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0 AS hjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklz A BUSINESS TOOL xcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv by Mara Gojgar bnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwe rtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyui opasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopa sdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfg hjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklz xcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv bnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwe rtyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmrtyuiopa sdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfg hjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklz xcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcv
A guide to PR 2.0 as a business tool, by Mara Gojgar
1. Introduction................................................................................3 2. What are the social media..........................................................4 2.1 The history of social web 2.2 The Cluetrain Manifesto 3. The benefits of social media......................................................7 4. The most influential social media in Romania...........................8 4.1 The social media map 4.2 Linkedin, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter 5. Social media as a business tool..................................................14 5.1 How to integrate social media into the business 5.2 How to use social media 5.3 What does social media cost
6.How to measure social media........................................................23 7. Conclusions................................................................................37 8. Bibliography.................................................................................38
“The magic of social media is not what happens in social media, but what happens outside of it because of it” -Paul Isakson Only now, after several years of presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, I came to realize what a great gain, or what a colossal loss, social media represents for the professionals of different fields. Besides, the whole documentation for this paper has, almost exclusively, online resources. Although there is a substantial bibliography for beginners and for advanced in the web 2.0 communication, I preferred the online books (e-books) and the specialized blogs, precisely because social media explodes from one day to another, it is invented and reinvented and so, any written work, from the moment when the author has put down the last idea until it gets to be browsed by its readers, there is a great possibility that content is already obsolete. I was talking earlier about the bibliography. I collected it during several months of open dialog via LinkedIn/Facebook with professionals in Public Relations, in SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing), but also via e-mail exchange with Paul Holmes, Dennis Wilcox who validated my idea that social media is currently one of the most important trends in all the branches of communication. Web 2.0 represents an immense business resource, which, used strategicaly, completes and enhances the actions of offline communication. Once the social media appeared, the communication is divided in two distinct era, before social media and after social media.
2. WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL MEDIA
2.1 The history of social web The first website was launched online on the 6th of August 1991 and belonged to Timothy John Berners-Lee1. From that moment the “www” space had a fulminant evolution. The mass web revolution was unleashed by companies as Yahoo!, AOL, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Ticketmaster and also by browsing services, email or online banking. This can be called the “Transactional Web”. The second stage, named Social Web, was catalyzed by the so called Web 2.0 technologies that facilitate the interaction, are easy to use and involve a high degree of impliction from the users. It is a space for self expression, for relationships, for for affiliation, for trust and the is content created and generated by the user. The term “Social Web” was defined in the year 1998, according to Wikipedia, as both a technological and social concept. This duality is legitimate, as long as web 2.0 supports, through the means of technology, the social interaction2. 2.2 The Cluetrain Manifesto "A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies3”, as the Cluetrain Manifesto states.
Timothy John Berners-Lee is a british programmer, inventor of the World Wide Web. He is currently the manager of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the organization that protects the standards of the Web. 2 The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3844887/The-Social-Web-AnalyticseBook-2008 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cluetrain_Manifesto
The Cluetrain Manifesto1 represents a set of 95 thesis organized as a call to action, addressed to all the organizations which operate on the new market. The ideas promoted by this Manifesto examine the impact the Internet has on both the consumers organizations. The Manifesto was written in the year 1999 by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger and was printed in the year 2000 at the publishing house Perseus Books (ISBN 0-7382-0431-5). Social media have become, lately, what it is understood by buzzword, that is a word that is repetead regularly, until it reaches even demonetization, but, still, it is not the case for social media. Broadly speaking, social media means conversation, online conversation, using the social networks, the blogs, the social bookmarking, the video materials, all of this with the role to facilitate and to simplify the interaction. The main stake of social media is the involvement through conversation. Marketing and Public Relations use social media as a component of the communication strategy, through which the “social” influences, the social platforms and the online communities are used to send the key messages, to obtain direct feedback from the customers/consumers, to personally know who those are. The most common tools of social media include networks such as Twitter 2, blogs, LinkedIn3, Facebook4, Flickr5 and YouTube6. It often happens that in this sextet the blog represents the war room (Toprankblog.com7).
The term "cluetrain" comes from the following quote: "The clue train stopped there four times a day for ten years and they never took delivery." — Veteran of a firm now free-falling out of the Fortune 500. 2 Twitter is a web site founded in 2006, which allows the users to write and send messages of maximum 140 characters. It is sometimes described as being the "SMS of the Internet": wikipedia.com. 3 LinkedIn is a social network created especially for business. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is used especially for professional networking: wikipedia.com 4 Facebook represents at this moment one of the most spread socialization network (social network) of the world. The users can enter this network and can socialize from eny place where there is Internet access. 5 Flickr is a site for hosting photographic images. 6 YouTube is a web site which allows to upload and view video content. The users can post videoclips under more forms: animations, public events filmings, personal recordings, entertainment etc. The clips with illegal or inoffensive character are totally excluded. YouTube was created in February 2005 by 3 employees of the company PayPal. 7 http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/08/answers-to-social-media-questions-you-should-know/
The king element in social media is “the content”. To be successful in social media, you must be capable to generate fresh, innovative, unexpected content, able to attract and intrigue the reader. Unlike the traditional media, where the communication was unidirectional, the social media chalenge is precisely in a multidirectional communication, that has at hand all means of expression.
3. THE BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
A study created in the year 2008 by the Marketing managers that the Executives communion marketing Networking Group (MENG1), the marketing benefits from the U.S.A, highlights the main executives take into consideration when they include web 2.0 in the communication strategy. From the 11 benefits indicated by them, on the first position it is the consumers’ implication (85.4%), followed by the possibility of a direct communication with the customers (65%), the feedback speed (59.9%), the oportunity to know the consumers’ preferences (59.1%) and the low budget involved by these media (51.1%).
Among the other benefits indicated by the respondents there is building the brand’s image (48.2%), market research (42.3%), the credibility of “the many” (40.1%), the possibility to reach a wide audience (37.2%), a source to generate potential customers (21.2%) and the possibility to give the customers direct support (17.5%).
4. THE MOST INFLUENTIAL SOCIAL MEDIA
4.1 The social media map
The interactive marketing agency, Overdrive Interactive, has designed a map1 of the web 2.0 enviroment, which includes socializing services (live transmission, social networks, video sites, search engines, micro-blogging services, social networks for business, socialization, blogging and photos platforms, reviews websites, wikis platforms, bookmarking websites, podcast platforms) and has identified the most used socialization websites internationally . Invited as a speaker to a regional meeting of the European Association of Communication Directors2, Cristian Manafu, ex business journalist and one of the most active blogers in Romania, has made an analysis of the most used social networks in Romania. The analysis made in the period September - November 2009 shows that, in Romania, YouTube has 2.000.000 visitors per month, the Romanian blogosphere amounted, in October, to 35.611 blogs, out of which 11.436 are active; Facebook counted in November 450.000 users; 149.956 users were present on LinkedIn in September, and on Twitter 17.000 acconts were present in November3. 4.2 Linkedin, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter
http://www.ovrdrv.com/social-media-map/ http://www.eacd-online.eu/ 3 http://manafu.blogspot.com/2009/11/trends-social-media-in-romania.html
In the paper (e-book) How to Effectively Leverage Social Media Relationships with Real-Time Collaboration Tools1, Tom Bunzel2, a specialist in web 2.0 communication, presents the importance and advatages of using the professional network LinkedIn. Firstly, LinkedIn offers many of the facilities of a social network – invitations, status update, creating discussion groups, but, being a niche network, also offers the necessary tools to connect to the business environment, as well as a contact management system. The LinkedIn Bar designed to be used by the Outlook application, allows to create some networks from the current contracts and to manage the contracts from LinkedIn into the Microsoft Outlook application. Another extrordinary advantge that LinkedIn makes available for the users is the possibility to use the SEO (search engine optimization3) to identify the contacts of interest and to make some research such as the number of people who activate in a certain field, in a certain country. Also, the use of the key words and of the tags4 in the sections Summary and Experience, places that profile in the search engines and facilitates the contact with people from similar business areas. During the SEO World Coffee5 seminar, dedicated to social networks, Olivian Breda6, SEO specialist, warns that “it is totally contraindicated to have a user account on LinkedIn and to use it as a company”. Instead, on LinkedIn a company can create discussion groups where it can announce events, news, jobs, can launch and answer discussions. Olivian Breda also says how the group must be used once created: „promote it in your own network of acquaintance, towards the potentially interested people; ask the
http://whitepapers.bx.businessweek.com/whitepaper6308/ http://www.informit.com/authors/bio.aspx?a=53985FD6-578D-49DB-8137-DC3B754B1BD5 3 „Search Engine Optimization” is a subcategory of online marketing, which started in the year 1990, with the appearance of the first sites on the Internet, and which represents all the technics by which a website is brought to a shape in which it is propelled higher in the result lista given by a search engine for different key-words. With time, the optimization of a web page of a site has become a service offered by some companies and/or corporations. 4 In IT language – label. 5 http://seoworldcoffee.wordpress.com/ 6 http://getaresultnow.com/only-read-these-things-on-my-blog/
contacts from your network (or the ones that subscribe to the group) to promote the group, be active on other LinkedIn groups1”. YouTube is currently the largest video platform. Although many see it as an entertainment site, for the companies this is the space where they run their viral marketing2 campaigns and which allows them to build brands, to receive feedback, to send comments and to consolidate the relationships that they have made on other socialization networks. I think that currently there are two important ways to use YouTube: As a company channel which allows it to organize the content, to incorporate it on other sites through the function “embed”, or to send links in a simple way. Creating a new group or joining an existent group and participating to discussions, allows the contact with potential clients. Yet, the possibilities to embed and to send the content as a link are the main assets of Youtube. Twitter is currently the biggest microblogging network. A study launched by the market research company Daedalus Millward Brown in September 2009, „A peek inside social media”, shows that Twitter is associated with personal development, with success, with inovation and with leadership. The Twitter users are the so called „early adopters”, are opinion leaders. Also, most of them have personal blogs and are concentrated on networking.
http://seoworldcoffee.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/2009-12-22-olivian-breda-folosirea-de-catrecompanii-a-twitter-facebook-si-linkedin.ppt 2 http://www.markmedia.ro/article_show.php?g_id=748: Viral Marketing is about making customers talk about you, about your products, recommend you. It is also about the awarness clients have about the product. Viral marketing should start by making proof of a significant understanding of the potential clients and to try to enter into the social psychology of the enviroment in which they live in, with the purpose of giving value through the information being sent to them, and this means respect for the consumer.
For the Facebook users, Twitter fans are opinion leaders, they represent aspirational models, but, at the same time, they see them as being excessively preoccupied with themselves and with their personal development. The Twitter users think that this network is a „trophic chain” dedicated to information, they are people with an active life, passionate about what they are doing, people that have something intelligent to say in real time. Twitter means efficiency, knowledge, opportunities. Twitter is seen as an useful tool for personal development and to reach a wide recognition and social power. On Twitter you can find useful and last minute information, this is why selfpromotion is inappropriate for its users. Twitter is seen more and more as a space of services and has passed from a community platform to an instant messaging service. For this reason, the focus of the discussions on Twitter is on the practical information. As a general aproach, once an account on Twitter is created it is important to bet on credibility. In this respect, the indirect marketing is the most appropriate. It is important to allow the people to discover you progressively, to come to you from their own desire, on the basis of the content you share. If you are the one that follows his customers, show them that you get involved, answer them, make comments, react to their postings. Also, give prompt answers to those who mention your brand – Twitter’s applications allow monitoring the mentions. Also, the tone of the discussions should be a personal one. As for the content, the information should be new, relevant, to come from an expert. Also, it is important to show that you want to help through the expertise you have, and, if it is the case, even to offer online technical assistance. The main indicators of an account are the number of tweets (posts), the number of followers (people who follow the account) and the number of followed people. To obtain as many followers as possible, in order to reach a representative audience for the company’s messages, it is important to use the hash-tags (key words that a user wishes to follow, these words have before them the sign „#”). Also, the intervention in discussions should be made using “@username”.
The Twitter account can be promoted on site/signature/status. Also, once the account is created, it is important that at least 10 tweets are created and subsequently to interact with other accounts. According to the study conducted by Daedalus Millward Brown, the socializing network Facebook is associated with stability, membership and with the concern for the others. In this study it is shown that Facebook users are educated people, decent, most of them young professionals, people who read blogs (are interested about other people’s opinions), are focused on having and sharing the information. Facebook users describe this network as being „the network that matters”, it is a private space that they control, a space where they share their interests in their free moments. Facebook represents for them a way to create their own image, a way of virtual entertainment and to promote good causes. Facebook is an etertainment and relaxation space, usually, the users are interested in their friends updates (updating the status); in turn they post updates, they use the games application (Quizzes). Usually, the network extension is based on the criterion of common interests. On Facebook the users create the network that matters for them, and the intimacy plays a very important part. In this context, the information published is carefully selected, so that it does not bother the others. Usually, the information shared on Facebook is from the news area, from the interests of that person and represents the proof of the cultural interests. On Facebook, the users are open to communicate with the brands, as long as they are not trying to sell something to them. The Facebook ads campaigns are a good way to involve the users. Still, the advertisers must take into consideration that users prefer the commercials displayed on the right side bar of the Facebook screen to the messages received in the inbox. As for the ways in which a company can be present on Facebook, there are 3 options, by user account, by Page or by Group. Although Facebook does not encourage the companies to create user names, this is still a common practice.
Furthemore, there is the possibility to syncronize the Twitter account with the one on Facebook, and the Twitter account can be taken over by the company’s blog as well. Once the Facebook account is created, this has to be promoted, and some of the most common and efficient ways to do this are the widgets on the blog and website, the linkbuilding campaign, the commercials on Facebook, the links in the email signature, and the links on the website and at the status. As for the discussions’ monitoring on Facebook, Facebook Lexicon (facebook.com/lexicon) and Facebook dictionary are some of the most handy tools.
The Wheel of Values – A pick inside social media , Daedalus Millward Brown România
Regarding the evolution of using Facebook in România an upward trend is observed, with the peak being reached in September 20091
5. SOCIAL MEDIA AS BUSINESS TOOL
5.1 How to integrate social media into the business In a recent article published on his blog, „10 stages of social media integration in business1”, Brian Solis describes the process through which a company should go through in order to start using the web 2.0 space in a strategic way, in order to deliver return on investment. Observe One of the most common advice in social media is to listen before launching a company, a brand, a product. Listening is made with the help of some services as Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Radian62 or PR Newswire’s Social Media Metrics3 on the basis of some key words that allow the identification of the conversations associated with a certain brand. All these conversations are later being constitute in a report for managers and executives. This early form of reporting leads to taking some decisions based on concrete information connected to the needs of the target audience.
http://www.briansolis.com/2010/01/the-10-stages-of-social-media-integration-in-business/ http://www.radian6.com 3 http://www.prnewswire.com/products-services/targeting-monitoring-measurement/social-mediamonitoring/Social-Media-Monitoring.html
Setting the stage and trying on the costumes Many companies create accounts on social networks and, unfortunately, generate content without a plan or a purpose. Creating the official presence on channels as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr starts with an experimental phase where it is tested the impact of the presence and the way in which this channels work. Nevertheless, an analysis based on the frequency of mentioning the company/brand, the traffic and the number of connections (friends, people who follow the account, fans), offers to the managers only a limited image on the effects that the presence and the participation of the company has on the social networks.
Socializing In this stage the companies involve in conversations, pay attention to the reactions of the audience to be able to answer on time and to improve the content generated, the future engagements and to humanize the communication. This form of participation is reactive, based on the nature of the dialog and on the subjects already launched. Finding the voice, the sense and the purpose This is a milestone in the maturation of the presence of a business in the web 2.0 space. By listening to and by observing the way in which our target interacts in the web 2.0 networks, we identify the main problems, we generate ideas, we learn, we set an empathy based relationship with our public. Through a careful research of the positive, negative and neutral comments, we find out the tendencies in the behavior of our target audience and this allows us to create a strategy focused on strategic activities, at various levels where we can incolve, as appropriate, the voice of the marketing, of the PR, of the sales department. The strategic visibility demonstrates the fact that, in order to generate presence on the social networks, it is necessary to concentrate exactly on the critical places where our audience is.
Because they understood that social web means more than Twitter, blogs and Facebook, the brand managers research the whole web space using the listening services or the methods offered by The Conversational Prism1 to identify the points of influence in the web 2.0 dialog. The power of words in action Social media bring forward those who have something to say and help the communicators to reach their target audience and understand what motivates them. Humanizing the brand and defining the experience Once we obtain a refined understanding of the people who influence the market, it is required to create an image worthy of attention and which can generate loyality. Within this stage, the brand image is evaluated through the brand’s actions, the situations associated with the brand, through the target’s interaction with our brand. At the same time, in this stage, the brand’s personality and the one of those who represent the brand is being calculated and defined so that the desired image of the brand is reached. The community In this stage, a company learns and visualises, through experience, in the light of the connections set, through interests, through shortcomings, through the benefits who build the univers of the communication with the brand. The social Darwinism Before collaborating with the universe outside the brand it is necessary to improve the communication from the inside. Social media, as they were approached at the beginning, were not measurable. Introducing new roles leads to restructuring the teams and the flow of the activity, which, ultimately, needs an organizational transformation to support the involvement, the production and the permanent evolution to ensure the brand and the product’s relevance. To be competitive in time, the actions that govern the listening of the audience’s voice, building communities should be in accordance with the capacity of the organizations to adapt and to improve the products, the services and the policies according to the laws of the Web space at a certain moment.
Socializing the business process The Social Customer Relationship Management (SRM), by combining the principles, the philosophies and the technological processes, sets a value chain which supports the relationships created in the traditional business environment. Measuring business performance Without a pragmatical understanding of the volume, of the location and of the nature of the online interaction, the real impact of the digital fingerprint that a business leaves is impossible to evaluate. Including the influence that social media can generate for a business, next to a detailed vision on the route and on the effects that these can lead to in achieving the business objectives, allows us to evaluate for real the ROI generated by social media. 5.2 How to use social media “Before having an account on Twitter, on Facebook, the companies should carefully analyse what happens in social media, what, how and where their products and their competitors are being discussed. Nobody does that, nobody does a thorough research. This is absolutely wrong. And if things are not working, everybody say how silly is social media”, considers Susan Rice-Lincoln1, present to the forth edition of the RoNewMedia event2. Larry Brauner, social media consultant and blogger, with over 30 years experience in marketing, proposes on his blog 11 publishing strategies in the web 2.0 space. Develop a quality content – reported and relevant to a certain context, a content to communicate about you, about what you are doing and about what makes you different — in a tone that does not seem a letter that tries to sell.
Susan Rice worked with companies such as Ericsson, Nike and LEGO. Before launching her own company in 1994, she was the communication director for BBDO Europe, having in her subordination 25 countries and businesses of 3 mld. dollars. Among the instruments created by Susan Rice-Lincoln there is The Web Wheel (an application that associates social-media tactics with the most appropriate strategies), Social media in 7 steps (a program that helps companies to successfully implement social media), Monitoring Social media (a strategic evaluation of the company’s presence in the social network). 2 http://mad.wall-street.ro/articol/Media-Advertising/74703/De-ce-abordarea-E-cool-vreau-si-eu-in-socialmedia-nu-va-functiona-niciodata.html
Do research after key words, so that, while you are writing for the people, you can also help the search engines, because the vast majority of the traffic comes from the search engines. Fishing where the fish are Choose those sites of social networking that you consider that attract those people your company needs. If you find your competitors there, it is a good sign, because this means that your public is there also. What will differentiate you from the competition is the content or your ability to solve some needs that the competition cannot satisfy. Throw your trawl Do not over think. Better to be wrong by a too “inclusive” presence on web 2.0 than by a too “exclusive” one. Participate on a wide range of social networks and expose yourself to as many people as possible, both you and your message. Let people decide for themselves how relevant is for them the content and if this can help them or not. Do not stretch too much Web 2.0 is like a virtual candy store, and the eyes can see more than the stomach can digest. So, the rule 80/20 is applied - 80% from the results can be reached with 20% of the existent social networks. It is very important that the networks complement each other. Be personal Even if you are a company, people want to connect to you as a person. In social media you are a part of your brand. Experiment and be ready to adapt and to change on the move. Communication people know that they cannot do everything perfect the first time they try, so it is better to consider that everything you do is on going. Establish a continuous presence Be consistent! It is very important to be there at the right time. Use media 1.0 to support and and complement the efforts of web 2.0. Ask for help if you do not have the necessary expertize. Help can consist of advices, project management or outsourcing.
5.3 What does social media cost? Social media are an extremely generous channel to create a personal brand, to promote a company, a corporate brand, a cause, and the ways to expose to the target audience can be both free and paid. During one of the semniars of SEO-PPC World, which focused on social media, Mihai Dumitru1 strategy consultant for Kinecto, presented the ways through which Facebook, for example, can be accessed with or without financial costs. Presenting the brand (Facebook pages), the support groups, the thematic surveys, the interaction of the brand with other users, creating a group of “Fans”, are the free ways to use Facebook. Facebook gives the possibility to use the paid services, like the banner campaigns (through Microsoft server), the text-ad campaigns (Cost Per Click or Cost Per Mile). Also, Facebook has its own resource which allows the identification of the target audience, www.facebook.com/ads, promoting Facebook channels through text-ads. Danny Brown, consultant in 2.0 communication for companies from Fortune 500, speaks in an article published on his blog, http://dannybrown.me, about the costs involved by social media. The title has a great impact: The real cost of social media2. Through his affirmation, Brown breaks the myth of the generous and free social media. Brown says that it does not matter if a campaing on social media is conducted through the internal resources of an organization, or if it is externalized. In both scenarios it needs a budget. The budget includes costs for strategy, community management, mobile applications, moderation and maintaining the accounts. The author of the article gives an example (in dollars) of a twelve months social media campaign. • • • •
Social media strategy: 10 h/week X 100$/h = 1.000$/week => 52 week –52.000$ Community manager: 307 h/week X 60$/h = 1.800$/week => 52 săpt –93.600$ Creating microwebsites (if not using existing platforms) –15.000$
Mobile applications (more than 70% from the searchs on the internet are made with the Permanent moderation and evaluation, using external spoecialists – between 30.000$ and
help of the mobile phones) – between 20.000$ and 150.000$ 80.000$ depending on the frequence.
Total = 390.600$
6. HOW TO MEASURE SOCIAL MEDIA In order to sell, the brands and the companies develop more and more their sociable side. This way they ensure their transparency, authenticity, and accesibility, sometimes reaching an over-saturation regarding the exposure, at a double-edged ubiquity. As James Poulter, public relations and web 2.0 communication specialist for Ogilvy PR Worldwide, states in an interview for the new media blog Digital Lunch (http://digitallunch.blogspot.com/) in September 2009 “any methods used in marketing communication are measurable. Social media can be measured by reach, changing the perception (measuring positive/negative feelings regarding a company/brand or by the number of Return on Investement (ROI) (the equivalent of PR/publicity) – but they are quite doubtful because, currently, there is no universally accepted benchmark in the industry to measure the ROI for social media. For this reason, each agency proposes its own measurement methods, according to the client’s needs1”. David Meerman Scott2, author of the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR, in the same interview on Digital Launch, states: “I’m often confronted with the issue of how to measure an online initiative’s results. Executives at companies large and small as well as marketing and PR people push back on the ideas of a World Wide Rave because they want to apply old rules of measurement to the new world of spreading ideas online. The beauty of the Web is that you benefit from instant access to conversations you could never participate in before”. According to David M. Scott, “the old rules of measurement used two metrics that don’t matter when spreading ideas, especially online: 1. Measuring the sales (“leads”) — how many business cards we have received, how many people called the free access number, how many people stopped at our stand, how many people filled in the online form.
http://digitallunch.blogspot.com/2009/09/measuring-social-media-hard-vs-soft.html. David Meerman Scott is one of the best known marketing strategist, entrepreneur, speaker andbestseller author. He has written over 100 articles in magazines and has won many prizes. Among the five books on PR written by Scott, the best selling one is The New Rules of Marketing and PR which is published in 22 languages. The other books written by this well known strategist are World Wide Rave, Tuned In , Cashing in the Content and Eyeball Wars.
2. Also, we got used to measuring the articles appeared in the written press, on radio or television. While these measurement forms are appropriate for the offline environment, they are not relevant for measuring online success, furthermore, each attempt to find potential customers and to collect their e-mail addresses prevents the spread of the ideas1”. Don Bartholomew, a member of the digital research team of the global agency of marketing and corporate communication Fleishman-Hillard2, a member of the Measuring Commission of the Public Relation Institute3 and professor at the North University from Texas, tried to reconcile the two sides that state two different models are necessary to measure the results given by online media and, respectively, the offline one. The model proposed by Don Barth was initially based on 3 pillars: the Exposure – the degree on which we ensure the exposure of the materials and the messages of the company, the Influence – the degree in which the exposure created perceptions and attitudes, and the Action – as a result of the public relations efforts, what actions has undertaken our public4. Nevertheless, in the E-I-A model, there is a significant gap between Exposure and Influence, so Barth has introduced the concept of Engagement, key concept in measuring social media. Once with the launching of the Engagement concept, we have a new category including key measurement indicators such as view-thrus, the duration of the time spent on a certain content, re-commentors, the ratio comments/post. Also, this category can be used for the measurement in the old school system, that focused on reminding the brand/company and on customers’ retention. The Engagement is the basis for forming the communities and it is fundamental for brands.
http://digitallunch.blogspot.com/2009/09/measuring-social-media-hard-vs-soft.html http://www.fleishman.com 3 http://www.instituteforpr.org/ 4 http://metricsman.wordpress.com/2008/08/29/a-new-model-for-social-and-traditional-media-measurement
Don Barths also proposes a framework to create the measurement programs for ROI in social media. Here it should be made the distinction between the value created through social media and through ROI – Return On Investment. The social media programs, the PR and marketing ones, create a value and, in some cases, generate ROI. The relationship between value and ROI is similar to the one between the square and rectangle: a square is a rectangle, but not any rectangle is a square. ROI is a kind of value, but not any value takes the shape of ROI. ROI is a form of financial measurement, is transactional, is created by incomes in business terms. The value is created when people become aware of our existence, get involved in the content generated by us or become ambasadors of the brand, are influenced by this involvement and act in the sense of recommending or buying our product. The creation of value is made in time, and not at a certain moment in time1. Returning to the framework of measurement programs for social media, Don Barthes identifies 5 steps to follow: set measurable objectives adjusted for the business objectives, adapt the measurement and understand as accurate as possible the business process, choose a communication model, the approach of the research and the measurement methods, gather and analyze the information, make and deliver the report. At a higher level, the thorough knowledge and understanding of the industry where the company operates is of capital importance at the moment of making the research.
Below, there is a table where the business functions are represented, a few ways in which the social media programs can be used for each of them, the applicable business process/model, a series of basic metrics (sales figure, cost economies, avoiding the costs) to create ROI.
In the work Putting The Public Back In Public Relations, its authors, Brian Solis1 and Deirdre Breakenridge, launch the concept of Conversation Index, which is a part of the measuring process in web 2.0. Actually, the Conversation Index indicates “the placement, the status, the ranking, the perception and the participation in the social media’s sphere”. As social media are rooted in conversation, in participation and in engagement, these are elements that determine the ROI and the success: The conversations through key words, the Traffic generated, the Prospects and sales, the Call to action, the Engagement, the Relationships,
Brian Solis is the director of the communication agency FutureWorks, one of the best awarded acencies of Public Relations from Silicon Valley.
the Authority2, the Education and participation, the Perception, the Records, the membership and the community activity. The Conversation Index goes beyond Public Relations. It reaches all areas from sales communications, branding, customer service and product development. Thanks to the new metrics we can measure the success (or the failure) of our Public Relations strategies, which was impossible before. The new metrics justify the role of Public Relations in marketing 2.0 because they widen the relationship area, build trust, create communities and help increasing the sales, and so it proves to general managers the value they win by investing in PR 2.0 strategies.
The only constant in social media is the permanent change. Social media represents the main competitor of the traditional media, but the presence on social media is necessary but not enough.
The authority in online environment is given by the position in Google, by the traffic generated by the site etc.
Social media are the media of the future, the newest communication channel with an unprecedented expansion speed. Social media means direct contact with the audience of the organization and direct feedback. On social media, personal/corporate brands leave their footprint as experts or authorities in a certain field. Once it enters the social media arena, an organization cannot be anymore 100% the guardian who controls this communication – few minutes can stay between triggering and propagating the crisis at a significant scale. Social media are a cheap and generous communication resource. The presence of a company on social media is a trust mark both for the external and the internal target of a company. There is no best way to use social media, the possibilities that they offer are countless. Real monitoring and measurement of social media are another question mark for most of the companies and communication specialists. Social media are the search engine of the future.
businessweek.com business.com capital.ro zf.ro wall-street.ro
Media & advertising publications
checkfacebook.com eacd-online.eu e-marketer.com 24
fleishman.com informit.com instituteforpr.org markmedia.ro mashable.com mengonline.com mckinseyquarterly.com ovrdrv.com wikipedia.org E-books The Social Web Analytics eBook 2008: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3844887/The-SocialWeb-Analytics-eBook-2008 E-book: How To Effectively Leverage Social Media Relationships with Real-Time Collaboration Tools: http://www.box.net/shared/ocjvqn877k Blogs http://businessblogconsulting.com/ http://chrisbrogan.com http://digitallunch.blogspot.com http://getaresultnow.com http://manafu.blogspot.com http://metricsman.wordpress.com www.mihaidumitru.com http://www.paulgillin.com/ http://www.pr-squared.com/ http://www.rotorblog.com/ http://seoworldcoffee.files.wordpress.com
http://web-strategist.com/blog Studies Daedalus Millward Brown, A peek inside the Social Networks in Romania, Qualitative study, September, 2009 McKinsey Quarterly, the business journal of McKinsey & Company Books Middelburg, Don – „Winning PR in the wierd world”, McGroaw-Hill, New York, 2001 Migliore, Henry – „Strategic planning for non-profit organizations”, NY: Haworth, Binghamton, 1994 Wilcox, Dennis – “Public relations strategies and tactics”, Publisher Curtea Veche, Bucuresti, 2009 Witmer, Diane – „Spinning the Web: A handbook for Public Relations on the Internet”, Longman, New York, 2000