Good Morning and welcome to getting started with social media. In the next 50 minutes, I’m going to try to cram in as much info as possible. We are going to discuss what social media is, dispel some myths surrounding social media, go over the steps to creating a social media plan including tools and then we will finish up going through an actual social media strategy that I have created for a client.
Compare an ice cream shop to the Good Humor truck
- OK, let’s wake you up here. I want to see a show of hands of the people that believe this myth. Come on don’t be shy. - This CAN be true, but only if you allow it. I’ve been guilty of procrastinating on Twitter. - I find the best way to avoid the time suck is to set goals and create a strategy to achieve those goals. - Build it into your routine. Take 5 minutes in the morning, 5 before lunch and 5 at the end of the day.
The demographics are shifting as to who is using social networks According to PR Week in Dec 2009 - 70% of women over 50 report using social media sites
This myth has died down a bit, but it still exists. At its core, social media is not a fad, the tools may be just look at MySpace, but the 2 way conversations are here to stay.
Would you allow an intern to be charge of your sales or PR efforts? How about customer service? They can be useful in helping to set up accounts and training, but you cannot leave the messaging to them
I’ve seen this school of thought a lot lately “Just use Facebook as your Web site” You need a hub that you can control and will be available when you need it. Twitter and Facebook have outages and they are free, so they have no liability to you
Now I’m hoping you can put the objections behind you or take them back to your boss. I have given you a total of 10 of these myths in the handout. Let’s talk about how to get started with this social media thing. Ready?
Social media should not stand on its own, it needs to be integrated into your marketing plan. Therefore you have to know what is and is not working with your current plan. What campaigns are you running that you could extend with social media?
Now why do I say audiences? It’s because you are almost always communicating to different groups of people whether you know it or not. You have prospects and you have current clients. You may communicate your marketing message to each of these groups differently. Also do you have partners? You may need to include them in your communications. Others to consider are the media, investors, your community You may also have very different messages for each of these audiences. Knowing this information makes it easier to choose the correct tools.
You can learn a lot through listening to online conversations. If you do nothing else after what we talk about this morning, please set up Google Alerts. Anyone using Google Alerts or some other listening tool here? Listening gives you the advantage of using your resources, both time and money, wisely, by letting you know where your target audience is talking, and what they a re saying. This means you can target your audience where they spend their time and engage them appropriately
It is time to build your tool box of social media tools. I want to add one major disclaimer at this point. Keep in mind that these are tools and the real key to succeeding in social media is the relationship you build in with your target audience. With that said let’s discuss some of the tools that facilitate the conversation.
People often think of the Facebook and Twitter which are more mainstream and we will discuss them more in a few minutes, but wanted to give you a glimpse of some other options. Again, these don’t cover everything, but give you a feel for what is out there. Through monitoring you may discover some of these make more sense for your target audience than even the mainstream ones.
I’m a big fan of a corporate blog even though it can be difficult to keep up with. The reason I’m a fan is that it gives you a hub for all information you want to communicate with your community. In a crisis you can post info here and then use your other tools to point people back to the hub. To reach different audiences, you may want to set up different blogs on different topics. Consider a team approach. Companies with multiple blogs include: Zappos, IBM I even manage 2: one on my site for news and event info and then my thought leadership one over at marketingroadhouse.com
Through monitoring you may discover some influencers in your industry that have their own blogs. You may want to consider an outreach program to those bloggers. Like other pitches, make sure the pitch is relevant to what they write about and make them personal. You do not want to get on their bad side so they blog bad things about you including a bad pitch. It happens. You can also comment on posts to offer insight and opinions. There may even be an opportunity to advertise.
While Facebook is the 500 lb gorilla there are many other social networks out there and a lot specifically target audiences. For example, Eons is a social network for baby boomers In addition to pages, you can have ads and applications
Twitter is a microblogging service that limits your posts to 140 characters. Information can be shared in real time and is a very quick response system for companies to take advantage of. It can be used for: thought leadership, selling (Dell outlet has sold $3 million on Twitter), customer service (Comcast), and listening.
Another way to think about Lifestreaming is as an aggregator of all your social media activities. As you can see you can pull all of your social media activity into one spot. Posterous is a little different, but I thought I would throw it in since it is one of the topics later today that you may be interested in learning more about it.
These are hot newcomer that has some opportunities for small business. Using a GPS enable smart phone you check in at locations and collect points and badges. Businesses can offer discounts for the Mayor of their establishment
Maybe you have an highly engaged audience that it makes sense to create your own social network. Here is a list of the kind of audiences that may do well with a social network. By allowing users to engage with each other and share information you are provided added value to them. You can moderate and engage as well, but the users will most likely make the network all their own.
Widgets by nature are vital and interactive in that people are able to share them and add them to their own site or profile. Many widgets are entertainment based, but companies are beginning to embrace these as a viral source of advertising. Think of them as a small application that will allow your audience to interact with your brand.
YouTube video streams top 1.2/billion per day. Between the Flip video camera and now the new iPhone video cameras are almost as common as digital cameras where ever you may go. I could have broken this into different categories, but I tend to lump these together. Your options here are pretty much limitless and can start off by multimedia elements produced by you, but can also become user-created through responses and contests. These things do not have to be professionally produced and even if so, they shouldn’t appear to be. The audience likes real and authentic and are now turned off when it appears too polished. Some videos take on a life of their own (blend-tec) Have fun and give a human face/voice to your brand. Give insights into your company, your employees, how your product/service is made, events.
One thing social media has brought us is the ability for our clients to provide us with feedback and in turn influence the product and/or service. When Dell entered into social media, they knew they had a perception problem. They went out and admitted the problem and asked for feedback. The response was positive and better yet, Dell reacted to the feedback. Ideastorm gives the community a chance to recommend features and services and then others vote the ideas up. In return, Dell takes these items into consideration and lets the community know how and if it will be implemented. Starbucks does this as well and know it is even a service built into Salesforce.com You can even think beyond customers and use it to internally with staff for ideas ranging from HR benefits to product development.
A social media newsroom is basically your online newsroom for both prospects, clients and the press. You can post press releases and other news items here. In addition you can provide other resources that the media and bloggers may find useful such as logos, executive bios, and company backgrounders. If a blog isn’t for you, this could become your hub for responses. Not only can you reach out to the press, but you can also go directly to the public ensuring your message is delivered as you intended.
Now you know your audience, your message and tools you are going to use so now you need to set some goals so you have something to measure against to determine if it is working or not. These goals do not need to be tied to financials.Some other goals can include driving more Web site traffic, meeting new partners and other people either in your geographical area or area of expertise. Thought leadership which can lead to referrals and clients is something else you can get out of your social media efforts. Whatever your goals are, you need to have them because it will help define how you use each tool and how you know whether or not to continue.
Taking everything you have done up to hear, you begin to decide how you will use each tool and whether for a campaign or ongoing Will you use multiple tools for the same campaign or goal.
So now it’s time to get busy and start executing your strategy. Plan your work and work your plan.
As you go, you are going to want to continue to monitor for mentions of you company, product, competition and industry. The best advantage to monitoring your industry is that it gives you great links and news to share on social networks.
Constantly analyze how you are doing compared to the goals you set. Is there something you can change to get the results you want or is it time to abandon ship. You will find as you spend more time with each tool, your goals and expectations may change because you discover something you weren’t expecting. You may also change how you use the tools and your strategy. I know I found this to be true as I gained followers on Twitter and was able to become more conversational.
Getting Started in Social Media
Beth Schillaci Getting Started With Social Media