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                  Social Media Strategy for Toyota Canada

                                   (Executive Summary)


1.      The main goals we want to achieve by implementing a social media strategy are:

     To establish a strong presence within the online community.

     To form strong relationships with and gain trust of the community, mainly: creators,

     critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and even inactives(Evans, 2010).

2.      The main strategiesto be used in order to achieve these goals are:

     To join the conversation already taking place among the online community.

     To share our stories, experiences, tips, and news updates with them.

     To engage the community in dialogues, discussions, contests, activities, and

     events(Evans, 2010).

3.      Theaction plan consists of the following components:

     Research

         o   Listen to the members of our community taking into consideration their

             demographics, psychographics, and online usage patterns.

     Analysis

         o   Review and discuss our branding strategy with the marketing team to ensure

             that we are up to date with regard to our value proposition, brand attributes,

             positioning, and personality.

         o   Create an online version of our brand personality/persona that is rich in life

             experiences, stories, opinions and style.

         o   Analyze all the data we have to identify the profiles of our communities, mainly:

             influencers, current customers, potential customers, media professionals, and

             spectators (Weitner, 2011).
2


        Communication

            o   To form a Social Media Team consisting of full time dedicated staff.

            o   Facebook: creating and sustaining a community.

            o   Twitter: tweeting updates on products, services, announcements, and useful

                content (Lacy, 2010)

            o   Blogs: compelling posts about stories, pictures, technical information, etc.

            o   Influencers: building relationship with them, visiting their blogs, commenting, and

                asking questions.

            o   Offline activities: concerts, festivals, auto shows, car races, visit to Toyota

                manufacturing facilities, etc.

        Evaluation

            o   Sentiment and volume

            o   Qualitative and quantitative

            o   Change (if new technologies appear), improve, or cancel (Evans, P.331-332)




                                           Detailed Plan


This section provides more details aboutour plan. The first step is research throughlistening to

the conversation taking place without participating. We need to listen first before we talk, exactly

like we should do in an offline situation. We have to know the main topics of interest and

understand the way people talk to each other in terms of terminology, language style, and tone.


The second stepis to develop a persona for our brand that has a rich life full of experiences and

stories to share. The mind set at this stage is that we are creating a virtual person with all the

characteristics of a human being. This is essential so that when we start participating in the

conversation we would be welcomed as a new member of the online community, and won’t be
3


seen as an introducing marketing person. The development of the personarequires a close

interaction with the marketing team, especially brand managers.


The third step is to analyze what we have observed and identify the influencers as they are the

most important segment affecting the community and acting as opinion leaders. This requires

additional effort including the following (Weitner, 2011):


   1- Identify keywordsto know the nature of information they seek.

   2- Locate bloggersusing the key words we identified by searching the blogs

   3- Find discussions on other media (e.g. discussion forums)

   4- Build a potential list of influencersbased on our observation of the above places

   5- Determine who is actually influential. We will do that based on quantitative aspects

       suchas the number of Twitter followers, number of likes on their Facebook page, and

       number of inbound links to their sites. We will also consider qualitative aspects such as

       the quality of content, level of engagement with fans, and to what extent they are seen

       as credible sources of information.


The fourth step is the implementation of the communication plan.We will focus on the most

important ones at this stage, which are Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs. Here are some details

about the tactics we will use for each one of them:


       Facebook:our page will be professionally designed. Its layout will be unique and will

       portray the persona of our company. Best practices will also be taken into consideration

       with regard to graphical layout and content. The content will be updated frequently, and

       we will have a dedicated moderator to initiate discussions, answer questions, and handle

       complaints. We will engage our fans by creating events, contests, charity activities,

       festivals, cart competitions, and other car-related activities. In addition, we will ask fans
4


       to share stories about their cars, and give a prize for the best story every week. We will

       also continuously ask our fans for their feedback to improve ourselves.

       Twitter will be used as an additional tool to participate in the conversation. We will not

       tweet ads. Our tweets will include content about cars such as: tip of the day, links to

       posts by popular auto bloggers, announcements about an event before it is released to

       the media (and that way followers will feel that they are part of a closer circle), or just

       spreading good news about something happening in the community (Lacy, 2010).

       The blog will be general with a variety of content that includes pictures with comments,

       stories, technical advice, and car reviews. All posts will be compelling, concise, simple,

       and have a personal tone. (Butow & Bollwitt, 2010).


What we outlined so far will not be successful unless we build mutually beneficial relationships

with the influencers. We will share exclusive material with them that will help them gain more

popularity within the community. We will also ask them for advice about non-confidential matters

(most people like to be asked for advice). We will visit their blogs, and at times,comment and

ask questions. While doing all these things we will be conscious not to portray ourselves as

marketers who are just using them as a marketing tool. We will also invite bloggers to special

events, but we will be sensitive so that we are not perceived as if we are trying to buy them.


The last step of our action plan is evaluation.It will rely on qualitative and quantitative data. The

qualitative part will include monitoring hot topics, trends, and nature of discussions, and events

taking place. And the quantitative one will include the measurement of sentiment and volume

(Evans, 2010).


It will be a continuous process, a feedback mechanism that help us stay on track and fine tune

our strategy. We will also have benchmarking studies conducted throughout the year to monitor

the activity of our competition and identify best practices to ensure that we maintain our edge.
5




                                    References




Butow, E., & Bollwit, R. (2010). Blogging to drive business. Indianapolis: Que.

Evans, L. (2010). Social media marketing. (p. 43). Indianapolis: Que.

Lacy, K. (2010). Twitter marketing for dummies . Indianapolis: W iley.

W eitner, A. (2011, October 4). Locating influencers online without third party
   software. Retrieved from
   http://www.linkedin.com/news?viewArticle&articleID=825283648&gid=242712
   0&t ype=m em ber&item =74385626&articleURL=http://www.cprstoront o.com /ind
   ex.php?option=com _jaggyblog&task=viewpost&id=105&Item id=52&urlhash=A
   7AJ&trk=group_most_recent_rich-0-b-shrttl

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Social Media Strategy

  • 1. 1 Social Media Strategy for Toyota Canada (Executive Summary) 1. The main goals we want to achieve by implementing a social media strategy are: To establish a strong presence within the online community. To form strong relationships with and gain trust of the community, mainly: creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and even inactives(Evans, 2010). 2. The main strategiesto be used in order to achieve these goals are: To join the conversation already taking place among the online community. To share our stories, experiences, tips, and news updates with them. To engage the community in dialogues, discussions, contests, activities, and events(Evans, 2010). 3. Theaction plan consists of the following components: Research o Listen to the members of our community taking into consideration their demographics, psychographics, and online usage patterns. Analysis o Review and discuss our branding strategy with the marketing team to ensure that we are up to date with regard to our value proposition, brand attributes, positioning, and personality. o Create an online version of our brand personality/persona that is rich in life experiences, stories, opinions and style. o Analyze all the data we have to identify the profiles of our communities, mainly: influencers, current customers, potential customers, media professionals, and spectators (Weitner, 2011).
  • 2. 2 Communication o To form a Social Media Team consisting of full time dedicated staff. o Facebook: creating and sustaining a community. o Twitter: tweeting updates on products, services, announcements, and useful content (Lacy, 2010) o Blogs: compelling posts about stories, pictures, technical information, etc. o Influencers: building relationship with them, visiting their blogs, commenting, and asking questions. o Offline activities: concerts, festivals, auto shows, car races, visit to Toyota manufacturing facilities, etc. Evaluation o Sentiment and volume o Qualitative and quantitative o Change (if new technologies appear), improve, or cancel (Evans, P.331-332) Detailed Plan This section provides more details aboutour plan. The first step is research throughlistening to the conversation taking place without participating. We need to listen first before we talk, exactly like we should do in an offline situation. We have to know the main topics of interest and understand the way people talk to each other in terms of terminology, language style, and tone. The second stepis to develop a persona for our brand that has a rich life full of experiences and stories to share. The mind set at this stage is that we are creating a virtual person with all the characteristics of a human being. This is essential so that when we start participating in the conversation we would be welcomed as a new member of the online community, and won’t be
  • 3. 3 seen as an introducing marketing person. The development of the personarequires a close interaction with the marketing team, especially brand managers. The third step is to analyze what we have observed and identify the influencers as they are the most important segment affecting the community and acting as opinion leaders. This requires additional effort including the following (Weitner, 2011): 1- Identify keywordsto know the nature of information they seek. 2- Locate bloggersusing the key words we identified by searching the blogs 3- Find discussions on other media (e.g. discussion forums) 4- Build a potential list of influencersbased on our observation of the above places 5- Determine who is actually influential. We will do that based on quantitative aspects suchas the number of Twitter followers, number of likes on their Facebook page, and number of inbound links to their sites. We will also consider qualitative aspects such as the quality of content, level of engagement with fans, and to what extent they are seen as credible sources of information. The fourth step is the implementation of the communication plan.We will focus on the most important ones at this stage, which are Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs. Here are some details about the tactics we will use for each one of them: Facebook:our page will be professionally designed. Its layout will be unique and will portray the persona of our company. Best practices will also be taken into consideration with regard to graphical layout and content. The content will be updated frequently, and we will have a dedicated moderator to initiate discussions, answer questions, and handle complaints. We will engage our fans by creating events, contests, charity activities, festivals, cart competitions, and other car-related activities. In addition, we will ask fans
  • 4. 4 to share stories about their cars, and give a prize for the best story every week. We will also continuously ask our fans for their feedback to improve ourselves. Twitter will be used as an additional tool to participate in the conversation. We will not tweet ads. Our tweets will include content about cars such as: tip of the day, links to posts by popular auto bloggers, announcements about an event before it is released to the media (and that way followers will feel that they are part of a closer circle), or just spreading good news about something happening in the community (Lacy, 2010). The blog will be general with a variety of content that includes pictures with comments, stories, technical advice, and car reviews. All posts will be compelling, concise, simple, and have a personal tone. (Butow & Bollwitt, 2010). What we outlined so far will not be successful unless we build mutually beneficial relationships with the influencers. We will share exclusive material with them that will help them gain more popularity within the community. We will also ask them for advice about non-confidential matters (most people like to be asked for advice). We will visit their blogs, and at times,comment and ask questions. While doing all these things we will be conscious not to portray ourselves as marketers who are just using them as a marketing tool. We will also invite bloggers to special events, but we will be sensitive so that we are not perceived as if we are trying to buy them. The last step of our action plan is evaluation.It will rely on qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative part will include monitoring hot topics, trends, and nature of discussions, and events taking place. And the quantitative one will include the measurement of sentiment and volume (Evans, 2010). It will be a continuous process, a feedback mechanism that help us stay on track and fine tune our strategy. We will also have benchmarking studies conducted throughout the year to monitor the activity of our competition and identify best practices to ensure that we maintain our edge.
  • 5. 5 References Butow, E., & Bollwit, R. (2010). Blogging to drive business. Indianapolis: Que. Evans, L. (2010). Social media marketing. (p. 43). Indianapolis: Que. Lacy, K. (2010). Twitter marketing for dummies . Indianapolis: W iley. W eitner, A. (2011, October 4). Locating influencers online without third party software. Retrieved from http://www.linkedin.com/news?viewArticle&articleID=825283648&gid=242712 0&t ype=m em ber&item =74385626&articleURL=http://www.cprstoront o.com /ind ex.php?option=com _jaggyblog&task=viewpost&id=105&Item id=52&urlhash=A 7AJ&trk=group_most_recent_rich-0-b-shrttl