Hootsuite’s meetup events (Hootups) and brand ambassador programs help them gain global reach with amplification. They empower engaged users to act as brand advocates. Product releases shared with ambassadors drive 200% more engagement and reviews. The Brand Advocates share regional insights, offer product feedback and support in 22+ languages and support their 15,000 registered customers in the Support Forum with 80% response rate. They drive localisation efforts by hosting 200+ events in 62 countries. Hootsuite uses gamification incentives for engaged users to go above and beyond for their brand. Grow the love for the brand by providing your influencers with exclusive content and insights.
Build relationships with key members of the community, and each other
Nurture customers and develop engagement strategies
Add extra value via inspiring, educating, and entertaining customers with thoughtful moderation, relevant content and both online and offline experiences
Engage employees to make your brand personal and accessible to customers
Deliver insights about your customers and use data to continually improve, grow, and foster your community
In terms of community’s impact on business, it costs 80% less to retain a customer, than acquire a new one. Increasing retention rate by 5% can increase profits by 95% over long term, and increased engagement on community sites can result in 25% increase in revenue.
Run social campaigns to allow your community members to tell their stories. Timely content creates conversation and drives engagement with stories, experiences, and momentum. Inspire your fans by curating experiences and stories that surprise and delight. Allow the community to be the storytellers greatly impacted Herschel Supply business and brand sentiment. The #WellTraveled photo contest gained 480k new Instagram followers, a 60% increase in positive brand sentiment, and provided the community an opportunity to tell their own visual stories.
Dr. William J. Ward, Education Strategy at Hootsuite and Social Media Professor at Newhouse School and Syracuse University, emphasized how employees can build brand love. “52% of customers say they trust employees.” Motivate with purpose, not profits. Mobilize with education and provide the tools. Make sharing content simple and easy and bring employee ideas front and center.
Natasha Shumny (@NatashaShumny), Corporate Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager at Triumph Hotels (@TriumphHotels) Discover Triumph’s seven unique and historic hotels in New York City, each offering a distinct experience inspired by its neighborhood, from TriBeCa to the Upper West Side.
Twitter Tips to help you make the most of your time. Yes, there are actually strategies for maximizing your 140 character missives. My advice won’t apply to every case, but I hope it will serve as a good guide for helping you craft a personalized approach for your needs. The suggestions below are primarily geared towards businesses, but can used for personal accounts, too.
As I mentioned, there are exceptions to my advice. So, if you’re a haute couture fashion model, you might want to skip to step two. Everyone else, you’re here to engage and collaborate. Project approachability. Smile! Be the “person I’d like to have lunch with,” not “person I’d rather walk up 20 flights of stairs to avoid rather than share an elevator with.” Be a confident, compassionate leader, not a dull, disinterested slacker.
If you’re really camera shy, you can use a logo or photo of an inanimate object. I wouldn’t advise it, though. People want to put a face to the tweets. Either option is still infinitely better than the default Twitter egg, however. If you can’t bother to put up any profile image, why should anyone bother to take you seriously?
This step is an extension of picking a good profile photo to represent you. Whenever I look at a new Twitter profile, I look at the photo first [out of instinct], then the bio. Who is this person? Why would I care what s/he has to say? Tell your audience who you are — Concisely & directly: What is your function? What is your expertise?
I highly advise a link to a fuller bio for people who want to know more about you. My suggestions are LinkedIn or About.me If you have various social media accounts, the latter will neatly organize all of your redirects in one place.
Yes, there is a definitely a place for Twitter accounts that just broadcast news. They are called news outlets, like The Wall Street Journal or CNN. For most other companies, I believe it’s much more effective to humanize your Tweets. Because there will be some people who are only interested in corporate updates, I urge keeping two accounts. One that is business-oriented (Product launches, formal announcements and the such) and a second that allows for more creativity (Employee stories, thoughts about other industries, etc.). Humanize yourself and your staff. Who works at your company? What are they interested in outside of the office? Build an emotional attachment to your brand.
Hootsuite makes managing multiple accounts very easy, even on an Android phone.
If you plan to keep a business account that is not limited to formal corporate announcements, make sure you balance the ratio of personal to professional tweets. I would aim to keep work-related updates around 70%.
Decide when you want to send out your updates. If your company is international, but based in the U.S. you might want to schedule tweets to out at 9PM US time to appear on an Asian timeline at 9AM. Figure out what time slots work best for your company and plan accordingly.
I’m currently experimenting based on Dan Zarrella’s concept of “contra-competitive timing.” In numerous cases, he discovered that the most successful times and days to publish new content are off-peak times. “It’s like when you’re at a noisy party and it’s hard to hear the person talking to you 2 feet away, but… When there is less other noise to compete with (ie fewer tweets, emails, blog posts, etc) your content can gain attention more easily.”
Again, I recommend Hootsuite for this job. Huge fan.
Now that you’ve decided XYZ day at XYZ time is optimal for you to tweet, don’t bombard your followers with all your insights at once. I don’t think that anyone needs to send out more than one tweet an hour. Any more than that, you’re should either be classified as a good friend (in which case, you should just text my personal phone number or email me directly) or a spammer (in which case, just stop. Stop now- seriously).
You have 140 characters to tell me something. Give me details.
Pointless: Checked out some clothes. Totally going shopping.
Much improved: Went to Hermes fashion show with @heatherpixley. Must buy green cashmere turtleneck Heidi Klum wore.
Quality tweets attract quality followers.
Don’t blindly follow everyone who follows you. Yes, it might feel a little rude, but it’s better than cluttering up your feed with updates that are completely irrelevant to you. I have no interest in buying real estate in Florida. Sorry.
The more time you spend on Twitter, the more feeds you will follow. Make organized lists and use them. Otherwise, things have the potential to become very messy and overwhelming after your feed tops 50 unless you only follow very niche accounts which don’t update often.
It’s also a great public service. I’ve found some great lists compiled by others. I can follow 36 new photographers or 63 CEOs in just one click.
Give. Receive. Share.
Exchange information and build relationships. This is how you will make the most of your time on Twitter.
Empower yourself and others. Remember, we’re here to be social. In fact, Social Media Week’s theme in 2012 focuses on “Empowering Change through Collaboration. This theme is designed as a call to action, allowing individuals- like you- and organizations around the world to explore how social media empowers citizens, increases mobility, enables mass collaboration, develops hyperlocalism, maximizes interconnectedness, fosters knowledge creation & sharing, bolsters leadership, and encourages global empathy.”
Twitter is best understood and used by those who do. Experiment. Everyone needs a different strategy. Find the approach that works best for your specific case. I would be remiss not to tell you to heed caution in your activities, though. This is a very powerful vehicle for communication. The larger the corporation, the higher up in management, the more visible you will be. Be vigilant in your messaging choices and stay on course.
I hope this list helped you. I could go on, but I like the alliteration of Twelve Twitter Tips. Also, I reached my word limit for this post.
Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on Twitter.
Susan Halligan, the former Marketing Director of The New York Public Library (NYPL), established the first-ever marketing department for the 100-year-old institution, transitioning the library from traditional communication platforms to new media platforms. The library’s “Don’t Close the Book” advocacy campaign was named by MarketingSherpa to the 2010 Viral and Social Media Hall of Fame. Today, she is a Social Media Consultant based in New York working with cultural organizations such as The American Museum of Natural History, various non-profits, startups, and authors on social media strategies spanning channel selection, content marketing, employee activation, stream management, listening and measurement. As a multidisciplinary marketer, her specialty is integrating social media into traditional marketing and communications channels.
A familiar face at Social Media Week, Susan moderated 2011 panel, “The Inner Workings: Social Media Success Through Coordinated Staffing,” and co-keynoted “The Connected Network” at the Arts Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Day in London in November 2011. On February 14, she will moderate Literature Unbound: Radical Strategies for Social Literature at NYU during Social Media Week New York 2012. I spoke with Susan to learn more about her work and experiences.
You have quite an impressive biography. How did you become involved in social media?
Thank you, Lisa. I began to explore Facebook and Twitter in the early fall of 2008. Honestly, I originally started playing around with the platforms, because I had a very small marketing budget and was lured by the fact that the platforms were free. It was very much a “let me see what we can do with this” undertaking. I had no idea, actually, what I was doing, but spent a lot of time exploring and learning, and began to see that social could be integrated into traditional communication channels and that it was an opportunity to take the library’s brand and initiatives to entirely new audiences in a very powerful way. I became very passionate about social and remain so. While paid media remains an important component in any marketing campaign, the trend for marketers is to spend more resources on social and less on paid.
You established the first-ever marketing department for The New York Public Library. What changed?
Most of the library’s outreach efforts prior to my hire were concentrated on print advertising. I was hired to create and implement an integrated marketing effort across multiple channels.
In 2010, you helped The New York Public Library win the PR News Non-Profit PR Award: “Use of Twitter, Success through a Coordinated Staffing Model.” What went into this work?
I built a teamapproach to content marketing at the library. Non-profits have limited resources (i.e., people) to push messaging. But a big organization like the library has multiple message points: programming, customer service, circulation, collections, to cite just a few. It’s a matter of coordinating outreach. Though internal education and training, a regular working group of key stakeholders, the creation and implementation of polices, including a Crisis Plan, Best Practices and an Editorial Calendar, we were able to dedicate staff throughout the organization to message on a daily basis using team tools like HootSuite and Socialflow.
What kind of metrics were used to determine that The New York Public Library is #1 public library in the world on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare?
Community growth, brand mentions, interactions and referrals. We published a monthly Metrics Dashboard using Facebook Insights, the HootSuite and Socialflow Twitter clients, Twitter Counter, Radian6, AddThis and Google Analytics. We shared the data with key stakeholders and examined it closely for insights about messaging, engagement and content.
How does social media for a library differ from social media from other companies?
It doesn’t. Like any business engaged in social, we had a long-term customer-centric vision. One of our major goals was discoverability. We wanted social users to be to be surprised and delighted to find us online (and to discover online and offline resources, like free databases and thousands of programs) and to think “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that at The New York Public Library.”
Have your ideas ever been challenged? Which ones and how did you overcome resistance from others?
If an idea isn’t challenged, it may not be that good. The first step in social media iteration is to identify the organizational challenges: internal resistance (turf, legal, security), lack of resources, lack of skills, an ever-changing technology space and the ongoing challenge of measuring ROI.
Alignment is key: the ability to rally internal resources and stakeholders is the #1 skill in successful social media integration. Evangelizers must be able to maneuver adeptly within an organization and rally the “deciders” for support.
Does Foursquare have any real purpose in relatively remote towns with a maximum of 30 retail businesses?
As part of its 2011 Centennial, NYPL was the first in the world to secure a Foursquare badge. The badge was yet one more way to introduce the library to new audiences and it proved a very successful partnership in terms of unique users, check ins and check outs.
AdAge recently did a post about Foursquare’s connection to “mainstream” retailers. Chris Copeland wrote: “Foursquare is a regional play that masks what it is not – a middle America, mainstream tool.” He suggested that Foursquare needs to continue to educate businesses about the benefits of its platform.
What do you think is Foursquare’s future?
Mobile location-based social networking will continue to be adopted.
Of all the campaigns you’ve led, which was your favorite?
The Centennial of NYPL’s flagship Fifth Avenue building in 2011. It was a perfect storm of owned, earned and paid media: there was an exhibit; a microsite; multiple programs; an advertising campaign that included print, radio, outdoor, transport and online; publications; signage; ecommunications; and a deeply integrated robust social effort across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. I secured VIK sponsorships from The Wall Street Journal, Titan Outdoor and the MTA to support the efforts. One interesting metric from the campaign was the incredibly high level of engagement with the library’s social content.
What is the most innovative use of social media that you’ve seen?
I am a big fan of Coke’s social strategy and tactics. I love that their Facebook Page is governed by regular fans, not “experts.” At the library, much of its social success is owed to the contributions of its staff. Power to the people!
Lisa Chau has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. View her online portfolio or follow her on Twitter.