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 »

Social media and healthy behavior — Damon Centola

MIT Sloan Assistant Professor Damon Centola

It has long been known that social connections and health behaviors are related. We can see this at the individual level: If our friends are working out or dieting or quitting smoking, we are more likely to do so too. But at the population level, understanding precisely how interactions affect behavior has proven difficult. Many factors influence behavior, and while we can see correlations, cause and effect are hard to pin down.

The rise of online health communities and social media, however, has opened important new avenues for research in this area. There are now many intentionally created communities organized around particular health concerns, from dieting to exercise to smoking cessation to combating any number of conditions. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media also have given rise to commercial applications that offer radical approaches to improving health.

By studying what happens inside online communities, social scientists now can observe connections between interactions and outcomes. Investigators also can conduct what has long been the gold standard for scientific research—the randomized, controlled experiment. In much the same way that medical researchers do clinical trials on individuals, social scientists are beginning to do clinical trials on entire populations.

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Why digital maturity matters–”Digerati” drive true value from investments — George Westerman

MIT Sloan Research Scientist George Westerman

For all of the talk about how social media, mobile and analytics are transforming our lives, the majority of big companies still have a long way to go in their digital transformation. However, two years of study with more than 400 firms around the world shows that a quarter of firms are already achieving a measurable “digital advantage” over their peers.

This research, conducted by the MIT Sloan Center for Digital Business in cooperation with research sponsor Capgemini Consulting, shows that the digital advantage is not about luck or about the industry your firm is in. It is not just about how much cool digital stuff firms are doing. Companies that manage their digital activities in a certain way are 26% more profitable than their industry peers, and outperform on other measures as well. Read More »