Tag Archives: social media and community 2.0 strategies

Social Media and Community Scorecard Examples

One of the most consistent topics in the 4 years we have been having the Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies Conference is the need to demonstrate ROI in our Social Media and Community programs. We have had some great speakers over the years that have helped us all understand the ways to measure your programs. We also have some great speakers coming to this year’s event. Below are a couple of generic scorecard examples to show how people are demonstrating their ROI. We have one example support based scorecard and another marketing example. Our experts hope this will help you with ideas for what you should measure! To learn the nitty gritty about how to create a scorecard that demonstrates the ROI that aligns with your business goals join Cindy Meltzer’s session on “Beyond the Theory of Measuring” at this year’s Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Conference.

Some of the insights from previous conferences:

Do you have example measures that we missed?
- Stacy

Selecting An SM Monitoring Tool

Many of us in the research field are interested in the insights that our customers are sharing on Social Media properties every day. Listening platforms are a great way to sift through the volumes of information to gain the nuggets of useful data. The question is how to select a platform and how to use it. The Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies blog has been featuring the considerations for selecting Social Media and Community technologies. The current insights are focused on how to select a listening platform. Nygel gives us several things to consider in his post. The three previous posts about broader community software also offer great advice on the creation of a strategy before you buy software.


Selecting An SM Monitoring Tool” by Nygel Weishar, Sysmos Inc.

With millions upon millions of unique conversations taking place in the social media realm daily, the question is not if social media is useful, but rather: how do we make it useful to us? There are 100′s of billions of conversations that have already taken place, not to mention about to happen, and this highlights the need for a place to aggregate the data. This is where Sysomos and other social media monitoring tools come into place. But which one do you choose?

As most effective research projects start, the individual should first decide what they need to find out/prove and ways this data could be presented. Is there a current Social Media goal? Or is the need to understand a specific Market or Topic? This will define the things that are important to the project and will ultimately outline the main things to look for in a tool. What sources are being crawled? Are the appropriate results even available? Is the tool flexible enough to satisfy my requirements? On top of data being presented, it is also equally important to qualify who will be using the tool and the learning curve necessary to be effective using it. (Just because the tool can do it, doesn’t mean it is easy to do.) Being able to quickly/easily find the necessary information not to mention present it to the appropriate audience so that it makes sense are both crucial things to consider.

Some other things to keep in mind would be budget, scope, and integration. What is the pricing structure? Is there a flat fee? Am I penalized by the amount of data/users I have in the system? All of these things will be crucial in defining if a solution will even be affordable. That being said, many tools provide varying ranges in coverage as well. It’s important to know that the scope of your project is feasible with the tool of choice. What geographic regions need to be covered? How many languages are included in the tool? Finally, integration is an area we are getting more requests for lately and this entails features like: CRM’s, Fanpages, Twitter Accounts, etc. By integrating directly to a tool, marketers can streamline engagement processes and provide even deeper insights regarding the topic of interest.

Social media as most know is a continually growing and evolving organism. Be sure to have a solid grasp on what you hope to gain from social media and ask the ultimate question: Is this something you can use effectively?

How to Maintain a Twitter Audience

Wondering how a top brand like SEGA maintains a loyal community? Look no further! Kellie Parker, Community Manager at SEGA and one of our Keynotes at this year’s Social Media 2.0 Conference reveals internal secrets on how her team successfully reaches the Twitter audience.

- Stacy

How to Maintain a Twitter Audience” by Kellie Parker, Community Manager, SEGA

One of the questions that I get asked most often about SEGA’s community outreach is how we build and maintain our Twitter audience. My first and best piece of advice is to have a conversation, not just push marketing out to them. Notice the ‘just’ in that last sentence ‘ we do push marketing, either in direct tweets or through linking people back to our blog. We are giving updates on our games and corporate activities. But we also re-tweet fan photos, tweet about fun stuff going on in our office (free donuts!) and sometimes not-so-fun stuff (another fire drill!). We reply to most everyone, even when the answer is ‘I’m sorry, I can’t answer that’. We try to be as, well, human as possible.

But the program that helps us grow the most, and most community managers are interested in, is Free Stuff Friday. It started as a way to get rid of swag and promotional items for older games that was just going to be thrown away, as it had little PR value. The community team started rescuing these items because we couldn’t bear for them to be thrown out. We needed to do something with all of this, so we started the Free Stuff Friday program. It’s been wildly successful, and has gone from a way to get rid of stuff to a planned part of our strategies.

How the Giveaways Work
The SEGA Twitter feed is run by the community teams in the US (that’s my team) and the UK. We each update the feed during our normal business hours. In order to make the administration of the giveaways easier, as well as give more opportunity for people around the world to participate, the US and UK team alternate Free Stuff Friday weeks. There are generally 6 prizes per day. For each giveaway, we’ll tweet an item, a number, and a phrase. For example: ‘Giveaway! Sonic the Hedgehog T-Shirt, size L. 5th person to DM ‘Sonic rules’ wins!’ And, as you would expect, the 5th person to DM ‘sonic rules’ to us will win the shirt. We use an auto-follower to follow everyone who follows us, so everyone can send us DMs.

Where We Get Stuff From
The items that we give away really come from all over. Some things were created for promotional use and we get some of those. Sometimes we partner with other organizations, and we get free items through that. (For example, we’ve given away t-shirts and coupons that we got from Chiquita through our partnership with them on Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll.) Sometimes we get samples and other items from our licensing group, who handles relationships to get Sonic on a t-shirt, for example. We sometimes give away copies of games. Different regions often have different pre-order bonuses or special edition packs, and we work with SEGA reps in these territories to get a few of those items to give away. We also sometimes pick stuff up on our own to give away. For example, one of our community managers was in Chicago over the winter break and found some old SEGA Visions magazines at a retro games store there. So he bought them, and we gave them away. As you can imagine, we get a diverse pool of prizes because of this, but I think that keeps it fresh and interesting for our followers.

The Preview Video

To promote the week’s giveaways, my team makes a video each week to show off what we’re giving away. It’s also a chance for our community to see and hear us, and that makes us more human. We’re not the big bad faceless corporation, we’re people.
We generally do the videos in one take. This is mostly because I am not a very skilled video editor. But it’s also because the video is supposed to be a little homemade looking. It’s not supposed to be a slick, shiny trailer-style video because that might make it seem less authentic. We generally leave the camera running while we are setting up and deciding who is going to say what about which item. We’ve captured some really funny moments by doing this. Then we film the main segment, where we describe the items. Finally, we’ll leave the camera running while we’re done if we’re still milling around playing with the items or if we’re in need of anything funny.

In terms of editing the video, I use iMovie on my Mac. I put some titles on it, put some titles at the end with some music, and add a funny (we hope) bit at the end just to leave people with a laugh. Sometimes they are outtakes, sometimes they are jokes’ whatever we had that week.

Here’s the video that we did recently, and this is fairly typical of our videos. We upload these videos to our YouTube account. We also blog them, and that blog link gets sent to our Twitter feed. We also post the blog link to our Facebook pages to generate more interest and followers.

Once we started doing these giveaways, word spread pretty quickly. We started gaining lots of new followers. We’ve been doing these giveaways for almost 2 years now, and we typically gain 500 ‘ 1000 new followers per week. And although I have no metrics to back it up, I feel pretty confident that we get more new followers on Fridays than any other day. The giveaways are a win for everyone ‘ our fans get some free stuff, we have an outlet to create content and connect more directly with our followers, and we have a way to give away stuff that’s of little value to the company but tremendous value to our community. It takes just a few hours of my time every other week, and we see tremendous return on that investment.

How You Can Implement This
Not every company has fun T-shirts or toys to giveaway, and I understand that. But nearly every company has a product. And nearly every company has people who are fans of it. Even just your company logo on a keychain will excite people. But do you have free product you can pass out? Can you feature someone on your website? Basically’ what can you give back to your fans? I’m sure if you think about it, you’ll come up with a few things you can give away.
Take these ideas and make them your own. Mold them to the needs of your company and your fans. But it’s a way to use Twitter that’s made us pretty popular with our own fans, so I wanted to share this great idea.

I am happy to answer questions about our Free Stuff Friday giveaways in the comments, so please ask away!

A look back at SMC20 2009: My Facebook’s On Fire! Some Thoughts

Social Media and Community 2.0 Strategies is taking place April 4-6, 2011, 2011, in Boston, Massachusetts. Fridays leading up to the event, we’ll be recapping on of the sessions from the 2010 Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Event. For more information on this year’s event, download the brochure.

My Facebook’s On Fire! Some Thoughts.

GE Healthcare Customer Acceleration leader Tom Zimmerman’s opening talk, “Join the Conversation,” just wrapped. In the wake of an open question to the audience – how do you manage a social media firestorm? – I’ve already had two really good conversations.

First off, Zimmerman admitted he’s never had to manage a firestorm on GE’s behalf, so he asked the audience what they’d do. No one was forthcoming about a situation unique to them, but there was plenty of opinion. The big takeaway seemed to be to know your weaknesses in advance of diving into social, and plan ahead for that.

Even if you can’t make the change people demand, stay respectful, open and responsive. A resistant attitude is the kiss of death.

Here’s the gist of two convos I had afterward:

With Ryan Bowling, director of communications for Mars Chocolate: if people know where you stand, and you’re not beating around the bush about it, it’s plenty. Most of Mars’ brands, such as Wrigleys, have individual social media strategies; he knows all community managers and discusses potential community issues with them swiftly. They are equipped with guidelines for how to respond to some social media situations in advance (likely reminiscent of the Air Force’s own Rules of Engagement for Blogging), as well as a clear understanding of the company’s pressure points: if a Mars brand get poked, the hope is that they’ll reflexively know best how to respond, like ninjas.

With Andy Abend of MarketSmarter. He’s blogging the conference too, and we discussed the work it takes to implement a social media strategy with a company that’s determined it wants outside help.

Asked how he feels about Apple’s “closed” and combative attitude toward users in the space, and he laughed.

“Is it really that closed?” he asked. He cited the various product leaks that cause frenzy, and we discussed Gizmodo in some depth; he thinks there was more behind the scenes.

But with regard to whether Steve Jobs’ openly hostile attitude toward journalists, etc. is a bad thing, he grinned and said, “I think it’s just part of the game.” In his view, getting a negative response out of Apple gives users a bit of a fame halo. It’s something that evidently works for Apple, maybe because there’s no ambiguity about where it stands.

Follow the goings-on in realtime on Twitter at #socialc20. You can also follow my stream @luckthelady.

Selecting a Primary Community Platform Part 2

Hope you caught part one of this series from Jive. The second part of the series gives insights from Telligent on what to consider when picking a primary community platform.

- Stacy

“Community at Its Best” by Wendy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer, Telligent

1. Community at Its Best

A viable community solution is one that will grow with and adapt to your needs. When selecting a community platform, we’ve found that there are a few key factors you should consider to build a healthy, sustainable community. In the next several posts, we will explore these factors.

One of the most important considerations is that you need a community strategy that includes: identifiable business objectives, an emphasis on being personal, relevant content, rewards and recognition, and where membership has its privileges. Too often technology leads the decision-making process. Nowhere is this more evident than in the social software market. While not nearly as rampant as it was a few years ago, companies still often buy this technology without first defining a strategy for what they want to accomplish.

‘ What type of community will you launch?

‘ What are your business objectives?

‘ What metrics will you use to measure your success?

These (and others) are questions you must ask to create your strategy before you launch your community.

2. Integrate Technology on a True Platform

In order to help you build a successful community, you will need a true platform. A true platform allows you to build on top of it, consolidating your existing social properties onto it. You can support both internal and external social communities, and enterprise-grade features and services built in mean you don’t have to use a complex web of social media applications to get the functionality you need.

Probably the biggest struggle that the large enterprise software companies have in this fast-growing market (besides faster iterations for getting their product to the market) is overcoming the natural instinct to build isolated information silos.

Because today’s organizations don’t have a single technology vendor, they must build and integrate with a collaboration platform, as opposed to cobbling together a number of disconnected applications. Integration abilities allow you to bridge the gaps between the different social applications your community members use. Integration with CRM and CMS applications enables you to leverage and extend your current IT investments, instead of displacing them. Now more than ever it is important to connect and integrate a company’s collaboration across all its investments ‘ from CRM to financial reporting. By integrating e-mail into your collaboration environment, you can tear down information silos that force collaboration to be dependent on technology.

Social tools are part of the fabric for how organizations work, and will be increasingly so in the future.

3. Always Consider Scalability

We now close out our series on building a healthy, successful community. Scalability is important to consider. Whether your community is small or large, you should be able to add functionality as the community grows, publish your sites in different languages, and provide a mobile experience that connects people to people, and people to information, anytime, anywhere. In addition, the platform needs to be user friendly to encourage high participation rates so you have a robust, engaged community.

Where is your community in its lifecycle? Understanding the community lifecycle is part of building a comprehensive strategy specifically around moderation and management of a community.

Combined, these recommendations can guide organizations to pick the right platform and strategies in order to build the communities that they envision to accomplish their unique goals.

Does Your C-level Finally Get Social Media?

Here it is, finally, an in-depth analysis on how to create ROI and executive buy-in from your C-suite. One of our fantastic Keynotes weighs in on how to overcome management challenges in the wide world of social media. Read on and take note!

- Stacy

“Closing the Information-Gap” by Sasha Strauss, Managing Director & CEO, Innovation Protocol

Twenty-four months ago, CEO clients responded to the notion of social media with ‘don’t waste my time talking to me about that childish thing.’ Now, they’re asking how they and their organization can elevate themselves to a leadership position in their category on the back of social media. Oh, and ‘please define tangible, financial benefits’ along the way. This ubiquitous gap leads to all kinds of problems’the biggest one being apprehension. To mitigate this nauseous sensation, I suggest three things to ponder:

‘ Cost
‘ Voice
‘ Measurement

COST: Contrary to popular belief, social media isn’t free. Organizations shouldn’t just participate in online communities’they must strive to lead the discussion. That’s never been free in any sector, why would it be in the most powerful communication channel in history? Social media will take money to increase visibility or address the needs of your audience. For example, last year, Pepsi skipped the Super Bowl and launched The Pepsi Refresh Project. The campaign received over 61 million votes from users giving input on various initiatives – from building playgrounds to donating pajamas. The program gathered more than $14 million to fund 352 projects, and they’re fully committed to the project for 2011. What kind of tangible benefits will Pepsi receive from something like this? It actually isn’t even measurable’not yet anyway. What matters is that they’ve essentially shifted their target demographic and converted a brutal advertising spend into a social campaign that is positively impacting millions. That social impact translates into an army of supporters/believers/advocates/customers that prefer Pepsi now over the alternative.

VOICE: What you ‘sound’ like within the social media sphere is also extremely important. Social media allows an organization with countless voices to condense that cacophony into virtually a single sound. For example, the voice of Zappos (@Zappos) on Twitter is CEO Tony Hseih. He has over 1.7 million followers and shows his fluency in the social media space by using powerful features (like hashtags: #) while taking the time to engage and publicly refer to other users. As both the CEO and official Twitter voice, Tony sets the tone for Zappos and can clearly represent the brand, no matter what the circumstance or context. It’s an authentic dialogue that followers use to connect with their favorite online retailer, and Zappos can use their social media observations to understand their connection with their audience. As an individual, Tony can speak on behalf of his industry, consumers or even himself’because it’s authentic, it’s social, and it’s timely. This freedom flawlessly represents the Zappos brand, but might not necessarily work for a more conservative organization like Disney. Disney’s audience is so diverse’and, potentially, so concerned about general internet content, that Disney has actively decided NOT to have a singular social media voice. Or a social media voice at all. Robert Iger, the CEO doesn’t have a Twitter account ‘ but he understands the power of the environment. For example, his company recently purchased the social-gaming company Playdom and launched the ‘Let the Memories Begin’ campaign. It takes user-generated social media content of happy park-goers enjoying themselves publicly for use in advertisements and promotions. In fact, this month Disney World began projecting guest photos onto Cinderella’s castle and on Disneyland’s ‘It’s a Small World’ in California ‘ it’s media, it’s social and it’s universally desired and consumed.

MEASUREMENT: We’ve covered the cost of social media, and therefore it’s clear that content blasting around the Internet would have financial implications. So the final consideration must be measurement. Social media enables users to publicly portray their affinity for content posted by clicking ‘Like’ or adding the person/organization as a ‘Friend.’ This mark of popularity has quickly become a barometer for content relevancy. While your number of ‘Likes’ or ‘Friends’ are great indicators of interest, they’re just a temporary acknowledgement of your relevance. What also must be considered is WHO is publicly endorsing you. In offline retail, it’s the difference between your friend Sally telling you she loves Miracle Whip and Oprah mentioning it in an interview. The validity of the endorsement is correlated with the significance of the endorser. The prestige of endorsers is a more accurate measurement of how well your social media strategy is doing. Fortunately, there are plenty of free tools to measure your impact and influence in social media. For example, Google Analytics is a free service that supplies detailed information about visitors, like where they’re coming from (physically and online) and what they’re doing when they arrive.

If you want to get a strong sense of how social media can build advocacy ‘ but how it also requires deep analysis of cost, voice and measurement, check out the explosive advocacy around Old Spice. Yeah, your dad’s deodorant. A brand nearly written off by grocery retailers worldwide. In a last-stitched effort to capture youth attention, the brand launched a series of video responses by towel-clad Isaiah Mustafa that directly addressed casual users and celebrities alike. In this world of ‘Likes’ and proprietary analytics, Old Spice’s social media managers were able to look at the number of views each video had, the followers it generated, and immediately measure user behavior and sales on their site. In as little as a few months, marketing managers attained bottom-line results that reflected consumer understanding and the eventual retail action it informed. More importantly however, Old Spice is building a community of advocates that will follow and listen to the brand as it continues to evolve. They’re now listening’ what you tell them next is yet another chapter in the ever-evolving game of social media marketing.

I suggest that you do not fear the beast that is media pushed through social channels. Embrace and look at the next 6 months as an opportunity. An opportunity to gather fans, learn from their words, support them through social actions and grow your understanding of the market you’re trying so aggressively to own. Just think, organizations of all sizes and budgets can finally engage their audiences with real-time mass communication. I’ve dreamt about this very notion since my first days in the communication field. I was disappointed that press releases took weeks to grab media attention. I was frustrated that even the wealthiest brands had to write, produce and distribute print media campaigns to clarify false assumptions thrown into the public sphere. Today, it’s nowMedia. It’s in controlledMedia. It’s what we’ve always wanted: social media.