International Case Study - OREA Does Social Media Right


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Natasha Lemire-Blair, CAE , Director, Commercial Relations and Georgia Sapounas, Community Manager at the Ontario Real Estate Association have been invited to showcase OREA’s journey in social media from ad-hoc to strategic and coordinated.

Natasha and Georgia will cover lessons learned including these topics:
Research and Environmental Scanning
Social Media Strategy Development/Execution
Governance Structure
Measurement and Evaluation
Guidelines and Policies

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  • Thank you for the very kind introduction Lauren. Georgia and I are pleased to have an opportunity to share our social media experience with so many other associations this afternoon and we look forwarding to answering your questions.
  • This afternoon, Georgia and I will cover OREA’s first foray into social media involving government relations activities, followed by how we moved from an ad-hoc to strategic approach in managing OREA’s social media efforts. I’ll be presenting for the first half of our presentation and Georgia will present the second half. The way have structured our presentation is symbolic of how social media evolved at OREA and I’ll elaborate more on that as we move on.
  • In 2009, OREA was faced with battling two very uphill issues with a dramatic impact on, not only our member REALTORS®, but also the public.
  • I won’t go into detail on the issues which were harmonization of federal/provincial sales tax and mandatory time-of-sale home energy audits. But both of these issues, as I said, would have a substantial impact on the real estate industry and the public.Because of the broad impact, a decision was made to place an emphasis on grassroots advocacy and issue an OREA Call-for-Action. A Call-for-Action involves REALTORS® logging into OREA’s web site to send an email or letter to their Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) (the equivalent of a State Representative) in support of the association’s position.
  • In the past, OREA would notify its membership of a Call-for-Action via email and promote it through the association’s web site. There was simply no easy method for the public to participate in our grassroots advocacy campaigns.  Given the exponential growth and use of social media by both our members and the public, OREA saw an opportunity to expand the reach of our grassroots advocacy by promoting our Call-for-Action through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Thanks to the use of social media, the results of our grassroots advocacy campaign were astounding. Individual MPPs received a minimum of 400 emails each and in total more than 50,000 letters and emails were sent. Both campaigns received media coverage and we also heard from political staff and civil servants that OREA succeeded in generating one of the largest email campaigns ever to MPPs.
  • We succeeded in bringing a great deal of attention to our first issue and we actually won legislative change on our second issue, a huge success for our industry. If you would like more details, we’ve included a link on the slide to an article in Association Magazine that goes over both campaigns in more detail. As a result of these social media successes the OREA Board of Directors included within their Strategic Plan an objective for the association to formalize a social media strategy and allocated resources to the project, which leads us into the next segment of our presentation… How OREA went from ad-hoc success to a strategic approach to social media. 
  • In the discussion outline, I mentioned I would elaborate on how splitting the presentation between Georgia and I is symbolic of the OREA social media journey.If you want your association’s social media to become more strategic, the right individual or individuals on your staff, with a passion and understanding for the technology, regardless of job title, need to be assigned the responsibility. The responsibility wasn’t assigned to our Marketing, Communication or IT Department it was delegated to an individual who was an early adopter of social media technology and passionate about its use. In this instance, OREA’s CEO delegated the responsibility for the creation of a social media strategy to me in 2010.
  • From here OREA, went through the process on your screen which is the outline for the remainder of our presentation. We’ll cover each of the six steps in our process which moved social media at OREA from ad-hoc to strategic. They are: AssessmentStrategyGovernanceImplementationAwarenessEvaluationIt was at the implementation stage that OREA made a further commitment to social media success by hiring Georgia, our Community Manager, a full-time social media staff position. When we moved into implementation, Georgia was handed the reigns to OREA’s social media strategy and this is the reason for the split between our presentations. Georgia will also note some of the changes we had to make along the way when the theory in steps 1-3 did not fit perfectly with our implementation.
  • The first phase any association should go through before developing a social media strategy is assessment.
  • During OREA’ assessment phase, focus groups were held with staff members, and volunteers on OREA’s social media task force. An environmental scan and membership survey were also conducted. I’ll now review each of the areas covered by our assessment.
  • The results of the focus groups were very telling. While OREA had success on its government relations social media campaigns the overall organizational approach to social media was depicted as uncoordinated, fragmented and knee-jerk. Staff described it as “rushing to the starting line” without any training. They had little knowledge and no guidelines to follow but were feeling pressure from either their managers or board committees to have a “social media presence” with no clear objective for why or how to effectively to be on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • At the same time, focus groups participants recognized that our membership and the public do not visit the web site regularly but they do visit Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter almost daily. If we wanted to reach our audiences, with our messages, we would need to communicate where they spend their time online. Staffed noted several benefits to increasing our social media presence such as greater visibility, a chance for two-way communication, relationship building and the ability to reach a broad audience in a short time-frame.
  • However, focus group participants noted that increasing OREA’s social media presence would also increase our organizational risk. Participants noted concerns on the association’s:Ability to allocate resources to properly maintain social media tools.The availability and knowledge of staff to respond in a timely and accurate manner via social media.The lack of guidelines for those engaging in social media on OREA’s behalf.Participants noted that these issues could all be addressed through strategy and that the largest risk of all would be to “do nothing,” or to not participate on social media with our members and the public.
  • Having decided to move ahead, participants noted key areas that OREA would have to address during step 2 “planning” to ensure success and mitigate risk including:What resources do we need?How do we increase the social media readiness of non-social media users?What do we need to do to get 100% support from senior management and our Board?What systems and processes will we need to put into place to facilitate social media participation?Whose responsible – globally and on a departmental level?Where is all the content going to come from? How will we keep members engaged?How will the strategy accommodate the different needs of OREA’s business units?
  • The second step of the assessment phase included an environmental scan of associations in the US and Canada in the real estate sector that were viewed as performing well on social media. I won’t go into detail on the scan results but I strongly encourage your association to undertake some research into how other associations, particularly those in your industry, use Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles.You’ll be able to quickly see what works and what doesn’t work from looking at other association profiles. An environmental scan provides valuable learning insights that will assist you in developing your strategies.
  • The last component of our assessment was a very comprehensive social media usage survey we conducted with our membership. You can conduct a survey of your membership at a very low cost by using a tool like survey monkey or if you have the resources, an outside research firm.At minimum, you want to understand where your members are currently using social media, for what purposes,
  • and how often. Our survey further delved into:what role members thought OREA should play on social mediawhat types of information they would seek from OREA via social media and gauged our memberships current level of engagement on social media (for example, are they spectators? Likers? Commenters? Creators of original content?).We’d be happy to share our survey results and questions with you. Details on how to contact us are at the conclusion of this presentation.
  • Having completed a thorough assessment we moved onto the planning stage where we developed a formal OREA social media strategy.
  • During the planning stage we noted considerations in developing the strategy, created a mandate, set objectives and goals.
  • Amongst our strategic considerations:In 2010, OREA was not in a leadership position on social media. While we had some success, other associations, including those in our sector, were more coordinated and doing a better job of member engagement.We recognized that social media at its core is about encouraging participation and collaboration. In order to encourage participation and collaboration, we would need a cultural change driven by leadership.There would be no success without the right people in place – the right people need to be knowledgeable about social media and how to behave in each of the unique communities, as well as passionate about OREA.And finally, an OREA social media strategy must support the objectives contained within the organization’s Strategic Plan.
  • Having conducted an assessment, focus groups, research, scanning and acknowledging strategic considerations, OREA then developed a social media mandate. Our mandate is as follows:To enable OREA to develop informed relationships with its audiences through a leading social media presence that contributes to OREA being recognized as the primary “voice” and resource on real estate.Note some the keys phrases used in our mandate:“Develop informed relationships” – recognition that social media is about two-way engagement and that both parties benefit from the information that is shared“Leading social media presence” – having a good presence would not be enough for OREA, we want to lead our industry with our social media presence“That OREA be recognized as the primary “voice” and resource on real estate” – which is an core objective taken directly from OREA’s Strategic Plan.Therefore our mandate set out clear expectations for OREA to begin social media objective and goal setting.
  • We determined that our social media strategyshould have an over-riding objective as follows:to build on and improve OREA’s reputation as an organization working for its members. The goal is to increase the membership satisfaction metric contained within our annual membership survey. While other objectives and goals may change over time as our strategy evolves this goal will always remain a constant measure year-over-year.
  • Next we moved into setting objectives with timelines and goals to support our mandate. I won’t go into great detail on the goals and I’ve only included a few of them in this presentation. However, I would like to highlight some of the goals that were key to laying the groundwork for our success.Most importantly, without organizational awareness of the benefits and uses of social media it is virtually impossible to secure the human and financial resources from your Board and senior management necessary to succeed. When your association is aware of how it can benefit from social media, making your business case will be that much easier.
  • The following slide contains some of the benefits OREA articulated to its Board, senior management and staff during training sessions and presentations to meet the objective of building organizational awareness. Our goal was to ensure that by June, 2011, executives and key staff could identify five key benefits that social media offers OREA.
  • Other key objectives and goals included implementing a social media staffing plan that I’ll touch on later under governance and the preparation of departmental social media plans that Georgia will discuss under implementation.
  • We also set some goals on engaging in the Ontario election through running a successful social media campaign at which Georgia will also discuss during her portion of the presentation.The last objective I’ll discuss is very important and it’s the incorporation of your social media presence seamlessly into your association’s web site. OREA is accomplishing this goal through the launch our new web site at on October 21st. Social media has been woven into the entire navigational structure of the web site and this is vital to drive members to your official social media profiles to increase overall engagement. And in a similar fashion, your social media profiles should also be used to drive traffic back to your association's web site.
  • With a mandate, strategy, objectives and goals in place OREA then began the daunting task of trying to figure out a social media governance structure.
  • As part of the governance structure OREA would need to develop a social media team or staffing structure. And in order to mitigate risk - policies, checklists and response mechanisms. I’ll now touch on each of these briefly as Georgia will elaborate more on them during her presentation.
  • When your association decides to structure its social media team, or even assign the duties to one staff member, there are several important considerations you need to weigh to ensure success. The first deals with using internal versus external resources. Internal staff members know your organizations, the services you offer and understand your membership. They are passionate about your business and have an ability to respond quickly and in an accurate and responsible manner.An external hire, or consultant will likely be an early adopter or expert in the social media field. They have mastered the appropriate behaviours for varying social networks, they understand the intricate differences between the culture on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. They also have experience in building relationships across several networks.Regardless of internal or external resources, the individual or individual(s) need to have an understanding of metrics and data, business knowledge, be customer advocate and have very strong communication skills, in particular writing.If your association is large and has many staff members, you may be able to find the right mix of the noted qualities amongst a few or several staff members. If your association is small, you may find the partial skill set in one staff member and can augment their development through training - much of which is free through webinars such as the one your are attending right now, or through reading online social media web sites.If your association does not have a sole staff member with the right skill set, you can consider a consultant to assist you in the process, but be mindful of the benefits an internal resource will bring to your social media success and have a plan in place to transfer that outside knowledge to your staff.
  • The next step in establishing our governance structure was to develop guidelines and policies for staff and volunteers engaged in social media on OREA’s behalf. I am not going to review the specific policies but if you are interested in a copy we would be happy to share them. What’s contained on the slide you are currently viewing are some of the key components that should drive your association’s guidelines. is an excellent resource to consult when you are developing your policies – it currently contains more than 175 sample policies in its database.
  • We also developed a social media initiative checklist that’s used when a staff member wishes to initiate a new social media project on behalf of the association. This is completed in conjunction with the Community Manager and Georgia will explain how it works in the next section of the presentation – implementation. It is designed to ensure consistency with the OREA Strategic Plan and social media strategy, clearly articulate responsibility and authority, mitigate risk and ensure evaluation of the initiative.
  • Finally, we developed a response tree to assist staff members in the appropriate response to the varying situations one can encounter on social media sites. Georgia will also cover the tree under implementation.I’m now pleased hand over the remainder of the presentation to Georgia to discuss our final three steps, implementation, awareness and evaluation. Georgia…
  • Thank you Natasha! You covered the assessment, planning, and governance stages really well.That takes us to the implementation section of this webinar.
  • Now that we have a sound assessment, strategy, and governance model, we needed to take that and create a structure to fulfill upon our goals and timelines so we could begin implementing our strategy.One of the first things I did as OREA’s Community Manager was host meetings with each department as well as one-on-one meetings with the individual spokes of the social media team.We created plans as to how we would enhance what they do for our members through social media.At the individual level, we discussed possibilities, ideas, concerns, strengths, and set up training.In this diagram, each spoke represents a department, which originally included one member from that department engaging in social media. I found that works for some departments but not all.For example, our Leadership department was currently distributing duties of an employee that was on leave so their plates were already full. We concluded that it would be best for them to divvy up social media responsibilities across their team of 6.
  • When I took a look at what began before my arrival, some departments had gotten started in social media and some had not…Some of the social media accounts that were open were being used and some were stagnant and unmonitored.
  • So, the social media initiative checklist became critical. Before a new social media account is opened, the staff member or department creating the account will answer the following questions.We then sit down and discuss each of their answers and I add my input.Since some of the social media team is relatively new to social media, the initiative checklist allows each new account to have a strategic approach with full consideration of each of these areas.In the end, the new account may be opened, or postponed for various reasons (perhaps more training is needed), or the account may not be what will fulfill on the business need so we choose something different. Often we’ll meet a couple times and once we’re ready to get started with an account, training begins.
  • Training ranged from social media guideline training for all OREA staff, to President and Board of Directors social media training.Various specific training sessions included WordPress Author Training (for our OREA blog &, Writing for the web training, Content training (which included what to blog about), as well as group or one-on-one training for specific media like Facebook, Twitter, or Hootsuite.Training is continuous and on-going with everyone at OREA. It is a huge part of my role to train and develop staff on social media best practices.
  • “To respond or not to respond, that is the question. Within each department, we created a structure of who’s listening, responding, and engaging in social media and how to do so effectively.I urge you to include some of these processes in your social media guidelines. For example, when someone discovers a post of negative sentiment that they are considering responding to, they must discuss it with myself first.
  • You always want to listen first and then respond.There are several ways that you can listen to what is happening on the web and where you’re being mentioned. When you listen, you see who’s speaking about you and what they’re saying. This helps mitigate risk.I’ve listed ways that we listen on this slide that are free.We’ve also purchased a listening software called Radian6 that allows you to set up profiles with key words. Radian6 then pulls in where your key words are mentioned in the web and you can see who is engaging in the landscape and listen and see the sentiment of posts around our brand. This gives us the opportunity to turn a frown upside down, to turn haters into brand advocates – this muscle is just starting to be flexed.I can see Radian6 being even more critical in the future as our social media picks up and as we move towards more customer service through social media.With Radian6 there’s a potential for 50% off for not-for-profits.
  • Natasha mentioned our response tree and I’ll quickly break it down for you.There are 4 main stages: assessment, evaluation, response considerations and the response.
  • Through listening, we discover posts about OREA that are positive, neutral, and negative.
  • If it’s a positive post, we’ll evaluate and then respond or not. Not everything warrants a response. Sometimes you want to share success and sometimes you’ll let the post stand.
  • If it’s a negative post you’ll also evaluate, and respond, or not.Let me give you an example:My colleague Matt discovered a tweet that said “this has gotta hurt” with a link.The link lead him to a blog post that included a negative bashing paragraph about our Home Ownership Matters Campaign. It was our first critic. At least we now knew that the word was getting out for our campaign.The blog had good readership as over 10 people had already commented on the post that day.Now, innately you may want to write a comment and defend yourself, like a link to prove why you’re right and so on.However, you want to avoid escalating the conversation to an argument.So, we simply tweeted back saying “thanks for the mention” (because any press is good press) and “here’s some further research you may be interested in” with a link.We never received a response so it worked out perfectly.
  • Important things to consider when you respond are transparency, sourcing, timeliness, tone, and influence.
  • I mentioned Radian6 and Hootsuite earlier, essentially they allow you to manage multiple social media profiles.We started out using Hootsuite which allows us to schedule messages in advance so when I’m on vacation, it’s like I’ve been here the whole time.We can monitor mentions, build reports, message multiple networks, and track results.
  • Once you’ve listened, responded and engaged, now you can create or curate content.I can’t say enough about how important content is. Content is king.Now – Our President was featured in 2 videos that were spearheaded by our communications department to get the message out around how REALTORS® help….These videos live on our new OREA YouTube page.I’m about to show you how we’re currently sharing this content across our social media channels.
  • On the right, you’re looking at a FacebookiFrame that pulls in our YouTube content, on the left, is a post on Facebook, tagging our President, asking a question, and including a link that pulls the video into the post.
  • On the blog, I created a post about how to share videos, breaking it down step by step with a catchy quote that says “Video increases the likelihood of a front page Google search result by 96%”.The following items will greatly enhance your blog posts: images, a catchy SEO friendly title, sub-headings, video, bullets, and links.
  • On LinkedIn, I shared the YouTube channel link, and the blog post as well as a separate post with just the video.
  • On Twitter, you can share the same content in many different ways. Each of these tweets lead to the same YouTube video and they’re all different.Since the timeline on Twitter moves so quickly, you’ll want to post multiple times a day. Your followers only sometimes see what you’re tweeting so why not post the same link. Just in case, someone has already seen that tweet, say it differently the next time.
  • A quick summary, within the implementation stage, we went through:Creating a STRUCTURETraining the teamListening firstTo RESPOND or not to respondCreating or curating CONTENTAnd Sharingyour content
  • Next I’ll cover how to spread awareness of your social media accounts.
  • Remember traditional marketing is like standing from the rooftop of a building and shouting your message, social media is standing at the entrance to a building and simply saying, hello. Your attempting to build a relationship that will turn your members or customers into brand advocates.Start by introducing yourselfHave a conversationThen exchange business cardsThen perhaps start a business relationship
  • Start by branding your social media channels…When you go in for a job interview, you want to look good right?What you’re seeing is our government relations YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.Remember: part of your branding is your name so try as best you can to get the same username across all accounts.
  • Our Home Ownership Matters campaign was heavily branded from the blog to banners to icons and twibbons (which are icon images that people can add to their twitter or facebook profile pictures).
  • You’ll gain awareness of your social media accounts simply by using the tool effectively.Here are a couple things that will help grow the awareness of your social media accounts:Timing & Timelines – Give staff an idea of how often they should create content. I spoke earlier about content being king. To continue with implementation and awareness, it’s important to set HOW OFTEN you’ll engage.What’s worked for the OREA Real Estate College is posting on their Facebook page once/day. Now, as numbers grew, engagement happened on their Facebook wall naturally.Our OREA Real Estate College is an example of one of our departments that has taken on social media one account at a time.This has proved effective because they’re not spreading themselves too thin. They’re learning and focusing on one thing until they master it and then they add another.Social media can be overwhelming and if you’re overwhelmed, pick one channel, focus on that, grow it, and then move on to the next channel that everyone says you MUST HAVE NOW!
  • Some of those must haves are Twitter and LinkedIn. A few ways to engage effectively are listed here.
  • The snapshot on the side is of our From the President category on our blog.The OREA President was trained in social media, writing for the web, blogging, tweeting, Facebook, and Hootsuite.The first things I helped launch at OREA were the President’s Facebook page, Twitter account, and the OREA blog.The goal with content on the OREA blog was for each category to blog once/week. The new content on the blog continues to bring visitors. We currently have 6 categories on the blog so even if 3 of those categories posts once/week, we still have plenty of new content on the blog. Simply the amount of new content often reflects our number of visitors to the blog that week.Our Government relations category has recently been linking it’s email newsletter to their posts on the blog driving traffic and awareness.
  • Some of your channels may grow organically.For example, we realized that our social media was fragmented into sections and that we needed to bring it all together with OREA over-arching channels.So, we just created our oreainfo YouTube account 2 months ago…Which currently has 4 videos uploadedHas already obtained over 20 subscribersAnd has hadOver 3,700 video viewsThis is simply from using twitter, facebook, linkedin, and our blog effectively to drive traffic to our new YouTube channel.
  • Group your accounts together, don’t separate them.Our OREA website which is launching tomorrow will include full social media integration.You want your website or blog to be your HOME. Use social media to enhance it and drive traffic to it.Check out to see all the widgets and to get ideas for social media integration.
  • Also on you’ll see extra widgets such asEmail SubscribePictures from FlickrVideos from YouTubeAnd a Twibbon support icon.
  • You can piggyback in many ways from following who someone else follows on Twitter to engaging in topic groups that are relevant to your industry. Use what’s already out there.Inman held its first ever conference in Toronto and I attended and live blogged from the event. I piggybacked on something that was already happening.Results: Our blog traffic quadrupled that week.Our @oreainfo Twitter and Facebook account gained followers (they were launched the day of the event) – which was good positiveBrand awareness.We began getting more comments on our blog posts.The people in the room realized they didn’t need to take notes because the sessions were online on the OREA blog and captured in real time.It led to positive sentiment around our brand as there were many thankful people.
  • We have multiple social media accounts and have also brought awareness to them by remembering our roots. By that I mean, utilize the tools you’re used to.
  • Our President handed out postcards at her AREA meetings.A similar postcard was sent via email to our members when we launched our blog.
  • Email campaigns to your members may be an effective way to get the word out.The Facebook email on the right has already been sent out  in the next section, I’ll discuss how we did w/ the email.One thing to remember about Email campaigns… ensure that they promote engagement and have a value proposition. You don’t want to be a needy friend “why don’t you like me?” Like me pleeeeeasssse.
  • Include your social media on all communication including newsletters, and email signatures (one thing to consider with your email signature is plain text versus images). Also, use QR codes on print materials.That funny looking square art thing in the top left is a QR code and can be scanned with your phone and will bring you to a landing page.
  • Facebook allows you to easily set up ads that can bring awareness to campaigns.This is one we ran for a week leading up to the Ontario provincial election.
  • So, just to recap:Brand your social media accountsUse Social Media EffectivelyGrow your Social Media Organically by engagingIntegrate don’t segregateTake a piggybackAnd remember your roots.
  • The next stage is evaluation.
  • I want to kick off evaluation with a screenshot I took back in May. I came back from attending the Toronto Real Estate Board’s REALTORQUEST and wanted to look for what type of news had been picked up.The #2 and #3 items that were shown on Google out out 45,800 results were from a tweet from our president that she tweeted at the event, and a blog post our president had written. This not only shows the importance of REAL TIME (which for example is tweeting and creating blog posts when things are happening), but it shows the power of social media in general.This is how important our president’s social media presence is.
  • As I dive into the nittygritty’s of evaluation, I’m going to cover the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of evaluating.You’ll see what we evaluate, Where are some of the tools we use to evaluate, and how do we evaluate using those tools.Evaluation happens constantly.Continuously be curiously engaged – what are you doing well? What’s working? What’s not working?Evaluate your wins and lossesProvide regular updates of metrics
  • Here are some ways that you can measure your social media.From the # of members to the post frequency…Or how many times a post is shared and what the sentiment of the posts are.
  • Google analytics measures our OREA blog and homeownershipmatters.caIt is a free tool that provides in depth analysis from visitors to pageviews, time spent on site to the % of new visitors and where they’re visiting from…right down to the city.
  • Google analytics allows us to see unique nuggets of information for example, our top referring site is Facebook. That gives us a hint to share more blog content on Facebook.
  • We’ve come a long way with the OREA Blog.All departments currently blogging.Government Relations recently starting putting its Queens Park Plus newsletter on the OREA blog & HOM70% new visits!
  • Google analytics goes into so much detail that we can gage the readership per post to see what content is valuable to our audience.
  • Home Ownership Matters Campaign = A public relations and social media campaign lobbying on 3 issues surrounding home ownership in the upcoming provincial election.In one week alone, it generated around 3,000 visits from 2 blog posts surrounding the election.Our webmaster added a search engine optimization plugin which brought our traffic from search engines up to 33%.
  • Facebook has its own in-depth analysis dashboard in the insights section of a fan page.Here you can see…Recent posts, the dates and times they were posted, how many impressions each received, and the amount of feedback per impressionYou can even see the average age of the people that like your page.
  • I spoke earlier about our YouTube iFrame within Facebook…well the iFrames on the President page and OREA page generated over 200 video likes in 2 days (thanks to the help of our Facebook awareness email).
  • The Facebook email that we sent out was effective and could have been even more effective…With the help of the free link shortening tool called, we could track that 6,000 of our members opened the emailOut of that 6,000, just over 1,000 click the call to action in the emailOut of that 1,000, a few hundred liked the pagesThe problem is that we couldn’t figure out how to effectively code the like button within the email so the user could like the page without having to click like again on Facebook.The other issue is that our Email content is an image, so not all people click to download the image…therefore not seeing the call to action at all.We’re resolving these set backs before sending the next email to gain awareness around our Twitter accounts.
  • You want to ensure that people are paying attention to what you’re saying on Twitter…Look at…Number of followers = reachRetweets = endorsement of message@ Replies = engagement (sentiment?)And you can even gage how many people are acting on your Tweets
  • A few twitter evaluation tools are: Tweetdeck: Desktop version of TwitterHootsuite: Manage Multiple Track hashtag statisticsSproutSocial: Manage Multiple AccountsKlout: Discover your influenceTwittercounter: stats site
  • Hubspot has a unique tool that evaluates your most retweetable time. @oreagr’s time was 9AM on Wednesdays.
  • Using those tools we evaluated our new Twitter account to see thatWe Klout score of 45 and are categorized as a networker.In 2 short months the followers are above 300 and reaches over 11,500 people via 50 tweets (the reach is spread by RT’s and @replies aka conversation that is generated often).
  • LinkedIn- The OREA LinkedIn group, with approx. 1,000 members now has daily discussions and comments. It is an environment for REALTORS® to network and connect with each other.YouTubeOREA Over-arching channel was launched in August and since then has had over 3,000 video views.A lot of positive sentiment shared with these videos and the majority of their reach is due to social media sharing alone.
  • At our most recent social media team meeting, we discussed CONTENT as we wanted to evaluate our blog categories to see what categories are most relevant to our industry.We are also taking a look at guest bloggers and how to effectively set up a system for submissions and industry experts.
  • Ask your audience what they want.In the most recent member survey, I asked the question: What value (1-4) would each of the following blog categories be to you?
  • Just to give you a timeline, in the past 7 months the following are some of what has been implemented, is continuing to gain awareness and be evaluated.- …We have been busy and this is just the beginning. There are a ton of areas of opportunity that we have as we continue to grow in the area of social media. The way we communicate online has changed forever. Customers and members are now the ones that shape the image and message of your brand. It’s increasingly important to hear what they’re saying, display excellent customer service, create positive sentiment around your brand, and develop brand advocates.At OREA we want to exemplify being an organization working for its members and we will continue to strive to do that.
  • So, just to recap.. in the evaluation section, we went over…Constant and continuous evaluationMetrics and MeasurementSearch Engine ResultsHow to Measure effectiveness with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google analytics, etc.Content EvaluationAsking your audience what they wantAnd Reporting results
  • As we mentioned throughout our presentation we would be please to share with you any of our social media documentation, presentations and resources. Please feel free to follow-up on this offer by sending an email to
  • We’d be delighted to answer any questions you may have?(Answer questions)Thank you once again for joining us on this webinar today we hope you enjoyed it and found it informative.
  • International Case Study - OREA Does Social Media Right

    1. 1. International Case Study:OREA Does Social Media RightOctober 20, 2011Natasha Lemire-Blair, CAE, Director, Commercial RelationsGeorgia Sapounas, Community Manager
    2. 2. Discussion outline• Dipping our Feet – Government Relations• From Ad-Hoc to Strategic – Assessment – Strategy – Governance – Implementation – Awareness – Evaluation
    3. 3. Government Relations• Two uphill battles• Significant impact on REALTORS®• Significant impact on the public
    4. 4. Grassroots Advocacy• Harmonized Sales Tax (Federal/Provincial taxes)• Mandatory Home Energy Audits• Call-for-Action to email Members of Provincial Parliament (like State Reps)
    5. 5. Call-for-Action• Public participation in association grassroots advocacy is now much easier through use of social media• MPPs received 400+ emails each, more than 50,000 emails sent in total• One of largest provincial email campaigns ever
    6. 6. Government Relations(More info: “But the real estate industry objected – it wants only voluntary audits – and the program has, apparently, been killed.”
    7. 7. Ad-Hoc to Strategic“If you want your association’s social media to become morestrategic, the right individual(s) on your staff with a passionand understanding of the technology, regardless of job title,need to be assigned the responsibility.”
    8. 8. Ad-Hoc to Strategic
    9. 9. Assessment• Focus groups• Environmental scan• Membership survey
    10. 10. Focus Groups: OREA’s Approach 2010• Uncoordinated• Fragmented• Knee-jerk• Rush to the starting line
    11. 11. Focus Groups: Contribution to Business “They don’t go to daily but they check their Facebook and LinkedIn everyday. We need to communicate with members, where they are, on a frequent basis.”
    12. 12. Focus Groups: Social Media Risks• Resourcing • Guidelines• Responding • Timeliness• Accuracy • Doing Nothing
    13. 13. Focus Groups: Social Media Barriers• Resources• Readiness• Support• Systems/Process• Governance• Content/Engagement• Multiple Strategies
    14. 14. Environmental Scan “The Big Three”Real Estate Industry Facebook Presence Twitter LinkedIn Presence PresenceCanadian Association ofAccredited Mortgage   ProfessionalsToronto Real Estate Board   National Association ofRealtors  Multiple  Multiple feeds  Multiple pages groupsVirginia Association ofREALTORS®   Canadian Real EstateAssociation   
    15. 15. Membership Survey: Usage Base: Use Social Media/Networking Sites Aware Personally Use Use for Business Most Relevant for Business (n=892) (n=617) (n=449) (n=449) % % % % Facebook 97 84 69 48 YouTube 89 35 27 7 Twitter 85 12 24 4 LinkedIn 67 14 60 22 MySpace 64 6 2 1 Flickr 43 6 3 * Classmates 41 13 1 1 Plaxo 25 5 13 2 ActiveRain 17 2 14 4 WordPress 11 2 7 3 Tumblr 3 1 * 0 Ning 1 * * 0 Other 3 4 8 8
    16. 16. Membership Survey: FrequencyBase: Use the site Facebook YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Classmates Flickr MySpace Plaxo ActiveRain WordPress Other % % % % % % % % % % %Personal Use n=521 n=217 n=87 n=74 n=81 n=36 n=34 n=32 n=308Daily 36 10 6 30 1 8 3 0 - - 23Weekly* 71 50 34 56 13 41 27 31 - - 49< 1 x/week 29 50 66 45 86 58 74 69 - - 52Business Use n=308 n=122 n=271 n=109 n=59 n=62 n=31 n=37Daily 32 12 11 28 - - - 9 27 26 11Weekly* 68 34 46 57 - - - 45 54 48 38< 1 x/week 33 66 54 4.3 - - - 56 45 52 62
    17. 17. Planning• Strategic considerations• Mandate• Objectives and goals
    18. 18. Strategic Considerations• Current (2010) state – OREA not in leadership position in space • Some presence, success• Social media about encouraging participation, collaboration – Requires culture change driven by leadership• Critical success factor: the right people – Knowledgeable about how to behave with social media – Passionate about the organization CONFIDENTIAL
    19. 19. Social Media Mandate To enable OREA to develop informed relationships with its audiences through a leading social media presence that contributes to OREA being recognized as the primary “voice” and resource on real estate.
    20. 20. Over-Riding Objective & Goal • Objective: Build on and improve OREA’s reputation as an organization working for its members. • Goal: Increase membership satisfaction
    21. 21. Phase 1: Organizational Objectives &GoalsObjectives GoalsIncrease organizational awareness of the By June, 2011, executives and key staff canbenefits and uses of social media within OREA. identify five key benefits that social media offers OREA.Develop and sustain a staffing and resource By April, 2011, implement social media staffingmodel to support OREA’s social media activities. plan.Establish a social media presence that balances By June, 2011 each department has prepared aconsistency with the unique requirements of social media plan consistent with OREA’s socialeach department within OREA. media strategy.
    22. 22. OREA Social Media Benefits• Increase awareness and visibility – Be where our audiences are• Enhance member communications – Open new channels• Form stronger relationships – Engage with key stakeholders• Real time insight – Free tools (Google Analytics) provide complementary data• Improve effectiveness – Greater efficiency in sharing information – New resources for engaging with current and prospective students• Maintain our relevance – Position ourselves to remain current in evolving media landscape• Risk to not participating – Unable to listen and engage if not on social media
    23. 23. Phase 1: Organizational Objectives &GoalsObjectives GoalsIncrease organizational awareness of the By June, 2011, executives and key staff canbenefits and uses of social media within OREA. identify five key benefits that social media offers OREA.Develop and sustain a staffing and resource By April, 2011, implement social media staffingmodel to support OREA’s social media activities. plan.Establish a social media presence that balances By June, 2011 each department has prepared aconsistency with the unique requirements of social media plan consistent with OREA’s socialeach department within OREA. media strategy.
    24. 24. Phase 1: Operational Objectives & GoalsObjectives Goals Suggested TacticsProvide a platform for engaging in By April, 2011 have a Identify issueseffective government relations. Government Relations social Set targets for level of membership media infrastructure in place to engagement, letters participate in the provincial Launch Government relations blog election. Designate staff person for listening, responding to identified issuesEnhance effectiveness of Incorporate at least three social Identify unique knowledge to build acommunication about OREA’s media tools into the OREA message aroundproducts and services. website, and launch three new Add social media toolbar to website so stand-alone social media visitors can share content initiatives by Summer, 2011 Add RSS to website (contingent on web site launch Launch members wiki: possibility on date). Leadership Development Develop strong LinkedIn presence Launch a subject matter expert blog
    25. 25. Governance• Social Media Team• General Policies• Social Media Checklist• Response Tree Diagram
    26. 26. Social Media Team• Internal vs external – Internal: knows the organization, services, membership • Passion • Fast, accurate, responsible response – External: early adopter, expertise • Mastered appropriate behaviour • Built relationships in several networks• Skill sets – Knowledge of metrics/data – Business knowledge – Customer advocacy – Communication (writing)
    27. 27. OREA Social Media Team
    28. 28. General Policies• Only staff authorized to do so may speak on behalf of OREA.• Only members of the Social Media team may set up official presences on behalf of OREA on social networks (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.).• The same guidelines that apply to OREA’s staff activities in general apply to their activities online.• Third-party sites may have their own terms and policies, with which participants should familiarize themselves.• You may not share information that is confidential and proprietary about OREA.• Resource:
    29. 29. Social Media Initiative Checklist Documented plan (objective supported, audience, success factors) Metrics (response rate, participation, etc.) Consistent with social media policy Estimated time commitment (launch, manage, respond) Staff responsible Potential risks Complies with relevant legislation and regulation (e.g. PCCA, ESA) Mitigation approach Consistent with departmental social media plan Update report meeting scheduled
    30. 30. Response Tree
    31. 31. Structure• Departmental meetings to create social media plans• Social Media Team meeting once every two months• One-on-one meetings with those engaging in social media on behalf of their department
    32. 32. Structure – Existing AccountsFacebook Twitter• Government Relations • @oreagr• OREA Real Estate College • @ocld• Ontario Commercial Council • @oreaocc LinkedIn YouTube• OREA • Government Relations• OCLD (Leadership)
    33. 33. Structure - Social Media Initiative Checklist Documented plan (objective supported, audience, success factors) Metrics (response rate, participation, etc.) Consistent with social media policy Estimated time commitment (launch, manage, respond) Staff responsible Potential risks Complies with relevant legislation and regulation (e.g. PCCA, ESA) Mitigation approach Consistent with departmental social media plan Update report meeting scheduled
    34. 34. Training• Social Media Training Sessions – Guideline Training for all staff – WordPress Author Training – Writing for the Web Training (blogging) – Social Media Training – President’s Social Media Training – Board of Directors Social Media Training – Departmental training: Facebook etc. – One-on-one training
    35. 35. Listening & Responding • Listen First… “To respond or not to respond, that is the question”
    36. 36. Listen First• Listen for engagement and to mitigate risk• Set e-mail frequency – LinkedIn Groups, Facebook notifications, Google analytics, RT’s, etc.• RSS (Google Feedburner) industry blogs or subscribe via email – i.e. Facebook blog, Mashable, Social Media Examiner, SmartBrief on Social Media, etc.• Listening Software – We chose Radian6 (listening & engagement software) • Topic Profiles: set up key words • Pulls in where your key words are mentioned in the web • See who is engaging in the landscape
    37. 37. Response Tree• Assessment• Evaluate• Respond• Response Considerations
    38. 38. Positive Response Assessment
    39. 39. Positive Response Evaluation
    40. 40. Negative Response Evaluation
    41. 41. Response Considerations
    42. 42. Responding & Engagement Aids• Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Radian6, etc. – Manage Multiple Social Media Profiles – – Schedule messages – Monitor mentions – Build Reports – Message multiple networks – Track results
    43. 43. Create or Curate Content• Have your social media content compliment each other
    44. 44. Share Content - Facebook• Facebook iFrame• Facebook Post
    45. 45. Share Content - Blog
    46. 46. Share Content - LinkedIn
    47. 47. Share Content - Twitter
    48. 48. Implementation Summary• Create a STRUCTURE• TRAIN the team• LISTEN first• To RESPOND or not to respond• Create or curate CONTENT• SHARE your content
    49. 49. How do you bring awareness to your socialmedia accounts?
    50. 50. Brand Your Social Media Channels @oreagr
    51. 51. Use Social Media Effectively• Set Timelines & Have a publishing calendar – For example: the OREA Real Estate College posts on Facebook at least once/day and blogs once/week • • – The Centre for Leadership Development • Divides posts/accounts between employees •
    52. 52. Use Social Media Effectively• Twitter – Follow people, Create lists, reply to people, thank them. – Schedule your tweets • •• LinkedIn – Question a week by a different person. – Direct message your audience to invite them to join the conversation.
    53. 53. Use Social Media Effectively• Blog Posts – 100-300 words – SEO!! – Publishing Frequency – End with a question/ask for comments – Add links, quotes, images, video, etc.
    54. 54. Grow Organically• Example: – Joined YouTube 2 months ago – Currently has 4 videos uploaded – Around 20 subscribers – Over 3,200 video views• A prime example of a channel that’s been grown organically through social media including: Tweets, blog posts, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, etc.
    55. 55. Integrate don’t Segregate• Website• Like• Share• Tweet• +1• Banner• Icons• Links
    56. 56. Integrate don’t Segregate• Widgets• Email Subscribe• Pictures• Videos• Twibbon
    57. 57. Piggyback• Live Blogging – Inman held its first ever conference in Toronto and I live blogged from the event (7 live blog posts & 1 follow up post). • Link:
    58. 58. Remember Your Roots OREA OREA Real Estate College Centre for Leadership Development Government Relations President Commercial Relations
    59. 59. Email Signature, Banners, Newsletters
    60. 60. Facebook Ad for Home Ownership Matters• Brought awareness to the campaign with a call to action Target Audience: • Ontario • 18 and older • In the category Real Estate Objective: • E-mail Candidates • Raise Awareness of Campaign
    61. 61. Awareness Summary• BRAND yourself• Use Social Media EFFECTIVELY• Grow ORGANICALLY• INTEGRATE don’t segregate• PIGGYBACK• Remember your ROOTS – Postcards, business cards, email campaigns, email signature, newsletters, QR codes on banners, ads, and more!
    62. 62. Search Engine Results
    63. 63. Evaluation Happens Constantly • Ask yourself the following questions: • What’s working? • What’s not working? • What are we doing well? • Evaluate wins and losses. • Provide regular updates.
    64. 64. Metrics & MeasurementActivity & engagement Awareness & Value• Members • Brand loyalty/affinity• Posts/threads • Media placements• Comments or ideas • Share of conversation• Inbound links • Sentiment of posts• Tags, votes, bookmarks • Interaction with content• Active profiles• Referrals• Post frequency/density
    65. 65. The OREA blog• How are we doing? Analytics.
    66. 66. OREA blog OREA blog top referring sites: 1. Facebook 2. 3. Google
    67. 67. OREA blog• 70% of visitors are new – Gaining readership & spreading the word
    68. 68. OREA blogPageviews• Gage the readership per post to see what content is valuable.
    69. 69. Home Ownership Matters Campaign
    70. 70. Measuring Facebook Effectiveness• Facebook Analytics Dashboard – “Insights” section of Fan Page; “See all”• Interactions tab – Recent posts, the dates and times they were posted, how many impressions each received, and the amount of feedback per impression• Post quality: feedback per impression• Activity: impressions over time• Engagement: feedback between posts
    71. 71. Facebook• OREA –• Government Relations –• Ontario Commercial Council –• Real Estate College –• Centre for Leadership Development –• OREA President –
    72. 72. Email Campaign Evaluation • • Facebook Analytics
    73. 73. Measuring Twitter Effectiveness • Is anybody paying attention to what you’re saying on Twitter? – Number of followers = reach – Retweets = endorsement of message – @ Replies = engagement (sentiment?) – Visits from links to posted in Tweets = acting on your Tweets
    74. 74. Twitter Tools • Tweetdeck: Desktop version of Twitter • Hootsuite: Manage Multiple Accounts • Track hashtag statistics • SproutSocial: Manage Multiple Accounts • Klout: Discover your influence • Twittercounter: stats site © Ontario Real Estate Association
    75. 75. When to Tweet?• Evaluates your most retweetable time
    76. 76. Twitter • OREA – • OREA Real Estate College – • Government Relations – • Ontario Commercial Council – • OREA Centre for Leadership Development – • OREA President –
    77. 77. LinkedIn & YouTube • OREA – &gid=95499 • Centre for Leadership Development – &gid=1888725 • OREA • • Government Relations •
    78. 78. Social Media Content Evaluation• OREA Blog – The Current Categories. – What topics are most relevant to you and your industry? – Proposed Categories: REALTOR® Value, Social Media for REALTORS®, Technology, Building your Brand. – Feedback.• Guest Bloggers – REALTORS® submitting content to be reviewed and perhaps chosen for the blog? – Streamlining the process. – Industry experts. – Blogging contracts.
    79. 79. Ask Your Audience What They Want• What topics are most relevant to your industry?• What will help you succeed?• What can we do for you?• OREA Members were surveyed and the value of each of the following blog topics are as follows:
    80. 80. Share results with the SocialWhat We’ve Accomplished Media Team, Organization, Committees, etc.• Created a President’s presence on social media (Blog, Twitter, Facebook).• Launched, trained staff, and grew the OREA blog to host sections from each pillar department.• Created individual departmental social media plans that fit within the social media strategy.• Created and trained all OREA staff on social media guidelines for the Organization.• Social Media Training for the Board of Directors.• Launched over-arching OREA social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.• Created and sustained a successful Home Ownership Matters Campaign (website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and more).• Full social media integration on new OREA website (launching tomorrow)!• Social Intranet (coming soon).
    81. 81. Evaluation Summary• Constant and continuous evaluation• Metrics and Measurement• Search Engine Results• How to Measure effectiveness with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google analytics, etc.• Content Evaluation• Ask your audience what they want• Report and share results
    82. 82. Sharing Knowledge:• Social Media Strategy• Social Media Governance• Guidelines and Policies• Checklist and Response Tree• Membership Survey Results (includes questions)• Training Presentations (President, Volunteers, Staff) Email:
    83. 83. QuestionsNatasha Lemire-Blair, CAE Georgia @oreainfo