This was presented at the SNCR conference (looks like a great conference) yesterday – a major study from the IPR (Nearly 300 public relations, corporate and marketing communications professionals experienced in social media participated) of who the new influencers are. There are some surprising discrepancies between what these 300 respondents think and my experience:
Respondents reported that the most effective tools for their social media initiatives are currently:
- Online video
- Social networks
Where are the forums and newsgroups? If you aren’t paying attention to forums and newsgroups, you are missing >90% of the consumer generated conversation about your company, brand, category. Forums, web-boards and newsgroups are the mother-lode of consumer conversations.
Unfortunately I often find large corporations use the word “blogs” to mean consumer conversations on the web. This is wrong. Blogs are not conversations – they are editorial content. The blogger picks the topic, writes, edits and publishes it. Then they get to approve comments. That is not a conversation.
Forums and newsgroups are conversations – peer to peer. Take a look at Howard Forums – a cellphone forum with more than 10 million posts and 750k members. Take a look at a thread and you will see the difference.
Second surprising thing to me is:
‘Respondents believe that social media is most effective for the following sectors: arts, entertainment and recreation; communications; computer hardware; and education”
I guess a broad reading of these categories could make sense – and they are highly dependent on the composition of the survey participants, but where are automotive, finance, healthcare, etc?