Digital Word of Mouth


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This is a presentation that I gave on advanced social media tactics and examples for the Infotec 2009 seminar series. I am working on the 2010 now and thought that some of you might enjoy this.

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  • Hey Everyone. I’m told that we have about an hour, but we have a lot of information to go over. I just want to start by saying that despite the doom and gloom of the recession on the news, I believe that today is an incredibly lucky time for small businesses when it comes to marketing and connecting with new customers and business partners. This is because the rise of sophisticated and expensive tools, combined with the stunning decline of mainstream media, presents unprecedented opportunities.What are we gonna talk about today? We’ll talk about the following topics.-How many people are using the Internet? -How are they using it?-What can you do as a business to use this pervasive tool to your business’s advantage?-A few case studies on businesses who have done it well?-Five things that you can do today to get started?-Questions.If you have any questions you can wait till the end, or just blurt them out as we go. Either is fine with me. Let’s get started.
  • According to Nielsen, the US Census and the International Telecommunications Union.
  • So a lot of people use the internet. Duh, but how are they using it. This first graphic shows a recently released Nielsen study (December 2008) social networks and blogs are now more popular than e-mail. The graphic above shows social networking sites and blogs as “member communities.” It lists them as the fourth most popular activity online worldwide.Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit social networking or blogging sites, accounting for almost 10% of all internet timeTime spent on social network sites is also expanding: Across the globe in 2008 activity in ‘Member Communities’ accounted for one in every 15 online minutes - now it accounts for one in every 11.While social networks started out among the younger audience, they’ve become more mainstream with the passage of time.This shift has primarily been driven by Facebook whose greatest growth has come from people aged 35-49 years of age (+24.1 million). From December 2007 through December 2008, Facebook added almost twice as many 50-64 year old visitors (+13.6 million) than it has added under 18 year old visitors (+7.3 million).The second graphic is a geographic map of blogs worldwide: Blogging was the first form of social media. It is more than a decade old and it is a truly global phenomenon: Technorati (the Web’s most respected blog search engine) tracks blogs in 81 languages in June 2008, and bloggers responded to our survey from 66 countries across six continents. Technorati has indexed more than 133 million blogs since 2002. Here are some numbers (from Technorati’s 2008 state of the blogosphere):The numbers vary but agree that blogs are here to stay * comScoreMediaMetrix (August 2008)o Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors in the US per montho Facebook: 41.0 million | MySpace 75.1 milliono Total internet audience 188.9 millionBlogging is more than a decade old. First real blogging software and widespread use: “Open Diary” launched in October 1998, soon growing to thousands of online diaries. Open Diary innovated the reader comment, becoming the first blog community where readers could add comments to other writers' blog entries.
  • So social media is the number four activity online. So, what is this social media? I could spend a bunch of time standing up here and talking about what social media is, how it works and why it works. But I am pretty lazy and that could get pretty boring, so I thought that I would show a little video instead that quickly explains how social media works.So what flavor of ice cream are you offering? Have you put a board up outside of your house?Do you let others write on your board?Next we will tackle these questions:
  • So now we are selling ice cream from an apple cart. This is getting confusing, but it is going to get worse before it gets better. There are 1,000s of social media tools. And they are incredibly pervasive. Here are some numbers.Some numbers:-US Population is about 304 million, with about 220 million active Internet users according the the US Census and Nielson. That is about a 74% penetration rate. -Top Social Media Sites Ranked by unique visitors last Nov. 2008 by ComScore: Blogger: 220 Million Facebook 200 milllion, now is the 5th largest country by population, it has a higher population than Japan or Brazil. MySpace: 126 million-Other things:Wikipedia: more than 12 million articles.Flickr: 64 million usersHere are some of the types of tools available (give a short description of each):Blogs:Wordpress, BloggerMicroblogs: Twitter, TumblrSocial Networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpaceAggregators: FriendfeedPersonal Networks: Ning, KickAppsCrowdsourcing: Wikipedia, YelpBookmarking: Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg, RedditPhoto: Photobucket, Flickr, SmugMugVideo: Vimeo, YouTube, MetaCafeLiveCasting: Ustream, Justin.tvAudio/Music:, Podsub, iTunes, PandoraMashUps: Flickr Maps
  • So, with so many options, and so much opportunity there are bound to be some bumps. But is anyone doing this successfully. Sure, just like any other new medium there are winners and losers. So lets look at a few of the winners.Let’s start with a fun one. Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” campaign. In early 2006 Blendtec was an unknown producer of industrial strength blenders.(According to the Wall Street Journal) The first director of marketing for Blendtec discovered that the CEO routinely tested the blenders by feeding them unlikely and challenging material - like 2X4s. The marketer instantly thought it was a great idea for a low-budget video series, and one that the YouTube audience would digg (pun intended). The videos initially cost $50 to put together (30 seconds during the last super bowl cost $3 million dollars). No actors, no special effects. Just the CEO, the Blendtec logo in the background, a camcorder and some creative blending recipes: marbles, a tiki torch, hockey pucks, glow sticks. Would they blend? Did this campaign work? Sales increased 43% in 2007.To date they have created 84 videos. Their most popular video: “Will it Blend, the iPhone” has received more than 6.6 million views.This campaign worked for three reasons:1. Because it let Blendtec tell its own story through interesting visual content. 2. Because it gave people something to do: vote, share, recommend things to be blended. It engaged people. 3. Because: On the Web CONTENT IS KING. So, they produced a lot of content.
  • 37 Signals: These guys do just about everything right. This is the Signal vs. Noise blog Their most famous product Basecamp was originally built as a side project. At that time, in February of 2004, 37Signals was a web design firm. They launched Basecamp, not with PR blitz or special advertising, but with one blog post. Basecamp now has more than 3 million users. They have 12 employees. They didn’t even start out as an application shop. They were just a Web design firm until Basecamp. Now, they make many types of software that are meant to make life easier.37Signals regularly posts comments and emails from users on additions or options that they would like to see in their products. They often fix/add these as they go.Even though their major product, Basecamp, has a lot less features than their competitors (they tout that a lot). They have a 94% customer satisfaction.Their blog receives more than 35,000 hits a day on average. They also have more than 85,000 RSS subscribers. They have two blogs: a company version and a product version. The most popular is their company blog. Started in February 2005. Why is it so successful: 37signals is extremely popular because of how freely they give out lessons learned and other assorted advice about software design and the business of software. Each bit of advice has been extrapolated from their experiences. It is written by many people who work there. They focus on interaction with users, new updates and how their product is being used. Twitter: about 14,000 followers.Getting Real: They offer their book as free ebook, a hard copy for $25 and a printable .pdf for $19. They have sold more than 30,000 copies.
  • In honor of the new president, I thought that we talk about BarackObama’s campaign. It relied heavily on social media. And it really was impressive. This was a smart and inexpensive way to begin a very powerful campaign. Here are some of the numbers:5 million supporters on 15 different SNSMore than 1 billion e-mails sent to supportersMore than 1 million signed up for text message alerts180,000 followers on TwitterYouTube:139,000 Obama related videos1,800 official videosThe Famous “Yes We Can” received 14.2 million views15 videos in their channel with more than 1 million viewsLike any good viral campaign, the Obama campaign gave people a reason to engage and share content by regularly disseminating interesting information across many networks and mediums. This campaign also gave people something to do, donate, tell a friend, vote. Pushing for active participation is another important element of social media that the Obama campaign embraced.Results:3 million online donors contributed more than $6.5 millionAnd one presidency
  • So, let’s make it easy. Here are 5 things that everyone here can do today to get started in social media. Well maybe not today, it is getting kind late in the afternoon, but maybe tomorrow morning. You can really start with whatever you are comfortable with or whatever you like. But these are five that I think are pretty smart, easy and the most cost-effective.   
  • Listen: Get into the social media space and see what people are saying about your business, about your industry.This can be the most important step. My advice is, before you launch an online marketing initiative, take a month and monitor relevant blogs, tweets, podcasts in your category. Go and check out your competitors’ blogs. Subscribe to podcasts related to your business.Comment, get involved in conversations. Go find groups on the SNS that pertain to your category. Join them, and get updates. Take a side on a relevant issue within your business community. Take a stand. There are also a host of Online reputation monitoring services (ORM) available today that will give you an even more in-depth look at conversations online. These services all comb the Internet for you to find the most relevant and popular ideas surrounding your brand and your category of business. You an use these tools to identify powerful online influencers and to find out the most important stories. Before you start your own publishing, let people know who you are and start building your reputation online. That way you have an audience when you start.
  • 2. Google Yourself: Where do you appear in search results? Wanna be on the first page?As we said earlier in this presentation, Search is the number one activity for users on the Internet today. The mass market share holder of that search is Google. It is no secret that when Google changes their algorithms, search results change and companies go out of business.There are many things that you can do to get on that coveted first page:-buy sponsored links-adjust your Web site’s code for SEO-continually add inbound links and relevant contentThat third suggestion is probably the best advice that anyone can give you on increasing your search engine ranking in the long run. So, what is behind Google’s mysterious search engine ranking? Google relies on algorithms, which are mathematical formulas that try to model the behavior of regular users. These algorithms give each page on the Web a rank. The total of page ranks for each page on your Web site gives your Web site its search engine ranking and determines on what page of the search results your site will appear. These algorithms look for many things on your pages. As mentioned above, they try to model user behavior. How would a user find your page? And what would a user get from your page? Most users would find their way to your page via a link from another site. Thusly, Google ranks pages with a lot of inbound links highly. What value would your page be to a user? Google reads all the words, tags and other content on your page and gives it a value based on the available content. To increase your search engine ranking in the long run, a site must gain more inbound links and publish more content with relevant keywords. By monitoring and contributing to a social media community, you become a resource to that community and they will link to your site and your blog. These links will add to the overall search engine ranking of the Right at Home site. The same idea applies to most media relations. Since most media outlets (newspapers, television, radio) also publish online today, it is important to work with them to get stories published on Right at Home. These stories will link to the Right at Home site and will contribute to the site’s search engine ranking.
  • 3. Tell Your Story: On the Web content is king. And you already have that. Every brand has a story, what’s your story? Can it be told in pictures, video, text, or audio recordings? The Web can help you share your story with millions of interested people; you just have to provide the content.That is what each of us has to offer the world online. We wouldn’t be in the business we are in, if it weren’t for a passion about that business. We just need to find out where our audience is and how they like to be connected to. What mediums do they like.I know that these are some pretty unexpected graphics for a “tell your story slide”. So let my tell you why I chose them. They are both social graphs. Social graph represent how things are shared online and how you story might live on and help organically grow your business without your help at all.Right Graphic: give the CoC example.Left Graphics: This image is a visualization of Jeffrey Heer's personal friendster network to 3 hops out, an online social network consisting of Jeffrey, his "friends", his friends' friends, and his friends' friends' friends. The resulting networks consist of 47471 people connected by 432430 friendship relations. The data was collected during the timespan of October 2003 to February 2004 (six months in 2003).
  • 4. Tweet: Get a Twitter account. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s where news breaks today. And it’s only 140 characters. From Shaquille O’Neil to Richard Branson to your customers. Twitter is the fastest growing social tool on the Web. With a little more than 10 million users, it has become the most popular way to share immediate information. Go to site and start going through how to use it.
  • 5. Get the News Delivered to You: Set up alerts and a RSS feed aggregator for the Web sites important to your business. I’m sure that we are all familiar with Google Alerts. But there is an even easier way to get all the news you want. To stay up on industry sources (as defined in your listening step) easily and for free. You can do all this through RSS. What is RSS?RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, blogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.Why RSS? Benefits and Reasons for using RSSRSS solves a problem for people who regularly use the web. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. You save time by not needing to visit each site individually. You ensure your privacy, by not needing to join each site's email newsletter. The number of sites offering RSS feeds is growing rapidly and includes big names like Yahoo News.What do I need to do to read an RSS Feed? RSS Feed Readers and News AggregatorsFeed Reader or News Aggregator software allow you to grab the RSS feeds from various sites and display them for you to read and use.A variety of RSS Readers are available for different platforms. Some popular feed readers include Amphetadesk (Windows, Linux, Mac), FeedReader (Windows), and NewsGator (Windows - integrates with Outlook). There are also a number of web-based feed readers available. My Yahoo, Bloglines, and Google Reader are popular web-based feed readers.Once you have your Feed Reader, it is a matter of finding sites that syndicate content and adding their RSS feed to the list of feeds your Feed Reader checks. Many sites display a small icon with the acronyms RSS, XML, or RDF to let you know a feed is available. This way, you won’t have to go look for your news everyday, it will automatically be delivered to you.
  • I would be happy to field any more questions that you have at this time. I also just wanted to let everyone know that this was a lot of information to absorb at once. If you are thinking about planning some online marketing or communication efforts and don’t know where to begin. Bozell offers strategic planning services that take a closer look at the millions of options available to your brand online today.
  • (Skip if time does not allow, give yourself 5 more minutes to do the blogsearches on the next page) Victoria Secret’s Pink Campaign is a Facebook Fan Page. Think of it as big group that anyone on Facebook can join. This page consistently ranks in the top 25 pages of Facebook. This page has more than 1,159,000 fans. Each one of these fans can upload photos, discuss topics, add videos and take advantage of special “friend only” offers (go through the page here). And all of this functionality is just one click away from an online point of purchase. Recently Victoria Secret has come under some tough times and as other areas of the company have had losing quarters. Pink has been the shining star with huge increases in sales. A relatively new strategy, Pink approached $900 million in sales last year.Why did this work? Because Victoria Secret provides content, and a place for real discussion and review to occur.
  • Digital Word of Mouth

    1. 1. Digital Word of Mouth<br />By Bill Flavell, Social Media Specialist, Bozell<br />
    2. 2. The Web Today<br />74% - Percent of Americans who are regular Web Users<br />1.6 Billion – The Average Number of Web Users Worldwide<br />
    3. 3. How the Web is Used Today<br />
    4. 4. What is Social Media?<br />
    5. 5. Why Does Social Media Work?<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Who is doing this successfully?<br />
    8. 8. One of My Personal Favorites.<br />
    9. 9. Who is doing this successfully?<br />
    10. 10. What you Can Do Today:<br />Listen<br />Google Yourself<br />Tell Your Story<br />Start Tweeting<br />Get the News Delivered to You<br />
    11. 11. 1. Listen<br />
    12. 12. 2. Google Yourself<br />
    13. 13. 3. Tell Your Story<br />
    14. 14. 4. Start Tweeting<br />
    15. 15. 5. Get Your New Delivered for Free<br />
    16. 16. Thanks for Your Time<br />William Flavell<br />Social Media Specialist<br />Bozell<br />E-mail:<br />Blog:<br />Twitter: @Swept14<br />
    17. 17. Who is doing this successfully?<br />