How Google Approaches Social Media as a Team Sport by Karen Wickre


Published on

Karen Wickre's presentation for the 2010 Best Practices in Change & Internal Communications Summit.

Published in: Business

How Google Approaches Social Media as a Team Sport by Karen Wickre

  1. 1. Social Media @ Google Edelman Best Practices Summit Karen Wickre Global Communications & Public Affairs team October 7, 2010
  2. 2. About the Google communications network since 1998, very few press releases early outreach: email to reporters ("Google Gram") acquired Blogger 2003 first company blog using Blogger software: Spring 2004 Our approach hasn't changed in 6 years: no dedicated editorial team no executive blogger posts written & signed by individuals (mostly not execs) teams get advice & internal tools for new efforts Added Twitter February 2009 Added Facebook fall 2009
  3. 3. About the Google communications network As a tech company, we have to be agile in social communications. Today: 150+ blogs (~10 million uniques each month) ~ 90 Twitter accounts (2.4 million followers on largest) Facebook pages for consumer products (eg Gmail) These are the primary ways we directly reach millions of people every day, around the world.
  4. 4. Blogging A fast, easy-to-manage publishing platform. Blogs offer: Direct, unmediated communication with - current customers & fans - prospects, curious bystanders, searchers - critics & skeptics A way to establish your digital persona A way to stay current - correct errors - update when needed Feeds make it easy to find & share content (don't expect people to come to you - go to them!)
  5. 5. Blog content Business bloggers must be 'editorially driven' - think broadly about what makes good content. Like: - news announcements - absolutely. Also: - customer stories - commentary on industry trends, issues - writeups on events, presentations + videos - meet the team, "day in the life", company traditions - civic, charitable & educational programs, AND... - outages, missteps, poor customer service, corporate change
  6. 6. About that last point... Blogs are much better than older formats for acknowledging mistakes and making apologies. - BE TIMELY (you can't afford to wait) - acknowledge problem, detail something about it - promise updates, and then MAKE THEM! - have a single signer/spokesperson who is responsible - aim for candor, humility, & don't obfuscate "We screwed up. Joe Schmo, CEO" will gain you more loyalty than "We apologize for any inconvenience. Customer Care Team."
  7. 7. How we do it Management of blogs, Twitter & Facebook built the same way: distributed opt-in process for teams. Corp communications group manages internal process: - new accounts must request our approval - internal site offers how-to's, best practices, style guides - PR approval for new accounts required - we build templates w/brand elements & analytics - teams are responsible for ongoing management - trial run / content collaboration recommended pre-launch - our team consults, guides, critiques, troubleshoots
  8. 8. Google voice & style Informal & conversational (aim for 1:1) Direct, clear language Humble (it's not about us) Make real-world benefits understandable Examples/analogies to explain complicated details Fun where appropriate No corporate speak! (trite, mechanical, jargony) "innovative" "unique" (not up to us to say) "exciting" (everything isn't) mission-statement-itis "Today, we're proud to announce" "Here at Google, we..." (false warmth)
  9. 9. A word about Twitter Tweeting adds visibility & reach to: blog posts stories & commentary we like real-time events lesser-known blogs and Twitter accounts items we would not publicize otherwise Demonstrates engagement: retweets from commentators, customers, etc. congratulate competitors, industry initiatives support research findings, technical breakthroughs messages & help: natural disasters, community causes
  10. 10. A word about Facebook Fan pages are great for: consumer products & services extending reach of blog posts promotional activities (contests, events) feedback testing new campaigns & videos civic & community involvement Requires: editorial mindset (frequency, timing) attention to comments, steady response
  11. 11. What you need in your toolkit Agreed-upon style guide Promotional processes (where & how to promote your content) Tagging conventions URL shortener Analytics tools Wiki or other collaborative way to compile best practices & new resources
  12. 12. What could go wrong?! Legal dept objections PR or marketing balk, aren't speedy, etc Internal dry runs, private Twitter tests Collect good examples Demonstrate importance of 24x7 cycle Review editorial calendar Teach diff between personal & corporate establish guidelines for personal
  13. 13. What ELSE could go wrong?! Unexpected + fast response to your content [ex: pharma blog Bad timing (when to bury news or not) No or late followup [ex: blog deletion] Inattention to blogo- & Twitterspheres as news spreads
  14. 14. How to sunset a blog When to consider: Infrequent posts Low visitor count Business need has shifted Other channels have grown When sunsetting: Final post thanking readers, pointing to related info Remove blog from public director, don't delete it
  15. 15. Questions? Thank you!