Social Media Growth

Companies view social media as an important business strategy.

March 1, 2011

Growth With Social Media

If a company uses social media, it’s most likely seeing some degree of success.

That’s according to a study of social media tools used by Inc. 500 companies, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research.

More Inc. 500 companies view social media as important, with 86% reporting these technologies to be somewhat or very important to their business and marketing strategies in 2010, up from 79% in 2009. And growth is even stronger among those who consider it “very important.” Facebook is the most popular tool these companies use.

For information, visit

Do Members Blippy? Or Swipely?

Do your members Blippy? Or Swipely?

Both are “social buying” sites that allow consumers to share information about their credit and debit card purchases with friends or strangers.

Consumers allow these sites to receive their credit card receipts. Users rate their “swipes,” add a comment or two—“a great value”—and post it on the site for others to read and comment on.

The sites also make additional recommendations based on users’ buying habits.

These start-ups have a lot of supporters: Blippy raised $11.2 million from Silicon Valley venture capital firms; Swipely raised $7.5 million in private

Swipely says its goal is to “start conversations” around meals, songs, or other products.

Many swipes are geo-located automatically to specific store locations. These sites also can support product details by integrating catalogues and menus from retail and restaurant locations.

Consumer-buying data is long sought after, and these sites are the latest to offer their spin on it. It’s how Amazon knows to recommend a Blu-ray player to someone who just bought an HDTV or has started building a movie collection, experts say.

Another start-up, ShopSocial, raised $1.2 million in venture capital recently. The site also shows potential customers what their friends have purchased.

“Social commerce, which is a broad market, is extremely profitable and growing rapidly,” notes Lewis Gersh, a partner with Metamorphic Ventures, in the New York Post.

And then there’s Groupon, a Chicago-based coupon site, which offers subscribers deep discounts on local goods that become valid when a minimum number of subscribers accept the deal.

Innovation Teams Need Clarity

Innovative ideas, initiatives, products, and culture changes have little chance to succeed without smart communications, says marketing executive Georgia Everse, writing in a Harvard Business Review blog.

Avoid these traps:

1. Don’t break ground in the wrong direction. If your organization hasn’t explicitly communicated your core reason for being, you’ll need to start there. Your innovation teams need this level of clarity to
guide their efforts and thinking.

2. Don’t lose sight of the horizon. The complexity and uncertainty of forging new ground makes it easy to get lost. Make thinking visible to help teams stay on track and reinforce their goals.

3. Don’t make the process a mystery. Successful initiatives are supported by a well-defined process, which should become the foundation for successful internal communication.

4. Don’t undercommunicate. New projects must be accepted into the operations side of the business. This hand-off often fails because general management, human resources, marketing, communications, and sales teams haven’t been informed along the way.

5. Don’t let cynicism undermine the process. Taking your credit union into new territory of any kind never comes without some healthy skepticism from your positive team players and cynicism from your naysayers. Tell stories and create experiences to put them in the role of the consumer.