“Leveraging the Chatter platform, along with other Salesforce products, businesses can create external portals that will allow consumers and partners to communicate directly with the company… The issue Salesforce is trying to resolve is an ability to bring conversations into company sites and applications.”
Source: The Next Web
Start with the top-down support. Recruit an executive to email employees about what’s happening, and follow up immediately with calendar invites for the main events. Focus on why the events matter to employees and set up a space on the intranet with all the details. Put up posters and signs across campus, again focusing on what’s in it for employees. Set up shop around any large employee events (e.g. All Hands meetings) and get assertive: hand out info and talk up the planned events.
The booth needs to provide value and help meet your goals. Are you trying to recruit employees as internal bloggers? Have them participate in training modules? Sign them up for their own social media accounts? Prepare materials to facilitate these objectives, including handouts with basic how-to’s or guidelines, and make sure the team staffing the booth is equipped to answer both basic and more in-depth questions.
Employees quickly tire of hearing the same thing from the same person, but when you bring in fresh voices – especially credible industry voices – you can really grab their attention.
Panels are especially suited to conveying the value of social and the role of employees. Recruit panelists from partner or peer brands as well as from social media agencies. The more relevant the social experience, the better – and don’t be afraid to discuss competitors. Host the panel over lunch and promote it as an anchor event to drive interest and participation.
NetApp’s social media week involved two opportunities for free professional headshots. It was quick and easy – employees simply provided their email addresses and primped themselves. The headshots were for employees to use as they pleased and weren’t kept for corporate purposes. Pointers suggested employees use the shots to update or set up social profiles.
Many employees are either hesitant to get involved in social in the first place or wary of integrating personal and professional lives on social networks. Training sessions may not reach all of these folks, but an option for “counseling” can bridge the gap.
Start with basic training (“LinkedIn 101,” “Twitter 101,” etc.) including Q&A opportunities. Offer more advanced users an opportunity for one-to-one “counseling” to discuss specific challenges and questions. Of course, booth staff and the rest of the team should also be equipped for these deeper conversations.
If you don’t already have them, create brief monthly dashboards with graphs and charts of key social metrics. These metrics should go beyond follower growth and reach to provide data directly related to business goals, such as share of voice or competitor comparisons. Display metrics at an awareness event as well as across campus and host lunches where you can walk people through what the numbers mean. Use this to sustain momentum and keep people across the organization excited about what social can do.
On April 4th, more than 200 marketers, producers, and strategists from the agency and brand worlds gathered at Manhattan’s Bowery Hotel to discuss the importance of good storytelling, brands’ evolving publishing role, and the future of social sharing. Members of the PN Connect team sat in on the three panels and captured key takeaways.
Scott Roen, Vice President Digital at American Express, described a similar approach behind Open Forum, AmEx’s thriving community of small business owners. The team recruits a wide range of business experts and leaders, and constantly monitors how content is performing to hone their calendar. Jeannie Reeth, Senior Director of Social for North America at eBay, explained that content across the brand’s targeted blogs was a critical element in building relationships with new and existing customers.
One engaging idea was tapping client executives to serve as historians and storytellers. Often they know more about the brand than most and are natural content creators, without the fee.
Leading up to the party, the team developed a clear content plan focused on extensive imagery and video. During the reunion, onsite team members engaged guests in conversation and directed staff videographers and photographers to capture compelling moments, such as painted models showcasing designer concepts. HP ePrint photobooths made it easy for guests to personalize and share their experiences via Instagram and Twitter, while a prominently displayed hashtag on the wall helped bring the online conversation together. Off-site team members quickly selected the best pictures, videos, and comments coming from the party and published them to HP’s Twitter and Facebook channels.
The focus on visuals represented the spirit of the event in a way pre-planned messages couldn’t, while speedy publishing kept the online conversation exciting.
This was one of the insights that informed the Victoria Traffic Accident Commission (TAC)’s innovative “Roadtrip Forever” driving safety campaign. Working with Australian media giant Southern Cross Austereo, TAC tailored the campaign to Victoria’s young drivers, who account for only 13% of license holders but make up 26% of car wreck fatalities.
First, the TAC brought its message directly to the target audience. Research showed that the 18-25 demographic preferred online channels as the most effective platform for brand communication, making a web experience the logical approach. Second, the TAC researched prevailing behaviors and attitudes among young drivers to identify what messages were most likely to resonate.
The result was two narrative films – one tailored to young men and one to young women – personalized with Facebook Connect data. “Road Trip Forever” incorporates the viewer’s own friends and photos into a short film, with a first-person point of view of an emotional road trip and its tragic end. The film aimed at young women focuses on the distractions of phone use, while the film geared to young men focuses on speeding.
The unexpected and novel experience drove extensive sharing and engagement. More than 60% of viewers arrived via referrals, with the audience spending an average of four minutes on the site.
As with “Take This Lollipop,” which was a hit at SXSW last year, high production values bring the viewer into the experience, and unexpected turns make a lasting impression.
Each issue, we hear from a digital or social media program leader. This month we talk to Anna Eschenburg, Community Manager at salesforce.com
How did you land in your current role?
It’s a bit crazy to think when I graduated college five years ago, community manager wasn’t a common role. I grew from marketing Mixbook’s Facebook application in my first internship to managing Facebook pages at Chegg during my second internship. I continued to grow in the digital space, helping brands work authentically with bloggers, managing multiple social channels and overseeing implementation of all of Facebook’s brand page changes over the past five years. Coming to salesforce.com has been a fantastic opportunity for me. Making this jump has allowed me to specialize and focus on engagement for a very active social community.
What are you most proud of?
I joined salesforce.com shortly before Dreamforce 2012. Diving right into the planning and execution of the Social Media Command Center at the show has been a highlight of my career. The purpose of the Command Center was to give the Dreamforce attendees a lens into the daily work of of the social media team at salesforce.com. It allowed salesforce.com to showcase how we listen and engage with our customers not only at Dreamforce but also on a daily basis. On a personal level, my friends and family finally understand what I do everyday! It’s been an amazing ride!
Tell us about an average day for you.
My day-to-day is really all about engaging with the salesforce.com community. As a brand, we see about 80,000 mentions a month across all platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc). We’re listening for things like product feedback, technical questions, wins, and even sales opportunities. On top of that, I work on planning awesome community content, hosting Twitter Q&As, engaging during webinars, and in-person events.
What’s the biggest industry challenge you see ahead?
One of the biggest industry challenges I see is that marketers have access to so much data, but they really need help in making sense of it all and using it to drive business results. Brands are seeking ways to leverage their communities and real-time trends effectively to make decisions. I see this coming into play in community as well as advertising across social channels.
What advice would you have given yourself four years ago?
The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone in the social media industry is to network, network, and network some more. You can make connections anywhere you go, and I wish I would have taken advantage of meetups, tweetups and tweet chats on a regular basis.
Each month we select a client’s “Burning Question” and solicit answers from other clients and our senior staff. Something on your mind? Drop us a line at email@example.com and tell us about it.
Meet-ups are a great way to bring your online community into the “real world,” giving followers a new kind of connection with your brand and humanizing your social media presence. Here are 10 tips for maximizing the opportunities a meet-up provides and helping the event go smoothly.
Of course, you can still leave room for improvisation to maintain that real-time feeling. For instance, if you know movie trivia will occur at the event, you can prepare language for a tweet teasing a sample trivia question and then add the actual question to the tweet at the last moment. When planning updates, consider what will elicit responses from both attendees and those following from home. A meet-up also provides a chance to resurface past content related to the theme of the meet-up.
For more information about PN Connect, or to learn how we can help your organization with digital strategy, development and measurement, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Wu, Stephanie Cooper, and James O’Malley in the New York office provided the data and insights in the Social Networking Stats and Advertising Trends sections, as well as the Appendix. This month’s Noteworthy News stories come from Chris Thilk in Chicago and Tom Harris in Raleigh, and our feature story on energizing employees about social media comes from Andrew Stoltzfus in San Francisco.
Chris Edwards in Washington, D.C. and Dave Coustan in Atlanta brought us highlights from our recent discussion with Marshall Kirkpatrick. Mary Gaulke in Winter Haven shared insights on organizing a successful meet-up, and Kendall Reischl in San Francisco brought us the spotlight interview with Anna Eschenburg. Lisa Kay Davis in New York provided the case study on the HP Project Runway Reunion Party as well as the report from Contently’s Social Media Summit. Mandy Griffiths in Melbourne contributed the Roadtrip Forever case study. Mary Gaulke, Ashley Johnston, Josh Hallett, Dave Coustan, and Tom Harris provided editorial, styling, and proofing support.
Finally, special thanks to Jeremy Harrington, Nik Wilets, Sean O’Shaughnessy, Brock Angelo, Peter Schiebel, Mark Parolisi, and John Ciacia from the Platforms team for launching our new web format.
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