Welcome to our seminar tonight. Thank you to all those who are taking the time to join us, and my special thanks to our Executive Director Lynne Shaffer along with Corporate Education/Professional Development Officer Darlene Banogon for organizing these events. While we are going through the information I have put together, I would like you to be thinking about the objectives of your business or organization. Towards the end of my presentation, I will ask if anyone is willing to volunteer their organization as a test case to show how we develop a customized social media plan, and we will do that right here today. Please think about that.
Social media is a global term with many possibilities, but today we are primarily going to be talking about Facebook, and how it can be used to support your business or organization.
Who finds the whole concept of social media a little confusing? I can certainly relate. Social media is an umbrella term for the many innovative Web-based applications available today. The variety of uses for these applications are endless, including Internet forums and chat rooms, blogs, microblogs, wikis, podcasts, picture & video sharing, rating services, and more. As if that’s not confusing enough, add in the literally thousands of advertising services in one form or another which can be connected to these programs. With so many choices, it can be challenging to fully take advantage of the many social media marketing options. Just to clarify for us today, we agree that social media can refer to a variety of web-based applications. social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn online information sources like Wikipedia directory sites such as ZoomInfo search engines such as Google information dissemination services including Twitter video sharing sites like YouTube and many more.
Why are social media applications suddenly so popular? Wikipedia tells us that: Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues ... which I believe applies to most traditional advertising and much of our interpersonal communication... into social media dialogues... Maybe that’s part of the appeal. Within the social media realm, every one of us can speak as an equal, no matter what our age, gender, education, financial status, or class distinction.
Another quote from Wikipedia says that Social media supports the democratization of knowledge and information which allows all of us to move from content CONSUMERS to content PRODUCERS. This idea of information created and shared from the bottom up, rather than from the top down, might explain why some nations in the world are threatened by the free sharing of thoughts and ideas and continue to ban the use of Facebook and other networking sites.
Part of the lesson necessary to effectively use social media is understanding the speed at which knowledge is transmitted. It used to take weeks for a movie poorly-received by the public to see dropping sales at the box-office. Now, an entire nation can decide a movie’s prospects between the Thursday night premiere and the time the Monday morning TV news shares the highest-grossing films.
Twitter is another example of how quickly things happen in the virtual world - the February 2009 Compete.com blog entry ranked Twitter as the third most used social network based on their count of 6 million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits . I find it amazing to think that none of this existed prior to 2006.
Facebook is one of the most visible of all social media applications. Again from Wikipedia: Facebook is a social networking website launched in February 2004 that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc., with more than 500 million active users in July 2010.[N 1] I first began to hear about using the Internet as a marketing vehicle when I worked as a marketing consultant with Rogers Broadcasting in 2003, and it was not long after that the world was introduced to Facebook.
For those of us who work on behalf of our employers, community organizations or businesses we represent, Facebook can be a valuable tool for connecting us to larger networks of potential customers, volunteers, donors or others generally who share our beliefs. Whether we are ready for it or not... it’s time to learn some new tricks.
Contrary to my first impression, Facebook is not just for silly stuff like throwing sheep at people you’ve never met. Facebook, like many social media applications, can contribute to building a strong online brand and credible web presence for a person, business or organization. Here are some stats from http://www.marketingprofs.com Who's on Facebook? The average age of a Facebook user is 37. But all ages are well-represented, and in higher volumes than at other sites. Europe and the US lead the way. In August 2009, Europe scored the highest number of unique Facebook users (nearly 131 million), followed by North America (106.28 million). Ethnic minority groups in the US prefer Facebook. All minority groups sampled for a 2010 report use Facebook more than YouTube, MySpace and Twitter. Asian users are avid users. Although Asians in the US comprise the smallest ethnic user group identified in the survey (75.7% white; 15.8% Hispanic; 12.1% black; 2.9% Asian), they use the site almost 20% more than other minority groups. Now let’s look at some businesses and organizations who are successfully using Facebook.
Have any of you been keeping up with the Pepsi Refresh concept? Just in case you’ve been living in a cave for most of 2010, Pepsi has been running a contest which allows people to nominate, and then vote for, a do-good project. This description is on their website: “ We're looking for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact. Look around your community and think about how you want to change it....
The campaign was launched with a series of television commercials, driving visitors to the Pepsi website, which in turn directed you to find out more on Facebook.
The Pepsi Facebook page is filled with user-driven content; examples I found included requests to vote for a specific project, appreciation for support, even complaints about some of the glitches (most of which have seem to be resolved) about the software and voting processes.
Here Pepsi provides html code for web developers who can install the voting app on their own websites. As a business consultant, I understand clearly that this is a marketing campaign designed to support awareness and goodwill towards the Pepsi brand, but still it’s pretty impressive to see their offer: Up to $1.3 million will be awarded each month: 2 Grants at the $250,000 level; 10 Grants at the $50,000 level; 10 Grants at the $25,000 level; and 10 Grants at the $5,000 level. “
On the discussion page, Pepsi allows for what looks like ‘real’ conversation between ‘real’ people. This approach signals a shift that we have seen in the corporate communications world as even large business and institutional entities strive to build a ‘personality’ as part of their branding. In 1999, a book called the Clue train Manifesto stated that “Learning to speak in a human voice is not some trick, nor will corporations convince us they are human with lip service…they will only sound human when they empower real human beings to speak on their behalf.” I believe that this environment of open, and (mostly) uncensored dialogue is one of the unexpected gifts of the growth of social media.
One of the ways that Facebook supports an interactive dialogue is by allowing the option of multiple users to post comments, tag photos and add links to outside sources such as Youtube and Flickr. Administrators can choose some general settings for who is allowed to post, and what can be posted., and of course any inappropriate posts can be deleted.
Pepsi brings us back, ultimately, to the home website where we can find out about the featured winners and see evidence of the grant money in action.
Here’s another business that is using the free Facebook applications to full advantage. Tim Hortons is a well known Canadian brand of coffee shops, and here is how they use Facebook to connect with their community. Their pages feature an evolving mix of promotions, photos and user-generated videos and an interactive dialogue with their more than 1 million Facebook ‘fans’.
They seize every opportunity to tell their corporate story....
Create opportunities for interaction with their customers and invite real world testimonials....
Put a positive spin on recruitment ....
and connect with specific consumer demographics.
The video page features the official Tim Horton’s promotional videos, but easy uploads ensure some home grown acting talent from outside contributors as well.
In the discussion page, I believe an effort is made to build trust and relationship by encouraging honest dialogue. Although I am sure they monitor these posts fairly closely, like Pepsi it doesn’t appear that they are filtering comments to show only positive feedback in an effort to maintain the illusion of a flawless corporate image. Not all of us have either the time, the know-how or the money to invest in social media and Facebook like Pepsi and Tim Horton's do. But let’s take a look at EWI Lethbridge member Twyla Fisher to see what is possible using the free DIY tools offered by Facebook.
Using the Facebook create a page function whereby businesses or organizations can create a Facebook entity, Twyla built her Mortgages by Twyla section to showcase her mortgage brokerage and build a network of followers made up of friends, clients and prospects. Twyla started off with a great opening page and a custom look that she created.
Here, Twyla connects to clients, friends and potential customers with brief comments and industry updates on the Mortgages by Twyla wall
She connects with others and builds a sense of community by sharing photos and creating links to community events
And provides a link to an external blog where readers can get more in depth information on housing markets, interest rates, and other news of interest to potential home buyers
So far we have only looked at the free Facebook offerings. What about Facebook advertising? Advertising on networking sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn can provide some unique benefits over traditional mainstream advertising, such as : to allow for monitoring the effectiveness of each channel provide ongoing activity reports and user demographics to target audiences by demo- or psycho-graphics and/or geographic regions to deliver revised content over time which allows the advertiser to maximize both impressions and click-thru rates, delivering greater effectiveness and accountability.
For example, in providing project management support for the 2010 International Peace Pow Wow and Miss Blackfoot Canada pageant my firm was able to increase awareness and participation substantially by using targeted Facebook applications. The association received 120% more inquiries about the pageant than the year before, and because of this heightened visibility my firm was able to secure thousands of dollars of new corporate sponsorship and media support.
Another example of a successful Facebook campaign is the Tourism marketing strategy for the town of Cardston, set less than 20 miles north of the US-Canada border and approximately 3 hours south of Calgary.
On behalf of the town of Cardston, a Facebook advertising campaign was launched this spring targeting geographic areas and user profiles who were expected to share interest in the Seabiscuit story. Combined with a PR and blogger campaign, this event attracted over 800 people from the US and Canada to attend the statue unveiling, and achieved press coverage as far as away as the India Times and international magazine The Horse.com. All that for a small town in southern Alberta with a population of only 3500 people.
Is there a downside to social media? Of course, and Facebook certainly has attracted it’s share of controversy. If you need a laugh, check out the Failbook site, featuring the funniest of the Facebook bloopers and social faux pas, magnified on the Facebook stage. Of course the original posts showed the users name and photo.
Was this guy dating my daughter? Grrr...
Don’t you hate it when you have one of those brain-dead moments with a bunch of people watching...
Does this demonstrate why we have workplace policies that restrict the use of Facebook?
Has anyone else ever heard that it’s better for your marriage to not go to bed angry?
Here is another example of what some might consider either the best or the worst of viral marketing. This young man was frustrated and annoyed by what he thought was his father’s never ending stream of negative, critical, and ignorant statements. Whether to release his frustration or to get back at his dad by secretly humiliating him, the young man began posting some of the most biting of his father’s comments, verbatim, on a blog he called “shit my dad says”. Somehow, this blog struck a chord with others who found the running satire a refreshing change from more politically correct web banter. Notice that now that he has over a million daily readers, he has started referring to his dad as ‘awesome’.... and many of you may have heard that CBS is launching a TV pilot this fall with William Shatner playing the dad....
Well... it’s not all fun and games unfortunately, and there certainly is potential for liability when using social media. Individuals may have concerns about privacy and confidentiality of personal information, while organizations typically want to monitor outgoing messages for suitability and adherence to branding, minimize risks to the reputation of the organization, and honouring diverse community or industry alliances. Now, is there someone who would be willing to go though a brief discussion using your business or organization as an example?
Can you describe briefly what kind of organization you represent? Who are your consumers, or perhaps more globally, your stakeholders? This could include customers but also volunteers, staff, vendors, directors, funders or other community alliances. Can you tell me the kinds of interaction you share with these groups?
So, we are almost ready to wrap things up. Is there a on-size-fits all package that works for everyone? No. The best mix of social media resources for any business or organization will depend on: Specific objective s and goals The target demographic The skills of available staff, volunteers or contractors And…. The Budget
Here’s a quote from my friend and a brilliant marketing strategist, Allen Gibson who says: So what do we have today? SO many corporations, and small businesses, racing as fast as they can to jump on the social media bandwagon, while still spouting the same soothing clichés of old fashioned marketing. Still trying to force their information down your throat with no real mechanism in place to answer you even if you did want to talk to them. Doing ‘social media’ without being willing to BE social is going to look pretty dumb somewhere down the line, people. I think that the most important component of social media is the people, and encourage you to think about using social media as a way of building, communicating with, and staying connected to, your own communities.
A Social Media MarketingPresentationprepared exclusively for
social media mobile apps blogging Twitter marketing community engagement corporate communications Wordpress permission marketing YouTubeFacebook non profit collaboration 2
The World of Facebook:The Potential, The Pitfalls,and How To Make It WorkFor Your Organization
Facebook: How It Can Help Support Your Business What is Social Media? (A brief... ) History of Facebook Why Use Social Media? Creating Facebook Marketing & Promotions Free vs Paid Facebook Advertising and Promotion Using Facebook to generate exposure and support from media andother community partners Risk management for organizations and businesses using social media Additional user-friendly tools for viral marketing and promotion Question period
What is Social Media?1. Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media2. media that is created to be shared freely en.wiktionary.org/wiki/social_media3. A category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, social news sites like Digg or Reddit, and other sites that are centered on user interaction. searchenginewatch.com/define 5
Social Mediauses Internet and web-basedtechnologies to transformbroadcast media monologues (one to many)
into social media dialogues (many to many). * Wikipedia
Social media gives ustools to plant the seedof an idea... and then stand back and watch it grow... 9
Facebook is a social networking website that is operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc.Since September 2006, anyone over the age of 13 with a valid e-mail address (and not residing in one of the countries where it is banned) can become a Facebook user. Users can add friends and send them messages,and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves. * Wikipedia
Along with maximizing all of the no-charge socialmedia options, a paid social media advertisingcomponent can provide a high-return advertisingoption.There are literally thousands of cost-effective web-based advertising applications, including GoogleAdWords, and the highly targetable options availableon Facebook and LinkedIn.
Risk Management for Social Media• Do you have a communications policy that spells out who, and underwhat circumstances, speaks on behalf of your business or group?• Do you have more than one person responsible for updating socialmedia accounts which represent your organization?• Are the sign in codes and passwords kept in a secure location?• Do you have a policy for the type, tone, and frequency of your socialmedia communications?• Does at least one other person in your organization have the authorityto ‘pull the plug’ in the event of a communications crisis?
ResourcesFacebook learning guides:Web development support tools• http://developers.facebook.com/docs/guides/webFAQs about Facebook Pages for business and organizations• http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904Facebook safety and security• http://www.facebook.com/help/?section=apps#!/help/?safetyOther resources:Twitter.comWordpress.com
Do you have any questions aboutFacebook or any other social media?
Final thoughts from Allen Gibson of StarMedia:So what do we have today? SO many corporations, andsmall businesses, racing as fast as they can to jump on thesocial media bandwagon, while still spouting the samesoothing clichés of old fashioned marketing. Still trying toforce their information down your throat, with no realmechanism in place to answer you even if you did want totalk to them.Doing ‘social media’ without being willing to BE social isgoing to look pretty dumb somewhere down the line, people.