From the Corporate Social Media Trenches: 4 Lessons in Centralized #SocialMedia Strategy

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A personal account how to help your organization be successful with social media through strategy, planning, and purposeful tactics.

A personal account how to help your organization be successful with social media through strategy, planning, and purposeful tactics.

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  • Corporate and our role. How the brand initiative provided an opportunity to share one voice. Anecdotes.
  • Drive awareness of brand and solutions to deliver revenueEngage audience of customers, prospects and mediaInform and involve executivesMaintain and cultivate internal, external content contributorsPlanCollaborative, strategic goal-setting to get executives on boardConnect with internal thought leaders and customer advocates to build initial success storiesAddress negative perceptions at all levels: editorial control, anticipated ROI, anticipated customer reactions
  • Perform an audit: review and make final decisions with executivesConsistent process: work with functional or regional leadsContinue internal conversation: contributors, customer advocatesMonitor, measure, report: entire internal audience
  • Connect the link from social channel, to website, and CRM. Executives want to know: sales volume, revenue, and cost. How is this impacting the bottom line.Before I review my goals for social media, I wanted to share where I believe social media fits in. you may notice this is very similar to the sales funnel. What I am doing is expanded the awareness piece of the funnel and expanding. The top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic. We know anecdotally that we are seeing an increase in web traffic to our sites currently. With the brand initiative and the new sites, we will be able to better improve our exposure with efforts from SEO and SEM. For me Social Media is a key element in helping Hobsons move people along the lead generation funnel from awareness to providing information (Image below). We know that while some prospects may not covert, those folks will and have amplified our message and content (see engagement metrics). This directly impacts how people hear about our products and our company. Our current model of outbound marketing will not be able to support the growth we are looking for . We need to implement a structure where folks can move along a consideration cycle ( at their pace). More people are searching for companies and reading their social media channels Before picking up the phone or meeting us.The time to implement a more structure model is now, we are building channels, increasing awareness, but without a solid and consistent message across all business our efforts will be muted. Even if folks do not convert this is still valuable.
  • Before we did any social media activities, I conducted an audit of all the properties that Hobsons was associated with.My organization at the beginning of our social media experiment had more than 47 channels and growing. Why? Most of our channels were created from a few places: 1) through acquisition ( companies acquired, but we continue to use the channel 2) a perceived need 3) because they wanted too. I evaluated social media channels on simple measurements: 1) are we actively using this 2) do people react or post comments 3) is it worth our time?  During the audit, I evaluated our audience, engagement and current activities. I then reviewed what I wanted our ultimate outcomes are for participating and engaging in the space:We want to listen what is going on with clients, potential and industry leadersWe want people to associate Hobsons as an industry leader. We build our authority by sharing our thoughts, ideas, papers etc. with the marketing using social media. Not only do we share out content but we engage with media and key influencers in the marketWe are currently not consistent in all channelsFor example we have 5 FB pages for clients: Hobsons AUS, Naviance, Hobsons Staff, HUGS, Hobsons EMT. These sites are little activity, meaning no one is searching for these sites and posting comments. Why cares? These properties show up in searches and negates our efforts. If we want to drive those people to corporate or other properties the are eating up our efforts. When you put good content and people are engaging you do not want the perception that we do not keep our sites updated. Bad. Really bad from a brand perception.
  • You have seen where we are now this is where we are headed(Ground Swell 2008)In order to create a consistent message we need all parties to participate in our strategy of POST. Example, when worked with CC about their social assets. Before working with us there was any consistence to the SM sites. Sometimes they post, sometimes they answered questions. But no thought about their effort and what it was yeilding. We just knew we had to do something.By working through the post model- we identified their ultimate goal was drive traffic back to there site. (Objective). We then came up with a strategy that supported the objective with perspective tactics to support. Through ongoing coaching we have been able to improve traffic to CC.Ultimate, our strategy is to build 16 consistent channels and use our social media champions to send a consistent message. The SMC will have training, a handbook, and a style guide that helps them in their efforts. We want people to work with us and be collaborative. That doesn't’t mean everyone creates their own channel; however we can have folks participate better in the existing channels with guidance and support. (example- there are many LI groups in which people can participate but we don’t. we need folks to have training so they know how to act and not make mistakes that reflect on Hobsons brand). We know from experience that without education and training people will flounder and their efforts will be unsuccessful.Other groups that we have not engage with yet, are missing opportunities to leverage social media or not consistently using the medium. I believe this is because we are not measuring our efforts and not defining why we are engaging in SM before building the SM channel.Ultimately I want people to engage within specfic SM channels that are trained, understand the expectations of particiapting and use the guide to build SM sites (if possible).If we want to build our SM channels we need to all pull for the same framework and evaluate what we are doing.
  • AwarenessEngagementAlignment Leverage existing history and benchmarks for acceptable results. Align social media to core business goalsUnderstand that social is one channel in the marketing mixShow social media results in content with other marketing channelsOur goal for social media is simple: we want everyone within the organization to be working on the same page. Currently we have 47channels in which individuals and departments are not using the same rope. Meaning that we are creating create work, but not optimizing our resources to be the most efficient to ultimate deliver more results. We are at the turning point to where our good efforts can deliver great results but not without the guiding framework that everyone must use to build.Currently we have good stuff occurring with the department and great resources but all of this is sub optimal because we have strained resources (people) and no focused strategy for ALL Hobsons channels
  • How does the audit work. Plan on the Page pulls together. Has the detailed in one place. Importance this is all in one placeUsing this logical approach, we began to shed social media channels in which we 1) were not active or 2) no one was actively engaging. Now, in the beginning, I receive a lot of resistance on delete accounts that were not active. My rationale was simple: If no one has posted any content in a year or years, do you really think people are still actively looking for what you post or say? Most people couldn’t answer yes. Strengths- SME, strong sales team, highly engaged clients. Through an audit we evaluated on what we should pursue or not. The audit was based on very simple tasks: did it help achieve awareness, engagement? Why were we keeping this channel up? I put everything on the table.
  • Any new initiative needs executive support otherwise it is doomed to never get off the ground. My team began to make small wins, but I neglected to engage our C level folks. Bad move. It wasn’t until our new managing director joined our company that he began to ask questions about our social media channels. Interest is always a good indication as it leads to the ability to share your plans in a open forum. Working with the managing director helped me understand what the C suite wanted. Did he care about how many followers we had? Interesting fact to me, but not to him. He did want to hear how we help customers via social media and increased engagement with our client and prospective audience. By sharing mini case studies with the team based on different internal and external wins, I was able to leverage our wins in terms of what C level executives care about: minimizing risk to the organization, increasing our awareness (which leads to more people know about our company and potentially buying our service, aka revenue), and sharing our client success stories that peaked our trades interest. I learned rather quickly my executives didn’t care about how many followers we had, but did care that we were able to resolve customer services issues quickly. Example? Recently at our user group meeting we were experience wifi issues and our attendees began to post on Twitter how slow the wifi was. Since we monitor the feeds, I saw this issue and was able to connect to our events team and solve the issue. Big deal you say? I was able to resolve the wifi issues within 3 mins. 3 mins sounds impossible, right? Not really. Once I say the feed and let people know that we were aware of the issue and were taking care of it, people responded with” thank you(s)” and “awesome(s).” mitigating risk will always get the c suite attention.  When I presented to our chief executive officer on our strategy, he supported it not because that’s what our other competitors were doing because I sold him on the ability that we could mitigate risk. He saw the value that using social media from that point forward. Also, I was able to get some of our executives to perform in a variety of social media activities from participating in tweet chats to setting up Twitter accounts and actively engaging with our market.
  • Proof is in the pudding. Don’t tell me you are having success show them.
  • Since October 2011…. Need to discuss social media response.Since the explosion of social media, people have taken to the virtual street to decry their excitement, trials, and frustration. Since implementing our social listening program we have answered 30 inquiries and complaints. This example here illustrates a prime reason for Hobsons to continue its efforts in sm. Abe is a VIP Connect client who was experiencing some technical issues. Venting his frustration about the tech problems, a few folks who use the tool offered some suggestions. We reached out to professional services, reached his accounts person and was able to connect the two in order to fix his problems. Abe resends a message to all his followers that we responded and fixed his issue. Months later, Abe shared his very positive experience regarding his positive experience. Point: Abe not only is a client, but he is a client that shares his expereince with others. Go back to our goals we want to have other influence others. Social media is not about sharing what you ate for lunch. It is about influencing and having those influence others to Hobsons.
  • Once our team was on board, we began training folks on how best to use social media. Brand workshops for the companyAfter the cincy brand workshops, will post to hiwire a social media playbookEngaged and Informed- I am looking for someone who is willing to actively participate if interested. Interested means is sharing Hobsons info and news. We will post a social media playbook. Practices transparency- someone whose an brand ambassador is willing to publically post company infoJudicious- Adds valueProfessionalPassionateBrian Solis (not just social media, we all need to participate)Evolution where we are goingEntire organization be social media champions (Katy Barson, Robin Long- twitter is helping her to be social, social business to be better at her job)
  • So, if your thinking people will use common sense. Think again. We saw that many folks had good intentions, but were not doing what I would consider ideal behavior on social media. So we decided to give folks a framework to work on. We provided employees a playbook to use if they choose to participate. Give people your expectations. don’t assume they know how to do it.
  • This is where I want to goExposure: how many people saw our brand. This is important because the more people we put in the funnel the more money there is.Influence: how many influencers are in are network, how many refer us to their network. How many convert into clients.Engagement (Hootsuite is tool and integrates with Google analytics): There are tones of ways to engage with folks: share content, comment on a blog (500 ways to engage on a site). Highest level than other channelsAction/Conversion: moving from hmm, saw this blog post and now I want to get more information than XXConversion is different in Social Media. Content in SM is fill out a form and get a piece of content. Soft lead versus hard lead. Soft lead is interested in a piece of content not interested in a product. A social media lead takes longer to convert. The reason is: we got them so much earlier in the buying cycle.Working with our stakeholders and brand ambassadors, we should evaluate what success we are having at multiple stages in the consideration funnel. We have to manage the activity in order to lay the foundation o of what we can expect from social media. We cannot expect SM to deliver sales when we are 1) unfocused 2) have conflicting channels that splinter our efforts.
  • Using this logical approach, we began to shed social media channels in which we 1) were not active or 2) no one was actively engaging. Now, in the beginning, I receive a lot of resistance on delete accounts that were not active. My rationale was simple: If no one has posted any content in a year or years, do you really think people are still actively looking for what you post or say? Most people couldn’t answer yes. There is a difference between using social media and making it work for your organization. In not about tweeting or posting, it is about building a plan that includes both strategy and tactic. Most folks I talk to would rather get into the weeds and talk about tactics such as, “ I think we should post six times a day” rather than “our goal in using social media is …, we will achieve our goals by implementing X, Y, and Z.” Two different approached that will yield different results. Being an expert isn’t about tweeting or posting on Facebook, it is about knowing how and when to implement. There’s a difference in any social media presence when someone behind the team is a strategist versus practitioner. A strategist asks “why” before evening putting anything out in the socialsphere, the tactical marketer puts it out there and see’s what sticks. Ultimately it comes down to do you know why your doing social media. To put this in perspective, I default to my token phrase, “ Just because my 16 year old niece is on Facebook, doesn’t make her an expert at Facebook.”
  • You have seen where we are now this is where we are headedIn order to create a consistent message we need all parties to participate in our strategy of POST. Example, when worked with CC about their social assets. Before working with us there was any consistence to the SM sites. Sometimes they post, sometimes they answered questions. But no thought about their effort and what it was yeilding. We just knew we had to do something.By working through the post model- we identified their ultimate goal was drive traffic back to there site. (Objective). We then came up with a strategy that supported the objective with perspective tactics to support. Through ongoing coaching we have been able to improve traffic to CC.Ultimate, our strategy is to build 16 consistent channels and use our social media champions to send a consistent message. The SMC will have training, a handbook, and a style guide that helps them in their efforts. We want people to work with us and be collaborative. That doesn't’t mean everyone creates their own channel; however we can have folks participate better in the existing channels with guidance and support. (example- there are many LI groups in which people can participate but we don’t. we need folks to have training so they know how to act and not make mistakes that reflect on Hobsons brand). We know from experience that without education and training people will flounder and their efforts will be unsuccessful.Other groups that we have not engage with yet, are missing opportunities to leverage social media or not consistently using the medium. I believe this is because we are not measuring our efforts and not defining why we are engaging in SM before building the SM channel.Ultimately I want people to engage within specfic SM channels that are trained, understand the expectations of particiapting and use the guide to build SM sites (if possible).If we want to build our SM channels we need to all pull for the same framework and evaluate what we are doing.
  • Client icon with laptop and google in browserSocial channelsw/ iconsPeople aroundsHorizontal approach and circular approachIf we implement our recommendation we will have a more powerful, focused landscape that can deliver the message of one brand, one company

Transcript

  • 1. From the Corporate Social MediaTrenches: 4 Things We Learned fromImplementing a Central #SM StrategyPRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake ConferenceNovember 8, 2012
  • 2. Objectives• How Best to Set-Up Central Social Media Strategies• What Stakeholders should be Involved• Identifying and Engaging Contributors• Bonus: Balancing Brand Messaging and Thought Leadership
  • 3. Where Brand Strategy Meets Social MediaA brand story iscontrolled and clear. Social media isn’t just sending a message… It’s about having a conversation.3
  • 4. One Central Voice Set performance and organization GOALS PLAN your path to success4
  • 5. Why One Voice Is Important RESULTS Best way to drive and measure, effectively leverage your investment CHANNEL MANAGEMENT The channel is new, the concept is classic DELIVERS CONSISTENCY Builds and increases trust ESTABLISHES A FRAMEWORK Creates a simple framework to encourage more participation
  • 6. Getting Everyone on Board CONCEPT COLLABORATION CONTRIBUTION Quantify results Be open Plan participation •Drive brand investment •Accessible editorial •Give authors deadlines •Successful event calendar for confirmed topics Clarify Process •Encourage content ideas •Leverage centralized Get immediate buy-in view of successful content Relationships with Be a resource Share success stories decision makers •1:1 coaching for new •Give credit to daily •Executives authors contributors •Functional leaders •Individual executive •Your success is long-term •Subject matter experts briefings, sessions w/ functional teams6
  • 7. We all Agree.. Now What? Perform an audit - Keep the good - Delete the inactive Establish consistent process - Content planning and creation - Maintenance of Twitter handles, Facebook pages Continue the conversation… internally Monitor, measure, report7
  • 8. The Landscape8
  • 9. Where does #SocialMedia Fit9
  • 10. 2011 Landscape: No Consistency With product driving social media, we had 40 + social channels. 40+ Social Channels Text10
  • 11. Nail Down Your Social Media Strategy: P.O.S.T 1) Created formula for successful social media channels =11
  • 12. Hitting the Ground Running Define What We are Doing with Social Media: Awareness Engagement Alignment12
  • 13. STRATEGIC SUPPORTINGBUSINESS OBJECTIVES METRICS OPPORTUNITIES EXPERIMENTS Hob Hobsons • SMEs to In order of Metric Path Corporate provide content Engagement as of Increase awareness, Accounts— to audience 6.25.12: sentiment and OUTCOME transparency • Provide real 1) Awareness time customer • Twitter (1121) Highlight 2) Engagement support to • LinkedIn (1288) Hobsons and OBJECTIVE 3) Align with inquires (within • Slideshare Naviance one comp., EDT time zone) (2809) one brand • Leverage Blog • Facebook (178) Transactional METRIC to share • YouTube (1320) thought- • Blog (June) leadership content thruAUDIENCE DYNAMICS Metric Path Hobsons channels Increase conversions and • Highly engage cross-sell OUTCOME opportunities clients and employees sharing content Web Traffic OBJECTIVE Web Traffic METRIC Plan-on-a-Page is from Marketing Leadership Roundtable
  • 14. What Best Practices Can I Share?
  • 15. Lesson #1: You Need an Executive Champion15
  • 16. Presenting Your Case16
  • 17. Resolved 30+ Client Inquiries Result: A Brand Advocate I am upset…Help ME Shares his positive experience too17
  • 18. Lesson #2: You Need an Brand Army18
  • 19. But there’s a catch From FullFrontSocial Media19
  • 20. Where I want Hobsons to go: Social Media Measurement From Full Frontal Social Media20
  • 21. Pick Your Metrics: Followership21
  • 22. Pick Your Metrics: Reach22
  • 23. Pick Your Metric: Social Shares
  • 24. Pick Your Metric: Website Traffic24
  • 25. Lesson #3: Everyone is an expert We I like… should I don’t You like don’t25
  • 26. Lesson #4: Change is Hard26
  • 27. What 4 things did you learn? Establish a goal and a strategy You Need an Executive Champion Everyone Needs to be Involved, but there’s a catch Change is Hard27
  • 28. What a P.O.S.T World will Look Like? 16 Social Channels Client28
  • 29. Questions?29
  • 30. Thanks for Listening! And your social media folks: @rachelmetscher @marlysalohr ( MY other social media resource)30