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Dell social media_toolkit Dell social media_toolkit Document Transcript

  • SocialMediaToolkit 01 #dellsmb Social Media ToolkitSocial Media Toolkit Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media #dellsmb
  • SocialMediaToolkit 02 About this guide Who is it for? This guide is designed to provide you with a good basic knowledge of the social media landscape, an understanding of how businesses and consumers are using social media, and best practices and trends. It will help: • People who are new to social media engagement • Users who are already engaged with other people via social media and who want to take their participation to the next level • Business owners who are looking for some no-nonsense tips and best practices What is it? This guide looks at social media through the lens of small and medium business, with the core principles of online sharing and collaboration. It’s designed to be a practical resource for not only using social media professionally, but also personally in the context of how your employees can represent your company. In creating this guide, we’ve drawn on experiences and insights from the Dell Small and Medium Business team and many of our friends and followers online. We hope you find it a useful resource and see your business grow through your efforts in social media. Dell’s Social Media team has produced this guide for any small or medium businesses who are looking to embrace or further develop their use of social media.
  • SocialMediaToolkit 03 How we communicate has fundamentally changed. The informality of social communication has brought about a new playing field with five key principles: 1. Channels have fragmented. It’s not just the traditional media anymore. And the word “media” doesn’t mean the same as it did. It’s no longer just about newspapers, TV and radio, but also the Internet, mobile and interactive. 3. Social media has arrived. It started among the early adopters with blogs in the early part of this century. Then came podcasts, YouTube and the social networks that are ubiquitous today. 2. The customer is in control. In reality, when we’re talking about messages and communication, no one’s really in control. But if we consider control as meaning who can influence the opinion of others through word-of-mouth and make it happen online faster than you can say “customer,” then the customer is in control. 4. Content creation and distribution have been democratized. Today, anyone has the tools to voice an opinion, ask a question or criticize your brand anywhere at any time 24/7 if he or she has a connection to the Internet. And consider, in 2011, the first students to grow up with the Internet graduated from university. 5. Sources of trust have shifted. Authority figures are less trusted. Today, people look more to their peers, friends, colleagues and subject matter experts for news, information and knowledge. So a major challenge for companies is how to be part of such informal networks of trust and influence, where word-of-mouth is the unwritten rule. Support small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs with a simple guide on the fundamentals of social media. 1. Objectives of the guide View slide
  • SocialMediaToolkit 04 When you listen carefully, you’ll know your customer’s online world. That information will help you focus on insights, which can inform your planning. That will help you identify who drives share of conversation. In other words, who you should pay attention to. In addition to texts and rich content, this guide contains worksheets and checklists that will help you develop effective plans to help you make your business case for using social media, developing a clear and measurable objective and showing how your use of social media will help you achieve that business objective. You will be able to focus on your planning by asking yourself some specific questions, such as: • What do you want to achieve? • Who do you want to reach? • How do you want to do it? • What social media tools will you use? • How does social media integrate with your overall communication plan in the long term? On the contrary, your first step isn’t talking, it’s listening. Getting started with social media doesn’t mean you have to create a Facebook business page or open a Twitter account. Offer general guidance on how to engage responsibly and effectively for both professional and personal purposes. 2. Objectives of the guide View slide
  • SocialMediaToolkit 05 However you see it, social media usage is increasing rapidly and dramatically in all levels of society and in more countries around the world. It isn’t merely the domain of geeks and the young. Increasingly, businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing it. Now, online sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others attract hundreds of millions of people every day, who share their lives and experiences. More businesses are developing homes in those places too. What’s important isn’t so much the tools and the channels: It’s about people and new, simpler and more effective means of connecting with other people. This guide will help you engage and interact more effectively online, by showing you how to: • Leverage best social media practices • Learn from the experiences of businesses that have leveraged social media • Link online engagement to measurable objectives specific to your goals Why use it? Social media is a collective term that describes a means of communicating and engaging with people. It’s something many people see as evolutionary, if not revolutionary, in helping people connect with each other in genuine, authentic and informal ways.
  • SocialMediaToolkit 06 How do you use it? Because this guide is presented in a modular format with easy-to-find sections that address the topics in an easy-to-understand manner, you will be able to adopt and adapt these practices, strategies and tactics in a manner consistent with your personal interests, objectives, planning and business needs.
  • SocialMediaToolkit Ch.1 Building strong social media foundations for business success Why social media matters for business success Ch1-03 Creating employee guidelines Ch1-08 Tips for employees Ch1-10 Dealing with a crisis Ch1-11 Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reflect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
  • Ch1-02 SocialMediaToolkit How effective is social media?* Fall 2012 Spring 2011 Twitter 60% 47% LinkedIn 55% 47% Facebook 86% 82% *eWeek, “Social Media Marketing Grows Among Small Businesses,” Nov. 16, 2011 Building strong social media foundations for business success If you are trying to put some structure around social media as well as mitigate risks for your business and employees, then setting out some simple social media guidelines is a good place to start. In this chapter, we run through some of the basics of why social media increasingly matters to small-and midsized businesses and highlight best practices for using social media guidelines as a foundation for success.
  • Ch1-03 SocialMediaToolkit 3. By 2014, 20% of all business users will rely on social media rather than email for personal communication.1 Social media has begun to threaten the effectiveness of the inbox. Faster, more up-to-date, easier to interact with and share (with any connected device wherever you happen to be), this up-to-the-minute communication poses a serious threat to email’s relevance as a personal communication method. 1. Social media can help foster a genuine connection between a company and its customers. Usage is increasing rapidly and dramatically; businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing it. Why? Because they see measurable benefits from directly connecting with other businesspeople in ways that are more natural and authentic than the traditional marketing-led approaches of the past. 2. Increasing importance of word-of- mouth on purchasing behavior. Much customer purchasing behavior online is research — finding out what others think about Brand X, reading product reviews, asking questions on social networks… all the activities that involve active word-of-mouth engagement with other people online. By the time a customer takes the concluding step and actually makes a purchase, decisions and expectations about that brand have already been made, shaped and influenced by the consumer’s peer network and online community. Seven reasons why social media matters to business success 1 Gartner, “Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2011 and Beyond,” Nov. 2010
  • Ch1-04 SocialMediaToolkit 4. A fifth of journalists access Twitter at least once a day as part of their story sourcing.2 The microblogging service has found an important place in the reporter’s toolbox as an effective way to research stories. If something just happened that is newsworthy, someone is probably talking about it on Twitter. For reporters, it’s foolish not to monitor it. 6. Manage issues and crisis situations by responding quickly. The 24-hour news cycle is a reality around the world, with commentary, opinion and discussion online rapidly affecting the spread of news. This means that talk about you and your business can happen at any moment, anywhere in the world. You need to be paying attention 24/7, not just 9 to 5. Social media can work well for you in this regard by acting as an early-warning alert system, giving you minutes or hours in advance to be prepared. 5. Build relationships with online influencers. They can generate positive word-of-mouth among online communities about your brand or a new product or service. They can also share thought leadership to demonstrate that your company is innovative, helping to put an attractive name and face on your business. 7. Influence mainstream media coverage. Social media extends and expands the news cycle, giving you a highly effective, rapid and low-cost means of getting your perspective and views out in the mainstream in ways that get attention and can influence opinion. Seven reasons why social media matters to business success 2 Cision, “European survey highlights journalists’ increasing dependency on social media,” Sept. 2010
  • Ch1-05 SocialMediaToolkit With all the talk you hear about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other online social meeting places, it wouldn’t be too difficult to think that social media is all about Facebook, Twitter and the others. Yet it’s not. What’s important isn’t the tools and the channels. It’s the people and new, simpler and more effective means of connecting with other people. Social Media Revolution 2011. Based on the book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman. Click to watch the video: Let’s be clear about social media
  • Ch1-06 SocialMediaToolkit The Conversation Prism 3.0 by Brian Solis and JESS3. Used with permission under Creative Commons license. The term “social media” can mean different things to different people. We want to be sure we’re all clear as to what the term means in our context. The Conversation Prism is a living, breathing representation of social media that evolves as services and conversation channels emerge, fuse and dissipate. Creator Brian Solis explains, “We view conversations across the networks through the prism of our social dashboard. Each shade of color represents an entirely unique reflection of light, meaning separating context and intention by network.” Social media is any tool or service that facilitates conversations over the Internet. Social media applies not only to traditional big names such as Facebook, Twitter and Renren, but also to other platforms you may use that include user conversations, which you may not think of as social media. Platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, blogs and wikis are all part of social media. Social media is a collective term that describes a means of communicating and engaging with people. It’s something many people see as evolutionary, if not revolutionary, in helping people connect with each other in ways that are genuine, authentic and informal. Social media usage is increasing rapidly and dramatically at all levels of society and in more countries around the world. It isn’t merely the domain of geeks and the young. Increasingly, businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing it. We define “social media” like this:
  • Ch1-07 SocialMediaToolkit At Dell, we believe that social media, when used properly, can be an effective business tool. We’re leveraging and experimenting with social media to build relationships and better connect with consumers and key influencers. But there are responsibilities to consider and practices we all must follow, as we’ll explain. So why should we care about social media? We care about social media because it’s changing how marketing and communication work. It’s an affordable way to get results, it’s rapidly growing, and customers turn to you and their peers for answers. Social media enables us to engage in dialogue, provide and exchange information, and build understanding.
  • Ch1-08 SocialMediaToolkit Chris Boudreaux has collected social media guidelines from over 100 organizations. Why agree on social media guidelines? We’ve all seen social media clangers, where a company’s or individual’s reputation has been damaged by injudicious use of social media. Lack of awareness of privacy settings has also led to oversharing of information. In the most visible cases, individuals have been fired, arrested, sued or burgled, and businesses have lost brand value, customers and revenue. This is why guidelines are so critical for any company or employee looking to engage in social media. Best practices As a business owner or employee, you engage in conversations about your business every day. Joining the conversation online really isn’t all that different. Much of what you do with social media—for business as well as for personal use—and how you use it comes down to common sense. You’ll know, for instance, that the kinds of things you would never share with someone outside your company via email or phone, you also wouldn’t share via social media channels like Twitter or Facebook. In the online world, there are additional considerations to be aware of, to enable and protect your employees when engaging online. We’ll take a look at a few example social media guidelines used today by leading businesses. If you have not already created a company social media policy, these will be useful guidelines for what to consider. Examples
  • Ch1-09 SocialMediaToolkit Why agree on social media guidelines? Dell social media principles For example, Dell has five Social Media Principles that guide our employees when they’re engaging in any type of online conversation. We think these principles are equally useful in the wider Dell community, enabling everyone to be clear on what the rules are as well as providing you with some practical advice to help you be confident and effective in your online activities. 4 minutes and 20 seconds well spent. This example from the Department of Justice (Victoria, Australia) explaining the key elements of its social media policy shows just how effective video guidelines can be. Guidelines don’t have to be boring 1. Protect information 2. Be transparent and disclose 3. Follow the law, follow the Code of Conduct 4. Be responsible 5. Be nice, have fun and connect
  • Ch1-10 SocialMediaToolkit Ten social media tips for employees Tips we’ve learned from engaging with our customers online Apply your common sense Always pause and think before commenting or sharing an opinion. If in doubt, don’t do it — stop and seek advice from your manager or another. Respect confidential content Be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy — be selective in disclosing your personal details. Copyright applies Never use images, text or any other content you’ve found on the Web unless you have permission or the site makes it clear that you may use such content and under what conditions. Don’t speak out of turn Don’t assume the role of spokesperson — unless you are an official one for your company. Be respectful When disagreeing with others’ opinions, keep it appropriate and polite. Be transparent If you are commenting on someone’s Facebook wall, tweeting to them on Twitter, or writing a blog post, use your real name. Identify your employer if a post involves your company. SPAM Be human first If you are engaging in a forum and posting information about your company, don’t use the forum to sell your products and services unless you are certain it will be useful and appropriate. Get to know the community Always listen first before diving in. Consider how you are contributing to the community and adding value to a conversation. Brand yourself well Select a profile picture and screen name (or handle) that best represents who you are and topics others may want to connect with you on. Stay focused Have a business objective when engaging in social media and identify what success will look like. Make sure your objective is one that will both benefit your company and the communities you engage with.
  • Ch1-11 SocialMediaToolkit Crises can take many forms. And sometimes, what appears to be a crisis turns out to be an issue that requires management. Conversely, an issue can rapidly develop into a genuine crisis, especially in this interconnected age of 24/7 online. Increasingly, social media is where people go for information in times of crisis. From a crisis management point of view, it’s easy to update that information. Social media means you can speak naturally with other people, in a so-called “human voice.” Two-way communication is transparent and credible. And importantly, keeping a record of conversations is easy to do with social media. Tips for dealing with a crisis
  • Ch1-12 SocialMediaToolkit 4. Removing negative comments is pointless – they will appear elsewhere. 2. Do not respond to negative comments in a way that is snide, nasty, demeaning or snarky because you cannot win. 5. Make the company’s official position clear in all online places where conversation is happening. Do not bury it on the company website. 15. Engage rapidly with your community. 12. Don’t launch a campaign right before a weekend or public holiday unless you’re prepared to respond. 9. Recognize that enthusiasts—brand evangelists—are your powerful allies: it’s not difficult for them to become powerful critics. 10. Realize that “Internet time” means, literally, hours and minutes, not days, let alone weeks. 6. Let people have their say no matter how negative. Tips for dealing with a crisis 3. Humor—or at least a human voice—can often defuse or side- track issues. 1. Acknowledge that there is an issue, and agree to look into it. 7. Respond with alacrity to customer complaints online. 14. Don’t dismiss blogs and other social media as “unimportant.” 11. Always have staff on hand to be prepared to respond during a weekend. 13. The participants have the power, so participate. 8. Don’t assume the mainstream media are the only influencers.
  • Ch2-01 SocialMediaToolkit #dellsmb Social Media ToolkitSocial Media Toolkit Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media #dellsmb
  • SocialMediaToolkitSMBSocialMediaToolkit Ch.2 Planning your social media strategy Know your audience Ch2-05 Make your business case Ch2-06 A framework for developing a social media strategy Ch2-07 To sum it up Ch2-17 Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reflect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
  • Ch2-03 SocialMediaToolkit People often think of social media in terms of tools and channels, with Facebook and Twitter being especially popular. But the truth is, social media is about people and what they do with the technological tools they have at their disposal. Getting started with social media doesn’t mean you have to create a Facebook page for your business or open a Twitter account. On the contrary, your first step isn’t talking; it’s listening. Why should you care about social media? It’s a good question. You should care because social media is changing how marketing and communication work and how people connect with brands, whether Planning your social media strategy in a consumer or B2B setting. When employed effectively, it presents your business with an affordable way to get measurable results quickly. It’s rapidly growing, and customers are increasingly turning to their peers for answers through social networks and other online tools and channels. These channels are precisely the places where your business needs to be present. But it has to be done the right way.
  • Ch2-04 SocialMediaToolkit Engaging in honest, direct conversations with customers and stakeholders is a part of who we are, who we’ve always been. The social Web amplifies our opportunity to listen and learn and invest ourselves in two-way dialogue, enabling us to become a better company with more to offer the people who depend on us. –Michael Dell It’s an unmistakable trend. You only need to look around you to see it happening right before your eyes. • Social media highlights the increasing importance of word-of-mouth in regard to consumer behavior, including recommendations and actual purchasing. • Social media amplifies and accelerates word-of-mouth, rapidly shaping and influencing opinion. • Social media can help foster a genuine connection between a company and its stakeholders. We’ll help you answer some specific questions that will be the key elements in your strategy planning: • How do I make a business case for social media? • What is the framework for developing a social media strategy? • What social media channels do I use? We’ve included a worksheet that will assist you in piecing together all the elements you need to develop your strategy plan. Go to the strategy worksheet online. Planning your social media strategy
  • Ch2-05 SocialMediaToolkit Know your audience “Many companies approach Social Computing as a list of technologies to be deployed as needed — a blog here, a podcast there — to achieve a marketing goal. But a more coherent approach is to start with your target audience and determine what kind of relationship you want to build with them, based on what they are ready for. Forrester categorizes Social Computing behaviors into a ladder with seven levels of participation; we use the term “Social Technographics,” to describe analyzing a population according to its participation in these levels. Brands, websites and any other company pursuing social technologies should analyze their customers’ Social Technographics first, and then create a social strategy based on this profile.”* •*Charlene Li with Josh Bernoff, Remy Florentino, and Sarah Glass, “Social Technographics,” Forrester Research, April 2007 • Presentation on SlideShare The Social Technographics Ladder, Forrester Research, 2010.
  • Ch2-06 SocialMediaToolkit Make your business case In thinking about how you want to use social media, whether launching a blog to demonstrate your thought leadership or creating a Facebook page or a Twitter handle to engage with customers, there are two essential elements to consider: • Make your business case to your stakeholders to get their support. Discuss your ideas with them. • Develop a strategy plan to get started (i.e., resources, content, budget, processes, timing, etc.) It will help you focus if you ask yourself some specific questions such as: • What do you want to achieve? • Who do you want to reach? • How do you want to do it? • What social media tools will you use? • How will social media integrate with your overall communications in the long term? Once you’ve got the support you need, you’re ready to develop your strategy and get started. You must have a clear objective. Your objective should be measurable. Your use of social media should help you achieve your objective. Your getting started checklist:
  • Ch2-07 SocialMediaToolkit A framework for developing a social media strategy Social media is strategic when it is planned as a means of addressing core business issues, and its impact on the business can be measured. In your approach to developing a social media plan for your small-to medium-sized business, there are five key elements to focus on: 1. Outline your objectives 3. Available resources 2. Listening audit 4. Plan your approach 5. Test and refine
  • Ch2-08 SocialMediaToolkit How will you measure success? Set two or three SMART goals where SMART = specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed. Step 1 Outline your objectives What is the core business issue you want to address? Consider the primary and secondary objectives you aim to achieve with social media. Sales • Collaboration • Thought leadership • Blogs Online Presence • Ratings and reviews • Communities • Customer stories Customer Service • Listening • Support widgets • Outreach • Resolution Marketing • Demand forecast • Lead generation • Message reach Product Development • Feedback loop • Early warning • New product ideation Communication • Rich media • Brand reputation • Influence • Reputation
  • Ch2-09 SocialMediaToolkit Listening is a monitoring approach that tells you: • Who is driving share of voice for your brand(s). • What the top issues are that matter to your customers. • Where your customers live online. • Where conversations that matter are occurring. • How news is shared and by whom. • How you can add value for your customers. • When you should engage the community. • Why customers are passionate about certain topics. Step 2 Conduct a listening audit Above all else, listening is paramount. It’s what you do before you start or conduct any engagement activity online, from leaving simple comments on a blog or posting your comments on Twitter, to performing a deeper relationship-building exercise with a prominent influencer. Listen to what your customers have to say, understand where they are as well as what communication they’d welcome from your company. Learn from them constantly. One of the best things about social media is that it enables you to connect and understand what your customers need or would find useful. If you don’t yet know with some precision what your customers are saying about you, where and with whom, then you need to find that out via a listening audit.
  • Ch2-10 SocialMediaToolkit FREE$$$ Step 2 Conduct a listening audit You have these choices: Paid for: Depth analysis across the social media universe, taking in all keyword-matching conversations discovered on all social media platforms, from forums to video sharing to popular social networks. Dell has been listening for six years and has built expertise in how to decipher insights from the huge amount of data available. This includes how to best use the tools, where to listen, who to listen to and much more. Dell can monitor conversations relevant to your company’s industry and competitors, provide business intelligence, improve social media outreach and give you the detailed insight reports behind the data. If you are interested in leveraging Dell’s listening capabilities, contact SM_Solutions@dell.com. Free: “Snapshot views” across specific social media platforms that require manual setup of keywords, specifying what to search and where. Typically used on the fly as the need arises; more for temperature-testing goals than to conduct in-depth analysis or see detailed reporting. No contracts, no commitments. Just use the services you need as you require them. Most require significant time commitments, especially to set up your audit keywords on each service you use and then to monitor the results. Products include Google Alerts, Google Blog Search, Social Mention, TweetLevel and Technorati. There are many tools and services you can choose from that will help you conduct a listening audit and interpret the resulting data. Some are paid for; many are free. Which you use depends on a number of factors starting with how comprehensive you want to make your auditing.
  • Ch2-11 SocialMediaToolkit Step 2 Conduct a listening audit Go to the listening audit worksheet. Audit framework Questions to ask in your planning: Who are the influencers related to topics that matter to you? List the top five opportunities. What is your share of conversation compared to your competitors? What are the top keywords for your company? How do they stack up against what you see your customers and others searching for? What content do your customers care about most? List the top five topics customers are looking for from your company. Who is defining your brand, pro or con? Where are people talking about your brand and your industry online? List the top five opportunities.
  • Ch2-12 SocialMediaToolkit Twitter Relevance: • A great opportunity to build a network of influencers who want to share your news in real time. Trend: • An effective way to alert and connect with influencers, help propel news cycles. Step 3 Define your available resources Each social media channel has its pros and cons. You must consider the benefits of each one as part of an integrated approach to connecting with and influencing people where social media tools and channels are used in tandem with more traditional marketing and communication activities. Knowing which channel is likely to be most effective for what you want to achieve is an essential step in your strategy planning. Let’s look at eight areas online that have developed powerful reputations as places where influencers gather or pay attention and where we find influential opinions. Some descriptions may not mean much to you yet, but the specific tools and channels will. Wikis Relevance: • Wikipedia is the public wiki with the greatest awareness. There’s a Wikipedia entry for almost anything you can imagine, which means it could be the first information people find about any topic they are seeking information about. • As a tool, a wiki enables communities to write documents collaboratively, making it easy to create, edit and share content and increase opportunities for knowledge sharing. Trend: • Growing appeal within organizations for collaborative working tools that are easy to use and support (browser-based) from anywhere (the cloud).
  • Ch2-13 SocialMediaToolkit Social networks Relevance: • Many people’s days often start and end with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, XING, Viadeo and others, depending on where they live and their specific personal and business interests. • If a social network is where our community of interest spends time and shares opinions, that’s where we want to be. Trend: • Increasingly, the communities that are often the “first place” people go to online. • LinkedIn’s Groups feature is popular among business users for developing community. Step 3 Define your available resources YouTube Relevance: • Video learning is increasing in importance — visual information can improve understanding of spoken words as much as sixfold. • YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine — opportunities for your content to be discovered, cited, shared. Trend: • Consumption habits are starting to favor video over the printed word. Blogs Relevance: • Stating an opinion, demonstrating thought leadership, providing a stimulus for discussion, getting your voice into the conversation. • Building a community, opportunities for citation — being referenced by and linked to by other people. Trend: • With over 200 million blogs globally, a trend in business is for multiple blogs in multiple languages.
  • Ch2-14 SocialMediaToolkit Step 3 Define your available resources Image sharing Relevance: • Image sharing services like Flickr, Photobucket and others provide opportunities to offer tagged images for other users and search engines to find easily. • Such services enable others to share your images, thus increasing exposure of your brand or product across the social Web. Trend: • Offering images with clear copyright permissions for sharing by others; tagging images in multiple languages to increase opportunities for discovery and sharing. Document sharing Relevance: • Services like SlideShare and Scribd are favored locations to share public and internal presentations that become referenced and used by others. • Aids knowledge sharing and collaborative working. Trend: • Increasing awareness and use in business; development of business channels. Audio Relevance: • Podcasts of all types, plus audio tracks of video segments, have growing utility as complementary communication and community- building channels. Trend: • A favorite of sales force, customers and others on the go. Download the planning worksheet.
  • Ch2-15 SocialMediaToolkit Step 4 Plan your approach The results you get from listening will enable you to identify the key influencers, those whose commentary and opinions drive the attention of others online. This is the key aspect in planning how you will develop your action steps for engagement — the heart of your social media strategy.
  • Ch2-16 SocialMediaToolkit Step 5 Test and refine Be engaged. Find ways to join the conversation. You can start by leaving comments on blog posts or responding to questions in a forum or message board. Listen carefully. Listening to and learning from the community is a great way for us to better understand what is important to our customers and partners. Follow the conversation. There are lots of tools to help you do that. The power of your peers. Expose brand evangelists within your own company. Your employees are likely some of your biggest fans. Encourage them to participate in online conversations, and make sure your company policies allow them to do so. Stay on topic. Don’t get caught up in tit-for-tat dialogue. Respect the broader conversation and ensure your comments stay on topic. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. Be polite, mutually respectful, and don’t engage in negative, inappropriate remarks. Being vulgar or abusive doesn’t work in real life or in social media. What’s your POV? Be relevant. Share information and perspectives that are valuable to the online community. If you focus only on your own agenda, you will fail. Get involved. Listen, post responses and engage in two-way conversations if you have something to contribute. Otherwise, just keep on listening. Speak about what you know. Especially if you’re asked. Get feedback. If you have new information to share with an influential blogger, you can email him or her directly. You may even offer bloggers the chance to review your company’s product or service and write about their experience, no strings attached. Add value. Give due attention to posts. Offer thoughts or ideas when appropriate; invite others to respond as well.
  • Ch2-17 SocialMediaToolkit To sum it up Here’s your starting guide: 1. If you understand the shifts in behaviors we see all around us and in our workplaces, it becomes easier to understand why we must adapt how we communicate and connect with people online. 5. Be clear on this point: Armed with the knowledge from a guide like this one, you can venture onto the web openly as an ambassador of your company and connect with anyone, confident in the knowledge you are empowered to do this. 2. Understanding your audiences and what they expect of you is crucial. 3. Be clear on what you’re doing and why. 4. Common- sense rules.
  • Ch3-01 SocialMediaToolkit #dellsmb Social Media ToolkitSocial Media Toolkit Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media #dellsmb
  • Ch3-02 SocialMediaToolkit Ch.3 Engaging with your audiences Wiggly Wigglers Ch3-04 Jagex Ch3-05 Lonely Planet Ch3-06 ebookers Ch3-07 Endeavor Ch3-09 Sew what? Ch3-10 Dell Trade Secrets Ch3-12 Worth your attention Ch3-13 Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reflect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
  • Ch3-03 SocialMediaToolkit Free your imagination in terms of what can be achieved with social media. Get inspired by what others have achieved in this chapter, which includes business case studies focusing on successful uses of social media and engagement of online influencers. Engaging with your audiences
  • Ch3-04 SocialMediaToolkit One of the pioneers of business podcasting (its first show was published in 2005), organic farming and mail-order gardening firm Wiggly Wigglers counts the first-ever Dell Small Business Excellence Award in 2008 among its many recognitions and awards. Wiggly Wigglers podcast The Wiggly Wigglers podcast is a key element of the company’s social media engagement within its community of customers and fans. Published every Monday, content typically embraces discussion of the environment, wildlife, gardening, farming, biodiversity and things everyone can do to make a difference. “With thousands of listeners from all around the world, and over 100 5-star reviews on iTunes, it seems that our audience enjoys listening to the shows as much as we enjoy making them,” says Wiggly Wigglers founder Heather Gorringe. The company’s use of social media, which today also includes a blog, Facebook and Twitter, has let the firm cut its advertising budget by 90 percent. Today, the firm counts over 100,000 customers worldwide. The podcast is created and produced in-house by the Wiggly Wigglers team at the company’s office in Herefordshire, England. It’s saved in universal MP3 format and playable on nearly any digital device, from computers to music players to smartphones. The podcast is also available free via iTunes as well as direct from the Wiggly Wigglers website and its Facebook page.
  • Ch3-05 SocialMediaToolkit Jagex: Community development Since its beginning a decade ago, RuneScape has reached more than 150 million registered accounts worldwide, offering over 15,000 hours of free game content and many times more in the paid members expansion. Providing a framework for online engagement with players and fans is an important element in Jagex’s community-development plans. The company has embraced multiple social media tools and channels to further this goal, many of them managed by the community: Jagex is an independent developer and publisher of online games. It is the largest independent games studio in the U.K. with 450 employees. It has developed over 40 titles. It’s best known for RuneScape, the world’s most popular free-to-play, multiplayer online role-playing game, recognized as such by Guinness World Records the last four years in a row. • A vibrant and lively Facebook community with more than 620,000 “likes.” • An active and engaged Twitter feed, commenting on matters of interest to fans, issuing frequent responses and retweets, and providing links to other content. • A YouTube channel with over 100,000 subscribers and community-created videos. • A wiki with a wide range of game-related content, support advice, guides and how-tos, tips and tricks, developed by the company and the community. • Traditional multilayer forum with 65 separate channels and millions of discussion threads. In addition, Jagex runs a RuneScape merchandise store as well as a member loyalty program.
  • Ch3-06 SocialMediaToolkit Lonely Planet Clearly, community, storytelling and engagement are key elements to Lonely Planet’s success and appeal. Its online community, Thorn Tree, is used by over 600,000 travelers for travel tips and advice. Lonely Planet’s social media portfolio includes the Lonely Planet website, RSS feeds, community blogs, Facebook Connect, Flickr photo sharing, a groups platform, the ability to rate and review sites and restaurants, as well as a trip planner tool. While all its online activity encourages interaction with and among their communities, Twitter has proven to be its most effective platform for community engagement. Since opening the “@lonelyplanet” Twitter account in June 2008, Lonely Planet has grown a community of more than 575,000 followers (and it follows some 464,000). Founded in 1973, Lonely Planet is the largest travel guidebook and digital media publisher in the world, now owned by BBC Worldwide. It was one of the first series of travel books targeting backpackers and other budget travelers. By 2010, Lonely Planet published about 500 titles in eight languages, as well as TV programs, a magazine, mobile phone applications and websites. It has about 450 employees. Lonely Planet’s Twitter proposition is clear and clearly stated: Tweeting (& retweeting) the best in travel. 1. Follow us. 2. Tag your tweets with #lp 3. We read your posts 4. We re-tweet the best of them
  • Ch3-07 SocialMediaToolkit ebookers: iPad app ebookers.com is a travel company that has embraced the Internet, not the other way around. It wanted to understand its user base and offer them a method of researching and sharing information as well as a convenient way to book their next holiday or travel experience. So, they introduced the ebookers Explorer iPad app, a unique experiential app developed by digital agency Fortune Cookie. London-based ebookers.com is a pan-European online travel agency specializing in worldwide travel. It offers a wide range of travel products, including a choice of over 250 airlines, more than 100,000 hotels, holidays, car rentals and insurance. A subsidiary of Orbitz Worldwide, a leading global online travel company, ebookers.com operates local online travel agencies across 13 countries in Europe.
  • Ch3-08 SocialMediaToolkit ebookers: iPad app Here’s what the app does: •ebookers Explorer pulls together socially generated content from across the Internet. The content is tailored to the destination and activity the user is looking to explore. •Socially generated content is pulled from sites around the Web: photos from Flickr, videos from YouTube, blogs from Google, tweets from Twitter and hotels from ebookers. • The groundbreaking (and free) app delivers personalized content in an easily digestible travel magazine format. • Flickr photographs, YouTube videos, Twitter tweets, Google blog posts and hotel information from ebookers are combined, allowing users to access and share all the latest information about their chosen destination.
  • Ch3-09 SocialMediaToolkit Endeavor: Global connectivity Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as “the best anti- poverty program of all,” Endeavor is a nonprofit organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets to fuel economic growth. Endeavor connects entrepreneurs to what they need most: experienced mentors, timely connections to “smart capital” and the inspiration to think big. With Endeavor’s help, these entrepreneurs break down barriers, creating thousands of jobs and millions in revenue— over 156,000 jobs and over $4.5 billion in revenue in 2010. Headquartered in New York, Endeavor currently operates in 15 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Endeavor uses social media in the following ways to engage with its mentor network and help entrepreneurs: • High-Impact Entrepreneurship blog featuring original content highlighting entrepreneurial successes worldwide, and guest content syndicated from around the Web. • YouTube channel with original video, TV interviews and community-generated content. • Facebook page for community-building featuring content highlights from blog and YouTube channel, additional photos and video and information on community events. • Twitter account to build a network of influencers who want to share Endeavor’s news in real time.
  • Ch3-10 SocialMediaToolkit “We’ve manufactured drapes and soft goods for numerous major artists, including Maroon 5, Slipknot, Green Day, Sting, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Rod Stewart and Don Henley,” says Founder Megan Duckett. “In addition to the ’big stuff,’ we also manufacture stage curtains for elementary, middle and high schools, community theaters, churches and college auditoriums. And that’s not to mention providing drapes and soft goods for special events, trade shows, fashion shows, conferences, even the occasional inaugural ball.” Sew What? capitalizes on its leadership position in a highly specialized marketplace, demonstrating its thought leadership via It’s All Sew Biz, a blog about theatrical drapery and stage curtains for production managers, set designers, custom drapery resellers and local/school/ church productions. Sew what? Blog for thought leadership “If you can dream it, we can sew it!” is the motto of California-based Sew What? Inc. Since its founding in 1992, Sew What? has grown to become the premier provider of custom-sewn theatrical drapes/curtains and fabrics for the entertainment and special events industries. Katy Perry dropped into VH1’s Salute the Troops TV show in 2010 as she descended onto stage in a giant parachute in the form of the U.S. flag – made by Sew What?
  • Ch3-11 SocialMediaToolkit Having such a niche audience presents Sew What? with a great opportunity to showcase its knowledge of the industry in ways that engage with that audience, offering them content that specifically addresses their needs. For example, recent posts discussed such topics as: Sew what? Blog for thought leadership Tips on getting color right. “...Some people think just because you assign a Pantone color in Photoshop it will automatically print that Pantone color on press. Actually, if you want to give your logo the best chance of printing correctly, get a conversion book, look up your desired Pantone color and dial it in by the numbers based on what [the] Pantone conversion book tells you.” Expert opinion on how lighting can affect the look of Austrian drapes. “...With a slight change in the angle of the lights, lighting color, and stage design, we can help create a unique and exciting look for any event. Some of our satisfied clients have been the Jennifer Hudson/Robin Thicke Tour, Maxwell, Foo Fighters, the Glee Live Tour, and an amFAR Benefit starring Lady Gaga, the queen of fresh and innovative style herself. Each Austrian Drape has such a wonderfully rich and special look to them, that you can use them for practically any event you can think of where you may need to add a little touch of ’wow-factor’.” Case study example of using Cambio projection screen material. “This summer and fall, we worked with Faith Bible Church of The Woodlands, Texas, on just such a project. We created a 19’ h x 32’ w Projection Screen in Cambio!, accompanied by three Triangle Shapes, 18’x 18’, also in Cambio!. The pieces worked great for the church, and we were so pleased to be mentioned in the church’s blog. Want to see a Cambio! Projection Screen in action? Check out their blog.”
  • Ch3-12 SocialMediaToolkit Dell #tradesecrets: Influencer outreach The campaign included a significant element of influencer outreach where bloggers and others formed part of the conversation through using the computer and talking online about their experiences with the Vostro V130 via tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, video and other channels. To support the introduction in 2011 of a new business laptop computer, the VostroTM V130, Dell launched “Trade Secrets,” a marketing campaign hosted on the Dell SMB Facebook page and under the Twitter hashtag #tradesecrets. In this interview with the For Immediate Release podcast, co-host Neville Hobson talks with Laura Thomas at Dell about the campaign, its objectives, outcomes, expectations and more. • Listen to the interview • See the Trade Secrets: First Impressions 2011 presentation deck The 2011 “Trade Secrets” campaign won the “Business to Consumer North America: Listening” Groundswell Award from Forrester Consulting. The campaign is evolving and continues into 2012.
  • Ch3-13 SocialMediaToolkit Worth your attention There are many other examples of imaginative uses of social media by small and medium businesses. We’ve added this collection of pointers that we think are worth looking at to see what they do and how they do it. Cakelove “Cakes from scratch,” seven locations in Washington, DC; Maryland; and Virginia. • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • iPhone app Renewable electricity supplier in the U.K. • Twitter • Facebook • YouTube U.S. lighting manufacturer Cree started a contest in 2009: “If you’ve been living or working under the oppression of inferior lighting, we want to know. We also want to see. Submit your photos of dismal lighting here. Each month, we’ll give away five Cree CR6 recessed downlights to revolutionize one person’s poorly lit space.” • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • YouTube Good Energy Lighting the LED Revolution
  • Ch3-14 SocialMediaToolkit Worth your attention There are many other examples of imaginative uses of social media by small and medium businesses. We’ve added this collection of pointers that we think are worth looking at to see what they do and how they do it. Ten ways for small businesses to use LinkedIn Writing on the LinkedIn blog, entrepreneur and author Guy Kawasaki says, “Many small-business people are using the site in ways you’d commonly imagine: finding leads, growing their business globally, or finding the right vendors. My buddies at LinkedIn recently provided me a list of ten additional ways small businesses can use LinkedIn.” Here are five examples of small businesses using Twitter effectively. From sales to research, word- of-mouth marketing to localization, and everything in between, Twitter can help you reach your target audience in ways you probably never thought of before. This article highlights nine small businesses of various sizes and industries that have transformed their online presence with innovative social media marketing practices. These tactics will work for just about any business, from solopreneur to multi-employee- manufacturer. Five small businesses using Twitter right Nine small business social media success stories
  • Ch4-01 SocialMediaToolkit #dellsmb Social Media ToolkitSocial Media Toolkit Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media #dellsmb
  • SocialMediaToolkitSMBSocialMediaToolkit Ch.4 Social media best and next practices LinkedIn best practices Ch4-04 Twitter best practices Ch4-07 Facebook best practices Ch4-09 Google+ best practices Ch4-11 SEO best practices Ch4-12 Social media measurement best practices Ch4-14 Social media next practices Ch4-16 Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reflect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
  • Ch4-03 SocialMediaToolkit Social media best and next practices Practical how-tos and advice on using social media tools and channels are always helpful. You can find such advice in this toolkit. In this chapter, we offer some tips and tricks on current best practices for social media across a number of channels to help you get the most from your use of social media in business. On page 16, hear what some expert voices have to say on next practices.
  • Ch4-04 SocialMediaToolkit LinkedIn best practices: 5 tips to engage your followers Mike Grishaver, senior product manager for Company Pages at LinkedIn, shares a few tips to optimize your company status updates, a LinkedIn feature that allows companies to engage directly with its LinkedIn followers. Take an audiovisual tour of company status updates with LinkedIn in this short video.
  • Ch4-05 SocialMediaToolkit 1. How do you start a relationship? Say “hello.” Introduce yourself. Describe who you are and why you and your business are here. Get to know your audience. An IT services firm would tailor messages to it’s tech-savvy followers differently than to, say, marketing executives. Remember: Your followers are already interested in hearing what you have to say, so be succinct, authentic, genuine and relevant. 2. Mix it up. Vary your status updates. In one post, share a link to press coverage or industry news; in another, highlight a new product release or a list of hot jobs. Photos are great. A YouTube video, infographic or poll? Even better. This powerful new tool isn’t just a way for companies to recruit talent, market goods or sell stuff. Think of it as an engagement channel to build long-term relationships with your followers — be they potential customers, employees or advocates who can help your business succeed. Not sure how to start? Or maybe you feel a little nervous about what to say to your followers on a professional social network? Well, here are a few easy ways to start the conversation. LinkedIn best practices: 5 tips to engage your followers
  • Ch4-06 SocialMediaToolkit 5. Analyze your engagement. How do you know if you’re doing well? Check the stats that appear on your posts about 24 hours after your status update goes live, and see what types of information and links create the most “likes,” comments and clicks. Use this data to understand who your followers are, refine your strategy and optimize the conversation. 4. Be part of the conversation. Solicit feedback from your followers; find out what they want from your company. Ask questions, watch how they respond and interact with users who are commenting. Answer their questions, highlight insightful comments and show your followers that you’re listening. LinkedIn best practices: 5 tips to engage your followers First published on the LinkedIn blog. 3. Think quality, not quantity. Offer news, tips and other insightful, relevant information about your industry or business. Get your followers engaged and build relationships. Don’t just sell all the time or blast them with promotional messages. Become friends first! If you build it, the business results will come. A pithy, punchy status update can go viral and expose you to a broader audience as your followers share, “like,” or comment on company- driven content with their own professional networks. $$$
  • Ch4-07 SocialMediaToolkit Twitter best practices: Build your following, reputation and customers’ trust Twitter for Business: Let your brand take flight with the faster, easier, simpler Twitter. Learn more. 1. Share. Share photos and behind-the-scenes info about your business. Even better, give your followers a glimpse of developing projects and events. Users come to Twitter to get and share the latest, so give it to them! 2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand and products. 3. Ask. Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening. 4. Respond. Repond to compliments and feedback in real time.
  • Ch4-08 SocialMediaToolkit 5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals. 6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business. 7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers. 8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine and, of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community? Useful resource: Download Twitter’s small business one-pager (PDF) for more tips and best practices including the following: • How to get started with Twitter • Ideas for great tweets • More Visit Twitter for Business for a wide range of free resources, information, guides and tips to help you understand more about what Twitter can help you do for your business. Twitter best practices: Build your following, reputation and customers’ trust
  • Ch4-09 SocialMediaToolkit Facebook best practices: 5 guiding principles Facebook allows marketers to stay connected with people throughout their day, whether they are on their computers or mobile devices, at home or at work, watching TV or shopping with friends. This enables businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing — word-of-mouth.
  • Ch4-10 SocialMediaToolkit Facebook best practices: 5 guiding principles Build a strategy that is social by design. Social media should be baked into everything you do, not added at the end of a campaign or done on the side. Facebook should be integrated with your broader marketing efforts and part of how you reach your business objective. Create an authentic brand voice. People on Facebook are clear and open about who they are. Be the same by providing straightforward information about your business. Facebook is an ideal place to bring your brand personality to life through an authentic and consistent voice. Make it interactive. People spend time on Facebook communicating and sharing with others, so always engage in two-way conversations. Think about the aspects of your brand that are inherently social and create content people will be excited to pass along. Nurture your relationships. Just like in the real world, building relationships with people on Facebook takes time and requires a long-term investment. Keep content fresh and easy to consume, use ads to stay in touch, and reward people for their loyalty through deals and promotions. Keep learning. Facebook allows you to get feedback from people in real time, giving you the ability to learn on the fly. Use reporting tools to learn about your fans and the content and products they find most interesting. These tips appear in Facebook’s Best Practice Guide: Marketing on Facebook (PDF), available for free download.
  • Ch4-11 SocialMediaToolkit This Google+ best practice tip is one of many helpful texts published by Google to aid businesses in getting the most from their Google+. See more in Google+ Help. Try these different strategies to promote your Google+ page and gain followers. Google+ best practices: Promote your Google+ Business page 4. Link your Google+ page with your Google AdWords campaign. Connecting your page to your campaigns allows your advertising and page to share +1’s. Any +1’s on your ads will increment the count on your page and vice versa. Learn more about social extensions. 2. Post updates frequently and keep your profile fresh. People are more likely to engage with a page that contains fresh posts and a complete profile. Learn about sharing in Google+ and how to edit your page. 3. Link your Google+ page with your website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your page and it provides an excellent opportunity to engage with your customers and fans in an intimate fashion. Learn how to link your page and website. 1. Spread the word. While on your Google+ page, click “Spread the word” on the side of the stream. This will allow you to share your page in a post with people from your personal Google+ profile. The sharing action will come from your personal Google+ profile, not from the Google+ page. For instance, let’s say your friend has a page for his band. If his page spreads the word, the people shared to will see the update as coming from Raj, not from the page. 5. Link your Google+ page with your AdWords Express campaign. You can set your AdWords Express destination page to be your Google+ page. Learn more.
  • Ch4-12 SocialMediaToolkit SEO best practices: 6 ways to optimize your content If you rely heavily on search engines for page views and sales, as many businesses do, Google search results will drastically affect how your customers find you. If your business needs to be seen and clicked, Erin Everhart, director of web and social media marketing at 352 Media Group, explains six search engine optimization (SEO) tips that will help you. 1. Local SEO is taking over. If your business relies on local listings, concentrate on scoring a seat at Google Places. You can do this by using: Citations: Ensure your correct business information is listed in as many (reputable) sources as possible around the Internet. As always, consistency is king. If you write “Blvd.” instead of “Boulevard” on your Google Places page, make sure your other listings reflect the same. Google Places page optimization: Just like your website, make sure your Places page is properly optimized. Include categories that match exactly, and point your Places page back to a city-specific landing page if applicable. Reviews: Google will only display reviews from Google, but getting reviews from aggregators like Yelp, Superpages or Trip Advisor will help increase your presence. 2. You can’t have search without social media. The separation of search and social media has officially ended. Social media cues such as Twitter shares, Facebook “likes” and social bookmarking heavily influence search rankings. Essentially, search results are personalized for each person. With any SEO campaign you put into motion, include a social media aspect to it to facilitate information sharing. Superpages or Trip Advisor will help increase your presence.
  • Ch4-13 SocialMediaToolkit SEO best practices: 6 ways to optimize your content 3. Think of people, not robots, when optimizing brand keywords. People search in Google because they have a question. Your keywords and the content on your pages should reflect the answers to those questions. Keyword research is tedious, but it’s arguably the most important aspect of SEO. Transition away from thinking of keywords like data, and put more of an emphasis on the person who will be typing in that keyword. 4. Content links are king; good writers are sorcerers. Google is not stupid — it can spot paid and spam links. For the most effective long-term SEO strategy, move the focus back to great content, both on your website and across other sites. Guest blogging is great, for instance, but to get a leg up on your competition, target blogs that aren’t direct matches to your industry. 5. Check your back end: Schema.org microformats and rich snippets. The Big Three (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) have worked together to develop Schema.org, a set of website standards that will tell search engines what your site is about, making it easier for those engines to read the site’s data and index accordingly. By using rich snippets, for example, you’re able to tell Google what information to feature in search engine results pages: product reviews and prices, upcoming events, etc. The added data will increase your click-through rate because users are able to preview more about the link before they commit to the click. 6. It doesn’t mean anything without data. Whether you’re a one-man SEO show for your company or working in an agency with several clients, your site needs to see results. While ranking reports of keywords is still a great indicator of progress, personalized searches make it difficult to get the most accurate readings. Plus, when Google defaulted to private searches for users signed into their Google accounts, the company made it harder to track how people arrive at your site. Adapted from 6 Best Practices for Modern SEO, published by Mashable. See Mashable’s SEO resource center for more best practice advice.
  • Ch4-14 SocialMediaToolkit 1. Align your goals. Traditional marketing initiatives can have vastly different goals. So, too, with social media. Are you trying to reach your brand evangelists or consumers who are not aware of your brand? Are you looking to develop prospects or increase awareness of a new product launch? Do you want loyal customers to engage more deeply with your brand or purchase more often? These are all different goals and will require different measurements. Are you looking for brand awareness, lead generation, prospects, sales, increased customer loyalty, new product awareness or evangelist engagement? Different goals require different measures. 2. Talk to PR. Your next step should be a check-in with your PR or corporate communications counterpart. Social media works more like PR than traditional advertising. A PR expert can help you understand the portfolio nature of social media (placing lots of little bets so one can pay off). In addition, there may be a system in place for measuring earned media that already has senior management buy-in. Social media measurement best practices: 5 tips for measuring social media campaigns Running successful social media campaigns is not just a matter of creativity and good execution. Getting the measurement right is a key part of a successful campaign, as David Vinjamuri, founder and president of ThirdWay Brand Trainers, explains.
  • Ch4-15 SocialMediaToolkit Social media measurement best practices: 5 tips for measuring social media campaigns 3. Know what you can measure. As a marketing leader, you’ll probably never look at a Facebook Insights dashboard. If you understand the types of measurements each social media platform can provide, however, you’ll be better equipped to discuss measurement with your agency. Some (but not all) of the information you can get from four common platforms is as follows: • Facebook: “likes,” impressions, demographics, sign-ups, links clicked, purchases • Twitter: followers, retweets, links clicked • YouTube: plays, pauses, mutes, hot spots, stops, view time, full screens • Foursquare: check-ins by time, top users, gender breakdown, broadcasts to Twitter and Facebook 5. Negotiate. Negotiate a set of measures that is both objective and reasonable now. Push your agency to find comparable programs for which some measurements are known. If you’re making a big bet, it is fair to have higher expectations. If you’re just putting a toe in the water, understand you may need to do a lot of experimenting before you find success. 4. Create a feedback loop. With traditional promotions, we often wait until after a program ends to analyze it and learn from our mistakes. Social media requires us to make frequent adjustments and measure the effect of each change. Many brands are not set up to do this. Make sure you have a process that requires the agency to monitor the performance of your campaigns on a daily or hourly basis and empowers them to make adjustments. Make sure both your approval process and your crisis management plan are nimble enough to respond quickly. Adapted from What’s it Really Worth to You? 5 Tips for Measuring Social Media Campaigns, published in Forbes.com.
  • Ch4-16 SocialMediaToolkit If a “best practice” is focused on what has developed and evolved in recent years to bring us to the state of how we do things today, then “next practice” is all about what’s coming during 2012 and over the next few years. Listen for actionable insights in the words of these opinion leaders as they talk about the evolution of best practices. Social media next practices Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success on the social Web. His latest book is The End of Business As Usual. He blogs at www.briansolis.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @briansolis, Facebook or Google+. “What do you think is the most important thing small and midsize businesses should do in 2012 in order to make the most of social media to support their objectives? Will this be the same thing 2–3 years out?” Play audio from Brian Solis. Brian Solis
  • Ch4-17 SocialMediaToolkit Philip Sheldrake is a chartered engineer, founding partner of Meanwhile, founding partner of Influence Crowd, main board director of Intellect and board director of 6UK. His expertise spans business strategy, IT and Web strategy, engineering and technology consultancy, public relations and social Web analytics. He wrote The Business of Influence – Transforming Marketing and PR in the Digital Age (Wiley 2011) and the digital marketing chapter of The Marketing Century, a book celebrating the centenary year of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Jason Falls is an author, speaker and CEO, the latter for Social Media Explorer, which is not only an internationally recognized blog, but also a digital marketing education and information products company. He is co-author of the book No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. He can be found online at SocialMediaExplorer.com or on Twitter @JasonFalls. Social media next practices “What do you see as the role of PR in a digital age, looking to 2012 and the following 2–3 years?” Play audio from Philip Sheldrake. Philip Sheldrake Jason Falls “What do you see as a major trend in social media marketing for the B2B marketer in 2012?” Play audio from Jason Falls.
  • Ch4-18 SocialMediaToolkit Letha Wicker has been driving B2B and B2C conversation for more than 15 years. She currently manages the Facebook page for Dell SMB. Katie Delahaye Paine is the founder of KDPaine & Partners LLC, a New Hampshire- based research consultancy. She is the author of Measure What Matters, Online Tools for Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships and popular textbook, Measuring Public Relationships. She is also the publisher of the first blog and the first newsletter (The Measurement Standard) dedicated entirely to measurement and accountability. Prior to launching KDPaine & Partners in 2002, Paine was the founder and president of The Delahaye Group, which she sold to Medialink Worldwide, Inc., in 1999. Social media next practices “What is best practice when using Facebook to engage with your customers?” Play audio from Letha Wicker. Letha Wicker Katie Paine “What are the key trends in social media measurement in 2012 and over the next few years?” Play audio from Katie Paine.
  • Ch5-01 SocialMediaToolkit #dellsmb Social Media ToolkitSocial Media Toolkit Guide to how small and medium businesses can make the most of social media #dellsmb
  • Ch5-02 SocialMediaToolkit Ch.5 Practical advice: getting started with social networks Using Twitter Ch5-03 Using Facebook Ch5-12 Using LinkedIn for business Ch5-23 Engaging with circles on Google+ Ch5-29 Please note the following about your use of the Social Media Toolkit. This Social Media Toolkit does not cover all social media channels and networks. Instead it focuses on the essential ones for small and medium-size businesses seeking effective engagement with their stakeholders via social media. While we have researched and used publicly available information available at the time of preparing this content (January 2012), we would point out that social media tools and channels and information change, services will evolve and, in some cases or circumstances, cease to be available or continue availability in a form or manner different to how this material portrays them. All information you see in this publication is provided as is, with no warranty or guarantee of accuracy. While we have taken care in our research when preparing this content, it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself of any regulatory, legal or other issues that should be addressed in or prior to your use of social media. Dell cannot and does not take responsibility for how you use the information presented here. Finally, note that the information in this publication does not reflect the opinion, business policy, practice or any other aspect of business activity of Dell Corporation or its employees, unless otherwise stated. For more information about the Social Media Toolkit, and for additional and updated content, please visit http://www.dell.co.uk/business/socialmedia. Copyright 2012 Dell Corporation. Except where noted otherwise, content in this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
  • Ch5-03 SocialMediaToolkit This chapter focuses on the best practices for getting your business acclimated to social media with advice on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Using Twitter What is it? Founded in 2006, Twitter was originally used by early adopters as a simple and informal way of answering the question: “What are you doing?” Today, Twitter is a sophisticated social tool boasting over 100 million users worldwide in September 2011.1 Plan and objectives defined Listen Understand Twitter etiquette Complete account profile Brand profile Your first tweet Essential reading 1. How to customize your Twitter design Advice from Twitter on making your presence on Twitter personal to you. 2. How to create a custom Twitter background A step-by-step guide from HubSpot on creating your own custom background. Includes a video tutorial. 3. Twitter for business Published by Twitter, this Web guide is a foundational reference that is packed full of advice, case studies, and tips and tricks on using Twitter effectively. 1 Infographic Labs
  • Ch5-04 SocialMediaToolkit If you’ve never seen a Twitter page before, take a look at the Dell SMB team page below. Let’s look at the major elements that form a Twitter page: Twitter elements 2. Following: This element shows who DellSMBnews is following, as well as DellSMBnews’s followers. When you click on each link, you can see every Twitter handle. Overall, it gives you a good sense of the community surrounding a particular Twitter account. 3. Lists: Individual Twitter accounts can be added to lists of Twitter accounts that other people create and curate, usually built around a certain topic. This also shows the lists the account subscribes to. Lists give you a strong sense of the community and interests surrounding a particular account. 4. Timeline: The conversation, collectively known as tweets. This is the reverse chronological view of DellSMBnews’s tweets, as well as those made by others referencing DellSMBnews. In this way, you can track and join in conversations if you wish. 1. Profile: Bio information about the owner of the account. Together with a photo or other relevant image, this is an essential element because it lets others know a little about you. It’s also important in the decision-making process when deciding whether to follow someone or not.
  • Ch5-05 SocialMediaToolkit Twitter on mobile There are many things you can do with Twitter other than write 140-character posts. For example, Twitter is a great listening tool, enabling you to pay attention to topics and people of interest in this social channel. And sometimes you’ll see a tweet that you just have to share. Twitter’s retweet feature helps you quickly share that tweet with all your followers. The message will then be marked with the retweet icon or preceded by the letters “RT.” It will also carry the original tweeter’s username at the beginning of the tweet, as this example shows. RT your colleagues for added company exposure and relevancy in your tweets. Twitter looks good on your smartphone as well (as these examples from an Android device show), making it easy to use and interact with Twitter wherever you are.
  • Ch5-06 SocialMediaToolkit Setting up your Twitter accountSetting up your Twitter account Although the process is simple, it’s worth spending a little time setting up your account to get it right from the outset. To get started, go to twitter.com. Add your name, email address and a password in the “New to Twitter?” box, and click “Sign up for Twitter.” Upload a picture or other professional image that will be your avatar – the visual representation of you on Twitter. Add a brief bio. Include a link to a website— your LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+ profile, or an external blog you write. This link enables others to verify you — an important element in building trusted relationships online. Once you’ve set up your account, you can begin building your profile in a more effective way. To give you an idea, let’s look at the settings of a sample Dell account.
  • Ch5-07 SocialMediaToolkit Once you decide on your page design, you’re set. You can start tweeting and engaging with your customers. But before you do, we recommend you explore some good advice and how- to’s that you will find helpful in using Twitter effectively. Public or private? There are two types of Twitter accounts: public, open to the online world; and private, where your content – known as “protected tweets” – can be seen only by those you have granted access. If you intend to use Twitter as a means of openly engaging with others online and sharing comments, opinion and links, then a public account is your obvious choice. If you wish to engage only with a small group of people, for instance, where you manually approve each request to follow you, and where your tweets don’t appear in Twitter Search results, then private would be your choice. The point is, you do have a choice. For more information, see the Twitter Help page “About Public and Protected Tweets.” Decide whether you want to change the design, colors and background image to match your company’s branding on the Design tab in Settings. Twitter branding
  • Ch5-08 SocialMediaToolkit There is no right or wrong way to use Twitter. But there is a more effective way, from a business perspective. If you’re using the service to build your brand and business, here are best practice tips from Twitter to build your following, reputation and customers’ trust: Setting up your Twitter accountTwitter dos and don’ts 2. Listen. Regularly monitor the comments about your company, brand and products. 3. Ask. Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening. 8. Establish the right voice. Twitter users tend to prefer a direct, genuine and, of course, a likable tone from your business, but think about your voice as you tweet. How do you want your business to appear to the Twitter community? 4. Respond. Respond to compliments and feedback in real time. 5. Reward. Tweet updates about special offers, discounts and time-sensitive deals. 7. Champion your stakeholders. Retweet and reply publicly to great tweets posted by your followers and customers. 1. Share. Share photos and behind-the- scenes info about your business. Even better, give a glimpse of developing projects and events. 6. Demonstrate wider leadership and know-how. Reference articles and links about the bigger picture as it relates to your business. You can find more useful tips and advice in “50 Power Twitter Tips” by social media expert and author Chris Brogan. Read the article or watch the video.
  • Ch5-09 SocialMediaToolkit Although many terms are used on Twitter, “Tweet,” “@” and “DM” are the three most common. Use this concise guide of some common Twitter expressions and definitions to help you understand what to use and when. The vocabulary of Twitter Tweet - A short text message of up to 140 characters that you type and post. It may just be text, but it can also contain links to content outside of Twitter (e.g., photos, blog posts) as well as links to other tweets and users. Tweeter - An individual who uses Twitter and posts tweets. Tweet chat - An online conversation in which a group of people all tweet about a topic using a specific hashtag. By following the hashtag, you can follow and participate in (or just listen to) the conversation. Twitter - The name of the service, as in “I’m logging in to my Twitter account.” Twitter handle - An informal term for a user’s Twitter account. For example, @DellSmbUK.
  • Ch5-10 SocialMediaToolkit # - People use the hashtag symbol (#) before relevant keywords in their tweets to categorize those tweets in a Twitter Search. Some hashtags may be promoted through paid media and will appear with the text “Promoted” under them. Clicking on a hashtag in any message shows you all other tweets in that category and displays them all in a single view. For instance, searching for the hashtag #dellcap will show all tweets that include that hashtag. (See also “tweet chat” on the previous page.) @ - The universal “at” symbol has different meanings on Twitter: • Used to identify the name of a Twitter account (e.g., @DellSMBnews) • Used when you wish to publicly reply to a specific tweeter When @ is used in a reply, the reply will always begin with “@username” (insert the username of the person you are replying to). Anyone’s tweet that is a reply to you will show up in your @Mentions tab on your homepage. (@Replies are considered @Mentions.) Common Twitter expressions and definitions. The vocabulary of Twitter
  • Ch5-11 SocialMediaToolkitDM - Short for “direct message,” a DM is a tweet that goes privately to the tweeter named in your message. Instead of the “@” preface, though, you must start your message with the letters “DM” (without the quotes). You must be following a user to DM them. RT - Short for “retweet,” this is how you share a tweet with your community: 1. Click the Retweet icon on any tweet on the Twitter website and the tweet is immediately retweeted. 2. If you use an external program such as TweetDeck to interact with Twitter, you can edit the retweet before it’s posted. The tweet is preceded by “RT,” and you can add any additional comment if the character count total permits. Common Twitter expressions and definitions. The vocabulary of Twitter
  • Ch5-12 SocialMediaToolkit Connecting on Facebook What is it? Although Facebook started in 2004 as an informal online networking site for U.S. college students, the community today comprises people from every walk of life, 75% of whom are outside the U.S. Increasingly, businesses and brands are developing presences on Facebook as an effective means of engaging with fans and others, especially since the network is often the primary place online where those fans are found. But the real power of Facebook? The trust factor. Facebook users are more likely to like and buy the things their friends buy, listen to the music they listen to, and engage in the same activities they engage in. Plan and objectives defined Listen Understand Facebook etiquette Complete account profile Brand profile Your first Facebook post Essential reading 1. Facebook for business Published by Facebook, this comprehensive Web-based guide will help you learn how to grow your business with Facebook’s powerful marketing tools. 2. Facebook 101 for business: your complete guide Published by SocialMediaExaminer.com, this guide is designed to help you understand what Facebook can do for your business and lead you through a step-by-step process for getting started.
  • Ch5-13 SocialMediaToolkit As of January 2012, it had more than 845 million active users and is projected to have 1 billion by August 2012. Facebook says half of those active users log in every day. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. access Facebook through a mobile device. Those users are twice as active as other users. This chart was built with statistics from allfacebook.com, insidefacebook.com, facebook.com, internetworld.com and Erik Qualman. average number of friends per user. pieces of content each month. pieces of content shared by Facebook users each month. Facebook is the largest social networking site in the world. 350 million users 170 90 30 billion Superlatives abound about Facebook
  • Ch5-14 SocialMediaToolkit They’re your friends, family, co-workers. At some point in your life, they meant enough to you that you went to the trouble of finding them on Facebook or accepting their “friend requests.” You’re connected to these people, and they influence you (and vice versa) because of that connection. It is the prospect of this network – the implications of the ease with which you can stay in touch with hundreds or thousands of people – that has captured the imagination and interest of businesses, evangelists, advertisers and activists. Since early 2011, users have had the ability to make live voice calls via Facebook Chat, allowing them to chat with others from all over the world. This free feature (available only in the U.S. at present) lets the user add voice to the current Facebook Chat as well as leave voice messages within the site. In mid-2011, Facebook launched its video-calling services using SkypeTM as its technology partner. Facebook is constantly evolving. It has expanded from the Web to mobile devices through applications, mobile- formatted sites and location-based networking, allowing users to check in at shops and restaurants and update their statuses and photos on the go. The reason Facebook, like all forms of media, evolves is because it must. Every day, new entrepreneurs explore the social space looking to invent new innovative offerings. Because of this, competition for your attention is relentless, whether the focus is personal or business, and companies are looking for an edge on the competition. Superlatives abound about Facebook
  • Ch5-15 SocialMediaToolkit Getting started with Facebook Your account To join Facebook, all you need is your name and an email address. When you join the service, use your real name, not an alias. Facebook is vigilant about identifying and removing what it regards as fake accounts. Do not create a personal profile for your business. Profiles are for people; pages are for businesses. Facebook has built significant functionality specifically for businesses, and all this functionality is only available for pages. Page vs. Groups There is a difference between a Facebook Fan Page and a Group Page: • Pages allow real organizations, businesses, celebrities and brands to communicate broadly with people who like them. • Groups provide a closed space for small groups of people to communicate about shared interests. Groups can be created by anyone. Fan pages (called “pages”) are pages you “like,” while group pages (called “groups”) are pages you “Join.” At Dell, we prefer to create pages because these permit more open engagement and community-building opportunities than groups do. (Groups also have size limitations that pages don’t.) Unlike groups, anyone can “like” a page to become connected with it and get updates posted to his/her News Feed. There is no limit to how many people can “like” a page. Anyone can start a Facebook page or group. If you start a page for your business, Facebook will verify the authenticity of the page ownership. Anyone can start a group about anything, regardless of his/her relationship to the subject matter.
  • Ch5-16 SocialMediaToolkit 1. To begin, you must already have a Facebook account. If you don’t, you can easily set one up with your personal email account, if you have one. (Fan Pages keep your personal account information private, just as they do for any other person “liking” your page). You can also set up the account with your business email account. Go to www.facebook.com and fill out the form on the homepage to set up a new account. 2. Once you’ve set up your Facebook account, go to www.facebook.com and log in to your profile with your username and password. 3. Go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. 4. Choose an appropriate category from the drop-down list of choices, e.g., “Computers/ Technology,” “Consulting/Business Services” or “Internet/Software.” For “Name of Page,” insert the name of your business. 5. Click on the “Create Page” button. 6. Add initial descriptive content. Complete the information page, for instance, with a description of your company and what your business is about. Then add your House Rules. How to create a Facebook Fan Page
  • Ch5-17 SocialMediaToolkit 7. Start adding community content to your Page. Here are some ideas to help you build it: • Avoid sending too many updates to your fans. Too many updates may cause your fans to “unlike” your page. • Highlight new Facebook features when and if they are added. Talk specifically about how to use new features and ask others to share their experiences with the new features. • Mention when your primary website is updated with new content, an upcoming event, etc. • Add links to connect visitors to your business website and your accounts on other social sites (e.g., Twitter and YouTube). • “Like” other business, e.g., Dell and Dell Partner Facebook Fan Pages as well as third-party fan pages that have topics similar to your page. • Monitor comments on your wall daily and respond to those posts that warrant it. Encourage two-way communication. Delete comments that include personal attacks, vulgarity or racial slurs, or that violate your page’s House Rules (see separate guidance text). But don’t delete comments simply because they are critical – rather, respond on the wall or message the individual directly with additional information. • Ask staff and co-workers to “Share” or “Post” to your Facebook page. Ensure their comments also follow the House Rules. • Include a link to your fan page in your email signature. • Include your social media information in promotional materials. How to create a Facebook Fan Page How to Create a Facebook Business Page – HubSpot’s step-by-step guide to creating and managing business pages on Facebook.
  • Ch5-18 SocialMediaToolkit Consider the Dell Social Media for Business Facebook Fan Page shown below. Think about the look and feel of your fan page. Put your design team to work. Have them design the perfect profile picture for your page that reflects the combined personality of your particular business and location, and your brand. Keep in mind most fans of your page will interact with it from their own news feeds. Your profile image should be clear and identifiable in its smallest form. Not enough can be said about how much people judge your company by its online appearance when it comes to online engagement. The look of your Facebook presence extends beyond the profile image. The “Share Preview” is the content people see on their news feeds when someone shares an article or page he/she "likes" with his/her friends. The text on this preview should be compelling and the image enticing. The application Facebook uses to generate these often pulls from the description metatag of your site into Facebook. You should optimize this metadata for sharing on Facebook and also add Facebook “Share” and “Like” buttons to your own website so you have a high level of integration and cohesion between your website and your Facebook presence. Elements of a successful Facebook Fan Page
  • Ch5-19 SocialMediaToolkit Connecting on Facebook Landing pages for fans vs. non-fans Facebook has made it possible to customize the content served to your fans versus what new users encounter. For instance, many businesses have enabled their fan pages so that when you visit for the first time, you’ll be redirected to an [Action] tab that lets you sign up for email updates and additional external content. Once you become a fan of the page, you’re redirected to its news feed so you can see the latest updates about the organization. This level of customization is very appealing to most Facebook users. It can improve your rate of “likes” while ensuring your existing fans have the best experience possible. Networking with other platforms Leverage the traffic to your website and push it to your fan page by connecting both places. On your website, share connections with all your social presences. Make it as easy as possible for your fans to find you online and give them the opportunity to express their enjoyment of your presence or simplify the process through which they learn about what you’re up to. How you get there can be as important as the destination If you have at least 100 fans, you can get a unique address for your fan page. This means that instead of this: http://www.facebook.com/pages/the-long- name-you-chose/the-id-facebook-gave-you You can have this: http://www.facebook.com/xyzcompany That’s far easier for people to remember. Plus, it adds to your community’s overall Facebook presence and online brand identity for all your community-related pages. To set up your unique address, visit www.facebook.com/ username/.
  • Ch5-20 SocialMediaToolkit It’s all about Facebook content Do you have a schedule set up for regularly sharing content? Do you have someone engaged in searching the Web for news and information that might be relevant to your fans? Create a calendar for content updates. This way, you’ll have something to say on a regular basis and won’t be forgotten by your fans. A calendar also helps you track insights like click-through rates. For instance, if you see a spike in traffic to your website, you can compare it to your calendar to see what content is working for you. Your content should be interesting and engaging. Look for things that are easily consumable, like videos, since you’re more likely to get “shares” out of them. If you want to take a bold approach aimed at community-building, focus on user-generated content and leverage your fan base for photos, videos, reviews and commentary.
  • Ch5-21 SocialMediaToolkit Facebook is constantly evolving At the end of March 2012, a big change will take place on Facebook as all business pages will be using the new Timeline feature that Facebook announced in 2011. Key benefits: • Brand your Page Add a unique cover photo and showcase your most important news on your Page timeline. • Highlight what matters Pin a new post to the top of your Page each week so people notice what’s important. • Manage everything in one place See and respond to your recent activity and private messages right from the top of your Page. For full details and tools to help you make the most of the new features for business, visit Introducing New Facebook Pages and the related Help Sections.
  • Ch5-22 SocialMediaToolkit 4. Make time. Unless you can find an intern willing to plan your media campaigns for free, cultivating a Facebook presence doesn’t have to be a full-time job or something that eats up all your free time. Try to set aside an hour a day to work on your business’s page, post updates and communicate directly with customers and fans. 5. Create a page, not a profile. Don’t open a second account on the social network to make a profile for your business. Not only does that go against Facebook’s rules, but it also moves you away from the people who are already on your friend list. These are the first people you want to invite to become fans of your business’s page. Facebook tips The adage “keep it simple” goes a long way. With that in mind, here are six ways for small businesses to maximize their Facebook presences with minimum resources, prepared by All Facebook: The Unofficial Facebook Resource: 2. Learn as much as you can. Take notes based on your experiences with Facebook’s pages and other business services — at the very least, write down questions about things you don’t understand so you can make a note to look them up later. You’ll find just about anything you’re curious to know within the site’s official help center. Make a habit of reading as much as you can on this part of the site, without overdoing it.3. Ask. Ask your followers questions to glean valuable insights and show you are listening. 6. Have one-on-one conversations. Send a thank-you message right after someone clicks “like” on your page, and make a point of responding to messages and wall posts within 24 hours. Pay careful attention to whatever fans tell you on your page, and try to respond to their needs. 1. Manage expectations. Set realistic goals for your approach to social media and you won’t be disappointed. Don’t expect to get thousands of fans within your first month, but think more along the lines of a two- or three-digit number. Then if you hit something larger than you originally anticipated, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and that will give you momentum. 7. Encourage check-ins. Wherever your business operates, it counts as a place on Facebook. Check in at your workplace every day you are there, even if you’re operating out of a home office. This will put your company’s name into people’s news feeds every time you punch in.
  • Ch5-23 SocialMediaToolkit Using LinkedIn for business What is it? LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. Launched in 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. In November 2011, LinkedIn reported it had over 135 million registered users in more than 200 countries. LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members, and more than 2 million companies of all sizes have LinkedIn Company Pages. The social network represents a valuable demographic for marketers, with an affluent and influential membership. LinkedIn Company Pages Company pages are a company’s profile of record on LinkedIn and a powerful way to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations and trusted testimonials. For LinkedIn members, company pages are a great way to research companies you’re interested in. You can follow them to stay updated, see what kind of people work there, and even review the products and services you use. For companies, company pages present an opportunity to reveal the human side of your company. They provide a peek at the individuals behind your brand and highlight how members use your products. Your company page offers tools to bring your brand to life. Essential reading 1. Company pages– frequently asked questions Published by LinkedIn. 2. Guide to your company page Download PDF how-to, published by LinkedIn. 3. Groups–frequently asked questions Download PDF how-to, published by LinkedIn.
  • Ch5-24 SocialMediaToolkit How to set up a LinkedIn Company Page 1. Log in to your account on LinkedIn, click on the “Companies” link on the menu and select “Add a Company.” 2. Complete the details requested to add your company name and email address. Note the verification text you have to check to indicate your agreement (and see also LinkedIn’s more detailed “Requirements to Add or Edit Company Pages”), and then click “Continue.” 3. Follow the rest of the LinkedIn wizard’s setup procedure to add a company description, location information, a logo and more. 4. Once you’ve completed LinkedIn’s initial steps, your company profile will be visible to the public.
  • Ch5-25 SocialMediaToolkit A basic company page is free of charge as a benefit of your LinkedIn membership. LinkedIn also offers premium (paid-for) company pages known as Custom Company Profiles that offer you additional features, including adding videos, interactive polls and several customization options for recruiting. These pages are likely to appeal to larger companies in particular. For an example, see the screenshot of the Dell career tab on its enhanced company page above. Your company page will present information in tabbed sections: How to set up a LinkedIn Company Page Company status updates - Engage and message your followers and potential customers. Analytics tab - Learn about your followers. Overview tab - Introduce your company to professionals. Products and services tab - Build your showcase of recommendations.
  • Ch5-26 SocialMediaToolkit Unlike Company Pages, anyone can create a LinkedIn Group. Think of a LinkedIn Group as similar to Facebook Fan Pages – a key benefit of both is building community. You can start a new group by filling out the fields on the “Create a Group” page. You’ll be the owner and manager of any group you create, but you can also assign other members to be managers or moderators. To create a group, the steps are simple: LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content and find answers. Other options include posting and viewing jobs, making business contacts, and establishing themselves as industry experts. 1. Click “Groups” in the menu at the top of your homepage. From the drop-down list, select and click “Create a Group.” 2. Complete the fields on the setup page. A red asterisk means the information is required. 3. As the final step, choose whether you want to create an open group or a members- only group. How to set up a LinkedIn Group
  • Ch5-27 SocialMediaToolkit Venture capitalist, blogger, author and former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki offers 7 ways to use LinkedIn. They include: 1. Acquire new customers through online recommendations and word-of-mouth. Satisfied customers are the best source of new customers. Increase your word-of-mouth referrals by asking your happy clients to write you a recommendation, which will be published on your LinkedIn profile and broadcast to their entire LinkedIn network. 3. Build your industry network — online and in person. Search LinkedIn’s Groups Directory to find industry associations and networks to take part in. For example, if you’re in the event planning or wedding industry, there are over 530 groups. In addition, LinkedIn also publicizes popular events in your industry by calling out local events that your connections are attending. Imagine being able to find industry events that your prospective clients are attending. 2. Keep in touch with people who care most about your business. Sites like LinkedIn help keep your business alive in the minds of the people who care most about your business. LinkedIn is effective for two reasons: the business intent of LinkedIn users and fewer status updates, which means your business stays top of mind. Tip: You can also increase the impact of your status updates by syncing your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. 4. Keep your friends close and your competition closer. Over 150,000 companies have a company profile on LinkedIn, the “public profile” for companies. These pages surface key stats on companies; recent hires as well as movers and shakers. Not only do company profiles give you unique insight into your competition, they also give you an opportunity to stumble upon potential hires by browsing through company pages. LinkedIn tips
  • Ch5-28 SocialMediaToolkit 5. Get answers to tough business questions with a little help from your real friends. Small business owners deal with challenging questions on a slew of topics each day. LinkedIn Answers and Groups let you find answers to those vexing questions quickly by tapping into the wisdom of your network. (LinkedIn tells me there are over 200 different categories on Answers, including one dedicated just to small business and over 2,000 groups on small business-related topics.) Wondering whether your recent office purchase is tax deductible? Check out hundreds of questions on related topics here. 7. Convince potential customers of your expertise by sharing unique blog content. Small businesses smart enough to create unique content on their expertise (either with a blog or Twitter account) should link to it from their LinkedIn profiles. Or take it one step further by promoting featured blog content to LinkedIn members on the site (e.g., with small text ads). You can specify exactly who will see your ads—executives or VPs—and include a link to your profile so they know who’s behind this content. 6. Network with peers in your industry for repeat business referrals. LinkedIn Groups is a powerful medium to find peers in your respective industries to network with and find complimentary businesses to share referrals with. For example, mortgage brokers can find real estate agents to partner with on relevant groups, and as most small businesses know, these partners are your best source of referrals that can turn into repeat business. With over 2,000 groups dedicated to small business topics, you’re sure to find a relevant group to network. Source: http://blog.linkedin.com/2010/04/12/linkedin-small-business-tips/. LinkedIn tips
  • Ch5-29 SocialMediaToolkit Engaging with circles on Google+ What is it? Google+ (pronounced and written as Google Plus, often abbreviated as G+) is a social networking and identity service launched publicly by Google in September 2011. In December 2011 – just three months after its public launch – it was reported that Google+ had more than 60 million registered users. • For an easy-to-understand visual overview of Google+, see The Google+ Start-Up Guide 2.0 by Saidur Hossain. • See also A quick look at Google+ by Google. Although Google hasn’t stated so itself, Google+ is widely regarded as a direct competitor of Facebook. In the broadest sense, it is. As online social networking services, both enable their respective users to build and interact with other people on the services who, for example, share interests and/or activities, and build communities. Google+ integrates its existing social networking services such as Google Profiles and the now-discontinued Google Buzz, and introduces new services such as Circles and Hangouts. Like Facebook, LinkedIn and other online social networks, Google+ is available as a website and on mobile devices. Essential reading 1. Google+ your business Download PDF guide published by Google. 2. Google+ pages–connect with all the things you care about Blog post by Google announcing Pages. 3. The pros & cons of Google+ for small business Analysis by Mashable.
  • Ch5-30 SocialMediaToolkit For small- to medium-sized businesses, Google+ offers some compelling benefits. Three specific elements of the service help promote your business and engage with customers and other people of interest: Google+ Circles is the foundational element of your engagement with others on Google+. Circles lets you organize people that follow you on Google+ into groups called Circles. You could have circles for friends, co-workers, customers, business partners or whatever label you wish. One big advantage of this segmented approach to managing your connec- tions is the control it gives you over which group can see what content of yours. For in- stance, you could share a new product feature only with current customers and news of a forthcoming event at which you’re speaking with influencers and reporters you know. You can choose multiple circles as well. Google+ Circles also provides you with control over what you see, rather than the content firehose (known as the “Stream”) that’s typical when seeing everything from everyone. Instead, you can focus on specific circles of people to see only what the people in those circles are talking about. You can also decide to customize your personal profile information for your circles. For ex- ample, your contact details, location and relationship information would be visible to your friends circle, while your employment history and education would be visible to your busi- ness partner circle. One additional business benefit of using Google+ is that Google indexes Google+ posts. They do not index private Facebook posts or Twitter hashtags. Google+ for business
  • Ch5-31 SocialMediaToolkit Google+ Pages: Announced in November 2011, Google+ Pages can showcase your business and get your brand in front of Google+ users. Google+ Pages provide businesses, products, brands and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+. Pages are similar to profiles, but they do have some key differences, most notably, all information is public by default. You can also have multiple administrators for pages (see the details of all the differences). You can add pages to one of your circles. There’s a new built-in circle called “Following” that you can use to follow pages. The circle is used to automatically follow pages if you enable that option. Google+ Hangouts are a great new way to conduct a live video call or conference call online in real time with co-workers, business partners or friends, or anyone you care to chat with. Your webcam and Google+ are all you need. You can invite up to 10 people, including yourself, and keep the meeting going for hours without cost – the service itself is free. When you enter a hangout, you’ll see the current participants, broken down according to who is in your circles and who isn’t. Hangouts are created by one person, but everyone in the hangout shares the ability to invite others. Each hangout has a specific URL. That URL can be shared as a link to invite others. However, only Google+ users are able to join. Google+ for business
  • Ch5-32 SocialMediaToolkit Getting started with business on Google+ 4 Steps to success Step 1: Join Google+ If you haven’t yet set up a profile in your own name, do this now. You cannot add to circles, create pages or participate in hangouts unless you have a Google+ profile. 1. Go to https://plus.google.com/ and click the “Sign in” button to join Google+ with your Google Account then follow the instructions. 2. Check your Google+ Profile information, update/edit as appropriate. (If you’re already a Google+ user, skip Step 1.)
  • Ch5-33 SocialMediaToolkit Step 2: Create a Google+ Circle and add people 1. Click the “Circles” link in the menu at the top of your Google+ screen. You can also easily create a circle using the Google+ mobile app. 2. Select the people you want to include in your circle. You can select more than one person at a time by either clicking on more than one name tile or by highlighting multiple tiles using your cursor. 3. Drag and drop them to the blank circle that says “Drop here” to create a new circle. 4. If you don’t have anyone to add to your circles yet, try using the “Find people” tab for people suggestions. 5. To name your circle, click “Create circle.” A pop-up box will appear for you to edit the circle name. Circle names are visible only to you. You can put the same person into as many circles as you like. Getting started with business on Google+
  • Ch5-34 SocialMediaToolkit Step 3: Create a Google+ page 1. In your stream, click the link on the right side of your screen to get started. 2. Pick the category of the Google+ page you want to create. Currently, you can choose from five categories: -Local Business or Place -Product or Brand -Company, Institution or Organization -Arts, Entertainment or Sport -Other 3. Complete the concise form and click “Create.” 4. Once you’ve selected your page’s category, you can start customizing its public profile: adding your profile photo and a tagline (10 words that best describe your page). 5. After you have added these items and clicked on “Continue,” you will be asked to spread the word about your new page through your personal Google+ profile. If you’re not ready to do that yet, click “Finish” to be taken to your new page. Getting started with business on Google+
  • Ch5-35 SocialMediaToolkit Learn from these tips for increasing your brand on Google+ from Inc. magazine: 15 Google+ tips for small- and medium-sized businesses 3. Engage with other business professionals in an authentic way. Read what they post, make comments and follow their links. When you follow links, comment on them so that everyone knows you read the article. 5. Send private messages to people who look interesting. You can just type the message, then remove the public circle and add just one name. 6. Check your notifications on the upper right side of the screen. Look for the red notification alert. You can see who is following you, any new comments, and whether those you follow are following you back. 4. Post occasional coupons and specials. That way, you can see if people are engaging with your posts. Be careful about how often you post specials or you may raise the ire of the Google+ team, who discourage blatant promotion. 2. Create Google+ Circles in a logical fashion. Business partners, employees, friends, investors. That way, as you start using the service, you can keep people organized. You can then choose only a select group to view a new post. 7. Don’t stop using Facebook. There is a lot of cross-pollination between the social networks. When you follow someone on Facebook or they follow you, check Google+ to see if they are using that service and follow them there. 8. Go ahead and think big. When Michael Dell makes a post, feel free to post a comment and see if he replies. You can even send a direct post. 9. Don’t be afraid of negative attention. Posting a counterargument, especially when it is something you feel strongly about, can generate some buzz. When you do, be ready to support your position with facts and well- developed opinions. 1. Use your real name when you register. This creates an authentic presence on the service; investors can look you up by name, and customers want to know it’s really you. Later on, you can create a business page that’s less personal.
  • Ch5-36 SocialMediaToolkit Learn from these tips for increasing your brand on Google+ from Inc. magazine: 12. Make use of the +1 feature that is now cropping up on many websites, including Inc.com. When you see a story you like, click “+1” so that everyone knows you read the story and liked it. This increases engagement with like-minded users. 14. Set aside Google+ time each day. Make comments and post new entries, but also search for people to follow. When someone follows you, it’s polite to send a quick thank-you to acknowledge their interest. 15. Stay focused on the task at hand, which is to increase brand awareness. It takes time. You might not see engagement levels rise in just one day or a week, but track how many people comment on your posts over a month. 13. Try holding your own hangout. Pick a topic that is related to your business – if you run an ice-cream shop, try holding a hangout on the cost of supplies or retail trends. 11. Use the Sparks feature to track trending topics. Just click “Sparks” and add a search term. Track these topics and re-post the most engaging stories. 10. Make sure you have entered detailed information about yourself and add some humor. There's a section in your profile for adding something unique about yourself. Include a recent photo that's bright and colorful. Source: http://www.inc.com/articles/201109/can-google-plus-help-your-business.html. 15 Google+ tips for small- and medium-sized businesses