Sunday, 17 October 2010

Upping your game in social media

Here are the tips and techniques for doing social media well emerging from the opening session at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) Masters of Marketing conference, led by Peppercom:

1. Sometimes silence is the best answer to negative conversations. Think about what influence/weight the comments have. Listen to see if the thread of comment continues or begins to die down. Don't reignite it if there is no need.

2. Redirect, rather than go back and forth on the conversation.You don't always have to get involved in the conversation. If the indication is that the threads are getting more and more volatile and are unlikely to correct themselves, try and diffuse the conversation by redirecting it to your company's url where the facts of the matter are clearing displayed.

3. Appoint a Chief Listening Officer. Like Dell and Kodak have, to symbolise the shift from one way to two way.

4. Create social media guidelines for your company. What you CAN do, rather than what you can't do. What language to use, what tone of voice. How to protect your brand while still adopting an open source approach.

5. Keep the conversation going. Don't build expectations and then disappoint. No two week wonder, followed by silence.

6. Develop a digital social media council to break down the silos in your organisations and get everyone who needs to be involved; from Legal and IT to HR and Marcoms to PR and outside agencies.

7. Institute a 'quick request' system for social media to get round compliance issues. A half day response rather than the more usual 4 day. "Four days is four years in the digital landscape."

8. Don't wait until you have a crisis to get involved.. If you haven't been there before this is probably the worst time to start. If you have, and have built up a community around your brand, this is your opportunity to leverage it to counterbalance the negative conversations around you.

9. Put in place a monitoring service and a rapid response programme. Colour code your online reports to make it easy to see what the temperature of the conversations is. Train the right people up to take a brief and respond.

10. Don't let a "22 year old intern loose on your social media strategy just because they're a digital native". Getting the right messages and the right tone of voice is a marketing responsibility.

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