How to be a social brand?


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Social media is not a gadget, it is becoming the most powerful marketing and sales tool and you must leverage it to create value for your business. This study gives you a frame to build and improve your social media strategy, going through case studies and best practices. I would be very happy to read your comments, to answer your questions and, above all, to have your inputs to enhance the interest of this study with a conversational approach. I wish you a good reading, I am looking forward to read you too!

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How to be a social brand?

  1. 1. Romain RICARD Master’s ThesisHow to be a social brand? 1How to be a social brand?Author: Romain RICARDThesis Supervisor: Jerôme Frizzera-MogliThesis Assessor: Christophe NeyretMaster of Science in Strategy and Organisation Consultancy 2011/2012EDHEC Business School does not express approval or disapproval concerning theopinions given in this paper, which are sole responsibility of the author.
  2. 2. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 2
  3. 3. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 3TABLE OF CONTENTINTRODUCTION....................................................................................................... 4PART 1: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY.................................................................. 6 A. BUSINESS GOAL B. NETWORKS C. KPI –BENCHMARKPART 2: SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVATION............................................................ 18 A. SOCIAL PLUMBING B. STORY TELLING C. ALLOCATE RESSOURCESPART 3: SOCIAL MEDIA OPERATIONS............................................................32 A. PURCHASE ON SOCIAL MEDIA B. MANAGE YOUR COMMUNITY C. GO FURTHERCONCLUSION.......................................................................................................... 43BIBILOGRAPHY..................................................................................................... 44
  4. 4. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 4INTRODUCTIONThe new relationship of brands with customers Until the coming of digital medias and social networks, brands have ownedthe medias. Radio, TV and print that were the only medias available till the beginningof 2000. The brands could purchase on it the place to deliver their message anddecided what they wanted to say on it. This was a one-way communication: noanswer was possible from the customer side. Since the coming of digital medias, customers started to have the power toexpress, first by sharing advices on forums, then giving reviews on onlinemarketplaces and now being able to spread a message among their friends and thefriends of their friends thanks to social medias. New medias have completely changed the influence system and have broughta balance in the power of communication. A brand that makes a lying advertising ofits products is now exposed to a massive amount of negative reviews from customers. As a result people will be willing to receive messages from people they trust: § Friends and family, the closest people from who they receive education and advices § Celebrities, usually for who they have admiration § Anonymous people, who are considered as objectives On the other hand, people tend to be more doubtful about experts andauthorities when it comes to purchase.
  5. 5. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 5 This change in the distribution of power of influence is now effective andirreversible. As a result brands, in order to keep or to recover their influence must gothrough it, being able to adapt to this social environment. These are the brands we call“social brands”. Moreover, social media generates real business opportunities and the relationit implies has a real positive impact for brands. They have now the opportunity tohave an on-going relationship with customers and to go much further in the loyaltythanks to the 24/7 relationship possible with social media. They also can enjoypositive word-of-mouth at a much larger scale than before. Some brands, marketers have called “love brands” have naturally this benefit.For instance Ferrero, an old family company that always took a lot of care to deliverhigh quality chocolate products had instantly millions of fans on Facebook withoutany marketing action on social media, customers love the brand for its products andits way of respecting them and spontaneously showed it on social media. Other brandslike Coca-Cola could enjoy the same benefit, having now more than 50 millions offans on Facebook. Moreover, mobile is the next key engine of growth for social medias, themobile audience is being monetized. As a result, social medias will be the next gate toaccess mobile customers, and to build value on mobile uses for businesses. Brands are aware of the need to be on social media Thanks to this inequality of success for brands on social media, marketers gotaware of what it meant about the love customers have for their brands and thebusiness opportunities they can miss on this field. As a result investments on social media increased massively since the last twoyears and will keep on increasing: § 83% of US companies are now on Facebook, it will hit 88% by 2014 (eMarketer) § 88% of Twitter users follow at least one brand, more than half follow six or more brands § In 2012 are $4,7B of advertising spent on social; forecast to hit $8,3B in 2015Here is the question: How can brands perform on social medias? What are thebusiness opportunities it generates and how to reach them? How to be a “socialbrand”?
  6. 6. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 6A.SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGYA. Business goalGoal: know the uses of social medias and make it match with the needs of yourbusiness First you need to know that Social Media is not a gadget. It is a real tool thatwill add value to business if you use it properly. At the beginning of October 2012,Facebook has hit a one billion of users, which makes the third demographic power onearth after China and India. All these people are potentially available to yourcompany if you manage to reach them. Three years ago, at the very beginning of social media marketing, brandsstarted to use social media. Their motivation was half explained because competitorswere doing it and half because they had the inspiration was going to happen and theydidn’t want to miss it. Most of them had learnt the lesson of what happened a fewyears before with the coming of digital medias. Their inspiration was fine. They are so many things to do on social media togenerate business to your company. Then, the best starting point is to know what ispossible to do with social media, here are the main uses of social media we identified.Traffic generator As explained in the introduction social media websites are huge trafficplatforms where you can find a big part of the population. Among this population,they are obviously many of your customers and prospects. Then, the game is to bringthem to your business and then convert your prospects to clients or upsell yourexisting clients. Since September 2012, Facebook has more than 1.01 billion users andYouTube is almost 1 billion. Taking in account how fast are growing these figures, itwill make of these media quite soon the medias with the highest reach. On the other hand social medias have a platform strategy consisting inconnecting users not only with their friends and environment but also with theirmatters of interest, this is what makes the social network interesting. In other words,this is what enables any content producer to find its audience and any brand to find itscustomers on social medias.Here are some figures:
  7. 7. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 7 § Facebook is becoming an important traffic driver on the website of many companies, especially retailers. è In September 2011, 29.1% of traffic on the Burberry website was coming from Facebook (vs 1.9% in September 2010) § The fans of Canal+ on Facebook represent more than 25% of the traffic on scheme briefly explains you how it works and how you can drive traffic fromyour social networks:Recently, the concept of “virtual window shopping” appeared in social networks. Thenew social media “¨Pinterest” business model is all based on the lead generationstrategy. Pinterest sells affiliate links thanks to Skimlinks technology and generateinbound leads for retailers using the platform.
  8. 8. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 8Focus: monetize the traffic social media brings to your website According to your business model you can have your investment worth thanksto social media, not only selling products on your website but also monetizing thistraffic in itself. Media companies manage to leverage social media monetizing the bigincrease they created thanks to social media. Thanks to Facebook, Canal+ bring 1 millions of UV/month on the website,what represents 21% of its audience. Then, they can monetize this traffic by sellingpre-roll commercials on the videos they display on the website. Same strategy for the French radio NRJ that can reach 5,1 million of peoplethanks to Facebook and drive 300 000 of them to their website, what enable them tomake advertising profits on the website.Generate qualified leads Social media marketing is not just about generating traffic, it also enables youto generate qualified leads, tracking each step of your customers purchasing funnel.Your social media community the first and most informed database you have of yourcustomers. Thanks to it you also can have further interest of who they are and whatthey like. Your content is key in the qualification: the links you put in your picture orvideos drive to your website directly in the relevant product section. Pinterest is thebest in this field. It drives directly customers from the picture to your website: it isprojected to account for 40% of social media of purchases from social medias by the
  9. 9. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 9end of 2012 (vs Facebook 60%) although it still represents 25 million active users inApril 2012. If you are a pure player, then you can track your customers thanks to socialmedia applications, from the first click to the payment step, each step your customeris going through, he is qualifying himself, then when the lead is going to yourwebsite, you know its value. The qualification is a bit harder with a physical point of sale, however, itremains possible by defining groups of customers on thanks to social media andgroups of customers in shop and merging the data.Manage the relationship with customers Another key feature of social media is, as all digital medias, all theinformation you have about your users is possible to track and to keep. Moreover, it is the easiest way to connect with them since customers are nowdigitally connected to social networks through all devices. At the beginning of 2012, nFrench people spend about 5:20H/month on Facebook (VS 1:36H on Google) So thanks to it you can be in a 24/7H relationship with your customers. It is farmuch interesting than the old mail newsletters or phone.Customer care As explained before, Social Medias are communication tools through whichyou can build the conversation to your fans: then you must integrate it in your CRM. You can use Facebook or Twitter platforms as a communication tool tomanage your customer care. Actually, this is even a must for some industries: asexplained in the introduction the brands no longer own the medias and the customersand brands now tend to be on the same level. So the best way to prevent any crisis orcustomers protest is to make your communication fully transparent and to answeryour customers on social media. In order to do so, you first have to sort what are the problem you can deal withon your social medias and the one that you should drive to your “classical” customercare department. Indeed some problems for confidentiality and legal restrictionscannot be solved on social media: if you are a bank dealing with banking informationit cannot be dealt on social media. Then, the appropriate use of social media is to useit as a first contact to then drive the case to the relevant department.
  10. 10. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 10è Best practice: make a classification of every kind of case of customer care youcan have and distribute it to your channels. In some cases, you can manage a hugepart of your customer care online. In every case, answer to message to show you care,what will help you to prevent any crisis. On this topic, we should honour Best Buy initiative to manage customer carethanks to the “Twelp Force”: Twelpforce is a huge conversation platform that has been launched in June2009 on Twitter. On this platform, 2500 of the employees, customers and prospectscan have free conversations and benefit advice on products. This enabled Best Buy toreach a top level in customer satisfaction, one of the key success factors of the brand. Now most of telecommunications companies and airlines are using theirFacebook profile to communicate with customers. As a result, customers are alsoexpecting the brands to answer their questions, hence, when your wall is open, youshould have available resources to answer your customers.Brand awareness – brand appreciation – content platform: Digital age is also the age of the brand content, which is now available in allformats and hosted online. Social networks enable you to broadcast and spread yourcontent to your fans and their friends. Among the most successful brands on socialnetworks, the “loved brands” like M&M’s or Skittles found a highly engagedaudience to their content thanks their fun and followed stories. This content andbroadcasting on social media enabled them to increase their reputation and brandappreciation. We will come back on this part in the next coming part aboutstorytelling.Improve search engines: Search engines algorithm are now essentially based on users interest, trackingthe content of your website and backlinks that drive to it. Then your social media andyour communities on it can push your search engines ranking further. In order to doso, you should also create a Google+ account as the “+1” votes weight in the naturalsearch.Make business: Since recently, it is possible to make your catalogue available on Facebookand to sell directly on the platform. It is still too early to tell if this use of social mediais really worthy. Indeed, the majority of brands still use social networks as trafficdrivers to their websites, as explained in the first point.
  11. 11. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 11 However, there is a big opportunity in adding value to the shoppingexperience of your customers by making it social. The Facebook Open Graphapplications enable you to do so: increasing and prequalifying the traffic you drive toyour website.Listening: Finally, the direct feedback you have from your customers should be used toknow what they want or what they like. The NASCAR recently mad a significantchange in the rules on the basis of a vote by a “Fan council” of 12,000 members onsocial networks. This enabled to improve the rand image on the broad audience. The same initiatives have been implied by brands. The famous candy brandDum Dums of Spangler Candy Company used its fans to launch the new flavour. Thefinalists, Peach-Mango and Raspberry Lemonade were selected and launchedafterwards. Best practices • Know what you can do with social medias • Find out how it can help your business • Chose maximum two or three goals and start focusing on it  B. NETWORKS Goal: Know the networks and make it match with the use you want to do of it In a fast evolving field as social media, the knowledge of the main features ofeach social network is another key to use it properly. Facebook, Twitter PinterestYouTube and many other networks are still completely new for some marketers whocannot really understand the added value of each one. As a result, a Pinterest wouldbe relevant for a fashion brand but maybe less for a banking company. Here are themain networks and the way you can use them.
  12. 12. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 12Facebook § Date of birth: February, the 4th, 2004 § Number of users: 1.01 billion in September 2012 § Average Spent time spent in January 2012: 405 minutes § Description: “help you to connect with the people that are important in your life” (Facebook). From strategic point of view, Faeebook describes itself as a platform connecting people between themselves and brands/services with their customers. The aim of Facebook is to build around the platform an ecosystem that gives all its interest. § Uses for brands: o Traffic generation o Customer care o Brand contentTwitter: § Date of birth: March 2006 § Number of users: in March 2012, 500 million active in April 2012 § Average Spent time spent in January 2012: 21 minutes § Purpose: online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters, § Uses for brands o Traffic generation o CRM o Newsfeed o SEO § Industries that most use it: o News o Medias o Fashion o LuxuryYouTube:Date of birth: February, The 14th 2005Number of users: more than 800 million of user each month.In 2011, YouTube registered more than 1 000 billions on views, what means morethan 140 views for each habitant on earth.Purpose: broadcast and host videos
  13. 13. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 13Uses for brands: § Centralize your video content § Create a community of subscribers that will follow your content production, watch it and share itPinterest: § Date of birth: March 2010 § Number of users: 25 millions in August 2012 § Purpose: show and share your interests through images § Use for brands: the main use of Pinterest is to use it as a storefront to show your products, then you must have a very visual and graphic representation of your universe. The business purpose of using this website is to generate traffic for your website, catching your prospects with images So the identification of different type of networks is clear now and you mustchose the social media channels you will use. This must be connected to yourmarketing target and the standards of your industry: make a first benchmark to knowwhere are your competitors and your benchmark. Then match it with the ultimate goal of your marketing strategy and your brandstrategy (we will come back on it on the story you tell on social networks). It shouldfit with what you want to show on your networks.Example:You are an automotive company and you want to put the stress on the customerexperience.è Your visual content is very important and you want to spread it on yourcommunity, then you will use Facebook as a content platform and host your visualand video content on YouTube and Pinterest. As a result, your priority will be onthese 3 neworks.If you are a media and you want to publish real time content, Twitter and Facebookwill be your priorities.
  14. 14. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 14 Best practices§ Considering your needs, your audience and your brand strategy, choose the networks you will activate§ Prioritize the most important to concentrate your effortsC. KPI’S / BENCHMARKGoal: Define how you will monitor the activities and your ability to reach the targets Should we focus on the number of fans on Facebook or the engagement rate?Obviously, the answer is to focus on both. Having a community of 1 million fans ofFacebook and not activate it is useless, having 3 millions of views on Youtube and70% of unlike has a highly negative impact for your brand. Your targets on socialmedia are both quantitative and qualitative Moreover, you can track almost everything on digital medias, so setting adetailed and relevant tracking system in regard of your social media strategy is amust. You have to do it since the beginning, ideally before taking any action. Here is the list of the most important KPIs we have identified, according to thenetwork you want to use and your social media objectives.Understand the main KPI’s used:Facebook: § Number of fans: the number of people who liked your page § Engagement rate: the metric that monitors how well your fans interact with your content § Reach: The number of unique individuals who have seen content related to your Facebook Page § Response rate: measures how how much and how quickly the admin to posts on the wall
  15. 15. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 15Twitter: § Engagement: monitors how well your fans interact with your tweets § Response rate: how many tweets you responded toYouTube: § Number of subscribers § Engagement § LikeNB: these are highly valuable metric of the engagement of your video content, thereare not so many YouTube subscribers but they are very actives at sharing andfollowing your content production.How to define KPI’s: When it comes to monitor your social media strategy and to know how well isperforming yours strategy, you must choose the right KPI’s. Never forget that social networks are tools for your company and your KPIsmust always be connected to your business. The engagement rate for instance in itselfshows that your content has success among your fans but you must go further andmerge it with other data. § Traffic generator: Measure your ROE (Return on engagement): correlate your engagement rate with the traffic coming on Facebook thanks to website analytics tools § Generate qualified leads: track your customers from your social medias to your website and monitor your transformation rate § CRM & Customer care: the volume of question on your Facebook and Twitter profiles and your response rate are the key metric to monitor how many requests of fans you treated thanks to social media § Brand appreciation: monitor your engagement rate by page and by post § Improve search engines: compare your traffic coming from search § Make business: Track the transformation rate on your Facebook shopping platform and compare it to your other sale channels
  16. 16. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 16Different levels of KPI’s:The KPI’s also must be work tools that have to be operational for the reportingsystem. We have identified three levels of KPI: § The big KPI through which you will set the main target. This is the bottom line of your social media strategy, it tells you whether you succeeded or failed. This can be your average monthly engagement rate, your traffic driven to your website. This KPI will be the one of the marketing director. § The detailed KPI that gives you a focus vision of the actions that will enable you to reach the big KPI, this can be for instance the average engagement per post. Thanks to it you can identify what performs and what doesn’t in your social media strategy. This is the KPI of the social media strategist § The operational KPI, the one that enables you to fine-tune the social media actions at the operational level. This can be for instance the engagement by post. This is the KPI of the community manager.The importance of benchmark: It is essential to understand how to use analytics and KPI’s on social media.Social networks are fast moving medias, and it is impossible to set goals to reach asstandards of what is a good social media strategy and what is not: every measurementin social media is relative. In another way, the results you have on each metric don’tmean anything in itself and you need to use them properly. As a result, the only relevant ways to define KPIs are the following: § The evolution: where I am and where I want to go § The comparison: what is the standard of my industry, where are my competitors, where I am comparing to themSecondly, these is not an exact science and paying too much attention to littleevolutions can be tricky: if you have a 1% increase on your engagement rate, youcannot make any conclusion, however, when your engagement increased or decreasedby more than 30% while your marketing operations you can draw conclusion on whatis efficient and what is not.
  17. 17. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 17 Best practices § Define the KPI you will monitor on each target: focus on 2 or 3 that will be your absolute priority § Make a statement of the standards of your industry § Define where you want to be, regarding where you are and where are your competitors §
  18. 18. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 182. SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVATIONA. DESIGN YOUR SOCIAL PLUMBING: MAP HOW YOU CONNECT THE SOCIAL GRAPHGoal: Build a connected and relevant graph of your activities that integrates socialmedias As explained before Social Media is a tool that will enable you to reach yourMarketing objectives. Now you have defined the purpose of your uses of socialmedia, what are the networks you want to use and how you will monitor yourperformances on it. The next step is to integrate these networks in your marketingenvironment. In order to do so, you should be able to map your marketing actions and todefine the role social media will play.Put your website at the centre: If your first business tool is your website, it should be at the heart of your digitalstrategy. Then your social media platforms will be used to: § Drive traffic § Qualify § Create appeal on your productsExample: ETSY ETSY is one of the most performing brands in the use of social networks.They sell handmade, vintage, art and craft items on their website. As the website isthe point of sale and it is where the whole catalogue of products is available, this isthe real heart of their business.On the other hand, their social media communities are huge and highly active: § Facebook: 990,000 fans § Twitter: 1,800,000 followers § YouTube: 23,240 subscribers and 4,542,098 views § Pinterest: 155,000 followers
  19. 19. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 19 Thanks to their core business and they strong story line, they can publish highquality and adapted content on each network, that creates a high engagement. Thenthis content is used to send qualified leads to the website. On each platform you have access to the URL of the item on the website.Then the user that is looking for vintage furniture boards on Pinterest will have acrush on one of them, click on the link an then finalize his purchase on the website. The following scheme will help you to visualize the mapping of yournetworks in case of site-centred strategy Still in the same strategy this is also the way media companies shouldfunction, to drive traffic on their website and sell advertising on it.Put your Facebook page at the centre: For some other brands, the marketing goal is to use social medias as a contentplatform to enliven their fans community. If your product are not sold online and theaim is to improve your brand awareness, the purchase intent and your brandpreference social medias can help you for that. Hence the good strategy is to put yourcontent platform at the heart of your strategy, on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.Example: OASIS The French brand of fruit beverage, Oasis managed to create one of the firstengaging content on the social networks. Indeed, thanks to their brand strategy thatpersonalizes the fruits, they produce every type of brand content, with high
  20. 20. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 20engagement and all this content is hosted on Facebook/YouTube and also animatedvia Twitter.Population on different networks: § Facebook: 2 750 000 likes § YouTube: 10 698 subscribers and 18 200 688 views § Twitter: 3770 followers § Pinterest: 46 followersThis use of the networks can be represented as following: In the specific case of Oasis, the website has just a corporate function, and is not at allat the center in the digital graph.Include the offline: Social medias have brought a new dimension to marketing and then shouldconnect with all the other activities of your brand, including offline medias but alsostreet marketing. This will enable you to: § Drive people to your social medias and have them in your community, what enables you to keep on engaging them and call them to action. § Broadcast content you produced on the event to the people who were attending
  21. 21. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 21Example: Red Bull Stratos On the October 2012, the 14th Red Bull has launched on of the mostimpressive marketing event ever. Felix Baumgartner was sent to space on a heliumballoon at a final altitude of 39,045 m, jumped in free-fall to reach the speed of1,342.8 km/h, being the first man to break the sound barrier without any propulsionengine. The aim of Red Bull that sponsored this world record achievement was tomake a big show out of it and to produce high engaging content usable on everymedias. The event was broadcasted on TV but also on the website and YouTube,commented on Facebook and Live tweeted. The connection between each medias has been designed before and optimizedto catch all the audience and direct it to the right media in order to engage morecustomers. To avoid One of the classic examples quoted in digital media studies is Blendtec, theblender maker. This brand managed to get 467 200 subscribers, and 212,269,837 totalof views on its YouTube channel, thanks to its “Will it blend?” videos. However, despite this success, the Facebook page “Will it blend?” only has32,000 fans, and the fanpage of the brand Blendtec only has 116,000 fans. The brandloses a big engagement opportunity by not catching the viewers on YouTube. The reason is the Facebook page, the website and the YouTube channel arenot well connected to maximize the traffic. The best strategy would have been to hostthe video on YouTube, and broadcast them on Facebook/Twitter to centralize thecommunity to deliver it messages about the product and then bring them to thewebsite. Best practices § Choose what platform will be the heart of your social media strategy § Connect them to each other to drive the traffic where you it is valuable
  22. 22. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 22B. STORYTELLINGGoal: Tell a story that enhance the way you communicate with your fans Since the very beginning of marketing the aim for brands is to build value onproducts: talk about it, explain how it works and what are the benefits for customers.In order to do so, marketers use the best way to deliver a clear message and to make itremember: tell a story. On the other hand, since the coming of digital medias, everyone can accessevery kind of content so easily, whether it is audio, photo or video. This ease ofcontent hosting and sharing launched a new mass culture of content creation andbroadcasting. Today on social medias, everyone is able to post content in a very easy way,brands are now fighting in the same arena with people’s friends, content producers,and other brands. It becomes harder and harder to make their voice hear, and evenharder to deliver a message. Moreover your content is posted in newsfeed, would it be the newsfeed onFacebook or the feed of tweets, so it is relevant to create a story so you customers canfollow it and read it as a following of something when it appears in their newsfeedand it raises the curiosity to know the previous posts for the new followers and theengaged fans are longing for the new ones. How to build a story? So for all these reasons, brands should define a strong storyline and decline itin a story to build engagement on your content with your fans. It is also essential to understand that you are making a contract with your fanson social media. You want them to like your page and to like and share your contents,they will do it only if the content is qualitative and they find an interest in it. Thisinterest can be fun, utility, information but should have an added value to have it ontheir social medias. We have so many examples of this for successful brands on social medias: GQand its fashion tips, Price Minister and it’s discount/games operations, M&M’s andthe funny stories of the red and the yellow characters. Your story should be understandable through an overview of your contentsand tell in a very simple way the message you want to deliver.
  23. 23. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 23Here are some good examples: § Kit-Kat: the Facebook page has 9 600 000 fans and tells the historical story unchanged since the beginning of the brand, “Have a break, have a Kit-Kat”. This story is enlivened in the Facebook page: every picture published on the page is signed with this baseline. Most of pictures propose games fun, entertainment, appropriated to make breaks. § Evian Live Young: 648 831 fans, publishing pictures everyday about the youth § Personal Argentina: one of the brands that have the highest response rate writes about this added value in its description section on Facebook “find information about the products and services 7/24h”. Their wall is open and they answer more than 92% of their questions, you can access your account in the Facebook application,Your story is personal and you should use your creativity to create your own,knowing your brand, your customers and their expectations, for instance: § I want to be the first customer care of my industry: è “1 Question – 1 answer - 1 minute” § I want to be the coolest brand: è “1 picture to make you laugh everyday” Find the right tone On social networks, your brand speaks directly to persons, so you have to findthe right way to address them. This should take in account your brand personality,your industry and the nature of your customers. One cool brand with a young public, must talk to them like a friend on a nicebut casual way, on the other hand, if you are a banking company, yourcommunication must be must formal, since the topic is serious and the customers areexpecting professionalism and rigor from the banking industry. Produce your content:Your content is what will tell your story on the social medias. It is the heart of yoursocial media activity.A relevant and good quality content will enable you to: § Catch the attention of your fans
  24. 24. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 24 § Engage them § Reach their friendsThe common calculation of engagement is based on the number of interactions. Aninteraction can be a like, a comment or a share. So, in order to get the higherengagement, your social media content should respond to the following criteria. Itshould be: § Likable: have some interest to make you like it, because it is funny, smart, interesting § Commentable: call your fans to react and make them feel like expressing something about it § Sharable: your fans want to republish it and to spread it to their friends. Usually a content is sharable because it enables the user to express an idea, to tell something about himself § Actionable: this is not necessarily true for all brands but some can produce this kind of content. A content that is directly linked to your business and will call your fans to purchase or get in touch with one of your products“Quels mots voyez-vous en pommier ? Faites chauffer le noyau, si vous êtespersfruicaces vous trouverez l’annonce cachée derrière. #BeFruit “This post from Oasis is a perfect example, for users it is: - Likeable because the concept is funny - Commentable to ask other users if they found the solution or suggest yours - Sharable to ask your friends to find the enigma - Actionable because it announces a new product you will find soon in your supermarket
  25. 25. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 25Type of content The type of content to post on your page is also a great topic. Should we postphoto, video, text, links…? Many studies have shown pictures are by far the most engaging type ofcontent for Facebook. Obviously, it is the easiest to produce, the quickest to watchand the most appealing when it appears in a newsfeed. Moreover text posts can bemuch more readable and visual if you put it in a picture. So the pictures are the besttype of content to post on Facebook, Twitter and of course Pinterest. However the other kind of post should be used, to go further in the way youmake live your brand. Videos can be highly appealing when it comes to show yourproducts in action. The good strategy would be then to have a diversified content, depending onwhat you want to tell. Then your video posts should be used as high times and yourimage post can be used more on a daily basis.ConsistenceOnce you have chosen the story you tell and the content you will use in order to do so,you must be consistent in it. Here are some tips to help you.Chose one template: it will make your content easy to recognize and improve thefollow-up of your story. The format can be visual, in the colours and the layout ofyour pictures but also in the tone of your comments and messages. For instance the#befruit of Oasis or the red stripe “Have a break” of Kit-Kat are good practices.The computer manufacturer Dell has also managed to bring a recognizable format toits content that manages to strengthen the brand awareness benefit on social medias.
  26. 26. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 26Link to your story: this advice is linked with the one above. All the content shouldbe relevant to tell your story and bring proof to what your brand can do for itscustomers.Go to UGC:Finally, the best content production strategy for social media is the user generatedcontent. Thanks to it you can have an automated content production and a naturalhigher reach since your customers will share the content of your page on theirpersonal profiles.In order to do it, here are some tips: § Design a template to show the path to your customers and the field where they can express their creativity § Set a process to validate and publish it § Launch it: you can do it through an event, a competition § Reward your fans: they love your brand and are ambassadors for it, you must show you care and they have a reward in doing it On this strategy one of the best example is Morphsuit that based all his strategy inpublishing the best pictures of fans wearing Morphsuits Here is their Facebookdescription: “See thru, breathe thru, drink thru. Perfect for parties, halloween andworld domination. Send us your pics, well make you famous. Morph on!”. They nowhave 1,175,858 likes and a high-level average engagement rate.Inspiration:Remix: creation is mainly about remix. Get the inspiration from something that hasbeen done, adapt it and bring something new. This is the art to play on codes and touse ideas association to make your content easily understandable. Then, for your postson social media, it is relevant to make reference to something that raise interest for thepeople at the moment and will make reference to the top conversations at the moment.Kit-Kat used it recently making a parody of the Red Bull Stratos, sending a Kit-Katbar in space.
  27. 27. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 27 This post took advantage of Red Bull Stratos media coverage and raised a highengagement with more than 6800 likes and 519 shares.Viral: a new phenomenon came with social medias, virality. Some content brought ahuge enthusiasm and have reached millions of people thanks to sharing. However,this phenomenon still is mysterious and no one really understands what content willhave a high virality on social medias. On this topic, the advice is not to base your strategy on virality, since thephenomenon is not controllable and reliable. However, making efforts on creativityand edit original, funny and unexpected content will increase its virality and makeyour content eligible for a viral effect, then, when one of your posts is successful,invest on it to increase its reach and you can have your investment worthy, increasingthe viral reach at the same time. Finnally, Facebook insights and other analytics tools provided by thirdpartners (Socialbakers analytics pro, Milky…) are here to help you in optimizingyour post strategy. This monitoring shows you what posts are performing and whatare not and then to build best practices on it to increase your posts engagement. Best practices § Benchmark how brands express on social medias § Know your fans find on the best way to get their interest § Define one consistent storyline § Use this story to engage your fans and activate your community
  28. 28. Romain RICARD How to be a social brand? 28 C. ALLOCATE RESOURCES Goal: Find the right partners and the right resources to allocate your budget Social Media must be integrated to your marketing strategy, and if you want to do it properly, you must allocate the necessary resources to manage it. As explained before, launching a social media strategy and activate it needs diverse competences: o Building strategy o Creativity in content production o Reactivity and writing qualities in posts o Management to follow productions and manage teams o Technical skills to develop applications Here is the repartition of resources between the company and its partners:Skill Source ExplanationStrategy Shared -­‐ Needs to be built from the need of company -­‐ Needs to take advantage of the cross knowledge/diversity of clients of agencies -­‐ Needs to have an external and objective point of viewCreativity Outsourced -­‐ Content producers need to be independent -­‐ Creative skills are better out of any internal management or pressureTechnical Outsourced -­‐ Separate skill, usually far from your core businessCommunity Internalized/outsouced Depends on your strategy:management -­‐ In case of entertainment brand content strategy, the community management must be outsourced to optimize the creativity -­‐ In case of customer care efforts you need the internal knowledge of products and services to give the best answers to customers
  29. 29. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 29How to chose the best partners? Social media is still new and many companies have developed diverse skills tomeet the demand in social media. The historical partners of brands, advertising agencies have taken the digitalcurve and are now able to deliver social media services while new agencies andcompanies that are less than 5 years old are able to bring a strong expertise and highlyperforming services in social media. So what are the best partners in social media forbrands? The first advice would be to avoid to have too many. There are agenciesspecialized in community management, other specialized in application development,etc… However, if you need all these services, the best would be to work with a fullservice agency: there always must be a tight relationship between agencies toguarantee a good consistency between the strategy and its execution. Moreover, as explained above, as the story you are telling on social networksmust absolutely stick to the personality of your brand and the core mission of yourcompany, you should always prefer long term relations with your agency. This is whyyou should involve your historical agency in the creation of your story: they knowyour brand and are the best to help you in the right way to express. Moreover, this isthe best way to have a consistent and unified complete marketing strategy thatintegrates properly social networks. Then, to choose the right partner you must chose the one that better match withyour needs: § If you are a big brand, you must have a big full service agency: they will manage the third partners involved and deliver the campaign after checking its relevance with the story line defined § If you just need creation and you want to keep your community management internally, choose a small structure that will deliver tailor made content with a higher flexibility § If you put social networks at the heart of your marketing strategy, chose a social media agency. In this case the expertise they have is certified by the Preferred Marketing Developers program of Facebook
  30. 30. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 30The Preferred Marketing Developers can have four different badges: § Pages: expertise in pages management, this agencies are best partners for your community management § Ads: agencies that will create your ads, manage and optimize your campaigns and give you reports § Apps: are the best at creating and launching apps § Insights: are the best at analyzing, benchmark, track and measure the data you have, concerning your Pages, Ads and Appsè Define your needs and find your best partner to work on FacebookAllocate the right internal resources: Your internal resources must be able to manage the workflow in social mediamanagement. Your needs can be different considering your social media strategy. Ifyou are just managing an agency, one person can do it, but if you want to focus oncustomer care on Facebook, you will need much more resources to respond to all yourcustomers request in real time. In order to do so, you should first measure what can be the volume of requestyou will manage. For instance if you are a big telecommunication company and yourstrategy is to make Facebook and Twitter the first canal to manage your customercare, the right strategy will be to measure the volume of request you have on yourclassical customer care canals, decide the part you will move to social media andallocate the resources needed to it.Involve your workforce In order to go further in your social media integration, the integration of theworkforce is one of the best solutions for great companies. Your job as a social mediamanager will be then to give the power to different entities of your company that willactively bring their expertise to give the right message on the networks. This model, called “Hub&Spoke” or “dandelion” has been implemented bygreat organisation. Yann Gourvennec, head of social media of Orange explains howthe creation of the centralized platform “Come-in” enabled to go further in theimplication of employees in social media and use their competences to manage socialmedia.
  31. 31. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 31 Best-buy also did it with its employees as explained above, and this enabled tobe at the edge of performances in customer care management. Thanks to it, theemployee brings his expertise and delivers it directly to the customer in real time. Best practices § Have a clear view of what you should do externally and what to keep internally, regarding the skills you have available and what you will need for your social media strategy. § Structure your social media management internally and find the best external partners to outsource
  32. 32. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 323. SOCIAL MEDIA OPERATIONSA. WHAT MEDIAS TO PURCHASE?Goal: optimize your paying media purchase to boost your social medias For your page to be successful, it needs to have an audience. You can get thisaudience by natural reach and the virality of your content as explained before but youneed to support it by pay advertising on social medias. The first Social Media in volume is Facebook, where you have more than onebillion of people available, and among them, obviously your customers and yourprospects. Moreover, Facebook enables you to use information they have about peoplefrom their profile so you can design targeted campaigns based on demographic data tomake sure you are addressing the right people.Facebook ads: Facebook ads are usable for several purposes and are to be integrated in yoursocial media strategy to animate it through campaigns. I can help you to: § Make you Facebook Page known § Improve your brand recognition and awareness § Generate leads to your business/website § Get new fans § Launch promotional offersDefine one of these objectives (it is better to focus on one to optimize your campaign)and then define the marketing target you want to reach, considering: § Location: city, state, province, or country § Demographics: by age range, gender, language, relationship status § Likes and interests: your customers’ hobbies or passions § Education and work: specific university or people with a particular level of education
  33. 33. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 33 This info you have on your marketing target allow you to be relevant in yourads and to have your investment worthy. You can buy your ad depending on yourcampaign goals: § CPM, cost for one thousand impressions: if your goal is to raise general awareness on your targeted audience § CPC, cost per click: if your goal is to drive a specific action thanks to your ad Example: You just opened a gym club in X city and you want to develop a newcustomer basis: è Target people living in X è Who like “running”, “gym”, “Pilates” è Put a special offer in your ad, one free session for instance (Pay yourcampaign on CPC basis) Even if Facebook ads are small, Nielsen studies have shown Facebook adrecalls are 2 times greater than other ads on the web.Sponsored stories: Lets remind it once again: people go on Facebook to meet their friends and toentertain. Then the only way to catch their attention is to tell them something relatedto what they like or what their friends like. This is why sponsored stories are a great opportunity for advertisers onFacebook. Thanks to it you can target your customers and address them with a socialcontent, creating a word-of-mouth at scale on your target. All the following interactions create a story: § Like of a Page § Like or comment on a Page’s post § RSVPs to a Page’s event § Votes on a Page’s question § Checks in to a place § Uses an app or plays a game § Likes or shares a website
  34. 34. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 34 And you can sponsor it in the following way: This kind of advert must be crossed with your ads to make sure yourcustomers have seen both your promotional message and your brand is recommendedby a friend. Then you can enjoy the social recommendation, with a word-of-moutheffect, along with a targeted message. This product also enables you to target mobile users: your sponsored story canalso appear in the mobile newsfeed.Page post ads:
  35. 35. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 35 The increase of brands posts in the last year has been enormous: at thebeginning of January 2011, brands use to post 7 times a month, in September 2012they post in average 36 times a month: that is 5 times more. Moreover in October2009, users were fans of 5 pages on average, in September 2012, an averageFacebook user is fan of more than 40 pages. The “noise” got increasingly higher andthe posts of your page have to rise among many others. As a result the natural reach of your publication on Facebook is between 6%and 16%: that means when you post something on your page, it will appear in thetimeline of only 6%-16% of your fans. Thanks to the viral power of your content you can reach a higher percentageof your content, but viral is not reliable. If you are posting an amazing offer for yourbusiness you must be sure that your reach will be high. To compare it to a real lifesituation, this is like making a joke: when you have a good one, you have to makeyour voice louder for everyone to laugh. This is exactly the same in the use of thepage posts ads: if you want your message to make noise and to spread virally, make itlouder by promoting it. Using page posts ads is the art of managing high times and low times, ofcourse you shouldn’t promote all your posts, otherwise it will cost you a lot of moneyand you take the risk to spam your fans. However, when you have a great message topass to your community, you should use page posts ads to reach them and theirfriends. You can promote your new posts or promote posts that have been made lessthan 3 days before. Then the good strategy to be relevant in the use you do ofpromoted post can be: • To proactively promote the post that make big announcements you want to spread • To sponsor posts that after one or two days have shown a highly viral potential you can maximize by promoting itExample: Ben&Jerry’s Ben&Jerry’s is a highly social brand and use Facebook to keep in touch withits customers and communicate about their products. They have more than 4,500,000fans and want to be in tight link with them. Since their community is huge, their messages were not enough viewed.
  36. 36. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 36 They solved it using Facebook products to increase the reach of their posts.Thanks to it people could see their brand where they wouldn’t have seen it before, andas a result, they have: § 4 times more reach § 2 times more engagementMoreover when it comes to measure the ROI, their Facebook actions have a realinfluence on their sales. They measured this impact of the page putting it into aNielsen Marketing mix analysis and they found out 1$ put on Facebook correspondedto 3$ of increase in salesThis product is also key to reach mobile user by promoting your product especially onthe mobile channels.Facebook offers This is one of the last products launched by Facebook that enable you to makepromotions on your product and to propose it to your fans. Your fans can share it withtheir friends. This product can help you to generate in store traffic thanks to mobileand online traffic directly in the product session of your website.Twitter Promoted Accounts Pay to have your accounts suggested to people you might interestPromoted Tweets Enables you to amplify your tweets, in the following ways: § Promote Tweets in search § Promote Tweets in timelines o Targeting followers puts your message in front of your brand advocates o Targeting users like your followers extends the reach of your campaign and brand to more users who are receptive to your message § Target across mobile and desktop § Promote using geographic targeting Promoted Tweets price is calculated on a Cost-per-Engagement (CPE) basis: youonly pay retweets, replies to, clicks or when someone favourites your PromotedTweet.
  37. 37. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 37 Best practices § Settle your content production and feel the potential of your posts, regarding the offer or the quality of the content § Invest in the social media where you post it to increase the reachB. MANAGE YOUR COMMUNITYGoal: How to write and answer to your community and avoid crisis Customers have now the power to take an active part in your communicationand to talk to each other about your brand. As a result, the good initiative can spreadquickly an add value to your brand but on the other hand, bad reviews and badrumours can affect negatively your brand. This obliges brands to have a positive review to make efforts for that and toreach a true satisfaction from their customers. At the end this has pushed the brands tohave a better quality of service and products but also a more open and transparentcommunication. Here are some tips to improve the communication with your fan and toprevent crisis Page open – page closed? When your brand is on social networks and its page is open, it is even moreexposed to feedbacks: brands open their pages to answer customers’ requests andsatisfy them. This means that in case of bad customer experience or problem they canreport it to you directly so you can sort it out. As explained before this makes part of your strategy and you must think it thisway. You can improve your customer satisfaction by helping them and be availablefor them in social media. This implies that you have the needed resources to do so.So, in other terms, if you open your page you must be sure you will be able to answerall the messages in a short time.
  38. 38. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 38 Show you care The previous point brings us to the first advice in crisis management: alwaysanswer. Customers who bad a experience or are doubtful about one of your productscan easily get angry and express it. This is what you must avoid. The solution to thispotential problem is to show you care. Here is how you show you care: § When a fan raises a question, answer it. § When a fan is disappointed, try to understand why § When a fan lose money, contact him directly and offer him something § When a fan criticizes one of your product, ask why he does, try to help him § When a fan has a bad first impression about one of your product propose him to try it § Etc… These are very simple and natural things you can do as a community managerin order to bring satisfaction to your customers before they have a very bad feeling ofbad quality and low professionalism of your brand. Thanks to this practice you can reduce your probability of having a crisis thatwill bring you unforeseen negative ROI. Listen and react If you are managing several pages, the good practice would be to keep an earon what is going on on the social web to be able to know what customers say aboutyour brand. In order to do so, several listening tools are available on the market likeSysomos, Radian 6, viral heat, social mention… Some of these tools are free or havea freeware version. Value the need you have of it but in case of management of multipages and in big companies, tailor made solutions are often preferable to have a digestof the information that will make it actionable. Marketers have always tried to get insights from their customers about theirproducts through focus groups. Now billions of reviews are available and the
  39. 39. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 39companies can have all the feedback needed about their products and activities. Thisfeedback is actionable and should be used to improve services and communication.For instance if your listening analysis highlights some customers have some trouble touse one of your products, why not making a tutorial and publish it as an answer?Finally, hot news are often good topics to write on it and connect it to the message ofyour brand. For example customers of the juice brand Innocent talked about theMovember on the Innocent Facebook page and the brand reacted, posting picturesrelated to the moustache, like bottles of juice with a hat with moustache on it, whatgenerated a lot of conversations. Use management tools Community managers are sometimes managing several pages at the same timeand it is very time consuming to do it manually. New publishing tools like Wildfire,HootSuite or the engagement builder of Socialbakers enable you to manage all yourpages from one unique platform. These systems can have a positive impact on your response rate. Thanks tothese tools you can define different roles for people publishing on your social mediaplatforms and set up a validation process. For instance you are the communitymanager of a company and some technical questions should be addressed to one ofyour product manager, you can assign him a list of posts to answer and validate itthrough the platform. Best practicesBe nice and honest and focus on satisfying your customers and make themhave the best experience possibleC. HOW TO GO FURTHER?Goal: Put social media at the heart, being able to deliver social products Some very advanced brands have deeply included social media in theirmarketing strategy and managed to be social brands and make their product social.
  40. 40. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 40 Here are some examples and advices to inspire you and go further in theintegration of social medias. Make your products socialChevrolet: Chevy Cruze Chevrolet left a deep impression on customers in 2011 announcing newfeatures of its Chevy Cruze in its TV ad during the Superbowl, and then having ahuge impact on their Facebook page. Thanks to the OnStar technology, the car is ableto read your Facebook newsfeed and to update your status on vocal command.Thanks to it, drivers can stay connected to social platforms. This product can be considered as a gadget but means a lot on how socialmedia is now integrated in the everyday life. Then, the moment of driving that isusually alone can be social, getting news from your friends and expressing what youthink.M6 Social TV Social TV is one of the great innovations of 2012 in social media. Thisfunction is now possible thanks to connected TVs and Internet providers’ services.Most of television viewers love to comment their programs on social networks, so thisnew feature became obvious for the TV industry: users want to communicate withtheir friends while watching the television As a result, M6 The French TV media group has launched in July 2012 hisSocial TV. This includes the new replay: integrating the “seamless sharing” ofFacebook Open Graph, that makes every video seen automatically shared on usersTimeline in the Activity tab. Then it is possible to comment and recommend theprogram, and this will appear in friends Newsfeed. Moreover, social TV is effective thanks to the live of TV channels that enableusers to livetweet the program, increasing the engagement users have with their TVprogram. Each TV program has now its hashtag and the trend is still increasing. Forinstance the come back of “Strip Tease” on France 3 generated so much engagementthat it appeared high in world trending topics. Considering it, M6 also launched the “second screen” service. It is nowpossible to see programmes on each device (TV, tablet, mobile), to synchronise it onthe live and to access related content: recipe when you are watching food magazines,
  41. 41. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 41possibility to vote for candidates, so viewers can react instantly. Integrating Facebookand Twitter, the strategy of M6 and its “Watching TV” service, is to drive users to itsapplication and services to then monetize it for advertisers. The good practice of this initiative is to show how you can extend yourcustomers experience to social media s.Best Western Another good example of a brand that managed to add a social dimension toits business is the hotels company Best Western. They created a Facebook app todesign your dream holidays, so your friends and family can see it. Holidays byessence are a social topic: people want to spend holidays with their friends and thepeople they like and integrate them in the planning of holidays adds value tocustomers experience and purchasing action. As a result, this initiative had a great impact on business: the sales increasedby 20%, Be reactive Social Media is a fast moving environment where marketers must constantlyinnovate. Indeed almost everything is new on social media, both for users andmarketers: uses, ways of expressing on it, what to show... Good initiatives in socialmedia has been mostly self-taught by marketers who had good intuitions of whatsocial networks could bring them. This fast evolution implies that you have to be well informed of whathappens in social media and react as fast as possible when a great opportunity comes:the first mover advantage is key success factor in social media. Products and new functions of social networks are essential to drive yourmarketing actions. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all the other networks are yourpartners for business and design their platforms taking in account both users andmarketers needs. They are constantly launching new products for marketers (you canhave news about it through the page your language. When a new product appears try to analyse it with a lot of attentionand to understand what is the benefit for users and the benefit for your business and tofind a way of using it that will meet it.
  42. 42. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 42 Moreover, other marketers’ initiatives are also a great source of inspiration:you must keep an eye on it. This will enable you to understand what works and whatdoesn’t and to adapt it to your business. Fine-tune your social media strategy Finally, your social media strategy shouldn’t be blocked but changing andadapting. You define what is your message, you define what is your story but runningit you must be able to question the quality of your posts and to learn from yourcustomers what they like to be able to improve it as time goes by. Best practices Don’t be afraid to innovate and to make trials on social media. This is a fast moving area and it is hard to predict what works and what doesn’t. Think about what is the mission of your brand for its customers and design your next innovations to bring it further
  43. 43. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 43CONCLUSION Here are the key steps to build and run your social media strategy, and have aconsistent use of social medias that matches with your brand strategy and the needs ofyour business:1. A. Define what social media can bring to your business1. B. Chose what social network you will use for this purpose1. C. Define KPI’s to monitor your performances2. A. Map how you integrate social medias in your ecosystem2. B. Define your storyline2. C. Allocate resources3. A. Invest on social media products3. B. Manage your community3. C. Go further and innovate Keep in mind this is a fast moving area and your ability to adapt is essential tokeep your social media strategy performing.
  44. 44. Romain RICARDHow to be a social brand? 44BIBLIOGRAPHIEWebsites: § § § § § § § § Yahoo Finance § capital.frQuoted articles: § Mashable, fcommerce/). § § facebook.html § ( improve-your-search-rankings/) § dum-dums-flavors-165732376.html § ook.integration/#ixzz2CZxhpl00