For the third year running (see 2008, 2009) I’m going to aggregate stats in the social networking space on a single blog post, and update it through the year. Data fiends should bookmark this post for future reference.
Stats are important –but on their own, they don’t tell us much
Stats on social networks are important, but don’t rely on them alone. Data is like fire, it can be used for good and bad, proper insight and analysis is always required. Beyond that, you’ll often see conflicting stats across the industry as everyone has different methodologies, as a result, this listing will help you to see the greater trends –not numbers without context.
How to interpret stats
Numbers don’t tell us much without insight and interpretation, in fact, you’re going to see conflicting numbers of usage from many of the agencies and social networks themselves. The key is to look at trend movements, don’t focus on the specific numbers but the changes to them over time. Put more weight on active unique users in the last 30 days vs overall registered, in fact, the actual active conversion rate will often range from 10-40% of actual users sticking around and using the social network, so don’t be fooled by puffed numbers. No single metric is a good indicator, you have to evaluate the usage from multiple dimensions, so you also have to factor in what are users doing, time on site, interaction, and of course, did they end up buying, recommending products, or improving their lives.
A Collection of Social Network Stats for 2010
I’ll be updating this post throughout the year, bookmark it, and share it with others.
Comparison: All Social Networks
- “The data doesn’t deny that Facebook has come to dominate social networking in the US, and overtook MySpace in 2009. But MySpace’s 57 million US unique users are nothing to sneeze at – it’s still a top web property with users who are highly engaged. The second tier networks, such as Tagged, Hi5, MyYearbook and Bebo, still receive an impressive 3-6 million uniques per month, and users spend a fair amount of time on those sites. BlackPlanet users spent 3.6 minutes longer interacting with the site than the average Facebook visitor. MyYearbook and Tagged users were on these sites more than 3 minutes longer than the average MySpace visitor. There is definitely addictive behavior occuring on these other sites.” LeeAnn Prescott (Someone I personally trust), Feb 2009
- Nielsen published stats showing that “three of the world’s most popular brands online are social-media related (Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia) and the world now spends over 110 billion minutes on social networks and blog sites. This equates to 22 percent of all time online or one in every four and half minutes. For the first time ever, social network or blog sites are visited by three quarters of global consumers who go online, after the numbers of people visiting these sites increased by 24% over last year. The average visitor spends 66% more time on these sites than a year ago, almost 6 hours in April 2010 versus 3 hours, 31 minutes last year.” Nielsen, June, 2010
By Region and Geography
- Japan: This slideshare has data on Japan’s mobile behaviors, and demonstrates how most social networks are accessed through mobile devices, and discusses Twitter, Facebook, and other social network adoption. Japan’s Cellphone Edge, 2010.
- Facebook keeps it’s stats page updated, and boasts over 350mm users. Facebook, ongoing
- Facebook has announced 400mm users, Feb 5, 2010.
- Infographic on Auguts 2009 Facebook stats, including usage, size, adoption rates by Mashable, on Feb 12.
- Facebook demonstrates growth in total number of visitors (now over Yahoo, for second place) and a high degree of attention (time on site) “Facebook has surged past Yahoo as the number two most popular site in the U.S., drawing nearly 134 Million Unique Visitors in January, 2010. It’s been two full years since we’ve seen a shakeup at the top – In February, 2008, Google overtook Yahoo as number one, and never looked back.” Compete, Feb 18, 2010
- Usage of casual gaming (Farmville, mafia wars) is suggested to be by moms. A PopCap survey reports that “The PopCap study showed that 55 percent of all social gamers in the U.S. are women, as are almost 60 percent of those in the UK. The average age in the U.S. is 48, which is substantially older than the 38-year-old average in the UK, and 46 percent of American social gamers are 50 or older, compared with just 23 percent in the UK. Only 6 percent of all social gamers are age 21 or younger.” Via GigaOm, Feb 18
- Facebook visitors to other sites are apparently more sticky at least by a few margin points: “To offer one example, 81% of visits to CNN.com in the week to March 6, 2010 were returning visitors while 84% of visitors to CNN.com that came from Facebook.com were returning visitors and 72% from Google News were returning visitors.” One could argue that these Facebook users are more engaged, or content that is recommended to them by friends is more relevant. Hitwise, March 18
- Facebook has cross the 500mm user mark, see blog post from CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, July 21, 2010
- Top countries adopting Facebook: United States, UK, Indonesia, see stats from Royal Pingdom, August, 2010
- Now has 60mm users, “Over the past year, network has seen a significant amount of growth, especially internationally. As of last December, the network had 55 million members, so its grown by 5 million in less than two months. In October, LinkedIn’s network’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, said in the post that half of LinkedIn’s membership is international. ” reports Techcrunch, Feb 11
- All data told to me by Tagged directly on March 24 by ssarner at tagged.com
- Statistics: Total Registered Users: 100 Million
- Global Monthly Unique Visitors: 16 million
- USA Monthly Unique Visitors: 6 million
- Daily Users: 3.5 million
- Monthly Page Views: 7 billion
- Attention USA (comScore) Average Minutes per Visit: 12.2 – #1 social network
- Total Monthly Minutes: 796 Million – #3 social network
- 10 million new friend connections made everyday
- Tagged “Meet Me” application produces 40 million daily page views
- Over 100,000 user generated virtual gifts, TAGS and skins available.
- Average of 75,000 – 100,000 new daily registrants
- Hubspot luanches a report of Twitter.com registrations and shows a decrease in rate of adoption. There’s also useful data within the report about followers and their behaviors based on a sample methodology. Hubspot, Jan 19, 2010.
- Sysmos launched a report about global usage of Twitter, with most adoption in US. Interesting that the key nugget is “… the number of U.S. unique users was 50.8%, a sharp drop from 62.1% in June. This suggests the use of Twitter outside the U.S. has experienced significant growth over the past six months.”, Jan 14th, Sysmos. Thanks Jean in the comments for the submission.
- Data indicates that many Twitter users are not active. read “The number of Twitter users has climbed to a lofty 75 million, but the growth rate of new users is slowing and a lot of current Twitterers are inactive” ComputerWorld, Jan 28
- Twitter themselves finally publish numbers indicating there are 50mm tweets created each day. ”Folks were tweeting 5,000 times a day in 2007. By 2008, that number was 300,000, and by 2009 it had grown to 2.5 million per day. Tweets grew 1,400% last year to 35 million per day. Today, we are seeing 50 million tweets per day—that’s an average of 600 tweets per second. (Yes, we have TPS reports.)” Twitter, Feb 22
- Twitter co-owner Biz Stone has revealed that the site now has 105 million registered users. He revealed the startling number at a Twitter developer conference, aptly title Chirp, and also mentioned that 30,000 people a day are signing up to tweet. Techradar, from Twitter, April 14
- Black people, who account for about 12% of the population in general, make up 25% of the Twitter population. Business Insider May 2010
- As Yelp has grown from fledgling start-up to critical mass website, serving over 30 million visitors a month. Brainstorm tech, April .
- Find out who is creating the top YouTube videos and who is embedding them. “The study also looked at the demographics of bloggers who embed these videos. In general, 20-to-35-year-old bloggers embed most of the videos (57%), followed by teenagers (20%) and bloggers over 35 (20%).” Including stats on average number of comments, duration and other tidbits, Read Write Web, Feb 15.
Mobile, Desktop and Social Networks
- There’s a sea change in more people using social networks from mobile devices rather than desktop clients “more people are using the mobile web to socialize (91%) compared to the 79% of desktop users who do the same. It appears that the mobile phone is actually a better platform for social networking than the PC.” Ruder Fin via Read Write Web, Feb 2010
I’ll continue to update this page over time, please leave a comment if you have 2010 submissions, I’ll credit you.
Above: A photo I took on a recent trip to North Shore Oahu, inline with my plans to fulfill operation bluewater.
Recent data around interactive marketing spend indicates that the hospitality industry was ripe for spending on social marketing above all other industries. Why? This form of consumer marketing could be dependent on the human emotion and story telling between individuals, or through compelling word of mouth marketing campaigns.
As a result, Christine Tran, Altimeter Researcher and myself are kicking off this list, and encourage you to add examples by leaving a comment. The scope for this is list is a tourist destination –not a hotel, airline, or specific restaurant.
- Bahamas Island Film Challenge, The Bahamas Tourist Office UK
This video contest campaign encouraged filmmakers in the UK to submit videos with voting encouraged from the crowd.
- Caribbean, Caribbean Travel Organization(and islands)
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter are present on the main site, but yet each of their other travel, blog, and other sites. See Carribean Travel, OneCarribean lists out various social properties, Antigua’s forums, and Aruba’s Facebook integration.
- Visit Dublin, Dublin Tourism
Site has flickr, YouTube, podcasts and Twitter integration. They also sport a Facebook page.
- Hawaii’s GoHawaii, Stories of Hawaii
Hawaii has used a variety of assets such as Facebook pages, Twitter, and even created a Pandora station, in the past, Hawaii has catered to a group of bloggers who spread the word to their readers on a blogger tour. Disclosure: HVCB is an Altimeter client.
- Memphis Travel
I recently met the wonderful head of social media, Kerry, at Memphis’s travel bureau on my travels, they have Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr account links on their site but haven’t yet integrated with their site.
- uwishuknew, Philadelphia Tourism Marketing
An online source for an insider’s view of Philadelphia.” It’s a blog written by staff and local bloggers who are “in-the-know.” Here’s an example of their blog on dining.
- The Best Job in the World, Tourism Queensland
You may have heard of the Best Job in the World campaign, a popular campaign garnering international media attention, and over 35,000 entries worldwide on youtube. The winner blogged about his entire experience.
- Ultimate Thailand Explorers, Tourism Authority of Thailand
On the heels of the Best Job in the World, Thailand launched its own campaign. Contestants produced a 60-second YouTube video, and rallied for votes from their own existing social networks, effectively becoming destination ambassadors and spreading engagement. Do see the related blog.
If you’ve got examples, please leave a comment below, with a description and URL, we’ll add.
The web is quickly moving to real-time, people share the information about what they’re doing while their doing it. Yet the next step beyond real time, is future-looking data, which is called the Intention Web (get up to speed by reading this post). In an effort to map out this trend in 2010, let’s list out the vendors, companies, and beyond that will facilitate this type of forward looking data.
There are countless opportunities for people to connect with others with the same goals, or for companies that want to serve them as new technologies like Social CRM evolve and develop. Scope: These Intention websites facilitate a person to publish their future goals in the context of their community, or sometimes even in public. For example, an unshared CAL isn’t a qualifier.
To The Future! A List of Intention Enabled Websites
- 43 Things: This “wish list”, they suggest that you make a list on 43 Things and see what changes happen in your life. They encourage you to connect with others with the same goals.
- Coachsurfing: Helps those traveling to other cities to find homes and couches to stay on, by organizing availability. (thanks jasminw)
- Facebook Events: Facebook allows members to RSVP for future events, publish their own events, or see what friends are doing.
- Localist: Allows those in DC and Baltimore to find events, publish their intent to attend, and organize with friends (thanks Mary)
- Meetup: Encourages groups to organize events, plan events, and connect with others.
- Plancast: Is a social network that allows members to publish their future plans. It allows people to see who is going to other future goals, and to publish to Facebook, and Twitter.
- Tripit: This website allows travelers to plan out their travel itineraries. (thanks Sameer)
- Upcoming: This Yahoo owned property allows people to find, publish, and share future events.
Leave a comment if you know of other technologies that meet this critia
Social CRM: A Growing Segment
Yesterday’s post on Social CRM vendors not walking-the-talk raised awareness of this nascent space. However, not everyone was thrilled with the effort, as CTO John Moore gave us an A for effort but a C- for results, and Kim Kobza, the CEO of Neigborhood America (they were an early adopter) left a comment on John’s post suggesting we missed the mark (also, SAP ‘s passionate team strongly represents). Although we stand by our scoring, both John and Kim are right, our evaluation yesterday was only on a small subset of the industry, but a manageable starting ground, as we continue to unearth the variety of players.
Tracking the Market with an ‘Industry Index’
For a few years ago, I’ve created what I call my posts called the Industry Index (see all) lists to track companies in any particular vertical, it helps me, vendors, and buyers to track the space. I expect this space to rapidly increase in size as social channels will be bolted onto CRM vendors, and many brand monitoring and community platforms are adding workflow, triage, and tracking capabilities. The purpose of this list is to quickly capture the vendors participating in this space, and to acknowledge those that were not on yesterday’s review, I expect there to be many more vendors who leave a comment, which we can quickly add to this list.
We owe it to the market to try to include as many as possible, although it’s going to be very difficult as this space quickly grows. So first, let’s try to put some scope around this space with a definition.
Social CRM Definition
We prefer Paul Greenberg’s definition of Social CRM, which he summarizes as:
“CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.” (also read his 2009 review of this space on ZDnet)
It’s a broad definition, but the key criteria he lists out are enough for me to go on.
List of Companies Providing Social CRM Offerings: (34 vendors total)
Traditional CRM Vendors offering Social Integration (11 vendors)
- ACT!: This barely fits the scope of social crm, but ACT! allows a single individual to manage multiple types of information, including social, however if this product was extended across an enterprise, it fits the quota.
- BatchBlue: While not a ‘traditional’ CRM like many of the others listed below, has traditional sales automation features, but also connect with existing social graph data, think social aggregation of contact lists. After watching the demo, it looks like you have to manually enter feeds of contacts, rather than auto-finding data from social graphs by scraping.
- Buzzient: Offers a CRM platform that provides social media analytics that can be used for web marketing, customer tracking, or reporting. They have partnerships with Salesforce, Oracle, and SugarCRM.
- Microsoft Dynamics: Offers Accelerators (here and here) that “Allows business professionals to monitor and analyze customers’ conversations on social networking sites, and as a result, provides real-time status updates about their products and services” (thanks Menno, who writes on the topic) They are also partnered with Neighborhood America
- NetSuite: Offers social CRM with a partnership with InsideView and has Twitter integration (submitted by Paul Greenberg)
- Oracle Siebel Social CRM: Promises the ability to provide insights based on the buying behaviors of similar customers, as well as shared content to be used between sales teams.
- RightNow CRM: Offers several features in their suite such as Support Communities, Innovation Communities, Cloud Monitoring, and Social Experience Design. Rightnow recently acquired Hivelive an enterprise community platform.
- Salesforce: Offers acces to Social Networking like Facebook and Twitter. Salesforce, like SAP is importing the Twitter “firehose” feed, and has offered social features like Q&A, and social networking like Chatter, and has lightweight LinkedIn integration.
- SAP CRM: Imports the Twitter firehose feed, and
- Sugar CRM: Offers “SugarCRM Cloud Connectors connect via Web Services to leading third-party data service providers such as Hoover’s, JigSaw and LinkedIn”
- We Can Do Biz: Offers traditional CRM features (although their website is a bit difficult to navigate) for SMB, and has a unique Twitter scraping feature that filters down by some level of geography and organizes records in the database. I had a briefing with them on Feb 2010. Added Feb 2010.
Community Platforms Offering Social CRM (5)
- Jive Software: Community Engagement, offers data integration from Radian6, encouraging management of the discussion.
- Leverage Software: I recall that Leverage offers built in integration with Salesforce, but I was unable to find it on their site.
- Lithium Technologies offers the Social CRM Suite offering features such as Community Applications, Reputation Engine, Actionable Analytics, CRM Connectivity, and Social Web Connectivity.
- Neighborhood America: Has had a partnership with Microsoft Dynamics, read press release, (they were early on in March 2009) and commentary from Paul Greenberg on ZDNet.
- Concourse: Offers a variety of integration modules to a variety of apps, including a CRM module that’s prebuilt. (via pjk54)
Brand Monitoring Offering Social CRM (4)
Social Media/Twitter Clients (2)
Social Customer Experience (4)
- CrowdEngineering: Helps to match experts to customer problems, by using a recommendation engine and skill resource set engine.
- Fuze Digital Solutions: Provides a broad and modular multi-channel customer care solution using a community knowledge base as its foundation.
- Helpstream: Offers tools that allow customers to submit questions to each other, with integration into SalesForce in addition to community driven knowledge centers. see video.
- Parature: Offers chat-like features for support reps to interact with customers, then measures sentiment.
- Get Satisfaction: Is an off-domain (all the support is done on their site –not yours) community that now offers premium features that offer ability to manage discussions.
Sales 2.0/Social Graph Aggregation (6)
- Flowtown: Allows marketers to prioritize targets to contact by a variety of influence scores, and their social graph. It then offers targeted email marketing based on those two criteria.
- Gist: Offers a way to track the social behaviors of your customers and prioritize.
- InsideView: Offers some unique offerings that mine a business social graph to provide alerts as a plugin to traditional CRM systems, Watch this lengthy demo.
- Roving Group: Offers a product called ‘Roving Contacts’ that aggregates the social graphs and contact information from your address book.
- SocioToo: Not the typical corporate enterprise company, this Dutch company offers a search page (and no real corporate site –by intent) that mines social graph data in public.
- Xobni: This cleverly named (opposite of inbox) Outlook plugin scrapes your social graph and most frequently emailed contacts improving email utility. This barely falls within the scope of social crm, but if the data was able to export to other systems, it could start to apply.
CRM Applications and Plugins (2)
- Appirio: Offers the ability for companies to create applications on Facebook which then marry data back to Salesforce, called Cloud Connectors.
- SocialCRMTools: Offers integration with Salesforce that imports, monitors, and manages Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. (via John Perez)
Social Networks and Others
- Twitter: Has made motions they plan to offer premium services to brands, that would offer verified accounts, then management-like features. The specifics are still unknown, as they sort out their business model. They have partnered with Google and Bing.
- Google has announced real time search integration, and Bing has shown some early integrations. While far fetched we should not completely rule them out as eventually building a dashboard for brands to manage their namesakes, advertising, and website analytics, or Google alerts. Historically, they generate money off content created by publishers, so this actually falls in line with ‘organizing the world’s information”.
- Feb 12,2010: Added WeCanDo.biz after a briefing, and Alterian.
Not on this list? Leave a comment, with justification why you fit in Paul’s definition with a link to your site explaining more, I’ll take a look and add to it, please be patient while I review. Also, if you want to brief Ray and myself, please read and submit to this briefing form.
Update: Business Partner Ray Wang and I have created a more detailed matrix of this space for our clients.
Developing a social strategy is a lot like having a balanced diet. While the employees can learn from each other, additional external supplements must be introduced into the diet for a balanced meal.
Unlike other tried and true mediums that are used to connect with customers, social strategies come with implications and risk. While brands will ultimately drive and implement their own social strategy entrée they’ll still need supplments to ensure they’re getting a balanced and healthy diet for this marathon. The below is a list of methods that brands are getting their daily dose of supplements for their social programs.
[Developing a social strategy is a lot like having a balanced diet. While employees can learn from each other, additional external supplements must be introduced into the diet for a balanced meal]
How Brands Balance Their Diet With Social Media Supplements
Brands ultimately drive their own strategy, but must have additional resources outside of their firewall to understand the rapidly changing social space. For each supplement, I”ll define what it is, give an example, then suggest how to best use, these supplements include:
Workshops and Webinars:
- What it is: Brands often bring in third party experts that have formalized workshop agendas, content, and workshop content to help them succeed.
- Examples: I know many of the community platform vendors like LiveWorld have such an offering, as well as most social media conferences. Education hubs like Marketing profs have ongoing webinar series, as does Forrester’s teleconfernces.
- How to use: Use these once internal stakeholders have buyin, and there’s momentum from groups that want to learn best practices. Don’t apply too early –nor too late.
Ongoing Training/Internal Labs:
- What it is: Brands are offering marketers ongoing training classes for social, that include a variety of external speakers, but coordinated by an internal resource or central team.
- Examples: Proctor and Gamble has the P&G social media labs which has provided a multitude of internal brands with resources, including a safe place to experiment. See their recent “Tides of Hope” experimental campaign, which was a success in learning. Secondly, PepsiCo, is leaning on Edelman Digital Strategy team (Rubel) for internal training, strategy, and recommendations.
- How to use: Large conglomerates or CPG brands will benefit first by having this ongoing educational program and curriculum. Great to deploy when multiple teams need education –and need to benefit from synching from each other.
Social Media Advisory Boards:
- What it is: Brands have a dedicated relationship with external thought leaders and practitioners, build relationships with them and seek their perspective.
- Examples: Intel has a social media advisory board, dubbed the “Insiders” that has a broad collection of industry practitioners and commenters –I’ve noticed some of them get Intel sponsorships. In some regards, Wal-Mart’s 11 moms program, which is non-paid sponsored conversations will result in similar benefits.
- How to use: Brands that want to develop long term relationships for programs, campaigns, should set these programs up, these are great stepping stones for influencer relations, esp in markets that take heavy criticism.
Councils and Clubs
- What it is: Brands join ongoing clubs and councils created by third parties. Some have member fees, and some are free, depending on sophitication. In some cases, memberships are wide open for the public, and others have private membership
- Examples: There’s a great number of councils and clubs from the: Social Media Club, Social Media Breakfast, BlogCouncil, Internet Strategy Forum, Forum One, Womma, EConsultancy among others. IBM hosted a Tweetup in their NYC office to meet and greet the social media community, although a one-off, a tweetup is an ongoing meeting across the world of passionate social users. At Forrester, we offer premiere clients the opportunity to join the Forrester Leadership Board for Interactive Marketers.
- How to use: Encourage practitioners to attend these clubs to learn from peers on an ongoing basis. Host or sponsor these meetings at your own company to learn from folks.
- What it is: Research firms provide brands with data, best practices, and recommendations that help them to make successful decisions.
- Examples: eMarketer, Comscore, Nielsen Online, Pew Research, and Compete offer strong analytics. Brands seeking strategy and advice could approach Society of New Communciations Research, Gartner or Forrester, my employer. Leave a comment below if I’ve missed someone.
- How to use: Research is needed before crafting a strategy, as brands must find out who their customers are, how they use technology, and use for vendor and service vetting.
Ongoing Social News
- What it is: News about the social media space is well, noisy. Finding the right areas to find signal are key for every brand, as spending time scouring blogs can easily consume one’s day –and night.
- Examples: You’ll find consistent summaries and digests from SmartBrief’s Social Media daily wrapups, RWW’s weekly wrapups, or, my weekly digest of the social space.
- How to use: Be selective in your choices, you don’t have a lot of time during the day, once you find your credible news sources, be sure to encourage your colleagues to subscribe.
Of course, this dietary supplement is an ongoing process, and not just limited to social, brands, leaders, and everyone need to constantly learn to stay fresh. Additionally, brands should have internal training areas that employees can share their best practices and learn from their wins and losses. Take for example Vignette’s Dirk Shaw, a recently appointed social media strategist who has an internal blog dedicated to helping their marketing and product teams and beyond learn social. I purposely left out the extensive list of books on the topic, and this large list of marketing related conferences.
Upcoming Research on this Topic
I’m working on a Forrester report to uncover “How companies organize for social media” and if you’re a large brand that wants to talk to me, I’d love to interview you for this Q2 report, contact me at jowyang @ forrester.com.
I hope this list helps you maintain a balanced and regular social diet, leave a comment with additional suggestions, I’ll add them in as appropriate and credit you.
This week’s post on the Future of the Social Web has created a tremendous amount of discussion –and I’m thankful for all the voices that chimed in. I’m going to create this post to track the eras as they appear, obviously this is going to take a few years, but hey, I’m not going anywhere.
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between an era starting, vs becoming mature, so read how I denote the differences below.
Running List of the Five Eras of The Social Web
For details on this report, access the high level blog post, or if you’re a client, access the full report on the Forrester site.
Era of Social Relationships (started 1995, matured in 2003-2007)
This era is mature.
- AOL, 1995
- eCircles, 2001
- MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Era of Social Functionality (started 2007, matures in 2010-2012)
These are prelimnary examples, but are not examples of maturity, as we’ve not seen true useful utilities to improve business.
Era of Social Colonization (started 2009, matures in 2011)
These are prelimnary examples, but are not examples of maturity when your entire digital experience is social.
Era of Social Context (starts in 2010, matures in 2012)
This era is certainly not in maturity, but we can see some early examples of demographic scraping.
- There are no current examples
Era of Social Commerce (starts in 2011, matures in 2013)
These are prelimnary examples, such as Techcrunch’s crunchpad, but it’s not a true example of a crowd created, spec’d product.
- There are no current examples
As you see examples, please leave a comment, describe why you think it belongs and which era, I’ll credit you as appropriate.
I’ve done a lot of other lists, for a variety of industries, verticals, age groups, but need to spend some time on women. Agencies and brands get to showcase their work (I’ve got great SEO in front of a social media audience) and it’s easy for women to find communities that are interesting to them. Lastly, to be honest, I don’t know that much about the women social space so I need to be educated, help me!
If you do submit, please leave a comment with a URL and a brief description. See my other industry indexes for a variety of other social media efforts tagged industry index.
Stats related to women and social media.
Imedia shows stats showing how women are quickly becoming a dominating demographic in social media
Forrester’s technographics can segment women’s use of social media by age, and in some cases, country
Ongoing List of Social Media Marketing Efforts and Campaigns for Women
These instances are more on the shorter term, and are clear examples of social media efforts of brands wanting to connect with women online using social technologies. Sometimes the branding is obvious, sometimes I had to take a deep look into the contact us, or sales page to figure it out.
Luvs: Created this sponsored blog to provide tips and tricks to mothers
BlogHer Conferences: Multiple brands sponsor the conference, and provide product demos or giveaways
Dove: Beauty campaign was integrated, however the YouTube video has strong recall
CVS, For All The Ways You Care: allows caretakers to submit stories
Pampers Village: A community for mothers with young children, content extends to lifestyle.- Link via Jessica
BabyCenter: A community owned by Johnson and Johnson Jessica
Mom Logic: AOL’s content portal for women – link via Don
Shine: Yahoo’s portal for women, thanks old friend Robyn!
Tampax: Being Girl: A community and conversation focused on helping young girls go through adolescence.
Trying to reach women from a brand perspective? These resources will help.
She-conomy: A guy’s perspective to marketing to women from Stephanie herself
Reaching Women Daily: This blog is focused on marketing to women. thanks Andrea
She Speaks: Interesting, product review community. thanks Andrea
Networks and Communities For Women
This category tends to lean on the longer term effort from a blog network, online community or other social destination, expect the above category to try to merge with the below and vice versa.
BlogHer: The community for women that blog
Sugar Network: Our fresh, conversational and witty editorial voices inform, connect, inspire and entertain an audience of over 8 million monthly unique visitors
Cafemom: A community and resource for expecting mothers –and beyond!
DiveTribe: A Women’s Community of Strenth, Support, and Creativity
Suicide Girls: This alternative view is the antithesis of the playboy beauty and shows a truly raw look at beauty defined
The Frisky: “Which is why it totally boggled our minds that out of all the gazillions of love, sex, dating, and, um, smut sites for women on the Internet, none of them were relatable. Enter The Frisky” -via Courtenay Bird
Jezebel: Celebrity, sex, fashion, for women-via Bukola Ekundayo
Kirtsy: Interesting, this is a digg for women. Submit stories, tips, or products.
Wowowow: The women on the web, appears to cater to the professional and power women on the internet. -via Bukola Ekundayo
TwitterMoms.com: A growing-like-wildfire community for digital moms who blog and tweet. Link via Jessica
Moms Like Me: A social network that connects local moms, interesting. via Chris Kieff
Geek Girl Camp: Tech savvvy women who like unconference. I think I’ve walked into one of these, and know many of these women. Link via Susan Koutalakis
She’s Geeky: A technology conference for women. If I were a woman, I would certainly go to this one. Thanks Rachel
TwitterMoms.com: A growing-like-wildfire community for digital moms who blog and tweet. Link via Jessica
MomBloggersClub: A community directed at mommy bloggers. Spinoffs include Gamer Moms and Pregnant Moms. Link via Jessica
I’m not Obsessed: “Gossip, without the guilt” clever tag line.
I Know Politics – A community for women who either are or wish to become involved in politics around the world. The site is run by a group within the United Nations. link via Devlin Dunsmore
Closet Couture: A focus on fashion, outfits, stylists, and other services- thanks @aihui
Savvy Auntie: This community helps aunt’s with their relationships with newphew’s and nieces. – thanks Stephanie
Girls in Tech: A network for women in business in the technology space. – Thanks Susan
GirlGeeks: A community for women in tech –Thanks Christine
GirlGeekDinners: network for women to meetup, as you would guess, over dinner. –Thanks Christine
Women’s Ties: Network for women entrepreneurs. Thanks Yvonne
International Women’s Day: Focuses on a celebrated holiday for decades. Thanks Yvonne
Women entrepreneur’s blog Simon Graduate school has this resources for their grads. via Tom.
Recipes.com: This site indicated that this is aimed at women.
Status: For now, I’ve updated this list up to comment #28, and will update when I get time, so far, it’s a very strong list.
Leave a comment below with a URL and I’ll credit you.
Sponsored conversations are happening, yet we insist on it being done right and ethically, that means disclosure and being authentic. This post, which I’m updating frequently, will serve to show there is a long history of sponsorship, the many forms of sponsorship, and an ongoing list of these transactions.
I make lists to track what’s happening in my industry, in fact, you can see many of these famous lists on the ‘industry index‘ category. While some are taken aback by companies sponsoring conversations, I’m going to list out many brands and bloggers that are involved, this is clearly not going away.
Some of these examples get very gray, it’s hard to tell where the editorial line starts and stops, or would these bloggers have talked about a brand if they weren’t sponsored? Our solution is simple: they must meet the requirements of disclosure and authenticity we recommend.
Sponsorship in other Mediums
It’s important to see where sponsorship has come from, in order to see where it’s going. I added this section later as it gives more context.
Celebrities: Stars, musicians and actors often receive sponsorships, gifts, and often endorse products
Sports: Nascar slams more brands on a car, they know that TV airtime during aired events will imprint the brand on consumers. Athletes are often sponsored, one notable example is Tiger woods and Accenture.
Radio: Talk show radio host Paul Harvey was known for “Harvey also blended news with advertising, a line he said he crossed only for products he trusted.”
TV: Product placement without disclosure has become an mainstay in TV
Movies: Since 1927 product placement (Hersheys) has occurred in movies
Video Gamers: Popular video gamers have received sponsorship, even brands like Johnson and Johnson
Search: A few years ago, when ‘sponsored search results’ appeared in the editorially clean search results, it caused an uproar from the community. Now, it’s part of life.
Podcasts: Podcasts are often sponsored, or even allow a word from sponsors to appear in the show, radio does this, and even the popular For Immediate Release Podcast that often discuses ethics in social media
Many Forms of Sponsored Conversations
There’s a wide range of how brands and bloggers meet in a transaction. Consider this section a work in progress, and I added after I published this post.
1) Access : Blogger is sponsored, Example: A brand sponsors a blogger trip, or conference. Example: Wal-Mart sponsors bloggers to visit HQ, but does not pay them anything else.
2) Incentive: Discounts are offered to bloggers or other incentives to get them to buy, Example: Chris Brogan’s trip to a NYC hotel
3) Thank you: Brands sponsor events or blogger conferences, and the blogger thanks them in the editorial stream. Example: Mashable thanks it’s sponsors
4) Product Demo: Bloggers are loaned products, or they are demod to them, Example: Nikon blogger program
5) Advertorial: A blogger discloses that they are promoting a company or brand, and writes in the editorial stream about the brand or lifestyle. The difference is, that it impacts the editorial and generally is questioned as being authentic
6) Paid Reviews: Bloggers are given products or money: Example: Sears, Kmart sponsored shopping spree, or Google hired bloggers to review widget products. Unlike 5) Advertorial, it may not impact the editorial and could be authentic. Disclosure is mandatory
7) Junket: Bloggers are treated to a special dinner, event, trip or lounge at a conference, event, or other venue. Branding may range from light sponsorship, product demos, to PR pitching. Example: Blogger trips like what Israeli Foreign Ministry or blogger lounges like BlogHaus. Often transparent, but credibility could be questioned if product is involved.
8] Payola : Bloggers are paid to blog, but are not mandated to disclose or be authentic, in fact, the FCC has rules on this, and Forrester is against this.
Running List of Sponsored Conversations
This list, which will grow from community submissions and shows a variety of sponsorships: The gambit ranges from product giveaways, contests, shopping sprees, reviews, discussions, advertorials, to endorsements.
Read Write Web: While against the premise of paying bloggers, has a blog post in their blog editorial stream written by a paid sponsor. It meets the requirement of disclosure and authenticity, they’re one example of doing it right.
Mashable: I want to point out that some of the other large tech blogs that have conferences, often do a ‘thank you’ post to their sponsors. While it’s clear this isn’t to trigger a discussion, the sponsored vendors are called out in the editorial stream, with marketing hyperbole intact.
Techcrunch: While this clearly is not an endorsement, vendors are mentioned in the editorial stream to thank them for sponsorship, which is separate from the advertising column, as you know, this site has incredible influence in SEO and traffic. This is pure in transparency and authenticity. There’s been some discussions whether or not Techcrunch writers have been involved in sponsored conversations, it’s not clear to me if it’s true.
Blogher: Dozens and Dozens of brands from Bertolli, Sesame Steeet, Leapfrog, McCain Foods, Merci Chocolates, TNT, Bare Minerals, VTech and others offer giveaways to bloggers at this popular women’s blogger conference. Note: not all of the giveaways were products, but some were the usual conference schwag.
Gizmodo: Thanks it’s sponsors in the editorial stream, such as Nike, Microsoft, Lenovo, interesting there are no links, perhaps to avoid any ‘no follow’ issues with google
AdRants: the most popular ad blog is currently offering sponsored posts for $565
Chris Pirillo: One of the top geek bloggers is available for sponsored posts at $843
Chris Brogan: a well known social media marketer, is available for sponsored posts at $565
Julia Alison: a NY socialite, much like a celebrity is available for $517. Brands have been sponsoring celebrities for years, now it’s just online.
ZDNet: As listed below under HP, Dana Gardner’s analyst content is sponsored by HP with full disclosure.
Guy Kawasaki: borrows an Audi, and demonstrates the car features via images and video
Mashable: has created a way to insert sponsored tweets into a twitter widget, they’re monetizing twitter in a transparent way.
Magpie has been experimenting with inserting ads in the Twitter stream, while not truly ‘sponsorship’ it’s inserting it right into the conversation stream. See my experiment.
Sponsored Tweets: Izea (formerly pay per post) has launched Sponsored Tweets. Kim Kardashian, Chris Pirillo, and Carrot Top are among those who will be paid to Tweet.
Seagate: Robert Scoble’s Fast Company show is sponsored by Seagate, and he toured a factory in China, give away seagate products, and mentions them from time to time in his blog.
Symantec: Pays BlogHer bloggers to review products, and this example is disclosed and transparent
Panasonic: Sponsors Bloggers like Chris Brogan to attend CES on their dime, and a conversation spreads to many social sites.
Ford: Is allowing bloggers (update: actually just one) to drive their new car, the flex for one year
Disney: Worked with influencers and sponsored conversations for paid movie reviews that they’ve released.
WalMart: creates a section on their website for 11 mom (and Dad) bloggers. They are not paid, but their travel expenses were paid to visit HQ, and they are given products to review, and to give to their readers.
Sears: Gives away $500 gift cards to bloggers, who can also give another $500 to readers.
Kmart: Sponsors bloggers to visit its stores and shop with gift certificates, then share another gift card with their readers and has success. One blogger, Chris Brogan took a lot of heat for it.
Microsoft: This one was under scrutiny. This was an early example, but they sent one of their top “Ferrari” laptops to top bloggers. Some, like Scott Beale chose not to keep it.
Microsoft: This campaign was slammed for not being authentic. Hires Federated Media, a network of top blogs, who recite a slogan from a Microsoft campaign, this one was controversial and included many top bloggers, even a VC.
Nikon: Let’s blogger photographers borrow their DSLR cameras, but they have to return them or buy them later.
M&Ms: has a chocolate product giveaway to this blogger and her readers.
Hewlett Packard: Provides the Blogher community a printer, that resulted in 227 comments. Actually Angela from HP says the results were much greater.
Hewlett Packard Sponsors Zdnet Dana Gardner’s blog and podcast. Dana, who’s a trusted IT analyst is sponsored by HP and provides full disclosure.
General Motors: Sponsored “five moms, Aviva, Devra, Jill, Meagan and Sarah, will make their way across the nation from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, in a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid”
JCPenny: Offers bloggers a $500 gift card for Blogher bloggers to share their shopping experience.
Mercedes: Let a mother who blogs use Mercedes GLK, and gift certificates were given to readers each day.
Quaker Oats (Pepsi) According to Ryan Stern in the comments, Quaker Oats had a contest for recipes and gave product to bloggers.
Dairy Queen: Encourages bloggers to publish for a gift certificate
VMware: According to John from VMware in the comments, VMware sponsors bloggers to attend their conference, and advocates receive gifts.
White Pages: Reached to David Berkowitz as a sponsored blogger as they invited him to Seatlle.
American Express: AMEX has Guy Kawasaki as a guest blogger on their OpenForum community site, it’s not clear if he’s paid, but his editorial is in line with all the rest of his content.
Intel: This chip giant wants to reach tech adopters and influencers, esp those that talk among each other, as a result they’ve sponsored projects for these communities at Digg (visualization tool that resulted in buzz) and a conversation and Slashdot (I don’t have a link, but was briefed by the team).
SAP: Tech giant sponsored interviews from Shel Israel, who was conducting interviews on the topic of social media. This was a perfect example of sponsorship as it was disclosed and transparent, and Shel’s editorial was never changed.
Epson: Sponsored bloggers to attend blogworldexpo a popular conference for new media folks, and the bloggers have chronicled the experience
Kohler: Kohler worked with Federated Media to create this H20 blog to discuss using sponsored bloggers from the FM network.
HP: Created a resource site called SMB Marketing Guide and featured a variety of prominent bloggers from the FM network.
Luvs (Proctor and Gamble): The MomSpeak is a sponsored blog where mommy bloggers come share their tips and tricks to help other moms, project by Federated Media
Google: Google Japan paid bloggers to review their widgets, and true to Google’s stance on sponsored posts, penalaized their own arm from a page rank 9 to a 5.
Nokia: Has a blogger relations program where 50 bloggers received their latest N95 phone.
Roger Smith Hotel (NYC): Offers a blogger special discount, encouraging bloggers to stay at the hotel –and even get upgrades.
Israeli Foreign Ministry: Sponsored the “Traveling Geeks” to tour Israel, who blogged, tweeted, and took pictures. It included high profile bloggers such as Cathy Brooks, Craig Newmark, Deborah Schultz, JD Lasica, Jeff Saperstein, Renee Blodgett, Robert Scoble, Sarah Lacy, Susan Mernit
Cheetos (Fritolay/PepsiCo): While looking more like an ad, this blog post on Mashable shows the Cheetos logo and encourages comments in the conversation. they also sponsored Boing Boing creators to produce some entertaining videos.
Intuit: Sponsors AppGap which provides a best practices and tips for the desired audience with paid bloggers (see comment #35)
SeaWorld: Bloggers were invited to try to blog about why they would want to go to Seaworld, in this blogging contest.
Lenovo: Lenovo’s head of Web Marketing has clear lines about where sponsored conversations start and stop suggesting that payola wrong, product giveaway ok. However Lenovo, provided free laptops and cameras to olympic bloggers to use to share their story, and created a sponsored site where their voices are heard. Appears to be transparent and authentic, this is a good example of a sponsored conversation.
General Mills:General Mills offers up to 900 bloggers product reviews and are not paid, through this very large program. AdWeek explores that while bloggers can write anything they want, the program seeks positive reviews.
Sprint, TNT, Powerbar, Body Glove, Showtime, Colgate, Coca Cola. Social Vibe is a vendor that allows sponsors to connect with users, who will promote a campaign or cause on the social vibe site and on their social networking profiles.
1928 Jewelry: While not a large brand like the ones above, 1928 Jewelry sponsored a giveaway to bloggers and shares her results, see comment #1 below.
Special Case Study: Google: Google’s Matt Cutts will penalize blogs that are doing sponsored conversations he insists those that don’t use the ‘no follow’ tag will be penalized. Interestingly, Google sponsored Blogher in 2007, and Blogher did a sponsored post thanking them in their editorial stream, with marketese, and did not use ‘No Follow’. Will Google penalize Blogher, who they paid for sponsorship? Where does the line start and stop? Update: Google Japan has paid bloggers to review their products –and was penalized by their own company. It’s clear that bloggers that care about page rank need to use ‘no follow’.
The Blog Council has a disclosure Toolkit
Word of Mouth Marketing Ethics Code of Conduct (The “WOMMA Code”)
Sean, the author of the report that triggered this discussion, shares additional insight, and compares ‘in stream’ vs ‘out stream’ of editorial
Disclosure Policy: Generate your own disclosure policy
There will be plenty of other examples to come, if you know of large brands or popular blogs that are doing this, please leave a comment with a URL.
With the financial crises impacting not just US but global markets, as an industry analyst focused on social computing, I’m going to watch how this impacts layoffs in the tech and social media space.
While I take no joy in seeing jobs get cut, I do feature recent ‘on the moves’ and have links to many job sites related to social media. It’s only fair that I point out the new hires as well as the exits.
To be clear these layoffs aren’t just hitting the social media space, but will hit other industries. Most recent at the top, in some cases these are hard to confirm as sources from company feed rumor sites, so take them as you will.
Layoffs in the Social Media Space
Oct 14: Jive lays off around 20% of worforce
Oct 13: Redfin lays off 20% of workforce leaving 75 (link via TomCummings)
Oct 10: Fast Company, which has social network for website and popular videoblogger, lays off 20
Oct 10: Seesmic, a video conversation player lays off 7
Oct 6: eBay to lay off 10% of workforce to streamline after recession.
Oct 3: Gawker blog network lays off 19, and brags about it.
Leave a comment below with a submission, or watch these tweets with the tag #techlayoffs, there are three there now
Techcrunch has a layoff tracker, it’s like we’re seeing f-d company all over again.
Celebrating the hard work that companies invest in social media efforts is not only a way to feel good about our accomplishments, but also a way to learn from the successes of others.
The following list of social media awards gives agencies, brands, vendors, and consultants their chance to strut their stuff. Please leave a comment if you know of other awards.
I realize there are many awards for startups (like Demo or Techcrunch 50), but this is awards for successes that brands have done using social media
List of Social Media Marketing Awards
Forrester’s Groundswell Awards (I’m a judge)
Society for New Communications Symposium and Awards
If you like this list, then you should check out my other industry indexes –lists are helpful.