BlogWell New York Social Media Case Study: Scholastic, presented by Ivy Li and Tyler Reed


Published on

Scholastic's Social Media Producer, Corporate Communications, Ivy Li, & Manager, Corporate Communications, Tyler Reed, share how Scholastic connected bloggers and the online community to create a successful corporate blog and influential online voice.

Published in: Business
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • [Tyler] - intro Our names, titles, how it works in conjunction with the blog. We’re members of the blogging team at Scholastic and we’re here to tell you our own experience of building a corporate blog from the ground up! For us, it’s been a great experience and after a lot of hard work and dedication, the OOM blog really shows the evolution of a word document to a main day-to-day voice of the company. I was around when it launched three years ago (longest serving OOM member). Today, it’s managed by Morgan and Ivy.
  • [Ivy] Some reasons why WE started and some reasons why you may want to start a blog too. There are millions of bloggers out there - millions of convos out there on literacy, kids, media, books, and we felt that we had a lot to offer but we wanted to join in an authentic way. We wanted to be seen as part of the blogging community and not just a corporation trying to blast company news or butt into conversations. In terms of resources: we have a lot of experts in the company and we knew that the blog would be a great platform for them to share their opinions and thought leadership. Tell our story - being able to communicate to our readers messages that we create. We’re not here to control the message but to guide the conversation. Generations identify with Scholastic and we knew there were people who Want to connect with us and we didn’t want to rely on mass media to connect with customers and fans. We’re not just a faceless company. Everyone from the people pulling books at the warehouses, to the people organizing Book Fairs, we all connect through our love of books and reading. And the blog is the perfect place to make these connections. We’re all about getting kids to read and the importance of books but a lot of people don’t believe that. All companies have a mission statement, but using the blog to tell stories about how we live our mission.
  • A short history of OOM… Our blog started out as a newsletter. We wanted to be a part of the conversation on education and to be able to offer insights into what Scholastic is doing in education. After awhile, the newsletter didn’t seem effective and didn’t facilitate a two-way dialogue. That’s when we decided to transition the newsletter into a blog. It was our first venture into social media so we were extra vigilant. We knew the blog would be a huge undertaking and something that would be on top of our day jobs so to demonstrate our commitment and voice, we had to blog on a word document for one month. If anyone here is experiencing problems with executive buy-in this was a great solution for us. Rather than just turning us down immediately, our boss gave us a chance to prove that we could commit to a long term blogging strategy. We ended up choosing the blogging platform Blogger (Blogspot) because we didn’t want it to look too corporate. Our goal was to be thought of as a blog and not a company’s website. When we launched, we didn’t make a big announcement or send out any email blasts. We wanted our readers to find it on their own so that we could build an organic community.
  • [Tyler] September 2009: OOM was our first effor in the social media world. By 2009, we launched our corporate Twitter, Facebook pages and at the same time a craze over the Hunger Games series was happening. It was a big growth time for us - a lot of people were discovering our blog because of Hunger Games. Feb 2010: Our most trafficked post yet! We’ll talk about this a little later today. Over the rest of 2010, we noticed that we were posting double the content. It was an organic growth of content and readership. Our 90th anniversary was fast approaching as well. Because of all the effort we were putting into the blog, and as the blog was becoming a more professional resource - other news outlets were linking to us - we wanted the blog to reflect all of this. Feburary 14, 2011: As a Valentine’s gift to our readers, we decided to launch new OOM on Valentine’s Day. We’ll talk about the process of the relaunch later.
  • [IVY] We like to think of these as the Rules we live by. -we don’t use OOM as another marketing platform. A challenge for other parts of the company that are more focused on marketing. There are many cases where we will re-write guest posts from other parts of the Company. We have high standards for what gets put on the blog. It’s important to have a consistent voice with a core team who is responsible for the voice of the blog. -In our industry there are controversial topics that we may want to blog about. But we have to remember that this is a corporate blog and not a personal blog. So when we want to put ourselves more “out there” and offer an opinion, we will always run the idea by the rest of the OOM team. -One thing we noticed was that our readership really started to grow when we blogged every day. Pizza story. For us now, we HAVE to blog every day and sometimes 2-3 times a day because our audience grew, our bloggers grew and more and more people from around the company saw it as a viable way to share information. -We always try to give as much as we take. Linking out to other blogs, news sites, web sites is something we encourage. On Fridays we even have In Our Feeds, which is a round-up of links that we find share-worthy. You have to get over the fact that your blog isn’t just intended to drive traffic to your own sites. The more you link out, the more others will link to you - bumps up your Google search results and technorati score. -A great way to get your readers involved and to participate. We find that asking a question at the end of posts really stimulates conversation. We like to see comments!
  • [Ivy]
  • [Tyler] So this is the team! We currently have 9 bloggers on the team. It originally started with just three. Some of these bloggers are new (from the past month). We all cover different topics. Ivy does…Tyler does…. We wanted diversity and expertise. Over time we saw certain people in the company stepping forward, offering ideas and blog posts…like Michael, the Manager from the Scholastic Store. We never thought about approaching Michael as a regular blogger, but because of his interest and great ideas, we knew we wanted him to be part of the team. The blog has been a really useful tool for us to discover new voices from within the company. The more bloggers that joined OOM, the easier it became to blog every day.
  • [Ivy] One of the biggest challenges we have to deal with is balancing our content. When we talk about balancing content there are two areas that come to mind: The first is making sure that our blog posts aren’t just about Scholastic related news or messaging. The other balance we have to keep in mind is balancing content for teachers, parents, librarians, Harry Potter fans, book bloggers, etc. A post about a teacher web cast might not be as relevant to our YA book fans, so we usually meet on Fridays to determine our next week’s blogging schedule - making sure that the blog is balanced and that we’re planning ahead. We’ll put in all of the important announcements first and then add in the “non-Scholastic” news items. Regular Features: 5 Questions video interviews with employees and authors My Bookprint: each blogger blogs about the 5 books that shaped our life #MyTeacher: each week we blog about one of our favorite teachers from when we were in school Giveaways: rather than selling through the blog we give readers a chance to win the books we’re talking about. In Our Feeds: a round-up of links we find share-worthy Sometimes it’s not enough to just put out a press release because the people who you WANT to read the statement, aren’t press release readers. Robert Munsch. There was a documentary airing in Canada on one of our well-known authors that shed some light on his personal struggles. We knew there would be reactions, lots of tweets, blog posts and news coverage on the documentary and questions about Scholastic’s reaction/stance. We wanted to show our support for the author so we published a statement on our blog and also linked to the author’s own blog post. Proactive - Harry Potter lawsuit. You might’ve heard about the lawsuit against JK Rowling and with these high interest stories, we make sure to address them on our blog. We know all the Harry Potter fans read our blog. Corrections - A reporter had published a story with what we saw was a misinterpretation of a report we put out so we used the blog as an opportunity to set the fact straight.
  • [TYLER] After blogging for three years, here’s a list of topics we blog. We know we get a high response from a lot of these topics so we take advantage of that. -Knowing your audience, always interested in HG, Harry Potter news, - the stuff that fans LIKE. -
  • [Ivy] In preparing for the cover release of Mockingjay the much-anticipated third book in The Hunger Games trilogy, we used the opportunity to break the news on OOM. In the blog post, we not only revealed the cover and title of the newest book, we also included a guest contribution from the editor of the book. Everything about the book content was top secret so we couldn’t talk about the book…but to get people pumped about the book we included some silly non-spoilers of “what won’t be happening in the book.” – with pop-culture references to Lady Gaga and Kanye West. It was a success because we engaged with an already active fan base, presented value to the fans in a fun non-spoiler way, and positioned the blog as a go-to source for official news relating to the book series. We got so many link backs in the first 24 hours from other news and blog sites that our technorati points went up 82 points! Now HG fans and Media! Come to OOM to get the latest scoop on Hunger Games.
  • [Tyler] About a year ago, when our blog was starting to take off - we wanted to find out more about our readers; are they teachers, parents, bloggers? We created a Google Docs survey and asked a bunch of questions that you see here. We got a bunch of great responses …next slide
  • We got a lot of great responses. A lot of them were very useful for us to know and several had great ideas. One of them actually led us to invite a new blogger to join the team. Jessica, who was a regular guest blogger became a full time blogger. From the survey we were also able to prioritize our resources more. So we eased away from regular video features we were doing (that consumed a lot of time and weren’t as popular according to the survey)
  • [Ivy] After 3 years, it was time for a refresh! We’re putting a lot of work and effort behind OOM content, and we thought that the look and feel should reflect our work. So we started with New bloggers - Blogger to - Then we had to decide if we wanted to switch platforms - now was the time! We chose to switch from Blogger to Wordpress because of the flexibility gave us for design and development. Technical considerations - we had a lot of content we didn’t want to lose, linkbacks we wanted to keep working. We couldn’t do it ourselves. We had to get one of our tech experts to help us figure out the right plug-ins and how the transition would happen. Paper sketch - Communication to readers
  • [TYLER] On Our Minds has become the hub of all of our social media efforts. It drives what we tweet and put on Facebook. Every post on OOM goes to our Twitter feed and Facebook account After we grew our Twitter and Facebook communities, our blog traffic grew tremendously! The fact that we have a blog with fresh content every day, means that we have new content of value to put on Facebook every day. Being on Twitter and Facebook are two new communities for us to share our content.
  • [Ivy] These are the things we look at when we’re evaluating the success of our blog. Relationships with bloggers - we’ve held events with mom bloggers, book bloggers. It’s given us a space to engage with edu bloggers. Loyalty, engagement, recognition by outside voices make us squee! We consider that a good ROI!
  • [Tyler] These are the ingredients we think that go into being a successful blogger.
  • BlogWell New York Social Media Case Study: Scholastic, presented by Ivy Li and Tyler Reed

    1. 2. The ABCs of Corporate Blogging On Our Minds @Scholastic Presented by Ivy Li | @ivyli Tyler Reed | @tylerbreed BlogWell – March 29, 2011
    2. 3. Why we blog? <ul><li>Join the community in an authentic way </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate our expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Tell our story </li></ul><ul><li>Show how we live our mission </li></ul>
    3. 4. 2007: OOM started as a newsletter. 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 January 2008: Pitch to boss. Begin blogging in Microsoft Word. April 16, 2008: First external comment. March 2009: Focus shifts from education to a broader audience. “ I’d love to see libraries offer Wikipedia courses. It’d be great to have library visitors contributing in addition to consuming.” -Eric M. The History of OOM March 7, 2008: OOM goes live with “Nerd Alert!”
    4. 5. The History of OOM 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 September 2009: Launch of Scholastic Twitter & Facebook Pages and Hunger Games series takes off. February 2010: Breaking our own news: Mockingjay cover reveal February 14, 2011: Re-designed OOM launch and new bloggers join!
    5. 6. The Do’s and Don’ts of OOM <ul><li>Write in your own voice (Engage. Don’t sell.) </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for a read if you’re not sure </li></ul><ul><li>Blog regularly and for all of your audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Link out – be an active participant in the community </li></ul><ul><li>Ask a question at the end of posts </li></ul>
    6. 7. The Dos and Don’ts of OOM <ul><li>Don’t forget about multimedia. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t do it all yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t link to a press release </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ignore the comments section </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be discouraged if some posts aren’t as popular. </li></ul>
    7. 8. The Minds Ivy (Social Media Producer): trends, videos, illustrators, and events & what’s going on at Scholastic Tyler (Education Manager): education, technology, Book Clubs and literacy issues Amanda (Manager): literacy initiatives, awards, books, and pop culture Jessica (Scholastic Librarian): libraries, literacy, trends, books, e-books Morgan (Dir. Social Media & Internal Comms.): Books, authors, education, social media, and Baby-sitter’s Club! Dante (Internal Comms & Kids Press Producer): kids news, pop culture, video, and film issues Yanique (Jr. Publicist): books, Scholastic Store in SoHo, and Art & Writing Awards Michael (Scholastic Store Manager): literacy, holidays, Scholastic Store events, and books Kristen (Jr. Publicist): parenting, summer reading, Book Clubs, and kids news
    8. 9. The Diversity of OOM <ul><li>The challenge of balancing content: </li></ul><ul><li>- It shouldn’t always be about us </li></ul><ul><li>- Writing for our communities </li></ul><ul><li>Regular features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>My Bookprint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#MyTeacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Giveaways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Our Feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crisis Communications </li></ul>
    9. 10. What we know that works <ul><li>Content our readers go crazy for! </li></ul><ul><li>News we can break </li></ul><ul><li>Re-purposing assets </li></ul><ul><li>Giveaways </li></ul><ul><li>Trends and lists: including Top 10 or “Best of” lists </li></ul><ul><li>Timely posts (seasonal moments, holidays, special occasions) </li></ul><ul><li>Inside Scholastic or behind-the-scenes opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know our bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>Get to know our readers </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing moments from other social networks </li></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>Case Study: </li></ul><ul><li>Mockingjay Cover Release </li></ul><ul><li>Announcement of the cover and title </li></ul><ul><li>for book 3 in The Hunger Games series </li></ul>
    11. 12. Mockingjay Blog Post Stats: In the first 24 hours of the announcement, the blog post had more than… The most visits and pageviews any single post on OOM @ Scholastic. A significant amount of traffic came from first-time visitors. = 48 linkbacks within the first 24 hours = 172 new followers on Twitter = 661 Tweets of the OOM blog post We created a unique and shortened URL for the blog post for fans to share on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and for us to tweet: . This single URL had more than 3,606 clicks within the first day. 230,000+ Facebook Impressions
    12. 13. Case study: Mockingjay Cover Release Just a sample of major media blogs and book blogs that linked to our blog post:
    13. 14. Highlights of OOM in influential media: Case study: Mockingjay Cover Release
    14. 15. More highlights of OOM in influential media: Case study: Mockingjay Cover Release
    15. 16. Learning about our readers <ul><li>What did we want to know? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are they? (teachers/parents/book bloggers?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What industry do they work in? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How often do they read OOM? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do they like/dislike about the blog? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What topic(s) should we focus on more? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can we do better? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What other blogs do they like to read? </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Learning about our readers <ul><li>Answers from the survey: </li></ul>Guess what? We listened and took action! We now have a Librarian Blogger on the team! Jessica “ I really enjoyed the intern post, if we could see more of that that'd be awesome. Also, I'd like to see focuses on more young adult genre books.” “ I know you focus heavily on teachers but I'd love to see a bit more emphasis on librarians. We aren't the same as teachers for sure.”
    17. 18. The road to new OOM Paper sketch Technical Considerations Blogger to New bloggers Communication to readers The launch!
    18. 20. Connecting the social dots <ul><li>OOM feeds Twitter and Facebook – both social networks circulate content and readers back to the blog. </li></ul><ul><li>OOM provides content </li></ul><ul><li>Social media helps generate content (feedback) </li></ul><ul><li>Social media also helps boost traffic and readership </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, our readership grew (+40.38% - not including subscribers) once we established a full presence on Twitter and Facebook. </li></ul>
    19. 21. ROI <ul><li>Relationships with bloggers (book bloggers, BlogHer, edublogosphere) </li></ul><ul><li>Linkbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream media citing OOM </li></ul><ul><li>Unique visitors </li></ul><ul><li>Subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>Our own “news” vehicle </li></ul>
    20. 22. To succeed, we need… <ul><li>Passion </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Courage </li></ul><ul><li>Patience </li></ul><ul><li>To be customer-centric </li></ul><ul><li>To listen </li></ul><ul><li>To stay organized </li></ul><ul><li>To have fun! </li></ul>
    21. 23. Questions? <ul><li>Get in touch with us! </li></ul> Ivy Li @ivyli [email_address] Tyler Reed @tylerbreed [email_address]