Posts Tagged ‘followers’


PR News Facebook Conference: Engaging Your Followers – Developing a Winning Content Strategy

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Colleen Flood*

What do you do with all your Facebook followers?

How does a brand come to life on Facebook?

These were just some of the questions addressed at a panel on “Developing a Winning Content Strategy to Engage Your Followers” at this year’s PR News Facebook Conference.

Stephanie Agresta, executive vice president and managing director of social media at Weber Shandwick, talked about the importance of assigning roles when it comes to the structure of community management. She highlighted four responsibilities that PR professionals need to consider when developing the structure of their community management team: community manager, trend expert, monitoring expert, and reporting expert.

When it comes to building a successful community, the personality of the community manager is key. It is their job to ensure that the consumer is getting value from the brand, as well as to oversee the reporting and monitoring teams. To be a good community manager, you need to: listen, be authentic and transparent, blog, and develop a social media presence. Maria Baugh, co-owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes, also affirmed that it is very important for the community manager to know your brand.

Some other takeaways for developing a winning content strategy on Facebook:

From Stephanie Agresta

  • As your community grows so should the frequency of your posts
  • Don’t hide behind your logo. Be real.
  • Measure.
  • Don’t forget about in real life – offer your community opportunity to come together outside of Facebook.

From Maria Baugh

  • Talk about your product with groups that seek you out and choose to engage with you.
  • Use Facebook to get instant feedback from and dialogue with customers. Again insights into what’s really taking place and what people want to see.
  • Be consistent in your messaging.
  • Build an authentic brand by being real – person to person – and avoid marketing speak.
  • Use all available tools, including photos, videos, polls, and promotions.
  • Decide what and when to invest for growth.

From Paull Younger, director of digital, charity: water

  • “Liking” a brand is similar to putting a bumper sticker on your car.
  • If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.
  • Focus on sharing, not publishing.
  • Every person you are connected with is a publisher – what will people share about your brand?

From Johna Burke, senior vice president of marketing, BurrellesLuce

  • All brands should not be everywhere. Understand where you can be most effective.
  • Stop using hashtags on Facebook – know the language.
  • Focus on the customer experience: awareness, engagement, persuasion, conversion, and retention.
  • Have clear calls to action; measure success.

In this way, the function of the community manager and building a Facebook community is similar to that of public relations practitioner. Securing media placements is not unlike securing tweets, blog posts, and Facebook posts. Ensure the target audience – regardless of the outlet – receives something of value and feels connected to your brand or client.

Got more tips for effectively using Facebook and creating quality content? Share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

A Listening Exercise – Gaining Information and Encouraging Action from Your Social Media Communities

Monday, June 13th, 2011
Flickr Image: Sebastian Fritzon

Flickr Image: Sebastian Fritzon

Valerie Simon

Listening, as I define it, is not a passive exercise. Listening is not a matter of simply hearing words. Listening requires a concentrated method of digesting the information, and using that information to take action. So like any exercise program, I’ll recommend you do a quick check up before starting to strengthen your listening efforts.

Check Up
Take a quick pulse: Review your business objectives and marketing plan. Keep in mind that social media participation should be integrated with your overall communications plan.

Set Goals:  What business objectives will your social media participation help you to achieve?

  • Sales
  • Donations
  • Event attendance
  • Customer Service (response/retention/loyalty)
  • Brand Awareness
  • Crowd sourcing/ product development
  • Membership/Admissions
  • Communications amongst different stakeholders
  • Recruitment
  • Thought leadership

Warm Ups
Who are you trying to reach? Consider what social media channels will be most beneficial for your organization. Stretch. Extend beyond Facebook and Twitter. Consider Flickr, YouYube, Tumblr, LinkedIn and seek out forums and blogs with strong communities.  BurrellesLuce offers several tools to help get you warmed up quickly, including ContactsPlus™, which helps you to identify new blogs by matching up a current release with those bloggers who are writing on similar topics, and Social Media Monitoring and Engagement solution, Engage121, which enables you to explore what is being said across social media channels and effectively build and manage your online communities.

Speed
Are you planning/prepared to provide immediate responses? The W Hotels “Whatever/Whenever” promise may well be on its way to becoming the standard, rather than the exception, in customer service. Social media allows stories to break and quickly spread at any time of day. I encourage those using BurrellesLuce’s Social Media Monitoring and Engagement solution, to experiment with setting up alerts using filters such as Klout rank or sentiment to sift through the noise and make sure that they are advised of critical information whenever it breaks. Of course a quick, well thought out and efficient response across all channels is critical.

Strength
Do some heavy lifting, err, searching. Investigate the current conversations being said about you, your competitors and the industry. Identify recurring themes and study trends. Review sentiment and compare how the conversations vary across different platforms. Identify key influencers and pay attention to the language and tone. What topics evoke passionate responses?

Flexibility
Don’t get stuck monitoring the same keywords you have always deemed important. As you study industry trends and influencers, adjust your searches accordingly. Begin listening to your communities even when they are not actively speaking about “relevant” topics. What do they care about? Consider what new topics or audiences may be interested in your organization.

Endurance
Set yourself up to succeed over the long term. Put in place a structure to collect the data that will allow you to learn from both your communities and your own social behaviors. There are a myriad of ways to measure social media buzz, sentiment, link tracking, share of voice, fans and followers, geo-location check-ins… slow down and take another pulse check. Review business objectives and consider what metrics can best indicate whether your activity is supporting those business objectives. As you embark upon this listening exercise, look at the data in a number of different ways.

Cool Down
Evaluate all of the data you have collected and all your new knowledge regarding trends and influencers. Go back to your business goals and consider how you will align your social media activity to meet those goals. What channels are best suited for your organization? Where should your voice be heard? Where can you build a strong community that will offer business results? Participating in social media will require an investment of time, so consider the time and resources you can devote. 

Prepare to Play
Listening exercise complete, you are ready for the big game… engagement. But that, my friends, is another post!

What would you add to your listening exercise? What activities are included in your daily listening routine? Share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Latest Social Media Phenomenon: Charlie Sheen’s Record Breaking Success on Twitter

Monday, March 7th, 2011
Image Source: www.sbs.com.au

Image Source: www.sbs.com.au

Charlie Sheen’s record-breaking success on Twitter is the latest news story that is being fueled by social media. Social media once again proves to be an omnipresent indomitable force when it comes to communicating and marketing. When he isn’t calling his bosses knuckleheads or referring to his “Adonis DNA” or having “Tiger Blood” (as he once proclaimed in an interview), Sheen is setting world records for Twitter followers, according to the LA Times.

When CBS decided to cancel the remaining segments of “Two and a Half Men” due to Sheen’s hiatus and reportedly based the decision on the totality of Sheen’s statements, conduct, and condition. Sheen went on the offensive by lashing out at his bosses on radio shows and more recently joining Twitter. As reported on in the Mashable article, within 24 hours Sheen had 910,000 Twitter followers, and was the quickest to reach 1 million followers, a new Guinness World Record.

“With such a huge following, Sheen could make money from Twitter, said Arnie Gullov-Singh, the chief executive of Ad.ly — a Beverly Hills firm that writes messages on Twitter or Facebook for celebrities who, for a fee, endorse products or brands,” notes this Boston Herald article. “Brands lined up to advertise on ‘Two and a Half Men’ because of the show’s reach, and they’ll do the same with celebrities like Charlie because of who he reaches,” Gullov-Singh said.

Through social media (and with Twitter expected to reach over 200 million followers in 2011) Sheen will now be able to communicate with his fans in an immediate and unfiltered way from the luxury of his own home. A bit scary, yes … But entertaining, for certain. Sheen’s first message on Twitter said, “Winning..! Choose your Vice…” and linked to a photo of him, holding a bottle of chocolate milk, and Bree Olson — one of his two girlfriends — holding a Naked Juice fruit smoothie… Only in America.

As Lou, the older wiser sales associate, warned a young Bud Fox in Wall Street 1, “Kid, you’re on a roll. Enjoy it while it lasts, ’cause it never does.” Right know Charlie Sheen is a nice alternative news story to the economy or the Middle East but in a few days are we really going to care what Charlie’s tweeting about? Maybe.

Measuring Social Media: The Value of Influence

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Valerie Simon

“Influence is about the value you give,” emphasized Deirdre Breakenridge, author and President of Mango! Marketing at the February 15th PRSA NJ Measurement and Evaluation workshop on Monitoring and Determining ROI for Digital/Social Media. Breakenridge also noted that it is extremely important to consider the platform(s) where those you are targeting spend time. Measuring social media is about going where your audience is; if you are trying to reach teens, for example, consider focusing your efforts on Tumblr.

Here are some additional thoughts on evaluating influencers Breakenridge shared with me during this video interview following the event.


 

As we continue to counsel BurrellesLuce clients on new ways to identify influencers and listen to them across all types of media and platforms, one thing is apparent: the elusive influencer is not one who can be discovered by simply noting fans or followers. The power of a particular influencer may change based upon their platform, subject matter, and perhaps most importantly, the demographics and interests of your target audience (hint, no matter how “influential” Lady Gaga is reported to be, if you are attempting to convince my dad where to vacation, find another influencer). 

So what is the real secret to identifying key influencers for your community? It begins with taking the time to get to know your community. Listen. Understand who (and what) motivates them. Consider how you can help brand evangelists to become true influencers and how you can encourage influencers to become consistent and loyal brand evangelists.

What is your definition of an influencer and how do you determine the influencers that matter most to your brand, organization, or client? Who are your favorite examples of influencers and why? The comments are all yours. 

Big Media, Mass Media, New Media – Oh My!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

A few days ago, I read NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen’s inaugural lecture to the fresh crop of future journalists at Sciences Pos School of Journalism in Paris. I’m not going to recap the historically rich (and lengthy) address, but will borrow a piece or two for the purpose of discussion here. (Note: his post can be found here if you’d like to read it in its entirety.)  This address was directed to future journalists, but I think public relations practitioners that deal in media relations, can learn from it just as well.

Rosen began with a clip from the 1976 movie Network, which is about a TV news anchor who begins to act out on the air. I realize this was before many of you were born, but please take a few minutes to watch what is probably the most well-known scene in the film.

Rosen believes the filmmakers are “showing us what the mass audience was: a particular way of arranging and connecting people in space. Viewers are connected ‘up’ to the big spectacle, but they are disconnected from one another.” He explains, “But Howard Beale does what no television person ever does: he uses television to tell its viewers to stop watching television. When they disconnect from TV and go to their windows, they are turning away from Big Media and turning toward one another. And as their shouts echo across an empty public square they discover just how many other people had been ‘out there,’ watching television” – concurrently yet disconnectedly. 

I agree with Rosen’s belief that this clip clearly demonstrates the great event we are living through today: the breakup of the mass audience and the shift in power that goes with it. What if today’s TV personality acted like Howard Beale? Rosen answers: “Immediately people who happened to be watching would alert their followers on Twitter. Someone would post a clip the same day on YouTube. The social networks would light up before the incident was over.  Bloggers would be commenting on it well before professional critics had their chance.” 

Cases of where citizens beat journalists to the punch are numerous but a few off the top of my head are: the Mumbai attacks, the Hudson River plane landing, or more recently the Discovery Channel hostage situation.

Rosen goes on to explain, “The media world today is a shifted space. People are connected horizontally to one another as effectively as they are connected up to Big Media; and they have the powers of production in their hands.”

The digital revolution changes the equation, according to Rosen. “It brings forward a new balance of forces, putting the tools of production and the powers of distribution in the hands of the people…”.

From my media relations standpoint, this means the days of blasting out a press release to every big (or small) media outlet are rapidly coming to an end. NO, I’m not saying big media is dead, nor is the press release (sheez, don’t get me started!)

What I am saying is that PR agencies, public relations practitioners, branding/marketing folks, small business owners, etc. now, more than ever, have additional opportunities to reach out to their publics in multiple ways – connecting with their individual audience(s) – and each other wherever they hang out.  Big media and small media alike are still very much part of that equation, but now there are even more possibilities.

That’s my takeaway from Rosen’s speech and the clip. What is yours?