Social Media Conversations: How to connect with your audience online


Published on

Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Mo re demanding citizens and consumers Believe they have a voice, and more likely to use it Want to make up their own minds Companies being held to higher standards of transparency & integrity (esp. in Asia) Expect to have a ‘relationship’ with organisations Wider range of influencers Advocacy groups: NGOs, single issue campaign groups Analysts & experts (many self-appointed) Employees, customers, brand/product evangelists & detractors Reduced trust in traditional institutions Governments seen as out of touch and able to exercise less control (cf. economy) Decline of ‘fourth estate’ - newspaper readership Growth of search engines More activist government Policymakers moving into new areas Climate change, energy, finance etc Internet content/access Government by ‘stealth’ Public/private partnerships Quangos, ombudsman etc
  • CHINA Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) are at the heart of China’s social media with 10m posts published daily and 80% of Chinese sites running their own BBS. An active BBS is the most valuable component of a brand’s digital campaign and an essential social element to all sites. Monitoring conversations on BBS is an invaluable gauge to determine what brand perception is. Blogging, while not anonymous, has also taken off, with blogging listed among the top ten applications for Chinese netizens. 107m people say they use blogs and personal spaces, approximately 42.3% of the Chinese Netizenry. An overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens use social media for digital music and video, utilizing digital channels as their entertainment superhighway. Of the top ten applications, the three biggest entertainment apps are music, video, and online games. Internet music remains the biggest, with use rates of 84.5%, or 214m people and internet video use at 71%, and online gaming at 58.3%. They are major drivers of internet use growth in China. This is reflected in the rise of YouTubelike video broadcasting platforms such as and, which deliver as much as 100m video views daily to 12m users directly and through national broadcast sites. These channels address the demand for user and professionally generated content delivered at speeds that are faster than in the United States. Being connected is a core part of a young person’s life in urban China with over half of netizens making new friends online and 90% of young people using IM to connect with their friends. The instant connectivity with friends is what drives the growth of BBS, IM usage and in turn, social networks. Tencent ‘rules the space’ having evolved from an Instant Messenger company circa 1999 to a social media empire that includes one of China’s most popular social networks, Q Zone, as well as a leading portal and online game platform. Two well-funded companies with social networking offerings more like those popular in the westare also vying with Tencent for dominance. has been successful in penetrating lower-tier cities and hinterland provinces with 120m users and plans to move into the gaming space with ‘Giant’ the online game developer., the Facebook-like, campus-based social network which raised a whopping $430m and. enjoys a dominant market share in traditional social networking according to Shanghai-based iResearch, is now targeting the students and white collar workers. The early movers with large user bases (and war chests) may well continue to dominate the market, but newcomers like Kaixin001, which has soared in popularity just in recent months, may still play an important role. There is little doubt that social networking will continue to take hold in the way it has in Japan and Korea, but without one company dominating the way Mixi and Cyworld do in those respective markets. HONG KONG Just over half (53.2%) of active internet users have a social network profile in Hong Kong. This splits broadly between Facebook (1m users) frequented by a slightly older, western-educated set and the locally targeted Xanga (1.8m users) dominated by slightly younger Hong Kong Chinese. Though these players hold marketshare, the way in which these networks are used varies considerably. Facebookers in Hong Kong tend to be highly collaborative and participative in their networks by ‘poking’ their friends or updating their pictures to keep in touch, and entertain. The motivation for Xanga, however, is far more reserved. For young Hong Kong secondary school students, it’s a way to express oneself and to passively share thoughts on things that matter to them amongst their inner circle – an evolution in some ways from personal blogging and instant messenging. The novelty for social networking in a country where proximity provides little barrier to communication, and where mobile communication is prevalent (157% penetration), does beg some questions opening up the opportunity for more mobile social networking similar to Korea and Japan. As the ‘advertising capital of the world’ (US$7B) with the highest per capita spending, it’s no coincidence that Hong Kongers value the open, honest and less commercialised opinions that they find in social forums and professional blogs. This strong faith in ‘word of mouth’ is evidenced with 93% of online users claiming that they rely most on ‘recommendations from consumers’ and 65.8% of active internet users claiming to have read a blog. This trend has resulted in the birth of homegrown forums such as the highly popular Cantonese site - (8% marketshare) with 1m registered users - hosting 9,000 discussion boards from topics as broad as the military to western art galleries. Other sites include Yahoo’s, and interest-led sites such as and The accessibility and openness in sharing opinion and information on these exchanges is an important social media success story in Hong Kong particularly amongst Traditional Chinese users. These sites will continue to remain popular, as will sites on the mainland that are accessed through Baidu search. Surprisingly, political blogs or citizen journalism which are gathering pace in mainland China are practically non existent in Hong Kong. This is mainly attributed to a relatively open freedom of expression, as Hong Kongers don’t yet feel that they have to treasure or tap these new outlets to get heard. The young Hong Kong Chinese are more worried about their appearance than their US counterparts with 39% citing ‘looking good’ and 53% citing ‘overweight’ as key fears. It therefore comes as no surprise that this ‘image-obsessed generation’loves to go online and check out Canto-gossip, film, fashion and music hits from entertainment and blog sites in Hong Kong and the mainland. Celebrity blogs such as the (now infamous) Edison Chen Koon-hei and Eason Chan Yick-shun sites are popular amongst fans as are rich media video destinations like YouTube and its Chinese equivalent to view the official and uncut versions before sharing them with their friends. TAIWAN In a country where sensationalism in traditional media channels is commonplace, citizen journalism is growing in Taiwan due to widespread dissatisfaction with the range and quality of traditional news sources. The proliferation of social media channels to express opinions, comment on the news, and share content, has brought about competition and altered the traditional business model of mainstream media. UDN and Chinatimes are at the forefront of this trend with Apple Daily and Liberty Times also allowing commentary on their sites. Wan Wan. Amaryliss. Amykaku. Taiwan is a nation filled with star bloggers exuding mass appeal. Across its active internet base, blogging has become a popular channel for the propagation of individual opinions with 86.6% having read a blog, and 70.9% having started a blog themselves. Blogging in Taiwan has led to a yearly blogger’s conference “TW Bloggers BoF” over 600 Taiwanese Bloggers. The event is self-organized, by local enthusiastic bloggers, and sponsored by the Taiwan Government Information Office as well as traditional media like TVBS, China TV, China Times ISP’sand web 2.0 companies. BBS in Taiwan is big, with over 1.84m unique visitors a month. Social media is also coming of age with 63.1% of Taiwanese maintaining their own social networking site and engaging with various forms of social media from uploading photos (69%), to watching videos (89.25) and downloading podcasts (33%). Despite being highly engaged with the most popular entertainment forms of social media, downloading music is not one of Taiwan’s top social media activities.
  • Distributes rumours Can emerge from anywhere: blogs, discussion boards, social networks, spoof websites, Twitter Global nature of blogosphere, with info spreading by community of interest and language, not by market Escalates issues Internet as powerful organisational, fundraising and outreach tool IM and other networking tools help organise public opinion quickly Amplifies media Key role of search engines in providing access to news, views, context Copying and pasting of mainstream media articles, with corrections/amendments rarely circulated Reprinting of netizen opinions as substitute ‘vox populi’
  • Unlike previous generations, Generation Virtual (also known as Generation V) is not defined by age — or gender, social demographic or geography — but is based on demonstrated achievement, accomplishments and an increasing preference for the use of digital media channels to discover information, build knowledge and share insights. The definition of Generation V derives from the recognition that these common behaviours, attitudes and interests are starting to blend together in an online environment. When doing business with Generation V, marketers will need to attract online personas by creating multiple, engaging  online destinations and provide tools for Generation V individuals population to socialize and express their different personas. By creating these destinations, marketers can gain a deeper understanding of Generation V. Marketers should provide, or connect to, online destinations from selling-focused sites and community forums to brand-aware, persistent, 3-D virtual worlds to get customers to their sites and promote socialization in the community. From there, marketers can lead prospects to products and services while gathering relevant information about their future wants and needs. By 2010, more than 60 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies with a Web site will connect to or host some form of online community that can be utilized for customer relationship purposes. Gartner predicts that by 2010, more than 50 percent of companies that have established an online community will fail to establish mutual purpose, ultimately eroding customer and company values. Virtual worlds raised $594 million in 2008
  • Whether you know it or not, there is a conversation occurring about your company and products right now. Customers are sharing opinions. People are forming and sharing perceptions. Bloggers, journalists and other influentials are watching and commenting. And often these perceptions – laudatory and critical – are made highly visible in search engines.
  • Langham Hotels International has rolled out a social media campaign under the title of Big Deal. A series of YouTube clips aimed at driving business to its hotels, humorously mixing East and West. Many locals found the approach patronizing – Langham withdrew the campaign and apologized Langham Hotels International has rolled out a social media campaign under the title of Big Deal. A series of YouTube clips aimed at driving business to its hotels, humorously mixing East and West. Many locals found the approach patronizing – Langham withdrew the campaign and apologized
  • Nokia wanted to promote the versatility of its NSeries N82 handsetamong young Southeast Asian mobile users. Nokia launched an online talent competition that incorporated ins N82 handsets and that appealed to young mobile phone users in Southeast Asia. iTalentstar showcased the ability of the Nokia N82 phone to be both a creative tool and a communication medium for its target youth audience. Young Asians were asked to create user-generated content to display their best skills, either through photographs, videos or blogs. To ensure the quality and creativity of the submissions, the brand offered online tutorials of how to best use the handsets to take pictures, edit films and share their content. The audience uploaded their user-generated content onto the contest’s Friendster page to exhibit their talent to their peers across the region and have a chance at fame. Nokia further generated excitement by hosting live events in these four markets and prompted a viral campaign across youth blogs and videosharing sites such as YouTube. More than 300 videos were submitted for judging, and 940,000 unique visitors viewed the campaign’s web site, resulting in more than 2.7 million page views. More than 60,000 visitors voted for their favorite talents and additional fans generated 500 viral videos of iTalentstar. Overall, the campaign earned more than SGD700,000 (USD475,000) worth of media value, plus free and word-of-mouth promotions.
  • Nokia wanted to promote the versatility of its NSeries N82 handsetamong young Southeast Asian mobile users. Nokia launched an online talent competition that incorporated ins N82 handsets and that appealed to young mobile phone users in Southeast Asia. iTalentstar showcased the ability of the Nokia N82 phone to be both a creative tool and a communication medium for its target youth audience. Young Asians were asked to create user-generated content to display their best skills, either through photographs, videos or blogs. To ensure the quality and creativity of the submissions, the brand offered online tutorials of how to best use the handsets to take pictures, edit films and share their content. The audience uploaded their user-generated content onto the contest’s Friendster page to exhibit their talent to their peers across the region and have a chance at fame. Nokia further generated excitement by hosting live events in these four markets and prompted a viral campaign across youth blogs and videosharing sites such as YouTube. More than 300 videos were submitted for judging, and 940,000 unique visitors viewed the campaign’s web site, resulting in more than 2.7 million page views. More than 60,000 visitors voted for their favorite talents and additional fans generated 500 viral videos of iTalentstar. Overall, the campaign earned more than SGD700,000 (USD475,000) worth of media value, plus free and word-of-mouth promotions.
  • Don’t market through all social networks at once, pick and choose those becoming a new communications channel to potential customers Build the customer relationship by communicating directly with them — sharing news, answering questions, clarifying inaccuracies Tie Social Media Tactics Back to the Broader Strategy - Always consider how a digital or social media tactic supports the broader client strategy and provides value.  Social media tactics without a purpose are pointless Think strategically — don’t just sell it because it’s “in” - but make sure it’s a fit and have a rationale.
  • User participation often more or less follows a 90-9-1 rule : 90% of users are lurkers (i.e., read or observe, but don't contribute). 9% of users contribute from time to time , but other priorities dominate their time. 1% of users participate a lot and account for most contributions : it can seem as if they don't have lives because they often post just minutes after whatever event they're commenting on occurs. The problem is that the overall system is not representative of average Web users. On any given user-participation site, you almost always hear from the same 1% of users, who almost certainly differ from the 90% you never hear from. 90% of users are the “audience”, or lurkers. The people tend to read or observe, but don’t actively contribute. 9% of users are “editors”, sometimes modifying content or adding to an existing thread, but rarely create content from scratch. 1% of users are “creators”, driving large amounts of the social group’s activity. More often than not, these people are driving a vast percentage of the site’s new content, threads, and activity. Inequality on the Web There are about 1.1 billion Internet users, yet only 55 million users (5%) have weblogs according to Technorati. Worse, there are only 1.6 million postings per day; because some people post multiple times per day, only 0.1% of users post daily . Blogs have even worse participation inequality than is evident in the 90-9-1 rule that characterizes most online communities. With blogs, the rule is more like 95-5-0.1. Inequalities are also found on Wikipedia, where more than 99% of users are lurkers. According to Wikipedia's "about" page, it has only 68,000 active contributors, which is 0.2% of the 32 million unique visitors it has in the U.S. alone.
  • Gain significant intelligence about your customers and marketplace Begin interaction with existing and potential customers through new touch points Heightened involvement between your brand and your customers to enable a wide range of marketing benefits including: Brand exposure Scalable word-of-mouth endorsement Heightened reputation for customer orientation Clicks, registrations and leads for marketing follow up
  • Google your Company or Business name These days the term google has become an accepted dictionary word. Thus, if someone googles your name and finds nasty things written about you, your credibility could be destroyed in an instant. It doesn’t even matter who made the comment, the potential for harm is huge as it sets off wrong perceptions in the reader’s mind. "Google is no longer just a search engine; it's a reputation engine," says Chris Dellarocas, at the University of Maryland who studies online reputations. Search & Monitor the Web on a Daily Basis It is vital to use a number of search engines as even Google cannot get everything. Use a number of search engines including the new so called people search engines such as Pipl - - to see what people are saying about you or your management team. Another useful technique is the use of Google News Alerts. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. - I use it to monitor my own name and that of REPUCOMM. On a daily basis I receive updates when my name or that my consultancy is mentioned in cyberspace.
  • * Adapted from the US Air Force’s counter-blog response plan.
  • Communities = people predisposed to talk to each other Defined by relationships, interest, profession, affinity, etc It ’ s communities that hold the promise of social media for marketers Communities have the potential to be instantly and exponentially scalable Existing communities can be engaged, or new ones created Brand-created content should have a point of view: Objective Must be objective, credible and transparent. Cannot be overtly self-serving or partisan Relevant Recognition of what the outside world - anyone who is not a customer or in your company - is interested in Insightful A new take, based on product, industry, consumer or market knowledge, or access to information others don ’ t have Original Gives a new interpretation or twist – something that will make people want to communicate Or offer concrete, tangible value Ultimate choice of content depends on your community
  • Asia’s thriving community of bloggers is quickly becoming regarded as a trusted source of information, comparable to traditional media. Their growing influence spurred The Hoffman Agency (HA) to initiate a blogger outreach program on behalf of Google, a global online search company. Google needed a cost-effective strategy to maximize the exposure of its products and to encourage more people to use them. Since bloggers are technology’s early adopters and influencers, HA saw an opportunity to seek their help in promoting its customer’s technology and product offerings.
  • To gain a better understanding of the blogging community, HA immersed itself in the blogosphere — participating in online discussions, reading blogs, engaging in conversations via popular Web 2.0 tools, joining blogger groups and attending events. Eventually, they became bloggers themselves.
  • With the groundwork established, HA then initiated a two-way engagement between Google and key bloggers. By keeping bloggers in the loop about company news — offering product previews, organizing meetings and holding exclusive events — HA helped Google to grow its number of blogger contacts and also strengthen its relationship with them.
  • Google Maps was first launched in the US in early February 2005 with the idea of making a user-friendly mapping technology accessible to consumers and business users for free. Since then, different versions of Google Maps have become available in over 30 countries, including the UK, Japan and China. In July 22, 2008, Google decided to launch Google Maps Hong Kong as part of its ongoing commitment to deliver tools and applications customized for local users. Blogger involvement: Google knows the growing importance and influence of a new breed of communicators: the bloggers. As more and more users turn to the Internet to get news and information, and as Web 2.0 continue to increase in popularity, Hong Kong’s blogger community has become a key factor to the success of Google’s local campaigns, including the Google Maps’ launch. Bloggers were invited to an informal dinner with Google’s marketing and engineering teams. They were divided into small groups and each group was joined by a Google spokesperson, who engaged the bloggers in a casual yet intimate conversation about the company and its products. A skit, done in Cantonese, showed two Google engineers demonstrating different scenarios where Google Maps can be incorporated in one’s daily activities. An interactive demo kiosk was set up at both the media conference and the blogger dinner, where local partners, such as PCCW, and HKTDC showed how they integrated Google Maps into their web sites. At the demo kiosk, the journalists and bloggers were invited to experience Google Maps first hand.
  • Thirty one bloggers attended the dinner, which surpassed our target attendance of 15 to 20 bloggers by 55% (based on maximum target figure). Key bloggers such as Jansen Lu and Poon Wing Hang (who are also media contributors) were in attendance. So impressed were they with the new Google product that Lu wrote a three-page Google Maps feature story for e-zone . Moreover, both Jansen and Hang featured Google Maps in e-world , a radio program aired on RTHK Channel 2. Other bloggers also appreciated the opportunity to meet with Googlers and to share their viewpoints on Google’s products. They were especially impressed by the skit performed by Google engineers Ben Luk and Chi-Yung Tse and wrote positive blog posts after the Maps launch.  
  • Blog readers became interested with Google Maps and as a result, the daily web traffic for Google Hong Kong and Google Maps Hong Kong significantly grew (see chart).
  • It was this show of commitment from both HA and Google that inspired Hong Kong’s local bloggers to create Google Guru, a 222-strong online community of Google users and enthusiasts.
  • Launched an educational program targeting local educators Leveraged a popular blogger, who is also a local school teacher, as spokesperson Pitched power user stories to major dailies that have a high penetration rate in local schools, including Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Daily News and SCMP - Young Post Generated a front-page story in SCMP – Young Post ; a full-page feature story in Ming Pao Daily News; half-page story in Sing Tao Daily
  • With the success of HA’s blogger campaign, Google has decided to extend its community outreach further. In Singapore, HA has now started an engagement program to reach out to a broader audience. It is now working with schools, real estate agents and travel portals in a bid to introduce relevant applications and to gain a better understanding of the market’s level of interaction with Google tools.
  • Tell the truth. First of all, don’t prentend to read their blog, if you don’t. Starting off with a lie gets any potential relationship off on the wrong foot. Be upfront. Okay, this is pretty much the same as ‘tell the truth’ but we wanted to spell it out. Acknowledge that you are in the midst of a promotional campaign and that you want to connect with bloggers. Provide value. Look beyond your needs as a marketer and consider the bloggers’ needs. Provide some ‘quick tips’ and a graphic (sized for the Web, please!), If you can, offer a giveaway promotion or send a discount code for the bloggers’ readers. Don’t be a pest. Reach out to a blogger no more than twice. When bloggers don’t respond, it means they’re not interested. Move on. Open a conversation. Let bloggers know you’re open to feedback or interviews. In essence, offer to work with them in whatever way would provide most value to readers. Be sure to follow up promptly on requests for more information. Join the conversation. This is a best practice along the lines of keeping with blogs long before you ever need to pitch them. That said, we recognize that forging blogger relationships isn’t feasible on a mass scale (many bloggers recognize this too). Contribute to the convesation if you can. Become a part of the bloggers’ community. Just don’t be self-serving and make the mistake of posting comments that are simply ads or trackbacks to your own site.
  • Wikipedia gets an estimated 10 billion page views per month, and Wikipedia articles are a top hit in the majority of online searches. It is among the top 10 Web sites in terms of traffic on a global basis and is considered one of the most influential reference sites on the Web. Entities that are looking to grow their online presence are taking notice of Wikipedia’s popularity. Former Hoffman client Fabrik was one such company hoping to make its mark on the site. Fabrik is a provider of hard drive and online storage solutions for a range of customers, including consumers, A/V professionals and enterprise users. The company had previously attempted to list itself on Wikipedia, leveraging its existing sales and marketing copy to create the entry. As often occurs, Fabrik’s entry was flagged as a “blatant advertisement” and removed from the site. When Fabrik began working with The Hoffman Agency, not a single mention of the company existed in the Wikipedia universe. The company engaged Hoffman’s Wikipedia expertise to help lead the charge anew. Fabrik’s director of corporate communications sent the team an e-mail containing its original Wikipedia article with one word in the subject line: “help.”
  • The challenge in composing any successful Wikipedia entry is to walk the fine line that is getting the company’s messaging across while remaining unbiased in tone. New Wikipedia articles are closely scrutinized by a community of editors and admins to ensure that they follow a complex set of editorial guidelines for Wikipedia. Many Wikipedia entries written by marketing and PR professionals are often flagged for not maintaining a neutral point of view. Given the above, creating copy that will be approved by corporate marketing teams and the Wikipedia community is a paradoxical conundrum.
  • The Hoffman Agency set out to write a Wiki that was neutral yet engaging and conversational in its overall written tone. It would eliminate common marketing jargon like “industry-leading” and focus on building energy around the company brand, culture and products by offering online references to substantiate Fabrik’s differentiators. On Wikipedia, references are the criteria for establishing facts, so the more citations included in an article, the less likely it is to be contested. To maximize the impact of Fabrik’s Wikipedia entry, the team planned to take a “spider web” approach, in which it would add information about Fabrik and its products to other Wikipedia entries that covered material relevant to the company so that visitors to those entries would be given a link back to Fabrik’s page. Also part of the spider web approach, the Hoffman team planned to add a section on competitors to the Wikipedia entries of each of Fabrik’s main competitors. Again, this move would direct visitors of those pages to Fabrik’s entry should they want to learn more. Throughout the process, Hoffman would remain in close contact with the team at Fabrik, providing regular updates over the phone that detailed necessary revisions to ensure that all new copy would align with Wikipedia’s complex editorial guidelines. Hoffman leveraged information from more than 40 online sources to compose the core Wikipedia pages on Fabrik and its subsidiary brands. The entries were citation-heavy and included logo and product images. Hoffman also set up necessary redirects that would send online searchers looking for similar terms to the correct page. Once the main pages were up, the team put its spider web plan into action, adding a reference to Fabrik in the sections of competitor companies’ pages that listed their competitors, including those of Seagate, Samsung and Toshiba. For competitors whose Wikipedia page did not include a competitive section, like Iomega and Western Digital, Hoffman composed one that included Fabrik’s reference. In Wikipedia community discussions regarding some of Fabrik’s competitors, users had mentioned the need for a section on corporate controversies. When appropriate, Hoffman took the lead on drafting and posting these sections on competitors’ pages. Completing its spider web strategy, Hoffman posted information and links to Fabrik on other pages with relevant subject matter, including those detailing computer data storage and hard disk drives. When its additions were met with a flag by some Wikipedia community members, Hoffman worked through the issues by engaging with the community and backing its actions, resulting in a successful post. In addition to text content, Hoffman also added images of Fabrik products to these subject-matter pages. Since the images on Wikipedia are generally free for use by bloggers and other media outlets, the team felt this enhanced the chance of a Fabrik product being included in a story or post about those topics. In the month following Hoffman’s Wikipedia efforts for Fabrik, Wikipedia became the top referring site to (outside of the sites of Fabrik’s subsidiary brands), bringing in roughly five percent of the site’s traffic. Overall, Hoffman was successful in its goals of raising the visibility of Fabrik across Wikipedia and increasing traffic to the company’s site in a short timeframe. Note: Fabrik is no longer a Hoffman client. The company was significantly restructured, resulting in a layoff of more than 85 percent of its workforce. Due to these circumstances, Fabrik’s presence on Wikipedia is no longer monitored by Hoffman or Fabrik’s marketing team.
  • In late 2008, Roxio was poised to launch the latest edition of its Easy VHS to DVD, a product that allows consumers to convert VHS tapes to DVDs. Easy VHS to DVD is a small subset of Easy Media Creator, which is the 10th version of the product to be released in 10 years. Given this, there was little interest from the media in traditional product reviews. Since reviews coverage was largely how the company got the word out about new products in the past, it needed to devise a fresh strategy to garner the media’s attention, thus securing mindshare from its target consumer audience. Roxio challenged The Hoffman Agency to develop a plan to ensure that news about Easy VHS to DVD and its benefits reached potential customers. The team faced the major hurdle of securing interest in what was essentially a “follow-along” product. Sure that it could not take a traditional route to securing coverage for this new product, the Agency decided on an approach that would directly engage the target audience using a multimedia methodology. Since magazines and other customary outlets were not interested in Easy VHS to DVD, the team made the tactical decision to directly contact bloggers who fit the demographics of Roxio’s target consumer. This included those who covered parenting, weddings, gift ideas and topics of interest to retirees. Beyond the typical tactic of providing the bloggers with copies of the product to use and hopefully review on their sites, the Agency suggested composing a social media release that it would distribute to these bloggers as well as to other relevant sites and traditional Roxio targets. The goal of the release would be to provide information to online writers in a format that made it simple for them to grab content and multimedia elements to compose their own unique story about ways to use Easy VHS to DVD that both they and their readers would find compelling and interesting. Most importantly, Hoffman would frame all of its outreach within the bigger-picture trend of VHS tapes deteriorating over time and quickly becoming an obsolete technology. By focusing the news hook on an issue that most consumers can relate to (rather than on a new version of an old product), the team hoped to gain greater buy-in and interest from the press.
  • The Hoffman team created an in-depth list of specifically targeted blogs, online sites and traditional media outlets. After developing targeted pitches for Easy VHS to DVD within the context of VHS’s demise, the team provided targets with a link to the social media release, which lived on the Web site This URL was chosen and the site was optimized so that individuals searching online for information on copying VHS tapes to DVD would be led to the site. The social media release was written in a bulleted format to make it easy for authors to grab useful tidbits about Easy VHS to DVD and the related trends to customize a story. The site also included a digital video of a Roxio spokesperson commenting on the need for individuals to transfer VHS tapes to DVD for longevity, providing a demo of the software that highlighted its ease-of-use. Rather than tout the specific features of the Roxio product, the video took an approach of setting up the problem (an overwhelming number of VHS tapes stored away and aging) and offering one of many potential solutions (Easy VHS to DVD). The site also included an array of high-resolution images that authors could easily download to add to their stories. The Agency uploaded the video and photos to a number of popular media-sharing sites such as YouTube, Google Video, Flickr and Photobucket with the goal of making it as simple as possible for online reporters and bloggers to make use of those elements by providing them on the platforms that they prefer. On the video-sharing sites in particular, the team created search-optimized titles and tags so that people looking for tutorials on how to transfer their VHS tapes to DVD would have a higher likelihood of coming across the video. In addition, the team embedded buttons for many popular social bookmarking and networking sites (including Twitter, Facebook, Digg! and so that visitors could easily share the release with friends and other contacts. The team did not want to ignore print journalists with this announcement, so it arranged for traditional text newswire distribution via the appropriate channels and custom outreach to top-tier and vertical targets. Hoffman also took advantage of Business Wire’s EON service, which cycles pull-quotes in the release each time the page loads, fooling search engines that the site has just been updated. This helped further search-optimize the news of Easy VHS to DVD. Once initial outreach was complete, the team fielded requests for review units and provided any necessary guidance throughout the review process.
  • The social media release approach helped the team exceed the expectations of Roxio. Just days after the launch, Easy VHS to DVD had netted: • 25 news items (more than double the goal) • 41 press release reprints (more than quadruple the goal) • More than 40 requests for product review units • Nearly 100K qualified views of the site and video (10 times the goal) During launch week, the BusinessWire EON release registered 2,321 views and 73,794 headline impressions (i.e., RSS and other syndications combined). A month after the launch, the Web 2.0 resource microsite had registered 3,298 unique visitors and the video clip was viewed by over 23,807 people across the various placements. This alternative approach helped Roxio get in direct contact with the consumers it targeted with Easy VHS to DVD. The targets were so impressed with the simplicity and straightforward nature of this tactic that one blog headline stated “Roxio Launches ‘Easy VHS to DVD,’ Sets Bar for Press Kits.” The great majority of coverage embedded a multimedia element from the site within the article. And on BusinessWeek’s Business Exchange social network, the story was ranked the No. 2 most compelling story on the site two days after the launch.
  • Social Media Conversations: How to connect with your audience online

    1. 1. Social Media Conversations Chris Tang Managing Director How to connect with your audience online
    2. 2. More demanding citizens and consumers Wider range of influencers Reduced trust in traditional institutions More activist government Changing Expectations
    3. 3. <ul><li>Global power shifts who/what can you trust? </li></ul><ul><li>The US weakens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic downturn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Election frenzy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Struggles in Afghanistan & Iraq </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global financial sector in turmoil </li></ul><ul><li>Currency market fluctuations - US$ v/s € v/s RMB </li></ul><ul><li>New global political forces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Russia & Georgia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European Union gains force </li></ul></ul><ul><li>China deals with change </li></ul><ul><li>Building trust in an open world? </li></ul><ul><li>Tibetan/Olympic torch issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact on Carrefour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Love China’ online campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sichuan Earthquake </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open media coverage increase public donations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online smear campaign for MNCs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Olympics – China welcomes the world </li></ul><ul><li>Sanlu crisis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is worse – the contamination or the cover-up? </li></ul></ul>Transformative six months Transformation Over One Year
    4. 4. <ul><li>I spent more time on Twitter and Facebook and Flickr yesterday than I did on e-mail. </li></ul><ul><li>Gatekeepers? What’s a gatekeeper? Deadline? What’s a deadline? </li></ul><ul><li>Two women raised over $6,000 in one day Twittering about frozen peas. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s easier to put my message on M&Ms than it is to get it in an A-list blog. </li></ul><ul><li>IBM receives more leads, sales and exposure from a $500 podcast than it does from an ad. </li></ul><ul><li>$0 budget YouTube videos about Barack Obama were seen 120 times compared to Hilary Clinton’s “largest town hall meeting in US history”, which cost millions. </li></ul><ul><li>A start-up company got 100 great marketing ideas for free from Twitter. </li></ul><ul><li>Procter & Gamble is “co-creating” all its marketing with its customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia is nearly as accurate and just as credible as the Encyclopedia Brittannica and a lot more people use it. </li></ul><ul><li>The number of media outlets is growing faster than most country economies and people spend more time consuming media than they do sleeping. </li></ul><ul><li>Google has replaced the thesaurus, the encyclopedia, the dictionary and my short-term memory. </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement is easy. </li></ul>12 signs that things are changing
    5. 5. <ul><li>Asia has over 40% of world’s internet population but only second lowest penetration rate </li></ul><ul><li>Internet penetration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Australia 80% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>China 22% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hong Kong 70% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>India 7% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Japan 74% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Korea 76% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Singapore 67% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumer content drives local language </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese rising to number 1 </li></ul>Asia I s D riving G lobal Internet G rowth
    6. 6. Source: Percentage of Internet Population Using Social Networks (Q1 2009) Taiwan China Japan India New Zealand Hong Kong Malaysia South Korea Australia Singapore 42.40% 45.60% 50.90% 60.30% 62.80% 66.60% 68.00% 62.80% 68.30% 74.30%
    7. 7. Source: Ogilvy Insight: “Can Brands Have a Social Life” <ul><li>China </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin board systems (BBS) the heart of China’s social media </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging among the top ten applications for Chinese netizens </li></ul><ul><li>Social media used mainly for entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Three biggest internet apps are music, video and online games </li></ul><ul><li>Over half of netizens look for new friends online </li></ul><ul><li>90% of young users use IM to connect with friends </li></ul><ul><li>Hong Kong </li></ul><ul><li>Has one of the highest internet penetrations and breadth of broadband </li></ul><ul><li>Over half of Web users have a social network profile </li></ul><ul><li>93% of online users rely strongly on WOM </li></ul><ul><li>More than 50% of active Internet users have read a blog </li></ul><ul><li>Political blogs or citizen journalism practically non-existent </li></ul><ul><li>Young HK Chinese love to go online and check out Canto-gossip, film, fashion and music hits </li></ul><ul><li>Taiwan </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen journalism growing due to widespread dissatisfaction with traditional news sources </li></ul><ul><li>Social media channels used to express opinions, comment on news and share content </li></ul><ul><li>A nation filled with star bloggers exuding mass appeal </li></ul><ul><li>Popularity of blogging led to a yearly bloggers’ conference — TW Bloggers BoF </li></ul><ul><li>BBS is big, with over 1.84m unique visitors a month </li></ul><ul><li>Downloading not one of its top social media activities </li></ul>
    8. 8. Social Media in China Source: Web2Asia’s “Chinese Online Social Networks” TYPE LEADING PLAYER IN CHINA GLOBAL PLAYER Search Engine Baidu Google C2C eCommerce Taobao eBay Instant messaging QQ MSN Messenger Video hosting Youku, Tudou YouTube Image hosting Yupoo, Bababian Flickr Youth-Oriented SNS Xiaonei Facebook Professional SNS, Kaixin MySpace Business SNS Tianji, Wealink LinkedIn Portals Sina, Sohu Yahoo! Blog Blogbus Blogger
    9. 9. TODAY The New Media Landscape TV Ads Product Placement Billboard Print Ad Direct Mail B-Roll/VNRs News Release Backgrounder Bylined Articles Whitepaper Online Advertising E-mail Marketing Slideshows Social Networking Comments in Blogs Vcasts Podcasts Blogs Web Site Microsite Corporate Magazine/ Ezine Production/Placement Complexity Depth of Content BEFORE
    10. 10. Most Trusted News Sources
    11. 11. Genuine endorsement Broad reach Low incremental cost Amplifies media Distribute rumors Escalate issues Opportunities Threats The Power of Social Media
    12. 12. Preference for the use of digital media channels to discover information, build knowledge and share insights Generation V is defined around three key behavioural attributes: (1) Use of technology as a day-to-day tool to facilitate communication (2) Desire to participate – expecting conversations (3) Belief in the value of collaboration ; ‘we’ is more powerful and valuable than ‘me’ Generation V(irtual)
    13. 13. Contrasting View Between Corporate & the Public Evolution of Beauty Campaign <ul><li>Conducted after Dove’s global study on beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Objective of the campaign: To create a global discussion about beauty with women all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Communicated through a variety of print and TV ads, a Web site, workshops and films </li></ul><ul><li>Viral video “Evolution of Beauty” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Has been viewed more than 15 million times online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seen by more than 300 million people worldwide </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Markets are conversation. Are you participating? Savvy consumers don’t trust marketing, they trust their peers. The conversation is going on whether you care to be involved or not. If you choose not to be involved, you lose control of the conversation about your product, your business. You become irrelevant! Trust can take years to build but be eroded away in just a few days. To avoid disaster, you have to keep one finger on the pulse of the social web.
    15. 15. Message house PR program aimed at few target audiences One-way traffic from corporation to consumer through traditional outlets Greater control of message Traditional Storytelling Many more topics Many “tribes” instead of audiences (narrowcasting) Conversations and interactions with targets — community gardening Aim not for control but transparency and trust The New World of Conversations Traditional PR vs. Online PR
    16. 16. Langham Hotel’s “Big Deal” Campaign
    17. 17. Nokia’s “iTalentStar” Campaign User-generated content Friendster profile as competition platform Viral campaigns across youth blogs and video-sharing sites Interactive web site
    18. 18. More than 60,000 visitors voted Nokia’s “iTalentStar” Campaign More than 300 videos submitted 940,000 unique visitors 2.7 million page views 500 viral videos posted by fans Over US$475,000 worth of media value plus free and WOM promotions
    19. 19. Social Media: Where to start? Use search engines Register for sites Play! (Blogs, videos, networks, photos) Identify key sites and contributors (get an RSS reader) Start commenting and sharing Produce and push your own content Learn and Observe Listen Actively Contribute Actively Engage
    20. 20. Identify Effective I-fluentials Source: Jakob Nielsen - Participation Inequality: Encouraging More Users to Contribute 90% Lurkers 9% Intermittent Contributors 1% Heavy Contributors 90% of postings from 1% of users 10% of postings from 9% of users No postings from 90% of users
    21. 21. Engagement Credibility Relationships Engage, don’t interrupt. Unless your pitch is amazing, it will fall flat or worse still, backfire. Focus instead on providing content or service your customers want. Be genuine and transparent. Social media is a conversation where marketing is only sometimes invited. Faking it can seriously damage your reputation. Look beyond the one-time hit. Your objective is not a click, or any other single action. It’s a sustainable relationship that enables WOM endorsement and recurring revenue. New Rules Apply
    22. 22. Gain significant intelligence about your customers and marketplace Begin interaction with existing and potential customers through new touch points Heightened involvement between your brand and your customers to enable a wide range of marketing benefits including: <ul><li>Brand exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Scalable word-of-mouth endorsement </li></ul><ul><li>Heightened reputation for customer orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Clicks, registrations and leads for marketing follow-up </li></ul>NTELLIGENCE NTERACTION NVOLVEMENT
    23. 23. NTELLIGENCE Gain early insight into potential issues Map to business areas and marketing communications priorities Monitor the conversation for marketing intelligence
    24. 24. Social media posting identified Is it positive? Do you want to respond? Is it bashing or degrading to others? Is it a rant, rage, or a joke? Is it factually wrong? Is it from an unhappy customer? Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N N N N No response. Monitor site for further comment. Respond with further useful information. No response. Monitor site for further comment. Respond with further useful information. Rectify the situation, respond and act with reasonable solution. Decide whether to respond base on circumstances Transparent Timely and well-crafted Friendly and respectful tone Include sources and references Have a point of view CONVERSATION RESPONSE GUIDELINES Source: “Why Social Media needs PR”, Upstream Asia NTERACTION
    25. 25. Four Key Building Blocks How can you encourage people to get in touch with you? Response What social media platforms will work best for this community and content? Platforms What will get them talking, and how can you help provide it? Content Who do you want – or can you reasonably expect – to talk about you? Communities NVOLVEMENT
    26. 26. Google Marrying the Art of Storytelling with the Art of Conversation
    27. 28. D Attend meetings and events Engage in conversation d Participate in online discussions d Read blogs d Join groups Google Blogger Strategy
    28. 29. Exclusive Preview Meetings Dedicated Blogger Events VIP Guests
    29. 30. Google Maps Hong Kong Launch
    30. 31. 48.98% 4.85% 19.64% 10.46% 7.40% 6.89% 1.27% 0.51% Total clippings: 392 (as of November 21, 2008) Google’s Media and Blogger Coverage in 2008 Dailies Tech Media Biz/Biz Tech Lifestyle Media Radio TV Blogs Trade Media
    31. 32. Blogs Online Tutorials
    32. 33. “ Google Maps Hong Kong launch is my favorite blogger event by far! Google’s blogger engagement has given local bloggers like me an invaluable opportunity to interact and even brainstorm with their engineers. We appreciated that the engineers took some quality time with us, and we all felt that it was such a delightful and enjoyable moment. In the past, Google is very low-key and ‘mysterious’ to me as it preferred users to discover its latest products rather than aggressively promote its products like companies. But after Google has started to reach out to local bloggers actively, it seems that Google has opened up a lot, and become more active in sharing their news and product updates with us.” — Marie Yuen, Blogger, “ Google Maps [Hong Kong Launch] is my favorite Google blogger engagement event for sure! When I joined Google’s Cantonese Suggest Launch, I put up a live stream of Google engineers’ product demo and shared it with 50 blogger friends of mine on my Facebook. Google’s blogger outreach campaign definitely established local bloggers’ growing support for the company and increased our usage of Google's products. It also helped Google get a more positive image, especially among end users. I appreciate the fact that Google values local bloggers, and the events it organize provide us a great opportunity to socialize and make friends. ” — Jansen Lu, Blogger, Jan’s Tech Blog Local Bloggers’ Perception of Google
    33. 34. Increased Web Traffic
    34. 35. Google Maps Hong Kong Launch (July 22) Source: HitWise Google’s Web Search Market Share by Visits
    35. 36. Main Hong Kong Blogger Groups Google Interacts With
    36. 37. Technology Campaign of the Year “Customizing Users’ Online Experience” (Google Taiwan) Asia-Pacific PR Awards November 20, 2008 Certificate of Excellence “Redefining Online Mapping in Hong Kong” (Google Hong Kong) Asia-Pacific PR Awards November 20, 2008 Google’s Blogger Outreach Gets Industry Recognition
    37. 38. “ Software such as the mail server, Google Maps and Google Earth are useful in teaching. They make classes more vivid and close to daily life… More importantly, the applications are free of charge and the money saved can be used on purchasing other teaching tools. It is more cost-effective.” — Marie Yuen King-Yin, teacher and avid blogger A blogger interview about the uses of Google apps in the education sector Source: SCMP’s Young Post (December 3, 2008)
    38. 39. This full-page feature story unveils the successful formula of Mark Leung, who leverages YouTube to become enormously popular in the world. The power user demonstrates his passion and dedication to create and share his videos on YouTube by providing YouTube users with 11 invaluable tips on increasing the popularity of YouTube videos. Popular YouTuber shares tips on how to make interesting videos Source: Hong Kong Economic Times (March 17, 2008)
    39. 40. “ It’s perfect for people who can’t read maps, as it offers a real ground perspective of how to get to a place.” — Kenneth Pinto, administrative officer “ Google Street View, which is 3D, will allow the students to see and plan better how they will actually get around.” — Wendy Tan, geography teacher “ Our café is located at street level, at a front shophouse at Holland Village, so it helps that users can walk their way to our café online before coming here.” — Evan Chung, café director Community outreach: Day-to-day users describing the uses of Streetview Source: The Straits Times (October 13, 2008)
    40. 41. Blogging Etiquette Provide value Tell the truth Be upfront Don’t be a pest Join the conversation Open a conversation
    41. 42. Work in real time Spend some time identifying your ideal targets Use search engines like Google to locate blogs Determine the popularity of a blog Evaluate your options and get to know the blogs Relationships are key to success Transparency is non-negotiable Personalize your pitch and be brief Avoid using PR or marketing jargons when engaging bloggers Blogger Outreach Best Practices
    42. 43. Fabrik Building a Presence on Wikipedia to Increase Web Traffic
    43. 44. Fabrik’s Wikipedia Entry
    44. 45. Developed Fabrik’s own Wikipedia profile Added Fabrik references in competitors’ Wikipedia pages Composed competitive section in competitors’ Wikipedia pages to provide an area for Fabrik’s reference Contributed to community discussions on corporate controversies Posted information and links to Fabrik on other pages with relevant subject matter
    45. 46. Wikipedia 101 Ask yourself whether or not you have enough PR clout to warrant a Wikipedia listing If you do decide to create an entry in Wikipedia, you need to strip your content of all marketing language or plaudits Ask yourself if Wikipedia is going to offer more content to people than what you’d offer on your web site Wikipedia is a place for official data points, not promotion for promotion or nonsense If your company has a Wikipedia entry, which you don’t like, don’t just change the page Encourage third-party resources to work on the entry Strategically link related pages to your Wikipedia entry (and vice versa) Use external links to send traffic to your Wikipedia profile Track and convert traffic from Wikipedia
    46. 47. Roxio Securing Mindshare from Target Consumer Audience with Multimedia Release
    47. 48. Roxio launches Easy VHS to DVD Helps Families Revive, Relive, and Preserve Cherished Personal Video Memories and Entertainment Roxio Social Media Release
    48. 49. “ If nothing else, you can't fault Roxio on their press relations. Huge, high-res photos, separate product-specific web site, wire-service press release and a promotional video embeddable through no less than 24 different video services. They sure know how to launch a product.” Captivate Your Audience
    49. 50. Write short, compelling headlines that feature keywords, not buzzwords Add a subhead to further explain why someone should continue reading your SMR Using bullet points to create a news summary Quotes are not necessary especially if they don’t lend anything to the value of the information Use or other social media driven sites to collect relevant facts about your company, product, competition and state of the market; present it all through one link Use a social media photo sharing service for related images and include a link of the service in your SMR Publish relevent and necessary tags — do not promote tag spam Give your readers a way to save a link to your SMR using their favorite tools Add your contact information, including your IM and VoIP information Distribute your SMR via popular news sharing sites How to Write a Social Media Release
    50. 51. The Hoffman Agency on the Web
    51. 52. Chris Tang Managing Director APAC Tel: +86 10 65070985 MP: +86 13801179352 E-mail: [email_address] Skype: chrisleitang_china