May 7th, 2013
Optus recently released a Future of Business Report; the document is intended to give an overview of what aspects of digital will become more important to businesses over the coming years.
Social media is right up there in the list of priorities, both internally and externally, with 68% of organisations currently owning or building a social media strategy and 81% currently owning a digital marketing strategy.
50% of all businesses surveyed are looking at implementing or further growing their digital/ social offering in the next few years.
The major social media takeaway was enforced twice within the analysis document. It provided the following the following comment:
Writing a social media strategy in isolation is the biggest mistake you can make. Companies need to figure out how to use it in context, as another channel through which they can communicate, service, and engage with customers. … Our [Westpac] app gives clients the service they want. However, it has also enabled us to build our brand, and start customer conversations, leading ultimately to higher sales.”
-Carly Loder, Chief Marketing Officer, BT Financial Group
I’ll start off by saying that creating any kind of strategy in a vacuum is cheating yourself. Nor should social media be perceived as stand alone solution to marketing. But instead of looking at the issues, I want to examine the supercharged power a social strategy has within the canvas of context.
What happens when we combine a social media tactics with an organisations strategic goals or better yet, a communications strategy?
Well firstly, these strategies take significantly less time to write. A good strategic plan will provide a point of reference as to where the organisation wants to move and how they intend to get there. A communications strategy will take the next step and examine the role of communication in achieving these goals. We’ll also know exactly what the organisation’s key messages are and how they want to be perceived.
If your building a social media strategy on the foundations of one or more of these documents, you only need to look at the existing goals and look at how the tools available through social might be harnessed towards achieving them.
For example :
An organisation might want to invest a greater portion of time towards building up a particular product within their offering.
To inform the target audience groups as to the selling points of this product through promotional content that resonates with them.
Social Media Tactics:
- Direct inquiries towards social media
- Provide tailored responses to individual inquires
- Capture and analyse the most common inquires
- Use this information to develop high-quality content that manages these typical inquiries pre-emptively.
Better still, if the communications strategy provides a series of key messages, we will have n even better idea of how to dress up our content.
Whilst the above is a pretty general example, it illustrates the advantage of being able to join the strategic dots. Additionally, whilst every strategy is going to have different tactics that will work towards achieving their goals, knowing what these goals are, and what tactics already exist will allow you to incorporate a social media strategy that complement them.
Strategies work best when all of the pieces work together, and social media is simply one tool within a much broader palette of communications tools available to you: public relations, digital media, advertising, hardcopy promotional material. They are probably all going to have an element of overlap in terms of what they communicate (not to mention who within the organisations owns them), but It’s when these tools begin to work together, leveraging off one another that you unlock the real value of each.
If you have developed social media strategy on it’s own, it doesn’t quite represent critical failure. For many organisations, social may be one of the view promotional methods that can be afforded. But if you have other communications tactics that have been implemented, you owe it to yourself to connect your strategy to it, even if only slightly. As your arsenal of tools grow, more puzzle pieces can be slotted in, and around, adding to the strength of the bigger picture.
May 6th, 2013
A couple of months back, Ad agency Wieden and Kennedy went looking for Old Spice’s next Social Media Strategist. I wrote an article about it, which you can find here. The spark notes were thus: candidates were required to jump through hoops by completing a series of bizarre challenges over social media platforms in an effort to become the next social media strategist for Old Spice.
About a month ago, we saw whoever it was that got the job, in action.
For the duration of a single week, Old Spice completely rebranded all of their social media with a new campaign. The concept was thus:
The company had hired a new marketing director to launch its new “smell of the wild” range.
That marketing director was also a dog.
March 7th, 2013
Many Australians would be familiar with the recent viral exposure of a young man being subjected to police brutality at the Sydney Mardi Gras last weekend.
I will quickly preface what I’m about to write with the following: I found the video to be very difficult to watch. From what is visible, one police officer clearly crosses the line on the front of physical force, and the young man is visibly shaken as a result. I’m also open the notion that this may well also be a severe understatement. Additionally, at least two Police officers seem to be incredibly misinformed, or at the very worst, deliberately deceptive as to the rules surrounding privacy and filming in a public place.
It’s this notion, social media and it’s impact on the new world of open justice that I’m keen to explore.
We live in a world now where everyone has the power to click a button and publish. Mass media publications are rapidly going out of business because journalism has undervalued itself.
When I say undervalued, I’m talking about two key issues; The first is that Joe and Jane Citizen are now willing to fork out upwards fifteen dollars for a magazine filled with ads, whilst only paying two gold coins for a newspaper filled with informed journalism.
The other is that, with the constant pressure to churn out material in the hope of filling the void that the first issue left; informed, quality journalism has become an endangered species. So endangered in fact that most people don’t value it, or even recognise it when they see it. Quality journalism is simply overshadowed by the poor.
February 18th, 2013
Twitter’s latest acquisition in the next in line of the Instagram-esque applications that work to sweeten your rich media content.
The concept is super simplistic. You open vine and point your camera at whatever you want to film, hold the screen at what you when you want to record and release it when you wish to stop. You can continuously stop and record for a finished product of about six seconds of film that loops continually when played.
January 14th, 2013
The report from the McKinsey Global Institute (July 2012) is an incredibly readable document that adds to the already heavy case for Social Media in business. However, it’s quick to lend a considerable amount of weight to the case for Social Media within internal communications, a facet that’s perhaps all-too readily dismissed.
“Two-thirds of the value creation opportunity afforded by social technologies lies in improving communications and collaboration within and across enterprises.” states the paper. These words may come as a shock to many who, as a knee-jerk response to the existence of Facebook have simply blocked the site entirely, removing ‘temptation ‘in an effort keeping productivity high. Social-media policies often consist entirely of the sentence “Employees are not permitted to use Facebook during work hours” and in doing so organizations seek to mitigate each and every risk with an all-out blanket ban. The advantages remained unexamined and untapped.
May 29th, 2012
The fast moving world of twitter just became a whole lot easier to keep up with thanks to some swish new developments.
May 10th, 2012
Facebook’s latest offering to Pages and businesses poses plenty of new opportunities for connecting with stakeholders, but is it walking too finer line?
So what are Facebook offers? They were initially called “Facebook coupons”. The feature allows Pages to send out promotions and special discounts to people who have liked their Page. People can then redeem these offers in person.
Doesn’t sound bad, who doesn’t like a free donut? The only catch is that the offers don’t exist exclusively in the advertising bar; they go straight to your news feed. Read more
March 3rd, 2012
As we reported late last week, Facebook Timeline has been released into open beta for Facebook Pages. You can see a preview and set up your page before publishing it, or wait until March 31 when all Pages will be moved across.
Here’s the top 10 things that are important to think about.
February 23rd, 2012
So for those of us who choose to live under a rock, the Rudd-Gillard battle for who will ultimately become the leader of the Labor Party (and PM) is on like Donkey Kong.And surprisingly – there isn’t much talk on social media.
Let’s consider things for a minute. The public is pretty interested (see the #auspol and #respill Twitter hashtags) about what is going on, and where things are going to ultimately fall. The two leaders have until Monday to pull together as much support as they can muster. So yes, it’s not exactly a public vote. But these voters are elected officials. And that means they have electorates.
Something that has been handled pretty poorly so far is their use of social media. Of course, they have a whole lot of priorities and I’m aware that it’s one small tool compared to working with the pollies.
But let’s have a look at the two tweets that have gone out:
Heading back home to Brissie. Not exactly the visit I had planned to Washington! A big thank you for all the support. KRudd
— Kevin Rudd (@KRuddMP) February 22, 2012
At 10:00AM on Monday a ballot will be called & I will re-nominate for the Labor leadership. I want this issue brought to an end. JG
— Julia Gillard (@JuliaGillard) February 22, 2012
In my opinion, Julia is ahead so far. She’s actually used twitter as a way to give an opinion, and let the public know her intention.
Look at the @replies. Rudd’s tweet has a series of replies (yes, it’s only 5, but compares well to zero) most of which are positive. So why aren’t our leaders using Twitter as what could be an intensely effective tool to advocate and influence in such a short time period?
Aside from the fact that Gillard and Rudd should have someone tweeting their comments at press conferences (so as not to just rely on the news sources), there is something I’d like to see happen, and I think that the person who does it can get ahead a long way.
How about an instant twitter campaign? So many people are following the #respill tag, and it is a real opportunity to engage with the public on issues that matter to them.
The two leaders need the Australian public to also do their campaigning work. Things like “RT if you support me to lead the country”, “Send a message to @insertpoliticianshandle with your support for me”, actual information about what they want to do and why they want to do it – directly to the public, not via a press conference: all of these things would go gangbusters. And I think that it could really help them both personalize the campaign, and garner the public’s support as part of their work in campaigning for the support of other politicians.
But since there is SO MUCH conversation going on , and often misinformation being spread, there is a huge opportunity to actually engage with the public and make them part of the debate. Sure, many people don’t care, but both politicians have their supporters (and their opponents) who they can engage with and try to influence.
Only one key piece of advice though: engage, but never feed the trolls. They bite and don’t let go.
February 10th, 2012
Many of you will have noticed that there is a new player in the social media spaces: Pinterest.
Hailed by Gizmodo as a “Tumblr for the ladiez“, Pinterest is a social-network-cross-social-bookmarking-service. Its primary demographic is 25-34 year old women, who are vastly overrepresented according to Alexa web statistics. Anecdotally, it’s also highly popular with 35-55 year old women as well, but this isn’t reflected in the statistics due to their comparative lower use of emerging networks. Pinterest is the 108th most visited site worldwide and currently 54th in Australia, and had 11 million views worldwide in December (Alexa).