The challenges of using social media for marketing purposes — Catherine Tucker

MIT Sloan Professor Catherine Tucker

MIT Sloan Professor Catherine Tucker

From the Chicago Tribune

In an era when marketers spend billions on managing social media, is that investment worthwhile? Should firms actively guide, promote and shape online conversations, or leave them to grow organically?

To investigate this, my colleague Amalia Miller from the University of Virginia and I recently studied what happens when hospitals started to actively manage their profiles on Facebook. We focused on Facebook because it’s the most visited media site in the U.S., accounting for 20% of all time spent on the Internet. We also chose it because the Facebook Places initiative created a page for every single hospital in the U.S., allowing organizations to choose whether to actively manage their pages or not.

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Deception in online reviews: a bigger issue than we might have thought — Duncan Simester

MIT Sloan Prof. Duncan Simester

Online companies are already struggling to deal with “cyber-shilling,” where people or companies are paid to post negative or positive reviews about products or services. But new research suggests that the problem could be much larger than we might expect. We find evidence that some of the people writing reviews on the website of a prominent private label apparel company have never purchased the products they are reviewing.

That firm’s web site generates hundreds of thousands of product reviews. We found that about 5 percent of those reviews were by customers for whom there was no record of actually purchasing the item. Notably, these reviews were significantly more negative than the remaining 95 percent of the reviews, which were posted by customers who were known to have purchased the item. We are also able to replicate the effect using book reviews at

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Five steps to conquering the daily email deluge — JoAnne Yates

MIT Sloan Distinguished Professor JoAnne Yates

MIT Sloan Distinguished Professor JoAnne Yates

From Forbes

No matter what business we’re in, most of us are swamped by emails, not to mention texts and instant messages. We’re always fighting to stay afloat against the rising flood waters. Yet it often seems that the more messages we answer, or the faster we reply,– the worse it gets.

I’ve been analyzing email use since the 1980s. Our increased accessibility from technology was first seen as a tremendous advantage, but it’s now a daily deluge. Through my research and the research of others, I’ve found that there are some things we all can do to handle all those messages more efficiently.

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Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear — David Kiron

There might be more than a billion people using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but most businesses are just beginning to figure out how social technologies can benefit their organizations.

A new research report Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte demonstrates the growing importance of social media to business and the difficulties organizations have with using social tools to create business value. Read More »

Changing a company’s DNA to inspire teamwork — Virginia Healy-Tangney

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Virginia Healy-Tangney

While “teamwork” may sound like the newest business buzz word, it’s actually been around for quite a while. What started as a way to increase productivity in a company has evolved to an actual science today with measurable results.

There are many reasons for this, but the clearest involves the need for collaboration. As was noted in a recent Fortune article, even geniuses like Thomas Edison were never “lone inventors.”

Business operates in ever evolving collaborative environments due to integrated factors, such as technology, globalization of markets and flatter organizational structures. Companies that effectively implement teams have found tremendous rewards in the form of innovative ideas, higher productivity, increased efficiency, and communicative cultures. As MIT Professor Alex “Sandy” Pentland  says in his recent HBR article, The New Science of Building Great Teams, this enables “energy, creativity, and shared commitment.” Read More »