An Introduction to New Media


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10 things your company needs to know before joining the conversation.

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An Introduction to New Media

  1. 1. An Introduction To New Media 10 things your company NEEDS to know before joining the conversation. JOEL WIDMER
  2. 2. An Introduction To New Media P U BL I S H IN G I NF O RM AT I O N First published in the United States in July 2008 and sold via Find me on the World Wide Web at To report errors, please send a note to the contact form provided on the website. Copyright © 2009 by Joel Widmer. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. No parts of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the copyright owner. The author and publisher have used their best efforts in preparing this book and the instructions contained herein. However, the author and the publisher make no warranties of any kind, express or implied, with the regard of the information contained in this book, and specially disclaim, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for any particular purpose. NOTICE OF LIABILITY In no event shall the author or the publisher be responsible or liable for any loss of profits or other commercial or personal damages, including but not limited to special incidental, consequential, or any other damages, in connection with or arising out of furnishing, performance or use of this book. T R AD E M A R K S Throughout this book, trademarks are used. Rather than put a trademark symbol in every occurrence of a trademarked name, we state that we are using the names in an editorial fashion only and to the benefit of the trademark owner with no intention of infringement of the trademarks. Thus, copyrights on individual photographic, trademarks and clip art images reproduced in this book are retained by the respective owner.
  3. 3. Table of Contents 1 Defining Your Plan 6 Business Or Pleasure? How Innovative Companies Are Using New Media Where To Draw The Line 2 Competition 7 Engaging Competitors Checklist What To Tweet Or Talk About 3 Your Sales Cycle Your Customized Approach 8 Listening How To Listen Online Effectively 4 Social Media Policy Examples Of Social Media Policies 9 Integrating New Media Integrating Social Media Into Your Marketing Mix 5 The Learning Curve How To Become A New Media Pro 10 New Media Etiquette Minding Your P's And Q's
  4. 4. d e f i n i n g y o u r p l an | 4 1 Defining Your Plan N ew media can be an incredible business tool providing customer insight, direct communication channels, and the ability to measure the success of your tools closely and accurately. As the opportunities to personally engage with your customers grow, it can become extremely time consuming trying to keep up if you don't have a well thought out strategy. This tutorial will show you how social media can benefit your business and how to prepare for the transition into this space. Your plan will consist of 5 parts. Listening, Searching, Engaging, Interacting, and Measuring. We will discuss these steps in detail throughout each chapter.
  5. 5. d e f i n i n g y o u r p l an | 5 How Innovative Companies Are Using New Media Avis: Company Blog BMW: Facebook “Road Trip” page promoting 1 series Coke: Music app on Joost to promote Coke & Music Artist partnerships Dunkin Donuts: Twitter. Promoting specials and customer service. Hyundai: Widget to promote the Hyundai Genesis Ch. 1 Takeaway Tips Turbo Tax: Ratings and Reviews from customers 1 You need to decide why you want to use new It's crucial to view your media presence from the customers point of media for your company view and try to find the value in it. If you media presence does not 2 clearly benefit the customer, you'll know it right away from two What part of your business could benefit from the use of new media? Don't limit indications. First, no one will be interested in your company and what yourself. they are doing, no matter how great you think it is. You won't have a 3 What's in it for you following. Second, you may have a following and decide to change customer? Make sure they your value proposition to benefit your company. These plans often clearly see the value in your media presence online. backfire in the company's face and generate bad feedback on your company all over the web.
  6. 6. competition | 6 2 Competition W hen was the last time you took a good look at your competitors marketing strategy? What types of new media are they engaging in? From podcasts to social networks to video, businesses are combining and testing all forms of new media to see what works. Not only should you check out what your competitors are doing but find out what is working for them. By spending a little time studying their strategies, you'll soon gain a customers perspective on their business. Below is a short list of what to look for. It's crucial to look at your media presence from the customers point of view and try to find the value in it. If you media presence does not clearly benefit the customer, you will know it right away from two indications. First, no one will be interested in your company and what they are doing, no matter how great you think it is. You won't have a following. Second, you may have a following and decide to change your value proposition to benefit your company. These plans often backfire in the company's face and generate bad feedback on your company all over the web.
  7. 7. competition | 7 Competitors Checklist Google your competitors. Where are they in the search rankings? Do they have a presence on the web other than their website? (i.e. facebook, twitter, blog...?) How does it come across to you? What are their customers saying about them on sites like Yelp and City Search What opportunities are their to improve on their online presence that your company could be doing? How far along are they in their new media efforts? Did they just start or are they pioneers? Ch. 2 Takeaway Tips Is your competition or their customers talking about you? 1 Google your competitors and find out what kinds of new media they are incorporating. Don't worry about being the first business in your space to incorporate new media. In fact, the more businesses in your space, 2 Look at their online presence from a customers the better. Learn from the pioneers and improve on their mistakes. perspecticve. How do they Social media is still in its infant stages being first doesn't mean best look? anymore. Google didn't want everyone to use their site right away. 3 Don't worry if your competition is in your They see it as the longer people wait to try Google the better it will space online. Improve on be. what they're doing.
  8. 8. your sales cycle | 8 3 Your Sales Cycle D epending on what your product offering, the approach your company approaches to new media will differ across industries. There are several factors to consider when looking at the best approach for your company. The important thing to remember and it's worth repeating, is that people don't like to be sold, but they LOVE to buy. That is the main reason why “advertising” fails miserably through new media channels. Advertising is a one way conversation. I'm going to update that saying and add; people don't just want to buy either, they want to be courted through the buying process. Below are a few questions on how to approach new media with your products/services.
  9. 9. your sales cycle | 9 Your Customized Approach How frequently do your customers purchase your products/services? How complex is the sales cycle of your offering? What is your customer turnover rate? If you do have returning clients, is it a customer base you'd feel comfortable reaching out to via email? If your sales cycle is extremely complex and you are offering a high involvement product, your new media strategy may be to generate Ch. 3 Takeaway Tips interest and make physical contact with your prospect as soon as possible. On the flip-side, if your selling paper plates, you may be 1 Evaluate your sales process and look where able to court your client through the whole process over the internet. in the sales cycle new media may fit. However, it's all useless unless you gain your customers permission to interact with them. 2 How does the level of involvement of your product affect how you sell it online and offline? 3 Look at each part of the sale and find how new media may be able add value to it.
  10. 10. social media policy | 10 4 Social Media Policy B efore your company starts engaging in social media, make sure you set up a social media policy. All employees participating in social media need to be familiar with the appropriate rules of engagement. Microsofts channel 9 is a great resource to start with. Depending on your company, you may question as to whether a formal social media policy is really necessary. If your company culture is more relaxed, it may be fitting to have a two line policy like Jamie Kelly, whose policy reads: “1. If you’re using an account for work purposes, identify yourself as an employee of The Gazette 2. If posting something would embarass you or the company, or call your professional reputation into question, DON’T POST IT.” If you feel your company needs a policy that is thoroughly outlined, refer to the links below.
  11. 11. s o c i a l m e d i a p o l i c y | 11 Examples Of Social Media Policies IBM Social Computing Guidelines HP Blogging Code of Conduct Greteman Group (Advertising Agency) Social Media Policy Ciscos Internet Posting Policy Ch. 4 Takeaway Tips 1 First decide whether you want a social media policy. Traditionalists enjoy traditional advertising mediums because they 2 How stringent do you want it to be? Don't be afraid to had complete control of the content. Social media is just the use other company's as an opposite, and the lack of control scares a lot of companies into example. completely restricting social media. Ask your employees to be a part 3 of the writing process. By giving them ownership in the document, Try including you team members into the creation process. This will give you they'll take it much more seriously than another handout. good insight into their views on new meida.
  12. 12. the learning curve | 12 5 The Learning Curve T he reason why we refer to online networks as “new media” as opposed to “social media” is because they are always evolving. When T.V. First came out, it was the new media for the radio listeners. When the internet became popular, web 1.0 (i.e. websites etc..) became the new media . Social media is another form of new media and who knows what will come next! The point is, even social media is still in its infant stages and because of how fast it is able to spread, it will evolve and change even faster.
  13. 13. the learning curve | 13 How To Become A New Media Pro Recognize there is no way around it. Learning new media is going to take some of your time and concentration. Thoroughly fill out your online profiles. Fill them with pictures and content. (more on that later.) NOBODY knows what to write or post or share when they first start. That's what the first 4 points where for. Now that you have that, you need action. Start posting even if it's not perfect. Never wait for perfect. Set goals for yourself. It's not going to feel natural keeping up your new media Ch. 5 Takeaway Tips at first. Tell yourself you'll commit to 20 minutes of new media time a day. Go 1 Social media is the new from there. media. It's still young but eventually it'll be taken over by a newer media. Interact with others. After all that's what this is all about. Coming up with original content is only half the battle. Don't worry if you don't have new things to post 2 Commit time everyday to learning new media. Set all the time. Your customers will be flattered that you are taking a genuine goals. Stick to them! interest in them by responding and interacting with them. 3 Participating is more important than generating Commit the energy to effectively learn these tools and give new content. Interact with them the time they deserve to make it worth your while. Building a your community. ...even if it's only 3 people. community doesn't happen overnight (for most people) Try giving it at least 6 months and stick with it consistently.
  14. 14. b u s i n e s s o r p l e a s u r e? | 1 4 6 Business Or Pleasure? S hould you mix your business and personal life on social networks? The short answer is yes. People are sharing their lives on social networks. They are talking about upcoming concerts, birthdays, and vacations. If your a seasoned world traveller, don't hesitate to offer tips to the newbie in your network travelling overseas for the first time. By doing this you'll build trust and relationships. Also, give others a chance to connect with you by posing questions when you don't know something. Its a great feeling to help someone. You have a unique opportunity to connect with people on so many different levels. To restrict yourself to business would be utilizing less than half of the potential new media provides.
  15. 15. b u s i n e s s o r p l e a s u r e? | 1 5 Where To Draw The Line Don't use new media to blatantly advertise your business. (talking AT your customers) Don't get stuck apologizing to your customers. (i.e. Yes, Mrs Jones, we are so sorry about your customer service, it won't happen again...) Don't let Facebook time replace face time. No matter how great new media becomes, it will never replace the value that meeting face to face brings. Maintain the same level of composure on social networking sites as you would Ch. 6 Takeaway Tips meeting in person. Don't use slang or symbols when writing back and forth. 1 No matter what the nay- sayers say, it's OK to mix business and personal lives on your social networks. Even though I'm encouraging the combination of your business and personal life, don't overlook the fact that it requires delicacy. Just like 2 If your a newbie, it's gonna take a little time to learn the your mother told you, be careful who your friends are. If your crazy basics. friends are posting pictures and obscenities all over your profile, 3 Social networks will never consider yourself guilty by association. Bottom line: Use your best replace face-to-face interaction. But they are discretion. Always. meant to compliment it. Use them for the latter.
  16. 16. engaging | 16 7 Engaging O ne of the first things people ask me after they set up their twitter and blog accounts is, "What do I talk about?" If you tweeting or blogging on behalf of your company, I think a better question would be, What do your customers want? Before deciding on your content, take time to ponder the medium. Do your customers enjoy reading? Do they love watching videos on Youtube? Are they podcast subscribers? Or do they like their information quick on something like a presentation? Deciding what medium will have an impact your content. Aside from talking about your industry, brainstorm and make a list of 5-10 other subject that interest you or you want to learn more about. Doing this will not only help you have something to always talk about but you'll expand your networks and horizons too.
  17. 17. engaging | 17 What To Tweet Or Talk About Events: Your own events, interesting local events, charities, fundraisers... Contests your company hosts to engage prospects New Blog posts or website features ...That will ADD VALUE to your customers. What interests you? Establish yourself as a local authority on that topic in addition to your business field. (i.e. neighbourhood events, local sports, the linux guy etc...) Looking to hire? Post it on your network. You'll be surprised at the hiring success new media networks provide. Ch. 7 Takeaway Tips 1 What you say matters. Even though your not Engaging with your social community doesn't need to be all face to face, people know business. Find out your individual customers interest and see if there if your enjoying yourself or not. is a potential connection through them. You may find that you have a Have fun. love of fishing in common. By getting involved with groups and 2 Take out a sheet of paper and list 7 things that people that interest you, you'll be expanding your network, adding interest you. Great! You've value, and discovering prospects in the process. already expanded your network and prospects. 3 Don't let content get the best of you. Remember to listen more than you type.
  18. 18. listening | 18 8 Listening T he opportunity to get live honest and almost free feedback is what entices many companies to social media. Historically, there has never been a better better cheaper way to generate so much feedback. Many companies can Google themselves and read about their customers last interaction at their stores. Now that you have all of this information at your fingertips, you need to make the best use of it. How your company responds to the responses of your customers has the potential to build an incredible amount of value with your customers.
  19. 19. listening | 19 How To Listen Online Effectively REMEMBER people are always going to find things to complain about. And they choose to voice their complaints much more than their satisfactions. Also remember: Every complaint is an opportunity. If you receive the same negative feedback from several people, take it seriously and make a change. If you are receiving nothing but positive feedback from customers, don't make the mistake of settling. Take the opportunity to ask what they would like to see. Ch. 8 Takeaway Tips Give feedback to others too! Don't hog all the feedback. Give advice to others 1 Yes, people are probably already talking about who are just starting in a field that you may know more about. They'll be you. It's your job to join thankful. them and introduce yourself. 2 Don't forget to give others constructive feedback. This is agreat way to build Be a proactive listener. Look at each response as a chance to make value. a positive change. Also be warned. Your company needs to be ready 3 Brutal feedback hurts for brutal honest feedback. Your unhappy customers are going to say sometimes. Especially whatever they want. That being said, the feedback may be free but when you know it's true. If a majority of your customers are the execution is where your opportunities lie. unhappy... LISTEN to them!
  20. 20. i n t e g r a t i n g n e w m e d ia | 2 0 9 Integrating New Media W hen integrating social media into your marketing mix, be careful not to let it drown your your traditional marketing. Instead find ways to cross-promote each of your marketing mediums. For example, if television is an effective marketing medium for your company, use it to drive people to your website, or social networks where you can engage them. Use each aspect of your marketing mix to compensate for the weaknesses of the others. In the above example, television's weakness is that it's a one way conversation. But by driving people to your social networks, you are able to engage them in a two way conversation that will build trust and hopefully lead them to purchasing your offering.
  21. 21. i n t e g r a t i n g n e w m e d ia | 2 1 Integrating Social Media Into Your Marketing Mix Include a call to action for the social web in your emails. Have links to your social networks on your business cards, signs, email signatures and other traditional marketing mediums. Your website's landing page should have prominent links to company's social networks. Don't spend too much time on this. Let someone else. Hire an outside marketing company that has the advantage of looking from a customers perspective. Ch. 9 Takeaway Tips 1 Make sure your marketing messages and It's very rare to find a consumer who only watches t.v. or only reads identity are consistent from new media into your store. blogs. Most consumers today hop from medium to medium. Ensure 2 Hire an outside marketing that your prospects receive multiple touches across multiple firm to do the above. Thank mediums. The trick is to cross-promote each medium to direct them. me later. Never leave a medium as a dead end. 3 Make it unmistakingly clear to your employees, the message and values of your company. Afteral they are the face of it.
  22. 22. new media etiquette | 22 10 New Media Etiquette T he answer is yes. There is a set of unwritten etiquette rules for this new media space and yes you'll get burned if you don't know them. Beyond the obvious, there are always a few that people miss. I'm not going to dive too deeply into them here though. Let's get acquainted with a few of the basics and dig deeper later.
  23. 23. new media etiquette | 23 Minding Your P's And Q's Give more than you receive Before posting anything, always ask yourself, Am I adding value? Take the time to build quality relationships. It's tempting to be swooned by the number of followers game, but it won't pan out. Know where the line is between asking for feedback, commenting and being annoying is. Ch. 10 Takeaway Tips Listen before you speak. Yep it goes for all media 1 Don't embarrass yourself. Take the time to Be accountable for your actions. If you mess up, it will spread fast. Real fast. learn new media But if you own up to it, people will be much more forgiving. etiquette. 2 Always be generaous with Don't invite people out of the blue. Friend for a reason. your advice, ideas, and helpfulness. 3 Make sure when you post to social networks, it has Every social media site has it's own rules specific to it. But these clear value for those on the basics are timeless. Master these and you'll be off to a great start! receiving end.