New research shows social media posts have a positive impact on companies’ sales — Juanjuan Zhang

MIT Sloan Associate Prof. Juanjuan Zhang

MIT Sloan Associate Prof. Juanjuan Zhang

From Yahoo! Tech

It’s the Age of Social Media, and most companies are all in. They vie for likes on Facebook; they post pictures of products on Instagram; and they collect followers on Twitter and Weibo — China’s popular microblogging site — and regularly post about new services.

And yet, even as companies continue to spend time and money on social media, many are dubious about whether all that posting, tweeting, and retweeting has any effect on the bottom line.

My collaborators from Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management and I have just completed a large-scale field experiment on the Chinese microblogging service Weibo with a large global media company that produces documentary TV shows. We found that when the company posted about its shows, viewership rose 77 percent. Reposts by influential users, meanwhile, increased viewership by another third. The upshot: Social media platforms, like Twitter and Weibo, can have a significant impact on sales.

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The World Cup and shared attention — Evan Apfelbaum

Image Source: LatinTimes.com

The 2014 World Cup has captured the attention of billions of viewers around the globe. For a short period of time, the world will be collectively watching the same events on a massive scale.

MIT Sloan’s Evan Apfelbaum suggests that it is the shared attention that makes these games so emotionally compelling, especially with the United States Men’s National Team making the amazing run out of the group stage.

In a collaborative effort with researchers from all around North American universities, they found that emotional events like the World Cup were found to be more intense when viewed simultaneously with other group members.

In this podcast, Evan touches on the idea of shared attention and the social implications it has on the world’s game on the world’s biggest stage.

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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How LinkedIn has changed the game in job searches (and how to use it) – Bryn Panee Burkhart

Bryn Panee Burkhart, Associate Director, Alumni Career Development

Social media has become an integral component in the recruiting and hiring strategy of all types of firms, from startups to multinational corporations. In particular, LinkedIn offers robust corporate recruiting tools, giving firms sophisticated means of combing through LinkedIn profiles to find talent, a solid job board that shows users their connections to hiring firms, and company pages that build strong corporate brands.

LinkedIn’s biggest source of revenue is from corporations who purchase its corporate hiring solutions.  Out of the Fortune 100 companies, 85 now use LinkedIn for recruiting.  There are over 200 million members on LinkedIn, and the site claims that a new member joins every two seconds. The fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn is students. LinkedIn is a formidable tool for both recruiters and job seekers, and in the Career Development Office we are actively teaching our students how to leverage LinkedIn. Some key tenants include: Read More »

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 »