Intelligex social media conference developing a social media strategy by barbara davies


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Presentation given by Marketing & Social Media Strategist, Barbara Davies, at the Intelligex Social Media Conference

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Intelligex social media conference developing a social media strategy by barbara davies

  1. 1. • After completingJohannesburg,&I Journalism at the University of a BA English went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management at Wits Business School. • After small PR & Marketing firm. as a publicist for a graduation I began working • Iand have extensive experience in digital years have been working in advertising for 6 and “new media”. • Inumber avid blogger and contributor to and a am an of blogs, a social media addict a communication junkie — people fascinate me and I love nothing more than to watch the way people interact with each other in different situations © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  2. 2. • A strategy is defined as your majoroforaction, a policy designed to achieve a plan overall aim. • Strategy is imperative to the success of any endeavour. • With the help of a strategist you need to define the who’s, what’s, how’s, where’s, why’s and when’s of your campaign or presence. • It is of paramount importanceline with your relevant to your brand and in that these be overall marketing strategy. • Social media is 360, another spoke in the in your marketing merely another mechanism wheel of marketing tools. • Your social mediathe same overall goals as your strive to achieve strategy should ultimately marketing strategy as a whole. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  3. 3. • Before you can start a social media presence you need to determine which platforms you will embark on and in order to do that, you must first figure out where your audience is. • Similarly, you can’tdon’t first know who you will audience is if you determine where your be talking to. • This is related to your bulls-eye demographic. • It’s importantto talk to everyone,you can’t and shouldn’t try to remember that you need only engage with relevant stakeholders for your brand and which stakeholders are relevant depends on what you hope to achieve with your social media presence. • Once you’ve figured out who you’ll be they are. engaging with you can find out where © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  4. 4. • For example, if young, tech-savvy and socially predominantly your bulls-eye demographic is aware, you will need to engage on multiple platforms in order to meet their engagement requirements. • Nike Basketball for example has over 3,9m fans on Facebook, approximately 250,000 followers on twitter and over 57,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel. They have hundreds of pins and repins on Pintrest as well as around 150 followers on the fledgling social network. • This group isthey expect near-constant updates generation”, the “instant gratification and engagement on social media. • They want youexpect talking behave like not just to them, they to be you to with them, one of their buddies. • As such needs to bemediamuch more in depth strategy your social that engagement in order to keep up with their time and content demands. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  5. 5. • Conversely, if your bulls-eye demographic is more professional, over 55, top LSM groups you will have a much smaller following on social media and people will primarily look to your website for online interaction. • These groups engage with a specific end-game in mind; they want information, not conversation. When you phone your stock broker you don’t ask him how his kids are or what the weather is like in Sandton, you ask how your share portfolio is handling the news that Anglo has sold is shares in SCAW Metals. • Alexander Forbes for example has a (comparatively menial) 14,000 fans on Facebook and no official twitter presence. Their CEO, Edward Kieswetter, however has approximately 750 followers. • For a brand like Alexander Forbes the CEO is the official voice of the brand and his/her online presence has to behave accordingly. He/she shouldn’t be excessively tweeting about his/her weekend activities — a few personal tweets is acceptable, encouraged even as it gives the brand a face, but this shouldn’t be the norm. • Another example of a very successful CEO presence is that of FNB and Michael Jordaan, it puts a face to the brand and allows people the opportunity to engage on a one-to-one basis with the brand, which is exactly what we want on social media. • FNB’s other presence, RB Jacobs, is also a very successful presence, one that has given a face to their customer service department and has improved customer satisfaction exponentially. Despite the fact that everyone knows RB Jacobs is not in fact a real person, they engage with the profile as if it were and are therefore experiencing a “one-to-one” conversation dynamic with a group of individuals • Your strategy will define the direction your brand takes on social media and therefore needs to be throughly and carefully thought out. • The person who writes your strategy needs to have an intimate knowledge of the brand as a whole, as well as in depth knowledge of the brand ethos and positioning on traditional media. • I reiterate, your social media strategy must be aligned to your overall brand strategy. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  6. 6. • Now you know where your audience “hangs out” on social media, now you need to listen to what they’re saying. • Listen to what they’re saying not only about your brand but about your competitors, your suppliers, each other and themselves. • If you are ultimately able to engage with them on a personal level because of the insights you gained from listening to their conversations you will set your brand apart. These human insights you can gain will be invaluable in your future engagements with your audience. • Conversations start with listening. Listening is imperative to the success of your social media presence. • Listen to your competitors, this will help you determine what works and what doesn’t. • Listen to the types of messages your competitors are putting to their audience, listen to the way the messages are delivered — is the tone of voice friendly and casual or more professional and formal? • Then listen to the responses your competitors are getting from their audience — are the responses positive or negative? Did the audience enjoy that type of engagement? • If the audience’s response is not favourable then your engagement strategy needs to follow a different tack. This will help to set your brand apart from it’s competitors, it © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved. allows you to learn from their mistakes.Thursday 26 April 12
  7. 7. • You are probably wonderingengagements. supposed to listen to these how you are • Obviously thosesuch as your competitors’on open platforms, engagements that occur Facebook pages are easy to listen to but engagements about your brand happen every day on social media and you might find it difficult to know where to go to listen for them. • The answer is it’s weight in, and it’s worth online reputation • There are numerous ORMyou can list custom of the best is BrandsEye, tools available, one search-phrases relevant to your brand. It will then report back to you, in real-time, what people are saying about your brand across a wide variety of platforms. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  8. 8. • Another way to listen to the conversation is to seek out “influentials”, these are people who drive or initiate conversation, people who have a degree of authority and whose opinions are respected on certain matters. • If an influential recommends a to try it out. service people are more likely product or • Peoplefar more than they respectsay about a brand respect what their peers what a brand says about itself. • Love him or hate him, a local example of an influential is Gareth Cliff. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  9. 9. • Gareth Cliff has over 300,000 fansan Facebook and is considered to be on “authority” on a number of things. • Gareth saw an influential and in early-2011 his considered the monetary value in being social media rate card was featured in numerous industry blog posts. • According to his rate card,R20,000.featuring your brand would run you a tweet © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  10. 10. • Similarly a tweet about your brand a tweetcost you R15,000. When you consider would is a maximum of 140 characters, that means you would be paying almost R110 a character. • But with over 250,000him each day twitter and thousands listening to followers on on his radio station, Gareth Cliff has a fairly extensive audience, that hangs on his every word. • The publication of Gareth’s rate card didn’t do anything for the credibility of influentials because people started questioning, “is that really your opinion or is it paid adspace?” • Recently Facebook and twitter have updated their terms of service effectively outlawing the practice of selling your posts to the highest bidder and as such the credibility of influentials is slowly returning. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  11. 11. • Finding the influentials you should be your industry for most brands will be easy; think of listening to and off the the top of your head you can probably come up with at least 10 people you would consider influentials in your industry. • If you were in the financial an influential,example, for Bruce Whitfield would be industry for similarly the advertising industry Andy Rice and Jeremy Maggs are influentials we listen to. • Influentials are very often industry journalists, bloggers or writers. • If you’rebe listening to ato figure out who is should still struggling very helpful tool you • WeFollowpeople whoto twitter but generally have speaking is tailored are influential on twitter a blog, Facebook page, Google+ page, etc. • WeFollowortakes influentials and splitsdescending category industry and lists them in them by order by number of followers. • You can search by country, by city, by industry, etc. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  12. 12. • It is critically importantembark on a social your goals before you that you clearly define media presence. • To use an analogy, if your social media are endeavour is a roadtrip, then your goals your destination. • Just like with a roadtrip your destination will determine your route and the vehicles you choose to get there. • Your you intent to get from is your you are to how social media strategy where route map; where you want to be. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  13. 13. • Defining your destination may seem like a daunting task and if you look at it in isolation is will be. • Marketing must be viewed holistically, your social media presence is merely another marketing tool in your arsenal. • As such, your social media goals need to be aligned to your brand strategy objectives. • Consider your brand strategy objectives, think about whether social media can help you to achieve any of those objectives. • Remember to be realistic, social media is a tool, another spoke, not the be all and end all of your marketing strategy. • Your goals should be SMART: • Specific • Measurable • Attainable • Realistic • Timely • It’s very important that you consider — like you would with any goals — short-, medium- and long-term goals and assign the appropriate timeframe to your goals. • Even on social media, not everything happens overnight; it will still take you months of hard work to gain a following that you consider to be worthwhile. • You wont’ sign up one day and have 100,000 fans the next. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  14. 14. • Make sure thataudience wants toisgo. least close to where your your destination at If you’re not going somewhere that’s of interest to them, they won’t come along for the ride. • This basicallypresence has to add value to their social media boils down to the fact that your experience of your brand. • You can add value in a number of ways, with exclusive special offers or rewards, sneak peeks, value add coupons or something as simple as an express conduit for complaints or customer service issues. • You have toextra to ensure they come along for something give your social media audience the journey. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  15. 15. • Now you know whoout, you’ve decided where you’re those people hang you’re talking to, you know where going and now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get there. • Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. • Youseveral platforms but first you want to test thebe on may decide that ultimately you would like to water. • There is rollout may nothingbest thing forthis strategy, a phased absolutely be the wrong with your brand. • Start with to you and to your are going to be most beneficial the platforms that audience. • Rememberaudience —to build an to have 10 fans who than a big it’s better it’s better engaged audience are talking about your brand and engaging positively than 100 fans who aren’t saying anything about your brand. • Because ofweek reached 901m Facebook users (which this the sheer volume of users) and the functionality the pages allow, this will often be the first platform in a phased rollout. In fact, especially for small brands, a Facebook page can (and often does) replace a website. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  16. 16. • There are hundreds thesocial media platforms to choose from and of number grows almost daily. • Not all of them are relevant to your brand or to your message. • It’s also important toto each platform, it’severy message is suitable remember that not vital that you tailor your messages to the specific platform on which you plan to engage. • Don’t think you havehave toon every platform, this is a myth — you to be be on every platform that is relevant to your brand but not necessarily on every platform. • Start both the you and your audience.the best ROI; with for ones that will give you © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  17. 17. • Now you know who you’re talking to, you know where those people hang out, you’ve decided where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, now it’s time to figure what you’re going to say along the way. • First of all, determine your voice on each platform and remember that not every message is suited to every platform so your voice on one platform may be vastly different from your voice on the next platform. • Some messages work on Facebook, for example, but won’t work on twitter and visa versa. • It’s important to determine what each platform will be used for and plan the content accordingly. • Develop a content theme for each month (or week or promotion period, depending on your brand and industry). • These content themes can largely be drawn from your annual marketing plan. • Your content themes may or may not be the same across platforms. • Determining a content theme will help you to identify events, etc. you can capitalise on — promos to run, product launches, etc. • All of these things affect the content you will be putting out across platforms. • Developing content themes is a similar process to developing a media plan, in fact your traditional media plan will serve as a good point of departure. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  18. 18. • Heremay look like. of what a content theme plan is an example © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  19. 19. • Once you haveto develop your content plans. you are now ready developed your content themes • To continue the platforms are your vehicles, are your destination, the journey analogy, your goals your audience represents your traveling companions, your content themes are the national road maps you use to plan your journey. That means that your content plans are the individual town and city maps that show the exact route you will take on your journey. • By properly planning your route to take you through key areas you will hopefully pick up more traveling companions along the way. • New traveling companions may affect your route slightly; you may take a specific detour to accommodate a certain group of traveling companions. • The beauty of social media is thatgroups. enough to accommodate the wants of new it’s easy • But may alienate you do itmembers of your drastically you remember, if existing too often or too audience. • By changing yourwhich means you may undermine your your destination, route may also inadvertently change strategy and therefore your ability to achieve your goals. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  20. 20. • One of the most important things to remember about content is that it is on behalf of the brand, it is not your personal opinion. • Your brand’s page is not the place to air your personal political views, it’s not the place to discuss your favourite colour or fashion trend (unless you’re writing for a political page or fashion house). • You should steer clear of mentioning the weather because not all of your audience members will be experiencing the same thing you are. If you’re writing, for example, for the City of Cape Town, you are free to discuss the weather in Cape Town because your presence is unashamedly from Cape Town. • Stay away from person opinions and singular pronouns, such as I, me, my, etc. rather use nondescript we, our descriptions. • Don’t make the mistake of writing for yourself or your peers, always make sure you are writing on behalf of the brand. • The person responsible for creation of content must be extremely comfortable with the brand ethos and personality, this person must be able to write on behalf of the brand. • Make sure the person knows if your brand is fun-loving and happy go lucky or a serious and conservative brand. • This must be defined upfront, before anything is written for © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved. the presence.Thursday 26 April 12
  21. 21. • There are athat will helpdifferentconstantly be structures number of you to content coming up with fresh content. One that a number of people advocate is 1/3 split. • This means 1/3 of your content will 1/3specific to the content theme of the period, be will be general content about your brand and 1/3 will be general industry content. • By including general industrythat it’s not allare able to show your audience content you about you, that you’re interested in more than just selling a product, that in fact you’re interested in having a conversation. • It shows you as a thought-leader, a conversation-started and and opinion-shaper in your industry. • Following acome up with new, will help content. constantly predefined recipe relevant you to © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  22. 22. • Your content plan will includeinclude links and wording of your posts, it will the exact photographs if relevant. • You will need ato blanketplan per platform and remember not content broadcast content across platforms, as mentioned previously not every message is relevant or appropriate to every platform. • Your audience on different platforms may bethe vastly different so you’ll need to ensure that content you’re posting on each platform is relevant to that specific audience (this will be mostly trial and error). © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  23. 23. • All too often, companies makeresources to of not committing the necessary the mistake their social media presence; they assign the job to a junior member of the team or an intern and often this person lacks the necessary maturity and brand-investment to handle the responsibility. • Someone (or ina the case of larger has to organisations, group of someones) take responsibility for and ownership of the ultimate success (or failure) of the endeavour. • If you’re not able or willing to commit the necessary resources, then it’s best not to engage on social media. In some cases, social media abstinence is the best strategy. • Some media management, others keep it fully social brands choose to fully outsource their in-house and others use a hybrid model. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  24. 24. • If you decide tothan onein-house,to the task, not to assign more keep it person you may need only because of the volume of work that may be required but also because of the type of work. • Onemanaging a Facebook page but may not and person may be fully adept at maintaining have the necessary skills required to keep a blog up to date with relevant, well-written content. • You maydepartments involvedain yourifsocial are multiple also need to assign team there media presence; you may need a member from HR, one from sales and marketing, one from customer service, etc. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  25. 25. • If you decide to fully outsourceto ensure you media management, you need your social have found the right fit because, ultimately, you are entrusting the “voice” of your brand to an outsider. As such you need to ensure that the person preparing the content fully understands the voice. • Most social media management companies will present content themes for approval but final content plans are then at the management company’s discretion. • This is not necessarily a problem, provided you have the right fit. • All of the aboveaholds true whether you’re outsourcing to social media management company or hiring a new employee to handle the management in-house. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  26. 26. • Personally, Iin which a the use of a hybrid model, one advocate social media management company or consultant and the in-house team meet somewhere in the middle. • Content themes and plans are drawnis left to together and implementation thereof up the management company or consultant. • It is imperativehas access to the right company or consultant that the management people so that should any queries need to be escalated, they are escalated to the appropriate people. • If the not have access to the or consultantthere does management company right people will be an unwanted and unnecessary delay in response time, which will result in a less than satisfying experience for your audience. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  27. 27. • Now you have everything in place; which determined who your audience is, you have platforms they are engaging on, what you hope to achieve with this venture and what your content strategy will be going forward, now all that remains is to “push the button.” © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  28. 28. • Remember to stick to your schedule and be consistent. • Check your presences daily to ensure there are no comments or queries that require responses. • Monitor and manage interactions and engagements on a daily basis. • Social provided you’re conversation generation and – media is about doing it right – your posts should generate conversation. If you aren’t monitoring your presences daily, you are effectively walking out on your audience mid- conversation. • Scheduling tools canThereto ensure you stick to your content plan. help are a number of such tools available. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  29. 29. • One of which is HootSuite. HootSuite is great because provided you capture your content plan in the right format you can simply upload your .csv or Excel spreadsheet and viola, your content is scheduled. You can download a template from their website. • Scheduling posts does not mean that you can now forget about your presence, you still need to monitor the engagements daily or you’ll miss out on vital parts of the conversation. • The free version of HootSuite allows you to add up to 5 networks and HootSuite supports Facebook, twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, MySpace, PingFM and WordPress. • HootSuite is designed around feeds — newsfeeds, @mention feeds, message feeds, etc and feeds are displayed on tabs, which means you can have a consolidated view of your presences in one place. • This means that HootSuite is ideal for actively managed accounts and multiple account managers (across brands or across platforms). • HootSuite also allows you to get information about fans and followers because it can provide links to their social presences as well as display their Klout scores. • HootSuite also allows you to create lists of users you would like to keep a closer eye on, which means that disgruntled customers can be dealt with quickly providing a better social engagement for all. • HootSuite works on a subscription basis and subscriptions range from free to $2000 per month. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  30. 30. • TweetDeck is, astwitter but it also supports geared towards the name implies, more Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare and MySpace. • Like HootSuite content is arranged in feeds. • For me, TweekDeck’s best feature isyou to track keyword search feature, this allows its particular search phrases or keywords in real- time, which makes it a brilliant entry-level ORM tool. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  31. 31. • When we are thinking about traditional media, the first thing we do is think about “how are we going to measure this?” We ask, “what are the readership/listenership/viewership figures of that magazine/radio/tv show?” We always want to know what our ROI will be, and why should social media be any different? • Right in the beginning you decided what your objectives and goals were for your presence, keeping those objectives in mind you will need to determine your metrics for success. • You need to constantly review everything, ask if the platforms you’re on are still the right platforms to be on, ask if your objectives are still relevant, is your management strategy still the right one (outsource vs. in-house/hybrid), ask if your audience is providing the engagement you had hoped for, is it the audience you’d hoped for and whether or not you’re keeping that audience happy. • There are numerous different metrics for success you can apply and the ones you choose will be determined by your strategy and the objectives you hoped to achieve. • If, for example, you wanted an online purchasing portal your metrics for success would include the number of sales you made via your portal. If you only wanted to raise brand awareness, your metrics for success would include the number of fans or followers you have gained. • ROI measurement for social media is not an exact science, nothing in social media is. A lot of your measurements will be © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved. based on gut-feel and informed guesswork.Thursday 26 April 12
  32. 32. • Just like anyand if necessary revising constantly reviewing it strategy you need to be it. • You may need to tweak your your objectives, for based on a slight change to metrics for success example. Or you may find that your original plan is the exact opposite of what your audience hoped for from your brand and you need to virtually start again. • The beauty ofeasily adjust, adapt or about-turnjust that, you can digital media is that you can do your social media strategy virtually overnight, it is a constant evolution based on what’s happening on your presences. • Remember to set out your internal and public-facing policies. • Internal policies will include what your their personal can and can’t say about the brand on employees profiles as well as what they say on the brand’s profile or on behalf of the brand. • External, or permissible from your audience onwhat is and isn’t public-facing, policies will set out your profile (e.g. profanity, hate speech, discrimination, etc.) © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  33. 33. • To sum itwhat they’reneed to (about everything) and listen to all up, you saying find your audience and find out where they’re saying it. • Determine your and attainable. they’re realistic goals and objectives, make sure • Figure out rollout strategy is. want to be on and what your which platforms you • Determine your voice for for each platform, ensure formalising your content each platform and begin that content is relevant to the platform, structured according to the voice for that platform and in line with the what the audience on that platform expects. • Engage with your audience, take negativity offline wherever possible and try to keep the conversation light. • Have a look at how you’re doing, is it successful so far? • Once you’vetodone all that, go backisand start again by listening how your audience reacting to your conversation and see if you need to tweak or adjust anything. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12
  34. 34. • Remember, that whetheris beingyou engage on social media your brand or not spoken about out there on the world wide web. • There are customersare both satisfied and dissatisfied — there — suppliers and competitors all talking and all engaging, with each other and with your brand. • If you’re not engaging in huge are potentially missing a the conversation • If you have determined that social media engagement is not in fact right for your brand, you need — at very least — to be listening to the conversation that is being had. © Barbara Davies 2012. All Rights Reserved.Thursday 26 April 12