This month, Abigail Wolf and Matthew Ruud attended the Public Relations and Social Media Summit at Marquette University. Here are a few of the most important lessons that they drew from the event.
Viral videos done right
Notes from the presentation by Denise McKee – About Face Media
When it comes to viral videos, there are only a few ways to do it right, and plenty of ways to get it wrong. Denise McKee, COO of About Face Media, says that the first place to start is following the three commandments of viral video:
1. Define your objectives – know exactly what you want to do before you start to do it; otherwise, you will fail miserably at getting your message out.
2. Know your target audience – decide on who should see the video and target spaces where they will see it. Don’t just throw your video out there to the wolves and hope your audience can find it. Also, your content needs to be relevant to your community.
3. Don’t let the idea kill the rest – you need more than something that is entertaining. The video should always be part of a larger planned campaign around one central branding idea.
Finally, viral video campaigns do not simply end when you release the video. You need to feed your audience constantly with new, fresh and engaging material. Plan for your next three steps and have your endpoint in mind from the start. If you cannot plan it out, go for something “evergreen” that will stand the test of time.
Create a community now
Notes from the presentation by Amber Naslund
As social media becomes increasingly popular as a business tool, many businesses are attempting to build a communitywithout really knowing what it means. Amber Naslund, Director of Community for Radian 6, has a few things to keep in mind when approaching this monumental task. First, community cannot survive on its own; it needs the backing of dedicated employees and the company as a whole. Community will represent the fabric of your company’s intent – it can no longer be treated as a buzz word.
The key to cultivating and maintaining a community is content. Put the company’s thought leadership on display and let your engagements represent the intent of your business. Go beyond tweeting and posting on a Facebook page. While community is an important element of the new business model, it may be difficult to measure. Traditional metrics will not work, so simply measure the results. If you do it right, you’ll know it’s working.
How to stand out online? Dominate the conversation
Updating your social networking sites frequently with relevant content is, of course, important to building your brand online. But never forget to continue the conversation. According to Ms. Evans, 1 in every 3 Americans is a conversationalist online – meaning, 1 out of 3 people update their social profiles at least once a week.
Don’t be afraid to hijack a conversation. If you’re an expert on a topic or just have your own insights to share, don’t be afraid to do it! Social Media works because, well, it’s social. Without ongoing dialogues and engaged users, there is no real purpose to having an online presence.
In the same way, also present numerous opportunities for others to share their feedback as well. Listening and observing is just as powerful.
Social media has changed the game. Really
You’ve heard numerous times that Social Media is the way of the future. But how can you turn it into a great branding tool for your company? Easy – look at the big brands. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Burger King dominate social networking sites and viral videos. And when something works, they aren’t afraid to keep it around.
In order to be successful with Social Media, you need to remember that transparency is truly “the name of the game”. Having a social presence means you are opening yourself and your company up to feedback, which can be both positive and negative. But that feedback comes directly for your consumers. And what you learn from that feedback can be priceless.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with Social Media – so just remember:
1. Keep Content Present
2. Always be Relevant
3. Update Frequently