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Social Media and Online Communities


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A primer for passive and active social media and the role of user generated and self generated online communities

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Social Media and Online Communities

  1. 1. Social Media Communities<br />To Build or To Join?<br />Andrew Abend<br />M is for Marketing<br />
  2. 2. The Answer<br />Should you join an existing community or build your own?<br />YES<br />
  3. 3. Your Questions<br />How can online communities benefit our clients?<br />Is it worth the time to build a presence in an online community?<br />Where to get started? Does a directory exist?<br />Legal issues regarding privacy and ownership of content<br />
  4. 4. How Are you using social media?<br />
  5. 5. Social Media Channels Used<br />
  6. 6. Using Social Media<br />
  7. 7. Measuring Social Media<br />
  8. 8. How Social Media Helps Business<br />Generate Leads/Sales<br />Change Perception<br />Brand Management<br />Provide Transparency<br />Network<br />Gain Insight<br />Corporate Promotion<br />
  9. 9. How Social Media Helps Business<br />Active Social Media<br />Passive Social Media<br />
  10. 10. Active Usage<br />Actively promoting your company through:<br />Direct promotion<br />Education<br />Pay Per Click content ads<br />Behavioral targeting<br />Encouraging third party endorsement via blogs with strong followings<br />Active usage allows you to control your message and reach an interested or related audience<br />
  11. 11. Purposes of Active Social Media<br />Generate Leads/Sales<br />Brand Management/Changes Perception<br />Broadcast News Releases<br />Networking<br />Corporate Promotion<br />
  12. 12. Challenges with Active<br />Your audience must actually use social media on a regular basis<br />Need to create an environment in which consumers want to receive your self-promotion<br />Requires right balance of updates so people are not inundated with information yet still receive your message<br />Requires commitment to provide information on a consistent basis<br />Expectations that anything put on the web will become “viral”<br />
  13. 13. Passive Social Media<br />Using audience insight gleaned from social media to change your brand and/or business<br />Tools include:<br />Forums<br />Review Sites (Yelp, Rip-Off Report, Kudzu, etc)<br />Fan Pages<br />YouTube Videos<br />Twitter<br />
  14. 14. Passive Usage<br />Monitoring online activity to understand what consumers are saying about your product<br />Interaction with customers creates a stronger bond with them<br />Information gathered can be used to improve products and customer service<br />Makes sure your product and brands are being represented correctly<br />
  15. 15. Challenges with Passive<br />Information overload - companies often react to every comment instead of identifying trends<br />The opposite of information overload is dismissing what your customers are saying because they “don’t understand what we are trying to do”<br />Requires time to monitor online activities<br />
  16. 16. Strategy<br />Using Social Media Effectively<br />
  17. 17. Strategies<br />Deploy a combination of active and passive strategies utilizing social media<br />Active<br />To build a strong following of evangelists<br />Use for promotions, special offers and announcements to loyal fans<br />To educate people on brand/products<br />Passive<br />Understand what audience is saying about your brand<br />Gain ideas for new products and uses<br />Provide transparency and accessibility to the brand<br />
  18. 18. Active Strategy<br />
  19. 19. Blogs<br />First Person<br />Blog directly from your brand<br />To build strong following content needs to be beneficial to your audience<br />Can not be solely self-promotion<br />Ensure posts have the ability to be linked to interest sites like Digg,, and StumbleUpon<br />Benefits<br />Let’s you provide useful information to an interested audience<br />Good information tends to be disseminated by readers to their friends<br />
  20. 20. Blogs<br />Third Party Endorsement<br />Reach out to bloggers who are relevant to your target audience with information regarding the services you provide<br />Use Technorati or BlogSearch to find blogs<br />Benefits<br />Taps into established audience to which your brand can receive exposure<br />Bloggers have credibility with their audience and an endorsement goes a long way<br />
  21. 21. Social Networking Sites<br />Facebook is the dominant social networking site with over 300 million users<br />It is the only consumer focused social networking site worth the time to manage<br />Create a “fan” page in which people can become fans of your brand<br />Fan pages allows:<br />People to interact with your brand<br />The opportunity to learn about new products, contests and events before they become public<br />Provide online specials to fans<br />Fans to easily recommend your brand to friends<br />Link to relevant fan pages<br />Received blog and Twitter feeds<br />
  22. 22. Facebook<br />Growing a fan base<br />Include Facebook button on website<br />Promote via microblogging (to be discussed later)<br />Tap into employees who are on Facebook promote to their friends<br />Public Relations<br />Use Facebook’s audience targeted ads to drive traffic<br />Benefits:<br />Creates evangelists by giving “fans” access to something the general public does not receive<br />Provides inexpensive venue for marketing<br />
  23. 23. MicroBlogs<br />Twitter is the dominant MicroBlog at this time<br />Use of Twitter should be for three things:<br />Drive traffic to website by promoting new blog topics<br />Drive traffic to Facebook by promoting contests, events, promotions<br />Create evangelists by announcing offers for Twitter-followers only<br />Promotion of Twitter presence will come through:<br />Facebook fan page<br />Twitter button on web site and blogs<br />Employee emails/networks<br />Benefits:<br />Inexpensive way to drive traffic to website/Facebook<br />Creates loyal followers and customers<br />
  24. 24. Sharing<br />Sharing sites like YouTube andFlickr will be good tools for contests and promotions<br />Your brand should set up company pages for future promotions and, on YouTube, <br />Employees should promote any video or photos to their friends via Facebook, Twitter and email<br />
  25. 25. Additional Active Activities<br />Cost per click search ads can be purchased two ways – by search terms or by content<br />Search terms bring up your ads when people search your specific terms<br />Content ads are delivered in blogs, news, etc when people are reading about a topic that is related to your product<br />Cost per click ads to drive people directly to your client’s site<br />
  26. 26. Passive strategy<br />
  27. 27. Passive Strategy<br />The ongoing monitoring of all social media channels<br />Understand what is being said about your brand and responding when necessary<br />Monitor blogs and comment when appropriate<br />All responses must be positive and grateful, not defensive<br />When a trend is noticed that your brand chooses to respond to, reach out to the channel(s) that made you aware of it, acknowledging them and the result of their feedback<br />
  28. 28. Tracking<br />Measuring Your Effort<br />
  29. 29. Web Analytics<br />Google web analytics allow you to see which social marketing activities are driving people to your web site and what people are doing on the site when they get there<br />Google Analytics is a free tool that should be programmed into your website regardless of your social media activity<br />
  30. 30. Social Media Tracking<br />ViTrue or Techrigy<br />Track mentions across various social media like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc<br />Both have a limited free service<br />Techrigy allows you to track by demographics, geography and positive/negative comments<br />ViTrue allows you to compare social media activity versus a competitor<br />
  31. 31. Fans and Followers<br />Simplest measure is the number of “fans” and “followers” that your brand gains on Facebook and Twitter respectively<br />
  32. 32. Online Communities<br />Active and Passive Communications<br />
  33. 33. Community Measurement<br />Key to either online community is setting up measurable metrics<br />Increased visits to your client’s web site <br />Especially direct links from online community<br />Change in tenor of comments <br />Online Mentions<br />Fans & Followers<br />Special codes & coupons<br />
  34. 34. Online Communities<br />User-Generated – Created by people to connect with others with like interests and share ideas<br />Self-Generated – Created by a company to create dialogue, provide transparency, share ideas in an effort to create evangelists<br />
  35. 35. User Generated <br />Pros<br />Already established<br />Group protocol exists<br />Easy to learn about the group make-up through existing discussions<br />Will gain objectivity regarding topics in which you are interested<br />Potential source for great customer insight<br />Provides platform to address negative comments in a productive manner<br />Cons<br />View corporate participants skeptically<br />Will “flame” your brand if your purpose is disguised<br />No control over content<br />Time consuming<br />
  36. 36. Self-Generated<br />Pros<br />Ability to lead conversations<br />Attracts fans of the brand<br />Provides transparency<br />Platform to move fans to zealots<br />Platform to award fans for their support<br />Learn what questions your best fans have knowing others will have them as well<br />Invites corporate promotion<br />Cons<br />Takes time to establish large, active following<br />Requires ongoing nurturing<br />Lose objectivity by regularly speaking to the converted<br />Will be held accountable for promises and comments<br />
  37. 37. Are You Ready To Create A Community?<br />A Simple Test:<br />Do you have a Facebook page for your client?<br />How many fans does it have?<br />Does the page encourage conversation? <br />What percentage of page communications is press announcements?<br />Are fans creating their own discussions?<br />Are fans responding to discussions you post?<br />Do people regularly comment on your blog or tweets?<br />
  38. 38. Join or Create?<br />Yes - Join<br />Find a few highly targeted user generated communities and begin to monitor<br />Participate when appropriate<br />Always identify yourself<br />Track efforts <br />Measure ROI<br />Yes – Create<br />Start simply with Facebook Fan page<br />Follow Test<br />If it proves successful, expand to a private community <br />Track efforts<br />Measure ROI<br />
  39. 39. Questions?<br />
  40. 40. Your Questions<br />How can online communities benefit our clients?<br />Is it worth the time to build a presence in an online community?<br />Where to get started? Does a directory exist?<br />Legal issues regarding privacy and ownership of content<br />
  41. 41. Andy Abend<br />M is for Marketing<br /><br />Twitter:@MarketSmarter<br /><br /><br />404.316.4820<br />