Category Archives: Social Media

Social CRM: Evolving social media

Social CRM is the use of customer data and insights in a social media environment to create and improve delivery of a service or product or customer experience. But those companies doing it well know it goes well beyond social media: it takes into consideration existing CRM data, search engine data and of course surveyed insights from customers. This makes social CRM a combination of social analytics, traditional customer relationship management and practical application.

The most important feature to note is that social CRM flows both ways. It starts with social media monitoring tools, search engine analytics and web analytics in order to understand how and why to approach customers in a certain fashion; but it continues on in how to make reactive decisions to changing customer behaviours and trends in real time. That’s where the power is drawn from: research and understanding isn’t in phases, it is on-going and fed through not only sales data but also a social context around the user. From a strategy point of view, social CRM a great planning tool to help discover pieces of information and develop new strategies, whether they are sales, creative or digitally orientated.  The possibilities are only limited by your analytics.

So where does social CRM sit in the company organisation? The short answer is that it belongs to research and customer service. The long answer is that all departments play a role (especially if your company does not have dedicated roles for research and customer service). It only takes a couple of internal advocates to make sure three things are sorted out: processes, people and products. Processes are important otherwise things aren’t valued, efficient or optimised. People are important because understanding data is a discipline, which is probably why planners and strategists are strong here, and accounts teams are not (if you’re talking agency side).  And products should be optimised for social — especially when looking at feedback loops and post-sales functionality.

Social CRM  makes social media and digital analytics a relevant function of the business for all — not just the marketing folk or the kids of the CEO.

While it is hard to pinpoint good examples if social CRM, because most of the time it is an internal process, the organisations we have worked with have all taken a few key elements away in terms of best practice:

•  Have clear goals in mind and make sure they relate to the business function implementing them (different functions will have different metrics). Then weight them according to the business

•  Upskill your people: nobody wants data without insights, and nobody wants insights without implications. The data is key to decision-making. It has to be interpreted accurately, so having the right analysts on board is key

•  Work with an equal share of both social media and CRM data and set-up processes to review and interpret regularly

•  Talk about the results: if you don’t, the company won’t understand their value.

Agencies are becoming much more sophisticated. Certainly from a Weber Shandwick point of view, we’ve been recruiting more people from a social analytics point of view. The leaders of our businesses are generally grounded in strategic business strategy, and that hasn’t changed. It’s about introducing new tools, developing new processes and an understanding for multiple business functions. It has already gone well beyond PR.

Originally posted on at Weber Shandwick

Social media: sorting through the white noise

Picture of Matt Chisholm

Continuing on the A Digital Perspective tradition.

In a well timed follow up to Dark Social, Social Media Marketer and all-round nice guy Matt Chisholm talks us through how he wades through the white noise of the social media echo chamber.  If you’ve ever wanted a solid stream of good thinking, Matt can talk you through anything from social, to DJing to the latest trends in t-shirt design and photography.

Planners and strategists need to have their finger on so many pulses. Here’s a quick-start guide to agency land, real-time, desktop research .

With the huge influx of information available to marketers and comms people: talk us through how you define what’s valuable for your clients for strategic and creative decisions? 

First of all you need to know what information is out there. There is a huge influx, but as marketers it is up to us to wade through all this information to keep up to date with the latest trends and changes in the industry. I do a lot of reading. My RSS reader has some 50+ blogs I subscribe to. Getting through all the posts on these without falling behind is a massive task, but also one I think anyone who wants to be a successful digital marketer needs to undertake. There is a wealth of useful (and useless) information published about digital, it is up to us to find it, learn from it and advise our clients on how it affects them and what actions we need to take. I also keep in contact with others with their fingers on the pulse and learn of new things from them – learning in an agency should be collaborative.

Finding a way to work through all the information can be quite hard. As I mentioned I read a lot of blogs, but I also keep an eye on Twitter and LinkedIn for interesting articles and reports recommended by peers on these networks. Social networking isn’t just for keeping up with what your friends are doing. Find other great content curators online, follow them and let them help you to wade through the immense amount of information being thrown at us. I Tweet (@chizm123) a lot of the articles I find interesting, which is only a small percentage of what I actually read on a daily basis. Using what articles get ReTweeted is often a great way to see what others think is important and sometimes makes me take a second look in case they’ve seen something I haven’t.

The key to defining what is valuable for my clients as well as the agency I work for, is understanding the brand, where they are on their journey, and what communications and activities are taking place currently and what is coming up. I ensure I chase up the latest news from my clients regularly on their business so I can better advise them on what they should be doing strategically and creatively.

Being a social media marketer primarily (I’ve dabbled in SEO and broader digital as well) I keep an eye on the latest trends, memes, emerging social networks, new engagement tactics by competitors, and campaigns being run by other brands both in Australia and internationally. Using this information along with what has been provided by the client, we can marry the two and create an engaging strategy for the brand which is continually optimised in its implementation.

Educating clients on the latest developments which are relevant to them is another key thing for me. It is important to share with them any changes and the impact they have had on others so we can work together on a solution for them. Sending them the latest cool campaigns and technological developments along with any possible implications for them is also important here so they can understand the market we’re working in better as they have other things to worry about. Communicating this information with them is great as it can help better determine what is valuable to them as we discuss these learnings and they give their thoughts and feedback. It also helps them get excited about what we’re doing which is awesome.

Essentially, I think as digital marketers we need to be content curators for our clients, but take that extra step to apply our learnings to their business and help them to progress forward in this ever-changing digital world.

Twitter Hits The Financial Markets

Guest post: Dee Mason

Twitter Hits The Financial Markets

Twitter has been used in all kinds of ways – and now it seems it’s the new best friend of hedge fund managers. The now ubiquitous social media and micro blogging service was launched in 2006 and no-one could have predicted the way it has taken hold. Since then, there have been hundreds of tools launched to make sense of the information coming from people’s tweets, from apps to manage tweeting to search engines designed specifically for social media updates. Perhaps it was only a matter of time till the stock markets got involved.

Investor Confidence

We already know that the way people feel and their level of confidence can have a huge impact on the markets. Some market events can cause confidence to drop, causing a momentary dip in prices or even a downward spiral. These include earnings announcements, revised estimates, company alerts about income projections, interest rate changes and more. But there’s big money to be made for investors who can predict market trends, betting for or against gains and losses. And it seems that Twitter just might be the tool to help them do that.

Twitter Mood Prediction Tool

In October 2010, two professors of computing and informatics at Indiana University, Johan Bollen and Huina Mao, said they though that Twitter would be a useful way of predicting the behavior of the Dow Jones. In a paper titled Twitter mood predicts the stock market; they suggested a link between the mood states elicited from Twitter feeds and the behavior of the Dow. They measured some 9 million tweets over a 10 month period to reach this conclusion. Separately, sociologists have worked on studies that show that Twitter knows what you’re feeling, and there are already tools out there that can gain the sentiment of your tweets, though usually as part of other applications.

Derwent Goes Live

This year a new hedge fund based in London, Derwent Capital Markets, has splashed out on the Twitter predictor tool used by the professors in order to start training based on the findings. Co-owner Paul Hawtin is convinced that this is a viable investment tool which will only get better as Twitter continues to grow. Scanning Twitter for keywords to see what the mood is and drive investment may seem like a harebrained idea to those on the outside, but in testing the algorithm had an 87.6% accuracy rate. The program can work out, after a random sweep of tweets, whether the prevailing mood is happy, kind, vital, sure, alert or calm. When the mood drops, so does the Dow, so in theory if you know the mood ahead of time, you can invest or disinvest accordingly.

So is this type of tool really useful? It must be, as it’s not the only one in town. These days business people at all levels are after real-time information, whether that’s about how they are feeling or what they are clicking on a particular web page. This enables a hitherto-unknown level of responsiveness to web customers.

WiseWindow – Another Option

Getting back to investments, another option is WiseWindow’s Mass Opinion Business Intelligence (MOBI) tool (not to be confused with the popular eBook format). This is a way of listening to what customers are saying and figuring out the overall sentiment. This tool measure sentiment on blogs, message boards, forums, Twitter and Facebook, so perhaps gives an even more comprehensive overview of sentiment. In a recent test, the software was used to make a correlation between consumer sentiment on car quality, reliability and problems and the prices of Ford and General Motors stock. The results of a six month period of testing found that there was a 30% improvement in annualized investment returns for some companies and for American Airlines, which was also included in the test, this improvement reached 65% on an annualized basis. Market fluctuations using this tool were also less volatile.

So, is this the wave of the future for investment? Perhaps one day all our social media updates will be used to make decisions not only on investments, but on launching new credit cards, naming new products and more. Until then, maybe it’s time to think about investing in Derwent.

Why I’m deleting my Facebook account

I’ve decided I will be deleting Facebook this Friday.

Not to hide from Mark Zuckerburg, not to escape Timeline.  But simply to start again, from a clean slate. Fuck privacy. We never had it and won’t ever really have it. Yes, your company is, can and will monitor your emails, MSN chats and time spent on sites. And yes, your ISP is probably just as aware.

The difference is: will your employer or ISP bother to snoop around? Probably not. Facebook on the other hand gives you and your “friends” (close and otherwise) access to five years of your life. And that’s fine, except, it’s actually me who doesn’t want access.

A good friend said to me: “I’m really glad my 20′s aren’t showcased on Facebook”.  And that stuck with me. I found myself flicking through old photos and comments about things that just doesn’t mean as much as they use to, and I should probably stop dwelling on.

So in the end. This is for me. I’m simply going to delete (and yes, there is a big difference between deleting and deactivating Facebook) and beginning a new account.  This is the difference between information and knowledge: Facebook allows access to that information in a way that hasn’t been seen before, making it knowledge. So the little control I can have, I will utilise.

The “lists” feature is currently under further development and allows you to segment your friends according to their relationship with you (work, inner circle, random hook ups etc) and it is something that I plan to take great advantage of.

This isn’t me running from my past; nor am I hiding from the big corporations of the world. I’m a little OCD and love clean spaces. And my Facebook account is long over due. Sure, there’ll be a couple of favourite albums going back: but it’s not such a big deal.

This is for me.

I’ll reactivate once it’s all cleared with Facebook.

5 must-read posts by @ServantOfChaos from last week

Gavin Heaton, the Yoda of my world, has a regular slot on his own blog: 5 Must-Read Posts from Last Week. Well, this week I’m tagging some his recent posts, the favourite of mine: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

  1. Don’t Target Your Fans, Target their Friends: something I’ve long believed in. Making the individual the champion in the minds of the people they actually care about, rather than a strange collective.
  2. #londonriots and the Shadow of Shame: another perspective on the times we live in
  3. A Guide to Typography: one of my nerdy loves in life – the type face. Now everyone can join in.
  4. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us: in a world of social media comps, gen y managers, and job titles – this really got me thinking about these things differently
  5. Re-inventing Social Media – A Talk by David Armano

Community Managers Masterclass: SEO

Mumbrella Masterclass

Last week I presented with a bunch of clever people around advanced community management.  What quickly came apparent is just how varied that term means. Please note: the above presentation is about how to think and utilise SEO strategically as a part of a holistic digital campaign. Here’s the material I referenced too from Bruce Clay.

In short: I wanted to talk about the importance of understanding how community, communications and content plays into story-telling and brand reputation.  The theories of best practice content, the role of PR as well as looking into the 90-9-1 rule.  I really didn’t want to present the basics here, and I hope I’ve done just that.  A lot of this was also talked through too.

Remember: PR is the Sam Whitwicky of online strategy. Think about it. And yes, I needed to remove the Transformers images for copyright reasons – but it made a lot more sense then too. Especially the shot of Megan Fox.

A lot of the thinking was conceived around my recent post on content – the cornerstone of digital content.  Happy to also come and present this to your team (and most probably, your agency) – contact me.


A cornerstone of social media strategy

Content, access & participation

Last night was the 16th official Social Media Club Sydney (#SMCSYD) event.  Being the middle of June already, I think I would be close to having MC’d about 12 of them under the leadership of Doug Chapman and Tip Gloria.  A great mile stone for all involved.

We had Rachel Lonvinger (@rlovinger) and her partner, Jason Scott (@textfiles), who were both essentially talking about the importance of content. For me, it was a great back-to-basics sessions from Rachel who’s straight forward methodology highlighted the importance of process. And Jason (aka @sockington), was a living, breathing meme who showed us the path to happiness isn’t paved with cash-money, but about sharing some true human spirit.  And some nostalgic tales for those of us, who were on Twitter back in 2007 ( I’ve got proof from the first twitter meet up in Sydney).

I believe that content is one of the cornerstones of an effective social media strategy, and I also still believe that utility is a cornerstone to effective digital strategy (read: apps, mobile, tech, websites), and of course yes, you marry the two up and you’re in some digital nirvana.

Content itself gives us something else: access. Access to those who want to participate, but don’t want to create (cue the 90-9-1 rule). And with Facebook that gives us the easy, low commitment “Like”button on just about every web page today, it means we can interact without needing to think too much (that’s the 9) while the smallest percentage who do want to create (that’s the 1) are able do have our work published and shared further than our own means. But these two groups are the smaller percentage, and for business & marketing & PR people, that’s an important difference to remember to remember (Australia in particular).  Jason (well, sockington) had the same experience of 90-9-1 through creation and interaction himself.

Our abilities to tell stories are in effect our ability to communicate: and theres always a bigger group who will listen or watch (thats the 90).  And without that, we will never succeed.


Searching for change – Weber Shandwick roles

You may know Weber Shandwick as one of the world’s leading PR firms, what you mightn’t is that they were named  Digital Agency of the Year at the 2010 PR News Digital Awards.

As digital technologies change that world, the way we communicate will to – and in Sydney, we’re already working with Red Bull, Nespresso, Symantec, Olympus, The Australian Government and many more great brands and organisations.  We’re focused on story-telling through content, communications and community.

If you think you want to be a part of the team who leads this change and understanding (including your own), then email me at jyesmith (at) webershandwick (dot) com Continue reading

Integrated social media comms strategy

ad:tech 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2:55pm – 3:40pm: Moving Towards An Integrated Social Media Communications Strategy.

I’ve been delighted to be invited back to ad:tech Sydney this year speaking about one of my favourite topics: integration.  I’ll be focusing on community management.

I’ll be joined by Brian Katz (ADTECH/AOL), Jodee Rich (PeopleBrowsr), Richard Spencer (Daemon TWO) and Tim Buesing and presenting practical frameworks to get the most out of your social media and communications strategy.

Gen Z: 5 Lessons in community management

Yesterday I presented at Social Media The Way Forward conference along side hero Gavin Heaton.  The insights were taken from working with the Red Bull Bedroom Jam and the community of 9,500+ generation z. We’ve got another great team for 2011 and look forward to repeated success.

Here are the outtakes.  Pic above is from one of my favourite communities Detour Espresso BarContinue reading