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Who to reach, what to say and how to say it


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Presentation on online communities from Social Media Breakfast Bangor #3 (4 August 2011).

Presentation on online communities from Social Media Breakfast Bangor #3 (4 August 2011).

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  • 1. Who to reach, what to say and how to say it
    Social Media Breakfast Bangor
    4 August 2011
  • 2. Who is this guy anyway?
    Derek Rice
    Rice Communications
  • 3. Wearer of many hats
    Social media geek
    (Sporadic) blogger
    PR & marketing pro
    What I’m not: expert, guru, rock star, Jersey Shore fan
  • 4. Disclaimer
    There is NO one-size-fits-all method for building and growing an active, engaged, thriving online community.
  • 5. “Online community”?
    In the beginning …
  • 6. A note about tools & platforms
    You can’t be all things to all people, and you can’t possibly be everywhere.
    Go where the food is.
  • 7. Sample online community
    The “big dogs”
    (coming soon)
    “It depends”
  • 8. What’s gonna work? Teamwork.
    Use your platforms to complement each other, and you’ll build deeper relationships with your audience.
  • 9. An Online Community IS
    A messaging channel
    Customer service
    An opportunity to build one-to-one relationships
    Free research
  • 10. An Online Community IS NOT
    Traditional marketing
    A billboard
  • 11. Why an online community?
    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
  • 12. What influences you most?
  • 13. Who do we trust?
  • 14. “The Participatory Web”
    Talk about and connect with what and who they’re browsing
    Share those interactions and experiences with others
  • 15. 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
  • 16. So how do you get there?
  • 17. A big thank you
  • 18. Begin at the beginning
  • 19. Factors to consider
    What do you hope to achieve with your social media efforts?
    Think concrete, tangible and quantifiable.
    How will you measure results against your goals?
  • 20. Creative Dental Solutions
    Build awareness around Creative Dental Solutions
    Attract new patients/grow the practice
    Cultivate word-of-mouth recommendations
    Promote the importance of dental health
    Generate discussion and interaction around dental health and other topics that interest the target audience
  • 21. Find your maestro
    Embarrassingly outdated image courtesy of Bit Social Media
  • 22. Your manager
    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
  • 23. He or she should be
    An excellent writer
    Knowledgeable about your brand
  • 24.
  • 25. Listen to learn, learn to listen
  • 26. What’s being said about:
    Your company
    Your competition
    Your industry
    Other factors that impact your business
  • 27. Who’s talking?
    They may be interested in your company, product or industry (your target audience)
    Helps define and refine your target audience
    Your target audience may not be who you think they are
  • 28. What are they saying?
    What topics generate the most discussion?
    This is what interests your audience
    Use this information to shape your messaging strategy
  • 29. Zeroing in on your audience
  • 30. Google Alerts
  • 31. Twitter search
  • 32. Advanced Twitter search
  • 33. Advanced Twitter search results
  • 34. Behind closed doors
    Facebook people search results
  • 35. A tough nut to crack
    Facebook page search results
  • 36. A necessary evil
  • 37. Socialmention
  • 38. Socialmention results
  • 39. Technorati
  • 40. Compiling results
    A simple checklist or spreadsheet
    A more involved Word document where individual conversations are catalogued
    Anything in between
    Whatever works for you
  • 41. Influencers
  • 42. Who are influencers?
    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
  • 43. The ultimate influencer
  • 44. Why influencers?
    When they talk, people listen
    They may talk about you
    More people will join your community
  • 45. A cautionary tale
    The lesson?
  • 46. Celebrities not required
    Industry bloggers
    Trade publications
    Local personalities
  • 47. Finding 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.
  • 48. Content really is king
  • 49. Your messaging toolbox
    Key words
    Key messages
  • 50. The Content Loop
    Good content = return visits = word of mouth = new members = more content (community-generated)
    Good content drives participation and growth
  • 51. The right content
    Interesting and relevant to your audience
    Addresses audience members’ interests
    Sparks discussion
    Establishes you as an expert in your field
    Positions you as a valuable resource
  • 52. Baby steps
    Focus on a handful of topics that reflect your audience’s shared interests.
    Build on these topics later, using your audience as a guide.
  • 53. What 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
  • 54. What they don’t want
    Information on how to buy more of your product
    Constant calls to action
    Communication that’s mostly brand-specific
  • 55. No shouting allowed!
  • 56. Ask yourself:
    What value am I bringing to my community?
    Why would my community members care?
    What kind of conversation could this generate?
  • 57. Content sources
    Google Alerts (set up during Listening)
    News outlets
    The web
    Community members
    Become the best source of information interesting, relevant and valuable your audience
  • 58. Messaging
    Getting it right
    Finding the balance between self-interest and providing value in your messaging
  • 59. Short and sweet
    Whatever you share, keep it bite-sized. It’ll be a quick read that can easily be passed on to others.
  • 60. Seed online channels with 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
  • 61. Trial and error
    When to communicate
    Where to communicate
    How often to communicate
    What content resonates with your audience
  • 62. Up, up and away
  • 63. Go 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
  • 64. Remember:
    A polite, effective invitation
    doesn’t include a sales pitch
  • 65. Engage
  • 66. Why it’s important
    Promote your community and attract new members
    Communities are driven by relationship building, not by the sales cycle
    Communicate with people as friends or potential friends, not as prospects
    People seek out those who share their interests
    Allows your community to be a platform for open, honest conversation
  • 67. 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
  • 68. 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
  • 69. Be memorable!
  • 70. Did I mention participating?
    At least once a day
    Use multiple platforms
    Constant and consistent
    You don’t always have to start conversation
    Let others be heard
    Always respond to questions, comments, mentions, etc.
  • 71. 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
  • 72. Mapping out your responses
  • 73. Rule of thumb
    Work day: respond within 1 hour
    Overnight/weekends: respond within 12 hours
    Respond within 24 hours at most
    Do your best
  • 74. When responding…
    Be positive
    Be transparent
    Be honest
    Be timely
    Be helpful
  • 75. Handling 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
  • 76. Turn this
  • 77. Into this
  • 78. Monitoring = listening, continued
  • 79. Monitoring tools
    Use your listening tools and tactics as you continue to monitor and participate in the conversation
    Use aggregation tools like TweetDeck, Seesmic, RSS feeds, SMS and email alerts for instant notification of updates to your community
  • 80. TweetDeck
    Easy to use
    Allows you to monitor:
    Updates regularly, automatically
  • 81. 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
  • 82. If you remember nothing else …
    Be respectful
    Be genuine
    Be helpful
    Don’t fear the funny
    Take risks (within reason)
    Be human
  • 83. Finally, let’s be careful out there
  • 84. Homework
    Identify your manager
    Set up your listening/monitoring tools (Google Alerts, Twitter searches, socialmention, etc.)
  • 85. Homework
    The next 7-14 days
    Gather and compile information
    Identify your audience and influencers
    Set up at least a Facebook page and/or Twitter account
    Add content to your platforms
    Determine your messaging and content strategy
  • 86. Homework
    Days 15-30
    Invite members
    Respond as much as possible
    Make the time!
  • 87. Homework
    30 days
    Evaluate your efforts
    Change what needs to be changed
    To infinity … and beyond
  • 88. Thank you!
    Derek Rice