There were so many great papers on social media at this year's IPRRC. Here are my three favs:
DiStaso, McCorkindale, and Agugliaro: America’s most admired companies social media industry divide
Not much to admire in the social media practices of many of Fortune’s Most Admired.
First off, Twitter is by far the most widely used platform, followed by YouTube and then Facebook. That might surprise some people, but the reality is that while 955 of the Most Admired appear to have a Facebook page, 51% of those are just using their Wikipedia page on Facebook.
The authors categorized the Most Admired companies by industry:
- Consumer packed goods
- Financial services
- Healthcare / Pharmaceutical
- Technology and transportation including automotive
Then they judged each one on the following variables;
- Account adoptions: Does it have a social media account?
- Stakeholder willingness to engage: The amount of engagement (likes, followers, etc.) that each company has.
- Adherence to Best Practices. Do they:
- Disclose the individual responsible for managing the account?
- Post accurate and balanced information in a timely manner?
- Openly resolve stakeholder issues?
- Name the person responsible?
- Use a human voice as opposed to a faceless institutional voice?
Using these criteria, they created a list of “Gold Standard Companies," those that met 11 out of the 15 best practices. They then used content analysis to analyze the social media accounts of 417 companies on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Sadly very few of the Most Admired adhered to the best practices. The industry with the worst scores on every channel was Healthcare / Pharmaceutical, while Consumer Package Goods scored highest overall. Perhaps most surprising was the high performance of Financial Services companies on Facebook and YouTube. There wasn’t a single company in the Healthcare / Pharmaceutical or Manufacturing categories that even came close to Gold Standard practices.
The Gold Standard companies by industry were:
Consumer Packaged Goods:
Hinson and Wright: Measuring social and emerging media use in public relations practice:
Insights based upon an eight year longitudinal analysis
Most PR people don't measure their own social media.
One of the papers I always look forward to at the IPRRC is the annual update from Michelle Hinson and Don Wright of their eight year longitudinal analysis of the use of social and emerging media in PR. Since 2006, an average of 430 PR professionals each year have responded to their questions on the impact of social media on the practice.
The most discouraging response was that 57% of those surveyed are not measuring anything at all in social media (just shoot me!). And, of those who are measuring, only 22% are measuring anything relating to outcomes.
This year’s research revealed an increase in the percentage of time PR practitioners spend on blogs and other social media during their workdays. Twitter was the channel that saw the most increase in usage.
Mulvey and Hill: Motivation to like: Analyzing the motivations of college students liking companies on Facebook
What’s to Like?
Another riveting study was by Tyler Mulvey and Kevin Hill of Rowan University, who set out to determine just why students decide to Like a brand on Facebook. They conducted an online survey that collected 103 responses, 68% were female, and 32% were male. 76% were between 19 and 22, and 24.3% were over 22.
It was the difference in responses between the various demographics that proved most interesting. In general:
- Younger people used Facebook for entertainment, while the older people were more likely to use it for social interaction.
- Younger users were more likely to Like a Facebook Fan Page to obtain information regarding company’s new products, etc., than were older users...
- ...but older users were more likely to comment on a corporate post.
- Females were more likely to Like a page to get coupons, whereas males were more likely to Like a page to get hidden content such as exclusive video or movie trailers.
- Other motivators to Like were free shipping, information, and contests or sweepstakes.
Katie Delahaye Paine is Chairman, KDPaine & Partners, (a Salience Insight company), and Chief Marketing Officer of News Group International. KDP&P delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine is a dynamic and experienced speaker on public relations and social media measurement. Click here for the schedule of Katie’s upcoming speaking engagements. Katie and Beth Kanter are authors of the book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” to be published this year by Wiley.
The Measurement Standard is a publication of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine, Chairman of KDPaine & Partners, will be glad to talk with you about measurement for your organization.