Congratulations to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Lawrence, Kansas. The church has undergone an abundance of difficulty over the past few years as it searched for a new pastoral leader. Since Father Matt Zimmermann has taken the helm, St. Margaret’s has been rebuilding not only its congregation, but also its identity. NLC Social Media has helped them do that by creating a Social Media campaign, allowing St. Margaret’s to interact with its congregation at many levels and seek new members using venues never before considered. Facebook and Twitter are used, as is Constant Contact, and now a new website. Congratulations to St. Margaret’s for taking the intiative to create a community of worship.
In a recent survey of more than 2700 corporate executives, SmartBlog on Social Media explored how company leaders view social platforms at this moment in time. Here are the results:
How familiar are business leaders with social media?
Back to school: 75% of respondents say they were either knowledgeable or actively trying to learn about social media.
Are their companies currently using social media/social tools?
Getting there: 51% of respondents say their companies are actively using and exploring social media in a number of business areas.
Another 30% are in pilot test/consideration mode.
Only 27% say they are not using social media now and won’t be in the future.
Is social media just a marketing fad?
Social media is here to stay: While many leaders say they see social media as somewhat “over-hyped,” 63% of respondents say they disagree with the notion that it is a marketing fad.
Is it a waste of time?
Good use of company resources: 55% of business leaders say social media is not a waste of time.
What are the implications of ignoring social media?
Missing the conversation, both good and bad: 83% of respondents agree that social media gives them a window into what their customers are saying about them, and 80% say that social media has the power to magnify negative news about a company.
This is obviously a key point of concern. Falling behind the competition: 40% of respondents say they fear they are falling behind their competitors in using social media. Also, 25% admitted that they did not know what their competitors were doing in the space.
To read the entire article, go to:
Coke recognizes there are more than 5,000 conversations that mention Coke on social media networks EACH DAY. They see this as a huge public relations opportunity to take advantage of these conversations. After all, social media is about a conversation, a dialogue, a way to change a person’s feelings, perceptions, beliefs, or emotions about a product, brand or service.
Coke had adopted two primary sayings/philosophies in regards to their social media:
- “Keep fish where the fish are” … put compelling content where our fans are (YouTube, Facebook, Digg, Bibo, Orchids, Hi5, etc)
- “Keep fans first” … we are an invited guest in social media. Our brand is not what we think it is, it is what our fans, our consumers, think it is.
In the next few weeks, Coke will be unveiling its new Tools and Principles of Social Media – inviting Coke’s entire workforce to respond and participate in the social media project. Empowering the workforce, who are not official spokespeople for Coke, to participate in the many conversations taking place in social media.
By Brian Solis
2010 is designated as the year Social Media proliferates mainstream businesses. Indeed this year will showcase the transformation of business acumen while also shifting the culture and the communication that embraces an inward and outward flow for listening, interacting, learning, and adapting.
Social Media Marketing is exhilarating to behold as it evolves “media” from a broadcast platform to a sophisticated network of connections and rewarding engagement. We learn that through participation, we ultimately eradicate the myths that initially fueled skeptics and prevented early experimentation. The perceived loss of control was in actuality, the ability to realize public sentiment and the gatekeepers who could help us actively steer perception. It is a chance to actually gain control rather than simply possessing the illusion of it.
The 10 Stages of New Media Evolution
Stage 1 – Observe and Report
This is the entry point for businesses to better understand the market behavior and interaction within their marketplaces. These initial tasks materialize the current state of affairs that defines share of voice and the potential for new opportunities to compete for attention.
Listening: The employment of listening devices such as Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Radian6, and PR Newswire’s Social Media Metrics to track conversations and instances associated with key words.
Reporting: Capturing related conversations tied to commentary into a report prepared for executives and managers. This early form of reporting is merely designed to provide decision makers with the information to demonstrate the need for continued exploration into social media and its potential impact on business.
Read the other stages here:
Southwest Tweets, Blogs Apology to Kevin Smith
Filmmaker Kevin Smith sent a series of exasperated Tweets this weekend claiming that he’d been kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for being “too fat”. Proving, perhaps, the speed at which Twitter can spread messages about your brand, the Tweets have been picked up by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, ABC and other major outlets.
Read the entire story here: http://mashable.com/2010/02/14/southwest-kevin-smith/
Developing a social media campaign can be a daunting process if you haven’t thought through how it connects with and to the rest of your business development tools and strategies. Luis Ramos, CEO of The Network, reminds us that creating a social media strategy is a complex exercise because “it includes not only looking inside the organization to establish appropriate practices, usage policies and content parameters, but it also includes looking outside the organization to determine the proper degree of engagement.”
1. What’s Your Objective?
Figuring out why you want to engage in social media is an important first step. Do you want to:
- be more responsive to your customer?
- increase awareness of your product or service?
- incorporate your customer’s feedback to the development of new or existing products or services?
- use the campaign to brand your organization?
There are many reasons to engage in social media. Remember your campaign must be measurable with objectives that can be accomplished in a reasonable timeline.
2. Who Will Manage Your Campaign?
Ramos suggests including in the strategy the position responsible for updating content as well as the update frequency. “Many organizations have grand plans of updating content on a regular basis only to quickly run out of topics, leaving content to become stale. As a best practice, a specific employee is typically assigned to create and manage the company’s social media pages, so he/she can respond to messages and questions within 24 hours.”
Depending on the size of your organization, the management of this campaign could take place in the marketing or communications department. These campaigns are generally huge undertakings as it is critical to keep your information fresh and current. Another option to consider is using external resources (i.e. consultants, agencies) for all or certain aspects of the strategy and internal resources for the rest. Regardless of who is managing your campaign, communication to organizational leadership is critical to share knowledge obtained from your followers and customers.
3. Teach Your Employees
How will your employees be involved in your organization’s campaign? There is likely to be a policy involved here in terms of whether or not your employees are allowed to engage in social media during work hours. But consider involving them into your campaign.
Christopher Barger, director of global social media at General Motors, Barger explains several things the company did to convey GM’s approach. “We posted a 45-minute ‘Social Media 101’ interactive training course on the intranet that gives employees the basics on how/why/where to engage in social media. Additionally, we developed a ‘201’ level ‘train-the-trainer’ course that introduces more complete tools and tips. Those who’ve taken this course are authorized to train others within their departments on the basics of social media. Finally, we have an internal blog, ‘Making Conversation,’ that focuses on sharing lessons we’re learning through social media outreach.”
It is important to realize that social media is just a part of the overall business development strategy. During 2010, more companies are expected to explore and engage in social media activities. While some might categorize using a social networking application as easy, that doesn’t mean developing a strategy is simple. Proper planning and execution is the key to integrating social media into your organization.