HOW FORD MOTOR COMPANY MOVED FROM CONTENT PROVIDER TO CONTENT CREATOR
Why Ford of Europe’s Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Mark Truby, a former newspaper business editor, worries about whether his company’s content is worthy of reading aloud over the breakfast table and how the launch of a new car in Germany with just 300 media present became the number one trending subject on Twitter and was watched in full by more than 360,000 people around the world. Ahead of #SMWF this June we wanted to find out more from the man himself:
1) Mark your focus is very much about creating content and storytelling but how do you manage that? What do you need to consider?
“Over the past four years we have moved from a Ford of Europe communications team focused primarily on media relations and servicing the automotive press to a team focused first and foremost on constant storytelling to a broad spectrum of media and audiences. This was a major strategic shift and required new skills and resources.
We created a content team with writers, photographers, videographers, graphic artists – people with strong backgrounds in print, broadcast and digital journalism. We augmented our Ford team with new talent on the agency side to help us tell more compelling stories and reach new audiences – such as tech, design and lifestyle press, as well as bloggers and digital influencers.”
2) What are the key elements to consider when creating any content or story for Ford and what can other businesses learn from your approach?
“We try to keep it simple and ask ourselves a few questions. Is the story interesting enough that a news editor would just have to have it for their newspaper, TV broadcast or website? Would the average person find it interesting enough to read or view, and share online? Would a husband read it aloud across the breakfast table to his wife, for example?
You have to be really honest with yourself on these questions or you will waste time and effort on the low-value stories. If a story passes those first hurdles, then we ask whether the story – once read or watched – could truly improve our corporate reputation or raise someone’s opinion of our vehicles and technologies. We have all read a story or seen a feature on TV that forever changed our perception of a person, company or organization. We quote it to friends or share it on Twitter.
This is the power of great storytelling whether you are creating it yourself or working with journalists. So, simple rules but a difficult task. It takes a lot of creativity and hard work to create content that is entertaining, interesting and meaningful.”
3) How can you reach new audiences most effectively through social media and how is this different to the traditional days of PR?
“Certainly online video, infographics and other forms of digital storytelling are amazing tools. The same rules apply — entertaining, interesting and meaningful – but when you get it right the payoff can be huge. That dialogue and feedback you receive from social is very valuable.
Key for me is authentic storytelling rather than lists and click-bait. Look at the way the Star Wars film franchise is engaging with their fans ahead of the next movie. It’s really exciting and that’s what we are trying to do with something like the upcoming launch of the new Ford Mustang. We are starting to better utilize listening tools online to understand where and what conversation is happening and what content people are viewing and engaging with related to Ford. We are building relations with digital influential to help tell our story. Our approach is to bring them inside Ford and trust them to tell the story with their own unique point of view and authentic voice.”
4) You talk about making events more global through livestreams and social media but how do you best manage that and what do you need to be aware of?
“We recently unveiled our new Ford Focus RS. It’s a 320+-horsepower, all-wheel drive performance car with a lot of fans around the world. We held the event in Cologne, Germany, but we considered it a global event. We hired a producer with live TV experience to produce the show. We worked with rally racing and internet star Ken Block to do a spectacular driving entrance and create teaser videos. The event was livestreamed around the world and more than 360,000 people watched the full 40 minute event.
We also issued many shorter videos of the cool driving sequences that received millions of views. Ken Block – who has millions of followers on social media – helped us share these assets. So the 300 media who attended in person got everything they needed to write stories and shoot videos of the launch of the Focus RS. At the same time, we were able to make it a global digital unveiling. On the day of the event #FocusRS was at one point the No 1 trending topic on Twitter globally.”
5) At #SMWF this June what do you think will be the challenge most concerning delegates in the world of social media and digital marketing currently?
“We are all trying to crack the same code — how to truly engage with the world and your audiences through social and digital media. It’s a fun, ever-changing landscape but the challenge of finding your distinctive, authentic voice and creating truly compelling content is huge.
HOW NEWS UK ENSURES ITS CONTENT PROVOKES EMOTION.docx
HOW NEWS UK ENSURES ITS CONTENT PROVOKES EMOTION – WHETHER THAT’S INTRIGUE, TEARS OR LAUGHTER.
For content provider News UK social media has had a huge impact on what and how and what it produces for its readers. The shift in its business has seen big changes as consumers become publishers in their own right – so is it change without risk? We interviewed News UK’s creative content director Tiffanie Darke to find out more. Having worked on The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Express and The Observer her journalism background is extensive. In her latest role she heads up the new Native Advertising Unit for News UK, covering The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
1) What are the most important elements of great, shareable content – what do you look for?
“Great shareable content needs to be original, and either funny/moving or informative.”
2) How should businesses ensure their content stands out from the rest?
“To stand out, businesses should try and produce content that tells their audience something they don’t know already or make them laugh or cry.”
3) As a journalist you have witnessed the move from professional writers producing content to now anyone being able to do so. In this new, freer world what controls should businesses put in place to ensure quality control of content produced under their name?
“Businesses can’t control what people are saying about them but they can define who they are and what they stand for through paid, earned and owned media. How influential they are in this project is determined by how others go on and speak about them.”
4) Is there a danger of enabling consumers to also be publishers in today’s world – how can brands or brand owners retain an element of control?
“There’s always an element of danger when you encourage people to talk about your brand but you can’t and shouldn’t attempt to stop consumers or anyone else talking about your business. What you can and should be doing is producing your own content that defines your business. If that content is original, useful or entertaining then you will ensure better success.”
5) What do you feel is the biggest challenge currently facing your business in the world of social media or the biggest issue you see the industry facing as a whole?
“At News UK, we see the rise of social media as an opportunity rather than a challenge as it can drive traffic, brings in new readers and influences opinion formers.”
Project: Social Media Campaign
(Group assignment with 4 members maximum, no exceptions. It can be fewer members but not more than four).
You must choose any of the social media marketing platforms we have reviewed in class session 8-9 to develop the project. You have several “How To” documents to exemplify the use of each platform so you can follow the steps. I have also provided you with several examples of how companies have used the social media platform in marketing.
Choose a business (B2B or B2C) or non-profit organization that could benefit from social media campaign and develop a campaign outline. Include the following:
· Specific campaign objectives (in reference to the social media marketing process [slide 12 in the session] and brand objectives [session ch 5 slide 18] such as create awareness, develop brand familiarity, create positive images (associations feelings), create sales )
· Identification of the target audience (provide a good description of the target. DO NOT just describe the audience on one characteristics, e.g. age).
· Detailed description of the social media marketing activities. Each of the social media platforms we have reviewed has its own marketing tools. Apply them.
· In this part you must not only ‘tell me the story’ of what you are going to do. BUT you must actually do. In other words, if you use Instagram or Pinturest I expect pictures. If you are suggesting ‘compelling stories’ then write it.
· Metrics to be used to judge campaign success. You must be precise as to how you will determine if you achieve your objectives. Each of the social media platforms we have reviewed has its own marketing tools and metrics. Apply them.
· Timeline for the specific campaign. Indicate how many ads, videos, stories you will place and when.
· Budget for directs costs incurred. You may have some indication of the costs of the ads by referring to the platform you use.
Now that you have thought about what you want to do, write an Introduction for your plan outline that explains why the social media initiative is important and how it integrates into the overall marketing activities and the overall objectives of the business.
· You identify integration in the different areas listed in the “questionnaire” provided to you, and provide examples of such integration. Provide evidence that can illustrate such online-offline integration. Provide as many examples in each case as possible. Illustrate with web pages and offline material whenever possible.
· Avoid copying text from other sources. This is a practical assignment not an essay.
· If you happen to support a point, e.g. that you have selected Instagram because it is the most used platform in Kuwait, then you must provide a reference to support this statement. You indicate the source of the information every time you refer to it. The reference must be in the body of the document and a list of all references in the bibliography at the end of the document.
· You must submit your assignment via email to my GUST address: email@example.com.
· Make sure your assignment covers all bullet points indicated in the assignment.
· Put page numbers to the document, identify Figures with titles and number on top of the figure. Do the same with Tables. If these figures and tables come from external sources provide the source at the end of the Table or Figure.
· Use font 12, Harvard style of citation, and double space in your report. No more than 3,000 words. You can certainly do this assignment in fewer words.
Social Media Strategy A white paper on Social Media Strategy by Sally Falkowl
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Social Media1 Overview Over the last ten years, there has been a fundamental shift in how people access
information and news. Companies traditionally used the media to get their messages out
to their audiences via marketing, advertising, or public relations. Marketing and
advertising push a message out to the masses. Companies use public relations to supply
news to the media and expert sources to provide stories about their industry. The goal is to get media
mentions of their company, products, or services.
These methods are a one‐way communication, where a company delivers a message through the
media, but individuals have no real way of responding. Today, this one‐to‐many mass media model
has given way to the social web and a new way of communicating with people has emerged.
Since people have tired of receiving one‐way communications, they are
looking more and more for news and information in places other than the
media. This trend is likely to accelerate — Forrester Research predicts that
by 2012, half of all US newspapers will have ceased production.
People no longer rely on the media. New tools enable them to network, read blogs, post comments
and reviews, actively gather news and information, and share this with others.
People are engaging in conversations. Conversation is the new marketing.
Tapping into these conversations shows where your audience is spending time
online, and what subjects and issues are of interest to them. As of 2010, over 80% of
US companies have started using some form of social media marketing, and their
biggest barrier to success in this new medium is a lack of knowledge.
To reach your publics successfully, you need to move your marketing activity from the traditional
“push” method, where you broadcast your messages to thousands via the media, to a “pull” strategy,
where you make it easy for people to find your information, whenever and wherever they want it.
Start telling your stories directly, and do it in a way that sparks conversations.
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The value proposition of Social Media (Web 2.0) or online PR is:
Participating in online conversations that shape
perceptions about your brand
Building relationships with influencers in your field
Creating a community of supporters
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The Need for Strategy For the past 100 years, companies have had the luxury of deciding what they will produce and sell,
what their brand message will be, and how they will deliver it to their audience.
The Internet has changed that.
We’re in the age of social media marketing. Strategy in this new business environment is just as vital
as it has ever been.
Don’t get distracted from the importance of strategy by the slew of new social
media tools. Don’t get lured into spending money on resources just because
“everyone is doing it”.
Social media offers you the opportunity of doing in‐depth research at virtually
no cost. It is possible to set goals and get ROI2, but you have to know where
you’re going and what you want to achieve.
There are 10 steps to this:
1. Map the brand’s social graph
2. Listen to the conversations – who is talking about you and what are they saying?
3. Analyze the content. Share of Voice, sentiment, gaps, trends, opportunities
4. Set Goals and define metrics and benchmarks.
5. Identify influencers in each node of the social graph
6. Develop a content strategy based on what you have found.
7. Create a tactical plan for implementation and choose the right social media tools.
8. Create and publish content.
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9. Engage in the conversations and facilitate conversations about your brand and your industry.
10. Monitor and measure results.
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Step One — Mapping the Social Graph
You have to figure out which stakeholders are most important to you – customers, competitors,
employees, the media and now a new group – bloggers.
There are tools you can use, like Rapportive, to find these people and figure where they are online so
you can begin to evaluate who your most important stakeholders are.
Step Two – Listen to the Online Conversation
Market research has always been fundamental to marketing success.
The social web makes it much easier to find out what people are saying about
you, who you should be talking to, what they are interested in, and what you
should be talking to them about.
Tap into the online conversations to find out:
Who is talking about you – find your “tribe”
What they are saying about you, your competitors, and your industry in general
Is it positive or negative
Where are the conversations taking place
What communities talk about you
What are your competitors doing in social media
No brand exists in a vacuum. PR practitioners have long known that it is
important to map the environment in which the company operates and to
know who the stakeholders are. Now social media has expanded that need.
We have to know where they are online and who they are connected to.
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What’s the buzz about them
What content resonates with your audience
Are there subjects of interest you could provide content for
What social sites have the most conversation
Who are the “fire‐starters3” you need to connect with
Who are the influencers in these blogs or communities
Where are the opportunities and threats
Once you have this information, you can allocate your resources wisely. You’ll know where to start,
and what social sites you should be concentrating on. When you know the lay of the land, it’s much
easier to plot a path to your destination. A social media marketing strategy is your roadmap.
iGoogle page – make a “Listening Post”
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Now that you know just how much there is to be tracked, here are some
of the paid tools that can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you:
A comparison of several tools – http://www.pr2020.com/files/PR_SM‐Monitoring‐Comparison.pdf
Sources to Find the Information
Google Blog Search
Backtype – for blog comments
Google Insights for Search
Message Boards and Forums
Viral Video Chart
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Step Three — Analyzing Gaps, Trends, Opportunities
There are millions of online conversations daily. Once you have collected the data, you can analyze
the mentions of your brand, find out what your share of voice is in a particular conversation, get the
ratio of positive to negative mentions, discover who talks about you and on what platform, find fans
and detractors, and identify threats and opportunities.
“Share of Voice” is defined as the percentage of the mentions that are about your brand / company /
organization in the particular niche or market you’re active in. Do people use a generic description of
what you do, or do they talk about your products or services specifically?
Do women talk about dry skin treatment and natural skin care products, or do they mention specific
brands and products? Do they mention your products? What percentage of the total conversation
about “dry skin” mentions your products?
Are the comments positive or negative? What is the ratio of positive‐to‐negative? Are your key
messages appearing in these conversations? If not, what content is trending? How are your
competitors faring in these conversations?
The context of your content in a competitive setting shows how your brand stacks up against your
Share of voice leads to market share. Establishing and tracking share of voice used to be an
advertising metric, but since the most trusted form of advertising is now conversations, it’s become
an important one for social media. A gain in share of voice is an important measurement for social
Every day, another blog, social network, or social media site seems to pop up. There are now literally
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thousands of places online where conversations are taking place. Here’s a sample:
How can you effectively divide your time and resources so that you participate in the places that
make the most sense for your business? Part of your research – listening to what’s being said online –
includes who is talking about you and where the conversations are taking place.
A skin care company discovered that there is conversation about “dry skin” in gardening forums,
where moms talk about skin care on blogs, while crafters and medical professionals talk about it in
their niche social networks. There is content posted about “dry skin” on Delicious, StumbleUpon, and
Kirtsy. There is also a lot of chatter about skin care on Twitter.
A natural soda company found that there are people on Twitter
talking about their brand, their competitors’ products, and ginger ale,
ginger brew, and ginger beer in general. Beverage and cocktail
bloggers mention the brand. Mom bloggers are not talking about the
brand that much.
Once you know where the majority of the conversations take place, and which groups you need to
concentrate on, you can sensibly allocate your resources for best ROI.
According to eMarketer, the number of influencers is growing as more and more people publish
content online. It’s no longer about how many people did we reach, it’s have we reached the right
people who want to engage and communicate with us?
This means that large networks are not always the best place to concentrate on. There are many small
social networks built around a group that is passionate about a subject. Find the ones that are
relevant to your company or organization.
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Step Four — Setting Measurable Goals Define Metrics & Statistics
Now that you have listed to the conversation of your stakeholders and analyzed that content, you
should know what your goals will be. The insights you get from the listening phase should show you
where you opportunities lie and what you should be addressing.
Remember when you set a goal to make it measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Work out what metrics will enable you to measure your goals. Do not make vague goals such as “we
want to have more brand awareness
More than what? How much and in what time period?
In order to measure your progress towards your goals, you have to have a starting place. This is your
baseline. You need to take a snapshot of where you are now with regard to the goals you have set so
that you can track your progress over time.
1. Through listening, a skin care company starting on a social media strategy might discover that
one of the groups that talks about dry skin is medical workers. They listen to these
conversations for two weeks, initially.
2. Through analyzing these conversations, they establish that their leading competitor has a 38%
share of voice in this conversation, while they have a 5% share.
3. Through brainstorming, they come up with an idea that will improve this scene.
4. They set their competition’s share of voice as their benchmark and set a goal: “To increase our
share of voice to 20% in 12 months.”
5. The metric for share of voice is “brand mentions in a desired conversation” (in this case,
“medical workers talking about dry skin”). They record this using the statistic “share of voice”,
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which plots the metric over time. They measure this weekly and track their progress.
Examples of Statistics
# of positive brand mentions per week
# of comments on blog posts
# of retweets5
# of clicks on links posted on Twitter
# of visitors to the website
# of followers on Twitter
# of coupon downloads
# of video views
Everyone on the team has to agree on what goals you’re aiming for, and how you’ll know when you
hit them… or not!
First, determine your benchmarks so that you know what you’re potentially aiming for and measuring
yourself against. Looking at what others in your industry are doing helps you to establish benchmarks
and set realistic goals for your business. Are you going to try to beat your competition outright? Or
perhaps beat them only locally, for now?
Once you have figured out where you’d like to be in the future, you can express these ideas as goals.
So long as your goals are measurable, i.e. expressed as quantity and usually vs. time, you will be able
to move forwards and track your progress easily.
Below are examples of types of social media goals. The next section gives specific goal examples.
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Dell failed to service a particular influential blogger, who eventually blogged about
their service. The blog caused a flood of negative comments about Dell’s customer
service. This had such an impact that it created a public relations “hell” for Dell. This
was aptly named the “Dell Hell”. They set a goal to reverse the problem. The ratio of
positive‐to‐negative comments became one of their key performance e‐indicators. They have
definitely achieved their goal.
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Skin MD Natural launched their lotion in social media and created interest in the phrase “shielding
lotion” as a search term. From this, more than 400 mommy bloggers have written about the product,
and the content spread through social media sites like StumbleUpon, Kirtsy, and Delicious.
There are now search queries for their brand and the generic phrase “shielding lotion” in many
countries in the world.
Share of Voice
Reed’s Inc discovered there is a vigorous conversation online about ginger beer, ginger ale, ginger
brew, and the health benefits of ginger. However, the number of mentions of Reed’s and their brands
was very low. They instituted a social media program to engage brand fans and mom bloggers so that
they can increase that share of voice.
Dell’s “Idea Storm”, Starbuck’s “My Starbuck’s Idea”, and Crayola’s “Kid’s Comments” are concepts
that help these companies tap into the wisdom of their consumers.
98% of consumers indicate:
“I’d definitely buy a product I helped to evolve.”
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Step Five – Finding the Key Influencers
What is influence? It can be defined as “implicit or explicit effect of one thing (or
person) on another.”
What influences people online has changed dramatically in the last few years. The
idea that the newspaper, magazine, TV station, or individual with the most
followers or subscribers has the biggest influence is no longer valid.
Today, influence is about accuracy and trust. You want to reach the bloggers and social networkers
who have influence – those who can cause others to take action, change their perception and / or
their behavior. They might not be the A‐list7 bloggers or power users in a network. It is someone that
other people trust and listen to. They’re the ones who send a flood of traffic to your blog or your
website, because when they link to you or recommend your product, their followers take action.
Fiskars have been making scissors for 360 years, but didn’t have a very hip image.
When they did a survey of what consumers thought about Fiskars, people said that
if Fiskars were a drink, it would be milk, if they were a snack, they’d be crackers.
Not very trendy or attractive! However, they did find that there was a lot of
passion about scrapbooking and crafting online, which is something you need scissors to do, so Fiskars
decided to become part of this passion. They reached out to five influential women in the crafting
field and got them on board as ambassadors for the Fiskars brand.
The goal for this campaign was to raise awareness and create fans that were passionate about the
brand. They have built a community of over 8,000 passionate Fiskars supporters. This led to other
Product development – they ask Fiskateers for feedback on ideas, and Fiskateers take pride in
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Marketing – launching different stamp designs and ask Fiskateers which they like, which helps
identify which stamps are going to be the most popular
Sales – those stores where the Fiskateers were involved showed three times higher sales than
There are influencers in each node of your social graph – some customers are more influential than
others. Some bloggers are more important and their voice will carry more weight.
It is vital to know who the influential voices are in each node as these are the voices that create the
narrative about your brand online,
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Step Six — Develop a Content Strategy Back in 2001, Forrester Research asked people why they returned to a website. The
overwhelming answer was “content”. This holds true today. Success in social media
depends on the quality of your content. Quality content engages people. In social
media, people are creating, reading, saving, tagging, and sharing quality content.
If you don’t produce the kind of content they value, it won’t be re‐published or shared.
How do you know what kind of content to create? Listen and observe. In the past, we had to rely on
agencies to have a “bright idea”. However, when you really listen to your audience, you will discover
the core content that will elicit a response. Opportunities easily spring to mind.
A mortgage company discovered that young mothers in their first home were very concerned about
the housing market and the subprime8 mortgage fiasco. They were looking for information in
language they could understand. The mortgage company realized an opportunity to connect with
these moms via informative articles and video interviews with their experts.
A non‐profit involved in drug rehabilitation found out that women turn to blogs for information,
advice, and recommendations (2009 BlogHer Social Media study). The study also revealed that what
they value most is a review or comment from someone who has used that product or service. Since
women are the ones who most often call the rehab centers – a wife, mother, or sister of the addict –
it was obvious that they needed to create content around the stories of women who had saved their
families with this program, and get it out to women bloggers.
Telling your story online in the right place to the right people gets results. However, you need a well‐
thought‐out content strategy based on solid research to get those results!
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Step Seven — Tactical Planning Perform Tactical Planning & Pick Tools
There’s a wide array of social media tools to choose from and the task can be
confusing. Not to mention that new tools pop up all the time. Nevertheless, if you
have all your data analyzed, and your content strategy in place, it’s easy to pick the
right tools. Your research will tell you where to start.
Every social media success case study has excellent content that perfectly meets the needs of the
people for whom it was intended. Just as in any conversation, the right content gets people’s interest
and attention. If you are off topic or boring, you get no positive results.
Social Media has matured and most companies are expected to have a presence on Facebook,
Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. However, there may be other social sites you need to include for your
business. Bear in mind that each platform requires its own strategy and you need to know where to
If the majority of the conversation about your product is on Twitter, you’ll need a spendmore time
connecting with the people who talk about you there. The same is true for any of the other social
You need to decide why you are using that channel, who to connect with and why, and what content
you need to produce in order to get the attention of the right people on that network.
You will need someone with technical skills to help you get your tools in place. You will probably need
a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account, and a YouTube Channel for starters.
Here’s the list of categories of social media tools:
News Feeds (RSS9) to syndicate all your content
“Share this” buttons, tagging, and bookmarking applications, to make it easy to share and
forward your content
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Blogs – platforms and plug‐ins
Images – and image sharing networks
Video – and video sharing sites
Social Networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, niche networks
Social Media News Sites – Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg
Social Media News Releases, with multimedia and social bookmarks
Search optimized articles, with feeds and commenting
Widgets and Apps
Social Media News Room – create a social media content hub on your website
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Step Eight — Create and Publish Content Once you have a content strategy based on solid research, bright ideas will naturally flow about what
to create and how to deliver this content. Experimenting with a Facebook page and a Twitter feed
isn’t enough. You have to create supporting content: a company blog, an interactive website,
interesting articles, images, and videos.
Do you want bloggers and online reporters to write about you and send you traffic? Give them
A hotel or resort should be writing about their destination – give people ideas of where to go and
what to do. Use great images and videos. Look at how Intercontinental Hotels* did this.
A non‐profit can create compelling content that motivates bloggers to write about their cause. The
Fresh Air Fund generated over 400 blog posts from this social media news release†.
The “Will it Blend” videos have engaged millions of people around the world and increased BlendTec’s
sales by 500%.
The Microsoft bloggers led to a change of perception about Microsoft as a corporation.
When the content fills a need, people will share the content, and they’ll link to it from blog posts and
tweets. This can raise your search visibility and drive lots of traffic to your content.
* http://videos.howstuffworks.com/adventure/intercontinental‐videos‐playlist.htm#video‐788 † http://freshair.smnr.us/
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Step Nine – Engage & Facilitate Conversations It’s not enough just to push out content. Social media is not just another marketing channel you can
use to reach your target audience. Content should be created with a view to inspiring, and
participating in, conversations about your brand.
Social media is about a two‐way flow of conversation. People are no longer willing to be passive
bystanders. They want to take an active part in the conversation.
Customer engagement can get you through the toughest of times – it’s both a customer acquisition
and retention strategy.
Engaging Your Audience
Followers and traffic are good and well, but are they engaging with you? 94% of Internet users active
in social media say they expect a company to have a social media presence, and to be able to actively
engage with them.
Despite all their marketing and PR efforts, Microsoft was still perceived as a faceless corporate giant.
When Robert Scoble started blogging, he put a human face on the company and engaged with their
users and developers. Microsoft now has thousands of employees blogging and it has changed those
Dell has also demonstrated how to engage and succeed with social media.
On a small local level, The Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena, CA, is doing a stellar job
of engaging the local arts community and growing a strong support base.
The Forrester Research report “Social Media Playtime is Over” clearly shows that dabbling or
experimenting is not enough. You have to deliver genuinely interesting and valuable content that
meets the needs of your audience and actively engages them.
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Our recent study of the top 100 companies in the small, medium, and large categories revealed that
only a very small percentage are actively engaging their audience. The playing field is wide open and
this is a strategy that can reap large rewards.
Word of mouth has long been the holy grail of marketing. Peer reviews, opinions, and comments are
now the number one influencer prior to purchase or decision online. Not only do you want people
engaged with you, but also you want them talking positively about you to each other. Facilitating
these conversations should be your ultimate goal.
Make it easy for them – provide excellent content that they will want to share and discuss. Then give
them tools to make it easy to do this: send to a friend buttons, share this, bookmark this, subscribe,
discuss, comment, like, and tweet buttons..
Since word of mouth, online conversations, reviews, and comments are regarded as the most trusted
forms of information today, getting people to talk about your product is the goal.
A skin care company saw this comment about their product posted in the GardenWeb forum:
“I work in restaurants and using barrier skin shields is very common. One of the bad things about
washing your hands constantly is getting small open cuts on the hands that allow bacteria and
viruses to enter freely. I am sure this is a problem in hospitals too. A shielding lotion works well to
Carnival Cruises offers their customers tools to post their cruise stories online, with images and
videos, so that friends and family at home can share the experience.
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Step Ten — Measuring and Reviewing Why Measure?
“During a recession, with dollars stretched, marketers are under increased pressure to prove their
programs. Social media, being largely experimental for many brands, needs to measure to quickly
‘course correct’ programs in real time. During times of cutbacks, marketers must know what to
cut, and in order to do so, measurement is key.” Jeremiah Owyang: Altimeter Group
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. It’s that simple. You need to know where you are when
you start, what needs to be achieved, and as you move along the path, you have to have tools to
measure your progress. That way you can see if you are on track and adapt fast if things go awry. Your
measurement has to be based on business objectives, and those objectives have to be set as
measurable goals. Just setting up attributes to track on a dashboard is not enough.
What you are going to measure will depend on what goals you have set in the initial part of your
strategy. Based on listening and research, you should have determined what actions you need to
focus on in social media. Measure what you did and what impact it had, and then you can see what
result it had.
Having mountains of data is all very well, but “what does this mean?” is the crucial question.
Being able to evaluate the data and come to a conclusion you can use to tweak or expand your
program is the point. You need to tell your story to others, the client, your superiors, and the “C”
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Return on Engagement
Forrester Research stated the following:
“We propose a new metric, engagement, that includes four components:
“Each of these is built from data collected from online and offline data sources. Using
engagement, you get a more holistic appreciation of your customers’ actions, recognizing that
value comes not just from transactions, but also from actions people take to influence others.
Once engagement takes hold of marketing, marketing messages will become conversations, and
dollars will shift from media buying to customer understanding.”
There are many tools available today to track engagement.
What to Measure
You will have defined your metrics and statistics in step #5. These should include the likes of “how
many people clicked a link in a blog post?”, “how many times was a message retweeted?”, “how
many followers does the person who retweeted you have?” etc.
In this step, you’ll record your measurement of each metric. This is keeping statistics. Once you have
completed your measurements, you’ll review each statistic.
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Share of Conversation
Share of conversation is another important factor that should be tracked. It measures the degree to
which a brand is associated with the problem or need that it is setting out to help with.
Reviewing Your Results
Reviewing your results is imperative for the following reasons:
You can identify your winning actions and enhance these
You can identify your unhelpful actions and eliminate these
You can identify your non‐optimum strategies and adjust these
You can continuously adapt to market changes
You can ensure you are taking effective steps towards achieving your goals
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Social media is not a fad – it is here to stay. Your customers expect you to interact with them where
they are – and today that’s on social websites. They expect you to be active and effective online.
A well‐planned social media program based on listening to your audience will result in deepened
relationships with your customers and other stakeholders. By tapping into the knowledge and desires
of your customers, your PR strategy and content will be right “on the money”, and meet the needs of
Markets have become conversations. Successful companies
know how to…
Copyright © 2011, Sally Falkow | Rev. 1. 28
Contact Us Whether you are new to social media, or are a seasoned veteran in need of “filling in the gaps” in your
knowledge, our training courses and coaching can guide you step‐by‐step through the 10 steps of
social media research, setting objectives, planning, implementation, and quality control.
The result is not a certificate. It is you, successfully implementing social media in your business,
competently and confidently, with effective, measurable results.
2400 Lincoln Ave
Altadena, CA 91001
626 296 6218
Copyright © 2011, Sally Falkow | Rev. 1. 29
Glossary of Terms
1 social media: the technology that enables us to share our thoughts and ideas online.
2 ROI: Return on Investment. What you get out versus what you put in.
3 fire‐starter: someone who can start a “conversation fire”. In other words, a person who can get others talking about
4 dashboard: a term now used generally to refer to a web technology based page on which real time information is
collated from various sources. Adapted from Wikipedia
5 tweet / retweet: the equivalent of a cell phone text message, sent via Twitter. It often includes URL links. A retweet is
such a message that has been sent again or forwarded by another person.
6 R&D: Research & Development.
7 A‐list: a group of desirable or admired people.
8 subprime: being of less than top quality; used to refer to the market of people whose credit ratings are low.
9 RSS: Really Simple Syndication. RSS is the technology that allows one to syndicate and distribute content on the web. The
most widespread use is in distributing news headlines and blog posts.