New Rules for Business in the Social Media Age


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With social media now occupying more time than any other online activity, the question for businesses is no longer, “should I be using social media to communicate?” but “how should I?”

Join digital strategy expert David Rogers as he outlines the best practices for planning a social media strategy to match your customers, your business and your objectives. Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketing or communications leader or a C-level executive, you will learn:
• Best practices from top brands for building customer relationships online
• Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+: the critical differences for business
• How much social media is too much? (for your business)
• New research on when and how to best communicate with customers in social media
• Why you need to integrate social media with the rest of your communications
• How to know if your social media is paying off (with real metrics and ROI)

David Rogers is a widely-recognized leader on brands and digital strategy, known for his unique insights into customer networks. He is the author of "The Network Is Your Customer: 5 Strategies to Thrive in a Digital Age" published in 2011 by Yale University Press. Rogers is faculty director of the Digital Marketing Strategy program for Columbia Business School Executive Education. He is executive director of BRITE at Columbia's and host of the acclaimed BRITE conference. Rogers has advised and developed marketing and digital strategies for leading companies in the consumer packaged goods, technology, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, telecom, hospitality, non-profit and media industries, and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Marketplace, Reuters, CNNfn, MSN Money, ZDNet Asia and Channel NewsAsia.

Follow David on Twitter at and his professional blog at

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  • 120 million bizz professionals
  • Offer premium content. With the tools for building custom apps within Facebook pages, brands can now create rich, interactive content that attracts fans. MAC entices its fans with a social game called “Cute Pinball” that lets users challenge friends and update their scores to their own profile page. Lancôme lets visitors upload a photo and virtually try on makeup with its “magic mirror” app.Mercedes-Benz lets fans listen, download, and explore music from its long-running “Mixed Tape” series featuring up-and-coming artists. BMW’s “2Originals” app invites you to create an original film with your Facebook photos to share with your friends.
  • 5. Offer “gated” rewards to only your fans. Facebook’s functionality allows brands to offer specific content and pages that are visible only after “liking” the page—a nice way to attract fans, and reward those who love you most. Belvedere vodka’s landing tab offers photos from an exclusive “haus party” to those who click the “like” button. Oscar de la Renta offered free samples of its new fragrance at launch to Facebook fans only.
  • 7. Balance global and local. As with any media, international brands must balance global reach with local relevance to customers. The L2 study found that luxury brands that offer localized Facebook tabs or pages (Johnnie Walker has 33 different national pages) have much higher rates of interaction by their fans.
  • 1. Direct Selling: For some businesses, Twitter is a cheap and effective tool for promoting daily discounts. Think of it as a newspaper circular, but with global reach and zero cost for media spend. Dell was an early pioneer of this approach with @DellOutlet, which has sold over $6 million in excess inventory for the computer manufacturer. Amazon promotes its digital music store (a competitor to Apple’s iTunes) with a steady stream of deals on@Amazonmp3.
  • 2. Customer Service:  Other businesses find that Twitter can be an effective channel for fielding customer service inquiries, in tandem with established channels like call centers, email, and FAQ sites. As customers expect an increasingly real-time relationship with business, Twitter allows companies to be speedier in responding and make their good service deeds visible to others, burnishing the firm’s brand image. Comcast helped turn around a poor customer service reputation with the extremely personable and speedy responses on@comcastcares.  This approach was pioneered by Frank Eliason, and is carried on today by Bill Gerth (putting a face to the account helps customers feel like they’re getting human attention). For@SouthwestAir, Christi McNeill answers questions for travelers tweeting at any point in their journey. Customer service on Twitter should be personable: quick to refer customers to the appropriate web, phone, or email channel (not all issues can be solved in 140 characters); and unafraid to apologize or offer sympathy.
  • 3. CEO Brand: Companies with a CEO or founder who is a brand themselves (even the public face of the company) may want to give the CEO a Twitter account of their own, like Virgin’s@richardbranson. Or they may decide to let the CEO be the voice of the company’s main Twitter account.  This is the approach taken by shoe retailer Zappo’s, whose CEO Tony Hsieh is famed for his philosophies on entrepreneurship as much as his ability to deliver great footwear to happy customers. His steady, but not-too-frequent tweets on life and business have attracted a following of 1.8 million to @Zappos.
  • 4. Valuable Information: Great marketers build relationships with customers by understanding them and finding ways to deliver value to them at just the right moment in time. Depending on your brand, your company may find its “sweet spot” on Twitter by offering helpful advice, relevant news stories, or even a recipe for what to make for dinner. Netflix knows its customers are sometimes stuck deciding what to watch among all the new additions to its “Instant” streaming video service. On @Instant_Netflix, it offers short tantalizing tweets announcing new movies with one-sentence plot summaries to pique your interest. H&R Block is building its brand on Twitter this month by offering tips and advice at @HRBlock for Americans preparing their taxes for the April 18 deadline.
  • 5. All of the Above: The brands that are most effective on Twitter manage to connect in a natural way with customers that combines more than one of the strategies above with a personable approach that adapts to the dialogue of customers online. @JetBlue has drawn 1.6 million followers with a combination of Twitter-only discount fares and customer service for travelers. On @Starbucks, you can find answers to questions about store locations, April Fool’s jokes, and shout-outs to community events in the company’s hometown of Seattle (showing the brand hasn’t forgotten its roots).@WholeFoods serves 1.9 million with a mix of weekday recipes, customer service replies, and news stories of interest to customers concerned about natural ingredients. What you won’t see on any of these feeds: a stream of press releases from corporate communications.
  • Benefits of Social MediaInherently interactive. That’s where the term “social” comes from. Unlike a static HTML website, designed to read and click, social media like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are designed around sharing, responding, and interacting.2. Where people are spending time. With over 500 million active users on Facebook, most Web audiences are spending more time there than browsing company sites. Just be sure that’s true for your own demographic (e.g. Facebook is a nonstarter in Japan) and your own industry (most users still do not use Facebook for learning about b2b topics).3. Easy to acquire. Clicking a “like” button on Facebook or “follow” button on Twitter is a lot easier than filling in the sign up form on a web page. So it’s no surprise that many companies find it easier to build a large following on social media platforms.4. Virality. When your audience interacts with you on social media platforms, it is instantly visible to their own friends and contacts. This digital “word-of-mouth” can be one of the most powerful tools for reaching new audiences.Benefits of Your Own Website1. Control the design. Have you ever tried designing a page on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube? The experience is like trying to swim with one hand tied behind your back. Having your own website allows you complete control, which may be essential if you have a lot of content or options that you need to organize for different audiences.2. Own the data. Social media platforms are owned by the companies that run them, and, as such, they are the only ones holding all the data on your customers and your interactions with them. On your own website, you own all the data.3. Targeting and personalization. Owning data and controlling design allow for much more targeted interaction with your customers than is possible on social media platforms. If you know which emails a customer in your database is clicking on, you can ensure her follow up emails, Web landing pages, and ecommerce experiences are much more suited to her particular interests.4. Reach all your audience. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or other services which might reach large segments of your customers, your own website is available to 100% of them. (That is, as long as your website has been optimized to work on a mobile phone.)
  • New Rules for Business in the Social Media Age

    1. 1. New Rules for Businessin the Social Media Age<br />David Rogers<br />Author, The Network Is Your Customer<br />Faculty director, Digital Marketing Strategy<br />Columbia Business School Executive Education<br /><br />
    2. 2. #TNIYC<br />@david_rogers<br />
    3. 3. 3<br />
    4. 4. Customer<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />Customer<br />4<br />
    5. 5. Webinar outline<br />Social media usage and the key social networks for business<br />Best practices for brands on Facebook<br />Best practices for brands on Twitter<br />Syndication & timing<br />Optimal timing and frequency for social media publishing<br />Integrating social media with corporate websites<br />Measuring your social media for business impact<br />Your questions<br />
    6. 6. Go where the attention is<br />
    7. 7. Social Media has gone mainstream<br />Nearly 80% of online Americans now use social media (blogs, Twitter, and social networking sites) <br />Over 140 million Americans visit Facebook per month<br />Social media fills more time online for Americans (23%) than email, games, or than any other activity.<br />Source: Nielsen Q3 2011 Social Media Report<br />
    8. 8. There is no “typical” social media user <br />Young adults 18-34 are only marginally more active on social media than their bosses and parents<br />Boomers are driving the growth of social networking on mobile devices <br />Even Americans 65+ years old are only 9% less likely to be on social media than the average<br />Source: Nielsen Q3 2011 Social Media Report<br />
    9. 9. Key social networks for business<br />800 million global users<br />More consumer-brand oriented<br /><ul><li>200 million global users
    10. 10. Attracts “influencers” b2b and b2c
    11. 11. 120 million business professionals
    12. 12. Increasing importance for link sharing
    13. 13. 50 million (or1 billion?) users
    14. 14. Business features to come…</li></li></ul><li>Best practices for brands on Facebook<br />
    15. 15. Apps and premium content<br />
    16. 16. Gated content (for fans only)<br />
    17. 17. Localize the Facebook experience (for global brands)<br />
    18. 18. Share photos, video, and status updates (not links) on Facebook<br />Source: Momentus Media Facebook Interaction Study 2011<br />
    19. 19. Facebook posts can, and should, be longer than 140 characters<br />Source: Momentus Media Facebook Interaction Study 2011<br />
    20. 20. Ask fans to “like” or “comment” on your Facebook posts<br />Source: Momentus Media Facebook Interaction Study 2011<br />
    21. 21. Best practices for brands on Twitter<br />
    22. 22. Twitter is all about links (trackable links)<br />
    23. 23. Usage 1: Direct selling<br />Sample Tweet: <br />@Amazonmp3<br />“You still have a few hours to get the Strokes’ brand-new album Angles for just $3.99: #dailydeal”<br />
    24. 24. Usage 2: Customer service<br />Sample Tweet: <br />@SouthwestAir<br />“@bgindra We’ve reported the error to our online team.  Try switching browsers.  I’m sorry!”<br />
    25. 25. Usage 3: CEO brand<br />Sample Tweet: <br />@Zappos<br />“Vision + Values + Velocity of Adaptation is a great formula for business and for life.”<br />
    26. 26. Usage 4: Valuable information<br />Sample Tweet: <br />@HRBlock<br />”File an amended tax return to claim missed deductions and credits within 3 years. #taxes.”<br />
    27. 27. All of the above<br />Sample Tweet: <br />@WholeFoods  <br />”ARTIFICIAL COLORINGS: we’ve never allowed them in our food and we never will. Read what the FDA is considering -”<br />
    28. 28. Focus on sharing valued content Vs. “engaging in conversation”<br />Source:<br />
    29. 29. Syndication & timing<br />
    30. 30. Tools for syndication & timing<br />8:00am<br />@account1<br />11:30am<br />@account2<br />2:45pm<br />7:30pm<br />(or Tweetdeck, or, etc.)<br />
    31. 31. Best Time of Day: Facebook<br />Pacific Standard Time (PST)<br />Take-away: 9:00pm – 7:00am EST is best; avoid 1-7:00 pm <br />Source: Momentus Media Facebook Interaction Study 2011<br />
    32. 32. Best Time of Day: Twitter<br />Eastern Standard Time (EST)<br />Take-away: 2:00pm – 12:00am is best; avoid 1-8:00 am<br />Source:<br />
    33. 33. Day of Week: Facebook<br />Take-away: Friday – Sunday is best; avoid Thursday<br />Source: Momentus Media Facebook Interaction Study 2011<br />
    34. 34. Day of Week: Twitter<br />Take-away: Thursday-Sunday is best; avoid Monday<br />Source:<br />
    35. 35. Best Posting Frequency: Facebook<br />Take-away: To increase “Likes”, post to your Facebook page about once every 2 days <br />Source:<br />
    36. 36. Best Posting Frequency: Facebook<br />Take-away: To increase total re-shares, post frequently<br />Source: Momentus Media Facebook Interaction Study 2011<br />
    37. 37. Posting Frequency: Twitter<br />Take-away: When posting links to your own content, space them out (max 5-10 tweets per day)<br />Source:<br />
    38. 38. Don’t judge yourself against large datasets alone…<br />Take-away: Gather your own data!<br />
    39. 39. Integration & Measurement<br />
    40. 40. One Twitter or Facebook account -- or many?<br />Single, unified brand presence<br />Different business units<br />Different geography & languages<br />Different content topics<br />Different local branches<br />Different social media strategies <br />Unique voices within company<br />Strong sub-brands<br />
    41. 41. Is It Time to Shut Down Your Website??<br />
    42. 42. Benefits of integrating both approaches<br />Social media presence<br />1. Inherently interactive<br />2. Where your people are<br />3. Lightweight customer acquisition<br />4. Virality<br />Corporate website<br />1. Control over design<br />2. Ownership of data<br />3. Targeting and personalization<br />4. Reach 100% audience<br />
    43. 43. Three Stages of Social Media Metrics<br />Engagementmetrics<br />1. Activity metrics<br />3. Business metrics<br />Level of customer involvement, attention, and commitment<br />Impact on critical business outcomes (KPIs, ROI, etc.)<br />"Something is happening"<br /><ul><li>Amount of time spent by community members
    44. 44. Level of interaction
    45. 45. Number of ideas submitted
    46. 46. Number of ideas implemented
    47. 47. Cost savings, sales, or increased loyalty driven by implementing ideas
    48. 48. Page views
    49. 49. Number of members joining community</li></li></ul><li>Get more.<br />Email me<br />at for<br /><ul><li>Sample book chapter
    50. 50. 2 articles on social media ROI</li></ul>40<br />
    51. 51. How can I help your business?<br /><ul><li> Public speaking
    52. 52. Workshops
    53. 53. Executive education
    54. 54. Strategic consulting</li></ul><br /><br /><br />@david_rogers<br />41<br />