Been meaning to get this up for a while, my presentation from Marketing Week Live for the IDM on Social Engagement Planning (The Front Line) with accompanying notes (and I really do mean notes!).

Slide 2

I was independent I’m just about to start working for Tidalwave as a digital planner

  • Over 10 yrs experience both agency and client side B2B and B2C
  • I currently writing in B2B marketing magazine’s social column
  • I’m not a fan of popular music
  • I love basketball and I also take a disabled group away once a year ski-ing
  • Oh and I’m a dad of about 6 months – which I why I have the permanently tired look on my face at the moment
  • Reason I’ve told you a little bit about my personal life is for engagement to work, you really need to let some of your personality into the equation so you can build relationships

Slide 3

I’d just like to find out how mature your businesses are in terms of social. So I’d just like you to raise you hands if:

  • You personally are on 1 or more social network – Result: everybody
  • You separate your business and personal networks – i.e. Facebook is for personal, lInkedin for business and – you might have 2 twitter accounts – Result: Most people – note: really suprised how scared people are at mixing their personalities into their business profiles
  • Business is on 1 or more social networks – Result: Most businesses
  • You have put in place a training and incentive scheme in place to allow employees to join the social conversation for the benefit of the business – Result: 2 out of possibly 100 people
  • You have system of measurement for engagement and conversion – Result: 2 out of possibly 100 people

Slide 4

So the differences between engagement planning and more traditional methods of communication

  • Not about push and pull tactics
  • Its about engagement, conversation and relationships
  • There maybe content that revolves around these relationships
  • Fundamental change in the way we speak and listen to people as a brand
  • Everybody is a brand champion (or has the potential to be)
  • Flexible communications, while you can build in some brand communications, you need to be flexible to the needs of your audience and employees

Slide 5

It can take about 18months to build a solid established online community – and you can expect it to take that sort of time to reach social maturity It will take time to get to maturity.

There is a framework which I use that has helped other businesses along the long the road to engagement planning.

This presentation is all about the framework used rather than a strategic approach and the content, it takes on the assumption that you as a marketing department want to start the engagement process and will run you through how to go about doing it.

Slide 6

So I feel there are two types on engagement planning,

Business as a brand –

Which will tend to be perhaps more short term campaign driven (old spice would be a good example of that)

brand led communications, by this a couple of good examples would be betfair – instead of delivering the usual poker news, they have retained four “expert” Twitter writers – a combination of authors and comedians,

They went from 0 – 4500 recommendations – they are now in a second phase of their strategy which is to drive their audience to their site via tips and hints.

The other is that of frontline engagement, which I’m going to discuss more today as I have very limited time to go through engagement planning in it’s entirety.

Front line engagement is empowering your employees to take a responsibility for the brand, to become brand champions themselves, rather than control residing with the traditional champions (the marketing dept). So for me this is about changing the culture of the business to a more socially open and transparent one, there are some pretty huge hurdles to get over to make this happen …

Slide 7

… but before I get into this I wanted to give you a few examples of brand led engagement and frontline engagement

Cisco delivered 100K in savings and 90 times more attendance by going social over physical product launch event

OldSpice traffic bumped by 300%

Sales up 106% within the initial 4 week campaign

and then about frontline you about zappos – I’m sure many many people come back to this as an example of great social media

The use of social media by employees at work is the norm. Zappos employees tweet about all kinds of topics, both of a work and personal nature. Zappos have grown exponentially over a 10 year period, their prime goal has been to make the customer happy and get to know them.

Slide 8

So how can you encourage your business to embrace front line culture

Slide 9

Well it’s all very much about getting buy in initially from the top down you have to provide reasons for implementing front line strategy:

  • These should be perhaps where you can achieve savings against other forms of communications.
  • You can provide case studies (ideally with figures) that show other businesses doing it well.
  • You may be lucky enough to find some budget for this but chances are you may have to look at where you can reduce budgets in some communications to allocate spend / time to this method.
  • You should be talking about, customer loyalty, increased traffic but I would suggest it needs to tie back to some financials. Start with where you are now and do some projections, i.e. we can save here and see increase in traffic there which will deliver revenue there.
  • For instance take a look at how many impressions and conversions your PPC campaign is delivering and project this against social media activity, i.e. we have X amount of employees with X amount of followers a status update will deliver X amount of impressions and return X of conversion.

Slide 10

Trust me it’s not for everybody,

You can be pretty sure most people are on some social network or other as was shown in the first, in my experience many have a negative feeling towards talking shop via their personal channels, and it can be quite a tough battle to take on, but if you take the approach of inclusion and encouragement you can change mind sets over time.

Slide 11

Have any of you tried to sell social into the business, what barriers have you come across, how have you solved them?

  • Resource for the business
  • Control for the business
  • Personal Fears – what if people say something bad towards me
  • Miss understanding of the how the channel is / would be used
  • Personal and professional mash up – back in the day when you were geographically bound you had to take account for both your personal and professional appearance as a whole.

Slide 12

Find your stars, this does not mean everyone with a social network in the business, people need to be open to the idea. Recent survey in one business of 80 employees, 40 filled in the questionnaire, Of the 40:

  • 15 of those where interested in a workshop and wanted to help
  • 5 wanted to do the workshop but had no interest in it’s use to help the business
  • 1 refused to give his details regardless of the fact that we put disclaimers to the effect that this was not to make sure people were doing their job

Incentivize the stars – workshops and meetups

Create a closed Centralized closed network to drive conversation and nurture social culture

3months with stars then open up with the whole work force

Mandate it so that you are delivering business information they could not get anywhere else (examples)

Slide 13

Different people want to get different things from social engagement. Focused workshops on business units:

  • You may want to show your HR team how to find candidates via linkedin,
  • or your sales teams how to enter into conversations in specific communities
  • or your customer support team how they can help to identify and resolve customer problems
  • Provide places for people to go, start them off on a path

Slide 14

Zappos V IBM

  • Legal issues (such as company performance)
  • Brand (tone of voice, professional, fun, cheeky)
  • Partners (how to treat partners)
  • Audience (how to treat your audience, helpful, don’t take it personally)
  • Micro-monitoring and disciplining of word of mouth is not sustainable, and ineffective.
  • Approaching the issue with honesty, realism and a willingness to try is the only way past the roadblock.

Slide 16

You will all have a content plan for the year – ok so some may not, but you may should have a marketing schedule for the year.

  • Deliver the schedule to your content stars or producers in a manner that will provide value for their audiences,
  • Perhaps you are launching a new service, curate some 3rd party content based around this service, that may help the audience or create conversation and closer to your launch date ask your content stars to invite their audience to an online event.
  • It’s important to drive value centrally outwards

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