So, what can you expect to get out of today’s webinar? Well, I’d like to address each of the following questions, hopefully giving you some valuable points to take away with you. If you could get yourself a pen and paper and write down any questions you have during the presentation, I’ll be more than happy to take them at the end. So, first, we’ll discuss what the heck “social media” is in the first place. I’m sure you’ve heard the term numerous times, and now it’s time to understand what it means exactly. Then, we’ll talk about why YOU should care about social media. I mean, people out there are talking, blogging, tweeting, etc., etc., but why should YOU care? I’m going to tell you why! Next, we’ll touch on the types of social media tools out there. There are many, and it may seem overwhelming, but really, for all their bells and whistles, they can truly be classified quite nicely and boiled down to much more digestible categories. We’ll then address the basic tenets of how businesses and organizations use social media. It may never have occurred to you that Facebook is more than a tool for people that you weren’t even friends with in high school to find you, right? Well, it is! And finally, we’ll talk about how you might go about structuring a successful social media strategy for your business or organization. Obviously, this is a very nebulous issue, and something I pretty much get paid to do on a daily basis, so it’s not easy to stick into a few slides. But I’m going to try to whittle it down for you a little and give you a high-level overview so you can make social media work - and do the work - for you.
Social media is simply a new way of having conversations you’re already having OR want to have, either with clients, other people in your industry, or other people with similar interests. It allows you: To communicate with people, like a website, except instead of merely talking TO them, you can talk WITH them; It allows you to connect with these people effectively meaningfully, and It helps create lasting and loyal relationships with others. So, in essence, social media is simply using online media to help you connect and put a face on your brand, whether it be personal or professional. For business purposes, it’s really nothing more than traditional marketing carried over into social networks and online media.
So you already have a website. Why the heck would you need to get involved with “social media.” Because there’s a big difference between the two, that’s why! Before social media, there were plenty of ways for a company, organization, or person to tell their story. That was via their websites. Websites are informational. They serve a narrow purpose, which is to display information about a product or service. Normally, there are no comments or any sort of feedback contributed from other people on a website. You’ll notice that the communication via a website is very much like a one-way street. Companies, organizations, and people can tell their stories - completely one-sided and without any interaction. Now? There’s a two-way street called “social media.” Social media sites are for dynamic information. You speak, they listen, THEY RESPOND! You listen, YOU RESPOND! Social media sites allow for sharing of content contributed by the public. They connect people and give people a voice. The communication lines are wide open on social media sites.
People don’t go to your website everyday – they do got to Facebook and Twitter multiple times a day Why do billboards on busy highways cost more than billboards in the middle of nowhere? And this is FREE
So you are probably asking yourself, why is all this important to me or my business? Check out the screen shots talking from Fox News, the Washington Post, and USA Today. Social media is a phenomenon that simply isn’t going away. You need to be a part of this. Social media presents all sorts of opportunities to connect and bring content to your existing and potential audience. Social media is a vast world, but you can navigate it. Ignoring it is done at your own risk, and you could miss a huge opportunity to represent yourself or your business in places online where the masses are. You need to be out there representing yourself or your business. After this webinar, do a simple Google search to see what how other companies are representing themselves in these areas. Ask yourself how you can represent your organization here. You will be surprised.
When contemplating what social media sites are right for you or your business or organization, it really comes down to optimizing your social media marketing plan to build relationships and connect with people, taking that information about your business or product out to the public quickly and effectively through social media promotion, and making strong brand impressions that go a long way.
So, there are seemingly a million social media tools, and it can get quite overwhelming, on its face. But don’t worry; they can be categorized quite easily. First, you’ve got social networking sites. Social networking sites are basically communities, but they’re online. They help you see connections that are hidden in the real world. Most of you are familiar with Social Networks like MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn, etc. They’re probably the most identifiable of all the social media-related sites, because, well, they’re everywhere! You sign up for a free account, find people you know that are already registered for the site, and you add them as a friend. Now, you and that person have a connection on the social networking site that is clearly visible. But there are also a few other things that fall into the classification of “social media.” There are: Blogs - Blogs are for personal and corporate communication where content is generated by the owner and readers respond via comments. Video Sharing - You also probably have heard of YouTube or Vimeo for online video communication. These are sites where users can distribute their video clips, and others can comment and interact with the maker of the video. They’re sort of like blogs, except the content is a video, not text. Photo Sharing – Photo sharing is the publishing or transfer of a user’s digital photos online, thus enabling the user to share them with others. Other users of the photo sharing site can comment and interact with the photographer, just like with blogging and YouTube. The most popular of these is Flickr, but there are many others out there. Microblogs – Microblogging is a form of blogging that allows users to send brief updates or photos and publish, either to be viewed by anyone or a restricted group that’s chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, or the web. They’re similar to those “status updates” you see on Facebook, except that that’s all they are – status updates alone. The most popular platforms for microblogging are Twitter, Jaiku, and Plurk. Social Bookmarking - Social bookmarking sites allow you to store, organize, search, and manage all your favorite website links in one place so that others can easily access them and share them with their friends. Notable sites include digg, reddit, del.icio.us, Stumbleupon & Ma.gnolia. Podcasting - For the distribution of online audio files. Wikis – A wiki is a page or collection of pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content. They’re often used to create collaborative websites and to power community sites. Wikipedia is, by far, the most notable wiki, and sites like Pbwiki assist you in creating your own. All of these social media outlets help people stay connected and allow them to connect with others.
Enhancing relationships through social media and social networks has tremendous value for businesses. Start by building relationships, joining and participating in conversations online. These relationships will give you the benefit of better understanding the needs and wants of consumers. Social Media can help you put a more human face on your organization and let you emerge as a pro-active industry leader. Make no mistake, very strong relationships can be built through a thoughtful and well-executed social media campaign.
Getting your message out there in appropriate social networks made of consumers builds buzz and excitement. Contributing content inspires bloggers and informal “brand evangelists” to spread the word. Eventually your brand will be found in the most exciting places. It takes work and a genuine effort. You have to go out there and do the legwork. You need to be writing the blog posts, you need to be responding to people on a Twitter account, and you need to be interacting with fans on a Facebook Fan Page. You don’t have to do everything, but what you choose to do, you have to commit to doing it well.
Your organization can create strong brand impressions, especially when your branding appears on websites that your clients trust and are active on. By aligning your brand with issues, social networks and information that is relevant and matters to your audience, you gain a lot of credibility. For example: On Facebook and Twitter, Southwest Airlines is taking huge strides to being the industry leader in social media. They use social media to address concerns, acknowledge praise, and share information. They are being incredibly transparent as to what is going on within their company by putting a human face on a big corporate brand. They are also using video to communicate Southwest Airlines gate updates and lots of other information that might be of interest to potential passengers. One of our clients, the International Rhino Foundation is dedicated to the conservation of Rhinos. They are making their impression on numerous social sites to help promote their conservation efforts. From Facebook, you can get to their blog for frequent updates. Updates include information about donations and where the money is being applied. You can also learn about the health status of Rhinos in sanctuaries where they are working. They also have a presence on Flickr, where they have uploaded awesome photos of the rhinos they’re saving. In addition to that, they are on Twitter to disseminate information publicly.
In order to successfully launch a social media marketing strategy for your brand or business, we at Schipul believe that you must understand and practice The 4 Pillars of Success . Consulting is first defining objectives for online communication in social networks. Which social media programs are right for you? You don’t have to use them all, nor do you have to use a whole bunch of them, but you do have to use one or a few and use them well. Training must be conducted to teach those individuals representing your company in social media how to use the tools available and how to respond to feedback. Recruiting - You need to find the passionate people who know about social media and put them to work on your initiative. Promotion – Get your company into these communities of your online fans and promote not only your brand, but the people that comprise these communities. Give props where props is due. What goes around comes around. Let’s talk about these in detail.
So, before you start, you need to decide which programs are right for you? Assess where best to devote time and attention in the social media world. A company such as Comcast, for example, can find Twitter a very useful tool for quickly responding to customer complaints, but might not find a blog as useful for its objectives. Next, you’ll need to determine how your company will be able to create content and update social web sites, and specifically, your company’s tone and general method of communicating. Will your legal team be reviewing all content before it’s posted publicly? Or will your communications team have free reign over what is said? You’ll want to make those decisions before you dive in. Next, f ind ways to monitor content that your customers or clients are putting online. Use tools such as Google Alerts and TweetBeep to get automatic keyword emails for terms you choose so that you know what is being said on the internet about your brand or product. You can use search engines such as Google Blogsearch, Blogpulse, and SocialMention to drill down deeper, and aggregate RSS feeds in an RSS reader such as Google Reader to keep track of all your individualized searches. It’s important to k now what it will take to effectively engage your audiences on social media sites. Know that this will not run itself, and it IS a time commitment. It’s not a huge time commitment, but it’s a time commitment nonetheless. You must be willing to genuinely engage and put forth the effort in putting fresh content online. You need to know that your audience will be checking these sites daily for the latest piece of information.
It is essential to understand online interaction so representatives of your organization are prepared when situations arise. Teach your recruits how to use the tools available.
Identify those who “get it … Find out who is already is participating or experimenting in social media… You could survey your current organization to find out who the bloggers are. Ask questions like, Are you a blogger, do you read blogs, do you use Facebook? Find these people and get them on board. What interests these people? You need to find and recruit the people who are passionate about your brand and/or product. They will be your most passionate. Finally when you hire people , ask questions to find out if they understand that Facebook is part of the new business world. You check these employee candidates on online by researching their work. Most times they are very transparent online.
Social media runs on good karma. In social networks, always give props where props is due. Make sure to stay honest, and d isclose any personal or professional interests. If you write a post that re-hashes the facts or opinions of someone else, say so. Promote people. Transparency is essential for success! If you like a photo someone has taken on flickr, comment on it, add it as a favorite, or better yet, blog about it. Remember that it’s not all about you. Be generous in promoting others and return you will build fans who will promote you or your business. What goes around comes around. Don’t forget: you can promote communities that already exist . Don’t think you must build a social community from the ground up. If they exist out there, go to them! You can engage in in networks where clients or customers hang out online already. Invite all you know to be part of your network. Bring them in and promote them and watch the relationship grow.
Now I’ll give you some examples of social media in motion. I’ll show a few real life examples from a few of our clients.
The Mac blog is an unprecedented effort to follow the life and development of Mac, the baby elephant. The blog has had a total of 89,848 page views . The blog was created and launched before the baby elephant was born on Oct. of 2006. Throughout 2007 the blog documented pre-birth excitement and growth experiences leading all the way up to Mac’s one year birthday. The Zoo launched an email marketing campaign 2 months prior to his birthday. They had e-blast and a blog post asking for Mac Birthday card entries done by kids. You could email or mail your entries to the Houston Zoo. The winner would get to spend the day at the Zoo on Mac’s birthday with the card printed life size and a free birthday party at the Houston Zoo. The winner was a 6 year old blog reader. The card was amazing showing all these things Mac did on a daily basis. The blog served as a tool for a 6 year-old to fall in love with Mac and learn about his first year of life. The keepers had no idea when they picked the winner he got all of his information from the blog.
The Houston Zoo established its own channel on YouTube to feature videos. Here you will find simple short videos focused around just about anything that goes on at the Zoo. They are building the fan base of online video consumers right here on YouTube. People can leave comments and become part of the Houston Zoo network. The Houston Zoo has created a Flickr account to reach out to the online Flickr photography community. There are tons of photographer who visit the Houston Zoo. When the Zoo created its brand here on Flickr, we found there where already groups created by Zoo fans. The fans had added images tagging them images and making groups.
Examples of clients using Twitter.
ONLY begin your own Social Media projects after being fully immersed in the culture 1. Find the blogs, podcasts, wikis, tweets, etc. that most closely relate to your industry / organization 2. Read and comment on those sites for at least a month to get a feel for etiquette, culture, etc. 3. Set up your buzz tracking system -- decide how you’ll respond to negative feedback 4. Get started!!
These are what we call “social media listening tools,” and they are the first place you’ll want to start when doing your own social media research. Google Alerts – Email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of topic. Pageflakes & iGoogle – Create your own internet “newspaper” with RSS feeds and other personalized content. Blogpulse & Google Blog Search – Search blog posts exclusively. Twitter Search – Search Twitter conversations exclusively. SocialMention – Comprehensively search microblogs, social bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, and videos. WhosTalkin – Comprehensive social media search tool for blogs, news, networks, videos, images, forums, and tags. Techrigy – A software solution designed specifically for PR and marketing professional to monitor and measure social media.
Intro To Social Media
Introduction to Social Media Caitlin Kaluza Schipul - The Web Marketing Company [email_address] schipul.com/social-media http://www.flickr.com/photos/56087830@N00/514555513/
What we’ll go over: <ul><li>What is social media? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the types of social media tools out there? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should you care about social media? </li></ul><ul><li>How do businesses and organizations use social media? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I structure my own social media marketing strategy? </li></ul>
What the heck is “social media”? Source: http://www.fredcavazza.net/2008/06/09/social-media-landscape /
But I already have a website! Why do I need Social Media too? http://www.flickr.com/photos/31910754@N06/3446531098
<ul><li>People are talking </li></ul><ul><li>Meet your customers where they are </li></ul><ul><li>Your competitors are doing it </li></ul><ul><li>SEO ~ get found! </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost, high reward </li></ul><ul><li>Create Raving Fans! </li></ul>Why? http://www.flickr.com/photos/97867688@N00/26405443/
Facebook has more than 400 million active users More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook http://www.flickr.com/photos/16151021@N00/4260490207/
Why should I care? <ul><li>Frank Eliason - @comcastcares </li></ul><ul><li>Simple question: “Can I help?” </li></ul><ul><li>Take it offline when needed </li></ul><ul><li>Turned around Comcast’s reputation for service and support </li></ul><ul><li>“ We didn’t have a choice” </li></ul>http://web-strategist.com/blog/2008/10/30/why-does-comcast-care-about-twitter-video/
How are businesses and organizations using social media? <ul><li>Building relationships & interacting with people </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting products or services to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Making strong brand impressions </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service </li></ul>
Types of Social Media Tools http://www.flickr.com/photos/94632411@N00/2973684461 /
Strong Brand Impressions <ul><li>Let your customers get to know you </li></ul><ul><li>Showcase your cause </li></ul><ul><li>Be real & authentic </li></ul>
How can I structure my own social media marketing strategy? <ul><ul><ul><li>Consulting – Assess if it’s right for you </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training – Learn before leaping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recruiting – Involve the right people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promotion – Get out there (intelligently) </li></ul></ul></ul>The Four Pillars of Success www.schipul.com/en/art/?542
Show me a video! Show me a photo! http://www.flickr.com/groups/ymcahouston/pool/
Q: What’s smaller than a weblog? A: A microblog!
What’d we learn today? <ul><li>Social media is just another way of having conversations you’re already having or want to have – but they’re online. </li></ul><ul><li>The four pillars of social media marketing success are: Recruiting, Consulting, Training, and Promotion . </li></ul><ul><li>Real people are really using social media to talk and to spread the word through social media </li></ul>
Lessons for Every Organization <ul><li>Social media presents opportunities for those willing to make a commitment to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Any social media effort must be genuine, meaning it must come from YOU! </li></ul><ul><li>Start with small steps (industry and conversation research, light participation). Then build your own social media empire. </li></ul>
So now what? <ul><ul><li>Research! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategize! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JUMP! </li></ul></ul>
Tips for Success <ul><li>Stay honest and transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Be interesting! </li></ul><ul><li>Learn by doing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with a personal account </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do a lot of listening, then dive in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spread the love! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment and friend others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote good karma </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make yourself available! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide links on the website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross link content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage others to participate </li></ul></ul>
Non Profit Resources <ul><li>YouTube non profit account - http://youtube.com/nonprofits </li></ul><ul><li>Google Adwords grants for nonprofits - http://google.com/grants </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Causes - http://apps.facebook.com/causes </li></ul>