Who to reach, what to say and how to say it

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Presentation on online communities from Social Media Breakfast Bangor #3 (4 August 2011).

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  • 1. Who to reach, what to say and how to say it
    Social Media Breakfast Bangor
    4 August 2011
    #SMBBGR

2. Who is this guy anyway?
Derek Rice
Rice Communications
derek@derekrice.com
derekrice.com
twitter.com/derekjrice
linkedin.com/in/derekrice
3. Wearer of many hats
Copywriter
Social media geek
(Sporadic) blogger
Journalist
PR & marketing pro
Communicator
Storyteller
What Im not: expert, guru, rock star, Jersey Shore fan
4. Disclaimer
There is NO one-size-fits-all method for building and growing an active, engaged, thriving online community.
5. Online community?
In the beginning
Today
6. A note about tools & platforms
You cant be all things to all people, and you cant possibly be everywhere.
Go where the food is.
7. Sample online community
The big dogs
(coming soon)
It depends
8. Whats gonna work? Teamwork.
Use your platforms to complement each other, and youll build deeper relationships with your audience.
9. An Online Community IS
A messaging channel
Conversational
Community-driven
Interactive
Customer service
An opportunity to build one-to-one relationships
Free research
10. An Online Community IS NOT
Traditional marketing
Advertising
A billboard
Formal
Self-centered
Sales-driven
11. Why an online community?
Build trust, which helps build brand recognition, loyalty and affinity
Obtain a deeper understanding of your audiences needs and wants
Create one-to-one relationships with customers and prospects
Its what people want and expect
12. What influences you most?
13. Who do we trust?
14. The Participatory Web
Browse
Interact
Personalize
Talk about and connect with what and who theyre browsing
Share those interactions and experiences with others
15. Your opportunity
Build relationships and trust with your target audience
They can be your best allies, sharing your information with others who trust them
Social media allows them to pass that along to hundreds more people
16. So how do you get there?
17. A big thank you
18. Begin at the beginning
19. Factors to consider
What do you hope to achieve with your social media efforts?
Think concrete, tangible and quantifiable.
How will you measure results against your goals?
20. Creative Dental Solutions
Build awareness around Creative Dental Solutions
Attract new patients/grow the practice
Cultivate word-of-mouth recommendations
Promote the importance of dental health
Generate discussion and interaction around dental health and other topics that interest the target audience
21. Find your maestro
Embarrassingly outdated image courtesy of Bit Social Media
22. Your manager
The party host
An active and high-profile community member
Accountable to everyone
Company
Community
The voice of your brand
Sets the tone for the community
Becomes your brands online persona
23. He or she should be
Friendly
Smart
Patient
Creative
Proactive
Fun
Articulate
An excellent writer
Knowledgeable about your brand
24. 25. Listen to learn, learn to listen
26. Whats being said about:
Your company
Your competition
Your industry
Other factors that impact your business
27. Whos talking?
They may be interested in your company, product or industry (your target audience)
Helps define and refine your target audience
Your target audience may not be who you think they are
28. What are they saying?
What topics generate the most discussion?
This is what interests your audience
Use this information to shape your messaging strategy
29. Zeroing in on your audience
30. Google Alerts
Google.com/alerts
31. Twitter search
32. Advanced Twitter search
33. Advanced Twitter search results
34. Behind closed doors
Facebook people search results
35. A tough nut to crack
Facebook page search results
36. A necessary evil
37. Socialmention
38. Socialmention results
39. Technorati
40. Compiling results
A simple checklist or spreadsheet
A more involved Word document where individual conversations are catalogued
Anything in between
Whatever works for you
41. Influencers
42. Who are influencers?
Recognizable
Greater than average reach or impact through word of mouth in a relevant marketplace
Their opinions matter to others
Engaged in conversations with hundreds or thousands of people
43. The ultimate influencer
44. Why influencers?
When they talk, people listen
They may talk about you
More people will join your community
45. A cautionary tale
The lesson?
Diversify
46. Celebrities not required
Industry bloggers
Trade publications
Local personalities
47. Finding influencers
Where do you find information thats relevant to your industry or niche?
These are some of your influencers
Theyre talking to your influencers.
Theyre talking about your influencers.
48. Content really is king
49. Your messaging toolbox
Key words
Key messages
Protocol
Engaging
Responding
Escalating
50. The Content Loop
Good content = return visits = word of mouth = new members = more content (community-generated)
Good content drives participation and growth
51. The right content
Interesting and relevant to your audience
Addresses audience members interests
Sparks discussion
Establishes you as an expert in your field
Positions you as a valuable resource
52. Baby steps
Focus on a handful of topics that reflect your audiences shared interests.
Build on these topics later, using your audience as a guide.
53. What people want
Useful information on a topic they find interesting or attractive
Engagement in experiences to improve their personal or professional life
Examples: How to improve job performance or be a better parent
54. What they dont want
Information on how to buy more of your product
Constant calls to action
Communication thats mostly brand-specific
55. No shouting allowed!
56. Ask yourself:
What value am I bringing to my community?
Why would my community members care?
What kind of conversation could this generate?
57. Content sources
Google Alerts (set up during Listening)
Blogs
News outlets
The web
Community members
Influencers
Become the best source of information interesting, relevant and valuable your audience
58. Messaging
Getting it right
Finding the balance between self-interest and providing value in your messaging
59. Short and sweet
Whatever you share, keep it bite-sized. Itll be a quick read that can easily be passed on to others.
60. Seed online channels with content
Who really wants to go first?
Why would anyone join a barren or inactive community (which isnt a community at all)?
We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves
61. Trial and error
When to communicate
Where to communicate
How often to communicate
What content resonates with your audience
62. Up, up and away
63. Go time
Officially activate your channels (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
Reach out to and interact with your target audience and influencers
Invite them to join your community
64. Remember:
A polite, effective invitation
doesnt include a sales pitch
65. Engage
66. Why its important
Promote your community and attract new members
Communities are driven by relationship building, not by the sales cycle
Communicate with people as friends or potential friends, not as prospects
People seek out those who share their interests
Allows your community to be a platform for open, honest conversation
67. Wallflowers need not apply
Ask open-ended, thought-provoking questions
Conduct polls
Offer incentives
Contests *
Coupons
Reward good content and/or participation
Join in others conversations
Provide thoughtful, expert answers to questions
Become a trusted friend
68. Engaging influencers
Re-tweet something theyve said on Twitter (add an interesting comment)
Post on their Facebook wall or tag in one of your wall posts
Comment on their blog post, YouTube video, etc.
Mention them in a blog post
Link to their website or blog
69. Be memorable!
70. Did I mention participating?
At least once a day
Use multiple platforms
Constant and consistent
You dont always have to start conversation
Let others be heard
Always respond to questions, comments, mentions, etc.
71. Why respond?
Communication is a two-way street
People want to know they matter
Immediacy is key: respond quickly to complaints, endorsements or any kind of mentions.
A response, especially a fast response, will build or strengthen trust
72. Mapping out your responses
73. Rule of thumb
Work day: respond within 1 hour
Overnight/weekends: respond within 12 hours
Respond within 24 hours at most
Do your best
74. When responding
Be positive
Be transparent
Be honest
Be timely
Be helpful
75. Handling negative feedback
Balance between moderati