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The 5 W's of Building and Growing Your Online Presence
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The 5 W's of Building and Growing Your Online Presence


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Social media allows people to share instant feedback about companies — positive and negative — with friends and followers. It also allows companies to join the conversation, establish themselves as …

Social media allows people to share instant feedback about companies — positive and negative — with friends and followers. It also allows companies to join the conversation, establish themselves as respected experts and influencers within their fields, and to become a trusted friend. All it takes is an active, engaged, and loyal online community. If you build it, will they come? Probably not. But your chances increase if you build a strong foundation. So how do you do that?

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  • 1. The 5 W’s of building and growing your online presence
    Social Media FTW
    22 September 2011
  • 2. Who is this guy anyway?
    Derek Rice
  • 3. What I am
    Social media geek
    (Sporadic) blogger
    PR & marketing pro
  • 4. What I’m not
    Rock Star
    Lover of the latest “new” Facebook
    Jersey Shore fan
  • 5.
  • 6. Worth noting
    Social media is just one part of your overall strategy.
    There are no experts.
    There is no right or wrong way to “do” social media.
  • 7. “Guess what? We’re all doing it wrong … And just like pretty much all of life, we’ll get there somehow.
    – Chris Brogan
  • 8. Who
    Your audience
    Influences your audience
    Your manager
  • 9. What
    Your goals
    People are saying
    Your messaging
  • 10. Where
    Your audience hangs out
    You have to hang out
  • 11. When
    You should get started (NOW)
    You’re ready to launch
    Time of day
  • 12. Why
    Build an online community
    Have a manager
    It’s not about you
    Listen more, talk less
  • 13. What is an online community?
    An interconnected collection of online messaging channels
    Customer service
    An opportunity to build one-to-one relationships
    Free research
  • 14. The evolution of online communities
    In the beginning …
  • 15. An Online Community IS NOT
    Traditional marketing
    A billboard
  • 16. Some platforms
  • 17. A note about tools and platforms
    You can’t be all things to all people, and you can’t possibly be everywhere. Go where the food is.
  • 18.
  • 19. What’s gonna work? Teamwork.
    When you use several different platforms to complement each other, you build deeper relationships with your audience.
  • 20. Why do you need it?
    Build trust, which helps build brand recognition, loyalty and affinity
    Obtain a deeper understanding of your audience’s needs and wants
    Create one-to-one relationships with customers and prospects
    It’s what people want and expect
  • 21. “The Participatory Web”
    Talk about and connect with what and who they’re browsing
    Share those interactions and experiences with others
  • 22. Who influences us?
  • 23. What makes us act?
  • 24. Your opportunity
    Build relationships and trust with your target audience
    They can be your best allies, sharing your information with others who trust them
    Social media allows them to pass that along to hundreds more people
  • 25. Potential project staller
    What’s the ROI of social media?
    (More about this later)
  • 26. Begin at the beginning
  • 27. What are your goals?
    What do you hope to achieve with your social media efforts?
    Think concrete, tangible and quantifiable.
    How will you measure results against your goals?
  • 28. Examples
    Build awareness around your brand
    Attract new customers
    Cultivate word-of-mouth recommendations
    Promote your industry in general
    Generate discussion and interaction around topics that interest the target audience
    Become a resource or thought leader
  • 29. Who manages your community?
    Embarrassingly outdated image courtesy of Bit Social Media
  • 30. A community manager is:
    The party host
    An active and high-profile community member
    Accountable to everyone
    The “voice” of your brand
    Sets the tone for the community
    Becomes your brand’s online persona
  • 31. Jeremiah Owyang’s “Four Tenets”
    Community advocate
    Brand evangelist
    Savvy communication skills, shapes editorial
    Gathers community input for future products or services
  • 32. He or she should be:
    An excellent writer
    Knowledgeable about your brand
  • 33.
  • 34. Who’s your audience?
  • 35. Who’s talking?
    About your company
    About your competition
    About your industry
    About anything else that may impact your business
  • 36. Where are they?
    Social media
    Review sites
    Find them.
    Follow them.
    Engage them.
  • 37. What are they saying?
    What topics generate the most discussion?
    This is what interests your audience
    Use this information to shape your messaging strategy
  • 38. Why pay attention?
    They may be interested in your company, product or industry (your target audience)
    Helps define and refine your target audience
    They may not be who you expected
  • 39. Finding your audience
    Liquid Wrench
    2011 Silver Bell Award winner, New or Social Media Campaign
    Read the case study here
  • 40. Google Alerts
  • 41. Twitter search
  • 42. Advanced Twitter search
  • 43. Advanced Twitter search results
  • 44. Facebook search
    All search results for “Liquid Wrench”
  • 45. Facebook search
    People search results for “home improvement”
  • 46. A necessary (and creepy) evil
  • 47. Socialmention
  • 48. Socialmention results
  • 49. Technorati
  • 50. How should you compile results?
    A simple checklist or spreadsheet
    A more involved Word document where individual conversations are catalogued
    Anything in between
    Whatever works for you
  • 51. Who are your influencers?
  • 52. What is an influencer?
    Greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace
    Their opinions matter to others
    Engaged in conversations with hundreds or thousands of people
  • 53. Why do you need influencers?
    When they talk, people listen
    They may talk about you
    More people will join your community
  • 54. A word of warning
    The lesson?
  • 55. Do they have to be celebrities?
    Industry bloggers
    Trade publications
    Local personalities
  • 56. How do you identify influencers?
    Where do you find information that’s relevant to your industry or niche?
    These are some of your influencers
    They’re talking to your influencers.
    They’re talking about your influencers.
  • 57. What should you be saying?
  • 58. Build your messaging toolbox
    Key words
    Key messages
  • 59. Why is content important?
    Content = return visits = word of mouth = new members = more content (community-generated)
    Quality content drives participation and growth
  • 60. What is good content?
    Speaks to audience’s interests
    Is community driven
    Fills a need
    Sparks discussion
    Establishes you as an expert in your field
    Positions you as a valuable resource
    Tells a story
  • 61. What’s a good content strategy?
    Focus on the goals of your audience and your company
    Find a unique angle
    Don’t try to be everything to everyone
    Drive traffic to other pages and channels
    Mix it up
    Less about you, more about your audience
  • 62. How do you get started?
    Focus on a handful of topics that reflect your audience’s shared interests.
    The evolution of your content strategy – and voice – will be community-driven.
  • 63. What do people want?
    Useful information on a topic they find interesting or attractive
    Engagement in experiences to improve their personal or professional life
    Examples: How to improve job performance or be a better parent
  • 64. What they don’t want
    Information on how to buy more of your product
    Constant calls to action
    Sales pitches
    Communication that’s mostly brand-specific
  • 65. No shouting allowed!
  • 66. Ask yourself:
    What value am I bringing to my community?
    Why would my community members care?
    What kind of conversation could this generate?
  • 67. Listen to learn, learn to listen
  • 68. Where can you find good content?
    Google Alerts (set up during Listening)
    News outlets
    The web
    Community members
    From within
    Become the best source of information interesting, relevant and valuable your audience
  • 69. Getting it right
    Find the balance between self-interest and providing value in your messaging
  • 70. Short and sweet
    Whatever you share, make it bite-sized. It’ll be a quick read that can easily be passed on to others.
  • 71. Seed initial content
    Who really wants to go first?
    Why would anyone join a barren or inactive community (which isn’t a community at all)?
    We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves
  • 72. Launch time
    “Officially” activate your channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
    Reach out to and interact with your target audience and influencers
    Invite them to join your community
  • 73. Remember:
    A polite, effective invitation
    doesn’t include a sales pitch
  • 74. Why does engagement matter?
    Promote community and attract new members
    Attract people with shared interests
    Foster honest conversation
  • 75. Wallflowers need not apply
    Ask open-ended, thought-provoking questions
    Conduct polls
    Offer incentives
    Contests *
    Reward good content and/or participation
    Join in others’ conversations
    Provide thoughtful, expert answers to questions
    Become a trusted friend
  • 76. Engaging influencers
    Re-tweet something they’ve said on Twitter (add an interesting comment)
    Post on their Facebook wall or tag in one of your wall posts
    Comment on their blog post, YouTube video, etc.
    Mention them in a blog post
    Link to their website or blog
    Put your brand’s spin on anything you share
  • 77. Be memorable!
  • 78. Did I mention interaction?
    Regular and reliable
    Constant and consistent
    Across multiple platforms
    You don’t always have to start conversation
    Let others be heard
    Respond to questions, comments, mentions, etc.
  • 79. Why respond?
    Communication is a two-way street
    People want to know they matter
    Immediacy is key: respond quickly to complaints, endorsements or any kind of mentions.
    A response, especially a fast response, will build or strengthen trust
  • 80. Map out your response protocol
  • 81. When should you respond?
    Work day: respond within 1 hour
    Overnight/weekends: respond within 12 hours
    Respond within 24 hours at most
    Do your best
  • 82. A different perspective
    Don’t jump in and automatically answer questions or help out.
    Foster peer-to-peer interaction
    Alleviate pressure and stress of off-hour and weekend availability
    Greater credibility in a sales situation when a satisfied customer can help a potential customer
    2011 State of Community Management Report
  • 83. When responding…
    Be positive
    Be transparent
    Be honest
    Be timely
    Be helpful
    When in doubt, revert to IRL
  • 84. What about negative feedback?
    Balance between moderating (reactive) and managing (proactive)
    Often the best course of action is no action
    Know when (if ever) to delete a post
    ALWAYS save a screenshot before deleting a post
    Never get defensive
  • 85. The hardest words to say
    If you make a mistake, own up to it
    Swallow your pride
    Be helpful
    Make it right
  • 86. Turn this
  • 87. Into this
  • 88. Is this thing on?
  • 89. How do you know what’s working?
    Use your listening tools and tactics as you continue to monitor and participate in the conversation
    Use aggregation/collaboration tools like TweetDeck, HootSuite, RSS feeds, SMS and email alerts for instant notification of updates to your community
  • 90. Example: TweetDeck
    Easy to use
    Allows you to monitor:
    Updates regularly, automatically
  • 91. Facebook Insights
  • 92. How do you measure success?
    More than by the numbers!
    Influencer interactions
    Whatever helps you measure against your goals
  • 93. Trial and error
    Who your audience is
    What content resonates with your audience
    When and how often to share and interact
    Where your audience hangs out
    Response time
    Escalation (as necessary)
  • 94. Change happens
    Tools, services and networks are constantly evolving, which means your community will evolve too
    Expect and be prepared for change, especially community-driven change
    If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to ask the community what they’d like to see
  • 95. If you remember nothing else …
    Be respectful
    Be genuine
    Be helpful
    Step outside your comfort zone
    Don’t fear funny
    Take risks (within reason)
    Give up control
    Be human
  • 96. Be careful out there
  • 97. So what’s the ROI of social media?
  • 98. Thank you!
    Derek Rice