Here are all of the posts tagged ‘social media marketing’.
Over the past few months, we’ve been spending lots of time with senior marketers from some of the world’s biggest companies, and our conversations have culminated in a robust and actionable framework that enables brands to seize the opportunities presented by Social Media.
Today, we’re delighted to share the core of this new framework with you too.
It builds on our hugely popular Making Friends & Influencing People guide, which sets out We Are Social’s principles for effective and efficient Social Media Marketing.
As you’ll see in the full ‘Sharing Is Caring’ deck (above), this framework brings together a wealth of stimuli to help you start planning your own social media strategy, including:
- Best-in class case studies
- We Are Social’s core social media marketing principles
- Our powerful 8-Step Process
- Links to a variety of other resources that will help you maintain momentum and start bringing plans to life.
To give you a flavour of our thinking though, here’s an overview of our core principles:
Before you do anything, set your business objective: what do social media need to do? Only when you’ve answered this question should you start to plan your actual approach, as that approach needs to be tailored to deliver these specific results.
1. Start with people, not technology
At its heart, Social Media is a human discipline, not a digital one, and the most powerful social strategies start with the needs of your audience rather than technological platforms and digital novelty.
2. Build conversations, not campaigns
Broadcast comms do a great job of introducing brands through the marketing equivalent of a pick-up line. However, it’s difficult to build enduring relationships through one-liners and tag-lines alone. Instead, use social media to build the everyday conversations that deepen bonds with your audience and help to foster a real sense of brand affinity.
3. Use content as a means, not an end
As Cory Doctorow says, “Conversation is king; content is just something to talk about.” It’s true that content is always vital to a conversation strategy, but it’s what people do next, as a result of consuming that content, that ultimately delivers brand value.
4. Add value to the audience’s life
Spamming people with endless updates about your products through social media is the marketing equivalent of going on a date and only talking about yourself, and is unlikely to produce the desired results. You need to add value to the audience before you can add value to the brand.
5. Listening is the new shouting
The real value in a conversation lies in the listening. The good news is that people share a huge amount of honest and spontaneous information via social media, and there are a variety of tools available that enable marketers to listen to these public conversations and so learn how to deliver better value to their audiences.
6. Spread the love
Building a great social media presence doesn’t guarantee that people will come. Like all the best parties, you need to invite people to join in, and to keep the vibe alive once they’ve arrived. Advertising can help build this momentum, but engaging influencers and inspiring them to engage others is often more effective and more efficient.
7. Always be prepared
Murphy reminds us that if anything can go wrong, it probably will do sooner or later. Social media is a highly public environment, and things can go wrong. However, preparing a 3As plan – Alert, Assess, Act – can mitigate risks and ensure problems (and opportunities) are dealt with in the most effective way possible:
- Alert: set up tools and processes that raise the alarm if certain things happen.
- Assess: have a process in place that ensures the right people can determine the scale of the issue at hand, and what needs to be done about it, by whom, and when.
- Act: define clear roles and responsibilities so that everyone understands their role and can get moving quickly.
8. Measure your progress
If you can’t prove the ROI of social media activities, you probably need to rethink your approach. However, ROI isn’t just about sales and revenue, because everyone in the business ultimately contributes to those. When it comes to social media measurement, the important thing is to focus on your objectives, and track how social media is contributing to achieving them.
9. Optimise as you go
Social media are not a ‘set-and-forget’ environment; the opportunities for constant feedback and effective test-and-learn approaches mean that marketers can optimise their approach with every single activity, post and comment.
10. Make a commitment
When it comes to success in social media, The Supremes had it sussed as far back as 1966: “You can’t hurry love.” Meaningful relationships always take time to build, and the same is true in social media. Marketers need to make a concerted investment of time, effort and financial resource, but doing so strategically can deliver considerable returns on those investments.
As you may realise as you go though the deck above, the Sharing Is Caring approach is designed to prompt more questions than it answers, but does so from the perspective of ensuring that senior marketers understand which questions and processes can help them to build social media plans that actively contribute to their brands’ bottom line.
Critically, the framework delivers its greatest value when we share it in a truly interactive setting, so if you’d like to experience its full power for yourself and see how it can work for your brand, we’d be delighted to come in and present it to you and your teams; simply email us via email@example.com with some background to your brand and the opportunities and challenges you’d like to explore, and we can take the conversation from there.
Are you a spontaneous type who thrives on adventure and new experiences? A self-confessed social media addict who loves taking and sharing photos too? Well, you’d better listen up!
Volvic are on the hunt to find top-class, naturally bursting with life Content Creators to form part of Team Volcanicity 2013.
As you may have read in Marketing, we’ve recently launched a facebook app for Volvic UK which allows fans to apply to become part of the 2013 team who’ll be responsible for bringing ‘moments of Volcanicity’ to the masses, by capturing photos and sharing the scoop from festivals, gigs and trips up and down the country live on the Volvic UK facebook wall.
Those lucky enough to be selected will be supplied with a state-of-the-art camera plus funding towards adventures, or, exclusive access to some of the hottest gigs and events of the year.
To enter, fans simply have to upload a photo which expresses their Volcanicity along with a short description of what their idea of the best 2013 ever would be.
Entries are being accepted up until midnight on Friday 8th February (so if this is your thing, there’s still time to enter!).
In order to drive as much reach and engagement of the campaign as possible, Volvic are asking facebook fans to vote on their favourite competition entries. Those who vote will be entered into a weekly prize draw to win a Red Letter Day voucher so that they can choose an awesome Volcanicity experience of their choice.
Voting closes at midnight on Thursday 14th February and the top 5 entrants with the highest number of votes will be fast tracked to the next stage in the selection process, by-passing the judges. The remaining finalists will be selected based on the amount of Volcanicity expressed in their entry photo, in addition to whether the description of what their idea of the best 2013 is catches the panel’s attention.
One of the challenges which was put to us before launching this campaign was to make sure we help Volvic’s facebook fans to understand what ‘Volcanicity’ actually is…and because we love a challenge, we gladly accepted it. The output? Well, from the beginning of this year, not only did we ensure the facebook content was actively engaging fans with light-hearted ‘Volcanicity’ related games and updates, but we also reached out and secured 3 influential bloggers, who already demonstrate Volcanicity on their blogs, to introduce to the Facebook community as Team Volcanicity’s Founding Members.
We’ve already started sending our Team Volcanicity Founding Members on trips and adventures to capture content to share on the Volvic UK facebook page. We’ve been posting their content daily to firstly build buzz around the types of activities and events fans could take part in if they’re selected as part of the final team and, secondly, to demonstrate the sort of content we’re looking for from our entrants.
The quality of the entries so far have been really promising – there are definitely people out there who are already capturing moments of Volcanicity as part of their every day life, and it’s these people who are likely to be winning their ticket to the next round in the selection process.
What’s really exciting about all of this, is that finding the team is just the beginning for Volvic. The big idea behind the campaign is to be one of the first brands to put the Facebook content in the hands of the fans.
As we know, Facebook is pushing brands to deliver content that’s as relevant as the status updates we see from our friends. Ultimately, Team Volcanicity will become the page’s Community Managers, so that the content which is posted is much more likely to resonate with their peers and drive engagement.
The launch of the Team Volcanicity campaign has been a great kick-start to the year for Volvic – be sure to check out the Volvic UK page over the next few weeks to see who makes it into the final Team and follow their adventures as they bring Volcanicity to the masses.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the brand-e conference ‘Brands, Bands and Social Media Savvy’, hosted at the IAB last week. Music and the social web have always enjoyed a strong and healthy relationship with each other (music is ‘social’ by nature), and with record sales on the decline, and music sharing platforms increasing in popularity, it makes sense that brands and bands will increasingly look at ways to marry their marketing efforts.
Some insightful commentary came from Jakob Lusensky (CEO of Heartbeats International) who explored the changing role of marketing. He pertinently pointed to the fact that the four Ps of traditional marketing – price, product, promotion and placement – are now being replaced with the four Es; emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity. This new model he defines as “The DNA of community branding”. This was supported by findings from Nokia’s Global Youth Exploration Study, highlighting the fact that young audiences are both “hungry for experiences” and “expect just rewards for their attentions”, presented by the panel’s opening speaker, Thinktanks’s Nick Roberts. He went on to reveal that, in return, young audiences are prepared to repay brands with “loyalty, advocacy and purchase.”
The formula is simple: you have to provide something of value to your audience in order to get value in return.
But what this means is a shift not only away from the traditional model of marketing, but also the traditional forms of measurement. A question we come up against time and time again as social practitioners; how do you measure the value of engagement? According to Simon Daglish, VP Commercial Director at MySpace, you need to “go beyond the click” and start instead to see success as “putting your brand at the heart of the experience.” You need to get creative with your brand.
Which leads me onto another formula… as defined by Fred Bolza from Sony Music UK. Creative marketing, he points out, is the product of two crucial inputs: insight into your audience and basic, human instinct (or to quote his muso reference: the “this is gonna be a hit!” factor). And I couldn’t agree more. You can’t offer something of true value until you understand the person you are trying to reach. While conversely, you have to layer this with an understanding that there will always be an element of uncertainty with any creative marketing experience. You have to be willing to take a risk with your brand and “let go”. Scary stuff for some, but the basis of stellar audience engagement practice for others. One such example was the Kasabian Football Hero case study Bolza presented:
And to summarise in an oh-so-social fashion, I leave you with one of my tweets from the event:
Update: a more nuanced look Foursquare from Charles Arthur, Russell Davies and John Willshire, an interesting experiement from Harvard using Foursquare and one from Bravo on a seemingly much larger scale, and here in the UK, news from Marketing of Debenhams and Domino’s Pizza use of Foursquare.
Update 2: Ten Foursquare marketing campaigns.
Imagine a futuristic farmers’ market getting hit by a science lab and a truck full of the sexiest booze and food on Earth.
It’s presented by The Tasting Sessions, who’ve been creating unique and immersive experiences that are unconventionally radical compared to a traditional ‘tasting’. It’s an approach that generates plenty of conversation: not only about the events, but also the products that they showcase.
We’re big fans of the concept, especially as many of the principles apply to our work at We Are Social. Getting a group of interesting, influential people to learn about something firsthand in a memorable and immersive environment is a great way to get people enthusiastically talking.
A few weeks ago, a press and blogger briefing previewed some of the food and drink to be featured at the festival, with their trademark “slightly surreal, informative and lots of fun” attitude.
Some of the more ‘guerilla art’ marketing activity has been amplified into social media via Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr, whilst the festival blog serves as a hub for the online activity, and a platform to present the various food, drink (including whisky, gin, cognac, sake, beer and wine), art and performance that are part of the multi-sensory and interactive journey into the Fluid State.
If you head to Dalston for the event (and we recommend that you do!) you’ll be better off getting your ticket online beforehand. As the Londonist puts it, this “upstart extravaganza” is “an especially tasty opportunity to have some fun”.
Social networks are making people more likely to complain online
LexisNexis last week announced the results of a survey that should make brand managers / online marketers / customer service departments take notice:
- Just over half polled said that if they are unhappy with something they have bought or used they will complain about it online
- 60% of people have chosen not to buy or use a product or service after reading negative comments about them online
- 67% of complainants made online were ignored, leaving customers to act as detractors online
The lesson is that companies who fail to monitor their brand online are missing an important opportunity to turn unhappy customers around, or gain new ones if negative comments aren’t addressed.
PR community split over paying bloggers in PRWeek poll
A straw poll run on PR Week about whether it is acceptable to pay bloggers for favourable coverage divided the PR community last week. 57 per cent agreed that it was unethical to pay blogger, but “a significant minority (43 per cent) believed that it was acceptable for bloggers to accept such payments”. A surprising finding indeed, and Robin was quoted in the article responding:
The results of the PRWeek poll only show the naivety towards social media in the PR industry; they haven’t got their heads round it and aren’t set up for it.
ITV.com on social media and engagement
This interview with ITV’s social media manager Ben Ayers makes for an interesting read, as he discusses key platforms used by ITV to get closer to fans (notably Facebook and Twitter) and his views on future growth areas for social media in general. Listening to the opinions of fans and feeding this back into production is a core element of ITV’s online activity, as is working with a wide variety of stakeholders (web editors, operations teams, show producers) in order to maintain their social media presences.
The Battle of Big Thinking
Last week was Campaign and APG’s Battle of Big Thinking at the British Library, an annual event where leading strategists compete for the coveted ‘biggest thinker’ prize. We Are Social’s very own Sandrine Plasseraud was up against Jeremy Ettinghausen, digital publisher at Penguin and VCCP’s Amelia Torrode. In case you missed it, Gordon Macmillan, Haymarket’s social media & international editor, captured it all in his ‘live blog’ of the day.
Study: Inc. 500 CEOs Aggressively Use Social Media for Business
The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth conducted a study for the third year in a row, about the usage of social media among Inc. 500 companies. Respondents were asked about their usage and familiarity with six types of social media tools (blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, message boards, and wikis) and according to the study, social media usage has definitely grown in the last year:
- 91% of companies (compared to 77% in 2008) reported that they use at least one social media tool
Some other interesting finds:
- 44 percent of companies without a company blog say they plan to start one
- 34 percent of companies reported that they were using social media to communicate with vendors and suppliers
The key takeaway is that smaller organizations are innovating with social media marketing strategies, as there is more room to “for innovation because it requires less processes to adopt”.
LinkedIn hits 3 million members in the UK
Professional social networking site LinkedIn reached an important milestone last week, when it announced they’ve racked up 3 million members in the UK on the company’s blog.
We’ve watched the British professional community take to the site with the sort of industrious enthusiasm that typifies the way business is done in this country.
On that note, perhaps this is a good time to mention our LinkedIn group?
Twitter Declared Most Popular English Word of 2009
And last but not least, the Global Language Monitor, which tracks language trends, declared Twitter this year’s Most Popular Word in English… Enough said.
It’s time for We Are Social’s Monday Mashup, our pick of some of the web’s finest research, news and case studies.
CMOs: Consumers Are Connected. You Need To Be, Too
The prolific Jeremiah Owyang penned this article for Forbes magazine, as a guide for CMOs who are currently putting the finishing touches on their 2010 marketing strategies. Though most CMOs now recognise the need to put more resources behind social media, many more need some suggestions about how they might develop a solid strategy. As such, Jeremiah assembled his thoughts under the following headings:
- Social marketing affects all digital marketing channels
- Customers don’t care what department you’re in
- Technology is cheap, yet soft costs are high
- Develop a pragmatic approach
- Social marketing affects the whole organisation
Losing To The Social Web: Visualized
If you like visuals, then read on. This post from Unmissable blog looks at the decline of the ‘destination web’ (a topic we’ve covered here in the past) and suggests that the sun is setting on branded websites and microsites as social media swallows up a greater proportion of traffic on the web.
Unmissable has assembled graphs for some of the biggest brands on the web – Dell, Adidas, BMW, Quicksilver, Sony – and what you’ll immediately notice is “ websites and portals have been loosing unique visitors hand over fist for the last 3 years.”
This stands in sharp contrast to the graphs assembled for social networks, which show traffic rising ever higher over the same period.
Off-site content distribution like RSS, and the fact that social networks have become far more relevant to consumers are cited as the main reasons branded websites are suffering. The lesson here is that agencies and brands need to work out how better connect with customers online, and deliver relevant content and experiences where they are spending a growing proportion of their time online: in social media.
Measuring Engagement of the Social Web: ‘07-’09
An interesting post from the Postrank blog, which looked at various measures of ‘engagement’ since 2007 and identified a few trends worth paying attention to for content publishers. In sum:
- In absolute terms, more people are participating in the social web
- Conversations and discussions about the content are increasingly happening off the publisher’s property, fuelled by the growth of the “share and like this phenomenon which is sweeping through Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other social hubs”
- The widespread adoption of more pervasive communication tools like Facebook and Twitter is actually increasing the lifespan of a typical story, with engagement taking place over a longer period of time as the story gets passed around more widely
Twitter to launch paid-for corporate accounts this year
It been rumoured for some time and is perhaps one of the few ways in which Twitter could derive revenue, but at last Twitter has confirmed they are planning to launch ‘paid-for commercial accounts’, according to founder Biz Stone. Don’t panic though. What this actually means for brands and agencies who help them online is that Twitter will remain free for corporate and personal users, but would now offer companies additional paid-for services to help manage and analyse conversations online.
Bloggers strike back at Buscombe
Last week it was reported that Peta Buscombe, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, had ambitions to regulate bloggers. As one might imagine, it was not well received. Sunny Hundal, one-time winner of The Guardian’s blogger of the year award, has set out in detail why such regulation would be wholly incompatible with blogging practice. Read the letter in full.
Social networking sites criticised for failing to protect children
The head of a government body responsible for keeping children safe has criticised social networking sites for not doing enough to protect youngsters.
Whereas Bebo has recently introduced a “Ceop report” button for users to log abuse, no such mechanism currently exists on Facebook or Myspace. Here’s to hoping social networking sites follow Bebo’s lead in order to make the web a safer place for young people.
Other notable stories: