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Social Media Meeting the Needs of Your Business Genesis PR Amy Dawson Aisleen Marley

Planning Social Media Activities o What are you hoping to achieve? o Who is your target audience? o What are your key messages? o Which tools will be best? o Who will manage and implement? o What risks may exist? o One-off campaign or on-going programme?

Content really is KING! o Quality content delivers online success o Fresh, provocative, newsy, creative – but don’t try too hard! o Compels people to take action o Not just words – images and video too! o Don’t be too precious o Style and tone o Timeliness o Keep it simple and sustainable

Day to Day Management o Define objectives, audiences, messages o Identify which tools to use o Put in place an owner / team - trust your employees o Time, resource, budget o Overtly bureaucratic or hierarchical processes will not work in a crisis or day to day o Integrate into your wider comms activities o Monitor and evaluate

Keeping Control o Massive online world out there! o Messages can spread like wildfire o Use tools to keep tabs on what’s being said o Have a plan o Respond (if appropriate) quickly o Think about what you say – ambiguity o Reflect your company values

Blogging o How - Choice of platforms, company website vs. separate blog o Why - Share news, information, engagement, SEO, brand-building, o What - Think about your content, plan it out o When - Regularity, consistency, make it manageable

Blogs: Why? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

They’re free They’re easy to set up You can change the theme in minutes It’s easy to publish content Google quickly picks up blogs A blog won’t crowd your current website They encourage visitor interaction Can improve your main website SEO Blogs make you look like an ‘expert in your market’ A blog can put you ahead of your competitors

Blogging: The good, the bad and the ugly o Business blogging is no easy task. o Blogging for a large brand or corporate is even harder in terms of striking the right tone and building an audience while keeping readers engaged. o Reflect your company’s ‘personality’ o Have a ‘plan’

Blogging: The Good o One of the World’s most well-known car brands has been embracing blogging for some time, and it has some stunning content to share. o Its blog is very much focused on cars and engineering, as you would expect.

Blogging…The Bad o Under pressure because of massive flight delays and cancellations due to equipment problems, American Airlines launched a simple ‘blogger blog’ to tell its side of the story.

o Even today it is so overtly promotional it has consumers switching off in their droves.

Blogging…The Ugly o In Sept 2006, a blog called Wal-Marting Across America was born. o It features the journey of Laura and Jim, a couple on their maiden trip in an RV (recreational vehicle), capturing lives and stories as they journey from Las Vegas to Georgia, and park for free at Wal-Mart Stores. o Every Wal-Mart employee that Laura and Jim run into, from store clerks to photogenic executives, absolutely loves to work at the store. Sound like a great Wal-Mart publicity campaign? That’s because ‘Laura and Jim’ are Wal-Mart employees o Faking it is NOT acceptable

A quick word about Twitter

o Company Profile – basic presence / starting point – include keywords in the description of your group – include company website / blog URL – add a(n appropriate) photo o

Discussion Groups – create a new group related to your business sector – engage in existing groups

o Industry News – opportunity to promote / enhance knowledge

Effective Tactics for increasing engagement o Moderation o Stay exclusive o Commitment o Sub- groups / niche groups o Regular Polls – weekly / monthly o Utilize the status updates

Do’s and Don’ts o Don’t just duplicate content o Do keep your personal life out of it - Linkedin is for professional networking

o Don’t use the standard ‘I’d like to connect message’ – personalise it instead

o Do ask questions and build presence / credibility o Don’t fall into the trap of

shameless self-promotion

o Began using social media in 2009 o Active on Twitter, FB, Youtube and G+ o Most popular building society on Twitter (2,075 followers) o Generate discussions with local communities, raise awareness of initiatives, build relationships o Primary objective is brand awareness o Very rarely mentions sales products

o The annual awards scheme encouraged tweeting throughout the event using the hashtag #SWA12 o It enabled alternative audiences to hear the discussions and understand the impact of good social work o Over 100+ tweets were sent using #SWA12 o Helped support the awards primary objective – to showcase excellent practice

Local Case Study o Business Support Services o Business Plan development o Two staff members o Marketing‌ - Word of mouth

- Website enquiries - Networking events - Trade Fairs

Social Media o YouTube - personal video o Website blog - dormant o Facebook - personal account o LinkedIn - personal profile o No Social Media links from website o Difficult to find online

Recommendations o Separate personal from business o Management (an issue with just two people) o Choose one or two platforms as a priority o Create a LinkedIn Group or join one

o Become a thought leader o Keep content current and frequent

Popular Social Media Platforms

How do I know it’s working? o Qualitative – what is being said o Quantitative – traffic, SEO, leads, ‘mentions’ o What ‘activity’ provokes the most ‘response’? o Listen to feedback - adapt o Free and paid for monitoring tools o Specialist measurement software

Remember.... o No need to use every SM channel – consider your objectives o Know your audience o Everything posted is in public domain o Get some expert advice o Traditional marketing/PR is still important o How will you ‘manage’ your SM? - practicalities o Keep content current and frequent - Don’t be afraid to have a sense of humour o Start off slow

Social Media...meeting the needs of your business  

This was a presentation I gave, along with a colleague, to business representatives attending a lecture on social media at University Campus...