Nov 4, 2011

Social Media Pocket Guide - 6 ways to Use Social Media

The internet is full of stats about social media, brand awareness, and scarce on how to use social media to improve brand awareness. Fortunately I've found a pocket guide in how to use social media for business, it's a white paper written by Spreadfast  a social CRM enterprise software for social media marketing. The only flaw is the absence of examples in Linkedin, but you just have to adapt the measures and don't forget to put a lot of creativity in your measures.

In this post I'm going to share some excerpts:

Case #1 - Building Brand Awareness

The top four arguments for using social media for brand awareness:
  1. Reach
  2. Traffic
  3. New Audiences
  4. Expertise

Details About the Company, Including Services and Offerings - People follow brands to learn more about them. Don’t be afraid to talk about your culture, employees, what you offer, services you provide or general conversations about who you are as a company.
    • Tweet pictures or details around a fun company function.
    • Post on Facebook sharing the latest information and updates about your products or enhancements in services.
    • (...)

 Thought Leadership Content - Beyond corporate collateral, your business is probably publishing content that illustrates your domain expertise. This is commonly referred to as thought leadership and is powerful in raising awareness. (...)
    • Share a link on Facebook of the latest whitepaper or helpful article published by your organization.
    • (...)
    • Share a YouTube video of employees giving advice on how to use your product or service in creative ways.

Company News - Every company has interesting activities happening regularly. (...)
    • Interview new team leaders about what they are excited about and include as a post on corporate blog – written or videoed
    • Post a Flickr image of a corporate social initiative promotion poster to share what your company is doing to give back to the community.
    • (...) 

Questions for Feedback - Building brand awareness isn’t just about sharing your own content. It’s also based on asking for content from others. Asking for input gets more people engaged with your brand and sharing ideas across their networks. As a bonus, input can be used to learn about your network and potentially used for aspects of future marketing.

    • Tweet a question of the week about users’ favorite aspect of the latest product, service or communications campaign focus area.
    • Introduce a Facebook poll asking what areas of your product, new features, or services your community cares about the most.
    • Always pose a question at the end of blog posts asking if readers have any other ideas or helpful feedback.
    • Ask what type(s) of industry-related content and resources your community finds most useful to help inform what the best content is for your brand.

Community Content - Many people keep up with social media accounts to learn about industry news. (...)

    • Write a blog post sharing helpful resources from industry leaders.
    • Share links to industry events in which your network may be interested in attending.
    • Post links to and reflections about thought leadership content from market influencers.

Research - Despite the size or industry of your company, new research or community findings are always interesting. If you work in a B2B company, this may be a study on industry business trends. (...)

    •  Post industry infographics and charts on Flickr with relevant tags.
    • Interview the person(s) leading research projects on video to post to YouTube for additional insights.
    • (...)

Customer Success Stories - There’s no better way to grow brand awareness than to have customers share their success stories. (...)

    • Invite customers to write guest blog posts to discuss interesting product experiences and/or success.
    • Tweet links to success stories, tagging customers and partners discussed to make them aware they can share the content, too.
    • (...)

  1. Activity to Engagement Ratio
  2.  Potential Impressions 
  3. Confirmed Impressions 
  4. Change in Current Network 
  5. Comments&Replies
  6. Mentions by Audience

Case #2 – Making Customer Service Personal with Social Media

The top four arguments for using social media for Customer Support.
  1. Immediacy
  2. Helpfulness
  3. Discovery
  4. Personal


Managing Expectations - Even if you can’t immediately address the specific concerns of a Tweet or Facebook post, it’s important to respond quickly to let people know you’ve heard them and provide a likely response time. Every second a customer waits for a response is an opportunity for them to question if they won’t receive an answer at all. (...)
    • (...)
    • Acknowledge users’ issue-related Tweets, and provide an update that you will get back to them. 
    • Reply to Facebook wall posts asking customers for information to further investigate posted issues.

Building Relationships - Because you can learn so much from a customer’s preferences based on their interactions in social media, a customer service initiative is among the best to cater to your fans. It particularly pays to do so with your most loyal and influential customers. If they share biographical information or send messages explaining how they use your product, it’s an opportunity to relate to them and cultivate brand evangelists.

    • (...) 
    • Retweet someone who says something interesting and relevant to the greater community. 
    • Relate your product back to the person’s other interests and start a conversation on Facebook. 

Troubleshooting - Resolving issues in a timely, reliable manner is a fundamental part of excellent customer support. This aspect of social activity should be fulfilled as often as customers share the need, because ultimately, customers expect the public help.
    • Post a Facebook response asking customers for more information about publicly shared problems.
    • Send a Tweet with a suggestion about how to troubleshoot an issue.
    • Suggest a solution to a problem on Twitter or Facebook with a link to a web tutorial for more information.

Sharing Public Resources - Your team has probably spent time creating tools to help find your support locations, encourage e-commerce or build a knowledge base. These can be the perfect supplement for responding to inquiries requiring in-depth explanations or for using proactively to prevent customer problems before they arise.

    • Post a Facebook link that includes directions to your repair locations.
    • Send a Tweet linking your followers to a wiki for detailed resources.

Define Social Support Scope - Don’t make your customers guess about the types of support you provide via social channels.
    • Write a Facebook post introducing a product specialist available to help.
    • (...) 
    • Send a Tweet sharing new product availability and invite questions through the channel.

Customer Education - In a competitive market, giving customers the tools to use the full extent of your product’s capabilities is an advantage. This applies across virtually all industries. (...)
    • Create a YouTube channel devoted to short tutorial videos on product(s) and services.
    • Send a series of Twitter tips on how to preserve or protect a product.
    • Update your Facebook status or wall post asking customers to share their favorite uses of a product.

Customer-Centric Announcements - Customer service-oriented channels are a natural place for customer-centric announcements. These can often preempt much of the activity you may receive from customers in terms of questions or concerns.

  • Send a Tweet or update your Facebook status indicating a known service interruption or scheduled maintenance.
  • Send a Tweet letting customers know about a product or software enhancement.
  • Write a blog post outlining new product upgrades with tips on how to best use the product.

  1. Impressions 
  2. Activity
  3. Activity Assigned but Not Completed and Activity Completed 
  4. Mentions by Audience
  5. Average Engagement by Publication
  6. Monitor Success by Content Label (such as “Thank You”) 
Case #3 – Adding Events to Social Media Programs

The top four arguments for using social media for Event Marketing 

  1.  Promotion 
  2. Real-Time Awareness
  3. Audience Participation
  4. Community Sharing


Promotion of Activities - The ability to promote corporate events through social media shouldn’t just yield updates to “attend,” “register now” or “learn more about products.” Attendance is the end goal, but promoting the event in ways that provide value and create interest is key.
    • Create a Facebook event for your activities. Ensure an update is sent to your fans and content is updated regularly through the event.
    • Write a series of blog posts up to the event with agenda details, noteworthy participants and previews of special activities.
    • Send regular Tweets @mentioning speakers, attendees or partners.
    • Create a web page curating all social media event updates to provide your community with a centralized location to browse all activity. Bonus: include this link in other event emails, websites and public relations.

Reminders - It’s easy to forget an early morning keynote, exhibit hall promotion or evening networking function in the midst of a busy event.

    • Tweet about social gatherings and parties an hour before they take place using the event hashtag to ensure they are easy to find.
    • Post on your blog each morning about the event line-up for the day.
    • (...)
    • Include updates on your Facebook Page and Event with links to specific activity information within 24-hours of schedule.

Prompting Feedback - During events, attendees look for ways to share their perceptions and thoughts. These may be personal takeaways with their network or sharing experiences they had directly with you. Prompting this feedback helps encourage attendees to share and create a bigger impact for your event. It also helps you collect information quicker and easier to decide how to share or use for future marketing.
    • Create and promote an event hashtag for attendees to use when sharing feedback.
    • Retweet attendees when they ask for help or advice throughout event.
    • Prompt people to share event experiences through Facebook polls or surveys.
    • Write blog posts highlighting event activities, prompting participant comments.

Answering Questions - With any event, there are going to be questions from attendees and speakers. Using social media channels can help your events team publicly answer questions to a broad audience and provide a place to respond to questions in real-time before, during and after the event.
    • Monitor event Facebook presence and Twitter hashtag(s) to respond to questions or concerns.
    • Tweet answers to questions posed in person during the event to acknowledge questions publicly.

Sharing Content from the Event . Events provide a great opportunity to network, increase brand awareness and learn from others. (...)

    • Designate people to live blog from the event on your corporate blog.
    • Share pictures on Flickr daily to highlight event attendees and activities. Tag these with your brand, keywords and event tags.
    • Take attendee feedback and comments during conferences to share takeaways from the event. Share these while the event is taking place to build excitement and save for future marketing use.
    • Post presentations from sessions, panels or meetups on Slideshare to extend the lifecycle of content and expand the reach of your event.

Giving Exclusive Benefits for your Social Network - Making fans, friends and followers feel like they’re a part of the “in” crowd by offering them exclusive benefits is always rewarding.
    • (...)
    • Share a special discount code on Facebook for event registration.
    • Give early updates about special events on Twitter, especially those with capacity limits, to provide incentive for following you.

Contests - People are always eager to win something. (...)

    • Run a giveaway contest for free event registration through a blog post for a set number of people who share how winning would be beneficial to them personally.
    • Launch a Flickr contest for people to post their favorite pictures from previous years’ events tagged with a specified event tag.
    • Send out event details on Twitter for networking parties, keynote presentations and on-site activities. Promote that the first person to respond in the correct fashion – answer a question, share an experience, send out a Tweet, etc. – wins a designated prize.

  1. Activity 
  2. Potential Impressions 
  3. Engagement by Date 
  4. Clicks by Engagement
  5. Mentions by Audience 
  6. Keyword Sentiment

Case #4 – Adding Social Media to Product Introductions

The top four arguments for using social media for Product introductions 

  1. Affordability
  2. Enhance Other Media Spend Efforts
  3. Social Networks Build Excitement
  4. Grows Opportunities for Adoption

Tease Content of Launch - Social media can help build interest in products before they are launched. Without giving away all the new details and features of a product, teasing elements can create excitement leading up to the actual launchdate. 

    • Tweet general hints about new product features to tease new enhancements soon available.
    • (...)
    • Share an announcement across all social media accounts of new, upcoming product. Commit to regular updates leading up to launch to give a reason for people to follow you and return.

Live Action Demonstrations -  Don’t just tell people what’s coming with a new product - show them. Visuals help bring products to life for potential customers. Help your audience understand the uses, benefits and unique aspects of your product by illustrating them.
    • Create a video of the new product in action or a demonstration of it in use. Post the video to your YouTube account and embed on high profile pages of your website.
    • Record a video interview with early or beta users revealing positive experiences and personal adoption.
    • Create a Facebook and/or Flickr photo album containing different shots and uses of the new product to see and share.
    • (...)

Provide Exclusive, Social-only Product Information 

    • Post invites to become a Beta user via Facebook and Twitter.
    • Tweet daily or weekly “social tips” for product use directly after launch to share helpful information. Use the same hashtag in each to make information easy to find and share.
    • Post YouTube video and Facebook photo “extended” views of product available only in social media. Link these from your website, email and other channels to drive traffic to your social accounts.

Real-World Creators Interviews and Expertise Sharing - Sometimes products are so interesting that hearing from the creators or designers is intriguing. Provide an “internal” perspective of your new product by airing insights from people involved in its creation.

    • Post a YouTube video case study from Beta users talking about experiences as early product users.
    • Share YouTube video interviews with developers, designers, or company leaders talking about creation of new product. Provide perspective on direction and forward looking vision of the product line. 
    • Start a Twitter online chat series with a product hashtag to allow engaged users to submit questions or feedback regarding the product.
    • Share insights from real people, as they become product users, by retweeting and posting social media feedback or endorsements.

Exclusive Deals - Offering special deals on products can help to increase adoption rate and sales. Doing this in social media expands the number of people to whom you can provide incentives. It also gives another incentive: to follow you and pay close attention for deals in the future.
    • Post links on Facebook to exclusive product coupons.
    • Tweet discount short codes to enter at checkout in online stores.

Share Multimedia with Media and Brand Advocates - (...) More people have platforms where they can share content, and media can be posted and shared quickly.

    • Reach out and share multimedia and precreated content with brand advocates or customers to share on day of launch like Tweets, links to product images and videos.
    • Brief key bloggers and share “permissible” content to post in days leading up to launch to create a larger hype.
    • Create a “day of launch” blog post with links to all available product-related multimedia to make all launch content easy to find, allowing users and press to find all shareable content in one location.


    • Promote a request for user-generated photos of people using the product with the incentive of a prize. Upload these photos to your Facebook Page and blog and allow voting for the favorite picture of your network.
    • Create a Twitter campaign to allow submissions of new product ideas like name or design features.
    • Ask Facebook fans to share their favorite new aspect of the product on your Wall with the first set number of posts promised a prize. 
    • Promote retweet opportunities with first set number of retweets to win a prize.

  1. Change in Current Network
  2. Potential Impressions
  3. Confirmed Impressions
  4. Engagement by Content
  5. Mentions by Audience
  6. Activity Assigned but Not Completed vs. Completed

 Case #5 – Embracing Social Media to Build Your Sales Pipeline 

The top four arguments for using social media To build your sales pipeline
  1.  It’s Where Your Prospects are Spending Time 
  2. Effective to Drive Traffic to Home Base (Website) 
  3. Enhances Inbound Marketing 
  4. Insight into Previously Unknown Opportunities


Proactively Responding to Relevant Conversations -  You’ve already heard that someone is talking about your brand, product or competitors at this very moment. But have you thought about how you can harness those conversations for sales and lead generation?
    • Find questions or comments mentioning your name on Facebook. Reply to these users asking if you can provide more information on your offerings or clarify questions.
    • Search for competitor products or services on Twitter. When appropriate, engage with these users by answering questions about your industry and/or ask if they are interested in learning more about other valuable offerings.
    • Monitor Twitter for your top five keywords to find prospects interested in what you offer but may not be mentioning your specific company or products. Share useful advice and ask how you can help.
    • Conduct an ongoing search across Flickr and YouTube for media tagged with your products or service. If there is an indication of interest or need, respond to any postings with an offer to provide more information or talk.

Drive People to Your Home Base - Your website is where the magic happens. People learn about your product and either make a purchase or convert into a lead. (...)
    • Spotlight a product or service weekly with a Facebook link to a web page with more information for prospects.
    • Share updates on Twitter and Facebook with links to your site when new product materials are available for download. 
    •  Through annotations or an end bumper, always include a link in YouTube videos back to a preferred webpage so people know where to find more information.

Content Marketing - (...)
    • Create a series of Tweets sharing insights from a whitepaper, including a URL to download the entire paper.
    • Write a blog post recapping a recent study conducted by your company, providing a link to download the entire report.
    • Share a link on Facebook of a success story provided by a customer.
    • Post all publicly available documents showcasing your expertise on SlideShare as PDFs.

Offer Exclusive Deals to Social Network - (...)
    • Share special discounts with Facebook fans such as discounts on your products or services and events.
    • Give Twitter follower appreciation offers, allowing users to submit contact information for “specials” available by following you.
    • Provide incentives for users who share deals or product information with friends such as credits towards a product or service.

Provide Calls to Action - Building an initiative to generate leads and develop Sales prospects typically involves giving your network something to do. (...)
    • Include a constant call to action in your Facebook status or About section where fans can learn more information about your company or products.
    • Include a brief caption on how viewers can take the next steps to get started with a link to your contact form or a free trial in YouTube videos about products and services.

Encourage Reviews and Feedback - Referrals from friends, family or colleagues are one of the top reasons people make a purchase. (...)
    • Add a Facebook Like button to every page on your website.
    • Incorporate the ability to submit reviews on your Facebook page.
    • Share links to review and discussion pages via Twitter, and ask people to share feedback.
    • Include links on all social media profiles to locations such as Facebook reviews and online forums where your network can submit or access reviews.

Collect information Everywhere - Building a huge base of fans and followers is great. But having the data on who those people are – and how to best communicate with them on other channels – is better.

    • Create a Facebook tab with the capability to collect email signup information.
    • When sharing links to your site from Twitter, ensure there is an opportunity to collect user information on the destination page.
    • Incorporate an email subscription form on your blog and allow people to opt in to updates from your company and its offerings.

  1.  Activities
  2. Potential Impressions
  3. Clicks
  4. Conversions
  5. Re-Tweets
  6. Homepage Views from Social Media Sites
Case #6 – Activating Your Community to Take Action

The top four arguments for using social media For activating your community
  1. More Activation than any Other Medium
  2. Engaged Networks are more Connected to you and your Brand
  3. Pass Along Potential and Reality
  4. Timely


Provide Pre-Packaged Content for your Network to Share - If you aren’t making it easy for your network to share content on your behalf, you are losing opportunities to leverage your community to further bolster your brand.
  • Provide sample Tweets people can share about a particular subject or campaign to spread the word on your behalf in email outreach.
  • Ask Facebook fans to change their status to represent a day, event or cause. Provide samples of statuses that your fans can use.
  • Create widgets or badges your network can share on their blogs, websites or personal networks to support your cause or product.
  • Write a blog post explaining multiple tactics your network can implement to show support for your cause, product or even company.

Launch a “Share with a Friend” Program - (...)
    • Include “Pls RT” in Tweets sent out to promote action or activity.
    • Post a status update on Facebook covering the best ways to get friends involved in community building activities.
    • Write a blog post listing ways your network can easily share information about the company or particular initiative. 
    • Incorporate a Facebook “Like” button on all corporate webpages.

Empower your Network - Give your network the opportunity to engage with your brand and make a difference how they best see fit.

    • Create a poll on Facebook to allow fans to contribute to future company decisions like product features, service offerings or causerelated projects.
    • Ask for customer examples or stories about experiences with a product or service as a way to give your customers a voice. Share these compelling stories on your company blog.
    • Identify the product elements customers are most passionate about. Prompt Facebook and Twitter fans and followers to share their preference and why others should have the same belief(s).

Ask for User-Generated Content of People Sharing Personal Brand Experiences or
- There’s no better way to showcase your product or social impact than to have your network illustrate a product in action or express the impact a certain campaign has had on a member of your community.

    • Ask community members to submit photos of the impact a product or service has had on their lives. Post photos on your company Flickr page and in a Facebook album.
    • Request video submissions from your community using your product in creative ways. Post videos to your company YouTube channel.
    • Promote a common hashtag for topics such as product ideas, feedback or funny customer stories via your Twitter handle. Showcase responses on a regular basis.

Create an Ongoing Activity or Program to Promote Repeat Activity - Providing your networks with ways to regularly get involved with your brand helps increase action and activity within your community base.

    • Host a weekly online Twitter discussion with live questions, answers and knowledge sharing. Use a hashtag to help people find these conversations and to promote activation outside of “official” chat times.
    • Organize meetups using social channels like Twitter and Facebook to drive attendance and participation to offline gatherings.
    • Implement a Facebook discussion or weekly question asked to promote thoughtprovoking conversations regarding topics relevant to your industry.

Provide Incentive - (...)

    • Provide exclusive offers or giveaways to people who “like” your Facebook Page.
    • Unlock special deals, contests or “virtual branded items” when community members check in to specific, meaningful locations.

  1.  Comments/Replies
  2. Activity Assigned but Not Completed vs. Completed
  3. Overall Engagement
  4. Change in Current Network
  5. Potential Impressions


Spredfast is a software company that helps companies manage their social media initiatives better. We
provide a Social CRM system (sCRM) companies use to monitor, manage and measure activity and
engagement across multiple social channels.
Spredfast sCRM delivers a single workspace for listening to current activity, managing multiple social
accounts and voices, planning and publishing content, participating in conversation, and measuring
engagement across all major social platforms. Since most social media initiatives are part of broader
company campaigns, Spredfast integrates with popular enterprise tools – including, Google
Analytics, Omniture Analytics, Social Mention and Crimson Hexagon.
The majority of our customers use Spredfast across multiple departments, brands and geographies in their
enterprise. Our corporate customers span virtually every industry and include such companies and
agencies as AOL, Bayer, Nokia, AARP, Convio, Porter Novelli, Spring Creek Group and HomeAway.

click here to download the full pdf

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