Best practices in social media

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A very useful user manual with practical tips to be successful with social media. We drew and analyzed insights from two types of sources:
• Research and market studies
• Expert interviews

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Best practices in social media

  1. 1. Alan Chiu, Xavier Lederer, Yong Tian<br />Best Practices in Social MediaExpert interviewsCase studiesMarket research<br />October 2011<br />
  2. 2. 2<br />“So you wanna sell to me through Facebook?!?”<br />Xavier Lederer<br />
  3. 3. Background<br />Social Media Landscape<br />Best Practices and Tools<br />Case Studies and Expert Interviews<br />About<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Motivation<br />The use of social media by companies is strongly growing, pushed by several factors:<br />Willingness to deepen the relationship with the customers and to generate 2-way interactions, which traditional mass media generally don’t allow in a large scale<br />Necessity to reduce marketing costs from traditional media due to the recession<br />Strong penetration of social media: 76% of the US population is a member of 2.1 networks on average. 57% of the population follows 20.2 brands on average*<br />However many companies are still in their learning stage. Many of them started communicating through social medial only 2 or 3 years ago and don’t always have the opportunity to reflect on what makes a successful social media approach<br />4<br />Note: *“Social media around the world 2011”, Insites Consulting<br />
  5. 5. Key Questions and Methodology<br />5<br />Key questions:<br />Success factors: How can companies use social media successfully? Which types of initiatives can they put in place to interact with their prospects and customers through social media?<br />Mapping of social media: What are the characteristics of the various social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter,…)?<br />Monitoring: Which tools can you use to monitor what is being said about your company (and your competitors), and respond to it?<br />Methodology: <br />We conceived this short document as a user manual with practical tips to be successful with social media<br />We analyzed research and market studies. Then cross referenced them with expert practitioner interviews. <br />
  6. 6. Background<br />Social Media Landscape<br />Best Practices and Tools<br />Case Studies and Expert Interviews<br />About<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Social Media Landscape<br />Sources: “Facebook and Brands”, DDB Opinionway (Wedbush October 27, 2010); “Social media around the world 2011”, Insites Consulting<br />7<br />Consumers expect a deeper relationship with brands on social media. In exchange, they are ready to echo the brand’s message and recruit new fans for the brand<br />
  8. 8. Social Media Landscape<br />8<br />Social media characteristics<br />Sources: Expert interviews<br />
  9. 9. Social Media Landscape<br />9<br />Facebook’s dominance of social networks in the US is sharply increasing<br />Source: Silicon Alley Insider<br />
  10. 10. Background<br />Social Media Landscape<br />Best Practices and Tools<br />Case Studies and Expert Interviews<br />About<br />10<br />
  11. 11. 1. Define the scope of social media<br />11<br />Prominently encourage your customers to ask their questions through social media rather than through individual media (e.g. email or phone): it amplifies the interactions, as it helps you demonstrate your empathy to all other customers who see your posts<br />Don’t shy away from negative comments and don’t remove them. Deal with complaints – it builds authenticity and trust<br />
  12. 12. 2. Grow Fan Base<br />12<br />Communicate the compelling and specific reasons to like your brand (e.g. exclusive promotions, involvement in product development, tips)<br />Start with your own personal network and the one of your employees/partners<br />Post and engage with your fan base to generate organic growth (see next slide): your fans will invite their friends and organically grown your fan base<br />Incentivize existing fans to invite their friends to become fans:<br />Set up “like” milestones campaigns: “when our fan base reaches X fans, you can win/receive Y.” These campaigns incentivize the fans to help grow the fan base<br />Organize contests where the winner needs to maximize the number of ‘Likes” on his contribution (e.g. candidates post a picture or a story and have to gather votes from other fans to win)<br />Learn by doing with a tight feedback loop. Observe what contents engage, convert, and repel<br />Pay to advertise on social media. However it is expensive and it generates a lower level of engagement with the newly recruited fans<br />Pay for sponsored stories (Facebook), which can allow a better targeting. Still expensive<br />
  13. 13. 3. Engage with your fans<br />13<br />Maximize the engagement level with your fans:<br />Be authentic and conversational in your posts. Humanize and personalize your brand<br />Make sure your tone of voice reflects your brand personality and values. Train customer service agents on brand attributes as soon as they post on Facebook to answer customer requests<br />Talk also about things other than your brand – music, sports – to engage your customers in other ways. It comes across more authentic (vs always trying to sell them something)<br />Respond to everyone who reaches out to your brand – just as you would pick up the phone when it rings. Make sure that you have the capacity (manpower) to respond to customer questions, otherwise fans have the feeling that they are not heard. Answering posts also reinforces the fan’s feeling that the brand is a “real” person. Post from fans should be answered within a day.<br />Trigger interactions from fans:<br />Ask questions<br />Run contests<br />Post articles, but only positive news (“happiness spreads more easily than sadness”); ask: “what do you think”” or “click if you like this” kind of questions to trigger interactions<br />Offer your fans research results that they otherwise wouldn't have access to (e.g. on health and nutrition)<br />Announce product launch/retirement<br />Ask opinion regarding product/packaging development, or more general improvement questions (“What can we do better?”)<br />Be predictable to trigger maximum engagement; e.g. post every day at 10:55 am, or ask trivia questions to win coupons every Tuesday<br />Maximize use of visuals (e.g., picture, video)<br />
  14. 14. 4. Generate Sales<br />14<br />Post exclusive discounts/coupon, only available to your fans<br />Run campaigns like: “Like us to get your discount code”, to both grow your fan base and convert fans into buyers<br />Regularly post positive and useful information about the benefits of your products<br />Leverage specific posts from fans that encourage to buy (e.g. “I bought product X and it is great because of Y”), for instance by reposting the initial post in the form of a question<br />
  15. 15. 5. Monitor your Impact<br />15<br />Shortlist of monitoring tools: How to monitor what is being said about your company on the Internet, and respond to it<br />
  16. 16. Background<br />Social Media Landscape<br />Best Practices and Tools<br />Case Studies and Expert Interviews<br />About<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Case Study: Bonobos<br />Bonobos – Men’s clothes sold online (“We couldn't find pants that fit. We don't like shopping. Bonobos became the answer”)<br /><ul><li>15,423 Facebook fans</li></li></ul><li>Case Study: Bonobos<br />Bonobos gives clear reasons to become a fan<br />Exclusive offers and promotions<br />First look at new products<br />Content<br />Tips and advice<br />
  18. 18. Case Study: Bonobos<br />Bonobos engage in a true dialogue with its customers: social media are considered as customer service channels<br />“All our Ninja customer service team is active on social media answering questions from customers. To ensure tone of voice consistency we train our Ninja extensively on branding. We want to be perceived as accessible and as real, human people”<br />- David Fudge, Head of social media, Bonobos<br />
  19. 19. Case Study: Bonobos<br />Developing great relationships with customers is core part of strategy, and social media is a key piece of it<br />Negative comments on social media can help build authenticity and trust if handled properly. “Transparency of social media platform builds trust”<br />- David Fudge, Head of social media, Bonobos<br />“Being active on social media platforms like Facebook & Twitter allow us to have a one to one dialogue with consumers in an environment that they are active on every day. We have to be where they are; we can't always expect them to come to us. We see roughly 25% of our customer service inquiries come from social media channels. We try to respond to these inquiries within 1 hour”<br />- David Fudge, Head of social media, Bonobos<br />
  20. 20. Case Study: Bonobos<br />Bobonos fan base almost quadrupled in 3 months, jumping from 15K fans to more than 55 K<br />Bonobos reward campaign<br />Message: “50,000 Likes gets you 50% off”<br />Period: 3 weeks in September 2011 (intentionally short period to maximize success)<br />Progressive reward (e.g., for 45,000 fans at the end of the campaign, fans would have got 45% off); reward for existing as well as new fans<br />Reward campaign and some paid advertising (Budget ~$25K*; gain: 29K fans)<br />Mainly paid advertising<br />(Budget ~$10-14K; gain: 9K fans)<br />Results:<br />53K fans (starting from 24K fans at the beginning of the campaign)<br />Most growth was organic (little paid advertising: <$10K budget)<br />Redemption rate: 5% of fan base; the promo code could only be used during one specific day<br />“Lessons learned:<br /><ul><li>Have your infrastructure ready for the big influx of new customers. New buyers are more intolerant of hiccups.
  21. 21. Reduce the financial burden of the promotion by limiting it to high-margin products (e.g., proprietary brands)”</li></ul>- David Fudge, Head of social media, Bonobos<br />Note: ~$12.5K in paid advertising, and ~$12.5K in web development (Facebook tab)<br />
  22. 22. Case Study: Bonobos<br />Bonobos engages its customers through questions (also unrelated to its business) and promotions<br />“You want to talk about things other than your brand. You want to discuss other things your fans care about – music, sports – to engage them in other ways. It comes across more authentic (vs always trying to sell them something)”<br />- David Fudge, Head of social media, Bonobos<br />Exclusive Facebook promotions<br />
  23. 23. Case Study: Bonobos<br />Finally, Bonobos engages its fans by involving them in product development<br />
  24. 24. Case Study: Nature’s Path<br />Nature’s Path Organic Food: organic cereals<br />152,843 Facebook fans<br />Large organic cereal company<br />Based in BC<br />Covers Canada and US<br />Family-owned company<br />Strongly value-driven<br />
  25. 25. Case Study: Nature’s Path<br />Nature’s Path engages in dialogue with its customers<br />“Some companies remove negative comments from their Facebook page – don't do it. Deal with complaints – it builds trust”<br />- ChristabelShaler, Social media specialist, Nature’s Path<br />“The number of fans is far less important than the engagement level. What's the point of having a million fans if no one is listening to you? The important thing is to be authentic and conversational. Authentic conversations build brand personality”<br />- ChristabelShaler, Social media specialist, Nature’s Path<br />
  26. 26. Case Study: Nature’s Path<br />Content posting: positive and diverse news<br />“Don't make it so much about selling products. It is OK to have a Facebook store as an option but don't focus on it – otherwise it's like having a friend who's trying to sell you stuffs all the time. Instead, you should focus on the relationship”<br />- ChristabelShaler, Social media specialist, Nature’s Path<br />Posted articles: only positive news (“happiness”)<br />“Social media is a conversation. It is like a party: Facebook is a party; twitter is a party. It's not fun if you're only talking about yourself, it's not conversation. You have to listen to the person you're talking to, so that you're talking with them, not at them. You can trigger this conversation by posting questions and sharing content”<br />- ChristabelShaler, Social media specialist, Nature’s Path<br />
  27. 27. Case Study: Goodbelly<br />Clear reasons to like the brand<br />Welcome page: clear reasons to like the brand<br />Contests (e.g. “Where in the world is this Goodbelly”?); winner gets VIP coupon<br />“Respond to everyone who reaches out to your brand – just as you would pick up the phone when it rings. Otherwise fans have the feeling that they are not heard. Answering posts also reinforces the feeling of the consumers that the brand is a “real” person. Post from fans should be answered within 24 hours maximum.”<br />- Ariel Scott, Manager of Online Marketing & Consumer Communications , Goodbelly<br />“Offer your fans research that hey otherwise wouldn't have access to. We do this with research on probiotic.”<br />- Ariel Scott, Manager of Online Marketing & Consumer Communications , Goodbelly<br />10,365 Facebook fans<br />
  28. 28. Funnel leading from prospect to Facebook fan to customer<br />Facebook page<br />(welcome page)<br />Facebook page<br />Website<br />Case Study: Full Circle<br />
  29. 29. Background<br />Social Media Landscape<br />Best Practices and Tools<br />Case Studies and Expert Interviews<br />About<br />29<br />
  30. 30. About Us<br /><ul><li>Alan Chiu
  31. 31. Stanford university (Sloan fellow 2011)
  32. 32. 15 years experience in software development, product management, and business development
  33. 33. Passionate about social media because they enable brands to build more authentic and meaningful relationships with their customers, leading to a more fulfilling customer experience.
  34. 34. Contact: Chiu_Alan@gsb.stanford.edu
  35. 35. Xavier Lederer
  36. 36. Stanford university (Sloan fellow 2011)
  37. 37. 12 years experience in management consulting, and marketing & sales in consumer goods
  38. 38. Passionate about social media because they offer, for the first time in the history of marketing, a way to build one-on-one relationships with customers at a large scale, and therefore to leverage marketing efforts to generate quality sales much more efficiently.
  39. 39. Contact: Lederer_Xavier@gsb.stanford.edu
  40. 40. Yong Tian
  41. 41. Stanford university (Sloan fellow 2011)
  42. 42. 14 years experience in software and business development in start-up and corporate environments
  43. 43. Passionate about social media because it allows unprecedented depth and scale of information exchange. Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to discover products and sharing experiences. Brands must leverage this new marketing channel to engage their customers.
  44. 44. Contact: Tian_Yong@gsb.stanford.edu </li></ul>30<br />

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