How Online Communities And Social Media Work Together


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  • Hello everybody and welcome to our webinar: How Online Communities and Social Media Work Together - Post, Like, Tweet, Repeat Today I’m going to talk about How Online Communities and Social Media can be used together with a strategy that focuses each social channel on what it does best and in a way that complements each other
  • So, as we get started…
  • We will be taking questions during the webinar via the control panel and via Twitter but answering questions at the end. So, if you have a question, no need to hold on to it, just ask away and we’ll queue them up at the end.If you’re using twitter for questions, the hash tag for this webinar is #swlwebinarAnd if you’d like more information, on our online community platform or what we talked about today, you can visit our website, follow us on twitter, email us, or give us a call.
  • My name is Michael Wilson and I’m the CEO & Founder of Small World LabsSmall World Labs helps organizations increase online engagement with their constituents with our Online Community Platform and Community Engagement ProgramWe’ve created over 100 communities and focus on creating “communities that work”. For us, a community that works is one that helps its organization achieve its goals, whether they be new referrals, online engagement or increasing revenue
  • And here are some of the Non-Profits, Associations, and Businesses we’ve worked with
  • We’ve put together a lot of information for this webinar and plan to cover:The Guiding Principles of EngagementSocial Media Strengths & WeaknessOnline Community Strengths & WeaknessesHow Online Communities & Social Media Work TogetherThen we’ll look at some Set up Basics:Social Media Account - Set Up BasicsOnline Community - Set Up BasicsThen we’ll look at the day to day management activities with a focus on:Leading, Curating, Sharing & MeasuringReview some ExamplesAnd finish up with Q&A
  • The Guiding Principles of Engagement
  • The first principle is that deeper engagement leads to an increase in desired actions & outcomesThe greater mindshare and mental footprint you have with your constituents, the more relevant you are to them and the more likely they are to take additional steps and actions. While the targeted outcomes and actions vary from organization to organization, whether they be:RetentionReferralsDonationsPurchases Or other outcomes the correlation between engagement and action is a strong.
  • Second:There are multiple factors that influence how people participate and respond to communication
  • And lastly,Deeper engagement is best achieved with a cohesive and broad set of communication and participation options
  • Today we are focusing on Online Communities and Social Media as avenues for increasing engagement. We’ll look at both options, and their strengths and weaknessesFirst – Social Media (and for the purposes of this presentation, when we talk about Social Media, we are referring to the use of 3rd party social sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn)
  • A strength that social media channels have is their reach. Facebook has over 500 million membersTwitter – 200 million usersLinkedIn - 100 million membersThey are also easy to use and updateAnd because of this, social media channels can serve as great awareness tools and acquisition points to drive people to targeted initiatives
  • However, with Social Media, to create that awareness, you have to be active constantly.Setting up shop is not enough.As an example, if you look at the number of fans or likers that the average Facebook Page has,Less than 1% of their followers actually go to the Organization’s PageIn order to use this social channel, you need to continually provide updates to potentially appear in your followers’ steams.Moreover, with FB’s new default activity stream display based on Top Newsvs Most Recent there is a higher probability that simple updates aren’t appearing on your followers streams.There are ways to impact this and we’ll go over them later. But… net-net, you still have to do work to get engagement
  • Social Media Sites also have other weaknesses.As mentioned in the previous slide, you have to compete for attention with all of the other accounts your followers are connected toIt’s easy to confuse official & non-official accounts. For example, if you search for Scottish Rite in LinkedIn you get 11 groups. American Heart Association – 42 groups. Which ones are official and which ones are rogue offshoots?Each social media channel is set up for a specific purpose. They do what they do well, but it’s difficult to adjust and customize them.The underlying member data that is provided via the social media site is owned and retained by the social network, not your organization.There is little to no impact on main website’s SEOThe terms & conditions & use policies can change at any timeAdding updates & content is primarily the responsibility of your organizationAs a user, it’s often difficult to find what you are looking for. There little sense of permanency:Twitter: search goes back only 7-10 days, sometime shorterFacebook: Page posts up to 30 before needing to click load more. Search results are constrained by connections.And finally, there is a sense of creating independent audiences on each social media site that needs to be served individually
  • And now for online communities
  • With online communities, the strengths are that:While people are on your online community, you have 100% mindshareIt’s the unquestionable official community as exhibited by branding & inclusion with your main websiteThe experience and capabilities are customized and tailored to your specific audienceThe data that is provided into your community is owned by your organization and can be used to better target your communications efforts and service offeringsYou control the terms and conditions for the communityAnd its easier to find quality content and experts. In a community there is greater content permanence and availability (things are searchable, more broadly available to everyone, filterable and don’t roll off a front page activity stream)
  • But they also have their weaknesses. People have to go to or join your online community (the reason I say “go to” or “join” is that communities can be open, closed, or both)People need to be interested in the topic or purpose of your community versus being able to casually browse your organization’s updates in a stream mixed with a number of updates from other connectionsThey have direct costs for the technology. - Basic accounts on FB, Twitter, & YouTube are free. But one thing to point out in regards to cost, is the people component. Engaging on social media sites and your online community require staff time & time is a costAnd finally…. care & feeding - Communities tend to have a higher engagement level per member and that requires more involvement on your part. Not just simpleupdates, but also adding content, highlighting content, facilitating connections, answering questions and things like that…
  • And now for the interesting part… How Online Communities & Social Media Work Together
  • When we reviewed Social Media Sites & Online Communities individually, they each had their strengths and weaknessesReach vs. DepthPartial vs. Total MindshareOfficial vs. NotGeneral vs. CustomizedEtc.
  • But when you combine them together, each channel’s strengths complements the other’s weaknesses
  • And furthermore, there is a way to use these seemingly disparate social channels together to produce integrated social engagementIn short:Taking the content and discussions that are created in your communityCurating them– by curate, we mean reviewing the activity and selecting the most valuable content and discussions to promoteSharing to your social media accountsPromoting on your social media accountsUsing aggregation to bring together information from across your social media accounts into the communityWhich drives additional community activity and continues the Integrated Social Engagement Cycle
  • But before we get to that, we’re going to talk some basics.The basics of setting up your social media accounts so that they work well with each other, your community, and your overall web presenceNow I understand that most organizations on this call have already set up some social media accounts. So if you have, you can use this information as you think about any modifications you want to make to existing accounts or to keep in mind as you create new accounts
  • First, you want to create a consistent social media identityCreate Consistent Name & URLs - Full name vs. abbreviations - Combined name formats - These make it easier for users to guess & predict your accounts and distinguish them from potentially non-official, rogue accounts - Remember Twitter’s 15 character username limitationStructure your accounts (keep in mind different departments & functions) - Product Information and PR vs. Support - Like putting customer service next to the cash registers - LanguagesLink your accounts together - your social media account pages are good ways to route people to the right places. - if you have a Spanish twitter account, list it on your English Twitter account - Same for Product Info vs. Customer Support
  • Notice that we said create your accounts first before identifying the right social networks to engage in. Reason: there is a landgrab for URLs and usernames. You need to secure them first so you have the option to use them in the futureNext is to identify the social networks you plan to be active on. In doing so, look at the: - Demographic profile of each social network - Size/Reach of the Site - Consider Time on Site/Use Statistics (for engagement level) - Nature of the Content - If videos carry value for your organization, don’t use YouTube
  • To figure this information out, here are a few resources.The screenshot is from which is a free service that will produce this information (and more) for any website you enter
  • Next are the basics for setting up your online community to work organically with your social media site accounts
  • Links - much of the same strategy that we reviewed for your social media accountsAs it relates to how to include them, we have some“Follow Us” Best Practices Distinguish from your “social sharing” buttons size, format, location, proximity to content Use alt text to show destination URL
  • Next, addsocial sharing capabilities to your communityThere are a few ways to do this, the simplest is to use a catch all service, like AddThis, ShareThis, or AddToAnyBenefits are that they do everything for you, make the set up simple and provide analyticsEach social sharing tool generally has options for displayThese include auto display – the social sharing tool picks the icons to display based on various usage statisticsButtons versus Counters Size of IconsWhich buttons to select? Check Profile of Your MembersProfessional->LinkedInNonProfit -> Care 2 Older less technical -> Email Technical -> Hacker NewsNot Certain? - Check Website Analytics for referral sourcesAnd finally, I want to point out that Twitter has some options for how tweets are handled.Essentially, if you want to promote your community’s or organization’s twitter account you can structure that for inclusion in each twitter share
  • Also be sure that your metadata information is set up to populate correctly.On the left we have a well formed dynamic page title that is pulled in as well as the description of the item shared, all that relate to the content being shared On the right we have a generic page name and no descriptive information. Much higher likelihood that the user will abandon the share at this stage.
  • Social AggregrationBy aggregation we mean pulling together information for different sources into your community. With social aggregation, we mean pulling in information from different social media accounts.Use your community as a social hub that connects together its disparate social media accounts
  • You can also bring in news and information from other sources directly into the community via RSSHere, the value is in the time you spend researching & curating & selecting the appropriate feeds. Doing your audience’s work for them.Caveat with RSS is that they take user offsite
  • With videos, you have options for both aggregation and sharing.When aggregating videos, from YouTube for example, the value again is in the time you spend curating & selecting the appropriate, high value ones. Doing your audience’s work for them. We’ve found that when done appropriately, well curated videos brought into targeted communities can produce more views inside the community than on YouTube due to the affect of curation and audience targeting.For uploaded videos that can be shared out, be sure to have a watermark. That watermark will couple your brand with the video if it’s selected by a member to be embedded elsewhere. Also include a good title and description as these populate the meta-data that are used when these are shared elsewhere.
  • You can also enable discussion aggregation.With discussion aggregation we have two options:1. Adding a “Discuss or Share” button on the website pages you control, enabling the discussion of those pages within the community2. A browser button that enables sharing and discussions from any website across the Web into your community
  • So that wraps up the social media sites & online community set up portion so that they are optimized to work together.Now we are going to focus on what you can do an ongoing basis to facilitate cross-promotion & engagement
  • Leading…There are a number of best practices that apply to growing engagement regardless of the channel. This is a big topic in an of itself so I’m just going list a few of them here on a single slide. And we’ll cover these in a future webinar. For today we’ll focus on those activities specifically involved with using online communities with social media
  • The first step is curating the content from your community. Look for unique & valuable items to highlight & drive more traffic toWhenever possible, promote what your members are doing or have already done.Your community members are your best advocates, whenever possible, share what they are doing.
  • The next step is to proactively share the curated contentHere you have some technical options, for sharing like: using the social sharing buttons you set up on your community Cross publishing platforms like Hootsuite or Direct entry We use Hootsuite for proactive social sharing. It has cross network publishing and analytics. There is a free option or you can pay $6/month for the analyticsIn general, look to personalize each share with an introductory statement or question (especially when you aren’t limited by the number of characters) .
  • Twitter SharingIf you want retweets, you need to do a little mathTwitter limits you to 140 Characters TotalYou need leave 6 characters plus your username for retweets, as well as room for commentsGeneral Rule of Thumb <110 CharactersThere is an inverse correlation between tweet length and retweet frequency & click thru rates1 in 20 tweets produces a retweet97% of retweets happen within 1 hour of the original tweetSysomos -
  • For Facebook specific sharing:Note that you can tag people in your comments or introduction – doing so causes the update to appear in their notificationWhen adding links, always scroll to pick the best image for inclusionAnd use your core team and audience ambassadors to help promote your updates. Because of Facebook’s default setting for Top News instead of Recent, the more engagement each of your updates has, the higher the likelihood that the update will appear on your follower’s activity streams.
  • For LinkedIn, it’s smaller in member size than Facebook or Twitter, but it offers a few sharing options. Content can be shared as:- An individual update- To groups you are a member of- And in messages to your selected connections
  • The final step is measuring & analyzing the resultsFor analytics, you have several sources: Website Analytics Community DataThe Catch All Sharing Services provide reportingAs does HootsuiteFor Twitter, there are a number of specialized analytics options. With each taking a slightly different approach on the data they provide & displayThe key thing to note is to look at your activity:Look at the type of updates you are makingLook at the community impact they are having And then optimize your time spent based on the activity the updates are generating
  • Skip to next slide
  • And with that, we’ve just covered a step by step basis for how to create an Integrated Social Engagement Cycle that includes:CuratingSharingPromotingAggregatingAnd Measuring
  • That leads to a higher level of engagement
  • We have a couple of examples to look at
  • Here we are looking at something we set up on the American Heart Association’s community around an event they hadAs a part of the event promotion, utilized Twitter and Facebook updates.These social updates were aggregated and brought into the event page on the community as a way to create a social hub for the event. The rest of the page was made up of aggregated & curated community content related to the event & the event’s topic.Social promotion was used to draw attention to the event’s social hub and to select community content. When we compared promoted content with similar, but non-promoted content, there was a 226-301% increase in activity around that content
  • Now that was a specific example. Here we are looking at more general results.We took a non-profit, a member association, and a business community and analyzed periods of pre- and post- activity.We found that when they employed a integrated social engagement program similar to what we described here, each realized a significant increase in community activity.
  • And with that, we’ll open it up for questions…
  • How Online Communities And Social Media Work Together

    1. 1. How Online Communities and Social Media Work Together Post, Like, Tweet, Repeat <br />+1-512-474-6400<br /><br /><br />@SmallWorldLabs@WilsonMichael<br />
    2. 2. Getting Started<br />
    3. 3. Questions & Contact<br />Questions: via webinar & Twitter (answered at end)<br />Hashtag: #swlwebinar<br />Follow Us: @SmallWorldLabs<br /><br /><br />+1-512-474-6400<br />
    4. 4. About Small World Labs<br />Help organizations increase online engagement with their constituents <br />Online Community Platform <br />Community Engagement Program<br />Founded 2005, over 100 communities <br />Communities that Work<br />78% increase in new referrals<br />300% increase in desired online engagement<br />437% increase in avg. revenue contributions<br />
    5. 5. Client Successes<br />
    6. 6. Webinar Outline<br />How Online Communities and Social Media Work Together <br />Post, Like, Tweet, Repeat <br />Guiding Principles of Engagement<br />Social Media Strengths & Weakness<br />Online Community Strengths & Weaknesses<br />How Online Communities & Social Media Work Together<br />Social Media Account - Set Up Basics<br />Online Community - Set Up Basics<br />Leading, Curating, Sharing & Measuring<br />Examples<br />Questions & Answers<br />
    7. 7. Guiding Principles of Engagement<br />
    8. 8. Deeper Engagement Impacts End Results<br />Retention<br />Referrals<br />Donations<br />Purchases<br />Other<br />8<br />Deeper Engagement<br />
    9. 9. Preferred Form of Communication Varies<br />9<br />
    10. 10. Integrated Online Engagement<br />Deeper engagement is best achieved with a cohesive strategy that employs multiple channels<br />10<br />Optimal Engagement<br />
    11. 11. Social Media Strengths & Weaknesses<br />
    12. 12. Social Media Strengths<br />Extensive Reach <br />Easy to Update<br />Strong Awareness Generator<br />Great Acquisition Points for Convert to Other Initiatives<br />12<br />
    13. 13. Social Media Weaknesses<br />Setting up shop is not enough<br />Must be active<br />Need to break into your audience’s streams<br />13<br />Source: All Facebook 5-17-11<br />
    14. 14. Social Media Weaknesses<br />Must compete with everyone else’s updates<br />Easy to confuse official and non-official accounts<br />Limitations on customizing the experience<br />No impact on SEO<br />Audience data cannot be captured<br />Terms & conditions modified without notice<br />Updates primarily from your organization<br />Difficult to find quality content & experts <br />poor search & history<br />Fragmented audience (each social media site is separate)<br />14<br />
    15. 15. Online CommunitiesStrengths & Weaknesses<br />
    16. 16. Online Community Strengths<br />100% mindshare<br />The official source & destination<br />Customized experience<br />Member data captured<br />Positively impacts SEO<br />Your terms & conditions<br />Updates provided by community members<br />Easy to find quality content & experts <br />Content permanence & availability, extensive search<br />Hub to bring together audience on different social sites<br />16<br />
    17. 17. Online Community Weaknesses<br />They must go to/join your site<br />Topic or purpose focused <br />Technology costs<br />Care & feeding<br />17<br />
    18. 18. How Online Communities & Social Media Work Together<br />
    19. 19. Complimentary Aspects<br />19<br />Reach vs. Depth <br />Updates competition vs. 100% mindshare<br />Group/Page/Community (official vs. not)<br />Experience (customized vs. general)<br />Member Data (captured vs. not)<br />SEO<br />Terms & Conditions<br />Search & Content Permanency <br />Audience (disparate vs. hub)<br />Community<br />
    20. 20. Complimentary Aspects – When Used Together<br />Reach vs. Depth <br />Updates competition vs. 100% mindshare<br />Group/Page/Community (official vs. not)<br />Experience (customized vs. general)<br />Member Data (captured vs. not)<br />SEO<br />Terms & Conditions<br />Search & Content Permanency <br />Audience (disparate vs. hub)<br />20<br />Community Hub<br />
    21. 21. Integrated Social Engagement Cycle<br />21<br />
    22. 22. Social Media Account - Set Up Basics<br />
    23. 23. Consistent Social Media Identity<br />Create Consistent Name & URLs<br />Full Name vs. Abbreviations<br />CombinedName, Combined-Name, or Combined_Name<br />Structure your accounts<br />Product/Company Information and PR vs. Support<br />Languages & Geographies<br />Link your accounts together<br />Online Community<br />Website<br />Action Pages (forms, products, etc.)<br />Other Social Media Accounts<br />Other departments on same social network<br />23<br />
    24. 24. Identify Right Social Networks<br />Social Network Demographic Profiles<br />Business vs. Consumer<br />Social Media Savvy vs. Not<br />Highly topic focused vs. Generalists<br />Consider Time on Site/Use Statistics<br />Overall Size<br />Nature of Content<br />24<br />Source: Crain Communications via Advertising Age – May 2011<br />
    25. 25. Resources<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />25<br /> Summary<br />
    26. 26. Online Community – Set Up Basics<br />
    27. 27. Include “Follow Us” Links<br />Links <br />Website (or integrate within your website)<br />Action Pages (forms, products, etc.)<br />Other Social Media Accounts<br />“Follow Us” On Best Practices<br />Distinguish from your “social sharing” buttons<br />Use alt text to show destination URL<br />Lead with “Follow [Organization] Us:”<br />27<br />
    28. 28. Enable Social Sharing<br />Catch All Service vs. Each Network<br />AddThis, ShareThis, AddToAny<br />Display Options<br />Auto Display or Manual<br />Buttons or Counters<br />Tailor Buttons to Your Audience<br />Demographics<br />Referral Traffic<br />Twitter Account Promotion Options<br />RT @yourorganization:<br />via @yourorganization<br />28<br />
    29. 29. Enable Social Sharing – MetaData<br />Good<br />29<br />Bad<br />
    30. 30. Social Aggregation<br />Twitter<br />Stream from selected account(s)<br />Search terms or hash tags (events, etc.)<br />Facebook<br />Fans/likers block – display & like us<br />30<br />
    31. 31. RSS Aggregation<br />Curated RSS News In<br />31<br />
    32. 32. Video – Aggregation & Sharing<br />Aggregation<br />Curation is Key<br />Embedded<br />Upload & Share<br />Watermarks<br />Tags<br />Good Titles & Descriptions<br />32<br />
    33. 33. Discussion Aggregation<br />33<br />Your Website<br />Other Websites<br />Community<br />
    34. 34. Leading, Curating,Sharing & Measuring- Putting It All Together -<br />
    35. 35. Leading - General Best Practices<br />Be Active<br />Be Prompt<br />Ask Questions<br />Answer Questions – Answer->Ask Formula<br />Curate &Highlight Top Content & Discussions<br />Proactively Connect Content & Discussions with Members<br />Create a Schedule<br />Lead by Example<br />35<br />
    36. 36. Curate – What to Share & Highlight<br />Member Driven<br />Community Conversation<br />Answered Question<br />Member Blog<br />Organization Driven<br />Training Video<br />Blog on Event or Topic<br />White Paper or How To PDF<br />Excel Model Template<br />Promote Existing Engagement<br />36<br />
    37. 37. General Sharing<br />Social Sharing Buttons<br /><ul><li>Cross publishing platforms</li></ul>Hootsuite& others<br />Direct Entry<br />Personalize with introduction<br />37<br />
    38. 38. Twitter Sharing<br />If you want retweets, do the math<br /> 140 Characters Total<br />“RT_@username:_” (6 characters + username)<br />Room for comments<br />General Rule of Thumb <br /><110 Characters<br />38<br />
    39. 39. Facebook Sharing<br />Use Tagging<br />Select image for links<br />Use your core team/ambassadors to increase impressions via Likes & Comments<br />39<br />
    40. 40. LinkedIn Sharing Options<br />Individual Updates<br />Groups<br />Messages<br />40<br />
    41. 41. Measurement & Analysis<br />Analytics<br />Website & Community Analytics: Google Analytics & Community Data<br />Sharing Services: AddThis, ShareThis<br />Cross-Publishing Platforms: HootSuite<br />Twitter Analysis: TweetReach, The Archivist<br />Modify your time investment<br />Types of Updates<br />Community Impact<br />Time vs. Generated Activity<br />41<br />
    42. 42. Summary<br />
    43. 43. Summary: Integrated Social Engagement Cycle<br />43<br />
    44. 44. Summary: Integrated Online Engagement<br />44<br />Optimal Engagement<br />
    45. 45. Examples<br />
    46. 46. Integrated Engagement – Case Study<br />Aggregated Social Content<br />www/.../eventname<br />Social Promotion<br />Aggregated & Curated Community Content<br />Promoted Traffic<br />Additional Content<br />46<br />
    47. 47. Integrated Engagement – General <br />47<br />Increase in Community Activity<br />Community Type<br />
    48. 48. Questions & AnswersHow Online Communities and Social Media Work Together Post, Like, Tweet, Repeat <br />+1-512-474-6400<br /><br /><br />@SmallWorldLabs@WilsonMichael<br />