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2009 integrating social media in communications   raport agencji kinross render 2009 integrating social media in communications raport agencji kinross render Document Transcript

  • Integrating social media in communications
  • Introduction The range of social media platforms that have emerged in this decade create wonderful new opportunities for businesses and brands to engage in relatively low cost conversation. Given that this enables one of the key objectives of effective public relations, a positive dialogue with key stakeholders, every professional communicator should be welcoming an exciting new era where our skills are needed more than ever before. For many PR professionals, social media is still perceived as a specialist black art requiring new technical skills. This guide is designed to dispel this myth. The technical skills required are minimal – you don’t have to build a platform to communicate on it! And although you do need to get into a different mind set, good communicators are able to do this relatively easily. The principles for effective social media communications are the same as for every form of effective communications: dialogue is a two way process, good communicators speak the same language as the people they are talking to and content should be informative, engaging, memorable and clearly relevant to the target audience. Poor quality social media engagements and content tend to be produced by poor quality communicators. So, if you are good at communications, you should see social media as an opportunity not a threat. We have written this guide to help skilled communicators get familiar, and hands on, with the ‘tools and rules’ of social media. Hopefully you will find little to fear and enjoy another platform where the skills of the public relations professional are paramount. The best social media guides are on-line and interactive. This version reflects some people’s inclination towards printed materials for learning but we will also be publishing online versions on www.kinrossrender.com, www.ecco-network.com and our own social network, which will ultimately prove both more useful and up to date. Enjoy! Sara Render Chief Executive, Kinross + Render Ltd Chairman, ECCO International Public Relations Ltd www.kinrossrender.com 2
  • Contents Chapter 1: Understanding social media 5 > What is social media? > Why is social media so popular? > Who uses social media? > Why should I care about social media? > What are the main types of social media? > What is the key to success in social media? > How does the approach for social media differ from what is required in traditional communications? Chapter 2: Planning a social media campaign 11 > Is my company ready for social media? > How can I tell if social media is right for my brand? > What next? How do I get started? > How exactly can I find out what’s being said about my brand? > How do I identify the right people to target in the social media space? > I’ve now found out what people are saying about my brand. What next? > What should I do with feedback for my brand – both positive and negative? > Are any particular social media types more influential than others? > Who should converse for my company? > What should any social media guidelines or policy for my company contain? Chapter 3: Writing for social media 18 > What is so different about writing for social media? > What makes good social media content? > How do I write a social media news release? > How do I distribute my social media release? > How do I create a social media newsroom? > How do I make my social media content ‘search engine friendly’? > How do I go about optimising my press releases for search engines? Chapter 4: Blogs 25 > What is a blog? > Who blogs? > What are the benefits of having a corporate blog? > How do I set up a blog? > How do I write for blogs? > How can I make my blog work hard for my company? > How do I make my blog ‘sticky’? > Why is it important to monitor blogs? > How can I identify the right blogs to monitor for my industry? > How can I track who is reading my blog? > Can you provide any examples of successful blogs? www.kinrossrender.com 3
  • Chapter 5: Microblogging 32 > What is microblogging? > Who uses microblogging tools like Twitter? > How relevant is Twitter for my brand? > What are the key components of a successful Twitter communications approach? > How do I set myself up on Twitter? > How do I tweet? > How do I respond to tweets? > What does RT on a message mean? > How do I follow people on Twitter – and why would I want to? > What does the # symbol mean on Twitter? > What are the benefits of hashtags – and what’s the best way to use them? > How can I monitor what is being said on Twitter? > How do I integrate Twitter with some of the other social media tools I use? > Can you give me any good examples of Twitter being used in communications? Chapter 6: Social networks 40 > What is an online social network? > Why should social networks matter to me and my brand? > What are the main social networks? > How can I get my business on Facebook? > How do I make Facebook fans? > Can you provide me with any examples of successful campaigns using Facebook? > How could LinkedIn benefit my business? Chapter 7: Content communities 45 > What is a content community? > What are the main content communities? > How do I target content communities? > How do I include content communities in my PR/marketing? Chapter 8: Social bookmarking 48 > What is social bookmarking and how do I do it? > Which are the main social bookmarking sites? > Why is social bookmarking important as a business tool? Chapter 9: Measurement and evaluation 51 > What is the best way to measure the success of my social media campaign? > What kind of metrics should I be using to measure success? > At what point should I measure success? Glossary of terms 55 Useful social media resources 59 About K+R and ECCO 62 www.kinrossrender.com 4
  • Chapter 1 Understanding social media
  • What is social media? Social media refers to a group of new online ‘media’, spanning social networks, blogs and micro blogs, wikis, etc. which make it possible for virtually anyone to create, share and access content. The content created using social media is sometimes referred to as User Generated Content (UGC) or Consumer Generated Media (CGM). Whereas traditional media – newspapers, magazines, TV stations etc. – are controlled by a group of individuals, social media puts publishing into the hands of the masses and makes it possible for anyone, anywhere in the world to publish information and share their thoughts and opinions with others. Another important feature of social media is its immediacy – it allows you to share content quickly, in some cases instantly. It is also scalable, in the sense that people can keep adding to it and expanding on it with their thoughts and views. This makes it a very powerful tool which is starting to have a real impact on the way consumers relate to brands and the way people do business. Despite what you may read, social media does not spell the end of traditional media – it is simply another communications channel, albeit one that is growing in importance. / iCrossing’s Antony Mayfield summarises the common characteristics of social media as: > Participation people are encouraged to contribute and provide feedback, blurring the lines between media and audience Wikipedia is a great example of User Generated Content (UGC) > Openness social media is about collaboration and the open exchange of information. Anyone is able to take part – there are no barriers to entry > Conversation whereas traditional media tends to be about ‘telling’ or pushing out a message, social media is much more of a dialogue and involves careful listening > Community social media allows communities of like-minded people to form quickly > Connectedness most kinds of social media thrive on their connectedness, making use of links to other sites, resources and people www.kinrossrender.com 6
  • Why is social media so popular? The accessibility of social media makes it popular. It also appeals to people’s love of interacting and sharing their experiences. It is often seen as an extension of being at a party or, as Rudd Kessels from Bex Communicatie puts it, having a conversation in the pub. Who uses social media? An increasing number of people are using social media, with a recent report from Nielson Online finding that member communities (social networks and blogs) are now more popular than email. And while many dismiss social media as a youth phenomenon, the biggest growth is actually among older age groups. According to new research from Ofcom (The Communications Market 2009), the proportion of 25-34 years olds claiming to have a social networking profile grew by six percentage points in the past year (to Q1 2009), while it grew by eight percentage points among 35-54 year olds. In contrast there are signs that the popularity of social networking is starting to dwindle among younger age groups – the 15-24 year olds – falling by five percentage points over the year. / Some other key UK usage figures include: > 19 million number of Facebook users (Source: Facebook Advertising Platform, July 2009) > 16 million almost the number of YouTube users (Source: Nielson Online, May 2008 – May 2009) > 2.6 million number of unique users of Twitter (Source: Ofcom Communications Report 2008) > 50 per cent the percentage of British Internet surfers who have signed up to at least one social networking site (Mintel research, May 2009) Other interesting statistics can be found at Econsultancy: http://econsultancy.com/blog/4327-20-+-mind-blowing-social-media-statistics Why should I care about social media? Quite simply because your customers do! The figures cited above speak for themselves. And if that isn’t incentive enough, new research by Wetpaint and Altimeter Group into the use of social media by *the world’s top 100 brands showed a statistically significant correlation between social media engagement and revenue and profit. (*Based on Business Week/Interbrand “Best Global Brands” publication 2008) www.kinrossrender.com 7
  • What are the main types of social media? / The main social media types are listed below: > Social networks, such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, where people can ‘meet’ and share information and ideas with like-minded people. Tools such as Ning allow users to create their own network > Blogs are simply a publishing tool that allows an individual or organisation to share news and views. Many companies and individuals have their own, with established industry blogs including Tech Crunch and Mashable > Micro blogs are a much shorter version of a blog, limited to 140 characters (two short sentences!) in the case of Twitter > Content sharing communities, such as Flickr, Slideshare, YouTube and Ustream.tv, enable users to share content such as photographs, presentations, video clips and live webcasts > Social news aggregators such as Digg, Reddit, Fark and Slashdot let users share interesting news items they find online and comment and vote on the content they like best. The most popular items are elevated to the sites’ front pages, where they can receive massive exposure. News aggregators are an effective way to direct attention to quirky news items that may be under- reported in the mainstream press > Social bookmarking (or tagging) sites including del.icio.us, Blogmarks, StumbleUpon and GoogleBookmarks allow users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a central source The Nokia Facebook page > Wikis allow a group of people to collaboratively develop a website with no knowledge of HTML or other mark-up languages. Anyone can edit the pages. The best-known wiki is online encyclopaedia Wikipedia but others include Wetpaint and PBwiki > Virtual worlds such as Second Life or custom environments created using software from Forterra allow users to meet, train and communicate in an online space > Podcasts are audio files that you can download over the Internet. You can subscribe to podcast channels and once subscribed, your computer will automatically check back to see if new podcasts are available and download them for you. A vodcast is just like a podcast – only with video www.kinrossrender.com 8
  • What is the key to success in social media? / Embrace the difference The first step is to recognise that social media is completely different to traditional media with a different set of rules and a different kind of approach needed. It is a whole new way of interacting with your target audience. It is not a quick fix you can bolt on to your latest communications campaign – it takes time to listen to what people are saying, to build relationships and to become part of the community. / Listen carefully Rather than launch straight in to the world of social media, it helps to listen first to better understand how it works, to see which social media are most popular with your customers, who’s who in the various communities and the kinds of issues and topics they are talking about. And once you’ve joined the social media space it is important that you continue to listen. The Carphone Warehouse in the UK does a great job of listening to what people are saying about the brand and the customer experience and then responding quickly (see our case study on them in Chapter 5 on microblogging). / Join the conversation People often describe social media as a kind of party – and the etiquette is to listen to what people are saying and join in the conversation when you have something interesting and relevant to say. You should avoid the hard-sell and instead concentrate on listening and responding and becoming an accepted member of the social media community. / Make every comment count The social media space is very crowded and increasingly so, which means that the ‘conversation’ you do have needs to be meaningful and add value. And given that you are supposed to be having a conversation – and not preaching from on high – it is important that the tone you adapt is natural, informal and genuine. / Be open and honest Honesty and transparency are paramount in social media. This means being up front about who you are. And if you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out. www.kinrossrender.com 9
  • How does the approach for social media differ from what is required in traditional communications? Traditional communications involve pushing out your message to relevant media with the aim that they will write about it. With social media the approach is one of push and pull; it is less about broadcasting and more about sharing your message and encouraging people to comment and provide their feedback. It allows you to cut out the middle man (the media) and to have a direct relationship with your customers. As Brain Solis says in his book The Social Media Manifesto, “It’s [social media] about conversations, and the best communicators start as the best listeners.” Finally, in the social media space you have to be prepared to give up control. When you start a conversation there is no knowing where it might go. It’s all about listening www.kinrossrender.com 10
  • Chapter 2 Planning a social media campaign
  • Is my company ready for social media? Success in social media takes time, patience and the right approach, so the question is really if your company is ready to do what it takes. You need to be willing to listen and not just talk at the people you meet online. You don’t want to be a fair-weather friend, and that’s exactly how your brand will come across if you try to sell your wares at every opportunity. Many companies struggle with what they perceive to be a lack of control, but social media requires a certain amount of letting go and allowing the conversation to take its course. And while you can’t control it as such, you can certainly participate and engage with the people having the conversation. Finally, social media requires a personal touch, so you need to be prepared to let your personality shine through. How can I tell if social media is right for my brand? If you see social media simply as a way to sell your products, then it probably isn’t for you. If, however, you see it as an opportunity to build a community around your brand or to better connect with your customers, and are prepared to invest the time and effort needed to maintain it, then it could be the right thing to do. Essentially, social media is not a quick fix – it is a long-term commitment. The best way to truly understand the opportunity for your brand is to actually spend time in some of the social media communities and listen to what is going on. Set up a Twitter account. Explore Facebook. Step up your LinkedIn activity. This will enable you to find out if your customers and prospects are there and where they spend most of their time. Take a close look at how they are using social media and what they are talking about. Various free search tools will also help you track who is saying what about your brand (and competitors). What next? How do I get started? If you decide to take the plunge into social media, you need to think carefully about what you want to achieve so that your activity has a purpose and can be measured – as much as this is possible. There is no point in ‘doing social media’ simply because you think you should. Also, only fools rush in so start by listening carefully to what is being said – find out how your brand and industry is currently being talked about in social communities – and then join the conversation when you have something interesting to say. www.kinrossrender.com 12
  • How exactly can I find out what’s being said about my brand? Keeping up with what is being said about your brand is a daunting task and there are many and various tools and services designed to help – so many in fact that it can be confusing. You can of course use a specialist service such as Onalytica or Nielson Buzzmetrics or a professional (i.e. paid-for!) application such as Radian6, to track the so-called buzz around your brand. However, we recommend you make use of the plethora of free tools available; a few used in combination can provide you with a comprehensive view of what is being said and the only real investment needed is time (this may be something you outsource to your PR agency or assign responsibility to one of your in-house team). Unfortunately there isn’t one tool that monitors all social media sources and the best approach is really to use a general tool and a few platform-specific tools. Try some out and see which work best for you. / General Tools we recommend you look at are: > Google Alerts can help you track what is being said and receive streaming or batched reports. Set a comprehensive alert to monitor across various media – news, blogs, web, videos and groups > MonitorThis enables you to scan up to 20 different search engines at any one time > Samepoint tracks conversations across multiple sources > Social Mention (and Social Mention Alerts) whostalkin is a great tool for seeing what is being said about your brand pulls content from across 80+ social media properties directly. You can also set up daily in social media Social Mention Alerts to track what is being said about your brand on a daily basis > whostalkin.com is similar to Social Mention and enables you to track over 60 of the Internet’s most popular social media platforms As well as monitoring what is being said about your brand, you should also track what is being said about key competitors and topics specific to your business. / Platform-specific Tools include: > BoardTracker is a search engine, message-tracking and instant alerts tool for forums > Ego Surf helps you keep track of where your blog is mentioned not only within Google but also within Yahoo, MSN, delicious and Technorati. It keeps a historical track of your ranking too so that you can track changes over a period of time www.kinrossrender.com 13
  • > Friendfeed Search is a conversation tracker for Friendfeed > Google Blog Search (and Google Blog Alerts) Google’s index of blog posts, allows you to see who is blogging about your brand and what they’re saying. With Google Blog Alerts you can set up daily, weekly or as-it- happens alerts for any time someone mentions your brand online > Technorati allows you to search the blogosphere. You should search for your brand on Technorati and subscribe to RSS alerts so that when someone blogs about you, you find out > Monitter provides real-time monitoring of the Twittersphere > TweetScan (and Twitter Email Alerts) enables you to see what is being said about your brand on Twitter. It includes the option to set up Twitter Email Alerts > Tweetbeep is a kind of Google Alerts for Twitter that will show you who is tweeting about your brand and related topics. The key is to make your search as specific as you can, you can even narrow it down to a specific place, otherwise you may get more alerts than you bargained for > Twitrratr allows you to see the tone of voice of what is being said about you – and how much of it is positive, negative, neutral > Twitter Search allows you to see what people are saying about your brand or on a particular topic / Other tools you may find useful are: > HowSociable? allows you to measure your brand’s visibility across social media > Del.icio.us is a way of saving bookmarks and allows users to manage their bookmarks online and share them with friends. Searching for your brand, product or event in this way can be a real eye-opener – it is a good way to see how and in what relation others are talking about you Check out eConsultancy’s list of 20 free buzz monitoring tools for a few others not included here http://tinyurl.com/oh2owy / Making sense of it all Once you have identified the tools that work best for you, we recommend you set up a monitoring dashboard which brings together everything you are monitoring in a central place – news sites, RSS feeds, blogs, social networks, etc. This makes life so much easier! The ones we recommend you use are Netvibes, Pageflakes and Addictomatic. A useful guide to setting up Netvibes can be found here http://tinyurl.com/lj7xco www.kinrossrender.com 14
  • How do I identify the right people to target in the social media space? In social media it is less about targeting individuals and more about targeting communities. Or as social media expert Richard Stacy says, “It’s about space not place.” Of course it is useful to know who the influential bloggers or ‘tweeters’ are, but more from the point of view of monitoring or following them in order to find out more about your industry. Some of the tools you can use to track down specific people are: > Twellow: a kind of yellow pages for Twitter which allows you to search people by name, by biography details or by business category > Tweetbeep: a kind of Google Alerts for Twitter that will show you who is tweeting about your brand and related topics > Twinfluence: this tool enables you to identify the most influential Twitter users based on reach, velocity and social capital (i.e. how influential their followers are) www.tweetbeep.com is a great way of keeping track of who is tweeting To identify influential bloggers, use a combination of Google blog search and Technorati. about you I’ve now found out what people are saying about my brand. What next? Your next step is to decide how important it is – and what to do about it. The kinds of questions you should be asking yourself are: > Is it real conversation? > What’s the source? > Is it a reliable source? > What are people talking about? > What is the general sentiment towards my brand? > To what extent are their comments valid? The answers to these questions will largely determine what you do next – whether it is feeding comments into product development, responding to criticism or using feedback to shape your marketing and communications programme. www.kinrossrender.com 15
  • What should I do with feedback for my brand – both positive and negative? / The good If someone says something positive about your company it is good to post a thank you or show your appreciation. Perhaps provide advice or greater insight – this added attention can go a long way to turning a happy customer into a real brand advocate. Over time you may want to form a panel or group of VIP customers who you can consult and offer special offers to. / The bad It is important to deal swiftly with criticism to prevent any negative comments being spread further via blogs or Twitter. Even if you don’t have the answer, it is important to say that you’ll look into it – and avoid getting defensive at all costs. Responding to the criticism shows that your brand is open, is listening and values its customers’ views. Finally, try to keep a level head and take every complaint in your stride – think of it as an opportunity to resolve a customer problem and improve your brand image. Are any particular social media types more influential than others? Not as such – although different social media types may have more resonance with some target audiences than with others. Quite simply, the most influential social media types for your brand will be the ones which your customers use most frequently. Who should converse for my company? It really depends on your company culture – but it is important that whoever converses on behalf of your company commits time and effort to it. Some companies appoint a small team of representatives within corporate comms, others recruit people from across the organisation who show a genuine willingness and ability to converse for the company. Forrester recommends a Hub and Spoke model, based on the fact that social media can involve many different parts of a business – PR, marketing, customer service, support, development and so on. With a Hub and Spoke set-up, the Hub facilitates information sharing among different business units – or spokes. This makes a lot of sense – with corporate communications probably the best suited to the Hub role. To facilitate the conversation from your company it is also important that you have a social media policy in place. www.kinrossrender.com 16
  • What should any social media guidelines or policy for my company contain? These should set out how your employees can make the most of social media. As The Carphone Warehouse’s Guy Stephens says: “It’s about providing your employees with a sense of freedom within a framework. It’s not about stipulating a strict code of conduct, but rather about drawing on the individual’s sense of ownership and responsibility for what or how they tweet.” We’ve included some links to companies’ social media policies below, but common traits include: > How people should conduct themselves in the social media space – openness, transparency, honesty about who they are and who they work for > The type of content they should be sharing – interesting, value-add, with quality over quantity > Subject matters – such as company secrets – that are strictly out of bounds http://www.sapweb20.com/blog/2009/07/sap-social-media-guidelines-2009/ http://www.rightnow.com/privacy-social.php http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/advice/personalweb/ www.kinrossrender.com 17
  • Chapter 3 Writing for social media By James Nunn, Managing Director of The Lounge Company www.theloungecompany.com
  • What is so different about writing for social media? Whereas traditional print is driven by the author, online content is dictated by the reader, so it pays to know the reader and what they are looking for. It is no coincidence that some of the most popular blogs are written by journalists. This provides one of the first clues to successful content generation for social media. First of all, journalists know their readers. Their readership profile is drilled into them from day one on the job. Journalists are also good writers, sometimes brilliant ones. They appreciate the importance of good content – which is usually defined by having at least one of three key attributes – it’s interesting, informative or entertaining – or a combination of all three. Knowing your reader, having an interesting subject and writing well are all essential in social media. Then there are the microblogs, with Twitter probably the best known. With its 140 character limit, Twitter has made editing an art form and again it is unsurprising that among the celebrities most followed on Twitter, there are many talk-show hosts and comedians – pre-Twitter masters of the one-liner. If you represent a company, remember that your average social networker can spot marketing hyperbole a mile away and there’s nothing more likely to turn them off than an over-imaginative use of adjectives. By all means use keywords but only where they are relevant. Finally, it pays to remember that underpinning every social network is a philosophy of collaboration, sharing and transparency. The way to succeed as a social networker is therefore to have something interesting to say, to say it well and to elaborate and share with interesting references and links to other relevant and mixed content, text, audio and video. Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) is one of the most followed people on Twitter, constantly mixing work and personal tweets What makes good social media content? A difficult question because interesting content for one, is boredom for another. Perhaps the question is rather: “what do my audience of social networkers really need and how can I facilitate that?” It involves knowing your audience, getting a good understanding of the subjects and issues that interest them and seeing what mediums they’re using – are people using audio and video, for example? Just like traditional PR it’s important to have an opinion, it takes courage to stand up and communicate it and the skill to deliver that opinion eloquently. But if you can develop a position on one of the discussion threads running already, simply start communicating with the group – post a comment, write a blog, get tweeting. www.kinrossrender.com 19
  • Multimedia usually works well as people are used to scanning a page and clicking on items they think look interesting. You only need to look at the YouTube explosion to understand how video works well on the web. / So, if you’re trying to develop ‘good’ social media content consider the following: > Have a content strategy: what do you want to achieve and how can you achieve it? > Do your social media research – there is plenty of reference material available > Understand where your audience is online and what they’re interested in > Have something interesting, informative or entertaining to say or share > Allocate time – get involved, participate, debate and discuss > Don’t waffle, don’t sell and don’t use marketing language > Be open, honest and transparent > Be clear and concise – keep it short and to the point > Don’t become an Internet hoarder – share your interesting bookmarks, links and content > Use multimedia content – it’s also good for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). (Read more under ‘How do I make my content search engine friendly?’) > Where possible make content ‘scannable’, web users seldom read, they scan a page – anything that stands out and is relevant will help direct their journey through your content How do I write a social media news release? In exactly the same way as you did before! But it might be worth explaining a social or new media release. A social media news release is NOT a news release written for social media but a news release that is social media friendly. A social media release is essentially a digital news release – available electronically in different formats – that allows users such as journalists or bloggers to rapidly identify the information that they can use to put together and publish a story. At best a social media release will be rich in content, offering a mix of video and sound files, images, text and hyperlinks to relevant and related resources such as social media sites, blogs and other opinion formers. The aim is to provide interesting, objective, balanced, open and transparent content that people want to write about, reproduce and debate. Consequently, the tried and tested rules of writing a press release for print still hold true. Remember, the traditional journalist is just as interested in what social media are discussing as what the industry experts are talking The Social Media Release: Clearly, there is a lot of content in this about. By adding social media links, you are also adding another level of transparency and example so special attention needs the visitor will appreciate the balanced and objective view. And if an organisation wants to to be paid – as with any website – to usability and navigation. The share its own content, then additional links to its own social media presence, Facebook or information you want people to focus LinkedIn for example, can be included as well. on should be the most prominent information on the page www.kinrossrender.com 20
  • How do I distribute my social media release? The social media release is often a web page, but can just as easily be distributed on a DVD, CD ROM or even email (but then bear in mind the restrictions imposed by some company firewalls). How do I create a social media newsroom? It’s a simple step from a social media release to a social media newsroom/press office, in fact they are almost identical. The key is to be able to display a wider variety of related content on a single page, which allows the user to define their personal journey in the newsroom. However, it’s dangerous to focus solely on social media. Traditional media remains a powerful communications force and will do so for the foreseeable future. What is needed is not so much a social media newsroom as a multimedia press office – a flexible online press office which caters for the needs of the traditional print journalist as much as the blogger or citizen journalist. So when you create your social media newsroom, think about personalisation and offer users choice – you can do this by setting up user-defined content baskets or ‘My content’ which the website user can refer to each time they log on to your site. And yes, it all comes back to content, content, content! The art is delivering the right content and all of the other content related to it in a simple package. / An example of a ‘My content’ basket could be: > A news release about a CEO appointment at a major PLC > A photo of the CEO > His/her biography > A video interview on his/her appointment and plans for the company > Links to his blog and his/her previous company website > Social media links to any current conversations about the appointment > An audio sample of the appointment being discussed on a radio show So whenever you produce a single piece of content, think hard about how other content can be provided to enrich the overall story or address the needs of other audiences. www.kinrossrender.com 21
  • How do I make my social media content ‘search engine friendly’? Fundamentally, making your social media content search engine friendly will depend on what social media platform you use. Even though they are all categorised as social media, they differ in many ways – as do the various search engines. Entries (videos) in YouTube will be “spidered” and hence show in the Google SERP (Search engine result page) while del.icio.us entries/users will not show in the Google SERP for example. A good way to approach social media and SEO is to think of each social media platform as its own search engine. Hence, you want to populate the various social media platforms you are interested in with your content. How you behave/act/communicate/use social media will have different effects on your search engine ranking or SEO. Just being visible in the social media can increase your SEO. Creating useful content (white papers, research, useful statistics etc.) and distributing it through social media can also improve your SEO – as can adding value to conversations (insightful comments on blog posts, helpful del.icio.us account, Facebook group for fans of X etc.). In general, many of the same rules for website SEO apply to your social media presence, for example: > The use of rich multimedia and a presence in social media is also good for SEO: If tagged properly (filenames) with relevant keywords, your content (containing text and image title keywords) is more likely to be picked up by the Google images and video search engines > Bookmarks: The most well-known social bookmarking sites are del.icio.us, technorati and Digg. Using these tools allows users to build up a reference library and share it with friends and colleagues. To web crawlers, bookmarks appear as links to your page and that makes them SEO friendly > Blogs: Google will usually rank these highly > Optimising content (remember key messages – combined with keywords): – Optimising a press release includes = Adding keywords in the text = Linking the press release to strategically important websites = Sending the press release to distribution sites – Optimising a press release makes it easier for search engines and Internet users to find relevant news – If you don’t optimise your press releases, they may never appear in keyword search results www.kinrossrender.com 22
  • How do I go about optimising my press releases for search engines? The following tips and tricks will help you create press releases that appeal to search engines: / Keywords > The choice of keywords and/or keyword phrases for your press release is critical to press release visibility > Come up with your keywords before you start to write – it will make it easier and appear more natural > Look at the keywords your company already uses and try and apply those to the press release > Think of what keywords an ordinary person within your target group would use. If the press release is about a new aspirin tablet, using the keywords ‘aspirin’ or ‘headache cure’ might get better returns than its stricter medical term, ‘acetylsalicylic acid’ for example. The most common search query contains two words > Day-to-day words and typical business terms are used frequently in texts and consequently don’t achieve high rankings. Buy Adwords for these keywords to help your ranking > If any of your keywords has a common acronym i.e. “Content Management System” / “CMS” – add both as keywords. Searchers will look for both / Titles > Think about web page (title tag) and image titles as these are also searched. Headlines should include keywords or keyword phrases (even if it’s slightly less compelling for the reader) as this will carry the most weight with search engines > The title will usually become the title tag on distribution sites and carries quite some weight for search engines / First Page & Summaries > Most distribution sites contain the first few lines, paragraph or summary of your press release. Include one to two secondary keyword phrases in the summary > The summary sometimes becomes the text on the search engine results page. Put your search term/keywords in bold to show that your page is relevant for the searchers / Body Text > Use three to four keywords/keyword phrases throughout the body of the text and if possible, repeat them two to four times throughout the piece. Do NOT overdo it. Search engines don’t like keyword overkill on pages or sites! > Avoid shortening product names or referring to them as something other than their proper name. It will lower your rank in the search engine since the actual product won’t be mentioned enough > Currently, search engines prefer press releases between 300 – 500 words www.kinrossrender.com 23
  • / Linking > Hyperlinking is a strategic tool and also a way to increase your SEO ranking – Search engines assign more value to hyperlinked keywords than those without – Think where you want visitors to go (e.g. to a product on your website) and provide logical ‘signposts’ – Make sure all links lead to the right place – A smoothly running site with intuitive hyperlinks improves the visitor’s experience – Don’t force your visitor away – hyperlink wisely and open new windows, rather than send the user off-site – Place your hyperlinks somewhere in the first two paragraphs – Don’t over do it. You never know the magic number but three to five hyperlinks per content item is probably ideal www.kinrossrender.com 24
  • Chapter 4 Blogs
  • What is a blog? A blog is simply an easy way to publish information via the Internet. Traditionally blogs have been regarded as a kind of personal online diary, but this is fast changing as other personal publishing tools and places emerge and people learn how to integrate blogs into a wider range of personal and corporate publishing techniques. The best way to approach a blog is therefore to think of it as a pen and paper for the 21st century – but really what you do with it is much more important than what it is. Who blogs? Apparently everyone! Technorati tracked blogs in 81 languages in June 2008 and collectively, bloggers are creating around one million posts per day. But it’s not just idle chit-chat. The social media revolution has given everyone permission to be an opinion-former and influence the way we do business and with whom. Four out of five bloggers post product or brand reviews, as well as company information or gossip. Bloggers and social network sites now hold as much sway with the general public as journalists, and businesses need to learn to use them to build direct relationships with their audiences and, if necessary, cut out the traditional ‘middle man’. Blogs are now in the top 10 websites across all key categories and are an integral part of the social media universe. What are the benefits of having a corporate blog? A corporate blog can help you build relationships with people interested in your products and services or in the issues on which you campaign as a business. It is an instant and inexpensive communications channel which, according to a report by internet marketing specialist HubSpot in January 2009, user companies view as one of the most important ways to generate leads. A further benefit is that a company’s online profile can be significantly raised by blogging. This is due to the extremely search-engine friendly nature of blogs, which are actually more ‘searchable’ than conventional web pages, and the fact that blog posts can spread very quickly through the new social media space. This last point is an important one and the reason why a blog is a good starting point for any company moving into social media. With the right post your views or information can spread and spread. www.kinrossrender.com 26
  • How do I set up a blog? There are a number of open-source software products for creating blogs, one of the most popular being Wordpress (http://wordpress.org/). Here, providing you have a web host which meets the minimum requirements, you can download and install Wordpress software script which is completely customisable. There is also a sister service called Wordpress. com (http://wordpress.com/), which is less flexible than the downloadable version but hosted for you. Wordpress.com is a great way to familiarise yourself with the art of blogging and when the time is right can be integrated into your website to further increase your search engine rankings. How do I write for blogs? There are two objectives when writing for blogs – attracting and holding on to readers, and attracting search engines. Some tactics benefit both but the trick comes in successfully combining the two. / Attracting search engines Let’s start with the name of your blog. The most accessible blogs both for readers and search engines are those that state their content clearly in the title eg. Celebrity Gossip or Treehugger. This helps readers seeking out like-minded bloggers and articles on a particular subject who search by keywords on specialist search engines such as icerocket (http://www.icerocket.com). Google Suggest and Wordtracker both give you an instant read on the keywords your audience is using (see our separate chapter on monitoring). Your job is to take this vocabulary and weave it into the fabric of your content – in site names as just mentioned, as well as urls, page titles, links etc. Use categories and tags for your posts wherever possible as these help search engine crawlers understand and navigate your site. Feefo – a good example of a corporate blog / Attracting and holding on to readers > Start by defining your audience(s) and your objectives for blogging. Always write with them both in mind > Plan and write your content with two different audiences in mind – readers who will follow your regular posts via RSS feed and people who will simply come to your blog because of a specific post (which they may have been directed to). This means planning your content so that there is an overall theme and storyline that will hold the interest of your regular followers, but also trying to make as many of your posts as possible work as a stand-alone www.kinrossrender.com 27
  • > Keep blog posts short and relevant to your readers; write passionately about subjects you know will interest them > Find a style of writing that reflects your individuality – blogs tend to be more conversational and personalised than corporate websites so let your personality shine through > Avoid spelling mistakes that will annoy readers and make you look amateurish > Blatant selling and herding readers to your website is a turn-off. You need to be cleverer than that! > Vary the style of posts – opinion pieces, news commentary, lists, video, etc. > Make it visually appealing – use sub-heads, appropriate imagery, etc. > Use the side bars to give readers further information about the company – contact details, author profile and picture, future events > Share information from other sources that you think will be of interest to your readers. The blog posts that attract the most attention are often those that say very little in themselves, but that link together interesting titbits of digital information – other blog posts, video, photos, etc. > Blog regularly if you want people to stay with you. If you don’t update your blog for weeks or months, readers will lose interest and stop subscribing to your RSS feeds How can I make my blog work hard for my company? Following are some of the things you can do to make your blog visible and easy to find, so improving your (and your company’s) search engine ranking. These include: / Comments Almost all blogs have a comments facility that allows readers to submit their views on the blog or a specific post. Comments act as a networking and profile-raising tool, and you can successfully grow the reader-base of your own blog or website through the clicks you receive from commenting on other people’s blogs. / Blogrolls The blog roll enables you to list links to other blogs that interest you. They may be on related topics, written by industry peers, your customers or high profile commentators. They demonstrate to visitors that you are committed to the blogosphere and are aware of other bloggers. Hopefully, after a while, bloggers will add your blog to their blog rolls thereby helping search engine optimisation. / RSS Feeds All blogs should have at least one RSS feed so that people can subscribe to receive regular updates. Generally feeds are created automatically by your blogging software so all you have to do is make sure it can be found. www.kinrossrender.com 28
  • / RSS Feed Directories You can submit your RSS feed to a number of web directories which enable people to search by subject. RSS Directories can be found at http://allrss.com/rssdirectories.html / Blog Search engines It is important to be indexed in the main blog search engines such as Technorati. This can be done by ‘pinging’ the relevant webservers (see below). This means that new posts will be listed almost immediately. / Pinging This is a short automatic notification to blog servers and search engines to tell them you have posted new information on your blog. Again most blogging software enables you to switch on ‘pinging’. Technorati is one of the most popular search engines for blogs / Blog Tagging Tagging your blog posts makes them more easily searchable. These indicate the main categories under which the content would fall and give an indication to anyone looking of what the post is talking about. The most commonly used are tags for Technorati. / Participation Identify and participate in the most important blogs, magazines and forums in your space. Keep a running book on the most influential blogs and contribute by way of comment posts, contributed articles, responses to questions and feedback to other participants. These will all help raise your profile and promote your blog. / Trackbacks When you reference another blog in your post you should include a link to the original within the text (this is called ‘link love’) and wherever possible use a trackback. A trackback will automatically inform the author that you are talking about them and are continuing the conversation. At the same time it will create a link in the comments section of the original post to your site for people to follow back. The trackback address appears at the bottom of the post and this should be copied into the relevant box on your post screen. / Linkage to other social networks Spread your content even further by connecting your blog with other social networks, and vice versa. For example, for those of you on Facebook there is an application that will include your blog posts on your Facebook page or profile as a note or update. There is also a strong case for tapping in to Twitter, which is rapidly growing in influence. Simply post a tweet to alert your followers to any new posts on your blog. This is important because people are starting to use Twitter to follow people and source information, rather than relying on email or RSS subscription. www.kinrossrender.com 29
  • / Timing It is wise to front-load your posting, especially material about you and/or your company, so that readers can very quickly form an impression of who you are and what you’re writing about. Hopefully this will encourage them to stay around and follow your subsequent posts. Then, once you have built up a certain head of steam, you can gradually reduce the frequency of your posting. How do I make my blog ‘sticky’? Sticky is the term used to describe what attracts visitors to a site/blog in the first place and what makes them stay. The answer to all three is great content. If what you have to say on a particular topic is of interest to other people and adds value to the debate, fellow bloggers and readers will monitor your blog and return. If you also manage to demonstrate how your knowledge and expertise has benefited your customers you should pave the way to gaining more business. People who want to read what you have to say on a regular basis can subscribe using Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com), Google Reader or Newsgator (http://www. newsgator.com) newsreader services. This software enables you to read a newsfeed via RSS. All blogs and most news websites have RSS feeds attached. Why is it important to monitor blogs? Monitoring other people’s blogs is invaluable in gaining an understanding of your online reputation and that of the competition – and is a good way to find out what is happening in your industry as a whole. Even if you don’t have a blog of your own it is important to respond to any negative comments about your company or brand before they are picked up by search engines, other bloggers or more traditional media. How can I identify the right blogs to monitor for my industry? Start by establishing which are the most important blogs and social media for your company or your industry via a blog search engine such as Technorati. The more bloggers that are linked to a site, the higher the rating (or Technorati Authority) the site is given. Lots of links show that a blog is well integrated and respected within its own space in the blogosphere. Don’t monitor too many to begin with as your online universe will grow organically as you engage in the conversation. www.kinrossrender.com 30
  • Think about the keywords that define your industry, and then track them so you know what’s changing in it. Use http://twilert.com and http://google.com/alerts to track keywords by email, or create an RSS feed of new information via the content keyword RSS Yahoo Pipe http://pipes.yahoo.com/prmpipes/contentkeyword Google accounts for more than 75 per cent of the total UK search engine market, so any blogs ranked highly will have more traffic and therefore more readers. The number of subscribers to RSS feeds is another critical indication of a blog’s influence. A simple tool which helps collate and assess this information is bloginfluence.net. By listening to the conversations taking place in your industry and among your customers, you can start to join the discussion and influence the debate. How can I track who is reading my blog? You can gather intelligence on visitors to your own blog via tools such as Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/analytics/index.html), Sitemeter (http://www.sitemeter. com/) and Statcounter (http://www.statcounter.com/) Can you provide any examples of successful business blogs? There is no simple answer to this question. At the end of the day a successful blog is one that provides content that people (ideally your customers and industry) find interesting and useful. Some of the early CEO blogs, such as Jonathan Schwartz’s at Sun http:// blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/winds_of_change_are_blowing, were useful because they created a much greater level of transparency. The Microsoft blogging policy was similarly successful, particularly because the number of Microsoft bloggers means that they can publish a great amount of very specific information – i.e. exactly the type and detail of conversation you need to populate the social media space. Jonathan Schwartz’s blog was one of the first from a CEO of a major company (in this case, Sun Microsystems) www.kinrossrender.com 31
  • Chapter 5 Microblogging
  • What is microblogging? Microblogging is a form of blogging, but with shorter posts (up to 140 characters in the case of Twitter) and much greater immediacy. Microblogs include Jaiku (www. jaiku.com) and Spoink (www.spoink) but the most popular by far is Twitter, which is the one we will focus on here. Twitter is effectively an online communications tool which allows you to send and receive short, sharp updates – or Tweets – from a variety of platforms; these include the Twitter website, your mobile phone or blackberry, or a dedicated desktop application such as TweetDeck (www.tweetdeck.com) or Twhirl (www. twhirl.org). Tweetdeck is a free desktop Twitter client Who uses micro blogging tools like Twitter? Everyone’s at it, it would seem! From Paris Hilton to Barack Obama, and from the BBC to Sky. At the time of writing there are as many as 14 million Twitter users worldwide, and Twitter’s UK traffic has already trebled in 2009 (according to Hitwise’s latest report). The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson used it to resolve the issue of London’s overheated buses in June 2009. Inundated with tweets on the ‘roasting’ hot bus situation, Boris’ team took up the issue with Transport for London then let people know the matter was being dealt with on Twitter. Meanwhile, Obama used Twitter in the run up to the election to keep voters informed of his presidential campaign. Brands are using Twitter increasingly to interact with their customers, with Dell, Innocent and Kodak singled out by a recent report (by Immediate Future, www.immediatefuture. co.uk) as some of the most effective users of Twitter. Many journalists use the tool as a way not only to share their views but also to post details of features they are writing and would like input on (not unlike Response Source). Following journalists relevant to your brand often means you get to find out about their commissions in advance. FeaturesExec – for those of you who subscribe – has a helpful list of media outlets on Twitter: http://www.featuresexec.com/publications/list_twitter.php www.kinrossrender.com 33
  • How relevant is Twitter for my brand? Potentially very relevant. It can be a great way to find out what people are saying about your brand and to interact with your target audience. There are lots of examples of Twitter being used successfully as a communications tool – both for consumer and B2B brands (we will focus on this more at the end of the chapter). / Possible uses are various and include: > Resolving customer issues quickly > Sharing company news > Communicating special offers > Responding to requests for information > Asking customers for feedback or floating ideas > Directing people to your latest blog posting or other interesting content > Simply engaging with and getting to know target audiences in an informal way What are the key components of a successful Twitter communications approach? Successful Twitter use involves listening and interacting – the key to any good conversation. Our advice is to: > Actively monitor discussions on your brand. What are people saying and what other issues are they talking about? > Identify the influential tweeters in your sector and follow them > Set clear KPIs: what does success look like to you? > Identify opportunities to tweet > Make every tweet meaningful; provide updates that are relevant, topical and in keeping with your brand and that show the human side of your company > Maintain a dialogue with your followers with regular updates > Measure the success of your Twitter activity (see our separate chapter on measurement) The Mayor of London is one of Twitter’s many high-profile users www.kinrossrender.com 34
  • How do I set myself up on Twitter? Simply go to the Twitter website at www.twitter.com and set up an account. You will need to choose a user name; ideally this should be your own name (if it hasn’t already been taken) or your brand name so that people can easily find you. Next, create your profile and add a picture. It is also recommended that you customise the design of your Twitter page – it is after all an extension of your brand. Details of how to do this can be found on the Twitter website – http://twitter.com/account/profile_settings Before you tweet for the first time it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Twitter environment by listening to what other people are tweeting about. Through ‘Find People’ you can choose the people, companies, publications, etc. you want to follow. You can also use Twitter search to find out who is tweeting about specific subjects you are interested in. How do I tweet? You simply post a message of up to 140 characters. You can tweet in several different ways – via your mobile phone (this is easy to set up via the Twitter site), via the Twitter site itself or by using a special Twitter application that sits on your desktop, such as TweetDeck or TwitterFox. We have found Twhirl to be a great time saver – no need to keep logging into the Twitter site and less disruptive than receiving updates via your mobile phone. How do I respond to tweets? You can send a private and direct message in reply to someone’s tweets or simply to make contact, but they must be following you. The message appears in that person’s Direct Messages In Box and is for their – and your – viewing only. You can reply publicly to any tweet, regardless of whether the person tweeting is following you or not – this is called an @reply. To do this, use the @username format, with the username of the person you are replying to. www.kinrossrender.com 35
  • What does RT on a message mean? You use RT or ReTweet when you want to repeat or share someone else’s Tweet with your followers. Using RT is like forwarding an interesting email to your colleagues. This makes Twitter a powerful word of mouth tool – if you say something interesting and pertinent it will hopefully get passed on. Your tweet should start with the abbreviation RT or the word Retweet followed by the username of the person who tweeted it (e.g @username) and then finish with the content of the actual tweet. You can modify the original tweet to make it more interesting for your followers. It is often recommended by experts that you do this, so your followers know that you actually put some effort into it. It is also important to make sure there is a space between the letters RT and the @username so that it becomes a live link again and lets the person know you have retweeted them. How do I get followers on Twitter? Gaining followers takes time and patience – you aren’t suddenly going to acquire hundreds of them overnight! There are, however, a number of things you can do to help the process: > Make your profile work for you. Use relevant keywords so that people can easily find you through Twitter Search. Stand out by injecting a bit of humour and personality. For example, Twitter consultant Mark Shaw’s biog reads: Advising businesses how to get the most from Twitter. Lover of: Tweetdeck, fresh air, humour, walking, haribo sweets and telling it like it is > Don’t talk about yourself at every opportunity, be a good listener and join relevant conversations with lots of @replies > Be helpful by sharing interesting titbits of information and responding to people’s questions when you can add value > Say interesting things that add value to the conversation and that people want to Retweet > Use video content or photos to illustrate what you’re saying and add interest > Use relevant #hashtags in your posts to make them easy to find > Link to your Twitter profile from everywhere you possibly can: Sarah Brown has overtaken Stephen Fry as the country’s foremost your website, LinkedIn, Facebook, your email signature, etc. celebrity twitterer with 809,690 followers at the time of writing www.kinrossrender.com 36
  • How do I follow people on Twitter – and why would I want to? Following people enables you to listen in to what they are saying. It’s best to be selective about who you follow, choosing only those people you believe have something interesting to say, otherwise you could spend all day reading updates of little relevance to you or your brand. You usually find that good and interesting Twitter-ers have a much larger number of followers than people they are following. To follow someone simply click on the follow button. When you do this they will receive an email letting them know that you are now one of their followers. To ‘unfollow’ or, in extreme cases, to block someone, simply click on the icon on the right-hand side of the person’s profile and select this option. What does the # symbol mean on Twitter? The # denotes a hashtag. More and more people are using them to create a conversation space and group together related tweets within Twitter on subjects both serious and light- hearted – from major world events and news to job openings and music worth sharing. Hashtags first became popular during the San Diego forest fires of 2007, when Nate Ritter used #sandiegofire to identify his updates related to the disaster. Other recent and popular hashtags include #iranelection and #michaeljackson (both self-explanatory) as well as #followfriday (a Friday pastime of recommending people to follow) and #musicmonday (a way to recommend music you are listening to – but only on a Monday!). What are the benefits of hashtags – and what’s the best way to use them? Using hashtags makes your tweets easier to find by people interested in the topic you are talking about – and searching on them is a quick way to find all tweets on a particular subject. A good place to start is http://hashtags.com, which features a directory of all existing hashtags and shows which are the most popular. When you do use hashtags do so sparingly and with respect. It is a rare tweet that deserves a hashtag, so tag only those updates that you feel will add real value to the conversation. One hashtag is best – two are permissible – but three hashtags is probably excessive and is likely to irritate the Twitter community. www.kinrossrender.com 37
  • How can I monitor what is being said on Twitter? There are a variety of tools you can use. One of the ones we use is called TweetBeep – a sort of Google Alerts for Twitter – which allows you to set up keyword-specific searches. These can be turned into alerts or RSS feeds so that you can receive alerts when someone is tweeting about your brand or a subject you are interested in. Please see our chapter on planning a social media campaign for more detail on monitoring. How do I integrate Twitter with some of the other social media tools I use? / Twitter and your blog You can use a tool called twitterfeed to automatically create tweets and links from your blog headlines. These are then sent to all your followers on Twitter. / Twitter and FaceBook (and other social networks) Add the Twitter application to your FaceBook page (or MySpace page, etc), by going to www.twitter.com/badges and following the simple step-by-step instructions. Can you give me any good examples of Twitter being used in communications? Dell Outlet (US), a division of computer giant Dell carries refurbished equipment and other inventory that it needs to sell quickly. It first started using Twitter to get the word out about its latest deals. However, when people started responding to posts it realised the potential of the medium for customer interaction and so now uses Twitter for customer service and getting closer to its customers and prospects. Dell Outlet has booked more than $3 million in revenue attributable to its Twitter posts and recent research has shown that awareness of the Outlet has grown too. Paganum is an online farmers’ market supplying meat and produce from family and small artisan farms in the Yorkshire Dales to consumer and trade outlets. It uses Twitter to promote its services and build its profile. Farmers’ Market Paganum uses Twitter to build its profile Managing partner, Chris Wildman was an early Twitter adopter and set about using the tool to chat to people about Paganum; he also sent out food samples and before long lots www.kinrossrender.com 38
  • of people were writing about the business including Time Out. He says that he has found many excellent contacts, resources and customers from Twitter. The Carphone Warehouse (CPW) started using Twitter in December 2008. The Customer Experience team first realised the potential of using social media when they resolved a complaint that had been posted on a blog by engaging with the customer directly. From this they decided to move on to Twitter, which they had been monitoring for a short time before. Today the company uses Twitter in different ways across its business and has several different accounts to reflect this. @ guyatcarphone provides informal support and advice to customers, @becksatcarphone provides customer service, while @stuartcarphone focuses on Blackberry-related issues, again taking an informal tone. There are also more formal feeds covering corporate announcements (@carphoneware) and Financial PR- related news (@shaneatcarphone). Steve Blan, the UK Sales & Customer Director, has also recently started tweeting with updates on his working day. It is the immediacy of Twitter that appeals most to Carphone Warehouse – the ability to openly engage with customers and identify problems as and when they happen. As for the business benefits, according to Customer Knowledge One of the Carphone Warehouse’s many Twitter accounts – this one Manager Guy Stephens, they are numerous. He says, “We are seeing what our customers is @stuartcarphone dealing with are really saying about us and rather than shying away from anything that might be customers’ Blackberry issues construed as negative we’re actively embracing it. If someone has taken the time to let us know that something hasn’t gone right, it’s an opportunity for us to really do something about it and make it better for them.” He continues, “It also helps us stay true to our customers. We are an organisation that prides itself on doing the right thing by our customers. It’s true we don’t always get it right, but increasingly through Twitter and other social media platforms, we are able to listen to what they have to say.” * This case study has been brought to you by Twitter, following a request from @janinevmax for success stories to which @guyatcarphone responded. Proof indeed that Twitter does work! www.kinrossrender.com 39
  • Chapter 6 Social networks
  • What is an online social network? An online social network is a virtual ‘space’ where like-minded people can meet and interact. Most provide a variety of ways for users to communicate with one another, such as email and instant messaging services, and share details about themselves. Increasingly social networks are being used by companies and NGOs – not just individuals. Popular free-to-access social networks include Facebook and MySpace. It is also possible for companies and individuals to build their own bespoke social networking site using tools such as Ning (www.ning.com). Why should social networks matter to me and my brand? Social networks have become too popular a form of communication to ignore. Facebook alone has more than 250 million active users with more than 120 million users logging on to Facebook at least once each day. Many perceive social The K+R bespoke online social network networks as the preserve of the young, but that’s no longer the case. Research published by ComScore at the time of writing shows that 80% of the total UK internet audience participate in social networking activities. Penetration is greatest among 25-34 year old Internet users, but still remains high among older age groups, reaching almost two thirds of the online population aged 55 and above. To read the full research click here: http://tinyurl. com/ne3ok5 According to Hubspot, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook are the 35s and above. / Businesses are currently using social networks to: > Create brand awareness > Humanise their company > Create a community around their business > Recruit fans or champions of their brand > Engage with and find out more about people interested in their brand > Gather feedback on their products > Recruit and retain staff > Make contact with new customers > Organise events > Conduct market research to find out more about their competitors and gather feedback on new products and technologies www.kinrossrender.com 41
  • What are the main social networks? The most popular social networking site – according to ComScore research published in July 2009 – is Facebook, closely followed by Bebo. Brief descriptions of these and other popular social networks follow: > Facebook: This social utility, as it describes itself, started in 2004 as a closed community for college students but has since expanded into a tool linking people and organisations from across the world. Through Facebook users can connect and share information in a variety of ways. See here for more statistics – http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics > LinkedIn: LinkedIn describes itself as “an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries”. People typically use it to manage their business contacts or as a recruitment tool, but there are many other uses besides. The network is free to join, but you have to pay for additional tools if you want to go beyond the basic functionality > Bebo: Bebo, an acronym for “Blog early, blog often”, claims to “connect you to everyone and everything you care about”. Like many other social networking sites it allows users to connect and share information through personal profile pages. Users can also upload music and books they have written for public review. The Bebo Open Media Platform allows companies such as CBS, Sky and the BBC to distribute content to Bebo users through specialised pages designed for video LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks aimed at business > MySpace: MySpace is “an online community that lets you meet your friends’ friends”. and professionals It was the most popular social networking site in America until April 2008 when it was surpassed by Facebook. Politicians such as Barack Obama and various political organisations have used MySpace to connect with and increase their membership bases How can I get my business on Facebook? Before you go down the Facebook route it is important to define your objectives: what are you looking to achieve? Is it your intention to get closer to your customers, to understand their likes and dislikes? Are your customers actually using Facebook? As a business you need to create a Page, which is the ‘corporate’ equivalent of a personal Profile, the main difference being that it is public and users can become a ‘fan’ of it without first requiring approval from the Page administrators (unless you decide to make it private through settings). To get started go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and follow the instructions. Helpful information can also be found at http://www.facebook.com/ advertising/?pages. You can designate several administrators to help with the maintenance of your Page, which should help ensure that it is kept up-to-date. www.kinrossrender.com 42
  • How do I make Facebook fans? Once you have created your page and published it, you need to draw people to it – so-called fans. Ways to do this include: > Create an engaging Page that reflects your brand personality. Use the full range of applications to make it a fun and interesting place to be; for example add video, photos and start a discussion > Draw on your existing contacts. Make them aware that you are now on Facebook and invite them to become a fan > Set your page to be publicly indexed and searchable. To do this go to Settings and set your Page to be ‘Published’ (publicly visible) > The viral power of Facebook can help you! Every time a fan engages with your page, their activity will appear in their news feed which promotes your brand to a much wider network > Having drawn people to your Page it is essential that you keep it up-to-date with fresh information. A time-efficient way to do this, which avoids you having to go in and update your page every day, is to include RSS feeds to some of the other social media channels you use – such as your company blog, Twitter or YouTube Create an interesting Facebook page using multimedia and engaging with your fans via conversation and campaigns Can you provide me with any examples of successful campaigns using Facebook? K+R client NetworkersMSB, a leading global IT and telecoms recruitment consultancy, has used Facebook to great effect on behalf of a number of its clients such as Atos Origin and Accenture. Campaigns for the latter were designed to generate interest in the organisations’ graduate recruitment programme and involved setting up special groups and recruiting fans through other social networks such as Bebo. Both groups attracted more than 800 fans, which far exceeded the clients’ expectations. www.kinrossrender.com 43
  • How could LinkedIn benefit my business? People tend to use LinkedIn mainly as a contacts database, but this is only one aspect of what it can do. Other ways to use LinkedIn for doing business include: > Identifying contacts and potential business partners (through Advanced People Search) > Building up a profile as an industry expert through answering questions > Asking for advice and industry views via LinkedIn Answers > As a useful research tool – such as to find out more about your competitors and who they employ, or to find out more about the background of a person you’re about to have a meeting with, etc On a more corporate level, you can create a “group” for your business or industry and invite people to join. This could be for a specific company or to tie in with a specific topic. There are lots of great success stories on the LinkedIn site – http://press.linkedin.com/ success-stories. These are mainly from the US but give some idea of the power of the network. www.kinrossrender.com 44
  • Chapter 7 Content communities
  • What is a content community? Content communities look similar to social networks – you need to register in a similar way, set up your own home page etc. – but they are content specific. Within the specific content, there can be various groups focusing on areas of common interest. You can choose to share content with the entire community or just your family and friends. Most content communities are free to join and not specifically aimed at the business community. Those that do encourage business use offer additional benefits and may charge for them. What are the main content communities? YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share a wide variety of video content, including clips from TV and films, music videos, video blogs and short original videos. The Alexa ranking system ranks YouTube as the third most visited website on the internet, after Yahoo and Google. Most of the content is uploaded by individuals but some corporations offer their own material via the site through the YouTube partnership programme. To become a partner you must be creating your own original videos suitable for online streaming, have permission to use and monetise all audio and video content and be regularly uploading videos which thousands of people are watching. In return you can benefit from a share of any ad revenue generated on your page as well as participate in co-marketing opportunities. One of the key features of YouTube is the ability to share and view its videos on web pages outside the site by embedding them in social networking pages and blogs. Some mobile phones can access YouTube and there is also a mobile version, although not all videos are available in this form. Flickr is one of the best known examples of content sharing. Up until recently it was Ray Anderson, Founder and Chairman of Interface Inc talks about purely for sharing photographs but now accepts video as well. It is widely used by bloggers sustainability on YouTube as a photo repository and claims to host more than 3.6 billion images. Basic accounts are free and key features include tags, marking photos as favorites, group photo pools and ‘interestingness’. Every group has a discussion board for talking. www.kinrossrender.com 46
  • For each of your photos or videos you can determine a privacy level (who is permitted to see it), usage licence (to protect copyrights) content type (photo, video, artwork, illustration etc.) and safety levels. Here is an example of an event company showing off one of their Christmas party venues to great effect using Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/backtotheparty45millbank/show/ Slideshare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations, allowing you to upload PowerPoint and Word documents. Obviously the format lends itself more to business applications than some other content communities, enabling users to upload presentations, share views and ideas and generate new business leads. You can also join groups, market your events and connect with other Slideshare members. Presentations are tagged so that people can search by their area of interest and the presentations can also be downloaded and embedded into people’s blogs and websites. As with other social networks, presentations can be made available to the wider public or to a more select group. Viddler enables you to upload, enhance and share digital video easily and quickly inside your web browser. It differs from YouTube and other video-based delivery websites in that it streams video to the user rather than it having to be downloaded. The audience can interact with the videos by posting timed tags and timed comments. It is free to members of the general public but there is a charge for Slideshare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations the business service, which can be customised with logos, corporate colours, etc. Squidoo is another free platform that allows people to produce single pages or lenses about particular topics. Again this is primarily for the general public but users can make money by running ads on their pages and by participating in the affiliate programme. Issuu allows you to upload PDFs and other documents, turn them into ‘page-turning’ e-books and share them with your customers and friends for free. You can publish part of a publication that you may wish to sell or distribute later or the whole thing. The issuu viewer can be added to all your other social media outlets including your website, Facebook page and blog. There are also facilities to edit and organise your documents without destroying the original. K+R client, global modular flooring company InterfaceFLOR has a copy of its sales brochure on issuu at http://issuu.com/tradesign/docs/summer_2007_style_guide. The site has launched a Groups feature where people can collect and discuss publications relating to any topic. It is easy to set up a group, style it and then invite your friends and contacts. You can add publications directly or by bookmarking while you are reading. Document sharing services are growing rapidly in popularity; other popular sites include Docstoc and Scribd, which has the largest user base. www.kinrossrender.com 47
  • How do I target content communities? As with much social media, key words are, well, key. By tagging your materials appropriately you can attract an audience of like-minded people to view your presentations, videos, photographs, etc. How do I include content communities in my PR/ marketing? For business, the most immediately applicable and user-friendly communities are those where you can simply upload existing marketing collateral, particularly the presentation and document sharing sites, although there is nothing to stop you creating original material for this purpose. Uploading the apps to your social networking sites makes the materials even easier for your audiences to find. www.kinrossrender.com 48
  • Chapter 8 Social bookmarking
  • What is social bookmarking and how do I do it? Social bookmarking is the practice of saving favourite items from the web to a public web site and tagging them with keywords (as opposed to bookmarking, which is the practice of saving the address of a web site you wish to visit in the future on your computer). To create a collection of social bookmarks, you simply register with the site of your choice and begin bookmarking – selecting blog posts, websites and other sources of information that you particularly like and want to share, adding tags and designating individual bookmarks as public or private. Visitors to social bookmarking sites can search for resources by keyword, person, or popularity and see the public bookmarks, tags, and classification schemes that registered users have created and saved. Over time, the community of users develops a unique structure of keywords to define resources – something that has come to be known as a folksonomy. Many social bookmarking services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organised by tags, instantly alerting users to new bookmarks. As the service has matured, new features have been added such as ratings and comments on bookmarks, web annotation, groups and other social networking features. Which are the main social bookmarking sites? Although social bookmarking tools have been around since the mid to late 1990s, the service really took off in 2003 with the founding of del.icio.us which pioneered tagging rather than the more traditional browser-based system of folders. Del.icio.us was shortly joined by sites like Furl (now part of Diigo), Simpy, Citeulike and Connotea and the related recommendation site Stumbleupon. Later additions to the bookmarking scene include Ma.gnolia (now invitation-only) and Faves as well as Connectbeam, which offers a social bookmarking and tagging service for use as an internal communications and sharing tool within large multi-site organisations. Bookmarking sites tend to develop characters and ‘biases’ of their own so it’s worth taking a look at a few before selecting the one that feels like a good fit for your business. Digg, Reddit and Newsvine are commonly referred to as social bookmark services as well as news aggregators or crowd sourcing services. These filter out the most popular added or saved news stories, based on the amount of ‘votes’ they receive from the community. Del.icio.us was one of the first social bookmarking tools www.kinrossrender.com 50
  • Why is social bookmarking important as a business tool? It is important only in as much as it is another way of sharing and organising information on topics of interest with your business audiences and building awareness of your brand. Because social bookmarking services indicate who created each bookmark and provide access to that person’s other bookmarked resources, users can easily make social connections with other individuals with similar interests. If a registered user bookmarks your web page, he shares the link and his opinion on what makes it good with others – he may even give it a rating. This bookmarking-review-rating function adds credibility to your pages. You can encourage readers to bookmark your company’s articles, blogs and websites by including links to social bookmarking sites – another good way to increase search engine rankings. Reviews and comments posted by others about your web pages, or other web pages in a similar category, give you valuable insight into issues of concern and may provide ideas for further content. Social bookmarking sites are also a useful business research tool, enabling you to locate articles on a particular topic more easily than a straightforward Google search. Using a ‘social search engine’ lets you take advantage of the insights of other human users to find information related to the topic you are researching (rather than web spiders) even in areas that aren’t obviously connected to the primary topic. Digg allows users to share and vote on the content they like best Because many social bookmarking sites display recently added lists and popular links, you can both stay current and see relevant information. www.kinrossrender.com 51
  • Chapter 9 Measurement and evaluation
  • How do I measure the success of my social media campaign? The subject of social media measurement and evaluation is a thorny one. There are literally hundreds of articles written about it and many different and ever-changing views about how it should be done. There are some who advocate measuring success in a quasi-scientific way, looking at web site traffic analytics, number of Twitter followers, number of Facebook fans, and so on and so forth. This kind of data can certainly be interesting, but it is only part of the story. Social media is, after all, about community, conversation and human connections – and the benefits of adopting it tend to be qualitative (such as increased customer loyalty or improved brand image) rather than quantitative. Basically, there are no absolutes in social media and you need to be looking at sentiment and engagement and not just numbers. Your aim should not be micro-precision. This belongs in a world where we couldn’t actually see how our communication was working – we couldn’t look over the shoulder of the person reading an article about us, or looking at our ads. Within social media we don’t have this level of distance. Participation in social media is, in itself, an exercise in receipt of information. If you are doing social media properly, you don’t often need additional data to tell you what is working, what is not or what you need to do next. The actions that you take in social media are much Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist for Google muses on the difficulty in easier and cheaper than mass communications. When you were spending a lot of money measuring the results of social media on creating an ad it was important to crunch a huge amount of data in order to make the communication as precise as possible and to measure the ROI. When you are spending a few minutes writing a blog post, you simply do not need the same level of detail. Finally and very importantly, you should always measure your success against clear objectives, set at the start of your social media activity. Objectives might include improving customer satisfaction, building greater brand awareness or achieving savings in market or customer research spending. www.kinrossrender.com 53
  • What kind of metrics should I be using to measure success? There are various metrics you can use to measure success. These will relate to your objectives and how successful you are at meeting them, bearing in mind that you need to know what your starting point is. This involves taking a series of measurements at the outset of your activity. According to Measurement Camp, an open-source group set up to encourage knowledge sharing in this area, and social media blog Econsultancy the types of metrics you could use are: / External: > Manual audit of qualitative online activity (eg. blog quotes, tweets, general sentiment and attitude towards your brand, etc.) > Competitor activity > Search results (eg. how many search results on Google and their prominence) > Obvious numbers, such as Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Digg links, Delicious bookmarks, etc / Internal: > Site analytics including search rankings > Internal KPIs (such as number of sales leads from the web – both through paid-for search and organic referrals, scores from customer satisfaction surveys, customer retention rates) To give you an example, if I have discovered that my customers are unhappy with the service I provide the kinds of metrics I would Twitrratr is a simple tool which allows you to see the tone of voice of what use might include comments and feedback from my company website, any data from is being said about you on Twitter customer surveys, letters from customers, and any relevant press coverage. I would then determine what success would look like – which could be a percentage reduction in negative comments received via my website, a change in tone in my press coverage, a percentage increase in customer satisfaction scores, fewer letters of complaint and more correspondence from happy customers. When all is said and done this is a complex area so it is probably best entrusted to your PR agency or communications advisor. www.kinrossrender.com 54
  • Can you give me any specific examples of people measuring social media success? The excellent Zygote blog – http://zygote.egg-co.com – features a number of campaign examples, showing the kind of success metrics you might use: / Starbucks Objective: To increase customer satisfaction by asking customers what they want Success metrics: The number of good suggestions received and the percentage implemented – measured against specific targets. Starbucks could also have carried out a quick customer poll before and after its activity as a further indication of success. / Copyblogger Objective: To increase industry authority Success metrics: Amount of influential blogs linking to Copyblogger; Pagerank relative to competitors; amount of organic traffic per month; amount of revenue attributable to referrals from blog. / Compassion In World Farming This case study includes a number of different metrics and was presented at Social Media Measurement Camp in London in February 2009. Read it here: http://www.slideshare.net/twentyfirst/social-media-case-study-compassion-in-world- farming At what point should I measure success? If you are using social media for very specific campaigns such as the Compassion for World Farming case study above, you will be able to benchmark the change in share of voice, chatter and attitudes at either end. Generally though, as with any communications campaign, effects are cumulative and you must be prepared to commit the time and the resource to making it happen – to monitoring the space on an ongoing basis, engaging confidently in the conversation and to watching your sphere of influence grow. An integrated social media strategy must be rolled out alongside your more traditional marketing techniques and must be given at least as much, if not more time to prove itself in lots and lots of little, yet significant, ways. www.kinrossrender.com 55
  • Glossary of terms
  • Glossary of Social Media Terms This glossary is by no means exhaustive but includes the main social media terms used in our social media guide. Aggregator: A website or system that collects and displays web content such as news headlines, blogs, tweets and podcasts from multiple sources in a single location. It uses RSS or other types of feeds to find the content, enabling new content to be automatically downloaded when it is available. Blog: In its simplest terms a blog is an easy way to publish information via the Internet. Think of it as a pen and paper for the 21st century. Blogosphere: This term refers to the entire body of work online created by the millions of blogs. Blog Roll: The list that a blogger puts on his/her own blog indicating which other blogs he/ she is reading regularly, and linking out to those blogs. Buzz Monitoring: This involves tracking the online conversation surrounding a company, product or service – either at a moment in time or on an ongoing basis. Content Sharing Communities: This encompasses sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare and Issuu which enable users to share content such as video clips, photographs, presentations and documents. Crowdsourcing: A term which refers to the outsourcing of a particular problem or challenge to a large group of semi-organised individuals (a crowd) via the Internet. This could involve gathering input on your forthcoming product or asking for ideas for your latest company ad. Ebook: A book published in electronic form that can be downloaded from the Internet. Entry: An individual post or article published on a blog. Each of these entries, while appearing in an index, is also a web page in its own right. Feed: This is the data format used to provide users with frequently updated content – such as blog posts. Feed Reader: This refers to an aggregator of content, subscribed to by the user, so that specific content or search results arrive in their “reader”. Among the popular (and free) tools are Great News, Feed Demon and Google Reader. Also known as an RSS feed reader or a news reader. Flog: A fake blog, such as one that a company puts up and either pays the blogger(s) to write positive comments, or the company posts under a fake persona, posing as “happy customers” of said company. Folksonomy: This is the means of classifying and categorising content on the web through collaborative efforts from the online community. This is also known as social tagging. www.kinrossrender.com 57
  • Hashtags: Created by prefixing a word with the # symbol. Hashtags allow the “grouping” and tracking of different keywords (and therefore tweets) on Twitter. It’s an easy way for people to search for posts on the same subject or for you to categorise your message and show that it is related to others with the same hashtag. Lens (on Squidoo): A lens is an individual page on Squidoo – a publishing platform or a community that is growing in importance. These pages can be on any topic. Link love: This refers to posting a link to sites or blogs, usually unsolicited, that you enjoy or find useful. Netiquette: Unofficially defines the rules of etiquette on the Internet. Mash-up: A website or software tool that combines two or more applications to create a whole new service. Meme: This refers to content or a concept that spreads quickly from person to person through the Internet. Microblogging: A form of blogging allowing users to compose brief text updates and publish them. A single post can consist of a sentence, fragment, image or a brief ten second video. In the case of Twitter a post can be up to 140 characters long. Moblogs: A blog published directly to the web from a phone or other mobile device. Permalink: A permanent web address for a blog post which can be sent to others or included as a link on other websites. Pinging: This is a short automatic notification to blog servers and search engines to tell them you have posted new information on your blog. Pingback: An alert which notifies the original blog poster when someone writes an entry referencing it. Podcast: A series of digital media files, either audio or video, that can be downloaded over the Internet. You can subscribe to podcast channels and once subscribed, your computer will automatically check back to see if new podcasts are available and download them for you. They are delivered through a RSS feed to a subscriber on regular basis. Post: An individual article, or entry, published on a blog. Each post, while appearing in an index, is also a web page in itself. Retweet (RT): The act of reposting information from another user’s tweet on Twitter. RSS: Short for Really Simple Syndication. This allows you to subscribe to content on blogs and other social media and have it delivered to you through a feed. RSS Feed: Allows users to have new content on favourite websites and blogs delivered direct to one place. SEO: Stands for Search Engine Optimisation – the process of optimising and improving a website so that it will rank as high as possible in the search results from search engines. SMO: Social Media Optimisation – a collection of best practices to make sure your digital assets (photos, videos, e-docs, links) are found online by submitting them to social sharing sites. www.kinrossrender.com 58
  • Social bookmarking: Sites which allow users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a central source. Social Media: Refers to a group of new online ‘media’, spanning social networks, blogs and micro blogs, wikis, etc., which make it possible for virtually anyone to create, share and access content. Splog: Nickname for Spam Blogs, or blogs not providing their own or real content. Sploggers use automated tools to create fake blogs full of links or content from other sites in order to boost search engine results. Tag: In social media blogs and other content (such as photos, music, etc.,) can be “tagged” or labelled with a keyword, such as “politics” or “gardening”. This makes it quick and easy to search for all content that is tagged similarly. Technorati Authority: A rating given to blogs by Technorati, the leading blog search engine, depending on how many other bloggers link to the site. Threads: On an email list or web forum/message board, these strands of conversation are defined by messages on that same subject. On blogs, threads are less clearly defined, but emerge through comments and trackbacks. Trackback: A method of communication between blogs. If one blog refers to an entry found at another, a ‘Trackback ping’ notification will automatically be sent. Tweet: Refers to an individual Twitter message – a tweet – also the act of sending a message. Twitter’s founders have recently tried, but failed, to trademark the term. Tweet-up: This is a face-to-face gathering of Twitter users. UGC: User Generated Content – is the term often given to the content created in social media. It is also known as Consumer Generated Media (CGM). Video Blogging: Speaking to the camera as the chosen form of blogging, and posting those videos to digital sharing sites like YouTube. Also known as ‘vlogging’ or ‘vlogs’. Vodcast: This is just like a podcast – but for videos. Widget: A custom-built web application that has a function, usually involving a data feed that shows updated content in the widget. The widget can be shared for free across social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, MySpace, etc. Wiki: A web page – or set of pages – that can be edited collaboratively. The best known example is wikipedia, an encyclopaedia created by thousands of contributors across the world. www.kinrossrender.com 59
  • Useful social media resources
  • Useful social media resources The following books, blogs, websites et al have helped enormously in the writing of this Social Media Guide. / Background reading > Print Online Public Relations – by David Phillips and Philip Young, published by Kogan Page (PR in Practice Series, Chartered Institute of Public Relations) SEO Bible – by Jeri Ledford and Micah Baldwin, published by Wiley Publishing Inc. Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide – by Jared Spool, Tara Scanlon, Carolyn Snyder, Terri DeAngelo, published by User Interface Engineering (1997) > Online www.b2bm.biz/features/?groupId=30243 – articles on social media in B2B marketing www.business.twitter.com/twitter101 – easy to understand guide to using Twitter in business www.chrisbrogan.com – interesting blog on social media in business www.contentandmotion.co.uk/category/resources/ – helpful resources including a beginner’s guide to social media Campaign Execution www.dwpub.com – useful whitepapers for PRs including online PR in action www.econsultancy.com – community with blog and reports on digital marketing www.featuresexec.com/publications/list_twitter.php – list of media outlets and journalists on Twitter (subscribed) www.foviance.com – interesting blog on usability in social media – and beyond www.freshnetworks.com/learn/latest-news-social-media – read about the latest social media trends www.hubspot.com – useful resources on social media and marketing including reports and studies on the Twittersphere www.icrossing.com/research/ – useful e-books on subjects such as brands in networks www.immediatefuture.co.uk – guide for using Twitter in PR and useful reports www.nixonmcinnes.co.uk – insight into social media and has a white paper on its usability for marketers www.measurementcamp.wikidot.com – discussion on the different ways of tracking social media campaigns and activity www.slideshare.net/LakestarMedia/lakestar-media-how-to-add-rss-feed-to-facebook-page – step-by-step guide to adding RSS feeds to Facebook www.scribd.com/doc/258055/Social-Media-Manifesto-by-Brian-Solis – Manifesto for integrating social media into marketing www.kinrossrender.com 61
  • www.socialmediaonline.com – good articles on microblogging and social bookmarking www.social-media-optimization.com/category/case-studies/ – case studies on using social media in marketing www.richardstacy.com – insightful blog on social media www.mashable.com – a social media news blog covering social networks www.utalkmarketing.com – case studies, research and guides on social media http://zygote.egg-co.com/social-media-roi – guide to measuring and evaluating the success of a social media campaign > Statistics www.nielsen-online.com – informative reports into social media www.ofcom.org.uk/research/cm/cmr09/ – Communications Market Report 2009 provides statistics into the use of social media www.engagementdb.com/Report – different brands’ engagement in social media www.fwdmarketing.co.uk/blog/ – statistics on the use of Twitter www.hitwise.co.uk/datacenter/main/dashboard-7323.html – report into the top social networking sites in the UK ranked by the number of visits www.sysomos.com/insidetwitter/ – statistics and report on Twitter users and their activity http://tinyurl.com/ne3ok5 – Comscore research on social media activity in business Please note that a digital version of this list of resources is available on the K+R Social Media Network – please contact Janine Maxwell or Clare Baxter at K+R on telephone +44 (0)20 7592 3100 for more details. www.kinrossrender.com 62
  • About K+R and ECCO
  • About K+R and ECCO K+R is the UK arm of ECCO International Public Relations, a company owned and operated by 35 of the best independent, owner-managed public relations consultancies around the globe. Through ECCO we lead and manage global and pan-European programmes for clients including InterfaceFLOR, Regus, UPS and Toshiba Tec which are proven to reduce costs Kinross+Render by an average of 40% compared with large, multi-national consultancies. +44 (0)20 7592 3100 www.kinrossrender.com K+R is a full-service agency with a 22 year track record in the IT, financial services, business to business, healthcare and public sectors and a raft of blue chip clients including Barclays, Philips, Shell, Sony and Xerox. We also have a significant client base in the public sector including government departments, executive agencies, NHS trusts and local authorities. Our social media experts have recently been helping organisations such as KPMG, BT, Telenet, Siemens, Volvo and Nurofen understand and engage with the social media space. We have also run social media clinics for organisations including The Retail Trust, World Gold Council, Capco, and the London Stock Exchange. ECCO +44 (0)20 7592 3102 www.ecco-network.com www.kinrossrender.com 64
  • Content by Janine Maxwell and Clare Baxter at K+R. Design by bloodybigspider.com