Anna Osgoodby J412 E Book

603 views
574 views

Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
603
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
18
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Anna Osgoodby J412 E Book

  1. 1. Small Business and Start-ups How to Float Above the Competition With Social Media. Strategic Social Media Marketing E-Book By: Anna Osgoodby
  2. 2. Social Media Overview: Social media has become an inescapable new step of technology. It seems like every company is jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of free marketing to their customers. You’re part of a start-up or small business and you’re pretty excited about the new technology too, but are not a company that has been around for decades or has thousands of employees, How are you supposed to benefit from social media? I’m here to tell you that although you may not have the resources that larger companies do, you too can benefit! Social media has allowed for companies to interact with their customers and build personal relationships. If you follow my simple guidelines on the following pages you can begin to start reaching out and build trusting relationships online and reach potential customers. Picture courtesy of: http://megroberts.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/global-comm.jpg
  3. 3. Why Should You Care? Start-up and small businesses can actually use social media to their advantage over larger companies. Although resources may be smaller, so is the audience base, which allows you to interact more intimately with your customers and meet their needs. If you are a start-up company, then you are probably pretty excited about your company and want to make sure that everybody knows how great you are going to be! It is this enthusiasm that often drives small businesses that gives you a one up on the competition. You are also less likely to have a national crisis that puts your brand in jeopardy, so you can focus closer on relationship building. There are a number of reasons why social media can benefit your company. Just like other marketing techniques, social media is a process that does not happen overnight and there is a process that needs to take place for effective management. Picture courtesy of: John Thurm http://www.flickr.com/photos/thurm/929076308/
  4. 4. Where do You Start? Start Your Research: The first part of your research involves figuring out your target audience. The authors of the book “Groundswell” came up with a ladder for social technographics based on how users interact with social media. The ladder breaks users into categories of creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives. You can find detailed information about each category at http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/ladder.html It is from these categories that you can then decide which mediums would act as the best tactics to interact with your audience. To find out where your target audience fits within the ladder check out an application that the authors created at http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/profile_ tool.html Picture courtesy of: http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell
  5. 5. Limit Outlets: Choose Mediums: After figuring out your target audience social technographics you can see who they interact with social media. Now it is time to decide what mediums you are going to start to monitor the conversation with. You may have found out that your audience is largely made up of critics and that they actively read blogs, contribute to online forums and read wikis. You would then want to focus on managing different forms of these mediums. Be Realistic: There are not enough hours in the day to manage every social medium so make sure you limit those that you will be observing and interacting to a manageable number. Monitor the mediums and decide upon the ones that seem to have the most engagement to the audience you want to reach. Picture courtesy of: Chris Dessi http://christopherdessi.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/web2_logos.jpg
  6. 6. Guidelines and Ethics: Setting Objectives: What are your objectives? What does your brand want to achieve by using social media? Do you want to create brand awareness, build trusting relationships or reach new potential customers? Make sure you are very specific in what your objectives are. Setting Guidelines: This is where you answer the 5 W’s who, what, when, why, where and how •Who is going to be in charge of managing your company’s social media? •What is your priority for responding to posts? •When will you set aside time to be involved? •Why do your guidelines support your objectives? •How are you going to measure the results of your efforts? Use detailed answers for each question so that you have a descriptive social media plan. Make sure to be realistic with the plan as well. You cannot respond to every post so how will you prioritize the most urgent posts? It is also important to decide how you will respond to possible negative responses or crisis. Setting Ethics: Form a set of ethical practices that your company promises to maintain with your customers. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) created a code that can be used as a guide for your ethics. http://womma.org/ethicscode/code/
  7. 7. Authenticity and Transparency These are two key terms in social media that need to be understood to make sure that your company is a social media do and not a don’t. Authenticity: This goes hand in hand with ethical practices. Follow your code of ethics and make sure you are being truthful. If you say that the CEO of your company writes the blogs, then make sure that is the case. Transparency: This is the degree to which an organization shares with stakeholders publics: leaders, employees, values, culture, business results, and business strategies. This is critical in social media because it is not a choice. If you try to hide something online it will be found out. So, it is much better to be honest on social media from the beginning even during times of crisis. We’re all human and mistakes happen, but people are more forgiving of the situation if you are honest from the beginning, than if a blogger exposes the truth.
  8. 8. Listen: You’ve picked the mediums you are going to use, written your guidelines and ethics and now you are ready to move on to listening. This step is critical to your involvement in social media because it is important to understand the conversations that are already happening about your brand and in your industry. There are a number of free tools to help you monitor the conversation. Some of the more popular are: •Google Alerts •Google Blog Search •Bloglines •Board Reader •Board Tracker •Twitter Search •Yacktracker •Social Mention Explore different tools for tracking your brand and pick a couple of your favorites to pay attention to the tone of conversations. Picture courtesy of: http://www.toastmasterjunkie.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/listen-ear-evaluator
  9. 9. Logistics: By listening to the conversation, you have found that out of the sources your audience use most, that mediums x, y, and z seem to be the most active. Now it’s time to decide if it makes sense for your company to be involved in those mediums. Ask yourself the following questions: •Will customers benefit from our brand being on these web sites? •How are we going to interact with people authentically without pushing our brand on them? Picture courtesy of: Matt Hamm http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthamm/2945559128/
  10. 10. Responding: The time has finally come! You have spent all of your time up until now researching, planning, and observing and it is finally time to jump into social media. The first step to being involved is to respond to conversations about your brand and industry already taking place. David Alston outlines 10 things to listen for when responding at: http://www.radian6.com/blog/80/top-10-reasons-brands- should-listen-to-social-media/ 1.) The complaint 6.) The crisis 2.) The compliment 7.) The competitor 3.) The problem 8.) The crowd 4.) The question 9.) The influencer 5.) The campaign impact 10.) The point of need These are a good start for what you should be listening to and reacting to. These questions can be used in conjunction with your guidelines for priority of responding to posts that you developed earlier Picture courtesy of: WoofBC http://www.flickr.com/photos/remcat/868525370/
  11. 11. Build a Community: As you continue to respond to customers you can also start reaching out on other outlets. A good way to do this is to start reading blogs that are of interest to you and your industry. This is where a RSS feeder like bloglines comes in handy! Subscribe to the RSS feeds of blogs you enjoy and spend some time reading. Don’t just read, add to the conversations by commenting on the content without pitching your company. This will add to your authentic- ity and show that you are genuinely interested. You will also build your network of followers, which will lead up to the next step Picture courtesy of: Ryan Icus http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanicus/2412829208/
  12. 12. Participate: You’ve started to build a following. You’ve built trusting relationships with current customers by responding to them and you have reached out to people who may be interested in your company’s services. Now it is time to share your story. A great way to do this is by starting a blog. Make this fun! Show that your brand is personable and is interested in best serving its customers. This is your opportunity to talk about your- selves and the goal of your company. Even better, now that you have gained a following people are going to be interested in what you have to say. Two easy ways to start a blog are through Blogger or Wordpress blogging web sites Pictures courtesy of: http://www.interessiert.at/pics/eblogger.GIF and http://en.flossmanuals.net/floss/
  13. 13. Maintaining Relationships: You’re active in responding to your customers, you are commenting on other social media within your industry, and you’ve started to share your own story. Now is the last critical step in an effective social media plan, maintaining relationships. You’ve spent countless hours building a reputation in the social media sphere and now is time to make sure you are actively maintain- ing current and future relationships. Be relevant to your customer needs and make sure that your strategy keeps their interests in mind with your objectives. How can you reach out to cus- tomers and help them achieve their goals? As your network grows you may have to revalu- ate your original guidelines for time manage- ment and involvement. Before you can continue to reach out to new customers it is important to make sure that you are still taking care of your current customers! Picture courtesy of: http://www.lifemultimedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/connected.gif
  14. 14. Sources: Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nateryan/1090455042/ http://megroberts.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/global-comm.jpg http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell http://christopherdessi.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/web2_logos.jpg http://www.toastmasterjunkie.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/listen-ear-evaluator http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthamm/2945559128/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/remcat/868525370/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanicus/2412829208/ http://www.interessiert.at/pics/eblogger.GIF http://en.flossmanuals.net/floss/ http://www.lifemultimedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/connected.gif Content: J 412 Lecture http://strategicsocialmedia.wordpress.com/ http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/ladder.html http://www.forrester.com/Groundswell/profile_tool.html http://womma.org/ethicscode/code/ http://www.radian6.com/blog/80/top-10-reasons-brands-should-listen-to-social http://altitudebranding.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/gettingafootholdinsocialmedia. pdf http://www.graymatterminute.com/2009/03/24/corporate-social-media-v-small-business- social-media/ Strategic Social Media Marketing E-Book By: Anna Osgoodby

×