Save the Date: Burson-Marsteller Shows How Fortune 100s Use Social Media

Global PR firm Burson-Marsteller is holding a webinar on February 17 at 11 AM EST to present the results of its second social media study. The research focuses on how Fortune 100s use social media across the globe. The agency’s first study from last year showed that 79 percent of the companies participate in the social sphere, but only a fraction actually engages with stakeholdes. Interesting for international PR pros is that Burson-Marsteller takes a global perspective and looks at the developments on different continents and what’s changed since last year. The webinar features experts from Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. What were the dominant strategies and tactics? Did more companies actually engage with their audiences? Let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll definitely follow the webinar and report on the results.

Tweets over Coffee: Qualcomm’s Social Media Walls at CES

After working the show floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for hours, would you say no to a free gourmet coffee? Certainly not! That’s what I thought when I came by the Qualcomm booth at this year’s CES, where they had a full-fledged coffee bar. While standing in line, I recognized several screens, leveraging feeds and aggregated content from numerous social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Why not send a quick tweet or write a Facebook post while standing in line and waiting for that café latte?

From Twitter to Social Media Wall

Twitter walls are a great way to reach a global audience beyond the constrained walls of an event. Qualcomm took this concept a step further by integrating several elements into a full social media wall. “Qualcomm and Digitaria sought to highlight the broader social footprint while tactically melding the unique features of the various outlets as well: visuals via Flickr, wall posts and conversation from Facebook,” said Greg Zapar, senior account strategist at Digitaria, the digital media agency behind the social media walls at the Qualcomm booth. Even better, there was an extra column for Twitter hashtag polls. This was a great way to survey booth visitors and show them real-time results. Questions were related to Qualcomm technology: “Do you use data more than voice on your phone?” was one example. Everyone at the booth was able vote yes or no via Twitter and the results were displayed in percentage on the screens. By integrating #snapdargon in their tweets, show attendees were also able to enter a contest for a chance to win a Windows 7 phone. Furthermore, touch screens invited people to have their pictures taken, select their moods or feelings, and then send the images and words for display.

How to Set-up a Social Media Wall

The social media walls at the Qualcomm booth were custom Flash applications developed by Digitaria. When implementing several platforms and elements this effort is necessary. But there are several tools out there that can be used to set-up a simple Twitter wall, ranging from free solutions like Twitterfall or fully customizable but paid offerings such as Wall of Tweets (disclaimer: in my role as a PR manager for NAVIGON, I’m a customer of Wall of Tweets). The Twitter wall pulls all tweets including a certain hashtag or keyword, so they become visible to everyone at the event, spurring conversations and reactions.

Monitoring Results

As with any social media or PR program, monitoring results is imperative in order to demonstrate the impact and reach. Metrics could for example include total tweets, re-tweets, link clicks, new followers, among other factors.  “For the social wall, Qualcomm uses a variety of tools for social measurement including Google Analytics, Radian6 and NetInsight,” explains Zapar. While Qualcomm and Digitera haven’t released any stats on their social media wall at CES yet, they are planning to do so in a forthcoming case study. Once the results become available, I will report them in a separate post.

Have you seen any other creative forms of integrating social media at events? Let me know in the comments.

Four Visuals of The World’s Social Media Landscapes

It’s hard enough to keep up with all the emerging social networks on a national level, but this becomes even more challenging when looking at international developments. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter put every company that joins them on an international stage. However, in order to effectively reach audiences globally, it’s neccessary to look at countries individually. It’s a paradox: social media is global but at the same time deeply local. In some cases it can be sufficient to use single platforms that span several countries, in others this doesn’t work at all. Not only language can constitute barriers, many regions also have their own dominating networks. In China QZone has more users than Facebook and in Russia VKontakte is the most popular social media site, to name two prominent examples.

When putting together a global social media strategy, going with the most popular networks is not always the best approach. Which platforms are most effective really depends on the individual goals of a campaign, the target groups and their demographics. Nevertheless, getting an overview of the networks that are important in each country is a good start.  I recently came across a few visualizations that all try to map the global landscape of social networks. Here are four of them that I found helpful. Do you know any other good overviews I didn’t mention? Just let me know in the comments.

World Map of Social Networks

On this world map, color-coding of individual countries marks the dominating social networks. Maps from previous years provide a nice way of tracking the developments and changes.

Social Web Involvement Map

This interactive world map lets you select countries to get insights into the dominating forms of social media in this region of the world. Categories include uploading photo or video, social network profiles, maintaining a blog and more.

The Conversation Prism

Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas developed The Conversation Prism to visualize the social media universe organized in groups. While the original version focuses on social media in the US, communities in several countries have adopted this graphic to depict their local landscapes. This currently includes Germany, France, Japan and China.

A World of Tweets

This website provides a live view of the volume of tweets around the world. It also includes an interesting chart that ranks countries based on their Twitter engagement. While statistics are usually outdated quickly due to the rapid speed of change in social media, A World of Tweets shows results in real-time.