How to Build and Sustain Buzz Online


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I gave this presentation to Jeff Bieber's American University COMM 567 class (which is focused on "Communications and Social Change"). The class is in the progress of mapping out a sexual assault awareness/prevention campaign targeted to the American University campus and is having a variety of guest speakers join them on their journey. As someone always interested and previously very active with this issue, the experience could have not been more meaningful. Social Media is absolutely a tool in the tool belt for Social Change.

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  • How to Build and Sustain Buzz Online

    1. 1. Communications Manager American University // Communication & Social Change // January 27, 2009 Building and Sustaining Online Buzz
    2. 2. How To Scale What You Already Know and Do Friends, Families, Colleagues You Your COMM 567 Team Target Audience(s)
    3. 3. <ul><li>Big Picture </li></ul>
    4. 4. What My Company Does (and So Should/Can You) <ul><li>ANALYZE – Providing Intelligence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audits, Reporting, Analysis and Metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia Monitoring and Management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PROTECT – Helping Defend Your Issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring and Reputation Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis, Assessment and Strategic Response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PROMOTE – Moving Information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Public Relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engine Consulting and Optimization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grassroots Messaging </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. What is Social Media? (The “Duh” Question) <ul><li>Social media is a natural and logical extension of our nature as human beings to want to connect, share, learn and participate with one another </li></ul><ul><li>Just like in real life , traits like… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… authenticity, exclusivity and insight are valued </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… randomness and humor are enjoyed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… “ heavily lifts” are respected (i.e., ‘how’d they do that?’) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>What are you asking of your target audience(s)? </li></ul><ul><li>What are you offering in return? </li></ul>You Need to Be Able to Answer These Two Questions
    7. 7. <ul><li>There are over 10 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute </li></ul><ul><li>In a competitive, attention-based economy like the web, breaking through the noise is a challenge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include a call to action or reason to pass on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer the “what’s in it for me” proposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimize the channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Execute killer creative </li></ul></ul>Not All Videos are Capable of “Going Viral”
    8. 8. Be Aware of the Options, but Don’t Over-Commit
    9. 9. <ul><li>Why Social Media? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Why Social Media is a Must: In General, for Business and Life <ul><li>Lowers the transaction costs for individuals to organize, connect and discover </li></ul><ul><li>Corrects the asymmetry of information that often exists between brands, politicians, educators, consumers, students and constituents </li></ul><ul><li>Online tools are, at their core, simple and effective ; they help actualize things offline in a faster, more stream-lined way </li></ul><ul><li>The online space allows for social capital, links, resources and information to be exchanged, stored and referenced ad infinitum </li></ul><ul><li>Supports and amplifies your offline efforts </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why Social Media is a Must: Specifically, Your Campaign <ul><li>Talk to them on their turf, in their terms. College students have an unparalleled level of interest in, access to and participation with social/digital media. </li></ul><ul><li>Make your lives easier. Efficient way for you to store data and collaborate with your team. </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>Time to </li></ul><ul><li>Get Moving </li></ul>
    13. 13. The 6 Steps to Planning and Executing a Digital Campaign <ul><li>Set goals </li></ul><ul><li>Establish team roles </li></ul><ul><li>Brand and integrate campaign elements </li></ul><ul><li>Scope, research, understand task at hand </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate and select platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Document everything </li></ul>
    14. 14. #1 – What Does a Win Look Like? <ul><li>Basic metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Video views, comments and subscriptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook fans, Wall posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visitors and link-backs to your site and/or blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog and Twitter buzz – quantity and impressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tonal reaction (positive/negative) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benchmark reports (beginning/end; weekly/monthly) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Campaign-dependent metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Units sold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actions taken </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters, constituents, consumers, students or decision makers influenced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lasting, Google-able resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launching point for future efforts </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(some bloggers display this on their sites) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(set this up if you are running a site) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(compare and evaluate web traffic) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(check link backs by searching “link:URL”) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(check links, explore pages linking) </li></ul>#1 – Quantitative Tools to Gauge Success
    16. 16. #2 – Establish Team Roles <ul><li>Recommended roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Manager : Communicates on behalf of the campaign, under their own name, everywhere online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile Manager : Populates profiles with content; maintains and interacts continuously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand Manager : Ensures that message and aesthetics are consistent across entire campaign (on and offline) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyst : Tracks, records and reports on campaign successes; helps recalibrate where needed </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. #3 – Brand and Integrate On/Offline Efforts <ul><li>Brand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name the effort (use 1 to 4 words; consider fitting acronym); register for all online accounts under this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a logo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decide on a color palate/style guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write a mission statement and tagline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Store everything in the “cloud” (wiki, Google docs, Basecamp) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect what you are doing offline, online (and vice-versa) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lean on digital and social technologies to help you disseminate your message and connect with stakeholders </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. #4 – Scope, Research, Understand <ul><li>Scope the terms, issues and individuals you want to learn more about, engage and inform </li></ul><ul><li>Research the issues/people you are targeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google news and Google blog search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technorati blog search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Journal (tend to be most personal) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace (blog posts can be similar to LJ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand the people you want to reach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Message analysis (what resonates?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at “About” pages and bios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare to reach out over email, Facebook and/or Twitter </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. #5 – Evaluate and Select Platforms <ul><li>Suggested Options for Video </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube: Universal choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vimeo: Aesthetically awesome </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Viddler: Interaction through in-line comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qik: Real-time streaming for live reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key Platforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress, over Blogger, over Typepad </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider guest-posting on other blogs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. #5 – Evaluate and Select Platforms (cont’d) <ul><li>Visual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr (store photos, logos, sketches) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also Consider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace: If you think it makes sense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsite: Can customize WordPress as well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utterli: For capturing and publishing audio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friendfeed: Get all of your profiles into one place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digg and Stumbleupon: To get your content circulated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Campus website(s) (look to feature) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia (and other wikis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related cause sites (look to partner) </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. #6 – Document Everything You Do <ul><li>There are two stories at play here – find a way to tell both </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The one that you are working to articulate through the campaign itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The one that is the ‘behind-the-scenes’ / ‘making-of’ experience </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Nine </li></ul><ul><li>Buzz-Bui lding Tactics </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Direct engagement with bloggers can… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Produce valuable allies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote stories within targeted communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Springboard those stories to broader media attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build awareness among influentials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Direct engagement can also be done with other online influencers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter users and power users on key platforms (e.g., YouTube, digg  subscribe, circulate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook and Message Board administrators </li></ul></ul>Outreach Tactic: Engaging Bloggers to Build Base, Buzz
    24. 24. <ul><li>Engage the engaged </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politically active </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feminist and female bloggers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current AU students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduce your issue to new, but potentially interested audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide unique insights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it relevant for them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build meaningful relationships with those you encounter – it’s a small world </li></ul>Outreach Tactics (cont’d)
    25. 25. <ul><li>Tweet – The result of posting to Twitter; aim to have at least 2 – 5 per day </li></ul><ul><li>Followers – People on Twitter who have “friended” you; make sure that you have a balanced follower/following ratio </li></ul><ul><li>Following – People on Twitter who you find interesting and want to receive updates from </li></ul><ul><li>Search – Using http:// / allows you to discover conversations and outreach opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Twitterverse – Akin to the Blogosphere, but for Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>@ Message – A response or a message to a specific handle. When used at the beginning, it can be found under the replies tab (a sort of public “inbox”) </li></ul><ul><li>Hashtag – The # sign is used to denote a major topic (like tagging/categorizing on a blog); great for acute events like conferences, movies, launches and sales/promotions </li></ul><ul><li>DM – Direct Message, can send only to those following you (goes into your private Direct Message “inbox”) </li></ul>Twitter Tactics: Twitter Tools and Lingo
    26. 26. <ul><li>See what others are using </li></ul><ul><li>Ask around </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to start your own movement </li></ul>Twitter Tactic: Start a Hashtag Movement
    27. 27. Optimization Tactic: Setting-Up Profiles, Creating Content Descriptive title Tag, tag, tag, tag Use keywords in titles Don’t forget to set the Categories, Date and Location. Allow embedding! Similar tactics apply to blog posts, Flickr photos, etc.
    28. 28. Brand Tactic: Managing & Monitoring Your Brand <ul><li>Set up “Google Alerts” for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The brand you establish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related key words and concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider using a dashboard like Netvibes to stay organized </li></ul><ul><li>Check and register appropriate profile pages via User Name Check ( ) </li></ul>
    29. 29. Community Management Tactic: Display Impact (also: ‘dnc08’ and ‘debatehub’)
    30. 30. Advertising Tactic: Nano & Microtarget on Facebook
    31. 31. Design and Development Tactic: Crowdsource
    32. 32. New Media Strategies, Inc. Web: Address: 1100 Wilson Blvd Suite 1400 Arlington, VA 22209 <ul><li>Leslie A. Bradshaw </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] Phone: 703.253.0050 x 187 </li></ul></ul>