Here are my notes from the interesting and fun session Jeremiah Owyang & Chris Brogan gave on social media strategy today at BlogWorld Expo.
Topic today: social media and creating a coherent strategy.
What keeps you up at night? What do you want to know?
J: Definition of web strategy: long-term decision-making for your website that includes three areas: users & community / business objectives / technology.
B: People talk more about how to use services to push content. Few people ask “how do I listen?” You need to listen as well as make noise.
J: Here’s how you can listen.
-Use Google Alerts for yourself AND your competitors
-Use Technorati, Google Blogsearch (there are many others listed on J’s blog) Radian6 another new one to look at.
-Track regularly; weekly if not daily. You don’t want to find that your biggest customer flames you 2 weeks ago and you said nothing.
Once you’re listening, take a look at: Who is talking about you? Track them in a centralized way (spreadsheet or database, for example).
Start tracking early so you can create benchmarks. This helps you measure success.
B: Find the people with bullhorns and turn them into party hats. Example: Dell Ideastorm, Saturn cars at BlogHer. Customers spend time and attention on you; make that valuable for them.
J: Use tools to help energize your customers and empower conversations, but the tools themselves are not as important as your strategy.
B: What if you had 2 fairly similar USB flash drive companies, and one of them came with all sorts of cool stuff? You’re differentiating by extending products and making them more people connected.
B: The elephant in the room – what do you do if someone says something bad about you? If I wrote that Blogworld Expo is stupid, what should Chris Calvert do? First off, say thank you for the comment.
J: Let’s imagine there is a really big elephant in the room. Example: A video company that stole content. What they did – they took the well-deserved beating they got and said thank you.
Case Study: Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign.
An integrated campaign theme across ALL mediums and regions. They embraced parodies. They also launched a campaign across school systems to educate young girls about beauty. Successful.
Case Study: Hitachi
Integrated system across a number of organizations within Hitachi, throughout the product cycly.
Hired a company to provide reports on initial state of the social market vis a vis Hitachi.
Took on thought leadership by launching a blog (CTO blogger). Integrated it into the rest of their marketing.
It took time!
Figured out how these could be sales tools:
1) “Living white paper”
2) Door opener for sales – they could send the CTO blogger’s posts as conversation openers
3) Ongoing training
4) Rapid Response tool
Notes: they did not force registration for comments and did not pre-moderate, only pulled spam and swearing.
Created a “User to User” support forum to build community.
It built community AND reduced support costs; win!
B: Veering off to talk about Zoomr & how their launch went so badly. They turned on uStream and live cameras, showed themselves working hard to try to fix the problems. It generated a ton of sympathy and turned the bad PR right around.
J: Back to Hitachi & showing the forums. It integrated podcasts, videos, even stuff from competitors. He took a camera and shot videos of people at work, uploaded it, it became very popular.
J: Strategy on the next level – he created an industry tool, the Data Storage Wiki. NOT Hitachi branded (but had J’s name and title on it). Linked to everything a customer could want to help them pick a vendor, from all media and across a number of competitors. It got a lot of positive press & reception.
B: In short: Be helpful! The more helpful you can be, the better it is for you in the long haul.
Some baby steps & takeaways:
-Understand the Elephant
-Bullhorns into Party Hats – make a party or join theirs
-Develop a Plan
-Be Holistic – these tools work in a lot of different ways. This is not just about marketing.
-Just Tools – it’s about the connections. Don’t get hung up on the technology.
First figure out where the party is before picking the appropriate tools to help you join the party.
For example, Facebook has more people [than Ning]. But can you engage them there? Do you need lots of people or do you need the right people?
Twitter. Also a good microblogging tool, kind of like a chat room. More of a personal tool than a professional one? Some thoughts about twitter etiquette – don’t just post links, also engage and communicate. Be careful of the SEO repercussions of Twitter.
How do you get people to care? You can’t force them. Best bet – find what they care about and help them get it.
What about small businesses? How does the corner store do this stuff? Example: Chris’ mom, a jewelry artist. She started with a blog & talking about why she started making jewelry. Now the blog is on her business card & she gets ~20 customers a day visiting it.
Running out of time……