Social media is another communications strategy, like advertising, PR and interactive; it’s not a silver bullet It should be part of an overall communications plan, not a blot-on of tactics. If anyone ever says to you, “we need a Facebook strategy,” run. That would be like saying “we need a telephone strategy” -- it’s focusing on the technology, not the problem you’re trying to solve. What you may, or may not, need is a social media strategy that compliments an overall communications strategy.
Just because social media is global, don’t think it’s one-size-fits-all-countries. Think Glocal, as Thomas Friedman said. Facebook, with its 400 million users, is the most popular social network in the US; however, 70% of them are outside the U.S. The most popular social network in China is QQ; It’s Skyrock in France; Orkut in India and Brazil; and Cyworld in South Korea. Of the 200 million blogs out there, every language has its most popular and influential bloggers
In traditional marketing theory, it’s taught there are 4 P’s: Product, price, place and promotion. What I’d like to share with you are the 4 P’s of social media.
Engagement is more than just impressions or awareness, and it’s not just between the company and consumer. It has the essence of commitment - a conversation, a photo upload of your product, a purchase. Endorsement is a recommendation - someone telling someone else, hey, I think you should buy this. And it can be measured -- Net Promoter Score. Evangelism is advocacy. It’s people selling other people for you. It’s heavily opinionated, repeated endorsement. Naturally, this will look like a funnel in terms of number of people -- engage with lots of the right people; some will endorse; and some of the endorsers will become evangelists. The platforms are the digital “locations” that facilitate all this activity -- Facebook, blogs, Forums, Twitter.
There are an absurd number of platforms out there today that your company could -- could -- use to engage with your audiences. And who knows what other platforms will be around next year! Instead, we like to think of platforms this way...
We have 5 principles we abide by -- think of them as filters for your social media ideas. As I describe these to you, I’m going to use the metaphor of a party -- imagine your at a party at someone’s. It’s a big party, so you don’t know many people there.
At a party, don’t you hate the people that just talk about themselves. A better way to make friends is to focus on the person you’re talking to. In the social media space, you have to make your social media content about your audience, not about you or your products/services. We have an 80/20 rule -- it’s ok to talk about yourself 20% of the time, but the other 80% you need to be giving your audience useful, relevant content Content that makes them smarter, gives them a reason to share it and helps them do their jobs or live their lives better.
So at the party, you want to meet some interesting people. Would you stand there and wait for interesting people to come to you? Or would you yell, “Hey interesting people, I’d like to meet you.” No. You’d walk around and find groups of people to talk to. This is a big mistake companies make by trying to bring their audiences to them. Instead, fish where the fish are. Find out where your audiences are already discussing your company, products or services, and contribute to those conversations first.
Do you like to talk to dull people at a party? Or people that are “on message”, trying to sell you something? Well your audience doesn’t like they either. They don’t want to spend time talking to a dull, lifeless website or Facebook page, and they don’t like being “sold to.” You have to commit to being active and authentic -- you have to have a real human being engaging in conversations using real, everyday language, not corporate speak.
When you leave this party, who are the people you think you’ll remember the most? Is it the countless people who you just shake hands with? Or is it the people you really engage with? In the social media space, it’s better to collect hearts and minds than eyeballs. Being engaging -- being memorable -- means action and emotion. Rate this product. Share this photo. Comment on this video. Tell us what you think and why.
Finally, when you leave the party, if you met some interesting, engaging people, you might want to talk to them again - outside the party. So you get a business card or email address. The same holds in the social media space. After you connect with people, you need to build ways to collect information from them that will make your next interaction with them more personal and special.
Our last P is process. Getting involved in the social media space involves three steps:
Primary research to identify the following: Qualitative conversations about a brand and its competitors: Themes, Tonality, Words and phrases used to describe the brand(s) Quantitative conversations about a brand and its competitors: Platforms (online, mobile, other), Volume “ Passionate Talkers”: People talking most passionately about your category (not necessarily your brand).
Part 1: A corporate social media policy. Part 2: A monitoring & response plan: Daily monitoring of key words; immediate reporting of negative issues with recommendations that outline when, why, and how to respond; a weekly highlights; and monthly reports showing key metrics Part 3: A proactive engagement plan. A plan that details objectives, success metrics, audiences, strategies, tactics, budget and timeline
Scott Monty is the head of global social media for The Ford Company. His blog, although technically not a “corporate blog” has thousands of readers, and he has more than 40,000 twitter followers. Scott engages in conversations with people on his blog and Twitter, talking about social media and about Ford. Element 14 is a information portal and Community specifically built for electronic design engineers; owned by UK company called Premier Farnell, a distribution and specialty services for electronic design engineers throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. What’s great about this example is that the community encourages the sharing of engineering documents, events, and other content important to electronic design engineers. It’s part resource library, part conference, and part party for electronic design engineers. And Premier Farnell gets all the credit from current and potential customers for setting up this site. One of the best customer service examples is Best Buy, an online and offline electronic retailer. They’ve made it so easy to get help, whether it’s from Twelpforce, their legion of thousands of employees on Twitter empowered to answer customer questions, to community forums that allow customers to help themselves to a “support portal” that’s a little like wikipedia for their products. Finally, Tremor, which is service created by Proctor and Gamble that leverages the insights and word of mouth of 500,000 moms. P&G initially created it to gain insights to make better products, but now it has turned into a full-fledged business service that helps them (and other companies) come up with great new product ideas and then spread those products through word of mouth.
Win. New. Markets. With Social Media May 19, 2010 Jeff Risley VP Social Media
Source: Forrester Talking 2-way conversations with & among audiences Energizing Enabling engagers to endorse and evangelize Supporting Customer service (company or peer to peer) Embracing Co-creation & crowd-sourcing to innovate
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