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    Demystifyingsocial abl552011 Demystifyingsocial abl552011 Document Transcript

    • Demystifying Social Media 2011Marc StrohleinPrincipalAgile Business Logic
    • Get Started with Social Media ............................................................................................................ 3What is Social Media? ............................................................................................................................ 4Why Should You Work with Social Media? ................................................................................... 4Social Media Tools .................................................................................................................................. 4Some Organizational Considerations .............................................................................................. 6Approach, Timeline, and Resources ................................................................................................ 7 Step 1: Establish Goals ..................................................................................................................... 7 Step 2: Listen and Learn, Identify the Target Audience ...................................................... 8 Step 3: Define Roles, Method of Engagement, and Content ............................................... 9 Step 4: Engage .................................................................................................................................. 10 Step 5: Measure Success and Fine Tune ................................................................................. 10Your Next Step ...................................................................................................................................... 11©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 2
    • Get Started with Social MediaAt first blush, the world of social media may seem foreign and complex—filled withtweets, wikis, microblogs, and other terminology. Your first impulse may be toignore or dismiss it.The reality is inescapable for most businesses—going forward, the effectiveness of“push” marketing and media is going to continue to decline, and social media willbecome a more and more important component in the way that companies interactwith customers and prospects. In fact, eMarketer Digital IntelligenceTM predicts that88 percent of businesses with 100 or more employees will use social media formarketing.Witness how companies such as British Petroleum, Toyota and Sony have beensavaged on the web while companies such as Starbucks, Dell, and Ford have hadgreat success in building and leveraging communities.This paper is a primer on social media, aimed at those that want to explore the useof social media, but need to understand how to go about doing that. Social media isinteresting in that, in theory, it looks simple; it is essentially just a new marketingchannel. But it is complex because it is interactive and you can’t set all the rules ofengagement. It is also fast—information travels at near real-time on the Internet.Agile Business Logic provides services to help businesses scope, plan, andimplement social media programs.We can help tailor the size and scope of a program to meet your business needs,help implement tools, and provide guidance on or direct authoring of content.We can also help avoid embarrassing missteps.©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 3
    • What is Social Media?Social media is a relatively new channel for engaging and conversing with customersand prospects in an open, transparent environment. It incorporates the basiccomponents of a social interaction—listening, talking, and asking questions, butusing a variety of social media platforms and tools such as Twitter, Facebook, orLinked In, in lieu of, or in addition to face-to-face interaction.One way to think of social media is to picture the last party you went to. When youarrived, the party was in progress and you didn’t know many of the people there,but wanted to add to your network of potential friends and associates. You startedby circulating and listening in on conversations until you found one that soundedinteresting. After listening to get the context of the conversation, you asked somequestions, and finally volunteered some of your knowledge about the topic ofconversation.That is the essence of social media—listen, ask questions, talk, and engage withcustomers and prospects.Why Should You Work with Social Media?It is no secret that the relationship between businesses and their customers haschanged in dramatic ways, and the Web, specifically Web 2.0, has added powerfulnew channels that need to be part of any marketing, sales, and customer serviceplanning.Social media leverages the power of the Web to find, engage, and build relationshipswith prospects and customers. In fact, not using social media may shut you off fromyour customer and prospect base for marketing, brand management, service andsupport, and education.Social Media ToolsBefore diving into the creation of a social media strategy and program, it is useful tounderstand the various channels and tools one can deploy, as they each havenuances and attributes that make them uniquely suited for different types ofcommunication and collaboration.©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 4
    • Table 1 contains a list of key tools, some examples, and the types of application each platform is suited for. Table 1: Social Media Tools and ApplicationsPlatform Description Examples ApplicationBlogs Diary-like platform for creating WordPress, • Education about Examples reverse-chronologically ordered Moveable Type, products and services posts that can be commented on Blogger • Convey company culture by readers. • Gather feedback about products and servicesWikis Tool that allows the creation and Wikipedia, • Education about editing of interlinked web pages Wikinews products and services • Customer service informationMicroblogs Microblogs allow users to Twitter, Yammer Press Releases exchange small elements of text, Announcements • individual images, or links Hiring Notices • Links to new • information • • Promote eventsSocial Networks Social structure made up of LinkedIn, Facebook • Community-building individuals (or organizations) • Promotions called "nodes", which are tied • Reputation management (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependencyForums and Online discussion site where Google Groups, • CommunityDiscussion people can hold conversations in BigTent • PromotionsGroups the form of posted messages • Customer serviceMedia Sharing Sites that enable users to post and You Tube, Flickr • Product demos share documents, presentations, • Marketing presentations podcasts, videos, etc. • How-to informationSocial Review Tools and sites that allow users to Yelp, insiderpages • Brand and sentimentand Rating write reviews and rate products, monitoring services, companies, etc. • Customer service quality monitoring • Product quality monitoringListening and Tools and platforms for Jive, Radian6 • Brand and sentimentMonitoring monitoring blogs, microblogs, monitoring • Campaign tracking • Customer service quality monitoring ©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 5
    • Note: some applications and functions can be performed on more than one platformor tool. If you choose to spread functions across multiple venues, be sure to keepmessaging and approach synchronized so as not to confuse your audience.Some Organizational ConsiderationsWhile the tools are important, it is also necessary to look at how and where socialmedia fits in an organization. The figure below illustrates the organizations thattypically participate in social media programs, and where it fits among existingchannels of interaction with customers.Figure 1: Social Media Context©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 6
    • Approach, Timeline, and ResourcesThere are a number of ways that businesses implement social media—some createcross-functional teams comprised of marketing, sales, customer service, andproduct development.In other companies, social media takes root in customer service and/or marketing.In still others, social media takes place across the entire company. The latter is anambitious undertaking and not recommended as a first step except, perhaps, forsmall companies and startups.Time required to implement social media can range from a few hours to, forexample, start using Twitter, to months for a more comprehensive, cross-departmental approach. In the latter case, once the broad strategy is defined, theeffort can and should be broken into smaller chunks to manage complexity andspeed time to results.Resources can similarly vary—a baseline investment might be two staff, either full-or part-time, one for listening and synthesizing web-based conversations, the othercreating and publishing content, or gathering content from other providers andpublishing it.Step 1: Establish GoalsStep 1 in building a social media program is to understand and clearly identify whyyou are doing it. Goal setting is best done with a cross-functional team ofstakeholders from marketing, sales, customer service, and product developmentorganizations, and should include one or more executive sponsors.One means of establishing goals is via a facilitated discovery session, ideallyconducted by someone that understands social media and the characteristics ofyour business, customers, and markets served. Some possible goals include: Monitor, protect, and enhance your brand Increase awareness, identify new prospects • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty • Educate the market • Communicate with, and educate employees • Learn from customers, solicit feedback on existing products and services • •©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 7
    • Get ideas for new products and services Co-innovate products and services • Enable customers to provide customer service to other customers (cost • reduction) • Identify and promote influencers and evangelists Promote events, products, services • Everyone’s doing it—be seen as “in touch” • •Note: if the last item is your one and only reason for doing social media youprobably should refrain. Insincerity is highly visible in the realm of social media.While the range of goals noted here is impressive and illustrates the power of socialmedia, it also should serve as a warning not to be overly ambitious—it would beboth costly and risky to undertake more than a subset of these goals. Pick the onesthat matter and have potentially significant business impact.Step 2: Listen and Learn, Identify the Target AudienceStep 2 in creating a social media program—finding and listening to your customersand prospects in their “native” online environments. The goal is to find out whothey are, where they “hang out,” and what they are interested in. That forms thebasis for a content and engagement strategy.While there are powerful tools from companies such as Lithium and Radian6 thatenable monitoring of social media sites, there are also a number of cheap, even freeways to get started including setting up searches on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn,or by using free tools such as Social Media Firehose Google Alerts.One great example of how listening can help comes from a stay at a Boston hotelwhere I was attending a conference. The Internet service was slow and I tweeted anote to that effect. Within 10 minutes, I received a reply explaining that they weredoing an upgrade and having some problems and they ended up offeringcompensation for the inconvenience—for me, problem solved, for the hotel, good PRas I tweeted my thanks for how they handled the situation.With listening in place, the information gleaned, combined with organizationalknowledge of customers can be used to segment the target audience and producepersonas—a set of fictional people who represent the characteristics of yourcustomer and prospect base. A key part of each persona’s attributes is the type ofinformation they desire and how they plan to use it.©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 8
    • Step 3: Define Roles, Method of Engagement, and ContentStep 3 involves identifying which organizations and people will actually createcontent, monitor conversations, and generally run the social media program. Thepersonas developed in step 2 can be used to identify who in the organization is bestequipped to fill listening and publishing roles.In example, listeners might be in the customer service organization monitoringservice or product issues, and/or in the marketing department, monitoring brandimage. Bloggers could be in product R&D writing about and soliciting feedback onproduct designs.Table 2 is a simple outline of typical functions performed by participatingorganizations.Table 2: Social Media Functions by OrganizationMarketing • Brand monitoring and protectionOrganization Function • Promotions • Market education • Market and competitive intelligence • Campaign measurement • Market and customer segmentationSales • Prospecting and lead generation • Finding and leveraging advocates and influencers • Networking with prospects and customers • Researching potential prospectsCustomer Service • Monitoring for product/service quality issues • Providing support information • Creating communities of supportProduct Development • Soliciting product ideas and feedback • Co-innovation of products • Testing product ideas • Market researchAlso important in this step is the establishment for rules of engagement that governboth listening and publishing, including the specific individuals, roles, andresponsibilities, policies for content authoring and review, and policies for handlingvarious situations such as product or service criticism, viral public attacks onbrands, etc. All participants should be trained on those policies.©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 9
    • There is no need to create a social media policy from scratch as many good onesalready exist and can be found at: http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php.Step 4: EngageNow comes the fun part—you have been listening long enough to know who istalking about you, what they are saying, and what they would like to know. You havealso identified who is listening, who is publishing, and what the rules and policiesgoverning their behaviors are. Now it is time to “join the party.”Just as they would join a live party, the social media staff should listen, ask question,and then publish. Carrying on our party analogy, nobody likes the guy that droneson and on about himself—his job, his kids, his vacations, with no interest orconsideration for his listeners. Your goal is to not be the digital equivalent of thatguy. Instead, engage listeners by showing genuine interest in their wants, needs, andespecially any issues they have with your company, products, or services.One personal example—after a recent visit to the San Francisco Zoo, I tweeted that Ihad seen an actual black swan. Within minutes, I received a tweet back thanking mefor visiting. Minutes later, a second tweet asking me what zoo exhibits I liked best.With a few minutes effort, the zoo social media staff provided customer care andappreciation and also did a bit of market research, and left me feeling positive aboutthe zoo.Create an editorial calendar that identifies who is publishing what for each socialmedia venue and stick to the calendar as much as possible. Success at social mediarequires persistence, consistency and time—sporadic, stop/start participation willnot build an audience.Step 5: Measure Success and Fine TuneNow that your social media program is in full swing, it is time to step back andmeasure to what you extent you are achieving the goals established in Step 1. Whilethere are a host of metrics that one can measure, in the end, you are seeking toascertain whether or not your social media program is helping to meet the goals youestablished. If your goal is to gather new product ideas, getting lots of attention toyour blog, re-tweets and mentions, or follows is nice, but the hard metric is howmany truly useful ideas you were able to glean. That said, some common metricsused to measure social media include:©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 10
    • Number of views Number of followers • Number of comments • Return traffic • Conversions • Number of positive mentions, retweets • Number of reviews posted • Number of active users • Amount of user generated content. • •These and other metrics serve as the pulse that helps measure the effectiveness ofyour program.Social media can serve a lot of purposes—it truly is powerful and flexible. ButYour Next Stepharnessing that power requires a laser focus on what you are trying to accomplish.If you keep putting off starting a social media program because you don’t have thetime or resources to develop that focus, Agile Business Logic can help.What I bring to the table is my background and expertise as both a businessexecutive and as a technologist. I have been using social media for years, haveimplemented it in my organizations, and can provide soup to nuts guidance andsupport in implementing a social media program. Contact me to discuss how I canhelp you get started with your social media program.©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 11
    • Marc Strohlein Principal Consultant Agile Business Logic mstrohlein@agilebusinesslogic.com Twitter ID: @mstrohleinAgile Business LogicPO Box 935El Granada, CA 94018650-766-1067www.agilebusinesslogic.com Agile Business Logic is dedicated to helping small and medium businesses exploit technology for competitive advantage, growth, and agility. We believe that technology exploitation that is tightly integrated with, and synergistic to, business strategy is critical to business success. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Agile Business Logic disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. ©2011 Agile Business Logic. All Rights Reserved 12