Developing Your Social Media Strategy


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Part two of the workshop focuses on looking for new and innovative ways to communicate with potential clients, employees,
and other stakeholders. You will gain new insights into how to use social
media to build your business. Not only will you discover how social media can help differentiate your from your competitors,
but you'll also discover how to incorporate social media into your business and communication plans.

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  • Good morning to those of you on the west coast and good afternoon to those of you on the east coast! Happy Fridays with Vistage! Before we get started, things are going to flow like they did last week. I’ll stop three or four times throughout the presentation to take audience questions. We’ve had so many great questions between last week and this week and we haven’t been able to get to all of them. At the end of the presentation, I’ll show you how we’ll handle questions for the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned! Let’s get started.
  • Last week was the WHY behind participating in social media. Today we’re going to talk about the how…and where to begin.
  • Remember last week I told you the number one rule? Listen, listen, listen! Listen before you do anything else!
  • By the end of this presentation, you’re going to think I have a crush on Zappos. The fact of the matter is, they do a phenomenal job with social media and it’s easy to use them as a case study. One of the things they do really well is listen. They do this so well, in fact, that they’ve created a page for This allows their employees to communicate with their customers about their shared love of footwear. I pulled this screen shot right as the Amazon acquisition announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon. They not only engage with their customers, they LISTEN. And because of that, there is a lot of conversation happening, on their Twitter stream, about the company, the acquisition, and what it means for the culture.
  • So you want to know how you do this? It’s easy to listen and there are lots of free tools to do just that. Following are my favorites.
  • Now that Twitter is entering “mainstream” it’s vital for businesses to pay attention to what is being said about them on the micro-blogging service. If you go to, you can enter your company name, your brand names, your name, your employees names, and even your competition. Using this search site allows you to monitor the conversations, listen to what people are saying, and even subscribe to the RSS feed so you’re automatically updated in real time when someone says something about your search terms.
  • If you’re not a fan of RSS feeds, TweetBeep offers a similar service with alerts sent via email.
  • Part of your listening should include monitoring blog posts. But sometimes that’s not always enough. A blogger might post a positive article about your company, but others can disagree, debate, or even say something negative about you or the company in the post’s comments. I like BackType for reputation monitoring because it lets you search comments that mention your brand, but it also lets you search comments left by a particular person. For instance, if “IMAJERK317″ is constantly criticizing your company, BackType alerts you whenever he leaves a new comment. BackType searches not just the blog post themselves, but also the comments.
  • BoardReader lets you monitor forum posts, topics, and actual forum names (good for knowing when a new forum starts specifically to discuss your company). For instance, I heart Vistage groups or I hate tamborine groups.
  • Google Trends is the most popular trend analysis site out there, and you can get trending charts with paid social media monitoring tools . But I like Trendrr because you can track and compare the trends of any keyword–your company, you, your competition –and compare them to other keywords. Trendrr’s pretty charts definitely qualify as social media “eye candy” and I love charts and numbers.
  • Want to take a quick glance at the social media mentions for your brand? While Social Mention isn’t a tool I’d rely on for day-to-day social media monitoring, it’s great at providing a quick snapshot of conversations surrounding your brand. Enter your keyword one time and switch between blogs, twitter, bookmarks, comments, events, images, video, and more. It’s fun to take a look at what’s happening through socialmention about once a month.
  • With TweetDeck, it’s easy to monitor Twitter conversations all day. It allows you to enter search terms and it aggregates all of the mentions into a column. See how, in this demo, it searches for “london” and “iphone”? You can set up any search terms you want and it posts the results in the columns as the conversations happen.
  • For instance, I keep searches open on Arment Dietrich and Gini Dietrich all day. This way I can see if people tweet about us and I can respond to feedback, both positive and negative.
  • Dave, before I go into the step after listening, this is a good stopping point for questions.
  • You’ll want to listen for a minimum of four weeks. As you learn new things, people comment on different things, or there is something alarming, take notes. It might be pertinent for you to engage immediately (if you find something alarming), but I recommend you wait until you’ve done a complete assessment of the conversations. If it happens that no one is talking about you in the social networks (this is pretty likely for a B2B business) you can begin engaging immediately. But take time to listen and then move to assess the current tools.
  • What are you using, if anything? What are your customers using? What are your competitors using? Are you using social bookmarks so you can save important articles? Are you using Blogger or Wordpress for your blog? Are you already on Facebook or Twitter or both? Are you using LinkedIn for your professional resume? Are you already listening to what customers might be saying about you in discussion groups or forums? Do you use Pandora to stream live music? Does your business have a wiki? Do you listen to radio programs on BlogTalkRadio? Are you using Flickr or PhotoBucket to share photos with friends and family? Maybe you do some of these. Maybe you’re already using all of them. And maybe you’re not using a single one and, right now, you’re totally overwhelmed with me. So let’s look at how some of the Fortune 1000 companies are focused on only ONE platform, but using that one platform really well.
  • Blendtec is famous for its bevy of inexpensive “Will It Blend” videos posted on YouTube and shared by millions. Have you seen these? It started almost by accident when their VP of marketing was in the warehouse and wanted to see if the blender would blend crazy things, such as nails. He videotaped it and put it on their Web site. Almost overnight, it became a viral sensation. But they really hit it big when one of their customers suggested they blend an iPhone. When it did, Blendtec became a YouTube craze.
  • Adobe maintains a list of interesting company related websites and conversations on the social bookmarking site Delicious. We also do this for ourselves and for our clients. It’s an easy way to not only bookmark articles you don’t want to lose, but also articles, interviews, and blogs you’ve written or been quoted in as to solidify your thought leadership. Use your tags to group the articles so that if a customer is looking for something, in particular, it’s easy to find. Using Adobe as the example here, if one of their customers were looking for digital photography articles, all they’d have to do is click on that tag and 33 articles on the topic pop up.
  • Ford publishes news releases with lots of multimedia content and employs a social media news release format to display them in their newsroom. They allow their customers to subscribe to RSS feeds so their news is automatically distributed and they allow free editorial for blogs, articles, and broadcasts, which makes it easy for a reporter or blogger to use their information.
  • H&R Block created a Facebook fan site to aggregate its social media activities, engage customers and offer tax advice/resources. Even if you’re not a business to consumer business, you can have a Facebook fan page to engage your customers and potential talent. Post industry news. Ask people to provide their own discussion topics. Create contests. Drive people to your Facebook fan page, like H&R Block does for their customers. It’s not just information about the company, they offer tricks, tips, and advice, and they let their fans post the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • So Dave, what kinds of questions do we have now?
  • So what does this mean for you?
  • To get started, ease into it slowly. Choose one platform. Learn everything you can about it. Listen. Connect and engage. And do it really, really well. Let’s take a look at more examples of who is doing this well.
  • IBM was the first large enterprise to embrace employee blogging and now boasts thousands of blogs related to every facet of its business. HP does a nice job of this, as well. Even if you’re not a large company, you can have your employees blog about specific topics where they have expertise. For instance, as a PR firm, we could have a blog on traditional communication, one on social media, I could write one on being an entrepreneur and growing a business, and we could have one on corporate and crisis communication. There are lots of ways for you to use this same idea.
  • Starbucks started MyStarbucksIdea so that customers can submit ideas for the company. People then vote on the idea and the best which are then implemented by the company. This idea is also called crowdsourcing or viralsourcing.
  • A company that does crowdsourcing really well is crowdSPRING. If you need a logo, business identity, or a Web site, you create a crowdSPRING account, enter the details of what you need, and designers from around the world compete for your business. You choose the one you like the best and pay for only that design. It’s really freaking cool and it leverages the idea of using 33,000 brains to get you the best possible design.
  • A lot of CEOs are nervous about blogging, or using social media, for that matter. Jonathan Schwartz, the SUN CEO, has a blog that is most often cited for a great CEO blog. He’s conversational, transparent, and honest. Plus he uses multimedia, including video, to relay his messages.
  • Dave, what questions do we have now?
  • Okay, so you want to get started? Following is a really easy roadmap to help you do just that.
  • Top Rank created this graphic to show how social media enhances search engine optimization, but it works well for creating a social media strategy, as well.
  • First, find your audience. Understand their behaviors, preferences, methods of publishing, and sharing. If you’ve spent some time listening, like we discussed earlier, you’ll know where your audiences are playing. You’ll also stay ahead of the game by tracking your audience via the listening tools I gave you at the beginning of today’s Webinar.
  • Then define your objectives. Too many people just get out there and start using social media without any objectives. Typically objectives are driven by marketing or sales. But social media is not direct marketing, so different objectives and measurements apply. Take this Google search of Zappos as an example. You find much more than shoes. You find Twitter, blogs posts about the company, and a YouTube channel. One of their objectives is to use social media to enhance their SEO and, in turn, more online sales. You can do this too. In fact, just yesterday a client was telling me that if you Google her name, some of her tweets come up on the first page. She’s using social media correctly because it’s enhancing the SEO of her name, which is a fairly common name.
  • Establish your strategy, which is your game plan for reaching the objectives you just defined. Your strategy will often focus on content and interaction, because it’s the content that people discover and share. Whether a keyword-focused strategy for reaching goals means publishing new content or creating an opportunity for consumer-generated content, it must involve proactive promotion and easy sharing amongst members of the community.
  • A few minutes ago I told you to choose one platform, learn it, and do it really, really well. After you’ve done that and you’re comfortable with that one platform, create a tactical mix. The mix for a social media program is based on doing the homework of finding where the desired audience spends its time interacting with and sharing content. Likely the one platform you’ve chosen to start with is based on where you’re finding the most feedback when you do your listening. You build from there by adding more networks, based on the other places your audiences are already playing. Whatever the tactical mix is, it’s an investment in time and relationships. Remember last week I told you social media is about connecting and engaging with current customers and fostering relationships with new ones? Your tactical mix is going to allow you to use the available technologies to do just that. So really understand where your audiences already are conversing so you can begin to invest in the relationships.
  • Measure your goals. Goals measurement should roll up to the specific objectives, both direct and indirect. Leveraging both social media monitoring services as well as web analytics can provide marketers with the insight to improve results. These logos provide my favorite measurement tools. These are all free, right now, and work for benchmarking and setting goals. As your social media program progresses, you’ll want to consider investing in paid monitoring and measuring tools, but these work for the beginning.
  • But most importantly, HAVE FUN! This is about better customer service, increased awareness, thought leadership development, and brand loyalty. It doesn’t have to be stressful or hard because, the fact of the matter is, IT IS FUN!
  • Dave, before we go into more questions, a couple of things. First, we have hundreds of questions from last week and this week that we’re not going to get to today. This week, I started answering the questions on our blog. I will continue to do this until we answer all of your questions. As this picture shows, on Tuesday, I answered the question “how much time should I spend on social media?” In it I give you tips on how to spend only an hour a day on social media and still be effective. Go to and check back daily. We’ll answer everything we can there! And now to some live questions.
  • Developing Your Social Media Strategy

    1. 1. Social Media Is Here to Stay: Get on the Bandwagon…Now! Developing Your Social Media Strategy
    2. 2. Where to ? Begin
    3. 3. The number one rule: LISTEN before you do anything else
    4. 5. So… ? How Do I Do That
    5. 14. ?
    6. 15. After listening, assess current tools
    7. 21. ?
    8. 22. So… ? What Does This Mean for Me
    9. 23. Choose one platform Learn everything about it Connect and engage Do it really, really well!
    10. 28. ?
    11. 29. Okay… ! Help Me Get Started
    12. 31. Find your audience
    13. 32. Define your objectives
    14. 33. Establish your strategy
    15. 34. Create a tactical mix
    16. 36. HAVE FUN!
    17. 37. Questions answered!
    18. 38. Gini Dietrich Chief Executive Officer Arment Dietrich, Inc. [email_address] © 2009 Arment Dietrich, Inc.