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  • Edna Campos 9:00 am on June 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , online strategy, , , , tracking   

    5 key questions for assessing your company’s presence in the social networks 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    5 key questions for assessing your company’s presence in the social networksEvery day businesses become more convinced about the value of integrating social network strategies in their business strategies.

    A brand isn’t successful in the social network if it doesn’t have anything interesting to say, it doesn’t know how to say it, nor how, nor when.

    Companies that understand this are capable of delivering a dialog directly to their customers. However, many companies start out without a firm base and lose interest when they don’t see results. If this sounds familiar, ask yourself:

    1. Is my online presence strong? Many companies start with great impetus, creating profiles in social networks, but don’t have a web page (or it’s out of date or unattractive), which is the most important property for your online presence and where traffic generated in the social networks should be directed to.

    2. I’ve set my goals and created a strategy for social networks? Developing a plan is crucial. If you don’t have a Social Media and Content Marketing strategy and you appear with what you have up with in that moment, you’ll have little or no opportunity to stand out.

    3. Are your social network profiles optimized? For example, does your profile image represent your brand clearly? Is the bio information complete?

    4. Am I using too many social networks and are my target audience there? Users congregate in different communities, consume different contents and browse different networks. Monitoring the conversations enables you to assess and determine where to put effort in the right networks.

    5. Do I have enough time? It is very common to see how social network profiles are created and then abandoned. If we don’t have enough time or resources, it is best to hire the support of experts who can look after it for you or can give you the right tools and consulting.

    Edna Campos (@RiolanVirtualBS) is Expert in Internet y Social Media Marketing based in Mexico and offers support to independent professionals and small businesses around the world.


     
  • Pedro Rojas 8:38 am on July 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online strategy, ,   

    Six principles for Social Media reporting for Community Managers 

    Note from the editor: Pedro Rojas has been so kind as to let us have this article from his blog (in Spanish) which mentions amongst other things, how to use Zyncro for the management of information found in Social Media analysis.  At Zyncro we believe this case study to be perfectly adaptable to other information “reports” generated within the different departments of a company and for this reason have decided to share it. Thanks @SeniorManager.

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    I must confess that I like writing about these topics because they really demonstrate that Community Management is a profession with objectives, strategies, tactics and results; seeing as a social networks fan probably does not need to register their activity as opposed to a Community Manager.

    The client needs to know “what” they have invested in and reporting is the best way to show this.  To begin with, here are two reflections…

    • A Social Media strategy is of no use to us if it cannot be measured.
    • It is pointless to establish objectives if they are not monitored afterwards.

    There are hundreds of follow up reports and templates in existence that can be created from the use of KPIs that have been established at the start of the Social Media Plan, but they must all meet the following six principles, based on the well known: “What, who, when, how, where and why”, but in this case applied to Social Media… as follows:

    1. What information should be included?:

    The information should be balanced in terms of quantitative and qualitative and in a coherent proportion to the company, with the networks used and with the number of professionals involved: but always geared towards goals and objectives.

    They should reflect numerical data that points towards implementation of the strategy, using date and KPI order in such a way that they can later be added or subtracted (as needed) but always recording developments.

    It is also convenient to include competitor information depending on the strategy and the business model of the type of brand.

    2. Who should reports be aimed at?:

    Regardless of the type of strategy or organizational complexity of the company, reports should be created as the client need requires; this refers to the tone, the vocabulary, semantics, syntax and editing style with a focus towards the complete comprehension of all of the information by somebody who has never been exposed to the 2.0 world or its culture.

    In general, one person from the client company is assigned to receive them and forwards a copy to the strategy manager.

    3. When is information recorded and when are the reports handed in?:
 Daily record and follow up templates must be designed in order to have “sentiment” (positive, negative and neutral).  Nonetheless, sensitive content and/or information reports or criticism should be handed in on a weekly basis. 
Monthly and trimestrial reports may be a summary of the weekly including the parallels of the least crucial representative information for decision making.

    4. How to report: 
Reports should be simple in structure but powerful in terms of information that demonstrate a result oriented focus as well as the most determining factors.  It is of no use to know that twitter followers have decreased if there is no indication as to the possible causes; the aim is not “reporting for reporting’s sake”.  There is a need to complement the report with analysis and commentary of results as well as possible deviations or corrective suggestions.

    What the Community Manager does on a daily basis is not at question, moreover we are concerned with what is actually “happening” in each network based on analysis carried out on the variables involved and the facts obtained.  This is the value of the information that will allow us to make decisions if necessary.

    5. Where should reports be handed in?: 
Daily follow up reports should be accessible to the people involved via tools such as DropBox, Zyncro or BaseCamp.   The content of weekly, monthly and other reports can be “captured” with some type of graphic and be “accompanied” by commentary to later be presented in person or be made available for their review and analysis in spaces where they can be most visible; this also includes virtual applications as well as allowing for a printed version to be attached to the typical notice board.

    6. Why do we need reports?:
 To be clear, a Social Media Plan constantly evolves and is where we can outline a path towards the achievement of objectives, a path full potholes and “dangers” (literally), and for which we need a guide in order to determine what works and what does not.  Applying Social Media as a method is simple trial and error and there is no time to lose.  For this reason it is necessary to know what is happening right now as and when things take place and not next week.  The value of numbers in Social Media is incalculable and measuring strategy in order to know the results of what we are doing is fundamental.

    Reflection

    Appropriately designed reports are like a type of map that allows us to move forward with our social media plan.

    They allow us to learn a lot about the current and future strategy which is why its design must include graphics, analysis and overall relevant anecdotal components in order to continue to evolve.

     

     
  • Diana Moret 12:44 pm on May 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online strategy   

    How to turn business difficulties into opportunities online 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Previously, we reflected upon the apparently bizarre optimism present in the professional online sector.  So today we will discuss how this argument can also be sustained from a pure marketing perspective.

    If we consider the economical crisis as obsolescence of previous models and systems gone by, it will not be too difficult for us to see the glass half full.  Allow me to explain…

    Economically unstable times are usually loaded with opportunities.   With regards to the topic at hand (online), the apparent arguments support the idea that everything, even what is considered odd (Amazon is making millions out of this) can be sold on the Internet.

    Microsegmentation of the audience (possible thanks to technology 2.0), the consequent long tail phenomenon (or the minority business), the power of the crowd (or online multitude) and Word of Mouth are treats for anyone who wants to make any difficult business into a profitable model with a good online strategy.  To show that there is always a commercial opportunity in the digital world, we will outline a few cases of other quite different sectors that share some difficult factors.

    Case 1

    How can I make use of the intangible product assets in order to sell tangible products and increase market potential?

    Let us imagine a company that produces and sells music.  Specifically a mellow kind of music as well as being against the system with the objective of waking consciences.

    Initial difficulties:

    • Poorly differentiated product, of an intangible nature, subject to social clichés.
    • Consumer typology outlined as tribal or closed community international and apparently a minority.
    • Business model (music sales) steep and with a format crisis.

    Opportunity:

    On the whole, intangible products (like perfume or music) rely on powerful emotional or philosophical incentives.

    Strategy:

    1. The tangible aspect of this product (anti-system philosophy), goes much further than the product itself (musical style) and allows us to reach a much wider public.  If we base strategy on the philosophical, we connect not only its style lovers if not a segment potentially identified as the Neither-Nor generation.
    2. The process consists of creating the brand based on the philosophy and commercialise it by means of tangible product merchandising.  This process could be initiated by creating an entertainment content proposal in line with the Neither—Nor segment predominantly found on-line).  This means to reinforce the philosophy into one character that represent the Neither-Nor mentality and disperse these reflections via 1 minute video capsules with a highly absurd take on them but always reflecting the brand and its moral (to awaken consciences).
    3. To reinforce this idea of the philosophical brand rather than a musical one, videos of the character are made viral on Youtube and mainstream social networks among young profiles.
    4. The Internet will become a monetizing space for the philosophy by means of merchandising sales (t-shirts, gadgets, etc) of the character and the brand.  It will also include free music downloads, listening (an opportune alternative to the original model by Spotify) and track sales (iTunes model).
    5. In addition, it will include contextual publicity of activities and content (videogames, sports, travel cinema etc) in line with the target market as LKXA does with their infinite list of advantages for clients.

    But, let’s put the icing on the cake with a more complex case…

    Case 2

    How can I promote a product with unpleasant attributes online from a rational perspective?

    A company that manufactures just one type of sauce with a strong and bitter taste decides to bring out a second type, even stronger and more ghastly than the other in order to achieve growth within the market.  Bizarre…but feasible online.

    Initial difficulties:

    • Product with rationally negative attributes (taste, colour, etc) apparently a minority.
    • Great lack of consumer awareness (the distributor filter always separates nutritional products from the end consumer)
    • Product restraints due to distributor power to purchase what sells the most and its own brands.

    Opportunity:

    When a product is uncommon and a minority, its few consumers are usually loyal.  If we consider this strength in order to illustrate the exclusivity concept, we will draw an efficient online strategy from this.

    Strategy:

    1. The first thing to do would be to identify the heavy-users (those who consume in larger and more frequent volumes) via an online demonstration campaign as to their love for the sauce.  Later (offline), they are invited to an exclusive event where they can try different possible versions of the new sauce.
    2. Based on this idea of exclusivity, the campaign continues with the online engagement creating a specific club where the real sauce lovers have to demonstrate their passion on a social basis in order to be acceptable.  Specific social profiles are created (Facebook and Twitter) for the club as well as a microsite that requires a login.  The microsite can be used for members to show and share their love for the sauce with photos, videos, texts, etc where other members can vote.  The 200 most voted can be sent a simple of the new sauce and are asked to share their experience on the social networks so that the users can vote about what packaging and which flavours they prefer.
    3. The strategy is based on the strength of the heavy-user and on Word of Mouth (pull) as the main mechanism for the spread online.  Without a doubt, the militant brand evangelists are capitalised on with the most effective publicity format there is: recommendation.
    4. The next round would be to capitalise on the strength of the detractors, dynamising rivalry between “gangs” on the social networks.

    On one extreme of the seemingly unmarketable is this portal for private island sales. It is clear that there is something for everyone on the Internet, as well as for every pocket!

    Solutions such as freemiumcloudSaaS and internal management free software, promotion and online sale, join the opportunities scenario with free services or cost per user for businesses.  This is the case for Google Analytics (free) for the conversion scorecard web metrics, Salesforce (cost per user) or Sugar CRM (free software) for knowledge and client management, Google Website Optimizer (free) or Hubspot (cost per user) for web and SEO optimization, Magento (freemium in the cloud) for e-commerce, Pentaho (free software) for Business IntelligenceZyncro (SaaS freemium in the cloud) would be the umbrella application making its way towards integrating the best business productivity tools.

    Another positive indicator for, is that only 11% of Spanish companies make sales via their websites (according to Information Technology studies in SMSs and Large Enterprises carried out in 2010 by the Department of Economic Affairs.

    To Summarise…

    Internet is a business mine for businesses of all sizes because:

    • All products can find their target market online
    • A multitude of free online business tools exist at very reasonable prices.
    • In the majority of sectors (except in tourism), online sales competition is inexistent.

    Therefore this would be my personal choice of key points for a good online strategy:

    1. Identification, segmentation and dynamising of heavy-users 2.0 in order to provoke the (on and off) engagement and natural recommendation (WoM).
    2. Format and business model innovation in the sectors most affected by the economical crisis.
    3. Freemium, the cloud and free software for business development.
    4. E-commerce.

    Do any of these cases sound familiar to you? Can you think of any that challenge or support this point of view?

     

     
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