Articles by Bernhard Warner
Toyota should know better than anyone how to disseminate bad news to affected customers. Again this week it announced the recall of 2.7 million Prius, Corolla and Avensis models, bringing the total number of Toyota branded cars off the road to more than 10 million this year. That’s more or less in line with the recall numbers each of the past two years, 2010 and 2011. The world’s biggest carmaker (as of 1H, 2012, anyhow) should be an old pro then at utilizing its social channels to keep people informed and up-to-date. Right? Think again.
Good morning, political junkies. Obama, marijuana and same-sex marriage weren’t the only big victors of the 2012 U.S. elections. Once again social media played a prominent role in the biggest political show on earth. Who were the big winners and losers, from a social standpoint? Let’s take a look.
When Barack Obama took to Reddit earlier this month for an unannounced AMA (ask me anything) Q&A session with users it was more than a campaign stunt to pull in votes from the memester constituency. It signaled something big in the world of communications. That is, that a boss found the courage to enter into a barely mediated forum to answer anything on the public’s mind, replete with typos, benign grammar mistakes and a level of genuineness we see all too infrequently on the social web.
Be careful who you hug. That could be the biggest takeaway lessons to come out of the embrace heard-round-the-world this weekend when Florida’s most famous pizzaiolo met POTUS at a caffeine-jigged campaign stop.
IBM on Monday pulled off one of the biggest acquisitions of the year in the social enterprise space with its $1.3 billion acquisition of Kenexa, the cloud-based HR software specialist. To be sure, paying out over $1 billion for a chronically loss-making software provider must show something for the potential of social recruitment enterprise software providers.
ROI zealots, listen up. The size of your social media communities is not nearly as important as you think. That’s right. All those followers, fans and +1′s you’ve been courting, they cannot be counted on to drive sales or impressions, or, your next big job promotion.
Are you a fan of Slashdot? Than you’re probably male and a few months north of 38 years old. A Facebook devotee? Let me guess: you turned 40 this year and you’re a woman. A new piece of research analyzing the demographics of just about every popular social network (in the Western world) and we also see a clear picture arise: it skews female and the median age comes in at 36.9. Feeling a bit younger about now?
There aren’t too many feel-good business stories out there these days. That might be why then a new forecast released today measuring the multi-billion-dollar promise and potential of social media has generated so much interest. According to Gartner, global revenues associated with social media – everything from gaming on Zynga to advertising on Facebook to commerce; amazingly, they don’t incorporate the enterprise side vis-a-vis social business into their forecast – will grow by more than 43% this year to $16.9 billion.
We gave Goldman Sachs a pretty hard time a few months back, repeatedly questioning why the Wall Street giant continued to shun social media just as its Fortune 100 rivals expanded their presence there, and the financial services sector in particular got increasingly bullish on social with Morgan Stanley going as far as setting up its financial planners on Twitter. Now, we see Goldman has been quietly building up its social communications strategy, utilizing Twitter and YouTube in recent weeks and the results are already paying off.
The big story of the week will hit Thursday when Facebook delivers its first earnings report as a publicly listed company, an event that will be closely watched by all others in the tech/social IPO queue. Shares continue to trade at 25% below its offer price, but there may still be hope yet with reports that shows some promising growth in Facebook’s core ad business that may impact the entire social sector.