Kumbaya?           How Brands & Bloggers Can Work Together                 Without Someone Getting Pissed OffChristopher B...
BONA FIDES: Why Trust Me?• March 2003: Started my first  blog• February 2005: Promoted &  asked to build IBM‟s initial  so...
Brands & Bloggers3
Brand Side: Horror Stories4
Brand Side: Negative Perceptions?• “They‟re horrible! They‟re  like little terrorists!”• Judgmental• Unforgiving• Lying in...
How to be smart•   Get over yourself•   Know & follow the FTC guidelines•   Do your homework•   Don‟t be a lounge lizard• ...
Get over yourself• Ditch the big brand hubris; they‟ve built  their audience without you.• Relevance: make sure your pitch...
Know the FTC guidelines• Disclosure: any exchange of value  (“material connections”) must be• disclosed. As a brand, you a...
Do your homework• This takes work; there are no quick fixes.• Read their blogs. Not just the top post or  the ones on the ...
Don‟t be a lounge lizard• It‟s not all about you! Try to make your first  interactions about the blogger or their  interes...
Be involved offline • Relationships may begin online, but they   always deepen in person. • Relevance: Find ways to incorp...
Be clear – about everything• Be up front about your  expectations for the program.• Tell your guests/participants exactly ...
Use your right people• Find your extroverts. Personality matters  as much or more than the material.• Find reps who talk l...
Monitor and follow up• Thank you goes a long way.• Pay attention to what they write – and then  interact with their commun...
Build your community• Temperature checks• Build up your benefit of the doubt• But: you have to actually listen!15
Practice Preventative Maintenance• If the first time you follow up is  when people are ticked off …  you’re too late.• Tru...
Blogger Side: Horror Stories17
How to be smart• Get over yourself• Put yourself in the brand‟s shoes• Understand “the line”• Know and follow the FTC  gui...
Get over yourself• You are important. But you have a fraction  of the audience of even a small daily• paper. built a succe...
Put yourself in the brand‟s shoes• Be realistic about your expectations  and asks.• Remember that the brand reps  have to ...
Understand “The Line”• Editorial and advertising are separate  in the PR, marketing and journalism  worlds.• Paying for po...
Know the FTC guidelines• Disclosure: any exchange of value  (“material connections”) must be  disclosed.• Accuracy: As a b...
Do unto others• No one likes a brand bully.• If a brand does something you don‟t like:     – It doesn‟t necessarily make t...
Don‟t “play” brands• Brands‟ decisions to work with you are  influenced by our competitors. But most of  us want to lead, ...
SUMMARY: Common Themes• Mutual respect is key• Honor the FTC guidelines• Keep the audience in mind  first.• Keep the other...
Shameless Self-Promotion    How to build an organizational social     media practice    Out January 13, 2012 from McGraw...
THANK YOUchristopher@voceconnect.com       Twitter: @cbarger
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  • Customer service #failCampaignSocial media #failOrganizational brain freezeThree Mile Island
  • Chris Barger

    1. 1. Kumbaya? How Brands & Bloggers Can Work Together Without Someone Getting Pissed OffChristopher Barger, SVP Global Social Media, Voce ConnectSocial Fresh BaltimoreNovember 30, 2011
    2. 2. BONA FIDES: Why Trust Me?• March 2003: Started my first blog• February 2005: Promoted & asked to build IBM‟s initial social media program• March 2007: Hired to build GM‟s social media program• April 2011: Moved to Voce, working with major brands on social media2
    3. 3. Brands & Bloggers3
    4. 4. Brand Side: Horror Stories4
    5. 5. Brand Side: Negative Perceptions?• “They‟re horrible! They‟re like little terrorists!”• Judgmental• Unforgiving• Lying in wait• Undereducated on “the rules”5
    6. 6. How to be smart• Get over yourself• Know & follow the FTC guidelines• Do your homework• Don‟t be a lounge lizard• Be involved offline• Be clear – about everything• Use the right people from your brand• Monitor and follow up• Build your community of advocates6
    7. 7. Get over yourself• Ditch the big brand hubris; they‟ve built their audience without you.• Relevance: make sure your pitch actually fits the influencer‟s personality, audience, usual subjects – not because you say so.• Your executive‟s title doesn‟t mean anything. In fact, no one knows who they• are. Be well aware: the balance of power does not tilt to you in this exchange.7
    8. 8. Know the FTC guidelines• Disclosure: any exchange of value (“material connections”) must be• disclosed. As a brand, you are responsible Accuracy: for the accuracy of a blogger‟s statements about your product.• Honesty: posts or statements must reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience of the writer.8
    9. 9. Do your homework• This takes work; there are no quick fixes.• Read their blogs. Not just the top post or the ones on the front page, either.• Don‟t get lazy and just rely on Quantcast or Klout scores.• Know the blogger‟s style and make sure it fits your brand.• This isn‟t that different from… y‟know, PR!9
    10. 10. Don‟t be a lounge lizard• It‟s not all about you! Try to make your first interactions about the blogger or their interests• Online and in-store have the same dynamic – too much “sell” is not cool.• Be willing to talk about things that don‟t have anything to do with your brand or product. Then, actually do it.10
    11. 11. Be involved offline • Relationships may begin online, but they always deepen in person. • Relevance: Find ways to incorporate your product or service into what audience is already doing or want to do. • Your biggest social media asset: your people. Use them wisely.11
    12. 12. Be clear – about everything• Be up front about your expectations for the program.• Tell your guests/participants exactly what they can expect from the program. Then live up to it.• Don‟t assume your audience will know conditions of your event or interaction.12
    13. 13. Use your right people• Find your extroverts. Personality matters as much or more than the material.• Find reps who talk like real people.• Find people in your organization who can relate to people outside of your industry.• Find people with a sense of humor – about the world and about themselves.13
    14. 14. Monitor and follow up• Thank you goes a long way.• Pay attention to what they write – and then interact with their communities.• Be timely. “Nothing says „I just used you‟ like a fancy party followed by silence.”• Ask for opinions going forward.• Take the long term view.14
    15. 15. Build your community• Temperature checks• Build up your benefit of the doubt• But: you have to actually listen!15
    16. 16. Practice Preventative Maintenance• If the first time you follow up is when people are ticked off … you’re too late.• Trust, good will and relationships are critical assets.• Establishing your community helps inoculate you against fake or parody accounts.16
    17. 17. Blogger Side: Horror Stories17
    18. 18. How to be smart• Get over yourself• Put yourself in the brand‟s shoes• Understand “the line”• Know and follow the FTC guidelines• Do unto others• Don‟t “play” brands18
    19. 19. Get over yourself• You are important. But you have a fraction of the audience of even a small daily• paper. built a successful community does Having not make you smarter than big brands.• Many (most?) brands are not stupid. And even the stupid ones? They don‟t appreciate being told they are.19
    20. 20. Put yourself in the brand‟s shoes• Be realistic about your expectations and asks.• Remember that the brand reps have to report back to the business on the effort. • We are not cash registers!20
    21. 21. Understand “The Line”• Editorial and advertising are separate in the PR, marketing and journalism worlds.• Paying for positive content, for most PR people, represents an ethical breach. This doesn‟t mean that they “don‟t get it.”• This doesn‟t mean that a financial arrangement won‟t happen; it means it will be an advertising/marketing discussion, separate from the content program.21
    22. 22. Know the FTC guidelines• Disclosure: any exchange of value (“material connections”) must be disclosed.• Accuracy: As a blogger, the brand will hold you responsible for the accuracy of your statements about our brand. We have to.• Honesty: posts or statements should reflect your honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experience.22
    23. 23. Do unto others• No one likes a brand bully.• If a brand does something you don‟t like: – It doesn‟t necessarily make them “stupid.” – They‟ll usually react better to being talked with than shouted at; try to help them.• Give brands a chance to fix a situation before you blitz them.• A successful interaction doesn‟t obligate either you OR the brand.23
    24. 24. Don‟t “play” brands• Brands‟ decisions to work with you are influenced by our competitors. But most of us want to lead, not follow. We don‟t do something just because “they” did it.• Competitors talk to each other. Don‟t think we don‟t.• The more you try to use our competition to “pressure” us, the less likely we are to actually work with you.24
    25. 25. SUMMARY: Common Themes• Mutual respect is key• Honor the FTC guidelines• Keep the audience in mind first.• Keep the other side‟s interests second.• Be up front about expectations.25
    26. 26. Shameless Self-Promotion How to build an organizational social media practice Out January 13, 2012 from McGraw- Hill Available at stores, on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com Facebook.com/thesocialmediastrategis t26
    27. 27. THANK YOUchristopher@voceconnect.com Twitter: @cbarger

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