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Sarah M.  Ryck PR616  Petrausch Final  Campaign  paper May  10,  2012 Design  Within  Reach:  A  Strategic  Social  Media  Plan I  originally  saw  a  need  for  improvement  in  Design  Within  Reach’s  social  media  strategy  when  I   applied  for  an  internship  some  months  ago.  As  I  was  preparing  for  the  interview,  I  took  a  brief  look  at   the  social  media  accounts  and  found  Design  Within  Reach  has  a  fresh,  exciting  product,  but  the   company’s  social  media  sites  were  not  utilized  to  their  fullest  potential.  It  was  when  I  was  called  back  to   apply  for  a  social  media  community  advocate  position  that  I  took  a  second  look.  I  became  very  excited   as  I  saw  there  was  great  ground  work  set  in  place,  and  knew  that,  if  given  the  opportunity,  I  could   implement  a  number  of  changes  that  would  bring  noticeable  results  ultimately  affecting  Design  Within   Reach’s  bottom  line.  Here  is  a  brief  outline  of  some  of  my  strategies  and  tactics:

Campaign Situation  &  Background Design  Within  Reach  focuses  on  bringing  “authentic  modern  design”  within  reach.  According  to   their  “about”  section,  it  is  all  about  bringing  products  within  reach  that  cannot  be  found  elsewhere,  and  it   means  having  product  in  stock.  Ultimately,  the  company  began  as  a  direct-­to-­door  catalog,  but  today   has  expanded  to  include  contracts  in  business-­to-­business  deals  and  studio  showrooms  throughout  the   U.S.  They  strive  to  bring  authentic  pieces  to  everyone,  while  leaving  the  elitism  at  the  door.  They  are   proud  of  never  having  a  do  not  touch  sign  in  their  studios,  and  welcome  pets  and  kids  and  all  customers   to  come  and  linger. In  researching  for  this  campaign,  I  decided  to  examine  Design  Within  Reach’s  online  presence  

as a  whole.  This  included  examining  all  their  social  media  channels-­-­Facebook,  Twitter,  Pinterest,   Foursquare,  Instagram,  Google+,  website,  blog,  and  also  take  into  consideration  their  ranking  and   search  visibility. When  examining  their  social  media  accounts,  I  noticed  there  were  new  posts-­-­maybe  a  couple  a   day.  However,  the  posts  were  simply  pushing  information  to  publics.  In  my  opinion,  I  saw  no  strategy  or   thought  to  what  content  was  being  pushed.  It  was  informing  publics,  but  in  today’s  day  and  age,  that  is   simply  not  enough.  Social  media  are  about  being  social,  which  by  definition  refers  to  companionship  and   community.  It  revolves  around  give  and  take.  Across  the  board,  I  saw  a  need  for  Design  Within  Reach   to  take  on  a  more  versatile  role.  Not  only  must  they  inform  their  publics  through  social  media,  but  they   must  begin  and  maintain  an  ongoing  conversation  with  a  number  of  different  publics.  There  must  be  a   focus  on  dialogue  or  two  way  communication  at  all  times. From  what  I  saw,  the  posts  were  not  getting  much  attention  from  their  target  publics.  There   were  little  to  no  comments  on  Facebook,  zero  retweets  on  Twitter,  a  few  “likes”  here  and  there.  I   believe  this  has  to  do  with  not  understanding  their  publics,  not  listening  to  their  publics  needs  and  wants,   and  not  taking  advantage  of  conversational  opportunities  when  there  is  the  possibility  of  starting  or   continuing  a  conversation. Probably  the  biggest  offense  of  all  in  regards  to  Design  Within  Reach  and  their  online  presence   was  that  they  had  content  over  3  years  old-­-­an  eternity  in  the  cyber  universe!-­-­that  was  out  of  date,   inactive  and  broken.  For  example  the  information  on  their  Facebook  page  was  linked  to  a  page  from   2007  that  was  full  of  broken  links  and  out  of  date  materials. Ultimately,  Design  Within  Reach’s  online  presence  was  existent,  but  not  utilized  to  its  full   potential-­-­keeping  existing  publics  interested,  gaining  new  customers  and  furthering  the  companies  

respected brand.

Target Publics  and  Why  they  are  important Currently,  Design  Within  Reach  doesn’t  seem  to  be  focused  on  understanding  their  target   publics  and  then  actively  pursuing  and  listening  to  them.  In  this  campaign,  my  focus  is  to  actively  work  to   get  target  publics  interacting  on  the  web  and  ultimately  purchasing  Design  Within  Reach  products  in   showrooms,  catalogs  and  online-­-­increasing  return  on  investment  (ROI). Essentially,  we  are  aim  to  inform  and  interact  with  past,  current  and  future  customers.  This   divided  into  two  main  target  publics.  The  first  being  the  older  generation  ages  35  and  older.  This  public   is  typically  of  upper  middle  to  higher  income  levels.  They  have  a  desire  and  respect  for  culture  and  the   arts  and  have  an  affinity  for  design.    The  second  target  public  is  21-­35  year  olds  who  have  a  grasp  of   social  media.  These  are  younger  people  just  establishing  careers  and  homes. Finally,  because  we  are  working  with  a  company  that  is  experiencing  a  period  of  rapid  growth,   I’d  like  to  include  and  utilize  Design  Within  Reach’s  own  employees  and  Design  Within  Reach’s  first  line   of  ambassadors  into  this  strategic  social  media  campaign  to  get  the  conversation  going.

Campaign Objectives  and  Strategy There  are  a  number  of  objectives  and  strategies  we  will  aim  to  carry  out.  First  objective  we  will   focus  on  is  increasing  and  improving  the  online  presence  of  Design  within  Reach.  Though  they  have  a   presence  online  now,  it  is  out  of  date.  They  are  hidden  among  the  many  furniture  stores  when  searched   via  a  search  engine  and  nothing  they  have  done  thus  far  has  set  them  apart  from  the  competition,  which   is  another  objective-­-­  determine  and  set  Design  Within  Reach’s  position  in  the  market  by  strengthening  

the brand. My  strategy  to  achieve  this  is  to  create  clear,  consistent,  concise  messages  strategically   developed  and  delivered  with  the  designated  target  publics  in  mind.  Probably  the  most  important   strategy  is  in  developing  a  consistently  human  tone  when  communicating  online.  It  is  essential  publics  see   Design  Within  Reach  as  a  caring  and  connected  company  that  understands  their  point  of  view.   Positioning  Design  Within  Reach  as  the  “informed  peer”  will  allow  for  a  freer,  less  inhibited  dialogue   between  the  organization  and  its  various  publics  previously  mentioned. I  also  aim  to  establish  Design  Within  Reach  as  a  leader  among  modern  design  communities.  This   will  be  accomplished  by  working  to  be  accepted  and  endorsed  by  influencers  in  such  communities.  We   will  actively  determine,  and  then  seek  out,  influencers  our  target  publics  are  already  supporting. We  also  wish  to  increase  traffic  to  all  various  social  media  sites  including  Design  Within  Reach   website,  blog,  Facebook,  Pinterest,  Twitter,  Instagram,  Foursquare,  Vimeo  etc.  We  again  will  do  this   by  delivering  strategic  messages  to  our  determined  publics  through  the  appropriate  sites  at  the   appropriate,  researched  effective  times.  In  delivering  the  messages  we  hope  to  get  our  target  publics   interacting.  Most  importantly,  however,  is  that  those  that  get  involved  on  our  soical  media  sites  continue   to  stay  involved.  We  are  pleased  with  new  fans,  friends,  follows,  and  connections,  but  ultimately  we  will   gauge  our  success  on  whether  we  are  able  to  continually  engage  repeat  visitors. Once  we  have  a  conversation  started  on  our  various  social  media  sites,  it  will  be  important  to   listen  to  the  feedback  provided  by  our  target  publics.  We  will  have  to  work  to  not  only  carry  out  our   strategic  messages,  but  watch  for  what  is  working  and  what  is  not,  and  alter  our  strategies  accordingly.

Themes, Tactics  and  Calendar

Design Within  Reach  currently  has  no  universal  voice.  Some  messages  released  simply  inform   publics  without  any  sort  of  authority,  purpose  or  hope  for  response.  So,  one  of  my  main  themes  and   tactics  for  this  campaign  is  to  develop  a  “human”  voice  when  delivering  messages. To  do  this,  I  will  send  messages  that,  “speak  as  DWR  does.”  I  will  be  sure  the  messages  focus   on  saying  “we”  while  being  friendly,  open  and  helpful.  Ideally,  I  aim  to  present  DWR  as  constantly   asking  what  can  we  do  for  you,  over  the  outdated  approach  of  asking  what  others  can  do  for  us.  Using   a  personal,  human  voice  when  communicating  through  social  media  channels  leads  to  higher  satisfaction   from  target  publics,  whereas  impersonal  communication  does  little  to  grip  and  actively  persuade  publics   to  get  involved.  Communicating  in  a  human  voice  will  eventually  lead  to  DWR  establishing  itself  as  an   informed  peer  among  publics.    By  strategically  positioning  DWR  as  an  informed  peer,  we  will  find   publics  have  a  stronger  inclination  to  engage  and  spread  our  messages  through  word-­of-­mouth. Another  tactic  I  will  use  to  accomplish  DWR’s  previous  mentioned  objectives  and  strategies  will   be  to  cross  promote  from  one  social  media  to  another.  For  example,  currently  the  DWR  website  does   not  have  buttons  (links)  to  the  social  media  sites.  The  only  existing  cross  promotion  is  “like”  and   “follow”  buttons  on  the  bottom  of  the  website.  So  currently,  publics  push  these  buttons  and  they   automatically  like  or  follow  DWR  on  Facebook  or  Twitter  without  ever  seeing  these  pages.  This  is   counterintuitive  as  the  point  of  social  media  is  to  get  publics  to  the  page,  but  then  continue  to  have  them   come  back  and  interact. Once  we  highlight  all  DWR  social  media  pages,  it  is  important  to  get  messages  out  that  are  clear   and  concise  to  publics  in  a  consistent  manner  an  on  the  appropriate  site  (please  see  traditional  and  social   media  for  site  specific  details).  Messages  will  often  be  short  and  sweet  providing  information,  but  also   leading  publics  to  get  involved.  Providing  lists,  points  and/or  questions  are  proven  techniques  when  

attempting to  get  publics  to  interact.  Since,  creating  messages  that  get  publics  to  return  time  and  time   again  is  a  main  objective,  we  will  send  messages  that  require  a  response  after  the  initial  interaction.  By   keeping  publics  engaged  and  curious  while  providing  them  with  messages  that  satisfy  their  needs,  I   expect  them  to  come  back  again  and  again. One  initial  message  DWR  will  release  to  achieve  this  will  be  a  posting  regarding  the  DWR’s   founder,  Rob  Forbes,  favorite  pieces  while  furnishing  his  home  and  asking  customers  what  their  favorite   DWR  piece  is,  why  and  how  does  it  inspire  them  daily.  This  is  providing  a  story  to  an  influential  person,   which  will  grip  the  publics  to  buy  in  and  hopefully  get  involved.  DWR  would  certainly  comment  and   respond  to  picture  submissions  showing  publics  DWR  are  here  and  listening. Sharing  stories  will  forever  be  an  important  tactic  in  public  relations.  People  have  been  attracted   to  storytelling  since  the  beginning  of  time.  DWR  is  currently  using  a  lot  of  videos  to  give  some   background  of  designers,  architects  and  artisans.  However,  many  of  the  videos  are  over  12  minutes   long.  I  suggest  continuing  to  tell  the  stories  of  those  that  inspire,  create  and  design  DWR  products,  and   make  this  tactic  synonymous  with  the  DWR  brand,  but  make  the  videos  shorter  and  more  user  friendly.   This  will  help  us  achieve  a  more  human  tone  and  allow  us  to  build  relationships  with  our  publics  as  we   entice  and  maintain  involvement  by  satisfying  their  informational  and  entertainment  needs. I  will  also  implement  a  number  of  contests  that  will  keep  target  publics  involved  with  DWR   social  media  sites.  Contests  will  run  periodically-­-­possibly  1  per  quarter.  The  first  contest  I  will  host  will   be  a  contest  designed  specifically  for  our  Pinterest  page.  It  will  ask  publics  to  create  boards  on  the   popular  virtual  pinboard  site  of  DWR  products  creating  a  room  of  their  choosing  to  be  focused  on  the   DWR  blog  centered  around  a  new  and  emerging  trend.  Contestants  will  then  be  asked  to  submit  their   boards  via  email  to  DWR.  Winners  will  win  recognition  across  all  social  media  channels  and  a  $2,500  

gift card.  This  will  get  people  pinning  our  products  across  pinterest  so,  we  will  get  free  visibility  across   the  channel,  and  it  costs  next  to  nothing  for  us  to  host  this  contest. Pinterest,  as  well  as  Instagram,  will  be  a  focus  for  DWR’s  social  media  strategy.  Both  channels   are  extremely  visual,  which  suits  DWR’s  beautiful  authentic  design.  On  these  platforms  though  DWR   will  focus  on  being  innovative  and  creating  fresh  alternative  posts  rather  than  simply  sharing  photos  of   the  products.  DWR  will  certainly  focus  on  pinning  photos  and  links  to  sites  that  capture  an  authentically   designed  lifestyle  by  creating  boards  of  furniture  that  showcase  specific  design  principles  like  color  or   texture  or  boards  that  showcase  emerging  trends  like  this  season  green  is  in.  We  also  see  benefit  in   posting  things  that  our  target  audience  will  respond  to  that  goes  beyond  our  products  and  maybe  even   beyond  furniture,  for  example  we  might,  post  quotes  that  relate  to  architecture,  design  and   craftsmanship. In  addition  to  getting  publics  to  consistently  interact  and  return  to  DWR  social  media  channels,  I   will  also  focus  on  monitoring  what  is  being  said  about  DWR  and  respond  accordingly.  During  the   research  phase  of  this  campaign,  I  saw  a  number  of  negative  tweets  regarding  DWR  that  went   unanswered.  I  will  respond  to  tweets,  even  the  negative  ones.  When  someone  has  an  issue  with  DWR  I   will  be  sure  to  provide  them  with  the  appropriate  phone  numbers  or  email  addresses  to  those  that  will   help  the  issue.  The  last  thing  I  want  is  to  ignore  negative  tweets,  comments  and/or  postings  and  find   DWR  amidst  a  crisis.  I  will  listen  and  monitor  to  be  proactive  as  best  I  can. It  is  also  important  to  monitor,  listen  and  respond  accordingly  to  social  media  communication  so   that  DWR  may  see  what  is  working  and  what  is  not  working.  By  being  aware  of  this,  we  are  able  to   alter  our  tactics  at  anytime  depending  on  our  goals  at  the  moment.  For  this  reason,  this  campaign  does   not  really  have  a  definite  calendar.  We  will  literally  be  reinventing  our  social  media  strategy  all  the  time  to  

keep it  fresh  and  new.  The  above  tactics  will  all  be  concentrated  on  for  a  period  of  three  months  with   the  expectation  of  seeing  dramatic  results  on  the  social  media  channels.  

Traditional &  Social  Media The  focus  for  this  campaign  is  to  utilize  a  variety  of  social  media  channels  to  increase  DWR’s   online  presence  so,  in  this  case  traditional  media  does  not  play  a  role.  However,  we  will  use  flyers,  and   memos  to  encourage  employees  to  get  involved  in  DWR’s  social  media  channels.  We  will  announce  our   plans  and  ask  for  their  cooperation  in  spreading  the  word  about  DWR’s  innovative  authentic  culture  and   products. In  using  social  media  it  is  important  to  point  out  that  we  will  not  be  posting  all  messages  to  every   single  channel.  Instead,  we  will  determine  which  social  media  channel  will  be  best  suited  by  evaluating   which  site  reaches  which  public,  and  which  public  will  be  more  likely  to  accept  and  act  from  our   message. Below  are  the  social  media  channels  DWR  will  focus  on  for  this  campaign. Reddit: DWR  will  use  Reddit  to  upload  stories  and  articles  to  drive  traffic  to  DWR’s  website  and  blog.  We  will   submit  items  often  so  that  we  will  gain  a  more  loyal  following  and  increase  DWR’s  online  presence. Digg: Digg  has  a  huge  following  online  because  of  its  optimum  usability.  We  will  submit  and  browse  articles  in   categories  that  are  similar  or  related  to  design,  architecture,  craftsmanship,  culture  and  the  arts StumbleUpon: We  plan  to  open  DWR’s  online  presence  to  audiences  that  may  not  know  they  are  interested  in  design.  

We will  publicise  all  blog  postings  by  submitting  to  StumbleUpon  and  let  people  stumble  our  posts. YouTube: We  will  use  YouTube  to  post  our  videos  and  then  distribute  them  across  our  other  social  media   channels. LinkedIn: LinkedIn  is  a  popular  networking  site  where  a  company’s  publics  may  connect  online.  We  will  update   our  profile  here  and  use  LinkedIn  to  harness  the  power  of  our  employees.  We  want  to  further  our  brand   and  employees  are  certainly  seen  as  DWR’s  ambassadors.  We  want  to  encourage  them  to  get  active  on   the  sites  and  spread  the  word  that  DWR  is  on  the  front  lines  of  social  media  ready  to  inform  and   entertain. Facebook: DWR  is  a  business  with  a  bottom  line  and  ultimately  our  focus  is  to  increase  brand  awareness  and   therefore  sales.  Today,  businesses  vie  for  advertising  opportunities,  event  promotion  and  more  on  this   social-­networking  site  and  we  will  be  no  different. Wikipedia: Wikipedia  sometimes  gets  overlooked  when  it  comes  to  business  use.  But  DWR  plans  to  redesign  the   business  reference  page  on  Wikipedia,  in  addition  to  connecting  with  other  users  on  Wikipedia's   Community  Portal  and  at  the  village  pump,  which  is  full  of  conscientious  professionals  enthusiastic  about   news,  business,  research,  culture  and  society. Twitter: Twitter  is  of  course  the  microblogging  service  that  allows  anyone  to  send  short  text  messages  140   characters  in  length,  called  "tweets",  to  your  friends,  or  "followers."  DWR  will  use  this  platform  to  

provide information  when  asked  for  it,  share  news  and  update  publics  on  contests. Foursquare: Millions  of  times  a  day,  people  use  foursquare  to  check  in  and  share  where  they  are.  Many  check  in  as   they  check  out  a  new  restaurant,  meeting  up  with  friends,  or  visiting  a  favorite  boutique,  they  are   chronicling  and  sharing  their  adventures.  DWR,  as  a  business  and  brand  on  foursquare  will  offer   discounts  and  appreciation  when  people  check  in  to  DWR  studios  across  the  U.S. Pinterest: Pinterst  in  a  virtual  pinboard  service  is  attracting  plenty  of  attention.  It  is  a  visual  site,  which  fits  well  with   DWR’s  visual  product. Instagram: Instagram  is  a  mobile  application  now  accessible  on  most  smartphones.  It  allows  for  fast,  beautiful   photo  sharing.  DWR  will  essentially  use  instagram  in  a  manner  that  mixed  tactics  used  for  both  Pinterest   and  Foursquare.

Select Measurement  Approach As  previously  mentioned,  this  strategic  social  media  plan  will  aim  to  boost  an  already  existing   presence.  Because  it  is  a  social  media  campaign  measurement  is  sometimes  difficult.  We  will  consistently   monitor  our  efforts,  though,  and  the  responses  we  are  getting.  We  want  to  be  aware  of  what  is  working   on  which  social  media  sites,  and  what  is  not.  Some  posts  may  be  popular  on  Reddit  but  fall  flat  on   Pinterest.  Simply  put,  DWR  will  continuously  ask  why  this  is  the  case  and  work  to  figure  out  what  factor   made  it  successful  on  one  site  and  not  another.  DWR  will  then  alter  the  strategies  based  on  what  we   find.  It  will  be  an  ever  evolving  campaign  that  must  expand  and  grow  repeatedly.

Questions DWR  will  ask  to  measure  success: ○ Have  we  reached  the  TA  with  social  media? ○ Are  they  responding  &  getting  involved? ○ Has  brand  perception  evolved  &  matured? ○ Are  Sales  up? We  will  also  monitor  click  through  and  link  relocation.  Any  link  we  put  out  on  the  web  will  be   analyzed  to  see  who  clicked  the  link  and  what  was  their  geographic  location.  We  will  be  able  to  see   how  many  people  clicked  the  link  and  on  which  page  they  found  the  link  as  well.  We  will  also  note  the   number  of  post  “likes,”  comments,  retweets,  upvotes,  tags,  mentions,  replies,  friend  requests,  follows   etc.  and  determine  whether  these  are  superficial  one  time  visits  or  if  we  are  finding  publics  are  returning   and/or  staying  longer.  

Budget Areas The  majority  of  a  social  media  plan  budget  goes  to  devoting  time  and  resources  in  the  form  of   educated  and  strategic  employees.  Many  businesses  do  not  understand  the  importance  of  having  a   well-­strategized  social  media  plan  and  its  influence  on  the  bottom  line.  For  this  reason,    I  would  estimate   75  percent  of  the  budget  be  devoted  to  recruiting  talented  people  who  understand  the  importance  of   every  post,  tweet  and  article  serving  a  purpose.  Ten  percent  would  be  devoted  to  creating  professional   videos  and  photos  to  share.  Another  ten  percent  would  go  towards  graphic  web  design  so  that  the  look   of  our  social  media  sites  match  that  of  our  website  and  shows  consistently  the  images  that  represent  our   brand-­-­the  coloring  must  match  exactly,  no  pixelated  logos  etc.  The  remaining  5  percent  of  the  budget   will  go  towards  hosting  contests  and  providing  prizes  for  the  winners.  

Strategic Social Media Plan  
Strategic Social Media Plan  

A Strategic Social Media Public Relations campaign researched and developed for credit towards MA in Public Relations from Iona College.