Hi there, my name is Dan Azzopardi and I’m a Digital Communications Strategist at Klick Communications. I’ll be providing you with a fundamental guide on how to engage with your brand’s audience via social media channels. Anyone who has ever been on a great date, without knowing it, has the skills to be a great community manager. For those of you who aren’t so hot at the dating game this preso may just improve your love life and your community management skills.
Today we’ll be covering everything you need to know to develop rewarding relationships with your audience First up, targeting: where will you meet your perfect match? Standing out: how to stand out from the pack? Tone of voice: what to say and how to say it to make them fall in love with you. I’ll be talking to the idea of timing, meeting the right person is ALL about the timing and how you play the game. Dating is testing, if you crash and burn with someone, take those lessons with you. Interaction - you’re in a relationship and this is what you need to know to sustain it. And finally, to make it all work you need to be committed. We’ll talk about what it takes to keep your relationship on track and blossoming.
So, you’re looking for love or people to have fun with – where do you begin? Like groups of people, such hipsters and gamers, online communities are very different, and each has a particular ecosystem that needs to be understood before you enter.
So how does this relate to your brand? There's approximately one point seven BILLION different social networks out there on the web, and all of them aren't going to want to engage with you. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are the largest communities, so for your message to be heard, it has to be relevant to what these communities are about. Brands often feel the need to have a presence on ALL of these channels to avoid missing out on a chance to drive sales and awareness, but many often forget about the power of niches.
A great example of targeting is Blendtec’s use of community engagement. They sell something really boring – blenders. Basically, they needed to demonstrate their use via video so of course YouTube was the perfect place for them to play with their community. They joined in 2006 and are still going strong today in this community and in my opinion have achieved the holy grail of community management – the community comment, moderate and manage themselves all under their brand umbrella while consuming their awesome content. They knew their audience and in the video I’m about to show you, they tap into their hate for Justin Bieber. Since November 2006, Blendtec’s sales have increased by 700%.
You want to be noticed? Then you are going to have to try hard to stand out from the crowd. Adding your brand on Twitter isn’t enough, how will you stand out from 200 million accounts already there? When creating communications we must always remind ourselves this quote from Dianne Arbus “Its what I’ve never seen before that I recognise”. While she was talking about photography I think this rings true for community management and social media. Creating unique communications that people have never seen before ensures you WILL stand out in the feed. If content is king then I believe that creativity is the godzilla that trumps all else.
Resisting the temptation to pimp themselves out to the community as having ‘great products at great prices’, Best Buy created ‘ Twelpforce ’ - a Twitter based customer service platform. When developing their social media strategy, Best Buy asked the question ‘how can we use this platform to deliver something our audience will truly value?’ Anyone can tweet a question, like ‘what’s the difference between a LED and LCD TV?’ and Best Buy’s 2,000 strong retail team are standing by with answers on tap. Twelpforce now receives hundreds of Tweets every day and Best Buy claim to have reduced complaints by over 20% (that’s a lot of happy customers).
Hollywood is the only industry that can get away with campaign-based community management. Fans understand that films and TV shows have a short term presence in our lives. Ford recently partnered with Stone Management to launch a behind-the-scenes social media campaign in conjunction with the forthcoming Tom Hanks film, Larry Crowne. The campaign promotes the Ford Fiesta via product placement and features Hanks’ assistant Bo Stevenson, also known as “ FiestaBo. ” The campaign was based on the premise that movie goers could tweet and post to the Facebook page engaging with and asking insights into the life of Tom Hanks and his assistant. The behind-the-scenes videos were posted to YouTube and Facebook. The result was more than 70,000 video views and 16,000 Likes on their Facebook page. The first video I’m showing you is an intro to “ FiestaBo ” and the second features Tom himself – it just goes to shows you the pulling power a celebrity actually has.
To bring this back to our dating theme, when are looking for Mr Right or Mr Right Now, you need to stand out from the crowd and say something in an innovative fashion.
What do we want to say and more importantly how are we going to say it? You wouldn’t up to someone in a bar and ask to shag them – it happens but I wouldn’t recommend it (best to rethink your strategy). It’s important with tone of voice that you understand the platforms are not yours, they are the communities’. You are only a participant and you must communicate using a resonating tone – you can NOT be a robot. You’re human. They are human. We need to act as such. The trick here is to keep it real while being relevant to your brand. Like KFC is going to be much more colloquial in tone as opposed to someone like Qantas. People are using social media platforms, socially… For fun. Be casual. Be personal. Be slightly naughty…..if your brand can handle it. Oh and everyone falls in love with the “funny guy” so humour helps.
A brand that does this really well on Facebook is Supre Australia. They actually talk to their audience using the language they understand and offer up tips and advice as well as an opportunity to view their ranges. There’s a lot of ‘xoxo’ action but that’s what resonates with their tween audience.
Now, it's all fun and games, right? But I want to underscore the idea of research and knowledge when I talk about your timing. This three steps process can’t be understated when dealing with communities continuously: Listen Learn Respond
Listen + Learn Listen to your audience and understand what is important to them and what they really want from you. Respond – always and in a timely manner. We’re not playing hard to get. Most of all, timing is now about when to engage. There's plenty of research out there online to discover the best times for amplifying your communications – the one that I’m using here is tweriod. But the key points are, it's going to depend on your community. Perhaps you're running a forum board where people tend to hang out during work hours… Awesome. But maybe most of your Facebook fans or twitter followers don't get online until after 5 o'clock. Some gaming communities are most active between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Use analytics to help drill down into your community and be there when they are.
The other element of timing is sensitivity. This infamous tweet happened because someone at Entenmann's wasn't paying attention to what specific hash tags meant. The &quot;Not Guilty&quot; refers to a heavily hyped criminal case where a woman was charged with murdering her daughter in a particularly gruesome fashion. It had very little to do with donuts. Do your homework!
Experimentation is key to a successful community management, and dating. You need to date a lot of frogs before you meet your prince! The beauty of online community management is the ability you have to fail early and fail often – you will get better every time.
It’s very cheap to fail on the internet. If your print advertising campaign fails, you've lost a lot of money in design, print and distribution. The web takes seconds to attempt something. Play around with your tone of voice…find out what types of interactions work best in your community. And if something doesn't work, forget it and move on. You will learn from your success as well as your failures so when something does work, ensure you figure out what worked and why and incorporate into your community management guidelines moving forward.
Finally, I want to talk about what to say. For all my talk about having customised, individual and personal communications, there's a few guidelines to success.
Now we’ve met the right guy or girl, how do we keep them interested and engaged? How do we get them down the aisle? In community management, asking questions is a great way to engage, but lazy community managers rely on this way too often. Always make sure that you're giving as much as you're getting. A little digital high five, a first look trailer, a fun video. Don't make your audience do all the work.
In addition to this, if you come across positive comments/feedback don ’ t jus recognise it with a ‘ like ’ , an ‘ RT ’ or a ‘ +1 ’ . You ’ re basically saying: “ yeah awesome, whatever. ” Say THANK YOU! You wouldn ’ t give a thumbs up to your partner if they said they loved you.
Community management is a commitment and like relationships, require dedication. Working with communities is a long term relationship that requires ongoing commitment. Communities on the web shift very fast. Today's Facebook is tomorrow's &quot;Place where your mum plays Farmville all day.&quot; You need to be sure you have resources and they’re available for the long-haul. Go back to the circle of listen, learn and respond as the web and communities are always changing.
Nurture your community like you would your significant other, sometimes they’ll need you to be sensitive, sometimes you’ll need to take charge and sometimes they’ll need you to just listen to them.
Check yourself. Answer these questions often in a community management and/or dating scenario. 1. Are you in the right environment and is your message relevant to your audience? 2. Are your communications unique ensuring you won’t be lost in the noise? 3. Are you watching your language? Remember to be a chameleon and make your audience feel right at home. 4. Are you talking at the right time? 5. Are you prepared to make mistakes and move on a little wiser? 6. Are you asking for love but also showing it? 7. Lastly, are you in it for the long-haul or are you just playing games with their heart? Again, I’m Dan. Thanks for your time and I hope you found the presentation helpful. Good luck with your social media and dating endeavors.
Social Media Community Engagement - Be Social.
COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT – DOING IT FOR LOVE Dan Azzopardi – Digital Communications Strategist @ Klick
I’ll be covering: Targeting Standing out Tone of voice Timing Testing Interaction Commitment