around 160 million registered users and is still growing. It is very popular among young people in 1st and 2nd tier cities, especially university students. It started off as Xiaonei.com, and was considered a carbon coby of Facebook with similar layout and the trademark shade of blue. Now, Renren has gained its own place in the social media space in China with 31 million active users monthly. In April 2011, it filed for an IPO in the US offering shares on the NYSE raising over US$743 million dollars.

Kaixin001: Another facebook clone that became one of the fastest growing sites in China by launching apps and games that is available on facebook. Kaixin, unlike Renren is targeted at the white collar worker who spends upto 9 hours in front of the computer each day. Accordingly the user interface is simpler and designed to be more intuitive to use.

Some unique usage patterns

  • Chinese netizens are the most likely to share a negative product review online. 62% of them attested to this compared to the global average of 41%
  • Personal: 1. Staying in touch is the most frequent use of social media 2.Read content 3.Make new friend
  • Business use: 1. Highlight personal expertise 2. Build network contacts  3. Identify lead
  • Chinese state-owned companies have been a late and slow adopter of social media compared to Chinese private firms and foreign subsidiaries in China.

china-internet-users-2010

According to a report last year, China has close to 460 million internet users with 34.3% internet penetration. This is up 19.1% from 2009 and still growing. With such a massive pool of potential consumers, the scope for monitoring is boundless. Web analytics is still shaky in China but monitoring what this community says about your brand is essential for any company.  According to a Nielson poll, Chinese netizens are the most likely to share a negative product review online, 62% of them attested to this compared to the global average of 41%. With stats like these, it would be prudent to have a constant eye on one of the most lucrative online communities in the world.

May 30th, 2011 by Mythreyi Krishnan under Commentary

Digital media trends 2011: Asia Pacific

The good folks at Edelman have recently released data on the use of social media in the Asia Pacific region for 2011. It is perhaps expected, that Facebook features as the most popular networking platform across most countries. In China, Renren rules whereas Twitter and Cyworld are the most popular in Japan and South Korea respectively. Overall, Facebook seems to be the common denominator across the region. However, it is interesting to note that there is variance in regards to what each community uses the internet to do. For instance, more than 90% of Vietnamese netizens read and write blogs whereas only 50.7% of Indians spend time on the blogosphere, preferring to use the internet for social networking.

In order to delve deeper into these variances, we will be studying one country each week to explore how and why people use social media. We will also look at trends pertaining to that particular region and what this means for companies and brands operating there.

Look out for our upcoming feature on China!

APAC-Social-Media-Map

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