A good weekend for our Think:Lab

This weekend, our Think:Lab has been in the news twice. :-)

Hollywood & Twitter

On Saturday, Financial Times (International Edition) reports about a social media study Thorsten has carried our together with Caroline Wiertz from Cass Business School and Fabian Feldhaus – it deals with the immediate effect Twitter messages have on a movie’s box office success. We featured this study on our blog a couple of weeks agol, too. Read the full article here.


On Sunday, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung cited our Think:Lab in it’s German article on Facebook-usage. This article is available here.
An interesting side-effect: A short look at comments unveals how strong our society splits in two when it comes to new-media-usage.



Social Media Think:Lab Thought Leaders Summit 2012

Social Media Think:Lab Thought Leaders Summit 2012

We are very happy and honored to officially announce our inaugural


which will take place from September 19th to September 21st 2012 in Munich, Germany.

Following our goal to conduct and support world-wide leading-edge social media research, we invited 20 of the world’s top social media scientists for a 1 1/2 day research workshop to identify crucial developments for marketing thought and to set the agenda for research on social media in the future. The Summit is to be held in cooperation with the

Journal of Interactive Marketing,

the leading scientific journal for social media research. During the invitation only workshop, the scholars will identify crucial developments for marketing thought and set the agenda for research on social media in the future. The resulting papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Interactive Marketing, currently scheduled for 2013.

The Summit will take place in Roland Berger Strategy Consultant’s headquarters, the Highlight Towers Munich.

Of course, we will keep you posted on this exciting event right here on our blog.




3. Deutscher Medienbeobachterkongress 2012 / 3rd German Media-Observer-Congress

Medienbeobachterkongress 2012

Here’s my still very fresh impression from yesterday’s 3rd Media-Observer-Congress 2012.

The dominant topic of this years conference was social media controlling. It’s fascinating to see how social media evolves almost monthly and how, in general, discussions on this topic become more professional conference after conference. Social media evolves and managers start making the same high demands on its efficiency as they do on other media channels.

What else is worth mentioning? The second opening speech from Prof. Schwaiger (LMU) on reputation management really got me. In his upcoming study he compared German DAX-companies with high reputation with those with low reputation. Controlling for endogeneity and all sorts of other factors he found a significant reputation-induced value premium for the former companies. This is a strong argument against growing tendencies in management practice to reduce marketing to a shortsighted sales promotion-function only.

Lodenfrey Social Shopping-Voting Tool

My second take-home message came from Ralf Mager, head of online marketing and e-commerce at Lodenfrey. The small and very traditional Munich-based fashion label and boutique impressed with it’s creativity and passion for social media (much of it can be attributed to Ralf’s own enthusiasm for this topic, I guess!). They not only handled and intelligently integrated all sorts of social media channels (even Pinterest :-), but also came up with some remarkable ideas for social commerce. A Facebook app let’s you collect a number of clothes of which you can’t decide on which one to buy (see picture above). The friends you trust help you out and vote the favorite item for you.

“Social media needs passion and ownership. That’s why you can’t source it out to any agency,” was Ralf’s advice on how to deal with social media.




Marketing science is far behind concerning social media topics

Today, I came across a nice study on how social media research developed over the last 15 years. In their latest paper “Social Media Research in Advertising, Communication, Marketing, and Public Relations” Khang, Ki, and Ye brought together all scientific social media publications from 1997-2010 from four research disciplines:
- Advertising,
- Communication,
- Marketing, and
- Public Relations.

Unsurprisingly, social media publications increased when the larger social networks evolved:

More astonishing is the fact that social media seemed to be primarily a communications topic so far. Marketing and advertising publications (only 67 out of 436!!!) were rather rare, as this table indicates:

To me, this is a relatively sad snapshot of our discipline. Shouldn’t marketing science actually always be one step ahead of marketing practice? Shouldn’t we come up with ideas to form tomorrows markets rather than running behind mass-phenomena of today’s markets?




There is the widely spread rumor that social media replaces classic email services. Although this rumor seems plausible, I (Jonas) have not seen any empirical evidence yet. Now I found this nice little analysis as part of the “2012 channel preference survey report”. The full report is accessible here.

Social media rises, email declines




How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses – 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Social media marketing is here to stay. And for business it brings significant benefits, as you will see outlined in this year’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report. This annual report includes insights from more than 3,800 marketers and digs into the “who, what, where, when and why” of social media marketing.


Some of the key findings of the study are more and some are less surprising.

For the third consecutive year the hottest question which marketers have on the very top of their minds remains the question about how to best measure the ROI of social media marketing. Nevertheless, marketers still place a very high value on social media which is reflected by 94% of the survey participants who say that they actively use social media to market their business. Furthermore, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube remain the top five social media networks/ tools for marketers. 

Somewhat surprisingly, by contrast, is the fact that the overall importance rating of social media for businesses has slightly dropped from 2011 to 2012. Another interesting fact is that B2B marketers seem to have longer social media experience than B2C marketers. Moreover, more experience also means that more time is also actually spent on social media marketing. After all, 58% of experienced social media marketers report that social media has helped them improve sales.

If you are interested in having a read through the full 42-pages report please click here to download the report. The download is free until 19th April.




Social Media are an incredible phenomenon and offer plenty of opportunities, not only for companies and celebrities, but also for ordinary people like you and me. Every day, social media allow some of us to become entertainers, heroes, or even idols. This is the short story of one of them…

Yesterday, Sami Slimani, a 22-year old boy from next door, proudly presented himself being featured as part of the cover-story of the new Stern-magazine and two national German newspapers (Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung). He is no movie star, no politician, he didn’t ran a new world record in any marathon. In the real world, he’s just the nice guy from next door.

In the online world, that’s different. Sami is a German YouTube star, better known as Herr Tutorial. His videos, which, at the beginning, he mostly made in his nursery at home, are watched 100-300k times each. They cover fashion, lifestyle, and beauty topics. In this context, I (Jonas) met him in 2009 at the very beginning of his career. In these days, I worked for L’Oréal and organized a blogger event to launch a new beauty-platform. Like most of the other young bloggers, Sami was a friendly, open-minded young man, maybe even a bit shy. It was very nice, talking to him, who still seemed to be somehow overwhelmed by his early success.

Since then, he made hundreds of videos and became more and more professional. He taught us how to use hair wax, treat our skin, become slimmer, wear the latest fashion items, or how to date successfully. And of course, he always entertained us. His fans thanked him for that and followed him hundred-thousandfold.

What is the secret of his success? Is it as simple as publicly sharing beauty and health-care tips? Is that really all you need for becoming famous in social media? For sure, entertaining people is one side of the coin and, for sure, Sami is the born entertainer. But Sami’s character has more to offer. The plot of his short life-story is deeper and richer than most of us would expect. And that’s what makes him interesting. His loves what he does and with all his heart he loves communicating with others. With the good faith of a young, unbroken soul he’s not hiding a single part of his personality. He shares his journey of growing up and finding his own personality with all of us. A journey, which, if we look back, we all had to go on once in our early days.

On this trip, people put many obstacles in his way. The web is full of jealous, young people questioning his success and his personality. Again and again, he became victim of cyber-bullying (and not only the G-rated stuff; take a look at the commentary of this video) and again and again he overcame and resisted these hostilities. That’s how he rose to a representative for many young men and women, trying to find their place in society. He gave them hope to never give-up and direction to find their own way.

A young fan on Wikia puts it this way and there’s no better way to describe it:

“Wer ist Sami Slimani?
Ein cooler Youtuber der uns Saminators als Fans hat ! Er ist super nett und macht viele Sachen für uns und bringt uns bei Never say Never zu glauben ! Er hat den besten Zuschauerkontakt, weil er so viele Meet and Greets mit uns macht und ist sehr erfolgreich ! Er lässt sich nie von den Hatern unterkriegen was ich toll finde :) Ich kann euch nur raten seine Videos anzuschauen !! Er ist wirklich toll !
Man beleidigt keine Menschen ohne sie zu kennen ;)”

It is good to know that social media can be places, where values are worth something and where people vouch for one another. It gives me personally the feeling of working for something good.

Sami, congratulations on your cover stories. You deserve them!




McDonalds’ struggle to control the #hashtag

Marketers keep telling brand owners to use social media to engage their customers. But there are times companies must wish they had just bought a print ad instead.









McDonald’s Twitter campaign with its associated hashtag #McDStories “When u make something w/ pride, people can taste it  – McD potato supplier” included a video to a happy farmer and intended to encourage others to tell their own fond tales of McDonalds.

After having launched the campaign it proceeded uneventfully until after only a couple of hours McDonalds responsibles could see that it wasn’t going as planned.  Twitter has soon been lighting up with a bonanza of crude, funny or devastating zings at McDonalds. The hashtag quickly became a “bashtag” as thousands of Twitter users used it to make marijuana and food poisoning jokes.

Weeks after this marketing fiasko the original #McDStories tweet remains a “Top Tweet” (a tweet which captures an especially high engagement with the Twitter community).

Has McDonalds learnt its lessons from the bad PR though? Recently, McDonalds suffered another hashtag hiccup on Twitter just two months after its last effort backfired disastrously. Twitter users are already linking the fast food giant’s new hashtag #shamrocking with an obscene sex term.

At the time, the social media manager for McDonald’s suggested that these incidents may be inevitable when a brand that is both loved and hated engages in social media. Could McDonalds, however, at least have come up with and established a contingency plan which would outline a rough plan laying out how to react in and deal with such disagreeable situations? In fact, social media should not exclusively be associated with the upside potential it can have for a company but the downside should actually always be insured against at the same time too.

Click here to read the full article.


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