The OmobonoSocial MediaHandbookSocial Media Marketing in B2B
#ContentsIntroduction 3 Management Platforms 24 Content 40 Streams Planning and calendarsStrategy 4 Scheduling Relevance Process and workflow Making the most of content – fragmentingWhy social media? Offline notifications Blogging and content creationWhat constitutes success? Reporting ‘Think, think, think’ The B2B Stigma Going mobile - smartphones, appsConversation and governance and rich media Reporting 48Approach 8 Listening 30Introduction IntroductionCreating value Mapping the landscape andContent segmenting the audienceCustomer service How can it be done for free?Community manager(s) Enterprise level and paid solutions Thought leadership Tools 36The Three Cs 16 Browser extensions tools and time-saving tipsWhy? In the cloudContent Browser extensionsConversationConnections
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 3 of 51IntroductionSocial media is a relatively new phenomenon, with the first sites that were widely recogniseas social networks landing in the late 1990s. Mainstream offerings such as the now obsoleteFriendster and MySpace arrived on the scene in 2002/3 respectively and public adoption ofsocial media took off in a big way.As a rule of thumb, a social network’s core and fast moving consumer goods, particularly same fashion as mainstream social media,function is built on the capability of users to entertainment brands; they saw the market for LinkedIn’s growth began with individuals, whocreate content and interact with each other. these sites as a channel to reach consumers on used the site to build a network of professionalInteraction is often based around a single topic their own terms. contacts, search for jobs and communicate acrosssuch as sharing videos (YouTube), sharing the world of business.photos (Flickr), or writing and sharing words The earliest marketing on social networks came(blogs). Other networks, such as Facebook, in the form of banner advertising, hosted on Jump to 2012 and social media has movedand increasingly Twitter, allow users to do user’s web pages, although it was not long before on significantly from when users simply builtall of this in one place. There are also many industrious marketers began to make use of a personal webpage and communicated withsites that comprise a ‘social layer’, intended to sites in the way they were intended; by building others either in the public eye, using sites suchfacilitate interaction around content owned by their own profiles. In the early days of social as MySpace, or behind a wall, as with LinkedIn.the site. News sites such as The Guardian and networking, music was very much a driving force Whilst this core functionality has remained, theprominent blogs including Mashable have built up behind adoption. MySpace in particular, which scope for business use, on a personal, campaigncommunities in this fashion, allowing users almost offered bands and artists customisable profile and corporate level is now impossible to ignore.the same functionality as a standalone social templates with music streaming functionality, Facebook, the world’s largest social network,network, just excluding the ability to publish the saw incredible growth powered by musicians has more than 900 million users, and the currentsite’s core content. using pages to interact directly with fans in a way number of connected internet users worldwide that had never been done before. Comedians, stands at more than 2.27 billion, meaning thatStrictly speaking, social networks were not filmmakers, photographers and other high more than a third of people using the internetoriginally intended to be marketplaces. In profile entertainment users were all critical in visit this one site. These figures are astoundingmarketing terms, the first social networks allowed popularising the personal web. and grow all the time, arguably proving the socialusers to market themselves, connecting with web to be the most important marketing channelfriends, family, colleagues and anyone they desired Business to business marketers were slower to available to us in terms of reach.through the medium of their own website. The embrace the power of the mainstream socialearliest adopters of social media for business web, instead looking to LinkedIn, ‘the professionalcame from the world of business to consumer social network’ launched in early 2003. In the
#StrategyWhy social media?What constitutes success?The B2B StigmaConversation and governance
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 5 of 51Why social media?As important as it is to start engaging in A good example comes from everyone’s favourite What constitutes success?social media activity, it’s equally important corporate scapegoat, Ryanair, whose social media Early on in any social media strategy campaign presence numbers more than 80,000 on Facebook plan, it’s important to consider what a successfulto have a clear idea of what you hope to alone. However, these ‘fans’ mostly use the page campaign will be. Or, to put it another way; what doachieve from a business perspective. Social to complain about extortionate fees and poor you hope to achieve by engaging in social media?media is not ‘the answer’ but it is a hugely customer service, unlike Ryanair themselves, who The answer might not be immediately obvious,important channel and a clear strategy is haven’t used the page for anything since mid-2009. you don’t even need to finalise it before you startessential in order to make the most of Fortunately, not every company is as unpopular strategising, but it should always be at the forefront as Ryanair, but the message remains. Know what of your thinking and once established, should be atsocial media. Equally, social media requires you want to achieve before you get started, and be the core of everything you do.a significant commitment, not only in prepared to maintain your commitment to socialterms of human resource to manage the media channels, even if things don’t go according In strategic terms, it’s essential to not just to plan at first. consider the ultimate aim of the campaign butnetwork, but also to allow time for the to put a strategy in place to actively achieve this.campaign to have an impact. Historically There are dangers associated with social media Equally, as soon as it becomes evident, you’ll needthere have been many lazy attempts to and the need to have a process in place for to outline a set of goals and key performanceuse social media without a strategy and dealing with them, a social media strategy is indicators that will help you gauge whether the far too big of a concept to put on paper in a campaign is to be deemed a success. So whata neglected social media presence is single chapter. Every business is different, every are these KPIs? The size and rate of growth offrequently far worse than no social media business’ marketing goals are different. The your audience? The number of retweets your keypresence at all. notion of ‘best practice’ in social media is so content receives? In short, yes; if these numbers wide-reaching that it’s far better to aim for ‘good are key to your success in social media.In the past, many brands engaging in social media, practice’ based on what has worked well forwithout a clear strategy in place, have simply companies looking to achieve a similar goal. Ultimately, every marketing channel should beended up creating a large forum for untended tailored to achieve a positive return on investment,public customer complaints. It’s a fear many A strategy needs to cover numerous areas or to gain enough benefit from a channel to companies now have when entering the world including, but not limited to; content, approach, offset an un-recouped investment. In social of social media. If time and budget constraints reasons for using social media, guidelines and media terms, we consider ‘return on engagement’don’t allow you to address such concerns, serious the ultimate aim, that is to say what would be to be the key driver of any campaign. Broadlythought should be given to whether or not to deemed a success. We will be touching on all this is the same concept as ROI, but tailored todelay a social media push. these areas separately, but we will address some account for social media activity as an attempt of the basics here. to achieve engagement.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 6 of 51The B2B ‘Stigma’Before we continue; a quick note on the inherent So, whilst B2B marketers are no longer facing an “ o longer does ‘liking’ a Ndifferences between a business to business uphill battle when it comes to actually gainingaudience and a business to consumer audience an audience, there are still different approaches business refer explicitlyand the ‘stigma’ that has previously surrounded for each audience, given the obvious differences to expressing a positivesocial media activity in B2B. Much of the between customers. If anything, the B2B marketer sentiment, instead it is simplyterminology associated with social media (+1, does still have a harder job than their B2C‘Like’…) is inherently positive in sentiment counterpart. As an example, the B2B audience recognised as a desire to hearand was historically consumer focused in this is technically made up of consumers, just like from them”sense. Fortunately, since common social media the B2C audience, however, these consumers areterminology has been adopted into everyday in reality your customers, clients and numerousconversation, so too, has the literal meaning of other stakeholders. Each of whom is interested inthese terms diminshed – in the digital language a specific part of your business and more than justat least. No longer does ‘liking’ a business refer a short-lived discount from their preferred coffeeexplicitly to expressing a positive sentiment shop or the release date for a new phone.for the business, instead it is simply recognisedas a desire to hear from or speak with thecompany. ‘Liking’ is now simply the process ofengaging with the company, for whatever reason.Furthermore, recent announcements fromFacebook dictate that the ‘Like’ functionality ofthe site will be replaced with a custom field thatallows the user or business to change the term tobetter suit the action, audience or content.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 7 of 51Conversation and GovernanceA one or two way street? good starting point would be to look at corporate to a level that if a community manager needs toThere is no denying the fact that social code of conduct, terms of employment and any think about their response, they need to approve itmedia is a proverbial ‘two way street’, existing media strategy. with someone senior.social media is built on the ability to These topics, depending on the nature of aconverse and a conversation cannot be business, could include competitor discussion, discussing certain individuals, products, areas ofone sided - although a choice can be made the business and much more depending on theto not engage in a conversation. industry. In each instance it’s also important to have a set of guidelines in place to dictate theThe approach chosen here is broadly a strategic response that should be made.decision as not responding to incoming messages,a purely ‘push’ approach, alienates customers’ Governanceability to resolve an issue through the channel When it comes to social media, governance is– and their ability to subsequently compliment essential. Establishing a set of guidelines at anyou on a good service. Equally, responding to early stage will ensure you encounter far feweronly certain messages will leave some users questions in your day to day activities. The ideaunsatisfied, which is potentially even worse. These of a ‘community manager’ or group thereof, isare the key factors to consider at a strategic level. that they will be able to manage a community, without having to stop and ask questions everyThe approach that will ultimately be taken to five minutes. It’s also important that communityconversation and responses will be covered in managers know what their activities are intendedmore depth below, as guidelines for responses, to achieve, what boundaries they can and mustincluding times, tone and resolution an essential not cross, what subjects are off limits and how topart of any social media policy, especially in a address or work around them.business environment. Social media guidelines stem from the socialThe major concern with engaging in a two way media strategy; once you outline what you intendconversation is the possibility of ‘dangerous’ to achieve from social media, you can establishtopics coming up and these ‘no-go’ areas need the means to get there. This goes all the wayto be defined and considered long before the first back to the first step; ‘Creating value from socialpost. Understanding what topics are dangerous to media’. The basic aim of social media guidelinesthe company is essential when it comes to social is to allow a community manager to workmedia - and communications generally - so a unheeded on their own. The aim should be to get
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 9 of 51IntroductionIt’s important to realise the difference a user to ‘like’ a brand is therefore tantamount “ uch of the stigma associated Mbetween strategy, guidelines and the overall to asking for a public personal recommendation to all of their friends, family and colleagues. with ‘Liking’ a band onapproach taken to social media. There is Furthermore, in the world of B2B marketing, Facebook has now subsided,some overlap, as each feeds into the other there’s a potential barrier between potential although it’s still a pressingtwo, but what approach to take and how customers’ personal space and the businessesto make that decision is a significant topic with which they work. Many would suggest users issue in many people’s eyes”all on its own and there are a number of would be reticent to promote the businesses they work with/for in their private life. Much ofconsiderations to be made. the stigma associated with ‘Liking’ a brand onBefore making any decisions, it’s important to Facebook has now subsided, although it’s still arealise that social networks weren’t originally set pressing issue in many people’s eyes. With this inup to be a marketplace and many users still see mind, you might be asking yourself;them as an exclusively private space. A space ‘How can we connect with people using socialthey don’t consider appropriate for businesses to media, without upsetting anyone and still maketarget their attention. This applies particularly to any kind of impact?’Facebook users, whose pages frequently containfar more immediately personal data than a Twitterfeed. In fact, ‘Liking’ a brand or product onFacebook publishes an update on the user’s feedwhich can be seen by all their contacts. Getting
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 10 of 51Creating ValueThe ultimate aim in social media is to It may seem obvious, but knowing what your and what are they discussing? This is an audiencecreate value for your audience as an audience wants from you allows you to tailor your that is already in place, so it’s important to engage social media activity to keep them engaged and these users first, in the manor by which they’dengaged audience will deliver a far greater promote yourself accordingly and appropriately. prefer to be reached. Additionally, if there’s littleROI. This means that the first point of call If your ultimate aim is to increase awareness, or no discussion of your business or productsmust be to gain followers (ironic, I know), and increase sales, using ‘The 3 Cs’, the 80/20 on a particular social network, it’s unlikely yourallowing you to increase ‘true reach’, approach (more on this in a moment) and customers will be particularly receptive to yourestablish a position of thought leadership engaging your audience will increase interaction efforts to engage them here. across the board, including amplification of newsand a network of engaged followers. releases and company updates. The messageWithout this, social media activity is simply here is that social media success is not an exactan ‘also-ran’, rather than something that science; you will need to learn how to use it to‘earns its keep’ or ‘pays for itself ’, so to reach the goals you set.speak. An engaged audience, regardless Listen to your customersof size, is far more beneficial than a large One way of establishing where the value mightaudience with no interest in your company lie is through the study of analytics. One very simple way to understand what your customers– which is sadly far easier to achieve. want is to look at what they look at. To be moreIn order to maximise value for your audience, specific, studying website analytics to understandconsider what they would be most interested the pages of your website your external audienceto hear from you. Consider the areas of your most frequently reach from natural search terms,expertise or campaign that you would most the user journey once they reach them andintuitively imagine to be popular and you might the content they seek out. These are the partscome up with discounts. But think between the of your business that your audience is mostlines about the audience you want to reach, actively interested in and these are the areas yourconsider what you know about them, ‘listen’ and activities should initially be focused.you might find that there’s a lot more interest in In addition to studying web analytics, it’s equallyevents and guides to using products and then, to a important to ‘listen’ to the social media discussionlesser extent, discounts – after all, why give people when making these decisions, nothing is moremoney off when they will happily pay full price. valuable than understanding if people are alreadyThis approach has worked very well for Apple discussing you on social media, and if so, whoover the past decade.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 11 of 51ContentThroughout this book we will continue to ultimately, boring. Reverse that ratio and things must be aware of the on-going conversation,promote the importance of content and look a lot different. If your date subtly slips into ownership, relationship, past/pending timeline conversation the fact that they recently bought and established tone. This is facilitated by the usethe approach taken to content. Content a new Ferrari, make a lot of money and used to of social media management platforms, whichcreation, amplification and curation date a supermodel, you’ll likely be subliminally we covered in Chapter 5. When multiple accountis central to the day to day activity of impressed at how successful they are. In short; managers are used, which is an increasinglyyour social media presence. Content is imagine you want to date your followers and you’ll popular approach, especially in the customercovered separately later as part of ‘The be on the right track. service function, in much the same manner that Tone of voice a call centre operative would, the conversation is3 Cs’ approach to social media and also now being made in the public sphere, rather thanin Chapter 8, so we will stick simply to While we’re on the subject of talking to your audience, it’s important to think about how directly to just one customer. As with strategy,picking an approach to content in this you will be talking to them. Essentially, social goals and the overall approach, tone of voicechapter, namely ‘The 80/20 Rule’. media is a channel that broadcasts an entire should be a constant, pre-determined from day company/division’s opinion within a short one and central to all activities. Each and everyMost social media practitioners preach an 80/20 message, multiple times a day. It’s important to message is now a part of your brand footprint.rule of 20% promotional activity against 80% understand that whilst an account may be solely‘community management’. Whilst social media, used for a single campaign to promote a projectultimately, is about promoting yourself, simply or report, audience segmentation means thatusing it for that purpose will see your followers to any individual, your messages could be theirtire quickly. If you apply the 80/20 rule to a first only touch point with the company. It is thereforedate, which is ultimately what is happening when essential that this touch point delivers thema user stumbles across your brand online, then appropriate content professionally and in lineyou should end up with a phone number at the with policy and their expectations. If differentend of the night – or an email address/follow/like divisions run social media accounts that one userdepending on what social network/website the follows, this unified tone becomes arguably moredate is taking place on. important. There are many thoughts around theImagine, if you will, that you’re on real a first correct way to approach this but it should startdate with someone who spends 80% of the time with the business’ code of conduct and mediadiscussing how much money they make (business spokesperson guidelines.results), their past lovers (deals and partnerships), Tone of voice becomes even more importantand how fast their new Ferrari is (acquisitions), when utilising multiple account managers toyou’re going to see them as shallow, boastful and, run one account, as each account manager
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 12 of 51Customer ServiceWhen considering social media as achannel, it’s important to understand andconsider all the options and variables.Social media is a two way street, regardlessof how you choose to use it.Adopting a broadcast mentality and strategydoes not mean that you will not receive incomingmessages. If your business provide a product orservice that requires customer support, there’sa high probability that requests for support maybegin to come in via social media. Understandingthat this is part of the conversation will allow youto deal with these enquiries appropriately andswiftly. The approach you choose to take in thismanner will branch out into multiple differentaspects of social media as your use of thechannel continues to grow.Many businesses have taken to social media,particularly Twitter, as a means of providingcustomer service in addition to a dedicatedcall centre and email team. Microsoft has beenchampioning this approach since early 2009 usingthe Twitter account @MicrosoftHelps to resolvecustomer issues. The immediacy of Twitter as aplatform and the short-form messages makes for aquick and efficient service – equally impressive isthe commitment to solving customer issues in thepublic eye, rather than through offline, controlledmediums such as telephone enquiries.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 13 of 51Community manager(s)Social media is a time consuming activity, level is only made possible with the use of aparticularly when part of your strategy and social media management platform, which we will cover in more detail later, allowing theapproach involves engagement. Running creation of a workflow process, assignmentsa social media presence with multiple and ‘case ownership’ to streamline the activity.account managers can be a great way to The additional benefit of this approach is thatsolve some of the problems arising due additional team members can be brought into theto time constraints, especially given the workflow through the use of offline notifications. This means that a subject matter expert can beimmediate nature or social media and lack brought in as an additional community managerof uniform ‘office hours’ globally. However, to generate relevant content, without the need towhen an account is being run by more be ‘online’ as much as other team members.than one user, it’s important to understand Social media is free, in the sense that the networkssome of the risks, and considerations, from themselves can be utilised free of charge.an audience perspective of conversation, However, the resource needed to run a social‘case’ ownership, the previously discussed media presence effectively is anything but free. So whilst social activity can be undertaken intone of voice and more. many ways dependent on available time resource,As a starting point, it’s worth considering whether budget and goals, it’s important to both get thethe account will be publicly operated by multiple most from the time available and also to ensureaccount managers or whether this is a behind the activity, no matter how little or how much, doesn’tscenes function and all messages are seemingly stray too far from the overall aims and goals ofsent by the same person. This will play into both the social media strategy. Multiple people actingtone of voice and personality as whilst a unified as community managers can be a good way totone of voice is important, multiple community spread this resource requirement, although themanagers will offer different approaches, within optimum solution in the long term for businessesthe overall agreed approach, bringing a little looking to engage in extensive activity will alwaysvariety into the content but also making the be to identify or hire one or numerous socialcommunity manager role more straightforward. media specialists to fill the role.Running an account with multiple communitymanagers to any kind of a guideline-compliant
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 14 of 51Thought LeadershipThought leadership as an approach to A good example is Cisco’s CTO Padmasree “ rends have moved from Tmarketing positioning is nothing new. Warrior, whose 1.3 million Twitter followers are used to seeing opinion passed on new years, months and weeks,Companies the world over have used technological announcements with the to days, hours and eventhought leadership to establish a position perspective of the head of technology in a world- minutes.”of credibility and expertise around their leading technology company.company, industry and amongst theircompetition. In social media, thoughtleadership comes with immediacy. Insteadof compiling ‘trends’ in a monthly orquarterly report, we can comment, in realtime, on areas related to our industry.Twitter’s ‘Trending Topics’ demonstrate that‘trends’ have moved from years, months andweeks, to days, hours and even minutes. In someinstances trends have become shorter lived, in The potential downside to this fact is thatothers they are on-going, the magic of social employees, particularly more senior staff,media comes in harnessing trends and discussion referencing your business as part of their onlineas a means for promotion and market positioning. profile can be taken as thought leaders, even ifThought leadership is a strategy that many this is not intended. This can be controlled ascompanies utilise via social media, the aim is to part of your employee code of conduct, perhapsestablish themselves as leaders in a particular generating two tiers of social media regulation.field by creating and sharing content around a One level for employees who cannot be identifiedparticular topic as well as passing opinion or as part of your business, another for thosestatements on curated content. Many senior choosing to share this information. This kind ofexecutives practice this approach using a personal governance can allow additional control overaccount on behalf of a company. your brand in the public sphere and safeguard against negative impact from your staff ’s personal internet activity.
#The Three CsWhy?ContentConversationConnectionsContent, conversation, connections
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 17 of 51The Three Cs is an approach to social The 3 Cs work by making sure you always have avid brand advocates, users you’d like to amplifymedia that factors in the major elements good Content to post, whether your own (blogs, your messages and anyone who communicates videos, photos etc.) or borrowed (third party inwardly with you. Finally, Connections leads onneeded to drive a campaign. This content used to establish a position of thought from conversation, in that your network is your tool,approach is intended to act as a safeguard, leadership). This will see your activity never gets not the platform itself. Once you have a networkensuring a company engaging with social stale and boring. Conversation is all about, well, of engaged followers including thought leaders,media doesn’t make the obvious mistakes. conversation, ensuring you engage your most ‘mavens’, media, local and industry advocates your (subtle) promotional messages will travel a lot further. When it comes to content, it’s tempting to think that the more you can put out, the better, and there is power in numbers, but don’t lose sight of the Content Yours, mine ours Curation + creation reasons for engaging in social media; conversation, analysis, feedback, CRM, the list goes on… Keep them central to everything you do, in line with the social media strategy, chosen approach and both the policy and guidelines and finally, remember that The social media is definitely one channel where the old 3Cs Conversation Collaborative adage of quality, not quantity is really true. + collective Not control Why The 3 Cs approach focus on the ultimate goal of social media; Connections. Put differently, ‘connections’ could be as general as a company’s Connections Community building ‘audience’, or as specific as ‘customers’, ‘clients’, + ‘media’ and many other things. However, the Relationships drive your business story sharing key thing is that these relationships drive your business. The Three C model is at the heart of social media interaction.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 18 of 51ContentThe first thing to understand when Good content establishes thought experts to partake in the activity at the requestapproaching social media as a business is leadership of an account manager, without the need to be Social media represents an incredible outlet for ‘online’ 24/7 waiting for news to drop.the importance of good content. Whether business, offering companies the opportunityoriginal or curated from other sources, to establish a position of thought-leadership by Regularity is keysocial media activity is not possible sharing the considerable expertise that resides Content creation is time consuming, making it within an organisation. A mixture of content unsustainable as the only source of social mediawithout content. activity for a business. Additionally, as discussed discussing the relevance of current affairs toContent drives search your business, innovations in relevant fields, staff previously, the 80/20 rule of social mediaThe content you create, particularly on company experiences, opinion pieces and, within reason, communication comes into play when creatingblogs, is indexed by search engines, meaning that almost anything that makes good reading, are original content. In order to be truly successfulany content you publish creates a new way for all excellent places to start and can often times and sustainable, content curation comes intosomebody to find your company online. Obviously lead to publicity for your business. Traditional PR play, the practice of sharing relevant third partythis means there’s a benefit to publishing the has shown that industry leaders commenting on content to further perpetuate a position ofaforementioned promotional content, but this relevant current affairs is a popular news format, thought leadership and understanding. Regularis not necessarily the content that returning so creating timely content on a public blog and content is the key to successful social mediausers and the people you want to work with are sharing via social media alongside your traditional activity in business and whether content is originalinterested to read. It is also frequently not the PR activities can lead to unforeseen benefits. or curated from other relevant channels, it shouldbest-performing content when it comes to natural be correctly referenced (don’t steal it!) and remainsearch traffic. Instead, a mixture of engaging Furthermore, the immediacy of short-form on topic. This approach doesn’t stop the needcontent, from a number of sources, across a social media such as Twitter and Facebook for original content to be created regularly too,number of topics, is the correct approach. Most allows subject matter experts to offer insight and following the 80/20 rule, even an account postingexperts preach the 80/20 rule with only 20% of comment in real-time on breaking news topics just 10 times a week will need new contentcontent actively promoting the business. For more and trends as they surface and peak. Making weekly. Upgrade that to 10 posts a day andinformation and detail on blogging in B2B, see use of a social media management platform and that’s a daily need for fresh content, this is whereChapter 8; ‘Content’. offline notifications, as detailed in Chapter 5, allow content calendars, planning and understanding
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 19 of 51how to get the most from each piece of content ‘headlines’, i.e. things that will grab attention, and “ ven an account posting just Ecomes into play. We will be covering this in detail don’t forget the hashtag! That said, Live tweetingin Chapter 8; ‘Content’. can, however, be a great way to accumulate new 10 times a week will still need followers. Most people following an event hashtag new content weekly”As a side note, content cannot get more regular are actually in the same room as you (Yes, thisthan ‘live tweeting’, the idea being that through is the world we live in!) so users will often followthe use of a #hashtag bookmark on Twitter, users those tweeting from events they attend, knowingaround the world can follow what’s happening they’re likely to be of interest in the future and asat an event or users at an event can keep track a form of networking.of other attendees’ thoughts. Live tweets usuallyupdate with headlines from the on-going talks ata conference or event, giving an ‘as-live’ view ofwhat’s happening, in real time. The truth of live-tweeting is that it’s often superfluous to need andirritates users who aren’t aware of or interestedin an event. As such, live tweeting should beselective and akin to note taking. Make note of
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 20 of 51ConversationConversation drives social media activity Most importantly, conversation is… leading to firstly trust and then business deals with– it is the way a company can engage with conversation leading news and media outlets. No one can dictate an outside and correctcustomers – but what does it mean, and approach to the conversation a business will Regular conversation with fans providing data andhow do you achieve it? have on social media, just as no social media statistics on request has catapulted them into the strategy can definitively predict what will come public eye as the most trusted source for fans toConversation is about content and read sports data, causing media outlets to rethink up. However, a robust social media strategy canconnection their current providers and fans to question any shape the approach to conversation, which shouldAs previously discussed, content can be industry news source not already utilizing Opta data in include dialogue with customers and managingnews, current affairs, public opinion or popular their reports. This is particularly interesting, as any criticism with acknowledgement and aculture – all potential sources. Much of your they have engineered B2B success through a response. Listening to customers will help tocontent should be curated, as detailed above; predominately B2C approach to social media, shape product and service development.share the load by utilizing links to content ‘farmed’ communicating directly with the end customerfrom relevant sources as a basis for discussion, Conversation fuels understanding; and using thought leadership in front of theengaging followers and saving your company Talking to your customers and clients can middle-man.from the need to create fresh content on a weekly, give insight into their buying behaviour anddaily, or even hourly basis. Connections allow the understanding the person behind the keyboardpassing of information to customers, potential and how they like to be communicated with willcustomers and business partners through social allow a business to engage more effectively delivery platforms, or listening to comments with a customer.and suggestions and accepting criticism from your audience. Whether potential, present, past or angry, conversation with customers can have a strongIt’s important to understand the circular way in impact on future sales leads and companywhich ‘The 3 C’s’ work. Conversation ties directly perception. An excellent example of a companyback both to content and connection and each using social media to develop conversation as acomes directly back to the others, none works B2B promotional tool comes from sports statisticson its own. It’s impossible to have a connection company Opta. Opta have built a social mediawith your followers without conversation, just as following of more than 100,000 Twitter followersit’s impossible to have a conversation with your across a plethora of accounts, 60,000+ on thefollowers without content. Equally, you won’t have most popular account @optajoe alone. They havemany connections without any conversation. been able to successfully leverage social media conversation into popularity with sports fans
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 21 of 51ConnectionHaving gotten this far, it’s important to refer customers on to real people within the Recent studies from Neilsen have shown ROInot forget about the person behind the organization through social media. A good delivered from branded communities to be higher example of this comes from Microsoft. than through any other social channels. Whilst thiskeyboard – your customers and those is a step above and beyond what many companieswithin your business. As we’ve touched on As previously discussed, Microsoft’s @ may need, there’s a real benefit to such solutions,above, the important thing to remember is microsofthelps twitter feed is managed by a team if you feel they could be of value to yourthat content that engages us as humans is of customer services managers, each named audience, they can offer a far larger return than a on the page. Each of the team has a unique ID, Twitter account.what people find most interesting, but which they use to sign off every tweet. A potentialalso to think about your connections; who customer looking at the feed will not only see Connections give you reachthey are and what they need and want a company that’s engaging in social media for It was recently reported that just 40% of US usersfrom you. good, by providing a free support service, they’ll actively follow a brand or company on Facebook, also see a company with thousands of employees however, this 40% equates to more than 45 millionRelationships drive your business engaging publicly with customers on a one-to- people in the US alone. To further put this inCustomers like to deal with real people. Whether one basis. It takes some commitment but it is perspective, the average Facebook user also hasthrough email, call centre support or a sales valuable promotion and will be looked upon very 130 friends, each of whom will see the ‘story’team, even when ending a relationship with a favourably by any customer engaged in the social published when a user begins following a brand.company, it’s the human connection that makes a media world, even one choosing not to actively The number of potential customers a businessdifference. Common sense tells us that customers follow your brand’s activity. can reach through social media is mind bogglingchoosing to interact with a business on the and increasing by the day. Even the number ofweb are therefore going to appreciate similar Connection means going beyond the new accounts Facebook rejects is astounding,human interaction online. This is applicable for a obvious social networks recently reported as more than 20,000 every day.business in two ways, firstly a potential customer Connection, in business, can mean more than simply engaging ‘the big four’ networks. Bespoke The aforementioned approach of building aresearching a business will appreciate a business solutions for businesses can include discussion bespoke community also comes back into thecommunicating with personality. Secondly, when forums and even customer-focused social numbers argument; quality vs quantity. Thecreating a personal relationship with a potential networks as have recently been implemented by impact of creating a collaborative business forum,customer online, personality shines through. HSBC and American Express. HSBC’s community private social network or other community, allows small businesses to share knowledge,Connections can be personal perpetuated by one brand, which would serve to engage with each other and share problems withBe open about who you are and let the people attract a far smaller but highly relevant audience, a like-minded audience. Amex’s ‘Open Forum’,managing your accounts have a name and a can be huge. which follows a similar principle, has enabled theface. Let customers have access to real people, company to position itself as thought leadersand encourage social media managers to Finally, It’s also important not to lose sight of through the ‘resource’ element of the site. the impact a campaign or message can have
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 22 of 51‘inside the walls’ of a social network, i.e. outside Content, Conversation, Connection “ imply seeing a company’s Sof your tracking capabilities. This is the ‘invisible The simple activity of engaging in social mediaaudience’, those that you cannot track and those is potential promotion already and as with most page and approach to socialthat you cannot track viewing your content. things, the more you put into it, the more you’ll media may be a decidingNumerous different levels of privacy settings on get back. So whilst not all web users may elect to factor in their decision to buyTwitter and Facebook mean that it’s impossible directly ‘follow’ or ‘like’ a brand, simply seeing ato track where and how far your content and company’s page(s) and approach to social media from or trust a business”company name may be travelling outside of may be a deciding factor in their decision to buyyour immediate vision. There’s huge potential from or trust a business. The implied popularityfor recommendations, good customer service, of a brand amongst customers, i.e. the number ofcompany messages and news to spread without ‘likes’ or followers a particular brand has can befurther input. powerful. Numbers show a potential customer that they’re not alone and that customers value andThe old customer service adage that ‘A customer respect a business or product.will tell one person about a good customerservice experience, but they will tell four if they It is easy to get too caught up in the numbersexperience a bad one.’ springs to mind here, game though, and to forget that it’s quality, notexcept in 2011 bad customer service can instantly quantity that’s important in the long run. Thebe shared with an entire network of contacts. You underlying message here is that social medianever know who might be talking privately about is not a forum for promotion - but that’s notyour business, so treat your customers well, both quite true; of course it is. The simple activityon and offline. of engaging in social media offers the potential for promotion and, like all things, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get back out. More accurately then, the message is that the correct approach to social media for business is not to generate marketing messages day in, day out, but instead to engage customers, potential customers, complaints, partners, media, staff and the rest of the world-wide-web on a daily basis. To put it simply, the 3 C’s can be whatever you want them to be, just please make sure it isn’t a press release!
#Management PlatformsIntroductionStreamsProcess and workflowGoing mobile - smartphones, apps and rich media
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 25 of 51IntroductionSocial media platforms contain numerous As such, social media management tools havelayers of functionality over and above what risen in popularity over the past couple of years, “ ocial media management S allowing social media community managers to tools have risen in popularitythe standard user may be familiar with, or create shortcuts, view multiple channels in oneinterested in using. Most Twitter users, for place and operate social networks at a high level, over the past couple of years,example, will never even have heard of getting the most from the network itself and allowing community managersTwitter’s private lists function and wouldn’t allowing them to make the most of their time. There are many platforms available, offering to create shortcuts and viewhave a clue why they’d want to use them, multiple channels in one similar levels of service, but we’re going to beyet this is one of the most important covering one in particular; Hootsuite. place”tools for using Twitter as a business.These different layers of functionalityare designed for ‘power users’ those whospend hours every day using social mediachannels for a variety of purposes. Theseusers are constantly on the hunt for newtools that will make the management ofthese accounts easier and allow them tomake the most of their time.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 26 of 51Process and WorkflowStreams incoming communication and impact to be conversations to be ‘assigned’ by a communityProbably the most significant capability of monitored, as well as audience segmentation. manager and also to allow certain user’s messagesHootsuite and other management platforms is Hootsuite also offers a ‘Publisher’s view’ which to pass in front of an administrator before theythe ability to view multiple social networks in is built on another function of the platform, the are publicly posted. It’s also possible to viewone place and to segment your view of each ability to schedule activity. Alongside Twitter, it ‘conversation history’ between the account andsocial network into different ‘streams’. This is possible to manage activity across numerous other users, in the instance of a conversation oris particularly useful for Twitter as it allows a other social networks, each using a separate tab ‘case’ being assigned to a new user. This allowscommunity manager to follow individual topics, to segment the channel. Facebook, Linkedin, the new conversation owner to understand theaudiences, users, conversations, search terms, Wordpress and others are all supported allowing context, tone of voice and discussion, beforehashtags and more from one place. Each stream an ‘at a glance’ perspective on each network in attempting to take over.within Hootsuite shows a timeline of posts, just one place.like on Twitter.com, however, each stream can be A workflow process is a fantastic way to allowdedicated to something specific. For example, if multiple users to collaborate on an individual Scheduling account or campaign, even bringing an ‘offline’your Twitter account follows 500 people, but you Another function that Hootsuite allowswant to follow 10 of those users more closely, benefit by alerting users that they have an community managers to access above the basic assigned action in Hootsuite via email, negatingtheir activity can be isolated and viewed as a functions of social networks is the ability toseparate stream alongside the main content feed. the need for users to remain logged in at all times. schedule forthcoming activity. Through the use of This can be an incredibly powerful asset to aAs more need to monitor specific topics, Excel spreadsheets, it is even possible to schedule social media team. Furthermore, users can buildkeywords and increases, a management platform up to 200 updates at a time in advance. This is a a custom view, showing only the content andbecomes more and more valuable; streams can be fantastic tool when promoting an event or wish elements of activity that are of relevance to them.set up to search for specific campaign keywords, to maximise the impact of a specific report, blogbrand names, competitor-related keywords and or other piece of content. The ability to schedule Offline Notificationsmore. As many as six streams can be displayed activity adds an additional level of functionality to One of the many benefits of social mediaon screen at any time, and dozens of separate community management allowing for the creation platforms is the creation of a workflow processtabs comprising up to 10 streams each can be of a process and workflow capability. allowing ‘part time’ users to work as part ofallocated, making it far quicker to stay up to a social media team, without the need to be Collaboration and Teamwork constantly switched on and monitoring thedate on the various elements of a social media Another significant benefit of Hootsuite is thepresence by campaign, audience and more. streams, Hootsuite and various mobile platforms ability to create a workflow process to manage allow users to set up notifications to alert usersStreams work mostly in conjunction with basic accounts and campaigns with input from multiple to new activity. Notifications can be created forTwitter functions including ‘saved searches’, account managers and subject matter experts, in new @mentions, Retweets, friend requests and‘@mentions’, Retweets and lists, allowing the cloud. The creation of multiple team members more. Hootsuite can also be set up to notify ‘team within Hootsuite allows actions, messages and
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 27 of 51members’ of the need for an action relating to the Reportingworkflow previously discussed. If a part time team Built into Hootsuite at a core level is the abilitymember is involved in a Twitter discussion the to generate detailed reports around social mediacommunity manager can notify them of incoming activity, custom reports can be built featuringresponses by email, negating the need for them useful statistics such as the date and time ofto remain logged in and checking the account Tweets overlaid with Google Analytics, showingfor activity. the impact of particular messages and more. There are also numerous ‘flash reports’ availableSo as to manage email notifications effectively, on-demand or auto-generated on a regular it is possible to create ‘rules’ and ‘filters’ in mail basis, including ‘click summaries’ on links youclients to automatically place emails in different have shared, Facebook user insights and more. folders, meaning you need not be ‘pinged’ each We cover reporting in much more detail in time you get a new Twitter follower, but you get an Chapter 9; Reporting.email to let you know someone has commentedreplied to on one of your posts via the samemeans. The ability to combine on and offlineteam members to the management process ofan account can be invaluable when workingwithin guidelines that require speedy responses toincoming queries.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 28 of 51Going mobile - Smartphones, apps rich mediaAnother key benefit to Hootsuite is the ability to old. Using a smartphone means events, meetingsreplicate the desktop user experience on mobile and conferences all become possible social mediadevices. As the platform is hosted in the cloud, content via the medium of live tweeting and therethe same tabs and streams can be viewed on are numerous applications allow for rich mediaany device, allowing you to work in the same such as photos, video and even audio/podcasts toenvironment across all devices you use, be recorded and uploaded over a 3G connection.wherever you are.Mobile smartphones are the perfective devicefor social media – the ability to take and uploadphotos, videos and even audio content withoutthe need for long loading, editing, buffering andtransfer times associated with digital media of
#ListeningIntroductionMapping the landscape and segmenting the audienceSegmentationHow can it be done for free?Enterprise level and paid solutions
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 31 of 51IntroductionSocial media works for business in two There are various types and levels of listening “ here’s really no excuse not Tways; firstly allowing a business to ‘listen’ that can be done, ranging from free tools that cost only time, to enterprise level solutions that to listen both before youto consumers’ opinions and secondly for run to thousands of dollars per month. Both ends speak and once you enter thecompanies to voice their own opinions, of this spectrum produce valuable insight into conversation”even affording the same opportunity the audience, what networks and channels theyto individual staff using subject matter use and what they are saying about your brandexperts and thought leadership techniques. and products so there’s really no excuse not to listen both before you speak and once you enterCorporate blogs and social media channels often the conversation. In addition to the social mediamiss the point and are often just used as an outlet benefit of understanding what your audiencefor product, hiring and service announcements, are talking about, there’s the added benefit forpublicity of awards and generally ‘shouting large companies to gauge interest and impactfrom the rooftops’ rather than engaging their of marketing campaigns, product launches andaudience; completely missing the point of what impressions on their activities.should be a hugely valuable asset. Listening tothe conversation already taking place on socialnetworks should be the first port of call for anybusiness looking to engage in social media, as weoutlined earlier in the chapter on Strategy.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 32 of 51Mapping the Landscape and Segmenting the AudienceThere is a different audience on each Segmentation Additionally, there are many pitfalls associatedsocial network, each audience is used Your audience can be all over the world and some with simply copying everything from one stream things don’t apply to everyone; local news and to another site - automated updates, for one, don’tto getting information in a way tailored geographically-specific offers, for examples. In provide the same functionality on all networks.to them. For example, Facebook is some instances messages about these things can The ‘@’ symbol on Twitter denotes the a usertraditionally a place where users can be directed at just certain users; Facebook geo- has been tagged or is being talked at, likewise,view rich media (videos, images, widgets) location allows you to make updates visible only the same technique is used to ‘tag’ users onwithout having to leave the page, but to users in a certain territory, even users isolated Facebook, but using a third party platform such as by the language they speak, but in others you may Hootsuite to update Facebook doesn’t allow usersTwitter users are far more used to have to directly reference that a special offer is to be tagged in this manner.scanning headlines, ‘hashtags’ and short- available in just one territory (Twitter).links. As Twitter continues to evolve,however, they too are moving in the ‘richmedia’ direction.Whilst each social network’s audience is different,many platforms and services allow automationacross numerous sites. Linkedin, for example, willallow users to re-post content from Twitter in theirfeed. Equally, Twitter allows Facebook users to re-post their content on the micro-blogging site.Automation is a great technique when it comes totime-saving, especially with regard to posting onepiece of content on multiple networks, but there’salso a strong case for utilising the tools given toyou from each website, in order to best reacheach audience. We’ll get onto this later, but partof understanding how to best use social mediainvolves mapping the landscape, understandingwho and where your audience may be and this isdone through listening.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 33 of 51How can it be done for free?The first port of call, before committing to you have typed it. There are many tips and tricks One thing that often baffles new Twitter users isa significant spend on a listening solution, in this vein, including the ability to search for a the sheer number of people that they can ‘follow’, word but only when another word doesn’t appear especially given that one approach to gaining tomight be to test the water with some free on the same page. It is also possible to search for followers is to follow people and hope that theylistening tools, luckily there are numerous a keyword within one website or even within a will reciprocate. The best way of ensuring thatgood tools available free, some of which URL itself. For example, it’s possible to search for you stay on top of the tweets from users you areare scalable to provide valuable insight at a keyword only appearing on a page for which the most interested to follow (sources of good thirdall levels. The first tool at your disposal and URL contains the word ‘blog’ or ‘news’, therefore party content, users you want to engage with etc.) isolating very specific content and audiences. is to use Twitter lists.one of the most valuable tools at any level There are dozens of advanced search strings andis no secret, it’s Google, the world’s largest they can all be found, surprise surprise, with a Twitter lists allow you to create a new,search engine and second most visited quick Google search. supplementary timeline from specific users, they can be either private (only you can see them)website. The first, if you were wondering, Google is far from the only free tool available or public (any user can follow them). Lists canis Facebook. when listening via social media. We mentioned also be generated as new tabs within Hootsuite, ‘saved searches’ on Twitter previously and these allowing you to follow tens of thousands ofMuch the same as Twitter has numerous features can be set up on the main website, without the accounts (if you want to) yet still keep tabs on aabove and beyond the needs of the standard user, need for Hootsuite or a similar platform, allowing number of important accounts. Private lists canGoogle has many capabilities that can make your you to follow key terms in real time and see who be a great way to keep tabs on competitors (Youlistening efforts easier and more effective. Google is talking about you on Twitter. Additionally, sites don’t have to follow an account to add it to aAlerts, for example, allow you to create a saved such as Social Mention and Topsy also provide list) without anyone knowing and give individualsearch for certain keywords and receive an email free platforms to search social media keywords, users the feeling that you’re interested in theirevery time Google finds a new instance of the the former can even provide some insight tweets (because you follow 1000 people andwords. This can be invaluable when posting press into the sentiment of the discussion around picked out their message). This is often at thereleases and news, setting up Google Alerts in your keywords. centre of a good audience engagement strategy;advance for key product and campaign text can identifying influential users and people interestedhelp understand the reach of your messages. One final searching tool that can be invaluable to engage with you and ensuring you tweet with is Boardreader, a tool that allows you to search them regularly can work wonders in terms ofAnother invaluable trick is to learn and master for keywords solely on forums and messageadvanced Google ‘search strings’. Many users are amplification and earning brand advocacy. boards, as often forgotten but hugely valuableaware that a search for multiple words will identify source of user-generated content and discussion.instances of both words, but by putting the same Other tools include private Twitter lists and pagesearch term between two apostrophes you will bookmarking tools, the latter of which we willcause Google to search only for the exact term as cover in more detail in the next chapter.
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 34 of 51Enterprise level and paid solutionsAbove and beyond the various free listening options manual basis, this can be accurate and useful, but It’s a strategic decision whether commentsavailable online, there are a number of advanced as volume picks up, manually studying mentions are responded to and in what terms responsessolutions available to provide bespoke listening and then a user’s timeline is not a sustainable will and won’t be posted, but when commentscapabilities within a single dashboard. Solutions approach. Various paid solutions offer advanced are posted directly at you, you’ll know anyway,such as Radian6, Meltwater Buzz and Alterian all sentiment analysis, although most only claim through the use of saved searches and incomingprovide advanced listening capabilities across a their results are only guaranteed with about 35% messages and these messages are not to bevariety of websites, social networks and forums. accuracy – so be careful how religiously this ignored and should be covered in guidelines,There are additional capabilities based on advanced sentiment is taken into account. Where possible regardless of approach. What’s most important ismachine-learning algorithms, meaning that the community managers should look to mine this to understand what is ‘noise’ and what is valuable;longer these solutions are used, the more valuable information manually, perhaps picking comments indexing the number of times your brand orthey can be. However, this capability comes with a from users with perceived influence, such as a product is mentioned online is of limited value,price tag and to operate these systems at their most high Klout score, number of followers, numerous whereas recognising when a key social mediaadvanced level will require a capable community web profiles – this information is all aggregated influencer compliments your brand or productmanager putting in some significant work, so the into solutions such as Hootsuite and available with and amplifying these messages or making acommitment can be significant. one click. connection to a powerful advocate can be a great asset.Differing businesses have different requirementsfor listening based on their customers and Eavesdropping In addition to eavesdropping on the generalproducts. As an example, for a business with In many ways, ‘listening’ via social media is public, there are many tools available to facilitatea popular customer-facing product, there’s a tantamount to eavesdropping. This is due to the secret monitoring that can be used to tracklikelihood that the product can cause a large public nature of social media, especially Twitter, competitors’ activities online. Sites such asnumber of posts around the business - imagine where discussions can be monitored and tracked watchthatpage.com will send you a notificationMicrosoft, Apple or Google trying to track every using keywords. Using a social media monitoring each time a website is updated, allowing you toinstance their name is mentioned - monitoring all platform to engage users discussing your business track competitor blog and news feeds withoutof these is impossible. However, looking at just or products can be a dangerous game, if not having to publicly subscribe to their content.some comments can be even worse; everything done properly. The public nature of social media This approach can also be taken on Twitter withhas context and it’s important to understand means that simply monitoring keywords and the use of private lists; users can be added to athe context in which things are posted, before responding automatically to everyone mentioning private list without it being their knowing; allowingconsidering crisis management or responses to your brand is not much different from walking up you to track their daily activity without publiclyevery comment. to somebody in a coffee shop who you overhear subscribing to their accounts mentioning your brand and offering your opinion.The above considerations also apply when Yes, it happens, but the person who you werestudying sentiment around your keywords. On a eavesdropping on probably won’t like it.
#ToolsBrowser extensions, tools and time-saving tips
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 37 of 51Browser extensions, tools and time-saving tipsIn addition to social media management be used to determine which users carry the Google Reader/RSSplatforms such as Hootsuite, which we’ve most social media influence and suggest times Similarly to Readitlater, Google Reader allows to schedule tweets to reach the most receptive users to view content from an archive, but alsoalready covered, there are numerous tools audience (based on past activity) respectively. gives the ability to subscribe to content and haveavailable to make managing your social There are also numerous ‘Twitter directories’ that all new posts visible in one place with incomingmedia presence easier. From account list users that tweet around various topics and content added as and when it is posted at themanagement platforms through to time their perceived popularity (followers), Wefollow is original source. http://google.com/readersaving tricks and products that can be probably the best known. Google Alerts and Social Mention are probably the last two major tools RSS – RSS stands for Really Simple Syndicationevery bit as useful in making your own that you can benefit most from from day one, and allows users to add a website feed to anlife on the web easier. From browser allowing you to set up alerts for when a keyword is archiving platform, allowing them to view allextensions to content aggregation, making used online. Finally, Watch That Page also allows new stories as they’re posted. RSS feeds can you to monitor a particular website for changes also be generated for your own content, allowingthe most of what the web has to offer has to keep tracks on sites you have an interest in other users to subscribe to your posts. You cannever been easier. even import your RSS feeds into Hootsuite to (competitors and so on). These tools have all been covered in more detail in the previous chapter automatically generate a new social media postDespite the importance of tools, platforms and but the following additional tools can be used in each time you post something to your blog.processes to simplify your social media existence,sometimes visiting the website itself is the best addition to other tools specifically intended for Email Alertsapproach. As an example, Facebook has the listening to increase your productivity across all Alongside the previously mentioned Googleability to use the site ‘as a page’ meaning it’s parts of the social web. Alerts, many websites with regularly updatedpossible to ‘tag’ a user or company in a post, content offer their own email alerts and Pocketbut this is only possible from the website itself. newsletters. These can be a great way to keep This is a cloud-based platform and bookmarkingAdditionally, as this approach allows you to track of the latest content from the site without tool which allows users to archive web pages theyengage in conversation and interact with other needing to check back regularly. don’t have to time read immediately. Being basedposts as a business, it can be very powerful when in the cloud, the service works across all browsers,referencing other businesses featured in news computers and devices and there’s even a browserstories and blog posts, as well as giving feedback extension button for most popular browsersto other user’s posts, showing you read them. allowing users to bookmark a page to read laterTools with one click. http://getpocket.comWhen it comes to social media ‘power users’,there are many tools online that can make yourlife easier. Tools such as Klout and timely.is can
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 38 of 51Bit.ly Silver BirdA tool to shorten URLs with an additional A simple management tool, trimmed down tocapability for branding via a ‘vanity URL’ (Such as work as a Google Chrome browser extension,our own, http://omobo.co). Bit.ly also provides allowing users to view elements of twittertrack-able data on who has clicked your links and streams, post and respond within a browserautomatically generates QR codes for any links window as well as receive pop-up notifications ofyou shorten. There is also a browser extension new mentions and messages – all without openingavailable to shorten the current page URL with Hootsuite or visiting the main Twitter website.one click. http://bit.ly http://chrome.google.com/webstoreHootsuite There are many alternatives to the servicesWe’ve already covered Hootsuite and what a mentioned above offering a similar mix offantastic social media management tool it is, functions but these are some of our favorites.however there are browser extensions for mostpopular browsers, allowing users to tweet fromany page, including a shortcut to link to the pagethey’re currently reading, without leaving it.Hootsuite also includes its own URL shortner;ht.ly, which can also be accessed from theextension. http://hootsuite.com
#ContentPlanning and calendarsMaking the most of content – fragmentingBlogging and content creation‘Think, think, think’
The Omobono Social Media Handbook Page 41 of 51Planning calendarsAs we outlined in the chapter on The 3 and key points in the financial year (end of theCs, content is the key to social media, tax year, etc.) This would give them underlying themes on which to base blogs, scheduling andwhether self-generated or curated from thought leadership pieces, as well as ensuringthird party sources, without content, there they identifying lulls ahead of time and scheduleis nothing to post and without anything something to fill the void.to post, there’s nothing to discuss and, Relevanceconsequently, no one to discuss it with. Whilst the occasional off-topic blog is harmlessWe’ve covered Audience (Connections) and - in one respect it’s a great way to keep contentConversation previously, but as Content is the main fresh and an audience interested via the ‘humanfactor in social media activity, we’ve dedicated a element’, a content calendar allows you to keepwhole chapter to the pursuit of good content. content relevant by tying it back in to past and future activities. Different networks have differentOne way of keeping on top of the need for audiences and different expectations. Whilstfresh content is to operate a marketing calendar Twitter is generally regarded as a high-volumecompleted to include key events, announcements, network, platforms such as YouTube and Flickr,awards, results and similar milestones. Operating which are based on rich media such as imagesa timeline of events allows posts to be scheduled and video, need not be tended to everyday,ahead of time, repeated as necessary and particularly given the increased difficulty ofcontent to be scheduled and planned around pre- creating regular new content for these networks.determined topics. You will also foresee peaks andtroughs in activity and identify periods in whichextra content creation will be needed.A marketing plan should be a working document,split into manageable segments to give sufficientnotice of key events and a timeline for completionof tasks to be completed in line with events.For example, a financial institution looking toengage with social media might identify 12monthly events to attend, the dates when 15major companies release their annual results
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