A varied list of stories this week offered stats on big increases in the use of email marketing this past holiday season, new “users” added to Google+, and the long-term boost to the metrics of social campaigns.
Oh, and someone is getting sued over his 17,000 Twitter followers. Just another week in social media!
Check out our picks for the week’s top stories.
- Email volume grew 20% during November and December, compared to the same time period in 2010
- 75% of major retailers sent at least one promotional email to their subscribers on Thanksgiving Day resulting in a rise of online sales, up 39.3% compared to Thanksgiving Day 2010
- 55% of major online retailers offered free shipping, signaling the new norm for the holiday season
Bottom Line: With increases like this we can only infer that *begin sarcasm* email marketing is dead and online shopping is just a passing phase. *end sarcasm* In all seriousness, we sincerely hope that email marketing and online deals are part of your strategy for 2012.
2. Lawsuit May Determine Who Owns a Twitter Account
Who owns an employee’s social media accounts when they leave a company? And how much are those social media followers worth? A new case, in which one company is suing a former employee over his Twitter account and the 17,000 followers associated with it, will set a precedent in the online world as it relates to ownership of social media accounts. The company is seeking damages to the tune of $340,000. Wowza!
Bottom Line: The solution may seem as simple as asking, “Why was the account created? For personal or professional use?”But as the lines blur more and more between our personal and professional lives, that distinction gets more difficult. It may be a good idea to have guidelines in place for situations like this before they come up. You can most certainly expect to see similar cases more frequently.
3. Google+ May Reach 400 Million Users by the End of 2012
All sources point to the fact that Google’s latest social network is growing. Or is it? The projection is measuring total users, not active users. How will it all play out for the search giant? Only time will tell. Although some people think it’s going to mess up the internet.
Bottom Line: Although total users for Google+ may be increasing, the term “user” is a bit deceptive. “Sign-ups” may be a better term to use when compiling these figures. An active user is what we should really be concerned with. Although we have no official number on the active user statistic, we believe it’s still not a major focus for small businesses yet, unless perhaps you’re in the technology or marketing field.
4. Consumers Choose Email to Communicate with Favorite Brands
A new survey conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer Council and Lithium found the preferred method consumers use when they want to communicate with a brand. The top three answers to the questions “When I want to communicate with a brand, I…” are:
- 65% send an email
- 50% fill out a form on the company website
- 44% call a customer service line
Bottom Line: It may come as a surprise that social media sites don’t make the top three. But not really, when you take into account the fact that if you’re contacting a brand it’s probably of a more personal or detailed nature. When someone contacts your business, it’s important to respond as soon as possible and use the opportunity to Wow! them by offering some type of value-added service, such as a special discount code to say, “Thanks for contacting us.”
5. Social Campaigns Give Long-Term Boost to Brand Metrics
You may think running a social campaign is a good way to acquire new customers, and while that may be true, the real benefit may come from your brand advocates in the long-term. A study by BzzAgent reveals some interesting statistics regarding brand advocates:
- A brand advocate’s likelihood to recommend a product after being exposed to a campaign rises from 39% before exposure to a campaign to 61% directly after.
- 55% of brand advocates studied were significantly more likely to recommend a product one year after initial exposure.
- 38% of brand advocates said they would purchase and recommend a brand before exposure to a campaign. That number jumped up to 69% after being exposed to the campaign.
Bottom Line: Studies like this show how keeping your brand top of mind with customers is of the utmost importance. It also indicates how advocates of your brand can supercharge word of mouth for you in the long-term, making social campaigns a worthy proposition.
What are top stories that caught your eye this week? Let us know in the comments below.