2013 February

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK – COPENHAGEN – DAY 4

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Today I only attended one of the events that caught my attention with a very lucrative headline:

Measure Social media: Measure or die, what you can measure you can manage.

Whad did we learn from it? Not much on how to measure the actual ROI, as everyone expected, but a rtaher insightful presentation on what a great tool Social Media is and what we could learn from it.

“Social Media is a gift to a company” – probably the best quote to describe the essence of this presentation. There’s so much data to pick from the social media and then tailor it to your needs.

Once again, personalisation was strongly highlighted (see report on Day 2 event and the power of personalisation on LinkedIn). As well as the fact that you need to know your audience in order to engage with them – do your research, use keywords and read into data you collect from the Social Media channels.

How to tell an engaging story? Our presenter suggested to use a classic Screenplay Structure to tell engaging stories. Here’s the example of it if you’re not failiar with it.

I don’t think that everyone got the real point behind it – especially after days of being suggested to keep textual content on pages as short as possible to create the most engaging content – but a story could also be told with pictures, right?

Help and ancourage people online instead of just throwing marketing messages out. Noone likes to be hit in the face with a billboard. Instead, communicate with people. Social Networks ar just for that – socializing and engaging in a dialogue.

Becoming a brand ambassador. Even engaging with as little as 5% of your fans/followers can get you further as these are the people who will then use word-of-mouth to tell other about the great job you are doing. Another reason to speak to individual rather than sending out a mass message.

Finally, as many might have wondered that all this listening, analyzing and having a smple comversation might take an awful amount of time. Yes, it does – but while you might choose not to do all of this, another business, similar to yours will and will easily take over the competition. Making an extra effort always pays off even if you won’t see a queue of customers outside the door the first day you sign up to Facebook getting a word about you out there will eventually bring business to you.

I really hope that these insights are helpful to you and your business. I got to learn a lot over this week from people who do great work in various industry sectors – and I am looking forward working with some of teh suggestions. Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or comments.

Regards

Alex @ micropro.ie

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK – COPENHAGEN – FINAL DAY

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Social Media Week Final Day aka the most colourful. It all started with coffees and croissants at Advice office and a wonderful talk by Jacob Mouritzen on don’t’s and do’s (yes, in that order) of International Community Management.

Good points taken away from the talk:

– DON’T reuse content. Posting some old material that you used previously just to show new followers and fans is never a good idea – people can tell old content from new.
– DON’T enable automatic Tweet-to-Facebook and FB-to-Twitter option. These two networks use different languages and serve different purposes. Write a short message on Twitter with the link and a more descriptive one on Facebook
– DO determine your audience and segment the content (know who your audience is and find the most appropriate language you want to use with them)
– DO make lists: have agendas, make a plan for weekly posts, if possible have someone with an eye for good visual content and someone who can write well on the team – attribute appropriate roles to people’s talents in your company
– DO use exported data sheets from Facebook to get to know your audience better.
– DO use Google analytics to track apps on Facebook

There were other very good points too – but I think these are the points that are most relative to a small business without an International outreach which I was more interested in.

The Advice office is this great open space with white walls, glass walls to sonference rooms and bright green furniture. I was very excited to see these white AOC screens in reception that fitted so well with the interior – and just check the cute bird on one of them!

The colour scheme creates a very relaxed but thought provoking atmosphere!

Then it was for the last talk of the week from probably the most fun company around – LEGO. What made Peter Espersen’s (Global Community Lead for Lego) talk so particularly brilliant was his obvious passion for his work and the brand. He was very excited to talk to the audience and also get feedback and questions – overall you were left with the impression that Lego all abotu being fun, loving their fans and fan art and genreally being a very happy place for all. Overall keyword – “fun” – which is exactly what a toy company should be. Job very well done.

He spoke of the two initiatives of LEGO:

– CUUSOO (http://lego.cuusoo.com/) – an open platform for you to create your own LEGO idea. You can learn about it by checking the link – but the sotry behind it is what is interesting. LEGO used to have standard rejection letters for people who would send in their original ideas. An now they have an open platform for these ideas – and if you can get enought people to support your great idea they might (still subject to revision) manufacture it and even give you money for it. Did you ever want to send in your design ideas to companies as a kid? This is a great idea – and what is most important – it brings a community of innovators together, and makes people think of Lego more.

– ReBrick (http://rebrick.lego.com/) – a whole new social network built on fan material. A lot of it was already out there – we got an example of Eddie Izzard’s Death Star Canteen Lego Video version as an example. And there are many more: people making videos, Lego sculptures and artwork – sharing it (or as they call it “ReBricking”) with the rest of the world.

LEGO have recognised their fans’ passion and interests and have given them a special platform to interact on. It’s the recognition, appreciation and openness that had lead them to a great place they are now at.

Two things that really fascinated me about this:

– LEGO CEOs meet-and-greet with their fans at least twice a year – it humanises the brand even more and shows that they are open to opinion. Why not organise a party for your customers?
– Great customer feedback example. So, the fans on Facebook have set up a page called “For all those who have experienced pain by stepping on a Lego” and the page has gathered 300,000 likes (now over 500,000). Lego could not leave this fact without action and they have put togther an apologetic video to the fans who have “experienced the pain” and for those “Lego bricks falling under feet” – it’s fun and shows that Lego really appreciate their fans no matter what the feedback is. Great and responsive customer service.

WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED OVERALL?

– companies have to have a web presence – if Google doesn’t find you, it will find someone else for the job
– research your market, know your audience, adjust to their interests and needs
– engage in and ecnourage conversation, don’t try to convince people to buy your product
– find relative topics, ask questions – engage
– visual content works better than a lot of text
– have a well-defined strategy and plan
– reasearch how the social tools you use work and adjust your message accroding to their functions
– quality over quantity
– BE HAPPY doing your job will make you do a better job too!

I really enjoyed this whole week in Copenhagen. If you want to learn more from the great minds in Social Media today you can catch up on some of the recorded talks from all participating cities:

http://new.livestream.com/pages/smw

Happy Socialising!

If you have any comments, recommendation or questions – let me know!

Regards

Alex @ MicroPro.ie

COPENHAGEN SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK – DAY 3

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By the third day of the Social Media Week you’d think that everything that had to be said about Social Media has been said twice and thrice already – but we’re really only in the middle. There are so many great and inspirational talks to attend and watch online, that you wish that the day had a couple more hours to it!

Today, I cycled over to Carlsberg HQ to watch a presentation by Peter Muhlmann from TrustPilot that could be summarised as “how to deal with reviews online”. If you want to see some short take-out points from it look for #smwtrust on Twitter for audience interaction. And here’s my summary from it:

Social Proof is Everywhere: Google Search > Browse Website > Price Comparison Sites + Company Reviews + Social Media > Checkout

According ot Muhlmann most of our purchases made offline are affected by the choises we make online. The most important source of opinion are usually our friends. And as any small business owner knows: word-of-mouth is the most powerful tool of bringing customers to your door. Online reviews are like digital word-of-mouth available to anyone. Anyone can use Google nowadays and everyone knows a good value in shopping around. So, it is important to have an active digital presence – but it is also great to have a good digital reputation. So, you Googled yourself and found bad reviews?

Bad reviews are not always a bad thing. Lack of bad reviews is actually what is more untrustworthy and a review page full of flattery could look fake to the customer. It’s teh way you deal with negative reviews that’s the key. So what do you so?

1. NEGATIVE REVIEWS. Apologize. Don’t make any excuses- the best thing is just to accept your mistake and learn how you could change from that. This is polite, and it also shows that you’re taking in feedback and adjusting your business and behaviour for the good of the customer. We all make mistakes and have bad days at work – we just need to apologize for those if they have affected others.

2. ANONYMOUS REVIEWS. Most of the time these are negative – but are they trustworthy? Would you rather trust a reviewer who has made a few reviews and has a photo, name and possibly a link to Favebook page or an anonymous reviewer who only commented once?

4. GOOD REVIEWS. Say “Thak You”. It is that simple. And not only to the people praising your services but also to your employees who have provided this great customer service and gave you good reviews online. Get your employees a cake. If you’re your own employee – get yourself a cake – you deserve it!

If you are looking for reviews on a particular product – here are some DOs and DON’Ts on how to collect the reviews

5. A LITTLE TRICK. If you have a Facebook “Like” button on your website you might change it to the little banner that displays photos of people who liked your page, together with the “Like” button. People trust faces. And if they see that other people like it too, especially if their friends are on the list – they will also “like” it!

The general vibe of the whole Social Media Week in Copenhagen seems to be revolving around “happyness at the workplace”. You can really see why Denmark is considered to be the “Happiest Country in the World” – it’s just people want to be happy throughout the whole day. And as noted in this talk too – we spend more time at work than socializing with our friends or doing, well, anything else. So, why not take enjoyment and pride from what you are doing and pass it onto customers? Great mood and good job will alwasy be appreciated well.

You can watch the full talk here: http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1886304

I attended another event later that mose more related ot the personal interest of mine – music business. I don’t think it would be relative to this page to put some points from it down, but still there are good few things a small business could learn from it.

– enjoy your work (as before) and work for personal fulfillment rather than money. If you’re interested in the project you’re working on, or your job in general it is more fulfilling and would bring better results rather than you just chasing the profit.
– sometimes it’s better to allocate some work to other people. There are plenty of free resources for self-marketing and production but if you do it all by yourself it could take away from your creative process – and if it’s the essence of your business, why not appointing someone else to do these jobs for you? Especially if they know how to do it and do high-quality work?

If you are interested in this talk anyway, you could watch it here: http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1886304

If you have any questions or comments I would like to hear them!

Regards

Alex @ MicroPro.ie

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK – COPENHAGEN – DAY 2

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View from Dansk Design Center – another great venue for a talk

The second day of Social Media Week in Copenhagen started with uneasy cycle (the only efficient way to get around between talks and presentations) against a super-strong wind – at least there was no rain or snow!

Day 2 talk was held at the Microsoft Denmark HQ

I was on my way to Microsoft Denmark HQ to hear a talk on LinkedIn efficiency delivered, yet again, by wonderful Vertic (see my Day 1, Part 2 for their previous presentation on Digital IQ).

So, what did we learn most from this session? Personalization is a key to successfull marketing. LinkedIn allows you to reach professionals and CEOs (something where Facebook and Twitter fail or not particularly relevant).

It would work the best for the B2B companies – where you have a business solution and want to reach out to a business decision maker. An example? it was quite outstanding. Vertic have worked with Vestas (wind energy company) to design a LinkedIn campaign that would target each company they were interested individually: a CEO of Starbucks would see a banner with his company’s name on it when a CEO of Microsoft would see theirs and so on. I couldn’t find the video they used for the presentation, but if you’re interested in finding out about this particular case in detail it’s available on PDF (http://marketing.linkedin.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/LinkedIn_Vestas_CaseStudy2012.pdf)

So, what if you’re a much smaller company with a smaller solution and you don’t use an ad agency to design all the glitsy campaign for you?

LinkedIn also have an option to send an inMail. Do you have a business solution to sell? Determine who you would want to contact with your solution and search for them on LinkedIn. If you don’t know the names of companies or CEOs – you can also search by categories. But, avoid generic mailer. It has to be personal – from reaching out to them using their name to making a business proposal with their business information taken into consideration. And where you find this information? It’s all on LinkedIn!

The second talk I got to attend was all about organising your orgnisation (or company) when you have a lot of social media channels. This talk was, perhaps, more relevant to organisations that work on a more glabal scale.

There were some great points raised by all the panelists (represented by Danish Cancer Society, Carlsberg, MindJumpers (social media company) and Martin Professional (B2B biz)):

– Content is the key. It’s all good fun sometimes to publish fun photos but the content has to be relevant to your business. Make great content and people will come for your business rather than for fun factor (unless your business is in spreading fun)
– Locals create better content – this is if you have content you want to share abroad – do not rely on Google Translate as it won’t get a cultural aspect accross, could seem offensive to some and might come at the wrong time (taking into account current events in the country). If you’re choosing another company to spread out to – employ locals to speak for you.
– Engage your employees with Social Media – this would be a message of an optimist, but really – if your employees are happy working with you they will be happy to share your messages too. Employees might have their own leads and if they are passionate about their company they will be talking about it left and right and evenetually it will reach the right ear – or right social media channel. This, however, would have to be discussed with the employees first, as there could be some things they might not be allowed to say working for certain industries – but you got the message.

Want to learn something more about the effectiveness of Social Media? Some of the talks are streamed online. The ones I did not make it to today but watched and strongly recommend for you to watch too are these presentations by Better Place & Purpose Makers on why happy employees make for a better company and a some other great ones.

Why We Love Companies With A Purpose – Engaging employees
http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1886278/videos/12028471

Why we love companies with a purpose – Mobilizing the crowd
http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1886281

Why we love companies with a purpose – Having an impact and making a difference
http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1886284

Why we love companies with a purpose – We need companies with a purpose
http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1886288

If you have any questions or comments – let me know! I’d be glad to hear them!

Alex @ micropro.ie

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK Copenhagen – Day 1 – Part 2 – Market research

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The second event of the day I got to attend was more advanced than the morning introduction to Facebook tools and featured an unlikely case for a Social Media success. As the presentation was peppered with many business school terms and analytical charts I will not go into much detail but just point out some great ideas that cam out of it.

Digital IQ – Listen Before You Speak by Vertic & Velux Group

Digital advertising minds at Vertic have been working on a strategy they call “Digital IQ” – a “supply and demand for a company in digital space”. Basically, it’s a market research. They encourage businesses to gather data from what is said about their brand online, what is said about the competitors, what customers are searching for and what they comment on.

Taking in and analyzing this data, they have come up with a social media strategy that responds to customer needs rather than simply pushes out a pre-written marketing message or whatever business thinks customer is interested in – and that’s something that was mentioned at the previous talk I got to attend. Social Media is not about dictation but rather conversation.

Do you know what your customers (and potential customers) are talking about? If you’re a small business doing the social media-thing on your own, do you also do your research? Do you use keywords, Twitter filters and do you listen to customers online? If you’re a shop selling multiple brands, do you reasearch what customers are talking about in relation to these brands?

An unlikely Social Media success example? Vertic have been working with Velux – yes, the window company – applying their Digital IQ framework. The result? It might have not yet reached the peak of its success but it looks like Velux are leading way ahead of their competition – simply because the competitors don’t seem to be applying any strategy at all. And Velux now know what their customers are looking for and what they are conserned about without surveys, case studies and other elaborate research approaches.

Bottomline? Social Media can work in favor of any type of business when used properly and with an applied research. Not convinced yet? Watch another “unlikely” Social Media success story of Maersk – yes, the shipping and energy company: http://new.livestream.com/smwcopenhagen/events/1885534.

Missing out on Social Media Week? You can catch up with a lot of talks online (mind, not all of them are in English): http://new.livestream.com/pages/smw

Have questions? Comments? Let me know

Alex @ micropro.ie

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK – COPENHAGEN – DAY 1 – Part 1

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Social Media Week is here! And it’s very exciting to get an insight into some of the most effective social media strategies from the best in business and off course share them with the rest.

The first talk of the day was held in a Planetarium – it must have been the biggest PowerPoint (or rather Flash) presentation ever – projected on a spheric walls of the venue – it even felt somewhat futuristic!

UNIVERSAL TOOLBOX FOR FACEBOOK hosted by Essencius.dk/

MAIN POINT: “Success on facebook = strategy + execution” – define what you want to accomplish, who is your audience, what is your budget, do you want to have promotions or just run customer service?

QUOTED: “Hope is not a strategy” Rick Hope

DETAILS: Timeline communication is the essence of social media interaction.

– Text without visual content does not catch attention or engage

– Pictures always work best! (90% information transmitted to the brain is visual and visual is also processed faster by the brain)

– Promotions and teasers – great to get new followers and award the existing ones but don’t condition your fans only to come to your page for contests

– Comment Management – instead of replying in a corporate manner use the language of your customer (“fan”) to respond to comments. A negative comment can turn in your favor if it’s responded to properly and cooly. And always respond to Facebook comments and messages – if people reach out to you on social media they expect to get an almost instant responce.

– Show off your Facebook team (Shop/company team) – to humanize the company (brand)

– special offers for Facebook fans and coupons work great – but don’t overdo them as of the above promo suggestion

That’s the way your FB picture looks to the fan

INTEGRATION: create synergies / increase awareness / achieve cost savings / reinforce the message

Could a Facebook picture be more efficient than a banner or an ad? Just look at this screenshot:

THINK: What companies do you follow on Facebook and why? People become fans on brands because they are interested in their content. See what pages you like and learn from their strategies.

Alex @ micropro.ie