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March, 2012

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Social Media World Forum 2012

A few of us visited the Social Media World Forum this week. And here’s a selection of what we think are the best bits.

‘Don’t think about departments’

Social media crosses boundaries. Businesses that integrate social media and stop thinking in terms of Sales vs. Marketing vs. PR will come out on top. Business that don’t, won’t. Users see a single brand, they don’t care that Sales are separate from PR, they just want a consistent, joined-up experience.

From Chris Brogan (President, Human Business Works) during his keynote address: Cultivating Visibility & Google+ for Business.

‘Forget about fragmentation’

If you’re a global brand then you’ll inevitably have some level of fragmentation in your social media presence(s). Try to govern and introduce a consistent brand ethos, but don’t worry about it too much; by the time you put a process in place everything will have changed.

From Benjamin Ellis (prolific blogger, author, and speaker) during keynote panel: The Evolution of the Conversation.

‘Tell a story’

The key skill you need to learn is story telling. Find your brand’s voice and the stories it can tell (they do exist). These stories are your creative content, and content is still king.

During keynote panel: The Evolution of the Conversation.

‘Define real objectives’

Likes, interactions, ‘engagement’ metrics; all of these are abstract metrics and don’t tell you how all that effort you put in is actually performing. Figure out what you actually want users to do, find a way to measure it, and report that. Use engagement metrics, but only as middlemen to something you really care about.

From Allister Frost (Head of Digital Marketing Strategy, Microsoft) during panel: Social Media Engagement Measurement and Metrics.

‘It takes people, good people’

You can deploy all the right tools, but without good people you’re going nowhere. Find generalists who specialise. You need people who can do a little of everything but are experts in their field, be it moderation, metrics, outreach, etc.

From Cathy Ma (Head of Social Media, IPC Media) during her case study: IPC Media – A Step-by-Step Guide on Setting Social Strategy & Measuring Success.

‘Qualitative data’

There is a ton of numbers you can gather and report, but these can be more confusing than they are useful. Get qualitative data as well. Talk to your consumers and get their input, then use this to feed back into all areas of your business. Improve customer care, product development, marketing campaigns, everything, based on the feedback you get.

From Henry Juszkiewicz (Chairman and CEO, Gibson Guitar Corporation) during panel: Monitoring and Measuring Social Media. Agreed upon by the panel: Managing Your Company’s Online Reputation via Social Media.

‘Be prepared, don’t wait for the storm’

Brands need to be ‘match fit’. Don’t wait for a PR storm to come along to force you to engage; “you can’t learn social media when the building is on fire”. Build relationships and be prepared, it’s amazing how much people will forgive if you’ve already built trust with them.

From David Bailey (Neighbourhood Communications Manager, Staffordshire Police) and Colin Smith (Director of Marketing Solutions UK, LinkedIn) during panel: Managing Your Company’s Online Reputation via Social Media.

‘Do, or do not, there is no try’

If you’re going to do social media then you need to jump in and do it properly, half-measures simply aren’t going to work. “You can’t do a bit of social media, it’s like being a bit pregnant”.

From Mark Squires (Head of Communications for Western Europe, Nokia) during panel: The Changing Role of PR in the Social Media Environment.

‘True dialogue’

Communication with customers is truly 2-way for the first time. Brands who engage in social media must be prepared to listen, react, learn and apply. But there are major scale considerations in moving from broadcast to full scale conversation, so identify and use tools to make you more efficient, and empower employees to be brand ambassadors.

During panel: Social Media for Brand Management.

‘Working global and locally at the same time’

Communications must be local language and local community but with global guidelines. This isn’t just a language issue, but a cultural/geographical issue e.g. UK English vs. US English. Larger organisations might consider a ‘hub and spoke’ model (as used by Unilever): scheduling regular calls with markets, having internal social groups for networking/sharing, and establishing a clear process that everyone is bought into.

During panel: Social Media for Brand Management.

‘Refine your voice’

Identify the voice of your brand. Remember you are speaking person-to-person and not brand-to-person so; be real and authentic, approach users with empathy, and have a plan! Set objectives and establish processes, remember it’s a long term commitment not just a campaign burst.

During panel: Social Media for Brand Management.

‘Trust’

Businesses are not trusted as much as individuals, but people trust those that are like themselves more and they appreciate transparency. Also remember that good products are a given, but social media will really magnify a bad product!

From Scott Monty during his keynote address: Global Language of a Social Media Strategy.

‘Cut-through’

It is very difficult to get through to the audience with the sheer proliferation of brand messaging out there. Brands can differentiate by having content that is relevant, good, and fun (e.g. Focus Doug). As well as this they remember that users time is limited, so engage using relevant content in a ‘human voice’, e.g. Fiestagram hashtags were engaging, and related to the car, but not about the car. Finally brands must listen, like granny used to say; “you have two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion”.

From Scott Monty during his keynote address: Global Language of a Social Media Strategy.

‘You’re in there for the long haul!’

You can’t simply switch off after a six week campaign burst and you must have an always-on strategy to grow and maintain an audience between your campaign bursts.

From Scott Monty during his keynote address: Global Language of a Social Media Strategy.

Mar

30

2012

The Geneva Motor Show

Charlotte Rose, Project Manager and resident Blue Hive photographer extraordinaire, updates us on the comings and goings at the Geneva Motor Show.

Took on a Ford photo-synth-ing commission at the 82nd International Motor Show in Geneva today; which involved getting into the Palais D’Expositions before all the Journo-Blogger crowds at something like half five in the morning (Swiss time). I had to clip 360s of the sparkling vehicles on the impressive stand as well as capture imagery in an authentic and reportage style to populate Ford’s Flickr channel. We just about beat the crowds and watched with bated breath as 140 images were ‘synth-ed’ together to create a 100% synthy panorama; which sat on Microsoft’s landing page for 12 days, receiving nearly 18K hits within the initial 24 hours, the current number of views is up to 41,417 hits.

Whilst, I was primarily based on the Ford stand with the team from production company, Imagination, I did get to leave my post briefly to test drive an electric Ford Focus (all in the name of vital product immersion of course!) Having experienced a real car that was completely silent, I also tried out a virtual car that was far from quiet! It was a Ford rally car brought to life on an unbelievably realistic simulator. Having achieved the lowest score at the event, I guess I’ll just have to put my glittering racing career on hold a little longer and focus on capturing the moment with a Canon 5D Mark II instead!

On the Ford stand

Mar

19

2012

Transitioning a Facebook brand page to Timeline

On Wednesday 29th February Facebook held their first Marketing Conference – effectively F8 for marketers – and announced a new suite of tools for brands on Facebook. Among these announcements was news of the launch of Timeline for brand pages.

Brand admins can preview their page in Timeline now but have until 30th March to prepare and publish the new page, at that point Facebook will update all pages to the Timeline layout automatically.

This is your guide to transitioning a brand page to the new Timeline layout.

Facebook Timeline

Background

If you didn’t catch them, here’s a reminder of the new features and changes that were announced.

  • Your page will have a cover photo: a large, static, 851 by 315 pixel photo that appears at the very top of the page.
  • Profile picture: A brand profile picture will appear over the lower left of your cover photo.
    • This picture is separate from the cover photo and is 180 by 180 pixels.
    • When shown in the Timeline or in a user’s newsfeed this is resized to 32 by 32 pixels.
  • Timeline: all posts ever made (not including hidden or deleted posts) will be shown in a vertical timeline.
    • A menu on the right allows users to browse through the history of the page.
  • There are three new types of post:
    • Pinned posts: a single post can be ‘pinned’ to the top of the Timeline for a period of seven days (a pinned post will display with a ribbon in the top right). At the end of seven days it can be re-pinned, re-pins are unlimited.
    • Highlighted posts: any post can be ‘highlighted’. A highlighted post image is resized to a 843 pixel width (from 404 pixels).
    • Milestones: a new type of post that appears in the Timeline and can be used to mark a ‘milestone’ in the history of the brand. These looks just like highlighted posts but show a flag icon, title, and description at the top.
  • ‘Apps’ replace ‘tabs’:
    • Apps cannot be set as a default landing experience (as tabs could be) as all users will see the Timeline by default.
    • Thumbnail images for apps are 111 by 74 pixels, these appear below the cover photo and are accompanied by the app name and 16 by 16 pixels app icon.
    • Only four app thumbnails may be displayed at a given time. The ‘photos’ app is locked and cannot be moved but the other three app thumbnail spots are flexible. Any apps that are live but whose thumbnails are not displayed within the four spots can be found in a drop-down menu.
    • Apps themselves can be 520 pixels in width (with vertical white bars either side) or 810 pixels in width.

Preview your page in Timeline

The first thing to do is see what your page looks like in Timeline right now.

  1. Log in to Facebook as an admin and visit your page.
  2. You should see a banner announcing that new Facebook pages are “coming soon”. Click the button to ‘preview’.
  3. Your page will now be shown in Timeline preview mode, it will only be published if you click the ‘publish’ button or when Facebook automatically published it 30th March.

Preview your page

Cover photo and profile picture

The cover photo and profile picture are now the first things a user will see when visiting your page, so make the most of them.

  1. Add a cover photo.
    • 851 by 315 pixels in size.
    • It must be a static image, no animations or videos I’m afraid.
    • You can’t include ‘price or purchase information’ such as “download it at our website”.
    • Don’t add contact information like web, email, or postal address, or other information intended for your page’s ‘about’ section.
    • No references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
    • No calls-to-action e.g. “get it now” or “tell your friends”.
  2. Update your profile picture.
    • This should be 180 by 180 pixels in size but still meaningful when resized to 32 by 32 pixels.
    • It must be a static image.
  3. Try integrating the cover photo and profile picture.
    • This has been popular on personal profile Timelines.
    • NB: The profile picture must work on its own (as well as in conjunction with. the cover photo) so it wouldn’t be a bad idea for it to prominently feature your logo.

Our cover photo

Apps

Apps aren’t going away, they are still a great place for immersive brand experiences but you’re going to have to work harder to get users to visit them.

  1. Check the content and layout of your apps.
    • Does your app refer to any of the old Facebook navigation, e.g. “click on a tab on the left”?
  2. Create and add a thumbnail image for all your apps.
    • This should be 111 by 74 pixels in size.
    • Include meaningful imagery to indicate what the app does (remember that the app name still appears below the thumbnail).
    • Upload this through the app’s ‘edit settings’ link. This can be found in apps section of the page settings, or by hovering over an app thumbnail until the pencil icon is displayed.
  3. Pick those apps that you’d like to feature in the three flexible thumbnail spots, the others will be demoted to the drop-down menu.
  4. Check to see how your apps look in the new 810 pixel width. It’s not required to update your apps as they should still work in the 520 pixel width.

App thumbnails

Housekeeping

Now is a great opportunity to tidy up your page.

  1. Update the ‘about’ text and check that any listed ‘place sub-categories’ are correct.
    • These are now featured prominently below the profile picture and to the left of the app thumbnails.
  2. Check your page’s ‘about’ section for language and consistency with the new layout.
    • Remove text like “how to use our page” that refers to tabs, etc.
  3. Moderate any outstanding user posts.
  4. Ensure you have your location listed.
    • One of the features of Timeline is a map, so you’ll want to make sure that people can find you if they need to.

Timeline

Users are likely to go back and take a look at your history in Timeline, so it’s best to make sure it looks good.

  1. Check your page’s ‘founded’ post.
    • Check the date.
    • Set the term to use, you can choose from: ‘founded’, ‘started’, ‘opened’, and ‘born’.
    • Add additional information like a photo, the location, and a description.
    • NB: Facebook only currently allows a ‘founded’ date to be from the 19th century onwards, sorry older brands!
  2. Go back and highlight any posts, or add new milestones, which you feel should be featured.
    • Users will expect to see major events in the brand history featured.

Highlighted posts

Mar

3

2012