Scotland & the Social Media Problem with Business


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Presentation given to students at Stirling University about the challenges they face in Scotland about getting companies to adopt social media. More information on the event can be found at

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Scotland & the Social Media Problem with Business

  1. 1. Using Social Media & The Scottish Problem Social Media Presentation to CIPR Stirling Twitter hashtag: #ciprstirling
  2. 2. Why bother - officially • “93 percent of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while an overwhelming 85 percent believe a company should not only be present, but also interact with its consumers via social media.” • “Our company would have gone bust without an online presence. It started us. From that we saw value in online engagement, kept doing it. Four years in, our turnover is more than £3million with 15 staff.” • 56% of American consumers feel both a stronger connection with and better served by companies when they can interact with them in a social media environment. • People are online talking about your brands/sector and if you aren’t engaging with them you’re losing out on potential sales and minimising criticism or negativity • Others in your sector are doing it. Join in or let them take your sales #ciprstirling
  3. 3. Why bother - really • You get to be this guy • You get to show the world you care • You get to communicate • You get to make a difference #ciprstirling Taken from
  4. 4. Still sceptical? • Everything is done online now • When you hear about a new thing, how do you find out about it? • Growth of social networking shows communities are forming online • It’s where customers are • But more importantly... people are already talking about you #ciprstirling
  5. 5. #ciprstirling
  6. 6. #ciprstirling
  7. 7. #ciprstirling
  8. 8. Does everyone need digital/social media PR? • One company famous in the design world • Even more well-known in print and mag media • So well known a major part of digital PR is named after it • Constantly pioneering - yet expensive #ciprstirling
  9. 9. #ciprstirling
  10. 10. Social Media for brands • A few set objectives from company POV: • increase brand awareness/loyalty • increase PR • increase brand champions (if unpaid, even better) • increase sales • grow customers • quick form of crisis PR beating press #ciprstirling
  11. 11. Obstacles #ciprstirling
  12. 12. This is Scotland #ciprstirling
  13. 13. This is Scotland • 13 newspapers, 4 have digital staff • The biggest of those is 4 people • 6 radio stations, no online staff • Risk-averse, conservative businesses • Digital engagement not at core • Little value placed on customer satisfaction • When you fail, it’s a negative not an opportunity #ciprstirling
  14. 14. This is Scotland #ciprstirling
  15. 15. This is Scotland #ciprstirling
  16. 16. And this is whisky... #ciprstirling
  17. 17. But this is Scotland #ciprstirling
  18. 18. This is Scotland • 415,000 Facebook accounts • 38,000 Twitter accounts • More than 700 blogs • Mashable - world’s most visited Social Media news site with millions of fans - created in Scotland • Online businesses starting up and raking in five and six-figure sums completely under the radar. Based in Scotland but don’t deal with Scotland • Strong consumer demand for smartphones, iPhones, iPads • World-leader in digital entertainment through games sector - in terms of ROI, creativity, staffing • 71% of population consider themselves consumers of digital • 33% have online ability, 87% when you add in mobile phones #ciprstirling
  19. 19. This is the world • 300million Facebook accounts • 55% of active users spend an hour a day • 9 days last year, more than £800m spent • In total, more than $100bn spent online globally • One whisky website sold £395,000 in six hours #ciprstirling
  20. 20. Don’t be... #ciprstirling
  21. 21. Be... #ciprstirling
  22. 22. The Master Blender • Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay Master Blender ( & @the_nose) • Expert for more than 40 years • Watch the video • He starts with “hello, how are you?” not “I know all about whisky” • He reaches out instead of making it about him - that’s social media
  23. 23. The point • You work in Scotland • You serve the globe You can’t think Scottish #ciprstirling
  24. 24. What is social media? • It’s... • but also... #ciprstirling
  25. 25. #ciprstirling
  26. 26. #ciprstirling
  27. 27. • Also... #ciprstirling
  28. 28. • And... #ciprstirling
  29. 29. #ciprstirling
  30. 30. • There are more than 700 platforms dubbed as social media or digital PR • Term now widely used for any area where customers have the ability to interact with a company • (yes, technically that makes a phone a social media device but it’s better than a phone because even the one-to-one chats are broadcast to the world) #ciprstirling
  31. 31. None of it is social media • Social media is not a tool. It’s not Twitter, Facebook, blogs • Social comes before media. • Social is people • True social media is an attitude #ciprstirling
  32. 32. • Social media is about listening to others because you are interested • From a company perspective that also means acting on what they say, listening to them • Your customer is your new stakeholder • The tools will change, the attitude should stay #ciprstirling
  33. 33. Social media is... • All about the customer • All about helping • All about listening and acting on that • Giving people your time • For a business, reaching out to the die-hard, the casual buyer, the curious buyer - all of them #ciprstirling
  34. 34. Why do people go online • To find out more about brands • To develop an affinity with brands they like • To be entertained/informed • For discounts • To buy and consume - physically and digitally #ciprstirling
  35. 35. After product what do they want? • Engaged • Informed • Educated • Connected • Authenticity #ciprstirling
  36. 36. They don’t want • “Sorry can’t ship to there” • “We can’t do that” • “We think that’s irrelevant” • 404 Page not found • “We don’t do online” • “Not allowed to...” #ciprstirling
  37. 37. Where should you be? Wherever this lot are... #ciprstirling
  38. 38. This is us
  39. 39. What’s the Strategy • Listen to what is said • Respond within six hours, quicker the better • Act on what is said • Inform of what is done #ciprstirling
  40. 40. What’s the secret • Co-ordinated planned activity • Engaging locally, results globally • Authenticity #ciprstirling
  41. 41. Leaving faking it to these guys... #ciprstirling
  42. 42. Marketing PR Sales Events IT HR #ciprstirling
  43. 43. Why? #ciprstirling
  44. 44. #ciprstirling
  45. 45. #ciprstirling
  46. 46. Management • Are staff encouraged to use social media • Does management care? If they don’t, why should staff #ciprstirling
  47. 47. HR • Can staff check social media at work? • Is there a usage policy? • What can they say about work out of hours? #ciprstirling
  48. 48. IT • Can staff check social media at work? Are they past IE6? • Can they use the best tools for maximum productivity? • Are they tooled up - iPhones, Blackberry • How quick can a new social media tool/site be implemented #ciprstirling
  49. 49. Sales • New stockist - worth a tweet, FB post. Put it on a Google Map (where to buy...) • Large sale - shout it from the rooftops • Answer queries: “Where can I buy W&M?” • Find new customers: “Where can I buy whisky?”; “What whisky works with...” #ciprstirling
  50. 50. PR/marketing • Are your releases/activity social media/SEO friendly? • Are they online? On your site? • Are they monitored for follow-up comment? • Is there video and audio to go with it • Are you treating bloggers like press? • Is it online at same time as traditional press #ciprstirling
  51. 51. Marketing/PR • Is there an online element PR can use? • Is there an online retailer? • Is there an online discount? #ciprstirling
  52. 52. Events • Does event have a website? • Does it let you buy tickets? • Does the event have a hashtag? • Is there regular content to engage? • Live updates? Video? Audio? • Is the digital aspect promoted elsewhere? • What about post-event? Podcasts? #ciprstirling
  53. 53. But who should lead • PR: social media is front facing and as such should be their realm. They should be aware of all company activity/issues. • Other depts have to be ready to act on push from PR/marketing though #ciprstirling
  54. 54. 2010 baseline • Main website • Blog (as part of site or standalone) • Facebook • Twitter • YouTube/Vimeo • Online identity on physical products • Podcasts - appearing on #ciprstirling
  55. 55. 2010 extended • Podcasts - creating • Blogger outreach, conversations • Facebook ads, Google ads • Online sponsorships • Foursquare, Gowalla • SEO savvy #ciprstirling
  56. 56. 2010 advanced • Events • Mobile • Location Based Information • Blog beyond product, industry talker • Gaming #ciprstirling
  57. 57. Sad but true • It’s not about one tweet, one post, one event, one stunt, one podcast • It has to be ongoing, constantly new, evolving Terrifies or inspires #ciprstirling
  58. 58. Make no mistake • This is a lot of work • You are becoming your own media • But you do a lot already #ciprstirling
  59. 59. Rules of engagement • Once you’ve said it, it’s gone. It’s never coming back.You can delete it, odds are it’s still somewhere • It’s global. People take the huff if you make an offer and then don’t deliver worldwide #ciprstirling
  60. 60. Expect: • Not everyone will love you • People will tell you your product is rotten (but you can turn that to your advantage) • Be sensible about the numbers - but don’t be shy • Honesty #ciprstirling
  61. 61. But how do we make money? • Money isn’t the key thing a person gives you online • It’s time • Online, time means more than money • If people give you their time, you are valued #ciprstirling
  62. 62. • But for many that’s not enough.... #ciprstirling
  63. 63. #ciprstirling
  64. 64. MONEY • This is a business and money is still seen as the best ROI there is #ciprstirling
  65. 65. How to get the pennies • An online store • Online discounts • Online-only offers • As with all things online, you need to make it easy for people to get you or get to you • Mention the store in your links, your tweets, everywhere #ciprstirling
  66. 66. Online works • Companies like BrewDog sell globally on the back of their website - and offer online only discounts • Dell made more than $1m in Twitter only sales (measured through links and Twitter- only discounts) #ciprstirling
  67. 67. Another benefit • All this social media activity can benefit inhouse as well as customers though... #ciprstirling
  68. 68. Internal comms • Benefits aren’t just external: • inhouse podcast and blogs • Make sure all staff are following on FB, Twitter,YouTube so they can see what company is doing • Send them a weekly email with all the updates and links #ciprstirling
  69. 69. For 2010 this guy was wrong #ciprstirling
  70. 70. The tips for closing • When bringing out a product reserve the names for it - on Facebook, Twitter, web and elsewhere. If nothing else, it prevents the competition grabbing them • Be flexible • Plan lots • The speed of comms is instant but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take time for impact #ciprstirling
  71. 71. Things which also help • Domain names ownership • Affiliate ad program • Google keywords • Links • video, audio skills • Use SEO friendly kit - no flash video or imagery, text not embedded in images • Tag your blog posts #ciprstirling
  72. 72. What’s next? • Far more on mobiles - mobile vouchers, mobile only offers, location-based services, location overlays - as they overtake laptops and desktops as main source of web browsing worldwide • Location-based awareness • Further rise of casual gaming • Press relying on crowdsourcing • Dads as the new mummy bloggers • English to become secondary online #ciprstirling
  73. 73. • Whyte & Mackay had a brand with some whisky in an unusual place... #ciprstirling
  74. 74. Whisky at South Pole #ciprstirling
  75. 75. • Started as a Podcast • Became a blog post • Bloggers picked it up • SoS journalist noticed it, wrote about it • Telegraph saw tale, wrote about it • More bloggers wrote about it • Whole world wrote about it #ciprstirling
  76. 76. The result • More than 1000 news articles Nov-Dec ’09 • More than 1200 articles in Jan-Feb ’09 • More than 2300 tweets • 1100 blog posts in ’09 • 1450 blog posts in ’10 • 100 TV spots, 450 radio spots • Video/audio from podcasts used by media #ciprstirling
  77. 77. #ciprstirling
  78. 78. #ciprstirling / @jura_whisky
  79. 79. #ciprstirling
  80. 80. Who gets it right? Clearly there are online champions, people who have made it work and reap the benefits, but who? #ciprstirling
  81. 81. Skittles #ciprstirling
  82. 82. #ciprstirling
  83. 83. BrewDog • Founded 4 years ago • Couldn’t sell a thing • Sent 50 crates of beer to beer bloggers globally • Kept engaging (but also very good PR) • 4 years on, turnover £3million, 15 staff • US is their no.1 market, UK is no.3 • No marketing team #ciprstirling
  84. 84. Blogging #ciprstirling
  85. 85. One man brands • Charlie Stross, Warren Ellis, Mark Millar • Writers who have engaged online for years • All run their own blogs and forums, write the content, reply, engage • All reaped benefits from a built-in audience • Authenticity • No different from coke - they are a brand #ciprstirling
  86. 86. Ford • 25% of marketing spend is on social media (9% sector average) • Online presence across the brands • Online core throughout the company from CEO to salesmen • Only car company not bailed out by US Govt #ciprstirling
  87. 87. The Fiesta Movement • Brought Fiesta to US • Asked for people to get in touch about why they should have a Fiesta • Gave 100 ‘socially vibrant’ people a free car/petrol for 6 months - prior to US launch, said do what you want • 38% increased market awareness #ciprstirling
  88. 88. What they do well • They never edit, they crowdsource • They engage, even on tricky issues • Go to the consumers • They take pride in their work • Passion, desire, enthusiasm • It’s company wide • Seen as industry leaders #ciprstirling
  89. 89. They listen & engage
  90. 90. Who gets it wrong? • If there’s online winners, there has to be online losers • For every Ford there’s a Stuart Maclennan #ciprstirling
  91. 91. Amazon • One Friday, all listings for GLBT books vanished • Amazon did nothing until Monday • No comment until the Tuesday • “Problem caused by a Frenchman changing a line of code” • EPIC FAIL #ciprstirling
  92. 92. 1click & they were done • With lack of credible info, theories assumed and acted on (the worst was assumed) • Hundreds of authors pulled Amazon listings from their own sites • GLBT sector outraged, to this day many not convinced of explanation • Far too slow to respond #ciprstirling
  93. 93. Eurostar • Next to no updates through crisis • People were panicking #ciprstirling
  94. 94. The right way... • Every tweet, every online mention should have been replied to in real-time with information • Front page of website turned over to live updates - but not crowdsourcing • Hourly email to press (optional if time pressed as they can get info via Twitter and other online sites same time as public) #ciprstirling
  95. 95. Nestle • Got YouTube to pull a controversial Greenpeace video • Greenpeace went everywhere with it • Then Nestle got snitty on Facebook • World + Dog outraged #ciprstirling
  96. 96. #ciprstirling
  97. 97. So close, but so far... • Nestle should never have pulled the video • Should have put their own out quickly • Should have reiterated to everyone - constantly - that they were addressing the issue • Etiquette (this did them more damage than anything) #ciprstirling
  98. 98. Vodafone: #prfail to #prwin • 1 rogue tweet • Every twitter mentioned was personally replied to • Every blog mention was replied to • Staff offered top brass up to digital media to say sorry • Story was done before a paper hit a printer #ciprstirling
  99. 99. Want to learn more? • Scottish Social Media Dinners: 3 speakers every month on digital and social media PR. Glasgow and Edinburgh. #ssmd • & @content_ly • • Quiet News Day Podcasts • FIR (For Immediate Release) Podcasts • Buy Social Media Bravehearts in June • Use Google #ciprstirling