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White paper The benefits of being social

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					                                                                                                                                                         May	
  2011	
  
White	
  paper:	
  	
  
The	
  benefits	
  of	
  being	
  social.	
  
	
  
	
  
                                                                                                             CHARLENE	
  KREPIAKEVICH	
  
                                                                                          Marketing,	
  Communications	
  &	
  Brand	
  Strategist	
  
                                                                                                                                                  	
  
What	
  is	
  social	
  media?	
  
                                                                                                                                                                            	
  
The	
  best	
  way	
  to	
  look	
  at	
  social	
  media	
  is	
  through	
  a	
  community	
  lens.	
  Communities	
  are	
  comprised	
  of	
  
like-­‐minded	
  individuals	
  pursuing	
  and	
  sharing	
  knowledge,	
  common	
  interests,	
  passions,	
  products,	
  
vocations	
  or	
  issues.	
  Social	
  media	
  is	
  the	
  gathering	
  of	
  communities	
  in	
  an	
  online	
  manner:	
  exchanging	
  
information,	
  interacting,	
  sharing,	
  questioning	
  and	
  networking.	
  	
  This	
  interaction,	
  taking	
  place	
  in	
  an	
  
online	
  forum,	
  can	
  be	
  as	
  simple	
  as	
  asking	
  for	
  your	
  comments	
  or	
  letting	
  you	
  vote	
  in	
  a	
  poll,	
  or	
  it	
  can	
  be	
  
as	
  complex	
  as	
  recommending	
  products	
  or	
  services	
  based	
  on	
  your	
  interests,	
  needs	
  and/or	
  purchases.	
  
	
  
What	
  are	
  some	
  social	
  media	
  channels?	
  
                                                                                                                                                                            	
  
Social	
  media	
  websites	
  enable	
  online	
  communities	
  to	
  gather	
  and	
  interact	
  with	
  a	
  product,	
  brand	
  and	
  /	
  
or	
  other	
  visitors.	
  Any	
  website	
  that	
  invites	
  you	
  to	
  interact	
  with	
  the	
  site	
  and	
  with	
  other	
  visitors	
  falls	
  
into	
  the	
  definition	
  of	
  social	
  media.	
  Here	
  are	
  some	
  examples	
  of	
  social	
  media	
  websites:	
  
	
  
       • Social	
  Bookmarking.	
  (Del.icio.us,	
  Blinklist)	
  Interact	
  by	
  tagging	
  websites	
  and	
  searching	
  
               through	
  websites	
  bookmarked	
  by	
  other	
  people.	
  
       • Social	
  News.	
  (Digg,	
  Reddit)	
  Interact	
  by	
  voting	
  for	
  articles	
  and	
  commenting	
  on	
  them.	
  
       • Social	
  Networking.	
  (Linked	
  In,	
  Facebook,	
  Thumblr,	
  Hi5,	
  Last.FM)	
  Interact	
  by	
  adding	
  friends,	
  
               commenting	
  on	
  profiles,	
  joining	
  groups	
  and	
  having	
  discussions.	
  
       • Social	
  Photo	
  and	
  Video	
  Sharing.	
  (YouTube,	
  Flickr)	
  Interact	
  by	
  sharing	
  photos	
  or	
  videos	
  and	
  
               commenting	
  on	
  user	
  submissions.	
  
       • Wikis.	
  (Wikipedia,	
  Wikia)	
  Interact	
  by	
  adding	
  articles	
  and	
  editing	
  existing	
  articles.	
  
       • Geolocation.	
  (Foursquare,	
  Gowalla,	
  Yelp,	
  Loopt)	
  Interact	
  by	
  showing	
  your	
  location	
  and	
  
               activity.	
  
	
  

Why	
  engage	
  in	
  social	
  media?	
  
                                                                                                                                                                 	
  
Establish	
  a	
  brand	
  and	
  raise	
  awareness	
  
Nearly	
  75%	
  of	
  the	
  global	
  population	
  is	
  engaging	
  in	
  an	
  online	
  community.	
  Interacting	
  within	
  social	
  
media	
  communities	
  can	
  help	
  build	
  brand	
  awareness	
  and	
  increase	
  your	
  profile.	
  If	
  you	
  have	
  yet	
  to	
  
create	
  a	
  company	
  website	
  or	
  blog,	
  a	
  social	
  network	
  is	
  the	
  place	
  to	
  do	
  start.	
  Create	
  a	
  YouTube	
  video	
  
that	
  entertains	
  and	
  informs.	
  Engaging	
  videos	
  tend	
  to	
  make	
  their	
  way	
  around	
  the	
  Internet	
  a	
  lot	
  faster	
  
than	
  any	
  other	
  kind,	
  so	
  when	
  making	
  a	
  video,	
  keep	
  in	
  mind	
  that	
  you	
  want	
  it	
  to	
  be	
  interesting	
  enough	
  
for	
  your	
  target	
  audience	
  to	
  want	
  to	
  share.	
  Using	
  Facebook	
  and	
  Twitter	
  to	
  create	
  an	
  online	
  community	
  
that	
  your	
  customers	
  will	
  want	
  to	
  visit	
  will	
  boost	
  brand	
  loyalty	
  and	
  drive	
  traffic	
  to	
  your	
  website,	
  
allowing	
  you	
  the	
  chance	
  to	
  make	
  more	
  online	
  sales.	
  
	
  




                                                                                                                                        	
  
                                                                                                                                        	
  
                                                                                   LI.	
  http://ca.linkedin.com/in/charlenekrepiakevich	
  
	
  
                                                                                                                                                         May	
  2011	
  
White	
  paper:	
  	
  
The	
  benefits	
  of	
  being	
  social.	
  
	
  
	
  
                                                                                                             CHARLENE	
  KREPIAKEVICH	
  
                                                                                          Marketing,	
  Communications	
  &	
  Brand	
  Strategist	
  
                                                                                                                                                  	
  
Gain	
  competitive	
  knowledge	
  	
  
Through	
  social	
  networks,	
  you	
  can	
  follow	
  your	
  competitors	
  and	
  monitor	
  their	
  activities,	
  promotions	
  
and	
  strategy.	
  Knowledge	
  gained	
  from	
  social	
  media	
  channels	
  can	
  provide	
  market	
  research	
  and	
  help	
  
shape	
  your	
  own	
  strategy,	
  create	
  differentiators,	
  develop	
  new	
  products	
  and	
  identify	
  opportunities.	
  
	
  
Talk	
  about	
  your	
  services	
  &	
  products	
  in	
  a	
  personalize,	
  engaging	
  manner	
  
Social	
  media	
  sites	
  allow	
  you	
  to	
  discuss	
  your	
  business	
  in	
  an	
  engaging	
  manner	
  that	
  will	
  help	
  connect	
  
with	
  your	
  customers.	
  Ask	
  their	
  opinions	
  and	
  entice	
  them	
  to	
  respond	
  back.	
  This	
  way	
  you’re	
  making	
  a	
  
valuable	
  connection	
  with	
  them	
  that	
  will	
  help	
  you	
  grow	
  your	
  customer	
  base.	
  Introduce	
  or	
  feature	
  a	
  
product	
  on	
  a	
  social	
  media	
  site	
  to	
  get	
  immediate	
  feedback	
  and	
  attention.	
  Offer	
  a	
  promotion	
  to	
  your	
  
online	
  community	
  members	
  only	
  and	
  watch	
  your	
  engagement	
  and	
  leads	
  increase.	
  Engaging	
  with	
  
your	
  customers	
  in	
  a	
  personalized	
  way	
  through	
  social	
  media	
  will	
  help	
  build	
  trust,	
  which	
  will	
  make	
  
customer	
  more	
  comfortable	
  to	
  do	
  business	
  with	
  you.	
  It	
  will	
  also	
  improve	
  the	
  chances	
  of	
  customer	
  
referrals	
  and	
  introductions.	
  
	
  
24/7	
  Market	
  Research	
  
Social	
  media	
  sites	
  provide	
  direct	
  access	
  to	
  your	
  potential	
  target	
  audience	
  and	
  enable	
  you	
  to	
  see	
  what	
  
is	
  being	
  said	
  about	
  your	
  company	
  or	
  your	
  products.	
  Ask	
  questions.	
  Post	
  a	
  poll.	
  Solicit	
  comments.	
  And,	
  
when	
  visitors	
  to	
  your	
  social	
  media	
  channels	
  comment	
  on	
  your	
  products	
  or	
  services,	
  respond	
  in	
  a	
  
timely	
  manner.	
  This	
  provides	
  ongoing	
  market	
  research	
  and	
  that	
  will	
  lead	
  to	
  improved	
  customer	
  
satisfaction	
  and	
  loyalty.	
  
	
  
Build	
  Your	
  Personal	
  Reputation	
  
Social	
  networks	
  allow	
  you	
  to	
  get	
  your	
  name	
  out	
  to	
  the	
  world	
  and	
  talk	
  about	
  things	
  that	
  matter	
  to	
  you.	
  
This	
  will	
  help	
  you	
  build	
  a	
  good	
  online	
  reputation,	
  which	
  is	
  critical	
  if	
  you’re	
  looking	
  for	
  a	
  job	
  or	
  even	
  a	
  
new	
  business	
  contact.	
  Linked	
  In	
  allows	
  you	
  to	
  display	
  your	
  full	
  resume	
  online	
  for	
  any	
  future	
  
employers	
  or	
  recruiters	
  to	
  see.	
  If	
  you’re	
  passionate	
  about	
  a	
  certain	
  subject,	
  online	
  communities	
  help	
  
build	
  your	
  reputation	
  and	
  develop	
  relationships.	
  This	
  will	
  help	
  bring	
  you	
  new	
  opportunities	
  that	
  
never	
  would	
  have	
  existed	
  otherwise.	
  
	
  

Where	
  to	
  start?	
  
                                                                                                                                                                         	
  
Know	
  your	
  audience	
  
Like	
  all	
  marketing	
  initiatives,	
  social	
  media	
  requires	
  that	
  you	
  have	
  a	
  good	
  understanding	
  of	
  your	
  
audience	
  or	
  customers.	
  If	
  you	
  are	
  unsure	
  where	
  your	
  customers	
  are	
  on	
  the	
  social	
  web,	
  ask	
  them.	
  
Most	
  of	
  the	
  time,	
  this	
  simple	
  question	
  can	
  lead	
  to	
  an	
  interesting	
  conversation	
  on	
  your	
  marketing	
  
strategy.	
  
	
  
Far	
  from	
  free	
  
Social	
  media	
  is	
  attractive	
  to	
  small	
  businesses	
  because	
  of	
  its	
  perceived	
  price.	
  You	
  can	
  set	
  up	
  a	
  new	
  
blog,	
  fan	
  page,	
  video	
  site,	
  and	
  Twitter	
  account	
  with	
  little	
  cost.	
  There’s	
  no	
  expensive	
  software,	
  or	
  
costly	
  media	
  buys.	
  However,	
  even	
  though	
  there’s	
  a	
  low	
  price	
  tag	
  to	
  enter,	
  social	
  media	
  is	
  far	
  from	
  
free.	
  It	
  requires	
  time,	
  energy,	
  and	
  effort.	
  It’s	
  a	
  commitment	
  to	
  create	
  interesting	
  content,	
  listen	
  to	
  
conversations,	
  and	
  respond.	
  



                                                                                                                                        	
  
                                                                                                                                        	
  
                                                                                   LI.	
  http://ca.linkedin.com/in/charlenekrepiakevich	
  
	
  
                                                                                                                                                May	
  2011	
  
White	
  paper:	
  	
  
The	
  benefits	
  of	
  being	
  social.	
  
	
  
	
  
                                                                                                        CHARLENE	
  KREPIAKEVICH	
  
                                                                                     Marketing,	
  Communications	
  &	
  Brand	
  Strategist	
  
                                                                                                                                             	
  
Go	
  slow	
  
Instead	
  of	
  rushing	
  to	
  join	
  any	
  and	
  every	
  social	
  media	
  community,	
  I	
  recommend	
  a	
  targeted	
  approach.	
  
Pick	
  one	
  or	
  two	
  communities	
  that	
  are	
  important	
  in	
  your	
  market.	
  Determine	
  your	
  key	
  goals,	
  your	
  
strategy,	
  your	
  messages	
  and	
  tone.	
  Don’t	
  get	
  caught	
  up	
  in	
  the	
  numbers	
  game	
  or	
  try	
  to	
  keep	
  up	
  with	
  the	
  
big	
  brands.	
  Growing	
  your	
  community	
  is	
  important,	
  but	
  you	
  should	
  be	
  focused	
  on	
  who’s	
  engaging	
  
with	
  you	
  and	
  at	
  what	
  levels.	
  It	
  is	
  more	
  important	
  to	
  have	
  a	
  devoted,	
  enthusiastic	
  community.	
  Be	
  
patient.	
  Commit	
  to	
  spending	
  1-­‐2	
  hours	
  per	
  day	
  engaging	
  in	
  those	
  channels.	
  
	
  
Watch	
  &	
  learn	
  
There	
  are	
  some	
  great	
  companies	
  and	
  brands	
  successfully	
  leveraging	
  the	
  social	
  media	
  channels.	
  Get	
  in	
  
the	
  habit	
  of	
  bookmarking	
  and	
  noting	
  particular	
  blog	
  posts	
  or	
  company	
  responses	
  on	
  Facebook.	
  You	
  
can	
  learn	
  from	
  the	
  work	
  of	
  others,	
  while	
  tailoring	
  their	
  experiences	
  to	
  your	
  own	
  particular	
  needs,	
  
goals,	
  and	
  customers.	
  
	
  
Consider	
  an	
  expert	
  
Like	
  other	
  components	
  to	
  your	
  marketing	
  strategy,	
  consider	
  hiring	
  a	
  social	
  media	
  consultant	
  or	
  
agency	
  to	
  help	
  develop	
  and	
  manage	
  your	
  online	
  strategy.	
  It	
  is	
  important,	
  however,	
  that	
  you	
  define	
  
your	
  goals,	
  audiences,	
  tone	
  and	
  messages	
  before	
  handing	
  over	
  the	
  reigns.	
  	
  

	
  
Trends	
  to	
  watch	
  
                                                                                                                                                             	
  
Blogs	
  
Simple	
  blogging	
  platforms	
  have	
  allowed	
  individuals	
  to	
  easily	
  create	
  personalized	
  and/or	
  corporate	
  
blogs.	
  Blogs	
  boost	
  traffic	
  to	
  your	
  website.	
  Search	
  engines	
  crawl	
  the	
  web	
  for	
  regularly	
  updated	
  
content.	
  Consistent	
  blogging	
  gets	
  better	
  traction	
  with	
  search	
  engines	
  like	
  Google.	
  	
  Blogging	
  also	
  helps	
  
you	
  inform	
  your	
  consumers	
  of	
  the	
  way	
  you	
  work,	
  how	
  you	
  differ	
  from	
  others	
  and	
  how	
  your	
  services	
  
are	
  way	
  above	
  from	
  your	
  competitors.	
  A	
  blog	
  can	
  prove	
  to	
  be	
  a	
  powerful	
  tool	
  for	
  building	
  an	
  online	
  
reputation	
  and	
  for	
  developing	
  long-­‐term	
  relationships	
  with	
  your	
  consumers.	
  	
  
	
  
Video	
  marketing	
  
Data	
  from	
  search	
  engine	
  statistics	
  show	
  extremely	
  high	
  levels	
  of	
  customer	
  interest	
  in	
  videos.	
  Video	
  
marketing	
  allows	
  you	
  to	
  insert	
  your	
  message	
  and	
  personality	
  into	
  the	
  customer	
  interaction.	
  	
  Videos	
  
can	
  enhance	
  the	
  consumer	
  experience	
  by	
  educating	
  the	
  viewer	
  about	
  product	
  or	
  services,	
  putting	
  a	
  
face	
  on	
  a	
  company,	
  and	
  building	
  a	
  company	
  brand.	
  A	
  video	
  that	
  demonstrates	
  how	
  a	
  product	
  works,	
  
with	
  customer	
  reviews,	
  would	
  provide	
  solid	
  evidence	
  that	
  the	
  product	
  can	
  indeed	
  solve	
  a	
  particular	
  
problem.	
  	
  
	
  
Better	
  integration	
  with	
  traditional	
  marketing	
  
With	
  the	
  increasing	
  reach	
  of	
  social	
  media,	
  there	
  is	
  a	
  growing	
  trend	
  for	
  companies	
  to	
  better	
  integrate	
  
marketing,	
  product	
  development	
  and	
  customer	
  service.	
  Integrating	
  corporate	
  messages,	
  events,	
  
media,	
  products,	
  services,	
  customer	
  service	
  and	
  product	
  development	
  is	
  now	
  emerging	
  high	
  on	
  the	
  
marketing	
  priority	
  list.	
  Better	
  internal	
  connectivity	
  and	
  common	
  strategies	
  between	
  departments	
  are	
  
creating	
  real	
  social	
  media	
  traction.	
  	
  
	
  


                                                                                                                                   	
  
                                                                                                                                   	
  
                                                                              LI.	
  http://ca.linkedin.com/in/charlenekrepiakevich	
  
	
  
                                                                                                                                      May	
  2011	
  
White	
  paper:	
  	
  
The	
  benefits	
  of	
  being	
  social.	
  
	
  
	
  
                                                                                                  CHARLENE	
  KREPIAKEVICH	
  
                                                                               Marketing,	
  Communications	
  &	
  Brand	
  Strategist	
  
                                                                                                                                       	
  
Webinars	
  and	
  Teleseminars	
  
With	
  a	
  growing	
  targeted	
  online	
  community,	
  webinars	
  and	
  teleseminars	
  are	
  gaining	
  traction	
  as	
  means	
  
of	
  extending	
  and	
  sharing	
  your	
  product	
  knowledge	
  and	
  information	
  with	
  your	
  customer	
  base.	
  
Webinars	
  present	
  a	
  very	
  affordable	
  and	
  highly	
  effective	
  way	
  of	
  delivering	
  information,	
  addressing	
  
key	
  topics	
  and	
  issues,	
  offering	
  training,	
  and	
  selling	
  the	
  benefits	
  and	
  advantages	
  of	
  your	
  
product/service.	
  Through	
  a	
  webinar	
  or	
  teleseminar,	
  you	
  are	
  able	
  to	
  not	
  only	
  gauge	
  interest,	
  but	
  also	
  
depth	
  of	
  interest	
  (or	
  rather	
  engagement	
  to	
  your	
  solution).	
  Combine	
  webinars	
  with	
  the	
  power	
  of	
  
social	
  media	
  promotion	
  and	
  you	
  have	
  a	
  highly	
  cost	
  effective	
  way	
  to	
  drive	
  new	
  leads	
  into	
  your	
  
pipeline	
  with	
  a	
  significantly	
  low	
  marginal	
  cost.	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
“White	
  Paper:	
  The	
  benefits	
  of	
  being	
  social.”	
  
Published	
  May	
  2011.	
  
Not	
  for	
  distribution.	
  	
  
All	
  rights	
  reserved.	
  	
  
	
  
For	
  more	
  information	
  contact:	
  	
  
Charlene	
  Krepiakevich	
  
Marketing,	
  Communications	
  &	
  Brand	
  Strategist	
  
	
  
T.604.374.8999	
  
E.	
  charlenek@targethospitalitymarketing.com	
  
E.	
  ckrepiakevich@gmail.com	
  
E.	
  charlenek@cre8voptions.com	
  
	
  




                                                                                                                             	
  
                                                                                                                             	
  
                                                                        LI.	
  http://ca.linkedin.com/in/charlenekrepiakevich	
  
	
  

				
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