Babbling B’s Blog

Archive for February 2010

Evangelizing social media can be tough, especially when you’re explaining it to people who don’t live in the social world. As I’ve shared before, we’ve been doing a ‘social media road show’ around my company and corporation to provide a high level overview of social media and the value it can bring to the business.

I wanted to share the basic outline of my presentation. Feel free to use elements, and I would suggest providing specific examples of how the slides apply to your company. (P.S. this is my first presentation on SlideShare – it was so easy to use!)

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

I also need to thank and give credit to some people and organizations that I borrowed some content ideas from:
Hubspot, Marta Kagan, and MarketingSherpa.

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This post appeared on VitaminIMC – Medill IMC’s student-run blog.

No marketing communications professional looks forward to the day they must navigate a company crisis. Toyota’s recent floor mat and sticky pedal safety recalls are the most recent examples of balancing damage control with open communications. The safety recalls and Toyota’s subsequent responses open the potential for major damage to their strong brand built on safe, reliable, high-quality vehicles.

Meeting the challenge head-on, Toyota launched a comprehensive PR strategy to address the situation openly and honestly. Their website, www.toyota.com/recall, includes updates on what’s being done to address the problems and has videos with more information for consumers—such as what to do if they experience trouble braking.

Adding to the open dialogue, Jim Lentz, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., apologizes to customers in a video on the site, closing by saying: “Once again, I apologize for the situation and I hope you’ll give us the chance to earn back your trust.”

The newly released television commercial echoes his sincere words, telling a story of commitment and painting a picture that highlights 172,000 Toyota employees’ dedication.

But will this campaign be enough to calm consumers after months of bad news? It took nearly 10 days for Toyota to launch this response strategy, and consumer perception has dropped to a new low. If they hope to uphold their brand values, Toyota must avoid additional crises and continue to create open and honest dialogue to fuel positive brand momentum.

What do you think? Can Toyota restore the faith in their company?

Despite all this talk about goals and the New Year, running hasn’t been at the top of my list. I have a lot going on, and running’s often the first thing to slide (not to mention I’m a fair-weather runner and despise treadmills:) ).

Yesterday I ran across another reason to love Nike+. I decided to end my 3-month running hiatus and start incorporate running into my workout routine again. My first run was slow, but it felt great!

Of course, I took my trusty iPod Nano and logged my run with the Nike+ system.  I returned from the run and immediately plugged my iPod into my computer so I could let all my Facebook and Twitter friends see what I’d done. Then I went to the Nike+ website to review my run.

I didn’t expect what I saw: there was a screen congratulating me on great 2009! It had a list of my accomplishments and stats:

  • I ran a total of 173 miles
  • I burned 12,834 calories
  • My average pace was 8:43/mi
  • Most of my runs were ‘Awesome’
  • I ran the most on Mondays
  • I usually ran in the mornings

How cool is that? Share on Facebook? Why yes, yes I will! I would’ve never known these accomplishments if I hadn’t had Nike+.

My new motivation? I have to beat my 2009 numbers!

My 2009 Running Rundown

About six months ago, we launched a social media strategy at my company. It’s been an interesting process that I’ve been dying to share with everyone. I’m no expert, but I think there’s a lot of value in sharing my process. Twitter has been the most interesting, so we’ll start there.

Step 1: Define Strategy
This is the part where you have to prove: Why Twitter? Twitter was a good fit for our company for a few major reasons: Our competitors were active, our customers were present and talking about us, and it would be a good channel to expand communication and participate in the conversation.  Twitter can be used for communications, customer support, thought leadership or promotions. If you’re not 100% sure which strategy will work best, don’t worry.  Your community will drive you to what they want.

Step 2: Monitor
Through the initial research for strategy, I set up searches in Twitter so I could keep an eye on what people were saying. I found industry leaders and key customers on Twitter so I could see what they were talking about and what they were saying about us. I monitored what the competition did and what people were saying about them. I truly think this is one of the most important parts of social media, and proving active communities piques management’s interest.

Step 3: Educate
Start spreading the news! Oftentimes, you’ll have to present, explain and evangelize Twitter – it’s not always easy for your company’s stakeholders to understand. I really did Steps 1-3 simultaneously, leading to…

Step 4: Gain Buy-in and Write the Plan
When I knew things were catching on, I started tying together the monitoring and strategy into a formal plan, addressing the concerns you’ve come across in the process. Make sure you have everything in Step 5 and 6 outlined so that it’s easy to implement once you have signoff!

Step 5: Build an Editorial Calendar and Crisis Plan
Once you’ve brought everything together and gained the buy-in, make sure you have developed a crisis plan to tackle negative comments. For us, it was making sure I had a chain of command with backups so I could quickly address questions that I may not be able to answer myself. I also built a 90-day editorial calendar to prove we had enough content to provide value, keep the content fresh and slowly generate conversation.

Step 6: Build Your Profile
Now comes the fun part! You should have everything specified for your profile, including your profile name, webpage you plan to link to, a short bio and a background to pretty up your page!

Step 7: Posting and Profile Management
Start posting! You’ll probably want to find a tool to use to manage your account and track your posting. One that I use is Hootsuite. It has a built-in URL shortener, it’s easy to track clicks on your URLs and very easy to set up your monitoring  – so everything is in one spot!

Step 8: Promote
Emails, press releases, websites, email signatures… include Twitter in everything so you build your network! You can also use lots of widgets to cross-post your Twitter content to your websites, blogs, Facebook pages, etc.

Step 9: Engage
Now that you’ve posted, start engaging. Begin responding to those that are posting about your company – both good and bad. You’ll be surprised how quickly the negative comments are turned around!

Step 10: Repeat
Start over. Reassess and continue to tweak processes. Continue to engage. Your customers will let you know what information they want from you. This isn’t a one-time deal – this is an ongoing investment in your customer community.


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