Archive for the ‘Social Media training’ Category.

Four steps for businesses to get started with social media

Many businesses want to get started using social media or want to make their use of social media more effective. There is often a benefit of talking to a specialist social media agency. But for all businesses and organisations, whatever their size and whatever their focus, there are four simple steps that will put you on the right track with social media. Make sure you are using it but doing so in an informed way.

The presentation below takes you from listening and understanding what people are saying, to measuring and evaluating the impact you are having in four simple steps. If you want more information on this or on how to get started with social media then look at the FreshNetworks guide to Getting Started in Social Media.

Social media + online shopping = social shopping

shopping_cart

Ever since sites like Kaboodle and Zebo spearheaded “social shopping” (a mix of e-commerce and traditional shopping where consumers shop in a social networking environment) consumers now have the ability to swap ideas, share product reviews and discuss latest fashion trends with like-minded people before, during and after their decision making and purchasing journey.

Social shopping has certainly helped to personalise the sometimes faceless online shopping experience.  And with 67% of shoppers spending more money online after recommendations from an online community of friends or like-minded people (according to Internet Retailer) a key element of social shopping seems to be the ability to recommend and share additional items that shoppers are likely to want to purchase.

A recent social shopping survey by e- tailer PowerReviews has also shown that a retailer’s own e-commerce sites play an important role in the purchasing process.  Survey respondents rated customer reviews as being the most persuasive factor in making a purchase and nearly half of all respondents said they would leave a retailer’s site if user-generated reviews were lacking.

Online shoe and clothing shop Zappos has certainly taken this knowledge to heart.  Largely known for their successful use of Twitter, thanks to the CEO lending his personality to the company brand, Zappos was also one of the early adopters of social shopping. Their site has a comprehensive ratings and reviews section to advise people on what products they might like based on their purchase selection, aiding the shopping process and helping with the conversion rate. They also have a “notify me of new styles” button, as well as plenty of  “favourite” ratings options so that customers can formulate a shopping list based on selections made by customers who have viewed the same or similar products.

More recently, apparel company Levi Strauss and Co has turned their hand to  social shopping . Their new Levi’s friends store uses the recently-launched  Facebook “like” plugin  to allow shoppers to see the number of Facebookers who ‘like’ an  item. It also allows the shopper to cast a vote about a product, encouraging joint participation in what was previously an individual shopping experience.

Social shopping can benefit retailers in several ways, especially if it is integrated with a wider online sales strategy.  With this in mind, we’re running a free breakfast seminar for retailers on how to use social shopping to increase online profits.

The event runs from 8.30am-10.30am on Wednesday 19th May and will include useful tips and advice on social shopping from the likes of  Geoff Quinn, CEO of TM Lewin, as well as real-life case studies from high-end brands like Jimmy Choo.

While the event is free to attend we ask that you register for the event below or call us on 0207 692 4376 to attend.

Please note: As places are limited the event is reserved for retailers only.

  • Location: FreshNetworks, 229 High Holborn, WC1V 7DA,  London (map)
  • Date and time: Wednesday 19th May 2010, 08:30-10:30

Long-term success in social media is about more than tactics

Chess Clock
Image by Kevan via Flickr

Later this month I’m the keynote speaker at the Dutch Marketing Conference Digitaal willen we allemaal in Utrecht. I’m speaking about the danger of building your social media strategy on tactics (“We need to use Twitter” or “We need to use Facebook”) rather than focusing on ongoing and sustainable engagement. Long-term success comes from a strategic (not tactical) approach to social media and from properly evaluating why you are using social media in the first place and how you will measure its success against overall business objectives as well as any individual campaign aims that you might be focused on at any given time.

This approach has a number of implications for what brands should be doing online and for the role of the social media agency and the brand itself. I’ll be talking about this in some detail later this month and will share the slides and more thoughts nearer the time. In preparation for the conference I was interviewed by the Dutch marketing magazine Tijdschrift voor Marketing, and the article (in Dutch) can be found here. For non-Dutch speakers I thought I’d share the full text of the interview I gave with the magazine below. In it, I look at current trends in the social media industry, how to develop a social media strategy and the role of the social media agency and of the brand in any engagement.

Q: What are the main themes currently being discussed in the social media industry?

The social media industry (such as it is) is in an interesting position at the moment. There are the usual discussions of social media measurement and ROI, social media monitoring, buzz tracking and how brands can use social networks (such as Facebook) and other social media tools to engage customers and others. However two significant themes are common at the moment:

  1. How brands can best develop a social media strategy
  2. The role of the social media agency and how it should work with brands

I will be talking about both of these issues at the Marketing Live conference in April. The first, the question of how to develop a strategy, tends to divide between people who are actually developing tactics and people developing a strategy. Tactics tend to be tools based (how do we use Twitter or Facebook, for example) and have shorter-term impact. Strategy considers what the business is looking to achieve and then how social media can fit into the marketing and communications mix. Too many businesses are still developing short-term, tool-based tactics rather than thinking strategically. This is a real shame and it is a pity to see brand who are still not taking a strategic approach to social media.

The role of the social media agency is also a contentious issue. Many brands think that the best person to manage their reputation and presence in social media is themselves. At FreshNetworks we would agree with this. However, for many brands this is a daunting prospect and when you are launching a new social media strategy you can benefit from working with specialists. Ultimately a brand should own its own presence in social media and an agency should be used where the expertise and experience is beneficial.

Q: If companies want to create value for their business (and not only their brand) through social media, what is the best approach? What should they think about first, and second?

The best approach to using social media in a business is not to take a tools-led approach, but to take one driven by business strategy, aims and objectives and that is measurable against these. Any business looking to develop a social media strategy should follow a four-stage process that puts these business aims first:

  1. Listen to and understand what is currently being discussed online and in social media about your brand, business, market and customers. Social media monitoring and buzz-tracking is an essential first step for any business getting started in social media as it helps you to understand the media and what discussions are currently going on.
  2. Think about your business aims and how you will measure these. Any social media strategy should relate to specific existing business aims. Isolate the aims that social media can best contribute to and then develop scorecard metrics for how you will measure these.
  3. Explore the social media tools available to you and experiment with them. Use these as part of a deliberative process. Try some tools and then refine your use of them or try new tools to develop a mix that works for your business aims and the customers you are trying to engage
  4. Measure your impact ruthlessly. Measure against your original business aims and refine your approach and strategy if you are not having the impact you expect.

Q: Is it possible for multinationals to have an global social media-strategy, what are the pitfalls?

This very much depends on the business, brand and market you are in. Any social media strategy needs to meet two distinct needs:

  1. Your business aims and objectives
  2. Your customer or stakeholder behaviours and needs

Often what works in one country may not translate to another country because customers there behave in different ways or have a different relationship with you. To understand how your social media strategy will translate between territories it is important to make sure you fully explore the people you are trying to engage in each market and how they interact with you. It may be that the same approach will work, or it may be that you need to refine your approach for a different market. Again, a clear and thorough strategy is key here.

Social media in retail - monetising and building value

337/365: The Big MoneyImage by DavidDMuir via Flickr

Last week we ran the first event as part of our Social Media Training series - focused on the retail industry and attracting speakers including James from ASOS, Joanne Jacobs and our own Helen. The session was focused particularly on what those in retail could and should be doing in the current economic climate to use social media to help them build advocacy, innovate, gain insights from consumers and involve them in the business.

There are some great case studies of social media being used well in retail (and we’ve given some examples of online communities in the retail industry before) but, as with other industries, also cases of social media and online communities not living up to their promise. The session showed what works when you engage people online, a case study of how ASOS have built and launched their new community ASOS Life and a great presentation from Joanne Jacobs on how to build and monetise online communities.

FreshNetworks presentation: Case studies in social networks monetisation
View more presentations from joannejacobs.

The presentations provoked plenty of discussion and reaction. We’re running more events in our Social Media Training seminar series, if you’re interested in finding out more, coming along or even speaking then do let us know.

Social Media in Retail – A FreshNetworks Training Seminar

Image via CrunchBase

We all know that social media is all about sharing. We talk about collaborating and learning from each other all the time on this blog. But we’re more than just big talkers here at FreshNetworks – we like to put our money where our mouth is. So without further ado, allow me to announce the FreshNetworks Social Media Training Series.

This set of half-day seminars over the course of the year will focus on social media education and practical training. Each session will delve into a particular sector, focusing on the ways that social media can be used for marketing and insight through case studies and discussion. We’ll have speakers from brands who’ve used social media to tell their success stories and dispense useful tips and lessons learned along the way. And most importantly we’ll provide a forum for all of our guests to chat, share thoughts and ask those burning social media questions.

The first seminar is less than 2 weeks away and will focus on the retail sector. With James Hart of Asos.com speaking about the brilliant new online community Asos Life, and Joanne Jacobs of Xenial (creators of gurgle.com) helping us all understand the monetization of social media, we think it’s going to be a really informative and engaging event. Interested in attending? Sign up on our FreshNetworks Retail 2.0 event page. But hurry, places are filling up quickly!

Sign up for the event here

  • Big Brands in Social Media: Ford and Southwest Airlines (futurelab.net)
  • An Online Community Packing An ROI Punch (socialmediatoday.com)
  • Social Media Marketing (sociallyminded.co.uk)
  • Lack of knowledge hampers social media marketing. Let us help. (freshnetworks.com)
  • 4 Tips to Successful Strategy in Social Media (kylelacy.com)